Deviled Eggs light lunching

Looking for a quick lunch, I boiled up some eggs, mashed up the yolks with some of my favourites, and ate like a queen! These aren’t the most attractive version of this treat, I was just making it for myself. It is delicious though, and there are many variations of deviled eggs out there, try them all! Make them for lunch, breakfast, appetizers, whatever floats your boat.

Deviled Eggs

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 dozen eggs, boiled and peeled (place eggs in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring them to a boil. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit for 10-15 minutes. Peel, rinse and set aside)
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard (I used habanero mustard this round)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (make your own!)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 1 stick of celery, finely diced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Slice the eggs lengthwise, pop the yolks out and into a medium bowl. Lay the whites on a plate and set aside.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, except onions and celery, to the yolks and mash until well combined.
  3. Stir the celery and onions into the yolk mixture.
  4. Spoon the yolk mixture into the yolk holes in the whites. Feel free to sprinkle with a little paprika before munching down.

It’s not pretty, but it is tasty.

 

Parmesan Flax Crackers

These crackers are delicious, but really, I like the flavour of flax, so I am bias. These bake up crispy, are sturdy for cheese and dip, and can be different flavours based on preference and convenience. Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Parmesan Flax Crackers

Adapted from I Breathe… I’m Hungry

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/4 cup flax seeds, finely ground
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated (don’t use the powdery stuff, grate fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
  • coarse salt for sprinkling before baking

optional flavours:

  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (great with creamy cheese/dip, salsa, hummus)
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary (good with creamy dips/cheese, hummus, or on their own)
  • 1 tsp dried basil (great with creamy mozzarella for a quick snack)
  • 1/2 tsp curry power (great with tomato soup, really)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine all the ingredients (including spices as desired), except the salt, in a large bowl.
  2. Stir with a wooden spoon until fully combined.  Let the dough sit for 10 minutes, in the fridge is best.
  3. On a large piece of parchment or wax paper, form the dough into a large log (with the circumference of your desired crackers). If you want square crackers, use a flat surface (cutting boarded) and  the counter to gently square your corners.
  4. Gently wrap the log in the parchment and allow it to chill for 1 hour.
  5. Heat the oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Using a sharp knife with a thin blade, slice crackers off the log, gently placing them on the prepared cookie sheet. The thinner the cracker, the better.
  7. Sprinkle the crackers with salt and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, flip the crackers gently and bake for another 3-5 minutes, until browned and dried.
  8. Let cool for the crunchiest crackers.

Ready for mixing.

Not the prettiest, but worth it!

Spicy Almonds and Buffalo-style Almonds- awww yes, snacking goodness

These are a great snack when you want something a little spicy, totally convenient, and easy to make! They both whip up in about 20 minutes, and you could cook the two batches together to save time. I tossed the two flavours in a bowl together for a bit more excitement! We only had almonds on hand, but this would work great for mixed nuts, so go wild. The red almonds are the buffalo ones and the other are the general spice mix. I am going to try a few more combos for a future post.

Buffalo-style Almonds

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp Frank’s Hot Sauce
  • 1 to 2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/3 tsp onion powder
  • 1/3 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 small pinch of cinnamon (for a little sweetness to add to the spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Whisk your egg white in a medium bowl until foamy. Add the almonds and stir to coat, allow to sit while you prepare your spice mixture.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt your butter. Stir in your spices, salt, and Frank’s.
  4. Drain your almonds in a colander, return to the medium bowl and coat in the Frank’s mixture. Stir well to evenly coat.
  5. Spread your almonds in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Raise the oven temperature to 375°F and roast for an addition 8 minutes, or until browned lightly.
  7. Allow the nuts to cool before storing.

Buffalo wings… wait no, almonds! Tasty.

Spicy Almonds

Recipe adapted slightly from here.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Whisk your egg white in a medium bowl until foamy. Add the almonds and stir to coat, allow to sit while you prepare your spice mixture.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together your spices.
  4. Drain your almonds in a colander, add your almonds to the spice bowl and stir well to evenly coat.
  5. Spread your almonds in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Raise the oven temperature to 375°F and roast for an addition 8 minutes, or until browned lightly.
  7. Allow the nuts to cool before storing.

