Sunday Roast Dinner

Sunday Roast Dinner – Candy Coated Culinista

I really can’t get enough of a roast chicken and this one is high up on my list. Roast chicken is such a simple protein to make and yields leftovers for another meal soups or salads.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 70 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Simple

Ingredients

Spring Roast Chicken with Preserved Lemon
• 5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 3 tbsp thyme leaves
• 3 garlic cloves, crushed
• ½ small preserved lemon, seeds discarded, flesh and skin roughly chopped (2 ½ tbsp.)
• 1 lemon, finely zest to get 1 tsp, then juice to get 1 ½ tbsp.
• Salt
• Black pepper
• 1 whole chicken
Roasted Asparagus with Almonds, Capers and Dill
• 1 bunch of asparagus, ends removed
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• Salt
• Black pepper
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• ¼ cup sliced almonds
• 3 tbsp baby capers, or regular capers
• ½ cup dill, rough chopped
Sweet Potato Mash with lime Salsa
• 2 lb sweet potatoes, unpeeled and cut in half lengthwise
• ¼ cup olive oil
• Salt
• ¼ cup basil leaves, finely chopped
• ½ garlic cloves, minced
• 2 limes, finely zest to get 2 tsp, then juice to get 1 tbsp
• Black pepper

Assembly

Spring Roast Chicken with Preserved Lemon
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Place butter, thyme, garlic, preserved lemon, lemon zest. ¼ tsp salt and black pepper in a food processor and combine.
3. Loosen the skin away from the breast and spread most of the butter mixture underneath. Spread the remaining butter over the legs.
4. Place chicken in a baking pan and drizzle lemon juice and sprinkle ½ tsp salt and pepper.
5. Roast for 70 minutes, basting every 20 minutes or so, until golden brown and crisp and the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with a small knife.
6. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Roasted Asparagus with Almonds, Capers and Dill
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Mix asparagus with 1 tbsp of oil, salt and pepper.
3. Arrange on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, spaced well apart and roast for 8-12 minutes until asparagus is soft and starting to brown in places.
4. Transfer to a large serving plate and set aside.
5. Put butter into a small saucepan and place over medium-high heat.
6. Once melted, add almonds and fry for 1-2 minutes stirring frequently until almonds are golden brown.
7. Pour almonds and butter over asparagus.
8. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil to saucepan and place over high heat, once hot, add capers and fry for 1 – 2 more minutes, stirring until crisp.
9. Using a slotted spoon remove capers from oil and sprinkle over asparagus along with dill.
10. Serve warm.
Sweet Potato Mash with lime Salsa
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Rub potatoes with 1 tbsp of oil and season with ¼ tsp of salt.
3. Place of parchment-lined baking sheet, cut side down and roast for 30-35 minutes, until very soft.
4. While potatoes are roasting, prepare the salsa.
5. Place remaining 3 tbsp of oil into a small bowl with basil, cilantro, garlic, lime zest, lime juice and salt and stir to combine.
6. Once potato is cool enough to handle, remove the skin or scoop out the flesh and mash.
7. Add salt and pepper, transfer to bowl, and serve with salsa on the potatoes or on the side.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I really can’t resist a roast chicken Sunday dinner as it reminds me of my mom. This spring chicken was so delicious I have made it twice already and it will be a new way to enjoy my Sunday chicken. I even made a preserved lemons weeks before. The flavours were bright and fresh with a little spin.

Spring Roast Chicken with Preserved Lemon – Candy Coated Culinista

Roasted Asparagus with Almonds, Capers and Dill – Candy Coated Culinista

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Fruity & Nutty Milk Chocolate Bark

Paleo Fruity Nutty Chocolate Bark - Candy Coated Culinista

Paleo Fruity Nutty Chocolate Bark – Candy Coated Culinista

Prep Time: 15 min.
Set Time: 30 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 ½ cups milk chocolate
• ¼ cup shredded coconut
• ¼ cup mini white chocolate chips
• ¼ cup almonds
• ¼ cup dark chocolate bits
• ¼ cup walnuts
• ¼ cup cranberries
• ¼ cup goji berries

