Category Archives: Lunches
Yes, the pumpkin pie is a little late for Canadian thanksgiving but you Americans still have over a month away before your thanksgiving so store this pumpkin pie recipe in the safest place because it’s a weapon! Yes, it’s that good! My aunt took one bite and yelled, “OH MY GOD!” My grandma couldn’t get over it. I’ve been emailing it to the entire world. So yes, it’s that good!
Here is the recipe: (copied from an email I wrote a day ago…why store the same typed recipe twice when I can simplify?)
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4-5 tbsp very cold water
Mix the flour, salt and sugar together. Cube the cold cold butter into the flour and kind of roll it between your finger tips until the butter and flour are an even crumble texture. Add the water and knead briefly until the dough has come together. Refrigerate for an hour.
2 cups canned pumpkin (one can)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp molasses
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice (ground cloves would also work)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup whipping cream
3 tbsp brandy or orange liquer
Whisk everything together.
This recipe makes one large 9 inch pie or two shallow 9 inch pies. So either roll the dough out once or cut it in two if you are making two pies. Roll the dough and place in the pie pan, pour the filling in and bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, turn down the oven to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 40 minutes (or until the middle is cooked through…you can tell by the amount of jiggle)
And most importantly….eat the whole thing because you can’t help yourself because it tastes so darn good!!!
Roasted Acorn Squash
Here is another one that I made for thanksgiving dinner. My little cousin took a bite of one, spit it out and then rinced his mouth out. Hahaha. I thought it tasted great and so did the others! I guess squash is an acquired taste. It’s a great fall recipe, super warming and when you smell it, you can see the leaves changing colour in your minds eye. Did I mention that it’s super easy to make?
3 acorn squashes (I think also named pepper squash if you can’t find it. It’s shaped like an acorn and dark green)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon herbes de provence
1 teaspoon thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons cold butter
Peel the squash (this is an extremely difficult task and you can skip it if your guests won’t mind.) Cut them in half, scoop out all of the seeds with a large spoon and dice the sides into chunky pieces.
Toss the squash with the oil, salt, herbes de provence, thyme, fresh cracked black pepper (just a few twists of the grinder) and the bay leaved then place on a baking sheet. Dot the cold butter evenly on top of the squash pieces.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for around 25-30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves before serving
Sweet Potato Soup
This soup is yummy! You can freeze everything that you won’t eat in a couple of days and reheat it at anytime making this a great lunch idea for a few nights ahead into the future. It’s also packed with nutrients and tastes like fall.
Here is what you will need, and need to do:
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons thyme
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
8 cups water
Saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so and not allowing the garlic to burn. Add the carrots, potatoes, ground coriander, thyme, bay leaves, cayenne, salt and black pepper, stirring everything together. Saute this mixture for an additional 10 minutes or so. Add the water, cover the pot and bring the water to a boil by turning the heat on the stove to max (sigh*Max). As soon as you get a nice rolling boil (meaning that the water is non stop bubbling and big bubbles), turn the heat down to low and simmer the soup for an hour. In small bathces, place the soup in a blender and puree it until the entire soup is pureed.
Let’s Mexican-it up! This is a favourite of mine. There is a restaurant in Hamilton called the bean bar, and as much as I tried to choose something different every time I went, I couldn’t. It was always the sweet potato quesadilla and for good reason…Putting sweet potatoes in a quesadilla (p.s. I have no idea how to spell this word) is the best idea ever! I made my own version which only tastes better so give it a try!
The recipe is this (it makes three)…
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced finely
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Plus olive oil for grilling
Boil or steam the potato until it is soft (you can easily poke a fork though it). Transfer the drained, soft potato to a mixing bowl. In a frying pan, saute the onion with the coriander and cumin until the onion is soft, give it three minutes at least. Add the sauteed onion to the potatos. With a masher (or hand mixer) mash the potatoes with the onions and oil. Taste the mixture. Season it with salt and pepper. Does it taste good? Okay, move on. Evenly divide the potato mixture among the three tortillas and spread it on only one half. Add a few sliced of the roasted red pepper and divide the cheese among the three. Remember, you build this quesadilla on only one half. Now fold over the empty half of the tortilla and grill it in some olive oil on the stove for a minute or two on either side. The cheese should be melty and the tortilla slightly browned.
Now eat it…
SEE WHAT I MEAN?!!!!
Enjoy these fall recipes and stay warm!
Hello everyone! Finally I am posting again and I am back in Canada doing so. I did say that I would post a recipe on Monday, it’s just not the same Monday I originally expected to post it on. Sorry folks, but this recipe was made in the South of France at the small family apartment and my step-by-step photos didn’t turn out in the dark kitchen…so just the recipe you will get. P.s. An apero is a party type thing where drinks and little snack foods are served, usually before the meal.
