Get Kids Excited About Cooking!

Getting kids excited about food and being involved in the kitchen can help take the mealtime stress off parents; and, teach kids valuable life skills at the same time. 

I know this because I started cooking when I was 10!  Thankfully, my parents supported my requests to buy certain ingredients and try out recipes, even though sometime some of the combinations I put together probably seemed pretty weird! 

That's why it's important to me to get families into the kitchen, and bring them closer to food; specially during the back to school season, a time of year when we all need to get back on track with convenient & tasty dinner options.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS:

Parents need to get their kids into the kitchen, and involved in meal prep. 

Make it fun for kids with games like Market Bingo, and have fun quizzing each other about what's in-season, while focusing on buying locally.  This also may help you discover foods that you've never tried before!

MarketBINGO_LL.jpg
Red Abstract Art Museum Postcard.png

Include the whole family in the meal planning.   Choose your favourite recipes together, ones that everyone will enjoy, and that the kids can help prepare.

Better yet try my Chicken Katsu with Sesame Rice and Japanese-Spiced Slaw!

This recipe is now available to order from www.chefsplate.com , for delivery the week of September 2nd.

W36_2P_chickenkatsu-guestchef.jpg

This is a convenient and fun way to get kids cooking by following the step-by-step recipe card and combining the pre-portioned ingredients that are delivered right to your door.

Liam_RecipeCard (1).jpeg

Younger kids can easily get involved in making this recipe by crushing the potato chips for the breading with a rolling pin or using their hands.  Also they can put together the salad ingredients, and making the dressing!

Parents should also focus on getting their kids in the kitchen not just for some extra hands, but so that kids can fall in love with food and cooking.  Through food, kids will also learn some valuable life skills: like teamwork, organizing and time-management.

Check out this video that I made, that has some tips on how to get kids excited about helping in the kitchen:

Father's Day Brunch Recipes

Layered Yogurt Parfaits 

Ingredients: 

• Plain or Flavored Yogurt

• Granola- I used Kind Granola Clusters because it's delicious and has less sugar than some other granolas that I found! • Fresh Mixed Berries • Sliced Bananas

• Jams (optional)

Directions: 

• In the mason jars, layer yogurt, then granola, then fruit, then more yogurt, granola, and fruit. • Berries can be subtitued for Jam or Bananas or any other fruit that you like!

Pizza Bagles

Ingredients: 

• Bagels • Pizza Sauce • Pepperoni • Peppers • Mozzarella Cheese or Shredded Cheese Mix Mozzarella/Cheddar is good too.

Directions: 

• Slice the bagels in half, add pizza sauce, then thinly sliced peppers, then sprinkle the thin sliced pepperoni and cheese together on top. • Bake until cheese is melty and golden brown.

Stacked French Toast

(2 Ways- Savory & Sweet)

(adapted from bon appetit- Classic French Toast Recipe)

Ingredients- French Toast: 

  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 3/4 C Heavy Cream
  • 3/4 C Whole Milk
  • 1/4 C Sugar (omit for savory verion)
  • 1/2 TSP Cinnamon*
  • 1/4 TSP Nutmeg*
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 4 Hamburger Buns (Sliced in Half)
  • 2 TBSP Butter
  • 2 TBSP Veg Oil
  • For Savory Version, Replace Cinnamon & Nutmeg with 1/4 TSP Ground Black Pepper

Ingredients- Toppings & Sides:

  • 6 Slices Cooked Bacon
  • 1/4 C Sour Cream (for topping savory)
  • 1 TBSP Diced Chives
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Maple Syrup
  • Sarcha

Directions:

Lightly beat eggs, milk, cream, sugar and spices in a large shallow baking dish (I do this first step in a bowl) then transfer to the shallow dish.

Add buns, turn to coat, then press down gently on the buns until you feel them start to soak up the mixture.  Let soak for 4 mins.

Heat the 1 TBSP of butter and 1 TBSP of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Carefully lift 3 buns from mix, letting extra mix drip back into the dish. Cook in skillet until golden brown (about 2 1/2 mins per side).  Transfer to plate.

