Savory Stuffed Squash with Gruyère Bread Pudding

Need a party show stopper recipe for the communal table? Impressive them all with this Savory Stuffed Squash with Gruyère Bread Pudding.

Did you know that pot-lucks and many parties are just around the corner? Got an invite to a Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve or insert-your-local-holiday-here party. Any ideas what to bring? I would suggest this Savory Stuffed Squash with Gruyère Bread Pudding recipe. It is a meal in itself, uses seasonal squash, and people will love your dish.

Savory Stuffed Squash with Gruyère Bread Pudding

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Cheesy Garlic Party Bread for the 5th Food Film Marathon

How do you get everyone running to the buffet table? Serve a pipping hot bread laden with fresh mozzarella, minced garlic, butter, and parsley.

Hosting home parties, the Canadian Thanksgiving, the upcoming arrival of Halloween, followed by the American Thanksgiving, and after that Christmas, New Year’s Eve and insert-your-local-holiday-here. It is that time of year to start prepping your menu plan and finding the perfect party recipes. You can never start too soon!

For me, the perfect party food is one that requires a small number of ingredients, one that is easy and quick to prepare – preferably ahead of time -, and that once you put it in the oven your guest are swooning over the smells coming from the kitchen. This Cheesy Garlic Party Bread absolutely checked all these boxes. It truly was the ideal contribution for my 5th Food Film Marathon which took place a couple of weekends ago.

Cheesy Garlic Party Bread

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Crunchy Colorful Thai Cabbage Salad & the 4th annual Food Film Marathon

Do you have a jar of coconut oil at home? If so, you are joining and ever growing crowd of fans of this most delicious and versatile oil. I bought my first jar a while back and I must admit at first I did not use it much. I just did not really know how to use it. But once I broke away from the ‘fear of the unknown’ I became addicted. If you are still hesitant as to howto incorporate this oil, or any coconut product, than I would suggest you check out The Complete Coconut Cookbook.

There are so many intriguing dishes and sweets to pick from in the cookbook but the Crunchy Colorful Thai Cabbage Salad recipe was the perfect dish to prepare for my 4th annual Food Film Marathon which took place this past weekend.

Thai Cabbage Salad

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

SRC: Aunt Helen’s Gingersnaps and 3rd FFM

Today is my group’s reveal day for the Secret Recipe Club. What is the SRC? Basically you are assigned a fellow participant’s blog by the organizer and then you pick a recipe of your choice from that blog and make your version of it. But it is a secret, you cannot reveal whom you picked and what you made until the established posting date and time. This month’s secret: Aunt Helen’s Gingersnaps.

Gingersnaps 1

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

SRC: Yogurt Cheesecake with Nectarines for FFM2

Today is my group’s reveal day for the Secret Recipe Club. What is the SRC? Basically you are assigned a fellow participant’s blog by the organizer and then you pick a recipe of your choice from that blog and make your version of it. But it is a secret, you cannot reveal whom you picked and what you made until the established posting date and time.

I discovered a real fun new blog, Inquiring Chef, written by Jess. She is temporarily living in Bangkok with her husband. There are quite a few food bloggers set up for a bit in Asia. I have to admit I am jealous, would love to experience that. Jess has moved around quite a bit in her life and has traveled quite a lot. It took some time but she works in Bangkok too and has a closer connection really living with the locals. Did I mention how jealous I am lol? This blog started in Thailand so you will find tons of Thai recipe. So up my alley. But oddly enough I did not choose an ethnic recipe.

I settled on this Yogurt Cheesecake dessert recipe, my contribution to my 2nd annual Cheap Ethnic Eatz food film marathon which took place this past weekend. Cake: nothing to warm up or prepare. I made a full cake recipe instead of small cakes. And I had a chance to test this ‘mock’ cheesecake on a group. There is NO CHEESE in this cheesecake. I will steal a sentence from her post: “This was one of those recipes that I had to make myself in order to believe that it was even possible”, I concur.  Would my guests bite or say something was off?

