Jana’s Prosciutto Rollups

22 Aug

Prosciutto Rollups 1Today’s recipe is brought to you by my lovely wife Jana! I first had these prosciutto rollups when she made them for our joint 30th birthday party. I loved them so much that I’ve since had her make them for family holiday dinners, and even last weekend for my dad’s Birthday celebrations. These prosciutto roll-ups are a real crowd pleaser and bound to get you lots of oohs and ahs.

Jana first made these when she was in her early 20s and moved to Toronto. She wanted to start hosting friends at her Yonge and Eglinton (or Young and Eligible as it’s jokingly referred to in T.O.) apartment and offer them something more sophisticated than just cheese and crackers or chips and dip (not that she doesn’t love these two party staples – the latter is actually one of her personal favs – but everything has its place!).

These magical little bites are the perfect mix of salty prosciutto, creamy goat cheese, sweet cranberry and peppery arugula. The first time you make them will be a little labour-intensive (maybe 40 mins for 30) but Jana promises with practice it gets faster, and basking in the compliments from your guests makes the time spent well worth it!
Prosciutto Rollups 2Ingredients:
(This makes 30 roll ups. The measurements are not precise)
15 slices of thinly sliced prosciutto*
60 (approx) arugula leaves
1/3 cup of goat cheese
60-90 dried cranberries

*Tip from Jana – make sure you get thinly sliced prosciutto, this will roll better but also ensure you don’t end up with a mouth full of meat

Lay out 1 slice of prosciutto on your cutting board. Slice the prosciutto in half lengthwise so you end up with two long strips (Jana finds that the prosciutto slices have a natural break in them, which will help guide you where to cut). If you find your prosciutto is a little fatty, you can cut off any excess unwanted fat along the edges.Prosciutto Rollups 3Next lay 2-3 large broad leaves of arugula at the end of the prosciutto strip with the bottom of the arugula aligned with the bottom of the meat (you want the leafy part to stick out the top of the roll up when done).

Scoop a 1/2 tsp dollop of goat cheese on the bottom of the arugula leaf.Prosciutto Rollups 4Press 2-3 dried cranberries into the goat cheese. Carefully roll, starting at the end with the arugula, cheese and cranberries. You want to make sure the roll is tight enough to keep all the ingredient together.Prosciutto Rollups 5Repeat the above steps to make the rest of the rollups. These can be enjoyed right away, or made ahead and covered in the fridge. They are the prefect little bites to serve at your next shindig!
Prosciutto Rollups 6

Martha Stewart’s One Pan Pasta

21 Aug

One Pan Pasta 1I have loved Martha Stewart for as long as I can remember. I adored watching Martha Stewart Living with my Mom as a child, or flipping through her beautiful magazine. To this day, if I’m looking for recipe inspiration, or trying to figure out the best way to cook something, I’ll go to her website. A few months back I started seeing a recipe pop up all over Pinterest – Martha Stewart’s One Pan Pasta. You throw all the ingredients into the pan at the same time and in a few minutes you have a perfect pasta dish. I was majorly skeptical. I doubted whether this could actually work. It seemed way to easy, so I ignored it. But it continued to get pinned by people I follow. Pinned and pinned and pinned. Then it hit me. This is a Martha Stewart recipe! Martha has never done me wrong in the past! If she says this works, then by golly – it works!! So I tried it last week. OMG – it’s awesome! The pasta absorbs all the liquid you put in, everything cooks together, it tastes great, and there is only ONE pan to clean up after!!One Pan Pasta 2Martha’s recipe can be found here. The first time I made this I followed her recipe, and it was great. When I made this last night, I tweaked it slightly, and liked it even more. I cooked the pasta in chicken stock rather then plain water for added flavour. I found that my pasta took longer then 9 minutes to cook – closer to 12 (as you aren’t boiling the liquid first). Once it was done cooking I tossed in 1 tbsp of capers, the juice of 1 lemon, and 1.5 tbsp of jarred pepperoncini peppers.