For Sweet:  Stack buns, top with jam & maple syrup.

For Savory: Stack buns with bacon in-between each layer. Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, chives and drops of saracha.

St. Patrick's Day Themed Food....

In honour of St. Patrick's Day, some green food: I made some green waffles, with some green syrup. The green syrup was a mix of pureed spinach, maple syrup and icing sugar.

I also couldn't help using some lucky charms to decorate the outside of the Chocolate Stout cake that I made. Used a Canadian Stout beer: Bolshevik Bastard by Nickle Brook Brewing Co.

Healthy Beet Soup

CL_b_34UsAApiH_.jpg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nxCUvItCe4 You can check out the video for this recipe above on my YOUTUBE channel, and please don't forget to LIKE & SUBSCRIBE!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Beets (peeled & diced)
  • 1 Cup Red Potatoes (peeled & diced)
  • 1 Cup of Cauliflower Florets
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil +
  • 1 Ltr of Chicken Broth
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Happy 2017: YouTube!

Unknown.png

C24mNNBVQAAABUD  

Happy New Year!

I am finally going to work on some videos to add content to my YouTube Channel! I really enjoy sharing my experiences with you, and I think that video blogging is the next step for me!!

I would love it if you would subscribe to my channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCceLTXmg3Zd2OONhripv9qQ

I am planning to post new cooking/food videos every week starting in February!

:)

August is National Peach Month!

IMG_20160818_133035237.jpg

August is National Peach Month, and peaches are in season in most parts of Canada, so it's the best time to eat them! I have been making crisps with apples and pears.  So I decided to make one with Peaches this month!

Crisps are pretty simple to prepare, and they are great for desserts or breakfasts or snacks!

Pre-Heat your oven to 350:

First Start by washing and slicing up 5-6 peaches,

PeachCrisp1

In a medium sized bowl add:

Your chopped peaches

-1/4 C flour

-1/3 C light brown sugar

-1 tsp vanilla

PeachCrisp2

Mix it all up until it thickens.

PeachCrisp3

Grease a 8" baking dish with coconut oil and add your peach mixture:

PeachCrisp4

In another bowl mix up your crumble topping:

  • 3/4 C light brown sugar
  • 2/3 C flour
  • 2/3 C rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 1/4 tbsp coconut oil

PeachCrisp5

Sprinkle your crumble on top of the peach filling, and bake for 45-50 mins.

IMG_20160818_141722715

IMG_20160818_141926889

 

I served mine with whipped coconut cream on top, but it would also be amazing withmy friend's Screamin Brothers Vanilla frozen treat!!

 

 

Unknown

 

IMG_20160818_184525213

 

 

 

Hello Fresh: Smoky Sloppy Joes

IMG_20160809_192537222.jpg

The first meal I made out my Hello Fresh box was the Smoky Sloppy Joes. 

IMG_20160809_192554754

IMG_20160809_192603636

Every meal comes with a recipe card, that is very through and easy to follow.  It's a good idea to ready over the recipe card before you get started. I also laid out all of the ingredients this is called MISE EN PLACE.

IMG_20160809_192537222

Even though everything comes measured out and some things come pre-chopped.  I was happy that there was still some prep (chopping, mixing) to do.

IMG_20160809_193513168

These recipe cards are great too for someone who is just learning how to cook, because it has photos with the step-by-step directions.

SSJ_1

SSJ_2

While the meat was simmering with the spice mix and the tomato sauce, it was time to make the vinaigrette for the salad.  One thing that didn't come in the kit was Olive Oil. Most people have that in their kitchen. It's a good idea to read over the cards too, just to make sure that you have the few things that are not provided, before you get started.

SSJ_3

I like to mix my salads up by hand.

IMG_20160809_201343404

This really did take 30 mins to prepare. It was delicious. I added some cheese to the buns for my Smoky Sloppy Joes, which I also didn't toast (as was suggested by the card).

There was enough for 3-4 people with lots of left-over meat sauce which can be used the next day for something else.

