Tag Archives: in the kitchen

{homemade gummy bears}

9 Oct

i have been making my own homemade gummy bears for a while now, and i have been meaning to write a post about it…

i have always loved fruit snacks, gummy bears, et al. however, the ingredient list always detoured me – even the natural ones are full of mostly sugar.

so, i did some research and realized that i could be making my own gummy fruit snacks! and not only that, but i could make them GOOD for me!

my curiosity was piqued when i started looking for a clean source of gelatin to help with collagen production and joint support.

…which i don’t have pictured here because i typically transfer everything i buy into a glass jar… {no shame in my game}…

anyway, i wanted to incorporate gelatin into my diet and that’s when i got super stoked about the idea of making my own gummies! so i found these silicon molds on amazon {along with the gelatin} and looked up a few recipes to get me started.

as usual, i like to keep things as simple as possible. some recipes call for honey or a sweetener, but i like to avoid added sugar where i can {so i can guiltlessly enjoy a candy bar from time-to-time}.

so – here is my very simple {2-ingredient!} homemade gummy fruit snack recipe – which yields about 200 gummies and the ratio can be adjusted accordingly :

  • 1 cup fruit juice {i usually opt for concord grape}
  • 3 tablespoons gelatin powder

you could add in some honey or agave for sweetness, but i find the concord grape juice to be sweet enough on its own.

sometimes i’ll add in some elderberry syrup for additional health benefits during the cold-season months. Continue reading

{simple (rainbow) pasta salad}

22 Sep

as you probably know by now, i like to eat with the seasons as much as i possibly can. i enjoy it for lots of reasons. i always look forward to eating whatever vegetables or fruit are best during that particular time of year… and it makes me appreciate them more.

that said, i often struggle with “transitional” times of year – such as the month of september. i find myself unsure about what to wear, what to eat, when to go to sleep. it’s kind of funny but it’s true. {this also applies in the month of may.}

anyway, because i find september to be a transitional month, i also find myself eating transitional foods. i made that term up, but my point is that i’m not ready to start eating soups and squash, but i’m also done with light foods like salads and such. during this transitional time, i usually prepare foods that can be enjoyed hot or cold. and pasta salad is one of those dishes i could enjoy every day during transitional months.

i also really love orzo and i don’t use it often enough.

i whipped up this simple {rainbow} pasta salad and made a huge batch to take to work for lunches.

it’s so easy and so i thought i’d share the recipe… even though i didn’t measure anything, as per usual… but it’s so simple – just chop and toss!

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simple pasta salad : 

  • cooked orzo
  • diced summer sausage
  • chopped tomatoes
  • sliced olives {black & green}
  • diced red onion
  • diced banana pepper
  • diced green pepper
  • diced cucumber
  • roasted garlic
  • crumbled parmigiano reggiano

homemade dressing :

  • olive oil
  • apple cider vinegar
  • spices :
    • oregano
    • sage
    • parsley
    • comfrey
    • basil
    • dill
    • tarragon
    • garlic
    • onion
    • salt
    • pepper
    • bit o’ parm reg

 

i like to serve mine at room temperature and i sprinkle crumbled italian breadsticks on top…

SO GOOD!

 

{meatless monday : a flavourful riced cauliflower dish}

9 Jul

i made this delicious riced cauliflower one-pot make-ahead meal for lunch last week and it was so yummy, i just had to share the recipe! i love experimenting with random things in the fridge!

i’ve been really into using riced cauliflower as a replacement for grains and it does a wonderful job as an understudy. 😉

riced cauliflower has a great texture and maintains it well during the cooking process. i’ve purchased it both fresh and frozen and they both seem to hold up just fine.

i made this dish as i was trying to use up some leftover ingredients such as frozen asparagus from another recipe. i also had some frozen jalapeños that i grew last year and wanted to use.


so this is what i came up with {amounts are “ish”} :

  • 16 oz. fresh riced cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • 1/2 cup diced asparagus {mine was frozen}
  • 1 medium size jalapeño, diced {ribs and seeds removed}
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • salt & pepper to taste

heat some butter or oil of choice on medium heat and toss in riced cauiflower. cook slowly until al dente. add in asparagus and jalapeño, cook until slightly tender then throw in black beans and corn and cook for another minute or so. sprinkle in hot sauce and spices and toss together. keeps well in the fridge for a few days. can be frozen for future consumption.

organic chicken or grass-fed ground beef makes a nice addition to this recipe. i made this one vegan because i like to eat vegan at least once a week… not for any particular reason other than keeping things in balance 😉


and i just-so-happen to love cumin! it’s one of my favourite spices… do you like cumin?

