Grilled Peach + Rosemary Soda

Sometimes you just need a fresh, sweet drink. This Grilled Peach and Rosemary Soda hits the mark as it’s the perfect combination of a fancy yet easy-going drink.

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So homemade soda - is this something that you guys are into? I personally love it, it’s such a great alternative to traditional soda plus you can do so many good combos. I think my love of this all started back many many years ago when I would order fruit coolers at Earls. Now if you haven’t ever ordered one and you frequent Earls you must get on your next visit. It’s basically a fruit puree with either 7-up or Sprite, and it’s so good.

This Grilled Peach + Rosemary Soda is a grown-up version of the fruit cooler. The sweet caramelization of the peaches and the piney earthiness of the rosemary gives you a sophisticated flavour combination that is hard to beat.

One thing that I love to have on hand is simple syrup, and while plain simple syrup is a bit more versatile than rosemary, rosemary simple syrup also gives you so many options. I mean seriously, how good does strawberry rosemary or mango rosemary sound? Plus, if plain soda isn’t your thing you could always make a more adult version with vodka.

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prep time 5 minutes

cook time 15 minutes

total time 20 minutes

servings 2

Ingredients

1 peach sliced

1 oz rosemary simple syrup

soda water

2 sprig of rosemary

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup white sugar

Instructions

In a small saucepan combine rosemary, water and sugar and bring to a boil. Lower temperature and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a grill pan add in slices of peaches and grill for 2-3 minutes per side or until peaches are soft and have nice grill marks. Divide peaches between each glass then add in 1 oz of the rosemary simple syrup. Muddle until peaches are broken down then top with soda water and ice - garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

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30 minute Noodles with Spicy Chilli Oil

These noodles come together in less than 30 minutes and taste amazing!!! They are the perfect weeknight dinner for when you want takeout but don’t want the extra calories!

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Ok, guys today I have an extra delicious recipe for you. You know how sometimes you make something and it’s good, yet other times you make something and it’s AMAZING! Well, this is one of those things that fall into the amazing category.

Back in the day, we use to go to Wok Box on 17th Ave in Calgary and we loved it. It was the perfect place to get exactly the takeout style noodles that you wanted. It was like Subway for noodles which was perfect in my house because Aaron likes the big fat Shanghai noodles and I like the skinnies noodle possible. Sadly Wok Box closed and while I know they have other locations they didn't ever have one that was convenient for us so our noodle obsession really took a hit.

That is until now. These 30 minutes noodles are so easy to make and taste just as good as any takeout noodle you can buy. The addition of the chilli oil is the perfect hit of spice that you can ramp up or down based on how much spicy you like. Plus, the chilli oil is a great thing to have on hand, making the recipe even easier.

So next time you are craving takeout whip this up instead, it will probably be ready before you can even get your shoes on!

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prep time 10 minutes

cook time 20 minutes

total time 30 minutes

servings 6

Ingredients

1/2 cup soya sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp chili paste

1 lb ground chicken

1/2 white onion

2 green onions

1 bunch of bok choy

1 red pepper

1/3 cup peanuts chopped

1/3 cup water

14 oz stir fry noodles

pepper

4 tbsp chilli oil (recipe below)

Instructions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil then cook noodles according to directions on the package.

In a small bowl combined soya sauce, rice vinegar, honey, chilli paste and water and set aside.

In a wok or large frying pan cook chicken until browned, breaking into small pieces as you go. Sprinkle liberally with black pepper then add in sliced white onion and cook another 3-4 minutes or until onions have softened. Add in sliced peppers and box chop and cook another 2 minutes. or until vegetables are tender.

To the vegetables add the sauce and bring to a boil and cook until veggies are fully coated. Add in noodles and drizzle with chilli oil and toss to combine.

To serve top with peanuts and green onions and additional chilli oil if you like it extra spicy.

