Ruthie Mae’s Superhero Smoothie

in partnership with Agropur Dairy Cooperative

 

[This post is sponsored by Agropur! I used their products to create a healthy, toddler-friendly smoothie and was compensated in return. Regardless, I only work with brands I trust and buy myself.]

Ruthie's Super Hero Smoothie
If you’re a parent, you know there are plenty of things to worry about (like, all the time). From meeting developmental goals and learning ABCs to wondering if your kid really can survive on raisins and yogurt and if they’ll ever forget the swear word they heard you sigh under your breath. It’s a fact of life with kids, worrying.

 

I’m pretty lucky when it comes to most things kid-related. We have plenty of family locally to help when needed (often), she sleeps like a champ (!!) and is generally agreeable and adaptable to most situations. Our struggle, like so many families, is in the kitchen and at the table. Up until she was about 2, I couldn’t understand what parents were talking about, toddlers being picky eaters. Ruthie ate everything (including gnawing on raw ginger when she was getting sick around 6 months) … until she didn’t. It was almost like a switch flipped and I felt pretty defeated and exhausted with the situation. Expanding her “OK to Eat” list has been a process, but we’ve found that smoothies are a great way to pack in all the good stuff she wouldn’t be excited to eat otherwise. From kale and spinach to brown rice or chickpeas, I’ve added it ALL to miss Ruthie’s morning smoothie in an attempt to take my will-she-get-scurvy panic down to a manageable level. Another thing I don’t have to worry about? Making sure she’s getting quality dairy in her diet. It’s the one thing she’ll always eat, and one I feel good about giving her when she’s on a vegetable/fruit/solid food strike.
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Blood Orange Whiskey Sours

Blood Orange Whiskey Sour

It’s Easter weekend and I’ve come bearing a zingy, vibrant cocktail that will kiss you gently on the forehead and ease (mildly sedate?) you through your next few days of screaming, chocolate-filled children/probably some adults, and potentially disastrous political “discussions”. It’s what the holidays are all about, right? 🙄

We freaking love a good sour in our house – from amaretto to tequila and everything in between. These Blood Orange Whiskey Sours are vividly hued thanks to the jewel-toned blood orange juice, balanced out with some zippy lemon juice and just the right amount of sweetness. If I’m feeling organized, I like to squeeze the citrus juices and shake up with ice and sugar in advance and leave it in the fridge so all you have to do when you’re ready to serve is fill a glass with ice, add 2oz of your favourite whiskey and top up with the sour mix. (more…)

Toasted Almond Cream Scones with Lavender Honey Butter

in partnership with One Root Honey

 

This post is sponsored by OneRoot Honey and I received compensation in some form in exchange for this post. That said, I only work with companies whose products I trust and would use myself.

Toasted Almond Cream Scones with Lavender Honey Butter
If you’re one of the millions who often look to honey as a healthier sugar alternative, you might be surprised to hear that the honey you’ve been buying at the grocery store may not be honey at all. YIPES.

Like so many other well-meaning consumers, I thought my adorable (and affordable, which should have been my first tip off) little honey bear was supporting the bees, offering nutritional value and putting my hard earned dollars back into the honey industry. Turns out like many others who weren’t fully aware of the honey industries current situation, I was duped. There is a term called “honey laundering” which can mean a few different things, but basically it refers to honey that has been altered to contain less real honey in lieu of cheaper fillers (water, man-made sweeteners, and potentially harmful chemicals) without being clearly labeled as such.

Toasted Almond Cream Scones with Lavender Honey Butter
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Thai Basil Mushrooms with Jasmine Rice

made for Mushrooms Canada

Thai Basil Mushrooms and Jasmine Rice

We love Thai Basil Beef (Pad Gra Prow) in our house but sometimes we can’t justify the price of quality beef. When that happens, we reach for meaty, comforting mushrooms instead. They offer the same savory flavour that beef does but because they absorb the flavour of whatever you’re cooking them with, they tend to soak up the rich, salty sauce more than beef does. Each little bite-sized chunk of mushroom packs HUGE umami flavour so you won’t miss your meat protein here. Serve with jasmine rice or your favourite stir fried vegetables.

Head over to the Mushrooms Canada blog for the recipe.

Tepache with Vanilla Bean and Ginger + Tepache Margarita

Vanilla Bean Tepache Margarita
I have to preface this post with – I am neither scientest nor doctor. I use my kitchen as a science lab and have yet to die or blow anything up, so I think things are going well, but if you’re not comfortable fermenting at home please feel free to reach out to a professional for all the scientific know-how.