 

 

{seriously obsessed with spices}

5 Feb

everyone knows i love to cook.

for the most part, i keep it super simple when making meals. and my philosophy is :

quality in = quality out.

in other words – if you start with good ingredients, you generally end with a good meal…

i have only recently begun experimenting with spices in my cooking. i have been collecting spice jars over the last few years, as i was gypsy-ing around the country… and when i settled in a place i feel at home in, i felt super excited to finally display my spice jars.

i received these cool 3-tiered bamboo spice racks as a christmas gift, and i was so eager to get my spice jars out of the cabinet and onto the counter.

it’s the little things, right?!

something about seeing this beautiful rainbow collection of spices just makes me feel so happy inside. and it’s really been fun to experiment with the different aromas/flavours.

of course, in true audrey michelle form, i alphabetized my spices.

here’s what is in my collection :

  • some kind of awesome spice my friend brought me from argentina 
  • all-spice
  • bay leaves
  • celery seed
  • chives
  • cilantro {homegrown and dried}
  • cinnamon
  • comfrey
  • coriander 
  • cumin
  • curry powder
  • dill {homegrown and dried}
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • herbs de province 
  • kelp 
  • lemon peel 
  • marjoram 
  • nutmeg
  • old bay seasoning (can’t live without it)
  • onion
  • oregano 
  • parsley
  • paprika
  • pickling spices
  • rosemary
  • sage
  • sesame seed (black)
  • salt (black)
  • tarragon (LOVE THIS STUFF!)
  • turmeric
  • saffron 
  • vanilla 

 

 

 

 

{foodie friday : vegetarian buffalo cauliflower bites}

2 Feb

i kind of made these by accident… as in, i-got-super-hungry-and-didn’t-have-much-in-the-fridge-to-eat-but-got-creative-and made-these-buffalo-cauliflower-bites-which-accidentally-turned-out-to-be-ahhhmazing!

…and so i just had to share the recipe. these {veggie} buffalo cauliflower bites would make a great game-day snack for superbowl sunday! and they are a great vegetarian alternative to the classic buffalo wing. {i would devour both!}

i was inspired to make this dish because i was scrolling through instagram and spotted a recipe for cauliflower florets that were battered & fried, and served with buffalo sauce and ranch – like a chicken wing! and i was thinking, “that’s probably sooooo delicious!” 

then i remembered that i had frozen riced cauliflower, and i created my own version based on what i had in the fridge…

very simple ingredients : 

  • frozen riced cauliflower
  • chopped celery hearts
  • buffalo sauce {i opt for franks!}
  • ranch dressing {i use brianna’s!}

i began by chopping the celery into approximately 1-inch pieces…

next, i sautéed the cauliflower with a little butter over medium to high heat, adding a little water as i went along to soften the cauliflower a bit more…

then, i added in some buffalo sauce to taste, and cooked until almost al dente…

finally, i scooped some of the cauliflower mixture into the celery bites and drizzled a little ranch dressing on top. it can be a little messy, but that’s what buffalo sauce is all about, right?! 😉

these little buffalo cauliflower bites are soooooo yummy and i will definitely be making them on game-day! it’s always funny to me when i cook something on the fly and it turns out to be my new favourite thing ever.

this was one of those recipes. 🙂


by the way, i didn’t watch one single football game this season, and i could care less about the patriots or the eagles… but it should still be a fun day full of snacks and silliness!

{what’s in my refrigerator}

28 Jan

on sundays i like to do my meal-prepping for the week. i have lots of containers and jars for storing my dry goods as well as my make-ahead meals.

here’s what i created to eat last week :

  • raw spinach salad
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • sautéed veggies for an asian-inspired dish
  • blanched broccoli
  • citrus baked salmon
  • roasted garlic israeli cous-cous
  • my famous mashed potatoes
  • raw celery sticks
  • curried lentils with ham and veggies
  • sauerkraut (not homemade)
  • garlic dill pickles (homegrown and homemade)
  • roasted tomato soup
  • homemade beef bone broth 
  • potstickers (to go with asian dish)
  • turmeric tea w/ coconut milk

do you like to make your meals ahead of time? batch-cooking has been something i’ve adopted into my lifestyle over the last few years and it’s really helped me save money and keep my diet in check.

