Posts tagged fruit
Posts tagged fruit
Weekend baking: pineapple muffins
Well, we made it through January. It is supposed to be the worst month of the year, right? Funny that my birthday also falls within the supposed worst month of the year: I do agree that celebrating your birthday in January in Ottawa isn’t the most fun. Snowstorms, freezing cold temperatures and other weather-related events can easily foil the most well thought out plans.
I needed a little tropical infusion to help brighten my January, so I went on the hunt for a pineapple muffin recipe. I found this delightful recipe on the Yankee Kitchen Ninja blog, which is one of my favourites.
This recipe requires a little bit of extra effort (yup, you have to get out your food processor) but it is worth it! I followed the Ninja’s recipe exactly as described, so click on my photo to link to her site for the recipe. You won’t be disappointed! I love that these muffins are a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour: it just adds a nice texture and flavour.
These muffins were just what I needed to brighten up this most frigid and snow-covered January!
Breakfast isn’t complete without fruit salad!
Cherry lemonade bars
I realized recently that I had never made a lemon bar! I think lemon bars are a classic, timeless dessert that tend to be loved by all. So I set out to make a batch but first I had to find a recipe.
My search for a recipe didn’t last too long when I came across something on the fantastic Realistic Nutritionist blog. Click on my photo for a link to the original recipe.
These bars were delicious! A rich buttery crust topped with a tangy, soft lemon layer. I would make these again in a heartbeat!
Cherry lemonade bars - adapted from the Realistic Nutritionist
For the crust
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 cup cold salted butter, cut into small chunks
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
For the lemon layer
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp lemon juice (I used bottled lemon juice - it worked very well - but you can use fresh if you prefer)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp dark cherry jam/preserves
- icing sugar for dusting
Heat oven to 350°. Line an 9 x 9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper, extending up two sides. Lightly grease bottom and sides of pan with cooking spray.
In a food processor, combine sugar and lemon zest. Add butter and pulse until crumbly and well combined. Add flour and pulse until a dough forms. Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking pan. Bake 15 minutes or until set and lightly golden on the edges. Set aside to cool while making the filling.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar and lemon juice. Add in 2 tablespoons dark cherry jam/preserves and the flour; stir until well combined. Pour filling onto crust and bake until set, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan before dusting with powdered sugar and cutting into bars.
Happy long weekend, #Canada! Sangria to start the weekend celebration!
Dinner at Sandals Emerald Bay’s La Parisienne
While honeymooning at Sandals Emerald Bay, the husband and I enjoyed the copious and wonderful food the resort had to offer. We were sure to dine at Sandals Emerald Bay’s two official a la carte restaurants, La Parisienne and Il Cielo.
Our dinner at La Parisienne was one of our favourites. Although the restaurant is not oceanfront (it is at the front of the Sandals property that faces inland) the ambiance was wonderfully romantic and opulent with the over the top velvet sofas and plush seating.
There were so many choices on the menu - it was difficult to decide what to order! For my appetizer, I chose the bacon-wrapped scallop on a rosemary potato cake with truffle oil and citrus glaze. It was beautifully plated and delicious; the scallop was tender and not chewy, and the potato cake was brimming with rosemary flavour.
I was making it a point to eat as much lobster as I could manage while on honeymoon, so, for my main dish, I chose the langouste thermidor, which is lobster flambeed in Cognac with Dijon mustard, fresh cream, shallots and bell peppers, and served with fennel and saffron rice. Wow! The lobster and the sauce in which it was bathing was deliciously rich and creamy. I ended up putting much of my rice in the lobster dish to soak up all the rich goodness! The husband ordered the Chateaubriand, which was a dry aged, whole roasted filet mignon with bernaise sauce, which was served with asparagus and roasted potatoes. He was very impressed with the steak - it was tender, and the sauce complimented it very well.
Our desserts were also impressive; we asked our server for her recommendation and we were not disappointed. I had the apple tart tatin, and the husband had the tart duo, which was a lemon tart as well as a fruit tart.
We were completely stuffed, but it was one of the most memorable dinners of our trip!
The husband and I had the pleasure of hanging out with our friends and their adorable kids this past Sunday for brunch. As usual, the food was amazing - when the six of us get together, we always pull together the most delicious eats! Among the spread was smoked salmon, smoked duck breast from Bearbrook Farm, bbq’d bacon, fresh fruit, grilled asparagus, egg cups and so much more. We were all stuffed! Thank you to the wonderful hosts for a delightful afternoon! xo
I’m smitten with these Smitten apples! They are sweet, incredibly crunchy, and delicious!
After a quick Google search, I found out that these apples are a mix of the Gala, Braeburn, Falstaff and Fiesta breeding lines. So interesting! Read more about them here.
Weekday breakfast: (my) Bircher museli
I had eaten so-called Bircher muesli a few times at restaurants before I even knew what it was; I just remember thinking it was some form of cold oatmeal that was totally delicious. It wasn’t until I came across this blog post on Peanut Butter and Peppers that I finally figured it out.
I was thrilled to read that making this concoction is incredibly simple and that it uses ingredients that I always have on hand like rolled oats, greek yogurt and an abundance of fresh fruit. Here is my version, adapted from the recipe on Peanut Butter and Peppers.
