CHANA MASALA

When I was growing up, I always thought cooking Indian food was complicated. I’d always watch my mom and be amazed at how she never used anything to measure and essentially just ‘eyeballed’ it. All the different spices. All the different vegetables. And of course, all the different ways to cook it! Since then, I’ve learned the basics but I’ve also realized there’s no ‘right’ way to cook Indian food. It all comes from experimenting, smelling and tasting to adjust to your perfect dish.

Once kitchen staple we absolutely need to have is a mortar and pestle. The way it just crushes and grinds ingredients together…the flavours are literally infused into one another! You can buy one at any home store and IKEA even sells it. But beware, one stop at IKEA and I’ll be leaving with a whole cart full of things.

When I put together this recipe, I wanted something simple to follow. Nothing too crazy. This dish is so easy to make on any weeknight and the ingredients are super easy to find! My rotis may not be round but this dish is the bomb!! 🙂

CHANA MASALA

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS: 


  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 green chili, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp of canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • ¼ tsp of turmeric
  • ½ tsp of chili powder
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of garam masala
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 15oz cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

DIRECTIONS


  1. Grind the ginger, garlic and fresh green chili in a mortar and pestle until a paste has developed
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a large fry pan. Add in chopped onions and cook until golden brown.
  3. Add in ginger,garlic and chili paste. Stir until combined. Add in fresh tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir and cook for 8 minutes. Thick sauce will develop.
  4. Add in the remaining spices (turmeric, chili powder, cumin, garam masala) and salt. Simmer for a minute or two.
  5. Add in the chickpeas. Cook for another 5 minutes. Top with fresh cilantro.
  6. Enjoy with some piping hot rotis,some fluffy naan and of course some basmati rice 😀

Chana Masala

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GARLIC SMASHED POTATOES

My boyfriend and I’s latest obsession has been scoping out different breakfast joints to have our most important meals of the day. His favourite has been pubs…. such as Brew Street Craft and Kitchen. This is a place where he can have bacon, sausages, eggs, hash browns and toast all for just $5. Yes you heard it. $5. I on the other hand, love pubs because where else can I have sangrias and mimosas at 10am in the morning??

Then of course there’s White Spot which is a 5 minute walk from home. They have a HUGE selection of breakfast items that I can’t wait to fill my stomach with! They are also known for their famous smashed potatoes. We were out for brunch a couple of weeks ago when I started thinking to myself ‘I MUST MAKE THESE AT HOME’. And of course, when I put my mind to something…I will stop at no lengths to achieve it. 

I bought a huge bag of the dynamic duo nugget potatoes from the Little Potato Company at Costco. I LOVE LOVE LOVE these potatoes! They are perfect for just about anything! I make mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes and I even use them when making my curry dishes. 

To make these delish smashed potatoes, boil a large pot of salted water. Add the potatoes and cook until just tender. Drain. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. We’ll be baking and broiling these little potatoes 🙂

Add the potatoes onto the lined baking sheet and gently press down *remember to try to keep the potato in one piece* Add olive oil. Sprinkle with thyme, oregano, parsley and tarragon. Bake at 450 for 15 mins. Then broil until golden brown. Just before the potatoes are done add some minced garlic. Don’t make the mistake that I initially made which was adding the garlic right away. I ended up with burnt bitter garlic which was totally not fun!! These potatoes are literally so easy to make. Feel free to add different herbs or even fresh herbs! Happy Cooking 🙂

garlic-smashed-potaotes

APPLE CRISP

Holy smokes! I feel like I’ve been waiting FOREVER for summer to come to an end! Don’t get me wrong, I love patio season but fall and winter are where it’s at! I love wearing boots, layering on sweaters and jackets and of course did I mention the joy of hibernating? 🙂

Since it’s apple season, I made sure I stocked up on our apples. I’ll find any excuse to make anything that has apple in it. I had an allergy test done a couple of months ago and I found it incredibly interesting how the doctor told me that I was allergic to apples. Like seriously? Me? The person who’s allergic to like a thousand things and counting? I literally laughed at him and said whatever, I’m still eating it anyway. I mean how can I say no to apple pies? Apple tarts? Sliced apples with soy butter? Yes, I know you probably think that’s disgusting but I’m allergic to peanut butter..Like actually allergic allergic..Like anaphylactic shock allergic.

No matter how full I am after a meal, I can’t say no to dessert. Better yet, I can’t say no to apple crisp! I’ve always had a vision of living on a farm and baking apple crisp. After baking it, I’d let it cool on the window sill while my husband rounded up all the cattle.

I used to bake many variations of apple crisp back when I was in middle school. That was how I came up with this wonderful recipe. Try out this delicious apple crisp and let me know what you think of it! I’m sure it won’t disappoint! 🙂

APPLE CRISP

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS: 


  • 4-5 medium apples (peeled, cored and cut into ½ inch pieces)
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1-2 tbsp of ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup and 2 tbp of granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup and 2 tbsp of light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup of all purpose flour
  • dash of salt
  • 1 cup of old fashioned rolled oats (do not use the quick cooking)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) of salted butter (cut into small cubes)

DIRECTIONS:


  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Move the oven rack to the middle position in the oven.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the apples with the lemon juice, cinnamon, ½ cup of granulated sugar and 2 tbsp of brown sugar. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, combine the flour, ¼ cup of brown sugar, 2 tbsp of granulated sugar and salt. Cut the butter into the flour until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the oats and mix together to form large clumps
  4. In a large baking dish, add in the apple mixture and add in the topping mixture on top. Bake the crisp in the oven for approximately 50-60 minutes. Crisp will be ready  once it’s a deep golden brown.
  5. Let the crisp cool for about 8-10 minutes until topping with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy digging in!! 🙂apple-crisp

ONE POT CHICKEN & MUSHROOM PASTA

Who doesn’t love a one pot wonder? While grocery shopping this past weekend, I quickly put this recipe together. Comfort food was what I wanted. Something homey, creamy and fabulous all in one pot. I mean come on! Who wants to dirty unnecessary dishes?? Definitely not me. I don’t even like washing the dishes once I’m done cooking or baking! After some thought, I put my vision into action and made it for my family for our weekly Sunday dinner. They were happy (as usual) 😉 It’s pretty much chicken and mushrooms in a creamy sauce topped with peas and of course, crispy bacon. Need I say more?

One Pot Chicken & Mushroom

ONE POT CHICKEN & MUSHROOM PASTA

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS:


  • 4 strips of bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 6 chicken thighs, skin off
  • 3 tbsp of butter
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 10 medium mushrooms (halved if large)
  • 3 shallots, peeled and halved
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • ½ cup of heavy cream (33%)
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • ½ tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • ½ tsp of parsley
  • ¼ tsp of mint
  • 4 cups of egg noodles
  • ½ cup of peas

DIRECTIONS:


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook bacon until just crisp. Remove bacon and set aside
  2. Remove any access oil from the pot. Add in 2 tbsp of butter and cook chicken (sprinkled with salt & pepper) until just cooked, flipping once. Chicken will finish cooking with the pasta. Set aside.
  3. Add the remaining tbsp of butter. Add in the garlic, mushrooms and shallots. Cook until liquid from mushrooms has evaporated.
  4. Add in the chicken broth, heavy cream, oregano, parsley, mint and salt & pepper.
  5. Add in the chicken and bring to a boil until sauce has thickened. Add in the egg noodles and simmer until cooked.
  6. Add in cooked bacon and peas. Serve with garlic bread and Enjoy 🙂