Sunday morning fun in the kitchen

FullSizeRender-1-613x460I went grocery shopping the other day and was enticed to purchase some fresh herbs. I normally try not to buy things that aren’t in season… but the dill and mint smelled so good, I couldn’t resist. I woke up this morning feeling like I wanted to be creative in the kitchen. The result: Spinach-Feta pie!

Paired with a side salad and fresh fruit, this spinach-feta pie recipe is a brunch/lunch hit… or, you can just enjoy it yourself with a latte and a great novel (as I did this morning!).

CRUST:
1 ¾ cup of all-purpose flower
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup milk
1 egg

FullSizeRender-525x700

FILLING:
2tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 sweet onion chopped
5 green onions chopped
3 bags of fresh spinach trimmed (or two 284g packages of frozen chopped spinach)
1½ cups of crumbled feta cheese
¾ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs
½ cup of chopped fresh mint, dill and parsely
1½ tsp of pepper
Pinch of ground cloves

CRUST METHOD:
1) Whisk flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl
2) In a separate bowl, mix the oil, milk and egg. Poor over dry ingredients
3) Using a wooden spoon, stir to form fairly smooth dough
4) Turn out onto lightly flowered surface. Kneed until smooth (2mins). Press into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

 

FILLING METHOD:
1) Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat 1 tbs of the olive oil over medium heat. Cook onions until softened (about 2 mins) then transfer to a large bowl.
2) Blanch spinach in batches: place spinach in large pot with just the water clinging to leaves, cover and cook over med-high heat, stirring once until wilted (about 3 mins). Transfer to strainer. Press to remove moisture

** Or, use two 284 grams packages of chopped frozen spinach. Thaw and strain before use.

3) Add spinach to onions along with cheeses, eggs, mint, dill, parsley, pepper and cloves. Mix well.
4) On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 16” circle, loosely roll around rolling pin and unroll the dough onto a 9” cast iron skillet or baking dish letting the dough hang over the edge. Mount filling in the centre, lift pastry op over the filling letting the pastry fall naturally into folds and leaving a 5” opening in the centre.
5) Bake in the bottom third of the oven at 375˚F until pastry is golden brown and filling is steaming (about 45 minutes).
6) Let the pie sit on the counter until the juices that have risen to the top settle back down into the filling.
7) Transfer to cutting board/serving platter and cut into wedges.

 

 

 

 

 

Radishes on Buttered Baguette

Radishes on Buttered Baguette

HEADERI recently moved to Vancouver from Saskatoon with my family. I was excited about the move, especially the weather – not too hot in the summer, not too cold in the winter. But, wouldn’t you know it, we are in the midst of a heat wave in Vancouver, and air conditioning isn’t a common thing in the condos or apartments here. Turning on the oven is the last thing I want to do in this weather. Thankfully, since Vancouver has amazing farmers’ markets and grocery stores, delicious, satisfying eats are easily made without overheating.

This morning at the market I grabbed some local radishes, peashoots and butter. I picked up a baguette on my way home and I was set. So ridiculously simple and oh, so delicious.

IMAGE1

Radishes on Buttered Baguette

– a bunch or two of radishes, thinly sliced
– pea shoots or any micro greens
– baguette
– chilled salted butter
– fleur del sel and freshly ground pepper

The butter is key in this recipe. You want to thinly slice the butter, almost like it’s a cheese. The creaminess works so well with the peppery taste of the radishes. Smear a generous amount of butter on a slice of baguette, top with thinly sliced radishes, sprinkle with fleur de sel and pepper and garnish with pea shoots.

 

Sometimes the simplest things are best. Enjoy.

 

The Perfect Summer Potluck

Summertime just speaks to me! I find myself itching to be outside enjoying some cool drinks and good snacks with friends and family. This summer-like weather screams POTLUCK to a gal like me. Throughout our long and chilly winter I found myself dreaming of warmer days and planning out “The Perfect Potluck.” To pull-off the perfect potluck it’s important to incorporate many different elements such as; food, drinks, activities, and most importantly, company.

Stirring up deliciousness
Stirring up deliciousness

When it comes to food it’s important to create a balance among the food being accumulated. It seems to me that any potlucks I have attended in my past have an overwhelming amount of desserts and salads, therefore lacking any main dishes. As a baker myself, I found it incredibly unsatisfactory to set my tray of customized cupcakes made from scratch next to a case of store-bought cookies. Fear not, I have a solution! Write down the necessary dishes you think will make the most well-rounded meal on slips of paper, and toss them into a hat. Go down the invite list and match each guest with a dish. Now for the most exciting aspect of the food portion of planning… Why not challenge each other to a “Pinterest Potluck?” This is an idea I’ve had for ages! Everyone must contribute a dish they found on Pinterest. Not only does this idea challenge your cooking skills, it also broadens your repertoire of recipes.

Have each guest write down their Pinterest dish on a recipe card and bring it to the potluck. In today’s modern times, it’s nothing to whip out a camera phone and snap a picture of the recipe to have for yourself. Have the guests leave their recipe cards with you, so that you can add it to your own recipe book, or perhaps scrapbook the event.

Preparing for a potluck in one of our favourite Farminista dresses!
Preparing for a potluck in one of our favourite Farminista dresses!

