These snack recipes also make a nutritious after school snack, post swimming lesson, or hockey practice “treat”. Skip the vending machine and/or drive-thru. Refuel your little athlete after a long day of learning and extracurricular with a healthy snack(s).
If you are a fan of peanuts and peanut butter like I am (*I have at least one spoonful a day) and looking for tasty recipes to fuel you and your family without spending hours in the kitchen – check out some of my tasty recipes featuring Peanuts & Peanut Butter:
*Any person who insists I spray whipped cream in their mouth (from a can) during a live t.v. segment/interview, automatically becomes a favourite in my books. Watch the whipped cream fun here.
The subject line read: Favour
In the email, Jeff asked if I would like to be part of Daytime York Region’s Robbie Burns Special and prepare Scottish Shortbread.
My instant response to Jeff was: For you, anything! *I even developed a “special” shortbread just for Mr. Moore – see below.
Well, today I had wayyy too much FUN (I LOVE my job!!) with Jeff and a number of other awesome guests celebrating Robbie Burns Day – not to mention the stellar Daytime York Region crew! Here are the recipes I prepared:
Traditional Scottish Shortbread (and a few modern day twists)
*Click here to watch the shortbread cooking segment from Daytime York Region*
Celebrate Robbie Burns Day with a classic Scottish cookie.
A traditional Scottish shortbread should have a crispy snap – yet still melts in your mouth.
1 cup (250 mL) softened unsalted butter
¼ cup (60 mL) castor sugar or granulated sugar *to make castor sugar: Place granulated sugar in a coffee grinder and pulse until fine – but still a bit coarse
¼ cup (60 mL) corn starch
1 ½ cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
Pre-heat oven to 275 F (140 C). Place butter and sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until combined. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until all ingredients are evenly incorporated (scrape down sides of bowl when needed). Press dough into the bottom of a 9 inch, parchment paper lined round baking pan. Using a knife, gently score into eight pieces (like a pie) and prick each piece with a fork. Bake in center of pre-heated oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack. Using a sharp knife, cut cookies along where you have scored. Makes eight (triangle/pie shaped) cookies. *If you do not have a food processor – beat together butter and sugar using a hand held mixer or wooden spoon. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
Shortbread Cookie Twist Recipes: With a few pantry staple ingredients you can add a decadent twist to this classic melt-in-your-mouth cookie.
Mr. Moore Lindt Dark Chocolate Truffle & Orange Sliced Shortbread
One of the first times I was on Daytime with Jeff, he told me Lindt Chocolate was his weakness. My response to him was “And I thought I was your weakness….”
Nothing brings me more pleasure in life than feeding people. Keeping in mind Jeff’s weakness for Lindt Chocolate (and not me), I came up with a melt-in-your-mouth Lindt Dark Chocolate & Orange Shortbread Cookie I knew Jeff would love!
Garnish: melted dark chocolate and quality sea salt (optional)
Prepare traditional shortbread recipe according to above directions. Stir in chopped chocolate and orange zest. On a lightly floured surface, roll batter into a 12 inch log (*if batter is very soft, refrigerate for a few minutes until it is easier to handle – about 10 minutes). Chill log for about 20 minutes. Slice log into 20 cookies. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Drizzle with melted chocolate and sprinkle each cookie with a bit of salt. Makes 20 cookies.
Rosemary Vanilla Shortbread Fingers
Believe it or not, I love the flavour combo of: fresh rosemary and vanilla (*from the bean). During the summer months I add fresh rosemary and vanilla to whipped cream and enjoy it over seasonal berries. These flavours also work together and make a scrumptious shortbread cookie. Hope you enjoy this unique combo as much as I do!
Follow traditional shortbread recipe
1 vanilla bean, sliced in half and scraped
2 tsp (10 mL) finely chopped fresh rosemary
Prepare traditional shortbread recipe according to above directions. Stir in seeds of vanilla bean and chopped fresh rosemary. Lightly flour hands and press dough into the bottom of an 8 inch X 8 inch square, parchment paper lined baking pan. Gently score dough into 24 mini finger cookies and prick each piece with fork. Bake in center of pre-heated oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Using a sharp knife, cut cookies along where you have scored. Makes 24 cookies.
Cheddar, Cherry, Sage & Black Pepper Shortbread
Savoury shortbread cookies are a divine addition to a cocktail party menu, or, serve with a a bowl of soup. Enjoy!
Follow traditional shortbread recipe
1 cup (250 mL) grated aged cheddar – such as Balderson
¼ cup (60 mL) dried cherries
3 tbsp. (45 mL) dried sage leaves (found at Bulk Barn) *if using ground sage reduce amount to 1 ½ tsp (7 mL)
Prepare traditional shortbread recipe according to above directions. Stir in an additional ½ tsp (2 mL) salt. Add cheese, cherries and sage. On a lightly floured surface, roll batter into a 12 inch log. (*if batter is very soft refrigerate for a few minutes until it is easier to handle – about 10 minutes). Chill log for about 20 minutes. Roll log evenly in cracked pepper – just enough so a thin even layer of pepper coats the log. Slice log into 20 cookies. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Makes 20 cookies.
