Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Strawberry Daiquiri

When life hands you strawberries, MAKE STRAWBERRY DAIQUIRIS!  Last week, despite having made a pie, and eaten a ton of strawberries on their own, I still had lots of strawberries left from my St. Andrew's Acres strawberry picking adventure.  I find that the best way to use up strawberries, or any fruit for that matter, that is on its last leg, is to puree it.  When you know that your fruit is on or near its last day, turn it into some sort of sauce, soup, or drink. Strawberry daiquiris have been a favourite of mine for years, so it was a no brainer when I had to quickly come up with a way of using up my leftover strawberries.
Tip: To dress this drink up for company, run a a cut lime around the rim of the glass and dip the rim in sugar.  

2-3 cups strawberries (you may use frozen)
3 oz rum
2 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, boiled till dissolved, and cooled)
1-2 cups ice

1.  Mix all ingredients in a blender until it reaches desired consistency. Serve garnished with a strawberry or lime slice.

La Bamboche

For several months now I have been eagerly awaiting the opening of La Bamboche at 1712 Avenue Road.  Whenever there is a new restaurant or bakery in the area, I get filled up with excessive amounts of excitement, hoping that my neighborhood will have gotten ourselves a real gem.  It looks like La Bamboche will finally be the gem we have been waiting for and will live up to all the hype.  After months of anticipation for the opening, I found out that they actually have another location in Toronto at 4 Manor Road East.  So of course, I had to check it out!  Just stepping into pastry chef Stephen Nason's little bakery feels like, what I would imagine it's like, stepping into a classy Parisian bakery.  The shop is filled with exquisite confections, cakes, tarts, quiches, preserves, and their famous macarons.  Attempting to describe the art that these delicious treats are transformed into would be pointless, as words cannot describe how beautiful each item is.  To see for yourself, check out La Bamboche's blog, which features many of their extraordinary confections.  

After much debate on what I should purchase from the store, I settled on getting a chocolate almond croissant and a blueberry danish.  Hands down, this was the best chocolate almond croissant I have ever tasted!  The buttery croissant was perfectly flaky and filled with layer upon layer of rich semisweet chocolate and delicious almond paste that genuinely tasted like real almond paste, and not that strange mixture of almond extract and marzipan that is often found in almond croissants.  The blueberry danish was made from the same flaky croissant pastry and was filled with fresh, big blueberries, bursting with flavour.  My mouth is watering all over again just thinking about how much I enjoyed them!  I just have to wait a little bit longer until I can walk on over to La Bamboche on a daily basis! La Bamboche's Avenue Road location opens mid-summer 2009.  See you there!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Montreal Weekend Getaway

Me (Danielle Rose) with some ladies I befriended in Old Montreal...funny, they refused to speak or acknowledge me 
My mum and I (Danielle Rose) at the Notre-Dame Bastilica of Montreal "And Then There Was Light" show
Chuck Hughes restaurant, Garde Manger 
Chuck Hughes restaurant, Garde Manger 
My empty plate at Reubens....right after I realized I had forgotten to take a photo of my colossal Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich
Two of many sangrias
Orange and cranberry pancake stuffed with mascarpone, ricotta, and cheesecake, with berries and berry sauce from Jardin Nelson
Baked smoked salmon, goats cheese, and red onion omelette with spiced home fries from Jardin Nelson
Bloody Caesars, final drinks in Montreal

This past weekend I fled rainy, stinky (the city is still in full force with their garbage strike) Toronto to spend some time with my mum in Montreal.  I have been to Montreal twice before, and both times had a blast. The only problem was, the last two times I went, I was with my friends who were more concerned about partying and shopping in the same stores we have at home in Toronto than actually going around to see different parts of the city and experiencing the culture and, most importantly, the FOOD! 

We arrived in Montreal on Friday afternoon, and despite the weather forecast calling for thundershowers, the weather was beautiful! Warm and sunny! We took advantage of the nice weather by walking around Old Montreal, an area that I had never been to but had been told by native Montreal friends that I would love!  They were right! Old Montreal is a fabulous area! It is so nice to walk down the cobblestone streets, stopping into little shops, cafes, and classy restaurants. The atmosphere is so charming that, combined with everyone speaking french around you, you feel like you are in a whole other country!  

