Category Archives: Holiday treats

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. 

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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! 


Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian Friends


Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Candian friends! 

Remember to be thankful for all that you are greatful in life and spend your time with family and friends.

As I always say I truly believe that food brings us all together through our heart and souls and connects our families and friends forever.

Eat well and share your recipes and photos with us and I promise we will share back! 

Enjoy the weekend 

  

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>

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Valentine’s ideas


Hello great foodie friends,

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As the days grow closer to the day of Love (albeit a little commercial) planning your valentines should come from the heart and soul rather than from something that will last for a day or two but not stand the test of the soul and the heart in your Loves eyes.

When deciding what to do don’t feel that you have to focus on something so daunting that it adds stress to your day but rather something made from Love and care.
This great molten lava cake from Food network & Patrick and Gene Neely is a start.
molten lava cake recipe – click here

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Recipe courtesy of Patrick and Gina Neely

Molten Lava Cakes
Total Time:
50 min
Prep:
35 min
Cook:
15 min
Yield:8 cakes
Level:Easy
Next Recipe
Ingredients
2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for the ramekins
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting (optional)
6 large eggs plus 6 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter eight 6-ounce ramekins and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar.

Combine the butter, cinnamon, cayenne, nutmeg and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Cool slightly. Whisk the flour, confectioners’ sugar, eggs and yolks, vanilla extract and almond extract in a bowl until creamy. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. Divide among the prepared ramekins.

Bake the cakes until the tops are stiff and the edges darken, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. Loosen the edges of the cakes with a small paring knife and transfer to plates while warm. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Photograph by Gentl & Hyers

Recipe courtesy The Neelys’ for Food Network Magazine

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/patrick-and-gina-neely/molten-lava-cakes-recipe.html?soc=sitepackagesocial_20150210_40030926&adbid=10152607959246727&adbpl=fb&adbpr=20534666726&oc=linkback

Try this dessert and pair it with a raspberry or multi – berry coulis / sauce with some fresh berries as well topped with fresh whip cream and serve with some Prosecco.

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If if your so inclined could you prepare a wonderful dinner? If not use this dessert and the end of the night show stopper coupled with your sweethearts favourite flower! Many valentines start or end with roses, but was this great marketing by the flower industry or really truly your Valentines favourite flower? Better to know and ask if you need to!
I guess the theme of my posting is truly about doing something from the heart rather than bought at a store!
If chocolate isn’t your perfect Valentine sweet treat, why not making a Tiramisu?
Come on folks, it’s one of the most delectable Italian treats and is truly easier than it looks and I promise smiles.

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Tiramisu recipe – click here

You can put the Tiramisu into any cup, dish or pan and serve it how you like but if you can find chocolate cups like these it adds a special extra touch.

Last but not least, I have included a link for those of you wanting to spread sweet love but do it as hea,thy as possible…. 8 desserts 80 calories or under

8 desserts 80 calories or under – click here

Happy Valentines to you all

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our family and friends


As the year winds down and the Christmas holiday is on our doorstep, take this time to slow down and take a deep breath and soak in the extra time with family and friends. Enjoy everything that this season can bring and make sure that you share your holiday culinary magic photos with us!

Remember that not everyone thinks this season is Merry so reach out where you can and keep in mind that Christmas doesn’t have to be maxed out credit cards but rather the reason to give more from the heart and in the spirit of the holidays.
Stay safe and pass your warming smile on to all.

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If you still aren’t sure how you want to prepare that Turkey, take a look at this recipe I tried from Jamie Oliver
click here for Turkey Wellington recipe

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah

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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Chez Christophe – Patisserie


Happy Tuesday great foodie friends.

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The Vancouver lower mainland is blossoming into a culinary wonderland.
Just about 1 year ago Chez Christophe opened their doors in Burnaby BC.
Christophe Bonzon is no stranger to Vancouver as he was the head pastry chef at Cin Cin for 2 years then he decided to open his own patisserie in North Burnaby – Chez Christophe
Location: 4712 Hastings Street, Burnaby BC.

Who is Christophe?
Swiss born Christophe first discovered his passion for chocolate and the age of ten while he was helping his mother make truffles for Christmas gifts.

Christophe’s resumé is studded with a decade full of intense apprenticeships and coursework in the fine art of pastry and chocolate, both in his native Switzerland and in France. Amongst many other institutions he has studied under some of Europe’s grand masters at Zurich’s Chocolate Academy, and at l’Ecole du Grand Chocolat Valrhona in France. Various professional postings followed, including as pastry chef at Confectionary Schneider in Switzerland, followed by Choux Cafe in Western Australia. Christophe worked as an Executive Pastry Chef at one of the finest French Pastry Shops in Perth.

Now Christophe and his lovely wife Jessica, along with their great assistants create pastry and chocolate magic everyday (open Tuesday- Saturday with special hours during the holidays)
The quality and aromas are noticeable from the second you walk in the door.

Christophe will always find his way to say hi to all that walk in the door or at the very least a friendly wave from behind the finishing room that you see through the glass.
At Chez Christophe you will find fresh made pastries every morning as simple as a traditional croissant

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or one that is filled with extra treats like the double baked maple pecan croisssant to warm your tummy. The pastry is light, flakey and buttery just as you should expect from a traditional croissant.

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And enjoy it with a fresh cup of coffee of your liking.

From looking into the pastry showcase your eyes are quickly are pulled to the chocolate and sweet pastry / cake showcase and your mouth likely will start to water at the delectable treats in front of you.
You will surely recognize some flavor pairings but also notice some creative twists created by Chez Christophe.
Christophe only uses the best quality chocolate that he imports from fine European routes in Switzerland and France as well specialty chocolate from Cacao Barry

Some of my favorites are the Treo

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Which is layers of light, dark and white chocolate mousse with a dark sponge bottom and a ganache like top all that truly melt in your mouth like chocolate silk.
We had a special occasion that we needed a special cake for and we chose the Treo with a special show piece.

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Needless to say it was a

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Other favorites are the Duo

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As well as good old favorites like eclairs and lemon tarts to name a few.

For special occasions Chez Christophe’s creativity and experience explodes Into exponential ways….

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A quality patisserie that will bring you back again and again! Creative, friendly and a chocolate master to be sure!

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Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie on Urbanspoon

YOU GOTTA TRY THIS!