Grape Tomato Salad with Parsley and Dill

Grape Tomato Salad with Parsley and Dill - Candy Coated Culinista

Grape Tomato Salad with Parsley and Dill – Candy Coated Culinista

Tomato lovers this is a recipe for you. This is super simple and can be switched up with herbs.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Slightly altered from The New Rules

Ingredients
• 2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
• Kosher salt
• Ground black pepper
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
• 1 medium shallot, halved and thinly sliced
• ¾ cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• ½ cup tightly packed fresh dill roughly chopped

Assembly
1. In a large bowl salt halved grape tomatoes with ½ teaspoon of kosher salt.
2. In a small bowl stir together lemon juice, garlic, shallot and half the salt and pepper and set aside for 10 minutes.
3. Add the shallot mixture parsley and oil to the tomatoes and toss well.
4. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
5. Add dill and toss.
6. Transfer to a serving dish with a slotted spoon and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a vibrant well seasoned salad that can easily go with meat, seafood or alone. I made a few changes to the recipe by using what I had on hand. I used cilantro instead of dill and red pearl onions instead of shallots. This salad reminds me of a cucumber salad my mom used to make that I loved and it brought back some great memories.

Grilled Herb-Marinated Chicken – Candy Coated Culinista

Grilled Herb-Marinated Chicken - Candy Coated Culinista

A chicken recipe that is just unique enough to have everyone raving about this recipe and you begging for outdoor grilling season.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 4 hours to overnight
Cook Time: 35 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Cook Like A Local

Ingredients
• 3 pound chicken or 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts
• 1 cup fish sauce
• ¼ cup honey
• Juice of 4 limes, plus 2 cut limes cut into wedges, for garnish
• 10 garlic cloves
• 2 bunches scallions (about 12) trimmed
• 1 bunch cilantro, plus more chopped, for garnish
• 2 jalapenos
• ¼ cup vegetable oil

Assembly
1. Break down whole chicken into parts, breast, leg, thigh, wing etc.
2. Combine the fish sauce, honey, lime juice, garlic, scallions, cilantro, jalapenos and oil in a food processor. Puree until smooth.
3. Place chicken in a ziplock bag and pour marinade in and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
4. Remove chicken from the marinade letting excess drip away.
5. Preheat oven to 350°.
6. Place pieces on a cast iron skillet in batches over medium-high heat and sear all sides.
7. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes.
8. Place on a platter and top with cilantro and serve immediately with lime wedges.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I can’t rave about this recipe enough the marinade is everything and the longer you let it do its thing the better. Some of the ingredients like the fish sauce may seem a touch odd; but it adds that Asian flare; and if you are like me a great way to use up that fish sauce from that one recipe a while back. The chicken was fresh, bright, with a slight kick and salty and sweet. It really hit all the flavour profiles and the recipe worked well baked. It is a little cold for grilling as we had snow just the other day; but sear all side in a cast iron skillet and bake in the oven and it’s just a lovely. This is in my rotation now and to save time use chicken parts; I did and it made my life so much easier.

Suya-Spiced Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Suya-Spiced Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloin - Candy Coated Culinista

Sometimes you really need a simple dish that looks so good, guests will be wondering how you made this on a weeknight. You will never tell them that this recipe really took no time at all. Let’s just keep them pondering.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From The New Rules

Ingredients
• 2 tsp sweet paprika
• 2 tsp ground ginger
• 2 tsp granulated garlic
• 2 tsp onion powder
• ½ tsp cayenne powder
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Ground pepper, to taste
• 2- 1 ¼ pound pork tenderloins, trimmed of silver skin and halved crosswise
• 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
• 2 tsp packed light or dark brown sugar
• ¾ cup low sodium chicken broth
• 4 tbsp salted butter, cut into 8 pieces and chilled
• 2 tbsp lime juice
• 1/3 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts finely chopped

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 450°F with a rack in the middle of the oven.
2. In a large bowl, stir spices together.
3. Add pork, turn and massage into the meat.
4. Let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature.
5. Using an over safe skillet heat oil and add pork and sear each side for about 4 minutes total.
6. Transfer to oven and roast for 15 minutes.
7. Transfer skillet to stove top and place pork to a large plate and let rest for 10 minutes.
8. Add sugar and broth to skillet and simmer over medium-high heat, scraping brown bits until reduced to ½ cup and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
9. Whisking constantly add butter 1 piece at a time until incorporated and stir in lime juice.
10. Remove from heat and add peanuts and season with salt and pepper.
11. Thinly slice tenderloin and arrange on a platter.
12. Spoon sauce over pork and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe was inspired by Nigerian beef suya. Now I hadn’t heard of this until I made this recipe, yet this mix I make quite along, just without the peanuts. This made it an obvious stand out recipe for me. The combination was easy and palatable to any guest. This make great leftovers and is visually pleasing when presenting to your dinner guests.

