Tag Archives: Sides & Appetizers

Patatas Bravas

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Back in November, I went to Madrid for a conference. I had a few days before the conference to explore a bit, as I had only visited Barcelona in the summer of 2013 for a few days. It was nice to be back in Spain, this time exploring a different city, and one activity I did was take a cooking class. I will have some Spanish-themed posts from what I learned 🙂 Continue reading Patatas Bravas

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Corn Chowder

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Ingredients

  • oil or butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, diced
  • 2 medium potatoes, diced
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk of choice (coconut milk is a great choice!)
  • 2 cups of broth
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn (or fresh shucked corn)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt, to taste

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In a large pot, heat oil or butter. Add onion, red pepper, and celery, and a pinch of salt. Sauté until soft. Add potato and mix, then add paprika and stir, followed by the flour. Stir to coat. Cook for a few more minutes before adding milk and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cover for 15-20 minutes, or until potato is fork tender.

Add corn and stir, letting it cook further until softened. Once cooked, use an immersion blender or blender to blend until desired consistency (chunky or smooth). Stir in the apple cider vinegar, and adjust seasonings. Enjoy with sliced baguettes rubbed with olive oil and garlic!

Sri Lankan Pasties

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I love small hand held appetizers/pastries. Growing up, this particular pastry was made for special occasions, or really when my mom really felt like it.

Continue reading Sri Lankan Pasties

Homemade Perogies

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I don’t know about you, but growing up, I loved eating perogies. I would eat them all the time, taking them to school for lunches and the like. My mom would make them really crispy (frozen ones, of course), and added fried onions, chilli flakes (because we liked them spicy), and doused it in ketchup and mayo (I know, not the traditional sour cream); it was SO good. Continue reading Homemade Perogies

Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

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Sorry for the lack of updates lately! It has been a busy semester, but guess what? I’ve finished grad school! I can’t believe the past 2.5 years have gone by so quickly. On to new things now. Still holding out for getting into med school next fall…so no end in schooling yet. I think I’ll forever be a student. Why, you ask? I don’t know.

It’s gotten chilly lately, and we just had our first dusting of snow here in Vancouver (though, it never really stuck… or rather it all melted). With winter fast approaching and fall making its way out, it’s time to get out the soup recipes to keep yourself warm. Since squash and apples are both fall items, I needed to come up with a soup recipe. Continue reading Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

Turkey Dumplings

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Recently, I learned how to make dumplings from a friend of a friend. It was such a fun experience that I had to do it again. It had been a busy semester, so I hadn’t seen my best girlfriend in a while. As a catch up session, I decided to take what I learned and have a cook day with her! Continue reading Turkey Dumplings

Beet Juice-dyed Devilled Eggs

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I apologize for the lack of updates. I have been largely away for most of this month in Calgary, attending my cousin’s wedding and hanging out with family.

It was such a busy trip! I hadn’t been there in 7 years, but it was nice seeing all the family again (though we did see each other for a bit earlier this year for my grandmother’s 80th birthday party).  And obviously, when you’re with family, there are endless family dinners and get togethers, and seeing old family friends. Oh, and tons of eating! I will blog about the restaurant scene in Calgary on my next post.

The first week I got to Calgary was busy with pre-wedding festivities. If you recall, I volunteered to help with the menu for the bridal shower, so I put on my chef’s hat and got to work the next day, baking the cupcakes. I made these cupcakes, but instead, they were just earl grey cupcakes with a lavender buttercream (basically coloured the buttercream with purple and added lavender buds). It was a big hit — everyone thought it was so light and fluffy and they wanted the recipe! I topped them with decorations of a bridal dress and tuxedo inserts.

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Small tea sandwiches were also part of the menu, as well as white wine sangria, made with a delicious bottle of Gewurtztraminer (my favourite white wine).  My aunt also made this beautiful doll cake as a surprise…and the icing colour matched perfectly with my cupcakes. We had no discussion about this prior! Family just thinks on the same brainwave 🙂 But just look at the cake – I’ll have to learn how to do this.

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I did forgo the rosewater & cardamom donuts that I had planned to make, as I realized that there was just so much to do in just one kitchen and a few hands. But there were other Sri Lankan appetizers that were there as well, and my cousin was really happy with all the food. One of her favourite appetizers is devilled eggs, so these had to be on the menu. I wanted to make them purply, as that was one of the colours of the wedding, and the closest I could think of was using beet juice. They turned out really beautiful and artsy… ‘devilish’ if you will 🙂 Try them for your next gathering!

Ingredients

  • 2 small beets, peeled (can slice too)
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 tbsp black peppercorn
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • hardboiled eggs (I had 36 for the shower)
  • turmeric
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup mayonnaise (depends on how many eggs you have!)
  • 1-2 tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • couple pinches of paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • couple tablespoons of dill or sweet pickle juice
  • 1/4 of a small onion, diced (can use 2 shallots instead)
  • bunch of chives, chopped

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In a medium pot, bring water, vinegar, beets, garlic, peppercorns, mustard seeds, salt, and sugar to a boil. Turn heat to low, and simmer until beets are fork tender and colour has faded. Cool completely.

Once cooled, place peeled hardboiled eggs into pot. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Alternatively, place eggs into large Ziploc bag and pour beet juice over top. Make sure they are submerged or are in contact with the beet juice.

The next day, discard juice and slice eggs in half, and scoop the yolks into a bowl. Mash yolks first. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, paprika, chilli powder, dill pickle juice, and some of the chives until you have a creamy yolk mixture. I added the turmeric to give it a more yellow colour — add this a little at a time until you’re happy with the colour. The final mixture should be something that’s a little bit spreadable, but a little thicker than a buttercream icing.  Fill dyed egg halves with yolk mixture using a piping bag and tip, or alternatively use a Ziploc bag with one end cut off. Garnish with more chopped chives. Enjoy!