Chilli Oil

1/3 cup peanut oil

3 cloves of garlic

1 inch piece of ginger

1 tsp chilli flakes

2 tbsp sesame seeds

In a small sauce pan add in peanut oil, grated garlic, ginger and the chilli flakes. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until garlic is very fragrant.

To the oil add in sesame seeds and cook another 2 minutes. Allow to cool then store in an airtight container.

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Raspberry Peach Crumble Bars

It’s like raspberry peach crisp in an easy to go bar form - what could be better!

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Ok, so I don’t know about you guys, but I think apple crisp is a seriously underrated dessert. It’s one of those things that gets served when you don't have time to make a pie, and it’s often downplayed - but I think that this is a travesty and that any type of crips should be celebrated.

So while this recipe isn’t exactly the same as traditional crisp it’s pretty darn close. Now while this one is made with raspberries and peaches you could use any fruit that you love or is in season. Right now peaches are so ripe and sweet that it was perfectly balanced with the tart raspberries.

Now the one thing that you need to do it make sure you allow these bars to cool completely before you cut them. If you are impatient like me just know that you won’t get a solid bar that holds together. If you throw caution to the wind and cut them right away you might as well throw it in a bowl and eat it like a crisp, because that is what it will be.

But, if you are patient it will so be worth it! Having these as a treat in your lunch or to serve at a picnic or bbq will be absolute perfection and leave you wanting to make them day after day!

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prep time 20 minutes

cook time 50 minutes

total time 1 hour 10 minutes

servings 10 - 12 bars

Ingredients

2 cups oats

1 1/2 cups flour + 2 tbsp

1 cup brown sugar + 2 tbsp

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup cold butter

3 cups fresh raspberries

1 peach

2 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup raspberry jam

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine oats, 1 1/2 cup of flour, 1 cup of brown sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. Add in butter that has been cubed then using a pastry cutter cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles a crumble. Pour 1/2 of the crumble into the baking sheet and press down evenly. Bake for 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl add in raspberries, remaining flour, brown sugar and vanilla. Toss so that all of the raspberries are evenly coated in the flour (I like to use my hands so that the raspberries do not get crushed).

To the baked crust evenly spread out the raspberries then add on 1 tsp dollops of the jam. Top with the peach that has been thinly sliced then sprinkle remaining crumble over the top.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing into bars.

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Soft Pretzels with Beer Cheese

Soft Pretzels with Beer Cheese - the perfect thing to serve Dad this Fathers Day weekend!

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It’s almost Fathers Day so what better way to celebrate than with pretzels and beer cheese! I mean what dad doesn’t love bread and cheese right!

So let’s talk about making pretzels. I have made them a few times and yet they always make me a little bit nervous. As you can see from my photos I certainly am not a pretzel forming expert, but truly you could make them in any shape and they would taste just as delicious.

So if you are a pretzel making novice like me I highly recommend looking up "how to form a pretzel" on youtube, visually seeing someone else do it just helps it to make more sense and have saved me on more than one occasion.

Now, when it comes to the beer cheese I absolutely think this is necessary, especially if you are making this for Father Day. You can use any type of beer that you love because if you love the flavour of the beer your using you will love the flavour of your beer cheese. But if you are not wanting to go the extra step these pretzels are also really delicious with your favourite grainy mustard.

So go ahead and treat dad this weekend - we all know he deserves it!

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prep time 2 hours

cook time 12 minutes

total time 2 hours 12 minutes

servings 6 pretzels

Ingredients

1 cup milk

1 pkg active dry yeast

3 tbsp brown sugar

2 1/4 cup flour

6 tbsp butter

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup baking soda

2 tbsp coarse salt

Instructions

In a small saucepan heat milk until it is about 110 degrees. Pour into a medium sized bowl the sprinkle on yeast and allow to sit for 2-5 minutes or until yeast is frothy.

To the yeast add in sugar and 1 cup of the flour and stir to combine. Stir 2 tbsp of the butter that has been softened into the mixture then add remaining flour and 1 tsp of salt.

