Monday, September 19, 2011

red beet ravioli

These were not easy and quick to make BUT really worth it! I made the beet pasta let, it rest and thought to myself.....beet filling? Too much. SO i went with my favourite spinach & ricotta filling i always use at home so that it has some great flavour and beautiful colour contrast!

Make the filling first so that it has time to cool before using in your pasta dough:-

300g frozen spinach, defrosted and all excess water squeezed out
300g ricotta cheese
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped ( i don't have a crusher!)
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chicken stock powder

Heat the oil over a gentle heat and add the onions, cook until translucent. Add the garlic, and spinach and cook until incorporated, just a few minutes. Add the chicken stock and season to taste with a little salt & pepper. Put aside in a bowl to cool while you make your pasta dough!

I found over at Dirty Kitchen Secrets a recipe for Beetroot Ravioli! I made the recipe with a little extra 50g beet puree than her recommended 150g as it was too dry for me to work with as it was and i still got a great result! Bethany over at Dirty Kitchen Secrets made little hearts with her ravioli, how sweet!! =)

Beet Pasta

300g all-purpose flour
200g beet puree (i used boiled, peeled and pureed, then weighed)
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt

Place the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the puree and egg, gently mix in until well combined. Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes until it is smooth and even in texture. Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Once the time has passed, divide the dough in half and roll it out as thin as possible. Mine was about 1/8" inch thick, which gave me a thick result BUT it was tasty! Cut into desired shapes or squares, place a small ball of filling in the centre, wet the edges lightly with water and top with another piece of dough. Press the edges together with a fork if you would like  a pattern or just press down gently to seal with your fingers.

To cook the ravioli, boil a pot of water, season with salt and toss a few ravioli's in for around 5 minutes, they will float when ready to eat! We were a little bit naughty and tossed ours in a little butter before eating......and WOW what an awesome flavour combination! The beet flavour isn't very pronounced at all, could be because my filling is so tasty! But for colour and presentation....... just amazing!

As a side note, i layered the left-over ravioli on parchment paper in a large ziploc bag to freeze for another time. They freeze well and you can pop them straight in the boiling water from the freezer to cook and serve!

I made 30 little raviolis with this recipe and had a little filling left over which we added to some pasta with chicken for the next nights dinner!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

wholewheat beet bread

I've made a few different loaves of homemade bread over the years and really enjoyed the end results. Fresh is best and if you have the time and like the effort (i find bread making VERY therapeutic when you get to the kneading part!) Some people use bread-makers, i'm not sure about those, never used one, don't have room for one and personally couldn't afford one anyways! We don't even have a microwave in our home THAT'S how much i cook from scratch every day! My husband thinks i'm odd......  Anywho, back to this beet bread. Absolutely amazingly delicious! Love it! I would definately make this again! I was thinking i could change the vegetable puree used, maybe even mixed vegetable puree......hmmm! Original recipe found @ Taste for Adventure!

Wholewheat Beet Bread
Makes  1 Big Round Loaf

3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups beet puree (puree 3-4 cooked beets with 1/2 cup milk)
4-5 cups wholewheat flour
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp instant yeast

1. In a small bowl, combine yeast, sugar and water. Let rest 5 minutes
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fixed with the paddle attachment, combine flour and salt. Add in yeast mixture, beet puree and olive oil. Mix until just combined. OR if you are like me, mix in a bowl by hand!
3. Knead, by hand or in a stand mixer fixed with the dough hook, about 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
4. Remove risen dough from bowl and shape into a round ball. Place dough on a baking stone or parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cover loosely with a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F Before baking the bread, sprinkle the top with a little flour and make an X shape on the top with a serrated knife.
6. Place the bread in the oven and pour 1 cup hot water into a pan and place under the loaf, closing the oven door immediately. Bake 30 to 35 minutes.
7. Allow bread to cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing or serving.

This bread is AMAZING! It turned out perfectly! I can't stop munching on it. Makes perfect toast! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

creamy beet risotto

Recipe number three for beet week is creamy beet risotto! There were several recipes out there that had what seemed a lot of different ingredients. This one seemed simple and i thought might highlight the natural beet flavour the best! I found the recipe at Domestic Goddess in Training Go check it out!

Creamy Beetroot Risotto
Original recipe here! The recipe below is as i made it.....
Serves 2-4 

1 cup cooked beetroot, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
200g risotto rice
500ml hot chicken stock
2 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp butter s & p seasoning

1)Boil beets whole (leave ends on or the colour/flavour will leak) for an hour, completely covered in water at all times. Allow to cool, peel off the skin and dice into small cubes, mine are about 1cm.
2) Gently fry onion and garlic in the olive oil in a deep saucepan for 3 min. Add rice and stir for a further 2-3 until the rice is translucent.
3) Gradually add stock 1 ladle at a time, each time waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more.
4) Stir in beetroot and leave for 4 min. Take off the heat then add creme fraiche, butter and season to taste. Leave for 2-3 min before serving.