Z is for … Zucchini & Tomato Ratatouille

Z is for … Zucchini & Tomato Ratatouille – Candy Coated Culinista

Who knew a stewed vegetable dish from very humble beginnings could look so elegant and enticing.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 55 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy, time consuming

Ingredients
• ¾ cup tomato sauce
• ½ white onion, finely chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 medium yellow zucchini
• 2 medium green zucchini
• 5 roma tomatoes
• 2 tbsp herbs de provence
• 2 tbsp sea salt
• 2 tbsp black pepper

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Pour tomato sauce in a smallish square casserole dish and spread out thinly.
3. Finely chop and mince garlic and stir into tomato sauce.
4. Pour extra virgin olive oil into tomato sauce and stir.
5. Trim the ends off the zucchini and roma tomatoes.
6. Cut vegetable 1/16” thick (very thin slices) and separate into three bowls.
7. Start layering a green zucchini, yellow zucchini and roma tomato and alternating around the casserole dish. Overlap each piece a little and allow some to be visible.
8. When each layer is completed into the middle sprinkle some herbs de provence, sea salt and black pepper.
9. Repeat step 8 until all vegetable are used up.
10. Cut a piece of parchment paper the size of the inside surface of the dish, and place and press down on top of the vegetables.
11. Bake for 55 minutes,

Tips
• Ensure the zucchini and roma tomatoes are roughly the same width.
• Use a mandoline if you own one.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This dish tasted amazing and the vegetables weren’t too soft. I added the herbs du Provence as I thought this simple recipe could use some added spices. I love how the end result looked. Just looking at the layered vegetables and the time and patience it took to thinly slice the vegetables by hand made me feel quite cheffy.

Z is for … Zucchini & Tomato Ratatouille – Candy Coated Culinista

Shrimp with Kerkennaise Sauce

Shrimp with Kerkennaise Sauce - Candy Coated Culinista

A dish so divine it could only come from the Kerkennah Islands.

Yield/Serving: 4
Time: 35 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From The New Rules

Ingredients
• 2 plum tomatoes, cut into large chunks
• 1 Fresno chilli, stemmed, quartered and seeded
• 1 medium garlic clove, smashed and peeled
• ½ tsp ground coriander
• ½ tsp caraway seed, coarsely ground
• 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
• 23 scallions, white parts cut into 1-inch pieces, green thinly sliced, reserved separate
• ¼ cup lightly packed flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
•1/3 cup pitted green olives, chopped
• 1 tbsp tomato paste
• kosher salt and ground black pepper
• 4 tbsp grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided
• 1 ½ pounds extra-large shrimp, (tails left on), deveined and patted dry

Assembly
1. Using a food processor combine tomatoes. Chili, garlic, coriander, caraway, vinegar and scallion whites and pulse until finely chopped, About 10 pulses.
2. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in scallion greens, parsley, olives, tomato paste and 2 tablespoons of oil.
3. Set aside at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
4. Taste ad season with salt and pepper.
5. Season shrimp with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
6. Using a non-stick pan over medium-high heat add 1 tablespoon of oil.
7.Add shrimp and cook until a golden brown, about 2 minutes and continue to cook for another 20 to 30 seconds until shrimp is opaque.
8.Transfer to a serving dish and spoon sauce over shrimp and serve sauce on side.

Tips
• Sauce taste better the second day when it has time to marry

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The rule for this recipe was “Stick with single-sided searing” as to not overcook and finish off cooking with the residual heat. I would make this recipe again just for the sauce. I could see this sauce over any protein really. I even caught myself numerous times enjoying the sauce by the spoonful. So much so that I this tis makes an amazing gourmet salsa. Which will be showcased at my super simple Superbowl meal this Sunday. I didn’t shell my shrimp as I though a more rustic look made sense to me. I picture fresh caught shrimp clean and deveined and served au natural.

Christmas Candy Cane Cake

Christmas Candy Cane Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Christmas Candy Cane Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s Christmas time and I need a moist golden cake recipe much like my chocolate espresso cake. No time like a special holiday to experiment right lol.

