Friendly Food Snobs

crispy flattened chicken + moroccan spices

flattened chicken
Almost ten years ago I backpacked through Morocco with my best, Laura and this week I was craving something warming and exotic. This crispy chicken takes only 45 minutes to roast in the oven, thanks to being flattened. The spice rub is sweet and savory and reminds me of all the tagine meals we devoured with our twenty-something-wonder in North Africa. As I get ready to start feeding our baby boy something other than milk this winter, I get excited at the journey I will get to show him through food in the years to come. Um, perhaps I will start with some sweet potato or mashed avocado first! Enjoy this chicken dish, one of the best parts is the crispy skin. I love to pair it with a simple green salad or cous cous or quinoa with lots of tomatoes and cucumbers and mint. Preserved lemons on the side are lovely too, but not at all necessary.

crispy flattened chicken + moroccan spices

Ingredients:
1 whole chicken
1 heaping tsp each of the following:
cumin
garlic powder
paprika
cinnamon
brown sugar
In addition to:
pinch red pepper flakes
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
generous drizzle olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine spices in a small bowl. Using kitchen scissors or a pointed serrated knife slice top of chicken (breasts) in half and flatten the chicken. This saves so much cooking time. Pat the chicken dry with paper towel. Using your hands rub the spices over both sides of the chicken and even under the skin if you can manage. Drizzle with olive oil and roast in a cast iron pan for 45 minutes or until crispy and brown. Let rest a few minutes before diving in. The skin is amazing and so crispy and chicken always moist from the quick cooking time. Enjoy!

baked oatmeal bars

Oatmeal, cinnamon, bananas and berries. Humble, and so satisfying. I’ve been devouring these oatmeal bars after being up in the night with our four month old son Oscar. (Oats are great for nursing!) These bars are simple to make and I’ve even served them as a make-ahead breakfast for overnight guests.  Recipe makes 10 servings, but you can easily half it. I’ve also packaged and frozen these individually and they still taste delicious.

baked oatmeal bars

Ingredients:
4 ripe bananas cut into slices
2 cups thawed and drained frozen blueberries or mixed berries (can also use fresh)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 cups large flake oats
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
coconut oil for greasing baking dish

Heat oven to 350 degrees and generously grease a 9 x 13 (or similar size) baking dish with coconut oil. Layer the bananas, then half of the berries. Bake for 20 minutes. In a separate bowl mix the oats, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. Pour over the bananas, gently pressing down with your hands. Then combine the milk, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla and pour over the oats and bananas. Sprinkle remaining berries and walnuts on top and bake for 35-40 minutes until top is golden brown. Let cool, slice into desired slices and enjoy!

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.

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