Friendly Food Snobs

arugula pear walnut parmesean salad

 

This is my go-to salad for guests. So simple and so good. I’m hosting a big family meal on Christmas Eve and plan to make a batch of this. I love a salad on a holiday table to lighten things up. 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 to show off how pretty it is. 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.  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:
4 large handfuls baby arugula
seeds of half a pomegranate
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (lightly toasted in a dry pan)
parmesean peels (use a potato peeler) to taste (I like A LOT)
1 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 four to six.

Cheddar Thyme Sea Salt Shortbread

cheddar shortbreadcheddar shortbread

Shortbread means means “short” AKA a high degree of fat/butter. That’s what makes this recipe so delcious, addictive (you’ve been warned!) and perfect for the holidays.  I like to package these in bags with ribbon to give with homemade soup or a bottle of wine as a gift. They’re also awesome on a cheese platter with some more cheese (is there ever enough?) and dried fruit or preserves. These shortbread last exactly two days in my house, sometimes less because they are that good. Recipe makes 24. I use a little trick to make the clean up easier and form the dough using cling wrap – a time saver because it keeps your kitchen counter from getting dirty. More details in the recipe below.

Ingredients:
1 and 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 and 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp Keen’s dry mustad
pinch black pepper
1 cup grated old white cheddar cheese (packed)
1 egg slightly beaten
1 stick salted butter room temperature (half a cup)
flaky salt for sprinkling (I love to use fleur de sel or flaky sea salt)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl with a spatula. Dough should be crumbly.  Kneed 30 seconds and form a disc. Set out a large piece of cling wrap. Transfer the dough to the cling wrap and shape it into a long log with your hands. Roll the cling wrap around the log. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place log in fridge for one hour or freezer for 10-15 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Once dough is cold use a sharp knife to slice it into 1/2 thick rounds and place on parchment lined sheets. Bake for 20 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. My oven took exactly 20 minutes. Sprinkle a tiny pinch of flaky salt on each cookie when they come out warm from the oven. They already have salt from the butter and cheese, so a little pinch goes a ling way. Let cool on the baking sheets and then serve with coffee, tea, wine or a cheese plate. You can also store the log in the freezer for up to a month and bake just before company arrives. Makes 24 cookies. Enjoy!

 

easy chicken parmesan

chicken parmesan

Super easy chicken parmesan. This is one of my weeknight faves this fall. It is gluten free and takes about half an hour to come together including cooking time. I serve it with steamed or oven roasted broccoli and rice, or just a simple green salad. Neil and Oscar love this one. I should probably start making a double batch so that I can get some leftovers for my lunch! Recipe makes four pieces of chicken so four portions. You could easily double it if you are serving more. Dash is six months old now and a little more consistent with his night sleep, chatting up a storm, eating anything and everything. This is giving me a few more windows of time to cook which I love. But the best part of this mom of two gig is watching Oscar make Dash giggle. Crazy to think in a few months Dash will be eating this as well. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

Ingredients:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 14 oz can Italian diced tomatoes
olive oil to lightly coat bottom of pan
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all spices and salt and pepper. Slice the chicken lengthwise making four smaller, thinner pieces. Heat pan to medium heat with oil. Season each side of chicken with spice mixture. Cook chicken in pan a few minutes until golden on each side. FYI You will only need about half of the can of diced tomatoes for this recipe so I like to just freeze the rest for a soup or chili. Spoon two tablespoons of tomatoes onto each piece of chicken. Top with parmesan cheese and bake in the oven for ten minutes. I like to reserve a little cheese from the 1/2 cup to plate with. After ten minutes your house will smell amazing and the cheesey warm chicken is ready to eat. I like to use some of the sauce that is in the bottom of the pan to spoon over the chicken when I serve. Enjoy and tell me in the comments or on IG how you like it.

 

caramelized onion thyme turkey burgers

best turkey burgersbest turkey burgers
best turkey burgers
best turkey burgersThese are the best turkey burgers I’ve ever had. Juicy and so flavourful. When I shot these for the blog I made these bunless, but they’d be just as delicous with a soft burger bun.
The sauteed onions go right into the patty mixture. To save time sometimes I will sautee the onion the day before and leave it in the fridge until I am ready to make the patties. You can cook the burgers in the oven or bbq. Recipe makes six burgers.

Ingredients for the caramelized onions:
2 small cooking onions diced (or one large)
olive oil to coat pan
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a frying pan, adding the onions and lightly salt and pepper. Cook on low-medium heat for 10-15 minutes until they become fragrant and start to caramelize.

Ingredients for the burgers:
450 gram package of ground turkey
1 egg
4 tbsp bread crumbs
1 and 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
black pepper to taste
Prepare the onions. Let cool. Preheat oven to 375. You can also bbq these. I have done both and like both equally.  In a large mixing bowl combine all the burger ingredients, except for the turkey. Mix with a fork and add in the ground turkey. Don’t overmix. This recipe makes six burgers. Make small balls with the patty mixture and press down firmly to create the patties. Cook on a parchment paper lined sheet in the oven 25 minutes flipping once. Delicious served with lettuce, tomato, avocado and feta.

Mexican style grilled corn

mexican style cornCorn on the cob (eaten outside) is a staple from my childhood. I have joyful memories of crunching down on freshly boiled and buttered cobs with my family and grandparents. I was inspired to make this recipe after eating in the taco joints that have opened up in Toronto over the past few years. It is so simple to make in the summer when local corn is fresh and delicous. I picked mine up at Metro as well as all the other ingredients. The sweetness of the charred corn tastes incredible alongside the lime and slightly spicy sauce. Note: it is not too hot, I lightly sauced the cob I gave to my toddler and he gobbled it up.

Traditional recipes would call for the cheese to be cotija cheese. If you have time to get to a Latin grocery store you can find it there. Feta is an excellent substitute, and that’s what I used.

Ingredients:

4 cobs of corn
2 tbsp salted butter
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1/4 tsp chili powder
juice of half a lime (slice up the other half for garnish)
optional toppings: fresh cilantro and crumbled feta

Husk and wash corn. Boil the corn in salted water for five minutes. While the corn boils combine all the remaining ingredients for the sauce. Drain corn once done and heat barbeque to 400 degrees. Grill the corn for 10-15 minutes until browned on all sides. Take the corn off the grill and top it with the sauce and a sprinkle of feta while it is still warm. Serve with lime wedges, chopped cilantro and more feta. I had a little sauce leftover and used it in a chicken sandwich and it divine. So you can feel free to put it in the fridge and use for another dish, just give it a quick stir first.

This post was sponsored by Metro and all ingredients used in the recipe were purchased there. I only accept sponsorships and collaborations from brands and companies I love and trust, and I always share with my readers when a post is sponsored. In this case I was thrilled to work with Metro to purchase all these healthy summer ingredients and develop this recipe. Hope you enjoy it!

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