Love me some bagels!


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Continuing my pandemic weigh gain I deciding to dabble in bagel making. They are crazy easy to make and even easier to eat. Make these today!

Makes: 8 medium-sized bagels
Total Time: ~2 hours

Optional Toppings: Everything seasoning, poppy seeds, or sesame seeds. (Everyone in my house prefers plain bagels, so I went with 3 Everything and 5 plain) 😉

Preparation:1. In ½ cup /120ml of the warm water, pour in the sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the yeast and sugar mixture, until it all dissolves in the water.

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 ½ tablespoons (4 ½ teaspoons) granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups / 300ml warm water
3 ½ cups (500g) bread flour or AP flour what I used (you will need extra for kneading)
1 ½ teaspoons salt

2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.

3. Pour 1/2 cup / 90ml of the remaining warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed. Depending on where you live, you may need to add anywhere from a couple tablespoons to about ¼ cup/60ml of water. You want a moist and firm dough after you have mixed it. I had to use all the water.

4. On a floured countertop, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Try working in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough.

5. Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.

6. Carefully divide the dough into 8 pieces (I did not have a scale so I made a ball and cut it in half and half again and again until I had 8 pieces). Shape each piece into a round. Now, take a dough ball, and press it gently against the countertop (or whatever work surface you’re using) moving your hand and the ball in a circular motion pulling the dough into itself while reducing the pressure on top of the dough slightly until a perfect dough ball forms. Repeat with 7 other dough rounds.

7. Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat the same step with the remaining dough.

8. After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet or granite or wooden board, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425ºF.

9. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Boil as many as you are comfortable with boiling. Once the bagels are in, it shouldn’t take too long for them to float to the top (a couple seconds). Let them sit there for 1 minute, and them flip them over to boil for another minute.

10. If you want to top your bagels with stuff, do so as you take them out of the water. I didn’t brush them with egg wash I just sprinkled on and voila!

11. Once all the bagels have boiled (and have been topped with your choice of toppings), transfer them to a lightly oiled baking sheet or in my case I oiled the parchment paper on my baking sheet.

12. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. I rotated the pan 1/2 way through.

13. Cool on a wire rack… or if you are my kids tear one open slather it with butter or schmear it with cheese cream and devour it.

Enjoy putting on the pandemic pounds !


The Bomb Banoffee Pie 🤤


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Banoffee pie is an English dessert pie made from bananas, cream and toffee, combined either on a buttery biscuit base or one made from crumbled biscuits and butter.

In simple terms it is a pie that is freaking delicious!


  • 1 and 1/2 cups (150g) graham cracker crumbs (about 10 full sheet graham crackers)
  • 5 Tablespoons (72g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 cups dulce de leche**
  • 2 large bananas, sliced

Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups (480ml) cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • optional toppings: chocolate shavings, chopped nuts, or toffee bits for garnish


What is Dulce de Leche?

Dulce de leche is similar to caramel, but a little sweeter and creamier. It’s prepared by slowly heating sugar and milk until everything caramelizes. If we’re getting all scientific, I learned that a lot of the flavor comes from the Maillard reaction. Interesting! Dulce de lecheis Spanish for candy made/of milk. There are a few ways to prepare dulce de leche including:

  1. The classic method of cooking down and constantly stirring milk and sugar
  2. The shortcut method of cooking sweetened condensed milk

We’re using the shortcut method today, Both are delicious!

You need 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, a non stick frying pan, spatula and patience.

Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk into a non stick frying pan. Put heat on medium and stir with a spatula. You want the milk turn into a deep caramel colour that we will use for the banoffee pie. This whole process will take anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Whatever you do don’t stop stiring it! You can also do it on medium low heat too. This is a marathon not a sprint.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. If you’re starting out with full-sheet graham crackers, you can use a food processor or blender to grind them up. Or crush them in a zipped top bag with a rolling pin. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and granulated sugar together in a medium bowl until combined. The mixture will be thick, coarse, and sandy. Press the mixture into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Make sure it is tight and compact. Use the bottom of a flat measuring cup to press it down tightly. Bake the crust for 15-16 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes (and up to 2 days) before adding the layers. Meanwhile, make the whipped cream. (Next step.)
  3. For the whipped cream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. Medium peaks are between soft/loose peaks and stiff peaks and are the perfect consistency for topping and piping on desserts.
  4. Spread dulce de leche on top of the crust. Arrange banana slices in 1-2 layers on top of the dulce de leche, then spread whipped cream on top.
  5. Refrigerate pie uncovered for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Garnish with toppings before serving, if desired.
  6. Cover and store leftover pie in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It won’t last 5 days…. just sayin’.

Putting on the Pandemic Pounds Cinnamon Buns


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Big, fluffy, soft and absolutely delicious. I have to admit I’m not much of a baker. I prefer to wing it in the kitchen, but with baking you can’t do that.

This recipe is pretty fool proof however! It takes a while though… from start to finish you are looking at about 3 hours or so. On a rainy day these are perfect to make!


For the dough:

  • ¾ cup warm milk (whole milk or 2% preferred) (110 degrees F)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons quick rise or active yeast (1/4-ounce package yeast)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup salted butter, melted
  • 3 cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the filling:
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar (light brown sugar also works)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • For the cream cheese frosting:
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Warm milk to around 110 degrees F. I like to do this by placing milk in a microwave safe bowl and microwaving it for 40-45 seconds. It should be like warm bath water. Transfer warm milk to the bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle yeast on top. Add in sugar, egg, egg yolk and melted butter. Mix until well combined. Next stir in flour and salt with a wooden spoon until a dough begins to form.
  2. Place dough hook on stand mixer and knead dough on medium speed for 8 minutes. Dough should form into a nice ball and be slightly sticky. If it’s TOO sticky (meaning it’s sticking to the bottom of the mixer, add in 2 tablespoons more flour.) If you don’t want to use an electric mixer, you can use your hands to knead the dough for roughly 8 minutes on a well-floured surface.
  3. Transfer dough ball to a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel. Allow dough to rise for 1 hour to 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size. This may more or less time depending the humidity and temperature in your home.
  4. After dough has doubled in size, transfer dough to a well-floured surface and roll out into a 14×9 inch rectangle. Spread softened butter over dough, leaving a ¼ inch margin at the far side of the dough.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Use your hands to sprinkle mixture over the buttered dough, then rub the brown sugar mixture into the butter.
  6. Tightly roll dough up, starting from the 9-inch side and place seam side down making sure to seal the edges of the dough as best you can. You will probably need to cut off about an inch off the ends of the dough as the ends won’t be as full of cinnamon sugar as we’d want it to be.
  7. Cut into 1 inch sections with a serrated knife or floss. You should get 9 -12 large pieces.. I got 10 🤷‍♀️
  8. Place cinnamon rolls in a greased 9×13 inch baking pan or round 9 inch cake pan. (I also recommend lining the pan with parchment paper as well, in case any of the filling ends up leaking out.) Cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel and let rise again for 30-45 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees or 325 convection bake F. Remove plastic wrap and towel and bake cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes or until just slightly golden brown on the edges. You want to underbake them a little so they stay soft in the middle, that’s why we want them just slightly golden brown. Allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes before frosting. Makes 9-12 cinnamon rolls.
  10. To make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Spread over cinnamon rolls and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Vanilla Bean Scones


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These Best Ever Vanilla Bean Scones are the perfect homemade coffee shop treat for vanilla lovers! Follow all my pro tips for making the best flaky scones!


