Sunday, July 5, 2015

Homemade Iced Tea

This recipe is my column contribution to The Hinton Voice's July 2 Edition. 

I am writing this in the midst of a heat wave, on the warmest day of the year so far.  Needless to say I couldn’t possibly imagine using my stove in this weather, much less heating my house up with the oven! As a result, most of the recipes I’m making these days are of the no cook/serve cold variety.

During said heat waves (and most summer days for that matter), keeping cool and well hydrated is essential.  Homemade iced tea really does the trick on both counts.  Not only is it cool and refreshing, it’s also really easy to make from scratch. In less than 20 minutes from start to finish, you can be enjoying a nice cool refreshing glass of iced tea too. Not a fan of lemon in your iced tea?  Simply omit or swap out the lemon for your favourite fruit (peach tea is another favourite in my house!) or garnish with a sprig of fresh mint instead.  

If you want a sweeter tea, something more along the lines of traditional Southern Sweet Tea, simply add more sugar to taste.  I’ve seen recipes that call for up to a 1 cup of sugar for the same quantity of water that’s in this recipe, though I find 1/3 of that amount just right for me.

If it’s a hot summer’s day, be sure to make a double batch!  For a more adult beverage, add vodka to the mix, or pour into popsicle molds for a cool summer treat!

[Sweetened iced tea first gained it’s popularity in the early 1900’s as an item of luxury amongst the wealthy due to how expensive tea, ice, and sugar were at the time. The very first known recipe for iced tea was published in 1879 in a cookbook called “Housekeeping in Old Virginia” by Marion Cabell Tyree, a resident of Texas.  The original recipe called for green tea, though now most iced tea is made with black tea, most commonly Orange Pekoe.]

Recipe makes 2 Liters (8 cups)

- 3 Orange Pekoe tea bags
- 4 cups boiling water
- 1/3 cup sugar (or honey)
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 4 cups ice
- 1 lemon (optional)

In a 1 L mason jar (or another container that can withstand boiling water) pour 4 cups boiling water over tea bags.  Add sugar and baking soda (sounds a little odd, however the baking soda will cut down on the bitterness of the tea and give the tea a smoother finish).

Allow tea to steep for 10-15 minutes or so (try not to leave it any longer than this or the tea will become really bitter regardless of how much baking soda you use!).

Once tea has steeped, add ice water and lemon and cool in the fridge until ready to drink. 

- Nutritional Info (per cup) -
Calories – 29    Fat - 0    Carbs – 7     Protein - 0   Fibre - 0


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Loaded Potato Salad

This was my column in the June 4th edition of The Hinton Voice.

[When it comes to summer recipes, potato salad is definitely high up on the list.  Whether you’re heading to a summer potluck, or firing up the barbecue for dinner at home, this recipe for potato salad is certainly going to make a great addition to whatever it sits next to on your plate.

This loaded potato salad has everything that I love about baked potatoes – freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, a hearty sprinkle of green onions or chives, and loads of delicious bacon.

One of the things I like most about this salad (besides the bacon, who am I kidding) is the fact that it’s made with a base of sour cream with only a small amount of mayonnaise.  While mayonnaise goes really well in traditional potato salads, it can sometimes feel oily and heavy, whereas sour cream gives it a different and unique, lighter texture (quite possibly the only time in history you will hear someone saying this about sour cream).  For an even lighter version of this salad, try swapping out the sour cream for Greek yogurt!]

This recipe can be served either hot or cold.  For the warmed version, simply bake the finished recipe in a pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes until cheese is hot and bubbly.

Recipe makes 6-8 servings

- 4 large russet potatoes
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup real mayonnaise
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 6 slices of bacon, crumbled
- 2 green onions, sliced
- salt & pepper to taste

- 1 tbsp cheddar, shredded
- 1 slice of bacon, crumbled
- 1 green, sliced


Peel, cube, and boil potatoes.  Cook for about 10-12 minutes max.  If you cook too long, you’ll be making loaded mashed potatoes – which is still pretty great but not what we’re going for here.  

Boil the eggs (I like to cook mine for 12 or so minutes for a hard boiled egg that’s still creamy).  Once eggs are cooked, run under cold water until cool enough to handle.  Peel and dice, then toss with cooled potatoes.

Add sour cream and mayonnaise, and then mix until well combined.  Sprinkle in shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, green onions, and a sprinkle of salt & pepper. 

Give everything one last stir, then place potato salad in serving bowl and sprinkle with toppings.

If you have the willpower to do so, chill potato salad for at least an hour before serving (or ideally, overnight) to allow the flavors to meld.

- Nutritional Info (1/8 recipe) -
Calories – 274    Fat - 14    Carbs - 26     Protein - 1


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Raw Hazelnut Brownies

This is my column as it appeared in the May 7th edition of The Hinton Voice. 

