4.13.2015

SALMON BOWLS WITH PICKLED RED ONIONS, ROASTED SWEET POTATOES AND SAUTEED LEEKS

Salmon Bowls with Pickled Red Onions, Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Sautéed Leeks | Sevengrams

This past weekend was the first of several bachelorette parties, showers and weddings to come (whoa summer 2015). A sun drenched, spring time weekend in NYC with my ladies, was just what I needed. Big hugs to the gaggle.

After a few too many beers + fries, unlimited mimosas, and some of the best desserts I've ever had, I came home both exhausted, and craving something fresh, light and seasonal. Spring has finally arrived (!!!!!) and dinner had to reflect that - colourful, tangy, crunchy and doused in a lemon-dill vinaigrette.

ps. looking for some tips on NYC - check out last years trip

4.07.2015

PASSOVER CARROT CAKE

Passover Carrot Cake | Sevengrams

When we started dating, I assured Nigel that Jewish holidays and Catholic holidays didn't overlap. I'm not really sure what I was basing that on, but boy was I wrong. Without fail, for the past 3 years, Easter and Passover have fallen on the same weekend.

As such, while I'm stuck eating matza this, and matza that this time of year, I find myself tantalized by all the delicious Easter eats that pop up online. Not this year! This year, passover got its very own carrot cake - and though the texture is more sponge cake and less 'typical carrot cake', the flavours are all there, and the satisfaction bang on.

Passover Carrot Cake | Sevengrams

Passover Carrot Cake | Sevengrams

Passover Carrot Cake | Sevengrams

PASSOVER CARROT SPONGE CAKE // round spring form pan

Adapted from Second Helpings, Please!

Preheat oven to 300.

Ingredients:

7 eggs, separated
1 cup white sugar
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup almond meal
1 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup raisins, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger

What to do:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until light and fluffy. Add sugar and juice, and beat until well combined.

In a large bowl, whisk the potato starch and almond meal. Stir in the egg yolk batter and set aside.

Rinse the stand mixer bowl, and beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold the egg whites, grated carrots, nuts, raisins, cinnamon and ginger into the batter.

Bake in a buttered spring form pan for 30 minutes. Increase the oven temp to 325, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Let cool completely before removing from the pan.

3.30.2015

PASSOVER PAVLOVA WITH MAPLE ROASTED STRAWBERRIES

Passover Pavlova with Maple Roasted Strawberries | Sevengrams

Passover is coming, and you know what that means? No oats, grains, beans, rice or leavening agents -- eek! I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a bit of a struggle, but I love any opportunity to get creative in the kitchen (you know that by now, right?).

In the past, I've turned to nut flours and coconut, but was looking for something different on the dessert front this year. Since I won't be making it home for the holidays, I knew that I'd be missing my Oma's crispy meringues and strawberry ice cream, so I decided to take a stab at an alternative -- light and fluffy pavlova, doused in juicy roasted berries. YUM.

Passover Pavlova with Maple Roasted Strawberries | Sevengrams

Passover Pavlova with Maple Roasted Strawberries | Sevengrams

Passover Pavlova with Maple Roasted Strawberries | Sevengrams

Passover Pavlova with Maple Roasted Strawberries | Sevengrams

PASSOVER PAVLOVA WITH MAPLE ROASTED STRAWBERRIES // serves a crowd

I skipper the typical cream layer, trying to keep the recipe kosher (/dairy free). If you're not concerned with that kind of thing, feel free to add a substantial layout of whipped cream between the pavlova and the berries. Also, this dessert is SWEET -- consider yourself warned when the sugar rush hits ;) Adapted from Happyolks.

Preheat oven to 200. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Ingredients:

4 egg whites, room temperature
1 cup caster sugar*
2 tsp potato starch
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 batch maple roasted strawberries

* Caster sugar is a super fine white sugar. If you can't find it, simply whizz white sugar in a food processor (or bullet) until fine.

What to do:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks begin to form (2-5 minutes). When peaks are firm and ready, you should be able to tilt the bowl without any of the contents moving.

Slowly fold in the sugar, potato starch and vanilla using a rubber spatula.

Pile, and slightly flatten, the mixture onto your prepared baking sheet, and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Once cooled completely, top with the warm, juicy strawberries and serve immediately.

3.23.2015

SOFT GRANOLA BITES WITH CRANBERRIES + ALMONDS

Soft Granola Bites with Cranberries + Almonds | Sevengrams

I'm the girl who has snacks in her bag - always. Airplanes, cars, chair lifts, running errands, you name it, I've got you covered. I take this role very seriously, and as such, am always on the lookout for new and interesting snacks. My go-to's as of late: granola bars for the ski hill; no-bake energy balls for weekend adventures; and trail mix for, well, whenever really.

With an upcoming 5 hours train ride, and a full day of skiing, I was craving something different. If I'm being totally honest, I really just wanted something that could easily be inhaled while waiting in line for the chairlift (busted). Cue the soft granola bite -- perfectly sized and textured to sneak into your bag, and packed with all the things that will more than satisfy your hunger.

3.16.2015

A MIDDLE EASTERN LUNCH PLATE WITH PICKLED TURNIPS, SPICY CARROTS + QUINOA

A Middle Eastern Lunch Plate with Pickled Turnips, Spicy Carrots + Quinoa | Sevengrams

Word on the street is that Spring is coming. All the signs are there -- the snow has melted, the parka has been tucked away, and the streets are drenched in some sort of muddy slushy concoction. The temperatures however, haven't quite caught up. There's still a solid nip in the air, and my eating habits are super confused -- stuck between the warmth of winter soups and stews, and springy wraps and raw salads. That's where this lunch plate comes in -- roasted, pickled, dried and baked -- it covers all the bases, leaving you with a perfectly balanced plate and an incredibly satisfying meal.

3.09.2015

SIMPLE (+ QUICK) HUMMUS AND PITA

Simple (+ Quick) Hummus and Pita | Sevengrams

The temperatures broke zero this weekend, and though I'm venturing into the weather this week with caution, its incredible how quickly the body can shift out of hibernation mode. The sun was shining, the snow was melting, and all I wanted was a beer and some snacks on the back deck. I know, I know, I'm totally getting a head of myself considering its only March, but still.

My craving for snacks naturally led me to hummus. Naturally.

I was determined to make hummus at home, but was convinced that I needed a crazy powerful (waaaay over my budget) blender to achieve the smooth, creamy texture of the store bought brands. Wrong. Just add a solid drizzle of olive oil, and you'll end up with the ideal texture, just waiting to be dunked by some fresh pita.

3.02.2015

PRUNE, RAISIN + WALNUT HAMANTASCHEN

Prune, Raisin + Walnut Hamantaschen // Sevengrams

When it comes to the holidays, I'm all about tradition. When I was a kid, Purim meant noise makers, costumes and prune-filled cookies. My sisters and I would gather around our kitchen table and make hamantaschen with my mother -- she would prepare the dough, and we would help out with the rest, somehow always ending up with flour up to our elbows.

Since being in Toronto, I've attempted to make hamantaschen without my mom, but could never quite get the dough right. The consistency would be off, and the triangles would explode in the oven, loosing their shape and oozing filling all over the baking sheet. Fail.

This year, I was determined to get it right -- simple, easy to handle dough, and a prune filling just like the one my dad used to buy (maybe even a bit better if you ask me). Chag Sameach!