dairyfree

Spicy Shrimp Scampi with Hot Cherry Peppers

Shrimp Pasta

(This post is sponsored by President’s Choice.  I used their PC Black Label Hot Cherry Peppers to make this Spicy Shrimp Scampi.)

After a nice long summer break, I’m back in the kitchen experimenting with my new October PC Black Label black box where I received two jars of condiments that can be eaten tapas style or included in a recipe.

PC Black Label Hot Cherry Peppers marinated in oil are the perfect accompaniment for pizzas, pastas, grilled meats and seafood.  I was particularly fond of this as I love using a wide variety of peppers in various dishes and this one is the perfect addition to this Spicy Shrimp Scampi recipe that I’m sharing with you.

PC Black Label Borettane Onions  are tasty and can be used with many dishes or served as apart of an antipasto platter.  I have tried them on their own and in a quiche and they have a unique balsamic vinegar flavour that isn’t too overpowering, but very pleasant and mild.

I decided to shake up my favourite shrimp scampi recipe and added the PC Black Label Hot Cherry Peppers into the mix, it takes the dish to a whole new level!  It is simple, quick and packed with flavour,  its perfect for an easy weeknight meal or for a romantic date-night dinner served with your favourite wine.

I used the PC Gigantico Raw Zipperback Black Tiger Shrimp as I prefer the larger variety of shrimp in this recipe as it carries well as a main dish.

Spicy Shrimp

Whether you’re a home chef or an aspiring foodie, the PC Black Label Collection makes it easy to unleash your culinary curiosity and get creative. Discover the entire collection and be inspired to #PlayWithYourFood at pc.ca/blacklabel.

Spicy Shrimp Scampi with Hot Cherry Peppers Recipe

Serves 3-4

Spicy Shrimp:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 2 tblsp butter
  • 25 large sized shrimp, deveined and dried, tails left on (PC Gigantico Raw Zipperback Black Tiger Shrimp)
  • 3 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tblsp tomato paste, double concentrate
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Ingredients

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil over high heat.
  2. Add the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes
  3. Add the garlic cloves and mix thoroughly.
  4. Now add the shrimp and stir the mixture a few times to ensure the shrimps are coated with sauce, about 3 minutes.
  5. Flip the shrimp over and cook a few more minutes until they’re done.
  6. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Spicy Shrimp

Scampi Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 3 tblsp olive oil
  • 3 tblsp butter
  • 2 tsp raw sugar
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 6 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • PC Black Label Hot Cherry Peppers chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Tblsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 500g of spaghetti cooked in salted water

Butter and garlic

Directions:

  1. In the same large skillet, add the olive oil, butter and tomato paste. Stir to combine.
  2. Add the cherry tomatoes and raw sugar and cook 5 minutes until they burst open.
  3. Add the garlic and chopped cherry peppers and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the salt, pepper, and white wine. Cook on medium heat and reduce the wine to cook out the alcohol, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Set aside and boil your pasta. Do not wash the skillet.
  6. Boil 500g of spaghetti in salted water
  7. Once the pasta is cooked, transfer it to the skillet along with the chopped parsley. Toss to coat the pasta completely with the sauce. Cover and let it rest for 5 minutes to absorb the flavours.
  8. Transfer the pasta to a platter or to individual plates and top with the shrimp.
  9. Drizzle over the leftover sauce from the shrimp and serve.  Enjoy!

Scampi

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Chocolate Hazelnut Granola

Granola is one of my favourite things to eat in the morning with fresh homemade yogurt or thick Greek style yogurt. I didn’t always like yogurt or granola, it all started 7 years ago when I was pregnant with my son…talk about cravings!

I was visiting my friend Penny in Chicago and quickly got addicted to a local made chocolate granola. Needless to say, I packed up a suitcase worth to take home and to eat for the duration of my pregnancy haha and she was nice enough to mail me a quick fix when I ran out.

Eventually I started making my own with a newborn in tow, in between naps and feedings. I have so many recipes 7 years later but this one is a definite favourite. I love hazelnuts and I love chocolate, so what could be better! Even my son loves it!😉

Chocolate Hazelnut Granola Recipe

Preheat oven to 350°F

Line a baking sheet lined with parchment

Ingredients

3 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup dark cocoa powder

1 tsp ground vanilla bean

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1/4 tsp kosher Salt

2 tblsp almond oil

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/8 cup water

1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped

1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped

Instructions:

In a large bowl combine the oats, cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Mix well.

Add the almond oil, maple syrup and water. Mix until all the oats are saturated.

Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 10 min.

Remove and add the chopped hazelnuts.

Return to the oven and bake another 10 minutes.