IMG_20160809_201518546

Hello Fresh: Sneak Peek

IMG_20160809_142129930.jpg

I had the chance to check out Hello Fresh, and though it would be cool to see how a meal prep delivery service works! HelloFresh is new to Canada as of 2016, and delivers “cook from scratch” meal plans straight to your door, with carefully curated, easy to follow recipes and locally sourced fresh ingredients in just the right quantities.

IMG_20160809_142228920

Everything that you need to prepare all of the meals comes right in the box that is delivered to you! There are some basics that you should have alerady in your kitchen, like salt & pepper, oil.

Hello Fresh is a meal subscription service. You can choose form either the:

 3 Meal Pronto Box for Two - $79.99

 3 Meal Pronto Box for Four - $139.99

 3 Meal Family Box for Four - $129.99 - This is the box that I am trying out!

The boxes are delivered once a week on either a Tuesday or Wednesday right to your door, and delivery is Free!

IMG_20160809_142330319

All of the directions for each meal also come in the box, so for someone who is just learing how to cook, this makes it really easy to follow along step-by-step!

The meals are divided into seperate boxes, which are easy to store in the fridge:

IMG_20160809_142404270

The meats & items that need to be refridgerated are in a special panel at the bottom of the box, with ice packs to keep them cool!

IMG_20160809_143127759

IMG_20160809_143201495

Hello Fresh tries to use as many LOCAL ingredients as possible, which is why I thought I would like to try their service.

IMG_20160809_143058454

 

This week I'll be making 3 Hello Fresh Meals:

  • Shrimp Pad See Ew
  • Smoky Sloppy Joes
  • Chicken Penne

If you want to try them out too! You can go online to HELLO FRESH and use the code : LOCAVORE-60

That will give you $30 off your first order, and $30 off your second order!! Look out for my posts later this week of me making my Hello Fresh "Cook from Scratch" meals.

#Throwback: VijCookLive- Chicken Coconut Curry

Vij-Cook-Live-3.jpg

I'm making Chef Vikram's Chicken Coconut Curry for dinner tonight! I haven't made it in a while! Had to remind myself, by wathcing a little #throwback video of the first time I learned how it make it!! I can't believe this was already 3 years ago!

If you want to make it, and have us guide you step by step, here are the list of ingredients, and watch the video to see what to do!!

Here are the ingredients you will need to follow along.

Shopping list:

  • 2 chicken thighs deboned, skin off, chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts, skin off, chopped
  • ½ tsp saffron (optional)
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seeds or black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp asafetida (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped garlic (6 medium cloves)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika (optional)
  • 5 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro (optional)

[embed]https://vimeo.com/70664519[/embed]

2016 Better Together: Hands-On Cook-Off!

IMG_9037.jpg

Last year I had the honour of being selected as a judge for the the Better Together Hands-On Cook-Off! It was a great opportunity to be able to see all the videos that people submitted, showing their creativity  and passion for food! It's that time again to submit a video:

If you’re a BC resident, you can submit your 3-minute long (or less) home video cooking show between April 20 and noon of May 20. Grab a friend or relative and show us your stuff!

Videos must include two or more people preparing a recipe together… and having fun!

Oko_Pic

Don’t forget to socialize! Share your video on social media, tagging @bettertogether #HandsonCookoff.

  • Now in its 7th year, the Hands-on Cook-off family foodie video contest goes national this year! Manitoba has adopted the contest.
  • The goal for the contest is to raise awareness around the significant benefits of cooking and eating together, inspiring families to have fun in the kitchen across Canada.
  • This year’s panel of judges represents all of these groups, and includes: Claire Newell, Jennifer Pallian, Ethan Adeland, Alex Gill, and Denise Marchessault. Every judge brings their own unique flavour to the ever-growing contest

Vote

Vote for the video you think is the best in each category!