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 vanilla bean or you can use 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter COLD and grated
  • 3/4 cup cream – I used heavy but you can use coffee cream
  • 1 egg


  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Start by sifting the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a clean, dry bowl using a sieve or sifter. Tap the sieve against the palm of your hand until all the dry ingredients have passed through it and you’re left with the lumps. Push the lumps through the sieve with your finger tips.
  • Next, slice a vanilla bean down the centre lengthwise using a paring knife. Skip this step if you are using vanilla bean paste or extract
  • Open it up and scrape out as many of the teeny tiny vanilla bean seeds as you can using the back edge of your knife.
  • Even after you’ve scraped out all the vanilla seeds you can, don’t throw away the rest of the bean! Put it in your sugar container for vanilla sugar.
  • Add the vanilla bean seeds to the flour mixture and blend in using a whisk. Try your best to break up the clumps of vanilla bean seeds, but if there are a few tiny clumps left that’s ok. The vanilla bean seeds will probably disappear into the flour mixture, but don’t worry. They’ll become visible again once the wet ingredients are added.
  • In a liquid measuring cup, measure the cream and add the egg. Whisk together using a fork and set aside.
  • The next few steps should be done quickly, as you’re working with cold butter and you want the butter to be as cold as possible when it hits the heat of the oven. This will result in a flaky scone, rather than a heavy and dense one.
  • Grate your butter, right from the fridge, into little pieces and dump it into the flour mixture.
  • Using your hands (wash them well first and remove any rings), pick up handfuls of the butter and flour mixture, rubbing the pieces of butter and the flour between the heels of your hands to create “sheets” of butter. You should act quickly here, and don’t allow the pieces of butter to sit in your hands for any length of time as the heat from your hands will cause it to soften. The goal is to create paper-thin pieces of butter, small and large throughout the mixture. Once there are no thick chunks of butter remaining, only thin sheets, remove your hands from the mixture. Hands equal heat, so handle the mixture as little as possible.
  • Pour in the wet ingredients and mix roughly with a fork. Do not over mix, or the result will be heavy and dense. Once the wet ingredients have been incorporated but there are still several streaks of flour, turn the dough out onto a clean and floured counter surface. Press the dough down into the counter and then fold one half over the other half like you are folding a piece of paper. Press down again and make another fold. Repeat this 2 or 3 more times, gathering any outlying dough bits and flour into your folds. Don’t knead the dough like you would if you were making bread, and don’t stir or mix the dough like you would if you were making muffins. Scones are technically a pastry, so the goal is flaky layers that are created by the thin sheets of butter and all the folding.
  • Once your dough is formed after folding several times, shape it into a 10-inch rectangle (approximately).
  • Again, be careful not to handle the dough too much, so a few little cracks here and there are fine. I sometimes sneak in a few mini chocolate chips for Holly into 1/2 the batch. 😉
  • Cut the rectangle into 12 squares with a very sharp knife
  • Arrange the squares on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 18-22 minutes. I usually set the timer and start watching them after about 16 minutes. You want them to stay nice and white and not get too brown, especially on the narrow end of the triangle.
  • Remove them from the oven when they’re just barely golden brown on the bottom and the surface of the scones lose their shine. Let them cool for 3-5 minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Eat and enjoy !

Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball


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I don’t know about you but I love a good cheese ball as part of a charcuterie board. I know it sounds bit retro but I don’t care.

They are creamy, and tasty and SO easy to make. You can whip this up in 10 minutes. I prefer letting it set overnight so the flavours come together but I have also been known to eat this straight out of the bowl… this is a judgement free zone 😉

Here is what you need:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup white sharp cheddar cheese shredded / of old white cheddar
  • 1 cup dried cranberries chopped and divided
  • 1 cup pecans chopped and toasted 
  • 1/4 cup chives or green onions chopped (I prefer chives)
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp of seasoning salt 
  1. To Toast Pecans: Pre-heat oven to 375F. Place chopped pecans on a baking tray and bake for 5 minutes or until aromatic. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, cheddar cheese, ½ toasted pecans, ½ cup dried cranberries, chive or green onion, seasoning salt and garlic powder until well combined.
  3. Place mixture in the center of a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and cover completely with wrap while forming it into a ball shape. Place in fridge until ready to serve.
  4. Just before serving, combine remaining ½ cup pecans, ½ dried cranberries, and 2 tablespoon chives on a flat surface or cutting board. Unwrap the ball and roll in cranberry-pecan mixture.
  5. Serve with anything and devour! 

