January 1, 2014

Red Wine Chocolate Cake

This red wine chocolate cake is rich and fluffy, with hints of wine. It makes a great adult birthday cake.


Serves: one 9" round cake
Prep Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 25-30 min
Total:  35-40 min

Ingredients
1/4 cup butter or margarine, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup red wine
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup plus 1 tbsp. flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions
  1. In large bowl cream butter and sugar until smooth.
  2. Add eggs, wine and vanilla, mixing with an electric mixer.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  4. Add dry to wet mixture, mixing just until 3/4 combined. Fold batter using a spatula until fully combined.
  5. Transfer to a parchment paper lined 9" baking pan and bake in a preheated oven at 325 F for 25-30 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing.
  7. Cool completely before icing.
Lightly adapted from smittenkitchen.com

December 31, 2013

Risotto with Mushrooms

This creamy risotto is rich and full of deep flavour.

Serves: 3-4
Red wine risotto with mushrooms
Prep Time: 5 min
Cooking Time: 25 min
Total:  30 min

Ingredients
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 cups short grain, Arborio rice
1 cup red or white wine
3-4 cups vegetable stock
8 oz. mushrooms, cut in quarters
crumbled goat cheese, to garnish
chopped fresh basil, to garnish

Directions
  1. Melt butter in a skillet and saute mushrooms for 8-10 minutes, until browned and juicy. Set aside.
  2. In a pot heat oil and saute garlic for 30 seconds. Add rice and stir to coat. Toast rice for 3-4 minutes, being careful not to burn.
  3. Add wine, stirring frequently until fully absorbed by the rice.
  4. Add 1 cup stock, again stirring until absorbed. Continue to add the stock, one cup at time until the rice is fully cooked and tender.
  5. Return mushrooms to the risotto and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve garnished with crumbles of goat cheese and chopped fresh basil.

Adapted from howsweeteats.com

December 17, 2013

Chocolate Orange Torte

This decadent chocolate orange torte is gluten-free and absolutely delicious.

Serves: 10-16 slices
Prep Time: 15-20 min
Cooking Time: 30-40 min
Total:  1 hour, 1 1/2 hour cooling

Ingredients
2 cups (about 450 g) quality dark chocolate (70% or 80% cacao)
3/4 cups butter or vegan margarine
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
5 eggs
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 tbsp. orange zest
2 cups almond meal
1/4 tsp. salt


Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 
  2. Butter the sides of a 9 inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. 
  3. Break the chocolate into small chunks.
  4. In a saucepan, stir chocolate and butter over low heat until melted. Whisk in cocoa powder and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl beat eggs, sugar orange juice, orange zest and salt with an electric mixer set on high for about 3-4 minutes. Beat in almond meal until well combined and then fold in chocolate mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  6. Bake torte until dry and cracked on top, about 30-40 minutes.  Test with toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake.  It should come out with some moist crumbs attached.
  7. Cool pan on a wire rack for 1 hour, and the centre of torte may fall.
  8. Using a knife, cut around the sides of the springform so that it can be removed easily. Place a plate on top of the torte and invert it. Remove pan bottom and peel off parchment paper from the torte.  Let cool.
  9. If desired, decorate the torte with a light sprinkling of powdered icing sugar or cocoa powder.  By using a doily or strips of paper arranged on top of the tort, make fancy designs when sprinkling powdered icing sugar or cocoa powder.  Carefully remove paper to keep pattern intact.
  10. Serve with vanilla ice cream or substitute.

December 16, 2013

Red Beet and Apple Chutney

Serve this beautifully bright red chutney as part of an appetizer platter. Pair with baby arugula or cheese.

Serves: 4-5 cups 
Prep Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 45 min
Total:  60 min

Ingredients
8 large beets, trimmed
1 lemon, zest and juice
4 apples, peeled, cored and choppped
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. mustard seeds
1 large onion, finely diced
1 cup apple cidar vinegar
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup candied ginger, finely diced
1/2 tsp. salt and pepper

Directions
  1. Place beets in a large pot and cover with water. Boil until beets are tender, about 25 minutes.  Rinse and peel, then dice in small cubes. Set aside.
  2. In another pot add remaining ingredients. Stir to combine and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Add beets and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  As the vinegar begins to reduce and the sugar crystallizes, the mixture will become thicker.
  4. Once thick, remove from heat and either can using proper canning procedures, or allow to cool before refrigerating.
  5. Serve chutney on a bread and cheese appetizer platter. Spread over fresh baguette slices and top with baby arugula, or make mini crostini using slice of brie cheese or white cheddar cheese.

Lightly adapted from canadianliving.com

December 14, 2013

Mashed Turnips and Potatoes with Turnip Greens

Enjoy this mashed turnip and potato dish as a side for your main meal!

