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Maple Pumpkin Spice Popcorn is the fall snack all we deserve.

in Food
Maple Pumpkin Spice Popcorn is the fall snack all we deserve.

I am one of those people who would be perfectly happy to live somewhere with fall weather all year long. The leaves, the breeze, the sweater weather. I’m totally for it. I’m also all about every single autumn flavour including the much disputed pumpkin spice and, of course, maple syrup!

This recipe has all that fall goodness and more. Popcorn = one of my favourite snacks for when I want to eat my weight in something crunchy. Ever get that feeling? Thankfully, popcorn is a pretty guilt-free snack, so dig in. (Heck, add more maple and party. #autumnyolo)

Maple Pumpkin Spice Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin spice mix
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional
  • 5 cups popped popcorn

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan or pot, heat brown sugar, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice mix over medium heat.
  2. Cook, stirring, 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbling.
  3. Stir in butter until melted and well blended.
  4. Add pecans, if desired, and popcorn and stir until well coated.
  5. Allow mixture to cool before serving. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.

Related: Does the Starbucks PSL hold up to my expectations from last year?

A few tips for the perfect stovetop popcorn

Nothing’s better than a great batch of popcorn. Here are a few tips for perfect popping, every time.

  1. Warm a heavy pan or skillet with lid. Add approximately ¼ cup of vegetable oil to the pan, just enough to cover the bottom.
  2. Drop in two or three kernels and cover. When the kernels pop, add the remaining popcorn. Pour just enough kernels to cover the bottom of the pan. Again, cover with the lid.
  3. Shake the pan while the kernels heat and pop. Occasionally lift the lid slightly to allow steam to escape. When you hear the last few pops, remove the pan from the heat, take off the lid and empty the popped popcorn into a large bowl.

If you end up making this recipe, share a photo on social media and tag us! We’re @sofawnedmag on Twitter and Instagram.

Recipe courtesy of the Popcorn Board.

A super simple guide to making pour-over coffee.

in Drinks
The super simple guide to making pour-over coffee.

We’re a BIT coffee-obsessed in this house which means our kitchen holds a treasure trove of coffee-making gear. Today I’m going to show you how I make pour-over coffee.

I’m sure there are super specific guides to pour-over coffee out there, but this is exactly how I make it, every single time, and you know we like to keep it real around here.

We love our espresso machine, we used our French press constantly until I broke it (this is why we can’t have nice things), the AeroPress is a must, especially when we’re camping, but I still love this simplicity of pour-over coffee.

I am a huge tea-drinker — it’s all about that ritual of brewing and steeping — and I think that’s why pour-over coffee is so appealing to me. It’s the process of making it that adds to the enjoyment.

Recently, Melitta gifted us with two coffee makers from their Signature Series and Heritage Series, so I wanted to show you how I use them. Watch the video and keep scrolling for written instructions.

One of my favourite ways to make coffee. I'm sure there are pro guides to making this 💯 perfect, but this is how I do it. Easy peasy. ☕💛

Posted by So Fawned on Tuesday, October 9, 2018

 

Just watching this video makes me feel like I can smell that coffee brewing. Yum!

How To Brew Pour-Over Coffee

You’ll Need

  • A pour-over coffee maker
  • Your favourite coffee
  • A spoon
  • No. 4 filters
  • Boiling water

Directions

  1. Place your coffee maker on top of your mug
  2. Add your filter, don’t forget to fold the marked edges like we do in the video
  3. Add 3-4 teaspoons of your favourite blend (drip grind — not too coarse or too fine)
  4. Pour your water over and saturate your grounds
  5. Add enough water to fill your mug (use the water to push the grounds back to bottom when the float up the sides of your filters)
  6. Enjoy!

Two features I LOVE about the Signature Series coffee makers from Melitta:

  1. The inside is grooved to leave space between it and the filter which stop the filter from suctioning to the side. For those who pour-over on the daily, you know that this suction can cause messes sometimes
  2. There’s a hole at the bottom so you can tell when your mug is full. If I had a nickel for every mug I’ve overflowed. Oh, so many nickels.

Thank you to Melitta for sending over two of their beautiful pour-over coffee makers for us to try out. Not a sponsored post. Contains affiliate links. Feature image by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash.

A super simple guide to making pour-over coffee.

This is the best fried chicken recipe you’ll ever make. Seriously.

in Food

Questions: Is there anything better than fried chicken? Usually I would say “no way!” but in this case, I’ll make an exception. The thing that’s better than your regular old fried chicken is Chef Trevor Lui‘s rendition, which he calls 3 Nation Chicken.

