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Hey Friends… guess what day it is?!?!  TOMATO FRIDAY!!!  Oh yeah! It’s the best day of the week by far and it only comes along around towards the end of the summer when there is an abundance of fresh local tomatoes.  Take advantage while you can; it won’t last that long!

Personally I don’t want it to end.  I just can’t get enough of the colours. Heirlooms in particular get me every time; each and every one is unique and perfect in it’s own way.   That being said, you can thank the baby heirlooms for this salad inspiration.  The tomatoes are kept as the star of the dish.  The freshness of the herbs and the nuttiness of the cheese compliment the roasted tomatoes perfectly.  So as a grand homage to summer, I bring to you a delightful tomato salad.

Roasted Asiago and Herbed Tomato Salad
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb heirloom cherry tomatoes
  2. 1/2 cup asiago cheese
  3. 1/2 cup chopped basil
  4. 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  5. 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  6. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  7. fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and place in a large bowl.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients into the bowl with the tomatoes and mix well.
  4. On a foil lined baking sheet, spread out tomato mixture.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is crispy.
Samantha Potter http://samantha-potter.com/

Dear world: 

It has come to my attention that people are unaware of the proper techniques of eating cupcakes.  This is really not a good thing.  The full cupcake experience is not had when you don’t use the proper cupcake eating techniques.  Don’t worry though, at the end of this post there is a video guide to help you learn the how-to’s of cupcake eating.  So please stop missing out on full cupcake experiences and stop only tasting either the cupcake or the icing; the cupcake deserves to be eaten properly and frankly, you deserve to taste it all.

Ok, got that rant out of the way.  Can we talk about how pretty these are?!  I stumbled across The Flour Pots photo of her’s on Instagram and instantly fell in love with the colour. Naturally I had to make them myself.  I am a big fan of adding the most random things to chocolate cakes because based on past experiences it is SO DAMN GOOD.  So the random ingredient and key to the prettiest colour ever: BEETS! 

Oh ya, I would have turned my nose up to that strange concept originally too but trust me; they are pretty and taste delicious and make you feel like they are almost (or should be healthy)… PS – they aren’t but winter is coming, am I right?! 

 

Chocolate Beet Cupcake
Yields 18
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2-7 beets (size dependent, you want about a cup once you grate them), trimmed of greens
  2. 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  3. 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  4. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  5. 2 large eggs
  6. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  7. 2 cups all purpose gluten free flour (Bob's Red Mill!!!) or regular flour, if you desire
  8. 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  9. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  10. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  11. 1 teaspoon salt
  12. 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wrap the beets in tin foil and bake on a baking sheet for approximately 45 minutes to an hour (again, depending on the size of your beets). You will know they are done when a knife easily slides through them.
  2. Remove the beets from the oven and let them cool completely. Peel beets and finely grate - you need 3/4 cups for the cupcakes and 2 tablespoons for the icing.
  3. Line your cupcake tins (this makes approx. 18 cupcakes) with liners (or not but good luck getting the cupcakes out...!)
  4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk your flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
  5. Using a stand or electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugars together on high until light and fluffy; approximately 3 minutes.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, beating with your mixer each time until they are fully combined.
  7. Once the eggs are fully incorporated, mix in the vanilla and 3/4 cups of the grated beets.
  8. Add half of the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix on low. Slowly add the buttermilk and mix until just combined.
  9. Add the other half of the dry ingredients and beat until the consistency of the batter is homogenous. Be careful not to over mix.
  10. Divide evenly among your muffin tins leaving 1/4 of an inch at the top for the cupcakes to expand.
  11. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Adapted from The Flour Pot
Adapted from The Flour Pot
Samantha Potter http://samantha-potter.com/
Frosting
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  2. 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  3. 2-3 cups icing sugar
  4. 2 tablespoons finely grated beets (from recipe above)
  5. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  6. 1-2 tablespoons buttermilk
  7. 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Using a stand or electric mixer, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add butter and beet on high for one minute.
  2. Mix in beets and vanilla until just combined.
  3. A cup at a time, sift icing sugar into mixture. Alternate 1 cup icing sugar and 1 tablespoon buttermilk or lemon juice until your desired consistency is reached.
  4. Once your cupcakes are cooled, decorate as desired.
Notes
  1. This will be really sweet but if you eat your cupcake like a boss (see video) it works perfectly!
Samantha Potter http://samantha-potter.com/

 

Alas: how to eat a cupcake like a BOSS.  Seriously, this is a game changer.

Seriously, I may as well have tomatoes coming out of my ears!!!  There are so many growing in the garden I share with my neighbor – we are both picking bowl fulls every night.  I can barely keep up in eating all of these  tomatoes.  Right now, my go-to tomato usage is on a piece of toast with avo and a poached egg! But one can only have so many of the same meal in one week, even if it is a fav.  SO, I decided to roast some and pop them into the dinner I was making.  Aren’t they purrrrrrrrdy?! They are extra delicious because I thought I’d have killed the plants months ago and here they are growing away!!!

On a fully different note – baked chorizo is killer.  I barely like chorizo (cue *gasp*).  But baked = a win.  I will easily go out of my way to make it… when I bake it.

Summary: roasted tomatoes (extra good when you grow them on your own and not that hard if I haven’t killed them yet!) + baked chorizo + cheese (cheese anything is a win I guess) + pasta = SO. GOOD. 

