Showing posts with label cookbook review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cookbook review. Show all posts

Black Pepper Tofu

black pepper tofu
1 3/4 lbs firm tofu
cornstarch to dust the tofu
vegetable oil for frying

Cut the tofu into 1x1" cubes then toss the tofu in the cornstarch and shake off the excess. Fry in hot oil. When it is golden all over and has a thin crush remove it from the hot oil and leave it aside on a paper towel.

Creamy Sweet Potato Dessert

sweet potato dessert
201 Gluten Free Recipes For Kids by Carrie S. Forbes gives ideas on how to make delicious meals without gluten ingredients. Many people are adopting to eat healthier by avoiding gluten. If you are new to a gluten-free lifestyle, then this book will provide lots of information as well as delicious recipes to get us started.

Making Classic KFC Coleslaw at Home

This classic coleslaw recipe from the's book allows us to recreate the coleslaw sold at KFC. 

10 cups diced green cabbage
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup grated white onion
1/2 cup shredded carrot
2 cups Miracle Whip Light dressing
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable  oil

Tips on Grilling and Grilled Steak

I made this flavourful steak by following the recipe of the Indian spice rub mix from the Grill It DK book. This book is perfect to learn about techniques and tips of grilling a variety of meat, seafood, vegetables and desserts.  
It has information on how we can check the doneness of the meat, and also recipes on using different spices and herbs to enhance flavour. The spice rubs and spice pastes in the book are inspired from different countries.
All purpose Indian Masala Rub makes 1 cup
1/4 cup coriander seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
2 tbsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp peppercorn
2 tbsp salt
2 small dried chillies or 1/2 tbsp chillie flakes
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground turmeric

Lightly dry roast all the ingredients except for the salt, ginger and turmeric then grind it to a coarse powder.
6 t-bone steaks
1 tbsp olive oil per steak

Heat up the grill to 400F, when the fire is hot. To check if it is hot count how many seconds by keeping the hand 5" above the grill if it is hot you will feel it in 1 to 2 seconds.
Rub the steaks with oil then the spices on both sides. Put the steaks in the hottest part of the grill and cook each side until it is well seared about 6 to 8 minutes, turn only once. 
Move the steaks to the cooler side of the grill, cover with a metal pan or disposable foil pan and cook slowly till it is done a little less than to your liking for about 8 to 10 minutes per side. If the meat is overcooked when it cools it will become hard. Remove from the grill, cut strips and serve with a dip or salad.
I served with a tomato and onion salad.
Happy Canada Day to all my friends in Canada and Happy 4th of July to all my friends in US. With lots of grilling and entertaining happening lets make sure to follow these four food safety steps.

Clean: Make sure to clean all utensils, hands, and surfaces with soapy water. If you’re going to be outside, using a moist towelette is a good idea. 
Separate: Don’t put meat items back on the same plate you used for the raw meat. Make sure to bring separate plates for grilling raw meat from fruits and veggies.
Cook: Hamburgers should be cooked to 160F before serving. Remember, just because it’s brown doesn’t mean its safe use a food thermometer every time. 
Chill: The general rule is to never let food sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours. 

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Goan Red Snapper Fish Curry

goan Red Snapper Fish Curry
I chose to make this Goan fish curry recipe from the Seafood book, using the red snapper as the book suggests. I knew the ingredients in the recipe would give a flavour that we enjoy because it is similar to my king fish curry. I adjusted the recipe to make half the amount.
goan Red Snapper Fish Curry
500g 1 full red snapper cut into pieces
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3 to 6 dried red chillies to taste
2 garlic cloves chopped
1/2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
7 oz coconut milk to taste
1 tbsp oil
1 onion thinly sliced
1 tomato chopped
1 green chille
1 tbsp tamarind pulp
1/2 cup water
handful of cilantro