In case you aren’t sure about whisked egg whites…

Eating time!

The infamous Bacon Jam (or Bacon Marmalade), we don’t fool around when it comes to bacon

Bacon Jam! I feel like not much more needs to be said. This is a smoky, savoury, caramelized treat. The appetizer we made from the bacon jam was inspired by a President’s Choice advertisement/recipe based on their Bacon Marmalade product. The appetizer construction was easy and delicious, but truly this bacon jam can be appreciated anywhere, on a sandwich, on crackers, with a spoon, with your fingers.

We made this for the party for Dad yesterday and it was a hit. I’ve been contracted to make a batch for one of our good friends, on the condition that he brings me the pound of bacon needed.

Bacon Jam

Recipe very slightly adapted from Dinner with Julie

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb (one package) good-quality bacon
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee (hot or cold)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Roughly chop the bacon and cook it in a large pan; transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon, draining off most of the drippings.
  2. Saute the onion and garlic cloves in the remaining drippings for 5 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden.
  3. Return the bacon to the pan, add the brown sugar, coffee, maple syrup, and vinegar and cook over medium-low heat for half an hour, or until deep golden (mine was more bacon coloured… deep, rich browny red) and thickened to the consistency of jam.
  4. Serve warm on toast, sandwiches, crackers, etc. Or, follow the directions below for a delicious appetizer.
Bacon Jam Appetizers
  • a baguette
  • two pears
  • white cheddar
  • fresh or dried thyme
  • bowl of fresh bacon jam
  1. Slice a baguette and lay the slices out on a baking sheet, drizzle lightly with olive oil.
  2. Toast the slices in an oven set to 350°F for 10 minutes, or until crispy and slightly golden.
  3. Thinly slice your cheddar and place on the baguette slices.
  4. Put the tray back in the oven to melt the cheese and further toast the baguettes.
  5. Dollop some bacon jam on each slice and top with a slice of pear and a sprinkle of thyme.

Step-by-step

  1. Roughly chop the bacon and cook it in a large pan; transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon, draining off most of the drippings.

    Not roughly chopped, so much as evenly chopped.

  2. Saute the onion and garlic cloves in the remaining drippings for 5 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden.

    Onions, bacon, garlic.

  3. Return the bacon to the pan, add the brown sugar, coffee, maple syrup, and vinegar and cook over medium-low heat for half an hour, or until deep golden (mine was more bacon coloured… deep, rich browny red) and thickened to the consistency of jam.

    Jamming out!

  4. Serve warm on toast, sandwiches, crackers, etc. Or, follow the directions below for a delicious appetizer

    Preliminary bacon jam testing.

Bacon Frittata Muffins

Inspired by my friend Caelin and her love of Nom Nom Paleo’s Mini Prosciutto-Wrapped Frittata Muffins, I whipped a batch of my own. They are tasty delights and Genesis and I will be making these again and again. I will make twice as many next time so I can report back on their freezablity. In the meantime these treats are totally Keto-friendly (essentially lacking in many carbs) and Paleo. Cook them up, switch up the veg and enjoy! I marked things that are optional, but really all the veg is totally optional, in that you can option in and out any veg you like.

Bacon Frittata Muffins

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package (250g) of bacon
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small zucchinis (or one regular one), chopped into 1/4-slices
  • 4 mini bok choy heads (or a handful of spinach, swiss chard, kale, etc.)
  • 6 pickled artichoke heart quarters (not for everyone, again, go with what you have an what you love), chopped
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper *optional
  • 1/4 tsp paprika *optional

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Have a muffin tin on hand.
  2. Cook bacon flat in a pan. Don’t cook until totally crisp, but just cooked and still pliable. They will crisp up a bit more in the oven. Drain and set aside.
  3. Sauté your onions and garlic in the bacon pan until the onions are translucent. Set aside.
  4. Dice and chop the rest of your vegetables and set aside. Bite sized and smaller chunks are key, these are not fork and knife treats.
  5. In a large bowl whisk together your ricotta, eggs, heavy cream, salt and pepper, and other desired spices.
  6. Whisk in your onions and garlic, veggies and stir until well combined.
  7. Lay your bacon slices into the muffin cups, one slice to go around the edge and chop a piece to cover the bottom.
  8. Spoon your egg mixture into your bacon cups, if you have extra, make it into an omelet!
  9. Bake the muffins until they are no-longer jiggly, about 15-20 minutes.
  10. Devour.