In other news, I am feeling quite a reverse culture shock now that I’m back. I cannot exactly describe what this means except that I want to go back to France because it feels funny to me that the people here aren’t dresses impeccably all the time and that everyone is speaking a language that I understand and that there are no 80 cent baguettes within 50 metres of me right now. Sigh. And that Max isn’t with me.
Anyways, it does feel so good to be back on the blog so without further ado, here is this pizza recipe with homemade tomato sauce and all.
You will need…
For the sauce:
- 10 very, very ripe tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper
For the assembly:
- Prepared pizza dough, or even better, puff pastry
- Shredded gruyere cheese (swiss)
- 10 or so slices of goats cheese
- black olives
- Prepare the tomatoes: Peel them with a peeler, cut them in half and squeeze out all of their seeds and then chop them into small pieces. Set them in a colander to drain out the excess liquid as you prepare the onions and such.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions and garlic. Saute until they are translucent and slightly golden or for about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and a good pinch of salt, stir everything around and cover.
- Simmer the tomatoes on medium-low for 40 minutes to an hour. For a pasta sauce, a little liquid is good but for this pizza made the sauce really thick to spread on the dough.
- Roll out the dough EXTREMELY thin, spread the sauce on it, then sprinkle the gruyere, then add the olives and goats cheese.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes.
Et voila! A French apero pizza! Serve it with Champagne to be ultra classy!
This is a super simple dish but it looks really sophisticated and elegant when it’s done. It would make a great appetizer at a dinner party, or a vegetarian entrée perhaps?
I made it because I saw something similar in a magazine but I didn’t have the right kitchen things to make it with (like ramekins and a good oven)…so I was inspired to make something that I can call my own and I did!
It doesn’t have to be made for an elegant meal but for a normal lunch as well…which it was for us over here!
To make them, do this:
Stir the mixture together and distribute it evenly into 8 muffin cups.
Bake at 350 degrees F (180 celsius) for 20 minutes.
And it’s easy.
So you should make it.
To make one yourself, do this:
For 2 sandwiches: 2 cooked beef patties, 4 delicious slices of fresh bread, 6 slices gouda cheese and dijon mustard, preferable grainy. Note that I am using black current grainy dijon mustard but this ingredient is what I had on hand and absolutely can be substituted, although it made for a nice sweet flavour.
Now add that one last slice of bread on top and put it under the panini grill until all the cheese is melted.
If you do not have a panini grill, then you can make this grilled cheese style by adding butter to a frying pan and placing the sandwich in the heated pan. Flip the sandwich after the side is nice and golden brown and fry for an extra two minutes or so until both sides are golden.
I have been buying a packaged tabouli lately and it is so delicious. It comes with only two components: a tomato mixture and couscous. When I made bruschetta the other day, I had some of the tomato mixture left over and so I put it in the fridge. When I returned to it a couple of days later to see if I could make something with it, I discovered that the tomatoes had lost a ton of their moisture and the mixture was really watery. Problem? I think not! I immediately thought of the pre-packaged tabouli I have been buying and voila! I couldn’t resist making my own!
There are 3 ingredients and 3 steps…could it get any easier?!!!
I made the couscous ahead of time by following the directions on the package. Generally the instructions will say to boil water, add the couscous, take the pot off the stove and let it sit for five minutes.
Ok, let’s begin!
Add the leftover bruscetta.
At this point I put it in the fridge, thinking it was done and put my camera away. I came back to it at dinner and tasted it only to discover that it needed a little extra olive oil and some salt. So do taste it and season it appropriately!
Sincerely, Yummy Laura
The other day I turned the leftover chana masala I made a few days before into delicious fish fajitas. They were so good!
On a side note, wraps and fajitas are a great way to transform leftovers. Just today I took some leftover roasted chicken, heated it up with some tomato sauce and stuffed it in a wrap with some lettuce. The choices are plenty!
Here is how I transformed this recipe:
Flip them after two minutes and give them another two minutes on this side before removing the pan from the heat…
Now take an avocado and cut it in half…
Remove the seed (by taking a big knife and hitting it on the seed so the knife gets a little stuck and then rotating the knife slightly to pop out the seed. It should work like a charm every time!) and spoon out both sides into a bowl…
Begin mashing the avocado while you add in 1 tablespoon of olive oil…
And a half teaspoon of salt…
Now we move on to part three of this recipe. So far, so easy, right?
Take a tortilla wrap and place a half of a fillet of the fish on it (this recipe makes 4 fajitas)…
I heated up my leftovers on the stove (the microwave works well too) and spooned a large amount on (remember that the recipe makes 4 fajitas so just divide the hot leftovers into approximately 4 equal parts, however much leftovers you have)…
Finally top this baby with some of the avocado…
Tuck in the sides, roll it up et voila! Fish fajitas! So delicious!
Finally I am in France and cooking again! The wonderful thing at this moment is that I have yet to obtain (or start looking) for a job, and so my days, while FBF is at school, are spent browsing the markets and deciding what to make. I use the term “my days” loosely as this has been the case for only 2 days so far, but I do enjoy this little routine.
