It has been pretty hot here in Southern Ontario for the past couple of weeks, so for a quick and easy summer dinner I love making a frittata (basically a crustless quiche). What’s great about a frittata is that you add in leftovers to make an amazingly delicious meal. This time I had a leftover bbq baked potato (cooked one too many for the family), which was my starting point, and added in some deli counter ham, green onions and two types of cheeses I had in the fridge from my Cheesy Chimichurri Garlic Bread. The results were a fantastic frittata that the whole family loved. It was that hearty, smoky flavour from the potato that really made it. Next time you are doing baked potatoes on the barbecue I highly recommend making one extra to keep on hand for an easy weeknight or weekend morning frittata!
- 5 large eggs
- 1/4 cup of milk or cream
- Pinch of Kosher (coarse) salt, plus more to season potatoes as they cook
- Freshly ground black pepper, plus more to season potatoes as they cook
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cooked and cooled baked (russet) potato, diced
- 2 slices of deli ham, sliced into small pieces (bacon would also work of course!)
- 2 green onions (scallions), finely diced (heaping 1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup of grated light sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup of grated fontina cheese
- Pre-heat the broiler on your oven (for a 10″ skillet you can just use the lower setting)
- Combine the eggs with milk or cream and whisk until combined. Add in a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of Kosher salt.
- Heat 10″ non-stick oven-proof skillet on medium-high heat.
- Add the olive oil, and then the potato and cook until potatoes are heated through and slightly browned. Season with some salt and pepper as desired.
- Add the ham to the skillet with the potato, and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the green onion to the skillet and stir to combine.
- Add the egg mixture to the skillet. Top the eggs with the grated cheese distributing it evenly over the top. Cover the skillet with a lid and let the eggs cook for 2 minutes untouched.
- Remove the cover and place the skillet in the oven. Watching carefully (do not walk away!), let the eggs cook for 3-4 minutes until they begin to puff and brown slightly.
- Remove the skillet from the oven, and let it sit for 2 minutes.
- Using a spatula, carefully slide the frittata out of the skillet and onto a serving plate.
- Serve the frittata with a side salad or sliced fresh veggies and a nice piece of crusty bread for a nice light and summery dinner.
A year or two ago we tried some really fantastic cheesy garlic bread topped with chimichurri at our local Milestone’s restaurant. Ever since then I have wanted to recreate it at home, because it was SO good! Chimichurri is an Argentian steak sauce, made with cilantro, parsley, garlic, chilli and lemon, and blended with oil. It is traditionally served with steak, but is an awesome topper with a kick for cheesy garlic bread! I re-created the recipe myself, and adapted it for making during bbq season. Just throw that garlic bread on the grill and you have a fantastic appetizer or side for your outdoor entertaining. It is fantastic served with my favourite Raspberry Mojito!
Recipes serves 4-6.
- 2 small loaves of french bread (about 8-10 inches in length), or one large loaf of french bread (10-12″+) . . . I was able to slice each loaf into 8 slices = 16 slices total.
- 4-6 tbsp garlic butter – store bought or homemade
- 1/2 cup of shredded light old cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup of shredded fontina cheese
- Chimichurri – homemade or store bought (I love Wildly Delicious)
- Combine cheese in a bowl, and set aside until ready to add to bread.
- Using a bread knife, slice each loaf into 8 equal slices while keeping its “loaf” shape, and spread all cut sides with a light coating of garlic butter. I also like to smear the top of the crust with a bit of garlic butter too.
- Wrap bread in foil and place on top rack of barbecue and heat for 10 minutes (you could also bake in toaster oven or oven).
- Open bread in foil and top each loaf with 1/2 cup of the cheese blend.
- Close barbecue lid and heat until cheese has melted (2-3 minutes).
- Remove bread to a serving plate and drizzle each loaf with about 1 tbsp of chimichurri.
