Mushroom Recipes as seen on Breakfast Television (video)

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A veggie loaded pizza that tastes just like a cheeseburger? Yes! BlendandExtend.ca Cheeseburger Pizza to the rescue.

If you’re looking to add some umph to your weeknight suppers, or pizzazz to your family meal planning – look no further than fungi.  Yup, mushrooms.  Mushrooms are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber.   Mushrooms.ca has a plethora of recipes that will satisfy everyone’s tastebuds and bellies.  My fam’s favourite is: Cheeseburger Pizza from BlendAndExtend.ca  By blending chopped mushrooms with Ontario ground beef, you add an additional serving of vegetables to your dish; lighten up classic dishes such as: spaghetti, tacos and burgers (just to name a few); and extend the volume of your dish = extend portions.  As the mom of two active and very hungry boys, wife of the rep soccer coach, and avid runner myself, extended portions are a must in our home.  We are one hungry bunch.  I’m delighted to share a few of our family favourite recipes from Mushrooms.ca & BlendandExtend.ca on Toronto’s Breakfast Television.  I encourage you to visit both sites and explore all the amazing, flavourful and good-for-you recipes.

*Click on each title for link to recipes*

Blend and Extend Taco Salad

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Blend and Extend Meatballs with Maple Dijon Sauce

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Blend and Extend Chili Loaded Baked Potatoes

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Charmaine is a regular guest on Rogers Daytime York Region, CHCH Morning Live, Canada AM & Breakfast Television and food writer for Running Room Magazine sharing DSC_1081her love and enthusiasm for all things food, cooking and running.

Charmaine is a proud ambassador of Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon: a celebration of Women & Fitness, come join in the FUN June 6th, 2016.  Hope to see many of you at the start line in 2016!  Click here to register.

Most importantly; Charmaine is the mother of two active boys, Tyler & Colgan.

Charmaine understands the importance of preparing healthy, wholesome dishes all while keeping budget and time in mind. For more tasty recipes visit www.charmainebroughton.com

Follow Charmaine on Twitter @runnercharb

Sensational Holiday Sips Featuring Gay Lea Whipped Cream as seen on Rogers Daytime York Region

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The only way to keep me quiet….fill my face with Gay Lea Real Coconut Whipped Cream! Click here to watch my segment on Daytime York Region. Happy Holidays!

“Yule” never drink regular hot chocolate again after trying my Sensational Holiday Sips topped with Gay Lea Real Whipped Cream.  For additional Christmastime bliss – grab the kids, roll up your sleeves and whip a few batches of Shortbread.  Click here for a variety of recipes.          

From my hectic holiday kitchen to yours, Merry Christmas! 

Running Room Hot Chocolate
A sophisticated twist on a classic hot chocolate.

Salted Dark Chocolate Spiced Cocoa  

A sophisticated, festive sip.

½ cup (125 mL) quality cocoa powder

¼ cup (60 mL)  finely grated (or finely chopped) quality dark chocolate

3 tbsp (45 mL) granulated sugar

1 1/4 tsp (6 mL) sea salt

¼ tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper

Stir together all ingredients and place into a 1 cup (250 mL) mason jar with lid. Tie with decorative ribbon and attached recipe card with instructions.

Recipe card instructions:  Whisk 2 tbsp (30 mL) of prepared cocoa mix with 1 cup (250 mL) milk in a small pot over medium heat until desired temperature. Garnish with Gay Lea Real Whipped Cream and chocolate shavings.  Sip, relax and enjoy the holidays.  Makes one, 1 cup (250 mL) serving. *cocoa mix recipe will make eight, 1 cup (250 mL) servings.*

Coconut Holiday White Chocolate

Greet your guests with a decadent hot chocolate.

4 cups (1 L) milk  

1 small piece of vanilla bean – about 1/4 inch

3 tbsp (45 mL) white hot chocolate powder (found at bulk food stores) 

1 drop coconut extract

Gay Lea Real Coconut Whipped Cream

Garnishes: very finely chopped white chocolate and toasted coconut

Method: Heat milk and vanilla bean over medium heat until desired temperature.  Whisk in Heavenly White Hot Chocolate Mix and coconut extract.  Remove vanilla bean and divide hot chocolate between four mugs (for jumbo servings, divide between two mugs).  Top each mug with Gay Lea Coconut Whipped Cream.  Garnish evenly with finely chopped white chocolate and biscuit.  For an adult version; drizzle homemade vanilla extract on top of each mug.

