Category Archives: Great flavors

Carrot Cake – so delicious 


Happy Saturday great foodie friends, it’s has been a long time since my last posting but sometimes life hops in the way.

I tried making this carrot cake today – it’s a play off the “Southern Living” recipe also kown as the best carrot cake.

It’s all about the love that you put into baking and staying as true to the recipe as possible. 

What you will need: 

   
 Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 large eggs

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups grated carrot

1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

What you will do:

Line 3 (9-inch) round cakepans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.

Stir together first 4 ingredients.
Beat eggs and next 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Fold in carrot and next 3 ingredients. Pour batter into prepared cakepans.
Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Drizzle Buttermilk Glaze evenly over layers; cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

Buttermilk Glaze

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

What you will do:

Put all the ingredients into a good sauce pan (larger as it expands) heat on medium until a slow boil for approx 4 mins. while stirring often. Take off the heat and add in the vanilla and stir.

   

 
 Cream Cheese Frosting  

Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

3 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used Vanilla bean paste instead) 

Preparation
Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.

   
 
And ice carefully 

  


For an added treat chop up some pistachios and lightly press them around the outside for that little extra wow

After you have finished, cover keep in the fridge. I promise it won’t last long! 

“You Gotta Try This!” 

Top 10 Recipes Googled in 2015- according to Food Network and a Happy New year! 


First I wanted to thank you for following Bcfoodieblogger and wish the happiest New Years and a healthy and prosporous 2016! 

I just wanted to share this posting from Food Network and Google. Some recipes make sense that they were the most searched and some didn’t make as much sense but then we really must think about worldwide culinary thoughts and not just our little but most delicious culinary dinseyland called Vancouver and the Lowermainland.

Most googled recipes in 2015 -click here
What were the most-searched recipes on Google this year? The powerful search engine has unveiled the results of the top 10 recipes that users have been searching for. You may be surprised by the results — and you’d never guess what tops the list as 2015’s most-Googled recipe!

1. Apple Roses

Google users were obsessed with this year’s most-searched recipe, in which thin apple slices are arranged to resemble the petals of a rose within puff pastry, and then baked to golden-brown perfection to result in a delicate, delicious dessert that looks far more complicated than it actually is.

  
2. Rice Krispies Squares

Rice Krispie squares remain an easy-to-make, kid-friendly treat, so it shouldn’t be surprising that recipes for this popular snack were Google’s #2 search in 2015, with the Internet serving up a nearly endless supply of variations. Among them, this spectacular version that adds peanut butter and chocolate to the mix.

  
3. Osso Bucco

Don’t try to figure out why the third most popular Google search was for Osso Bucco recipes, as this iconic Italian dish is apparently more popular than ever. In this recipe, Chef Ricardo Larrivée gussies up this classic favourite by adding the sweetness of orange and prunes.

  
4. Chili

Everybody loves a bowl of hearty chili, and Internet users searched up a storm looking for recipes. If you’re looking to cook up a pot of zesty chili, you won’t go wrong with this spicy and savoury recipe from Bobby Flay.

Get the recipe for Bobby Flay’s Red Beef Chili.

  
5. Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise sauce is apparently making a comeback, judging by its status according to Google searches, and Chef Michael Smith offers up his version of this creamy classic, which he uses to top gently steamed asparagus.
Get the recipe for Michael Smith’s Asparagus Hollandaise.

  
6. Puffed Wheat Squares

Puffed wheat squares are a kid-approved favourite that don’t require a whole lot of effort to make, and Google has numerous recipes to provide such as this easy-to-follow recipe.
Get the recipe for Puffed Wheat Squares.

  

7. Spaghetti Bolognese

One of the most iconic Italian pasta dishes out there, spaghetti Bolognese is a hearty crowd-pleaser that is always welcome on the dinner table. No need to Google when you can use this authentic Bolognese recipe from Chuck Hughes.
Get the recipe for Chuck Hughes’ Bolognese.

