Garlic and Rosemary Hasselback Potatoes

Garlic and Rosemary Hasselback Potatoes – Candy Coated Culinista

I haven’t made hasselback potatoes in seven years. The reason I know this is this was one of the first recipes I ever made. This time I tried a simpler yet more sophisticated version.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 70 to 80 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Eat Delicious by Dennis the Prescott

• 8 large russet potatoes, scrubbed
• ¼ cup olive oil
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
• 5 garlic, unpeeled
• 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
• 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. With a sharp knife, cut crosswise parallel slits into the potatoes, about 1/8” apart; ensuring to stop just before cutting through so potatoes stay connected at the bottom of the potato.
3. Transfer to a roasting pan.
4. Brush potatoes with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper.
5. Scatter the garlic cloves and rosemary around the pan.
6. Pick rosemary stems and place on top of potatoes and bake for 40 minutes.
7. Brush all over the potatoes with melted butter and continue to bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and crispy. When a you can insert a knife easily into the centre of the potato they are done.
8. Serve immediately.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I felt the potatoes were undercooked and I cooked them for longer than the recommended time. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t slice them as thinly as the picture showed; but I didn’t want to go any closer and mess up the potato. The flavour was great and the salty tops with the aroma of rosemary was well received. Sometimes I get compliments like “why don’t you be a chef in real life” and I have always considered this a viable option; but then I’m afraid my passion for cooking and baking will fizzle if this just becomes a full time job. So I just continue to love the feeling of Zen and calmness I received when cooking and just enjoy.

O is for … Okra Vegetable Medley

O is for … Okra Vegetable Medley - Candy Coated Culinista

O is for … Okra Vegetable Medley – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 2-3
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 7 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 10 okras, sliced into rounds
• Handful of snow peas
• ½ red bell pepper, large dice
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 2 tbsp Raspberry balsamic vinegar

1. Over medium-high heat pour olive oil into the pan.
2. Once oil is heated pour in the okra, snap peas and red peppers.
3. Add in the salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar and stir.
4. Let cook for 7 minutes and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I always find okra to be slimy even when fresh since childhood. That aside the dish was tasty and there was a distinct okra flavour.

Mango Salad

Mango Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

Mango salad has always been a favourite of mine since I first tasted it many years back being surrounded by so many Filipino co-workers. Back then I thought mango salad was only a Filipino thing; but since I have learned it is also a Thai dish and this is the probably the only way you can get me to have chilies in anything I consume.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 2 mangoes, sliced into match sticks can be green or a little more ripe, your preference
• ¼ red bell pepper, sliced
• ¼ green bell pepper, sliced
• 1/2 medium red onion. Sliced
• Cilantro, handful
• 3 leaves of romaine or a leafy lettuce, chopped
• 1 green onion, chopped
• Freshly squeezed lime juice, from 1 lime
• Sweet Thai chili sauce, to taste

1. Prep all the vegetable & fruit and place into a large bowl.
2. Squeeze in lime juice and add sweet chili Thai sauce and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Sweet, spicy and full of mangoes; I mean how can you go wrong. Whether you prefer the mango more green or a little more ripe it’s just a great salad with a slight kick.

Canada 150 Sugar Cookies

Canada 150 Sugar Cookies – Candy Coated Culinista

Since its Canada’s 150th birthday this was my push to do something I have never done before. This is the first time I have ever attempted to make a sugar cookie as I seem to have an aversion to rolling out doughs; whether cookie or pie. My cooking dreams have been filled of me making sugar cookies for two plus years now. Visions of these perfectly decorated cookies that I see in the shops and I just never tackled it in fear of a terrible finished product.

Yield/Serving: 16-20 cookies depending on size
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 12 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, and time consuming and much patience

• ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
• ½ tsp baking powder
• Pinch of seas salt
• 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
• ¼ granulated sugar
• 1 egg yolk
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• ½ tsp almond extract
• 3 tbsp of milk
Red Icing
• ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
• 2 tsp milk
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 1 tsp red food colouring
White Icing
• ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
• 2 tsp milk

