Friendly Food Snobs

blueberry buckle

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blueberry buckle

Two pints of fresh blueberries plus lemon zest go into this cake. It’s so delicious it got half eaten by Neil and my Dad before I could shoot it! Truth be told, I had a big slice too. The recipe was a childhood favourite of Neil’s that his stepmother Liz used to make every summer when local blueberries were in season. So I give you photos of a half eaten cake that was so good it couldn’t sit on the counter untouched any longer. The recipe feeds at least 8. And it’s wonderful with a side of ice cream or whipped cream.

blueberry buckle

Ingredients for the cake:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup soft butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk (I use almond milk)
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla
2 pints fresh blueberries (or 2 and 1/2 cups)

Ingredients for the crumble topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soft butter
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Then using a spatula whip the butter with the wet ingredients and then combine with the blueberries. Mix the crumble topping ingredients with a fork until it looks like small pebbles. Grease a large deep pie plate or 8 inch spring form pan. Pour into greased dish and top with crumble. Bake 350 degrees about 40 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean. Be sure to place a cookie sheet under the dish when baking. Sometimes those sneaky blueberries can really expand. Enjoy as dessert or in the morning with coffee.

tandoori inspired bbq chicken

tandhoori inspired bbq chicken

Hello summer. It’s been a month since my last post and one month into being a mama! Oscar joined our family in June and my heart feels like it will burst every morning he wakes and smiles at me. What I have learned so far…cooking with a newborn? Challenging. Blogging with a newborn the first few weeks? Nearly impossible! I’m thrilled to be back online and sharing this recipe. The yogurt and curry marinade makes for juicy and flavourful chicken. Been loving this with rice or a green salad. Recipe feeds four and makes so much marinade you could easily add extra chicken and feed six.

tandoori inspired bbq chicken

Ingredients:
6 chicken thighs + 2 chicken breasts (or any combination, I used boneless thighs and bone-in breasts)
5 tbsp full fat plain yogurt
2 tbsp curry powder
pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
juice of half a lemon
2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
1 tbsp ketchup (for the sugar!)

Combine all ingredients. Marinate the chicken for a minimum of 4 hours. Heat BBQ and remove most of the marinade from the chicken. We love our Weber Q1200 for its cast iron grates and portability. Grill turning once until fully cooked. Enjoy!

arugula pear walnut parmesean salad

arugula pear walnut parmesean salad
This is my go-to salad this summer. So simple and so good. The bitter arugula plays so well off the sweet pear, salty parmesean, walnuts and lemony dressing. I will often toss this all in a big white bowl and it gets nibbled on before a meal and polished off at the end. This is how salads should taste to me, hearty, satisfying with every mouthful leaving you wanting another. Salad pairs well with any grilled meats, or as a standalone lunch with a poached egg on top too. Hope you love it as much as I do.

arugula pear walnut parmesean salad

Ingredients for the lemon dressing:
4 tbsp olive oil
juice of one lemon
1 and 1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the salad:
2 large handfuls baby arugula
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
parmesean peels (use a potato peeler) to taste (I like A LOT)
1 small ripe pear cut into slivers

Whisk the dressing together. Mix the salad ingredients. Toss and serve. Bonus points! Dressing can be added 30 minutes before serving with no fear of wilting. Recipe serves two as a main, or four as a side.

no yeast pizza crust

 roasted red peppers

no yeast pizza crustno yeast pizza crust

Fresh basil and red peppers scream summer and homemade pizza to me. Crisp and flavourful, this tastes more like a thin crust flatbread pizza than a heavy doughy version. We loved it and devoured it sitting outside eating it right out of the oven. My recipe for roasted red pepper basil pizza is below, but any ingredients you have on hand would be lovely. This pizza takes less than an hour – and on a Friday or Saturday night most take out pizza takes that long. Makes two 12 inch round pizzas to feed four.

no yeast pizza crust topped with roasted red peppers and basil

Ingredients for roasted red peppers:
3 red peppers
Slice peppers in half and remove seeds and stem. Roast cut side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet at 400 degrees for 25-30 mins. Skins should be slightly blackened. Let cool and remove skins and tear into long strips.

Ingredients for pizza toppings:
2/3 of a ball of good quality mozzarella (half for each pizza)
20 ripe cherry tomatoes sliced in half (half for each pizza)
red peppers from recipe above
salt and pepper
drizzle olive oil
handful of fresh basil leaves to top pizza after cooking

Ingredients for no yeast pizza crust:
2 and 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp white sugar or honey
1 tsp combined of Italian spices (basil, oregano, garlic)
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 – 1 cup water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and put cookie sheet or pizza stone in oven. Combine all ingredients and kneed for one minute. Easier to do if you coat your hands with a little olive oil! If dough feels dry add another drizzle of olive oil. Top dough with a slightly damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rest on the counter for ten minutes or so while you prep the toppings.

After resting divide into two balls and roll out onto parchment paper sprinkled with flour with rolling pin, gently stretching as you go. Top pizza with a light drizzle of olive oil and then the tomatoes, peppers, salt and pepper to taste and cheese. Lift up parchment paper and bake on a cookie sheet or pizza stone 15-17 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and bottom of crust brown. I baked each one individually. Other topping combinations I love: broccoli + pesto + feta, or red sauce + thinly sliced zucchini + mozzarella. My husband loves a white pizza with just olive oil, caramelized onions and some sauteed Italian sausage on top. Here’s my fool proof caramelized onion recipe. Enjoy!

wild blueberry earl grey granola


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earl gray granolaearl gray granolaIt’s spring in Toronto. Days are longer, nights are shorter and the tulips and birds are making their appearance. This time of year has me wanting a refreshing, but satisfying breakfast.

Tea and homemade granola (my mango coconut granola post here) are two of my favourite things. So when Alokozay Tea asked me to create a recipe with their loose leaf earl grey tea, breakfast granola was the first thing that came to mind. I sipped this classic tea as I made the granola and what’s not to love about a food product that’s delicious and can be delivered to your door after easily ordering online? Earl grey tea traditionally has great floral and citrus notes so adding dried wild blueberries and lemon juice to the granola keeps it light tasting and extremely addictive. This recipe made enough for six generous servings over yogurt at home, plus two portions I gifted away to friends. Keeps well once completely cooled in an air tight container for two weeks, or freezes well.

wild blueberry earl grey granola

Ingredients:
5 tbsp brewed Alokozay Earl Grey Loose Leaf tea
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 and 2/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup chopped almonds or sunflower seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
juice of half a small lemon
1 cup dried wild blueberries

Brew 1 heaping tablespoon of loose leaf earl grey tea to 2/3 cup of water. Mix wet ingredients and add to dry. (Leave out the blueberries.) Pour into a glass baking dish and bake on the middle rack at 300 degrees for 35-40 minutes. (A dark metal pan can quickly burn granola, so use glass if you can, if all you have on hand is metal then reduce the heat to 250 degrees.) Stir every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and toss in the dried wild blueberries. Let cool before storing. Delicious with plain yogurt or as a breakfast cereal. Enjoy!

Ps. Want a coupon for Alokozay Tea, Friendly Food Snobs? Check out this link. Alokozay Tea is available for purchase at Metro, Bulk Barn and Food Basics and Adonis.

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