Sunday, February 26, 2012

cranberry almond biscotti

enjoy with your favourite tea or coffee...yum
My mom isn't a huge fan of baking (she's a better cook!) but there are a few items she bakes that are absolute crowd pleasers.  This biscotti recipe is one of them!  It's really easy and you can add anything to the base recipe, whether it's walnuts, pecans, chocolate chips, different dried fruits...etc.  I like to make it with almonds, cranberries and raisins.  It keeps well for several days and makes a great little gift (for Christmas I wrapped a few in cellophane tied with ribbon and gave it to my coworkers).  

what you need:
  • 1 3/4 cup flour (all purpose)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup dried raisins
  • 1/2 cup very roughly chopped almonds 
what to do:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together.
  3. Separate one of the eggs into yolk and white.  Reserve a small amount of the white for brushing later.
  4. Beat eggs, vanilla, and oil together, then add dry ingredients and mix until a moist dough forms.
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease it well with butter.  Place dough onto cookie sheet and form into a log.  Press log to about 1" height.  Gently brush the surface with the reserved egg white.
  6. Bake in the centre rack for 30 minutes.  Remove and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes, then using a bread knife (serrated), slice log into 1/2" biscotti cookies.  Bake for another 20 minutes (checking at 15 minutes) or until golden brown.  
mom doing step 5
after first 30 minutes
after 2nd round of baking

Sunday, February 12, 2012

crunchy mango salad

the addition of daikon makes this salad crunchy and addictive
A few weeks ago Ryan's cousins (students living off caf food) came for dinner and we decided to go thai... this mango salad was a hit so I thought I'd share it.  It's got classic mango salad flavours with a bit of a twist - daikon.  Daikon is a type of radish that is milder than red radishes but still has a good bite and a bit of heat - it looks like a giant white carrot.  And don't be afraid of fish's kind of like how anchovies add that special something to a great caesar salad.

what you need:
  • 1 large mango (slightly unripened best)
  • 1/2 large daikon
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 large handful of baby spinach
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 big handful of cilantro
  • 1 lime (for garnish)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1-2 thai chilies
  • 1 lime's zest and juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp canola oil
what to do:
  1. Finely mince garlic and chilies.  Mix all dressing ingredients together and set aside in fridge, preferably for 15 or more minutes.
  2. Julienne mango, red pepper, and daikon to approximately the same sizes.  Roughly chop cilantro and cut green onion on a diagonal bias into thin blades.  Toss all vegetables together (except for spinach) - and then toss with dressing.  
  3. On your serving plate, place a thin bed of spinach down and generously pile with mango salad.  (Whenever I have mango salad in thai restaurants it's served on a romaine leaf...I used spinach just for a bit more nutrition).  Serve with a few wedges of extra lime to squeeze on top, as desired.  Enjoy!