Warm Spiced Gingerbread Sip 

All the festive flavours of a traditional cookie served in a mug.

4 cups (1 L) milk

2 tbsp (30 mL) each; fancy molasses and brown sugar

1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger

1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon

pinch each; ground cloves and ground nutmeg

small piece of vanilla bean – about 1/4 inch or 1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract

Gay Lea Real Whipped Cream

Garnish: crushed gingersnap cookies and finely sliced candied ginger

Method:  Whisk together all ingredients (except for garnishes) and heat until desired temperature.  Remove vanilla bean.  Divide evenly between four mugs (for jumbo servings divide between two mugs).  Top each mug with Gay Lea Real Whipped Cream. Garnish evenly with crushed gingersnap cookies and candied ginger.

Charmaine is a regular guest on Rogers Daytime York Region and food writer for Running Room Magazine sharing DSC_1081her love and enthusiasm for all things food, cooking and running.

Charmaine is a proud ambassador of Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon: a celebration of Women & Fitness, come join in the FUN June 6th, 2016.  Hope to see many of you at the start line in 2016!  Click here to register.

Most importantly; Charmaine is the mother of two active boys, Tyler & Colgan.

Charmaine understands the importance of preparing healthy, wholesome dishes all while keeping budget and time in mind. For more tasty recipes visit www.charmainebroughton.com

Follow Charmaine on Twitter @runnercharb

 

 

Creative Cook Holiday Entertaining Cooking Class

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Showing off my White Chocolate Coconut Rum Cheesecake with pride at The Creative Cook in Bracebridge.

I recently had the pleasure of teaching two holiday cooking classes at The Creative Cook in downtown Bracebridge. I’m proud to call Bracbridge home, and was delighted to be the first chef to teach in their brand new ’boutique style’ cooking school.  Inspiring folks to get busy in the kitchen is my passion.  I’m blessed to be a ‘lucky’ one, and make a career out of doing what I love.  Over the past year, I’ve focused on other areas of my career (in food) and made the decision not to make teaching a priority.  I did not realize how much I missed teaching, until I found myself in front of a ‘live’ audience.  I’ve had an exciting year sharing my passion on TV – it has been a big learning curve, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the daily challenge.  Some segments/days are better than others, but hey, that is life, right?  Here is what I’ve been up to the past year (click on each title to watch segment): Canada AM, Breakfast Television, CHCH Morning Live and Rogers Daytime York Region

Stay ‘tuned’ as I will be making a few appearances at The Creative Cook in the next few moths (click here for more information).  In the meantime, here are some of the tasty recipes I developed for my Holiday Entertaining Class.  Even if you are not a seasoned cook, I guarantee you will be able to recreate these dishes with ease.  From my kitchen to yours, Happy Holidays!!

Caramel Covered Brie with Dried Cherries and Nuts

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Nuts, dried fruit and homemade caramel + Brie = Holiday Magic!

This divine ‘starter’ is a guaranteed show stopper. It presents as beautifully as it tastes, and will have your guests raving for days. Serve as an appetizer, or as a cheese course with Port for an after dinner nibble. 

1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar

1/2 cup (125 mL) butter

1/4 cup (60 mL) corn syrup

1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda

1 cup (250 mL) mixed salted nuts

½ cup (125 mL) dried cherries (or cranberries)

2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh rosemary

Pinch cayenne pepper (or to taste)

9 inch (1 kg) round double cream Brie wheel, slightly warmed

Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in a small saucepot. Cook over medium heat stirring only once or twice until mixture comes to a gentle boil. Continue to cook for about one minute without stirring. Remove from heat and quickly stir in baking soda. Stir in nuts, dried cherries, rosemary and cayenne. Place Brie wheel on a wooden cutting board or platter and pour caramel mixture over Brie. Serve with an assortment of crackers and fresh fruit.

