Warm Mushroom Salad

This salad is one of our all-time faves! Sautéed mushrooms in butter and garlic with aged cheddar over a bed of greens, it’s simply divine. I got this recipe from LCBO Food & Drink, it’s supposed to be a winter time recipe but we enjoy it all year long! It’s great with a barbecued steak and some red wine 🙂

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 6
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Involvement
    • 25. min prep
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 14 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy – Moderate

Equipment Required:

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Sauté pan
  • Whisk
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups/spoons

The Recipe

Time: ~25 min.

Servings: 2

Calories/serving: ~ 300

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and lightly crushed (I use minced)
  • 3 cups (750 mL) mixed mushrooms, thinly sliced (preferably an equal mix of cremini, oyster and shiitake)
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) fresh thyme, finely chopped (or 1/4 – 1/2 tsp dried)
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) soy sauce
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) dry white wine (I tend to use sauvignon blanc or chardonnay)
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) white wine vinegar (sherry or red wine vinegar will also do)
  • 1½ tbsp (22 mL) olive oil
  • 4 cups (1 L) winter greens, torn into bite-size pieces (arugula, escarole, romaine, red leaf lettuce or others)
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) aged white cheddar, finely crumbled (I use Balderson)
  • 1½ tbsp (22 mL) walnuts, coarsely chopped (sometimes we just leave these out if we don’t have any on hand)

Directions:

1. In a large sauté pan heat butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic clove and cook for 1 minute.

2. Add mushrooms, thyme and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 5 minutes until mushrooms begin to soften and release their water.

3. Add soya sauce and white wine and continue sautéing for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms become golden. Discard garlic clove. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. In a medium bowl whisk together mustard, vinegar, olive oil and a pinch of salt.

5. Add greens and toss with vinaigrette, taste a leaf and adjust seasoning. If needed add another drizzle of oil or vinegar.

6. Divide greens on 2 plates, top each with warm mushrooms and sprinkle with cheddar and walnuts.


Greek Charcuterie

I had a Mediterranean themed dinner the other weekend and I decided to throw together a Greek Charcuterie board. It was a huge hit! Brush some pita bread with olive oil and sprinkle on salt and oregano and warm it in the oven, cut some feta & drizzle with honey….sooo good. It’s perfect for a mid-day lunch or appetizer for a group.

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 2
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 20 min.
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 9 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Charcuterie board
  • Small dishes
  • Spoons
  • Baking sheet

The Recipe

Time: ~20 min.

Servings: 4 – 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 rounds of pita bread
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Oregano to taste
  • Chorizo sausage
  • Block of Feta
  • Honey
  • Tzatziki (store bought or homemade)
  • Olives (of your choosing, I don’t like Kalamata so I went with green)

Directions:

  1. Cut chorizo & feta into slices. Put tzatziki and olives into dishes. Plate. Drizzle feta with honey.
  2. Heat oven to 350F and put pita rounds on baking sheet and brush with olive and sprinkle with sea salt and oregano. Warm in the oven for 5-10 min. Slice into wedges and add to board.

Cheesy Herb Stuffed Naan

This naan bread is really really good but way too time consuming in my opinion. It is a really special treat but I won’t be making this frequently. The good thing is you can freeze them. It’s great for lunch or an afternoon snack attack. I made it with Half Baked Harvest’s Moroccan Lemon Chicken Kebabs which you can find in her book HERE. That recipe is excellent!!! And I will definitely be making it lots this summer 🙂 Anyways, I hope you guys enjoy this post about the Cheesy Naan and perhaps add it to your self-isolation cooking list 😉

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – DIFFICULT

  • Steps: 6
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Involvement
    • 1 hour 40 min. prep
    • Rating: Difficult
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 18-19 ingredients
    • All ingredients you should be able to find at a grocery store
    • Rating: Difficult

Equipment Required:

  • Stand mixer or mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • Cheese grater
  • Plastic wrap
  • Mixing bowl (for cheese filling)
  • Rolling pin
  • Cast iron skillet & lid (can be from any pot that will cover the skillet)
  • Basting brush
  • Flipper

Time: 1 hour 40 min. prep. (including frying/cooking) + 1 hour rising = 2 hours 40 min. total

Yield: 8 naan

Calories/Naan: ~467

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm whole milk
  • 1 cup full fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 227 grams frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded dry mozzarella cheese
  • 227 grams feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup tender mixed herbs (such as basil, cilantro, chives, and/or dill)*
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 tablespoons (4 + 2) salted butter, melted

Directions:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, honey, and yeast. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture begins to bubble on top. 

