Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mango salsa


Summer is the perfect time for this refreshing sweet mango salsa! 

- 2-3 Ripe mangoes (peeled, and flesh removed from the seed then diced) 
- 1 small red onion, finely diced

- Salt & Black pepper
 - Lime juice (a nice squeeze)
- Olive oil (about 1/2 tsp, optional) 
- garlic (about 1/8 tsp puree, optional) 

For a real fresh version blend together the mangoes, red onion, lime juice, salt and pepper and serve!

For a more complex version add the remaining ingredients and blend, add a dash of cumin or paprika if desired.

Enjoy it as fresh as possible as a snack of along side grilled meats or a light summer spread.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Curly Dogs

Spring around here is about BBQ and wildlife! Keeping the birds and animals safe while doing a bit of grilling on the side as well as gardening.

Here's a fun trick to get those spiraly, bouncy "Curly hotdogs" Simply stick a thin kebob skewer into one and then place flat on a cutting board and begin slicing on a diagonal and in one straight slice... as you slowly roll the hotdog (with the help of the skewer) it turns and you end up slicing lower and lower like the stripes on a candy cane! And voila!! Remove the skewer and you've got this fun spiral then just grill them up.
-1 pack hotdogs (We used 100% beef because they got so brown and caramelized, yum!) 
- 1 kebob skewer (or more, but you remove them once you're done) 
- cutting board

- sharp knife

Check out the video below for more of a visual instruction.
Heated grill and you're all set!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Summer Dinner and Spanish Dessert

I've so enjoyed last year's airing of "From Spain With Love with Annie Sibonney" on food network Canada.   If you've followed my blog in it's early days you'll know all about my obsession with Morocco and North African cuisine!  Through reading up on Spanish cuisine I loved seeing how the influence made it's way into Spanish Cuisine as well so I decided to indulge myself with a book that I picked up in one of the Chapters/Indigo locations and couldn't put down.  The rustic cuisine drew me in and I loved the use of almonds in so many recipe (LOVE almonds and we use them a lot in Middle Eastern cuisine too)

The recipe I made here is a pumpkin almond dessert, with hints of cinnamon and lemon zest it's almost like pumpkin pie but without the crust. Couldn't be simpler to whip up too!

 The recipe uses fresh pumpkin boiled until tender and then cooked some more until the water has evaporated and it's in it's puree form.  I'd love to try this one day with fresh pumpkin but for now I already had a can of pumpkin in the fridge that needed using up so I whipped up this dessert by cooking the puree stove top a bit and adding sugar to it.  In a separate bowl I mixed up the ground almond with eggs, lemon zest then mixing it all together, forming a dome shape and decorating with blanched almonds before popping into the oven for 50 minutes.  

It's finished off with a dusting of powdered sugar and a perfect accompaniment to a warm cup of black tea!

Arnadi (Valencia Dessert)

Adapted from Claudia Roden's The food of Spain book

Makes 8-10 servings

- 2 lb slice of orange pumpkin flesh.   (peel and remove seeds and string)

** I 3/4 larger can of plain pumpkin puree

- 1 1/4 c sugar

- 1 1/4 c ground almond
- 2 eggs
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp cinnamon

- 1/2 cup blanched whole almonds 
Simply add skinned raw almonds to a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.  Strain and allow to cool enough to handle then slip the skins off using fingers and set aside for later. 

-  2 - 3 tbsp powder sugar

For the pumpkin, chop in 1 1/4 inch cubes and add to a saucepan with water and boil/steam until tender, checking on them from time to time in case water evaporated then add more if necessary.  Should take 15-20 minutes.
Strain the excess water and add back to the heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat without lid and allow excess water to evaporate for 5 minutes.  Mash the pumpkin into a puree using a fork or potato masher. 

Remove off heat and add the sugar, add it back to the heat and mix until sugar is dissolved and all the moisture is nearly evaporated, another 15-20 minutes of cooking.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a separate bowl mix the ground almond with eggs, lemon zest and cinnamon.  At this point I let the pumpkin cool for about 3 minutes then add the pumpkin/sugar mixture into the almond mixture little at a time tempering it as not to scramble the eggs.

Pour into a small baking dish and form a dome, garnish with the blanched almonds and bake for 50 minutes.

Once it's done, let it cool completely and dust with powder sugar.


There is nothing better in summer time than an easy dinner and here I made lamb burgers and beef tenderloin shishkebob, all so easy to whip up and this dessert was just the PERFECT ending to the meal

Monday, May 20, 2013

Victoria Day long weekend

A look at the victoria day long weekend ... ice cream, thrifting, snacking, bbqing, and more ice cream!