*Note: this recipe was inspired by my days working as a recipe tester and developer for Dana McCauley & Associates in Toronto. Follow Dana on twitter @DanaMcCauley

20 Minute Seafood Chowder

Hosting a holiday soirée? Garnish each bowl with smoked oysters (found in the canned fish section of your supermarket), chopped capers and roughly chopped fresh dill for a fast and festive starter.  

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No fancy chef/knife/kitchen skills needed to recreate this amazing chowder. Christmas Eve never tasted so good!

3 cups (750 mL) fish (*or, vegetable or chicken broth), divided 

3 tbsp (60 mL) cornstarch

1 tbsp (15 mL) butter or oil

1 onion, diced

1 small carrot, chopped

½ tsp (2 mL) each; dried thyme and sea salt

hefty pinch nutmeg and cayenne

2 cloves garlic, minced (*or to taste)

1 jar (236 mL) clam juice

½ lb (250 g) boneless skinless salmon, chopped

1 can (142 g) can whole baby clams, drained

1 (227 mL) can water chestnuts, drained and roughly chopped (about 1 cup (250 mL))

½ cup (125 mL) 35% cream + 2 tsp (10 mL) finely grated lemon zest

Whisk 1 cup (250 mL) broth with cornstarch and set aside.  Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and cook onion and carrot until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes.   Add thyme, salt, nutmeg, cayenne and garlic.  Add remaining 2 cups of stock and clam juice.  Bring to a boil.  Add reserved stock/cornstarch mixture, salmon, clams and water chestnuts.  Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until salmon is cooked through.  Stir in cream and lemon zest and and cook for an additional minute.  Remove from heat and serve.  Makes about 6 cups (1.5 L).  

Coconut White Chocolate Cheesecake

A perfect end to a holiday dinner party.

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) mixed nuts

¾ cup (175 mL) sweetened shredded coconut

2 tbsp (30 mL) melted butter

2 (250 g – each) bricks cream cheese, room temperature

½ cup (125 mL) sour cream

2 tbsp. (30 mL) granulated sugar

2 eggs

½ vanilla bean, scraped (use paste only) OR 1 tbsp. (15 mL) pure vanilla extract

100 g/3.5 oz white chocolate bar, melted

2 tbsp (30 mL) quality dark rum

2 tsp (10 mL) pure coconut extract

Garnish: lightly toasted coconut and finely chopped white chocolate and fresh berries.

Pre-heat oven to 300 F (150 C).  Place nuts and coconut in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until nuts are roughly ground.  Add butter and pulse until combined.  Press mixture into the bottom of a parchment paper lined 9 inch round springform pan.  Bake in pre-heated oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool.  Place cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and eggs in a bowl of a food processor and pulse until well combined.  Scrape down sides of bowl when needed.  Add vanilla, melted chocolate and rum (if using) and coconut extract.  Pulse until combined.  Pour mixture evenly on crust and bake in center of pre-heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until center is set, but still slightly jiggly.  Turn oven off, open oven door slightly, and let cheesecake cool in oven for one hour. Remove and cool completely in refrigerator.  Garnish center of cheesecake with toasted coconut, chopped white chocolate and berries.  Makes 12 servings.  

Charmaine is a regular guest on Rogers Daytime York Region and food writer for Running Room Magazine sharing DSC_1081her love and enthusiasm for all things food, cooking and running.

Charmaine is a proud ambassador of Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon: a celebration of Women & Fitness, come join in the FUN June 6th, 2016.  Hope to see many of you at the start line in 2016!  Click here to register.

Most importantly; Charmaine is the mother of two active boys, Tyler & Colgan.

Charmaine understands the importance of preparing healthy, wholesome dishes all while keeping budget and time in mind. For more tasty recipes visit www.charmainebroughton.com

Follow Charmaine on Twitter @runnercharb

 

 

 

Holiday Gifts From Your Pantry as seen on Canada A.M. (video)

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Cheers! I was thrilled to share my ‘Gifts From The Pantry’ ideas on Canada AM with Ben Mulroney.

