Katelyn Sander

Introducing our New Virtual Recipe Book

Spice of Life

This week, we’re very excited to announce that we’ve officially launched our brand new Spice of Life Virtual Recipe Book. Featuring all of your favourite recipes from our Spice of Life and Living Well blogs (including those from today’s blog!) in one convenient location, this recipe book allows you to find the perfect recipe for your every craving.

What we’re listening to…

If you don’t identify as a foodie but are, in fact, an “eater,” then this is the podcast for you! Launched in 2010, The Sporkful is a weekly James Beard and Webby Award-winning show uses humour and humanity to approach food from every angle – science, history, economics, and more.

You can expect conversations with guests like Marc Maron & Fortune Feimster about the best way to layer peanut butter and jelly in a sandwich and whether sparkling water is actually water.

Pistachio Oat Squares

These relatively simple pistachio oat squares require just 6 ingredients and can be enjoyed as a lightly sweet healthy snack, quick on-the-go breakfast option, or an easy, pre-made dessert. Our favourite part? They’re easy to make, vegan, and gluten-free, so everyone can enjoy them! Recipe from Love & Lemons.

Download the recipe here.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup raw shelled pistachios
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, more for drizzling on top
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Additional handful of chopped pistachios for the topping
Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper. In a food processor with the S blade attached, process the pistachios, oats, and salt for about 30 seconds, until a meal starts to form. Drizzle in the maple syrup and olive oil while the motor is still running and the meal begins to come together into a crumbly, almost-wet dough.
  • Press the dough evenly into the pan and cover it with coconut flakes and remaining pistachios. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the coconut is nice and golden brown and the dough is cooked through. You want the squares to still be a little soft – don’t overbake these.
  • Carefully lift the cooled dough out of the pan by holding two sides of the parchment paper. Cut it into squares. Drizzle a little maple syrup over the top for extra sweetness, if you like. Store the squares in a sealed container for up to a week.

Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese

We know the days are getting warmer, but we’re not ready to put away our delicious soup recipes just yet! Bold, bright, and a little smoky, this roasted red pepper and tomato soup recipe is easy to make and even easier to love! Recipe from The Modern Proper.

Download the recipe here.

Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 jar (16 oz) roasted red peppers, drained
  • 3 cans (14.5 oz) fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
Instructions:
  • Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot, set to medium heat.
  • Sauté the onions and brown sugar together until caramelized, about 20 minutes (you can skip this step if you are running short on time, but it adds wonderful flavour to the dish).
  • Once the onions are browned and fully translucent, add the garlic and sauté for 3 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add the peppers and tomatoes to the pot along with the chicken/vegetable stock. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Season with salt, vinegar, Italian seasoning, paprika, and chili flakes.
  • Transfer the soup in batches to a high-powered blender. Pureé the soup on high until completely smooth.
  • Serve soup with pesto, crumbled goat cheese, and croutons. Enjoy!

Honey Garlic Pork Chops

These juicy honey garlic pork chops with caramelized edges can be ready and on your table in less than 15 minutes – seriously! No marinating needed, this recipe is an incredibly quick and delicious way to serve bone-in or boneless pork chops – seared until golden then simmered and broiled (or grilled) in the most amazing honey garlic sauce! Recipe from the Cafe Delites.

Download the recipe here.

Ingredients:
  • 4 pork chops bone-in or out
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water (or chicken broth)
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar, or any white vinegar)
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven broiler (or grill) to 390F. Season chops with salt, pepper, and garlic powder just before cooking.
  • Heat oil in a pan or skillet over medium high heat until hot. Sear chops on both sides until golden and cooked through (about 4-5 minutes each side). Transfer to a plate; set aside.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Melt butter in the same pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Sauté garlic until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the honey, water, and vinegar. Increase heat to medium-high and continue to cook until the sauce reduces down and thickens slightly (about 3-4 minutes), while stirring occasionally.
  • Add pork back into the pan, baste generously with the sauce, and broil/grill for 1-2 minutes, or until edges are slightly charred.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve over vegetables, rice, pasta, or with a salad.
Notes:

For Baked Pork Chops

  • Sear seasoned chops in a hot oven-proof pan or skillet over medium-high for 2 minutes per side, get them crisp.
  • Remove chops and make your sauce following the recipe above (Step 3).
  • Baste with sauce and bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until reaching your desired doneness.
  • Broil/grill for 2 minutes to get those caramelized edges!

Jalapeno Margarita

This jalapeno-infused margarita will elevate your St. Patrick’s Day to a whole new level! Use more or less pepper, based on your spice preference. This cocktail is easy and ultra refreshing, with a kick. Recipe from Well Plated by Erin.

