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Chipotle Cannellini Dip

1 Sep

A few nights ago my boyfriend and I invited two of our close friends to our apartment for dinner. It was our first time ‘officially’ having people over to our new place, and I decided that I wanted to go all out: appetizers, main course AND dessert. I knew immediately what I wanted to make for the latter two categories (pizza + cornmeal cake with cinnamon ice cream), but I rarely make appetizers. Like a somewhat unambitious and lethargic superhero, I flew to my cookbooks and began to pore over them furiously. I wanted something that could be made in advance, paired well with a number of vegetables and breads, and looked easy enough that I couldn’t screw it up.

Unsurprisingly, I found it in Fresh Flavor Fast, the sequel to my favourite ‘magic cookbook’. Martha Stewart and Co. dubbed the dip “a favorite” among the editors, and so I was initially sold. While the recipe called for a food processor (which, sadly, I lack), it seemed like the sort of thing that could just as easily be made in a blender. Sold again. Finally, the only ingredient I didn’t have on hand was the cannellini beans, which I (rightly) figured would be easy enough to obtain. Triple sold.

Slightly tweaked, all you need is:

  • Two 15-oz cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice (fresh if you’ve got it, but bottled worked well for me)
  • Coarse sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • About 1/2 tsp of chipotle

Instructions

1. Pulse all ingredients except the chipotle in blender until smooth;

2. Place the pureed bean dip into whatever serving bowl you’re planning on using (or a storage container, if you’re just making it for yourself) and sprinkle with about 1/4 tsp of the chipotle. Add the other 1/4 tsp, and additional chipotle f you’re a brave soul who likes your food piquant.

I served this with pita chips, slivers of toasted homemade whole wheat bread drizzled in olive oil, and carrot sticks. It paired well with all of these accompaniments, but I also  think it would also be a great addition to sandwiches and wraps, or pretty much anywhere you use hummus. I hope that you like it as much as I did!

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Baked Brie with Blueberry Jam

18 Aug

When I first made this recipe with my friend Cleo, her mother called in the midst of it baking. When Cleo excitedly described what we were doing her mother freaked out. “How can you eat that? Do you girls eat like that all the time?!? Do you know how unhealthy that is? I can’t believe you!” etc., etc., . I, of course, consider such a radical response to be the hallmark of a good dessert. I first found this recipe on Simply Recipes, and tried it as soon as I got my hands on some pastry dough. Since I made jam for the first time recently, I of course decided that it was necessary to test it on what is possibly the most fattening last course I have ever made.

All you need:

  • Enough pastry dough to cover a wheel of Brie (about 200 grams)
  • Enough jam to cover a wheel of Brie
  • A wheel of Brie
  • Maple syrup and brown sugar for topping

The rest is, like most of the baking of which I am fond, exceedingly simple.

(1) Roll out the pastry dough until it is thin enough to cover all of your Brie when pinched together over top of it. Place the Brie in the centre of the dough.

(2) Slather the Brie in jam. Blueberry jam is of course delightful.

(3) Fold the pastry dough over the Brie and the jam. Pinch the edges together so that the shape holds throughout baking.

(4) Drizzle the closed pastry dough with maple syrup.

(5) Sprinkle brown sugar over top of the maple syrup, because at this point you really need more calories in the dessert.

(6) Bake in the oven at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the pastry looks like this:

At which point, you’ll probably want to share it with a number of close friends, because eating half of this on your own is tantamount to instant heart attack.