Strawberry Biscuit Cookies

These cookies from Sally’s bake blog taste like strawberry shortcake in cookie form. They are sooo good! Go check them out! They are a great recipe for strawberry season.

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 10
    • Rating: Difficult
  • Involvement
    • 1 hour. prep
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 10-12 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Moderate

Equipment Required:

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • Whisk or food processor
  • Mixing bowls
  • Mixing spoon or spatula
  • Baking sheets

The Recipe

Time: 1 hour prep + 15 min. bake + 45 min. chill time = 2 hours total

Servings: 30 cookies

Calories/cookie: ~ 96

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (120g) chopped strawberries (I used frozen pre-chopped strawberries)
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) whole milk, cold
  • 1 large egg, cold
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional: coarse sugar for topping

TOPPING:

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2–3 Tablespoons (30-45ml) milk or heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional: 1 heaping Tablespoon strawberry jam

For directions see her blog HERE.


Decadent Fudge Cake

This cake is soo good! So moist and so chocolatey! There is 3 different kinds of chocolate and another great recipe for using up buttermilk. All you chocoholics out there will love it. Definitely a crowd pleaser! I got the recipe from Taste of Home and I highly recommend it. It’ll definitely be making it again. I served it with a sparkling wine for any of you looking for a wine pairing 😉

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 2
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • ~30. min prep
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 12 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can find at the grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Stand mixer or mixing bowl with hand mixer
  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • 10-in. fluted tube pan
  • Mixing bowls for melting

The Recipe

Time: ~30 min. prep + 1 1/4 hours bake time = 1 hour 45 min. total

Servings: 16

Calories/serving: ~ 519

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Cream butter in a large bowl. Gradually mix in sugar. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine buttermilk and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with flour, beginning and ending with flour. Add melted chocolate, chocolate syrup and vanilla. Stir in 1 cup miniature chocolate chips. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 325F for 1-1/4 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean. Immediately invert cake onto a serving plate; cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, in a microwave, melt white chocolate and 2 tablespoons shortening; stir until smooth. Cool slightly; drizzle over cake. Melt remaining chips and shortening in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat; cool slightly. Drizzle over white chocolate.

Grilled Veggies

You gotta have some favourite grill recipes when it’s summertime. This is my favourite way to cook veggies in the summer and a staple side dish at our house. You’ll need a grill basket and I have linked one you can buy HERE. I have given measurements below but usually I just guess and you can add more or less of any veggie you want. Then you top it off with feta or goat cheese. It is simply fresh and delicious!

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 4
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 30. min prep
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 11 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Grill basket
  • Tinfoil
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Barbecue
  • Spoon

The Recipe

Time: 30 min. prep + 30 min. grill = 1 hour total

Servings: 8

Calories/serving: ~ 108

Ingredients:

  • 1 Zucchini
  • Mushrooms (227 g)
  • 2 Green peppers
  • 2 Red peppers
  • 1/2 – 1 Red onion
  • 2 – 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • Pepper sauce (optional)
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 crumbled feta or goat cheese (or however much you want!)

Directions:

  1. Line grill basket with tinfoil. Chop vegetables into pieces and put in grill basket.
  2. Toss with olive oil, a few sprinkles of pepper sauce, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Grill 25-30 minutes or until vegetables look cooked/charred.
  4. Put in a bowl after grilling and add feta or goat cheese and toss.

Strawberry Lemonade Scones

These scones are fantastic! Definitely do the lemon curd! I got a recipe for one HERE and it works well for me. These are a great recipe for a summer breakfast treat and for using fresh strawberries that come in June!

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 4
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 30. min prep
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 10 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Mixing bowls
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Grater
  • Basting brush

The Recipe

Time: 30 min. prep + 20 – 25 min. bake = 55 min. total

Servings: 8

Calories/scone: ~ 305

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsps. sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 cup diced fresh strawberries
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cream (half and half, table, heavy, etc. all will work)

TOPPING:

  • sugar or sanding sugar
  • cream (any cream will do)
  • lemon curd

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With pastry blender (or hands or food processor), cut in butter cubes until mixture has coarse crumbs. Gently add strawberries and the lemon zest. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs and cream. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Gently stir until moistened.
  3. Place dough onto a well floured surface. Gently knead the dough by folding and pressing it quite a few times, turning the dough a quarter turn after each fold. Move dough to a lightly floured parchment-lined baking sheet (or stoneware baking sheet without parchment). Pat dough into a 3/4 inch thick circle. Cut circle into wedges and separate each slightly.
  4. Brush wedges with cream and sprinkle with sanding sugar or regular sugar. Bake 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown. Drizzle scones with lemon curd.

