R is for … Rainier Cherry Puree Pops

R is for … Rainer Cherry Ice Pops – Candy Coated Culinista

Ranier cherries are the best period. I love them even though they are so expensive and I really should just stay away. I was grocery shopping and saw these peculiar looking cherries and to me they just looked a little anaemic; but low and behold these were Ranier cherries and I decided to purchase a 2lbs container up and give them a try. These were so sweet and succulent that I could eat a whole container myself in one sitting. I still find these are still too pricy, but they are only around for maybe a month in the summer, so I will splurge to taste these wonderful fruit gems.

Yield/Serving: approx. 10 popsicles (depending on your mold size)
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 8 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 2 cups ranier cherries, pitted
• ¼ cup sugar
• 2 cups water

1. Combine cherries, water and sugar in a small saucepan.
2. Over medium-high heat let simmer for 8 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Let the mixture cool.
4. Pour mixture into a blender and pulse slightly.
5. Fill the ice pop molds and freeze overnight.
6. Unmold and serve.

• Run over luke warm water to unmold.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Yum immediately came to mind and this is a great way to have rainier cherries. I added strawberries to a few popsicles to give a variety to the puree pops and they still tasted wonderful.


Q is for … Mediterranean Vegetable Quiche

Q is for … Mediterranean Vegetable Quiche – Candy Coated Culinista

Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. These delicate little quiches are good anytime of day and taste of the Mediterranean.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 30 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 1 tbsp butter
• 2 large eggs
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 cup whole milk
• Pinch of sea salt
• Pinch of black pepper
• ¼ tsp Greek spices
• Handful of spinach
• 10 Kalamata olives pitted and chopped
• ¼ grape tomatoes, halved
• 1/8 cup red onion diced
• ¼ cup feta cheese, cubed
• ¼ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Butter the dishes and set aside.
3. Using a medium bowl and whisk eggs, heavy cream, milk, salt, pepper and spices together.
4. In a separate bowl add vegetables and feta cheese and mix and place in dish.
5. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top and pour egg mixture over top.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until quiche has set.
7. Let cool and cut into slices.


Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I know only three foods of dishes that start with a Q that I could make that wouldn’t entail me searching far and wide for peculiar and exotic ingredients. So I went back and made another quiche but crustless this time; eliminating the part of my last quiche that I didn’t love.

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

• 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

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.

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.

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.

M is for … Melon Cucumber Salad

M is for … Melon Cucumber Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

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

• 4 tbsp lemon juice
• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tsp agave nectar
• 1/4 tsp sea salt
• 1/4 tsp black pepper
• 1 small honeydew melon, seeded and cut into bite-sized chunks
• 1 golden kiwi, halved and sliced
• ½ English cucumber, cut into chunks
• 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
• 1/3 cup black olives, roughly chopped
• 3 tbsp finely chopped dill
• ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

1. In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, agave nectar, salt and pepper until emulsified.
2. In a large bowl add honey dew, golden kiwi, English cucumber, red onion, black olives and dill.
3. Drizzle dressing over salad and mix.
4. Finally top with crumbled feta cheese and give one last quick mix and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is one of my most creative salads to date. The combination of fruits and vegetables and it being both salty and sweet was very delicious. I would make this for a dinner party in a heartbeat.

L is for … Lentil Quinoa Salad

L is for ... Lentil & Quinoa Salad - Candy Coated Culinista

L is for … Lentil & Quinoa Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

I have had a very long break from my Alphabet Cuisine series and the letter “L” is the reason why. I found a few recipes with Lamb and Lentils but they were just okay and I wanted the series to consist of new and interesting recipes and ingredients I don’t cook with a bunch. I have been working hard to get lentils to work and I finally found a recipe that it out of the park delicious.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 10-15 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy


• 1 cup tri-coloured quinoa
• ¼ cup orange lentils, washed
• ¼ cup green lentils, washed
• 2 stalks celery, diced
• 1 green onion, chopped
• ½ small red onion, diced
• ½ zucchini, diced
• Handful of dill, finely chopped
• Handful of parsley, finely chopped
• Handful of rosemary, finely chopped
• Handful of oregano, finely chopped
• Handful of thyme, finely chopped
• 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 8 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• Juice from 1 lemon
• 2 tsp kosher salt
• 2 tsp black pepper

