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.

everything bagel deviled eggs

 

you should know by now that i believe everything bagel seasoning belongs on just about everything and deviled eggs are no exception! such a simple blend of spices adds so much flavour to any dish. these deviled eggs are made with Conestoga Farms Free Range Eggs and inspired by the traditional everything bagel + cream cheese combination. the filling gets a hint of tang from the cream cheese and dijon mustard. i kept things simple and garnished it with sliced chives, but if you want to take things to the next level try topping it with smoked salmon!

for those who are not familiar with Conestoga Farms Eggs, it is an egg brand whose focus is on supporting local farmers. all the eggs are produced in ontario and they offer a variety of eggs including organic eggs, free range eggs, free run omega-3 eggs (brown & white) and hard boiled + peeled eggs. i was fortunate enough to attend the welcome to the summer side up cooking workshop in toronto last week where we learned all about the different types of eggs. a little fun fact i learned about Conestoga Farms Organic Eggs is that it simply means the chickens are fed an organic diet, plus all organic eggs are free range.

now if you aren't sure how to cook the perfect hard-boiled egg, here is a quick run down! place the eggs in a pot and fill with two inches of water. bring to a boil and cook for 30 seconds. remove from heat, cover with lid and let stand for 12 minutes.

now lets get deviled egging!

p.s. if deviled eggs aren't your thing (or you don't have time to peel all those eggs), try this quick breakfast switch up! toast a piece of bread, slather it with cream cheese, fry up a freshly cracked egg & sprinkle it with everything bagel seasoning. you could also try conestoga farms hard boiled + peeled eggs if you’re looking to save time. breakfast for the win!

ingredients

  • 6 hard boiled conestoga farms free range eggs, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons quality mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • sea salt & cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon everything bagel seasoning (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onions, to garnish

directions

  • cut hard boiled eggs in half lengthwise.
  • gently remove the yolks & place them into a medium size mixing bowl. transfer egg whites to a plate.
  • mash yolks with a fork. stir in mayonnaise, cream cheese, dijon mustard, salt & black pepper.
  • transfer filling to a piping bag fitted with a star tip. pipe mixture into egg white halves.
  • sprinkle with everything bagel seasoning & garnish with green onion.
  • serve immediately or store in refrigerator covered.

note: i LOVE trader joe's everything bagel seasoning, but if you can't locate it simply mix together one tablespoon of poppy seeds, black sesame seeds, white sesame seeds, minced dried garlic, minced dried onion & flaked salt to taste!

roasted rhubarb pop tarts

 

woah! summer is flying by. even though it hasn't technically started yet, i feel like june went by in the blink of an eye. it has been a little quiet over on the blog this month, as i have been busy promoting the cookbook. local book signings, cooking demos, interviews & so on! what an amazing adventure it has been, i hope it never ends.

i made these pop tarts a few weeks ago when i first spotted rhubarb at the farmer's market & let me tell you, they are GOOD. rhubarb season is (too) short & already coming to an end, so we must make the most of it! the filling of these pop tarts is just fresh rhubarb, roasted to perfection. the pink frosting gets its hue naturally from the leftover rhubarb juices. these are as pretty in pink as it gets! the pastry is extra flakey (hello butter) made with bob's red mill's all purpose flour & sprinkled with bob's red mill's sparkling sugar. the best sugar to top baked goods with! even though these are basically hand pies with glaze, pop tarts are for breakfast.. so these can totally be a breakfast pastry too. i won't tell!

p.s. if you are looking for a dessert to bring to the upcoming long weekend's, canada day + fourth of july celebrations, look no further. just make a double batch, as they won't last long!

xo

ingredients

for the dough

for the filling

  • 10 sticks of rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

for the glaze

directions

for the dough

  • in a large mixing bowl stir together the flour, sugar & salt.
  • add the cubed butter & work into the dough using your hands until a pea sized crumb mixture is formed.
  • add the ice water & vanilla extract. continue to work in with your hands until the dough comes together. turn out onto a floured surface and shape dough into a disk.
  • wrap dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

for the filling

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees. line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • in a large mixing bowl toss together rhubarb, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice & vanilla extract. transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  • roast for 15-20 minutes, until rhubarb begins to soften & release juices. set aside until ready to use.

for the glaze

  • in a small mixing bowl whisk together the sugar & rhubarb juice until smooth.
  • if mixture appears thick, add more rhubarb juice. if mixture appears thin, add more powdered sugar. set aside until ready to use.

for assembly

  • preheat oven to 375 degrees. line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • on a floured surface roll out dough to 1/8th inch thick. cut into 16 evenly sized rectangles, approximately 4 inches x 2 inches.
  • add a tablespoon of rhubarb filling to the center & brush the edges with egg wash.
  • top with a second piece of dough. using a fork, press down the edges to seal.
  • brush the top with additional egg wash & place on prepared baking sheet. repeat this step until no more dough remains.
  • bake for 15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
  • drizzle with glaze & top with sprinkles. let cool slightly before serving.

note: for the rhubarb juice, reserve 2-3 tablespoons of the liquid from the roasted pan to obtain a perfectly natural pink glaze.