green tea + strawberry shortcakes

 

which type of shortcake do you prefer, a biscuit base or a chiffon cake base? well i would never turn down either type of shortcake, i love individually plating & serving a biscuit shortcake! filled with a mound of fresh strawberries & ALL the vanilla whipped cream, so good. today's recipe infuses the flavours of green tea into the biscuit using aiya america's culinary grade matcha powder. the cooking grade matcha powder is designed for cooking & baking, as it doesn't lose it's flavour when mixed with other ingredients.

the green tea flavour that comes through in the biscuits isn't overpowering, but compliments the natural sweetness from the strawberries. now how cute are these little vibrant strawberries? hands down the best local pint i've picked up this season! this recipe can be prepared in advance & assembled just before plating, making it a great dessert for outdoor entertaining. bake the biscuits fresh in the morning, whip the cream in the afternoon & slice up those strawberries as you plate! lastly, if you are looking for a green tea biscuit recipe to enjoy for breakfast, look no further. the biscuits taste amazing on their own too or toasted with a little butter!

ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon aiya's culinary grade matcha powder
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold & cubed
  • 1 cup heavy cream, plus more for topping
  • 2 cups thinly sliced fresh strawberries, for serving
  • 2 cups fresh whipped cream, for serving

directions

  • preheat oven to 400 degrees. line a baking sheet with parchment paper & set aside.
  • in a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, matcha powder, baking power & salt until evenly combined.
  • add the butter & gently work into the flour mixture using your hands until a crumb consistency is formed.
  • stir in heavy cream until the dough comes together. transfer dough to a floured surface & roll to a 1-inch thickness.
  • cut into rounds using a biscuit cutter (or mason jar lid) & transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  • brush the tops with heavy cream & sprinkle with turbinado sugar. bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. let cool completly before assembling.
  • to assemble: slice biscuit in half & begin with the bottom half. top with a layer of whipped cream & a handful of strawberries. repeat with top half & serve immediately.

summer tomato quinoa salad

 

it's tomato season!!! i wait every summer for this moment, because store bought tomatoes do not compare to the tomatoes i pick from my mom's garden or pick up from the farmers market. sun ripened tomatoes picked ripe off the vine have a flavour like no other. so sweet & juicy! i am someone who will never put a tomato in the fridge, because in my opinion it instantly ruins the flavour. am i crazy or does any(every)one else agree?

anyways, with tomato season comes barbecue season (yay summer) & this is a perfectly healthy side dish to serve or bring to your next barbecue. it features summers best cherry tomatoes (i love the colourful ones) & cucumbers, but is also quite hearty thanks to the quinoa. this recipe uses bob's red mill's organic quinoa grain, which is a nutritional powerhouse! quinoa is a whole grain that is gluten free, a good source of iron & high in protien. there is a reason it has become so popular over the years! side note: have you ever had quinoa onion rings? the best.

the dressing for this salad features apple cider vinegar, for another hidden health boost. you can prep this dressing days in advance & use it on all your favourite salads! if you are looking for a vegan dish, simply omit the goat cheese & substitute maple syrup for the honey. easy as that! for a healthy weeknight meal, serve with grilled chicken.

NOTE: to perfectly cook the quinoa follow these directions: rinse the grain in cold water & transfer to a pot. add two cups of cold water & a teaspoon of salt. bring water to a boil, cover pot with lid & reduce heat to a simmer. cook for 15 minutes. fluff quinoa with a fork & cover for an additional 15 minutes. let cool to room temperature. if you want to add a little more flavour to the grains, try cooking the quinoa in a low sodium vegetable or chicken stock instead of water.

ingredients

for the salad

  • 1 cup bob's red mill organic quinoa grain, cooked & cooled
  • 3 cups heirloom grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, quartered & thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup goat cheese crumbles, plus more to garnish
  • apple cider dressing (see recipe below)

for the dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon quality honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper, to taste

directions

for the salad

  • in a large mixing bowl toss together the quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, goat cheese & dressing until well combined. season with salt & pepper to taste.
  • garnish with additional goat cheese & green onions. if preparing in advance, dress salad just before serving!

for the dressing

  • in a small mixing bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, dijon & garlic until well combined.
  • season with salt & pepper. set aside until ready to use.

strawberry shortcake funnel cake

 

okay, but is it REALLY summer without freshly picked strawberries & funnel cakes? i feel like this is one dessert people are afraid to make at home because it seems a little intimidating for a home baker. let me tell you, these funnel cakes are so easy to make! the hardest part is not eating them all as they come out of the fryer. as a kid, i was obsessed with funnel cakes. always topped with gooey strawberry filling & a mound of vanilla ice cream. the best days of summer were those spent at the carnival with cotton candy in one hand & a funnel cake in the other hand. bonus points if you went on the ride & didn't get sick from all the sugar! now this treat has become something i like to make at home on special summer occasions (not that you need a special occasion to enjoy a funnel cake).

this recipe features two amazing products by PADERNO: the Auto Drain Deep Fryer & the Power Blender. PADERNO products are made to enhance every beautiful moment of the cooking journey. the blender is so powerful & smooth, it makes blending anything a breeze! the deep fryer has an automatic oil drainage system which makes for a quick clean up &a easy storage of oil. i always use a flavourless oil (such as canola or vegetable oil) & keep the used oil in a separate glass jar for deep frying purposes until it needs to be replaced. the deep fryer keeps a constant temperature of 375 degrees which is perfect for funnel cakes, however, be sure to never overcrowd the fryer as it will cause a dip in the oils heat & cause soggy funnel cakes. after all, nobody wants a soggy funnel cake. happy frying!

ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • oil, for deep frying
  • powdered sugar, for serving
  • whipped cream, for serving
  • 1 pint halved fresh strawberries, for serving

directions

  • line a baking sheet with paper towels & set aside until ready to use.
  • in a blender add the eggs, milk, vanilla extract & nutmeg. blend until light & fluffy.
  • in a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder & salt. slowly pour the egg mixture into the bowl & beat until batter comes together.
  • transfer batter to a large disposable piping bag & cut a small opening at the tip.
  • add oil to deep fryer & heat to 375 degrees. pipe batter in a circular motion to desired funnel cake size, the messier the shape the better.
  • fry until golden brown (about 2 minutes), carefully turning the cake over once. fry the remaining side for 45 seconds.
  • remove from fryer & transfer to prepared baking sheet to drain any excess oil. sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  • when ready to serve, layer funnel cake with whipped cream & strawberries.