It’s time to put Arugula (or known in the south: Rocket) back on the map.
We live in a day where kale has become the “cool kid” of leafy greens – yes, my family is guilty of jumping on the “fashionable” green bandwagon too. We add kale to almost everything: smoothies; on sandwiches; tossed in pasta; steamed as a side; in pesto, as a pizza topper and the list goes on.
Let’s join hands in produce and make 2015 the year we bring back the star of 1995: Arugula. Why? Why? Um, well let’s start with its peppery flavour (unlike kale – does kale even have flavour?); it’s easy to chew texture (unlike kale – truthfully, chewing raw kale hurts my jaw); you CAN’T make “chips” out of arugula (come on people, potatoes are for chips, NOT kale!) and finally, it’s a very attractive oak-leaf-shaped-green, unlike kale – kale often looks as though it needs a hefty dose of Botox.
The below salad recipe features arugula as its “star”. I invited the cool kid to play a role too, and added a bit of kale. Call me the guidance counsellor of greens.
Okay, enough of the green stuff, let’s talk pink! The real beauty of this salad comes from the Florida grapefruit and pomegranate seeds. Both are in season now and are loaded with a ton of good-for-you-nutrients and flavour. The peppery bite of arugula, the sweet and sourness from the grapefruit and pomegranate, and the saltiness of the feta, make this salad a mid-January must eat! To up the protein: add leftover grilled meats or fish; additional nuts and seeds; or even drained and rinsed white kidney beans or chickpeas.
From My Happy Healthy Kitchen to Yours, Enjoy!
Grapefruit, Pomegranate & Arugula Salad
Don’t be alarmed! I rarely ever add oil to my dressings. Only when making Caesar.
1 tbsp (15 mL) each: cider vinegar (or balsamic), freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and maple syrup (or liquid honey)
2 tsp (10 mL) grainy Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp (2 mL) minced garlic
hefty pinch salt, pepper and paprika
4 cups (1 L) arugula leaves *Did you know? Arugula contains only 5 calories a cup – and contains eight times more calcium than iceberg lettuce.
1 cup (250 mL) very finely chopped kale
1/2 carrot, grated
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 grapefruit, peeled and segmented (seeds removed)
seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
1/3 cup (75 mL) each; roughly chopped natural almonds and crumbled feta cheese
Whisk together dressing ingredients. Toss salad ingredients with dressing. Makes about 6 cups (1.5 L).
Butter, brown sugar, chocolate and vanilla. Enough said. Chocolate Chip cookies are awesome!
Char’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
I’d like to credit my domestic goddess baking powers for developing a super soft & chewy cookie, but the truth is: my cookies are a mouthful of buttery soft & chewiness because I only use brown sugar. You can thank Redpath, not me. The moisture content of the molasses (in the brown sugar) is a key “ingredient” to making chewy cookies. I find when using even the slightest bit of granulated sugar, my cookies tend to be more crispy. Crispy is for bacon, not chocolate chip cookies.
I personally think the best chocolate chip cookies are made when whipping brown sugar with butter. Not margarine (do people even use margarine anymore?), not shortening, or even coconut oil (and I’m a fan of coconut oil). If you want a soft buttery awesome chocolate chip cookie – use BUTTER. I use Gay Lea Salted Butter (yes, many pastry chefs will tell you “never to use salted butter”, but I’m not a pastry chef).
On the salt note, I also garnish my cookies with melted dark chocolate and coarse salt. Just a bit of each, for a punch of sweet & salty pizzazz! You can also and add 1/2 cup (125 mL) raisins, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts or shredded coconut to the batter – me, I’m a plain chocolate chip kinda gal. How do YOU like your chocolate chip cookies? Soft & Chewy? Crispy? With nuts & dried fruit? Do you have a “secret” cookie ingredient? Email and let me know: email@example.com
Garnish: Melted dark 70% chocolate and coarse salt – optional
Beat together first five ingredients. Add dry ingredients and stir until combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Roll into 1.5 cm (approx) balls and flatten slightly. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet (about 2 inches apart). Bake in a preheated 375 F (190 C) oven for about 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden and middle is a bit under baked (another “chewy” tip – slightly under baking). *You will likely need to bake in batches. Remove from oven and cool slightly on baking sheet. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. Once cooled, drizzle with dark chocolate and sprinkle with salt. Makes 30 (approx) cookies.
*Note on the seeds: Once every few weeks, I go to the Bulk Barn and buy equal amounts (approx 1 cup (250 mL) of each): flax seeds (I grind them at home), chia seeds (whole; they are porous = no need for grinding to absorb nutrients) and hemp seeds. I put them in a large mason jar and shake (to combine), I then use/add my seed “mix” to our morning oats, smoothies and baked goods. I am a huge believer in quality plant protein and healthy fats. I find this is a super easy way to incorporate these nutrients into our diets.