Healthy Eating for Ordinary People's Roasted Chickpeas for SRC

 Whew!! Seems like every month I'm surprised when this deadline creeps up on me, but it is time for the Secret Recipe Club reveal again. You can imagine my dismay when this afternoon I got the reminder that my post had to be up tomorrow morning... whoops! Hadn't even made my dish yet. This is not to say I haven't been considering what to make because I've been browsing through Rivki's blog Healthy Eating for Ordinary People periodically since it was assigned to me. I really, really wanted to make griddle bread... but totally ran out of time today. So I quickly browsed Rivki's blog this afternoon and found this yummy recipe for Roasted Chickpeas.

I was pretty stoked to find such a delicious recipe for chickpeas on Rivki's blog! I was a little nervous about being assigned her blog at first because it looked sooooo healthy! I am not a huge fan of all veggies and there are a LOT of veggies on her blog. I was pleasantly surprised to find "normal" food on her blog! And plenty of delicious looking recipes like this Raspberry Peach Tart, Roasted Peaches, and these Lemon Mint Zucchini Pancakes to name a few!  You should definitely stop by and check it out next time you're looking for a healthy way to incorporate some fresh veggies into your diet.

 Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas
Recipe adapted from Healthy Eating for Ordinary People

  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp spicy curry dip mix (or any mixture of curry powder, cumin, coriander, a touch of cinnamon or garam masala would work too)
  • coarse salt to taste
  1. Rinse and drain chickpeas in a strainer. Spread chickpeas on a clean dish towel in a single layer. Let dry for 15 minutes, moving around periodically to ensure all sides of the chickpeas are dry.
  2. While your chickpeas are drying, preheat your oven to 400F.
  3. Once chickpeas are dry, place them in a medium bowl, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with curry spices and coarse salt. Toss to coat.
  4. Spread seasoned chickpeas in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes stirring three times during the cooking time. Chickpeas will be nicely browned and crunchy. Let cool and enjoy!
 So easy right?! And unbelievably delicious. Thanks Rivki for such a delicious and simple recipe.

If you're interested in the Secret Recipe Club, check out their webpage here! I love being a part of the Secret Recipe Club. It is such a fun way to find new blogs and experience new things. Thanks Amanda for starting up such an awesome club. :)

Happy Cooking My Friends!


Sluggers' Strawberry Slushies

Okay, I'm aware that summer is officially over... the rain and dreary skies have set in here in Vancouver and the days are starting to get shorter. But I must share this delicious, icey drink with you today!! This is the perfect Friday night drink to celebrate the start of the weekend. Despite being a slushy drink, it isn't sweet - it has a grand total of 2 tablespoons of sugar! So for those of you who don't like sweet, this is the drink for you! And for those of you who do like sweet, sweeten this drink to taste!

I have to apologize though... no pictures of this one. I took a photo of the mixture in the blender before I blended it, but then I got wayyyy too excited to drink this one and suddenly it was gone and I had no photos... oh well, just gives me an excuse to make it again. Wooohooo!!

Sluggers' Strawberry Slushies
Recipe from Bon Appetit magazine, August 2011 Issue

  • 2 cups hulled strawberries
  • 1 750 ml bottle dry Riesling
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  1. To make this drink without an ice cream maker, put 1 cup of the wine, covered, in the refrigerator and chill. Puree the remaining wine with all remaining ingredients in a food processor. Pour mixture into ice cube trays and freeze until solid. When you're ready to serve, just puree the ice cubes with the remaining wine in a blender.
  2. To make with an ice cream maker, puree strawberries, Riesling, lemon juice, and sugar in a blender until liquified. Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Divide among six cups. Serve immediately with straws, or transfer to a container and freeze.
Hope you enjoy this delicious drink!! I can't wait to make it again. :) Thanks for hanging in there despite the fact that my blogging has dropped off to only once or twice per week... hoping that by the beginning of October things will have settled down a little around here! Until then... once a week it is.



Roasted Garlic & Feta Walnut Dip with Toasted Flat Bread

I've been complaining all summer about how bad the weather has been... now, in the first week of September we get 30 degree weather alllll week! Its beautiful, but it feels super hot compared to what we've had. Our townhouse heats up super fast when I turn on the oven, so this is a great option when you don't want to heat yourself out of your house on a hot summer day (assuming you've got roasted garlic on hand already)!

I probably wouldn't have tried this recipe if Hubby hadn't asked me to! I'm not a huge fan of feta and this dip sounded so weird, but he picked it out, so I made it for him and ended up loving it!

