Salt & Vinegar Mini Potatoes

Salt & Vinegar Mini Jewel Potatoes - Candy Coated Culinista

Salt & Vinegar Mini Jewel Potatoes – Candy Coated Culinista

A grown up potato chip you say. Sounds great.

Yield/Serving: 3-4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1.5 pounds Yellow, Red & Blue Mini potatoes, halved
• ¾ cup white vinegar
• 1 tbsp kosher salt
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• 1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. In a large saucepan bring water to a boil and cook potatoes until tender, about 10 minutes.
2. Drain in a colander.
3. Using a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat add in the butter and add in the potatoes face down as best you can and let brown for 5 minutes.
4. Add in the vinegar and salt and continue cooking until crisp.
5. Add a little black pepper and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is my new favourite way to make my mini gem potatoes. They’re crispy, crunchy and oh so tasty. I have cut potato chips from my diet and this really fills the spot for my cravings once and awhile. I am wondering what other types of potato chips flavours I can infuse this way dill pickle, ketchup or even all dressed maybe.

Salt & Vinegar Mini Jewel Potatoes - Candy Coated Culinista

Salt & Vinegar Mini Jewel Potatoes – Candy Coated Culinista

Salt & Vinegar Mini Jewel Potatoes - Candy Coated Culinista

Salt & Vinegar Mini Jewel Potatoes – Candy Coated Culinista

Speedy Rum Baba

Rum Baba - Candy Coated Culinista

Rum Baba – Candy Coated Culinista

This recipe comes from another one of my favourite Canadian chefs Laura Calder. Ever since I saw “French Food at Home” there is just something about the show. The theme song with the French music just evokes thoughts of Paris immediately and the types of food I’ll be enjoying. The TV show is no longer on Food Network Canada, but I am still a huge fan and I am using my personalized autographed Paris Express cookbook to make this Rum Baba. When I went to her book signing she was so lovely and was dressed exactly how I imagined her to be – classic and monochromatic. I asked her what her favorite recipes from the book was and she said she had made this recipe just this morning before the book signing; and this is where I will start then. This recipe is not a classic baba as it contains no yeast but it’s still soaked in hard liquor and that’s what counts right?

From Paris Express – Laura Calder

Yield/Serving: 8 slices
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 40 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Cake
• 1 cup flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 4 eggs
• ½ cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
Syrup
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 ½ cups water
• ¼ cup dark rum

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray a 9” pan with non stick cooking spray.
3. In a medium-sized bowl sift the flour baking powder together.
4. In a large bowl whisk the eggs and then beat in the sugar until thick and frothy and whisk in the vanilla extract.
5. Pour in the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and whisk until a smooth batter comes together.
6. Pour into baking pan.
7. Bake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
8. With 10 minutes left in the cook time, over high heat add water and sugar into a pot and let boil for 3 minutes.
9. Once the mixture has boiled remove from heat and add in the dark rum.
10. Turn cake onto a serving plate and slowly spoon the syrup over top the cake.
11. Let cool completely.
12. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream.

Tips
• The cake was cooked at the 35 minute mark maybe even a little earlier for me.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Surprisingly the cake absorbed almost all the liquid and it was moist with the taste and smell of rum. Almost two days later and the cake is still moist. This was hands down the fastest and simplest recipe I have ever made. In a rush this is now on my list of go to quick recipes.

DC Cupcakes

I was going through some of my old posts pre-blogging and found this food entry of the time I met Katherine Kallinis and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne.

Who: DC Cupcakes – Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne (Airs on TLC)
Book: The Cupcake Diaries: Recipes and Memories from the Sisters of Georgetown Cupcake

As I am a fan of DC cupcake, the moment I saw there was a book signing coming up I was in. I arrived early and realized this was a much more subdued book signing as there were more adults, fewer children and a smaller line. In the eyes of the public, they are new to the baking scene so only true fans would be going. I arrived at 5pm and was 3rd in line for a 7pm book signing. During their question and answer period I learned that they are from Hamilton, Ontario and would love to open a cupcake shop in Toronto someday! If they ever open a shop in the Greater Toronto Area I will make it a point to visit and even see if I could get a part-time job and learn all I can about running a business and baking for the public. These ladies have been through so much to get where they are today, and their knowledge; tips would be priceless to me.