2. Add the milk, yogurt, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using the dough hook, mix until the flour is completely incorporated, about 2-4 minutes. The dough should be sticky. Dust lightly with flour and knead the dough into a ball using your hands. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 1 hour, until doubled in size. If not using right away, cover overnight in the fridge.

3. To make the filling. In a bowl, combine the spinach, herbs, mozzarella, feta, garlic, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.

4. When ready to cook divide the dough into 8 equal balls. Flatten each ball out into a round. Add about 3 tablespoons of the cheese mixture to the center. Fold up the dough around the cheese, pinching to seal it in. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a large oval, about 5-6 inches long, and 1/2-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining dough.

5. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, you want the pan screaming hot. Brush both sides of the naan with 4 tablespoons of melted butter. Drizzle the skillet with a teaspoon of olive oil, then carefully use a paper towel to wipe the oil around the skillet. Place the naan on the hot skillet, immediately cover with a lid and cook for 1 minute, bubbles will form. Flip and cook, uncovered for another 1-2 minutes, until large toasted spots appear on the underside. Remove from the skillet and wrap in a clean kitchen towel. Repeat with the rest of the naan, keeping them wrapped in a towel while you work. 

6. Brush 2 tablespoons melted butter over the warm naan and serve. These are best served warm, right off the skillet, but leftovers are still delicious. Keep stored in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes:

*If fresh herbs are not available, you use 1/4 cup of mixed dried herbs. For example, I did 2 tablespoons dried basil, 1 tablespoon dried chives, and 1 tablespoon dried dill. Feel free to use your favorite combination of herbs, or even just your favorite herb. 

I got this recipe from Half Baked Harvest. You can find the original recipe HERE.


Dutch-Oven Jalapeno Cheddar Bread

This bread is soo good! When I was making it I could hardly wait for it to cook to eat it because it fills your home with the best smell. Also, I know it has jalapenos in it but this bread really isn’t that spicy. It’s also so easy to make and only has 7 ingredients! I hope you guys enjoy 🙂

Time: 40 min prep + 1.5 hours rising time + 40 minutes bake = 2 hours 50 minutes

Servings: 8

Calories/serving: ~325

Ingredients:

  • 3 ½ cups bread flour (445 g), plus more for dusting (can also use all-purpose flour)
  • 2 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (250 g), divided
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced into rings, divided
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups warm water (480 mL)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, 2 cups (200 g) of cheddar cheese, the chopped jalapeños, and salt. Stir well.
  2. In a separate large bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. Pour the flour mixture on top of the water and use a silicone spatula to stir until the dough comes together.
  3. With the spatula, fold the dough around the edges of the bowl toward the center, rotating the bowl each time and folding a total of 8 times. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest in a warm place for 60 minutes, or until almost doubled in size.
  4. Using the spatula, fold the dough toward the center again 8 more times. Cover with the towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Add the Dutch oven and lid to the oven, and preheat to 450˚F (230˚C) for 30 minutes.
  6. Lightly flour a clean work surface and your hands. Carefully peel the dough out of the bowl and onto the floured surface. Flip over and carefully brush away excess flour. Fold the edges of the dough towards the center 8 times, then flip over the dough and transfer to a piece of parchment paper.
  7. Brush the top of the dough with the olive oil, so the cheese will stick. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup (50 g) of cheese on top. Use a sharp knife to score the bread with an “X”, which will allow steam to escape. Arrange the jalapeño rings on top of the cheese.
  8. Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and use the parchment to lift the bread into the pot. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for 20 more minutes, until the bread is golden brown.
  9. Carefully slide the bread out of the pot and onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper and let the bread cool for at least 1 hour before slicing. Slice the bread and serve as desired. Enjoy!

I got this recipe from Tasty HERE.

