asimaarora

Roasted Cherry Tomato Tart with Asparagus and Greek Feta

Summertime cuisine always reminds me of easy and quick dinners and eating alfresco on the patio, enjoying the outdoors.  How about you?  Do you enjoy cooking in the summer or grilling every meal outdoors?  I must admit that I still look to cook no matter the heat but my focus shifts to meals that can be easily eaten outdoors and are more portable.  Foods that complement a big summer salad and other grilled sides.
Fresh asparagus, tomatoes, and all the summer fruit, I love eating, cooking, and baking with it all!
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I was in for a real treat this month with a beautiful selection of products from Italy and from Indonesia.  I love that every month I get to go on a culinary world tour and try a new condiment or cuisine staple.  It makes cooking all that more exciting and gives new meaning to #PlayWithYourFood with the PC Black Label Collection!  Let’s explore this month’s box:
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Milled specially for pasta dough, this “00” flour is the finest grade of flour cold-milled in Italy. With a silky soft texture, it’s perfect for creating traditional fresh pasta and gnocchi dishes for a taste of Italy from your very own kitchen.

Commonly used in Balinese cuisine, this intensely flavourful sambal matah is a sweet chili condiment made with cherry peppers, shallots, garlic and lemongrass. Excellent in curries, it also lends rich, spicy flavour to coconut rice and grilled fish. Imported from Indonesia.

PC Roasted Cherry Tomatoes:

When sweet Italian-grown cherry tomatoes are slow-roasted in the oven for eight hours, the bright juices concentrate into deep, rich savoury flavours. Bottled in extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oil with garlic oregano and basil, these roasted cherry tomatoes make a mouthwatering addition to pizzas, salads, panini sandwiches or antipasti platters.
Eating seasonal produce is easy to do in Canada and we are spoiled with such beautiful produce in the summer months that is grown right here in our backyards, and what

better than to pair in-season asparagus with this month’s PC Roasted Cherry Tomatoes .

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This is an easy summer tart that truly shows off beautiful produce and it’s the perfect meal.  I have paired the PC Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with creamy Greek feta cheese, crisp asparagus and fresh oregano and thyme all nestled into a buttery puff pastry tart.  I encourage you to play with your food and experiment in the kitchen with these wonderful products.

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I hope you enjoy the recipe and as always, I would love to see your recreations. Simply hashtag your creations #hautesucre on social media channels.

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.

(This post is sponsored by President’s Choice. I used their to PC Roasted Cherry Tomatoes to make this beautiful Roasted Cherry Tomato Tart.)

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Roasted Cherry Tomato Tart with Asparagus and Greek Feta Recipe20180607154231_IMG_6811

Ingredients:

 1 sheet PC Butter Puff Pastry
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 cup goat/sheep’s feta PC Goat’s Milk Feta Cheese
1/2 cup PC Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 large organic egg
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Fresh oregano
Fresh thyme

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°F

1. Line an 8″ pie tray or tart ring with the puff pastry sheet, trim the edges to fit. Reserve the excess dough for a braided crust, if desired.

2. Layer the thinly sliced asparagus into the base of the tart.  Sprinkle over the feta cheese.

3. Arrange the roasted cherry tomatoes over top and drizzle 1 tblsp if the reserved oil from the jar over top.

4. Sprinkle fresh oregano and thyme leaves over the tart. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

5. In a small bowl, whisk the cream, egg, garlic cloves, salt and pepper.

6. Remove the tart and pour over the whisked cream mixture.

7. Transfer to a preheated oven 450°F and bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is cooked through. Let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

8. Serve with a side salad. Enjoy!

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Tofu Breakfast Tacos with Orange Slaw

Breakfast is one of my favourite meals of the day and I’m always excited to prepare new and healthy alternatives.

My take on healthy tacos for breakfast include pan fried chipotle spiced tofu with the most amazing orange cabbage slaw.  These are delicious and easy to whip up for a weekday breakfast and a real crowd-pleaser for those big weekend brunches.

