lunch

Whole Grain Orange Waffles

Waffles are a weekend treat at home and we love gathering around for big brunches with everyone. From sweet to savory, the options are endless. We love these whole grain waffles because they’re a healthy alternative as they’re made with whole wheat flour and our favourite Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice.

I feel better knowing I’m feeding my family a healthier option with the addition of Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice as it includes two servings of fruit per cup and we get the additional vitamin C and potassium in our waffles.

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But who are we kidding? I love orange juice and any way that I can incorporate it into my meal, I will. My two-year-old daughter will devour an entire waffle for breakfast and I don’t feel guilty serving them to my kids.

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Crowned with our favourite toppings, they’re the perfect cozy weekend brunch meal. To make it even more fun, I like to set up a mini fruit bar station for my kids that includes various berries, sliced oranges, nuts, whipped cream and maple syrup. And of course, we cannot forget the dusting of icing sugar that crowns the top!

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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.

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Whole Grain Orange Waffles Recipe

Makes 6 Waffles

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Organic Whole Wheat Flour

2 tblsp buttermilk powder

½ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp ground vanilla bean

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1 ¼ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

3 tblsp raw sugar

¾ cup Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice

1 large free range egg

3 tblsp unsalted butter, softened or melted

Toppings:

Fresh berries

Whipped cream

Icing sugar

Maple Syrup

Directions:

  1. In a high-speed blender mix all the ingredients in the order listed and mix on medium-high for 1 minute or until the ingredients are combined. Set aside.
  2. Preheat your waffle iron
  3. Add enough batter to the hot waffle iron (approximately ¾ cup) and cook until nice and golden.
  4. Transfer to a cooling rack and continue making the rest of the waffles
  5. Transfer one waffle to a plate and top with your desired toppings such as mixed berries, maple syrup and finish with whipped cream and a dusting of icing sugar.

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This post is sponsored by Tropicana Canada. I have partnered up with Tropicana Canada to bring you delicious new recipes that will highlight the goodness of cooking and baking with Tropicana Pure Premium® Orange Juice and how I enjoy it in my daily life.
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Orange Tea Cakes

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(This post is sponsored by Tropicana Canada. I have partnered up with Tropicana Canada to bring you delicious new recipes that will highlight the goodness of cooking and baking with Tropicana Pure Premium® Orange Juice and how I enjoy it in my daily life.)

I am a big advocate of orange juice, always have been. Not only do I love the refreshing taste but I enjoy the immense benefits it brings such as a daily dose of vitamin C. A lot of love into a 250ml glass of 100% Tropicana Pure Premium® Orange Juice. Each glass contains:

  • Two servings of fruit
  • Full day’s supply of Vitamin C
  • As much potassium as a medium banana

I have been buying Tropicana Pure Premium® Orange Juice for myself and my family for as long as I can remember as it is apart of our healthy diet. I never realized all the added benefits I was getting as we primarily drink it because it tastes good – the additional benefits are a bonus!

I love incorporating ingredients that I trust into my cooking and baked goods and this new recipe for Orange Tea Cakes is no exception. It’s delicious, straightforward and requires little fuss or expertise. As these are petit fours, you can be creative with your choice of molds. I have used mini madeleine molds, but you can also use mini savarin ring molds as well as mini muffin tins.

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 cookie exchange or holiday brunch, they’re sure to become your new holiday favourite, get the recipe below.

Orange Tea Cakes Recipe

Makes approximately 25 mini cakes

orange tea cakes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean or extract
zest of 1 small orange
1/3 cup Tropicana Premium Orange Juice
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350F Line a mini madeleine pan or mini muffin tray with butter. If using silicone bakeware, do not coat with butter, but place silicone moulds over a baking sheet for the oven. Best eaten on the day they’re baked.

  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking power, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar and beat on medium high for 3 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time and continue to beat for 5 minutes. You want the batter to be light and fluffy.
  4. Lower the speed on the stand mixer and pour in the vanilla, orange zest and orange juice, mix until combined.
  5. Keeping the mixer on the lowest speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined – do not over mix.
  6. With a small teaspoon or cookie scoop, transfer the batter to your mini cake pan and bake at 350F for 15 min or until slightly golden.
  7. Remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  8. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve.

Winter Spiced Shakshouka (Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce)

Winter Spiced Shakshouka

(This post is sponsored by the FeedFeed and Vitamix).

My favourite weekend brunch includes this Middle Eastern egg dish called Shakshouka. This dish is a feast for the palate with a myriad of spices simmered in a slow cooked tomato sauce with an abundance of chili’s, and topped with farm fresh eggs poached directly in the pan over this magical sauce. It’s adorned with an assortment of fresh herbs and sheep’s feta cheese.

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The inspiration for this dish came from a recent dinner I have with the FeedFeed and the Vitamix team here in Toronto a few weeks ago. It was a lovely dinner with the entire meal prepared with Vitamix’s Winter Spice Seasoning. Delicious notes of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns and dried oranges complemented and highlighted each course. It is such a lovely spice mix that I have incorporated it into my Shakshouka recipe and can’t wait to try it next in Indian spiced chai.

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This spice blend was made in my new beautiful A3500 Ascent series Vitamix machine and took less than five minutes to make! This machine is a workhorse and has been an absolute delight to use.

The features for this machine are outstanding, I’ve never had a smoothie so rich and smooth and ready in under 1 minute. My kids love it and with the pre-set program settings it’s so easy for them to use!

I hope you enjoy the recipe and when you make it, please tag me on my social channels with my hashtag, #hautesucre as I would love to see your recreations.