I served the desserts and those who tried my ‘cheesecake’ all complimented me, some saying it was better than most cheesecakes because it was light and not heavy. It was a success. Once the cake gone I announced the TRUTH: there was no cheese. they were all in disbelief and several people asked me for the recipe. This is a keeper for sure: tastes like a favorite but much lighter calorie wise.

Ξ Yogurt Cheesecake with Nectarines Ξ

Ingredients

for the crust:
1 stick cold butter, cut into small chunks
1.5 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp. cold water

for cheesecake:
2 cups whole milk or 2% Greek yogurt (not non-fat)
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1-2 peaches, thinly sliced and 1 T honey, for topping

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt. Cut in the butter and blend in with your fingers until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add egg yolk and cold water. Mix until dough comes together to form a shaggy ball (dough may be dry). Cover in plastic wrap and let chill for half an hour. Preheat oven to 375.

Roll out dough to same diameter as the pan. Place dough circle at the bottom of the pan. Place tin foil on top of the dough circle and cover with dried beans or rice to weigh down. Bake for 15 minutes then take off rice/bean/tin foil and prick all over crust with a fork. Return to oven and bake for another 15 minutes, or until golden.

In the mean time, in a blender or food processor, combine the eggs, sugar, yogurt and vanilla. Blend until smooth then add cornstarch and pinch of salt and blend again.

Pour filling into hot crust, lower oven temperature to 350 and bake for 35 minutes. When the cheesecake is done, it will still be jiggly in the center but will have a “done” look to it. The edges of the cake will start to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Let cool then chill for 2-3 hours in the fridge before releasing springform. Arrange the sliced fruit over top of the cooled cheesecake. Melt the honey in a small sauce pot then drizzle on as well.

Back to the 2nd annual Cheap Ethnic Eatz food film marathon, boy did we have a blast. I learned a lot from my 1st year and there were a lot of changes this year. I played for 4 films instead of 6. I did not invite the whole planet. I did not try to raise funds (a stress) for a charity event. This year it was about fun. And we had a lot of fun.

We numbered 19 people in total this year. The price of entry was a dish for the potluck. Yep 19 people crammed in my living room in front of the TV. The first film started at 1:30pm and the last one ended around 11:30pm. It was an open invite so people came and went as they wished but the biggest crowd is always around the dinner time movie where I pick a block buster.

Here are the movies we saw, with my little comment in red:

Waitress – Jenna is a pregnant, unhappily married waitress in the deep south. She bakes phenomenal pies at Joe’s diner, listens to old Joe’s wisdom, tolerates her sour boss Cal, is friends with Dawn and Becky (her fellow waitresses), and finds a mutual attraction with the new doctor in town. Cute, quirky, adorable, funny, PIE, PIE, PIE – a MUST.

The God of Cookery – A martial arts Food Film!  The most renowned and feared chef in the world loses his title of God of Cookery because of his pompous attitude. Humbled he sets out to reclaim his title. Cantonese with English subtitles. The most absurd, full of nonsense, movie I have ever seen in my life, plan to say WTF over and over again, very entertaining.

Julie and Julia
Julia Child’s story of her start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell’s 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child’s first book. It’s Julia, un chef-d’oeuvre!

Big Night – A failing Italian restaurant run by two brothers gambles on one special night to try to save the business. My least favorite even if a good movie. Depressing. Scene shots though are fantastic, especially kitchen at the end.



Guilt Free Chocolate Pudding, Mortimer Winners and Film Marathon Recap

I have the two winning names in hand for the big 75$ cool kitchen gift baskets  winners! The numbers from the eligible entries were picked randomly by the store’s owners daughters: they chose numbers 40 and 60. I hope you enjoy your prizes.

