Easy and Impressive Creme Brule Recipe

Do you order Creme Brule only in Restaurants?

Think Creme Brule is a super impressive dessert?  Way to fancy to be able to make at home?  Would you believe me if I told you it was dead simple and that the recipe I have been using for years is so good that I don’t bother ordering it at restaurants now because mine is better?

Wanna impress a dinner party?

I’m a gonna give you my recipe because I’m nice like that…

You do need a few “hardware” kitchen gadgets before you start…

Here they are

6 Ramekins (the cute little white dishes they serve creme brule in)

kitchen torch and butane (don’t be scared its just a lighter on steroids – you can get this at any kitchen store)

large pyrex baking tray for a lasagne for example (9×11 will do)

 

Got it?

 

ok, lets go

 

Ingredients

Here are the food items you will need for creme brule

heavy cream (35% whipping cream) 2 cups

white sugar 1/2 cup

a whole vanilla bean (scrape out inside or use good quality vanilla paste)

5 egg yolks

 

Instructions

So while this is neither hard nor involved, making creme brule does involve some chemistry… please follow these directions exactly…

Preheat oven to 325 F

  • Temper cream and vanilla – this means just put it in microwave for 2 minutes stirring at one minute and make sure it doesn’t burn or boil.
  • mix sugar and egg yolks in a separate bowl
  • slowly add cream and vanilla to yolk mixture while stirring or whisking constantly.

Thats it. Really.  Now just pour into ramekins and put in pyrex dish and use the dish as a water bath and carefully fill the pyrex surrounding the ramekins with water so they are bathed up to about 2/3 of their height.

Bake 30 minutes or until the creme brule jiggles like jello when you take it out.

Rice and Beet Salad

Ever thought of those two ingredients in a salad together?

Ya I haven’t thought of a rice and beet salad either…. but let me tell you it was one of my favorite recipes from my weekend away at the Women’s wellness retreat called Thirteen moons.

This post and the next bunch of recipes will come from Louise Racine and Her wonderful retreat http://www.thirteenmoons.ca because she says “sharing is caring”.

Love her.

Love this retreat.

Love her recipes (all vegetarian)

She has three cookbooks and you can find them on Amazon… in print or electronic media – so worth it!

Thank you for everything again Louise!

This pic was found on the internet – it is not Louise’s or my salad – as soon as I make this salad I will post my picture….

Ingredients

Here are the ingredients for the rice and beet salad in Louise’s very own hand copied from my email… it also includes the dressing which uses nutritional yeast flakes (very good for you and high and B vitamins) the dressing tastes amazing!

2 cups cooked rice blend (could also use cooked quinoa)
2 tbsp. chopped sundried tomatoes
1 raw beet, shredded or spiralized
4 cups arugula or other greens
Nutritional yeast Dressing
Goat feta
Fresh dill
 
Blend ½ cup dressing with rice, tomatoes, beets. Place on bed of greens. Sprinkle with feta and dill and pour a bit more of the dressing over greens.
 

 Dressing ingredients and directions

This dressing from Hollyhock (explained below) is a perfect match to the riche and beet salad and so many others that Louise makes at her retreat!  Try it – its amazing.

Hollyhock Yeast Dressing* (GF, V)
 
Hollyhock is a stunning retreat centre on Cortes Island in British Columbia, and this is their most popular salad dressing. This dark and intensely flavoured dressing is versatile and rich in B vitamins. It’s delicious on cooked grains as well as with fresh greens.
 
Yield: about 2½ cups (625 mL)
 
½ cup (125 mL) nutritional yeast flakes
⅓ cup (80 mL) water
⅓ cup (80 mL) soy sauce or tamari
⅓ cup (80 mL) apple-cider vinegar
2 tablespoons (30 mL) crushed garlic (optional)
1½ cups (250 mL) avocado oil
 
Put the yeast flakes, water, soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic in a food processor and blend until thoroughly mixed.
 
With the processor running on high, add the oil in a slow, steady stream. Add all the oil or stop when your desired consistency is reached. This dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
 
Variation: I use wheat-free tamari and less oil either extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil.
 
*Adapted from Hollyhock Cooks: Food to Nourish Body, Mind and Soul by Moreka Jolar and Linda Solomon, New Society Publishers, 2003, with permission from Hollyhock and Moreka Jolar.

Green Tomato Sauce

What exactly does one do with green tomatoes?

