November 30, 2016

Chef Luke & Kathleen Make Holiday Popcorn Mix

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Here’s something you might now know about Chef Luke… he absolutely LOVES popcorn.  We got him an air popper last year and he asks for freshly popped popcorn as a snack pretty much everyday.

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It was an absolute no-brainer to make a fun and festive Holiday Popcorn Mix for one of Luke’s cooking shows! Enjoy the full video below:

We also decided to serve the mix in this adorable Reindeer Bag Craft, which is included in our Limited Edition Kids Holiday Bash in a Box.  Get yours today, and mix up some of Luke’s Holiday Popcorn Mix for the Ultimate Kid’s Holiday Party!

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We hope you enjoy, and Happy Popping!

xx, Abby
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November 18, 2016

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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I know you will relate to this scenario. The recipe calls for 1 cup of an ingredient and you end up with an open tub of ricotta that you will stick in the back of your fridge and forget about until one day when you have nothing better to do than clean the fridge, then you find a tub of cheese, open it and it reminds you of a science experiment gone awry. (My God that sentence was way too long).

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So as to avoid having to throw out this ricotta, the day I made a savoury recipe, I decided to make a sweet one for two reasons:

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1) I had plums
2) I had the cheese

So ya. That’s about it.

Wait. No…..

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I have another reason. I forgot about the open box of puff pastry that was hanging around.

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Now let’s talk about slicing things. If my husband is around, he offers to slice stuff for me. Why? Because he “claims” that I “butcher” everything. Not true Steve, not true. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have sliced a tomato and he says “what did you do that”!!?

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I have some of the best knives in town thanks to the folks at Zwilling J.A. Henckels. I mean, the best. They are so darn sharp they actually scare me a little. The thing is, I need cutting lessons. Yes, cutting LESSONS.

Recently, I was invited to the grand opening of their new store, which is conveniently located 10 minutes from my office. I’ve never seen so much knife wielding in my life. It’s super cool to watch “REAL CHEFS” handle their cutting weapons. Did I learn anything? Well, yes. The best way to ensure you don’t slice your fingers off is to ask Steve to cut something for you.

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So what did we get to do at this event? EAT AND MEET.  My two favourite things in the world to do.

Here I am with the President of Zwilling J.A Henckels Canada – Mrinal Sharma, who is charming, knows his knives and is very tall.

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I was also really excited to  meet Niside Aloi, who is the public relations and media manager for Zwilling J.A Henckels Canada, a lovely, talented and beautiful young lady whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past year.

Oh, and they let me hold a big knife (in a virtual kitchen).

We sampled tastings from Chef Romain Avril, who is the executive chef at Toronto’s newest hotspot, Lavelle.

His food was totally amazing and beautifully presented in an array of Staub cookware.

An event is never an event without me stuffing my face with sweets, so here ya go. I didn’t realize that those little bombé wouldn’t really fit inside my mouth in one fell swoop. Okay, so I’m not very socially acceptable sometimes, but I try.

So what was I saying?

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Oh ya, this tart. A perfect match for a Zwilling knife. Sharp and beautiful.

Thank you Zwilling for hosting me and my editor Eve at this event! (she got to hold a big knife too)

RED PLUM, LEMON AND RICOTTA TART
-2/3 cup smooth ricotta cheese
-2 tablespoons organic honey
-zest of 1 lemon
-1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
-3 large red plums or any other stone fruit, halved seeded and thinly sliced
-powdered sugar for garnish

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INSTRUCTIONS
1) Preheat oven to 400˚F.
2) Place ricotta, honey and lemon zest into a mixing bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.
3) Place puff pastry into a tart pan spread honey/ricotta mixture over the top in an even layer.

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4) Top with rows of thinly sliced plums, until the surface is covered.

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5) Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until puff pastry turns golden brown and puffs around the edges.

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6) Allow tart to cool, 15 to 20 minutes before dusting with powdered sugar, slicing and serving.

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xx, Debi
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November 15, 2016

A Spiked Hot Chocolate Bar

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Last week, we set up a hot chocolate bar for a shoot we did with our friend Brittany Lo for our Chicest Party in a Box. I had a bunch of leftover ingredients like cocoa powder, marshmallows, etc., and instead of wasting them, I decided to make a sweet seasonal cocktail.

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This recipe calls for Bailey’s Irish creme liqueur, but you can easily make a virgin variation for the kids you will inevitably spending some of the Holiday’s with.

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Here’s what you need:
-cocoa powder
-sugar
-salt
-milk
-hot water
-Bailey’s Irish Creme
-mini marshmallows
-hazelnut Pirouettes
-mocha powder (optional)

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Here’s what to do:
1) To make hot cocoa, in a medium saucepan combine 1/4 cup hershey’s cocoa powder, 1/2 cup of sugar, a dash of salt, 4 cups of milk and 1/3 cup of hot water.
2) Stir together, and cook covered on medium heat, being careful not to boil, for two minutes, stirring constantly.
3) Once fully heated up and ingredients are combined, pour mixture into your hot cups, filling 3/4 of the way.
4) Add 1 oz. of Bailey’s to each cup of hot cocoa. Use spoon to mix together slowly.

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5) Top each cup with your chosen amount of marshmallows, pirouettes, or both! You can also sprinkle some mocha powder on top of the marshmallows for extra chocolate-ey flavor.

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This hot chocolate will warm you up in more ways that one this Holiday season! If you’d like a little extra kick, feel free to add in more Bailey’s… I always do. I styled this using items from our Chicest Party in a Box, which is perfect for any occasion. And our favorite seasonal reindeer bust, of course.

