perfect pesto…

26 Sep

pesto5

Man I love this green goop!  So mega easy to whip up in a food processor and makes anything super tasty.  It’s my lazy go to when I’m making rice, pasta, chicken or veggie dish.

As long as you have some good quality basil, garlic and olive oil, you can make this batch lickity split and freeze the rest for a later date.

Here’s the recipe!

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diy trail mix with all the good stuff….

21 May

diy trail mix theurbanpocketknife

Let me premise by saying I kinda hate trail mix.  It’s one of those snacks that you never really eat in the city and only when you’re on some outside adventure.  Although it’s a high energy snack, full of nutrients and fibre, I detest how it dries out your mouth, it’s filled with bland or overly salted nuts, and makes you more thirsty.

diy trail mix theurbanpocketknife

I stopped into Ayoub’s one day, which by the way is the most unique and wonderful bulk food store, and picked up some ingredients.  The shop stores their own roasted nuts and dried fruit in beautiful silver pedestals with dome lids.

I must admit that the trail mix was partially inspired by a vendor I saw at a farmer’s market once who added shredded beef jerky to the nuts….genius!

diy trail mix theurbanpocketknife

So what’s in this trail mix?  I wanted a mix of different complementary flavours, kill some of the salt, add some sweetness and different textures.  I suppose the ratios don’t matter too much as it’s up to your personal preference.

Spicy Cashews (cayenne, lime, saffron, salt)
Salted Peanuts
Raw Macadamia (probs my fav nut!)
Roasted Almonds
Cranberries
Green Raisins
Raw Hazelnuts (gleaned by my friend!)
Shredded Beef Jerky (blitzed in my food processor)

I’m debating on adding some chocolate chips but was not sure if that would be overkill 🙂  I’ll be honest, this trail mix isn’t that cheap but at least I’ll eat it on my next climbing trip!

maple bacon cupcakes….

6 May

maple bacon cupcake theurbanpocketknife

So like so many out there, I jumped on the bacon bandwagon and put the smokey meat on something sweet!  My friend’s birthday party was the perfect excuse to make these boy cupcakes, I’m not sure if I would ever make them for a girl….we don’t like bacon THAT much.

 

maple bacon cupcake theurbanpocketknife

Essentially I took a plain vanilla cupcake recipe, spruced it up with the addition of some maple syrup and added a buttercream frosting that also had maple in it.  Fry up some bacon all crispy like and decorate at will.

 

maple bacon cupcake theurbanpocketknife

The bacon flavour isn’t very strong, just adds some saltiness to the cupcake, I would likely make it again for funsies 🙂

new french macaron classes in vancouver…

6 Feb

I’ve added a new class to my roster and am now teaching French Macaron classes at Save on Meats!  Learn how to master the perfect shells and create these mouth watering treats at home.  Two flavours are featured in the class, and not only do you get to try them in class but you get to take some home to enjoy later!

Sign up for Macaron Makin’ at Save on Meats here.

macaron class vancouver urbanpocketknife

pinata cookies!

8 Jan

pinata sugar coconut cookies the urbanpocketknife

 

So my friend had a loosey themed NYE party and during a night of making awesome paper cutout banners, she told me about these crazy pinata cookies that I may just be crazy enough to make.

She isn’t far from wrong, I looked it up….decided it was WAY too much work and way too much waste so I improvised and came up with something equally festive.

pinata sugar coconut cookies the urbanpocketknife

I mean they are way cool but also requires a lot of coloured dough and a lot of waste since you cut out the cookies after you’ve baked the slabs (to ensure equal sizing I assume).

I came up with something else, they’re not perfectly shaped but meh…the coconut looks like tissue paper so I’m happy!  No recipe here, just assemblage instructions!

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char siu barbeque pork…

6 Jan

char siu barbeque pork theurbanpocketknife

So….this is a hack of a recipe…it’s really not a recipe at all.  I saw some beautiful pork belly at Sunrise Market a while back and had to buy some.  Strolling around the aisles of marinades a plenty, I found a jar of char siu sauce to go with it.

Slice the pork belly in 3/4″ slabs, mush some char siu sauce around it (helps to throw it in a big ziplock bag) and put it in the fridge to marinate overnight.

Next day pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and place the slabs on a raised rack in a pan.  Air flow all the way around ensures even cooking and will lend to crispy ends.

Roast for 20 minutes per side and than raise the temperature to 425 and roast for another 5 minutes on either side or until the edges get charred.  Let it rest for 10 minutes, slice and serve…don’t you dare throw out the fatty bits!  Wham bam thank you ma’am, easy peasey meaty goodness with minimum effort.

char siu barbeque pork theurbanpocketknife

Not only is it literally two ingredients but it’s fast and ultra satisfying, I can’t say that the sauce was 100% authentic, seemed a touch on the salty side and had a goopy-ness to it but nonetheless I’d make it again!

lemon carnage scraps…5 more uses

30 Dec

lemon scraps theurbanpocketknife

 

After making  a batch of lemon curd, I decided to take the rest of my 4lbs of meyer lemons and put it to good use.  After all I had so much zest, juice and rinds left over!  I’m not a huge fan of marmalade because I think it’s too bitter so I found five other ways to make use of ALL the lemons, that’s right, nothing went in the garbage!

lemon scraps theurbanpocketknife

Look how gorgeous!  First I zested all but four of the lemons….I didn’t zest them super perfect but I had a whack load of zest, my hands smelled so lovely after.  I then juiced the zested ones, made some lemon curd and saved the rest.

lemon scraps theurbanpocketknife

The left over juice I combined about a cup and half of sugar to 2 1/2 cups of lemon juice to make a syrup  I figure I can use this to make refreshing fizzy drinks and use it to flavour icings, cakes and the like.  I cooked it down quite a bit to concentrate the flavours.

lemon scraps theurbanpocketknife

A long time ago I read that you could preserve whole lemons in just kosher salt, it’s a Moroccan thing.  Cut the lemons length wise about 3/4 down in a cross (like 4 wedges but all attached).   Cover open edges in about 1tbsp of kosher salt, smush ’em in the jar and cover the top with more salt.  The goal is to get them submerged all the time so some swishing is necessary on a daily basis.  When it’s good and preserved, you take the rind only and chop it up into rice and anything you want a nice lemony zing.  Can’t wait to try this!

lemon scraps theurbanpocketknife

Lemon zest in sugar and salt, this was probably the easiest!  Take the zest and mix it thoroughly with your sugar and salt, I just eyeballed it.  It’s a good idea to let the sugar dry out, so spread it out on a cookie sheet and let it dry until it doesn’t clump anymore before you store it.  The salt takes much less time to dry out.  Use it in baking, cooking, whatevs…it adds a nice bright flavour to whatever you’re making!

lemon scraps theurbanpocketknife

Lemon scraps dunked in a vat of white vinegar.  I’m not sure if this is going to just turn into a mega tasty lemon vinegar or if I’ll just end up using it as a natural cleaner.  Either way, I’ll give it a taste in a month or so and see what the flavour is like, otherwise it’s destined to be my Mr. Clean.

I’m a little bit in love that I got so many uses out of these lemons!