Equipment Required:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Cheese grater
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Dutch oven
  • Spatula
  • Tea Towel
  • Brush

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 9
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Involvement
    • 40 min. prep work
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 7 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Pretzels

These pretzels are like a bagel on crack! They are sooo good! However, they are super filling and I would recommend making the pretzels without the filling and just dipping them afterwards in the spinach and artichoke dip because you can’t put a lot of filling in the pretzel or it will break through. I found the amount of spinach & artichoke in the pretzel once it puffed up was underwhelming. But as for the pretzel itself it is amazing and totally worth the effort!

Time: 1 hour + 35 min of prep, 1 – 2 hours of rising, 18 – 20 min cooking = ~ 3 – 4 hours total

Servings: 8

Calories/Pretzel: 385

Ingredients:

PRETZEL

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast*
  • 1 cup wheat beer, at room temperature
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cups baking soda (for boiling the pretzels)**
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Coarse sea salt

SPINACH & ARTICHOKE DIP FILLING

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry of excess water
  • 1 (6.7 ounce) jar marinated artichokes, chopped

Link to recipe directions can be found HERE.

*Tip for using yeast: I got this from my mom and it is fool proof! Turn your oven on to 125F or whatever the lowest temperature it will go (mine is 170F). Once it reaches temperature turn it off and turn the oven light on. This is the perfect place to let your dough rise. To proof the yeast, mix it with the warm water and let it sit in the warm oven for 10 min. After the 10 min. mix together and knead your dough. Then you can put it back in covered with plastic wrap and a tea towel to rise.

** Don’t forget the baking soda when boiling the pretzels! I forgot this and I think it was the reason why they burnt on the bottom.

Equipment Required:

  • Stand mixer or mixing bowl
  • Dough hook for stand mixer (or you can use your hands to knead)
  • Hand mixer or spoon
  • Large bowl
  • Tea towel
  • Plastic wrap
  • Cheese grater
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Large pot
  • Rolling pin
  • Large slotted spoon
  • 2 baking sheets
  • Parchment paper
  • Brush for egg wash

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – DIFFICULT

  • Steps: 7
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Involvement: 
    • 1 hour + 35 minutes prep time
    • Rating: Difficult
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 17 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Difficult

Spinach, Apple & Pecan Salad

This salad is delightful! Hands down one of my top 5 favourite salads I consistently make. It is a great salad to make for guests or for bringing to a potluck. It is filled with so much flavour! You’ll definitely want to add this salad to your recipe repertoire.

Salad3

Time: 15 min.

Yield: 16 servings

Calories/Cup: 109

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages (6 ounces each) fresh baby spinach
  • 1 medium apple, chopped
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup glazed pecans*
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled**

Dressing

  • 2 tbsps cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

* I had glazed pecans on hand. If you end up making them this will add time to the recipe. I don’t like making them on the stovetop because I find they stick together too much. I like making them in the oven. Just mix together 1 egg white with a bit of water and toss 1 lb pecan halves in it. Then mix 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, & 1 tsp salt. Toss over pecans and spread onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 30 min or until evenly browned.

** Normally I use Hormel Real Bacon Bits in salads. It is a bit costly but it definitely saves on time! You can buy it at Walmart or most grocery stores.

Link to recipe directions can be found HERE.

Salad1

Equipment Required:

  • Bowl
  • Salad tongs or spoons
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Small bowl
  • Whisk

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 2
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement: 15 minutes
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 12 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Moderate

Cranberry Brie Pull Apart Bread

Ya’ll this bread is absolutely amazing! My pictures won’t do it justice compared to HBH but you need this recipe in your life. It is divine! My family devoured this recipe at Christmas!

Time: 15 min. + baking 15 min.

Yield: 6 servings

Calories/serving: 431

Ingredients:

  • 2 baguettes*
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2/3 cup pecans chopped
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 0.5 wheel of brie, cubed
  • 0.5 cup dried cranberries

*I used 2 baguettes from Costco because that was all I had on hand. You can get a box of 20 in the freezer section. However, HBH recommends sourdough which I can imagine only brings this recipe up another notch!

Link to recipe directions can be found here: https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/cranberry-brie-pull-apart-bread/

Equipment Required:

  • Knife
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Baking Sheet

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 3
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 15 min.
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 6 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Easy