September 21, 2016

Chef Luke makes a comeback

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Now that the summer is over and we’re in the swing of school and after school activities, it is time to get that spatula back in Luke’s hands. This time around…we’ve got a special guest star behind the mixing bowl with Luke…Kathleen!

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Every week Luke and Kathleen will be plotting a new recipe to try and we will be showing their adventures in cooking live on Snapchat every Tuesday at 4:30pm.

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This week they decided to make a pie. Luke loves mango…so that was his fruit of choice but note you can make this recipe with any fruit. There are so many seasonally delish fruits at the farm stands right now…raspberries, blueberries, peach, apple…YUM!

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When working with kids it’s important to keep a few things in mind…

1.)  It’s going to be a mess.

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2.) They are going to get impatient…as are you. Just try to have fun and enjoy the process. Let your child taste and try the ingredients, smell, talk about textures…

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3.) Doesn’t need to be perfect. Luke and Kathleen encountered some issues with the prepared pie dough…but that was OK! They came up with a creative solution to avoid waste and in the end though it was not a Pinterest looking pie it was so yummy and Luke had a blast making it.

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Chef Luke and Kathleen didn’t waste any time. They got right down to business with that pie shell, making the filling and getting that pie into the oven.

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Kathleen prepped all the ingredients and pre-measured everything out before Luke got started so they could move along quickly which is key.

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Luke loves to try new things, ask questions and be involved. When making this pie he was most interested in the smell, taste and appearance of the lemon and lime zest.

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With the pie shell that cracked and tore apart, Kathleen and Luke cut it into strips to create a lattice type pie shell.

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Of course Kathleen was super impressed by Luke’s egg cracking skills.

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To top the pie after it came out of the oven, Chef Luke and Kathleen made homemade whip cream.

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Kathleen thought it would be fun to try the Pinterest mason jar version of whip cream where you chill a mason jar in the freezer before using and then add your whip cream base in there and SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE! Good trick if you’re looking for a work out….

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Chef Luke and Kathleen’s Mango Pie Recipe was adapted from the Wok of Life.

xx, Seri
2 comments
Party conversation
  1. Marissa

    I think that kids in the kitchen is the best activity ever. They learn Math skills, problem solving, teamwork, creativity and so much more!!

  2. Adult Party Themes Decorations

    Anything with kids is fun but you just need to be extra careful with them.

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September 16, 2016

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

I have to admit. I really love making and eating all kinds of different foods. Why am I saying this?

Well, it’s like this…..

I’m really not part of a “food culture or lifestyle”.

I’m not vegan.

I’m not vegetarian.

I’m not fruitarian.

I’m not paleo.

I’m not shellfish free.

I’m not grain free.

I’m not gluten free.

I’m not dairy free.

I’m not sugar free.

I’m not nut free (even though my family might disagree).

And I may be Jewish, but I’m far from being kosher.

I love crossing the threshold of world food trends and trying just about anything but hang on a sec.

That’s not to say I don’t eat healthy or at least try to. In fact, this past year I tried just about every single diet to alleviate symptoms I suffer from stemming from an autoimmune disease that’s been plaguing me for most of my life. Wanna know something? It did absolutely nothing for me. Ya, that’s right, a big fat ol’ zilch.

I like to eat.

Period.

Hey. I’m not gonna lie. There’s certain foods that I detest. One of which is a lima bean. Weird right?

When push comes to shove, I will eat almost anything that’s put in front of my face, with the exception of animals toes, privates or brains. What can I say? I like chopped liver on tam tam crackers. No one is perfect.

So why am I telling you this?

See these bars? They’re  100% vegan. Yep. Vegan as vegan can be.

So?

Why did I make em’???

Because they’re GOOD. Best. Reason. Ever.

VEGAN FRUIT & NUT BARS
-6 tablespoons coconut oil (I used JaxCoco)
-2 tablespoons raw peanut butter
-4 heaping tablespoons of raw cacao powder
-2 tablespoons agave (for non vegan use honey or maple syrup)
-pinch of kosher salt
-1 cup puffed quinoa cereal
-¼ cup dried cranberries
-¼ cup chopped pistachio nuts
-¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1) Melt together coconut oil, peanut butter, cacao powder, agave and salt in a microwavable bowl. (about 1 minute on high)
2) Stir in the quinoa cereal, cranberries, pistachios and shredded coconut.
3) Pour into a lined loaf pan and chill until set. (about 1 hour)
4) Lift bars from pan, slice and serve.
5) Can be stored in refrigerator for up to one week but they won’t last that long so don’t even bother reading this instruction.

See you next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

xx, Debi
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August 30, 2016

Cosmos and Cupcakes

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Just like Sex in the City taught us, there is nothing more chic than a good cosmo. I’ve been back in the city for a few days prepping for a few events coming up, and I decided it was time to make a cocktail to celebrate.

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I had set up our custom PJ’s and Pancakes Party in a Box that we built for a client in our studio, and made my drink to show how to transition your party in a box for cocktail hour after the kids party is over!

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Here’s what you need:
-vodka
-triple sec
-cranberry juice
-fresh lime juice
-fresh limes
-ice
-cocktail shaker

Here’s what to do for 2 drinks:
1) Take your cocktail shaker and fill up halfway with ice.
2) Add 4 oz. of vodka, 1 oz of triple sec and 2 oz. of cranberry juice to shaker.  Shake slightly.
3) Add 3/4 oz. of fresh lime juice to shaker and shake well.
4) Divide mixture evenly between each cocktail glass.  Add fresh lime slice to each glass for garnish.

