Momofuku Bagel Bombs

This summer has been busy, but it’s also been pretty great. Last weekend I flew out to Toronto to celebrate the marriage of my amazing friend Heidi to her now-husband Colin. It was an incredibly fun trip, flying with my friend Megan and staying with our friend Lauren. I don’t know how I manage, but whenever I visit Toronto, it’s in July, and it’s generally obnoxiously hot, this trip was no exception. Thankfully Lauren had an amazing fan, and we powered through!

The wedding was beautiful and Lauren and her boyfriend, Brian, were awesome hosts (no surprise there)! Food highlight of the trip (other than the amazing wedding food!) was Lauren making Momofuku bagel bombs. I’ve actually had this recipe tucked away for a long time, but as with most things Momofuku, I was somewhat intimidated. But, Lauren confidently whipped these up, and I helped her wrap the dough around the cream cheese plugs, and they were incredible! These are actually really easy, they just take a bit of time to prep, with the plugs needing some time to freeze and the dough needing to rest. That said, prep these on a Friday night, and your Saturday morning will be GLORIOUS. The real perk of these is that you can mix up the filling, and I am planning on adding some smoked salmon and dill next time around.

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Shrimp & Artichoke Dip

Wow. Well, sorry for my incredibly long absence. I know I was JUST apologizing for being away from Not Crocker for a long time and here I am again after an epic stall. This time of year is bringing up a lot of sadness and I’ve been somewhat sapped of motivation. The funny thing is, it isn’t that I haven’t been baking and cooking, I just have been having a tough time getting to the computer to write up the recipes and prepare the photos. Sigh. I am going to try my best to get back on track, I promise.

I had a beautiful visit at home with my mom. I was only home for a whirlwind weekend and would have loved to have spent the summer lounging on the deck, taking in the sun, but it was not possible this year. We had a wonderful dinner party with all our friends, and things felt close to normal. Dad’s absence was/is startlingly noticeable and the times that I sit there and feel him not being here (if that makes any sense) are overwhelming. It’s almost been a year since his passing. The shocking thing is that it feels like there is no way this is real, even today, a year later I often feel like I can just call him up for a chat or advice or sass, but I am also achingly aware of how long it has been since I’ve heard his voice. I love my dad and am so thankful to have had him.

ShrimpArtichokeDip

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Crispy Fried Fish with Homemade Caper Tartar Sauce

I am really looking forward to a trip to the Yukon this weekend to visit mom and Chloe. I haven’t been home since last fall, and it will be good to be back. I know it is going to be hard to be in our home without dad but I also know it will be wonderful to be with mom in the summer, our family’s favourite time.

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Buffalo Chicken Strips with Buffalo Ranch Cheese Dip

This has been an insane and kind of awful week. The weather has been wonderful but a serious of difficult decisions and emotional roller coasters have left me feeling exhausted and sad. Unrelated, but we’ve had about a month-straight of hot sun and dry weather, this sounds great but a little rain helps to refresh the streets, the plants, and the people. My walk to work is filled with wafts of hot garbage in the alleys and hot whatever-is-in-the-gutters. I am ready for a little rain to wash the city clean, heck, I could really use a thorough rinse as well.

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Artichoke & Spinach Dip

Summer is my favourite. Honestly, even being sick last weekend didn’t kill my love of sunshine, fresh air, and breezy clothes! Our apartment is northwest facing so we don’t get direct sunlight until the afternoon, but we have so many big windows that the entire apartment is bright and breezy all day long. Our balcony gets some incredible direct sunlight around dinnertime and I’ve been enjoying sitting out with a good book and some tunes. AND there are no bugs! Huzzah!

I am really looking forward to visiting mom in the Yukon in the first week of August, it will have been a year since I’ve been home, and I really need that recharge. It’s going to be hard to be in our home without dad, in fact this whole summer has been hard for everyone as summer was the time our family was at our best, spending so much time outdoors and together. I told mom that I fear going fishing without dad because I definitely depended on his line-tying skills. He definitely tried to teach me, but it was always so convenient to have him around. I will also have to retrieve my own stuck lures, kill my own fish, clean my own fish!, and determine the best spots to cast. He taught me so much, but I still have a lot to learn, I miss him every day.