Tis the season to be stress free.  No crowded malls, or swiping of debit or credit cards. Yes, it is possible.  How you ask?  With thoughtful, homemade gifts from your pantry.  I developed the following DIY ‘Gifts From The Pantry’ as fun-to-make: teacher/coach/neighbour/grandparent gifts, hostess gifts, stocking stuffers or little party favours placed at each table setting. These festive recipes are simple to prepare, use ingredients you likely already have on hand, and will not have you regretting gift giving come January.

Grab the kids, roll up your sleeves, crank up the holiday hits and get busy in the kitchen!

Peanut Butter Truffles 

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Peanut Butter Truffles. Gift giving never tasted sooo good!

Creamy, delicious and decadent – a perfect gift!  Click here for more delicious recipes featuring peanuts.

1 ½ cups (375 mL) finely chopped milk chocolate – about 8oz (250 g)

½ cup (125 mL) whipping cream

¾ cup (175 mL) smooth peanut butter

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla

1 ¼ cups (300 mL) peanuts, preferable honey roasted

Place chocolate and cream in a small saucepan set over low heat. Watching very carefully, stir continuously until chocolate is nearly melted. Remove from heat and whisk until completely melted. Whisk in peanut butter and vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until firm enough to form into balls, 21/2 to 3 hours.

Meanwhile, place peanuts in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Then place in a wide shallow dish (a pie plate would work well). Using your hands form mixture into 3/4-inch (2-cm) balls then roll in peanuts to cover. Refrigerate on a waxed paper lined tray until firm. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week or freeze.

 

Chipotle Lime Cheese Ball Mix

I know it’s 2015, but cheese ball mixes are still a popular hostess gift purchase and retail for $5 to over $10!  Instead of breaking the bank on a Cadillac version of dried herbs (fancy packaging!), be the Henry Ford and make your own.  This recipe costs literally pennies to prepare, therefore makes a perfect homemade treat to give with a bottle of wine. Because the mix is a bit spicy, I like to pair it with a wine that is a bit sweet.  Inniskillin Late Autumn Riesling is a reasonably priced, and easy drinking wine that pairs well with cheeses and dishes with a bit of “heat”.

2 tbsp (30 mL) dried chives

2 tsp (10 mL) dried cilantro

1 tsp (5 mL) dried chipotle powder

1/2 tsp (2 mL) cumin

¼ tsp (1 mL) sea salt

Stir together all ingredients and place in a small candy bag (found at craft/bulk food stores). Tie with decorative ribbon and attach recipe card with instructions.  Tie to neck of wine bottle.

Recipe Card Instructions:  Combine prepared mix with: 125 g (1/4 lb.) cream cheese, 125 g (¼ lb.) goat cheese, 1 cup (250 mL) grated aged cheddar cheese, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) finely grated lime zest and 1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lime juice.  Form into ball.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve (up to two days).  When ready to serve, roll ball in 1 cup (250 mL) chopped mixed salted nuts.  Serve with an assortment of crackers, flatbreads, apple and pear slices.

 

Running Room Hot Chocolate
A gourmet twist on a classic cold weather drink.

Salted Dark Chocolate Spiced Cocoa 

A sophisticated, festive sip.

½ cup (125 mL) quality cocoa powder

¼ cup (60 mL)  finely grated (or finely chopped) quality dark chocolate

3 tbsp (45 mL) granulated sugar

1 1/4 tsp (6 mL) sea salt

¼ tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper

Stir together all ingredients and place into a 1 cup (250 mL) mason jar with lid. Tie with decorative ribbon and attached recipe card with instructions.

Recipe card instructions:  Whisk 2 tbsp (30 mL) of prepared cocoa mix with 1 cup (250 mL) milk in a small pot over medium heat until desired temperature. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.  Sip, relax and enjoy the holidays.  Makes one, 1 cup (250 mL) serving. *cocoa mix recipe will make eight, 1 cup (250 mL) servings.*

 

Homemade Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup (125 mL) quality dark rum

1 small piece of vanilla bean (approx 2 inches/4.5 cm)

Place rum and vanilla bean into a small (125 mL) mason jar with lid.  Decorate with festive ribbon.