  • The video with the most votes in the Multigenerational category will win the People's Choice award in this category and $300 cash.
  • Videos submitted in the Youth category have a chance to win a prize for their team and a prize for their school or youth program. The video with the most votes in the Youth category will win the People's Choice award in the Youth category and $150 cash for their team plus $150 cash for their school or youth program of their choice.

http://bettertogetherbc.ca/contest

Here was a great video example form last year:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1Ta8wxYBo0

Dinner Party YVR 2016

IMG_20160322_130717238.jpg

12400676_10153387270139779_9008594027135311494_n This Saturday (9 April 2016) I will be participating Dinner Party YVR, for my fourth time! I'm really grateful that I have had the chance over the past couple of years to meet such a fun food community and be able to give-back by doing something that I love: COOKING!

DPYVR4

People sign up to participate and to cook dinners in their homes. All the money from the tickets sold, goes to the charity of the Hobby Chef's choice.

The #DPYVR organizers Annika & Crystal do a great job in bring people together for this awesome event!

IMG_20160324_184445509

10846130_10152607633174779_4962777234065983439_n

The charity I support is Quest Food Exchange.

IMG_20160322_134008521

Quest partners with local wholesalers, supermarkets, and farmers who donate surplus food.  Quest assists individuals each month through partnerships with local social service agencies by providing their clients with access to Quest's not-for-profit grocery markets and by delivering raw food materials to agencies for their own meal programs.

They have four grocery markets where clients that are referred (through their social services agency), can go to shop.

IMG_20160322_140934983

IMG_20160322_140940564

The Quest Mandate is to:

  • Reduce Hunger with Dignity
  • Build Community
  • Foster Sustainability

I think that what they are doing is really great, because it allows people to shop for groceries of their choice, at an affordable price,  and it redirects food that may have gone to waste otherwise.

 

IMG_20160322_133636032

On my visit, I met with Calvin, who gave me a tour of the facility. They have a really big warehouse where they are able to store all of the surplus foods that are donated to them, and they have a new walk-in freezer now, which is so important to them, because they can now have accept more frozen items.

IMG_20160322_134623659

If you're looking for a good cause to either donate or volunteer with. I would highly suggest that you contact Quest. What they are doing is so good.

IMG_20160322_140838741

IMG_20160322_133240665

My DinnerPartyYVR dinner is SOLD OUT, but you can still make a donation to my fundraising for Quest Food Exchange: Liam's Dinner Party YVR Chimp Donation Page

All support is very much appreciated!

 

Angel's Jicama Cream Pops

IMG_20160310_155315790.jpg

A few years ago I discovered the Neil Flambé Capers, written and illustrated by Kevin Sylvester.  I really enjoy this series, because they are about teen Chef Neil and his adventures. I was really honoured when Simon Teen Canada asked me to develop a recipe based on the newest book in the series Neil Flambé & the Duel in the Desert.

You will understand my recipe concept once you finish the book, so I won't give anything away!

I experimented with a few ways of using jicama, a Mexican taproot vegetable.  Slightly starchy like a potato, a little bit sweet and crunchy like an apple when raw.

I finally ended up with a recipe that I liked. It's kind of a fusion of the Mexican Root Veg with an Indian Sweet Iced dessert called Malai Kulfi.

Angel's Jicama Cream Pops:

Ingredients

Mise_Angel's Jicama Cream Pop

Amounts

Amounts_Jicama Recipe

 

Process

First I peeled and chopped the Jicama into small cubes. (I would suggest that kids get their parents to do this part)!!  Jicama is really hard and it was a bit tough to do!

 

IMG_20160310_162946191

IMG_20160314_115345382 (1)

Then I boiled the Jicama for about 35-40 minutes (or until tender).

Next I added the milk and jicama in a blender and puréed them until smooth.

IMG_20160316_122926244_HDR

IMG_20160316_122947122_HDR

The next steps are to cook down your liquid. (Again kids should get their parents to help with this part)!

 

I poured all of the blended milk and jicama sauce into a large pot, and brought it to a simmer. Then I stirred in, one by one, all of the remaining ingredients.

(I used the mortar & pestle to grind down fresh cardamom, but you can use pre-ground.)

IMG_20160316_132827811 (1)

IMG_20160316_124957743

IMG_20160316_125017372

I brought the mixture to a medium boil, and continued stirring until the liquid reduced down until it was about 1/4 of its original quantity.