Yield/Serving: Makes 3 – 6” inch pans
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45min – 50 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Cake
• 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
• 2 large eggs
• 1 can coconut milk
• ½ cup canola oil
• 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
Candy Cane Buttercream
• 2 cups butter, at room temperature
• 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
• ½ cup candy canes, crushed
• 3 tbsp milk
• 4 tsp pepermint extract
• Food colour/powder,gel
• sprinkles

Assembly
Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place parchment paper into three 6” cake pans and spray with non stick spray.
3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, milk, canola oil, vanilla and water.
5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the batter is smooth. Scape down the sides if needed.
6. Pour batter into pans evenly and slam on counter to remove air bubbles cover with aluminum foil. (The will make the cake moist and light)
7. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
8. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pans and then invert out the cakes and let cool on a wire rack for 35 to 40 minutes or more.
Candy Cane Buttercream
1. Using the stand mixer with the whisk attachment beat butter and confectioners’ sugar until creamy for about 10 minutes.
2. Add in milk and peppermint extract and combine well.
Christmas Decoration
1. Do a crumb coat of white buttercream, add crushed candy canes into the buttercream between the cake layers and place in fridge, and let firm up.
2. Prepare green and red buttercream from a portion on the white buttercream for the Christmas tree and stripes and set aside.
3. Frost cake alternating red and white in a stripe and then smooth.
4. Pipe Christmas tree shape on cake and then decorate with confections.

Tips
• Add more milk if the buttercream is too dry and more confectioners’ sugar if the buttercream is too wet.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was my first attempt at stripes and this Christmas tree motif. I’m quite happy with the look of the cake; even though my lines could be straighter and such. I can only get better from here and will work on the stripes. The cake was a touch to dense for me even though with three layers the cake need some stability. My tester enjoyed the cake (aren’t they sweet); but I’m then still working on the perfect golden vanilla cake recipe, and will keep working on my current recipes. I likes the peppermint frosting and the candy cane buttercream layers which made this a festive cake.

Y is for…Yam & Pumpkin Pie

Y is for…Yam & Pumpkin Pie – Candy Coated Culinista

This is a Pie I always make in the fall or winter, whether for Thanksgiving, Christmas it has some amazing flavours.

Yield/Serving: 2 pies
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
For Crust

• 1 cup Graham Cracker crumbs
• 1 cup Chocolate Cookies crumbs
• ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
For Pie
• 1 cup pumpkin puree
• 2 cups yams, peeled and rough chopped
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• ½ tsp ginger
• ½ tsp nutmeg
• 2 egg, whisked
• 1 can condensed milk
For Meringue
• 2 eggs whites
• 1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
• Pepitas for decoration, or pumpkin seeds

Assembly
1. Preheat over @ 375°F.
2. Mix graham cracker & chocolate cookie crumbs with butter in a medium bowl until moist. Add a little more melted butter is required.
3. Press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of two pie plate. Bake in centre of oven, covered with foil, for 10 min.
4. Boils yams in a saucepan until tender using a fork.
5. Drain water and mash yams.
6. In a large bowl add in pumpkin, yams, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg.
7. Whisk eggs in a small separate bowl and stir into the bowl filled with pumpkin and yams and mix.
8. Slowly pour in the can of condensed milk until absorbed.
9. Pour into pie shells and bake for 30 minutes.
10. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
11. Using the electric mixer pour in egg whites and slowly add the confectioner’s sugar.
12. Spread meringue on pumpkin pie.
13. Garnish with pepitas.
14. Serve warm or cold.

Tips
• If you have a kitchen butane torch, it will make burning the meringue much easier. Alternatively set the oven to broil to burn the meringue.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Another amazing spin on what seems to be my most made recipes. I preferred the chocolate and graham crumb crust and also the combination on pumpkin and yam. It gives the pie a firmness that I like. I also practice some more of my piping skills and was quite happy with how it turned out.

Cinderella Pumpkin Soup

Cinderella Pumpkin Soup - Candy Coated Culinista

Cinderella Pumpkin Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

My new traditional of two whole years of a weekend getaway to Norfolk County for Pumpkinfest is so enjoyable and relaxing. The autumn foliage, pumpkin patches, hiking and long walks, hay & corn mazes, great lakes, Halloween decorations and of course pumpkins. This year I finally decided to lug home to big pumpkins packed in the luggage.

Yield/Serving: 1 litre
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr to 1 hr. 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 white Cinderella pumpkin
• extra virgin olive oil
• 500 ml mushroom broth
• 500 ml vegetable broth
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Fresh oregano
• Fresh thyme

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 450°F
2. Wash pumpkin and de-seed and cut into pieces and place in a large bowl.
3. Coat pumpkin with extra virgin olive oil and place in roasting pan and roast for 60 minutes.
4. When pumpkin is finished roasting immediately place in a bowl and cover with saran wrap. (Letting the squash remain warm in the bowl, so it will be easier to remove the skin)
5. Over medium heat, in a large Dutch oven pour in the mushroom and vegetable stock and let cook.
6. Start peeling away the skin from the pumpkin and squash and add to pot.
7. Add salt, pepper, oregano and thyme and continue to cook for 30 minutes over medium-low heat.
8. At the 15 minute mark use an immersion blender to blend and let simmer.
9. Serve.

