Falafel Salad

Ok so this weekend I had a golf lesson at the cottage with some friends, the dudes golfed and met us for drinks and lunch on the patio. My friends (the girls at least) were all raving about this salad they had tried before… It was so good I copied it. I have to say I got it bang on too. Made my own falafel but did it in the air fryer – which was super easy and tasty and healthy. Give this falafel salad a try – you won’t be disappointed.

falafel salad
drool worthy falafel salad

Falafel recipe

For the falafel part of this falafel salad I used this air fryer falafel recipe from Skinnytaste – if you haven’t seen recipes on Skinny taste check it out they are all really good. The only difference mine had was a higher and longer cook time on the air fryer to get a crispy golden outside (400F for 9 min each side). Oh and I did more or less puree it. I like a not too chunky falafel – personal preference.

The basic ingredients you need for this are canned chick peas, cilantro, onion, green onion, parsley and garlic, baking powder and flour. Oh and cooking spray for the air fryer. A bit time consuming but easy. You can also buy pre-made falafel and put it in the air fryer.

Dressing recipe

So this falafel salad had a sun dried tomato dressing. I googled sun dried tomato dressing and got one that popped up and I made some modifications- here it is:

7 pieces of sundried tomato packed in oil

6 tablespoons olive oil (I used 4 plain and 2 spiced with tuscan herbs – next time will use some of the oil from the tomato jar instead of tuscan herb oil)

1 clove of garlic

4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

a bit of ground pepper

a spash of lemon juice

Throw all of this into a blender or food processor and puree. I stuck it in a squeeze bottle to store in the fridge.

Falafel Salad Recipe – “the goods”

Ok so you got your falafel (still hot) from the air fryer, and you got your dressing in a squeeze bottle… here we go

Ingredients:

Spinach

thinly sliced red onion

feta cheese cubed

4-5 hot falafel

dressing

avocado (optional)

pumpkin seeds (optional)

On a bed of baby spinach throw a few slices of red onion, feta, avocado and the warm falafel and top with dressing. Mix and enjoy.

This was so good, and I nailed it so well that when I sent pictures to my friends these were their comments:

“Karen!”

“Looks delicous”

and

“So envious!! I am drooling just looking at the picture”

Now I have to publish this so I can send them the link… you know who y’all are 😉

Fresh Strawberry Pie

It’s strawberry season! That usually means that I, like my mother before me, go a bit overboard when I pick strawberries. Last week I went out with my son Leo and we picked about 10.5 L (!) So after washing, hulling and making jam I still had a ton! I have had this recipe for strawberry pie for years but totally forgot about it! I have since made strawberry pie twice. It really is amazing.

Fresh Strawberry Pie
Yes, it is as good as it looks… better

Strawberry pie ingredients

so here are the ingredients for the strawberry pie. If you want to make your own pastry please see below for a “perfect pastry” recipe for two pie crusts. Otherwise you can use prepared bought pie shells – just be sure to follow the directions on the box and bake it.

one baked pie shell

2 quarts whole strawberries washed and hulled

1 tablespoon lemon juice

one cup sugar

2.5 tablespoons of cornstarch

Directions

Put half of berries into the pie shell whole (please make sure the berries are dry). Put the other half of the berries in a saucepan and crush with a potato masher. Add sugar and cornstarch and boil and stir until clear and thick. Add lemon juice. Let this mixture cool a little then pour over berries. Let stand in refrigerator for 2 hours and serve with whipped cream.

strawberry pie part 1
using a deep pie pan helps…
strawberry pie part 2
mixing glaze for pie

Seriously this is so simple and delicious it is amazing.

Perfect pastry ingredients and directions

If you want to get a bit more complicated here is an easy pie shell recipe that makes really one of the best crusts I have ever made.

