Sunday, September 14, 2014

Balsamic Glazed Carrots

Balsamic Glazed Carrots

Hi guys! I'm here again with this month's instalment of the column I write for my local newspaper, The Hinton Voice.  

[September is here, and with it – my favorite season of all time – fall.
Pumpkin spice lattes aside, it’s also the time of year when all of the hard work put in during the spring and summer gardening has finally come to fruition.  The first year I started gardening I planted the basics –tomatoes and carrots.  Easy beginner veggies that pair really well together for companion gardening. It took me a few seasons before I finally figured out how to grow edible tomatoes (now I can’t keep up with them all!) but carrots have always been something that I have found really easy to grow.  My grandparents live on Vancouver Island, a noticeably different growing climate than we have here.   Each year it’s always a race to see who has edible goodies in their garden’s first.  Generally most of the time my Gramps wins, but ever since the race began, my carrots have always been ready to eat first.   He generally plants his garden well before mine, but for the most part, my carrots always seem to come in first.  

A few seasons in I got wise and figured out how to stagger planting seeds a few weeks apart so that I have just enough carrots ready at a time.  These balsamic carrots are one of my favorite ways to use them, and make a great side for a weeknight roasted chicken or a Thanksgiving turkey feast.  The honey and sugar makes a sweet crust on the carrots, while the vinegar cuts the sweetness with a bit of sour and creates a glaze.   You can adjust the vinegar or sugars depending on if you like more sweet or sour, but I like this combination the best myself!]


Recipe makes 4-6 servings

- 12 or so medium, whole carrots
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme, optional


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Chop the leafy tops off the carrots leaving about ½ an inch of the green on the top (you can cut the tops off if you like, I just like the aesthetic appeal that leaving a bit of green on the top gives – it also helps keep the carrots as fresh as possible until the very last second).

Scrub the carrots well, and then pat dry.  Place them on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper and a few springs of fresh thyme if you have it.  Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the carrots are about 2/3 cooked.

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by combining the vinegar, maple syrup or honey and brown sugar in a small saucepan and heating over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.  Alternately, you can place the ingredients in a microwave safe dish and heat for 30-60 seconds or so to get the same result.

Pour glaze over carrots and return to oven for a remaining 10-15 minutes, until the glaze is bubbling and the carrots are completely cooked. Stir the carrots immediately after removing them from the oven to coat them with the glaze – the glaze will thicken as it cools. 

Serve with a few more springs of fresh thyme.

Nutritional Info (1/6th of recipe)
Calories - 108   Fat – 2    Carbs – 22     Protein - 2   Fibre – 4


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Maple Scones & Internet Bullies

If you're here just for the maple scone recipe, I'll save you a bit of effort by telling you to scroll down to the very bottom to skip the next little bit.  The scones are delicious, you're going to love them, and thank you for stopping by to check them out!

For the rest of you, we need to sit down and have a very important conversation.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Classic Barbecued Cheese Burger

My husband makes the most incredible burgers - it's kind of his thing.  He takes pride in his role as grilling master and everything that comes off his grill is mind blowing delicious.  The spices are always so perfect, and the meat cooked to perfection.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fried Green Tomatoes

I have wanted to try fried green tomatoes ever since I first heard about them back when I was a kid, though up until this summer I had never actually tried making them before.  This summer my tomatoes have been doing extremely well so I always have plenty of green tomatoes on the vine.  The other day 3 of them looked perfect and round, and ready to pick even though they still weren't ripe. I ended up picking them, and had this recipe for fried green tomatoes in the back of my mind.  

I brought the tomatoes home and got to work, making the same breading mixture I often use for chicken fingers, only with the addition of corn flour rather than the usual all-purpose.  I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome, happy to have an additional use for my bounty of tomatoes that didn't quite taste the way a traditional tomato does.  It's been a couple of weeks since I last made this recipe, and writing about it now makes me want to have it for dinner tonight!  Off to the greenhouse I go, I'm sure there's a plethora of green tomatoes I can choose from.  ;)

- 3/4 cup olive oil 
- 2-3 large green tomatoes
- 2 medium eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup corn flour
- 1/2 cup panko (coarse) bread crumbs
- salt & pepper to taste

Pre-heat a large frying pan over medium heat. 

Set out three large plates or bowls (I like using plates better, because there is more surface area, but a bowl would work just fine as well). 

Place half (1/2 cup) of the corn flour on the first plate. 

Whisk together eggs and milk and pour onto the second plate.
Mix together the other half (1/2) cup of the corn flour with panko and salt/pepper, then sprinkle onto the third plate. 

Slice the tomatoes and dip into the flour, eggs, and then flour/breadcrumb mixture. 

Fry in oil 4-5 pieces at a time being sure now to crowd the tomato pieces. 

 Drain on a wire rack or a plate lined with paper towel and sprinkle liberally with salt.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Little Life Box - August Delivery

You may remember The Little Life Box from back when I first reviewed it in December when they launched.  It's a monthly subscription box that is meant to take the guesswork out of finding healthy, organic products.  You get a sample of a variety of Canadian products, shipped right to your door each month for the low price of $19.99 (plus $3 shipping to any province). 6 months later, and I still love receiving my Little Life Box!  One of my favourite parts about opening this particular subscription box, (aside from the awesome contents of course) is the great tissue paper!  I'm always really excited to see what colour combinations they used since they change monthly (and let's be honest, save it to recycle into another gift later). 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tomato Cobbler

This recipe appeared as my column in last week's edition of The Hinton Voice

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Today is "National Cheesecake Day" and I am celebrating with these "Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars". 

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