Samantha Potter » Vancouver Food Blog

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Try try try again… that’s what happened with these cookies.  So many re-dos it was ridiculous.  I had to eat SO many cookies to get here (poor me, I know…).  BUT I think I have found the solution.  COCONUT OIL! This helped these little cookies keep their shape and added a dimension of flavor.  If you’re highly against coconut oil not using it will work fine they just won’t be as perfect looking (in fact they look a little wrinkled?!) but still tasty as can be.

 

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 30
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr 30 min
Total Time
2 hr 40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr 30 min
Total Time
2 hr 40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all purpose gluten free flour (Bob's Red Mill!)
  2. 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/3 cup margarine, room temperature
  6. 5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  7. 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  8. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  9. 1 egg, room temperature
  10. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  11. 2 cups milk chocolate chunks
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the gluten free flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment on, combine butter, coconut oil, and sugars on medium speed for 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat for another minute.
  4. Add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Add in the chocolate chunks and mix until well combined.
  6. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and let stand in fridge for approximatley 2 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F and spoon out dough into small rounds on a non-stick cookie sheet at least an inch and a half apart.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Samantha Potter http://samantha-potter.com/

 

 

 

Yesterday I attended an insanely cool workshop on leadership.  My favourite take home message that stuck out (which I have literally been telling absolutely everyone I talk to about) is this completely foreign concept to me.  An important point for you to know is that in this workshop, a strength was described as something you have an ability for (not surprising!) in addition to something you are also passionate about (logical, but before yesterday I didn’t include it in my typical definition).  For example, in my current work, I’ve got a strong ability to write technical reports however, I quite dislike it i.e., NOT a strength.  If you’re like me, your strengths are almost what you focus least on – I tend to focus mainly on my weaknesses and how I can improve those.  The speakers take home message was for us to focus on our strengths rather than weaknesses as our advancement will be so much greater than we could have thought. 

Logically this makes sense – but to what extent really?  She told us about a study that had been conducted: a 3 month accelerated reading program with two groups – one group who was pretty indifferent about reading and one group who LOVED to read.  After three months both groups improved.  The group who was indifferent improved by 50% – not too bad.  The group who loved to read improved by 600!!!!!!!! %. 

Imagine all of the possibilities in life if you hone in on your strengths.  600 % in three months people, think about that. 

Needless to say, after that talk I was inspired to sit my butt down and write this blog post as in my opinion, my strength is cooking.  I feel really grateful for those of you who actually read what I write or send me a little note saying you tried my recipe.  It really truly makes my day.

Onto the beets; this is a perfect perfect perfect! fall recipe to feed your guests at a dinner party.  While the time it takes looks daunting the hands on time is minimal; just stirring once in a while.  The earthy beet taste gives the risotto so much flavor and the colour, well you can see, the colour is gorgeous.   Pair with a California Pinot Noir (just saying!).

Roasted Beet Risotto
Serves 6
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 45 min
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 45 min
Total Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 5 medium sized beets, peeled and quartered
  2. 1 tablespoon salt and pepper, respectively
  3. 2 tablespoons butter
  4. 4 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 3-5 rosemary sprigs
  6. 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  7. 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  8. 2 cups aborio rice
  9. 1/2 cup vodka
  10. 1000 mL chicken or vegetable stock
  11. 1/2 cup milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
  12. 3/4 cup grated asiago cheese (plus more for topping)
  13. Arugula (optional - for topping)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In tin foil, combine beets, olive oil and salt and pepper. Wrap the beets tightly and place onto a baking sheet. Bake the beets for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  3. With 15 minutes remaining start making your risotto.
  4. In a large dutch oven, heat remaining olive oil, butter, and rosemary sprigs over medium heat. Once the oil/butter is fragrant, remove the rosemary.
  5. Add in chopped onions and minced garlic. Cook for approximately 5-10 minutes, until the onions are translucent - stir frequently.
  6. Add in your aborio rice and vodka. Stir until the rice is coated in the oil/butter mixture and until the vodka has been absorbed.
  7. A cup at a time, add the stock of your choosing and mix until fully absorbed. Once the mixture has fully absorbed the stock, add another cup. Repeat until you have no more stock left or until the risotto is fully cooked.
  8. Once your beets are done, puree them in a blender and blend until smooth.
  9. Add in milk, beet puree, and asiago and stir well.
  10. Garnish with arugula and cheese.
Samantha Potter http://samantha-potter.com/