- Notes: Adapt any quantities of ingredients for amount/size of bread you are using and you can also serve chimichurri in little dipping bowls so guests can add sauce as desired.
Father’s Day is coming up this weekend, so what better way to start Dad’s day on Father’s Day then with a loaded Steak & Egg Breakfast Burrito? The combination of tender grilled steak, with egg, sharp cheddar, salsa and guacamole is sure to be one of Dad’s new favourites!
- One large flour tortilla of your choice (regular, whole wheat, spinach)
- 1 large egg scrambled
- Approximately 1/2 cup of pre-cooked grilled steak, thinly sliced (this is great if you have leftovers . . . I always like to cook extra steak for sandwiches, and breakfast creations!)
- Light old cheddar, grated – approx 1/4-1/2 cup
- 2 heaping tablespoons of your favourite salsa
- 2 heaping tablespoons of your favourite guacamole
- Pre-heat your panini press (if using), you can also serve without finishing in a panini-press.
- Assemble your breakfast burrito by laying out the tortilla then layering with your cooked scrambled egg, then topping with the steak, cheddar cheese, salsa and guacamole.
- Wrap up burrito, folding in sides, then rolling away from you wrapping up all contents “burrito style” securely so they will not leak.
- At this point you can serve immediately or you can finish in a panini press (optimal and most delicious as it will melt cheese and heat contents perfectly) . . . you could also press in a warm dry frying pan with a weight of some sort on top (such as a plate or second smaller frying pan).
- Remove from panini press, slice in half and serve to your #1 Dad!
The warm weather in May and early June has made my basil grow like crazy really fast, so I decided I needed to cut it down so it would continue to flourish, and what better way to use a large amount of basil than for beautiful fresh pesto!
I did some research on best authentic recipes, and decided to start with the recipe from Epicurious (Bon Appetit). With everything else in my pantry or fridge, I went out to Bulk Barn to grab some pine nuts (yes the price is astonishing for these wee nuts but all you need is 1/3 cup for one batch, and homemade pesto just can’t be beat!). Just blend together basil, olive oil, pine nuts, minced garlic, salt and Parmesan and you have your own homemade pesto. I recommended using a food processor vs blender, as I tried using my Vitamix, but it was just too big for this size of recipe. My Cuisinart Mini Prep worked perfectly.
Recipe makes 12 heaping tablespoons of fresh pesto (approx 1 cup).
- 4 cups of fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup of pine nuts
- 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
- 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon of Kosher (coarse) salt
- Using a food processor, add basil, olive oil, pine nuts and garlic, and puree until a paste forms. Scrape down sides as needed to get to an even consistency.
- Add in cheese and salt and blend until combined.
- Use immediately OR using an ice cube tray, fill with 1 tablespoon of pesto per cube cavity and freeze. Once frozen place in a freezer bag and defrost and use as needed for recipes (pasta, baked chicken, sauces, pizza, etc.)
I have been making this Tiramisu recipe of mine for years, and recently re-tested it to ensure its deliciousness and accuracy, and indeed still perfect and a dessert that is perfect as a Mother’s Day treat! One of my tricks is that I make a cooked custard vs raw eggs – with young children and eldery guests eating my desserts I just prefer to be on the safe side . . . peace of mind and always delicious!!
Makes one 9 x 13 dessert.
- 6 large egg yolks (reserve whites and freeze if desired for other uses)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup milk (I use 1%)
- 1 pound of mascarpone cheese (475g container – regular or light)
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 package of savoiardi biscuits (you will need 42)
- 1 1/2 cups of strong brewed coffee, cooled
- 8-10 tbsp of kahlua
- Grated bittersweet chocolate (1/2 ounce)
- Begin by making custard required for your mascarpone filling. Beat egg yolks and sugar in a saucepan with a wire whisk until smooth. Whisk in milk. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and boil and stir for an additional minute, then remove from heat.
- Pour custard into a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly onto custard. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, but I often prepare this the day before and keep in fridge overnight and assemble the dessert the next day.
