Ricotta Cake with Amarena Fabbri

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Do you like ricotta?

Do you have three cups worth that you need to use up? Do you want a light cake that can serve as a canvas for any / all kinds of accompaniments?

Then look no further. This lightly textured, light tasting cake with a hint of lemon is only about two hours away from your tummy. 

I garnished it with the extravagance of Amarena Fabbri Cherries, bit there are endless options.

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Chocolate Quinoa Cake

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The Food52 headline for this recipe was "This Super-Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake Has a Genius Star Ingredient". Yup. Click-bait, but it worked and I clicked, and read with interest the popularity of this (Passover-friendly) cake from Paula Shoyer’s newest cookbook The Healthy Jewish Kitchen

If that wasn't interesting enough, it turns out that she took her inspiration from Canada's own Quinoa Sisters. Made in a food processor, baked in a Bundt pan, the unique texture is mysterious and satisfying. 

I'll be making this again and again - how about you?

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Legacy Apple Tart

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It's Spring - not apple season, but local growers now have fancy winter warehouses that keep supplying us with fruit that seems as fresh as the day it was picked. When there are leftovers after "an apple a day", throw together this easy and lower calorie Apple Tart.

I call this a "legacy" recipe because it seems to have already been passed down / along several times. I've made my own adaptations - which includes easy food processor pastry. This works with a pie plate, a tart pan, a springform or you can go free-form / galette style.

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Irish Yellow Broth Soup

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I have been making this soup for almost two decades. It tastes terrific for very little effort. From what I can tell it originates in Northern Ireland.

Soups can be an easy way to meet advised daily vegetable intake. - and they have another "secret" property. (Dieters take note!)

Turns out there is science that supports the view that nothing beats soup for making you feel full!

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Red Cabbage Salad with Apples and Walnuts

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This recipe comes from Chef Kurt Gutenbrunner - the talent behind my most favourite cafe in NYC - Cafe Sabarsky at the Neue Galerie.

The idea of mixing crunchy red cabbage with lingonberry preserves caught my attention right away.

This almost turns red cabbage into candy - though the more sophisticated palate of the chef / author stresses that there is a subtle sweet-sour balance that makes the salad distinctive.

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Afternoon Tea Scones

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Despite my love for the pleasant ritual of scones with cream and jam and tea (oh my) - not a lot of scones have come out of my kitchen. 

These are described as British-Style - meaning they are less sweet, and use less butter than the typical American scones served with tea. Given that the goal is to smother them with clotted cream and jam - a less sweet scone sounds fine to me - and indeed they were! 

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Irish Soda Bread

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Irish Soda Bread, in honour of the day. Up until my recent forays into yeast breads, this was the only bread I ever attempted, using a (lost) recipe from the (sadly) now defunct Gourmet Magazine.  So I shared a recipe from America's Test Kitchen. (Update - am happy to report that I found my original recipe from Gourmet and so have shared that also!)

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Quinoa

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Quinoa is considered to be an ancient grain - though experts hasten to point out that it is actually a seed. They are considered to be a protein and are gluten-free.

This "Moroccan" Quinoa pictured here is perhaps unusual for a side dish accompanying chicken. It is enhanced by the use of butter, honey, cinnamon and pistachios - almost sounds like a dessert, right? In truth, I think it would be a great breakfast!

If you haven't yet added quinoa to your menus - for breakfast, salads, dinner or desserts - read on.

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About Salt...

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For a long time I have been meaning to share some important tips about SALT. 

Right now, I have about 8 different kinds of salt in my cupboard, though only three are used with some frequency - and those are table salt, Windsor kosher salt, and Diamond Crystal salt.

Did you know there are some serious differences between these salts that can affect your cooking or baking project?

If not read on... Click here for details, and link back here if you wish to leave a Comment or ask a Question or add a LIKE!

Hungarian Cheese Snacks: Sajtos Rúd

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One of my MIL’s special event Hungarian treats were these... these - what to call them?? We always called them “sajtos” - which translates to “cheesies” - not a very sophisticated label. So in English, let's call them Hungarian Cheese Snacks.

