September 30, 2007

Cooking Club - Comfort Food Done Light

This month's cooking club theme was Comfort Food Done Light. Take a look at my Food Network article for more details.

Mulled Cranberry Guava Toddies - Melanie
Low Fat Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip - Melanie
French Onion Soup - Dana
Thyme Chicken with Pumpkin Dumplings - Danielle
Scalloped Potatoes - Rosemary
Chai Latte Spelt Brownies - Jillian

Danielle's Thyme Chicken with Pumpkin Dumplings (inspired by a Weight Watcher's recipe)

1 t fresh thyme - chopped

1 t pepper

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cut into large pieces

4 skinned, boned chicken thighs - cut into large pieces

1 T olive oil

1/2 c diced cooking onion

3 c sliced, shiitake mushrooms

2 3/4 chicken broth + 1/4 c

1/2 c white wine

2 garlic cloves, minced

2/3 c flour

1 t salt

2 T fresh parsley, minced

1/2 t baking powder

1/4 t baking soda

3/4 T shortening

1/4 c mashed cooked pumpkin

1/4 c low fat buttermilk

3/4 c fat free sour cream

1. Sprinkle thyme and pepper over chicken pieces. Heat oil in large pot and add chicken, cooking until browned on each side. Remove chicken from pot and set aside.

2. Add onions to pot and saute for 5 min. Remove onions from pot and set aside.

3. Add mushrooms and 1/4 c chicken broth to the pot and cook until liquid has almost evaporated. Return chicken and onions to the pot and add the rest of the broth along with the wine and garlic. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.

4. Place 1/4 c of flour and 1/2 t salt in a small bowl. Gradually add 1/4 c of broth and whisk until fully blended. Add flour mixture to pot, stirring well. Cover the pot and simmer for 20 min. - stirring occasionally.

5. Combine the rest of the flour, a pinch of pepper and salt, 1 T parsley, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl. Cut shortening into mixture using two knives until it resembles coarse meal. Add the pumpkin and buttermilk to the mixture - stirring until moist. Set aside.

6. Stir sour cream into chicken mixture. Drop dough onto chicken mixture to form 6-8 dumplings. Cover and simmer for 20 min. Remove from heat and serve.

Makes about 6 servings.

372 calories, 9.5 g of Fat (2.5 g saturated).

Lower-Fat Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

40 minutes total (20 minutes prep)
Makes 40 servings (2 1/2 cups)

(12 ounce) package light silken tofu
2 tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 (15 ounce) can artichoke quarters in water, drained, rinsed, and
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or 4-cheese blend)
1 teaspoon horseradish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2. Puree tofu, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, onion and horseradish (if using) in blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer to bowl.

3. Stir artichokes, spinach, and cheese into tofu mixture.

4. Place into an 8-inch glass pie dish or casserole.

5. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve immediately with whole wheat pita bread or fresh vegetables.

Some nutrition facts (per 26 g serving):

Total fat: 0.9 g (saturated fat = 0.3 g; polyunsat. fat = 0.2 g; monounsat. fat = 0.2 g; trans fat = 0 g)

Mulled Cranberry-Guava Toddies

2 litres of President's Choice light cranberry juice cocktail
1/4 cup sliced, peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons whole cloves
16 (1/4 inch thick) slices orange (about 4 oranges)
1 litre guava juice
2 cups dark rum (optional)

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large saucepan.

2. Bring to a boil.

3. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Pour through a sieve and discard ginger and cloves. Reserve oranges if desired.

5. Stir in rum and serve while still warm.

Rosemary's Scalloped Potatoes

8-10 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and washed
1 Spanish or sweet onion (size depends on how much onion you like)
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
3 cups 2% milk
2 cups low fat grated cheese (of your choice)
Salt and pepper to taste.

1. Cut potatoes and onion into thin slices. Arrange in baking dish in layers.
2. Melt butter in saucepan. Add flour and stir for a couple of minutes, making a roux.
Slowly add milk. Stir constantly on medium heat until sauce is thickened.
Add grated cheese to sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir until cheese is melted.
3. Pour sauce over potatoes.
4. Bake covered in 350 degree oven for 1.5 hours or until potatoes start to brown.

Jillian's Chai Latte brownies

1/4 cup skim milk
5 cardamom pods, crushed
5 cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 chai tea bag. opened
1 stick cinnamon
4 oz dark chocolate
1/4 cup butter
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cup spelt flour
6 packets stevia
1/2 cup cocoa
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine first 7 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand 15 minutes. Strain milk and discard solids. Add chocolate and butter; microwave to melt. cool slightly, add eggs, stir with whisk.
3. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring until just combined. Spread evenly into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until centre is set.

September 24, 2007

And Now On To Something Horribly Disgusting...

Scabaroni - barf! Not even my sugar-crazed sister would eat that.

Bite-Worthy Blog!

Check out the blog Cupcake Bakeshop. The recipes are tremendous and obviously well-tested. The cupcake combinations are out of this world! How could I not endorse a blog that has a recipe for Donuts and Coffee Cupcakes or Sweetcorn, Maple and Bacon Cupcakes.

September 16, 2007


Windsor, Ontario has the best pizza in Canada. For proof of this, check out my article on the Food Network Website.

One lump or two?

Now you can make sure that your partner gets it right.

Food in the News

The Toronto International Film Fest is starting to wind down. Read about all the amazing food that was consumed - Globe and Mail

Calories will not need to be reported on NYC menus - CBC News

Sears catalogue now carries Nova Scotia lobster? - CBC News

Meat prices may go the way of gas prices - CBC News

Farmer Fresh

Every foodie knows that eating seasonal and local is going to increase the flavour and quality of any meal you consume. Using your local market to supply these foods is another great idea. I like to wander the market and let the displays inspire me.

Here are some of my favourite places to frequent:

* Your Kitchener Market (be sure to visit Casa Salsa for some amazing Mexican food)

* Covent Garden Market - London, Ontario

* The St. Lawrence Market - Toronto, Ontario ( Kozliks Mustard is the best!)

The Food Network Canada also has some great informative articles about fresh markets across Canada.