Kara’s Perfect Tiramisu

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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.

Ingredients:

Mascarpone filling:

  • 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

Ladyfinger layer:

  • 1 package of savoiardi biscuits (you will need 42)
  • 1 1/2 cups of strong brewed coffee, cooled
  • 8-10 tbsp of kahlua

Garnish:

  • Grated bittersweet chocolate (1/2 ounce)

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Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Mix coffee with 8 tbsp kahlua. Taste and decide if you prefer an additional 2 tbsp. Set aside ready to dip ladyfingers.
  4. Mix custard with mascarpone until smooth (by hand or with a mixer using the whisk attachment).
  5. In another bowl, beat whipped cream with vanilla until you have firm peaks.
  6. Fold in whipped cream into custard-mascarpone mixture and fold gently until incorporated.
  7. Get your 9 x 13 glass/ceramic dish ready for assembling the Tiramisu.
  8. 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).
  9. Spread half of the mascarpone filling over the ladyfingers.
  10. Layer another 21 coffee-rum dipped ladyfingers on top of the mascarpone in the same direction as the first layer.
  11. Top with remaining mascarpone filling.
  12. Garnish with grated bittersweet chocolate (really easy using fine microplane grater).
  13. 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).

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Yummy Broccoli Salad

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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.

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 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)

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup of light mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar

Directions:

  1. Toss broccoli, red onion, cranberries, almonds, sunflower seeds, and cheddar together in a bowl.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, white wine vinegar and sugar until smooth and then stir into salad coating all ingredients evenly.
  3. You can serve immediately but it is best to let salad sit in fridge for 1-2 hours to let the flavours incorporate.
  4. Add in bacon right before serving.

Greek Pasta Salad

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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.

Ingredients:

  • 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.

Directions:

  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  2. 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.
  3. Once pasta has fully cooled, toss in tomatoes, cucumber, olives and red onion.
  4. Add in remaining 1/4 cup of salad dressing and stir to combine all ingredients.
  5. Add in feta cheese and toss to combine. Taste and add in more dressing if desired.
  6. Add in chopped parsley if using.
  7. 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!

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Tutti Frutti Pancakes

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These delicious fruit filled pancakes are inspired by my cousin’s husband and his awesome “fruit pancakes” he makes for us when we visit. Bob’s secret is a waffle and pancake mix and some malted milk powder, my secret weapon is my go-to buttermilk pancake recipe. What is the same, is that I follow his lead by filling the pancake batter with mashed banana, peaches, strawberries, and blueberries. These are so good – hands down my new favourite pancake recipe. Serve with maple syrup and more chopped fruit.

Recipe made 23 pancakes (scooped with a large “cookie scoop” – 3 TBSP capacity), and it also freezes beautifully.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 2 cups of 1% buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup of canola oil (you could also use coconut oil) + more for oiling pan
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large banana, coarsely mashed
  • A heaping 1/3 cup of diced fresh or frozen strawberries
  • A heaping 1/3 cup of diced fresh or frozen peaches
  • A heaping 1/3 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries

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Directions:

  1. *If freezing any pancakes – begin by lining a baking sheet that will fit into your freezer with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir with a whisk.
  3. In another large bowl whisk together buttermilk, oil and eggs.
  4. In a third bowl mix together all of the fruit (mashed banana, chopped strawberries and peaches, and the blueberries).
  5. Add dry ingredients into wet and combine until well moistened, but do not over mix.
  6. Stir in the fruit gently.
  7. Heat a large skillet or double griddle over medium heat.
  8. Add some oil and spread evenly with a silicone brush (I find this works best).
  9. For each pancake, spoon 2-3 tablespoons of batter onto skillet/griddle and spread with back of spoon into a round. (Hint: I used a 3 tablespoon capacity cookie scoop).
  10. Cook until the surface of the pancake have some bubbles (1-2 minutes). Flip with a spatula and cook until browned on the other side (1-2 minutes more).
  11. *If freezing pancakes – transfer to the parchment lined baking sheet.
  12. Continue oiling the skillet/griddle in between batches, and use the remaining batter. Recipe should make about 23 pancakes.
  13. *Note for freezing: Once you are finished making one layer of pancakes on the parchment lined baking sheet, top pancakes with another sheet of parchment and begin layering pancakes on top. Handle pancakes lightly at all times.
  14. *To freeze and store pancakes: place baking sheet with pancakes in the freezer for 1-2 hours until pancakes are frozen. Once frozen, place pancakes into a resealable plastic bag and store in your freezer until ready to use.
  15. *To re-heat your frozen pancakes – just transfer direct from freezer to your toaster/toaster oven/oven and re-heat until evenly heated through.

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7 Minute BBQ Salmon

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4 ingredients and 7 minutes is all you need for this easy and delicious salmon recipe. Simple and quick to prepare, and very tasty thanks to a saucy barbecue crust. My family loved this dish! I served the salmon alongside some freshly cooked green beans and a few of our favourite side salads for an easy (and healthy) meal.

Ingredients:

  • 4 skinless salmon fillets
  • 4 tablespoons of your favourite barbecue sauce (we love Stubb’s Original)
  • Kosher (Coarse) Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

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Directions:

  1. Preheat broiler with rack set 4 inches away from heat.

  2. Line a baking sheet with non-stick aluminum foil.

  3. Place salmon on the baking sheet and season each fillet with salt and pepper.

  4. Place under broiler, and cook for 5 minutes.

  5. Remove salmon from oven, and brush each fillet with 1 heaping tablespoon of barbecue sauce.

  6. Return to broiler, and cook until sauce is bubbling and salmon is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes .  . . mine only took 2 min – but give it a few more seconds if needed.

  7. Serve with your favourite sides and salads.

 

Easy last minute Easter recipes!

Happy Easter Weekend everyone! I hope you are enjoying the holiday weekend and spending time with your family. In case you need some quick and easy recipes for sweet treats for your Easter celebrations check out some of my faves below!

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Easter Fluff Bars – Great easy bar recipes to make with the kids.

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Cheddar & Pancetta Scones – So good for Easter Brunch (or anytime!).

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Lemon Walnut Bars – Lovely lemon bars that are delicious.

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Lemon Loaf – One of my personal favourite loaf recipes.

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Bunny Pops – Another quick and easy Easter treat that looks adorable too!

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Carrot Cake – My hands-down favourite carrot cake recipe from Trish Magwood

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Easy Lemon Tart – Deliciously lemony and so good!

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No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares – Because these are good for every occasion!

 

HAPPY EASTER EVERY BUNNY !

 

P.S. I have some great NEW recipes coming starting next week!!

St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

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March Break is here in Ontario, and what better fun than to create some delicious St. Patrick’s Day recipes!

Start your morning off with my mouth-watering Corned Beef Hash! One of my favourite recipes I have created, and a delicious savoury breakfast dish.

Next up whip up a batch of easy (and no-bake) Shamrock Krispies. These turn out adorable, and the kids love them! A great March Break activity.

Now if you are feeling more adventurous try my Shamrock Blondies, which are rich and delicious and topped with white chocolate and sparkling emerald green sprinkles. A beautiful dessert for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Lastly, St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes are a recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart. These brown sugar pound cake cupcakes topped with a Bailey’s buttercream are out of this world!

Have a great March Break everyone and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!