In the summer it's always nice to have a variety of salads up your sleeve to take to a family gathering or serve up when you're grilling on the deck. This salad is packed with vegetables and lightly kissed with a homemade balsamic dressing so it's light and fresh without the oily, heavy feel that sometimes comes with pasta salads. We love it alongside grilled meats and a light, tossed green salad to make a great dinner.
When it's too hot to cook or on nights when I just don't feel like cooking anything, I make this chicken. To be honest, I often call it "No-Brainer Chicken" because it's so easy and fast to make. You barely even need any ingredients! The chicken can be stuffed into sandwiches or wraps, sliced over salads, or sometimes I serve it with potatoes and a vegetable. Feel free to play around a little with the flavours here, too. I've swapped out the thyme for freshly chopped rosemary or dill, or revamped it and used used smoked paprika, fresh thyme, and an orange.
Sometimes the usual coleslaw just won’t do, especially if you are trying to stay away from anything heavy with mayonnaise. This recipe is a snap; just slice up the veggies in your food processor, give the dressing a shake in a Mason jar, and you’re good to go. The kids can help with making the salad dressing and if you do the food processor work, they can even put the salad together for you.
Easy to make and even easier to transport and serve at a cookout, pound cake is one of my favorites. I love slicing it up and serving with ice cream and fresh fruit. This recipe makes a delectable chocolate and vanilla swirled cake that will be hard for anyone to resist. I love baking a few and stashing one away in the freezer to take to a friend's house, work, or just to have around to pull out if I need a dessert at the last minute.
I once heard the Fraser Valley described by Chef Lynn Crawford as a "chef's paradise" because of the sheer bounty of locally produced goods in the region. Located from the foot of the Fraser Mountains just outside of Hope, BC and extending to just south of Vancouver, lush farmland produces everything from berries to corn, grapes for wine, and far more. There is certainly no shortage of fresh, local food that can literally go straight from the farm to your plate.
I admit, I'm a little embarrassed to call this a recipe or post it as a new one here, but I figure if I don't, some of you may not figure this out and oh my goodness—-this was far too good NOT to share.
When the mercury soars, sometimes the only thing that will bring a bit of sweet relief besides the pool is a bowl of something cold and icy. Sometime ago I bought an ice cream maker, and I must tell you—it's one of the most-used appliances in my house. Ice cream or sherbets from the store can be expensive and sometimes not even really that good, or full of strange ingredients. Homemade ice cream is really quite easy to make and once you taste what it's like to eat some that you've personally created from fresh, quality ingredients, you'll have a hard time going back.
Some time ago, Kraft came out with a whole bunch of new peanut butters. There are some with granola, dried cranberries, raisins, cinnamon, or just honey; and the truth is, I love them all. So when Kraft sent me some jars to try I was so excited to receive them I opened each one and tried a spoonful. In my house the Cinnamon Raisin Granola flavour won out, but once I started baking with them it was hard to choose a new favourite. The banana granola one has a very slight banana taste, but has chunky bits of granola that add some great texture to the peanut butter.
Salads are often a go-to side during the summer when you want something that doesn't heat up your kitchen or a lighter dish to go with something you've grilled. As much as I love salad, the same old tossed green salad every day gets a little boring. Who says you are stuck with strictly veggies? Try some grainy salads for a change instead of your usual sides and you might be pleasantly surprised at how much you love them.
Let’s face it, June is a crazy month. All year you’ve slogged through making lunches, and now that you’re in that home stretch you’re ready to throw in the towel and call it a day. The kids are sick of lunches, you are sick of packing them, and all anyone can think of is the lazy days of summer where they can help themselves to watermelon and spit the seeds off the porch.
This week, Vancouver became the first Canadian city to join Meatless Monday, a non-profit initiative based in the USA to encourage people to try going meatless one day a week. Started as long ago as during World War I, meatless Monday encouraged people to be frugal and protect the food supply. Nowdays, the focus is a little different but much the same; go meatless one day a week to reduce your carbon footprint and eat healthier. Interested in trying out going meatless at home?
School is almost over, but cookies are still the number one treat in my house. Peanut butter, chocolate chip, oatmeal, it doesn't matter; every weekend I'm in my kitchen mixing up a batch. If you like sweet and salty, these cookies marry the best of both worlds, incorporating both salty nuts and sweet chocolate into one delicious bite. While peanut butter and nuts are a no-go for many schools, this recipe allows you not to worry. Just substitute plain chocolate chips for the peanut butter chips, and omit the nuts.
When Kevin was small, we used to visit a coffee shop where he could get an Italian soda-club soda and ice, topped with a flavoured syrup. He loved them more than canned pop, but they were often a bit pricey so became a family treat when Mom and Dad went out for coffee. I loved that he could play around with the flavours, but sometimes the syrups had artificial colors and flavours that I wasn't too happy with.
For most of us in North America, chocolate is taken for granted. We can pick up a candy bar or bag of chocolate chips almost anywhere. In Canada, we love chocolate so much that the average person consumes about 4 kg of chocolate each year.
Sometimes you want something a little different than a burger, just for a change. These sandwiches are delicious—oozing with cheese and tomato sauce, with a meaty interior and soft bun on the outside. I love to use Cobs Bread bap buns because they are so soft and pliable, but any soft Italian style bun will do. The best thing about these is that the meatballs are baked in the oven and can be made ahead, baked and then frozen as insurance against a busy week.
When hot weather hit the Fraser Valley a few weeks ago, I hit the freezer section of our grocery store looking for cold treats for my teenager to enjoy. The problem with having food allergies is that he couldn't eat even one kind of packaged ice cream sandwich, because every single on of them contained soy.
Well, you'd think this would be easy but honestly, there is a proper way to cut an onion. Huh. Imagine that. All these years I chopped my onions a particular way and would you believe, I was doing it wrong all this time? Of course I was but now I know the chef secret, which I am going to pass on to you.
Trust me, this is so easy you'll wonder why you haven't always chopped onions this way.