Roasted Garlic & Feta Walnut Dip with Toasted Flat Bread
Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals 2

  • 2 heads garlic, top 1/4 inch cut off, 1 large clove reserved
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 1 cup walnut halves, toasted
  • 1 1/2 cups feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leave parsley
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 flat breads or pitas, cut into wedges and toasted
  1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to highest setting. Drizzle heads of garlic with about 1 tsp olive oil each, then double wrap the garlic bulbs in foil. Roast 25 mins in the oven.
  2. Combine 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, walnuts, feta, milk, oregano, parsley, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic clove in food processor and pulse until smooth. Add more olive oil or milk if dip doesn't come together smoothly. Scrape into serving dish with spatula, drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Remove garlic from oven, and turn off heat. Arrange triangles of cut pita or flat bread on a small, heat-resistanttray or cookie sheet. Place bread into the hot oven (or you can use your toaster oven to keep the house cool!!!). The bread will be warmed through and lightly toasted in five minutes.
  4. Serve with feta walnut dip and soft, sweet roasted garlic for spreading.

 Ohhhhh so good!! I can't wait to make this again. I think Huby and I each ate one whole head of roasted garlic... next time I would make more roasted garlic. :) Such sweet, carmelized goodness. Definitely a weird sounding dip, but the flavours really work to create a delicious, unique starter.

Happy Cooking my Friends!


Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream

I have a few minutes to spare this morning before I walk my dog, so I thought I would share this delicious recipe with you! We are getting some amazing September weather here in Vancouver, better than we've had most of the summer. So what do you make when the weather is great? Well, ice cream of course! I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs - Tracey's Culinary Adventures. I'm always amazed at the delicious things Tracey makes, but this ice cream sounded unbelievably good! I finished my ice cream with salted caramel sauce, but honestly, its not necessary - this ice cream is an amazing stand alone flavour.

Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream
Recipe from Tracey's Culinary Adventures

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 5 slices firm, white sandwich bread
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp molasses
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. Combine milk and cinnamon sticks in a medium saucepan. Bring milk to a boil, then remove from heat and cover the pan. Allow to steep for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  3. Cut 3 slices of the bread into 1/4 inch cubes and transfer to a medium bowl. Pulse remaining two slices of bread in your food processor to make bread crumbs. Whisk melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Drizzle 3/4 of the mixture over the bread cubes and toss to coat. Transfer to one of the prepared baking sheets and spread in a single layer. Add the bread crumbs to the remaining mixture and stir well.  Spread on the other prepared baking sheet. 
  4. Bake the bread cubes and crumbs for about 25 minutes or until they are golden brown. Stir occasionally and rotate the pans halfway through baking. Let the pans cool completely, then transfer the bread crumbs to a medium heatproof bowl. 
  5. Bring the milk back to a boil, then pour it over the bread crumbs. Let stand for 10 minutes, then pour the milk through a fine mesh strainer into the saucepan. Press the solids to remove as much liquid as possible (I had to repeat this process twice to get all the crumbs out of the liquid). Discard the solids.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, molasses and a pinch of salt together. Bring the milk to a boil once again. Slowly add the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking constantly to ensure the yolks don't scramble. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. 
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl. Cover and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Fold in the bread cubes once churned. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze at least two hours before serving. 

Whew!! Sounds like a lot of work and a lot of steps, but its pretty delicious ice cream, so I would definitely make it again. :) Hope you have a fantastic weekend and that the weather is nice where you live too.

Happy Baking my Friends!


Lime & Blackberry Italian Meringue Pie

Always Competitive - I had to put my pie beside the picture on the magazine cover just to see how it compared!

I'm so excited to share this pie with you! It tastes so amazing and just screams summer what with the beautiful fresh blackberries and the tart burst of lime that offsets the blackberries so nicely. This is like a traditional lemon meringue pie gone rogue! If you love summer desserts, you must try this one before the summer's beautiful bounty has disappeared from the market.

Blackberry compote placed in crust waiting to be covered over by creamy lime curd.
 This pie is a bit involved, but you can cut down on the effort by purchasing the pie crust if you want. I am a bit of a baking snob, so I wouldn't buy the crust, but don't worry, I won't judge if you decide to. :) There are four parts to this pie: the pastry crust, the lime curd, the blackberry compote and the italian meringue topping. In addition to being quite involved, you don't want to make this pie too long before you serve it - it is best served within three hours of making! But don't let that stop you - this pie is well worth the effort. It looks so impressive and artistic once it is put together and it tastes amazing!

The blackberry compote has been covered by delicious, creamy lime curd.

 So lets get started with the recipe. For the pastry I'm going to direct you to Anna Olson's pie crust recipe which I posted in my Cherry Pie blog post. This is my absolute favorite pie crust recipe and it is super easy to whip up in the food processor. Once you've whipped up your pastry - chill for one hour in the fridge, then roll out and fit into your pie dish and then chill for another half an hour. Next blind bake the crust. Here are the blind baking instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Prick chilled pie crust in pie dish all over with a fork. Line crust with parchment paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven; lift out parchment and weights. Reduce oven temperature to 350F. Return to oven and bake, using fork to prick any bubbles that have formed and pressing down on them with back of fork, until crust is light golden brown, 20-25 minutes longer. Let crust cool completely. I made mine the night before and it worked out beautifully.
Artfully swirled italian meringue prior to browning to give it some colour.
The next component to make is the lime curd. This curd is so delicious you're just going to want to eat it by itself, but do try to save some because it does go really nicely with the blackberry compote!!