Download the recipe here.

Ingredients:
  • Kosher salt and a lime wedge, to rim the glass
  • Ice
  • 2 oz (about 3 tbsp) silver tequila
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice, about 1 large or 1 1/2 small limes; do not use bottled lime juice, as it will have a very off flavour
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice, about 1/2 small/medium orange
  • 1 1/2 tsp light agave nectar, add 2 if you prefer a sweeter margarita
  • 1/4 – 1/2 jalapeno pepper, cut into thin, round slices (use more for more spice)
  • Lime wedges, additional jalapeno slices, for serving
Instructions:
  • Rim the glass: Pour a thin layer of salt onto a small plate. Rub a lime wedge around the top edge of your glass to moisten it, then dip the glass into the salt so that it sticks, tapping all the way around. Fill the glass with ice and set aside.
  • Fill a small cocktail shaker with additional ice. Add the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, agave, and jalapeno slices. Tightly close and shake vigorously for 30 seconds (it’s longer than you think). Strain into the rimmed glass. Enjoy immediately, garnished with lime wedges and additional jalapeno slices.

Classic Tiramisu

A creamy dessert of espresso-soaked ladyfingers surrounded by lightly sweetened whipped cream and a rich mascarpone. If you love tiramisu as much as we do, but find yourself easily disappointed by store-bought versions, try your hand at making this easy recipe instead. Recipe from the NY Times, Cooking.

Download the recipe here.

Ingredients:

For the Cream

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup (227g / 8 oz) mascarpone

For the Assembly

  • 1 3/4 cups good espresso or very strong coffee
  • 2 tbsp rum or cognac
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 - 2 oz bittersweet chocolate, for shaving (optional)
  • About 24 ladyfingers (from one 7 oz/200g package), make your own or buy them, but keep in mind that store-bought varieties can range from soft and spongy (like angel food cake) to hard and crunchy (like biscotti). Both kinds will work here, but if you’re using the softer variety, stick to a light brushing of espresso, instead of a deep dip
Instructions:
  • Using an electric mixer in a medium bowl, whip together egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar until very pale yellow and about tripled in volume. A sight ribbon should fall from the beaters (or whisk attachment) when lifted from the bowl. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, wiping out the medium bowl used to whip the yolks and set aside.
  • In the medium bowl, whip cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until it creates soft-medium peaks. Add mascarpone and continue to whip until it creates a soft, spreadable mixture with medium peaks. Gently fold the mascarpone mixture into the sweetened egg yolks until combined.
  • Combine espresso and rum in a shallow bowl and set aside.
  • Using a sifter, dust the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish (an 8x8-inch dish, or a 9-inch round cake pan would also work here) with tablespoon cocoa powder.
  • Working one at a time, quickly dip each ladyfinger into the espresso mixture – they are quite porous and will fall apart if left in the liquid too long – and place them rounded side up at the bottom of the baking dish. Repeat, using half the ladyfingers, until you’ve got an even layer, breaking the ladyfingers in half as needed to fill in any obvious gaps (a little space in between is okay). Spread half the mascarpone mixture onto the ladyfingers in one even layer. Repeat with remaining espresso-dipped ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture.
  • Dust top layer with remaining tablespoon of cocoa powder. Top with shaved or finely grated chocolate, if desired.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (if you can wait 24 hours, all the better) before slicing or scooping to serve.

Neighbourhood Gems

Things in the city are starting to look up! We’re getting closer and closer to being able to enjoy brunches and date nights at our local favourites again – and we absolutely cannot wait! In the meantime, we’re continuing to order from neighbourhood gems, including these ones…

Drom Taberna: The word “drom” loosely translates to journey, voyage, or travel in Romani and Slavic languages. Before COVID, they often offered live performances focusing on world music and dance like Brazilian, Russian, klezmer, flamenco, and Balkan. Currently, they’re offering takeout and delivery options, and have expanded their selection of groceries and staples, including some classic Eastern European favourites that are harder to find.

El Rey: This Kensington Market bar, known for its ever-evolving lineup of mezcals, is currently open for takeout and delivery. Their menu is full of delicious Mexican fare, including scrumptious tacos and burritos (our personal favourite are the Cauliflower Tacos)!

Hooked: If you’re looking for ethically sourced fish in the city, Hooked is the spot for you. Their fish is so fresh that their team can tell you exactly where it came from, how it was caught, the boats that were used, even which fishermen were on the boat. Currently offering pickup and delivery options, you won’t find better fish anywhere else.

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