This is a dish I can’t stop thinking about after trying it at Wok It with Trevor Lui, the Canola Connect culinary workshop that I was invited to at Dish Cooking Studio on College Street in Toronto last month. Keep reading and I promise to hand over the how-to. It’s worth it!

Chef Trevor Lui, teaching everyone at the #CanolaConnect event how to make the perfect fried rice

Chef Lui’s fried chicken is life changing to say the least, especially the way it’s prepared. For one thing, I would never have thought to use canola oil for frying, but it actually has a super high heat tolerance — as high as 242 ℃ or 468 ℉.

Usually you see peanut or vegetable oil recommended for recipes like this, but the neutral flavour and light taste of canola oil makes it the perfect choice.

We all got to try our hand at cooking with a wok as we teamed up to make our own fried rice creations. Canola is perfect for wok cooking, again, because of it’s high tolerance for heat. You want to keep your wok hot hot hot at all times as you keep your food moving, and canola oil is up to the task.

Fact: Wearing an apron makes you a better cook immediately 😉

My partner and I added a bit of Sambal to our fried rice for an extra kick.

We didn’t win first place, but it disappeared at dinnertime, so we’ll call that a win! This is something I’ll absolutely make again at home too.

TIP: There are lots of ways to make fried rice, but two things that will make it amazing = day old rice and don’t forget to add a little chopped up egg.

At the event, we had the opportunity to hear from Jeannette Andrashewski, a canola farmer from Alberta. I loved hearing her story and learning about her life.

Her family is one of 43,000 who are growing canola on the Canadian Prairies — that accounts for an average of 20 million acres planted each spring.

FACT: Canola is Canadian! The plant was bred by Canadian scientists and the name itself actually comes from Canada, “Can”, and oil, “ola”. You learn something new every day!

Awesome people + great food = a fantastic night at Dish Cooking Studio with Canola Eat Well

Canola oil also has the lowest amount of saturated fats of any oil — half of what olive oil contains. It’s also a good source of vitamins E and K and is packed with omega 3 fats.

Ok, you’ve been patient. Now it’s time to check out the aforementioned friend chicken recipe that I can’t wait to replicate at home. Bust out your canola oil and get cooking! 😉

Chef Trevor Lui’s 3 Nation Chicken

Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean Style inspired Popcorn Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 10 oz of Skinless, boneless Chicken Thigh/Legs
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 table spoons of chopped ginger root
  • 3 tablespoons of mirin
  • 3 tablespoons of tamari (gluten free soy)
  • 1 cup of potato starch
  • 4 cups of canola oil
  • 2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of white pepper

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp spoon of bean chili paste or sambal (as a substitute)
  • 1 tsp chili oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp of honey or agave
  • Juice of half a lime
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp of tamari (gluten free soy)

Garnish

  • 1 stock of green onion, chopped on bias
  • ½ bunch of cilantro, loose chop
  • 3-4 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped
  • Lemon Wedges

Preparation

  1. Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes. In a mixing bowl, add in garlic, ginger, tamari, mirin, 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Mix ingredients together, cover and leave in fridge overnight to marinate.
  2. In a medium sauce pot, add canola oil and heat to high on stove top. Dredge marinated chicken pieces in potato starch. In colander, shake excess dredge.
  3. Add coated chicken in hot pot/pan and allow to cook approximately 10-12 minutes until golden brown. (Probe chicken to minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees.)
  4. Remove chicken, drain and toss in a bowl with a healthy pinch mixture of white pepper and salt.
  5. Add sauce and garnishes, toss and serve with side of lemon wedges.

Something Chef Trevor Lui said that really stuck with me was this:

Around the dinner table is the one place everyone can be civil and get along.

I love this. No matter what your political or cultural background is, food brings us ALL together. And that’s something I love to keep in mind when I’m cooking, even if it’s just for my own family.

Food brings us together. It brings us closer. And it gets the conversation going — with full and happy bellies, of course!

Thank you to Canola Eat Well for sponsoring this post and to Dish Cooking Studio for hosting such a fun and informative event. Dish is an incredible space — part cafe, part cooking school and event space. Check out their site to learn more. Photos courtesy of Canola Eat Well. As always, all opinions are my own.

5 unusual lattes to cozy up with this fall.

in Drinks

I love how a sudden change in weather can completely change your mood and make you crave things you didn’t think about for months. This summer-to-autumn cusp is making want to bust out wool socks and cozy up with hot lattes. And so I went hunting for some new recipes to try out!

Usually I’m all about espresso, but these unusual lattes look decadent and oh so warming. Can’t wait to give them a try. See anything you like?

