Chocolate Mug Cakes

This is a super delicious chocolate cake that can cure any chocolate cravings in 5 minutes flat!.

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The hungry men in the South Arm Community Kitchen served this Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake with creamy Greek yogurt, Macerated Berries (in the next post) and Vanilla Glaze.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla or plain Greek yogurt (or 1/4 cup buttermilk and omit the water)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso or instant coffee granules, optional (but recommended as coffee boosts chocolate intensity; make sure they’re instant so they will dissolve)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon baking powder (a little less than 1/4 teaspoon)
  • pinch of slat, optional and to taste

Vanilla Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • about 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • splash of cream or milk, only if necessary for consistency

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Source: averiecooks.com

Yield 2 mugcakes

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Smoky Chicken, Peppers and Spinach Pasta Salad

Since I’m not free on the last week of May, I asked Michelle if I could attend the South Arm Hungry Men Community Kitchen instead of missing the session for women. Most of the times, the recipes are the same for both kitchens.

Here is my observations of the Hungry Men Community Kitchen; they are eager to learn to cook and they socialize well with one another. They are helpful with the clean up too. I wish the men in my home are the same. They only need extra guidance  with some basic kitchen skills and more complicated recipes ((in term of many steps) .

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For this kitchen, the main course is a Smoky Chicken, Peppers and Spinach Pasta Salad. This salad can be served hot or cold.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces rotini pasta, cooked according to package directions (vegetable rotini is preferred)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for sauce + 1 tablespoon for cooking chicken
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper,or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
  • about 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-sized pieces and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups (2 heaping handfuls) fresh spinach leaves, sliced thinly (chiffonade)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
  • 1 large orange bell pepper, seeded and diced small

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Source: averiecookes.com

Yield: serves 8 generously

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Big Italian Salad

The Big Italian Salad made in South Arm Women Community Kitchen uses oregano, Italian parsley and basil for flavouring.

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Ingredients for Dressing

  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped.
  • 10 big leaves fresh basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey

For the Salad

  • 1 large head Romaine lettuce, washed, dried and cut into large, bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped hothouse cucumbers
  • 1 large carrot, peeled into ribbons
  • handful grape tomatoes, halves
  • handful pitted olives
  • Ricotta or Feta cheese, crumbled ; to taste

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Source: Jennifer Segal, onceuponachef.com

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Bruschetta with Tomatoes and Basil

We made a simple Bruschetta with Tomatoes and Basil as an appetizer in the South Arm Women Community Kitchen.

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The herb highlight in this recipe is basil.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 baguette or crusty long loaf bread
  • 2 large cloves garlic, cracked away from skin
  • extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 3 small plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 20 fresh basil leaves
  • coarse salt

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Source: foodtv.com, Rachel Ray

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Traditional Tuscan Soup

The theme for this South Arm Women Community Kitchen is how to use fresh herbs to flavour our food.

CookSmarts Guide with Herbs

Michelle shared the above guide from Cooksmart.com on how to use different herbs for different produce/protein and how to store the herbs. You can click on the guide to have a larger view.

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Do you know the best way to store fresh basil is in a jar filled with some water on the countertop. They will last for 7 to 10 days.

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The above Traditional Tuscan Soup uses rosemary and sage for flavouring. Typically, dried herbs have a more concentrated flavour. so use 1/3 of the fresh amount called for. Or, 3 times the amount to convert from dried to fresh herbs.

Dried herbs require a longer cooking time, whereas fresh herbs are typically added near the end of the cooking.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stick celery, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dry rosemary
  • 3 to 4 sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 10 oz (300 grams) cooked pinto beans
  • 1 1/2 cups pearled farro (or soaked overnight; wheat, spelt or barley grains would work here but require longer cooking time)
  • 4 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
  • Parmesan cheese, optional

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Source: Pedon Farro

Serves 4

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

For dessert, we made Oatmeal Raisin Cookies in the South Arm Women Community Kitchen.

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These cookies are soft and chewy and soft fresh from the oven and turned crispy when cooled.

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We served Mint Iced Green Tea which the recipe can be found here.

From webmd.com:

Green tea is so good for you that it’s even got some researchers raving.

“It’s the healthiest thing I can think of to drink”, says Christopher Ochner, PhD. He’s a research scientist in nutrition at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Of course, no one food will protect you from disease. Your health is wrapped up in your lifestyle and your genes, so even if you drink green tea all day long, you also need to take care of yourself in other ways, like not smoking, being active, and eating a healthy diet.

Green tea’s biggest benefit? “It’s all about the catechin content,” says Beth Reardon, RD, a Boston nutritionist. Cathechins are antioxidants that fight and may even prevent cell damage. Green tea is not processed much before it’s poured in your cup, so it’s rich in catechins.”

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins or cranberries or chocolate chips (or combinations of them)

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Source: food.com

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Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

Another Mexican recipe from the South Arm Women Community Kitchen. For this kitchen, Michelle shared a Quinoa Enchilada Casserole.

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We served the Quinoa Enchilada Casserole with sides of chopped tomatoes, avocado, romaine lettuce and cilantro.

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This is a healthy enchilada baked that you can enjoy quilt-free. It is made with chockfull of quinoa, black beans and cheesy goodness which are high in protein. Leftovers taste even better.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 (10-ounce) can mild enchilada sauce (red or green)
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • head of lettuce, chopped

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Source: damndelicious.com

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