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I have partnered with Tropicana Canada for this recipe using Tropicana Pure Premium® Orange Juice. I made the orange cabbage slaw with Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice.  It’s the perfect alternative to limes as it gives the tacos the sweetness that matches the spicy tofu perfectly.  It’s a match made in culinary heaven!

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Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice is always on my table for breakfast.  With no artificial sweeteners,  flavours or preservatives, I feel comfort in knowing that I am getting my additional vitamins (Vitamin C, Potassium and Folic Acid).  It is also becoming a favourite recipe add-in for me as it’s so versatile and I use it to bake and cook, too.

I hope you’ll try them out and if you do, please share them with me using my hashtag #hautesucre, I would love to see them. Make these for your next brunch, they’re sure to become your new favourite, get the recipe below.

Tofu Breakfast Tacos with Orange Slaw Recipe

Orange Cabbage Slaw:

2 cups sliced purple cabbage
1/4 cup Tropicana orange juice 1 tblsp raw sugar
1 tsp kosher salt

In a large bowl toss the ingredients to combined and set aside.

Chipotle Spiced Tofu:

350g ~ 1 package extra firm tofu, chopped
into small squares
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dried chipotle peppers
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp tumeric
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tblsp tomato paste

Garnishes :

Cilantro
Sliced avocados
Sour cream
Salsa

6-8 Corn Tortillas

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat a large skillet and add the olive oil spices, and tomato paste.
  2. Cook for 2 minutes on med high until the cumin seeds start to sputter.
  3. Add the chopped tofu and warm through for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with sprigs of cilantro.
  5. Over a flame or in a skillet, warm up the corn tortillas and set aside.

Assembly:

  1. Place one tortilla on a plate and layer with the tofu mixture and top with the orange cabbage slaw.
  2. Add slices of avocado and dollops of sour cream.
  3. Serve immediately. Great to serve family style and everyone can help themselves.

Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins 

Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins Recipe

Whether you call them muffins, cupcakes or banana bread, they’re all delicious!  We had a debate as to whether or not these classified as muffins and my now 7 year old was quick to point out that there was no icing so indeed these were muffins. Ha ha!  Nothing like the wisdom of a 7 year old to put it straight sometimes.

This is a quick 5 minute, one bowl recipe and you can even have your kids mix it all up together.  It’s best to have all the ingredients ready if you plan to do that.  You can also make this into a quick bread recipe, although the bake time will be doubled .  I like them as muffins as they bake quickly and are great for quick snacks and lunch boxes.

I’ve added the pecans as an additional, optional topping but they taste good without them too as I made half a batch without.  You can also replace with hazelnuts or walnuts for a different flavour.

I used Lindt dark chocolate couveture callets and left them whole as they are wonderful melted through when you take a warm bite, as you can see in the photo below.

I also added Callebaut white chocolate callets that look more like chocolate chips.  I prefer this brand as it has a nice balanced sweetness that goes well with baked goods.  This being said, you can use whatever you have in your pantry i.e. regular chocolate chips, but the taste of the chocolate is really amplified with couveture.

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

Keep an eye out as I will be hosting a giveaway over the next few days…stay tuned!

Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins Recipe

Makes 12 

Bake @350°F for 30 min


Ingredients:

2 to 3 very ripe bananas, peeled
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup white chocolate, chopped
Pecans (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line 12 muffin cups
  2. In a large bowl mash the bananas and whisk in the butter, olive oil, sugar and maple syrup.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and ground cinnamon.
  4. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and whisk gently until combined.
  5. Fold in the dark chocolate and white chocolate.
  6. Scoop 1/3 cup of batter into each lined cupcake cavity and top with pecans if desired.
  7. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  8. Let cool on a wire rack or eat warm with a cold glass of milk. Enjoy!

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!

Austin, Texas 

Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Austin, Texas in partnership with Visit The USA, Official USA Travel Guide to American Holidays.