  
8. Beer Can Burger

Following in the tradition of beer can chicken, the latest beer can barbecue craze involves pressing an aluminum can into a huge, baseball-sized sphere of ground meat (a half-pound or more), with the resulting indentation used as a vessel to stuff cheese, bacon or whatever toppings you like before grilling it up.
Get the recipe for Smoked Beer Can Burgers.

  
9. Lasagna

Lasagna remains a go-to staple for busy families, a casserole-like pasta dish that everyone loves and, as a bonus, can be prepared ahead of time and then heated up for dinner. If anyone knows a thing or two about cooking an amazing lasagna, it’s Giada de Laurentiis, who adds the rich, sweet flavour of butternut squash to her recipe.
Get the recipe for Giada de Laurentiis’ Butternut Squash Lasagna.

  

10. Mashed Potatoes

It seems as if 2015 was the year that everybody wanted to spice up their mashed potatoes, whether it was for Thanksgiving or simply to serve up a more creative version of this popular side. In this recipe, Ree Drummond gets back to the basics with her creamy, whipped version of savoury spuds.
Get the recipe for Ree Drummond’s Creamy Mashed Potatoes.

  
Click on the Food Network link above for the original article and link to the recipes.

 Make 2016 a year when you challenge yourself in the kitchen to try new recipes, make them your own and share a meal with family and friends. Remember that the Kitchen table is where we sit and share and is the second heart and soul of the home to your mothers. Sharing a meal connects us and helps us bond, and it has been that way since the beginning of time.

Have fun tonight, enjoy your transition from 2015 to 2016 and stay safe…find a ride home if you need to and wake up tomorrow with a refreshed outlook on the start of a new year.

Thank you again for following my blog and I hope to bring you more reasons to continue next year. Anyone interested in a new “E-cookbook”? 

Cheers. 

Ham and Split Pea soup 


  
I hope you all have had a fantastic Christmas season so far! 

When life hands you ham hock, make split pea soup. What truly motivates me was the memory of my moms split pea and ham hock soup – I can taste it as I write. The melencoly thoughts of missing my mom soften when I bring her culinary soul back into the kitchen.

What you will need:

2 cups dried split peas

*approx 1/2 cup of carrots finely chopped

*approx 1/2 cup of celery finely chopped 

1 cup of onion finley diced 

1 bay leaf 

1/4 tsp of pepper 

1/4 tsp of salt (I use sea salt)

1 tsp fresh Tyme chopped

2 tsp of minced garlic

1/8 to 1/4 tsp of  chili flakes 

1 ham hock

1 1/3 cups (approx) diced ham

7 cups of water and 1 cup of chicken broth 

3 table spoons of unsalted butter ( you could use salted if that’s all you have )    

 

  

What you will do:

In a large pot place the 7 cups of water and 1 cup of chicken broth along with the peas.

  

Bring to a boil and the turn of and cover and let stand for 1 1/2 hours. 

In another pot place your ham hock in and cover it with water. Bring it to a boil on medium high heat and then reduce to a simmer for approx 1 hour. Once it is done drain the water and put your ham hock aside. 

In a deep pot start to melt the butter and then put in the onions and stir until they soften (approx 2 mins). Now add in the carrots and celery and sauté until softened (approx 3 more mins)

Now add in the salt, pepper and chili flakes as well as the diced ham and hock- stir occasionally while the ham starts to brown (deepens the flavor) 

Now add in the peas separated from the liquid and stir. Then and in the liquid and stir. Bring the pot to a medium simmer and stir occasionally. You want the peas to get tender if not mushy. (One step if you like a smoother soup is the not put in the diced ham but add after you purée the soup) 

You can adjust the thickness of the soup by adding water or broth to the consitentcy that you like.

Remove the ham hock and bay leaf and top with your favorite adder (croutons, crackers, Parmigina)

   

   
This soup is perfect for a winter / fall day and is the perfect thing to make inexpensively from mostly left overs and inexpensive split peas.