 

 

Ham and Cheese Scones, a Sunday brunch idea.

 

I had these on my mind all morning, thinking that they’d be the perfect thing for my sister, mom, and I to take to the hospital on our sleeping nights, so we could have a savoury treat for breakfast. I’ve never made savoury scones before… well I’ve made biscuits, and these turned out pretty great. They are pitch-perfect for cheesiness and haminess (that is totally a thing); they are crunchy and tender; they are flaky and portable. Hospital breakfast achievement unlocked!
In non-food related news, we are coasting along. It is strange to think that I’ve been up north for a month now. I am happy to be here, any time spent with Dad is good time. I miss Vancouver quite a bit and I certainly miss my husband who has been great about this whole situation. Getting to see him last week, for my brief stint in Vancouver, was wonderful. We brought the nurses some Cookie Dough Dip  and Cheese Straws to show our appreciation for how great they’ve been. As weird as it is, we really feel at home at the hospital, we’ve gotten to know everyone and are feeling comfortable. On a crazy note, the RCMP were called to the hospital to deal with a patient across the hall last night.
Early in the evening I heard him grumbling at a nurse who was bringing around night snacks. She told him to stop swearing at her and went on her way. Well, not long after, Dad’s nurse went into this guy’s room and caught him smoking… in his hospital room. Well she rightfully flipped her lid and was yelling at him, “What is wrong with you?! This is a hospital!” The guy tried to argue with the nurse and she left down the hall. They forcibly discharged him and when he refused to leave, they called the RCMP to get him out of there. Apparently he damaged the room, had been abusive to nurses, and smoking was the last straw. Madness!
Whitehorse General Hospital is no Seattle Grace but there are a couple of exciting moments (Mom and Kellie were coming up to relieve me from night stay and found a long blood trail in the elevator that went through the surgical ward).

Ham and Cheese Scones

Adapted from Emeril’s similar recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of diced ham (I cut two 1/4-1/3-inch thick slices off of a ham we had in the fridge and diced those. Cut the slices into 1/4-inch strips and then cut the strips into 1/4-inch dice)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 cups sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup milk

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  3. Using a pastry cutter, or your fingers, cut in the butter until you have pea-sized pieces that are well combined with the flour mixture.
  4. Add the cheese, green onions, ham, and pepper and combine well.
  5. Add 1 cup of milk and work just until it becomes a sticky dough, adding more milk as needed, up to 1 1/2 cups. Stop once the dough has come together, do not overwork.
  6. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a flattened circle, about 3/4-inch thick. Cut into wedges and transfer to a greased or parchmented baking sheet., leaving some space between each wedge.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, checking for doneness by busting one open. They are done when they are golden and the inside is flaky.
  8. Move to a wire rack to cool briefly then eat away!

A text-free shot. Lovely.

Bonus photo of my parent’s yard in the vibrant fall colours!

Cheese Straws- an old family recipe

Picture will be updated when I make them again this week.

Cheese Straws, as mentioned in my previous post are a family favourite and a type of currency our family is encouraged to use outside of the home. Many of our friends and other family love these snacks, and requests are often made for us to bake up a batch. I’ve actually faced a lot of pressure to get these up on the blog but I just haven’t gotten around to baking any, fortunately that’s where my mom comes in. She baked up the pictured batch about a month ago and I’ve just gotten to posting about them. I am going to make some myself in the next few days and I will be sure to take some more pictures to share. They aren’t the prettiest treat, but they sure are tasty. In my opinion, the darker ones are the best, as they have that crispy cheese flavour. These are great for dipping and sharing, but they are also great to horde all to yourself.