Sometimes I just need a curry in a hurry (Cauliflower and tofu korma)


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An easy vegetarian Indian vegetable korma recipe with tofu, cauliflower, peas, and warming spices.

This curry took me 45 mins to make. Will anyone else in the house eat it? Hello no.. but now I have 4 make-ahead meals I can devour. It’s a win for Me!

I feel like roasting the cauliflower gives it a better taste and adds body to the dish, so I highly recommend. I also tossed the tofu in cornstarch and salt after I pressed it to (google how to do this) add a bit of bite it to, but that is optional. I am a texture wh@re when it comes to food. I need crunch and a toothy feel, if everything is soft I am out!

Carrots and cream (or coconut milk) add body to the korma curry base, while puréed tomatoes and lemon add the punch you need for balance.

Serves 4 or 2 if you are REALLY HUNGRY


  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil or unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala and cinnamon and garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup roughly chopped carrots run through a food processor
  • 1 onion, peeled and put in a food processor
  • 3 cloves garlic, and again put in the FP
  • 1 (28 oz) can pureed plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of heavy cream or canned coconut milk (add the entire can for a looser, soupier korma base, if desired)
  • Add a handful of frozen peas
  • 1 (350g/12 oz) pkg extra firm tofu, (pressed if you have time) cut into 1/2-inch cubes as tossed with some corn starch and a generous pinch of salt
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets (extra spices needed for this part see instructions)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint or cilantro, and toasted almonds and or cashews to serve (optional)
  • Cooked brown rice or basmati rice, hot, to serve (optional) or naan


1 Turn oven on to 425 and get ready to prep the cauliflower for roasting. Lay the florets in a baking sheet on parchment paper and spread them out. If they are too close put them on two different trays you do not want the cauliflower to steam you wanted to roast. Drizzle with oil, 1-2 pinches of salt, 2 tsp garlic powder and 1 tablespoon of turmeric. Toss and into the oven it goes for 15-18 mins. Cooking is fun not an exact science if you are missing the turmeric no big deal it will still be delish. You want to roast the cauliflower so you will get the all the little dark tasty spots .. that is okay. You want it to have personality not be mushy. Mushy is BAD.

2 While the cauliflower is in the oven…In a large pot, heat oil or butter over medium heat; add spices, salt, and everything in food processor. Sauté for 10 minutes, until onions are translucent.

3 Add tomatoes and cream or coconut milk, bring to a simmer, reduce to medium, cover, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender.

4 In a frying pan toss the cut up tofu in 1-2 tablespoons of oil and get it crispy.

5 Then it’s magic time. Add everything into the sauce. The roasted cauliflower, the crispy tofu, hand full of peas and lemon juice. Toss gently and keep on low heat for 5-10 mins. Here is the trick. TASTE IT. Is it missing heat? I added 2 chili’s because I LOVE it spicy, missing sweetness? I added 1 tbls of honey to it, not enough salt? Add some, add more curry powder if you need it…it’s your dish adjust how you like it! Make this 24 hrs in advance so the flavours develop even more.

6 Top with nuts and fresh herbs (optional)

7 Serve hot with brown rice, basmati rice, or quinoa or naan or nothing!


Cauliflower Wings – Must Try!


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So Pure Kitchen just opened up in Kanata and now I eat, sleep and dream about their cauliflower wings.

And as much as I would love to eat there every single day, I needed to come up with my own recipe for making cauliflower wings in the oven.

These were pretty delicious I must admit they will curb my craving for the PK version. They are great as a appetizer, on tacos, in a wrap instead of meat or on top of a salad.