My favourite part is when the beetroot is added and the whole dish turns that deep pink colour...Awesome! It tastes great, natural, no strong flavours and just the fresh, earthy taste of beet, this weeks star of the show!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

beet cupcakes

Ok, so recipe number two for beet week is this recipe for beet cupcakes from Weelicious!. I know, Weelicious again? I tell you Catherine is amazing at putting together healthy unique little recipes that ALWAYS turn out perfectly! I really like her blog because it is kid friendly, healthy and fun! You should go check it out HERE!

Red Beet Cupcakes
I made 24 mini cupcakes and 12 regular size cupcakes with this batch!

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable
3/4 cup cooked beet puree
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Sift the first 4 ingredients into a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients.
4. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet and combine.
5. Fill lined muffin tins 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
6. Cool and serve.

(the mini cupcakes took about 8-10 minutes to bake through)

These little cupcakes were delicious. Light, soft, moist little bites, with a great flavour, not too much of the beet but it went very well with the honey! I would make these again for sure! I didn't try the beet icing, but might get to that! I still have 7.5lbs of beets to get through =)

Monday, September 12, 2011

sweet beet cookies

Ok, so i bought a 10lb bag of beets for $1.88 on the weekend and did some research into some interesting new ways to use them. First recipe i chose was from one of my favourite  bloggers! Weelicious!

Sweet Beet Cookies 
Original recipe from Weelicious - (Makes about 50 – 1 inch square cookies)

1 cup wholewheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup RAW beets, shredded fine
2 tbsp vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
2. Combine the first four ingredients and stir to combine.
3. Using your hands, add the beets to the flour mixture coating the beet pieces with the flour.
4. Add the oil and work with your hands to bring the dough together (the salt and sugar will fall to the bottom of the bowl so make sure you knead the dough well to combine everything — the outcome will be a smooth dough).
5. Form the smooth, sweet beet dough into a flat rectangular disk and roll it out 1/2 inch thick on parchment paper or a dry clean surface. 
6. Using a knife, cut the dough into squares or use small cookie cutters to cut out shapes.
7. Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 15-17 minutes.8. Cool and serve.

When i made these i only had wholewheat flour, it's a little more crumbly than i imagined it would be with white flour, but i cannot believe how delicious these are! I think i found myself a new treat! I used a 1 1/2 inch heart cutter and made 24 cookies this batch, and i WILL be making more!! Next time i think i will cut them into sticks, the kid suggested it and i think it might just work! Success with beet recipe #1!

it's beet week

So i bought a 10lb bag of  beets on Saturday and figured i'd try a few new interesting recipes which involve beets! I made a short list of recipes i'd really like to try, today being the kid's birthday i think i'll start with the donuts! I'm really looking forward to this little challenge and new taste sensations!

1. Glazed Beet Donuts from A Good Appetite   DONE!
2. Sweet Beet Cookies from Weelicious  DONE!
3. Beet Falafel from Marmande in the Kitchen 
4. Beet & Coconut Halwa from Versatile Vegetarian Kitchen 
5. Red Beet Pancakes from Weelicious 
6. Creamy Beet Risotto from Domestic Goddess in Training  DONE!
7. Beet Gratin from TasteFood 
8. Potato & Beet Pancakes from Cookistry 
9. Beet Hummus from Food~Fitness~Fresh Air 
10. Fresh Beet Pasta from bell'alimento
11. Beet Gelato from A Good Appetite
12. Beet Ravioli from bon appetit
13. Beet Cupcakes from Weelicious  DONE!
14. Chocolate Beet Fudge Cake from The World of Food and Cooking
15. Beet Cake from Chef Wanabe
16. Red Beet Bread from Taste for Adventure  DONE!
17. Beet Soup from Karina
18. Heart-Beet Ravioli from Dirty Kitchen Secrets  DONE!
19. Beet Gnocchi from Menu Turistico
20. Sweet Beet Pie from Gourmeted
21. Chocolate Beet Tea Loaf from Luna Cafe  DONE!
22. Beetloaf from The Stripey Cat
23. Sweet Beet Cake from Tested, Proven & Approved

Off to the kitchen i go! Wish me luck!
or find me on Pinterest!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

beef & potato empanadas

Empanadas are something i have never tried before, i don't often have success with pastry but have a few recipes now that i go to for different things. I don't think i worked this pastry enough as you can see the brown marks on my empanadas may be from butter lumps. Although, that being said, these were fairly easy to make and tasty too! The recipe i have used here is from Handle the Heat and it's good! I will be making these again! Maybe try some new flavours and fillings!

