July 22, 2014

Dandelion Salad with Pecorino Romano Cheese

Dandelion Salad with Percorino Romano Cheese

One of the first things I harvested was in fact from my lawn and not the garden. Once the lawn made it's appearance this year, the familiar green weed that lawn-lovers hate, was also showing it's leaves.  Those "pesky" dandelions are in fact edible, delicious and full of wonderful vitamins and minerals.

Trust me, give it a try!  They are quite delicious.

Before you venture out to harvest your own, make sure you know that they are safe from pesticide and/or insecticide use.  Unless you are foraging in the wild, I prefer to stick to my own lawn.  Secondly, pick smaller leaves as they are not as bitter and don't have as thick middle vein.  Thirdly, if you fear eating mouthfuls of dandelions, try mixing in spinach leaves to help you adjust.


Some years ago, I ate an delicious dandelion salad from Cibo Bistro and this is my take on it.  Plus, I love Pecorino Romano cheese, so much so that it has replaced Parmesan in my fridge. I use a simple lemon vinaigrette, shown below.


Dandelion Salad with Pecorino Romano Cheese

Young dandelions leaves
Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
Lemon Vinaigrette: Mix 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tbsp oil, salt and pepper to taste

Mix the 3 items to your preferred proportions and serve.

July 18, 2014

Sunflower Seed Butter Cookies: Family Central Edmonton Episode for Telus Optik Local TV

Testing batches of cookies for Family Central

I'm very fortunate that there aren't any food allergies at our home but I know that this isn't true for many households.  I pondered for some time what I should make for this upcoming episode.  My children love peanut butter but I know there are many amazing nut and seed butters out there so I started experimenting.

I wish I kept the sheet on which I jotted all my notes down.  Took me back to my lab research days.  Experimented with different butters, amounts, cooking times and even types of brown sugar.  (I like using a darker brown sugar, results in a moister cookie with a molasses undertone)

This recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free and nut-free.



Sunflower Seed Butter Cookies
makes 20 cookies

1 cup sunflower seed butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Cream the sunflower seed butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes in a medium-sized bowl.  Add beaten egg and mix until well blended.  Mix in the cranberries.

Drop by the tablespoon onto a prepared (parchment paper lined or sprayed with cooking oil spray) baking sheet.  Bake at preheated oven of 350F for 10-12 minutes.  Pull out of oven and allow to cool on pan for 10 minutes.  Transfer to cooling rack to completely cool.  Serve.

July 15, 2014

Food Styling for Real Cream Anyday Magic Tour 2014

I feel sad that my blog has been somewhat neglected.  June is always a chaos month considering school is ending and there are so many field trips and volunteer opportunities needing parent's attention. My day job has 2 company year ends needing to be completed within the next month also.  I wish I could be more regular in my posting but it can't be helped.  If you do pop by to my blog, it is probably best to have it included in your reader (like feedly), follow me through email notifications or even through my facebook fan page so you know when I do update :)

Berry Delicious Potato Salad for Real Cream Campaign

But that all being said, I may not be posting about food here but I have been working with food!  I've been food styling for various food campaigns the last several months!  I am over the moon, feeling so blissfully happy and blessed, that these opportunities found me.  I thought I'd share some of my experience from the recent campaign I worked on, the Real Cream Anyday Magic tour for the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

Food Styling for CBC Radio and Edmonton Journal 
(My little corner to prep samples for CBC Edmonton AM radio.  Thanks to Liane Faulder at the Edmonton Journal for snapping the photo of me prepping food!)

Shopping, cooking and baking and lots and lots of cleaning up.  What can only be a 5 minute segment actually takes hours and hours of work leading up the the actual event.  I prepared these beautiful individual Bumble berry cheesecakes and the Berry delicious potato salad and brought them bright and early to CBC Edmonton AM for Chef Michael Allemeier segment about the campaign.  Both radio hosts did not eat potato salad but they both tried it and very much enjoyed this twist of savoury salad with berries and cream.  Then, we headed for an interview with the Edmonton Journal, delicious berries and cream samples in tow :)

Food & prop styling for Dairy Farmers of Canada on CTV news
(Display of Berries & Cream, Waldorf and Potato Salad for CTV Noon News segment.  Chef Allemeier waiting for the segment to start.)

I headed back home to gather all necessary food and prop styling for the chef's cooking segment at CTV Noon News. He was making the Berry delicious potato salad thus needed all supplies and ingredients ready to go.  I also brought along prepared "hero" dishes of  the potato salad and also the Waldorf berry salad, (which I'm a fan of - crunchy celery, apple, walnuts with berries and cream! yum!)

There is a lot of amazing adrenaline coursing through your veins, making sure things are prepped and ready to go, especially for live TV, which waits for no one! Lugging around Rubbermaids full of kitchen supplies, ingredients and food/prop displays. Hard work with time pressures but I loved every minute. (Well, I guess my back didn't love carrying big bins up and down 2 flights of stairs but it was all necessary.)

Dishes and Washing behind the scenes for a food stylist

Over the course of 2-3 days, my kitchen looked a lot like this.  As soon as I unloaded the sink full of dishes into the dishwasher or hand washed them, it would fill up again.  Oh the life of a food stylist, so very glamorous.

Berries and Cream Dairy Farmers Real Cream Tour
(Berries and Cream, always a perfect combo.  Berry Delicious Potato Salad)

I've been incredibly lucky.  Knock on wood and thank my lucky stars. Food keeps finding it's way into my life and I really couldn't imagine it any other way :)

May 26, 2014

Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles: Family Central Edmonton Episode for Telus Optik Local TV

Yogurt Popsicles

My 3rd segment for Family Central show on Telus Optik Local TV is up!  This time I make a fun and healthy "anytime" treat.  

We call them Yogi-pops in my house and it is a staple in the warmer months. I'll even have an occasional mold sitting in the freezer throughout the colder months, since I often freeze surplus berries, or I will buy frozen fruit from the grocery store.

Yogurt popsicles for Family Central TV

As I mention (twice!) in the episode "your kids are gonna love it!" and my daughter replied after watching the segment, "Yes Mom, we love it."

Below you will find recipes for different flavors.  For layered yogurt popsicles, simple fill the mold partially with your flavor of choice, pop them in the freezer for about an hour, so that they are partially set.  Pull them out, fill with another flavor, place the stick into the mold and back into the freezer for 4 hours or overnight.


May 23, 2014

Pasta with Bechamel - Family Central Edmonton Episode for Telus Optik Local TV

I'm pushing my catch up week to next week!  (No, I'm not procrastinating but, yes I can agree that it does defeat the point of catch up week!)  

But I have to!  My 2nd segment for Family Central show on Telus Optik Local TV is up!

My kids and I sat down to watch it and two remarks came out of their mouths.

First:  I mention in the segment "...my kids have no idea that there is no cheese in this...".  My daughter screams out "Mooooom!  I heard that! So you are lying to us?" To which I answered "No, you just never asked!  It's a milk sauce."

Second: "Where is the cat? She's the star of the show!"  In the first episode, the camera cut to my white and black cat and my kids laughed hysterically and re-watched that part over and over. They weren't even interested in seeing the rest of that episode, it was all about the cat. I asked them what they thought of me and if I did well.  "You're OK Mom, but Pixie is awesome!"  I tell you, if it wasn't for Mother's Day, I'd get no love in this house!

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