I had heard and researched great things about Austin’s food and music scene snd was really excited to visit as it would be my first time visiting Texas. I had little or no idea what to expect.

I flew into Austin on the first of September, expecting a cool, summer-is-almost over feel, but boy was I wrong! Upon leaving the airport, I was welcomed with a hot breeze, cowboy boots, and sweet southern music! The people were so friendly and helpful in directing me to my hotel downtown.

We checked into the Hilton Austin on 4th Street, close to the hustle and bustle of downtown Austin.

We enjoyed some drinks whilst admiring the city views from the 25th floor lounge before heading out for the night.

We had dinner reservations at the highly acclaimed Uchiko,  which serves upscale Japanese farmhouse cuisine. We had tried various menu items and the desserts were out of this world!

As a pastry chef, I enjoyed them immensely and appreciated the various techniques that were showcased. Overall, the service and food were excellent and the ambiance was lovely.

The following day, we had brunch at the Magnolia Cafe, a classic 24 hour eatery which serves Southwestern/Mexican food.  My particular favourites were the migas, huevos rancheros, sweet hibiscus ice teas and the yummy grapefruit mimosas. This place was full of locals and definitely a classic Austin eatery with good eats!

After brunch, we headed out to do some shopping on South Congress Avenue, a favourite spot among tourists. We visited some interesting eclectic shops filled with a wide vaiety from vintage props to old fashioned candies to Mexican dolls.

After purchasing some cool souvenirs and candy, we headed out in search of tacos for lunch.

I had heard about the infamous Torchy’s Tacos and couldn’t wait to try them.  My favorites included the Baja Shrimp and the Democrat!  What a fun place!

We continued shopping along the South Congress strip after brunch stopping in some very nice retail clothing shops when all of a sudden, it started to storm like crazy.  That’s Austin weather for you, sunny one minute and hailing rain the next!

We ran for cover and ducked into a cute coffee shop called Mañana, a great little shop with a cozy atmosphere and very chic vibe. I tried some silky cortados with strawberry Macarons. Yum! I’m so happy that we stumbled upon it!

After a full day of walking under the Texan sun, we headed back to the hotel to relax and enjoy some snacks and cocktails in the Hilton hotel’s lounge.

Dinner was at the infamous Barley Swine headed by Chef Bryce (he was named Food & Wine’s best chef in 2010.) We were seated at the Chef’s table with a great view of the kitchen. It was a delight to watch the magic of the kitchen happen right before our eyes. Beautiful plates of food being served one course after the other.

Some of my favourites included the Hatch chile cheese pretzel, Akaushi Ribeye with corn pudding and bone marrow marrow hash as well as dessert; the lime mallow sorbet with cucamelon and olive oil cake and the Mango Koji rice pudding. A not to be missed restaurant!

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel and crossed through the infamous 6th Street in downtown Austin.  The hustle and bustle of the bars, clubs and loud music keeps this street alive until the wee hours of the morning. Popular amongst the students from University of Texas and tourists alike.

We reached our destination Voodoo Doughnuts, a 24 hour bakeshop. I finally had the chance to try these colourful, creative and quirky doughnuts and they did not disappoint!

The next day we walked our way around the city and explored Lady Bird Lake where we walked along the trail to the boardwalk. The lake is beautiful and it’s a great place where locals go to workout, kayak or stroll.

After a lovely walk through the city and visiting the Texas State Capitol, we ventured over to Second Bar & Kitchen for some amazing cocktails paired with a burger, fried chicken and biscuits for lunch. One of my favourite spots.

After lunch, we stopped into Con’ Olio Oils & Vinegars,  a lovely local foodie shop in downtown Austin selling a wide range of high quality olive oils and balsamic vinegars. We learned about how they are made and had an opportunity to do a tasting. We puchased a few lovely flavours such as Grapefruit balsamic and South African Chili oil. Can’t wait to pair them with my meals.