In Canada, hamburgers were a thing that FBF and I would make all the time ,so since I have only been cooking for him 2 days here, I wanted to surprise him with our staple food except with a French twist. I used some interesting ingredients, like a French baguette instead of buns, and a delicious roasted red pepper spread instead of the usual condiments.
I’m happy to be cooking again so please enjoy!
You will need:
I began by preparing the bread. I used around 2/3 of the loaf and cut that 2/3 into 3 parts and then sliced them open…
Then I grilled the bread in the panini grill until it was nice and toasty…
I spread the roasted red pepper stuff over all 6 pieces…
I placed the beef in a bowl…
I minced up some parsley (it came to around 2 tablespoons) and added it to the beef…
I added a dash of salt…
…And approximately 1/3 cup of the grated cheese…
Now this is the (not so) fun part. I was able to get my hands (very) dirty. I smooshed the whole thing together very, very well…
I divided this mixture as evenly as possible into 3 parts and then flattened the parts out into patties…
Noe back to the panini grill, I cooked the meat right on there for around 5 minutes. The panini grill made it cook FAST! BUT…it was terrible to clean afterwards. With this information, the decision is yours as to how you cook these suckers…
Et voila! Put it together…
I served it with salad…and the rest of the baguette with cheese (tres francais!)…
Yum! It is not that plain kind of non-substantial salad. This salad is wary of even being called a salad because it is so fit as a meal!
It was inspiration on the spot and I enjoyed every bite! It was so filling though so I would recommend it for two people, maybe with a fresh salad on the side. You can do a whole salad themed meal!
You will need:
Begin by dicing your potatoes…
Then boil them…
I am using a left-over thigh and leg from a store-bought roast chicken we had for dinner the other night. I pulled the meat off the bone…
Add the chicken to a mixing bowl…
Add a cup of whole grape tomatoes to the bowl…
Then add the drained potatoes and set it aside…
For the dressing, squeeze out half of a lemon…
Add about a tablespoon of mayo…
Add 1/2 teaspoon of so of herbes de provence (a delicious dried herb mix)…
I ommitted the salt and decided just to add pepper instead. It was salty enough! Then I stirred it up…
I added it to the chicken mixture and stirred it all up very well…
I grated 2 ounces of mozzarella cheese (and ate another 2 ounces while I was grating…it was good)…
The I put the salad on a plate and sprinkled the cheese over top…
I stuck it under the broiler for 2 minutes. And I watched it oh so closely so 1) the cheese wouldn’t urn and 2) the plate wouldn’t break under the heat.
Et voila! The most delicious cheesy warm chicken salad ever! I just loved biting into a tomato. They would just explode in my mouth!
I made this salad today at lunch. I was originally going to make it just with the tomatoes, basil and cheese but after not deciding what the bulk of my lunch would be (tomatoes, basil and cheese is not a lunch folks. Its a snack.), I was inspired to add a few ingredients to make this a full, well balanced lunch.
It was filling and I was full afterwards (kind of repetitive but I had to reiterate).
Oh, but it was good!
It can be good for two people as well…just add a little more cheese and two more eggs. As far as the tomato part…that is good for two servings for sure!
It was easy to make as well and that is always a huge bonus!
You will need:
Oh! And I forgot…
Begin by dicing the potatoes…
Boil the potatoes and boil the eggs. I boiled both for around 10 minutes. I did not want soggy potatoes so I made sure to keep them slightly al dente. When they were cooked enough, I ran both the eggs and the potatoes under cold water for about 5 minutes. While they are boiling you can continue with the rest of the recipe.
Slice around 3 oz of mozzarella cheese…
I am going to prepare the basil into something I believe is called a chiffinade (correct me if I am wrong). I took around 10 basil leaves, washed them and stacked them into two piles…
I rolled these piles up lengthwise…
I sliced these piles thinly. And there we have it…a chiffinade of basil!
Next, cut a pint of grape tomatoes in half, lengthwise…
In a bowl, add the cooled potatoes…
…and the basil, but not all of it! Leave a little out for a fresh garnish…
Pour in around 2 tablespoons of olive oil ( I loosely poured, but feel free to measure!)…
Add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (again with my loose pouring)…
Then sprinkle a generous amount of salt and a generous grind of pepper to the mixture and stir…
Peel your eggs. Everyone has a different method of peeling hard-boiled eggs. FBF and I do it completely differently and so how his method seems more effective than mine but I still do it my way by force of habit.
I hit the egg on a surface to start a crack and then roll the egg between the surface and the palm of my hand, applying a little pressure. When the whole circumference is cracked, I gently pull away the shell…
Slice the eggs in half lengthwise after you take the shells off (like we did the grape tomatoes)…
Dish out some of that tomato mixture on to a plate…
Arrange the eggs and the cheese around in any manner you like and sprinkle with that basil you set aside.