Harvest Gluten Free Spiced Oatmeal Muffins

Harvest Gluten Free Spiced Oatmeal Muffins - Candy Coated Culinista

Harvest Gluten Free Spiced Oatmeal Muffins – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 12
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 cup gluten free flour
• ½ cup gluten free rolled oats, plus some for topping
• ½ tsp plus 1/8 tsp baking powder
• 1/8 tsp ground ginger
• 1/8 tsp ground cloves
• ¼ tsp cardamom
• 1 tsp mixed spice (cinnamon, coriander, caraway, nutmeg, ginger, cloves)
• 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 tbsp molasses
• ½ cup packed golden brown sugar
• 1 large egg, at room temperature
• ½ tsp vanilla paste
• ½ cup plus 1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Line muffin cups into muffin pan.
3. In a medium sized bowl whisk flour, oats, baking powder and spices and set aside.
4. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed mix the molasses, butter and sugars for about 5 minutes.
5. Scrape down the sides and continue to mix adding the egg and vanilla paste for 30 more seconds on low speed.
6. Add half of the flour mixture and pumpkin and incorporate.
7. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and pumpkin.
8. Scoop into muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then move to a wire cooling rack.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe was intended to be cookies; but after I baked six cookies, the result was so fluffy that these really couldn’t be called cookies. I was hoping the batter would spread more than it did; so I grabbed the muffin pan and mad some muffins. This recipe tasted like everything autumn to me and its gluten-free.

Sausage & Pepper Soup with Kale

Sausage & Pepper Soup with Kale - Candy Coated Culinista

Sausage & Pepper Soup with Kale – Candy Coated Culinista

When September rolls around Mother Nature can be so unpredictable. The mornings and nights are so cold and the mid-day is still summer weather; how is a person to dress? I find myself wearing a leather jacket to work to keep the chill off; but then when my work day is done I am walking home with my coat in my hand. This brought me to this recipe as I like the idea of sausage and peppers; yet I don’t really care for the actual dish at all. I thought since the nights are getting colder maybe I could invent a new dish from an old classic.

Yield/Serving: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• canola oil, for cooking
• 1 small red onion, medium chop
• 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 medium yellow potato, peeled and cut into cubes
• 796 ml canned whole plum tomatoes
• 900 ml Beef stock
• 1 tbsp granulated sugar
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Canola oil, for cooking
• 4 mild Italian sausages, removed from the casings
• 1 ½ cup kale
• Green pepper, diced, to garnish

Assembly
1. Over medium high-heat pour canola oil in a pot along with onion and garlic and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes.
2. Add potato, tomatoes, beef stock, sugar, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked.
4. Using an immersion blender, puree until soup is smooth and continue to simmer.
5. In another pan pour canola oil over medium-high heat and cook the sausage until browned.
6. Add the sausage and kale into the soup and cook until kale is wilted.
7. Serve

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
So flavourful and easy to make and I finally got to use my new Cusinart Teal Enamel Dutch oven. I loved how the onions and garlic caramelized in the pot so fast. The addition of kale along with the crispness and crunch of the green pepper garnish made this whole dish come together. I even have leftovers to freeze for an even colder day.

F is for … Raw Fig Almond Balls

F is for ... Raw Fig Almond Balls  - Candy Coated Culinista

F is for … Raw Fig Almond Balls – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 12-16 balls, depending on your size

Ingredients
• 2 cups raw almonds, or almond meal
• 250g soft dried figs, chopped and de-stemmed
• ½ cup dried cherries, chopped
• 1/3 cup shredded coconut, plus extra for coating the fig balls
• 1/8 cup sesame seeds, plus extra for coating the fig balls
• 1/8 cup black sesame seeds, plus extra for coating the fig balls
• 4-6 tbsp pure Canadian maple syrup

Assembly
1. In a food processor grind almonds into a coarse meal. Ensure you don’t over grind to the point of almond butter. If you have leftover almond meal from making almond milk like I do then use that instead of grinding up raw almonds.
2. Add the figs and cherries and process until well combined.
3. Pour almond mixture into a large bowl and fold in the coconut, sesame seeds and maple syrup.
4. Form mixture into 1” size balls with your hands.

Tips
• If all you can’t find soft dried figs, then soak dehydrated figs for a few hours and de-stem them. They should plum back up some.
• I used my leftover almond meal from making my homemade almond milk.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I loved the idea of making a raw dish, but I think my palette is not used to this. I love that I found a way to use my leftover almond meal; but for me it just comes down to texture and it’s a little too soft. I loved all the flavours and the coating of coconut and sesame seeds did help me like it more.

