I’m so excited to be part of the Calgary Food Blogger Bake Sale taking place this weekend. Vincci, from “Ceci n’est pas un food blog” has rounded up local food bloggers to raise funds for Calgary Meals on Wheels. The bake sale is part of Market Collective’s 2nd Anniversary. Come down and meet Calgary’s own food bloggers and have a taste of their delicious offerings. Click here for more information and a list of the blogger participating.
It was hard trying to decide what to make for the bake sale. I finally settled on Nan Khatai – Indian wheatlet cookies. These are cookies from my childhood and is a treat that my 19 month old son now enjoys. My dad makes these regularly and its the perfect offering for when friends drop in. These crispy, crumbly cookies can be made like below or you can add some cardamom. Delicious on their own, they are even better when dipped in warm milk or chai.
(makes 60 medium sized cookies)
1 lb margarine or butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups wheatlets (sooji)
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
Cream the margarine/butter and sugar. Once combined, add the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla. Combine 3 cups of flour and baking powder. To the butter and sugar mix, gradually add in the flour and wheatlets, alternating between the two. Knead the dough and slowly add in the last cup of flour until the dough pulls away and is soft enough to roll into balls.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. While still warm, place a drop of food coloring in the center of each cookie.
Chocolate Puffed Wheat Squares
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 TB cocoa
5 cups puffed wheat
Over medium heat, melt the margarine. Add corn syrup, brown sugar and cocoa and let the mixture come to a boil. After 1 minute, take it off the heat and add the puffed wheat. Pour mixture into an 8″ x 8″ pan and cool before cutting it into squares.
We’re less than a month away from our big office move. I know many of my co-workers will miss Cafe Mauro, which is located in the lobby of our building. Everyone raves about Sal’s sandwiches – the bocconcini sandwich served on top of focaccia or the chicken parmesan on toasted baguette. My favorite meal though at Cafe Mauro is breakfast; in particular the Fried Egg Sandwich.
It had been a long week and definitely a day to order in. We needed something that would keep a picky 18 month old and a dieting hubby happy. Sushi it was!
We ordered spicy salmon rolls that were covered in a creamy sauce with some kick. Q loved the simple avocado rolls and the delicious yam tempura rolls. My favorite at any sushi place is dynamite rolls – filled with tempura shrimp, yummy! The salmon and tuna sushi were melt in your mouth good.
Its no secret that one of my favorite channels is the Food Network. I can sit for hours watching chefs turn ordinary ingredients into mouth watering creations. One of my faves is Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. I have recreated her recipes many times, and they are always a hit. Her recent episode “Outdoor Entertaining” featured Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies and they looked so good, I had to try them for myself.
I substituted the raisins for chocolate chips (gotta have the chocolate!) and found that these were the most delicious oatmeal cookies ever. Another winning recipe from Ina!
Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies
(Adapted from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa)
1 1/2 cups almonds
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.
Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together into a medium bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Add the oats, raisins, and nuts and mix just until combined.
Using a small ice-cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop 2-inch mounds of dough onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with a damp hand. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned.
Transfer the cookies to a baking rack and cool completely.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I like Vietnamese food. At least once a week, I venture out to a great Vietnamese shop a couple of blocks from work. Sate beef with vermicelli and spring rolls makes for a very satisfying meal. One of my favorite things to eat at home are the Shrimp Salad Rolls. It is the easiest thing to make and, you can have the perfect appetizer or snack in minutes.
Shrimp Salad RollsCooked shrimp, approximately 3 per rolls
Lettuce or Spinach
Place the rice wrapper in a bowl of warm water until soft and transparent. Line up 3 shrimp in the middle followed by a mint leaf, greens and vermicelli. Fold in the two ends and roll.
Serve with hoisin sauce and Sriracha chili sauce.
After cold weather and a snow fall this month, it’s nice to finally have lovely May weather. The weekend was spent outdoors enjoying the plus 20 temperatures that we had eagerly been awaiting. Sunday afternoon on the boat led to barbecuing indian spiced and korean bbq ribs. This watermelon, feta and mint salad was such a refreshing accompaniment to the meal. This unexpected combination of sweet watermelon, creamy feta accented with sweet red onions and mint definitely felt like “summer in a bowl”. Take it to your next potluck – it will be the most talked about dish.
Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad1/2 small watermelon, cubed
feta cheese, cubed
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
10 mint leaves, sliced thinly
2 TB red wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 TB olive oil
salt and pepper
It was a lovely Sunday celebrating the important women in our lives – our mothers. Lunch consisted of fried kabobs (thanks to my sister-in-law) and nihari, a beef shank curry. The best way to top off this delicious meal had to be with one of my favorite drinks/desserts – faluda. Faluda is a mixture of rose syrup and milk accented with ice cream and vermicelli. This cool, creamy drink is the perfect way to toast all the amazing mothers out there – Happy Mother’s Day!
Faluda (10 Servings)
1.5 litres whole milk
2 cans evaporated milk
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream + more for serving
5 TB rose syrup
vermicelli or rice sticks
red food coloring
Cook the vermicelli in boiling water for five minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Add a few drops of red food coloring until the vermicelli are pink.
Combine milks, ice cream and rose syrup and chill until ready to serve.
In a tall cup, add a spoonful of noodles, a couple scoops of ice cream and top with the milk mixture. Serve with a straw and tall spoon.
I started making the roasted red pepper dip about 4 years ago. I had just gotten married and was excited to be hosting parties in my new home. The dip, which is so easy to prepare, got rave reviews and soon became my signature dip. Rarely is there a party at my house without the famous roasted red pepper dip. Served in a red pepper or a simple dish, it is the perfect accompaniment to veggies or grilled crostini.
Roasted Red Pepper Dip
1 red pepper
3 cloves of garlic
2/3 cup of mayonnaise
Quarter the red pepper and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. At this point, you can remove the skin, but I prefer to leave it on.
In a blender, drop in the garlic and blend. Add the red pepper and blend again. Add the mayonnaise and blend a final time. Ready to eat!