Heartwarming, thanks mom for the inspiration.

  

“You gotta try this!”


Temper Pastry & Chocolates 


 BC – West Vancouver – Temper Pastry 

  The Metro Vancouer area doesn’t know how lucky they are to have so many out of this world patisserie’s and such talented chefs behind them. 

The North shore is home to Chef Steve Hodge and he is the magician behind Temper and the flavors from the great spot in West Vancouver’s Dunderave. Stop in for everything from a perfect coffee, artisan sandwiches or a VIENNOISERIE or a delectable pastry. This location has a great ambience and is a perfect spot for a healthy or sweet lunch or your morning coffee with your favorite pastry. I would say yes every time if someone asked me to go to Temper.

  
The Apple bite- warm, inviting and mouthwatering 

  

Aptly named after Chef Hodge’s little pumpkin Charlie 

   
   
Pastries, artisan sandwiches, chocolates, coffee 

As well as a great atmosphere to sit and enjoys the fresh treats of the day.

Temper is now set for the holidays with his already popular Bûche Noël is available for order in Raspeberry Cherry, Chestnut or Caramel Apple. 

There are also show pieces galore ready to wow your kids (big or small) 

  
  
Rum & eggnog truffle 

Lastly you will likely always have a friendly hello shot your way from the very cordial Chef Hodge who is born and raised in his native NorthShore (West Van) and approaches his business like the European counterparts like Chez Christophe who greet or say hi to their guests.

I say yes to Temper for your everyday or special occasion treats! 

You Gotta Try This! 


Rustic Artichoke stuffed pasta shells 


Happy Friday great foodie friends.

As fall arrives so does the memories of comfort foods & fall flavors. From savory soups, braised ribs and of course filled pastas. 

Today we look at a perfect heartwarming filled shell pasta! 

Makes 24 stuffed shells

  
Ingredients

1-16 oz box jumbo shell pasta

Your favorite tomato pasta sauce

2 – 15 oz containers ricotta cheese

14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and rustically chopped.

1/2 lb lean browned ground beef (I also love to use ground veal mixed in with my ground beef, it makes it extra rich and flavorful) 

1 cup diced red or sweet onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 oz shredded fresh mozzarella cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons dry parsley flakes

1 large egg, slightly beaten

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Parmigiana cheese

 Directions

Mix the ricotta, egg, salt, pepper and parsley in a large bowl.

Fold in the artichoke pieces and 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

  
Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Boil the jumbo pasta shells following the directions on the box. Drain well and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

  
Add your olive oil to your favorite pan then add in your diced onion and soften. Brown the ground beef and the minced garlic and let cool once browned. 

Now mix the ricotta mixture with the cooled ground beef and set aside.

  
Warm up your tomato sauce in another pan and heat through. Then remove from the heat.

Spread 1 cup of sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.

  
Fill each jumbo shell with about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta / ground beef mixture and place seam up into the baking dish.

Repeat until you run out of ricotta/beef mixture.

Spread the remaining sauce over the top of the stuffed pasta shells.

** A little added fun! Make your favorite garlic parm cream sauce and drizzle over the top as well for some added flavor! 

  
Now cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.

Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 40-45 minutes or until the ricotta filling is heated through and the sauce is bubbling.

Remove baking dish from the oven and sprinkle 1 to 1/2 cups of the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese over the top of the shells and dust with Parmigina cheese.

  
Recover with aluminum foil and return to the oven for 10 more minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Serve this perfect fall dinner with your favorite garlic bread and salad and maybe even the perfect sip of vino.

Enjoy! 

You Gotta Try This! 

Merriman’s – a hidden gem in Maui


Aloha great Foodie friends,

A little gem hidden in paradise was what we found last night. From the moment you enter the views and atmosphere fill your eyes.