Congratulations Tasty Trix and Rituparna

If you ladies want to celebrate with a great guilt free dessert let me suggest the following recipe: a healthy chocolate pudding. It is so simple, I know the recipe by heart and so do not remember the source except that it was from a vegetarian cookbook. So yes this recipe is vegetarian and dairy free. The base of the pudding is silken tofu. Unless you are an ultra fussy eater you will not even taste the tofu plus the texture will delightful.

Ξ Guilt Free Chocolate Pudding Ξ

  • 1 block of silken tofu (300 gr)
  • 1/4 cocoa powder
  • 1/4 sugar
  • 1 ground cardamom pod (other substitutes 1/4 tsp cinnamon, a pinch of cayenne, etc)

Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Spoon into 3 dessert dishes and refrigerate at least an hour before serving.  Makes 3 servings.

I’ve tried to skip the blending part once and just mix by hand….not the same and lumpy, do blend it for top results.

 

Each serving is a mere 128 calories, 4 gr of fat, 21 gr of carbs and 7 gr of protein.

And let me tell you I will really need a guilt free dessert after I finish all the leftovers in the fridge, especially the pies, from the CEE Food Film Marathon I hosted the Saturday at my place.

It was declared a success by all that attended and lots of non perishable food was donated plus I raised a bit of money from the raffle too.

The prizes were set

The screen was set

And there were a many guests brewing in the kitchen.

The lights were off for the presentations

The table was set, so much food this is a fraction of what was there

The people were hungry between films – small mob attacking pot-luck table

One more big thank you to my sponsors: My Cookbook AddictionNDG Food Depot and Pierre Black. I can’t wait to host the 2nd one next year. I definitely learned a lot and some thing will change but I definitely see this becoming a yearly event. Will you come next year?

——————————————————–

Got a simple recipe up your sleeve? Enter it and thousands of people could be cooking your recipe from a special cookbook that will be in youth hostel kitchens all over the world. To submit a recipe check out how to enter.

You Deserve It

Before I share today’s very ‘special’ recipe I have a few little things (ramblings) to share!

– Hey have you entered my giveaway where 2 gift baskets worth 75$ will be won. Full of neat kitchen toys and a gift certificate. And it’s open to everyone world wide. So go enter now…well after you have read this post. You have till October 15th 2011, 23h59 EST to enter.

– 43 hours left till I host my 12 hour long Food Film Marathon. Yikes, Getting excited and nervous! OMG OMG OMG!

– I was approached by hostelbookers.com to submit recipes for a cookbook specially aimed for youth hostel kitchens. Recipes will be up for public vote on their Facebook page and the winning recipes will be published, winner’s blog links included. Check out all the details on how to enter. It’s a great idea as I have my fair share of stories from meals I have prepered while traveling in your hostels. Yep those will be coming up here real soon!

– Got my new point & shoot camera which is considered low end for what is on the market, half the price of my 2 year old camera but twice the mega pixels and more functions, go figure! Can’t wait to see how good it is in the kitchen!

– Finally…yes yes I am considering joining the band wagon and make my own cookbook. Nothing official but starting to look into it. This is an old idea, a cookbook of ethnic recipes (no big surprise), and at that time I had asked for recipe contributions from members of the now defunct Cheap Ethnic Eatz dinner group. So I was browsing the contributed recipes and I fell on a joke recipe which is quite funny. I had to share it:

photo credit: livingonadime.com

Ξ You Deserve It! Ξ

1 cup corn syrup
1/2 tsp margarine
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 small onion

Set onion aside. Combine remaining ingredients in medium saucepan and cook on high for 35 minutes prior to spouse coming home. Make sure to use old pan. Burn concoction to an unrecognizable blob. If stench isn’t bad enough, add vinegar.

As you see spouse’s vehicle approach, cut onion to produce tears. Sob, “I’ve burned dinner and there’s nothing left to cook.”

Make such a fuss about the day’s misgivings that spouse whisks you off to the restaurant of your choice. Comb hair, apply make-up, adorn beautiful outfit and enjoy!