After walking around for several hours, we decided to walk over to the the Notre-Dame Bastilica of Montreal where we had seen a large sign advertising their show entitled "And Then There Was Light."  The show is a light and sound show that tells the story of how Montreal was built around this extraordinary cathedral.  We figured our feet needed a break, and soaking up a little history never hurt anyone.  I think that they had a very interesting concept, but didn't carry it out quite as successfully as I would have hoped.  Despite being disappointed with the production value, it was all worth it to see the exquisite reveal of the gorgeously detailed cathedral.  I would have never appreciated the beauty, history, and meaning of the cathedral as much as I had through the seeing the show.  At $10 a person, I would definitely recommend it.

That evening, we walked over to the Latin Quarter where my mum had told me about a great place to go for dinner.  l'Acadamie is a large, 3 story restaurant, located in the heart of the thriving Latin Quarter.  There are several restaurants in Montreal that allow you to bring your own bottle and, conveniently, l'Acadamie is located right next store is a small liquor store.  So before settling at our cute little open window seat with a view of the busy street, we stopped into the liquor store to pick out a bottle of red wine for our meal.  I ordered the breaded veal scallopini with prosciutto and mozzarella and my mum ordered a veal scallopini with a lemon and white wine sauce.  I was almost knocked right out of my seat when our food arrived because I could believe the size of the portions! Not only did I have a large piece of veal, smothered in browned mozzarella, I also had, what looked like, an entree size side of spaghetti! Let me tell you, for a hungry foodie who had only eaten flavourless train food all day long, I was in my glory! So much so....that....I forgot to take a photo.  I am still new to the blogging world, and I suppose I am much more dedicated to my own taste buds than I am sharing my foodie findings.  I was just so hungry and excited to see such a delicious looking plate, I dove right in and savored each and every bite!

The next morning we woke up to a light rain.  So we decided to first head over, once again, to the Latin Quarter for breakfast, as it was close to our hotel.  We stopped in at Brulerie St. Denis, a cute french cafe with an impressive selection of coffee beans, and fresh croissants. Both my mum and I ordered a croissant toasted with brie.  Just as I was delighted with the large portion size the evening before, my croissant was covered in delicious, creamy, melted brie, with a very large portion of zesty shredded carrot salad.  It was delicious and satisfying, just what I needed to start off a day of shopping on St. Catharine Street.  

St. Catharine street is a strip of popular stores in the heart of downtown Montreal.  After shopping for several hours, we figured we needed a break from the rain, so we saw a movie, and then time for lunch!  Ok, now for a little confession.  I love Montreal.  I love the atmosphere, the people, the language...but...my favourite part of Montreal is actually...Reuben's Deli!!!!!!  A trip to Montreal is not complete without stopping at Reuben's for one of their famous enormous Montreal smoked meat sandwiches.  You simply cannot compare it to any other deli on earth! It is simply the best!  The first time I came to Montreal, my friends and I were there for 2 nights and 3 days, and we went to Reuben's twice, and contemplated going a third time! It's just that good!  I ordered their Euro sandwich.  It is packed with their original Montreal smoked meat, but instead of rye, it is served on a fresh poppyseed kaiser bun with swiss cheese. I prefer this to the original rye because the bread is able to hold up to the massive amounts of meat, instead of disintegrating in your hands.  Also, a little cheese just makes the sandwich even more delicious.  The sandwich comes with a large portion of thin cut fries, their homemade zesty coleslaw, and a pickle.  Once again, I had forgotten to take a photo.  I was so excited to see my favourite sandwich, that wolfed that baby down the moment it arrived at the table!  It was just as I pushed my plate away from me that I realized I had forgotten all about it, but I still managed to get a lovely photo of my empty plate! 

We were so full after Reuben's, we couldn't even think about eating again that night.  The rain had finally cleared up to reveal a beautiful warm evening, so we went back to the Latin Quarter and decided to hit up as many bars as we could manage to try each ones sangria.  It was a lot of fun trying out each bar, their sangria, and finding new places to people watch.  We slept well that night, needless to say.

