Friendly Food Snobs

appetizer

almond and citrus green salad

It’s a rainy April day here in Toronto. My tulips are peaking out from the soil by our front porch. Dash just turned one (!) Oscar is four years old in June. Life’s full and busy. Gosh I am tired most days and struggling to find just a moment or two for myself.

I am finding that eating well is sort of my superpower these days. It means lots of veggies/fruit, good protein and fats like nuts and avocados. Since becoming a mom of two, I am finding my mood is directly linked to my diet. I feel calmer, sleep better and tummy feels better eating this way. I did a ten day Whole30, so um I guess that is a Whole10? And since then I have been feeling good with no white carby food or processed sugar.

My last remaining vices? Do you have any? Mine are cheese and dark chocolate. My love for them will never die. Always the best quality I can afford and just occassionally.

Okay back to this salad. I love to change up my salads to keep it interesting. The citrus and almond flavours are perfect together. I used mâche mixed greens, toasted slivered almonds and sliced kumquats. If you don’t have kumquats you can easily sub in clementine segments or pieces of a peeled and chopped fresh orange. Fun fact about kumquats – their skin is sweet and insides are that citrus-y sour flavour.

Ingredients for the 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:

  • four handfus baby mixed greens (OR baby spinach)
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 5-6 kumquats thinly sliced (OR 2 clementines peeled and segmented OR 1 orange peeled and segmented)

To toast the nuts (which is a must, so flavourful) heat a non stick pan to low-medium heat and toasted for five minutes or until fragrant. Be sure to give the pan a shake every minute or so. Let the nuts cool in a bowl. (They will continue browning if you leave them in the pan.)

Grab your favourite salad bowl and toss all the salad ingredients in there. I like to use a glass measuring cup to make my salad dressing and whisk it well to combine it with a fork.

Pour as much dressing as you like over the salad, toss and serve. Extra salad dressing will keep well in the fridge for three days. Happy spring, friends!

sheet pan grilled cheese

Dunking a grilled cheese into a warm bowl of soup is my comfort food and reminds me of my childhood. (Tomato soup 100%!) I love making grilled cheese over March Break or a winter weekend. But I have growing boys and I cannot stand at the stove flipping for an hour. Enter the sheet pan grilled cheese! Hot oven for ten minutes and perfect grilled cheese every time.

I used Premiere Moisson bread available at Metro grocery stores and a combination of asiago, cheddar and mozzarella. But you can use any cheese combination you like. This Premiere Moisson bread is becoming a staple in my house because it’s natually fermented, made using slower traditional methods, and has no sugar or preservatives. I always keep a loaf in the freezer for toast or grilled cheese cravings. The whole wheat and country-style loaf are our faves. Try the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments or on Instagram! Makes four grilled cheese sandwiches.
Another tweak I love to do is layer roasted red peppers and zucchini inside with the cheese – a way to get more veggies and also tastes delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp salted butter room temperature
  • 2 cups of grated cheese (like an old cheddar + asiago + mozzarella combo)
  • 8 slices of good bread

Heat your oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Butter every slice of bread and place four slices (butter side down) on the baking sheet. Top bread with cheese mixture and place another slice of bread on top (butter side up). Place grilled cheese in oven for 10 minutes, flipping halfway. I use my kitchen timer and stay in the kitchen. The high heat makes the sandwich melted inside and crispy outside. Slice and eat while the cheese is still gooey. I love to change it up from ketchup and instead dip in hummus or sun-dried tomato pesto – yum! Hope you enjoy! 🙂

Thank you to Metro for supporting this post! I sometimes work with companies and sponsors, but only those I actually enjoy eating in my own kitchen, promise.

nuts and bolts – a christmas classic

nuts and bolts

Nuts and bolts are a Christmas classic at my parents house when I was growing up. This is my take on my own mom’s recipe. Her nuts and bolts were so infamous she would make two or three huge batches between November and January and it would get devoured. I make it these days to have a stash at home and also give it away to friends and family tied up in clear bags. I have to do this pretty quickly. (Before Neil and I eat bowls of it while watching a movie after the kids go to bed!) I love having a container of this kicking around the kitchen to put out if guests pop by over the holidays and Oscar absolutely loves it as an after nursery school snack on these cold wintery days we’ve been having here in Toronto. It is the perfect salty snack and so addictive. It is not my typical whole food healthy recipe, but is tastes like my childhood Christmas and being home and cozy and really what is better than that in November?

Ingredients:
5 cups shreddies
2 cups cheerios
2 cups cheese bits crackers
3 cups pretzels
2 cups mixed salted nuts
2 cups salted cashews
4 tablespoon butter (I use salted)
4 tablespoon olive oil
5 teaspoon worcestershire
2-3 teaspoon garlic powder (we like 3 but if you are not a huge garlic fan, try 2)
2 teaspoon onion powder
pinch chili powder

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. I use a large aluminum roasting pan (the disposable kind) from the grocery store. Combine all the cereal and crackers and nuts in the pan.  Melt the butter in the microwave and add the oil and spices. Pour over the nuts and bolts and I use a large wooden spoon to mix well. (You want that yummy coating on everything.) Bake for 90 minutes and stir every 20-30 minutes. Let cool completely before you package them. Keeps well in a sealed container for two weeks. But it never lasts that long in my house. If you need any more holiday inspiration check out my chewy ginger cookies  or arugula pomegranate salad or cheddar thyme shortbread. Happy Christmas cooking, friends!

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!

 

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!

1 2 3 4

Skip to toolbar