1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and sea salt.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together using the paddle attachment.
3. Once the butter and sugar is fluffy and light and pale in colour, add in the egg yolk and extracts until well incorporated.
4. Pour in over half the flour mixture and combine and then add the remaining flour mixture remaining.
5. Add milk and allow the dough to come together.
6. Preheat oven to 350°F.
7. Place parchment paper onto cookie sheets.
8. Sprinkle flour onto a marble pastry board or floured clean counter top and over rolling pin and roll out dough.
9. Cut out cookies and place on the cookie sheets.
10. Gather the dough scraps and re-roll and cut more cookies.
11. Continue step 10 until all the dough has been used up.
12. Place cookies on the cookie sheet in the freezer for 5 minutes.
13. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown.
14. Let the cookies remain on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before moving them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
15. Prepare the icing and first outline the cookies and let that icing dry before flooding the interior with icing and then let that dry. (Ensure the icing isn’t too runny as it will run off the cookie. There is a subtle balance regarding the consistency of the border icing and flooding icing. You may want to add a touch more milk after doing the borders to get the icing to flood across the cookie easier.)

• Add more or less milk depending on how your dough is coming together.
• Don’t add vanilla extract to white icing as then the icing will lose its white colour.
• You can make the cookies ahead of time and decorate the next day.
• Sprinkle flour onto cookie cutters to minimize sticking.
• Remember you will need to set aside a nice chunk of time to decorate.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I made a test run recipe to see how everything would come together and I was almost annoyed. I knew I couldn’t use my own recipe as I have no clue how to make a sugar cookie and yet the recipe didn’t turn out well at all. The cookies were floury and I wasted way to much butter, egg yolks and flour; which is why I could make the meringue cookies recipe last week. I had 7 egg whites to use from all the fails for this recipe. Since I had already purchased two specialty cookie cutters from the U.S. months ago and I wasn’t going to waste that money; I just persevered. In the end I used another recipe and it still was too crumbly and the dough didn’t come together. Was it a humidity thing? Not today as it wasn’t humid; so I did my own thing and adjusted to my needs. For the next time I have to work on my finer lettering and decorating skills; but for my first go I’m happy with how it turned out. These are decent enough to give away to my friends for Canada Day celebrations. Everyone enjoyed the look of the cookies and even figured out the shape of Canada. The Ontario cookie shape was a litter harder to distinguish; even with my “x marks the sport” on Toronto where we live lol. Overall the Canadians did well in my book and these were not to sugary, which I liked. I’m excited to make another batch soon and keep refining my skills as I have 50 plus cookie cutters to my name and they’ve been in my cooking box for 7 years now unused sadly.

Canada 150 Sugar Cookies – Candy Coated Culinista

Canada 150 Sugar Cookies – Candy Coated Culinista

Meringue Nests with Rhubarb Curd

Meringue Nests with Rhubarb Curd – Candy Coated Culinista

A trip to St. Lawrence Market had me excited to use a particular ingredient I have wanted to cook with for years. I have searched at many different markets over the past 3 years all over the GTA and I could never find them. I was always being told, “We had them yesterday or just sold the last bunch.” Not to mention there is this fear associated with rhubarb as the leaves are poisonous; which of course had me a little apprehensive. Let’s face it I have ackee all the time and I’m actually consuming the poisonous pieces if they were picked to early and here I’m not even touching the rhubarb leaves, so those fears were quelled and I carried on.

Yield/Serving: 750 ml to 1 liter
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Meringue Nests
Yield/Serving: 20
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 2 hrs.
Difficulty level is: Medium

• 2 eggs
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• 2 cups of rhubarb, shopped, about 6 stalks
• ¼ cup water
• Juice from half a lemon
• ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pats
• 7 egg whites
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 2 tbsp cornstarch
• 2 tsp white vinegar
• 2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Whisk eggs with 1/ cup of sugar in a medium sized bowl.
2. Using a medium sized saucepan add rhubarb with the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and water over medium-high heat.
3. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium heat for 8 minutes.
4. Then whisk rhubarb until smooth and squeeze in lemon juice.
5. Ladle in the rhubarb into the egg mixture and slowly incorporate.
6. Add mixture back into the saucepan over low heat and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly using a wooden spoon until mixture thickens.
7. Remove mixture from heat and stir in pats of butter one at a time allowing each pat to melt before adding the next.
8. Blender mixture for 30 to 45 seconds to achieve a smoother texture.
9. Pour into a jar and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd.
1. Pre-heat over to 250°F.
2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat eggs on high until soft peaks are formed about 2 minutes.
4. Slowly add in sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until stiff glossy peak have formed. About 2 more minutes.
5. Beat in the cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla until combined.
6. Pipe meringue into nests and bake for 2 hours.
7. Turn off the oven and let them dry in the oven for one more hour and leave on the parchment paper to completely cool.