The next morning was our last day.  Our train was leaving at 3:40 so we decided to have a big brunch that would keep us satisfied till our in-train meal.  We had remembered seeing a really cute restaurant called Jardin Nelson in Old Montreal and decided to check it out to see if they were open for breakfast.  They indeed were.  From 10:00 am their breakfast begins with a live jazz band playing on their very large outdoor space, adding to the beautiful, flower filled atmosphere.  When we arrived we were able to get a table right away and the restaurant was still pretty quiet.  But just 20 minutes later, the place was packed! Looks like we found the Sunday morning brunch hot spot!  Everything on the menu sounded so delicious and unique that my mum and I decided to each order something and split them, so that we would at least try two of the many delicious things from Jardin Nelson's menu.  We settled on ordering something sweet and something savoury.  We ordered the baked smoked salmon, goats cheese, and red onion omelette with spiced home fries and the orange and cranberry pancake stuffed with mascarpone, ricotta, and cheesecake, with berries and berry sauce.  They were both beautifully presented, once again fitting right in with the charming atmosphere, and tasted just as they looked.  My mum and I savored each and every bite! I would definitely recommend coming to Jardin Nelson on your next visit to Montreal.  I can't imagine coming to Montreal and not coming back to Jardin Nelson to eat again.

We ended our trip in Montreal with bloody caesars on the outdoor patio of another restaurant in Old Montreal, with a perfect view of the entertaining street performers.  It was a lovely way to end an incredible weekend away.  I am already planning my next trip back to Montreal for this summer! Stay tuned! 

Mini Crab Cakes with Citrus Aioli

After years of refusing to eat crab legs or crab cakes based on my devotion to the film The Little Mermaid (I spent my childhood believing that I truly was the live action version of Ariel) and my love for Sebastian the crab, I finally decided to give crab a try a few years ago, and low and behold, I fell in love! I couldn't believe what I had missed out on all those years.  I now have to hold myself back from ordering crab cakes each time I go to a restaurant, because I think I could eat them each and every day! In September, for my 21st birthday, my family had signed me up to attend a LCBO cooking class on holiday hors d'oeuvres.  You can imagine my delight when I read that one of the hors' d'oeuvres would be crab cakes!! These crab cakes were some of the best I had ever tried! They are simple to make and just as the cooking class stated, perfect as an hors' d'oeuvres for a party.  
Note: Do not attempt to make cakes larger than directed.  They will not hold together...trust me....I've tried.
Note: the aioli was originally a lime aioli, but I love the flavour of lemon with my crab cakes, so I made it a citrus aioli.
Tip:  I like to keep my aioli in a squeeze bottle to make pretty designs on your crab cakes.  A squeeze bottle also makes it easy to keep the aioli on hand for other dishes such as fish and chips.  The aioli will keep in the fridge for at least a week. 

Crab Cakes
1 lb. (500g) lump crabmeat, drained and flaked
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh basil
2 1/2 cups cracker crumbs, divided
salt and pepper to season

Citrus Aioli
1 tbsp garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 tbsp lime zest
1 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper to season

Crab Cakes
1.  Place the crabmeat in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, egg, shallot, roasted red pepper, basil, and 1 cup cracker crumbs.  

2.  Pour mixture into large bowl, over crabmeat, add salt and pepper, and carefully combine, making sure not to over mix! 

3.  Form into about 24 mini crab cakes using about 1 tbsp of the crab mixture for each cake.  Put remaining cracker crumbs in a shallow dish and gently coat each cake with he crumbs.  

4.  In a large non-stick skillet or griddle set to medium-high heat, add enough oil to coat the bottom of pan. When oil begins to simmer, add crab cakes in batches making sure not to overcrowd the pan (a crowded pan will result in the oil temperature dropping, making your crab cakes greasy).  Cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.  

5.  Transfer batches to an un-greased baking sheet and keep warm in a low temperature oven until ready to serve.  Drizzle the tops of crab cakes with citrus aioli, or serve alongside. 