I tried making fried green tomatoes – I liked them and so did my husband (the 8 year old kid not so much) but really how many can you eat?  Once I tried making pickled tomatoes – this one was a big fail – maybe I didn’t get the brine right… this year I was asked by my husband “are you going to use the green tomatoes you froze last year?”? Quite possibly he wanted them out of the freezer…  so this year I tried making green tomato sauce – folks we have a winner.

I have this problem throwing out food – I really hate doing it.

I grow tomatoes every year.  Last year and the year before the frost hit before I pulled out the tomato plants and flash froze the tomatoes right on the vine. I guess I was leaving them there in hopes they would ripen.  No such luck.

So I threw the tomatoes in the freezer last fall and there they sat.

For almost a year… taking up space.

Right – so I wondered if I could make tomato sauce out of it – and gave it a shot – It was good!!!! so I made it and canned 4.5 or so jars and plan to do the same with whatever is left on the vine this year too… If we don’t eat it or we have too much I plan on giving it away as teacher gifts along with the jams I usually make in the fall.

Ingredients

Here is what you need for green tomato sauce

  • 5-10 lbs of fresh or frozen tomatoes
  • water
  • dried basil (1-2 tablespoons to taste)
  • dried garlic powder (1-2 tablespoons to taste)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Really that’s it.

Super simple directions

Throw all tomatoes that will fit into the pot and add some water (1-2 cups will do).  Boil the hell out of them until they are a soft mush. You can take out the seeds if you wish but I left them in and didn’t even cut up the tomatoes before I threw them in.  I put mine in frozen….  unfortunately I left the green tops on mine before I froze them and had to pick them out after the boiling process- I suggest if you make this green tomato sauce that you take the green tops from the vine off before you toss the tomatoes in the pot.

Once soft and mush use immersion blender to smooth out or place in food processor or blender.  Add spices and stir.

At this point I started sterilizing my jars for canning (please look up how to do this properly so you don’t make yourself ill- it’s super easy just do it properly please).  At the same time I allowed the green tomato sauce to boil with the spices to combine the flavours.  When canning I added a bit of lemon juice to the top of my jars before sealing and re-boiling.

 

That’s it – green tomatoes out of my freezer and I have a start on the canning season (I’m a bit of a nerd and throw back to a prior century and like these things…)

 

Mom’s Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp for Fall

So last weekend my family went apple picking.  It was 30 degrees Celcius out and not feeling crisp and fall-like but it was still super fun and we got a giant bag of apples out of it, got outside and had some fresh air and family time…

  Typical Family Portrait

Apple picking is one of my favourite fall activities and I tend to pick too many apples every time we go.  This usually means I make a ton of apple inspired recipes – this year the first of which was my Moms apple crisp.

I actually adapted a recipe found online because I couldn’t find Moms actual recipe but my sister had some and said it was just like my Moms.

A funny Apple Crisp Story

This story is one of family Legend…. I share it here because it makes me smile and think of my Mom, who was a wonderful Mom and person – you would all have loved her.

Mom loved to make Apple Crisp in the fall.  She made it for Thanksgiving every year and in giant quantities for the 23-26 family peeps who came over to our house every year for Thanksgiving.  People loved it. People looked forward to it.  It was a recipe that she could probably make from memory.

This particular time she was really just making it for my immediate family I think: my Dad, my sister and me.

Cut to the evil villain in the story:  Salt

More particularly Salt and Sugar in very similar containers…

you can see where this is going right?   The recipe calls for about 1 cup of white sugar along with cinnamon and flour to be mixed together then coat the apple slices…. this is approximately what our white sugar container looked like:

Image result for 1970 glass sugar, flour container with cork top

(actually it is exactly this – I can’t believe I found it on the Google!)

Guess what the salt one looked like:

you bet:

Image result for 1970 glass sugar, flour container with cork top

(only a bit smaller)

 

So Mom proceeded to make the whole apple crisp and guess what…. yup – salt instead of sugar and a whole batch in the garbage.

Yesterday I told my sister I was making apple crisp (but not with salt) via text and she smiled fondly, laughed and texted back that she was coming over for a taste… sometimes an annoying mistake can be remembered very fondly even 20-30 years later and is better than a perfect batch anyways.