Imagine these as part of a charcuterie / antipasto spread. Or - if it's a trend to serve wine with potato chips - surely these are more classy. When it comes right down to it, I can't think of any time when these would not be a big hit!

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Nuts and Bolts

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From time to time, my mother reminisces about "nuts and bolts" - the flavourful, crunchy snack she used to make for her euchre parties.

Nuts and bolts on one corner, and bridge mix on the other. No surprise, there are many variations of this recipe online. I finally found her recipe, and jazzed up the flavour a bit.

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Pasta with Potatoes (Hungarian Krumplis Tészta)

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Yes, you are reading that correctly - pasta with potatoes - a double whammy of carbs. This must be one of the most quintessential peasant meals around. 

As I have mentioned before, pasta with 'xyz' is a Hungarian thing, for example pasta with cabbage (káposztás tészta), 

This is the pasta combo that appears most frequently in the KB kitchen - largely due to our seeming inability to judge how much mashed potatoes to make with other meals. Leftover mash!? It is never thrown out, and instead becomes this double carb supper treat.

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Hungarian Cabbage Rolls (Töltött Káposzta)

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You will not be surprised to learn there are tons of variations on cabbage rolls - influenced by family and culture.

Most recipes for Hungarian Cabbage Rolls use a tomato sauce, though oddly, the Hamilton Hungarian Community's annual cabbage roll sale offers up a version that is more "paprikash" - and just at the moment I don't have a recipe for that.

This recipe does a pretty good job of replicating my mother's / grandmother's version of cabbage rolls.

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Scallop and Corn Chowder

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Who doesn't wish for "restaurant-worthy" recipes for a dinner party - a "show-stopper", as they say.

You can make this in front of guests if you have a kitchen cum theatre. Or (with preparation) you can begin this about a 1/2 hour before serving. 

It serves 4, but can be doubled easily, and there are options for substitutions.

Everyone would wish for seconds, but they need to save room for the rest of your fabulous dinner!

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Gingerbread Layer Cake

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Yes, it's after Xmas and there have been enough sweets, but it's also "resolution" time, and I invite you to resolve to make this beauty sometime in 2018.

There are "secret" ingredients in this cake which is now at the top of my favourites list.

I have already made this more than once and ask people to guess the secret after tasting - though so far no one has quite pinned down the source of this glorious cake's distinctive, addictive flavour explosion.

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Liver Stuffing / Dressing (Májas Töltelék)

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Probably every family has a beloved turkey stuffing - and from what I have read, some of those recipes go to the grave with their creators. I am rescuing our family's dressing recipe from that fate. 

This family classic / tradition was always much enjoyed, but for a time it disappeared from the menu, and was very much missed. It used to be my favourite post-xmas snack - I liked nibbling on it more than leftover turkey. It was made first by my grandmother, then my mother, and now I hope the tradition will continue!

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Italian Amaretti Cookies

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Here's what you get - a crisp sugary exterior and a soft chewy interior that will remind you of marzipan.

Some have described Amaretti as the Italian version of the French Macaron - both featuring almond flour and egg whites as the main ingredients. I have taken a course to learn how to make Macaron (and have had success making them).

No course needed for Amaretti - it's crazy easy and pretty much foolproof to make.

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Creamed Mushrooms on Toast

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As the Holiday Season approaches, you may already be thinking about the need for appetizers. Here's one of my favourites.

Use ordinary cremini mushrooms or a fancier combo. This tastes best on toasted egg bread. Let guests serve themselves or prep a fancy platter for an impressive show.

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Bulgur with Cumin-Scented Sweet Potatoes

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Have you embraced whole grains? Are you using bulgur, millet, quinoa, wild rice - maybe even farro or amaranth more often? 

I almost always have both bulgur and super nutrisious sweet potatoes on hand so this is an easy go-to recipe.

You can have this on the table in half an hour as a side, or a main with an over-easy egg on top. I have served it warm, or room temperature as a picnic salad.

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