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Winter Spiced Shakshouka Recipe

The Shakshouka sauce can be made ahead of time especially if you’re making it for a large crowd and want to prep in advance. It can be warmed up to a gentle boil, ensuring the sauce is bubbling so that the eggs set. You want the whites to be just set while the yolks are still soft and runny. There’s no other way to serve this other than with a nice chunk of bread to scoop up the sauce.

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 chiles or 1jalapeños, finely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp sugar
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp Winter Spice Seasoning
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp red chili powder (spicy kind)
1 tbsp. paprika
2 cups crushed tomatoes (passata)
2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup water
4-6 large eggs
2 tbsp cilantro, dill, parsley, chopped

2 Tblsp Sheep’s Feta Cheese
Fresh crusty bread or pita

Directions:

  • In a deep skillet, heat the olive oil, add onions and sugar and cook about 6 minutes until translucent (do not brown)
  • Add crushed garlic, chopped chillies, and cumin seeds ~ fry 2 minutes.
  • Add the Winter Spice mix and the rest of the ground spices and cook 3 minutes, stirring to incorporate everything.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, chickpeas and 1/4 cup water (if using passata, do not add additional water). Cover and cook for about 10-15 min.
  • Smooth mixture into base of skillet and gently crack 4-6 eggs on top. Spoon some of the tomato sauce over and around the eggs. Immediately cover and cook approx 4-5 min or until eggs are cooked through to your desired preference (runny or semi solid yolk).
  • With a large spatula, gently remove sauce and eggs onto plates and top with chopped herbs and serve with crusty bread or pita. Enjoy!

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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.

Summer Zucchini Tart

image Recipe: 1 sheet of puff pastry,  thawed 1 large zucchini,  sliced into thin ribbons with a mandolin 100 grams sheep’s feta Fleur de sel (or kosher salt) Fresh black pepper Herbs de Provence Olive oil Fresh rosemary sprigs Preheat oven to 425° F Line a baking sheet with parchment Roll out your puff pastry and sprinkle some feta and drizzle a little bit of olive oil. Place an even layer of zucchini ribbons over the pastry and  then sprinkle with salt, pepper,  herbs de Provence, olive oil,  and feta. Repeat layers with remaining zucchini. Top with fresh rosemary sprigs and bake for approx 25 min or until golden brown and the pastry has risen. Slice when slightly cooled. Great as a main or as an appetizer. Enjoy! 20140724-143555-52555255.jpg

Garlic Scapes and Eggs

Garlic Scapes and Eggs

Serves 2

1 tblsp olive oil
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 Garlic Scapes, chopped
2 small green chilies, thinly sliced
2-4 eggs
Aged Gouda (sharp, aged 100 days preferably)

Habanero tortillas (or plain)
Fresh thyme
Salt, pepper to taste

In a small frying pan, heat the oil and add the shallots.  Sautée until softened, then add the chilies and the garlic scapes. Cook for 3 minutes and then crack the eggs over top.
Cook for 2 minutes until the whites are set, take it off the heat and top with the Gouda cheese.
Broil for approx 5 minutes until the cheese has melted and slightly crispy.  Take care not to overlook the eggs.  (The yolks should still be very soft, but the whites completely set).

Remove and slide over tortillas, top with fresh thyme, salt, and pepper. Enjoy! 🙂

Roasted Campari Tomatoes and Sweet Vidalia Onion Focaccia

I love this focaccia. It’s sweet, salty and delicious.
It’s fantastic on its own, or as a base for a sandwich.
I make mine with sweet Campari tomatoes, but really, any sweet variety will do, the same with the onions.
Another favourite addition to this focaccia is cured black olives. This is what I love about focaccia the most, it’s really a blank canvas for your taste buds, so go wild and feel free to try different toppings. But trust me, this one is a winning combination.

I personally love to eat it when it’s piping hot out of the oven. The tomatoes are still juicy, the sweetness of the onions and the sprinkling of my favourite sea salt really brings it home!

Stop drooling and go make this…you’ll thank me later. 🙂

Roasted Campari Tomatoes and Sweet Vidalia Onion Focaccia

Here’s what you need:

For the starter:

2 tsp quick rise yeast
1.5 cups of warm water
2 tsp raw sugar

Combine the ingredients in a large bowl until it’s foamy, approx 10 minutes.

For the dough:

Starter (above)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tblsp kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, crushed (optional, but adds a nice flavour)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Sprigs of fresh rosemary (or 1.5 tsp dried)

Topping:

5 Campari tomatoes, sliced
1/2 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
Fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 450°F

In a stand mixer (or by hand), combine the starter with the remaining ingredients until incorporated and you have a nice dough ball. It may be sticky, but that’s ok! Set aside for at least 30 minutes to rise, should be doubled. (If you’re in a hurry, you can omit this step and proceed with the recipe, it will still turn out delicious.)

Line a baking sheet with parchment, drizzle with olive oil.

On an oiled surface, roll out the dough into a rectangular shape* and place on parchment. Indent the dough with your fingers, making little pockets/wells into the dough with your fingertips.

Top with sliced Campari tomatoes, sliced onions, sprigs of fresh rosemary, sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil on top for good measure.

Set aside and let it proof for about 20 minutes.

Bake for approx 30 – 35 minutes, until golden. Oven times may vary.

Enjoy!

*The dough should be soft/pliable enough for you to stretch and shape with your hands, if you do not have a rolling pin. It’s fun and your hands get a little workout! 🙂