Depending on what time of day you choose to host your “Perfect Potluck,” serve drinks that will quench your guest’s thirst. Make sure to have water and a non-alcoholic beverage option available to your guests. Here, I’ll share one of my favourite go-to drinks I found on bubbly co.’s Facebook page!

https://www.facebook.com/bubblyco

 

What a riot this game is!! Having an interactive game that gets your guests involved and pushes them to express themselves in goofy ways makes for a guaranteed good time. I have participated in many late night “Time’s Up!” sessions, with all ages of groups, and everyone LOVES IT!

The Perfect Company for The Perfect Potluck
The Perfect Company for The Perfect Potluck- Find Dresses Here!

Another crazy idea of mine is to suggest that each guest bring a friend! Summertime is the perfect time to get to know new people! Who knows, even if they aren’t the greatest company, they may be a top-notch chef! Connecting with new people widens your social circle and allows you to explore new relationships!

Whatever your Perfect Potluck entails, make sure to take some chances and try out new things. Summer is a time to let loose and enjoy the little things in life. Be thankful for your friends, family, and personal achievements.

Grandma’s Tea Party Favourites – Raisin Squares Recipe

One of the first play sets I had was a tea party set from my Grandma.  As I got older, she had me over often for tea. Grandma spent a lot of time baking for these special afternoons and I’m reminded of her when I see these beautiful hand-stitched tea towels. She loved handmade items and so do I!

 

My favourite tea towels help pull the baked square out of the oven.
My favourite tea towels help pull the baked square out of the oven.

 

Grandma served black tea and many, many different kids of dainties. She would serve mini cucumber sandwiches, cookies, squares and my very favourite, Raisin Squares. These are some of the best uniquely Canadian desserts. It’s a rich cookie base topped with a raisin brown sugar syrup mixture that’s been baked crisp in the over. These freeze well.

 

Raisin Squares

1 cup flour
 1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
 
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 eggs
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups raisins
 

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together 1 cup of flour, and the white sugar. Cut in the softened butter until the mixture is crumbly and mixed together.

Press into an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper and bake the crust for 15 minutes.

While the crust is baking, mix together the butter, eggs, vanilla and brown sugar. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until combined. Stir in the raisins and pour the mixture over the base.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is brown and crispy. Cool completely and cut into squares.

Delicious Raisin Squares with my favourite Emma Coffee Cups!
Delicious Raisin Squares with my favourite Emma Coffee Cups!

These squares are delicious served with Kusmi Tea. Farminista has super cute tea cups in three different patterns that I’m in love with. I’ll be using them to serve tea at my next party!

Tangy Rhubarb Bundt Cake

Rhubarb Cake

I love prairie winters.  Maybe easy to say now that it is floating above zero but, really, the contrasts of the seasons are amazing and allows us to savour each bit.  One reason to love prairie winters is the excuse that it is too cold outside to do anything so you must stay home and bake.  You dig through your freezer and, jackpot!, frozen rhubarb.  Enjoy this lemony rhubarb cake with just enough sweet.  Serve with a cup of Kusmi tea for a perfect pairing.

Tangy-Rhubarb-Bundt-Cake-Recipie

2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 ¾ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup oil

½ lemon, zest and juice
2 teaspoons vanilla

3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine rhubarb with 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon, and set aside.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together.   In a separate large bowl or mixer, cream together butter and 2 cups sugar.  Beat in eggs, then oil, then lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla.
Next, stir flour mixture into mixing bowl of wet ingredients in batches, alternate with milk.

Layer the cake and rhubarb into a prepared bundt pan like this: 1/3 batter, ½ rhubarb mixture, 1/3 batter, ½ rhubarb, 1/3 batter

Bake 60 minutes.  Can add a glaze or dusting of powdered sugar for effect but the sweetness is not necessary.

Pumpkin Waffles

This picture makes me feel like committing to brunch!  It always seems like a good idea, but let’s face it, as the morning quickly turns to afternoon a bit of toast or granola usually ruins my brunch ambitions.  This month as the winter drags on in the prairies I am determined to prepare the best brunch ever!  Theo is my inspiration, she is the best cook I know, with the passion for nutrition driving her recipes.  This is her blog post for us- enjoy!

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

pumpkin waffles
pumpkin waffles

I’ve been on a wee bit of a pumpkin kick. Be glad I didn’t share my pumpkin soup flop with you and, instead, gave you a little glimpse into our weekend brunch. I have officially frozen the rest of my puree for a winter adventure. Stay tuned. I love serving orange juice, sparkling juice or mamosas in a beautiful wine glass. It is a simple touch to make breakfast in your pajamas a little more ‘put together’ if you will. Another practical and stylish touch are the colourful and vibrant aprons available on Farminista.   If you cook like I do, you need a layer of protection between yourself and your creation.

Ingredients

1 ¾ cup flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 Tbsp. sugar

½ tsp. salt

3 eggs

¼ cup butter, melted

½ cup pumpkin puree

1 ½ cups milk

Maple syrup

Instructions

1. Heat and prep waffle iron

2. Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and set aside.

3. In separate bowl beat eggs until fluffy. Gently mix in butter, milk and puree.

4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just mixed together.

5. When waffle iron hot, work in batches to make your waffles.

6. Serve with maple syrup.

Waffles are best served hot off the grill. However, if looking to serve a group at once, turn on your oven to 200F and place waffles on a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm.

Feedback welcome @eaters_digest