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Mocha biscuit cake

Chatelaine | posted Thursday, Mar 10th, 2016


Preparation time: 15 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Makes: 10 servings



  • 350-g pkg shortcake biscuits, preferably Peak Freans, coarsely crumbled
  • 300-g pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips, about 1 3/4 cups
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup golden corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp flaked sea salt, such as Maldon
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 tsp refined coconut oil


  1. WRAP the base of an 8-in. springform pan with plastic wrap. Spray inside band with oil, then line with plastic wrap, pressing to adhere to pan. Assemble pan, inserting the base, lip-side down.
  2. RESERVE 1/4 cup crumbled biscuits. Place remaining crumbled biscuits in a medium bowl.
  3. FILL a large pot with water, to about 1 in. deep. Boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Combine semi-sweet chocolate with butter, corn syrup and espresso powder in a large metal bowl. Set over simmering water. Stir until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbled biscuits and salt. Scrape mixture into prepared pan, smoothing top. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, 2 hours.
  4. RELEASE biscuit cake from pan. Remove base. Transfer cake to a cake stand. Microwave milk chocolate with coconut oil in a small bowl, 1 min. Stir until smooth. Drizzle over top of cake. Sprinkle with reserved 1/4 cup crumbled biscuits. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, 20 min.
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Finger-lickin’ Cajun chicken

Chatelaine | posted Tuesday, Mar 8th, 2016


Preparation time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Makes: 4 servings


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 4 green onions, sliced


  1. Melt butter in a large, wide frying pan over medium-high. Sprinkle chicken on both sides with Cajun seasoning. Add to pan. Cook, uncovered, until chicken is golden and cooked through, 4 to 5 min per side. Transfer chicken to a platter and cover loosely with foil.
  2. Drain all but 1 tbsp oil from the pan and return to heat. Add tomatoes.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up and stir in any brown bits from pan bottom. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes start to break down and turn saucy, about 5 min. Stir in onions for the last 3 min of cooking. Serve sauce over chicken.
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Indian chickpea pizza with lime raita

Chatelaine | posted Thursday, Mar 3rd, 2016

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Makes: 4 servings


  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 tbsp tandoori curry paste
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp water
  • 1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 pieces naan bread
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup 2% yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. PREHEAT Preheat oven to 400F. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium. Add onion, ginger, red pepper and zucchini. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 min. Add tandoori curry paste, 1/4 cup water, chickpeas and  salt. Cook 2 more min. Gently mash chickpeas in pan.
  2. ARRANGE naan on a baking sheet. Divide vegetable mixture among breads. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake in centre of oven until cheese melts, about 10 min.
  3. STIR Stir yogurt with lime juice and 1 tbsp water in a small bowl. Drizzle over warm pizzas, then sprinkle with cilantro.

Mexican Quinoa

Today's Parent | posted Tuesday, Mar 1st, 2016


Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Standing time: 5 minutes
Makes: 4 servings


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup sodium-free vegetable stock
  • 1 540-mL can black beans, rinsed well
  • 1 398-mL can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh or defrosted frozen corn kernels
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • chopped cilantro
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • lime wedges


  1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 2 min or until beginning to soften.
  2. Add quinoa and sauté for 4 min or until quinoa begins to brown and smell nutty. Add garlic and chili powder and sauté 1 min longer.
  3. Add stock, beans and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Cover pot (but leave lid slightly askew), turn heat to low and simmer for 15 min or until quinoa is cooked.
  4. Add corn to pot, remove from heat and let stand 5 min. Season with salt and fluff with a fork to combine. Serve with garnishes on the side.


Toasting grains and seeds, like quinoa, in a dry pan before adding liquid brings out their nutty flavour.

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Kung Pao chicken stir-fry

Chatelaine | posted Wednesday, Feb 24th, 2016

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Makes: 4 servings


  • 2 tbsp soy sauce, divided
  • 2 tbsp dry sherry, divided
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar or honey
  • 1 tbsp hot chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cashews or peanuts, preferably untoasted and unsalted


  1. STIR 1 tbsp each soy and sherry with ginger and sesame oil in a medium bowl. Stir in chicken until well coated. Stir in cornstarch. Combine remaining 1 tbsp each soy and sherry with sugar and chili-garlic sauce in a small bowl.
  2. HEAT a medium non-stick frying pan over medium-high. Add oil, then marinated chicken. Stir-fry chicken until almost no pink remains, 3 to 5 min. Add bell pepper and cook until it starts to soften, about 2 min. Stir soy-sherry mixture and pour over chicken and pepper. Add onions and cashews. Stir until nuts are heated through, 1 to 2 min. Remove from heat. Serve with steamed rice if desired.
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Fresh pepper and zucchini pasta

Chatelaine | posted Thursday, Feb 18th, 2016

pasta recipe


  • 4 medium tomato
  • 2 red, yellow or orange bell peppers
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 5 tbsp lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 450-g pkg angel hair or capellini pasta
  • 1 cup grated parmesan


  1. Boil a large pot of water over high. Meanwhile, coarsely chop tomatoes and peppers and place in a very large bowl. Stir in oregano, lemon juice, oil and seasonings. Cut zucchini into quarters lengthwise, then thinly slice and set aside.
  2. When water is boiling, add pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 5 min. Add zucchini for the last min of cooking. Drain well.
  3. Add pasta and zucchini to tomato mixture. Toss to mix evenly. Stir in cheese. Serve sprinkled with more cheese, if you like.
  4. Fresh zucchini and crispy bell peppers makes this colourful dish a healthy and satisfying meal. Top with freshly shaven parmesan and serve.

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Pumpkin French Toast

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Feb 8th, 2016


  • 6 slices of French baguette
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • ½ tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cup cream cheese
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1tsp nutmeg 

YIELD: 3 servings


  1.  To make French toast mixture beat 2 eggs with the milk, pumpkin spice, vanilla extract, and a touch of salt in a mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.
  2. Heat a griddle to medium heat. Dip baguette in mixture and griddle on each side until golden brown.
  3. To make pumpkin cream cheese mix all ingredients’ in a mixing bowl with a spatula until smooth.
  4. To serve add the cream cheese mixture to the base of the plate. Place 2 pieces of French toast on top and garnish with Ontario maple syrup and seasonal berries. Enjoy!


Recipe courtesy of The Fairmont Royal York Hotel

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Easy minestrone with romano beans

Chatelaine | posted Monday, Feb 1st, 2016


Preparation time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Makes: 4 servings


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp hot-red-chili-flakes
  • 796-mL can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 540-mL can romano beans, drained and rinsed
  • 450 mL vegetable broth, about 1/2 900-mL carton
  •  parmesan rind
  • 3/4 cup tubetti pasta
  • 2 cups packed spinach
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil


  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium. Add oil, then onion, carrot, celery, garlic and chili flakes. Cook until vegetables are slightly tender, about 3 min. Add tomatoes, beans, broth, parmesan rind, pasta and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until pasta is tender, 10 to 11 min. Remove and discard parmesan rind. Stir in spinach. Garnish with grated parmesan and basil.

Kitchen note: A can of beans has higher sodium levels compared to dried beans, so it’s always advisable to drain and rinse the beans before cooking with them.

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