Herbaceous Pattypan Squash

Herbaceous Pattypan Squash – Candy Coated Culinista

A visit to the local farmers markets always gets the creative juices flowing. This summer and fall season I’m lucky enough to have a new farmer’s market just steps from my door and I intend to take full advantage of what they have to offer. Heirloom tomatoes, fresh snap green beans, golden and purple beets, gourmet popsicles and pizza, fresh loaves of bread, honey, cheese and so much more. I found these lovely Pattypan squash for the second time in two years and I wanted to make a simple recipe to highlight and respect the local ingredients.

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

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp vegetarian butter
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 6 large sized pattypan squash, cut into quarters and eights
• Fresh thyme, finely diced
• Fresh dill, finely diced
• Fresh parsley, finely diced
• Fresh rosemary, finely diced
• Fresh Oregano, finely diced

Assembly
1. Over medium-high heat let butter and extra virgin olive oil get to the temperature of the pan and melt.
2. Add pattypan squash along with fresh herbs.
3. Cook for 5 min, ensuring squash stays crunchy.
4. Serve immediately.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I enjoyed pattypan squash for the first time last month when I visited the CN Tower 360 revolving restaurant. I hadn’t managed to buy the squash I saw last year, so I was very happy to come across it again this year. Simple summer sides are a delight to make especially with the farmers markets finest produce. The squash was buttery and herby and the aroma was delightful. I love a good crunchy vegetable and this was the perfect side to my dinner last night.

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Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries

Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries – Candy Coated Culinista

On a high from making my first naked layered cake I had to make a white cake option so I could actually enjoy a nice slice of cake.

Yield/Serving: Makes one 7 inch two-layer cake
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Medium

Slightly Altered From Eat Delicious by Dennis the Prescott

Ingredients
Cake

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
• 2 large free-range eggs
• 2 cups whole milk
• ½ cup olive oil
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 tbsp milk
• ½ cup boiling water
Buttercream
• ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
• 1 cups confectioners’ sugar
• ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
• 3 tbsp heavy cream
Chocolate Ganache
• 4 ounces dark chocolate (70%), chopped into very small chunks
• 1/3 cup heavy cream
• Pinch of salt
Fruit topping
• Handful of red cherries
• Handful of fresh blackberries
• Handful of blueberries

Assembly
Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease two 9” cake pans with butter.
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, olive oil, vanilla and milk.
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. Slowly add the boiling water and then increase the mixer speed to high and beat for one minute.
7. Pour batter into two pans and bake for 50 – 60 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 60 minutes or more.
Buttercream
9. Using the stand mixer with the fitted paddle attachment beat butter until creamy for about 1 minute.
10. Continue and add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed and add in vanilla and cream.
Ganache
11. Place chocolate pieces in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
12. Using a small saucepan bring cream to a simmer over medium heat.
13. Pour cream over chocolate and after about 5 minutes add a pinch of salt and stir melted chocolate until smooth.
Fruit
14. Prepare the fruit and combine in a bowl.
Cake
15. Place cake on a cake stand or serving tray and spread buttercream in an even layer.
16. Top the buttercream with some fruit.
17. Place the second cake on top of the buttercream and spread the chocolate ganache all over the top. Ensure to let a bit of ganache run over the edge.
18. Arrange the remaining fruit on top of the cake.
19. Serve.

Tips
• If you don’t have a mixer with a bigger bowl than traditional size this mixture will spill out. Mix a medium speed at all times.
• The covering the cake in aluminum foil didn’t work for me at all. It just left the centre half extremely raw. It only began to properly bake once I removed the foil.
• I omitted the Bailey’s as this was a birthday cake for a child and used orange juice instead.
• I erred on the side of caution and let the cake cool over night or for at least an hour.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The goal of this cake was to be a white cake with white chocolate ganache; but it turned out to be more of a yellow cake as it baked for an hour. I also learned there is no such thing as a white chocolate ganache (who knew) the composition of white chocolate is not conducive to a ganache and the consistency stays runny and never hardens. Lesson learned and I will have to figure out how to make a white coloured cake another time. This cake was so delicious and came from another recipe I made and will post another time. Once again this cake came out moist and I reduced the amount of confectioners’ sugar in the icing to my personal taste. This was given to accompany a birthday present and this time I enjoyed a slice myself. This recipe is now my layer cake base recipe and I can’t wait to build upon this recipe. It looked so wonderful on my cake plate which I never use because nothing is ever pretty enough to go on it in my eyes.

Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries – Candy Coated Culinista

Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries – Candy Coated Culinista

P is for … Pea Risotto

P is for … Pea Risotto - Candy Coated Culinista

P is for … Pea Risotto – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 20-22 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 900ml low sodium chicken stock
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, diced
• 1 cup Arborio rice
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1/3 cup fresh peas
• 1 tbsp unsalted butter
• Parmigiano Reggiano, to taste
• Handful of parsley, finely diced

Assembly
1. Pour chicken stock into a large saucepan over high heat and boil.
2. Once the chicken stock has boiled, turn down to low heat to keep warm.
3. In a medium saucepan heat extra virgin olive oil and pour in the onion and cook for three minutes.
4. Add in the garlic and continue cooking for another 3 minutes until soft and translucent.
5. Stir in one cup of Arborio rice along with sea salt and black pepper stirring constantly for two minutes.
6. Ladle in a half cup of chicken stock to the rice until the liquid is absorbed.
7. Continue adding chicken stock a half cup at a time until rice is tender with a firm centre and the risotto is creamy, about 20 to 22 minutes.
8. Add in the peas and butter in the last 3 minutes of cooking.
9. Stir in the parsley and grate some Parmigiano Reggiano to taste.
10. Serve immediately.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
A slow but well worth it process. Creamy and aldente with the fresh peas and parsley along with the Parmigiano Reggiano made this a rich dish.

