Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Curried Pumpkin and Lentil Soup

This rich, smooth Curried Pumpkin and Lentil Soup is filled with a homemade spice blend on top of curry powder, featuring a selection of Selefina Spices. Make this spicy or mild - the flavour is amazing either way!

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I love that no matter how crazy life gets, my mom and I can always count on soup to get through it. We do this in different ways - I channel the energy fueled by emotions or stress or what have you into creating a pot full of comforting and ever changing flavour. My mom takes comfort in the care and love I put into the food and the nourishment of the meal bolsters her. 

We've recently had to clear space in our pantry, fridge and freezer to fit in items my grandmother had - the experience was a mixture of laughter, tears, frustration and "what the heck is this?" moments. At the end of it, I had pulled out the fixings for soup that was spicy, smooth and packed full of nutrition. Letting everything simmer away perfumed the house in the best way possible, and the sense of joy that came from my mom seeing lunch was made was immeasurable. She laughed that I had made her "danger soup" given my coconut allergy - which is what I'm going to wind up calling all coconut based soups and stews from now on!

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Garlic Confit Focaccia #Breadbakers

Luscious garlic confit (and its oil) is the star of the show in this Garlic Focaccia. The crisp crust and pillowy soft interior is reminiscent of a perfect pizza, while pockets of sweet garlic will make you wonder why you ever made garlic bread any other way.

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There are a few scents that are guaranteed to make you hungry: baking bread, freshly made cookies, and garlic! Well, I don't have any cookies for you today, but this garlicky bread more than makes up for it - between making the garlic confit and baking the bread our house smelled like the best garlic bread for days.
My sister had spotted a garlic confit focaccia on social media one night, and immediately sent me the photo with the note "you need to make this". I mean, who am I to say no? Life got in the way however and the bread kept getting pushed to the back burner again...and again. By the time I got to it, she had forgotten about the email altogether! All was not lost though, because once the garlic started cooking she was all in for some new bread. 

Now, this loaf is a bit more time intensive than your standard sandwich bread, but the hands-on time is pretty minimal.The confit takes 2 hours in a slow oven to transform the sharp, in-your-face taste of raw garlic into a mellow, slightly sweet one. Luckily, while it cooks the dough can me made and have it's first rise, and while it cools down the dough will be doing a second, slower proof in the fridge. I was honestly worried about the garlic burning in the oven while the bread baked, but it stayed perfectly sweet and intact. The best part about this bread is not only does it get studded with garlic cloves and bathed in the garlic oil, but whatever's left (if anything!) is a perfect accompaniment if you love the allium as much as I do! We spread the confit cloves on chunks of the still-warm loaf and dipped it in the re-warmed oil.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the BreadBakers home page. 

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. 




      Tuesday, February 14, 2023

      Potato Bread with Roasted Apples

      What goes better with soup than a great piece of bread? This Potato Bread with Roasted Apples is slightly sweet, with chunks of tender apple studding the whole wheat dough.

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      Potato breads are some of my favourites - hearty while impossibly tender, they are perfect for sandwiches or morning toast with whatever Toast Topper you fancy. When I saw the Bread Bakers theme for February was Potato, I had the perfect idea pop into my head (which coincided nicely with my baking schedule and on-hand items). 

       For those who didn't grow up with French instruction (and particularly France-French instruction, as opposed to Quebecois, Belgian or Haitian), potatoes are referred to as pommes-de-terre - literally "apples of the earth". Since I had that little trivia nugget stored away for life, I decided to be a bit cheeky with this month's submission and make a "double apple" bread: apples of the earth, with apples of the tree. Using a basic potato bread recipe I had, I set about figuring out how to add apples without making it soggy or compromising the dough structure. My answer: roast the apple chunks. A short blast of heat combined with a preliminary toss in cinnamon sugar draws out just enough moisture so that the apples stay tender, but don't give up their juice in the wrong spot. The rest of the dough was pretty straight forward, with milk-boiled potatoes forming the basis (and the warmth) for the whole wheat flour and yeast. This dough is a pretty vigorous riser, so keep an eye out on it (especially during that second rise) and pop it in the oven early if you see it puffing up too much.

      Like most delicious things, the hardest part was waiting for this to cool before slicing into it. It's an important step though, so don't skip it - unless you don't mind torn bread, which doesn't sound all that bad (just not toaster friendly).

      #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

      We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.