{homemade relish with my homegrown cucumbers!}

11 Jul

so, as i mentioned in my last blog – i have harvested well over 200 cucumbers this year from my garden! i wish i would’ve been weighing my harvests, to get more of an idea of yields. however, looking back through the fotos i snapped every time i harvest – it’s safe to say that number is pretty accurate. crazy, right?

anyway, on top of sharing my harvests with neighbors, and consuming a cucumber a day, i also enjoy making pickles and relish with my cucumbers! that’s why i specifically grow the pickling cucumbers. that, and i just think they taste better.

i will share my pickle recipe soon, but for now i want to share this super yummy relish recipe that a good friend of mine passed along to me last year. i love it because it’s very simple and does not have added sugar. the only sweetener is honey and i think it is so well-balanced in flavour. i love add my relish to egg salad or tuna salad. it’s also just good right out of the jar!

homemade pickle relish recipe : 

  • 1.5 pounds {pickling} cucumbers, finely diced {mine was homegrown}
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1.5 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill {mine was homegrown! 🙂}
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp kosher salt {i used himalayan pink salt}
  • 1 tsp celery ceeds
  • 1.5 cornstarch

directions : 

  • in large saucepan, combine all ingredients except cornstarch. simmer over medium-high head until vegetables are tender – about 8-10 minutes.
  • in small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 2-3 tbsp of the cooking liquid until smooth. add to pan and let cook another 3-5 minutes. cool.
  • use canning method to preserve, or store in airtight container, chilled, up to 1 month. also freezes well.

i made a lot more than what is pictured – this jar i gave to my neighbours. 🙂

i also tasted mine before adding the cornstarch. if i needed to increase any of the ingredients, i did. i think i added a little extra honey and vinegar to mine because i had a little more than 1.5 pounds of cucumbers. the key is to start with small amounts… you can always add more. i love the colour it turns out – that’s largely due to the turmeric.

i hope you enjoy this recipe and please do let me know if you ever try it out!

thanks for reading! 🙂

 

{st. paddy’s day dinner!}

17 Mar

i tried my hand at making my own corned beef and cabbage dinner for saint patrick’s day this year. i chose to just kept it simple with some pickling spices and brown sugar for my brine. i purchased the {grass-fed} brisket at the farmers market; it was close to 6 pounds.

perfect for plenty of leftovers.

there are so many methods and recipes out there, and after tons of research, i decided to do a simple 3-day brine {it was all the time i had anyway} and boil the meat on the stovetop, which is apparently how a traditional new england dinner is prepared.

i brought my brine to a simmer for about a half hour, then let it cool and refrigerated it for a couple of hours, until it was nice and chilled.

when ready, i poured the mixture into a brining bag with the brisket and immediately stuck it in the fridge to begin soaking up the flavour. i wish i would’ve prepared for more time, but as it was, i brined this for just under 72-hours.

to cook, i emptied the brine, rinsed off the meat, and stuck in a huge stock pot of water {enough to cover plus 1 inch} to simmer for about 30 minutes. then i drained, refilled the pot with water and brought to a simmer again, cooking for about 3 hours until tender. i added in my potatoes and carrots about an hour before finishing, and then tossed in some cabbage near the end.

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it came out pretty yummy, overall. i served it with some irish soda bread… that i did NOT make, since i’m a lousy baker. my family seemed to really enjoy this method. i liked it because it was simple and i only had to use the one stock pot. it got me thinking about the history of the dish and how “back in the day” most families probably only owned one stock pot, anyway. so it makes sense that they would cook everything as simple as possible.

i will say, i think a longer brining process would’ve added more flavour, but i as i said, i only had a little under 3 days. the meat was still nice and tender and moist, but in my opinion, it could’ve had more of the “corned beef” flavour. i also chose not to add in the preservatives that make it create that pink colour.

overall i was very pleased with this st. patrick’s day meal. it was fun to make, and next year i’ll experiment with more time.

i hope you all had a nice day.

slainte!

{pan-seared wild-caught salmon}

13 Feb

]salmonsalmon-2

i love salmon! and although it’s not in season just yet, i try to eat it at least twice a month, but ideally i would like to get back to consuming it once a week or more. it’s full of omega 3 fatty acids and healthy lean protein. this particular wild-caught salmon filet was hand-delivered to me by an alaskan fisherman! 🙂

my favourite way to prepare salmon is to pan-sear it. don’t be intimidated, it’s a very easy method.

i simply sprinkle my salmon filet{s} with a little S&P and squeeze a little lemon juice over it, as well.

then, start with a medium-high heat skillet coated with a little olive oil, and place salmon filet in skin-side up. cook for 4-5 minutes, then flip over and finish with skin-side down, another 4-5 minutes. cooking it this way usually allows for the filet to come up easily off the skin when serving. i like to serve mine over a bed of greens or a simple couscous recipe.

bon appetite! 

