Thursday, November 24, 2011


They're super tasty. Also, very simple and easy to prepare. That's pretty much all I have to say about these bad boys.

Seasoned Pumpkin Seeds
2 tbs melted butter
Cleaned pumpkin seeds
Lawry's Seasoning Salt (or your own preference)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs oregano

Preheat the over at 350 degrees. Spread the seeds evenly over a baking sheet and dry the seeds out in the oven for about 2 minutes. Remove the seeds from the oven. Combine butter, salt, seasoning salt, and oregano, and toss the pumpkin seeds with the mixture. Replace the seeds in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes - 13 minutes or so depending on the strength of your oven. Be sure to turn the seeds over at about 7 minutes. They are ready when they are golden brown and delicious!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


This is truly an autumn treat. My friend passed on this recipe and now I make it every fall when we bring in the pumpkins, and so I thought I'd share it with you. On that note, I'm sorry for the lack of posts. November is not the most pleasant time for university students, but I certainly am glad to catch up on recipes.

I've included a great recipe for cream cheese frosting, but I tend not to spread it over the loaf as a whole as firstly, it has to stay in the fridge, and two, I like to warm a slice of pumpkin loaf and spread some butter on it. So good. Do try. Enjoy!

Fall Pumpkin Loaf
Recipe makes two loaves

Dry Ingredients
3 1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
3 cups sugar

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup oil
2/3 cup water
4 eggs
1 28 oz or 796 ml of pumpkin (See instructions for how to handle below) You can also use a can, but real pumpkin is so much better.

For the pumpkin:
Cut through the pumpkin and make a wide opening so that you can core it easily. Remove the seeds (and save them for my next recipe!) and keep as much of the centre as you can. Then, grab a sturdy spoon and carve out a good bit of pumpkin flesh until you have a bowl-ful. Place the pumpkin in a blender and add a bit of water. Blend until smooth (it took me about 3 to 4 minutes as you want to get rid of the stringiness.)

For the loaf:
Mix the dry ingredients well. Then, make a well in the middle and add combined wet ingredients. Stir until combined. Bake in two well-greased loaf pans at 350 F for 1 and a half hours. It might take a bit longer depending on the oven. A good test is to stick a knife or a skewer into the middle of the loaf. When it comes out clean, your loaf is ready. The reason I don't use a toothpick is because it doesn't reach far enough to catch the bottom.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted

With an electric mixer, blend the butter and cream cheese together well. Then, add the vanilla and blend well. Slowly add the sugar, one cup at a time. 5 cups of sugar will make it spread-worthy. If you want to use it for piping, then add another cup of confectioner's sugar.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Just a warning in advance that the recipe makes precisely the amount that is in this image. I normally cook for one, so my portion sizes are relatively smaller than when making a meal for many people. Just something to consider. Other than that, this pasta dish is easy, simple, and done in about 15 to 20 minutes.

Spaghetti with Shrimp, Peppers, and Peas

1 good handful of spaghetti
1/4 peas (if frozen, make sure to thaw)
1/2 cup frozen shrimp, thawed
1/4 diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
4 tbs lemon juice
3-4 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tbs butter
1/4 white wine, preferably dry
4-5 tbs heavy cream
salt and pepper
few sprigs of parsley for garnish

Boil the pasta in salted water as per the direction on the box.

In the meantime, heat a large pan (I always prefer non-stick) to med-hi and add the oil and butter. Once the butter starts to bubble, drop in the peas, peppers, tomatoes, and shrimp and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add lemon juice and cook for another minute. Add wine and heavy cream and reduce head to about med. Add salt and pepper and allow the sauce to reduce until it is creamy.

By then, your pasta should be done. Toss it in to the pan, mix ingredients well, then pour. Garnish with about a tbs chopped parsley.


Sunday, October 30, 2011


I was in the mood for pizza, and for something Greek. So, I decided why not combine the two and make something delicious? Let me tell you something about this pizza, it is unbelievably easy to make, and so so so good. I actually didn't expect it to be this good. It took me approximately 15 minutes to make this. The reason being, I used pre-made pizza crust. I don't opt for this often, but the little grocery store near my house didn't have fresh dough, nor was I in the mood to make some. But this crust worked well! If you have fresh dough, or feel like making some, I would suggest that. But if you don't, it's still super good!