Beef & Potato Empanadas 
Original recipe from Handle the Heat
Recipe below as I made them =)

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch paprika
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely diced 
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground  pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • salt
  • 500g potato, peeled, finely diced, and boiled
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
For the dough:
Heat water and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter has melted. Mix flour, salt, and paprika in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Pour a little of the warm butter mixture in and stir with fingertips to make a wet paste. Pour in remaining liquid and work the dough with your hand until you get a wet, oily dough. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

For the filling:
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the onions, bell peppers, paprika,  pepper, and cumin until onions are soft. Add beef, season to taste with salt, and cook until beef is browned. Drain off the fat. Place filling in a large bowl and when cooled, add potatoes and shallot. Mix to combine.

Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a large baking pan with non-stick spray or line with parchment. Divide the dough into pieces  the size of golf-sized balls. Makes about 20. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough balls on lightly floured surface into 5″ circles. Place 3 tablespoons of filling in the center of each dough circle. Sprinkle filling lightly with cheese. Fold over and press edges firmly to seal. Crimp with the back of a fork. Place empanadas on baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes.

We now have a back-up supply of these for lunches and snacks in our freezer, just reheat in a 350F oven for 30 minutes and VOILA fresh hot empanadaas!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

carrot cookies

These little cookies were actually quite good, very cakey! Thanks 1971 Betty Crocker recipe card! The next day they did go a little soft but my boys did not complain, they just ate! I actually only made half the cookie dough recipe and still got 36 cookies out of it! I made the full batch of icing for it however, being a little generous with each cookie there was the perfect amount!

Monday, August 29, 2011

pumpkin & apple cake

This morning i felt like baking and i didn't know what to do. So as usual i browsed around foodgawker at random to see what came up that would inspire, and also suit what i had in my pantry right now! I came across a funny little post about a recipe for Pumpkin Apple Bread Pudding made by Smokin' Chestnut and how she didn't really follow a recipe and how it turned out to be great! I didn't follow her recipe exactly either, just for fun, and got an awesome result also!

Pumpkin & Apple Cake

1 cup white flour
1 cup wholewheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup butter, melted & cooled
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 apple, peeled & grated
1 apple, peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat your oven to 350F (180C) and grease a 9-inch loaf pan.
I used a 7" by 10" glass baking dish. Which i greased and lined with parchment paper, i don't like it when my cakes stick in the pan!

 In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In another bowl, combine honey, melted butter, vanilla extract, eggs, milk and pumpkin puree.

Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, then add grated apple, raisins, chopped apple and the chopped nuts. Fold together until mixed well.

 Pour batter into pan and spread evenly. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean. You want that moist gooey cake, so don't bake it until dry!.

 Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes and enjoy! I cut 15 pieces from my 7x10 baking dish, it was delicious! It didn't turn out AS bread pudding like Smokin' Chestnut's did but it is one tasty cake and fairly healthy to boot!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Today while trying to think of something new to try for lunch AND use up what i had in my kitchen, i came across THIS  recipe from Elly says Opa! and thought...ooh, Middle Eastern is always delicious.....and the kid loves the spices why not!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

slow cooker bbq pork ribs

I make these BBQ ribs at least once a month. The boys love it, and i'm growing to love it. I don't mind making them because you basically whack everything in the slow cooker and let it go for 6 hours....then voila, dinners ready! The recipe turns out better and better each time i make it and it is now a staple for anything we want to make homemade BBQ sauce for. We've made chicken whole and breasts, it really tastes GOOD!

Basically we have finely chopped shallot, crushed garlic, salt, garlic powder, pepper, oregano, thyme, beef stock, onion powder, paprika, BBQ sauce and brown sugar with a little water.

Look at those lovely pork ribs all smothered in deliciousness! And the smell!

After 6 hours, turning occasionally and stirring up the flavours, this is what the ribs look like and the meat is so tender and falling off the bone! Not particularly attractive to look at BUT if i could add smell-a-vision would be totally worth it!

BBQ Pork Ribs

1 shallot, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1 cup of your favourite store bought BBQ sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar

I'm not sure how much the weight of my pork ribs was, but there were two strips of back ribs. I cut them in half so the four pieces fit in my small slow cooker. 

Mix all the ingredients together, and cover the ribs in the mixture.
Set you slow cooker to low and wait 6 hours for delicious tender BBQ ribs!

Every hour i basted the ribs and turned them over, do this fast though so you don't lose the precious heat!

Once the ribs are ready, transfer them to a dish and cover with foil, place in a warm oven.
Pour the remaining liquid/sauce into a pan and reduce down to a nice thick consistency so that when you serve your ribs you can pour it over the top, your very own homemade bbq sauce! I can smell it now.....