Ingredients

ok here are the apple crisp ingredients

  • 12-14 small to medium apples (I used Cortland which are good for baking)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (or more to taste)
  • 1 cup or so of water

 

for the topping

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar firmly packed
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2/3 or 1 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp each of baking powder and baking soda

 

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Peel, core and slice apples and place in 9×13 glass baking dish.  In a separate bowl combine sugar, cinnamon and flour and mix well.  Pour on top of apples and mix well so apples are well coated.  flatten out apples so they are mostly even in dish then pour water over top evenly over all apples.  In yet a separate bowl mix topping ingredients well then sprinkle over all of the apples.  Bake approximately 45 minutes until bubbling and topping is golden brown.  Serve with whipped cream if desired (and who doesn’t desire whipped cream?)

My Watermelon Birthday Cake

Amazing but healthy cake

So here I am trying to be healthy and eat well and along comes my birthday.   So what does one do?  Make a healthy Watermelon Birthday Cake!

This recipe is super easy…. and so very tasty – way better tasting that I even imagined it would be – I actually felt this would be a sacrifice but it really really wasn’t – I would totally make it again.

On top of that, it looks beautiful too!

 

Ingredients

Here is all you will need for this Watermelon Birthday Cake

(Ok you can make it anytime really not just birthdays!)

1 watermelon – seedless

heavy cream or whip cream

fresh strawberries

frozen blueberries

frozen pomegranate seeds

 

Directions

This Watermelon Birthday cake is so easy and of course no bake.  BUT it looks totally like Martha Stewart made it.  I even impressed myself… Here are the simple directions:

All you really need to do is cut the watermelon in half and take the ends off so that you have two rounds. Take the rinds off like this because it is easier – and then shaped them so they were a bit more round for staking on top of each other like layers in a cake (see picture). Then pat them dry so that the whipped cream wouldn’t slide off and placed the first layer on a pretty cake tray (the one pictured is my mother in law’s tray – super pretty).

I cheated and used a spray can of real whipped cream and then just put one watermelon round down and sprayed the top fully of whipped cream. Then sprinkle a mix of blueberries and pomegranate seeds on top that I had mixed together and allowed to thaw a bit before I started on the watermelon project.  I added fresh strawberries here and then layered on the second round of watermelon.  I then did the same with the whipped cream and berries artfully (also because I’m messy) dropping berries along the side of the cake.

That’s it.

I suggest you do all of the layering just before serving but you can cut the watermelon into shape prior to this… it worked great and tasted amazing!

 

I hope you try it!

Mixed Green Salad

Amazing summer mixed green salad

I am sitting her typing this and eating the best mixed green salad ever.  My friend Penny Hounsome made it this weekend – and eventhough it is 4 days old it is still amazing and one of the best salads I have ever had for lunch.  I think what makes it so good is the mixture of flavours and textured. Luckily she gave me permission to share the ingredients…

Penny is a health and wellness coach, personal trainer and yoga instructor extrodinaire and you can find her here: http://www.pdhealth.ca

image1.jpeg

Ingredients

Here are the ingredients in this amazing mixed green salad:

romaine lettuce

bok choy

broccoli

cucumber

zucchini

basil

yellow peppers

dried cranberries

Swiss Cheese

pumpkin seeds

 

For the dressing I mixed a garlic infused olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

 

Seriously this mixed green salad is soooooo good!

Directions

really just chop everything bite sized (except chop spices more) and throw toegether – I don’t even like swiss cheese but it is so yum in this salad I love it. Not sure if I like it so much because of the taste (which is awesome) or because I didn’t have to make it – food other people makes is always better isn’t it?

Other notes – just throw in a handful of each of the pumpkin seeds, bluberries and cranberry – just a taste here and there is really good.  Also the zucchini is cut up raw and thown in.

 

Corn Salad with Bluberries

Corn Salad with Bluberries Recipe

Corn and bluberries are not two things I would ever had thought to put together. But my friends Jodi and Jeff swear this salad is amazing and they even sent me their corn salad with bluberries recipe so I could put it right here on my blog for you!  They even sent their pictures!

I haven’t tried it yet but I intend to make it hopefully this weekend!