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Enjoy! See ya next week…

xx, Abby
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November 11, 2016

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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Not sure what I like better here. The painted pumpkins or these yummy waffles. It’s clear I had nothing better to do the other day when I pulled out my Martha Stewart Craft Paints and went to town on these mini pumpkins. I really didn’t want to toss them out and they were getting a bit yucky looking, since I bought them over a month ago.

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But look.

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A very simple way to spruce up pumpkins for a DIY craft. All you need is paint, brushes and your pumpkins. That’s it. Pretty stinkin’ easy and beyond cute for a tablescape. I chose to do these colours because well……you know I’m slightly addicted to Pinterest and spotted something similar the other night when scrolling through my home feed.

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I also loved intertwining the freshly fallen leaves from my tree (and my neighbour’s who has no idea I snatched them without approval) with these magnificent colours. Fall is the time of year when I have mixed feeling about summer being behind us and seeing signs of winter ahead. Then the stupid trees have to go and do their changing and I can’t think of anything negative about this season anymore because really? There is nothing like a fall horizon to pick up your spirits.

Our garden is barren from vegetables and I can’t find Alice the rabbit anywhere. She must have gone to the side of our house to prepare for the winter (most likely with all the produce she stole from us all summer).

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There was ONE thing she didn’t get her hands on and that was a baby butternut squash my husband found a few weeks ago. It was so small it would barely be worth it to cook and eat but I thought, hey, why not? I can add it as an ingredient in something.

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I took leftover pumpkin filling, this little squash, a banana and bingo bango, we have WAFFLES!

I hauled out my newish Cuisinart Waffle Maker and set everything up so I was ready to go. Grabbed my Vitamix and threw all the ingredients in, gave it a whirl and had a lovely rich batter that was laced with healthy ingredients.

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I think I got a bit too excited to make these and I missed a step.

A very important step.

AND.

That was……..

I forgot to spray the waffle maker with non-stick oil.

See?

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OY.

Here’s what I have learned over the past (100) years of cooking. If your dish looks like crap, don’t admit that you flubbed up. JUST CALL IT RUSTIC.

I mean. It still tastes the same, right?

I managed to eat the rustic waffles while making the next batch, which came out MUCH better.

See for yourself.

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Pumpkin, Squash & Banana Waffles

2 large bananas, mashed
1⁄2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup butternut squash, cooked
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon date spread, peanut butter or almond butter
1⁄4 cup melted virgin coconut oil
1 cup flour (can use any flour here)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

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1) Preheat the waffle iron.
2) Combine the bananas, pumpkin puree, squash, eggs, date spread, peanut or almond butter, and coconut oil in a blender and mix well until everything is well blended.
3) Once smooth, add the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and salt and blend until well mixed.
4) Lightly spray the waffle iron (I used coconut oil). Note* – Don’t forget this step unless you want those rustic waffles I was talking about.
5) Ladle the batter into the preheated and greased waffle maker and spread it evenly across the surface. Close the lid and cook, following the manufacturer’s directions.
6) Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and real maple syrup.

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See you next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

xx, Debi
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October 28, 2016

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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I could probably just write two lines for this blog and it would be sufficient because really? All you need to know is this:

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You can make these spooky treats in less time than you can say BOO.

But wait.  I just need to tell you this…. (you didn’t expect me to just go away quietly did you?)

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The long and short of these mummies are as follows: I got really lazy this weekend. Like really, really downright lazy. I’ve made treats from scratch almost my whole life, but with a few celebrations coming up this week and no time to spare, I had to think really fast.

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I needed something quick as lightening to shoot for a Halloween post, so here’s what I did:

1. Pinterest (I mean, what did we do without pins and boards?)

2. The bulk food store (a truly magical place)

3. Searched my cupboard for things I rarely use (like black icing gel)

Have to admit…

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These are stinkin’ cute.

Just in case you are not as lazy as I am, I’m going to share my all time favourite marshmallow krispy recipe with you. When I made these squares for my boys, they walked into the kitchen, walked out and the pan was empty within 5 minutes. OH the joys of boys.

Happy Halloween from Simply BOOtiful Eating!

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3 INGREDIENT KRISPY MUMMIES

1) Melt chocolate in a microwavable bowl in 30 second increments. Keep stirring in between the 30 seconds until smooth and glossy. About 2 minutes total.
2) Dip marshmallow krispy squares into chocolate, coating the top and sides only. Leave the bottom without the coating. Place each square on a cooling rack. Once you are done, pop them into the fridge for 30 minutes or the freezer for 5 to harden the chocolate.
3) Remove from fridge or freezer and drizzle with leftover chocolate to make zig zag strands like a mummy. Place back into fridge or freezer to harden.
4) Place two drops for each eye with the black gel icing. Let fully harden and serve.

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PEANUT BUTTER MARSHMALLOW RICE SQUARES
-¼ cup butter
-5 cups miniature or 40 regular (250 g pkg) marshmallows
-½ tsp vanilla extract
-6 Cups puffed rice cereal (*I have used brown rice puffs and it works well too)
-3 heaping tablespoons smooth peanut or almond butter

1) In large saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Add marshmallows; stir until melted and well blended. Remove from heat.
2) Stir in vanilla and nut butter.
3) Add cereal, stirring until coated. You’re going to need muscle for this, trust me.
4) Using lightly buttered spatula or wet fingers, press into buttered (13 x 9″) pan. Cool. Cut into bars.

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See you next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

xx, Debi
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