Tips
• Freeze a portion if desired.
• Don’t waste the seeds. Roast and add to soup as a garnish.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Simple and uncomplicated and divine. When I was in the pumpkin patch selecting my pumpkins I asked the farmer if the white pumpkins are well orange inside and if I could still bake or cook with them; to which she replied “yes” and I was sold. I bought two as I have never seen this breed or colour pumpkin before. The Cinderella pumpkin really shined with the roasted pumpkin seeds that added some much needed texture to the soup and I of course froze some for another day.

Bleeding Eyes Fault Line Cake

Bleeding Eyes Fault-Line Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Halloween everyone. This is my second favourite holiday in conjunction with Dia de los Muertos. I knew I wanted to make a new cake and well I am very happy how creepy; but cute this turned out.

Yield/Serving: Makes 3 – 6” inch pans
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45min – 50 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Cake

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 2 tbsp espresso powder
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
• 2 large eggs
• 2 cups milk
• ½ cup canola oil
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 tsp fancy molasses
• ½ cup boiling water
Buttercream
• 2 cups butter, at room temperature
• 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 3 tbsp milk
• 4 tsp pure vanilla extract
• Red food powder
• Clear Piping Gel
• Bloody candy eyes
• Black sprinkles

Assembly
Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place parchment paper into three 6” cake pans and spray with non stick spray.
3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, milk, canola oil, vanilla, molasses and water.
5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the batter is smooth. Scape down the sides if needed.
6. Pour batter into pans evenly and slam on counter to remove air bubbles cover with aluminum foil. (The will make the cake moist and light)
7. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
8. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pans and then invert out the cakes and let cool on a wire rack for 35 to 40 minutes or more.
Buttercream
1. Using the stand mixer with the whisk attachment beat butter and confectioners’ sugar until creamy for about 10 minutes.
2. Add in milk and vanilla and combine well.
Fault Line
1. Do a crumb coat of white buttercream and place in fridge and let firm up.
2. Apply eyeballs and sprinkles to cake.
3. Mix red food paint and clear piping gel until mixture turns red.
4. Pour into piping bag and decorate cake.
5. Enjoy

Tips
• Add more milk if the buttercream is too dry and more confectioners’ sugar if the buttercream is too wet.
• Batter may look far too runny; but don’t worry.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This cake was my backup cake if my more gruesome cake didn’t turn out. Well … sigh…my gruesome cake didn’t turn out because there was a technique I just couldn’t get to work. However, I am totally loving this back up cake turned out. It’s still very halloweeny and my fault line improved and it’s not keg shaped. Now I just have to work on another technique and next year I post one perfectly Halloween themed cake (fingers crossed). This is the same recipe I used for my Skull fault line cake; I just changed the decorations. Amazingly moist; but this time the buttercream had a much better texture. Not adding food colouring and whipping it for much longer helped a lot.

Everything Drop Biscuits with Cream Cheese

Everything Drop Biscuits with Cream Cheese - Candy Coated Culinista

Who doesn’t love an everything bagel and now to make it in a biscuit form … yes please.

Yield/Serving: 12
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 12 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Smitten Kitchen Everyday

Ingredients
Seed Mix

• 2 tbsp sesame seeds
• 2 tbsp poppy seeds
• 1 tbsp dried minced onion
• 2 tsp minced garlic
• 1 tsp coarse salt
Biscuits
• 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• 2 ½ tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp coarse salt
• 4 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
• 115 grams plain cream cheese, cold, cut into cubes
• 1 cup buttermilk

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Combine seeds into a small bowl.
4. Using a large bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
5. Add in cold butter and cream cheese and using fingertips or pastry blender, combine until mixture resembles a sand texture.
6. Add in buttermilk and stir until just combined, with the dough clumping together.
7. Drop 12 equal portion into the seeds mixture.
8. Space evenly on parchment paper and bake for 12 minutes.

Tips
• These are best on the first day.
• You can also freeze the dough in mounds; just let warm slightly from freezer and then roll in seeds and bake.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
What a great recipe and this was the one recipe that caught my eye immediately. I did find it a tad salty adding extra salt after there already being salt in the seed mixture; but otherwise love love love with the cream cheese in the dough … drool worthy. I also halved the recipe and it was simple enough, if you don’t need all 12 one day or freeze the other half. The cook time was off for me by 10 – 15 minutes; but I am already making these again Saturday morning.

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