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 25 min
Total:  35 min

Ingredients
3 white turnips, with greens attached
3 potatoes
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup milk or plain soy milk
salt and pepper

Directions
  1. Remove turnip greens from turnip and rinse well. Chop into small pieces and set aside.
  2. Peel turnips and potatoes, cut into quarters and place in a pot with water. Boil until tender and drain.  Transfer back to the pot and mash with a potato masher or fork.
  3. In a frying pan heat oil and saute garlic. Add turnip greens and cook until wilted.
  4. Combine wilted greens with mashed potatoes and turnips, adding milk slowly to form a smooth mash.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Adapted from nytimes.com

October 16, 2013

Raw Beet Salad with Green Apple and Goat Cheese

Serve this stunningly beautiful salad at your next gathering.

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 0 min
Total:  15 min

Ingredients
3 medium red beets, peeled and grated or cut into matchsticks
1 orange, juiced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp. honey or agave
salt and pepper
1 green apple, sliced or chopped into small pieces
crumbled goat cheese, to garnish
chopped fresh mint, to garnish (optional)

Directions
  1. In a small whisk together orange and lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper.
  2. Toss beets in dressing and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Arrange apple slices on a serving plate and scoop beets over top. Garnish with crumbled goat cheese, chopped mint and serve.
  4. Alternately, toss all ingredients in a bowl and serve.

Adapted from marthastewart.com

October 14, 2013

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Make this delicious slow cooker apple butter using this simple recipe.

Serves: 3-4 cups
Prep Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 3-5 hours
Total:  3-5 hours, 10 min

Ingredients
5 1/2 lbs apples, a mix of sweet and tart
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (optional)
maple syrup, to taste
pinch of salt

Directions
  1. Wash and core apples and cut into wedges.
  2. Place in the slow cooker, cover and cook for 3 hours on high. Stir occasionally to avoid apples from sticking to the sides and bottom.
  3. Mash apples with a masher or spoon and allow to cool a bit. Transfer to a blender or food processor.
  4. Blend until very smooth.
  5. Return to slow cooker and cook on high for another 45-75 minutes with the lid off. This will allow the apple butter to reduce to desired thickness.  Note that as the apple butter cools it will also thicken slightly.
  6. Stir in cinnamon, salt, lemon juice and maple syrup to taste.
Recipe from ohsheglows.com

October 13, 2013

Vegan Green Goddess Dressing

A thick, creamy and vegan version of the Green Goddess Dressing that everyone's raving about.

Serves: 1 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 5 min
Cooking Time: 0 min
Total:  5 min

Ingredients
1 small clove garlic
1 cup ripe avocado flesh (1 large or 2 small avocados)
7-8 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2-3 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cups fresh parsley, packed
3 green onions, washed trimmed
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. maple syrup or agave

Directions
  1. Add garlic to the bowl of a food processor and process until minced.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, processing until combined.
  3. Taste and adjust if necessary.
  4. Serve with a big green salad. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Lightly adapted from ohsheglows.com

September 5, 2013

Classic Chocolate Cake

This super moist chocolate cake is so easy to make and is great for cupcakes too.

Serves:  10-12
Prep Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 30-35 min
Total: 50 min

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 tbsp. white vinegar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup coffee, at room temperature

Chocolate Glaze
3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tbsp. sugar
5 tbsp. water
1/4 cup butter
2 egg yolks

Directions
  1. Stir together milk and vinegar and set aside for 5 minutes to form buttermilk.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  3. Add eggs, vanilla, butter, stirring well to combine. Add buttermilk and coffee mixing until a smooth, runny batter is formed.
  4. Pour into a greased 9" baking pan and bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for 30-35 minutes.
  5. Test by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake. It should come out clean.
  6. Allow cake to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes. Then using a butter knife release sides of cake from pan and carefully invert onto a wire rack.
  7. Cool fully before icing.
  8. To make the chocolate glaze add sugar, cocoa and water to a small saucepan. Over low heat and stirring frequently, bring to a low boil. Add butter, stirring until it melts. Then add egg yolks and cook until glaze thickens, about 1 minute. Spread over cooled cake.
  9. Decorate with shaved chocolate curls.

Lightly adapted from foodess.com

September 4, 2013

Red Cabbage Slaw

This cabbage and carrots slaw brightens up any plate.

Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 0 min
Total:  10 min, plus 2-3 hours

Ingredients
1 small red cabbage, cut into chunks
4 carrots, peeled
1 green onion, finely chopped
4 tbsp. olive oil
3-4 tbsp. apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. honey, agave or sugar, optional
salt and pepper

Directions
  1. Shred cabbage chunks in a food processor until desired sized shred is reached.  Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Process carrots until shredded and transfer to the bowl, adding chopped green onions.
  3. In a small bowl whisk olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, honey, salt and pepper.  Pour over slaw and toss to combine.
  4. Taste and adjust if necessary.
  5. Chill for a couple hours before serving to allow the flavours to intensify.

Adapted from wholefoodsmarket.com