Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chilled Zucchini Yogurt Soup

Chilled Zucchini Yogurt Soup
Serves 4
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small yellow onion (about 1 cup), chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 medium large zucchini, sliced lengthwise, then into thin half moons
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
juice of half a lemon
  • 2 cups whole plain yogurt
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Minced fresh chives
1. In a medium skillet heat the oil and butter and saute the onion and shallots until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini slices, toss well, add the stock, reduce heat, cover and let simmer until the zucchini is tender, about 10 minutes. This can be done the day before and left to cool until ready to serve. Otherwise, set aside and allow to cool while you prepare the red pepper coulis (recipe below).

2. When zucchini mixture is cool, combine in a blender with the lemon juice, yogurt, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth, adjust seasonings and add more yogurt or stock to your tastes. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

3. Ladle soup into bowls and swirl a spoonful of red pepper coulis across the surface; finish with a sprinkle of fresh chives.

Red Pepper Coulis
  • 1 12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Will last up to one week in the refrigerator. Also great on vegetables, salmon and cooked greens.

Sunny-side Up Eggs

This is a great version of the eggs in veggie ring molds – sauteed onions are so delicious, and give a nice tang to the eggs. And they are, of course, beautiful on a plate!

Slice your onion into 1/2 inch slices. Then, using the biggest one, place in an oiled skillet over medium heat. When one side is lightly browned, flip the onion ring over and crack an egg in the middle. If you want the egg yolk to show, dab the top of the egg yolk gently with a paper towel and remove the white over the top of it. Then, sprinkle a little water in the pan and cover the skillet. Cook until your egg is done as you like.

Now just sprinkle with kosher salt and cracked black, and sit back and wait for the raves!

Who needs expensive copper or stainless steel egg or pancake ring molds when you can use pretty, bright bell peppers?

There’s no recipe, really, just three steps:
1) Cut bell peppers into 1/2 inch rings;
2) Place in a non-stick lightly oiled skillet; and
3) Crack an egg in the middle of each ring and cover and cook over low heat until done. If you like your yolks runny, just cook over low heat until whites are done. If you like your yolks firm, break the yolks and then cook over low heat until both whites and yolks are firm.

Easy. Fun. Colorful. Healthy. Groovy, Baby!

These Avocado Egg Rings are just the ticket. Creamy. Flavorful. Unusual. Memorable. And a bonus: they can easily be made red and green with a little sprinkle of green onion and red bell pepper garnish.

There isn’t a “recipe,” really, all you do is this:
Heat a non-stick skillet to medium low heat.
Lightly spray with oil.
Slice a California avocado with the skin ON lengthwise, forming one thick slice in the middle. (You will have some leftover avocado pieces – so, Hey!
Make some bonus guacamole if you want! Guacamole for Breakfast? Why NOT? It’s the Holidays!) Remove the seed and use a small cookie cutter to make a hole in the center of your thick slice. Place the avocado slice in the pan.
Crack a medium sized egg into the center of the hole. Cover and cook for a minute or two, until the egg is as you like it. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Then, just sit back and wait for the oohs and ahhs!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mini Chocolate lava cakes with bitter chocolate


-250g butter, softened

-100g granulated sugar (125ml)

-3 large eggs

-3 egg yolks

-500g chocolate, melted

-140g cake flour (250ml)

-100g pecan nuts, finely chopped (250ml optional)

-5ml vanilla essence

-180g good quality bitter chocolate broken into 6 x 30g squares

-250ml thick cream, whipped

-60g bitter chocolate, grated

Serves 6



1.Pre-heat oven to 180c. Grease 6 medium sized ramekin dishes or individual baking moulds. Place a piece of baking paper in the base of the dish.

2.Cream the butter and the sugar in the bowl of an electric food mixer. Mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

3.Add the eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

4.Add in the cooled melted chocolate and mix to blend in.

5.Add the flour, nuts and vanilla essence and mix just until the batter is blended.

6.Divide the mixture between the 6 prepared dishes.

7.Combination: Bake at 180c for 10-15 minutes, the mixture should still be soft. Remove from the oven and place a piece of chocolate into each half-baked cake, push down into the middle.

8.Return to the oven and bake a further 10-15 minutes until a skewer inserted in the side comes out clean. Do not insert in the middle as you will expose the chocolate.

9.Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate, remove paper round, and top with whipped cream and extra grated chocolate. Serve warm.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Ratatouille’s Ratatouille

Ratatouille’s Ratatouille


1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 cup tomato puree (such as Pomi)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant (my store sells these “Italian Eggplant”
that are less than half the size of regular ones; it worked perfectly)
1 smallish zucchini
1 smallish yellow squash
1 longish red bell pepper
Few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Few tablespoons soft goat cheese, for serving
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish, approximately 10 inches across the long way. Drop the sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in one tablespoon of the olive oil and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.

Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. As carefully as you can, trim the ends off the red pepper and remove the core, leaving the edges intact, like a tube.

On a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.

Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. You may have a handful leftover that do not fit.

Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs with your fingertips, running them down the stem. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dish.

Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside. (Tricky, I know, but the hardest thing about this.)

Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but with some structure left so they are not totally limp. They should not be brown at the edges, and you should see that the tomato sauce is bubbling up around them.

Serve with a dab of soft goat cheese on top, alone, or with some crusty French bread, atop polenta, couscous, or your choice of grain.


  • 6 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 medium green peppers, sliced
  • 6 fresh tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • ¼ tsp. tarragon
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. thyme
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ½ c. sherry wine


Steam all vegetables for 15 minutes. Dredge chicken in flour seasoned with tarragon, pepper, and thyme. Arrange chicken evenly on top of vegetables and sprinkle with paprika. Bake in 325 degree oven, covered, for 1 hour. Last 15 minutes, remove cover; add ½ cup sherry wine and bake at 400 degrees. Serves 8.

Nutritional Information

Calories 237; Total Fat 2g; % Fat 8; Cholesterol 66mg; Sodium 180mg


  • 1 1/3 c. onion, chopped
  • ¼ c. water
  • 3 c. fine noodles
  • 2 ¾ c. chicken stock
  • ½ tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 3 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 c. diced, cooked chicken (skin removed)
  • ½ c. sherry
  • 1 c. Homemade Sour Cream (Click HERE for Homemade Sour Cream recipe)
  • ¼ c. sesame seeds


Brown onion in ¼ cup water. Add noodles, chicken stock, lemon peel, and parsley. Bring to boil. Cover and cook slowly over low heat about 20 minutes or until noodles are done. Add sour cream, sherry, and chicken. Top with sesame seeds. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Serves 8.

Nutritional Information

Calories 277; Total Fat 5g; % Fat 11; Cholesterol 67mg; Sodium 198mg

Six rules for the best iced tea plus recipes

By Christine Picheca
Recipes by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Perfecting your own iced tea recipe means using less sugar than store-bought mix. Here are 6 rules to guarantee a crowd-pleasing iced tea.
Iced tea is a favourite summer sipper and easy to make from scratch. You probably already have everything you need in your cupboards right now to whip up a tasty pitcher of iced tea. All it takes is a few tea bags, water and a bit of sugar and you are on your way. Making iced tea from scratch also lets you control the amount of sugar you use, or you can skip the sugar altogether and just add lemon for a tart, thirst-quenching drink.

1. Use enough tea bags
When foods are served cold, the flavours become dull. A stronger tea - such as Darjeeling, Jasmine or green teas - is necessary to have a well-flavoured tea served cold. Use two tea bags for every 3 cups of water for best results.

2. Don't oversteep

If you prefer your tea stronger, use more tea bags rather than lengthening the steeping time. Allowing tea to overstep brings out the tannins in the tea and can make it bitter. For weaker tea, reduce the steeping time rather than taking away tea bags for better flavour.

3. Add sugar to hot water
If you sweeten your tea, add the sugar to the hot tea in order to dissolve the grains. If you prefer to sweeten your tea afterwards as per each persons taste, use a simple syrup rather than granulated sugar which will leave sugar grains in your glass.

4. Cool before refrigerating
Putting hot tea into a cold fridge will make your tea cloudy. Allow your tea to cool before you refrigerate. If you do end up with cloudy tea, try adding a bit of boiling water to it – it will sometimes do the trick!

5. Keep it real
Don't use artificial lemon juice. Only use real fresh squeezed lemon juice from fresh lemons for the very best flavour.

6. Fresh is best
Iced tea taste best when it is freshly made. Make only what you will drink in two or three days. It's easy to make, so don't worry about having to mix up another batch!

Top secret iced tea ingredient: Sugar syrup
Keep this easy to make sugar syrup on hand to sweeten tea. It combines with cold tea much better than sugar.

In a measuring cup, whisk together 1 cup (250 mL) each granulated sugar and boiling water until clear and the sugar is dissolved. Makes 1-1/2 cups (375 mL)

Iced tea recipes by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Amarula and White Chocolate Cheesecake


- 200 g ginger biscuits, crumbed
- 80 g butter, melted
- 690 g cream cheese
- 250 ml castor sugar
- 80 ml Amarula
-160 g white chocolate, grated
- Fresh berries


Mix ginger biscuits with butter and press the crumbs into a spring form tin (20cm) and allow to rest for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
Combine the cream cheese, castor sugar, Amarula and 80 g white chocolate.
Pour into the spring form tin and refrigerate overnight.
Decorate with the rest of the white chocolate, garnish with fresh berries and serve.