Our the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until dough is smooth but still slightly tacky.

Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a towel. Allow to rise in a warm spot for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 450 and prepare your baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down your dough to deflate then turn your dough out onto a floured surface. divide into 6 pieces then roll each piece into a 30-inch rope. Form each rope into a pretzel shape by making a U shape then crossing the ends of the U. Cross again then flip the ends down to form the pretzel shape (I highly recommend checking out a youtube video if you haven’t made them before).

Once you have formed each of your pretzels bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling add in baking soda - 1 tbsp at a time being careful not to let the water boil over. Carefully place the pretzel in the water and cook for 2 minutes then flip. Using a slotted spoon remove from the water and place on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle liberally with coarse sea salt. Continue will remaining pretzels.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown then brush with remaining melted butter and serve immediately.

Beer Cheese

1 cup cheddar cheese

1/4 cup cream cheese

1 tbsp worshishire

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp garlic

1/2 tsp paprika

salt to taste

1/4-1/2 cup beer

In a food processor combine all ingredients and pulse until fully combined. Pour ingredients into a saucepan of microwave safe dish and heat until melted and smooth.

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Crunchy Cucumber Salad with Spicy Katsu Chicken

This Crunchy Cucumber Salad is paired perfectly with Spicy Katsu Chicken - the perfect dinner combination!

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Katsu Chicken - one of my favourites. Now if this is something new to you, you are not alone, though you have probably been eating it for years. It’s popular in Japan, Hawaii and California and is basically panko chicken.

Now while most recipes that you see are fairly basic, I think panko is always enhanced by some spice, so with the added red pepper flakes, garlic and pepper it’s a kicked up version of a traditional katsu chicken.

So my favourite place to order this dish is not a traditional Japanese or Hawaiian restaurant but rather Joeys! If your a west coast Canadian resident or visitor you will know exactly the restaurant I’m talking about. Joeys was one of the first places that offered lettuce wraps many many years ago before everyone jumped on that bandwagon, and they always have really great food. So when their Katsu Chicken Peanut Salad first hit the menu I knew I had to try it. Seriously one taste and I was in love. I order almost every time I go and dream about it when we're not in Canada. Now while this salad is not by any means a replica it gives me the same feelings with the crispy chicken, peanuts and crunchy salad on top.

So do yourself a favour and either make this for dinner tonight or run to Joeys and order theirs - either way your in for a treat!

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prep time 30 minutes

cook time 10 hour

total time 40 minutes

servings 4

Ingredients

1/2 cucumber

1/4 - 1/2 jalapeno

3 cups shredded cabbage

2 cups shredded romaine lettuce

2 green onions

1/4 cup cilantro

3 tbsp black sesame seeds

1/2 cup peanuts

1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup

3 tbsp smooth peanut butter

1 1/2 tbsp soya sauce

1 1/2 tbsp vinegar

1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil

4 chicken breasts - pounded thin

1 cup panko

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 egg

oil

Instructions

In a large bowl combine chopped cucumbers, very thinly sliced jalapeño slices, shredded cabbage and romaine lettuce, sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, sesame seeds and peanuts.

In a small bowl mix together maple syrup, peanut butter, soya sauce, vinegar and sesame oil - whisk until smooth. Pour dressing over the salad and toss so it is evenly coated.

Over medium heat add oil to a cast iron or large frying pan and heat. On a plate mix together panko, red pepper flakes, garlic salt and pepper. On a second place whisk an egg. Take chicken that has been pounded so it is 1/4 -1/2 inch thick and dip in egg then panko. Carefully place in your hot pan and fry for 3-4 minutes or until chicken is golden and crispy. Flip then cook for another 3-4 minutes or until it reaches 165.

To serve place a piece of chicken on each plate then evenly divide salad to top each piece of chicken. Garnish with additional peanuts and sesame seeds.

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