Put the tamarind pulp in about 1/2 cup water and discard the tamarind.
Dry roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds in a saucepan, stir over medium heat until they begin to pop. Remove and cool then put the seeds, dried chillies, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and salt into a food processor. Process until it is finely chopped then add 2 to 3 tbsp of coconut milk and pulse to blend. 
Heat the oil and sauté the onion and cook over low heat. Then add the tomatoes, green chilles and spice paste and cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 until aromatic. Add the coconut milk then bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the tamarind water then place the snapper into the sauce. Cook the fish for a few minutes until the fish is cooked. 
Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice. 
seafood dk book goan Red Snapper Fish Curry
This beautifully illustrated Seafood cookbook shows us how to prepare different types of seafood with over 300 wonderful recipes inspired by different cuisines. The book explains about different types of fish. 
Red Snapper fish
Red Snapper or Pargo
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Baked chicken pieces

This delicious recipe of Baked Chicken is adapted from the book Modern Flavours of Arabia by Suzanne Husseini. This cookbook is written in the memory of the author's Middle Eastern kitchen.  Suzanne introduces herself and has useful cook's notes in the beginning of the book i.e she suggests that we toast nuts and then leave it in the fridge in sealed jars to use when needed.  
The book is organized by breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and mezzo.  The recipes in the book is easy to follow.  I like the delicious pictures that makes us want to try the dishes.
20 chicken pieces (in book chicken wings are used)
4 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup cilantro or coriander leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon ground
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chillie powder
1/4 cup honey
juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp pomegranate molasses

Mix all the ingredients and toss the chicken pieces.  Leave aside for the flavours to absorb for an hour or more in the fridge.
Preheat the oven for 350F.  Place the chicken pieces an inch apart on a shallow baking pan and bake until crisp and cooked on the inside for about 35 minutes.  I baked in a glass baking dish.
The author served the chicken with spicy tomato salsa, but I served it plain and we enjoyed it.

All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Gluten free rice flour pancakes using Ryza and giveaway

I had a wonderful time at the Maple Leaf Gardens Loblaws in Toronto cooking with Chef Patricia Muzzi using Ryza products.  
Before attending this event, I haven't used Ryza so I am glad I got the opportunity to cook with Chef Muzzi's recipes along with other bloggers.

Ryza is 100% gluten, lactose, dairy and cholesterol free beverage.  It is made using whole grain, un-milled, unpolished North American grown non-GMO rice.  It has a light taste of rice, and is not very thick.  We have to shake the carton well before usin.  Ryza is naturally sweet because of the rice grains and there are no added sugar or sweeteners.  Chef Muzzi said, that processed sugars are not healthy as it can alter proper neuron function in our brain.
Compared to other rice beverages Ryza has no added fats or oils.  One glass of Ryza equals to a full serving of whole grain rich nutrients, calcium and fibre.

There are many benefits in Ryza:
  • Ryza has calcium, vitamin A, D, B12, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and phosphorus that gives us energy, improves our learning and memory.  
  • Calcium phosphate tribasic is a mineral salt that prevents accelerated aging of brain cells.
  • Brown rice has manganese and selenium that helps maintain healthy nerve function in the brain, which keeps us alert and focused.  
  • Selenium also detoxifies our chemical exposures i.e. our surroundings, shampoo etc.  
  • Tryptophan keeps us calm and relaxed.
Ryza is available in original and vanilla flavour.  It is sold in many stores i.e. Sobeys, Superstores, Fortinos, Zehrs, Loblaws, YIG and Health Food stores to name a few.  
If you would like to win 2 coupons to taste this delicious healthy beverage, leave a comment on this post and enter through the rafflecopter below.  Giveaway is open to Canadian readers and ends on October 30th.
Update: The winner is Amy
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Using the vanilla flavoured Ryza, I made these delicious Gluten free rice flour crepes following the recipe from Crepes: 50 savoury and sweet recipes book by Martha Holmberg.

This is good book that has delicious recipes of crepe using different flours.  It is separated into savoury filled crepes and sweet crepes.  In the beginning of the book, the author talks about her love for crepes, about the ingredients and equipment we will need.  The author also has pictures showing how crepes can be folded and presented.  
I changed the method of making the batter slightly for this rice flour pancakes as I think it would make the batter smooth.

Gluten free Rice flour pancakes
1 3/4 cup milk or Ryza
3 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup and 3 tbsp rice flour
2 tbsp melted butter or oil

Mix all the ingredients except for the butter or oil and beat well until smooth.  Then add the butter or oil and mix.  I strained the batter through a sieve to make sure there were no lumps.
Leave the batter to rest for at least an hour at room temperature before making the crepes.  We can prepare this mixture before hand and leave it in the fridge, I left it overnight.