Recipe Card Instructions:  Use vanilla extract as you would in any baked good recipe.  Or, add to coffee, hot chocolate or eggnog for a cozy holiday swig.

 

Vanilla Sugar

Fill a mason jar (any size – however, I find 250 mL size jar appropriate for gift giving) with granulated sugar.  Cut a  piece of vanilla bean (approx 3 inches/7.5 cm) and place in jar with sugar.  Place lid on jar and decorate with festive ribbon.  Within a day, the sugar will take on the flavour of the vanilla.

Recipe Card Instructions: use sugar in baking, stir into coffee, tea, or sprinkled over morning oats.

Basic Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Holiday baking and gift giving does not have to be complicated.  Adding a few festive ingredients to a basic cookie recipe is fun, and makes a joyful holiday gift from the kitchen and heart.

1 cup (250 mL) softened butter

1 cup (250 mL) brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tbsp (15 mL) pure vanilla extract

1 ½ cups (375 mL) all purpose flour

3/4 cup (175 mL) rolled oats

1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda

½ tsp (2 mL) quality salt

2 cups (500 mL) semi sweet chocolate chips

Beat together butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients and beat (or stir) until well combined.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Roll batter into 1.5 cm (approx)  balls and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet (about 2 inches apart).  Bake in 375 F (190 C) for about 8 to 10  minutes or until edges are golden and middle is a bit under baked (you will likely need to bake in batches).  Remove from oven and cool slightly on baking sheet.  Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.  Makes 30 (approx) cookies.

Candy Cane Cookies: add ½ tsp (2 mL) of pure mint extract to batter and bake according to directions.  Once cookies have cooled, drizzle each cookie with melted dark chocolate and sprinkle with crushed candy canes.

Ginger Studded Cookies: add ½ tsp (2 mL) ground ginger and ½ cup (125 mL) finely chopped candied ginger to batter.  Bake according to directions.  Once cookies have cooled, drizzle each cookie with melted white chocolate and sprinkle with additional finely chopped candied ginger.

 

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Cute as a button – Peanut Butter Buttons.

Peanut Butter Buttons 

Peanut Butter Buttons.

Pairing peanut butter and chocolate is always a crowd favourite and this irresistible button cookie recipe will delight.  Click here to learn more about the heath benefits of peanuts.

½ cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, room temperature

⅓ cup peanut butter

½ cup (125 mL) granulated sugar plus 3 tbsp (45 mL)

2 egg yolks

2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla

1 ½ cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour

27 mini peanut butter cups

icing sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place butter and peanut butter in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on high until very creamy.

Beat in ½ cup (125 mL) sugar until well blended. Then beat in egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down sides as needed. Beat in vanilla and then flour until combined.

Place 3 tbsp (45 mL) sugar in a shallow dish. Form dough into 1-inch (2.5-cm) balls, and roll in the sugar. Place on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Use your finger to press into centre of each dough ball to form an indent.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Place a peanut butter cup in indent and continue to bake until golden and set, about 6 to 8 more minutes.

Remove to a rack to cool completely. When completely cool, dust with icing sugar.

Tip: Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days. They also freeze well for longer storage.

I hope some of my festive gifts from the kitchen have been helpful, but most of all I hope you take the time with loved ones (children, siblings, spouse or parents) to prepare them.  As we enter a hectic time of year, I want to wish you all a Happy & Healthy holiday season.

Charmaine is a regular guest on Rogers Daytime York Region and food writer for Running Room Magazine sharing DSC_1081her love and enthusiasm for all things food, cooking and running.

Charmaine is a proud ambassador of Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon: a celebration of Women & Fitness, come join in the FUN June 6th, 2016.  Hope to see many of you at the start line in 2016!  Click here to register.

Most importantly; Charmaine is the mother of two active boys, Tyler & Colgan.

Charmaine understands the importance of preparing healthy, wholesome dishes all while keeping budget and time in mind. For more tasty recipes visit www.charmainebroughton.com

Follow Charmaine on Twitter @runnercharb