Food Diaries: Front Street Foods

Frisco Fries - Candy Coated Culinista

Frisco Fries – Candy Coated Culinista

Location: Union Station (65 Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario (Between Bay St. & York St.)
Hours: July 6 – September 27, 2015- Monday – Friday: 7am – 9pm, Saturday: 11am – 9pm, Sunday: 11am – 6:30 pm

This summer the newly renovated Union station has been home to Front Street Foods – a culinary market showcasing some of the best foods from chefs, restaurants, food entrepreneurs offering delectable edibles. I have walked by and through numerous times now and finally thought I should actually try something. There are plenty of seats and live music is played at lunch time to make your visit more welcoming.
After tasting the Garlic Snow Crab Fries with Garlic Aioli from Jake’s Lobster at the CNE I found out that Fresh off the Boat also offered a dish called Frisco Fries. Now to me these two dishes looked exactly the same visually and the price was the same at $10.

This review is a little hard for me as I always find the good in a bad situation at least in one aspect; but my review of these fries were they were just ok. I went just before the lunch rush 11:30am on a Friday and upon receipt of my Frisco Fries I could see there were less whole pieces of crab; but if it still taste good that’s fine and I’d still be happy. Upon consumption I found the fries to not be seasoned and my order was all the small end fries (like the bottom of a batch) I’m not sure if they use smaller fries but in any event all those tiny fries just wouldn’t make sense. The fries as a whole were definitely greasier and I didn’t want to finish it my order. As for the garlic aioli; it was good but there wasn’t enough dill also. For the $10 the portion was bigger but the ratio of crab to fries was off in my opinion.

Now all this being said I think I will visit the brick and motar store and maybe try the fries again and order something else because I always give people and things a second try probably to my detriment but that’s just who I am. I do have my eye on their Mediterranean Shrimp Sandwich or the FU-Schnicken and i’d really like to give those a try.

Other vendors here are: Mad Mexican, CC On front, Caplansky’s, Helluva Falafel, Kupfert & Kim, Little Fin, Republica Sandwhiches, Chocosol, Bacon nation, Come and Get It, Drink Inc., Loaded Pierogi, Holy Chuck burger, Pancho’s Bakery, Hula Girl Espresso, Jedd’s Frozen Custard, Jamie’s Cracked Corn, Station Cold Brew Co., Pekoe Kombucha Bar, Hotbunzz Street Cusinine, Uncle Tetsu, The Mighty Cob, Miche Bakery (July/ August Only), YOLO T.O. (July/ August Only), Toben Food By Design (July/ August Only), Cava Sur (July/ August Only), Greenhouse Juice Co. (July/ August Only), Small Batch Co. (July/ August Only), Wanna Banana (July/ August Only), Fred’s Bread, Eative, Nisos Importing

Fresh Off The Boat - Candy Coated Culinista

Fresh Off The Boat – Candy Coated Culinista

CNE 2015 & Food Truck Frenzy

Bacon Nation - Slaw Dog Millionaire - Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation – Slaw Dog Millionaire – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s that time of year again; and as fast as the CNE arrives it means summer is almost over; but I get to try some of those crazy CNE foods and enjoy the Food Truck Frenzy once again. This year I found a sneak peak listing of the new and interesting foods available this year and some of the must tries on the list were: Cake Poutine, Chicken & Waffles on a Stick, Poutine Balls, Bacon wrapped Grilled Cheese, Red Velvet Oreos, Garlic Snow Crab Fries with Garlic Aioli, Timbit Poutine, Deep fried Cheesecake and Frosted Flake Battered Chicken on a Stick. I really wanted to taste the Frosted flake Chicken as that is my favourite cereal; but I decided not to this time around.

I went two times again this year the CNE to spread out my food consumption: once to try the CNE foods and then back for the Food Truck Frenzy with my girls. Here is a quick rundown of the foods I tried or got reviews from other tester I went with. I ate so much at the food Truck Frenzy it was criminal and I really don’t know how I managed to pack all that away and not be in a food coma.

Garlic Snow Crab Fries with Garlic Aioli – Jack’s Lobster (Food Building) – $10
Jake’s Lobster in the Food Building was serving up snow crab over fresh cut fries and garnished with garlic aioli and fresh herbs and topped with a lemon wedge. This was one of the food items on the top of my list and it was delicious. The potion size was a little small and I could have eaten two easy; but it was delicious. The ratio of seafood to fries was bang on. I appreciated seeing some crab legs and the fries were perfectly salted. I would eat this again and again and will try to make this at home.

Cake Poutine – Culinary student from Humber College (Direct Energy Building) – $5
The cake fries are made from a rich vanilla bean infused cake and lathered in warm chocolate, caramel or strawberry sauce. Bacon bits, marshmallows, strawberries and maple syrup are just some of the toppings. I had the O’ Canada Cake Poutine which was vanilla cake fries, strawberry sauce and white chocolate chips. This was a must try for me as I had to support these two ladies who created the booth that were from my Alma Mata Humber College. The cake was dense but soft and held up to the sauce. I enjoyed this a lot and it was a creative spin on a Canadian classic. I even took a little home as I was beyond full at the end of the night.

Chicken & Waffles on a Stick $8
It’s like a corndog but with the hog dog replaced with the chicken and the cornbread casing is now a waffle batter. I was told it was overrated and I still really wanted to try it but I couldn’t find the booth.