Citrus Aioli
1.  In a food processor, combine garlic, lemon zest, lime zest, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and lime juice.  Process until well blended.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Mango Daiquiri

What better way to cool off in the sweltering June Toronto heat than a refreshing poolside mango daiquiri! Last week after a girlie sleepover with one of my best friends, Courtney, (and no, to any boys out there, there was no lingerie pillow fights) we spent the day relaxing and tanning by the pool in my backyard.  Of course any successful girlie day means having an equally girlie drink to go along with it!  The colours of this drink are vibrant with the sweet and bright flavours matching its appearance.  
Tip: I like to keep simple syrup in a squeeze bottle in my fridge to have on hand for drinks throughout the summer.  To make your own, simply boil equal parts sugar and water until sugar is dissolved.  Let cool. 

1 mango, peeled, seeded, and sliced
2 cups mango nectar (I use Sun Tropics not from concentrate, purchased at Costco)
2-3 tbsp simple syrup (see above tip)
2 cups ice
2-3 shots rum (preferably dark rum)
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
grenadine, to garnish

1.  Puree sliced mango until smooth.  Add in mango nectar, simple syrup, rum, lime juice, and ice and blend until desired consistency.  

2.  Transfer to glasses and drizzle the top with desired amount of grenadine.  

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Egg Salad Sandwich

I woke up yesterday to see a big bag of amazingly fresh looking challah buns! I wish I knew who invented the challah bun, because honestly, whoever did is my hero! They have so much flavour with a touch of sweetness, and when they are fresh, they are out of this world delicious! One of the best things to make on a challah bun, in my opinion at least, is an egg salad sandwich. Challah is a type of egg bread, so naturally, I think that egg salad and challah buns go hand in hand. I know a lot of people who just make their egg salad sandwich with mayonnaise, mustard, and salt and pepper, but that just doesn't do it for me. I like to brighten up the creaminess of the egg with the bold flavour of fresh herbs, and add a touch of spice with paprika.
Tip: When putting the egg salad on your bun or bread, add a big scoop to the middle of your bread leaving the sides free from salad. When you add the top piece of bread and cut it or bite in, the salad will naturally spread out, making less of a mess.
Tip: To add more texture to your egg salad, add chopped celery.
Note: I am a big believer in fresh and natural ingredients, so I usually prefer to use Hellmann's mayonnaise rather than Miracle Whip, but in sandwiches I do like the zesty flavour that Miracle Whip has. You may use whichever you prefer.

2 hard boiled eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2-3 tbsp mustard
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp green onions (scallions or chives)
1 tbsp fresh dill
salt and pepper
pieces of lettuce

1. Using a fork, break up eggs to reach desired consistency.

2. Add in mayonnaise and mustard and stir to combine. Add the rest of the ingredients (minus the lettuce) and once again stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Place one large scoop of salad in middle of bread or bun and top with lettuce pieces and other half of bun or bread (see above for tip).

Lippincott Living Cocktail Party

Darlene Hesas of Cecconi Simone, my mum, and me (Danielle Rose)

Last week I attended the launch party for Lippincott Living presented by Blurredge.  Lippincott Living is a project to develop eight luxury townhouses to be built by Spring 2010 at College and Lippincott.  The launch party was set up to allow people to view the showroom as well as a complete model home to understand the vision of Lippincott Living in a classy and enjoyable atmosphere.  I was extremely impressed by the showroom.  The modern interiors are beautifully designed and extremely functional, making me feel inspired to one day get a great job and live in such a fabulous place!

I was also very impressed with the hors d'oeuvres which were provided by L-EAT catering.  Of course, for research purposes, I had to try each hors d'oeuvre and enjoyed every single one! My favourite was the pomegranate cured salmon on yukon gold rosti with avocado yogurt and a chive garnish.  The potato rosti was crisp on the outside, and soft on the inside.  The pomegranate cured salmon was deliciously flavourful and was complemented wonderfully by the avocado yogurt and chives. Some of the other hors d'oeuvres were:
  • Wild mushroom and goats cheese tartlets with truffle oil essence
  • Polenta rounds with lemon herbed ricotta and green and white asparagus
  • Miniature steak au poivre sandwiches with arugula cress and bernaise aioli 
  • Salt cod and leek fritters with green goddess aioli
  • Honey garlic chicken in a wonton cone with carrot frizz
Another favourite of mine from the evening was dessert! The dessert of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate cheesecake lollipops were delicious and had a whimsical flair. All the hors d'oeuvres were paired with a delicious Prosecco, which helped to put me at ease in a beautifully decorated room surrounded by stylish and classy business people.  I wouldn't have expected anything less than fabulous from such an incredible design company, and I was certainly not let down.  