My Bircher Muesli - serves 2 (small servings)
- 1/2 cup organic quick oats (I used quick cooking and it worked fine, but most recipes say to use regular rolled oats and not quick-cooking oats)
- 1/4 cup shredded apple, cored and unpeeled (use your favourite - I used a Gala)
- 1/3 cup fat-free plain greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup 1% milk
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- a small handful of dried cranberries
- a big dash of cinnamon
- dash of vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients together in a sealable container (I prefer glass). Refrigerate overnight for best results! Top with fresh fruit (I used strawberries), nuts, seeds and more yogurt. Perhaps even some honey or maple syrup if you like yours sweet!
Saturday afternoon grocery shopping. So much natural goodness.
Breakfast at Eggstyle (again)
The fiancé adores Eggstyle, so much so that he begs me to go there every weekend. Most of the time I say no, but even I have to give in every once in a while! haha
We try something different each visit, and this time we set our sights on the french toast. But not just any french toast: apple bread french toast! Two generous pieces of apple bread dipped in french toast batter, grilled and topped with hot cinnamon apples, yogurt, caramel and toasted almonds. It was quite a treat! The bread was fluffy and light and the combination of the apples, yogurt, caramel and almonds was a delightful taste and textural adventure.
Individual baked oatmeal cups
Just when you thought I couldn’t find yet another way to love oatmeal, I did just that! When I saw this recipe for individual baked oatmeal cups on the lovely Peanut Butter and Peppers blog, I immediately e-mailed it to myself to make on the weekend.
These little muffins are so versatile; you can add anything you like for flavours (spices, fruit, nuts) and you can adjust your preferred level of sweetness too. I opted to leave mine unsweetened save for a few pieces of chopped granny smith apple on top.
So simple to make, I whipped them up in no time, and I froze the whole batch to be able to pull them from the freezer for week day lunch snacks. They are fantastic!
Breakfast at Eggstyle
The boyfriend and I used to be avid brunch-eating folk. When we lived downtown, we’d go out for breakfast or brunch almost every weekend! All that changed after I perfected my breakfast sandwich recipe and started making weekend brunch for us in the comfort of our own home a while back, so it’s not often that we will eat out for a morning meal. However, when Eggstyle-a new restaurant serving only breakfast items along the lines of Cora’s and Eggspectations-opened up a while back, we thought we’d give it a try.
Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted by its very bright yellow and orange interior and decorations and were seated immediately by a friendly hostess. I had no trouble deciding on my order: the smoked salmon eggs benedict, which is served with sliced red onion, cream cheese, and, of course, hollandaise sauce, and comes with homefries, fresh fruit and and warm cinnamon apples. The boyfriend chose the two egg breakfast (scrambled), which is served with bacon, homefries and warm cinnamon apples. Both were fantastic, and absolutely HUGE in portion size - neither of us could finish our meals - and reasonably priced! Everything was cooked perfectly; the boyfriend even said it was the best breakfast he’d had in Ottawa!
Because it was our first time, we decided to go all out and share a one of their waffles to go with our breakfast: we chose the banana chocolate waffle. All I can say is WOW! Two of my favourite things in life are bananas and chocolate mixed together, and I enjoyed this waffle very, very much, as did the boyfriend. The menu goes far beyond what the boyfriend and I ordered: smoothies, freshly squeezed juices, crepes, blintzes, pancakes, omelettes, french toast, breakfast sandwiches and more!
All in all, the service, the food and the atmosphere were all fantastic, and we can’t wait to go back again!
A recent relaxing breakfast! Cereal with raspberries and chopped peach as well as apple rings smeared with almond butter and topped with Love Grown Foods apple walnut delight granola. Delicious.
Friday Favourites: Hand picked berries
My parent’s garden is a treasure trove for fresh, delicious surprises! One of which is their huge bramble of blackberry bushes, which were in their prime during my recent visit. I was able to stand and munch endlessly on oozing, sweet ripe berries! There were so many ripe berries that we picked filled half of a three litre basket, and we could have picked more!
I put the berries to good use by adding some as a fresh topping to our dessert that night (brownies) and also to my yogurt the next morning. It is such a rare treat to snack on fresh blackberries!
Vintage Bridal Shower
I had the pleasure of helping to plan and carry out a bridal shower for my friend this past weekend, and it was a huge success! She absolutely loved it!
The bride’s maid of honour and my co-bridesmaids, who are her lifelong friends, know her extremely well. When she walked in the door and saw the lovely decor, she almost cried! Full credit goes to the maid of honour and one of the other bridesmaids for their amazing decoration. Hand made pennant banners, burlap table cloths, old books, jars: all of it was the bride’s favourite!
What is a shower without great food and drink? The guests did not go without with the bounty of food provided. Fruit skewers with doughnuts, mini chicken salad sandwiches, an overflowing vegetable platter, pumpernickel bread with homemade spinach dip, individual mixed nut cups, mimosas, individual coolers and colourful bottled sodas with fancy straws: what a gorgeous spread! To top it off, the bridesmaid/host made a fancy fondant cake to match the decorations - she adorned it with a brightly coloured fondant pennant banner! Yum!
This is definitely the most hip and fun bridal shower I’ve ever been to, and it makes me so happy that we were able to give the bride everything that she dreamed of! xo