Tag Archives: unique

Rice Paper Wraps

It can be a lot of fun getting outside of your comfort zone in the kitchen and trying new things. I made rice paper wraps for the first time years ago, it was a bit of a disaster to be honest, but once you get the hang of it rice paper wraps are a really easy and versatile ingredient. You can add meat or tofu and any veggies you like. (They’re also a great date night food to make together!)

If it’s your first time trying them, the two best bits of advice I can give you are:

– Use two sheets, one sheet is too thin

– DO NOT overfill your wrap, it will just be an absolute mess

Rice paper wraps are available at most Asian grocery stores (I live near Chinatown in Toronto and pick mine up at a store called The Lucky Moose). For veggies we used cilantro, red peppers, lettuce and green onion with a bit of satay chicken. First chop all your veggies and set aside.

Dice the chicken and brown in a pan. Add chili sauce (I used a prepared lemongrass satay sauce)

Wet two sheets of rice paper together in lukewarm water. They will start to soften, put them onto a plate and add your ingredients

Fold over the top and bottom to seal in the sides, then fold over the top to put the ingredients into a “pocket”.

Continue rolling the rice paper wrap tightly

Now, do this a bunch more times and you will end up with a plate full of delicious wraps!

You can experiment and fill these with anything, avocado tastes great. For a dip mix crushed garlic with chili sauce, soy sauce and minced ginger.

Enjoy! 🙂

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What to make your Dad on Father’s Day? Manly crepes, obviously.

That’s right, crepes. But not just any old crepes, manly crepes. Crepes that have lots of cheese, big pieces of mushroom and maybe a chunk of bacon or prosciutto in there. That’s the kind of thing any dad would love to have made for him on Father’s Day.

Crepes are actually incredibly easy to make, and can be filled with just about anything. They can be topped with fruit cooked in wine, slices of steak and blue cheese or even grilled veggies. My Dad is the one who taught me how to make crepes growing up, and so I thought I would share this meal idea just before Father’s Day.

There are a lot of crepe recipes out there, they use very  few ingredients mixed until smooth. I used this basic crepe recipe from Allrecipes.com

What you need

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

To make the batter mix the flour and eggs, then slowly add the milk and water. Once smooth add the salt and melted butter and combine.

Heat a nonstick pan and add about ½ a cup of batter, then tilt the pan  in circles so that the batter spreads out thinly. Keep turning the pan until the batter isn’t thinning anymore and has spread as evenly as it will go. Once browned, flip and cook the other side. Crepes cook very quickly, so keep an eye on them. (Sneaky crepes...)

In another skillet cook your filling. I used a combination of spinach and portabella mushrooms that I cooked with two cloves of garlic then added salt and pepper.

Arrange the crepe on a plate, add cheese and a line of filling. Roll the crepe. Repeat and arrange them beside each other, garnish with parsley or spice of your choice.

I also made a simple arugula salad, very popular in Italian cooking. (Yes, I made French crepes and an Italian salad. Very multicultural of me, right?) This salad is simple but tastes great, just toss baby arugula leaves with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until evenly coated.

Feel free to try out a lot of combinations and come out with your own signature style of crepes, here are a few that I really like:

  • Blue cheese, fresh fig and prosciutto
  • Brie red pepper and chorizo
  • Asparagus with hollandaise sauce
  • Berries simmered in red wine
  • Banana, coconut and nutella

When Oreos and chocolate chip cookie dough collide

… this happens. Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies.

Did that cookie just eat my Oreo?

And it’s freaking delicious. (Don’t let my messed up iPhone picture tell you otherwise.) If my friends and coworkers want anyone to blame (or thank) for bringing this hybrid of goodness into their lives it’s my friend Marissa who shared this recipe from Very Culinary. (Who borrowed the recipe from Picky Palate and so I’ll give the original creator her due.)

What’s in it:

  •  1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 package Double Stuff Oreo cookies

Confession: much cookie dough was eaten in the process

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together with a mixer until well combined.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  3. In medium bowl mix the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined.
  4. With a spoon, use about a tablespoon to form small round balls of dough.
  5. Place one ball on top of an Oreo cookie, and another ball on the bottom. Press top and bottom to flatten, then seal the edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo cookie is fully enclosed with dough.
  6. Place onto parchment or silpat lined baking sheets and bake cookies for approximately 13 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Warm and gooey!

If you’re short on time I don’t see any reason why you can’t make the above recipe using a pre-made cookie dough (like Pillsbury). Yes, homemade tastes better but if you have little ones running about or are making treats for birthdays/school functions go right ahead and cheat. You’ll get no judgment here.


Purple Potato Salad

Red potatoes, sweet potatoes… but have you ever tried a purple potato? You can use them in place of regular potatoes in a lot of recipes but I like to use them once in a while to make homemade potato salad. They taste slightly sweeter than a regular potato but still work well for potato salad, especially when you add a hint of spice. (Sorry for the picture quality, all photos are being taken with my iPhone until I get my new camera.)

Purple Potatoes

The process to make purple potato salad is basically the same, however purple potatoes cook faster than regular potatoes so keep a close eye on them while boiling.

  1. Wash potatoes and cut into small chunks (about an inch). You can peel the skins if you like but I leave them on.
  2. Bring lightly salted water to a boil, and add the potatoes.
  3. Meanwhile, dice 2 green onions and a handful of fresh dill. Set aside.
  4. Check potatoes with a fork, when it goes in easily they’re done.
  5. Rinse the potatoes under cold water in a colander, add to a bowl and squeeze half a lemon over top.
  6. Add the dill, onion, salt, pepper and about 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise. I also add cayenne pepper, about a teaspoon, for a hint of spice.
  7. Stir until well mixed and store in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

Note: These potatoes can stain, so be careful! My little white cutting board was sacrificed in the making of this recipe.

Purple Potato Salad