Turn the oven off and leave in for 5-10 minutes more.

Remove and let it cool completely.

Add the chopped chocolate and transfer the granola to a large mason or weck jar.

Enjoy with milk, yogurt or with your favourite dessert as a topping.

Blueberry and Hazelnut Crostata 

Crostata evokes many memories of a summer semester I spent in Bologna, Italy when I was backpacking in Europe as a university student. I spent most of my hard-earned money on eating and sightseeing and I fondly remember all the bakeries serving many variations of this infamous Italian Tart. Plums, berries, apples, grapes all made their way into these traditional crostatas bursting with homemade jams, flaky and buttery crusts liberally dusted with icing sugar.

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I used to walk through the streets sightseeing and eating my crostata with icing sugar dusting my face, a happy memory! I had a sweet tooth and couldn’t resist trying all the delicacies in the dozens of pastry shops that lined the streets.

When E.D.SMITH contacted me to collaborate on their fall campaign to celebrate their 135th birthday, I was delighted as it brought back memories of baking as a child with my mum. We used to love using their pie fillings and their jams were a staple in our house.

E.D.SMITH is an iconic Canadian food brand with roots dating back to 1882 and is currently the #1 pie filling in Canada and the largest Canadian manufacturer of jams and fruit spreads.

For their fall campaign, E.D.SMITH is inspiring the newest generation of Canadian home cooks to look past traditional jam on toast and plain pies to get creative with E.D.SMITH’s products.

My mission is to inspire you to explore the versatility of their products and show you how E.D.SMITH’s pie fillings and Triple Fruits spreads can fit within your lifestyle and today’s food trends.

I love a good challenge and what better way than to recreate one of my favourite desserts, a fruit filled crostata! A traditional crostata is an open-faced fruit tart, often with a decorative lattice top and made with a homemade jam.

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I particularly enjoy E.D.SMITH’s Blueberry Pie Filling and thought it would be a great swap out for a traditional blueberry jam. As we head into the fall season, I made this crostata with the addition of ground hazelnuts as it gives the crust a gently nutty bite and it complements the Blueberry Pie Filling nicely. If hazelnuts are not to your liking, they can easily be replaced with ground almonds.

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The addition of nuts in the pastry dough, coupled with the yolks creates a well rounded, rich crust that pairs nicely with the pie filling making you want to savour each bite.

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This Blueberry and Hazelnut Crostata is sure to become your favourite too. It’s a delicious twist on a traditional, familiar dessert with a delicate lattice topping. I hope you enjoy making it as much as I do.

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Blueberry and Hazelnut Crostata Recipe

Pastry Crust Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup ground hazelnuts (or almonds)

3 Tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp citrus zest (lemon, orange or grapefruit)

1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean (or extract)

Pinch of ground cinnamon

3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, chopped

1 large egg + 1 yolk

3/4 can of E.D.SMITH Blueberry Pie Filling

Egg wash (1 egg + 2 tsp water)

9″ Fluted round tart pan with a removal bottom

Directions:

  1. In a stand up mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, add the flour, ground hazelnuts, sugar, salt, zest, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix on low until combined.
  2. Add the chopped butter and egg yolk, and mix until combined. Do not overmix as you still want to see bits of butter throughout.
  3. On a clean surface roll out 2 sheets of cling wrap and place the dough in the centre and gently form a disk. Flatten, cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F
  5. Roll out the pastry dough on a floured surface to approximately 14-16″ in diameter and l/2” thickness. Gently transfer it to the tart pan and press into the pan, bringing the dough up to the sides.
  6. With a sharp knife, cut off the excess dough and reserve to make a lattice top.
  7. Add the E.D.SMITH Blueberry Pie Filling into the base.
  8. Roll out the excess dough and using a fluted pastry wheel cut strips to place over top the filled pastry.
  9. In a crisscross pattern overlap the strips and crimp the edges.
  10. *Alternate method; on a flour dusted parchment sheet you can create your lattice top pattern and chill it for 15 minutes. Gently flip it over-top the tart, sealing the edges and discarding any excess dough.
  11. Brush with the egg wash and bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes or until golden.
  12. Remove and place on a baking rack to completely cool.
  13. Remove the tart ring and dust generously with icing sugar and cut into slices. Enjoy!

*The Crostata will keep for 4-5 days in an airtight container, refrigerated.

Healthy Coconut Cream Dark Chocolate Cups 

Healthy Coconut Cream Dark Chocolate Cups Recipe:

Ingredients:

2 cups Lindt dark chocolate couveture, melted + tempered, 70% + 56%)

1 cup coconut cream (thick)

1 tblsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean 

Fleur de sel 

Coconut chips
Directions:

Melt chocolate and set aside.