Tropical Carrot Cake

This cake is a slice of heaven, seriously… For all you carrot cake and coconut lovers out there this is the cake for you! There is quite a few ingredients that may not be for everyone but topped off with cream cheese icing what isn’t to love? It also makes quite a bit of cake which is great for a potluck or family get together. If you are looking for a fun twist on carrot cake give this recipe a shot 😉 I got this recipe from Taste of Home.

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 5
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 45. min prep
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 17 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Moderate

Equipment Required:

  • Mixing bowl with hand mixer or stand mixer
  • Grater
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Can opener
  • 13 x 9 in. baking pan
  • Butter or cooking spray for greasing

The Recipe

Time: 45 min. prep + 45 – 50 min. bake = 1 hour 35 min.

Servings: 24

Calories/serving: ~ 366

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups finely shredded carrots
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 can (227 ml) crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

FROSTING:

  • 1 package (250 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (I used half and half)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs, oil and buttermilk.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; add to egg mixture and mix well.
  3. Stir in vanilla, carrots, raisins, pineapple, walnuts and coconut; mix well.
  4. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool.
  5. For frosting, beat all ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Frost cake.

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.


Mint Chip Ice Cream Cake

This is the easiest ice cream cake to whip together. And it doesn’t even have to be made with mint chip ice cream, it could be made with Rocky Road, Cotton Candy, Moose Tracks, you name it! I got the recipe from my Half Baked Harvest Cookbook which you can purchase here. This is great for summer and as I said you can try it out with any flavour!

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY – MODERATE

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

Equipment Required:

  • Springform pan
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Saucepan
  • Knife

The Recipe

Time: ~15 min. prep + ~ 4 – 6 hours softening, freezing & cooling

Servings: 12 – 16

Calories/serving: ~ 344 – 459

Ingredients:

  • Non-stick cooking spray or butter, for greasing
  • 2 litres mint chocolate chip ice cream or ice cream of choice
  • 1 (9-ounce or ~ 2.5 cups) box chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or other oil of choice)

Directions:

  1. Grease an 8- or 9-inch round springform pan with cooking spray or butter.
  2. Remove the ice cream from the freezer and let it sit on the counter for 10 – 12 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the chocolate wafer crumbs and melted butter. Dump the mixture out into the prepared pan and press the crumbs into the bottom to make a smooth, even crust.
  4. Spread the ice cream on top of the crust and smooth into an even layer. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly against the cake to help prevent ice from forming. Freeze for 4 – 6 hours, or preferably overnight.
  5. About 20 minutes before you plan to serve the cake, in a medium saucepan, combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove from the heat and continue stirring until completely melted and smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes before using.
  6. Remove the cake from the freezer and pour the melted chocolate over the top, allowing some of it to drip over the sides. Once the chocolate hardens into a shell, you can slice and serve the cake, or return it to the freezer until ready to serve. Just be sure to take the cake out of the freezer 10 minutes before cutting. This makes cutting so much easier!

Buttery Beef & Porcini Burgers

These homemade burgers are fantastic if you like mushrooms and butter! They are really juicy and full of flavour. I got the recipe from the LCBO magazine here. I thought they were fantastic! The mayo recipe is also a fun compliment to the burger. I made the patties with homemade hamburger buns (you can find the recipe HERE) and I thought they were great but they are a little dense. So if you don’t like a dense bun then I would buy them at a store. If you are looking for a new patty to try I suggest giving this one a whirl!

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 5
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 20. min prep
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 10 ingredients
    • Most ingredients you can easily find at the grocery store but porcini mushrooms you may not find at all stores.
    • Rating: Moderate

Equipment Required:

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk or spoon
  • Barbecue
  • Saucepan
  • Measuring cups/spoons

The Recipe

Time: ~20 min. prep+ 30 min. soak time for mushrooms + ~ 10 min. cook time = 1 hour total

Servings: 6 burgers (4 is way too big)

Calories/burger: ~ 312

Ingredients:

  • ½ oz (15 g) dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup (250 mL) boiling water
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) Japanese soy sauce
  • 1½ lbs (680 g) medium ground beef
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

SESAME & GREEN ONION MAYO:

  • ½ cup (125 mL) mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) sesame oil
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) chili garlic sauce or Sriracha
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Make mayo: Whisk together the mayonnaise and sesame oil; stir in green onions, sauce and sesame seeds. Mayonnaise is best the day it’s made but will keep, covered and refrigerated, for 3 days.
  2. Place porcini in a small heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over; let stand 30 minutes. Drain (reserve soaking liquid for another use if you like). Once mushrooms are cool enough to handle, squeeze dry over the sink; finely chop and set aside.
  3. In a small pot, melt butter over medium heat; let cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until foaming has subsided and particles in butter are light brown. Add porcini and soy to pot, stir and immediately remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. Crumble ground beef into a large bowl; spoon butter mixture over. Gently mix to combine and form into 6 equal-sized patties (patties may be made up to a day in advance, covered tightly with cling wrap and refrigerated).
  5. Season patties with salt and pepper as you would a steak. Cook over a high grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until no longer pink in centre.

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos are one of my all time favourite go-to meals. It just tastes fresher and not as heavy as a regular taco. You can barbecue or fry the fish. To cut throught the spice top it off with some mango salsa, feta, and mayo or cream cheese. It makes me feel like I’m somewhere tropical to make our long winters in Ontario more bearable. Enjoy!

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 4
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 40. min prep
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 19 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Moderate

Equipment Required:

  • Barbecue or stove top
  • Frying pan if using stove top
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Knife
  • Cutting board

The Recipe

Time: ~20 min. for salsa + ~20 min. for fish = ~40 min. total

Servings: 8 – 12 tacos

Calories/serving: ~ 150-200/taco

Ingredients:

  • 4 white fish fillets, such as tilapia, mahi-mahi, haddock, cod, etc.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1.5 tsp paprika
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 8-12 corn tortillas
  • Feta for topping
  • Mayonnaise or cream cheese for spreading

MANGO SALSA:

  • 2 mangos, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup corn
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1/4 cup, cilantro
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • Sea salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Make salsa: Combine all ingredients in medium bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate while making fish.
  2. In small bowl combine the salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, & brown sugar. Rub it over the fish and then rub with olive oil to coat.
  3. Grill or pan fry the fish over medium-high heat. About 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Remove & flake fish into pieces.
  4. To assemble, spread cream cheese or mayo over warmed tortilla. Add some fish and top with salsa and feta.

Spaghetti & Meatballs

I got this recipe from Half Baked Harvests cookbook. The recipe is also featured HERE. Homemade meatballs are sooo much better than store bought in my opinion. The first time I made homemade meatballs was in Italy. I’ve taken 2 cooking classes there and it’s still my favourite thing to do when I visit. Does anyone else feel like everything just tastes better when made in Italy? Well these weren’t made in Italy but we can pretend 😉 These meatballs are so soft, the sauce has the freshest tasting ingredients, and it’s topped off with soo much cheese. Yum….

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 5
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 38 min. prep time
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 19 – 21 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at the grocery store
    • Rating: Moderate

Equipment Required:

  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Can opener
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Saucepan (for pasta)
  • 9 x 13-inch baking dish
  • Mixing bowls
  • Aluminum foil

Time: ~ 38 min. prep. + 27 min. remaining cook time = 1 hour 5 min. total

Servings: 6

Calories/serving: ~ 349 (not including pasta)

Ingredients:

  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 slices white bread
  • 1/2 cup whole milk or water, as needed
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 (796 ml) can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, crushed with your hands
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed, sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 4 picked jalapeño slices (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 225 grams mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cubed provolone cheese
  • cooked pasta, for serving
  • fresh basil and oregano, chopped, for serving (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with olive oil.
  2. Place the bread in a small bowl. Pour over enough milk to moisten the bread and let it soak for 5-10 minutes. Gently squeeze out the excess milk, then crumble the dampened bread into a medium bowl.
  3. Add the ground beef and egg and mix well with your hands. Grease your hands with a bit of olive oil and roll the meat mixture into ten to twelve 2 tablespoon size balls. Place the meatballs in the prepared baking dish and bake for about 15 minutes, until the meatballs are crisp on the outside but not yet cooked through on the inside.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the wine, crushed tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeño, dried basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, and a pinch each of salt and black pepper.
  5. Pour the sauce over the meatballs. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for about 25 minutes more, until the meatballs are cooked through. Remove the foil and sprinkle evenly with the cheeses. Return to the oven, uncovered, and bake until the cheese are melted and golden, about 10 minutes. Serve over your favorite fresh pasta, topped with fresh basil and oregano.