Assembly
1. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or non-stick silicone sheet.
2. Rough chop all the chocolate and put into a microwave safe bowl.
3. Heat in thirty second intervals until all the chocolate has melted.
4. Pour chocolate onto the silpat and spread evenly with a spatula.
5. Tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
6. Sprinkle the nuts, dried fruits onto the chocolate and tap the pan once again on the counter.
7. Let the chocolate set in the fridge for thirty minutes.
8. Break the chocolate bark into pieces.
9. Serve

Tips
• Set the chocolate in the fridge or freezer. I left the chocolate out to set in the kitchen and it just wouldn’t set for me until I chilled it.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Even though I am not a fan of chocolate and then incorporating fruits and nuts into said chocolate seems like a horrible idea to me. This was quite tasty and no two bites were the same which added a nice dimension to the bark. It also feels healthier than having a regular chocolate bar.

Eggnog Trifle

Eggnog Trifle - Candy Coated Culinista

Eggnog Trifle – Candy Coated Culinista

I made my first trip to Honest Ed’s that I can remember, even though I know my parents used to frequent there when they first came to Canada as the prices couldn’t be beat. I’d say that today prices still can’t be beat as I know many a university student who frequents Honest Ed’s. When I went in it probably looked the exact same way as when parents shopped here and that’s fine with me. I came to Honest Ed’s to see what deals were to be had and I found something I always wanted. Mr. C. went one way and I of course gravitated to the cooking section where I found my Trifle Bowl. I remember trifle from my childhood and of course that episode of Friends “The One Where Ross Got High” where Rachel messes up the Trifle for Thanksgiving Dinner. I never thought to make one myself because two people can’t finish off a trifle themselves; but now I had mini trifle bowls along with the regular size one and no excuse but to make a Christmas trifle.

Yield/Serving: 2-4
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Amaretti Cookies – makes 24 cookies
• 1& 1/3 cups ground almonds or whole almonds
• 2 egg whites
• ¾ cups granulated sugar
• ¼ tsp almond extract
Custard – makes about 1 cup
• 1 ¼ cups egg nog
• 2 large egg yolks
• 2 tbsp cornstarch
• 2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
• 1 tbsp dark rum
• ¼ tsp vanilla extract
Pastry Cream – makes 2 cups
• 4 egg yolks
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• ¼ tsp cornstarch
• ¼ tsp kosher salt
• 1 ½ cups eggnog
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Trifle
• Raspberries
• Blueberries
• strawberries

Assembly
Amaretti Cookies
1. Pre-heat oven to 300°F.
2. Place whole almonds in a food processor and grind until a fine consistency is achieved, if you don’t have or can find ground almonds.
3. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
4. Add in the sugar a little at a time until stiff peak form.
5. Add in the almond extract.
6. Gently fold in the ground almonds.
7. Place the mixture into a piping bag and pipe cookies into a lady finger shape and bake for about 20 minutes, or until firm to the touch.
Eggnog Custard
8. Pour the eggnog into a saucepan and heat, but not boil.
9. Using a medium size bowl put in the egg yolks, cornstarch and sugar in and whisk together until well incorporated.
10. Pour the warm milk over the egg mixture and whisk until combined.
11. Return to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens, but do not let boil.
12. Pour mixture into a boil and add in the rum and vanilla extract.
13. Let cool.
Eggnog Pastry Cream
14. Using a medium saucepan whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt.
15. Whisk in the eggnog and cook over medium-high heat whisking constantly until the mixture has thickened to a consistency of pudding. 2 to 4 minutes.
16. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and then the butter until melted and smooth.
17. Cover pastry cream and refrigerate until completely cool, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
Trifle Assembly
18. Place amaretti cookies along the side on a trifle bowl.
19. Pour a small amount of pastry cream in. (enough to hold up the cookies)
20. Place in a layer of blackberries.
21. Layer more pastry cream.
22. Place a layer of raspberries.
23. Make a layer of amaretti cookies.
24. Layer more pastry cream.
25. Place a layer of blueberries.
26. Layer the final layer of pastry cream and decorate with additional berries.