3 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 c cold butter

one egg

1/2 c cold lard cubed (or shortening)

2 tsp vinegar

two tsp lemon juice

ice water

In a food processor blend flour and salt and cut in butter and lard until fine crumbs. Beat egg separately in a liquid measuring cup until foamy and add vinegar and water to make 2/3 of a cup. Add egg mix all at once to stuff in processor and mix until it clumps but don’t let if form a ball. Remove and press together into 2 disks and refrigerate 30 min (up to 3 days or freeze 3 mos). Let stand at room temp 15 min before rolling. Bake 450 F for 10 min (rememember to poke with fork on bottom or add pie weights)

Makes 2 single crusts or 1 double 9 or 10″

Strawberry pie part 3
this baby won’t last long…
stawberry pie and jam
now I’m just showing off…

Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

So During this thing (11 weeks now) was super excited to finally get chocolate chips. Baking has become a real thing! I asked my really close group of girlfriends – hit me with your fave chocolate chip cookie recipe – this one came back from my friend Emily which was originally from a friend of hers (Sarah? I can’t remember). But here is literally the best chocolate chip cookie recipe (at least in my friend’s group) so far.

chocolate chip cookie
no seriously. these are good.

Ingredients

2 1/4 c all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

butter 1 cup (salted or unsalted)

1 1/4 cups lightly packed brown sugar

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla

instant espresso powder (I left this out) 2 tsp

2 cups chocolate chips

Instructions for the best chocolate chip cookies

Preheat oven to 350 F and cover baking sheet with parchment. In a medium bowl place dry ingredients (except esspresso powder) and mix with fork. In large bowl cream together softened butter and sugar until creamy with electric mixer. To the butter mixture beat in egg and vanilla and espresso powder. Gradually stir in flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Stir in Cocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoons onto prepared sheet and bake in centre of oven until golden around 8 min. Take out of oven and let set 2 minutes then move to a cooling rack.

So that is it – I hope you try these – I am actually going to go make these super yummy chocolate chip cookies right now. Even my husband who avoids chocolate most of the time thought these cookies were amazing.

Pandemic Faves

So this week’s recipe post is a bit of a cheat… I’ve been busy getting the clinic ready for re-opening and have seen a few urgent patients. So good to be ready for when I can invite all of my patients back. I don’t have a recipe that I tweaked this week per se but I do have some awesome links to recipes I have made during my 10 weeks at home many of which have become family faves. I am sure they will stay in the rotation – Also tons of yummy breads and deserts… so here are some of my recipes that have become pandemic faves!

Pandemic Faves: Breads

Bread and baking have gone wild during this time… So much so that it is hard to find flour and yeast. Tip- Costco usually has 10 kg bags for about $8. Yeast – one of my friends found some in a small bakery in Mimeco… also I am now part of a cult – the Cult of Sourdough. Yep, it got me. If you want some sourdough starter just ask, I will give you some – we can have a physically distanced pick up and visit and everything. As with all Cults, I have become a bit obsessed….

Ok so here are the bread recipes I have done and continue to do:

This was Thursday morning – two loaves white bread and one sourdough…

pandemic faves bread
a three loaf morning!

White Bread (with yeast)

Baguettes (with yeast)

pandemic faves baguettes
baguettes

Sourdough

pandemic faves sourdough
a thing of beauty!

Sourdough rolls

I haven’t made the rolls yet but I will! My friend did and said they are great.

For the sourdough you need starter – honestly if you want some let me know… I can arrange it if you live close by.

sourdough starter
Sourdough starter – its alive!!!

Pandemic Faves Desserts

What’s a pandemic without sweet treats? Here are some of the best recipes I have come across in the way of desserts…

Blondies

Ya, Ive made these twice … it will happen again.

Pandemic faves blondies
worth it

Oatmeal Cookies

Pandemic faves oatmeal cookes
also worth it

So basically I am lucky I haven’t gained 10 lbs in quarantine… I hope you enjoy these as much as we have – but not all at once!

Scones

This recipe came to me by way of my friend Emily Howell (also a chiropractor) she said I could post it but should mention that it was originally a weight watchers recipe (though I think that is a different one she gave me once… this one has lard so not really WW friendly) – I have, as usual, made a few changes – but this base recipe for scones is one of the best ever. This time I added chocolate chips and crasins but usually I add white chocolate and blueberries – Leo says I need to get blueberries and white chocolate because that one is better… eat your chocolate cranberry scones kid… sheesh!

I do admit the white chocolate blueberry is better but this one ain’t bad either… you can also make these plain, with shredded cheese or any other mix of fun stuff! good luck and tell me your favourite combination!

scones

Ingredients for scones

4 cups Flour

Baking powder – 6 teaspoons

salt – 2 teaspoons

sugar – 4 tablespoons

lard or shortening or margarine – 1 cup

1 1/3 cup milk and 2 eggs beaten

(and chocolate chips and crasins, or white chocolate chips and blueberries or whatever you like to add!)