A great place to relax and grab a drink is the historical Moonshine Patio Bar serving classic American food and drinks. With an equally delicious cocktail menu, it’s hard not to find a favourite. I’m still dreaming and missing this Bourbon Renewal!🍹❤ The Bourbon Renewal quickly became my favourite drink which is made with Rye, créme de cassis, lemon and Angostura! Yum!😋

Moonshine Patio Bar also serve a tasty buffet style brunch on Sundays worth checking out, but get there early as the line ups can be very long (mostly filled with locals, they know good food!)

Another dinner restaurant worth mentioning is Emmer & Rye by Chef Kevin Fink on the ever popular Rainey St. We chose this restaurant as Chef Fink was named Best Chef of 2016 by Food & Wine.

Dishes are served small plate and dimsum style. Truly farm to table cuisine worth sharing that showcases up to 15 different kinds of grains milled in their kitchen, which demonstrates Chef Fink’s  passion for incorporating local ingredients into his cuisine.

For dessert, I tried the cocoa bean ice cream with red fife cookies. A great twist on a classic with this hearty grain, a nice highlight dessert on my trip.

Further down Rainey Street there are more bars and food trucks that are worth checking out for quick fare ranging from Grilled Cheese to Indian to Greek. It’s a really lively street lined with bars and lounges, similar to 6th Street but with a slightly older vibe (post graduate crowd).

Another cafe that is hip and upcoming is Launderette, which is a converted gas station serving gourmet new American fare such as Fried chicken and Asparagus eggs Benny.  The food was hearty and delicious with another great cocktail list, including the Rose Grapefruit cocktail which was the perfect accompaniment to the hot weather.

Not to be missed and truly Texan is the BBQ scene! While there are plenty of places to choose from,  I had the pleasure of trying La Barbecue and it did not disappoint but be prepared to wait as there are long wait times, but it’s worth it!

Be sure to try the Valrhona 70% chocolate gelato from Gelateria Gemelli next door. It’s the perfect afternoon treat!

Austin was a great experience for a city girl like me. The food scene is amazing and the city is really up and coming. There is new construction everywhere and you can feel the tech boom moving in.

It has a great vibe and I highly recommend visiting it, especially if you’re into the music scene. There are many amazing music festivals that I would love to catch on my next trip, until next time!

A special thank you to Visit The USA and Visit Austin for this opportunity and the hospitable staff at the Hilton Austin for a great stay.

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

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Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Wet Ingredients:

1 zucchini, shredded
Pinch of fleur de sel (sea salt)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup plain 2% yogurt

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean (or extract)
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of fleur de sel (sea salt)

1/2 cup Guittard super cookie chips or any other dark chocolate,  chopped

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°F, prepare 12 baking cups or cupcake liners

1. In a large bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and whisk well.

2. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients and mix slowly, careful to not create any air bubbles.

3. Add the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate and gently fold into the batter.

4. Measure 1/4 cup of batter into each baking cup for 12.

5. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove and let completely cool.

6. Dust with powdered sugar or top with your favourite buttercream.
Enjoy!

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Aquafaba Meringue:

1/2 cup of strained chickpea water (from a can)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean

1. In a stand mixer, whisk the aquafaba, salt and cream of tartar on medium until frothy.

2. Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue mixing on high speed until you reach a meringue consistency, approximately 15 minutes.

3.Add the vanilla and whisk until combined.

4. Pipe or spoon the meringue over the tops of the cooled cupcakes.
Enjoy!

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Cinnamon Waffles Recipe:

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Cinnamon Waffles Recipe:

1.5 cups ap flour (or gluten free flour mix)
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon powder or cinnamon extract
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp fleur de sel
2 organic free range eggs
1.25 cups skim milk or almond milk
1/8 cup almond oil or melted butter

Mix it all in a high speed blender and make the waffles accordingly.  Makes approx 6 medium sized waffles or 4 large. Enjoy!

*This batter can also be used for pancakes. Yum! 🙂

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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