Monday, October 24, 2011

Owl Cupcakes

This post will be a short one. I've been sick with a fall flu for the past couple days and have spent more time in bed than I care for. I miss my kitchen and the real desire for food! I still got myself to make these over the weekend, and it helped take my mind off of things for a little while. These cute little owls caught my eye on a couple different blogs and given the owl craze I recently blogged about and Halloween merely days away, it only seemed fair that I give these a try. The only tricky part to this recipe is separating the Oreo cookies to make the owl's eyes. My method included a flat knife and placing the Oreos for a couple seconds in the microwave. If you have any tips on how to perfectly separate the two halves - I'm a taker! Please leave a comment with your best tip!

Owl Cupcakes
- Use your favourite chocolate cupcake recipe and dark chocolate frosting.
- Separate oreos for the eyes
- Use smarties for the nose
- Junior mints for the pupil (dabbed with a tiny bit of frosting to make sure they stay put)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Roasted Heirloom Baby Carrots

There's often a misconception that making a healthy meal takes time and is not achievable on any given day of the week. This post is meant as an easy recipe to counter that approach! A couple weeks ago, I was asked what my tips were to eat healthy while saving time and money. My answer was to buy seasonally whenever you can. Seasonal produce is generally more flavourful, affordable and needs little to be turned into a delicious meal. These carrots are the perfect example. I purchased them at the Evergreen Brick Works farmers' market here in Toronto and they made the most perfect lunch. I simply roasted them with olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs and served them alongside a sunny side-up egg and some crusty bread. With a glass of local fall apple cider, it's pretty close to the perfect lunch in my book! These baby carrots are so small and sweet that they barely need to be peeled and are so pretty on a plate with their different shades of oranges, yellows and purple. They're nothing better than a plate that screams autumn to make me happy to put on some boots, a warm scarf and make the best of falling leaves and crisp air.

This dish can be made with many other vegetables: try roasting some baby potatoes the same way or turnips and sweet potato. For quick meals, I like to use baby vegetables, but you can also chop your veggies in bite-size pieces. If you're making this for dinner, add some roasted salmon on top, or a nicely seared piece of chicken breast - or for a lighter meal, try it as I did, with a couple eggs, sunny side-up.

In other recent news, a couple articles I had been working on were published in the Food and Beverage section of National Post this week. I interviewed a few bloggers for the piece - Deeba from Passionate about Baking, Matt from WrightFood and Kevin from Closet Cooking as part of an article on kitchen tools, as well as MacKenzie from Grilled Cheese Social, about her love and passion for the world of toasted bread and melted cheese. You can take a look at the articles here!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

No-bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Sandwiches

As I've mentioned here before, Halloween wasn't celebrated in France when I was growing up. I remember learning about trick or treat and dressing up while watching Friends and other TV shows, and from my American friends at school. The only time I celebrated it was in elementary school. We had a British nanny for a little while in Paris who took care of me and my brother while my parents were hard at work during the day. She sewed a matching pumpkin outfits for her and myself, complete with little tiny pumpkin hats. It was ridiculously cute.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Owl-themed decor for your home

Readers of this blog will know that I love blogging about food as well as fun and pretty home decor accessories, tableware and DIY projects. Working for Style at Home also means that I get to look at beautiful homes everyday, as well as design trends and new ways of updating your space. I'm constantly inspired to re-do parts of my apartment and on the constant lookout for pretty new pieces.

This week, I wrote about how owls-inspired accessories have become a real decor trend - they have been popping up on so many different items and can help add a whimiscal touch to your space. Here are some of my favourite finds.

What item is your favourite?
{1} Embroidered owl pillow cover
{2} Antique owl globe
{3} Owl organic dessert plate
{4} Creature kingdom hook
{5} Patterned owl print
{6} Owl catch-all dish
{7} Baby owl earrings

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Parmesan and Herb Mashed Potatoes

With Thanksgiving only days away here in Canada I thought I would post an easy side dish recipe that pairs wonderfully with deliciously moist turkey and sides such as green bean salad or beet puree. I certainly didn't grow up celebrating Thanksgiving (it's obviously not a holiday of any kind in France!) but it's a tradition I have come to embrace since moving to North America. There's a little French touch in all the dishes I like to serve for the big day - and it's been a nice way to bring in a little of my upbringing and culture into the mix.

For this potato puree, I added some fresh herbs and some good quality Parmesan cheese to a classic buttery mashed potato recipe. These few easy additions help turn simple mashed potatoes into something a little more special.

For more of my Fall recipes, take a peak at Canadian Gardening. What will you be serving this Thanksgiving?

Parmesan and Herb Mashed Potatoes

8 large Yukon gold potatoes
2 tablespoons of butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup of good quality Parmesan shavings
2 tablespoon of finely chopped parsleySalt and freshly cracked black pepper

Peel the potatoes and cut into quarters. Add the potatoes to a stockpot and fill with cold water to cover. Add a couple teaspoons of coarse kosher salt and bring to a boil.

Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are completely cooked and tender. Drain the potatoes and immediately return to the warm stock pot.

Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until they begin to break down, about 30 seconds. Add the butter and mash vigorously to melt. Add the milk and mash again until the mixture is smooth and silky. If the mixture is too chunky for your liking add a couple more tablespoons of milk.

Once the potatoes have reached the desired consistency, fold in the Parmesan cheese and herbs. Add a couple good pinches of salt and pepper and serve immediately.
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