Salmon Tikka with Cucumber Yogurt

>> Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Oh Jamie, you devilishly handsome and fabulous chef.You've gone and done it again... dinner perfection. *swoon*

Yep, I swooned. Both in awe of Jamie and this recipe. I was a little skeptical on how this would turn out to be honest as I've never had tikka with anything else but chicken, but I really should not have's delicious and you can spice it as much or as little as you'd like. Gotta love that! The recipe is fabulously simple to half if you deserve something special and you're on your own too. Sometimes cooking for one can be a bit of a drag, but it really is nice to treat yourself to something yummy too!

Heck yeah, don't we all deserve something special once in a while? You know, on like a Wednesday or a Thursday paired with a glass of wine (or 3?). This simple salmon recipe is pretty much guaranteed to fight off any winter blahs and is quick to make, so even if you are rushing out someplace, as long as you have 15 minutes (and a killer outfit already picked out)'re good to go!

Jamie's Quick Salmon Tikka with Cucumber Yogurt

(from Jamie's Food Revolution)
  • 2 naan bread (or pita-style flatbread)
  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • 1 finely chopped and seeded red chile (I omitted)
  • 1 lemon
  • sea salt & fresh ground pepper
  • some sprigs of fresh cilantro
  • 2 - 7 oz deboned,scaled but skin on salmon
  • 1 heaping tbsp of tandoori or mild curry paste
  • olive oil
  1. Preheat the over to 225F and put naan in the oven to warm.
  2. Cut the cucumber in half and scrape out seeds. Chop and place in bowl (saving a few pieces for garnish)
  3. In same bowl, squeeze the juice from half a lemon, add yogurt, half the chile and pinches of both salt and pepper.
  4. Stir to combine.
  5. Prepare your salmon by slicing each fillet lengthways into 1/2 inch-wide slices.
  6. Spoon the paste on top of the salmon and spread with the back of the spoon (If you need more paste, use a new spoon to take from the jar.)
  7. Put your frying pan on high and once hot add some olive oil.
  8. Add the salmon to the pan and cook for 1.5 minutes on each side until cooked through completely.
  9. Meanwhile, grab a naan from the oven and put on plate. Top with the cucumber yogurt and salmon. Garnish with the remainder of the red chile, cucumber and cilantro. Squeeze a little more lemon and enjoy!

Preparation and cooking should take about 17 minutes and serves 2.


Haggis, Neeps & Tatties :: Celebrating Robbie Burns Day

>> Monday, 25 January 2010

Living in Scotland for 2 years definitely gave me an appreciation for Scottish cuisine (and men in kilts).

Okay, stop laughing.

I'm not talking about fried Mars bars (I only had one once and it was pretty good*LOL*) but rather Haggis. Yes, that strange and often discussed 'food' that generally accompanies looks of horror on the faces of the unadventurous. Haggis.

In fact, in the pink kitchen (this requires a longer story at some point..but I had a hot pink kitchen in Scotland), we began to serve it to every guest who came across the pond to visit, even hosting a Burns supper on January 25th and inviting all the Canadians and Scots we knew! When in Rome, right? The great thing about haggis though is that it is very often misunderstood and is actually VERY tasty!

My friend Christine perhaps summed it up perfectly when she said.."Oh, it's like a spiced version of meatloaf".

I mean, sure it's ummm...exotic and has apparently been banned in the US since 1989 due to all the interesting parts contained within? We can buy it here in Canada, so I had no clue about this ban.

Here's a recipe..minus all the cooking directions (and to be honest, it's MUCH easier to buy a premade haggis to cook...apparently now Americans will be able to as well!!!)

  • 1 sheep's stomach or ox secum, cleaned and thoroughly, scalded, turned inside out and soaked overnight in cold salted water
  • heart and lungs of one lamb
  • 450g/1lb beef or lamb trimmings, fat and lean
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 225g/8oz oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground dried coriander
  • 1 tsp mace
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • Water, enough to cook the haggis
  • Stock from lungs and trimmings

Haggis is always, always, always plated with neeps (turnip) and tatties (potatoes)...both mashed, and a wee dram of whiskey. Perfection.