Merriman’s: One Bay Club Place, Lahina, Hawaii

Don’t make the mistake of driving to Lahina proper as this gem is in the other direction in Kapalua.

The handcrafted drinks are a great surprise along the lines of a “Speakeasy” cocktail truly made from scratch and the difference is noticeable.

Merriman’s Mai Tai- El Dorado rum, fresh lime, orange curaçao and lilikoi foam (a passion fruit foam) try the foam before you mix it in the drink then blend all the flavors together- delectable! 

$13


Parmesan truffle fries – the perfect starter to have with your handcrafted sips- a perfect blend of flavors and truffle used the right way…not overpowering. 

$9

Next up was the entrees.

USDA Prime grade Fillet of Beef (GF)- a perfectly grilled medium rare with pefect char, garlic whipped potatoes, kula green beans, Savoy cabbage topped with mustard brown butter emulsion. 

The perfect bites always exist when flavor depth and textures meet. Every bite of this delectable dish was filled with flavor leaving you wanting for the next bite.

$47


Lamb- I am going based on memory for all that was on this plate, but truly it was definitely a culinary wow in my books.

The lamb was “SousVide” (this is a method of cooking in an airtight plastic bag and placed in a low temprature controlled water bath) then finished to a perfect medium rare – medium (as requested) on the grill. Served with jalepeno whipped potateos, perfectly cooked kula green beans, creamed corn and what seemed to be a fresh salsa.

Every bite touched a different taste bud if that’s possible. Well done! 

$42

Dinner was served with a perfect sip of Heidi Schrock Austrian rose.


To finish off our Hawaiin themed dinner was:

Maui Gold Pinneapple and toasted macadamia nut bread pudding- 

A perfect blend of Hawaiin flavors coupled with a traditional comfort food dessert topped with rum sauce and Haupia (coconut) icecream. Delectable!

You Gotta Try This!

My reviews are only my opinions based on my own observations and experiences. I always judge each outing on its own merits or lack thereof. With rare exceptions, I endeavor to keep criticisms respectful and objective. Anyone’s opinions may vary. It is my hope that you will find my comments helpful.”

<a href=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/37/1420090/restaurant/Hawaii/Kapalua/Merrimans-Lahaina”><img alt=”Merriman’s on Urbanspoon” src=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/b/link/1420090/biglink.gif&#8221; style=”border:none;width:200px;height:146px” /></a>

<ahref=”http://www.urbanspoon.c37/1420090/restaurant/H

The Top 12 Italian Foods in 2014 – the votes are in!


Happy Saturday great foodie friends…. The holidays are around the corner and thoughts of holiday Flavors are no doubt dancing in your brain, across your tastebuds and tummy! I know these aren’t traditional holiday flavours but aren’t Italian flavours just perfect anytime? I think so.

Thank you to Italian Living .com for posting this vote! I couldn’t look at these photos with out my mouth watering!
Love all things Italian….. Enjoy.
click here for the full article on Italianliving.com

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Per the Italian Living article:
More than 700,000 foodies and 5,00 food professionals—including bloggers, chefs, restaurateurs and cooking schools —voted for the twelve most popular Italian foods. Parmigiano Reggiano won 1st with the “King of Cheese” receiving 20% of the votes. This international contest sponsored by the nonprofit group I Love Italian Food http://www.iloveitalianfood.org was conducted online in November 2014, with results released in mid-December.

“This contest made us understand which of our traditional foods are the real ambassadors outside of Italy, “ comments Alessandro Schiatti, founder of I Love Italian Food. Three of the winning foods—Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma and Aceto Balsamico, are all from the Emilia-Romagna region, which isn’t surprising as that region has more products that are DOP and IGP ( protected designation of origin) than any other region.

Using these twelve winners, I Love Italian Food will launch a project in January 2015 called 100per100, which will ask twelve of Italy’s top chefs including Heinz Beck, Cristina Bowerman, Moreno Cedroni and Antonella Ricci to create a unique recipe for each.