[Not only is this recipe raw, vegan, and gluten free… it’s also delicious.

I know, right?  How on earth could a healthy brownie made with only 4 ingredients that doesn’t include butter, sugar, or flour taste that great?  Well dear readers, I’m here to tell you that these brownies are every bit as good as their sugary baked counterparts.  In fact, this recipe satisfies even your most die-hard chocolate lovers.  Even friends of mine that despise all things healthy can’t get enough of the rich fudgy flavour of these decadent treats!

Not only do raw brownies make an excellent healthy snack, they are packed with protein (over 5 grams per brownie!) and tons of fibre (7 grams!) making them great for a pre-workout energy boost.  They are even great for breakfast, and best of all, they are very easy and quick to put together. 

The dough holds together extremely well, making them ideal for raw brownie truffles, energy bites, or even the fudgy center of a homemade ice cream cake. 

They are also great in the summer when the thought of turning your oven on is too much to bear and you’re looking for a rich and decadent treat.

These brownies are chalk full of healthy ingredients that you can not only feel good about eating, but feel great about serving your family too.]

Recipe makes a dozen brownies

- 1-500 g package dates
- 1 cup raw hazelnuts
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- ¾ cup raw cacao (cocoa powder works just as well)

Frosting (double if you like lots of icing)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp raw cocao/cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup, rice syrup, etc.)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1-2 tbsp milk of choice


If dates are fresh, skip to the next step.  If dates are dry, soak in 1 cup warm water for 10 minutes, drain, then proceed with recipe.

In a food processor, blend hazelnuts and walnuts until fine.  Transfer to a medium bowl and combine with cocoa powder.  Set aside.

Transfer dates to food processer and pulse until smooth.  Add nut mixture and blend until ingredients are a dough-like consistency.

Press dough into a pan and chill for at least ½ hour

When dough is chilled, combine icing ingredients and using a whisk (or fork), whip until smooth.

Frost brownies and serve.

- Nutritional Info (per brownie) -
Calories – 254    Fat - 9    Carbs – 29     Protein - 5   Fibre - 7


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Thai Curry Soup

This recipe appeared as a Cooking With Jax Column in the May 30th copy of The Hinton Voice. 

Thai Curry Soup

Last week 2 major things happened in my kitchen.  One, I finally perfected the Thai Curry Soup recipe that I have been working on for a couple of months now, and two, I pulled one of the most rookie kitchen mistakes of all time.

I sliced hot peppers and then touched my eyes.

After testing the recipe a couple of times the night before I decided to make up a quick batch to bring to some of my friends to try for lunch.  Just before leaving, I decided to add a couple of slices of hot chili peppers as a garnish to each bowl.  I washed my hands 3 times over, and then continued on with my morning routine.  About 20 minutes after garnishing the soup, I started to apply makeup.  Eye makeup.  You can see where this is heading…

In the nano second between my eyes starting to burn, and me realizing why they were burning, rather than thinking “oh you just touched hot peppers, stop what you’re doing now!” I somehow thought instead “nope, going to rub my eyes a little bit more to see if that helps”.  It didn’t.

I looked in the mirror and saw a glimpse my blazing red eyes just before they sealed themselves shut.  Panicking, I jumped in the shower and sprayed my eyes with water.  Nothing.  Luckily my husband was home and ran and grabbed me a bowl full of water.  I dunked my face into it and opened my eyes a couple of times, head submerged before finally being able to open my eyes just long enough to figure out what to do next.

Turns out a shot glass filled with milk cupped over the eye and blinked into a couple of times will relieve the pain almost instantly.

On the plus side, I now feel a heck of a lot safer hiking in the woods armed with pepper spray.  

Recipe makes 4 Servings

- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped ginger
- 2 tbsp red curry paste
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 L chicken broth
- 2 cans coconut milk (I use 1 can light and 1 can full fat)
- 1 tsp freeze-dried lemongrass (or fresh if you have access to it)
- ½ pgk rice vermicelli (or rice sticks)

- freshly chopped cilantro
- green onions
- sliced red chili peppers (hint: wear gloves!)
- chopped roasted peanuts


Preheat a large saucepan over medium heat.  Melt coconut oil, then lightly sauté garlic and ginger.  Add red curry paste and cook for 30-60 seconds, stirring constantly.

Add diced chicken breasts to the pan and cook until no pink remains (about 6-7 minutes).   When chicken is fully cooked, stir in chicken broth and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  The longer you simmer the soup at this point, the tenderer the chicken will be.

Add coconut milk and lemon grass and bring back to a boil.

Finally, just before serving add rice vermicelli (this will only take a minute or two in the hot soup to soften).