Lime Curd
Recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine - August 2011 Issue

  • 1 cup fresh lime juice - juicing a bunch of limes can be a pain, but do use fresh lime juice because taste really matters here and bottled lime juice will not cut it.
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks (save the whites - you can use them for the meringue)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
  1. Set a strainer over a medium bowl and set aside. Stir the lime juice, eggs, egg yolks, and sugar together in another medium bowl. Set bowl over a large saucepan of gently simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk until the mixture has thickened, the whisk will leave a path when lifted from curd, and thermometer will register 175F (approximately 15 minutes).
  2. Add butter to curd, one tbsp at a time, whisking to blend between additions. Strain curd into prepared bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd. Chill until cold, about 2 hours. This part can be done up to two days ahead. Refrigerate curd.
  3. Sprinkle gelatin over 2 tbsp water in a small bowl; let stand until gelatin is soft, about 10 minutes. Using an electric mixer, beat cream until soft peaks form. Add gelatin mixture; continue beating cream until just before firm peaks form. Fold whipped cream into lime curd. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Fresh blackberries nestled around creamy, light italian merinuge.

 Next up, make the blackberry compote. When I make this recipe again, I will likely reduce the amount of liquid in the compote - I found it to be quite runny in the bottom of the pie. The other option is to reduce the compote quite a lot until very syrupy  prior to folding in the blackberries. Either way, the taste is great, it just didn't set up as nicely as I had hoped.

Blackberry Compote
Recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine - August 2011 Issue

  • 1 cup fruity red wine, such as Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 cups blackberries (about 1 1/2 pints)
  1. Bring red wine, sugar, and 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 20-25 minutes (mine took considerably longer). Let cool.
  2. Add three cups berries; fold gently to coat.
  3. Spread compote in an even layer over baked crust. Spoon lime curd over berries, smooth top and chill for one hour.

Beautiful toastey meringue topping.
 Are you tired yet? You're in the home stretch - you just need to make the meringue and assemble the pie now. You can do it!! Its worth it. :)

Italian Meringue
Recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine, August 2011 Issue

  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup blackberries (1/2 a pint)
  1. If toasting the meringue in the oven, preheat the oven to 450F (I toasted mine in the oven to get a beautiful light brown colour on the meringue, then removed from the meringue and torched areas of the meringue to give it additional colour and depth to the toastiness!!).
  2. Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat whites in mixer until soft peaks form. Set aside. Stir sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar has dissolved. Attach a candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat to medium-high and boil without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush, until thermometer registers 238F, 6-8 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
  3. Meanwhile, beat whites in mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in salt.
  4. Slowly pour hot sugar syrup down side of bowl into whites and beat until meringue is firm and glossy. Continue beating until cool, about 4 minutes. Spoon meringue over curd, leaving a 1" plain border, and sculpt/ swirl decoratively. Tuck 1 cup berries in and around meringue.
  5. Bake pie until meringue is toasted in spots, 3-5 minutes. Watch it carefully because it can burn very quickly. Chill for 30 minutes before serving.
 Whew! What a lot of work! I brought it to a summer bbq and it was very well received. I hope you enjoy it too. Do you have some exciting plans for the last weekend of summer? Hubby & I are heading kayaking tomorrow and keeping our fingers crossed for another beautiful day of sunshine.

 Happy Baking my Friends!


Restaurant Review: Lamplighter Gallery Cafe, Fort Langley BC

My sister & I did a day trip to Fort Langley, BC the other day - we browsed through some of the cool little boutique stores, checked out the farmers market, and went for lunch at the Lamplighter Gallery Cafe. The Lamplighter Gallery Cafe is a quaint little lunch place that makes some delicious sandwiches, soups and other dishes. All of the food was really reasonably priced too!! If you're out in Fort Langley any time soon, do give this place a try.

 I ordered the Fort Langley sandwich with smoked salmon and halibut chowder for lunch. The Fort Langley sandwich is made with free range organic chicken salad and roasted garlic cranberry mayo. The sandwich was absolutely delightful with the roasted garlic-cranberry mayo adding such depth of flavour to an otherwise classic chicken salad sandwich. The chowder was slightly under-seasoned, but the other flavours were there, so once I seasoned it with salt, it was great!

 My sister ordered the Kamloops sandwich with the soup of the day. The Kamloops sandwich is made with tomato, boccocini and griddled zucchini. My sister loved the sandwich and the soup. We really enjoyed the quaintness of the cafe and the service was really personal and attentive.

I would give this restaurant a 4/5 overall. If you do get a chance to try it out, let me know how you like it!