And the 2014 winners are:

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You Gotta Try all of these!

Must get Christmas Chocolates of the season


Best of the season great foodie friends,
It has been a while since I have posted due to the busy times and of course life getting in the way!
I thought that you should see, taste and put these Must Have Christmas Chocolates of the season on your must try list.

Get ready because believe it or not the best continue to get better!
Top honours go to the following Chocolate Masters
Apologies if there is a chocolate or chocolate master that I may have missed- this statement
attest to the fact that our city now has more wonderful established and up and coming Chocolatiers & pastry chefs than almost anywhere else in North America.
Kudos list:
Chez Christophe
ChristmasSpiceEtBlackberry
Address: 4712 Hastings Street, Burnaby

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This chocolate not only looks like Christmas on the outside but lays Christmas on your tastebuds from the second it crosses your lips!
The Christmas figures are also a bonus for giving to those nice not naughty children to light up those smiles!

ChocXO
Location: 11220 Horsehoeway, Richmond
Peppermint

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This chocolate is the perfect balance of chocolate ganache and peppermint and says Christmas as it melts in your mouth.
Honourable mention to their Fresh Chocolate or better known as bark. It is from cacao beans roasted in their own factory and organic!

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Bean to Bar

Purdys
Location: Multiple

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Gingerbread
This Chocolate brings you back to childhood and eating a gingerbread cookie. The flavour profile is bang on and the little bits of crunch throughout the ganache is just perfect!

Temper
Location: 2409 Marine Drive, West Vancouver

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Eggnog & Salty Balls
Tempers eggnog chocolate is full of that wonderment that I look for every year in eggnog, a perfect surprise was the salty balls available in normal and mini sizes. It is a one bite chocolate as the salted caramel filling is liquid and watch out for these ying yang flavours – addictive I’ll say!

Chocolate Arts
Location: 1620 West 3rd Ave, Vancouver
Gingerbread caramel & Crantini

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The flavours in these two perfect holiday chocolates are spot on and make you smile as your eating them.

Most of these Chocolatiers / Patisserie masters make other signature items for Christmas such as chocolate figures or Bûche de Noël so I encourage you to get in soon to see your favourites and place your orders just in case.

Disclosure: I am not connected to these businesses in anyway shape or form and my opinions are my own. My recommendations are thought out but truly my personal opinions.

Happy Sweet Holidays to All!

You Gotta Try These!

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving to all of our great foodie friends and your families!

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Let’s all harken back to the day where we all sat back, took a deep breath and reflected on all that we are thankful for. Take this time to reconnect, slow down and enjoy the moment with your family and friends.
Remember that I always say that it’s the sitting around the table that are the perfect moments and that eating together connects us right to our souls.

Enjoy the fall flavors, create something new with the traditional twist, wow your family!

Happy Thanksgiving

Please share photos or comments on what culinary wonders hit your tables with us!
Stay safe and enjoy the day!

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Special event at the Gourmet warehouse


Happy Tuesday great foodie friends.
Wednesday October 8th 6:00-8:00 pm Caren McSherry & her wonderful Gourmet warehouse is hosting a soup tasting and book launch for the The Soup Sisters and Brothers Cookbook

Tickets include a copy of the cookbook, 6 tasty soup tastings as well as sweets, gelato and refreshments.

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Soups will be provided and served by a great line up of our local talented chefs-

Gourmet Warehouse’s Caren McSherry. Rosie Daykin – Butter Baked Goods, Daniel Wagner – Rain City Soups, David Robertson- Dirty Apron Cooking school and deli, Chef Karen – Barnaby, Chef Lesley Stowe- Lesley Stowe fine foods and gelato served by gelato master James Coleridge.

Call the Gourmet Warehouse for tickets to this great event!
604-253-3022 or purchase in store 1340 East Hastings street.

Looks to be a great event full of fun and flavors!
You Gotta Try This!