On Burns night (celebration of the Scottish poet Robert Burns birthday) pomp and circumstance are definitely part of the perfect evening and Haggis is the centre of the celebration. The haggis is 'played' in with bagpipes and everyone applaudes before reciting the Selkirk Grace and then addressing the Haggis with Burns own 'Address to a Haggis'.

(I find that saying it aloud helps in understanding it!)

Address to a Haggis

(Robert Burns)

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
'Bethankit' hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect sconner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit:
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!

Then a whiskey toast is drank to the Haggis and dinner begins.

Happy Burns Day!


Dr. Pepper Thumbprint Cookies

>> Sunday, 24 January 2010

I'll admit it. I love Dr. Pepper. I enjoy pop in general, but there is something about Dr. Pepper that sets me all alight. After scouring the internet for cookies that possibly may be able to incorporate my love of Dr. Pepper, I found this recipe. I was excited, intrigued and fascinated.

Would these cookies live up to my expectation of Dr. Peppery goodness?

In fact it's safe to say that I can't even make out the teeny tiniest hint of the Dr. in these cookies.
However, they were delicious, so I will forgive them and instead drink a Dr. Pepper WITH them. That counts!

I hope you all had a good weekend! Be sure to head over to
feminine wiles & urban survival 101 to enter my contest for a copy of Wreck This Journal!
Oh....and I promise, next cookies! :)

Dr. Pepper Thumbprint Cookies
(adapted from recipe on the Dr. Pepper Facebook discussion)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Dr. Pepper
  • Any sort of jam (I used homemade strawberry, raspberry and elderberry)

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Cream sugar,butter, egg, vanilla and Dr. Pepper in one bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix oats, flour, salt and baking soda.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and combine until blended.
  5. Remove small amount and roll between palms to create balls.
  6. Lightly flatten and create indent with your thumb in the tops of the cookies.
  7. Drop small spoonful of jam into the indent.
  8. Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes.


Dry Soda: Vanilla Bean

>> Thursday, 21 January 2010

In my group of friends, I'm kind of known as the girl to go to if you want to find out any information about new products! So I figured I'd share this knowledge with you too! This habit of mine to pick something 'new' all the time has definitely led me down some strange and unique paths...not all of them delicious.

But some are certainly worth the attempt and Dry Soda's Vanilla Bean was definitely worth it.

Dry Soda Co. certainly has some of the most inventive flavours on the market: Rhubarb, Juniper Berry, Cucumber, Kumquat, Lemongrass, Lavender and Vanilla Bean.

The very light vanilla flavour was the perfect pick-me-up to my afternoon workday! But maybe next time I'll try the
Seattle Strawberry cocktail they suggest as it would be terrific for a sunny Saturday afternoon when the strawberries are in season.

The best thing about Dry Soda is that their products are all natural, which let's face today's world of frankenfoods and processing, natural is a terrific thing! Not to mention that it's only 60 calories!

I have to say is served best ice cold.

Ingredients: Purified carbonated water, cane sugar, natural extracts and phosphoric acid.
Yes, that's it!!! :)

Taste: Like perrier with a light vanilla flavour. Neither cloying or too sweet..just light and simple. I didn't pair this up with a meal, but I did find it a treat in itself in the afternoon.

Design: I am a complete sucker for packaging and these bottles are simple, gorgeous and very classy. In fact, I have seen a few people use these bottles as simple vases for single stemmed flowers.

Price: The price at my local organic grocer was $1.99 Canadian..which really is like purchasing a 591 mL bottle of regular pop from any convenience store.

Overall Rating (Out of 5): 4.5/5 : I enjoy sparkling waters, and this was right up my alley..especially considering it reminded me of baking and even gave me an idea for a recipe this weekend!!

Also, tomorrow over at
feminine wiles & urban survival 101, I'll be introducing a giveaway for Keri Smith's book: Wreck This Journal. Please drop in to visit!


Double Lemon Delights & Led Zeppelin

>> Monday, 18 January 2010

I think I can safely say...that cookies and music go well together.

I don't think it may be an obvious connection at first, but I bet once you think about all the cookies (and other baked goods!) out there in the world, you can find an equally delicious piece of music to go along with it!