I can not recommend this recipe enough. Inexpensive, easy and super quick to prepare, it’s the perfect weeknight meal. (I had gone to the gym, got home later and managed to have dinner done 20 minutes after walking in the door!)One Pan Pasta 3

Macon & Lesquoy Pins

20 Aug

Macon & LesquoyI love things in life that are fun, and don’t take themselves too seriously, especially as it relates to fashion. Playful accessories are conversation starters, and no accessories are more playful then the pins by French company Macon & Lesquoy. Their collection of embroidered pins are whimsical, charming, and just plain cute. I’ve been eyeing the Lobster pin for some time now. How perfect would one (or several) of these look on a simple denim jacket, or plain black sweater. They can be ordered from the Macon & Lesquoy website, or from the gorgeous Toronto boutique Canon Blanc

BBQ Clams

19 Aug

BBQ ClamsWe celebrated my Dad’s birthday on the weekend, and the occasion called for a little treat. My Dad (and Jana and me) LOVE seafood. As my Mom and sister aren’t big fans, he doesn’t often have shellfish, so his birthday was the perfect opportunity for something special. “Fancy” BBQ clams were the just what the birthday boy needed! Cooking clams on the grill is every easy, and takes just a few minutes. They are delicious with just a squeeze of fresh lemon, but adding a little BasicĀ Vinaigrette andĀ Prosciutto really takes them to the next level.

Ingredients:
2 lbs clams
Basic Vinaigrette
2 slices of Prosciutto

BBQ Clams2Start by cleaning the clams. Soak them in a bowl filled with cold water for 20 minutes. After soaking, remove each clam and gently scrub to remove excess sand and place in a new bowl. Dump out the water the clams had been soaking in (don’t dump it out over the now cleaned clams, or you’ll just get them dirty again.) I repeated this process twice just to ensure my clams were nice and clean and free of sand. If any of your clams are already slightly open, and don’t close when tapped, throw them out. Now that you have nicely cleaned clams, place them on a hot BBQ and close the lid. Let them cook for about 4 minutes. The clams are done as soon as they have fully opened up. Toss any that do not open. Once open, immediately take them off the grill, trying to keep the juices in the shell (admittedly, I failed miserably at this). Once off the grill, drizzle a little vinaigrette inside each clam and tear a small piece of prosciutto and place inside as well. Eat right away.
BBQ Clams3

Sweet Potato Salad

15 Aug

Sweet Potato Salad1Potato Salad is a Summer time staple. I could eat it by the truck full, even the kinda gross stuff they sell prepackaged at the grocery store that is a pale yellow colour. Yup, I love it! But I am always trying to take bad things I love and make healthier versions of them. So voila – Sweet Potato Salad! I’ve been making this salad once a week for the last several weeks, and Jana and I are hooked. Packed full of bright summery flavour, my lovely wife summed it up best the other night by saying “these items make no sense, but it works and is delicious!” What more of a ringing endorsement do you need?Sweet Potato Salad2Ingreidents:

3 large sweet potatoes
2 firm peaches
3 celery stalks
3 green onions
1.5 tbsp fresh dill
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 limes
1 heaping tbsp grainy dijon mustard
2.5 tbsp olive oil

Sweet Potato Salad3Preheat the oven to 385. Cut the sweet potatoes into bite size pieces and place on a baking tray. Toss with the 1 tbsp of the olive oil and the chili powder, making sure all pieces are evenly coated. Roast the potatoes in the oven for about 40-45 mintues, flipping them every 15 minutes. They should be cooked through, and golden when done. While the potatoes are in the oven, cut the peaches into bite size pieces (approx the same size as the sweet potatoes) and place in a large bowl. Thinly slice the celery and green onions and add to the peaches. Mince the dill, add to the bowl, then set the bowl aside (preferably in the fridge to keep everything cold). To make the dressing, squeeze the juice from the limes into a small bowl. Add the grainy dijon mustard and remaining 1.5 tbsp of olive oil and whisk together. Set aside. Once the potatoes are done roasting, you’ll want to let them cool to warm temperature. When cooled, add to the large bowl with the peaches, celery, onions and dill. Pour the dressing over and gently combine (you don’t want to squish or mash the sweet potatoes. Put back in the fridge for at least 10 minutes then serve! As there is nothing perishable in this salad, it would be great to bring on a picnic or to bring to a BBQ.Sweet Potato Salad4

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