YUM. Sip on this beauty once you have gotten all of your guests out the door and the kids to bed.  Maybe indulge in some leftover cupcakes?

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Celebrate your hard work… you can clean up tomorrow!

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See ya next week… Cheers!

xx, Abby
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August 19, 2016

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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DK Publishing filed a missing persons report on me this past month. Yep. I haven’t had a chance to review their books since my mom’s fall but guess what? I’M SO HAPPY TO BE BACK!!

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They sent me a darling little book called CUPCAKES & MINI CAKES. It’s so adorbs it kinda reminds me of a book Barbie would buy to bake stuff for Ken. Right?

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And just look at the cover! It’s pink (my fave) and striped. Best of all, it’s loaded with over 100 recipes for little cakes, bars and cake pops.

I flipped through it and even though I was dying to make one of their cupcakes recipes, I opted for a muffin one instead. Most likely because over the past  month I have been baking cupcakes by the double dozen for the staff on the D3 Wing in the hospital. If I walked in empty handed (without sweets) they actually gave me a “stink eye”. Oh how I loved the day when I helped my mom escape from that place!

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Since I have been a bit tight for time lately, I chose one of the simplest recipes I could find in the book so that I could finally do this review.

Apple Muffins.

But wait.

Do these look like apple muffins to you?

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No.

Why?

It’s like this.

I had all the ingredients EXCEPT the apples.   Hang on a sec…..I think you know me by now. I love to improvise SO I threw in strawberries instead. Oh, and I also added some shredded coconut to the mix because why not? My mom always taught me that a “little of this” and a “little of that” makes the perfect recipe.

Then I thought to myself. SELF? Why not throw in some bran into the mix too. Bran is healthy and besides, if I’m going to fool around with the recipe why not add in a little extra fibre?

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So here you have it. The base of this recipe is on page 62 of the book. The rest came from my head. And lately my head has been full of so many things it’s a miracle these actually came out great.

Did you also notice I had to add in a cool butter recipe for these muffins? Well, ya. I made that up in my head too. Blueberry infused butter is a much needed accompaniment to take the yumminess of these muffins to a level 10. Oh ya.

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I know you are going to love this little cute pink book. There are so many recipes I still need to try. I’m specifically eyeing the granola bars.  This book is super easy to follow, beautifully written, tried and true.

CUPCAKES & MINI CAKES will not disappoint.

STRAWBERRY COCONUT BRAN MUFFINS WITH BLUEBERRY INFUSED BUTTER
-1 cup fresh strawberries, washed and chopped into chunks
-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
-¼ cup turbinado sugar
-1¼ cups all purpose flour
-¾ cup whole wheat flour
-¼ cup bran
-4 tsp baking powder
-1 tbsp ground mixed spice
-½ tsp salt
-½ cup pecans, chopped
-¼ cup shredded coconut
-1 cup milk
-¼ cup oil, I used avocado
-1 egg, beaten
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 400F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking cups and set aside.
2) Place strawberries in a bowl, add the lemon juice and toss. Add ¼ cup of the sugar and set aside.
3) Sift the flours, baking powder, spice, and salt into the large bowl. Add in bran. Stir in remaining sugar, coconut and pecans, then make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
4) Beat together the milk, oil, egg and vanilla then add in the strawberries. Add the wet ingredients into the centre of the dry ingredients, and mix together lightly to make a lumpy batter. Try not to overmix, you want LUMPS.

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5) Spoon mixture into the prepared muffin cups about ¾ full. Optional to top each muffin with a slice of strawberry and an additional sprinkle of sugar and coconut. That’s what I did and they did turn out pretty darn stunning dontcha think?
6) Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops are nice and brown. Test with toothpick for doneness. Cool on wire rack, serve warm or cooled.

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BLUEBERRY INFUSED BUTTER
-1 stick softened butter
-¼ cup blueberry jam or preserves

1) Blend the softened butter well with the blueberry jam. Roll in plastic wrap and chill until firm.
2) Serve with muffins while they are still warm.
3) This is the only way to live. Not joking.

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See you next week!

debi, @simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

xx, Debi
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July 21, 2016

DIY with LMP: Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream Cones

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Calling all chocolate lovers! This week’s DIY with LMP is a sweet one. We’re showing you how to make the best summer treat in a few easy steps. Here’s what you’ll need:

sugar cones
semi-sweet chocolate chips
sprinkles, M&Ms, and other toppings of your choice
ice cream

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Step 1: Set out all your ingredients on plates and trays for easy access. Make sure your chocolate and toppings are on flat, wide trays. You will want everything to be within an arms reach one you get going.

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Step 2: Melt down your chocolate chips. Dip your first cone by rolling the top edge through the chocolate, and use a spatula to smooth it out as needed.

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Step 3: Choose a topping and roll your freshly dipped cone over it. Fill in the gaps by sprinkling the same topping over the exposed chocolate.

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Step 4: Set the cone back into the tray, and repeat with all cones using as many toppings as you’d like. Once the cones are finished, make space in your freezer to allow the chocolate to harden.

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Voila! Your cones are ready to be served with the ice cream of your choice. We chose Haagen Dazs, because it’s our favorite here at LMP (You can read all about why we love it, here!)

I gave Seri the first cone, because she was just dying to try it. Enjoy them before they melt!!!

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xx, Maggie
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