Embarrassing story time.  After these muffins were made I was incredibly excited.  I am a total dairy fiend.  I barely drink actual milk but cheese… oh I eat all of the cheese.  In my opinion, cheese makes everything 500 times better.  I also incorporate eggs into everything (poached eggs go with everything as well!!!), especially in baked goods.  Very rarely, do I manage to make anything that is dairy-less.  Ok so, cutting back to my muffin excitement – after these bad boys were out of the oven I was THRILLED no animals products ! Not even dairy.  I made something that was vegan!  Or so I thought… Until I looked at the bag of MILK!!! chocolate chips I used.  I couldn’t do much but burst into laughter.  I tried really hard to make something vegan and without even thinking I reached for the only bag of chocolate chips in my pantry… OOPS.  Me eating vegan just isn’t meant to be … for now.  So if you want them to vegan… don’t do what I did!

 As a side note, these muffins are really really really good – you can’t even tell they are vegan (minus chocolate chips)!  If all vegan food tastes like this I could maybe consider coming around… maybe.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Yields 12
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
16 min
Total Time
31 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
16 min
Total Time
31 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose gluten-free flour (regular is fine as well)
  2. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  4. 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  5. 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  6. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  7. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  8. 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  9. 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  10. 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  11. 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  12. 2 tablespoons medium molasses
  13. 1.5 tablespoons vanilla extract
  14. 1 cup chocolate chips (if you want to make it vegan don't use milk chocolate chips like I did! :) )
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line muffin tins with liners and spray with coconut oil spray (or any type of non-stick spray) so that they will come off the muffins easily.
  2. In a large bowl whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugars, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, almond milk, molasses, and vanilla until well combined.
  4. Pour the ingredients in the medium bowl over the large bowl and fold in ingredients until just combined.
  5. Gently and without over mixing, fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Divide batter evenly between the 12 lined and sprayed muffin tins (~1/2 cup of batter) until they are about 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for about 16-18 minutes until the tops are golden brown or until a toothpick comes out cloen when inserted into the centre.
  8. Let cool at least 10 minutes before eating.
Notes
  1. Will keep for 5 days and apparently you can freeze them!
Adapted from Averie Cooks
Adapted from Averie Cooks
Samantha Potter http://samantha-potter.com/
 

 

That’s IT! I am on a butter cream frosting hiatus.   It’s so insanely sweet I can’t get over it – does anyone have a solution for this??!  If so please let me know.  Four cups of icing sugar in a frosting is screaming diabetes to me but it’s around that four cup mark when the texture becomes right.  I don’t know if you’re on the same page I am but it doesn’t really matter because mascarpone frostings are so very good and provide you with a similar texture and look.  Mascarpone adds such delight to so many frostings – like the mascarpone peanut butter frosting I posted about a while ago … yeah point made.

So anyways, lets get to another important matter – this cake!!!!!   HOLY GAWD it is GOOD.  Don’t judge me when I tell you this … it’s flourless … and … it’s made with … BEANS!  I know you’re thinking “Ok Sam, you’ve lost your marbles; I’m not making a bean cake…!”  To be honest I had the same reaction when a friend introduced force fed me her recipe.  It was the best chocolate cake I have ever had so obviously it had to make an appearance on the blog.   At that point a mental note was made – cakes with weird ingredients are the best cakes ever.

