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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.

DARK CHOCOLATE TART WITH TOASTED SESAME CARAMEL

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(This post is sponsored by President’s Choice.  I used their PC Black Label Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce to make this Dark Chocolate Tart).

Chocolate is one of my favourite ingredients to bake with and this deliciously easy tart is no exception.  I used dark chocolate as it pairs amazingly well with the Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce from #PresidentsChoice.

When I received this month’s box I was delighted to see 2 ingredients that I really love, which are Passion fruit and Caramel.  The PC Black Label Passion Fruit Condiment is quite heavenly in the sense that it works well as a vinaigrette poured onto salad or glazed on your BBQ shrimp.

 

The Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce is the perfect consistency of a runny caramel speckled with flecks of toasted sesame seeds (genius!) and pairs well with so many desserts including pouring it on your favorite ice cream, spread on crepes and my personal favourite used as a filling for a dark chocolate tart.

When I opened  jar of toasted sesame caramel, I was amazed how smooth the texture was and the right amount of sesame. Instantaneously, a thought of a traditional chocolate tart with caramel center emerged and I became challenged to make a tart that would compliment the sesame flavor. The idea of using dark chocolate was my first option as it is not overly sweet and would complement the sweet caramel. The toasted sesame hardly gets the attention it deserves as it flavor is not overbearing. The caramel sauce inspired me to decorate the tart with a hard set caramel, but can be served on its own or dusted with cocoa powder.

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Another suggestion if your willing to take a chance is to add espresso and cinnamon to the tart mixture.  I have fond memories of travelling through Italy and being served a dark chocolate square with my shot of espresso. The espresso’s bitterness is followed by a sweet but not having the fatty texture of milk chocolate to remove the after taste of the espresso. In this recipe, I have added both ingredients.

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As we roll into the second month of #PlayWithYourFood #PCBlackLabel campaign with #PresidentsChoice, I want to share some exciting news!  President’s Choice has offered to giveaway a #PCBLACKLABEL BLACK BOX for you to win on my Instagram account! You can win 2 delicious #PCBlackLabel products in addition to a $50 gift card! How exciting is that?  In order to enter the contest, you will need to go to my Instagram page.

The contest will run until June 28th at which time a winner will be selected randomly. Good luck!  *This contest is open to Canadian residents only.

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.

 

DARK CHOCOLATE TART WITH TOASTED SESAME CARAMEL RECIPE

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*  This recipe makes enough for a standard 8 to 9 inch round tart pan.

It’s important to use a spring form pan (or tart ring) with a removal base for easy baking and removal of the tart and source out high quality ingredients as it produces the best flavours and will quickly get noticed by your guests.

The steps are very straightforward and relatively easy to put together.  Just be sure to chill the tart dough until its firm enough for you to roll out. Once it’s baked, be sure it is completely cooled before adding the caramel sauce.  Finally, another important note is to ensure that the caramel is hardened (slightly) or really cold before adding the layer of chocolate ganache otherwise the chocolate will mix into the caramel.

Ingredients:

Tart Shell:

1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp fleur de sel or kosher salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of baking powder
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground espresso

Chocolate Ganache (Recipe below)

1 jar of  PC BLACK LABEL Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce

Instructions:

  1. Whisk all the ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Chop the butter and add it to the flour bowl mixture, crumbling it into the flour making pea sized crumbs.
  3. Work the ingredients quickly until they come together creating a pliable dough.  Do not over mix, you should still see little pats of butter throughout.
  4. Shape the dough into a disk and flatten
  5. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.

Chocolate Ganache:

1 cup cold whipping cream
2 cups dark chocolate, chopped

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, warm the cream until just boiling – about 1-2 minutes, depending on your microwave.
  2. Carefully remove and add the chopped chocolate.
  3. Let it sit for 1 minute.
  4. Whisk gently until incorporated and set aside.

Bake the Tart:

Preheat oven to 375°F

Butter an 8″ or 9″ spring form pan or tart ring and set aside.

  1. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to 1″ thickness and line the tart ring or pan. Ensure you bring up the dough on the sides that’s deep enough to hold the caramel filling and the chocolate ganache, approximately 2-3 inches in height.
  2. Use a fork and gently indent the dough all over to create tiny little holes.
  3. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until cooked through.
  4. With the back of a spoon, push down the base of the tart to ensure it is flat and no holes remain (they should be baked through).
  5. Let the tart shell cool completely.

Assembly:

  1. Pour the caramel in an even layer in the tart base and refrigerate or freeze until set and it’s no longer runny.
  2. Once chilled completely, remove and pour the chocolate ganache over top the caramel and smooth out with a spatula quickly as it will start immediately.
  3. Return to the refrigerator until completely set.
  4. Remove 20 minutes before serving and use a hot knife to slice through the tart.  Rinse the knife and repeat.  This ensures you get clean slices each time you cut into it.

Enjoy!

If you make this recipe please share and use my hashtag, #hautesucre on the social media channels, as I would love to see them!

 

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(This post is sponsored by President’s Choice.  I used their PC Black Label Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce to make this easy Dark Chocolate Tart.)

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!

Brown Butter Chocolate Krispie Squares 

Guys! I thought I’d share this quick recipe, it only takes 5 minutes!  I literally made these just before heading out the door for school pick up this afternoon and they made the best after school snacks.😋
I’ll be the first to admit I have a pet peeve – leftover cereal boxes piled up drive me crazy! My son loves buying cereal but after one bowl, he’s done with it!  Something about soggy cereal and milk…haha 😂

I took a mix of glutenfree cereals such as Choco Chimps by Nature’s Path Organic, Kellog’s Cocoa Rice Krispies and good ol’ Cheerios!  I didn’t add any chocolate to make these but if you feel the need, you could give them a good drizzle of melted dark chocolate or add in a handful of dark chocolate chips.  Enjoy!

*And don’t forget, if you make these using my recipe below, please tag them #hautesucre on your social media accounts as I would love to see them!😊

Brown Butter Chocolate Krispie Squares Recipe 

Makes 16 squares

Ingredients:

1/3 cup salted butter

2.5 cups marshmallows

Pinch of fleur de sel

1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean or extract

4-5 cups of mixed chocolate cereals of your choice or *as noted above

Method:

1. In a large bowl combine the mix of cereals and set aside.

2. Line a 9×9 square pan with parchment and set aside.

3. In a heated saucepan melt the butter until just golden and set off the heat, then add the vanilla, salt and marshmallows and mix quickly leaving a few marshmallows whole.

4. Pour the mixture into the bowl of cereals and mix quickly.

5. Transfer to the lined pan, pressing the mixture down evenly with the spatula.

6. Let cool and cut into squares. 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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