I recently caught an episode (after episode, after episode) of It’s Alive! from Bon Appetit’s Brad Leone (and Vin, of course) where he was demo’ing how to make Tepache, a fermented and lightly carbonated drink made from the juice and rind of pineapple.  It sounded refreshing and light, and a great alternative to an alcoholic beverage (though it does contain trace amounts of alcohol the same way Kombucha does). Plus, it meant I could get into a new fermentation experiment and dangit if I don’t love having a scientific project to babysit (because a 2.5 year old, apparently, is not enough). (more…)

Porcini & Peppercorn Rubbed Beef Tenderloin with Bourbon Cream Sauce

Reverse Seared Porcini & Peppercorn Beef Tenderloin with Bourbon Cream Sauce

As a family of humble means, we don’t often eat buy premium cuts of beef like deliciously fat-marbled  rib roasts or melt-in-your-mouth tenderloin. We opt for chuck or sirloin, confident that a long, slow braise will break them down into the succulent, meaty heaven we’re after. But every so often we splurge on something special… as a meal for a celebration or just because it’s the weekend and we want to pat ourselves on the back for another hard fought week with something that feels congratulatory.

Working with Sterling Silver Premium Meats has afforded me the opportunity to work with incredible cuts of premium quality beef and now that we’ve spoiled ourselves, I’ll have a hard time returning to lesser cuts when we’re craving a succulent roast beef. I mean, can we talk about this tenderloin? Rosy pink and slow-roasted then seared to perfection, it’s coated in crushed peppercorns and dried porcini mushrooms, giving it incredible umami flavour that will have your mouth watering from the second you get that earthy, funky whiff from the bag. I’ve served it with a totally indulgent bourbon cream sauce with just the right amount of lemon to lift the heaviness of the beef and cream. If you’re planning on cooking for someone special, a lover or otherwise, this Valentine’s Day, may I suggest splurging on something truly celebratory and making them this elegant but entirely simple-to-make roast? I don’t know many better ways to show someone how much you appreciate them. (more…)

Creamy Instant-Pot White Beans with Spicy Coconut Herb Sauce

CREAMY INSTANT-POT WHITE BEANS WITH SPICY COCONUT HERB SAUCE
Knowing we have cooked beans handy has always been a source of comfort for me during busy times. Whether it’s serving them on their own with a drizzle of olive oil, some salt and aleppo pepper or adding them to a pot of simmering soup, beans bulk up the simplest of meals and add the sort of creamy, rich texture you’re craving in the colder months.

Since buying an Instant Pot (no affiliation), it’s become my greatest ally for fixing up large batches of perfectly cooked beans – fast! Buying dried beans is more cost effective, saves space in our pantry and offers more variety to choose from when we’re shopping for beans, which it seems we always are lately. White beans pack 15g of protein for a 1 cup serving and contain a wealth of B vitamins, including B12. They also provide iron, potassium, zinc, and other essential minerals. Whenever I can’t seem to find time to cook a nutritionally dense meal, I reach for my jar of beans, caress them lovingly and breath a deep sigh of relief that they exist. It helps that my toddler also loves them, otherwise she’d live on blueberries and croutons.

Spicy Coconut and Herb Sauce
This recipe is nothing fancy, but often it sustains us through the winter and fills our tummies with goodness when we’re too lazy to cook and don’t feel like ordering in. The coconut and herb sauce is one I make often – it’s tangy and savory and loaded up with whatever herbs and baby greens I happen to have on hand, and the fatty coconut milk helps to give it a luscious mouthfeel. We use it on grilled meats and salads, beans and grains, stirred into soups when serving or drizzled over pasta dishes to brighten them up. It’s versatile and comes together in a matter of minutes.