This part takes the most patience, because you have to stand and stir it the whole time; it took me almost 45 minutes.

I chose these Lego-men popsicle moulds because I thought they looked cool. Also, I wanted my Angel's Jicama Cream Pops to look like a frozen person!

 

IMG_20160316_134355652

IMG_20160316_134843379

IMG_20160316_135001161

 

I covered my pops and froze them overnight in the freezer.

Then I took them out and to run them under some warm water to get them out of the mould!

 

IMG_20160317_160145587

IMG_20160317_160203724 (1)

 

They were delicious!!

 

I learned from this that a rigid plastic popsicle mould is not the best choice when removing a frozen cream popsicle.  I would recommend a flexible mould, or individual bowls.

 

I hope you enjoy trying out my recipe, while reading Neil Flambé & The Duel in the Desert.

 

 

 

Things I cooked last week...

IMG_2765.jpg

Jan_Recipe_Blog_Pic  

Sharing a few links to recipes that I made last week:

First, Buddha Bowls by my favourite Vegan Food Bloggers Lauren & John @Hot For Food Blog!

I made the bowls last Monday, for #meatlessmonday dinner, and we liked it so much that I made it again on Friday for dinner.  I made a couple of slight changes:  I steamed the veggies slightly instead of serving them raw, and I added a little bit of garlic to the Creamy Miso Tahini Dressing. Also I had run out of Garam Masala, so I used a curry power instead to roast my Chickpeas.  Seriously so good!

 

Second: Sweet Korean Paleo Chicken Thighs by The Endless Meal.

This recipe is pretty simple.  Its easy to get it all prepped the night before and let the chicken marinate in the fridge over-night.  I made this one twice last week, and the second time I had run out of honey, so I substituted it with Maple Syrup, and it was still so delicious! If you don't have GOCHUJANG, go get some now!

 

Third: Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp by Smitten Kitchen.

This recipe is one of my favourites! I ve made it many times! Sometimes I change up the fruit that I use, depending on what is in-season. Apples and Pears are in-season in January they are good to use.  This one is good for breakfast or as a snack or as dessert.  I made some whipped cream and served it with some local jam that I got from the farmer's market.

 

How to make your own #Pumpkinspice!

Fork_Spoon_Badge-01.jpg

I used my own mixture of Pumpkin Spice in the Vegan Beet Muffins that I made this morning for Breakfast Television! The secret: there is no pumpkin in Pumpkin Spice!

Here's how you can make it:

Pumpkin Spice

(Mix Together)

  • 1/3 Cup of Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. Ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. Nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Cloves
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Allspice

And here's the recipe for the Beet Muffins!

 

PumpkinSpiceBeetMuffins

Get Local Dinner

LL_WholeFoodsClass.jpg

I am really excited that Whole Foods will be hosting their first ever GET LOCAL DINNER, and asked me to participate! I partnered up with my friend Chef Ned Bell, who is the executive chef at the Four Seasons.  The dinner will be next Tuesday, Sept 1st, from 6:30-9pm in the Allegro Café at Whole Foods Market Cambie!

This is a private ticketed 4 course meal with wine pairings!

It is so great because 100% of the ticket sales are going to benefit Chefs for Oceans, which focuses on educating chefs about sustainable seafood practices, and Growing Chefs which brings growing vegetables into the classrooms to get kids excited about cooking & eating veggies!

You can get your tickets now at Customer Service (Whole Foods Market-Cambie). $75

 

get-local-dinner[1]

Try my LOCABOBS recipe & Win a Staub Grill Pan!

Final-Staub-contest-image.jpg

I was really excited when Staub Canada asked me to create a summer recipe that you could make with their awesome 12" Grill Pan- STAUB. I wanted to make something simple to prepare and delicious, I decided on Kebabs.

I experimented with a few different ideas, and the final one ended up being my LOCABOB recipe!

With the Locabobs I tried to use all LOCAL ingredients that you can find at your farmer's market!

Check out my recipe below:

LocabobsThe contest started today and ends August 31st!

Here is the link to enter: ENTER HERE!

Good Luck!