Spread some butter on a non-stick crepe pan.  Make the pancakes in a medium hot non-stick pan.  Pour the pancake batter into the hot pan and gently swirl the pan in a circular motion to coat the bottom of the pan and then let the pancake cook for about a minute until the bottom is cooked.  Turn the other side and cook for a few seconds before removing from heat.
Serve with savoury or sweet.

All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Pasta Frittata

The Tuscan Sun cookbook is a colourful well-written book with delicious Italian recipes that are easy to follow and make.  The book is written by Frances and Edward Mayes.  The photographs by Steven Rothfeld capture the Tuscan life and cuisine beautifully.

Jalapeño poppers

I had a lovely time touring the Leaside Longo's store.  We had the opportunity to meet Longo's food experts and enjoy an array of freshly prepared food at the event.  I enjoyed the fresh delicious oysters that were shucked and served.

I like the Veggie Bar at Longo's, which has freshly chopped fruits and vegetables that are cleaned and pre cut.  We can use these freshly cut produce to make healthy meals at home without cleaning, cutting or chopping.  This type of service is convenient for busy families and helps small families to prepare fresh meals at home.  It also promotes eating healthy and including a variety of colourful fruits/vegetables in our meals.

It is good to know the freshly cut vegetables are replaced everyday and nothing is wasted because the unsold items are used for the products that are made in the store i.e pizza, sandwich etc.  

I would prefer if all the products including the ones made in the store i.e bread etc include labels of ingredients so it is easy for us to make sure there are no ingredients with allergies, and we don't have to bother the service people each time we want to know :)
Longo's is a family owned business that puts quality and customers first.  There wasn't fresh halal products at this location, however they had packeted products available.  

The cheese section had over 300 different types of cheese, that looked really delicious.  They have a fresh juice bar, sushi, pizza, under $10 meals, fresh baked breads, pops and many more.  Longo's at Leaside will also be having cooking classes for adults and children in their loft.  
I liked the atmosphere and the design of the 1919 brick building that had a market feel.  This Leaside building once belonged to the Canadian Northern Railway and was designed to service steam locomotives.

I made these delicious Jalapeño poppers with the Jalapeño from our garden and quinoa from Longo's.  This recipe is adapted from 500 Best Quinoa Recipes by Camilla Saulsbury © 2012 Robert Rose Reprinted with permission.  

1/2 cup cream cheese*

1/2 cup cooked quinoa**
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt to taste
pepper to taste
6 large jalapeño pepper halved

* to get a delicious flavour don't use fat free cream cheese

**any type cooked I used the multicoloured quinoa.  Rinse the quinoa before using by placing it in a mesh and rinse under water.  1 part quinoa with 2 parts of water bring to a boil then cover and cook in low heat for about 12 to 15 minutes until the water is absorbed.  

Remove the ribs of the jalapeño if you want to make it less spicy and wash it with cold water before putting the stuffing.  

Mix the cheeses, quinoa, salt and pepper then stuff about 1 tbsp of the mixture into the halves of the jalapeño.  Bake for about 9 to 12 minutes in a 450F until the cheese is browned and bubbling.  Serve hot.  
This book 500 Best Quinoa Recipes has 100% gluten free easy to make superfood.  The book explains all about quinoa then separates it by breakfast, appetizers, snacks, soups, stews, chills, salads, sides, vegetarian, main dish, seafood, poultry, lean meat, main dishes, breads and desserts.  This book also has information about other ingredients that are used in the recipes.  

Although quinoa (keen wah) is a seed, it is cooked and eaten like a grain.  It is harvested from a broadleaf plant that belongs to goosefoot family related to spinach, beets and chard.  The plant grows upwards about 7 feet.  When the seed head is dry, the quinoa is shaken out.  The seeds are coated in saponin, which is a bitter resin like substance that protects the plant from insects and birds.  Rinsing the quinoa before cooking helps get rid of the saponin.   

Quinoa has protein, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, vitamin E, iron, calcium, phosphorus and zinc.  1 cup of cooked quinoa has 30% of daily food requirement.  It can be toasted like nuts, sprouted, steamed, baked or cooked.  We can grind the seeds to make quinoa flour to add into baked goods.  It is better to store the flour in the fridge or freeze to keep it fresh.  