Creamy Instant-Pot White Beans with Spicy Coconut Herb Sauce

Creamy Instant-Pot White Beans with Spicy Coconut Herb Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This sauce is my go-to for expiring herbs and greens. I toss whatever is looking sad in the crisper into it, but my favourites are parsley, basil, mint, baby kale, scallions, oregano and cilantro. I use them in different quantities and the sauce is always a little bit different which keeps things interesting.
If you don't have a pressure cooker, feel free to use a can of beans (they won't have exactly the same texture as freshly cooked beans, but will work in a pinch!) or cook however you like your beans.This makes a large serving of beans so feel free to eat half now and save the rest for another meal, like this crostini.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course, Snacks and Appetizers
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • CREAMY WHITE BEANS
  • 1 pound white/cannellini beans
  • 8 cups water/low sodium stock
  • 2 bay leaves/
  • 2 smashed cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp sea/kosher salt

  • COCONUT HERB SAUCE
  • 2 cups mixed herbs and baby greens
  • ½ cup coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp rice wine viegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • lemon wedges, to serve
Instructions
  1. FOR THE BEANS
  2. Add ingredients to the instant pot (or other pressure cooker), place the lid on and turn the valve to seal. Cook for 35 minutes.
  3. I prefer to do a natural release of the steam, meaning I wait for the pressure to come down on it's own rather than turning the pressure valve to "venting" (quick-release). Feel free to do either, but BE CAREFUL when doing a quick release as the steam comes out fast and furious and you need to be sure it's pointing away from your skin/face.
  4. Strain beans, divide into 2 portions and save half for another use. Allow the half you're using now to cool to room temperature and toss with ¼ cup of the sauce. Add more if desired.
  5. For the other portion of beans, let them cool and then keep in the fridge for 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.


  6. FOR THE SAUCE
  7. Hand chop or pulse greens/herbs in a food processor until fine. Dump into a small bowl and add the coconut milk, red pepper flakes, fish sauce, lemon zest and vinegar.
  8. Use a microplane to grate the garlic into the sauce and stir everything together.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. I like to make this a few hours ahead of when I plan to eat so the sauce can sit and mingle, but it's still delicious right away.
  11. Toss the sauce with your cooled beans and serve with some garlic/olive oil rubbed grilled/broiled toast and a zingy squeeze of fresh lemon.

 

Creamy Spiced Oats with Cinnamon-Maple Whiskey Figs

in partnership with PC Black Label Collection

Creamy Spiced Oats with Cinnamon-Maple Whiskey Figs
With one last day of 2017 lingering, we’re taking our morning slow to reflect on the joys, the frustrations, the sadness and the good times this last year has brought while we graze over a bowl of these Creamy Spiced Oats with Cinnamon-Maple Whiskey Figs.

While many spend their day coming up with rules to abide by over the next year (er…month), we generally choose to forgo the resolutions in place of reflections and lessons learned, of which there were many. Years past, I followed the crowd and decided on how I’d change myself for the better in the upcoming year. How could I be the best me? The best friend, the most loving partner, the kindest parent, the most diligent worker… the pressure that brought into my life was all but soul-crushing.  It leveled me and made me feel a deep sense of failure in just about every area in my life. I promised myself that I’d no longer give-in to the BE THE BEST YOU THIS YEAR hype. (more…)

Rosemary-Horseradish Prime Rib with Salt and Malt Potatoes

Made in partnership with Sterling Silver Premium Meats

Rosemary-Horseradish Prime Rib with Salt and Malt Potatoes
I don’t know how we got here, but Christmas is mere sleeps away and I find myself in that same scramble I hit around December 21-22nd every year. Though I’ve prepped, cleaned, shopped and cooked I have a nagging feeling that I’m forgetting…well, everything. Tell me you’re in the nuthouse with me!

If I’m thankful and patting myself on the back for one thing, it’s having our Christmas Night dinner game in the bag.  I’ve been so thrilled to work with these roasts from Sterling Silver Premium Meats in the past couple weeks and it’s really opened my eyes to how uncomplicated they are to cook and what huge payoff I’m rewarded with after. With a little prep, and I mean minimal work, you’re popping a roast in the oven to do it’s thing, untouched, while you prep a side or two (like these Salt and Malt Smashed Potaoes!) and set the table. For some reason, I always thought making a Prime Rib would be complicated and fussy. Well, friends, I’m here to say they are anything but.

Prime Rib Roast on a PlatterPrime rib Roast on Plate
Prime Rib, the undisputed flavour-king of the beef world thanks to all that succulent marbling, tends to cost a bit more than other cuts (aside from the tender filet Mignon which we’ll talk about in January), but when you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply want something with incredible flavour, it is worth it every time and will never disappoint… unless you overcook it, so go ahead and buy yourself a meat thermometer to ensure that doesn’t happen. It’s a few bucks and will save your buns time and time again in the kitchen.