Directions.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix all dry ingredients. Add lard and blend with pastry blender. Add milk and egg and mix. Mix in chocolate/ fruit or your choice of stuff. Drop by handfuls onto cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake 12-15 minutes.

I hop you like these as much as we do – honestly the blueberry white chocolate ones are legendary. Friends of ours in London Ontario ask for them every time we visit or they visit us… The kids remember me mostly for my scones. Hey, its a good thing to remember! I’ll take it.

Peach Cobbler – Campfire edition

Ok so this pandemic thing is making me pull out my inner Girl Guide. This past weekend – Sunday – was the most gorgeous day. We are lucky enough to have a backyard and spend much of the day pulling out ivy from a garden next to the house (and found a crack in the foundation – don’t worry it is small and not serious and by the time I wrote this Wednesday night – fixed). I digress, we decided to cook outside (steak) on the BBQ and have a special dessert. No marshmallows to be found so I pulled out an old trick from Girl Guide days – Campfire Peach Cobbler. So yummy and quite easy – can be done over the fire or under the broiler too.

Peach cobbler
The finished product

Ingredients needed for peach cobbler

Oatmeal cookies (two per person)

Peach slices – I used canned

Brown sugar

you will also need two peices of tin foil per cobbler and one damp paper towel.

We had no oatmeal cookies and strangely nut free ones (my son has an allergy) are hard to find. At Girl Guides we used Dad’s brand but they are not nut free. We didn’t have any on hand so I made a batch – so good and worth the extra time – I used this recipe I found online for soft oatmeal cookies from Allrecipes check it out. Oh and btw it makes way more than the 24 it claims to make in the recipe (not a bad thing).

Directions

Place down one piece of foil shiny side in. Wet a paper towel (it should be about a half size one smaller than the foil) and wring out and place on top of foil. Place a second piece of foil over top – doesn’t matter where shiny side goes. Put one cookie on foil then 2-3 slices of canned peach and maybe a spoon of juice. On top of the peaches put 1-2 tsp of brown sugar and then top with second cookie. Drug store wrap the cookie concoction. If you have no idea what that is click here and check out the end of the video with the foil. I learned this from my dad who was a pharmacist. Apparently it is how the drug stores wrapped sandwiches and packages once upon a time (the 1940s? 1950s? – anyway it is useful!)

Peach cobbler over fire
the waiting is sweet torture…

Then what you will do is take these packets and place them on the coals of the fire – it has to be hot and they will get black on the outside – if the fire is really hot it only takes 5-10 min per side.

Remove from fire and allow to cool for a few mins so you can unwrap. Add whipped cream if you like and eat out of packaging with a fork – delicious gooey mess! Leo wants to do it again this weekend so we have to go easy on the cookies…

Creamy Noodles

I have been posting a bunch of recipes and most of them are pretty easy. At least I think so. But during these weeks of us all staying home many of us have had more time to slow down and cook. Slow food, I think that is what the fancy chefs were calling it. Food. Like our grandmothers used to cook. With the extra time it has been super satisfying to finally have the time to cook and bake to my heart’s content. But then again, somedays one doesn’t feel like it. It is perfectly normal to go through ups and downs during this period of isolation and sometimes (damnit) I don’t wanna cook. Here is an old staple that is so easy and so satisfying on a comfort food scale that it is a regular and frankly one of Leo’s favorite (ok and mine too). Welcome to creamy noodles – don’t make fun of me for how easy it is.

creamy noodles

Ingredients

Chicken (one breast cut into cubes)

mushrooms quartered – a small package (optional and mostly I don’t use them)

pasta (whatever kind is your fave)

one can Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup (the condensed kind)

Directions for creamy noodles

Cook pasta and drain. Set aside. if you are using mushrooms cook them down so they release the water and set aside. Cook chicken and then set aside. Pour can of soup into a pot and warm until boiling and add a bit of milk to decrease thickness a bit. Add back in the chicken and mushrooms if you are using them and pour over pasta. That is it. Seriously don’t make fun of me. It isn’t our grandparents cooking it’s more like Mom from the late 70s cooking. But damn, Creamy noodles is one of my fave comfort foods. Use it on a day you just don’t feel like doing the whole bake up a storm thing. Happy eating!