Lime Meringue Tart

Lime Meringue Tart – Candy Coated Culinista

Once again I was making a dish and found myself with 5 leftover egg yolks. There were a few recipes that immediately came to my mind and I thought to myself I have only made a curd a couple of times with varied results. So this time I went for a lime version and then after a week I decided to make a Lime Meringue Tart.

Ingredients
Lime Curd

• 5 egg yolks
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• 2 limes, zested & juiced
• 1 stick of butter, cut into pats, cold
Crust
• 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tbsp granulated sugar
• 1 tbsp lime zest, about 1 lemon
• ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
• 1 egg yolk
Meringue
• 1 egg white
• ¼ cup granulated sugar
• ¼ tsp cream of tartar
• Confectioner’s sugar, to decorate (optional)

Assembly
Curd

1. Using a medium saucepan pour an inch of water to the pot and let simmer on medium-high heat.
2. Using a metal bowl combine egg yolks and sugar and whisk until smooth, about a minute. (Metal bowl should be able to fit into the pot without touching the water in the saucepan leaving a gap between the water and the bowl.)
3. Add lime juice and zest to mixture.
4. Once pot has reached a simmer reduce to low heat and place bowl over saucepan.
5. Whisk mixture until thickened, about 8 minutes or when mixture coats the back of a spoon and is a light yellow colour.
6. Remove from saucepan and stir in butter pats one at a time allowing each pat to melt before adding the next.
7. Pour into a container and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd.
Crust
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a food processor or electric mixer combine flour, sugar and lemon zest until mixed.
3. Add in butter and egg yolk and combine until crumbs start to clump together resembling peas.
4. Pour mixture into a 9” tart pan with a removable bottom.
5. Press mixture down and up the sides of the tart pan with your fingertips.
6. Bake crust for about 35 minutes or until golden brown and let cool.
Tart
1. Pour lime curd over tart and bake until curd jiggles about 25 minutes and let cool.
2. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight to let the curd set.
Meringue
1. Using an electric mixer pour in egg white and whisk on high speed until frothy.
2. Add in cream of tartar and sugar until still peaks are achieved.
3. Place meringue in a piping bag and pipe around the edges of the tart.
Decoration
1. Decorate with sprinkled confectioners’ sugar in a pattern if desired.
2. Serve

Tips
• Curd can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
A punch of tart with some sweet is a great flavor combination. The crust was crisp and crumbly. This curd recipe came from a prominent American Food Network personality and it was excessively sugary. I was not the only one who thought so and I halved the sugar in the lime curd. I will make an alternate for Thanksgiving or Christmas perhaps. I have some great ideas running through my head as I type this.

Zucchini & Fennel Spinach Pesto Salad

Zucchini Fennel & Spinach Pesto Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

I was given the hugest Zucchini I have ever seen from a co-workers garden and now. I could cradle the thing like a new born baby if that give you any indication of size. Since I clearly have zucchini for the week and for weeknight dinner with friends I figured a new recipe was in order.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Pesto

• 1/2 cup fresh basil
• 1 cup fresh spinach packed
• 2 tbsp pine nuts
• 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
• 2 clove garlic, rough chop
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Salad
• ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
• ½ small fennel, thinly sliced
• 4 medium sized zucchini, trimmed and sliced into ribbons
• ½ pint cherry tomatoes, halved
• ¼ Yellow bell pepper, diced
• ¼ Orange bell pepper, diced

Tips
• Serve with grilled chicken breast for added protein and pour leftover pesto sauce over top of the chicken breast.

Assembly
Pesto

1. In a food processor place basil, spinach, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, sea salt, black pepper and blend until finely chopped.
2. With the machine running pour in the extra virgin olive oil until pesto is uniform and set aside.
3. Squeeze lemon juice at the end and stir in with a spoon.
Salad
1. Slice red onion..
2. Using a mandolin slice the zucchini lengthwise into ribbons and fennel thinly into strips.
3. Halve the grape tomatoes and dice yellow and orange bell pepper.
4. Place all ingredients into a bowl add pesto and incorporate.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This salad was delicious and flavourful. I was surprised how tasty the spinach pesto was considering I couldn’t find arugula at the supermarket. I even went to the expensive fancy grocer to collect it and there was no arugula to be found. Considering the ingredients for this recipe aren’t the cheapest and I got the zucchini for free this would be perfect for a dinner party or with guests and these are some quality ingredients being used; don’t save it just for yourself.

Garden Zucchini – Candy Coated Culinista

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