Can you handle 200+ Christmas Cookies?

Nothing “smells” holidays like hundreds of Christmas cookies fresh out of the oven. I have 6 cookie recipes to share with you today to get you in the spirit of merry baking.

Have you ever spent an afternoon baking Christmas cookies for the holiday celebrations to come? Well I got together with my friends Catherine and Vitalia and we spent a good 6 hours baking our holiday butt’s off. Yes you read that right, we made at least 200 Christmas Cookies all in one afternoon, and had six balls of dough left to freeze for future ready-to-go batches.

christmas cookies 2015

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Mint Basil Pistachio Pesto

Mint Basil Pistachio PestoDo you grow herbs in your garden? I do but I cook a lot less in the summer so I end up with more herbs than I can handle! A great way to use up a bunch of herbs in one shot is by making a pesto. And let me tell you food blogs are all about pesto right now! I am so amazed by the creativity and variety of pesto out there.

I combined a few recipes to make my own version. I live in a highrise and I have sun only after 3 pm. It can be a challenge for herbs to grow in abundance but mint it never an issue. So of course my pesto with be mint heavy. Check out my Mint Basil Pistachio Pesto recipe.

Mint Basil Pistachio Pesto

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Ginger Julep Cocktail

Summer is a great time of the year to experiment with fun cocktails.You can use fresh fruits and herbs, play with various juices and all kinds of ingredients.

I really like taking an common drink and turn it into a more exotic one. Here we have a basically a Mint Julep with a more ginger twist. I know everyone is into Mojitos like  mad but I like Bourbon so Mint Juleps are favored in my home. How about you? Or have this Ginger Julep Cocktail and then let me know your favorite hi hi.

Ginger Julep Cocktail 2

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SRC: Fresh Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

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 months I was assigned Baking and Boys! which is written by Katrina. She loves to bake for herself, her husband and their 4 boys. Now that is a house full of testosterone! It reminds me of my great aunt who had 8 boys during the 30s! Hoping for a girl, they gave up at 8.

choco mint ice cream 087

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5 Star Makeover: Apples With Beet Hummus and Mint Yogurt Sauce

OK you caught me, I lied! In my last post I said the next thing I would publish would be the raclette dinner party but, oops, I did not realize it was 5 Star Makeover time. So here is my February entry with BEETS as the theme. Raclette coming up next post!

Beets are such an underused vegetable. I actually really like them but I never buy beets. A lot of people fear them. Because of the color? Because of the earthy taste the older ones may have? Actually a fresh beet is quite sweet. One type of beet, the sugar beet, is processed into refined sugar and the sugar produced represents 10% of the Canadian sugar market. For this challenge I really wanted to play up the sweet factor and make the deep red/purple color shine.

hosted by 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro Cooks!

Ξ Apples With Beet Hummus and Mint Yogurt Sauce Ξ

My creation was inspired by this staking recipe on a raw food recipes site…this is not a raw recipe though as the beets are cooked. My stack composition is with yellow apples, a Beet Hummus posted by Elise on Simply Recipes and a Mint Yogurt Sauce  recipe. I removed all savory elements from the original recipes and I added sweet flavors. I really enjoyed this unique dish and its refreshing taste. I just don’t know if I would serve it as appetizer or as a dessert???

Cooking Beets: cut off any tops, scrub the roots clean, and peel once they have been cooked and cooled. In my opinion boiling is the worst way and roasting is the best. To roast, wrap them in aluminum foil and put on a baking tray in the oven.  Cook them for 30-60 minutes on 400F, or until they can be easily pierced with a knife. Then there is the lazy way: place whole in a dish, pierce the skin and add 2 tablespoons of water. Cook on high for 9 to 12 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before cooling and peeling. Tip for hand stains: Clean any beet juice from your hands with a little lemon juice and soap.

Beet Hummus Recipe

  • 1/2 pound cooked beets, cubed
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp brow sugar
  • 1/3 tsp of ground cardamom
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • dash of sea salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings and ingredients as desired. Chill and store in the refrigerator. Makes 2 cups.

Mint Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/2 cup fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 mango
  • 1/2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • dash of sea salt

Make the mint yogurt sauce by blending the mint, cilantro, mango, lime juice, yogurt, honey and salt until smooth.

Mint Yogurt Sauce

Assembly

Slice 2 yellow apples about 1/8 in and brush with lime juice. Begin with one slice of apple. Top with 2 teaspoons of beet hummus. Top with another slice of apple. Top that with 2 more teaspoons of beet hummus and then a third slice of apple. Place a generous spoonful of mint yogurt sauce on the plate for each stack. Place the stacks on top. Place a small spoonful of the mint yogurt sauce on top of the third apple. Garnish with chopped mint and serve. Makes 6 portions.