This Coconut Butter Rooibos Latte from Dolly And Oatmeal is just so pretty! When I worked at a cafe back in university, I fell in love with Rooibos and I feel like I can smell this latte just thinking about it. Yum.

I’ve tried the whole turmeric milk thing, sometimes called Golden Milk, but I’ve never made it frothy like a latte before. I could see this Calming Turmeric Latte from Wholeheartedly Laura feeling super restorative on a chilly fall day. Yes please.

Related: Fall is coming and your latte-holding hands need a cute fox cup cozy.

Any food that incorporates rose petals is going to make you feel like royalty. Looking forward to sipping Liz Moody‘s Rose Latte in the very near future. (And is it wrong that I’m daydreaming about snapping photos of it in our new kitchen? Ooh moving day can’t come soon enough!)

We have a hibiscus tea in our tea cupboard (yes, a whole cupboard for tea) that is so fragrant it’s one of the first things you smell when you open the door. I LOVE IT. We actually found the tea at the Bulk Barn of all places and it’s one of my daughter’s favourites. I bet this Hibiscus Ginger Latte from Golubka Kitchen smells just as magical. And again, this is SO pretty!

Lavender in food just makes me happy all over. I used to be obsessed with these lavender shortbread cookies from Black Honey and this Chamomile Lavender Latte from Hello Glow sounds like the perfect thing to sip at the end of a long day, maybe while watching some kind of food doc on Netflix. Perfect.

When you give these recipes a try, be sure to come back and let us know what you think! Follow our foodie (and otherwise) adventures on Instagram at @sofawnedmag.

Thanksgiving Poutine is a thing and we can’t wait to try it.

in Food/Thanksgiving

Fans of holiday feasts and Canadian clichés, gather round! The Thanksgiving Poutine is back at Smoke’s Poutinerie, but you only have a couple weeks to give it a try.

From now until October 8th, you can order the Thanksgiving Poutine at Smoke’s Poutinerie and combine all your favourite comfort foods into one extreme gastronomical adventure.

Three years ago, I would have told you this might be going too far, but having tried the magic that is stuffing as a poutine topping, I’m here to tell you think is going to be awesome. (Seriously. This is a freakishly good combination. Who knew.)

This dish is loaded up with roasted butterball turkey, homemade savoury stuffing, baby green peas, and cranberry sauce — all heaped on top of fresh-cut fried, squeaky cheese curds, and Smoke’s signature gravy.

And it comes in a hyper-Canuck plaid box. Because of course it does.

We’re officially drooling over here and look up the Google Maps directions to our nearest Smoke’s.

To make it even more enticing, when you order a Canada Dry Cranberry Ginger Ale on the side of your Thanksgiving Poutine, $1.00 will be donated to Friends of We Care, an organization that raises funds to send children with disabilities to fully accessible summer camps!

How cool is that??

Get thee to your nearest Smoke’s Poutinerie to get your Thanksgiving Poutine before October 8th, 2018.

Enjoy!

How to make a Sweet Lemon Slip.

in Drinks
How to make a Sweet Lemon Slip.

It may be September, but that weather still screams summer. Try this tasty and refreshing “adult lemonade” and enjoy those last few days of sunshine while it lasts!

Sweet Lemon Slip

What You Need

How To Make It

  1. Combine gin and Lemoncello into a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake until cold and strain into a cocktail glass, rimmed with sugar.
  3. Top with Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade and serve.

This is not a sponsored post. Thank you to Sparkling Ice for sharing their tasty recipe. Feature photo by Rod Long on Unsplash.

A new cocktail to spice up your weekend.

in Drinks
A new cocktail to spice up your weekend. | Made with Chic Choc spiced rum

I’ve always been a rum gal when it comes to cocktails. I’ve never been one for martinis, and I’ve only recently added gin to my bar cart, but rum has been a go to for mixed beverages for years. You like what you like, right?

I also had my favourite brands, so when Chic Choc sent us a bottle of their spiced rum to test out, I was worried I might not like it as much as the usual suspects. However, this made-in-Canada spirit is incredibly flavourful, easy drinking on its own or in a cocktail, and the labelling is beautiful.

Hey, I used to pick my wine by the pictures on the bottles, so let’s be real — pretty labels are important!

Related: How to make a Spicy Margarita.

Onto the point, though, the Chic Choc crew just sent over an incredibly tasty recipe that we want to share with you as well. You might not have all of these things hanging out in your kitchen right now, but we’ve added quick LCBO links so you can pick them up.

Enjoy!

A new cocktail to spice up your weekend. | Made with Chic Choc spiced rum

The Ivana

A new take on a traditional cocktail, both fresh and slightly bitter.

