Tuesday, March 4, 2014

baking bread


             I have not made fresh bread in probably well over three years. Ouch, thats a bit too long, especially for one bread lovin' gal like me.  I could live on that stuff if I let myself, although I'd probably add quite a few unwanted pounds in the process.  I just had one of those moments when I thought, you know what? I'm gonna make some bread.  This was simply the easiest and tastiest bread I think I've ever made and there's nothing better then that wonderful simple joy that comes after you know you've just made your own bread.

I used this recipe here.


bacon and butter beans
(serves 4)

2-4 slices bacon, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 can butter beans
1 handful of baby kale
salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet cook the chopped bacon until crisp.  Add the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes.  Pour in the can of butter bean, juices and all (this is what makes a wonderful sauce) bring it to a simmer. Add the kale and stir through until wilted. Taste for seasoning.  Add a slice of fresh bread for soaking up the juices and you've got a sweet side or little hearty snack.

Friday, February 7, 2014

milk jam


Natrel has launched a new milk.  Maple milk and I had the opportunity to get to make something with it.  A deliciously mild maple flavoured spread perfect for toast or even over pancakes. Get the recipe here.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

black quinoa salad with mini crunchy radish chips

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Black quinoa salad with apples, cranberries, edamame and a sesame ginger dressing topped with crunchy radish chips 

for the salad
1 cup natrel organic milk
1⁄2 cup water
1 cup black quinoa, rinsed
1 cup edamame, cooked
1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
1 apple cut into 1-inch pieces 

1⁄4 cup fresh chopped basil
1⁄4 cup sliced scallions

for the sesame ginger dressing
2 1⁄2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
juice of one lime
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar 

1⁄2 tsp fresh grated ginger
salt and pepper to taste

for the radish chips
1 bunch radish, washed and sliced thin 
1tbsp olive oil
pinch of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 F. Coat the sliced radish with the olive oil. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out the sliced radish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes, turning tray half- way through, until crispy.

Meanwhile in a small bowl combine all ingredients for the dressing, whisk and set aside.

In a deep saucepan, combine milk and water. Bring to boil over medium heat. Stir in quinoa. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Let stand covered 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and let cool. Stir in apples, cranberries, edamame and the sesame dressing and top with the basil, scallions and radish chips. Serves 4-6. 

Photography and styling by Ashley Colbourne

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy holidays and a trip to the Christmas market

   We had heard about this Christmas market and were pretty crazy excited to check it out. I mean come on its an outdoor market in an already beautiful place adorned with holiday festiveness, cedar log roaring fire pits to keep hands toasty warm, mulled wine, apple cider and hot chocolate to warm the innards, fresh baked pretzels, cute little snack huts, homemade christmas gift huts and even Santa himself.  We then stopped at the Brick Street Bakery for a 'boxing day' sandwich. A sandwich loaded with what would be all the left over goodness of a christmas day feast.  Which we need to get again. Real soon.

Wishing everyone a very merry holiday and 
                 a happy new year! 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Milk chocolate cream

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       This has to be one of the easiest desserts I've made and if anyone is looking for a quick Christmas treat that looks amazing and is easy to put together this would be it. Just think you could even switch up the chocolate milk for eggnog for a more festive twist.

Natrel milk chocolate cream
This milk chocolate cream is a versatile dessert. Serve it in cups or in miniature tart shells for a classier treat. The berries’ slightly acidic taste complements the cream’s sweetness perfectly. 