You can find Sterling Silver Meats at Sobey’s/Safeway across Canada and buying is easy as anything. Look for their products in the meat department, but if you’re unable to find the cut or size you’re looking for you can simply chat with the butcher and have them cut one fresh in whatever size you need. I wasn’t sure what size would be best for 4 adults so I inquired ith the butcher and he cut me a two rib roast, which will feed 4-6… or, in my case, 4 with leftovers for roast beef sandwiches (with pickles and dijon on brioche buns – droooool).

This roast is coated in some of my favourite BIG flavours, like sinus-clearing horseradish and salty anchovy paste. The rosemary adds an earthy aromatic flavour that I just love with beef. Don’t buy prepared horseradish here, get the jar of the straight stuff, no extra ingredients, just horseradish.

Smashed Potatoes

Rosemary-Horseradish Prime Rib with Salt and Malt Potatoes
 
I added anchovy paste to the mix here because it adds incredible depth of flavour. If you think you don't like anchovies, I, with all due respect, think you're wrong. They don't add any fishiness to the flavour, just a big salty umami bomb! Give it a whirl, I think you'll agree they make most things better.
Serves: 4-6 serings
Ingredients
  • 1 (two-rib) Sterling Silver Premium Meats Prime Rib Roast (approx. 4-5lbs)
  • ½ cup rosemary leaves
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 2 heaping tbsp horseradish
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • ½ tsp anchovy paste
  • .
  • SALT AND MALT POTATOES
  • 2 lbs baby yellow potatoes
  • 1 cup malt vinegar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. FOR THE ROAST
  2. Preheat oven to 400.
  3. In a food processor, add the rosemary leaves and garlic and pulse to chop them up fine. Add in the horseradish, olive oil, salt, pepper and anchovy paste. Pulse a few more times to get everyone acquinted.
  4. Rub the prime rib all over with the mixture and let sit out for 30 minutes to reach room temperature.
  5. Set roast, fat side up, on wire rack over a foil-lined baking sheet and roast meat until probe thermometer or an instant-read thermometer registers 118° for medium-rare, 2-3 hours. I usually check after 1.5-2 hours to see where I'm at. Let cool tented in foil for 30-40 minutes. The internal temperature will rise to 130° which is perfect. Slice into half inch pieces and serve.
  6. FOR THE POTATOES
  7. Preheat oven to 400 (I like to do this while the roast rests as the oven will already be at 400)
  8. Pour the whole baby potatoes into a medium size sauce pot, add the vinegar, ½ of the salt and enough water to cover the potatoes by 1". Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and let cook until fork-tender, 15-20 minutes.
  9. Melt the butter in the empty pot off the heat and add the potatoes back in.
  10. Toss to coat.
  11. Ling a baking sheet with foil and one at a time, place a potato down and smoosh it with the base of a large drinking glass. Repeat until you've smashed all your potatoes.
  12. Sprinkle them with the remaining salt and drizzle with olive oil and fresh ground pepper.
  13. Pop in the oven for until the edges start to crisp and brown, about 15-20 minute.
  14. Take out of the oven, flip all the potatoes over and roast for another 10-15 minute or until they're a beautiful golden brown.


DisclaimerI am part of a Holiday Campaign sponsored by Sterling Silver Premium Meats and receive compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. Regardless, I only work with brands I use personally and enjoy.

Smokey Espresso Rubbed Striploin Roast with Chimichurri Sauce

made in Partnership with Sterling Silver Premium Meats

Smokey Espresso Rubbed Striploin Roast with Chimichurri Sauce
Does your family celebrate the holidays with turkey in some form? There’s definitely no shortage of it from Thanksgiving to Christmas in our celebrations and the past few years I’ve found myself growing tired of the classic holiday bird.

This year, to combat the inevitable turkey fatigue, I decided to try adding a truly unforgettable Roast Beef to our annual holiday table. Perhaps not the roast beef you may recall from your childhood table, the one that was overcooked and dry-as-a-bone, but one that’s rich with flavour, juicy and savory and has has guests asking for the recipe and family demanding it be new tradition in the holiday kitchen. This week on The Gouda Life we’re exploring just that, two recipes that offer a modern take on the classic roast so if you, too, are fatigued with your meat options over the holidays you can add something new to the spread that will have your guests taste buds weeping with joy.  Not to mention, the leftovers make the greatest sandwiches so there is no loss there, either. (more…)