Thursday, July 7, 2011

egg rolls

My mojo has been missing for a while, some things in my life went a little crazy and i burnt out. I am sorry i have been away and have missed being inspired and creating in the kitchen, it is rather therapeutic! And here i am BACK in the kitchen! I feel SO much better!

Chinese food in Canada is a lot different compared to what i would get back home in Australia. My all time favourite was always the lemon chicken or honey sesame chicken (boring i know) but ohh yummo! Here they have these delicious chicken ball things that come with this sweet red sauce....then they have egg rolls....sort of like huge spring rolls but in an egg based wrap. These egg rolls are my hubby's favourites, so i thought...why not give it a try!

I looked for a recipe via Tastespotting and found A Sweet Pea Chef where Lacey made it really easy for me to follow and make egg rolls for the very first time at home! Her blog and photos are fantastic go check it out! 

These were SO much fun to make and SO much easier than i thought they would be. I can seriously recommend making them for a treat if you are so inspired. Home made truly is best sometimes! 

I altered the recipe i found slightly because after all my shopping around i forgot the cabbage!! They still turned out pretty darn delicious although my husband said to me "these are great but it tastes a little like there is something missing..." i guess he picked it!

Pork and Vegetable Egg Roll Filling
Original Recipe from A Sweet Pea Chef
Below are the ingredients i used to make my egg rolls =)

2 tbsp sesame oil
1 lb ground pork
3 green onions, sliced
1 small onion, finely diced
6 mushrooms, diced
1 cup water chestnuts, finely diced
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
2 carrots, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 tbsp soy sauce, plus more to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
package egg roll wrappers
1 egg, beaten (for moistening/sealing wrappers)


In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tbsp sesame oil. Add pork and cook on medium-high heat until well-browned. Put the pork and juice into a bowl and put aside for later.

Add green onion and onion to the skillet and cook until tender, about 5-8 minutes. Add water chestnuts, mushrooms, bean sprouts, carrots, garlic, soy sauce and sugar and stir to incorporate.
Cook for about 2 minutes. Add the cooked pork and stir again to incorporate well. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

On a clean, flat surface, place 1 egg roll wrapper with 1 corner facing you. Place approximately 1-2 tablespoons of the filling (see picture above) on the wrapper. Fold the bottom corner up and over the filling.

Firmly roll the filled wrapper half-way up the rest of the wrapper. Brush the corner edges of the wrapper with the beaten egg. Fold the two sides over the filled roll and roll the rest of the way up, pressing the top corner firmly onto the egg roll to seal it.

Repeat for the rest of the wrappers. Once ready to cook, heat about 3/4-inch to 1-inch of vegetable or canola oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or wok.

Once oil is hot (you will know it’s ready when a very tiny amount of water dropped into the oil dances and sizzles), carefully place enough egg rolls to cover the bottom of the pan.

Try not to crowd them. Fry until golden brown on both sides, about 1-2 minutes per side. Once golden brown on both sides, remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towel.

We ate ours with plum sauce, they are delicious! Thank you A Sweet Pea Chef for sharing your recipe and inspiring our dinner tonight!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

maple cream cookies

I do love maple syrup. Since being in Canada i have realised how much of this i have missed out on for most of my life! So of course when i found Sweet Pea's Kitchen i was ever so excited to make my own Maple Cream Cookies just like you get in store!

Maple Cream Cookies
Source:- Sweet Pea's Kitchen who found All Day I Dream About Food


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoon maple extract
4 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoon maple syrup


In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg and maple extract; beat at medium speed until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Divide dough into two balls and flatten each ball into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove dough from refrigerator onto a lightly floured surface.

With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter of your desired shape to cut out cookies, placing them on a prepared baking sheet.

Bake cookies in preheated oven 8-10 minutes, or until edges just start to brown.

Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

While cookies are cooling, start to make the filling by creaming the butter. Add the icing sugar and maple syrup and beat until combined and smooth.

Using a knife or spoon, spread the filling onto the backside side of the cookie. Top with another cookie, backside down. Repeat with the remaining cookies.

These were even better the next day, as i kept them in an airtight container and they went a little softer....YUM! =)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

lemon & poppyseed muffins

I have always loved lemon and poppyseed cakes and muffins. It's just that those little seeds always get stuck in your teeth!! This recipe is from Dorie Greenspan and is delicious! I made little mini muffins, easier on the calorie snack front and for the kids lunch, turns out he's a fan of them too!

Lemon & Poppyseed Muffins
Makes 36 mini muffins

2/3 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 tbsp poppyseeds

 Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Mix all the wet ingredients together in another bowl.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
Don't over mix the batter.
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