Quantity : 4 custard cups ou 15 miniature tarts
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Cream :
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups Natrel Chocolate milk or Natrel Dark Chocolate milk
Presentation :
  • 4 custard cups or 15 prebaked miniature tart shells
  • Berries (raspberries, strawberries, ground cherries, etc.)
  • Place a strainer over a large bowl. Set aside.
  • In a metal bowl, beat the egg yolks with half of the sugar. Add the flour and cornstarch and beat until smooth. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan, mix the chocolate milk and the rest of the sugar. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
  • Pour half of the warm milk mixture over the egg yolks and whisk. Pour into the saucepan.
  • Put the saucepan back on the stovetop and bring the mixture to a boil. Let boil for a minute, stirring constantly. Make sure not to let the mixture stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Immediately strain the mixture into the large bowl.
  • To avoid the formation of a skin on the top of the cream, lay plastic wrap over the warm cream. Refrigerate for three hours or until cool. 
  • Right before serving, whisk the cream vigorously. Pour into custard cups or prebaked miniature tart shells and top with berries.
Recipe by Natrel
Photography and styling by Ashley Colbourne

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

honey and oat pancakes


      Who doesn't love a good pancake?  Pancakes are one of those morning breakfast foods conserved for special days... lazy Sundays, cheering up days, kids treat days, Christmas morning or just days you plainly feel like good ol' pancakes.  This day though is Christmas day.  I enjoy doing special breakfasts on that very day.  Considering I know there is a big meal a head of us later that evening, lunch will probably be skipped due to the Christmas day busyness so a good breakfast is key.  Add some bacon or slow cooked scrambled eggs and this morning meal is more then complete.

I have been a collaborator with Natrel coming up with recipes using their milk products.  So I bring you a little healthier lactose-free version of the pancake that might just be perfect for any of your special days.

honey oat pancakes(lactose-free)
1⁄2 cup oat flour
1⁄2 unbleached white flour
3⁄4 cup Natrel lactose free milk
1 large egg
2 tbsp honey
1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
1⁄4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 tbsp coconut oil for greasing pan

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until batter is well combined. Let rest for a few minutes.
Heat a frying pan to medium heat and coat pan with coconut oil or non-stick cooking spray. Pour spoonfuls of batter into the pan in circles then turn the heat to medium-low. Cook until the topside of the pancake starts showing tiny bubbles, then flip and cook for another minute.

banana-nut topping
1 cup dried banana chips
1⁄2 cup chopped nuts, toasted (I choose pecan) maple syrup
In a frying pan on medium heat toast the nuts until they are fragrant and golden. In a mortar and pestle combine banana chips and nuts and bash until you get a good mix of broken up chips and crumbled nuts. Sprinkle over pancakes and top with good quality maple syrup.
Serves 2-3 

Photography and styling by Ashley Colbourne

Saturday, October 19, 2013

kale and sweet potato clam chowder

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     I've only had chowder two other times before this and it was the creamy, loads of bacon and carbs kind. All the delicious stuff right?  Well this time using milk instead of cream and more sweet potatoes then the mighty white to make a much more lighter healthier version. One that doesn't sacrifice flavor or all the things that make chowder, chowder. 

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2 pounds small hard-shelled clams, scrubbed
2 slices smoked bacon, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped

1 cup corn kernels, from 2 cobs or 1 cup frozen
1 large handful of kale, rinsed and chopped
1 celery stock, chopped
1⁄2 cups vegetable or seafood stock, low or no-sodium 

2 1⁄2 cups Natrel lactose free milk
1 1⁄2 cups sweet potato, chopped into 1inch chunks 
1 cup mini-red potatoes, quartered
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1⁄4 tsp cayenne pepper

juice of one lemon
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1⁄4 bunch scallions, sliced
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley or dill
1 tbsp fresh chopped chives
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste


In a small saucepan over high heat boil the sweet potato and red potato until cooked half way.
Preheat a large stockpot over medium high heat, add the bacon and cook until almost crispy. Add the garlic, onion, corn, celery and kale. Continue to cook for several minutes. Add the flour to the milk and combine. Add the broth, milk-flour mixture both potatoes, herbs and spices. Bring ingredients to a simmer then add the clams. Continue to cook until the clams start to open. Add the tomatoes and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
When the clams have opened all the way, the chowder is ready to serve. 

Serves 4-6 

PS. My man loved it. I was lucky if I was even able to get a second helping!

Happy Weekend everyone! 

Photography and styling by Ashley Colbourne