What You Need

How To Make It

  1. Fill a short glass with a generous number of ice cubes and pour in the ingredients.
  2. Lightly rub the zest on the inner wall of the glass, then flame up the orange oil over top and drop it in.

A little more about Chic Choc:

Made from spices harvested from the rugged Chic Choc Mountains in Quebec, Chic Choc Spiced Rum continues to grow in popularity. 

The unique spiced rum, made in Canada, is produced with six indigenous spices, creating a fresh take on rum that features a spicy bouquet with nuances of sugar cane and cinnamon, complemented by a subtle peppery tone.

Taking its flavour from Peppery Green Alder, Pine Forest Spikenard, Witherod Berries, Lovage Root, Sweet Gale Seeds and Wild Angelica, Chic Choc Spiced Rum is unlike any other spiced rum on the market.

Drawing its inspiration from the boreal forest of the Chic Choc Mountains in Quebec, Chic Choc Spiced Rum is the only artisanal rum made with a mixture of spices found in this untouched location of the country.

Thanks again to Chic Choc for sending over this recipe. Not sponsored. Just tasty.

Cancel your plans. The Starbucks PSL is coming back August 28th.

in Drinks

Hey, PSL fans? Whatever you had planned for August 28th, just scrap it. Unless you can hit up a Starbucks on the way. The coffee giant has spoken and it looks like the Pumpkin Spice Latte is making it’s debut a bit early this year.

This isn’t the first time they’ve launched the addictive autumnal drink in August, but no complaints over here. We’re ready to dive headfirst into the leaf piles of Fall. BRING IT ON.

Related: The perfect recipe for savouring every last moment of autumn.

My #firstPSL of the season. I'm in my happy place.

A post shared by Désirée Fawn (@that.desiree) on

And if you’re not bowing down to the PSL hype, you should just try the blended cold brew because we’ve heard it’s kinda awesome.

Happy almost-Autumn, everyone!

via GIPHY

PS. If you end up grabbing a PSL tomorrow, send us a tweet or DM on Instagram. We want to see it! #pslvibesforever

PPS. We’re also pumped about this news.

How to make a Spicy Margarita.

in Drinks/Food

It’s been super hot and humid around here for the last few weeks and that means lot of time outside — BBQs, hanging out with friends and family, and usually trying a few tasty (and cold!) drinks on the patio.

This Spicy Margarita is a fun twist on a tradition summer cocktail and it’ll be the perfect addition to your next backyard shindig. Delish!

Spicy Margarita

What You Need

How To Make It

  1. Add sliced jalapeño and tequila to cocktail shaker and muddle until well combined.
  2. Add fresh lime juice and ice and shake well.
  3. Strain into a glass over ice.
  4. Top with Sparkling Ice Pink Grapefruit and garnish with a grapefruit wedge and serve.

This is not a sponsored post. Thank you to Sparkling Ice for sharing their tasty recipe. Feature photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash.

This kitchen tip will change how you serve food.

in Food
This kitchen tip will change how you serve food.

When I’m trying to perfect a recipe, I think to myself WWABD. That is, of course, What Would Alton Brown Do?

Ever since watching his show Good Eats, I’ve taken his cooking advice as gospel and now I always google how he’d cook something before I get started.

Which is exactly what happened a couple weeks ago when I was trying to perfect my scrambled egg recipe. I realize that’s a SUPER simple thing to make, but I felt like my method could use an update and since I was teaching my daughter how to make her own at the same time, I figured I’d consult the expert.

This kitchen tip will change how you serve food.

Within his recipe, was a tip that has now changed the way I serve food.

Here’s what it said:

Odds are you’re going to be serving these on a plate. If so, I strongly suggest you park an ovensafe one in a low oven or in hot water while you’re cooking. Cold plates suck the heat right out of food.

Until that day, I’d never once heated my plates before putting food on them, but I figured I’d give it a try because Alton knows best and it made ALL the difference in the world.

The idea of baking up my plates in the oven makes me feel like I’m definitely going to burn myself, so I just submerge them in hot water for a bit before serving. I swear it makes your food taste better, it (obviously) stays warm longer, and it just makes the whole experience that much more enjoyable.

It’s also such a perk for when you’re serving slow eaters. My daughter’s food was nearly always cold by the time she finished the last few bites, but when I warm her plate up first, she rarely asks me to reheat her meal.

Am I the only heathen who hasn’t been warming her plates before serving food? I feel a bit silly for not doing before, but now I’m never gonna stop.

Tell me, do you warm your plates?

This kitchen tip will change how you serve food.

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