All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Apple spiced donuts

apple spiced donuts
Topped with chocolate glaze or simply rolled in cinnamon, fresh homemade donuts are irresistible.  Donuts are lots of fun and easy to make at home.  It doesn't matter if it is the fluffy yeast style or denser cake variety of donuts that we prefer because this book 150 best donut recipes has a wide selection that we can choose from to make gourmet style donuts.

The book explains in detail about the equipment, common ingredients etc.  The type of ingredients we choose to make our donuts is quite important as it makes all the difference in making good donuts.  The author explains why it is important to use the correct ingredients such as 1 large egg equals 1/4 cup in volume; it is best to use cream that is 35% whipping cream; store brand butter has added moisture so use brand name butter instead.

All the steps in the book are detailed.  There is a section in the beginning of the book with pictures to show us how to make the variety of donuts i.e. raised, cake-based, baked, filled, fritters, one bite, bow ties and twists.  The book is separated by the types of donuts and has lots of recipes for each of these different types.  The end of the book has delicious icings, glazes and sugars that can be used to create an array of delicious possibilities.

Here is a recipe to make dozen Apple spice donuts.

2 1/2 cups cake flour *
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs beaten
3/4 cup whole milk
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup finely chopped apples

* To make cake flour at home: for every 1 cup of all purpose flour I took 2 tbsp of flour away and replaced with 2 tbsp cornstarch.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  In another bowl whisk eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.  Add this wet mixture to the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until incorporated.  Fold in the apples.

Put the batter into a resealable or pastry bag.  It is easier to make the bag sit in a tall glass.  Squeeze the batter to one corner of the bag then cut off the corner about 2 cm wide.  Pipe the batter into the sprayed donut pan and fill about 2/3 with batter so there is enough room for the donuts to rise when it is baking.

Bake in a 325 preheated oven for 10 to 14 minutes.  Let the donuts cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes then turn out onto the rack and cool completely before icing or filling.

The recipe is adapted from 150 Best Donut Recipes by George Geary © 2012 Robert Rose Reprinted with permission.  All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Carrot zucchini cupcakes

carrot zucchini cupcakes
Carrot zucchini cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar 
1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
2 eggs
1 cup shredded carrot (1 large)
1 cup shredded zucchini (1 small)
1/3 cup milk

Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  In another bowl whisk the sugar, butter and eggs separately.  Add the shredded carrot and zucchini to the egg mixture with a spatula and beat until it is mixed. Stir in the flour mixture and milk alternately in three additions beating until smooth.

Scoop the batter into a prepared muffin pan and bake in a 350F oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and tops of the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool completely on a rack.
For a variation we can add 1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut to the batter.

This recipe is from the book 150 Best cupcake recipes by Julie Hasson.  Cupcake fans will really like this book.  There are lots of recipes to choose from depending on our preference and mood. The content of the book is separated into introduction, chocolate, fruit, nuts, adults only, kids, with spices, new twist, vegan and frostings. The sources and the index are very helpful.

The author explains the basic tips and techniques on how we can decorate, the tools and equipment, types of ingredients and the differences between different chocolate, coffee, diary etc.  This is good for people who are learning to decorate and novice bakers; it may also refresh the knowledge of advanced bakers.

The recipe is excerpted from 150 Best Cupcake Recipes by Julie Hasson © 2012 Robert Rose Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. All rights reserved on photographs and opinion of the written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Cauliflower fritters

cauliflower fritters
cauliflower cut into 1" flowerets
boiling water
1/4 tsp salt

Leave the cauliflower in salted boiling water for 5 minutes before putting in the batter and frying.

1 cup chickpeas or began flour sifted
3/4 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper optional

Put the flour in a bowl and gradually mix the water until it becomes a thick batter that will coat the vegetables.  It may not be necessary to add all the water.  Add all the other ingredients to the batter and mix well.  

oil to fry 1 to 2" high

Heat oil in a medium high heat.  When the oil is hot dip the cauliflower in the batter and fry until the all sides are golden brown.  When the cauliflower is dropped into the oil it should rise to the top and not stick to the bottom, put a few cauliflower flowerets at a time without crowding the pan.  If the oil is too hot it will brown too fast, if this happens reduce the heat.  

Remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel.  Serve the fritters hot on its own or with sauce.

I made this cauliflower fritters or pakora recipe by adapting the batter ingredients of the Vegetable pakoris from Madhur Jaffrey's 1st published book, An Invitation to Indian Cooking.  This book was published in 1973.  It has easy to make dishes and interesting stories about how the author first started to cook and share recipes that led her to write this book.  The beginning of the book has samples menus and details about spices.  Although, there are no pictures in the book it has lots of flavourful recipes.  The author explains about the methods, spices and cooking procedures in detail as it is written for people who are not familiar with Indian cuisine.

All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Salmon burgers, TurboCharged and Julia Child book giveaways

Salmon burgers recipe from the book TurboCharged recipes.

2 salmon fillets skinned and chopped (1 1/2 lbs) I used 1 lb
2 tbsp chopped red onion
1 egg
2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp pepper
I added 2 tbsp coriander leaves chopped and 1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
Combine everything except oil.  The book suggests to form 4" patties, however I made 10 mini patties as I served it with small buns.  Chill the formed patties for about 2 hours or more.  
Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Cook patties until it is cooked through.  The book suggests 3 minutes per side, however I cooked for a little bit more.  Serve with buns with the topping you prefer.

This book TurboCharged recipes has lots of useful information and recipes.  There aren't any pictures so it doesn't look attractive to open and start reading :) 
Most recipes use only a few ingredients.  All the recipes in the book are easy to follow and understand, as the instructions are simple.  We have to figure out about certain methods and change the cooking time to our preference.  

The beginning of the book talks about healthy eating, answers a lot of questions we all have i.e. should we go organic, getting kids to east healthy etc...  The book goes into brief detail about benefits of different vegetable, herbs and spices.
I liked suggestions on how to use a variety of herbs, which is good if we are looking to add new flavour into our daily food i.e. quick fried single sage leaves adds a delicious flavour to cheese. 
The book is separated into sections such as i.e. beverages, dips and dressings, appetizers, soups stews salads, vegetarian, eggs, fish, meats, pulpy and desserts.  This makes it is easy for us to find something we want to make quickly.

Some tips from the book...
  • If the eggs aren't organic we should skip them.  Organic eggs have 1:1 ratio of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.  Commercial eggs have 19 times more omega 6 than omega 3, which is unhealthy.  
  • The book gives a list of produce that we don't have to worry if it is organic or not.
  • It is important for us to read food labels.  Did you know if the ingredients are listed as one of the first ingredients then that is the main one?  
  • The book has a list of other names that sugar is presented on labels that we maybe unaware of i.e. agave, brown rice syrup, cane syrup, cornstarch, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, lactose, sorghum, rock sugar, pulled sugar, treacle etc.  
  • The book lists the terms in the ingredient list that signals the presence of MSG under names such as autolyzed yeast, calcium caseinate, gelatine, glumate, glutamic acid, hydrolyzed corn gluten, mono potassium glumate, sodium caseinate, textured protein, hydrolyzed protein (wheat/soy/vegetable protein)
  • Store bought dressings have lots of additives.
  • It is better to keep separate cutting boards.  We can keep our cutting boards sanitized by washing with 1 tsp chlorine bleach mixed with 1 quart of water.  Dip and dry.  
  • To quickly bake potatoes boil first for about 10 to 15 minutes then bake or grill. 
  • Steam cook with minimal oil and water.
Check out more about health on their site.  This book is available online and amazon.

Giveaway:  If you would like to win this book please leave a comment on this post.  The giveaway ends on August 25th open to people in Canada and US.
Update: The winner is Sanoli

Many of you may know about the JC100 event that started in May where bloggers participated by making specially chosen recipes from Julia Child.  I participated in the 2nd week of the event by making chocolate mousse.
Giveaway: To celebrate the 100th birthday of Julia Child on August 15, 2012 I am hosting a giveaway for someone in Toronto (due to postage) to win a copy of this Dearie: The remarkable life of Julia Child a biography by Bob Spitz.  Please leave a comment on this post or email me before August 25th if you would like to win this book.  
Update: The winners are Asiya and Cheryl

All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First