Bacon wrapped Grilled Cheese – Bacon Nation (Food Building) – $10
Bacon wrapped cheddar & mozzarella sandwich served with special ketchup. A review of this sandwich was it was overpriced and shrunk a lot upon cooking and the bacon wasn’t crispy; which defeats the purpose as how can you eat a sandwich wrapped in bacon and chew through it with chewy bacon. I believe this was an opening problem as when I saw pictures as the days passed the grilled cheese started having a crispier bacon covering.

Red Velvet Oreos –3 for $8
Double stuffed Oreos dipped in red velvet batter and deep fried; dusted with confectioners’ sugar and cream cheese icing. A common review I heard was it was little pricy and wasn’t necessarily worth the price; which makes sense but you are buying this for the novelty of it.

Deep Fried Cheesecake – Pickle Pete’s -$7
A New York style cheesecake wrapped in a tortilla and deep fried and served with cinnamon sugar and chocolate syrup on top. This was recommended to me to give a try as it was surprisingly light; but I am not a cheesecake lover.

Food Truck Frenzy

This year there seemed to be a Beer Event being held within the Food Truck Frenzy and there were beer pairings offered for foods from the trucks. I personally wasn’t a fan of this as I don’t drink beer and then all of the trucks didn’t offer drinks this year. My only option was to go to the Coca Cola stand to buy Coke products. I don’t drink pop or caffeine either so I had to wait until I found my lemonade vendor as I know they are always in the Direct Energy Building. I will say I wasn’t the only one to complain. I heard many complaints and surprisingly men to were at the top of this list to air their feelings.

Slaw Dog Millionaire – Bacon Nation – $12
Bacon wrapped hot dog with apple slaw. I never eat hot dogs and when I do they are always chicken hot dogs so this was a great change for me. I loved the saltiness of the hot dog and the crunch of the slaw.

Apple Porkfection – Bacon Nation – $12
Pulled Pork, bacon strips, apple slaw on a bacon bun. This was sweet and salty the perfect combination.

Athens Fries – Pappas Greek “on wheels” – $9

Feta, Tzatziki & gravy. I’m a sucker for a poutine without the cheese curds. I couldn’t finish this and had to share. The tzatziki is the best I’ve ever had as it was thicker, creamier and more complex. I’m not sure what they did to it but it was amazing. I would go back and buy and container if that was possible.

Feta Fries – Pappas Greek “on wheels” – $8
Just like the Athens Fries minus the gravy. I preferred my version better; but this was still amazing and the owners were so polite.

The Lumberjack – Gorilla Cheese – $10
Bacon, granny smith apple, maple syrup, aged cheddar. A sweet and salty combo that was very satisfying and worth every penny.

Shawarma Bombs – Gourmet Guyz – $7
Tabbouleh, rice and chicken wrapped inside a wonton wrapper served with dipping sauce. This was one of the more inventive food options at the food truck frenzy.

Lemon Heaven – Cherry Lemonade – $3.50
A must have for me. This time I had a cherry lemonade a favourite flavour of mine. It’s never too sweet and the perfect refreshing palate cleansing drink.

Like usual I had an excellent food adventure and everything I tasted was delicious. This year I noticed those ingredients that Canadians love being: poutine, gravy, cheese bacon were available at every food truck and I’m not complaining, were in Canada eh!

Bacon Nation - Apple Porkfection - Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation – Apple Porkfection – Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon Heaven - Cherry Lemonade - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon Heaven – Cherry Lemonade – Candy Coated Culinista

Cake Poutine - O' Canada - Candy Coated Culinista

Cake Poutine – O’ Canada – Candy Coated Culinista

Gourmet Guyz - Sharwarma Bombs - Candy Coated Culinista

Gourmet Guyz – Sharwarma Bombs – Candy Coated Culinista

Pappas Greek - Athens Fries & Feta Fries - Candy Coated Culinista

Pappas Greek – Athens Fries & Feta Fries – Candy Coated Culinista


Pappas Greek - Candy Coated Culinista

Pappas Greek – Candy Coated Culinista

Gorilla Cheese - Lumberjack - Candy Coated Culinista

Gorilla Cheese – Lumberjack – Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation - Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation – Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy - Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy – Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy - Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy – Candy Coated Culinista

Baked Ricotta with Thyme and Lemon

Baked Ricotta with Thyme and Lemon - Candy Coated Culinista

Baked Ricotta with Thyme and Lemon – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is:
Easy

Ingredients
• 500g fresh soft Ricotta cheese, water squeezed from it
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 tbsp fresh thyme minced
• Zest from 1 lemon
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• ¼ cup parmigiano reggiano
• ½ jalapeño, finely diced
• Handful of cilantro, finely diced
• Green onion, sprig of
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Mix all of the ingredients into a large bowl and well combined.
3. Spoon into a fancy baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling and slightly golden.
4. Let cool for 5 minutes and then serve.

Tips
• Make sure you squeeze the water from the ricotta cheese.
• Serve with black and green olives, polish sausage, fancy crackers and bread.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This would be a great appetizer to serve at a party or a fancier snack. I didn’t take into account the water content of the ricotta and once we started eating it I could see some water at the bottom of the dish.

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