1 pre-made pizza crust
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs pizza sauce (I don't like too much, but it's really up to you)
1 cup grated whole milk mozzarella
1 small thinly sliced tomato (I like them very thin)
1 handful of thinly sliced onion, rounds broken up
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 450 degrees (This was the instruction for my pizza crust - follow whatever yours says). As it is heating, place your crust on a pizza baking sheet. With a baking brush, spread the olive oil all over the crust's surface. Spread pizza sauce on the crust. Proceed by sprinkling the mozzarella, layering the tomato, adding the onion, and then the feta. Then, sprinkle with oregano and red pepper flakes.

This is what it should look like before just before you put it in the oven. Leave it in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden.

Monday, October 17, 2011


It is sweet. It is hearty. It is delicious. Yes, I am talking about this awesome french toast you see above. It is easy and fun to make, and will brighten up any morning. Trust me on this one.

So Good French Toast
For two slices

1 egg
a little less than 1/4 cup of milk (I use skim)
2 tbs granulated sugar
1 tbs brown sugar
2 slices of whole grain toast (I like the kind with plenty of seeds and grains)
2 good dashes of cinnamon, about 1/4 tsp
Cooking spray
1 peach
Handful of raspberries

Crack egg and beat in a shallow bowl. Make sure this bowl is wide enough to dip your toast in. Add milk and sugar, and mix. Add cinnamon, and mix. Note that the cinnamon tends to stay on the surface of the milk and doesn't like to mix in, so try your best.

Heat your skillet to between med to med-hi. Spray cooking spray.

Dip your toast in the milk mixture on both sides and add to the pan. Also note that the cinnamon tends to stick to the first slice of toast, leaving you with none for the second slice. I just add some more to the milk, or sprinkle it on top of the toast as it cooks.

Cook the toast for about 3-4 minutes per side. You will end up with deliciously golden french toast. Remove from heat and top with fruit and syrup and you are ready to go!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


You know when you really need to make a good but super fast and easy meal? Well that's the situation I was in tonight. I'm in the middle of exams and essays and, thus, am in a rush. I looked into my fridge to see what I had. Some left over fajita toppings (jalapenos, avocados, lettuce), which I thought I would put to good use. This salad is great because you can toss whatever you want into it and have something healthy, hearty, and delish ready in less than 7 minutes. I used canned beans since I was in a rush , but you could always soak some fresh ones. This would evidently take more than 7 minutes.

Greens and Beans Salad
Serves two

For the Salad:
1 can mixed beans
1/2 cup shredded lettuce
1/2 cup avocados, chopped into small chunks
1 stem green onion
3 rounds from a jalapeno pepper, finely minced

For the Dressing:
Juice of 1 small lemon, or 1/2 a big lemon
3 tbs olive oil
splash of red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the solid ingredients in a bowl. Combine dressing ingredients and shake well. Pour dressing over salad, mix well, and eat! If you have some time, it would be a good idea to refrigerate before eating for about an hour so that all the flavours blend together. But I ate it just after making and it tasted awesome. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I've recently taken a liking to a blog called Zen Can Cook. It is very french and very fabulous. So upon browsing his recipe library, I found one involving apples and frangipane and I fell in love. I had some puff pastry in the freezer and took a shot at it! Let me tell you, it is yum.

Also, in terms of the recipe, I tend to "eye" my measurements and go with the flow of things. I will try to keep the measurements below as accurate as possible, but I highly encourage you to go with the flow as well. Sometimes, that's how you make a good recipe even better!

Recipe for Apple Puff Pastry Tart
Adapted from Zen Can Cook

For the puff pastry:
1 roll puff pastry
1 egg

For the frangipane:
3/4 cup almonds
a little less than 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs flour
1 egg
2 tbs softened butter

For the apples:
1 1/2 granny smith apple, sliced thinly
1 tbs butter
1 tbs granulated sugar
a few dashes of cinnamon

Thaw the puff pastry roll as directed. Set the oven at 375.

For the frangipane:
In a food processor, blend the almonds and both kinds of sugar until the almond is essentially powdered. This takes about 2 to 3 minutes. Proceed by adding the butter and blending again. Add the egg and blend. Finally, add the flower to thicken, and blend. Taste it, it's awesome. Roll out the puff pastry into a square; spread the frangipane onto the pastry, being sure to leave a the edge clean for the crust. If you have some remaining frangipane, Zen says you can freeze it for future use. I had about a tbs left and ate it... it's too good.

Layer the apples over the frangipane, also being sure to leave room for the crust. Heat the butter and paint it over the apples. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over apples. For the finishing touch, beat the last egg, and paint it over the crust so that it becomes beautifully golden as it bakes.

Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Slice, and enjoy!