Katherine and Sophie talked about their favourite recipes, how they come up with flavours and how they fell into making a show. (They were selling cupcakes like every average day, and one of the customers worked for TLC, and the rest is history). They told us about all the hard work, what it takes to get a business started and the very long hours that goes into this business, but that it’s much more rewarding then there previous 9 to 5 jobs.

When all was said and done we were treated to some cupcakes, yummy! As I have an idea of which cupcakes are what flavour from the show, I picked the red velvet with the cream cheese icing and it tasted great! They were very moist considering that they made them back at their Flagship store in Georgetown Washington D.C., and sent them here a little ahead of their arrival. This was a very thoughtful and sweet gesture to show some appreciation to the fans. The frosting wasn’t too cream cheesy; which is the way I prefer my red velvet cupcakes, and this was the first time I had seen the cloud piping on a cupcake. The whole atmosphere was more relaxed and we were allowed more personal candid shots, and in my eyes this was an afternoon and evening very well spent.

If I’m ever in the U.S.A. and near one of their shops I will line up and indulged in a beautiful delicious cupcakes, wait who am I kidding probably a few.

B.K.T. (Bacon Kale & Tomato) Salad

B.K.T. (Bacon Kale & Tomato) Salad - Candy Coated Culinista

B.K.T. (Bacon Kale & Tomato) Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

This robust and flavourful salad is a tasty salad that I like to enjoy after those indulgent weekends.

Inspired from Salad Samurai

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Salad
• 5 slices bacon ( bacon)
• 1 bunch Kale
• 1 sprig green onion
• Generous handful of spinach
• Handful of grape tomatoes, halved
• 2 carrots, shredded
• ½ English cucumber, large dice
• Handful of Cranberries
• Handful of Walnuts
Dressing
• 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
• Black pepper to taste

Assembly
1. Using a large frying pan, fry bacon until cooked.
2. Drain bacon on a paper towel and cut into pieces.
3. Strip the kale leaves and tear and dry and place in a large bowl.
4. Add in the spinach, tomato, carrots, cucumber, cranberries and walnuts in and mix.
5. In a medium size bowl vigorously whisk the dressing ingredients until emulsified.
6. Pour over salad and mix until coated.

Tips
• Substitute bacon with soy, tempeh or tofu bacon.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I love a good salad and this one is at the top of my list. Kale is a little on the chewy side, but I still enjoyed the flavour profile. Sweet, salty and contrasting textures and flavours. For once I was trying to find a bacon substitute and surprisingly I couldn’t find Tempeh, I don’t even know what it is really, so I added what I know and love bacon.

Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches with my Failed Fudge Filling

Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches with Failed Fudge Filling - Candy Coated Culinista

Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches with Failed Fudge Filling – Candy Coated Culinista

This recipe came about out of a sense of urgency. Here’s the story: I have successfully made a marshmallow chocolate fudge recipe. The recipe was perfect but it was also colder out; and as I’ve come to learn the hard way… fudge is very temperamental. If it’s humid the fudge will not set no matter what, not even in the freezer. Feeling the urge to not be wasteful and throw the failed attempts out I am using my two failed fudge recipes today: Cheesecake fudge attempt number 2 and Marshmallow Pecan fudge attempt number 2. I wanted to make something like an ice cream sandwich recipe, but without the ice cream and I thought to try making shortbread cookies, and break in my new cookie cutters, and also re-purpose my failed fudge as a decadent filling.

Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 1 ¾ sticks butter, at room temperature
• ½ cup sugar
• 1 tbsp vanilla extract
• 1 egg
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• ¼ tsp salt
• 2 tsp baking powder

Assembly/Method
Shortbread Cookies
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Mix together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment for 4 minutes.
3. Add the egg and reduce speed to low then add the flour slowly along with the salt and baking powder until combined.
4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
5. Lightly flour your working surface and roll out the dough until its 1 inch thick.
6. Use the cookie cutters to stamp out cookies.
7. Now place dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
8. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden.
9. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
Cookie Assembly
1. Spread the fudge spread into the middle of each cookie and place a second cookie on top, making a sandwich. Keep in mind not to spread the filling all the way to the edges.
2. Let the cookies set for a couple of hours and enjoy.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
“ OMG, the shortbread is sooo insanely good!! Thank you. They look so yummy and shortbread is my weakness. oohhhhhhlalalalala!”
“Thank you for the yummy cookies … you are so thoughtful!! “

My thoughts
It felt great not wasting my failed recipes. The shortbread turned out well, just golden on the edges and crumbly. Mr. C loved these so much; he ate some of my cookies I had stashed away to practice my cookie decorating skills on. Luckily I caught him before he had the chance to eat them all.