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Yields 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1080 mL (2 cans) unseasoned black beans (drained and rinsed)
  2. 2 tablespoons prepared coffee (not grounds, an actual coffee cup)
  3. 4 tablespoons vanilla extract
  4. 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  5. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  6. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 3/4 cup butter, softened
  9. 2 cups white sugar
  10. 10 eggs, room temperature
  11. Any type of topping you want for your cake (I used blackberries)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat 2 cake pans (8 inches in diameter) with butter or cooking spray so the cake doesn't stick.
  2. Puree beans in a blender with coffee and vanilla until smooth.
  3. In a small bowl, sift cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  4. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, mix together butter and sugar for one minute. Beat in all of the eggs for a minimum of two minutes; until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  5. Add bean mixture from blender and mix until just combined. Slowly add in the cocoa mixture and beat until the batter is very smooth.
  6. Pour batter evenly into cake pans and gently (so cake batter doesn't go flying!) hit the cake against the counter to get any air bubbles out.
  7. Bake for approximately 35-45 minutes; when you gently shake the dish, the center should not move. At this point the cakes are likely done, however, you can double check with a toothpick; insert into the middle of a cake and if it comes out clean, they are done.
  8. Let the cakes cool in their pans on a rack.
  9. Flip the cakes out onto a flat surface you can pick up again (I used a cutting board for one and the surface I was displaying the cake on for the other).
  10. Ice the top of the bottom cake and place the second take over top.
  11. Ice the top of the second cake and decorate with anything you desire (suggestions: blackberries, raspberries, nuts...).
Notes
  1. If you let them sit over night, apparently they are better... I haven't quite lasted that long yet!
Samantha Potter http://samantha-potter.com/

Mascarpone Cream Frosting
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 16 oz mascarpone
  2. 1/2 cup white sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  4. 4 cups heavy whipping cream
Instructions
  1. Using an electric beater or stand mixer, mix mascarpone, white sugar, and pure vanilla on high until well combined.
  2. Add the whipping cream and mix on low until everything is mixed. Turn the mixer to high and mix until stiff peaks form.
  3. Once the cake has cooled, frost the middle layer and then add the top layer and frost the top layer.
Samantha Potter http://samantha-potter.com/
  • October 16, 2014 - 2:52 am

    Mirta - Very interesting recipe, I’ll have to try it , looks delicosaReplyCancel

To all my vegetarians out there: this post probably isn’t for you but I will make it up to you I swear (for the record you might be missing out here!!!) !

To my meat eaters: welcome to heaven.

Fall off the bone meaty heaven where everyone gets unlimited racks of ribs, no one ever gets full, and everyone somehow stays healthy. 

OK, you’re right, too far;  this post isn’t going to give you unlimited racks of ribs (unless you make them), you will be full by the end of eating them, and staying healthy… that’s on you.  BUT these ribs do fall off the bone which was the most crucial part of that sentence.

These may also give Bobby Flay a run for his money… but I guess you’ll only find out if you make them….(hint hint hint)….

Spicy Baked Ribs
Serves 3
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 hr
Total Time
5 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 hr
Total Time
5 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 rack baby back pork ribs
  2. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  4. 2 teaspoons sea salt
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  6. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  7. 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  8. 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  9. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  10. 1/2 bottle of BBQ Sauce (I used a smoked whiskey BBQ sauce but the choice is yours)
Instructions
  1. Using a sharp knife, cut the membrane off of the back of the ribs.
  2. Combine dry ingredients into a bowl (everything except ribs and BBQ Sauce) and mix well.
  3. Press the dry rub onto the ribs (top, bottom, left, right, front, back, ALL over!!!).
  4. Wrap the ribs tightly in foil and then place into a tupperware. Let marinate in the fridge for at least five hours (overnight is ideal).
  5. When you're ready to cook, preheat oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the (still) foil covered ribs on top.
  6. Bake in the oven for 2.5 hours and then place 1/4 of the bottle of BBQ sauce onto the ribs. Place back into the oven for another 2.5 hours.
  7. Heat the oven at 400°F on broil; move a rack to the top of the oven.
  8. Cover the ribs with the remaining BBQ sauce and place on the top rack for 5 minutes until bubbly.
  9. Remove and wait until they are cool enough to handle.
  10. Serve warm!
Samantha Potter http://samantha-potter.com/