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White Bean Dip

I just returned from a wonderful work trip to Montréal on Thursday. What an amazing city! I loved all the walk-ups and the diversity of restaurants and shops packed onto the busy streets. The traffic was insane! I am certainly not used to the weaving in-between cars without signalling, the lack of lines or any sort of lane order, fortunately our cab drivers seemed pretty comfortable… My entire office (except our wonderful intern sadly) took the trip out for the national meeting of the NFB’s English Program. What an inspiring week: between the in-production and launch reels, and the incredible passion of each person speaking, I left feeling like I am truly part of something special. I can’t wait to see the full projects as they are launched and completed!

Returning to Vancouver was easy because I definitely missed Gen, but I would’ve love a few extra days to explore all the Montréal has to offer! I have one week back in Vancouver before I head out again to visit my friends Heidi and Lauren, and go to accept my scholarship at a board of directors dinner in Toronto. I am really looking forward to this trip as well, but am terrified of the extreme heat and humidity that I experience the same time last year. I should do some sauna-training this week so that I am conditioned!

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Absentee Blogger! Dad’s Salsa

Hello! I am sorry I’ve been fully MIA for the last two weeks. It’s been a busy month at work with a shoot going out, lots to organize there, and then at home I had to organize and host all the people coming over for the Spring Sprint! Speaking of the Spring Sprint, it was a wonderful success! About 300 people came out, our team made up 20 of them, and the weather held. We raised about $5000 and the entire Vancouver event raised about $98,000 which is absolutely incredible! So, thanks to those who supported us and thanks to you folks who kept coming back despite no new posts for so long!

As summer closes in on Vancouver it is still snowing in parts of the rest of the country. I am so happy to have some sunshine, nice breezes, and potential for sandals! I do really need to get a new pair of sandals, my current options are a little big/stretched out and very worn in.

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Fresh Homemade Tzatziki- dress up chicken, veggies, a spoon!

Well thank goodness Vancouver! I woke up this morning feeling drowsy, I noticed the blazing sunlight and figured I had slept through the morning. Feeling terrible about wasting my day, I pulled myself out of bed to discover that it was 8:30am! What an incredible day! I cruised outside for a stroll, lingering in the sun. It is not summer-warm yet, but it feels incredible and I am once again thrilled to live in this city! Feeling summery I am back on track with bright and fresh food, this dip is no exception!

Tzatziki

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Make your own Cranberry Sauce!

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Once again, we’ve come around to making something homemade rather than buying it. The things I prefer to make than buy: Mayo, Eggnog, Taco Spice mix, Dry Rub, Curry blend, Sausage spice, Bacon Jam, Beer Bread, Pita and every baked good ever.

Homemade cranberry sauce can be tweaked to your desire, but really, those freshly burst berries are awesome anyway you go about it. Dollop on a plate piled with Turkey or Tofurkey and your night is set.

Cranberry Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups cranberries (use wild berries if you can, but those gargantuan ones in the store will do too)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, stir the sugar into the orange juice. Heat until the sugar disolves.
  2. Stir in the cranberries, and cook uncovered until they begin to burst, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, and allow to cool.
  4. The sauce will thicken as it cools, if it seems too thin put it back on the heat for 5 minutes and allow to cool again.
  5. Serve!
Giant berries.

Giant berries.

Bursting with deliciousness.

Bursting with deliciousness.

Almond Parmesan Crusted Chicken Strips

I have lots of parmesan floating around in my fridge right now from the flax crackers I made last week. I didn’t feel like whipping up crackers but was hurting for some chicken strips. After cleaning out my coffee grinder, I went to work grinding up almonds and parmesan, and I was on the road! You can definitely use pre-ground almonds and kraft parmesan, but I was using the fresh deliciousness on hand. These are crunchy and satisfying and definitely higher on the health scale than the regular breaded version! They also cook up in a jiffy, making for an easy dinner on a busy night. Serve with salad, or braised brussels sprouts (at Gen’s desperate request).

Almond Parmesan Crusted Chicken Strips

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 lbs chicken tenders (or 3 chicken breasts, sliced into strips)
  • 1 cup blanched almonds, finely ground
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, ground
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs, whisked 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. Grind up your almonds and parmesan and toss them together in a bowl. Stir in the spices and whisk until well combined.
  3. Whisk your eggs in a shallow bowl.
  4. Dip each strip into the eggs and then toss in the almond mixture and set on a plate.
  5. Let the strips rest in the coating for 5-10 minutes.
  6. In a large pan heat some oil and cook the strips for 3 minutes each side.
  7. Lay the strips on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until cooked through.

Let the chicken strips rest in their coating for a few minutes.