Ingredients

Here is what you will need for this yummy corn salad and bluberries recipe:

4-6 ears of peaches and cream corn cooked and cooled (or use canned)

1.5 cups blueberries

1/4 cup chopped sweet onion (they used red but I like sweet better)

1/4 c to 1/3 cup chopped cilantro

1 english cucumber halved and sliced or 1 red pepper cut in small cubes

Dressing:

2 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp oil (chipotle infused or 1 tbsp hot pepper infused and 1 tbsp regular olive oil)

salt and pepper

Directions

Basically just take the corn off the cob, mix all chopped ingredients together in a bowl and in a seperate bowl mix ingredients for the dressing… then pour on top of the chopped ingredients and toss.  Ok, this is making my mouth water.

A quick shout out

So Jodi and Jeff are cottage friends – they swear by this oil for the salad – this is a small business in Southampton Ontario but I beleive they ship their oils… If you are up there near Lake Huron check them out – their oils are amazing… if you don’t have this one thats ok you can use any infused oil with some spice you like.

https://southamptonoliveoil.com/

“Crack” Chicken for the Instant pot

Addictive as crack?

Ok maybe not but this recipe comes from a site that claims it is so addictive that it is like crack cocaine… whatever.  Let’s not test that theroy ok?  Anyways this chicken recipe is for the instant pot, super good and easy and even keto frendly… Since we all know that Im currently searching fro new recipes this works for me!

Credit where credit is due

I got this recipe from here:  https://theketoqueens.com/keto-crack-chicken-recipe/

it is not mine I borrowed !

Also important – you can do this with frozen chicken as well as thawed or fresh!!! Did I say I love this instant pot thing?

Close Up of Keto Instant Pot Crack Chicken with Bacon and Scallion on Top

Ingredients

Here are the ingredients listed for crack chicken…. just reading them makes my mouth water!  I can’t wait to try this one out next week!

Ingredients
So originally I had posted the ingredientes and directions here… I thought that by giving credit to the website originators and posting their link they would be happy to share… Apparently not.
I just received this email prior to this being shared on my social media

“Hi Dr. Karen Hudes,
 
My name is *****    and I am one of the owners of the website TheKetoQueens.com. We appreciate that you liked our recipe enough to share it, but we are asking that you take down our recipe. Sharing our image and full recipe without our permission is copyright infringement.
 
We have no issue if you would like to share the image and a link back to our site for the recipe and ingredients, but we are asking that you immediately remove our ingredients and directions from your website.
 
We hope you understand.”
I guess they would like you to need to scroll through all of their advertising etc to get the recipe.  The recipe does look really yummy containing things like cream cheese, bacon and scallions and I definately will try it but I am not entirely sure I would have been infinging copyright here since I gave credit to them and posted a link to their site to drive traffic to them… I took it down anyways because they did ask.  Please click the link for the full recipe.

Instant Pot recipes for the beginier (aka me)

So I got a new Instant Pot

It was Amazon Prime day in July… I couldn’t help it. I bought an instant pot to my husband’s chagrin. (we already have way too many kitchen gadgets).

I am hopeful this new gaget will replace my slow cooker – It should, and take it’s cupboard space.  ANNNNDDD I hope it solves another problem – the one I have with forgetting to take out meat to thaw in the morning.  With the instant pot you can cook from frozen in 30 minutes – its true! I tried it!

At first I was a bit scared of the pressure cooker feature – while I never had one growing up my mom regailed me with stories of exploding pressure cookers in the 70’s – she was scared, and passed it to me.  Hence I have never had one.

Nowadays they make these things way safer… still though at first I was scared and ran out of the kitchen.  Old habits die hard.

Ok so here are two beginer recipes I have tried and one I will try this week:

Instant Pot hard boiled eggs

This one is so simple its crazy.  And it makes the perfect, most easily peeled hard boiled eggs.

Image result for hard boiled eggs

A perfect starter place…

Place eggs in the instant pot on the rack. Put in 1 cup of cold water into pot.  you can cook 6-8 eggs at a time – close the lid of the instat pot and make sure the steam valve is closed and in the sealing position – cook on high pressure for 5 minutes (manual or pressure cook setting).

When it beeps do a quick release of the steam (careful not to burn yourself! I always do this with silicone oven mitts on…) and submerge the eggs in ice water for 5 min so they dont over cook – use tongs!

Done! perfect and easy to peel every time!

Instant pot poached chicken breasts

Also super easy!

To make it easier make sure you freeze the chicken breasts individually – then you don’t have to fight to separate them – and they do need to be separated!

Ok so you can put in lots – you can stack the chicken breasts but make sure to separate – I did 6 the first time!

