Monday, March 2, 2015

Salt & Vinegar Popcorn

When you grab a bag of chips which are your favourite? I almost always go for Salt and Vinegar! I just love them!

When it comes to salty snacks I used to always go for chips, I didn’t used to be a huge popcorn fan but a few years ago I discovered this popcorn and my snacking habits have changed, a lot! I can’t get enough of the stuff.

Usually when it comes to popcorn I am a purist, melted butter and salt, lots of salt! The other day I was really craving some good old Salt and
Vinegar chips but I really didn’t want to go out and get a bag, so I decided to make some Salt and Vinegar Popcorn‼

It turned out great! I used Balsamic vinegar for a little extra kick, it was fantastic!

What you need,

4 cups air popped popcorn
1½ tbsp. butter, melted
1½ tsp balsamic vinegar
¾ tsp. kosher salt

Place the popcorn in a large bowl. Stir the vinegar into the melted butter until well combined.  Drizzle slowly all over the popcorn, stirring after each spoonful, this way you will coat all the popcorn and not get all of the seasoning in one place.

Sprinkle the salt over the popcorn and give it a final toss.

Stuff in your face by the handful!

GREAT combo! Great snack! If you are a lover of all things Salt and Vinegar give this quick snack a try, it won’t disappoint!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Beef Stir Fry with Mushroom and Snow Peas

I do love a good stir fry. They are always flavorful, and they are always quick. Both of those things are a must in a weeknight dinner around this house.

This was a wonderful stir fry. I don’t often use beef this way but it was really great!  The savory mushrooms really paired well with the beef and the crisp snow peas really gave it a great texture.

What you need,

¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup tamari sauce
4 tbsp. brown sugar
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. grated ginger; you can use more if you like it!
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1 8oz steak, thinly sliced
2 cups snow peas
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. cornstarch + 2 tbsp. water
¼ cup green onion, chopped
Rice for serving

In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, tamari, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and rice vinegar.

Heat one teaspoon of oil over medium high heat in a large non-stick skillet
Cook the mushrooms for 4-5 minutes until softened. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Heat the rest of the oil and cook the steak slices in a single layer for just a minute per side. Add the mushrooms back to the pan and also the snow peas. Cook 1-2 minutes. Add the sauce to the pan and cook 1 minute until bubbly.  Stir in the cornstarch and water mixture and let it thicken for 1-2 minutes.

Sprinkle the stir-fry with the green onion before serving over some rice.

There you have it a great simple dinner all in less than 30 minutes!
Gotta love that!

I have a quick tip for you, if you want to slice your beef really thin put it in the freezer for 20ish minutes before slicing it. Just so it is firm, not frozen. It sure makes thin slices WAY easier‼



Sunday, February 22, 2015

Chewy Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars

I enjoyed these granola bars I made a few weeks ago so much I decided to try my hand at making them again. I made a few changes this time; I added some peanut butter and a few scoops of rice cereal for texture. 

I think I like these bars even better than the last ones. They really hold up well in or out of the fridge. They make a perfect on the go breakfast.  My in house taste tester took one to work the other day and I got a text a few hours later that said “Holy Shit that breakfast bar is really good!” I knew I had struck granola bar gold!

What you need,

¼ cup butter
¼ smooth peanut butter
½ cup honey
2/3 cup brown sugar
3½ cups oats, I used quick cook because it is what I had
2 cups rice cereal
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup dried cranberries or raisins
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, mini chips would work even better than the regular sized ones I had but they were fine

Like a 9X13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, spray lightly with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl stir together the oats, rice cereal and dried cranberries.

In a small saucepan combine the butter, peanut butter, honey and brown sugar. Heat over medium until the mixture comes to boil, stirring occasionally. 
Reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Pour over the oat mixture and stir to combine well.  Press the mixture evenly into the pan and sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Press the chips lightly to make them stick.

Cool in the fridge for an hour or 2 before cutting into bars.  I got 12 bars.  I wrapped them each in saran wrap then put them all into a large zip top bag. I kept them in the fridge until I was ready to toss them into my lunch bag. 

These bars are fabulous! I think you could change up the nut butter and dried fruit to anything you like. How about almond butter with dried apricots and pistachios? Or cashew butter with dried cherries and cashews?  Even Nutella with about almonds and chocolate chips would be fabulous! The possibilities are endless.



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Meyer Lemon Pudding Cake

I always love a good lemon dessert. As a kid I used to love those boxed pudding cakes and so when I saw this recipe on Two Peas & Their Pod for a homemade version I knew I had to give it a try.

Meyer lemons are a little sweeter than regular lemons so they are perfect for this wonderful pudding cake. 

It was wonderful, perfectly lemony with a spongy cake and a layer of gooey pudding on the bottom. Such a wonderful dessert, and so pretty!

What you need,

4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. Meyer lemon zest
3 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup Meyer lemon juice
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp. salt
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 1-quart soufflé dish.

In a large bowl use an electric hand mixer to beat the butter at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and lemon zest and beat until combined. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add half the lemon juice, half the flour and half the sour cream and beat until smooth; repeat with remaining lemon juice, flour and sour cream.

In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment beat the egg whites at medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to medium-high, add the salt, and beat to stiff peaks.
Add one-quarter of the whites to the lemon mixture and gently fold in. Continue to fold in whites one-quarter at a time.

Transfer the batter to the prepared soufflé dish or dishes. Place the dish in a larger pan and carefully pour boiling water around it to a depth of 1 inch.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until slightly golden brown and the center is just set. The cake should spring back when gently touched. Do not open the oven door while the cake is baking. Remove from the water bath immediately and cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes.

Lightly dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar.
Serve warm.

The cake can be kept covered in the fridge for about 3 days. I just reheated it in small dishes in the microwave and it was wonderful!

What an amazing dessert! Light and flavorful just perfect.
If you were having a dinner party and wanted to be a little fancy you could divide the batter between smaller ramekins and serve this beautiful cake individually.



Recipe from the awesome Two Peas & Their Pod

Monday, February 16, 2015

Meatloaf Sandwiches

I made my in house taste tester his favourite meal for Valentine’s Day, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy and steamed broccoli.
It was delicious as always.

We had a little meatloaf left over so I decided to whip up some meatloaf sandwiches. I have never had one before but I had a pretty clear vision in my head of what I wanted my sandwich to be.

Man oh man was this sandwich was awesome! It turned out exactly as I had envisioned. So much flavor and texture. My in house taste tester gave it 2 thumbs up, a 10 out a 10 and asked when we could have them again! So for me that is a win!

What you need,

4 slices bread, I used a marbled sourdough, it was awesome!
4 ½ inch slices of left-over meatloaf, this is my recipe
2 tsp. spicy mayo (I used the sriracha mayo I always make)
1 tsp. yellow mustard
2 tbsp. grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup fresh arugula leaves
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. butter

In a large frying pan heat the olive oil and butter over medium high heat.
Fry the meatloaf slices for 2-3 minutes per side until they are golden brown and crisp.

Spread the mayo in a thin layer on all 4 slices of bread. Then spread the mustard on 2 of the slices.
Lay the crispy meatloaf on top of one slice of the bread. Sprinkle the cheese on the hot meat loaf. Top with the arugula and lay the bread topper on top of the whole pile.

Slice and half and stuff in your face!

This sandwich was truly one of the best I have ever had! I would eat one of these any day.

I loved the hot crispy meatloaf with just a touch of heat from the spicy mayo,  the peppery crisp arugula was the perfect green for this sandwich.