If you are interested in purchasing one of the eight luxury Lippincott townhouses, visit www.lippincottliving.com.

Strawberry Picking = Strawberry Pie

Me (Danielle Rose) and my cousin on the hay bales

After I attended sip & Savour Ontario last week, I really began to realize the importance of supporting local Ontario produce.  I immediately consulted my seasonal food chart so that I would know exactly which fruits and vegetables are in season in Ontario this summer and exactly when.  To my delight, I learned that right now is strawberry season! I made it my mission to get out of Toronto and head north to St. Andrews Acres to support Ontario strawberries...and let's face it, a delicious strawberry pie at the end of the day ain't so bad either. 

Not only was the day successful for bringing home a few pounds of juicy and flavourful strawberries, it was successful because I had so much fun in the process! I went with my mom and 5 year old cousin and, although the heat was pretty brutal in the fields, we had so much fun gathering all the strawberries.  My cousin just thought it was the greatest thing that we got to take them all home!  After the strawberry picking, we visited the little shop that they had, where they were selling strawberries that had already been picked, fresh picked rhubarb, and asparagus and tons of preserves, fudge, soup mixes, and more! They even had a large selection of free recipe cards from Ontario Farm Fresh, which I made sure to get one of each of! We supported the shop by purchasing our freshly picked strawberries, a package of fresh butter tarts, blueberry sauce, and 2 cups of frozen yogurt! What a great way to enjoy the beautiful summer weather in Ontario! If you are from Ontario and are interested in picking your own fresh produce, visit the Ontario Farm Fresh website to locate a farm.  

When I got home, I was so excited to bake with my fresh strawberries! I ended up making a strawberry pie. My mom usually makes this pie with a classic pie crust, but I wanted to switch it up and try to make it with a graham cracker crust...and I have had a few unfortunate experiences making pie crust, so I took the easy route.  The results were delicious but incredibly sweet!  If you have a sweet tooth, then you will love the graham cracker crust! If you prefer your pie a little less sweet, then I would suggest making a regular pie crust. What is also great about this pie is that there is no baking except for the crust.  This is perfect for strawberry season, because you won't have to heat up your house with the oven on.
Tip: Make this strawberry pie for your Canada Day celebrations on Wednesday! The red of the strawberries and white from the whipped cream are a perfect way to make your dessert table festive!

4 cups fresh strawberries
1 baked pie shell (regular or graham cracker crust, see above)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
whipped cream, optional for garnish

1.  Hull washed and dried strawberries.  Set aside 1 cup of strawberries.

2.  Lay whole berries in pie shell, stem end down.

3.  Puree reserved cup of strawberries.  In a small saucepan, add pureed strawberries, water, cornstarch, sugar, and vanilla.  Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.

4.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Cool slightly and then pour evenly over whole strawberries in pie shell.  Chill for at least 3 hours or until pie is set and no longer jiggly.  Serve with fresh whipped cream if desired. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Herbed Corn on the Cob Butter

There's nothing like the natural sweetness from good fresh corn on the cob. I remember when I was little, I used to love going to a farm up north to pick my pumpkin for Halloween and I would always get corn on the cob at the end of our visit. My favourite part was the huge pot of melted butter that they would dip the corn in! Now that I'm an adult, I still love corn on the cob but am more aware how unhealthy a big pot of melted butter is. Although corn has a fabulous flavour on its own, I still like to add a little butter and to switch it up this time I decided to stir in some fresh herbs into the butter to highlight the natural flavours of the corn and brighten up the dish. Herbed butter totally transforms the flavour of your corn taking it to a whole new level of flavour!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh chives, chopped
1/2 tsp salt (if using unsalted butter)

1. Stir all ingredients together. Serve alongside corn on the cob.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Banana Nut Muffins

Sarah, Dan, Lee-Anne, and I (Danielle Rose) at the Barn Bash

This past weekend I went on a bit of a road trip with some friends to Chisholm Ontario for my friend Lee-Anne's Family's Barn Bash.  The drive up to Chisholm takes about 4 hours (although we skillfully made it in 3) so I knew that we would need some snacks for the drive up.  Chips are a given for any road trip, so I wanted to make something sweet to bring along as well.  I thought these banana muffins would be perfect! Muffins are travel friendly, and the banana makes them satisfying, the nuts add additional flavour and health benefits, and the streusel topping adds an extra hint of sweetness. The muffins were a hit just as the Barn Bash was!  As much as I love these muffins, they don't compare to the love that I felt for my friends this past weekend.  It was an experience I will never forget! 
Note: The streusel topping is the same one that is used for a fruit crisp.  Use any leftover topping to bake on top of fresh fruit.
Tip: If you don't have buttermilk, you can substitute it with milk with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar added.

Muffin Batter
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 medium ripe banana
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups flour
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
Streusel Topping
1/4 cup butter, cut in chunks
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup flour

1.  In a food processor, pulse together all ingredients for streusel topping until crumbly .  Set aside.

2.  Mash the banana to desired consistency.  You may choose to leave some of the banana intact.

3.  Mix together the mashed banana with butter, eggs, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla.

4.  In a separate bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, walnuts, and pecans.

5.  Mix the wet and dry ingredients together JUST until combined.  DO NOT over-mix!

6.  Pour into greased or lined muffin tins and top with desired amount of streusel topping. Bake at 400ºF for 18-20 minutes.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer Cucumber Salad

Inspiration can sometimes come from unusual sources. Today my inspiration for lunch came from a bowl. Recently the store Anthropologie opened its first store in Canada. I have been to Anthropologie several times while vacationing in the U.S. and fell in love with their beautiful housewares! Until the Anthropologie opened at Don Mills Mall in Toronto, I was getting my Anthropologie fix through their online store, daydreaming over my fantasy kitchen filled with all of their exquisite goods! I finally got to visit the Toronto Anthropologie last week, and although I was tempted to buy out the entire contents of the store, I settled on buying a set of these vibrant lime green latte bowls.

The weather in Toronto has been looking pretty gloomy lately, but today was a gorgeous day that I felt could be represented perfectly by the vibrant colour of my new bowls! I had to find the perfect dish that could match the vibrance of the bowls and that's when I came across this recipe from CookingNook.com for cucumber salad. The bright green of the cucumbers, scallions, and herbs matched my bowl beautifully, and I felt that the brightness in flavour from the lemon juice and fresh herbs matched the feeling I got when I looked at my vivid.

2 cucumbers, peeled and diced
1 large tomato, cored and chopped
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup sour cream of plain yogurt
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
black pepper to taste

1. Combine the cucumbers and tomato in a bowl.

2. In another bowl, mix together lemon juice, sour cream or yogurt, scallions, mint, parsley, garlic and pepper. Pour over the cucumbers and tomatoes, gradually to ensure that you are not overdressing the salad, and mix. If you have leftover dressing, it also tastes great as a vegetable dip or lettuce salad dressing.

3. Serve garnished with mint leaves.

Rouxbe Online Cooking School

There is no doubt that I am a foodie with a great enthusiasm to cook and bake, but in terms of training, all I really have is years of watching my mother and grandmother cook as well as a whoooole lot of Food Network! Despite my lack of training, I think that I have learned quite a bit of food and culinary knowledge for someone my age, yet I am still very eager to learn new tips, techniques, and recipes anywhere I can. I came across this incredible website called Rouxbe full of delicious and beautiful recipes, and best of all, incredibly clear video tutorials! These tutorials include everything from knife skills, to properly heating a pan, to preparing a stock, the list goes on and ON! The tutorials are impressively clear, accurate, and super easy to follow! Who needs culinary school when there are incredible sites like Rouxbe aiming to inspire and educate the foodies of the world?