Image result for poached chicken instant pot

Steps:

put frozen chicken breasts in pit

add 1 cup of water or chicken broth and season with salt and pepper

Close the lid of the instant pot and move valve to sealing and press manual or pressure cooker setting and set timer to 10-12 minutes (12 was too long for me last time).  When it beeps let the pressure release naturally for 5-10 min and then release the remaining pressure – so easy!

If you do longer on the cook time the chicke shreds nicely for chicken salad.  Shorter and you get perfectly poached chicken… just make sure the internal temp of the chicken is 180F when you are done to make sure it is cooked through if you are worried.

Keto Pork Tenderloin in the instant pot

This one I haven’t yet tried as of the writing of this post – I will be trying it this weekend or early next week though… credit to this blog and more instant pot keto goodness here! https://www.savorytooth.com/instant-pot-pork-tenderloin/  I totally stole this whole thing from there…

cooked instant pot pork tenderloin drizzled with mustard sauce and onions

Ingredients

  • 1 pork tenderloin (1 – 1.5 pounds)
  • 1 small onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper

For the sauce:

Instructions

  1. Cut the pork tenderloin in half so it’s half as long as before. If unseasoned, season all sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Turn on the pressure cooker’s saute mode for medium heat. When the display reads HOT, add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Add pork and cook until golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Flip to cook the other side for a few minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate.

  3. Add onions and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Turn off the saute mode.
  4. Add water, stirring and briefly scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Return the pork to the pot, nestling it on top of the onions.
  5. Secure and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 4 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural release. Make sure to wait the full 10 minutes; do not open even if the pressure is completely released before 10 minutes have elapsed.
  6. Uncover and insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the tenderloin — it should read 140-145 F. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let it rest, where it will continue cooking. Do not slice yet.

  7. Turn on the saute mode. Add heavy cream and mustard to the pot, stirring together. Bring to a boil. Let the sauce boil for 8-10 minutes to thicken, stirring frequently. Turn off the saute mode and stir for a minute to let the boiling subside. Stir in parmesan cheese until melted.

  8. Slice the pork into thin slices and serve onto plates. Pour the sauce on top.

 

Healthy Homemade Popsicle Recipes

Trying to get the kids to eat healthy cool treats?

Ok then this is the post for you – for these healthy homemade popsicle recipes all you need in the way of equipment is a food processor and popsicle molds.

Here are some that incorporate good fats, fruit and little or healthy sugars!

Lime Avocado Coconut Healthy Homemade Popsicles

Healthy Homemade Popsicle recipe 1

1 large ripe avocado

1 can coconut milk

1 whole lime zest

juice of one lime

1 tbsp. maple syrup or stevia

1 tsp chia seeds

Blend avocado and milk until very smooth and add the rest of ingredients and blend until mixed well.  Pour into molds and freeze. Serves 6-10.

Image result for avocado and coconut popsicles

Strawberry Peach and Yogurt Healthy Homemade Popsicles

Healthy homemade popsicle recipe two

1 quart strawberries (pureed)

3 peaches skinned/seeded and pureed

Honey

Plain yogurt sweetened to taste with honey or vanilla yogurt

Add 2-4 teaspoons of honey to strawberries and peaches to taste.  Layer purees in popsicle molds alternating with yogurt and ending with fruit puree and freeze.

Image result for healthy popsicle

 

Watermelon and Lime Healthy Homemade Popsicle

Healthy homemade popsicle recipe #3

1/2 a watermelon cubed

Juice of 1-2 limes

1-3 tablespoons of honey (to taste)

Add all to processor until smooth and liquid and pour into popsicle molds.

Freeze until solid (6-8 hours)

 

Kale Smoothie Healthy Homemade Popsicle

1 cucumber cut into chunks

4 leaves of young Kale (or substitute spinach) chopped roughly

1 banana

1/2 cup coconut water

juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon honey

 

Blend all ingredients together until smooth, pour into molds and freeze

Kale Detox Popsicles | 3 Veggie Popsicle Recipes

I hope you really enjoy these – I have heard that the silicone popsicle molds are really the best for getting the popsicles out easily – I plan on buying some soon – another way to do this old school is to pour the popsicle stuff into ice cube trays, cover with saran wrap or foil and then stick in a popsicle stick through the foil so it is supported and freeze… easy peasy!