Here’s what you need:

(Preheat your oven to 425 degrees)

  • 1 Head cauliflower cut into bite sized “wings”
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp garlic and onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • A good squeeze of sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons Mirin or 1 tablespoon maple syrup


  1. Cut up the cauliflower
  2. Make batter with the flour, garlic and onion powder, water and sriracha
  3. Toss wings in batter with your hands. Make sure they are all covered
  4. Lay out on a parchment paper covered baking sheet
  5. Bake in oven for 25 mins
  6. Remove from oven and toss wings with melted butter, mirin and sriracha mix
  7. Put back in oven for 15 mins
  8. Devoir
  9. As much as I would like to say this is 1 serving, it is not. It is 4 servings. But you don’t need to share with anyone. 😉

Drop me a note and let me know how you liked them!


Let’s talk Garlic Scapes


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What are Garlic scapes?

They are the curled flower from the top of a garlic plant, are abundant at farmers markets (I just picked up a bundle at the Farmers Market). Available in the spring/early summer they make an easy, fragrant pesto that can be spread on bread or crackers, mixed with ricotta, put on pasta, used with fish, and as a substitute for garlic, onion, or scallions!

You can also slice them on the diagonal and sauté them with other vegetables as a side dish. They are wildly delicious.

Here is how I made my Garlic Scape Pesto that I will mix with ricotta for dinner one night and top sliced steak the next. Ready in less than 3 minutes 🙌

  • 2 cups garlic scapes cut into pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • 4 green onions
  • 1/2 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 2 inch chunk of real Parmegiano Reggiano

Toss it all into your food processor and in 40 secs viola you have pesto!

Leftovers… are awesome! Try this penne with sausage in a whisky cream sauce done in 9 MINUTES!


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What exactly are leftovers? Leftovers are the uneaten remains of a hot or cold meal after the meal is over and everyone has finished eating.

As a kid what did that mean? It meant a gross dinner was around the corner. 😬 My mom was an excellent cook but even leftover night was a food bust.

No. Anymore.

Today is Labour Day in Canada or (Holiday Monday) and all the stores are closed. So dinnertime rolled around and I had no idea what to make. So I opened my fridge and grab a ton of leftovers and made a wicked dinner.

Here is what I used:

  • 2 cups cooked penne pasta
  • 1 bunch of asparagus which I cooked in garlic and oil
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 smoked Serrano chili ( or a chipotle if that is what you have )
  • 2 cobs of corn – kernels cut off
  • 3 BBQed Italian sausages sliced
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • Splash of whisky
  • Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper

What did I do?

Melt a bit of butter in a pan, add onion and asparagus after a few minutes add garlic and corn. After 1 minutes add chili, sausage and pasta. After 2 minutes add splash of whisky and stock and cream. Simmer 3 minutes and viola. Season with salt and pepper and top with Parmesan.

You won’t believe this is leftovers!

Instant Pot – Tex Mex Chicken Thighs


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This is a quick dinner that can be made on any weeknight or weekend.

All it takes is 30 mins in an Instant Pot.


  • 1.5 kilo chicken thighs (club pack)
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbls chili powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups fresh salsa
  • 2 whole chipotles in adobo sauce diced up
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Stems of cilantro finely diced *amazing flavour and even those who don’t like the cilantro flavour like this.
  • 19 0z Can black beans
  • 15 oz Can of corn kernels

Press sauté on your Instant pot until it registers HOT. Add 2 tsp oil and add your chicken thighs. Cook both sides of chicken for 5 mins add salt, chili powder, cumin, chipotles, cilantro stems, garlic and onions. Mix around for 2 minutes. Add canned corn with juice, add drained beans and stir. Top with salsa and DO NOT STIR. Tomatoes can tend to burn in the IP so just pour on top and spread out.

Put on IP Lid and seal the vent. Press Chili button – 30 mins. Viola

Do what ever you need to do and once the IP beeps release the steam vent to depressurize. Shred the chicken thighs, they will be soft and buttery. Mix everything together, add fresh cilantro leaves and check seasoning.

Serve on its own, on rice, spaghetti squash, top with chunks of avocado, cheese and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Makes 10 cups and freezes perfectly well.