It's been quite a while since the last time I prepared a full meal, as it's usually my mum who takes care of what goes on the plate. When I was little, I used to help out my grandma in the kitchen ALL the time- chopping tomatoes, breading meat, peeling carrots...
There even was this bright orange apron that I swear I would never take off!
Both my grandparents, including my mum have been fascinated by good food, so I am quite lucky to have grown up surrounded by chefs- and chefs at heart!
Since 2014, I've been repurchasing the latest Chatelaine Magazine (my absolute fave!!) while oohing and awing over loads of their recipes. You can check on their website HERE for more free recipes as well. But the ones I've picked out to share with you guys are the ones I am just dying to try out for myself!
Maybe I'll even put on an apron for good times sake....
- 1 demi-baguette, cut into 1/4-in slices, about 24 -1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups seedless grapes - 1 tsp chopped rosemary, plus more for garnish
- 1 1/4 tsp olive oil - 150g goat cheese
Preheat oven to 400F. Arrange baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast the slices in the centre of the oven for about 8 min. or until golden.
Toss grapes with olive oil, salt, & rosemary on a separate baking sheet. Roast at 400F for 15 to 20 min. or until grapes start to shrink.
Transfer to a cooling rack & cool for 5 min. Top with roasted grapes & sprinkle with more chopped rosemary. Serve.
- 2 tbsp butter - 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 large onion, chopped - 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large garlic clove, minced - 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 small carrots, peeled & chopped - 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 small celery stalks, chopped - 798mL can diced tomatoes
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped - 2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp tomato paste - 4 slices white bread
- 1 tbsp line juice - 2 square slices cheddar cheese
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion & garlic. Cook for 4 to 5 min. or until onion is soft. Add carrots, celery, pepper, tomato paste, lime juice, sugar, salt, cayenne. Season with fresh pepper. Cook for 4 to 5 min. until the vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Add broth & diced tomatoes and juices. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 min. or until vegetables are tender.
Purée in 2 batches in a blender until smooth. Return to saucepan & set over low to keep warm.
Spread butter on both sides of each bread slice. Heat a large frying pan over medium & lay 2 slices in the pan. Top each with 1 slice of cheese, then remaining bread (like a sandwich). Cook for 4 min. while flipping halfway until cheese is melted & bread is golden. Remove from pan and let cook slightly. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
Ladle soup into bowls and top with the grilled cheese croutons. Serve.
- 3 small fennel bulbs, about 300g each - 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter, at room temperature - 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp lemon zest - 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp lemon juice - 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
Position oven rack in the bottom of the oven. Preheat to 375F.
Cut each fennel bulb into 8 wedges, leaving the cores intact. Reserve the green feathery fronds later for a garnish. Arrange fennel on a large rimmed baking sheet & rub the wedges together with butter until completely coated.
Roast in the bottom of the oven for 30 to 35 min. while flipping half-way until edges are golden brown. Transfer to platter.
Whisk lemon zest with lemon juice, oil, honey, and dijon in a large bowl. Season with fresh pepper. Drizzle over the fennel, then sprinkle with parmesan and the feathery fennel fronds. Serve.
RASPBERRY BASIL CRÈME BRULEE // prep: 10 min // total: 3 hours & 10 min
- 1 cup raspberries - 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 egg yolks, at room temperature - 2 1/2 cups 35% cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided - 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- a mini blowtorch
Preheat the oven to 300F. Arrange 6 ramekins in a baking sheet large enough to hold all of them. Divide raspberries between each of the ramekins. Boil a kettle of water.
Whisk egg yolks with 1/2 cup of the sugar in a large bowl, until sugar dissolves & mixture is pale & smooth. Put a damp kitchen towel under the bowl to keep it steady. Heat cream with basil, stirring often in a medium saucepan over medium heat for 5 min. or until it starts to boil. Remove & discard basil. Gradually pour hot cream into egg mixture, whisking constantly for 2 min. or until mixture thickens. Whisk in vanilla. Divide mixture amoung their ramekins. Pour enough water from the kettle into the baking sheet so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 50 min. to an hour, or until custard is just set and the centres are jiggly when you move the tray. Transfer ramekins to a rack to cool for 10 min. Refrigerate, uncovered for 2 hours, or until chilled.
Sprinkle the top of each ramekin with about 1 tbsp of remaining sugar. Smooth the tops. Caramelize the sugar with the blowtorch by keeping the flame close to the sugar, using a sweeping motion. Melt sugar to a dark amber colour, then let stand until sugar firms. Serve individually.
Which recipe are you going to add to your cookbook?