Friday, 19 September 2014

Canadian Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and with it, turkey season (even though, as I've proved this year, any season can be turkey season) I am always on the look out for unusual appetizers and I love easy, make ahead canapes with my own spicy little twist added to it.

I love these little bites. The warmly spiced ground turkey, with it's hints of Moroccan spice, works perfectly with filo pastry to make for the perfect snacks. Both the filo shells and the turkey filling can be made in advance, plus you can also fill these an hour or so before your guests (or family) arrive. These are incredibly addictive. When mom and I were testing this recipe, I had to swat off mom, because she just wouldn't stop eating them.

I made the shells by flipping a mini muffin tray upside down and cutting out squares of pastry, buttering them and placing them on the upside down molds. I find that it works better than tucking them into the muffin holes, but it does look prettier if you so it that way too. Just make sure to have dry hands while doing it that way, so you can tuck the pastry in without tearing it. These shells are pretty delicate, but you can very easily make a whole bunch and store them in an air tight container. I've also made mini meat pies with this filling and they're absolutely gorgeous as well. 

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to the Tasty Turkey website to download your recipe now.

Click for the recipe - Spiced Turkey Tartlets

And as usual, if you have any questions, mosey on back and I'll be more than happy to answer them for you :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Canadian Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Every holiday, I give thanks that we are able to put together a beautiful meal on the table and enjoy it with family and friends. But holidays are also a good time time to reflect on how we can help people around us and we know that they can be hard on families who are not well off.

For the past six years, the Turkey Farmers of Canada and their member organizations, have been assisting thousands of Canadian families in rural communities during the Thanksgiving period, and throughout the calendar year. The funds are divided up among rural food banks in ten provinces and three territories, with over 90 food banks receiving money to purchase turkeys for Thanksgiving (some even have money left over to also use at Christmas). TFC targets rural food banks for two reasons: because a lot of their members all live in rural communities, and also because rural food banks are so often struggling to find sufficient food to share with their clients. But more can be done, and they’re challenging Canadians to participate in a Buy One Give One campaign.

So they are launching a BOGO campaign – Buy One, Give One – today. In order to help as many families as possible to continue to enjoy a family tradition even during difficult times, when buying your own family’s turkey purchase a second one to give to your local food bank. Canadians will also have the option to donate through Food Banks Canada.

To raise awareness of this very important issue, TFC is using the hashtag #BOGOTurkey for the campaign for the few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving which is Monday, October 13th this year. We hope that you will all be able to join the conversation and help us out by donating. You can also join the #BOGOTurkey Pinterest Board here, and pin some of your favourite Thanksgiving turkey recipes (you can email for an invitation)

You can find your nearest Food Bank by accessing this tool on the Food Banks Canada website.

I know I will definitely be donating a turkey when buying my own. I hope all my Canadian readers will also consider it. Please join us fighting hunger at Thanksgiving and at all time.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Appams divide people. No, really, they do. I mean, I know food is all about uniting people and bringing them together with shared memories, but not when it comes to these crisp edged sweet/ savoury pancakes. These guys are divisive, I tell you. Crisp edges or squidgy middle? I love the crisp edges, and my husband loves the squidgy middle. And never the twain shall meet (really... the crispy edges are where it's at man... there is no competition with that squidgy, scrummy middle... oh wait...)

Growing up, we waited for those days mother made appams, which was usually on Sunday mornings. As we lived in a coconut orchard, we always had a good supply of dried coconuts in our storage shed. Mom picked a coconut, smacked the living daylights out of it and grated all the sweet meat out. The grated coconut was then ground down to a thick paste, after which she squeezed out the thick milk, and then, watered it down and extracted the thin milk.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

One of the nicest things about summer in Edmonton is the abundance of produce that shows up every year. These gorgeous jalapeño peppers (along with more beans) literally showed up on my doorstep last week. These are Andrea's, and were kindly dropped off at my door, late at night, by another friend, Addie. Yes, we live exciting lives around here. 

I've been meaning to make jalapeño pickles forever, and I love small batch preserving. But for whatever reason, I just never found enough time, or the fresh peppers. When Andrea asked if I wanted some of her fresh ones, I leapt at the chance. Thanks to fresh carrots from my own garden, I finally got the opportunity to make these escabeche style pickles I've been craving for so long.

Monday, 25 August 2014

What do you do when your best friend shows up with a giant bag of fresh, crisp green beans from her garden? Well, first off, you give her a giant hug, cause everyone loves those beans. You then hand over the bag of beans to your mom and bat your eyelashes at her and ask her to make you the most delicious, super simple, vegetable comfort food of your childhood. I am lucky to have my mom visiting, and am aiming to make the best of having here here with me, even if it's for a short time.

Us Mangaloreans are not known for our love of vegetables. Every meal, however, does include a vegetable or two, usually as the sidekick to a main of meat or fish. More often than not, vegetables are an afterthought, designed strictly as filler food. Even though half of India is vegetarian, simple steamed veggies - like you find here at almost every meal - are a rarity. Veggies are jazzed up with spices and sauces, and cooked to within an inch of their lives. The results are usually tasty, but, hey, where is the distinctive flavour of the greens?