{bell pepper guts}

8 Mar

bellpepperguts-4

what is it about the inside of vegetables that i find so INTRIGUING?!!? 😀

{the intricate, cool, and colourful cabbage}

3 Feb

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i am truly fascinated by nature. nothing makes me feel more connected than LIFE itself… you know, the being alive part, not the stuff we fill our lives with. food gives me a feeling that is unlike anything else. when i chop up vegetables, i stand in awe for a minute and marvel at what is before me. i am taken aback every single time i cut a cabbage in half. it blows my mind… i always find myself thinking, “BUT WHY?! why do you grow like that?!” …not to mention that stunning colour!

it truly does amaze me that nature has such intricacies about it. romanesco is one of the biggest food wonders, in my opinion. cabbage is a close second. i am also fascinated by swiss chard. sometimes i look at food and think about how similar it is to us, to humans… so many details going on inside and out. my hope is that we can all try to be a little more like food, like nature. be more of the BEING and not just the human.

i digress. 

i hope you enjoy these fotos i took while feeling inspired by this cool, intricate cabbage.

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when i flipped it upside down, i thought it kind of represented a face. 😉

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colourfulcabbage-8

are you fascinated by nature?!

{radical red kuri squash}

15 Dec

redkurisquash-1

i’m kind of obsessed with this stuff. and it makes an AMAZING risotto!

redkurisquash-2

{mmm… mirepoix}

8 Dec

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with a twist… leeks!

{nom nom, fresh pineapple}

22 Feb

after many years working in the organic food industry, i learned a lot about picking good produce.  it’s hilarious to watch me at the market – i take my time when picking out my fruit and vegetables, mostly because i know i’ll be fotographing them. and hey – aesthetics matter!  plus, food is outrageously expensive these days and i’ll be damned if i’m going to spend five dollars for a pineapple and not have it be incredible!

therefore, i browse the produce stands carefully when choosing what to buy. have you ever purchased something and it spoiled two days later or when you cut into it, the flesh was rotting or brown? not everything you pick up at the market is necessarily fresh and/or tasty at any given time – it’s another reason i prefer to buy and eat with the seasons… stuff just tastes better when it’s in season! i mean, wouldn’t you like to be picked during your prime?! 😉

pineapple-1

speaking of which, do you know how to pick a good pineapple?  the beginning of their season is just around the corner… and i’m already salivating thinking about them.

one thing to look for when picking out a pineapple – is how the leaves feel when pulled out from the top.  if they remove easily with little force, it’s a pretty sure sign your pineapple is ripe.  you also want to pay attention to the scent. i often sniff the bottom of the fruit, looking for a fresh scent that is strong enough to seep through.  and finally, you want to look for a pineapple that is a little darker in colour… not quite brown, but just golden… Continue reading

{flashback friday – these are a few of my favourite things}

5 Dec

the holidays are officially here!

here are a few of my favourite recipes from 2013… any and all of which celebrate the true meaning of this season – EATING! 😀

breakfastpizza-web-12

breakfast pizza

buttercornsquashsoup-15

roasted “buttercorn” soup

chixwraps-web-11

buffalo chicken wraps {perfect for the game!}

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overnight lentil soup

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mashed “yamtatoes”

hugesalad-web-2

gigantic colourful salad

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pasta primavera with fresh-grated parmigiano reggiano

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grilled leek and shitake mushroom risotto

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rainbow zucchini pizza strips

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pomegranate smoothie {it IS pomegranate season!}

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egg nog… please.

{thirsty thursday – homemade pickles and octoberfest for days!}

24 Oct

homemadepickles-1

i have always been a HUGE fan of pickles. they are easily one of my favourite snacks. once i started making my own, i was hooked!  i have even been known to travel across the country with them… no joke.

as usual, i KISS with these.  simple ingredients :

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super easy refrigerator dill pickles :

  • 5-6 cups cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 head fresh dill
  • 2-3 cloves garlic {optional}

Continue reading

{drink the rainbow! – clementine creamsicle vitamix juice}

23 Apr

this is super delicious, as you can imagine!!

my only issue with this drink right now is that i want one, and yet it’s snowing outside, so it’s just kinda weird… have i mentioned how i’m so beyond ready for spring?!? – even though technically it ought to be here by now…! sigh…

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for this creation, i used some clementines i bought in a bag and just pre-peeled some for smoothies and snacking…

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– clementines {about 3/4 cup}
– coconut milk {about 3/4 cup}
– ice

blend on high until desired consistency is reached and ENJOY!
coconut milk is wonderfully creamy and makes drinks like this extra delicious and frothy.

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