Mix coconut cream, maple syrup + vanilla- refrigerate.

Line 12 cupcake tins with liners and scoop 1 tblsp of melted chocolate, bringing up the sides to cover most of the liner.  

Refrigerate or cool until set.

Scoop 1- 2 tsp of coconut cream mixture into chocolate lined cup and tap gently. 

Let chill for 5 minutes and then pour melted chocolate over top and working quickly to spread it evenly over the coconut cream to set. 

Sprinkle with fleur de sel and top with dried coconut chips. Chill until firm. 

Enjoy!

Hazelnut Mylk Recipe (vegan, gluten free)

Good Morning and Happy Friday!

I just made another batch of delicious Hazelnut Mylk…this must be my second batch this week, it’s THAT good,  I’m so addicted!😋

Another wonderful alternative to dairy milk, this tastes amazing on its own or in your favourite hot beverage.  My son loves this milk for his hot chocolates and I’m enjoying it with my coffee.  My husband loves an ice cold glass, it’s very refreshing!

See my recipe below if you’re interested in making your own. I’d love to hear from you, tag your creations with #hautesucre, I’d love to see them! 🙂

Recipe for Hazelnut Mylk.

(Makes approximately 3 cups)

1 cup hazelnuts, soaked for 1 hr and drained

3 cups of filtered water

3 tblsp maple syrup

Pinch of vanilla bean

Pinch of fleur de sel

Method:

Add all of the ingredients to a high speed blender and process until smooth.

Pass through a nut milk bag or ultra fine sieve and strain as much liquid as possible.

Reserve the ground nuts for another use  (such as my pumpkin pie with hazelnut Crust!)

Transfer to a glass bottle, will keep for a few days, refrigerated. Best served ice cold, enjoy!

Roasted Rhubarb with Nuts + Oats

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Roasted Rhubarb with Nuts + Oats

Ingredients::

7 stalks of rhubarb, cleaned and chopped
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/8 tsp fleur de del
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean
1/4 cup water

Topping :

1 granny smith apple, sliced or chopped
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup Hazelnuts
1/4 cup Pistachios
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup unsalted cold butter, chopped

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Recipe:

Preheat oven to 400°F

Place the rhubarb in an even layer in a baking dish.

In a small bowl combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon and vanilla.

Sprinkle over the rhubarb and add the chopped apple or arrange along the perimeter as I have done in the photo.

Pour the water around the base.

For the top layer, sprinkle the oats evenly and repeat with the nuts.

Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and dot with the chopped butter.

Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Also great for breakfast with Greek yogurt or as a topping over your favourite ice cream. Enjoy! 🙂

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Tips for Hosting a Successful Dinner Party

I recently held a backyard bbq dinner party to celebrate the changing of the seasons in partnership with Cascade Platinum #sparklingclean.

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I had the opportunity to put the product to the test and I must say, I’m impressed! Not only did it remove the hard, cooked on food residue, it left all of my dishes sparking clean!

In order to host a successful dinner party, there are a few rules that are important to follow in my repertoire.  I’ve hosted numerous parties, whether they’re fancy affairs or simple gatherings, it all boils down to a few essential steps and making sure you’re always prepared.  I share my views with fellow Chef, Michael Smith who offers a few essential entertaining tips below:

1. Spend Time To Save Time:
Prep as much as you can in advance, from setting the table to prepping food. This allows you      to spend more time with your guests entertaining, instead of being in the kitchen.

2. Make Your Guests Feel Special:
It’s important to go the extra mile in making your guests feel special.  I love to decorate the house with fresh flowers, music, lovely table setting and sparkling dishes.

3. Clean As You Go:
While cooking, load the dishwasher so that you don’t have to do all the clean up after. This saves time and with Cascade Platinum, you don’t need to worry about pre-rinsing.

4. Share The Work:
Lighten the load and enlist the help of your guests if possible, this will help ensure the party runs smoothly between courses.

5. Grand Finale:
End the evening with a bang! Perhaps with a spectacular dessert, sparkling Champagne or a little gift for your guests, making the night memorable.

Here are a few highlights from our delicious backyard bbq dinner party. I’m so happy that my cleanup was made easy with the help of Cascade!

Rhubarb Lemonade:
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Marinated Garlic and Rosemary Lamb:
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Roasted Potatoes:
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Papaya Chicken with Roasted Cashews:
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Roasted Vegetables:
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Mexican Corn:
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Fire Grilled Jumbo Shrimps with Cilantro and Chipotle:
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Fresh Feta Salad:
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Mint and Cilantro Gremolata:
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*This post was sponsored by Cascade. All opinions are my own.