      Friday, February 10, 2023

      Dairy Free Tuna-Egg Salad

      Are you looking for a dairy-free alternative to the classic tuna egg salad recipe? Look no further! This dairy free tuna egg salad will tantalize your taste buds with its creamy, savory flavors. This easy and nutritious recipe is sure to become a favorite in no time. Enjoy!

      This tuna egg salad recipe by Beginner Food is packed with flavor and texture from the red onion and pickles. It's light, healthy, and enjoyed in so many ways. Not only is it super easy to make, yet also versatile and foolproof.

      Feel free to add different herbs, seasonings, or veggies. This healthy recipe only requires a few simple ingredients. You don't have to be a culinary expert to make this a success.

      Here’s What You’ll Need to Make It
      • Chef's Knife: Use a sharp blade for chopping, slicing, and dicing ingredients.
      • Cutting Board: Let's get chopping! A cutting board is a must-have for any kitchen. A cutting board will help you prep ingredients for all your delicious dishes. You can opt for a classic wooden, a modern plastic, or an eco-bamboo board.
      • Egg Slicer: It’s fast and easy to slice eggs with this - it's so much quicker than hand-dicing them! Plus, it's excellent for dicing other things, like mushrooms.
      • Mixing Bowls: You can use deep ceramic, or stainless steel mixing bowls for this recipe! These bowls are perfect for combining all the yummy ingredients. They also come in a variety of sizes.


      1 can (6 oz) tuna packed in water, drained
      2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
      1/4 cup diced celery
      1/4 cup diced red onion
      1/4 cup dairy-free mayonnaise
      2 fresh tablespoons of squeezed lemon juice
      1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
      1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
      1/4 teaspoon onion powder
      1/2 teaspoon sea salt
      Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
      1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

      1. In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, eggs, celery, and red onion.
      2. Mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Do this in a separate bowl.
      3. Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the tuna mixture and stir to combine.
      4. Gently fold in the parsley.
      5. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
      6. Serve in a sandwich or on a bed of fresh celery. Enjoy!

      • You can add other ingredients such as green onions, capers, or diced apples.
      • You can serve this salad over a bed of lettuce or with crackers. 


      How Healthy Is This Dairy-Free Tuna Egg Salad Recipe?

      This recipe has all the real, whole-food ingredients you need to fuel your body for a day of work or play.

           Tuna: Tuna is a good source of protein and essential omega-3 fatty acids. It is also rich in vitamins A, D, and B12, iron, selenium, and zinc.

           Eggs: Eggs are rich in protein, iron, vitamins A, D, B12, and B6, as well as folate, phosphorus, and other minerals.

           Celery: Celery contains fiber, vitamins A, C, K, and B6, folate, potassium, and calcium. It is also low in calories and sodium.

      Is Canned Tuna Safe to Eat?

      Canned tuna is safe to eat. Ensure to use canned tuna in oil or water rather than brine. The brine contains higher levels of sodium, which can make it too salty to eat.

      How Long Will This Dairy-Free Tuna Salad Recipe Last?

      This dairy-free tuna salad recipe with eggs will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 7 days. Yet, it's best to avoid leaving it at room temperature for more than two hours, as the mayo and eggs can spoil.


      This dairy-free tuna egg salad recipe is a combination of tuna and eggs. It also has flavorful additions like parsley, celery, and red onion. This recipe is packed with lean protein and easy to make with simple ingredients. It's perfect for a picnic, potluck, or backyard barbecue. 

      Tuesday, February 7, 2023

      Blue Ombre Braided Bread

      This braided sandwich bread is swirled with the most beautiful blue ombre thanks to @selefina.spices butterfly pea flower powder. Why not make every piece of toast or sandwich beautiful?

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      Let's face it - the world outside (at least where I live in Canada) is kind of... monochrome. Between the snow, the slush and the bits of pavement and tree branches poking out, it really does seem like someone put a greyscale filter over the view.

      That said, just because the world outside is grey and dreary doesn't mean that we can't create colour in the kitchen! I had been toying with the idea of making multi-hued bread with Selefina's Butterfly Pea Flower powder, and after looking at a few recipes I came up with a version of my own that ensured a tasty, high-rising, and ultimately deceptive looking loaf.

      From the outside, it's really hard to picture the absolutely stunning crumb that awaits you when you slice into the bread. Even my mom and niece, who saw me making this, didn't think the difference would be as drastic as it was. The butterfly pea flower paste added the barest hint of floral aroma to the dough, which I thought played off the vanilla very well. Slices of this loaf made for perfect toast, but my mom also used them for peanut butter and jam sandwiches and said it worked well there too - the integrity and size of the slices held up to spreading while staying soft enough for that "classic" experience.