Monday, 31 October 2016

Halloween Snacks

Happy Halloween! Halloween is my favourite holiday of the year. I love making and wearing costumes, the parties, and I love gory horror stories, especially in the form of podcasts:
Lore podcast (folklore)
Sword and Scale podcast (true crime)
True Crime Garage podcast (true crime)
The Generation Why podcast (true crime)
Casefile podcast (true crime)

To get into the Halloween spirit, we went to Escape Manor to try out the new Tomb room. We didn't get very far! It was the hardest room I've tried yet.

After that, we enjoyed some Halloween snacks:

Spooky Spider Web Soft Pretzels
I used my Whole Wheat Pretzel dough recipe for this one, and shaped it into a spider web. To make the spider web, divide the dough into halves. Cut one half of the dough into thirds to roll out three equally sized straight lines and cross them on a greased round pizza pan. Next, divide the other half of the dough into three unequal portions, one small, one medium, one large. Roll them out and stretch them to make circles around the straight pieces already on the pan. Once the circles are complete, make points by curving them inward slightly and pinching the points that intersect the straight lines. Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt, then bake for 15 minutes at 400°F.

Jack O'Lantern Veggie Tray
This was very easy to make, but even easier on a round tray. The carrots will fit perfectly in the circle, then make a face with chopped up pieces of celery. You could also use black olives for eyes, red pepper slices for a mouth, it's up to you!

Frankenguac
I used my Authentic Guacamole recipe for this, then transferred the mixed guacamole to a clean bowl, and pressed it down flat with a spatula. Add blue corn chips (these are gluten free, by the way) for hair, and make a monster face with matchstick cut carrots, pieces of chips, black olives, red pepper slices, etc.

Halloween Gingerbread Cookies
This Gingerbread cookie is my mom's, and it's a holiday tradition. Pick up some Halloween themed cookie cutters, and add some chocolate chips, icing, candy, whatever you like!

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Spicy Ginger Sesame Chicken Meatballs

Meatballs are my go to freezer recipe. I make about four dozen meatballs at a time, put them in a freezer bag, and take them out for easy lunches at work. They reheat so well! These meatballs also have a
sauce to go with them, so if you're planning to put them in the freezer, allow the sauce to cool, then pour over the meatballs and toss inside the freezer bag.

This would also make a great appetizer for a party!

Makes 40 meatballs

Ingredients for meatballs

2 lbs (900g) ground chicken
1 large egg
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp chili pepper flakes
Black pepper, to taste
1 tsp sesame oil (and more for greasing hands)
Canola spray, for greasing pans

Directions for meatballs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil, then coat with canola spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until uniform. Add a drop of sesame oil onto hands before mixing so ingredients do not stick. Roll into balls, and place evenly spaced onto baking sheets.

Bake for approximately 22 minutes, until lightly browned.

Ingredients for sauce

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp sesame oil, divided
1/2 tsp sesame seeds
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced
Chili pepper flakes, to taste
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
1 tsp white vinegar
Black pepper, to taste

Directions for sauce

Combine all ingredients but 1 tsp of sesame oil and minced garlic cloves in a measuring cup. In a small saucepan, heat remaining 1 tsp of sesame oil and garlic, and saute for 1 minute on medium/high heat. Pour sauce mixture into saucepan and bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 to 3 more minutes. Set aside for 2 to 3 minutes to thicken. Pour sauce over meatballs to serve.

Nutrition (per 4 meatballs with sauce)

Calories 248
Fat 9.0g
Saturated fat 2.3g
Carbohydrates 12.6g
Sugars 7.5g
Protein 28.2g

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes

I'm so in love with my slow cooker, that recently, I've talked two of my friends and my sister into buying one. Slow cooker baked potatoes is one of the recipes I tell everyone to try. I love baked potatoes (who doesn't, really?)!

Here are the pros of making baked potatoes in the slow cooker:
  • Quick weeknight dinners--they are ready when you get home!
  • It does not heat up the kitchen like running the oven for an hour does.
  • You can prepare them the evening before* to plug in the slow cooker in the morning.
  • You can prepare extra potatoes, cool them, and make twice baked potatoes the following day.
  • Barbecuing?  Add them to the top rack to crisp up the potato skins.
 *There is no need to poke holes in these, they will not explode. If you poke holes in them and leave them sitting overnight, they will turn black. So...don't do that.


Ingredients

4 to 6 medium/large Russet potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil in small bowl
Sea salt, to taste

Directions

Wash potatoes. Make 4 or 5 little "balls" of tin foil to place on the bottom of the slow cooker pot.  This will provide more even cooking. Place each potato onto a piece of tin foil, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. Roll up tin foil to cover potato. Place each potato in the slow cooker, and place the lid on. Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 6 hours.

If you are grilling other foods to go along with your potatoes, carefully unwrap the potatoes from the foil and place on the top rack of the barbecue for a few minutes to achieve a smoky flavour.


Made extras? Make twice baked potatoes!

I like to make a couple extra baked potatoes, carefully unwrap them from the foil, and place them on a cooling rack. They will take about 2 hours to cool fully. Once cooled, place them in a tupperware container or wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

The following day, slice potatoes in half and scoop out the centre, leaving enough flesh behind to maintain the shape of the potato. Put the scooped out potato into a mixing bowl, add an equal volume of goat cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, chopped chives, and season with salt and pepper. Mash the potato and goat cheese mixture with a fork. Scoop mixture back into potato skins. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350°F, until lightly browned.