Almond Butter

Have you always wanted to make your own Almond Butter? Well now you can with a few simple steps + ingredients. It’s so delicious your first batch won’t last long! Enjoy! 🙂

Almond Butter Recipe:

1 cup of raw almonds (preferably organic)
1/2 tsp fleur de sel or Cyprian sea salt
1 tblsp almond oil (or coconut oil)
1 tblsp honey
1/4 tsp ground vanilla beans

*high speed blender such as a Vitamix or Nutribullet.

1 cup measure glass jar/bottle (such as a mason jar) sterilized, dry

Blend the almonds to a smooth paste, add the salt, almond oil, honey, and vanilla beans and blitz again until incorporated and completely smooth.
Transfer it to a sterilized jar and refrigerate.

Tastes great with toast, in your favourite smoothie or as a substitute for peanut butter. Healthy and delicious. Enjoy!

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Apple Pie

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For some, Autumn is a sad reminder that summer is over, but for me it is the pleasant and sweet smell of caramelized apples oozing out of the pie crust. Just as the leaves are starting to turn colour and start to fall to the ground; the orchards are filled with ripe apples to be picked and the air becomes cool and crisp.

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Autumn also reminds me of when I arrived in Paris at the beginning of a new adventure as I was about to start the fall semester at the Le Cordon Bleu. One of the first things I learnt to make at Le CordonBleu was an apple tart baked in a bottomless ring.

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Some of the simple techniques I learned  included how to properly peel and slice an apple; the perfect thickness of the slice and the most presentable size. So many miniscule details to make the perfect dessert.

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All of these things stay with you and sometimes when you bake familiar things, it evokes these wonderful memories and take your dessert to a whole new level.

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Last week I baked an apple pie with my 4 year old son,  Xander.  He loves to help in the kitchen and he has a soft spot for pies, especially in his tummy.  I’m so impressed that he’s almost mastered crimping the pie shell.  I hope he will remember and cherish these memories that we are creating together and I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. :)🍏🍎

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Apple Pie Recipe:

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Pie Crust:

Makes 2 single crusts or 1 double crust

2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tblsp sugar
1 cup butter
1/4 cup or less cold water

Pulse the flour, salt, sugar and butter. Slowly add just enough water until the dough is combined.

Flatten and chill until ready to use.

Blind bake at 400F for 20 min or until brown 
*Do not pre-bake for Apple tart or Apple Pie

Apple Pie Filling:

4-5 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (any variety but I generally use a mix of red + green)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tblsp maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
2 tblsp flour
1 tblsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup butter, chopped

For the top:

1/4 cup cream (or egg wash)
Raw sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425°F

In a large bowl, combine the apples, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon,  salt, vanilla and flour.  Toss to evenly combine and layer into the pie dish.  Dot with the chopped butter.

Roll out your second pie shell and crimp the edges with the base layer overhang to create a sealed crust.  If you have any pastry leftover, you can make cutouts and decorate the top.

If you want to keep your pie eggless,  brush cream all over the pie crust (and edges) with a pastry brush and generously sprinkle the raw sugar over top.

With a sharp knife, make slits in a decorative pattern and bake in your preheated oven for approximately 40 minutes or until the crust is golden.

Let cool before slicing.  Enjoy! 

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Puff Pastry Tarts

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I’m holding onto summer, the best way I know how.  To eat an abundance of in-season fruits and veggies and turning them into some of the easiest desserts ever, simple and delicious.
You don’t need a lot here, grab your favourite fresh fruits and some puff pastry and you’re ready to go!

This is a basic recipe for in season Ontario nectarines, sweet black mission figs and raspberries. You can’t go wrong with any combination.  Enjoy! 🙂

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Puff Pastry Tarts:

1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
3-4 nectarines,  sliced
5 black mission figs,  sliced
1/4 cup raspberries
1/4 cup blueberries
*Jam (optional)
Raw sugar for
Maple syrup (for the glaze)

Preheat oven to 425° F

Line a baking sheet with parchment and place the puff pastry on top.  With a sharp knife, section the sheet into 3 long rectangles.

Score the edges and top 2 rectangles with the sliced nectarines and raspberries or blueberries in desired pattern.

Arrange the sliced figs on the third and scatter with raspberries.
Sprinkle raw sugar over the top and bake for approx 25 minutes or until golden and the pastry has risen.
Glaze the top of the tarts with the maple syrup with a pastry brush.  Slice into pieces just before serving or when fruit has set.
Top with fresh whipped maple cream or serve with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.  Enjoy! 🙂

*optional ~ you can brush the base of the pastry with your favourite jam before topping with fruit.

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