Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chicken Soup to Warm You Up

To my dear friends, Montreal is toughing out extreme -30 cold weather and we need warmth. It's time for some chicken soup! Any chicken soup is a no-fail recipe, there are simply so many ways you can make it, using all sorts of veggies. In times of record lows, a chicken soup will surely warm your home. Enjoy and keep making homemade food ;)


6 cups of water
8 boneless chicken thighs
Chicken carcase (optional)
1 large sweet potato cut into large pieces
1 zucchini peeled and sliced in halves
2 celeri stalks
1 large diced onion
Sprig of dill
1 tbsp olive oil
Cheese cloth
Salt and pepper to taste
Soup noodles (optional)


  1. Bring to a boil 6 cups of water with onion and chicken pieces, salt. 
  2. Lower the flame to medium. 
  3. Place the dill into the cheese cloth and close tightly and insert in the boiling liquid.
  4. for 30 minutes, place all of the vegetables insided the pot and let it cook with the pot lid semi on top.
  5. With a miniature spooned strainer remove any residues floating up to the top, you want your soup to be clear.
  6. Turn the flame to low and let it simmer for another 30 minutes and voila you have warm chicken soup.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Decadent Banana Chocolate Chip Spelt Cake

Photographe by Leslie Perez. All rights reserved.

'Bananas have two times as many carbohydrates as an apple, five times as much Vitamin A and iron and three times as much phosphorus. In addition, bananas are also rich in potassium and natural sugars'. ( This banana chocolate chip cake is a first for me, and it turned out succulent. Hope you enjoy this recipe, perfect for an afternoon family gathering or breakfast on-the-go.

  • 2 cups of spelt flour
  • 1 cup Tapioca flour
  • 1/2 raw sugar
  • 3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled outs
  • 2 teaspoons of Xanthum Gum
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 -3 bananas depending on size

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread pam or a drop of oil throughout your bundt cake pans.
  2. In your mixer mix your sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract, until white and thick. Ad in the bananas.
  3. In a separate large bowl blend the flours, baking powder, baking soda, rolled oats, xanthum gum, and salt.
  4. Gradually incorporate your dry flour mixture into your sweet liquid  mixture, while gradually incorporating your coconut milk alternately. 
  5. Once mixed combined, blend in the chocolates, pour into your cake pan and into the oven.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes, until your inserted toothpick comes out clean, free of cake batter.
  7. Let cool for 15 minutes and serve. 

Irresistible Oatmeal Cookies

My daughters and I find great joy baking during the cold winter months and nothing spells homemade cookies like these chewy on the inside- crispy on the outside oatmeal cookies. Stock them in your freezer, pop them in a lunch box in the morning, or eat them on the way to work. You can substitute the raisins with dark chocolate chips as well. Enjoy!

Prep time: 10 min | Total Time 30 min | Makes 18 cookies
Recipe from Martha Stewart 
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, flour, raisins, baking soda, and salt; set aside. 
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl as necessary. Add egg and vanilla; beat until combined. Gradually add oat mixture; beat just until combined.
  3. Drop dough by heaping spoon fulls, 2 inches apart, onto two baking sheets. Bake until cookies are golden brown but still soft, 12 to 16 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Cool 5 minutes on sheets; transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Wholesome Blueberry Muffins

    Photograph by Leslie Perez. All rights reserved.
    Muffins are great recess snack for elementary kids. They are filling, include fruit and a lot more wholesome than the packaged sugary snacks sold in grocery aisles. These blueberry muffins are light and truly delicious. I usually make two batches and freeze in large Ziplocs. 

    INGREDIENTS (Makes 24 muffins)
    • 1 1/2 cup of white cake or spelt flour
    • 1 tablespoon of xantum gum 
    • 1 tbsp of orange juice
    • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
    • 1 large egg
    • 3/4 cups of raw sugar
    • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/1 teaspoons of baking powder 
    • A pinch of salt
    • 1 1/2 pints of fresh blueberries ( the fresher the tastier the blueberries, the more delicious the muffins will be)
    • Creative cupcake liners (from Michaels)
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
    2. Line your muffin tray with cupcake liners and spray Pam over them.
    3. In a food processor, blend your vegetable oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and orange juice.
    4. In a large mixing bowl, blend the flour, xanthum gum, salt and baking powder.
    5. Blend the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and then mix-in the blueberries with a baking spatula.
    6. Pour the batter in each individual muffin liner.
    7. Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

    Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons

    Photograph by Leslie Perez. All rights reserved.
    Welcome to winter wonderland baking... especially in a time when Montreal has experienced record snowfalls. Baking remains my children's number one indoor winter activity. As the kids' winter-break comes to an end, our household freezer is stocked with delicious homemade treats, ideal for school snacking (and yes, I will resist the temptation, or at least that's what I am convincing myself of ;). In total, we had the chance to bake oatmeal cookies, banana cake, muffins, spelt bread and these delicious chocolate-chip coconut macaroons- my youngest daughter's favorite! And of course, all of these treats are made with a reduced quantity of raw sugar. (Tomorrow's blog will provide the recipe for the other baked goodies.) Enjoy!

    INGREDIENTS Makes about 24 macaroons (Adapted from Martha Stewart Living)
    • 1/2 raw sugar
    • 2 1/2 cups of unsweetened
    • 2 large egg whites
    • 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 2 tbsp of butter
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
    • Pinch of sea salt
    1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and a spray of Pam.
    2. In a sauce pan, melt the butter until liquified. Once the butter is melted, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands.
    3. Dampen your hands with water and shape tablespoon of the coconut mixture into balls and place on the baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. 
    4. Bake until nicely golden for 18 minutes. You want to make sure they are soft and chewy. You can freeze the cookies and take them out the night before they are eaten.

    Sautéed Lemon Chicken Salad

    Photograph by Leslie Perez. All rights reserved.