This recipe was passed down to my mom from my Grandma Audrey and from her mother and possibly from her mother, etc. We are not sure how far these go back, but the love for them runs deep. My Grandma Aud is thrilled that the tradition of making these is being passed along, and I’ve included her note about rolling them in with my mom’s recipe. Mom took a ton of pictures, so there is a photo tutorial following the directions. You can tell it is an old family recipe because the measurements are not quite exact. Try it out with what I wrote and see how they turn out, adjust as necessary and bake these again and again!

What to eat with these? Anything! My mom especially likes equal parts salsa and sour cream mixed together as a dip. A good rule of thumbs is that your dip has to be on the lighter side, as these can be delicate. My Grandma eats them with dill pickles. I eat them plain mostly. My brother-in-law, husband, and father all like them sprinkled with some cayenne for a kick. They freeze really well too, so making a big batch is not usually a problem, if they even make it to the freezer.

Cheese Straws

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup less one tbsp margarine (or butter. **Mom’s recipe reads 1 1/3 squares of marg. — 1 square is 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups old/sharp cheddar, grated (more if you want, more is always good)
  • 6 tbsp milk (you might need more to make a soft dough)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 rounded/heaping tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cups flour

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, or lightly grease.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Using a pastry cutter (or your fingers), cut in the margarine until you have small, pea-sized pieces throughout.
  4. Add grated cheese and mix well.
  5. Using a fork, combine egg with milk in the measuring cup.
  6. Add the milk and egg to the flour mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms, DON’T OVER MIX.
  7. Place on a lightly floured counter and roll out until quite thin, though not transparent (Grandma’s note: if you don’t have a giant counter, separate dough into three chunks and do it in batches).
  8. Cut into strips and carefully move them onto baking sheet.
  9. Bake for about 10 minutes, until browned… or a minute or two long until really browned, if you are like me!

STEP-BY-STEP: Brought to you by Not Crocker’s Mom.

  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, or lightly grease.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

    Cutting the margarine into the flour mixture.

  3. Using a pastry cutter (or your fingers), cut in the margarine until you have small, pea-sized pieces throughout.

    Cheesed.

  4. Add grated cheese and mix well.
  5. Using a fork, combine egg with milk in the measuring cup.

    Stir in your milk.

  6. Add the milk and egg to the flour mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms, DON’T OVER MIX

    Lump of dough on my mom’s very long counter.

  7. Place on a lightly floured counter and roll out until quite thin, though not transparent (Grandma’s note: if you don’t have a giant counter, separate dough into three chunks and do it in batches).

    Cut long strips and cut across for perfectly sized

  8. Cut into strips and carefully move them onto baking sheet.

    Ready for browning. The dough is worth eating too…

  9. Bake for about 10 minutes, until browned… or a minute or two long until really browned, if you are like me!

Swiss Chard and Onion Pakoras

I’ve been having some big cravings for pakoras lately. I am not sure why I’ve wanted them so bad, they aren’t something that we’ve every regularly eaten, and I’ve never made them before, but this week I made it my mission to cook some up! Veggie pakoras can have a lot of different add-ins, often spinach is an ingredient, onion as well. As usual, I didn’t have spinach on hand but had a handful of delicious swiss chard, and knew that this would be an easy substitution. These pakoras pack a little heat, so feel free to tone down the spice. A lot of extra spice can be had with some good mint chutney, make it yourself if you dare (I will be daring to do this later, today I used store-bought… I know, I know, Stacey, get it together).

Swiss Chard and Onion Pakoras

Adapted from here.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups Chickpea Flour  (aka Besan or Gram Flour)
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper (use half if you are spice-averse)
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala (make your own, essentially it is my Amazing Curry spice mix, minus the salt and the chilli powder)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 green chili pepper, thinly sliced (use half if you are spice-averse)
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 large yellow onion (or 1 medium onion, my onions were massive), sliced into 1/8inch crescents (cut in half, chop off ends, cut along ribs to create thin, but not too thin, slices)
  • 4-6 leaves of Swiss chard, fold the leaves in half lengthwise, cut off stem, and slice into 1/4-inch thick, 2-inch long strips.
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Grapeseed oil (or another mild-flavoured oil), for deep frying