1. Using a small saucepan, with the lentils in the pot bring the water up to a boil then let simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. Lentils.
2. In a medium saucepan pour quinoa into the pot and bring to a boil then let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. In the meantime, prep all the vegetables, herbs, and place in a large bowl and set aside.
4. In a small bowl whisk the dressing ingredients together until emulsified.
5. Drain off the water from the lentils and quinoa once cooked and then pour into the bowl with the herbs & vegetables and incorporate.
6. Add in the dressing and mix well.
7. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have another recipe with quinoa and lentils in it that I can say I am thoroughly enjoying. I think the catch with lentil or quinoa is these two ingredients really can’t stand alone and require flavourful and many other ingredients to help the appeal of them. Or that is the case for myself as I can’t enjoy lentils and quinoa alone in . The fresh herbs and vegetables added texture and interest to the recipe and the simple and satisfying dressing just enhanced everything in this salad. I can now eat lentils more often and actually enjoy it. I also managed to turn a friend who can never seem to get through their lentil or qunioa dinner or lunch sides into a lover and I’ve already been asked for the recipe.

Pan Roasted Lemon & Thyme Chicken Breast

Pan Roasted Lemon & Thyme Chicken Breast - Candy Coated Culinista

Pan Roasted Lemon & Thyme Chicken Breast – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: approx 14 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• Sea salt
• Black Pepepr
• 4 chicken breast
• 5 cloves garlic
• 4 sticks, bunched thyme
• 1 ½ lemon juice, freshly squeezed from lemon
• 1 tbsp fresh thyme leave
• 4 lemon slices, for garnish

1. Using a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat pour in the olive oil.
2. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
3. Once the oil is heated up place in the chicken breasts into the skillet and add in the garlic and thyme sticks.
4. Squeeze the lemon juice over chicken and cook for 7 to 10 minutes.
5. Turn the chicken over and continue to cook for 7 to 10 more minutes on the other side.
6. Sprinkle thyme leaves over the cooked chicken and add lemon slices for garnish.

• Don’t add in the garlic to early or it will burn.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The aroma coming from this dish was divine. I have never had lemon & thyme chicken before and this will be a new addition to my repertoire.

K is for … Kale & Mango Smoothie

Kale Mango Smoothie - Cady Coated Culinista

Kale Mango Smoothie – Cady Coated Culinista

This is my first green smoothie! I was a little apprehensive in regards to how this would taste, as all my smoothies are fruit based and I haven’t introduced vegetables into them as of yet in such a main role.

Yield/Serving: 1
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: less than a minute
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 1 packed cup, kale leaves, chopped
• ½ cup fresh pineapple, chopped
• 1 fresh mango, chopped
• ½ cup vanilla flavoured almond milk
• 8 ice cubes

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was surprisingly delicious. I’m not going to lie I can taste the kale. It’s hard to get all the kale to be blended up smoothly without little kale pieces or flecks being left behind when I am drinking it; but overall pretty good. I could taste the kale and the sweet and tart notes of the pineapple. The addition of almond milk to this smoothie was a great idea.

J is for … Jalapeno Cheddar Biscuits

Jalapeno Cheddar Biscuits - Candy Coated Culinista

Jalapeno Cheddar Biscuits – Candy Coated Culinista

Now that I can make shortcakes, biscuits were the next logical step and I will be enjoying and making this fluffy, buttery, crumbly much more. These are such an easy quick accompaniment for dinner.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 15 – 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 2 cup all purpose flour
• 1 tbsp baking powder
• ½ tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp parsley
• 1 tsp oregano
• 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cubed
• ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
• ½ cup mozzarella, shredded
• 2 jalapeno thinly sliced and seeded
• ¾ cup 2% milk

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Using a large sized bowl mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt together with a whisk.
4. Using your hands add butter and mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
5. Add cheese and jalapenos.
6. Slowly add milk incorporating until dough is formed.
7. Cut dough and form into a circle and place on parchment paper.
8. Bake for 15-20 min or until golden brown or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.

• Spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray to have muffin shaped biscuits.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
After making the strawberry shortcake I knew I had the basis for a biscuits recipe and I ran with it and it turned out so well. My mixture rose and everything which was an issue for me the last time I made these over a year ago. I made these once and immediately had excellent reviews and these were mentioned for a whole week; so I made these again but this time using a muffin pan to test out shapes. This was a hit and I even halved my second batch so this time I could enjoy the biscuits without the jalapenos.

Cheddar Biscuits - Candy Coated Culinista

Cheddar Biscuits – Candy Coated Culinista

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