August 19, 2014

Minecraft Ice Cream Birthday Cake

After a successful Minecraft birthday party for my son, my daughter wanted to do the same for her birthday. I was all set to make similar birthday and mini-muffins decorated with fondant when my daughter stated she wanted a Minecraft ice cream cake.  Ice cream in a minecraft theme?  Sure I could have made a simple ice cream cake with some cake toppers but I wasn't thrilled with that idea.  What was I going to do?

Minecraft-Cake-sketch

Well, I had a great idea.  A simple minecraft block that was hopefully do-able.  I sketched up my idea and then set out scout out materials.

I picked up the rectangular 1.89L ice creams in 3 flavours: mint chocolate chip, chocolate and cookie dough.  I bought 2 mint chocolate chip ice creams from 2 different suppliers so that they looked different.

Minecraft-Ice-Cream-Birthday-Cake

Since the ice cream melts fast, you need to work fast.  Also, make sure to put the plate or platter into the freezer first so it doesn't melt the ice cream while you stack.  I cut out equal sized squares and stacked them in batches to prevent melting. Once I was complete, I wrapped the cube in wax (or parchment paper) and used small cutting boards to squeeze together the cube so to have the seams and cubes all line up and somewhat blend into each other.

I love when I come up with creative ideas that aren't a lot of work and are an instant hit with the kids!

August 13, 2014

Mini Tuna Burgers: Family Central Edmonton Episode for Telus Optik Local TV

Mini Tuna Burgers

This episode rounds out my "15 minutes of fame". I've featured this recipe on my blog before and it is a great recipe if you want a quick and nutritious meal.

Thanks to all the folks who have sent me kind comments and virtual high-fives.  


This is my 6th segment for the Family Central show on Telus Optik Local TV Edmonton.


Finally, a big thanks to the crew at Spotlight Television and Film Productions Inc who were so kind and encouraging with every stumble, stutter, and deer-in-headlights-look, I produced. 

And that's a wrap :)
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Mini Tuna Burgers makes 2 servings - 4 patties total

1 egg, beaten
pinch each of garlic powder and salt 
1/4 tsp dried dill
1 can flaked or chunk tuna, drained
2-3 Tbsp bread crumbs

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.  Form into mini patties. 

Cook in an oiled frying pan over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, turning the patty once midway, until golden brown. 


Mini-Tuna-Burgers

July 24, 2014

Cauliflower Mash: Family Central Edmonton Episode for Telus Optik Local TV

Cauliflower Mash for Family Central Telus Optikal TV Edmonton

My children won't eat cauliflower.  It's right up there with brussel sprouts and spinach.  Raw, steamed, stir-fried or even tempura-coated, they aren't interested. I have yet to try chocolate-dipped but I'm sure they would just lick off the chocolate ;)  (I jest, of course!) Sadly, I'd walk right by the cauliflower in the produce aisle, without giving it a second glance.

Until now.

Oh how parents come up with different ways to get their children to eat veggies!

This is another easy-to-make recipe and a great addition to any dinner plate.  Cauliflower is high in fiber and nutritionally dense. Coconut-anything, it seems, is all the rage and the new "super food" of the year.  Coconut milk lends a nutty flavor to the mash while subtly masking the taste of cauliflower that my children dislike.


This is my 5th segment for the Family Central show on Telus Optik Local TV Edmonton.

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Cauliflower Mash
serves 4

1/2 head cauliflower, coarsely chopped
1 cup coconut milk
3/4 tsp salt

Add all ingredients to a large pot with a lid. Cook over medium heat for 8-10 or until cauliflower is softened.

Remove from heat and mash with stick blender or potato masher until preferred consistency.  Serve.



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.

Dandelions

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.

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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.

Enjoy!

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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.

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