Lemon Drop Martini

For the second week in a row, back by popular demand… a martini recipe – please enjoy responsibly and for those 19+ only… but for all of us at home going on 7 weeks – It’s Quarantini Time (only responsibly though!). The super sweet and tart lemon drop martini.

lemon drop martini
Lemon Drop Martini

Ingredients for lemon drop martini

1 lemon – juiced (you need about 2 tbsp

1-1.5 oz vodka

ice

1 oz simple syrup

(If you don’t have simple syrup you can make it – it is a 1:1 ratio of water and sugar – for instance use 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar and heat until the sugar has dissolved completely. )

Directions

place ice cubes in a martini shaker along with all other ingredients. Then shake. Allow the ice to melt a little bit. Pour into a martini glass – voila so good and easy… remember to enjoy responsibly even when stuck at home. (and yes, I am really good at making martinis… and I take requests…_

Panko Fried Chicken Legs

My husband loves fried chicken. Fried chicken is not super healthy. We are also in a pandemic and we don’t love the idea of eating out too much… plus we are trying to keep ourselves as healthy as possible at the mo. I have also been scouring the cupboard for long forgotten things to use so that we can avoid the grocery store as much as possible – I found a box of panko bread crumbs (likely long ago expired but oh well) and found a great recipe that I modified for the air fryer! So here is a good healthier option for panko fried chicken legs!

Panko fried chicken legs
so crispy and yummy and I served it with salad and rice… so good

Ingredients for panko fried chicken legs

chicken legs (6 or so)

buttermilk (1/4 c) or use 1/4 c milk and 1/4 tbs lemon juice mixed together and allowed to stand for 15 min

panko bread crumbs (1 cup)

parlsey 1 tsp

your choice of seasoning (Italian or I used fajita seasoning 1-3 tsp)

salt – about 1/4 tsp to taste

cooking spray

Instructions

Place chicken in a ziploc bag with buttermilk to coat and refrigerate for at least 30 min. You can leave this here all day or overnight if you like though. Spray inside of basket of air fryer with cooking spray; if you like put about 1 tsp of vegetable oil in the bottom. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and coat the chicken well. I tried to pat a good layer of panko mix onto each side and then balanced as much as I could on the top. Then spray each side of the chicken and place in air fryer basket. Cook for 10 minutes at 380F then flip and cook an additional 14 minutes. Make sure the chicken internal temperature reaches 165 degrees so you know it is done.

This recipe doubles easily but my air fryer will only hold 6 legs at a time … I did double this and had lovely left overs…

Quarantini Time – Apple Pie Martini

I tripped across a recipe about 10 days ago for an Apple Pie Martini – in my usual fashion I changed it to make it my own and then posted it on facebook – my personal page. It got a lot (A LOT) of traction… It is a really REALLY good recipe… and you know, 6 weeks into stay at home time really does equal quarantini time. So…. I asked my friends on my personal facebook page if it was inappropirate to post a martini recipe on my blog since a lot of my patients come here to look at recipes. One of my friends said a more appropirate question was really “should I post 1 or 2 martini recipes on my blog each week?” And thus, I have been schooled. I therefore bring you The Aplle Pie Martini (to be enjoyed occasionally and responsibly for those 19+)

Apple pie martini 1
This was the original FB photo with the caption “current situation – holding open cookbook with Clorox wipes while making goulash and drinking an Apple Pie Martini

Ingredients for Apple Pie Martini

This is a list for a batch of martinis – do not drink it all at once!

One cup of Vodka

One apple sliced really thinly (for surface area)

2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

one cinnamon stick

Symple syrup (1 oz -1.5 oz per drink – to be used later when ready to drink)

ice

Directions

In a glass sealable container place sliced apple, cinnamon, lemon juice and vodka and seal. Place in refrigerator at least 24 hours. Once the day has gone by drain into a different container. When ready to mix place ice and simple syrup in a martini shaker along with 1-2 oz of flavoured vodka and shake – allow the ice to melt for a few minutes then strain into martini glass.

So simple and really tasty.

Remember to enjoy responsibly.

Apple Pie Martini 2
More formal and pretty picture of Apple pie martini