- Mix coffee with 8 tbsp kahlua. Taste and decide if you prefer an additional 2 tbsp. Set aside ready to dip ladyfingers.
- Mix custard with mascarpone until smooth (by hand or with a mixer using the whisk attachment).
- In another bowl, beat whipped cream with vanilla until you have firm peaks.
- Fold in whipped cream into custard-mascarpone mixture and fold gently until incorporated.
- Get your 9 x 13 glass/ceramic dish ready for assembling the Tiramisu.
- Assemble first layer by dipping ladyfingers in coffee-rum and placing into the dish. I was able to make a layer of 21 ladyfingers (3 rows of 7 width-wise).
- Spread half of the mascarpone filling over the ladyfingers.
- Layer another 21 coffee-rum dipped ladyfingers on top of the mascarpone in the same direction as the first layer.
- Top with remaining mascarpone filling.
- Garnish with grated bittersweet chocolate (really easy using fine microplane grater).
- Place dessert in fridge to set for a few hours, or until the next day. It keeps very well, and individual portions freeze well also (stored in plastic freezer friendly containers).
I seem to be having major Spring salad craving lately so I wanted to share this classic go-to recipe with you that my family just loves. This is one of my favourite side dish salads along side grilled chicken or pork, steak or even alongside some fish. It is my take on the recipe that many make and is also found in many grocery store salad bars too. Just love to whip this up for an easy and quick side-salad. It also tastes great the next day for leftovers for work or school lunches.
- 1 head broccoli cut into small florets (about 5 cups)
- 1/4 cup of diced red onion
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup of sliced almonds
- 2 heaping tablespoons of raw shelled sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup of grated light sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled (optional, omit if you prefer a meatless version)
- 1/2 cup of light mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
- Toss broccoli, red onion, cranberries, almonds, sunflower seeds, and cheddar together in a bowl.
- In another bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, white wine vinegar and sugar until smooth and then stir into salad coating all ingredients evenly.
- You can serve immediately but it is best to let salad sit in fridge for 1-2 hours to let the flavours incorporate.
- Add in bacon right before serving.
Ok, I am feeling like maybe (fingers and toes crossed) that Spring and some warmer bbq weather is finally coming. So I feel like I can now finally share this recipe, as it is one of my fave side dishes for bbq season. This recipe is a delicious copycat of a take-out salad at my local grocery store. My kids LOVE this salad and we enjoy it as a side dish for dinner, and also for lunch. This is a great pot luck dish, and is perfect now that barbecue season is going to start heating up (power of positive thinking!!). It is amazing for next day leftovers, especially when you toss in some grilled chicken – yum! Use this recipe as a guideline but you can toss in more or less of whatever you like, and could also throw in some extras such as some finely diced yellow or orange pepper.
- 2 cups of Pennette Rigate (mini Penne noodles)
- 1/2 cup of small grape tomatoes (left whole)
- 1/2 cup of diced english cucumber
- 1/4 cup of sliced black olives
- 1/4 cup of finely diced red onion
- 1/4 cup of crumbled light feta cheese
- Approximately 1/2 cup of your favourite greek salad dressing (I love Newman’s Own Greek with Feta) – add more to taste/as desired
- Some chopped parsley (optional) – I don’t buy parsley exclusively for this recipe but if I have some on hand or ready in the garden then I add some in.
- Prepare pasta according to package directions.
- Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly. Add in 1/4 cup of salad dressing so that pasta does not stick and so some of the flavour will absorb into the noodles.
- Once pasta has fully cooled, toss in tomatoes, cucumber, olives and red onion.
- Add in remaining 1/4 cup of salad dressing and stir to combine all ingredients.
- Add in feta cheese and toss to combine. Taste and add in more dressing if desired.
- Add in chopped parsley if using.
- Salad is ready to eat immediately or store in fridge until ready to serve. This recipe keeps well and is awesome the next day for lunch!