Category Archives: Bread

Spinach & Goat Cheese Dip

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It’s been a while, eh?  Life definitely got the best of me over the past 6 months and unfortunately something had to give.  It was truly not my intention to stop blogging, but it happened, and without going on-and-on, I truly missed it.  I’ve still been cooking, not as much as I would like, but that is changing too!

So, I will leave it at that.  I am SO happy to be back blogging, back making amazing recipes, back taking photos (especially with my new amazing light box!) and of course, sharing recipes with you all.  Thanks for sticking with me – the best is yet to come (and I promise on a more regular basis).

This dip is a recipe that showed up many times over the holiday season.  It is an amazing appetizer, it is quick to prepare and it is actually reasonably healthy.  It came to be as a pasta sauce and then I envisioned the recipe as a dip and the rest is history!

Definitely whip-up this dip for your next appetizer party, Friday night snack or just because – you won’t be disappointed.

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Spinach and Goat Cheese Dip

Yield: Appetizer for About 6 People
Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time:  15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 – 3 cloves of garlic, minced/grated
  • 5 – 6 cups of fresh spinach
  • 3 – 4 TBSP water
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 3 TBSP parmesan cheese
  • dash of lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • dash of hot-sauce
  • dash of yellow mustard
  • S&P

Directions:

Over medium heat, heat the olive oil.  Add the onions and sautee until soft/translucent.  Add the garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant (30 seconds).

Add the fresh spinach to the pan and cook until spinach is soft and wilted.  Place the entire mixture into a blender and add the water to help with the puree process (or use a hand blender and puree in the pan).   Puree until smooth and no clumps remain.

Return the mixture to the pot over low heat, add the goat and parmesan cheese and remaining ingredients and whisk until incorporated and smooth. Season with S&P to taste and serve with fresh bread, crackers or whatever you please.

Recipe from the JBean Cuisine Kitchen.  Enjoy!

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Filed under Appetizers, Bread, Healthy, Mains, Side Dishes, Vegetarian and Vegan

Mojito Cookies

I am the host for this month’s What’s Baking and I am SO excited to share all of the recipes with you tomorrow – so tune-in back here for some amazing recipes tomorrow.

The theme this month was “bake with fresh herbs”.  My patio herb garden has exploded (except for my basil…) so I was inspired to try and use these herbs in a non-traditional way.  We know that rosemary is good on steak, parsley on salads, oregano on lamb…but I wanted new uses for these herbs, so away went my theme.

My mint plant is massive – it has just absolutely taken-off and I can only make so many mojitos…well, not really – I can drink those all day.  But I seriously can’t keep up with this plant.  I’ve given 10 or so sprigs to my neighbour, I’ve made salads…but I wanted to do more with it.  Insert these cookies.  Smitten Kitchen gave me the inspiration as she had posted a recipe for Margarita Cookies, and since these aren’t so far off, I decided to try it.  Just to prove how big my plant is…look at this.

These cookies were good, really good. A perfect combination of sweet, salty and buttery and a perfect use for some of my mint.  I’d go easy on the salt topping, as a few of mine were a little too savoury, but otherwise these are a welcome treat in our house and taste almost as good as sipping a mojito in Miami…I did say almost though.

Be sure to check-in tomorrow to see what my fellow bloggers made with fresh herbs.

Enjoy!

Mojito Cookies

Yield:  50 small 1-inch cookies
Prep Time:  20 minute for dough, plus 2.5 hours of resting in fridge (read directions below!)
Cook Time:  10-15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces; 230 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (70 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature and divided (you will use one in dough, one for coating)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons tequila or white rum
  • 2 TBSP of minced mint (equal to about 30 or so mint leaves)
  • Grated zest of one lime
  • 2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour

Coating:

  • Approximately 1/2 cup clear sanding or other coarse sugar
  • 2 teaspoons flaky Maldon sea salt*

Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth.

Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky.

Beat in 1 of the egg yolks, followed by the salt, tequila, grated lime and mint.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to underbeat than overbeat at this point; if the flour isn’t fully incorporated, that’s ok–just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula.

Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches (2.5 to 3.2 cm) thick. (Get the thickness right, and the length you end up with will be fine.)

Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

While the oven is preheating, work on the sugar coating: Whisk the remaining egg yolk in a small bowl until it is smooth and liquid enough to use as a glaze. Mix the coarse sugar and flaky salt well and spread the mixture out on a piece of wax paper. Remove the logs of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap them, and brush them lightly with a little egg yolk. Roll the logs in the sugar, pressing the sugar/salt mixture gently to get it to stick if necessary, then, using a sharp slender knife, slice each log into cookies about 1/4 inch (7 mm) thick. [Smitten Kitchen Note: To get the sugar/salt mixture to stick better, move the log over to a piece of plastic wrap, and in the sort of technique you’d see a sushi chef use to shape a roll, use the plastic to press the sugar in by wrapping it tightly.]

Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) space between them.  Top with a sprinkle of the leftover salt/sugar mixing.

Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned.

Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.

Keeping: Packed airtight, the cookies will keep for about 5 days at room temperature. Because the sugar coating will melt, these cookies are not suitable for freezing.

Recipe Adapted From Smitten Kitchen, originally adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Sablés au Citron

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Filed under Bread, Desserts, Vegetarian and Vegan

I’m Back…Arugula, Tomato and Olive Tapenade

I’m finally back… where have I been you ask?  Working a lot, writing final exams (3 in total!), getting over a serious stomach bug and finally moving into a new house.  It’s been a busy couple of weeks and we aren’t even settled in the new house yet.

After weeks of eating salads, take-out and not at all (darn stomach bug!) I was SO ready to get back in my kitchen.  But, then the move happened, which caused all of my kitchen items to be boxed up and moved into a new home.  As of last night, I have finally unpacked all of my kitchen items…the rest of the house remains untouched. I don’t know about you, but I always forget how many kitchen items I have…

However, as you can imagine I wanted a quick recipe, that wasn’t involved.  Time is still limited around here – dinners are quick, but we are trying to be healthy – even more so as usual, especially with all of the eating out we’ve been doing.

So, when I received the blog Cheese Curd In Paradise for this round of the Recipe Swap, it was very hard to steer away from some of her very sinful looking recipes (go visit her blog and you will see exactly what I am talking about!).  I browsed through almost everyone of her tabs, and came across a recipe for Olive Tapenade.  I love olives and this recipe immediately reminded me two recipes that one of my BF’s made a while back for a few parties.  Having a container of tapenade in the fridge was a welcomed idea – perfect for a quick snack while unpacking.  I also followed Cheese Curd’s recommendation to use a food processor to achieve the perfect consistency.

This is a fresh, light and easy to prepare recipe that would be welcome on any party table, appetizer spread or just over the weekend for a quick snack. Serve with a fresh loaf of bread, or even over freshly grilled chicken breast.  This recipe is so versatile, and also easy to adapt based on what you have on hand (just like I did!).

Enjoy.

Arugula, Tomato and Olive Tapenade

Yield: 3 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: nil

Ingredients:

  • 2/4 cup pitted green olives
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalmata olives
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 4 TBSP Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cups of fresh arugula
  • 1 red pepper, cored and seeded
  • 2 TBSP capers, drained
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated or minced
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of your food processor.

Pulse until well combined, minced well and consistent (you don’t want any big chunks of anything)!

Taste for seasoning – add more lemon juice, salt, pepper etc. if needed.

Serve with baguettes, crackers, or however you please (goat cheese is a great accompaniment – as seen in the photos!)

Recipe adapted from Cheese Curd In Paradise

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Filed under Appetizers, Bread, Healthy, Vegetarian and Vegan