• Blend the curd just before pouring into a jar to cool to achieve a smoother texture if desired.
• Let meringue cool in oven over night.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Rhubarb is a fibrous vegetable and I highly recommend blending the curd, especially if you are using it in a tart or topping a pavlova, meringue cookies, macaron, pancakes or crepes. You’re really going to want that smooth creamy texture to the curd. The meringue cookies were crispy, chewy and marshmallowy and with the addition of the tart silky curd it balances out the sweetness of the cookies. I loved that I got to practice my piping skills and it was enjoyed by all who had and this is a perfect summer recipe. I really wish I knew someone who had rhubarb in the backyard garden though as these sell at a premium. I paid 3.99 a pound, which came to $9.50 for seven stalks. As this has such a small season a splurge once a season is ok; but still it’s so pricy. If you want an eye-catching seasonal dessert to catch the eye; this is a must make.

Rhubarb Ice Cream

Rhubarb Ice Cream – Candy Coated Culinista

A seasonally flavoured ice cream that hits the spot if you love the tart flavours of rhubarb like myself.

Yield/Serving: 1 pint
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: approx. 30 min.
Inactive Time: 2-3 hours for a creamy ice cream
Freeze Time: Overnight
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 1 ½ cups rhubarb chopped
• 1 cup 2% milk
• 6 egg yolks
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• Pinch of salt
• 2 cup heavy cream
• 1 vanilla bean, sliced in half and insides scrapped out

1. Using a small saucepan; boil rhubarb and don’t add water over medium-high heat until tender and all the liquid has evaporated, about 10 min.
2. Chill rhubarb until cooled completely in the refrigerator.
3. Using medium saucepan add egg yolks and sugar and whisk until mixture turns a pale yellow and is smooth.
4. In a small saucepan heat milk over medium-low heat until it begins to simmer and do not stir.
5. Slowly add milk to egg and sugar mixture stirring constantly and then return to heat until it reaches 165°F.
6. Immediately remove from heat once it reaches back up to 165°F. (The mixture should have thickened up and coats the back of the spoon.)
7. Pour custard base into a container and allow to chill in the refrigerator until it reaches 65°F. Once custard has chilled pour into the ice cream maker and process accordingly to your machine.
8. Add the rhubarb pieces in the last few 5 minutes of churning.
9. Transfer ice cream to a chilled container and let firm.

• The longer the custard base is allowed to chill; the creamier the ice cream will be.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I never purchase ice cream any more. If I’m having ice cream it is homemade because it tastes that much better. It takes more time; but it’s worth the effort every single time.

Spring Asparagus Medley

Spring Asparagus Medley – Candy Coated Culinista

An easy peasy evening spring vegetable medley to accompany a chicken or beef dish.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 5 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
• 20 Asparagus; hard bottoms cut off
• 5 button mushrooms, sliced
• 10 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
• ½ small red onion, sliced
• Celery salt, to taste

1. In a large frying pan pour olive oil over medium-high heat.
2. Add asparagus, mushrooms. Tomatoes, red onion and fry for 5 minutes until tender.
3. Add celery salt.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
A simple yet satisfying spring dish. This would be a great side dish for a springtime BBQ. Crunchy asparagus, and softened mushrooms, tomatoes and onions is a great combination.

Pasta with Fried Lemons and Chili Flakes

Pasta with Fried Lemons & Chile Flakes – Candy Coated Culinista

Lemons, lemons and more lemons! If you are a lemon lover this recipe is for you.

Diner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark

• 4 lemons
• 1 pound linguine or spaghetti
• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzle
• Pinch of sugar
• 3 tbsp unsalted butter
• ¾ tsp chili flakes. More to taste
• 2/3 cup parmigiana-reggiano cheese, plus more to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• ½ cup celery leaves, coarsely chopped (optional)
• 1/3 cup parsley, coarsely chopped (optional)
• Flaky sea salt, for garnish