Try these delicious combinations...

Chocolate Chip &
Indigo Girls' Closer to Fine

Rolled Pirouettes & Charles Trenet's Boum!

Oatmeal Raisin & John Denver's Rocky Mountain High

Peanut Butter & Smokey Robinson's Tracks of My Tears

Ginger Snaps & Ray Lamontagne's Jolene

Oreos & The Jackson 5's Who's Loving You

and now....

Double Lemon Delights &
Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven

Oh yes. I said it. Led Zeppelin & Lemons.

Lemon Cookies and really any Led Zeppelin tune works out to a pretty tasty combination.

I'll let you in on a little secret, I'm not a huge fan of many lemon cookies (or lemon meringue pies..yuck) or anything with rind...but these take the cake! They have loads of real lemon flavour (none of that artificial junk) and are a big, shortbread-y delicious slice of lemon-y goodness (and I like my zest really fine). In fact, I may have to say that these are probably one of my favourites.

Double Lemon Delights
(makes approx 12 -4" cookies)
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp grated lemon peel (save 1 tbsp for the icing)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 4-5 tsp lemon juice

  1. Set aside 1 tbsp of lemon peel, icing sugar and lemon juice for the icing.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F
  3. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg, one tbsp lemon rind and vanilla. Continue to beat until blended.
  4. Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add flour mixure to wet mixture and combine until blended
  5. Roll balls of dough (approx 1/4 cup amount of dough) and flatten until about 3" in diameter on an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle a little sugar on top of the unbaked cookie.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes and transfer to racks or parchment to cool completely.
  7. Combine the lemon juice, icing sugar and 1 tbsp lemon rind in a small bowl and drizzle over the cool cookies. Let the icing set.
  8. Eat and enjoy while listening to your favourite tune!


Banana & Cinnamon Oatmeal

>> Friday, 15 January 2010

It's still winter.
Brilliant observation, I know.

It's still cold enough that in the morning, putting one exploratory foot out from under the covers is enough to send one's foot right back under to rub vigorously against one's least for as long as time will allow.

Sometimes, it's encroaching 11 am. Yep, sometimes that happens. Especially when you are a bit of a nightowl as I am and the mornings are chilly and grey.

It's on those mornings, that I bring my iPod under the covers, switch out the ear buds for giant air traffic controller-type dealios and listen to folky-pop music like the Weepies before I make an exagerated movement to throw the covers off dramatically and get my act together!

Jamie & I made breakfast this morning, although I really did all the work. (At least that's what I'm telling myself...and anyone else that will listen.) This is the second recipe I've made out of Jamie's Food Revolution (Ministry of Food in the UK)

To be honest, I've never followed a recipe for oatmeal before. It does seem a little ridiculous, but then again, I did explain that I am a horrible follower of rules. Growing up, my mom would occassionally make oatmeal, but we usually passed it up for toast and cold cereal. Eventually I decided to try it and started making it myself, but then it was always those little microwavable/add boiling water-type packages and I never quite believed that this was the best way oatmeal (outside of oatmeal cookies) was ever going to taste.

My love affair with oatmeal was short and non-commital.

This morning though, under my shroud of blankets and well harmonized tunes, I was tempted to resume my quick oat romance and this recipe of Jamie's was the one that was going to rekindle the flame.

Faster than I thought it would be, it was delicious and creamy and not bad of a kisser for our first time together. I know it's early in the relationship process again, but so far...I'm liking it.

Jamie Oliver's Banana & Cinnamon Oatmeal
(Jamie's Food Revolution // Ministry of Food)

(Recipe is for 4 people, my adaptations are in red for 1 person)
  • 2 cups quick cook oats (not instant) (1/2 cup)
  • 3 cups milk or water (3/4 cup)
  • pinch of sea salt (same)
  • 2 ripe bananas (half a banana)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (same)
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds (I would have used flax, but I couldn't find them, so I omitted altogether)
  • honey or maple syrup to taste (same)
  • handful of toasted & sliced almonds or shredded coconut (same)

  1. Add oats, milk/water and salt to a saucepan on medium heat.
  2. Simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring often.
  3. 2 minutes before oatmeal is ready, add all the other ingredients. (I saved my maple syrup for after the oatmeal was in my bowl)
  4. If your oatmeal is too thick, add more milk/water until it's the consistency you enjoy.
  5. Remove from heat and enjoy :)

Good morning!


Earl Grey Tea Cookies

>> Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Psst..kid. Wanna cookie? Yes? Come on, I know you do!

How can anyone say no to a cookie? A simple, harmless cookie. One will definitely not break your new years resolution to lose weight. I promise. 6 cookies however..well, I can't guarantee anything! I guess it's a good thing that my resolution wasn't to avoid cookies!

I pulled this recipe out of Martha Stewart's Cookies. I adore Martha (don't worry Jamie, I love you more) and she definitely has some easy cookies that really do look fancy! These cookies would be perfect for a bridal shower or springtime scrapbooking afternoon, their shortbread-y texture and flavour are delicate and just plain lovely.
Definitely not meant for the Stanley Cup finals, but then again, who am I to judge?! ;)

Earl Grey Tea Cookies
(Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies)

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp finely ground earl grey tea (between 6-8 teabags..I used vanilla earl grey tea)
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp finely grated orange zest (I used lemon zest)
  • (I added 2 tbsp of water because it seemed it wasn't blending/sticking together enough)


  1. Mix butter, orange zest and icing sugar with mixer until light and fluffy (approx. 3 mins)
  2. Whisk flour, salt and tea in a separate bowl until blended.
  3. Add the flour mix slowly into the butter mixture until all combined.
  4. Divide dough in half. Shape into logs and roll in parchment paper. (For Martha Stewart accuracy, force rolled log into empty paper towel roll... I'm not that fussy)
  5. Put rolls in the freezer until firm
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  7. Remove log and slice into 1/4" thick pieces.
  8. Place on cookie sheet & bake for 13-15 minutes.

Enjoy got it, tea! :)


Ques(adilla) of the Mondays

>> Monday, 11 January 2010

Quesadillas, the darling of the lunch crowd.
This is my ridiculously lazy go-to Monday lunch choice (or you know Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday...) Occassionally it's my dinner choice too, but then it's generally paired with a mojito or two. More about mojitos later! ;)

Relatively low in calories, fast and easy to make and relatively inexpensive quesadillas make even the most mundane of Mondays enjoyable.

Ques(adilla) of the Mondays

1 Tortilla wrap (I used a large multigrain wrap)
Mild salsa (I'm a bit of a wuss in the spice department, use whatever you have in the fridge)
Some shredded cheddar
Thin slices of avocado

Place all ingredients on one half of the wrap.
Fold the wrap in half and either place in a sandwich maker/grill or on a pan.
Cook until the edges brown and the cheese has melted.
Remove and cut into wedges.
Serve with more salsa, guacamole and sour cream.

Easy peasy, I know! Serve alongside soup or salad for a stunner of a lunch, which is pretty much guaranteed to take away your case of the Mondays.

I doodled in my copy of Keri Smith's Wreck This Journal while I waited for the sandwich maker (I'll be giving away a copy of this shortly on my other blog..more info soon!) The page instructions were: Cover this Page with Circles.

This week, I'll be offering up a couple more recipes (even a Jamie one!) and a couple of reviews, so please come back to say hi and share with me what's on your menu this week! :)


Sunset Cake = Overbaked

>> Sunday, 10 January 2010

Hi everyone!

Hope you had a good weekend filled with coffee, good food, great music, finished chores and maybe a walk or two.

Weekends really are the days to savour all that is right with the world, are they not?

Tonight I attempted this recipe for Magic Chocolate a mug!

Pretty hard to believe huh? I thought so too, but I figured I would 'bake the cake' and go for a walk while it cooled so I could ice it.
Therein could have been the problem.

I think I overbaked the sucker...and I was probably supposed to eat it right away,but I am a stickler for icing. At 2 1/2 minutes, my cake looked and fairly decent, albeit very dense. I had cut the cake into two because it was HUGE, placed it on a plate and went out for a walk in the back field.
The walk was great and I mixed up a basic icing and iced the two cakes. Let's just say that I took two bites to photograph.*shrugs* Way too dense & dry but a decent flavour (I had sprinkled semi-sweet chocolate chips in the batter as well).
Please tell me if you made/make this and let me know how yours turned out! :)


Happy Birthday Elvis..We're Making French Toast!