Tips
• If you let the custard sit for more than one day I noticed it was harder than I expected. Add in a little custard or eggnog and thin a little to get it back to that pudding consistency.
• You can layer this anyway you like and also using any of your favourite fruits.
• There will be leftover amaretti cookies.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts

I found my ground almonds weren’t fine enough from the food processor as they still seemed too big for the cookie. Next time I will buy ground almonds which will be a finer consistency.
The recipe I followed said to use a custard for the trifle but I found the custard was too runny for the trifle, however if you prefer a custard to a pastry cream use that. I use the custard recipe to help thin out the pastry cream when it got too thick for me.
This was not a pretty looking trifle to me and I had already cast it off when Mr. C. said he wanted to taste it and he said “it’s taste great, why are you so hard on yourself”. I took a small piece and it did taste great. The creaminess of the pastry cream mixed in with the crunch of the cookies and the freshness of the fruit it was delightful and with the taste of eggnog it’s a great Christmas dessert.

Vanilla Almond Milk

Vanilla Almond Milk - Candy Coated Culinista

Vanilla Almond Milk – Candy Coated Culinista

I have a theory that I can make Mr. C. a vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian or a flexitarian and he wouldn’t even notice. When I met Mr. C. vegetables barely touched his lips and I slowly started adding vegetables to his diet and even hid them in sauces; like my homemade tomato sauce. Now here we are 4 years later and we both are many pounds lighter and have alot more muscle on us, because we both are eating so much healthier and it make me so proud of us. This is a great feeling because when we do choose to eat something a little unhealthier we aren’t breaking the bank, and there is no guilt. I have never been a dieter as I am a firm believer in moderation since I was a child and I have never had any issues with my weight. Since I’m a huge foodie I am always reading, researching, purchasing new cookbooks and looking into new things to try and eat. I have been trying to add almond milk to my diet, which wasn’t the problem. The problem was sneaking it into Mr. C.’s food unbeknownst to him. For about a week I put vanilla almond milk into our smoothies (I hid the almond milk carton behind the Orange Juice in the very back of the fridge) and I finally asked him “how do you like the smoothies with almond milk” He proceeded to say “I knew some different was going on with the smoothies.” I realized he was a fan and he even emailed me a homemade recipe for almond milk. This made me proud and he even found a recipe from one of my favourite food sites I research from; the kitchen – http://www.thekitchn.com. With this new knowledge I went on my merry way to retrieve the components to make fresh almond milk at home, and purchased my first weck jar I have been pining to buy but had no real use for until today.

Yield/Serving: almost 1 litre
Prep Time: 24 soaking over night
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 cup raw almonds
• 2 cups water, for soaking
• 4 cups filtered water
• 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 tbsp agave nectar

Assembly
1. Soak almond in 1 cup of water covered for 24 hours.
2. After 24 hours, drain the water through a strainer from the almonds and pour almonds into a blender.
3. Add 4 cups of filtered water and blend for 2 minutes.
4. Line a strainer with a cheesecloth and pour the almond meal through and allow almond milk to pass through strainer.
5. Twist and squeeze the cheesecloth to extract the remaining amounts of almond milk.
6. Add the sweetener and extract if so desired.
7. Pour in a container with a cap and use within 3 days.

Tips
• Sweeteners used can be: sugar, honey, agave nectar, maple syrup all to taste or optional.
• There is only a 3 days shelf life on homemade almond milk so be aware of that.
• Leftover meal, can be used in smoothies, oatmeal, baked goods like cookies or muffins, hummus, granola, crackers, butter and you can freeze it.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The almond milk was very good. I didn’t taste like the vanilla almond milk from the carton though. That may be attributed to their process and whatever else goes into to it to extend the shelf life. I added too much vanilla, because I never thought to let the vanilla sit overnight and taste it in the morning. I adjusted the recipe above as I added way too much and didn’t give the vanilla a chance to marry with the almond milk. Next time I think I will soak the almonds longer to get a creamier consistency and filter it more as I still got some almond chunks. I think I need to invest in a proper nut milk bag since I plan on making more almond milk at home.

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