DIRECTIONS

  1. Fill an 8-inch cast-iron skillet half-way up with oil. Heat the oil to 360-375ºF.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the chickpea flour, red chili flakes, garam masala, salt, baking powder, sliced chilli pepper, cilantro, Swiss chard, and sliced onion.
  3. Slowly add in the water, while mixing with a wooden spoon or your hands. Vigorously mix for a couple of seconds. The batter will be thick, and air bubbles should be evident, if not, give it another vigorous stir.
  4. If you don’t have a thermometer that goes to 360°F, don’t fret. Put the end of a wooden spoon into the oil, if there are a lot of bubbles forming around the end, and coming towards the surface, you are ready to fry.
  5. When the oil is ready, carefully place heaping tablespoons of batter into the pot. Don’t do more than three, or four at a time. If you overcrowd the pan, you will lower the temperature of the oil significantly and your pakoras wont fry, but absorb the oil. Greasy pakoras are no good.
  6. Turning once, fry until the pakoras are a pecan-brown. Drain on a cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet.
  7. Repeat with the remainder of the batter.
  8. Serve with mint chutney, sriracha, mango chutney, ketchup chutney, ketchup, anything really.

This is my kitchen situation. Small space, but now that we’ve removed the microwave, it is a lot more functional. That cord off to the left? That’s my camera cord, as right now it is the only way to use my camera… I forgot my battery charger in the Yukon and sadly the cord only allows the camera to operate, it doesn’t charge it.

Chocolate & Nut Date Balls- chocolate cravings killer

These sticky treats are not your grandma’s date balls. They are fudgy and packed with chocolate flavour. I added a lot of nuts, probably more than you might want, but they are tasty. And they are easy to adjust to what you have on hand or what your tastes are. I am often finding myself pining for chocolate and these have successfully satisfied those cravings time and again. They keep wonderfully in the fridge and travel well. While I happily used my food processor that I got from my friend Kim, these could be made without it by chopping things up very small by hand and mixing well, though they will be less fudge-like. They are pretty darn healthy, there is no butter or sugar added as the dates act as both.

Chocolate & Nut Date Balls

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 cups of pitted medjool dates (can be whole, chopped, whatever. You are processing them)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup salted cashews (I just had these on hand and they were awesome, the saltiness added a new dimension)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2-4 tbsp cocoa powder (start with two and work up to your desired fudginess)
  • 1/3 cup dried oats (whole oats if you are using a food processor; quick oats if not, as they are already chopped up)
  • 2 tbsps of semi-sweet chocolate chips are optional (totally not necessary but will further amp the chocolate factor)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Chuck everything into the food processor and blend. Start with only 2 tbsp of cocoa powder and add more as needed. If the texture isn’t coming together more dates will add the necessary stickiness. Add more nuts, coconut, dried fruit, etc. as desired.
  2. Once things have been chopped down to your taste, roll into balls, place in a tupperware and refrigerate to firm them up. Feel free to roll these in some additional cocoa powder or coconut.
  3. If you are making these by hand, which is definitely possible, chop all the ingredients that need it, as well as you can. Pop everything into a bowl and stir aggressively (that’s right, aggressively!) to combine. You are looking for the ingredients to stick together and distribute evenly.
  4. Eat morning, noon, and night.

All the good stuff, ready to mingle.

Jalapeño Cheese Squares

Sorry for the ridiculous delay between posts, going away has meant a full schedule upon my return. I’ve been running around, working like a mad woman, trying to catchup, keep up, and not die trying. Anyway, this is one of the delightful appetizers from the wedding. I am waiting on some pictures and recipes from my mom whose camera I kept using because I couldn’t locate mine. These are ridiculously simple and really delicious. Crowd pleasers for sure!

Jalapeño Cheese Squares

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 6 eggs beaten
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 tsps green onion, minced
  • 1 small can of jalapeño peppers (fresh would be great too, 2 or three, well chopped)

Directions

  1. Whisk together cheese, eggs, cream and onions. Stir in jalapeños.
  2. Spread mixture in a greased 9 x 13 pan.
  3. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
  4. Cut into 1-inch squares and serve. These are great hot or cold.