Serve with a garnish of freshly chopped cilantro, green onions, and sliced red chili peppers (being careful to wear gloves of course).

- Nutritional Info (1/4 recipe) -
Calories – 285    Fat - 14    Carbs - 22     Protein - 15   Fibre - 1 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing & Homemade Croutons

    [This recipe was my April column for The Hinton Voice, my local newspaper.]

Back when I still lived at home with my parents, whenever my family was invited to a potluck dinner, everyone always asked me to bring my famous Caesar salad.  They raved about the Caesar dressing, saying it was the best they had ever tasted by far.    Like any young girl trying to impress her family, I didn’t divulge the secret, nor did I have the heart to tell everyone, that the dressing they loved so much was actually available in the refrigerator section of the local grocery store.  They were right to love it - this dressing was the perfect combination of creamy, garlicy bliss.   As I started to branch out and learn how to make my own sauces and dressings from scratch, I knew that I would need to try and replicate this store bought version that everyone adored so much.  I’m happy to report, that this dressing not only matches its store-bought counterpart, it is even better (because isn’t everything that’s homemade 100 times better?).

While the most authentic version of Caesar dressings are created using olive oil based vinaigrettes made with raw eggs, this version uses real mayonnaise instead. While I enjoy a good Caesar salad made with a more traditional style dressing, my preference has always been a creamier version, loaded with lots of garlic, freshly ground pepper, and sharp Parmesan cheese.

The key ingredient behind the great taste of Caesar salad comes from the not-so-secret ingredient – anchovies!  While I don’t know that I’d be eating them as a topping on my pizza anytime soon, the depth that they add to sauces and dressings simply cannot be denied.  Even though you only use a little bit in this recipe, the anchovies add a whole other dimension of flavour.  Trust me, you’re not going to want to skip this crucial ingredient.

*** You can find anchovies locally in the refrigerator section of your favourite grocery store near the cheese and yogurt***

*** a package of 3 romaine hearts should feed 6 people ***

Recipe makes 2 cups
(1 x 500 ml mason jar)


- 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 ½ tsp anchovy paste
- The juice from 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ cups real mayonnaise
- ¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- ½ tsp freshly ground pepper


In a medium bowl whisk together garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juice, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.

Fold in mayonnaise, cheese, and pepper.  Whip until well combined.

Store leftovers in a mason jar in the fridge.


- 1 loaf French bread
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste


Tear the bread into bite sized pieces and brush with melted butter and olive oil. Toss with salt and pepper, and spread out on a baking sheeting being careful not to overlap.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally to ensure even cooking.

- Nutritional Info (1 tbsp dressing) -
Calories – 83    Fat - 8    Carbs - 0     Protein - 1   Fibre -  1


Friday, April 3, 2015

Crab Rangoon

To celebrate the premier of Mad Men on Sunday, I teamed up with Modcloth and a group of my favourite bloggers to bring you Mad Men inspired vintage recipes, as well as an awesome themed giveaway! 

Today I'm sharing a vintage inspired recipe for crab rangoon, a common fare at Trader Vic's (a popular restaurant on the show).    


- 1 x 6 oz can of crab meat, drained
- 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 tsp A1 Steak Sauce
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 pkg wonton wrappers
- 1 egg, beaten


Combine crab meat, cream cheese, steak sauce, and garlic powder in a medium bowl and mix until fully combined. 

Place 1 tsp filling in the middle of each wonton wrapper, then pinch in all four corners. Repeat until all of your filling is gone (24 or so wontons).

Using a deep fryer, fry wontons until golden brown. 

For a lighter spin, rather than deep-frying, bake the wontons in preheated 425 oven for 5-7 minutes (being careful not to burn).


Join us for a #‎MadMenBlogParty‬!


  • Gin Rickey from Bakeaholic Mama

  • Whiskey Sour from Pass the Sushi

  • Old Fashioned from Poet in the Pantry

  • Mad Men Manhattan with Mushroom Pate from Creative Culinary

  • Pink French 75 from Kelly Bakes

  • Sazerac Cocktail from Jelly Toast Blog

  • Classic Negroni from The Messy Baker

  • Gimlet from Yankee Kitchen Ninja

  • Appetizers

  • Vegan French Onion Dip from The Viet Vegan

  • Pimento Cheese & Crackers from The Noshery

  • Chicken Salad Sliders from The Lemon Bowl

  • Crab Rangoon from Cooking with Jax

  • Fried Green Olives Stuffed with Blue Cheese from Simply Healthy Family

  • Cheesy Asparagus Spirals from Comfortably Domestic

  • Easy cocktail meatballs The Realistic Nutritionist

  • Desserts


  • JELL-O Crown Jewel Dessert Cake from The Apron Archives

  • Pineapple Upside Down Cake from I am a Honeybee

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