>> Friday, 8 January 2010

In case you didn't was Elvis Presley's birthday!
I've always been a fan of Elvis...and don't knock me here, but I am a sucker for those old 50's style musicals!

I remember one summer when I was growing up (I was probably 16 or so) one of those movie network channels had an Elvis movie on every Saturday morning. I'd get up early, wake up my youngest brother (he'd be 7) and I'd make breakfast for us both, either cereal or peanut butter on toast and I'd drag him downstairs to watch whatever Elvis movie was on. It was great and something we did together which was fun. Not to mention it kept us quiet until everyone else was awake!

In honour of Elvis' special day, I decided I had better make something that reflected both the joy of childhood memories and something Elvis would have loved.

Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives stopped by the Blue Moon Cafe to make this fun French Toast! (Adapted from the Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives cookbook)

Cap'n Crunch French Toast

Serves 4-5

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3.5 cups of Cap'n Crunch cereal
  • 8-10 thick slices of bread

Butter ...for frying


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups assorted fruit
  1. Whisk together cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla.
  2. Crush up the cereal until it's broken up to resemble cracker in a shallow dish.
  3. Dip bread into the wet mixture until soft, but not soggy and press the bread into the cereal mix on both sides, coating evenly.
  4. Heat a griddle just over medium heat..add butter as needed and fry the bread until it is caramelized on both sides. Approx 7 mins altogether.
  5. Whip all the topping ingredients together (except the fruit) with a hand mixer and put on top of the french toast..serve with fruit.

Yum...enjoy! Happy Birthday Elvis...wherever you are. ;)


10 Things You'll Learn About Me

>> Thursday, 7 January 2010


Because this is a new blog *as in yesterday* I want to welcome you all! I am pretty sure most of you came from Joy The Baker (OMG, ain't that girl something?!) and now I know I definitely must dig up some of my favourite and best recipes...and will try equally to share the failures (of which there have been me on this).

I figure so we can get to know each other a bit better, I'm going to share some tidbits of info you will learn/witness about me over the course of your visit!

Let's Begin....

1. I love to photograph people enjoying food

3. I believe that you should always try the local cuisine.

Conveyor belt sushi is a brilliant concept!

5. Pad Thai at the Rivoli is my go-to/must have meal in Toronto...thus far ;)

6. I have never tried fried green tomatoes, but I am fascinated with them, and it has nothing to do with the movie of the same name.

7. I will try anything once...and have. (I am also a sucker for packaging)

8. Coffee makes everything infinitely better. does that too.

9. I get too excited about seeing the outcome of things, that I have a tendency to skip directions (I once killed/almost killed an entire colony of Sea Monkeys)...occassionally, this also transfers to my cooking. The directions part, not the Sea Monkeys.

10. I watch far too much of the Food Network.

So, that's me! When I'm not seeing Jamie Oliver, I'll be over at feminine wiles & urban survival 101 with all sorts of randomness. Come visit! You can also ask me absolutely anything here...

Thanks again Joy for mentioning this little blog and welcome everyone! :)


Savoury Cheddar-Chive Bread

>> Wednesday, 6 January 2010

I made bread.
Yep. True story. Me...baking bread!
A savoury bread even!

I got the recipe from Dorie Greenspan over at Serious Eats.

The bread is cheesy (I think I added far too much cheese as I'm not great with measuring things like cheese and chocolate, preferring to believe that more is ultimately better)...but because I used some very hard cheese we had lying around in the fridge (like a peccorino variety), I cubed this up and threw it in as well.

The recipe was good, albeit more like a loaf than a bread. I chopped up some of the fresh garlic chives & parsley from the herb garden this past summer (that garden has served me well this year, and I think I'll do it again this next season, but I will definitely add cilantro that has already been started) that we brought indoors and consumed this bread with a pumpkin beef soup mix I had in the cupboard.

Perfect lunch for a wintry day!


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