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
2. Zest finely 2 lemons and set aside.
3. Trim the top and bottom off the other two lemons and cut lengthwise into quarters and remove any seeds.
4. Thinly slice the quarters into triangles and blanch lemon pieces in the boiling water for 2 minutes. Then transfer using a slotted spoon to a paper towel to dry.
5. In the same boiling water add pasta and cook until al dente.
6. Drain water; but reserve ½ cup of the pasta water.
7. Using a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat.
8. Add the dried lemon pieces and season with a pinch of salt and sugar.
9. Cook until the lemons are caramelized, for 3 to 5 minutes and then transfer to a plate.
10. Over medium heat melt butter in the leftover oil and add the chili flakes and lemon zest of both lemons until fragrant.
11. Whisk in the reserved pasta water.
12. Toss in pasta, the juice of one lemon, cheese, black pepper and the remaining salt.
13. Cook until pasta is coated with sauce and add in the caramelized lemon.
14. Add celery leaves and parsley if desired.
15. Taste and add more lemon juice, drizzle olive oil and cheese if desired.
16. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I wasn’t a fan of this recipe. The caramelized lemons and the lemon zest, lemon water, lemon juice. It was all too much lemon for me. I could handle almost all that lemon except the caramelized lemon. All I could taste was lemon rind, so I took that out and enjoyed the dish a little more. The combination of black pepper, chilli flakes and cheese and lemon; this mixture had a tendency to clump together and not be

N is for … Nectarine Cobbler Muffins

N is for … Nectarine Cobbler - Candy Coated Culinista

N is for … Nectarine Cobbler – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 12 muffins
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• 1 cup cake/pastry flour
• ¾ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp fine sea salt
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• 1 cup 2% milk
• Juice from half a lemon
• 5 tbsp canola oil
• 1 extra large egg
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 1 tsp almond extract
• 3 nectarines, peeled and cubed
• Golden brown sugar, for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place muffin cups in the muffin pan.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, cake/pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon and sugar.
4. In a medium size bowl whisk together milk, lemon juice, oil, egg, vanilla extract and almond extract.
5. Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients slowly until just combined.
6. Fold in the nectarines and do not over mix.
7. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes covered with a towel. (If you don’t have time you can skip this step)
8. Fill the muffin cups almost to the top (not overflowing) and sprinkle brown sugar on top.
9. Bake for 25 minutes or until a cake-tester inserted comes out clean.
10. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes in the pan and then take out the muffins and let cool on a wire rack.

• Can be stored for up to two days in an air-tight container.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I can say I enjoy whole wheat muffins now. I have never been a fan since childhood and yet with the combination of half cake/pastry and whole wheat flour I really enjoyed this to my surprise. I barely noticed there was whole wheat in it besides the colour. I had to bake this recipe in two batches and noticed that the second batch raised more as the batter was resting for 30 minutes while the first batch was being baked. I will be resting my batter from now on as the result turned out so well. This was my second or third time making muffins and this is a vast improvement from my scone like first attempt.

Roast Chicken with Plums

Roast Chicken with Plums – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 3-4
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour plus
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Diner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark


• 1 large lemon, grated
• 1 tbsp ground sumac
• 2 tsp kosher salt
• 1/2 tbsp black pepper
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• ½ tsp allspice
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
• 1 whole chicken, 4 pounds
• 1 bunch of thyme, for garnish
• 4 plums, halved & quartered
• 4 shallots, sliced into rounds
• 1 tbsp honey
• ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• ¼ tsp kosher salt
• ¼ tsp cinnamon
• 1/8 tsp allspice
• 1 bay leaf, torn in half

1. Grate the zest from the lemon and place in a small bowl.
2. Add and stir in the sumac, salt, pepper, cinnamon, allspice along with the olive oil and garlic.
3. Rub chicken and throughout the cavity of the chicken.
4. Split the thyme bindle into half and place into the cavity of the chicken.
5. Place in a roasting pan on a wire rack and let marinate for 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
6. Let chicken come to room temperature before cooking for 30 minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 450°F.
8. In a medium sized bowl mix together plums, shallots, honey, oil, salt, cinnamon, allspice, bay leaf and 2 tsp of water.
9. Spread mixture on the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top and roast for 30 minutes.
10. Squeeze 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and mix with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
11. Drizzle over chicken and continue to cook for 30 to 45 minutes longer.
12. Let the chickens rest covered in foil for 10 minutes and then carve.
13. Serve with plums and add more fresh time for garnish.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I choose this recipe as I have been looking for interesting and new ways to serve my proteins. I have never cooked with sumac before and I had to research what the flavour and taste of sumac was. Once I learned it had a lemony taste I was delighted. I have never thought to incorporate plums into a dinner dish and this was a lovely addition. I found this to be a touch too savoury for myself though as I had leftover that hung around for more than two days. I batched down this recipe as the original called for 2 whole chicken, which I was not planning to invest in with new flavour combinations. Overall I think this could be a hit depending on the audience. I enjoyed this; but it wouldn’t go into my weekly menu; more like every two months to change things up and during plum season.

%d bloggers like this: