Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Have you heard of Nanaimo Bars? I First heard of these, last month, Nanaimo Bars were the Daring Bakers Challenge which was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen,  check HERE for the DB Challenge- January.

Nanaimo (NAH-NYE-MOH) Bars are a classic Canadian dessert created in Nanaimo, British Colombia.

Yes, I'm a Daring Kitchen member but only joined the Daring Cooks not the Daring Bakers. I don't think i can do both, but this Nanaimo Bars were just calling my name!! I had to make them and try them. So here goes my version.

I adapted the DB Challenge recipe. There were a lot of versions for the middle layer so i thought of coming up with my own middle layer.


For Nanaimo Bars — Bottom Layer

1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup (50 g) (1.8 ounces) Granulated Sugar
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) (160 g) (5.6 ounces) Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/2 cup (55 g) (1.9 ounces) Roasted Almonds (Finely chopped)**
1 cup (130 g) (4.5 ounces) Roasted Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)

*** I learned from my co-Daring cooks that roasting gives another layer of flavor to what ever dish you're making. So i suggest you roast the almonds and the coconuts, they taste really good.

For Nanaimo Bars — Middle Layer

1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (40 mL) plain yogurt***
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Cheesecake Instant pudding or pie filling
2 tablespoon Dulce de Leche
2 cups (254 g) (8.9 ounces) Icing Sugar

For Nanaimo Bars — Top Layer
4 ounces (115 g) Semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons (28 g) (1 ounce) Unsalted Butter

For bottom Layer: Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.

For Middle Layer: Cream butter, yogurt, dulce de leche, pudding mix, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.

For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.

They are so sweet, a small cut about 1x1 size would suffice.



1 lb ground pork

1 medium sweet onions, chopped finely

1 medium carrots, chopped finely

3 cloves garlic, chopped finely

1 ½ T pickle relish

3 T soy sauce

1 T oyster sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

1 pack of Lumpia wrapper about 25 pieces lumpia wrappers, square***

Slurry **will be used as sealer

** 1/2 cup of water , 1 T cornstarch. Mix and stir until incorporated, microwave for few seconds. Must be a paste consistency.

***Available at Asian Stores, it’s imperative to buy the thin wrappers not the thick ones.


Mix pork, onions, carrots, garlic, relish, oyster sauce and soy sauce in bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Fry a tablespoon of the filling to taste and adjust the seasoning. Lay out one lumpia wrapper on clean surface. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of mixture in a thin line against the edge of wrapper. Roll tightly, very long and thin, leaving the edges open. Your roll should look like a cigar in size. Seal with the slurry, cut them in half.

Deep fry at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve with sweet sour sauce.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

1/2 cup water

2 tbsp sugar

salt to taste

1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsp water

In a small pan combine vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, water, sugar and salt, and boil for 2 minutes. Thicken with cornstarch mixture.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


1 lb fresh mussels, in their shells

splashof dry white wine

1 bay leaf

3/4 stick butter

generous 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

4 T chopped fresh flatleaf parsley, plus extra to garnish

2 T snipped fresh chives

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

salt and pepper

lemon wedges, to serve

Clean mussels, pulling out any beards.

Discard any with broken shells and shells that are closed even when tapped.

Put mussels in a large pan and add a splash of wine and bay leaf.

Cook, covered, over high heat for 5 min. shaking the pan occasionally, or until shells are opened.

Drain mussels and discard any that remain closed.

Shell the mussels, reserving one half of each shell.

Arrange, in a large, shallow, ovenproof serving dish.

Melt butter and pour into the bread crumbs, parsley, chives, garlic and S&P to taste and mix well.

Fill each mussel shell w/ the breadcrumb mixture.

Bake the mussels for at least 10 minutes or until hot.

Serve hot with lemon wedges.


1 lb white mushrooms
5 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
squeeze of lemon juice
salt and pepper
4 T chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

Wipe or brush clean the mushrooms, then trim off the stems close to the caps.

Cut the large mushrooms in half or into fourths if necesssary.

Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet, then add garlic and cook for 30 seconds- 1 min. or until lightly browned.

Add the mushrooms and saute over high heat. stirring most of the time, until they have absorbed all of the oil in the skillet stirring from time to time, until the juices have almost evaporated.

Add a squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Stir in the parsley.

Serve hot.



3 t paprika
1 t ground cumin
1/4-1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t salt
1 lb small old potatoes, peeled (I used yukon gold potatoes but Idaho would be great too)
oil, for shallow frying

1. Combine paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.

2. Cut potatoes into wedges. Coat potato wedges w/ the spice mixture.

3. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet, then add the potato wedges, preferably in single layer to achieve a crispy fried potatoes. Over crowding the skillet with potatoes will make it mushy.

Serve the Fiery Tomato Salsa

Salsa recipe:

2 T olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
splash of dry white wine
14 oz canned chopped tomatoes
1 T tomato paste
1/4-1/2 t red chili pepper flakes
dash of Tabasco sauce
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a pan, then add the onion and cook for 5 min. or until softened but not browned.

2. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 sec.

3. Add the wine and let bubble, then add all the remaining ingredients, simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 min, or until a thick sauce is formed.


Y: 8 slices

1 Lb waxy potatoes ( i used yukon gold potatoes)
generous 1 3/4 cups olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 large eggs
salt and pepper
sprigs of fresh flatleaf parsley, to garnish

Slice potatoes like chips/scalloped, dry slices very well.

Heat olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet.

Add potato slices and onions, then reduce the heat and cook the potatoes until tender.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs lightly, season well w/ salt and pepper.

Pour in the egg mixture, making sure the potatoes are equally distributed through out the skillet.

Add oil if necessary. Use a spatula to keep loosening the tortilla from the bottom of the skillet to avoid it from sticking.

To cook the other side of the tortilla, cover it w/ a plate and hold the plate in place with the other hand.

Quickly turn the skillet upside down so that the tortilla falls onto the plate.

Return the skillet to the heat and add a little more of the oil if necessary.

Slide the tortilla, cooked side up, back into the pan and cook for additional 3-5 minutes or until the bottom side is cooked.


My daughter gave me Tapas Cookbook and went on a mission to try all the recipes from this book. To date i'm not even halfway, but will eventually finish and test the recipes. So far, there is only one Tapas recipe that i like the least.

All the recipes serves 8


4 Large skinless, boneless chicken breasts

5 T Spanish olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Zest of 1 lemon, finely pared rind of

1 lemon and juice of both lemons

4 T chopped fresh flatleaf parsley, plus extra to garnish

salt and pepper

lemon wedges and crusty bread, to serve.

1. Slice chicken into think strips.

2. Heat olive in a skillet, then add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until translucent.

3. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

4. Add the sliced chicken to the skillet and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring from time to time, until all the ingredients are lightly browned and the chicken is tender.

5. Add grated lemon zest and lemon juice and bring to a boil.

6. At the same time, deglaze the skillet by scraping and stirring all the bits on the bottom of the skillet.

7. Remove the from the heat, then stir in the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.

8. Serve hot and garnish w/ the lemon zest, lemon slices and some parsley.

Crusty bread for mopping up the juices.