Roasted Rosemary Rutabaga & Veggies

Roasted Rosemary Rutabaga & Veggies - Candy Coated Culinista

Roasted Rosemary Rutabaga & Veggies – Candy Coated Culinista

When Thanksgiving and the autumn season rolls around I always want to incorporate rutabaga into something and this simple side dish fits the bill.

Yield/Serving: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into a thick julienned
• 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
• Green beans, generous handful
• Fresh rosemary, off the stem and chopped a little
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil.
3. Place vegetables on roasting pan and sprinkle with rosemary and toss.
4. Bake for 1 hour.
5. Plate and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Roasting veggies couldn’t be easier. Once I finished peeling the rutabaga all I did was coat the vegetables and tossed them in the oven. The green beans and rutabaga were still crunchy and I could taste the rosemary. This is a great no fuss side dish.

Roasted Rutabagas, Green Beans & Carrots - Candy Coated Culinista

Roasted Rutabagas, Green Beans & Carrots – Candy Coated Culinista

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw - Candy Coated Culinista

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw – Candy Coated Culinista

Exploring Queen Street West again I went in a saw what Belmonte Raw had to offer. I usually wouldn’t have gone in but since I went to Greenhouse Juice Co. I am more eager to try other juice bars. Also since I knew I was going to be heading home with a bunch of unhealthy cookies, I should start off on a good foot. Belmonte Raw’s motto is cleanse, nourish, indulge & learn. They specialize in nutritious whole foods and juices, cleanses, raw foods and even have raw food making classes.

Today I had.
Refresh Juice – Carrot, apple, beet, lemon, ginger – It promises to be sweet, spicy, tangy and robust and it was. Benefits – Maintain healthy blood pressure, circulation, and aids in preventing cardiovascular issues. I am really fond of beet juice, I have always liked beets when prepared correctly and its sweetness is reminiscent of normal juices and I like that a lot.

Trail Mix – Cranberries, gogi berries, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, raisins, walnuts, hemp seeds & sunflower seeds. I don’t usually eat trail mixes because they tend to have granola or chocolate or marshmallows in it and those are all a no for me in my trail mixes. I want my trail mixes hearty and healthy; as I prefer them to be sweet from dried fruits and not candy. I wasn’t fond of the hemp hearts as they were so tiny and make the mix hard to eat on the go but it all tasted great together, and I think I will start making my own trail mix.

This cost around $20 but each bottle requires a $2 deposit and if returned you will receive your money back or put towards your next purchase. Once again eating healthy or raw doesn’t come cheap but it sure is tasty and you feel good about yourself.

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw - Candy Coated Culinista

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw – Candy Coated Culinista

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw - Candy Coated Culinista

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw – Candy Coated Culinista

Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder - Candy Coated Culinista

Corn Chowder – Candy Coated Culinista

Corn chowder is the ultimate comfort food I have never tried or made before.

Yield/Serving: 4

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 3 stalk celery, chopped
• 1 stalk leek, chopped
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• ¼ tsp dried thyme
• 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 2 cup vegetable stock
• 1 sweet red pepper, diced
• 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into cubes
• 2 cups fresh corn kernels, of the cob
• ¼ cup fresh Itallian parsley
• ½ tsp paprika
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Using a large saucepan over medium high heat pour extra virgin olive oil.
2. Add in the celery, onion, leeks along with dried thyme and cook until slightly browned, stirring frequently.
3. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir for a few minutes.
4. Add in the heavy cream and potato and let boil, stirring as to not let the vegetables stick to the bottom of the pot.
5. Add in the vegetable stock and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
6. Ladle into a soup bowl and garnish with parsley.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I don’t think I’m a fan of creamy milk based soups; I am more of broth fan. I just couldn’t get passed the fact that there was milk in my soup. The flavours were great but when I make this again I will make it using stock and not any milk products. This soup was vibrant and colourful and I wanted to eat it with my eyes, which are all the qualities you want when looking at your food.

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