Tomato Chorizo Pasta
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
  2. 1-2 large chorizos, sliced thinly into rounds
  3. 1/2 cup basil
  4. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1 package fettuccine noodles (I used gluten free noodles)
  6. 1/2 cup bocconcini
  7. 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  8. Sea salt and pepper to taste.
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and move the oven racks to the middle of the oven.
  2. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and place tomatoes on one and the sliced chorizo on the other.
  3. Place in the oven an bake for 20-30 minutes until the chorizo is golden brown and sizzling and the tomatoes are nicely roasted.
  4. While your tomatoes and chorizo are cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta as per package instructions.
  5. In a small pan, heat olive oil and sea salt (I used a good amount of sea salt, maybe 2 teaspoons) over medium heat. Once decently warmed, cook the basil leaves for 1-2 minutes. Keep the oil in the pan.
  6. Remove basil leaves and place on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
  7. When your pasta, tomatoes, and chorizo (add the liquids that came off when baking too!) are cooked, combine thoroughly and add the olive oil from the pan.
  8. Plate your pasta and add bocconcini, parmesan, basil, and pepper to each dish.
Adapted from Donna Hay - Simple Dinners
Adapted from Donna Hay - Simple Dinners
Samantha Potter http://samantha-potter.com/

Right now I am all about easy summer recipes. Some might say my cooking has gotten “lazy” but I say who really wants to hangout in a kitchen all day when it’s not raining outside!? Not me.

My cousin had a party this weekend and I wanted to bring a sweet treat but I also didn’t want to spend hours slaving over it. Needless to say I was pretty happy with myself when I realized that I had froze the other half of the dough from my last tart (which can be found here).  All I needed to do was thaw the tart crust, roll it out and pop it into the oven… oh and fill it with something refreshing yet comforting. I decided to make a mascarpone filling (for that comfort food feeling) and since figs are in season I wanted to top the tart with figs. PS – I just learned that Vancouver has fig trees???!!!! Anyone know where I purchase one?!  So here you have it, a dead easy summer tart that’s refreshing yet comforting.  I’d make it…!

Tart Crust
Yields 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups flour (gluten-free option: 2 cups Bob's Red Mill GF flour) plus more for dusting
  2. 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature ( if you're using gluten free flour) OR 2/3 cup butter, at room temperature (if you're using regular all-purpose flour)
  3. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1/2 cup confectioner’s (icing) sugar
  5. 1/2 cup ground almonds
  6. 1 teaspoon lavender
  7. 1 egg
  8. A pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl mix together all ingredients using a wooden spoon, or, your hands (hands work better:) ). Kneed together until the dough sticks together and forms a uniform mixture.
  2. Separate into two halves and wrap each half in it’s own saran wrap. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes (the longer the better!).
  3. On a large floured piece of parchment paper, roll out one of the halves of dough into a round shape that will fit your tart dish/dishes (my usual tart dish is ~9 inches in diameter and ~1 inch deep with a removable bottom so that the tart can come out easily, however, I made 5 mini tarts for this tart that were ~3 inches in diameter and 1 inch deep).
  4. Put the tart dish with the dough into the freezer for about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  6. Remove tart crust from the freezer and line the tart with parchment paper. Fill the lined tart with something heavy (beans, pennies, pot lids, etc.) and bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool.
Notes
  1. You can use the second (half of the) tart right away or store in the freezer for approximately one month.
Adapted from Mimi Thorisson
Adapted from Mimi Thorisson
Samantha Potter http://samantha-potter.com/
Fig and Mascarpone Tart Filling
Serves 10
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups mascarpone cheese
  2. 1.5 cups sour cream
  3. 3/4 cup honey
  4. 1 teaspoon lavender
  5. 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  6. ~5-8 fresh figs, thinly sliced into circular shapes
Instructions
  1. Using an electric stand or hand mixer, mix together mascarpone, sour cream, honey, lavender, and vanilla until well combined.
  2. Once your tart crusts have cooled fill the tart crusts evenly with the filling.
  3. Decoratively place the figs on top of the filling and serve right away or keep in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
Samantha Potter http://samantha-potter.com/

 

Oh ya, its everyone’s favourite monthly post: POPSICLE post! I’ll keep it short and sweet so you can get to making these bad boys ASAP.

I mostly get excited for these posts because I get to eat them all 🙂 and as a nice summer bonus, they are usually healthy! This blueberry rhubarb popsicle is no exception.  Healthy yet refreshing oh and in this hot summer heat will stain your clothes as it melts (I unfortunately speak from experience) so eat it really quickly or with the safety net of a napkin under it.  My advice for you in regards to these popsicles ends now.  Go make them and enjoy!

Blueberry Rhubarb Popscicles
Yields 10
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 hr 20 min
Total Time
4 hr 30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 hr 20 min
Total Time
4 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups blueberries
  2. 4 stocks rhubarb, cut into eighths
  3. 1/2 cup agave
  4. 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. In a pan combine ingredients and heat over medium heat for 10 minutes, until rhubarb breaks down.
  2. Once the rhubarb has broken down, remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. Place the blueberry rhubarb mixture into a blender and blend for a minimum of 5 minutes until smooth.
  4. Pour evenly into popsicle moulds, put the sticks in and freeze.
  5. Once frozen, eat up!
Samantha Potter http://samantha-potter.com/