How to: Make your own – Ricotta Cheese

DSC_9742I think we can all agree. Cheese is a beautiful thing.

If you disagree, go away.


I kid…

But do consider seeing a psychotherapist.


Making cheese at home (we’ve done it before!) seems to really impress folks.  It’s one of the simplest recipes we’ve got going though.

3 ingredients, people!

Ricotta is a super mild, very slightly sweet fresh cheese.  My version is made by curdling hot milk with a little lemon juice.  Seriously. That, is it.


That there is some curdled milk.  Otherwise known as cheese curds.  It’s just science.



I have made ricotta many times, and the beauty of its mild flavour is the option to tweak it any way you like.  Once the cheese is strained to your liking, go on and gussy it up.


For this batch I added ½ a lemon worth of zest for a little brightness.  Add some basil or any variety of herb for freshness.  Add lots of cracked black pepper for some bite. Add maple syrup or honey for sweetness.

Point is, be awesome with your ricotta.


Ooh, here’s a crazy thing. I used lactose free milk for this particular batch and it worked perfectly.  I wanted to be able to consume the whole damn thing (if I so pleased) without um…abdominal discomfort.

In combo with perfectly ripe Ontario peaches, my homegrown rosemary and a drizzle of wildflower honey, trust me, it’s a good thing it was lactose free.



Ricotta Cheese

Serves Makes about 1½ cups
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Website Adapted from My Tasty Kitchen blog


  • 4 cups milk (2% or 3%)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea or kosher salt


For a richer, creamier ricotta, substitute one cup of milk with 1 cup of half and half or heavy cream.


1. In a large heavy bottom sauce pan over medium heat, heat milk until it just begins to simmer around the edges (do not let it boil). The temperature on a thermometer would be 190F
2. Remove pan from heat right away, add lemon juice and stir once or twice. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile line a colander or strainer with 3 layers of cheesecloth.
4. In a sink, pour the cheese/whey mixture into the cheesecloth lined strainer. Allow to sit anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. The longer you wait, the firmer your ricotta will be.

How To: Recipe Makeover – Cornflake Crusted Fish Sticks with Spicy Pineapple Ketchup


So we seem to be on a roll with ingredient and recipe repeats here.

First it was corn – grilled and buttered and then battered and frittered. And now, fish sticks. But instead of crusting in parmesan, these are coated in cornflakes crumbs.



A rolling pin makes it easy to crush a bag full of cornflakes into small crumbs perfect for creating a crispy coating on the tilapia fillets. Lemon adds a flavour as zest in the crumb mixture and juice in the egg mixture. Lemon and fish – a match made in heaven.



These are definitely a step up from the boxed freezer variety that may be stuffed in the back of your freezer.


What really kicks these fish sticks up a notch is the sweet and spicy ketchup base dipping sauce. The addition of pineapple and sriracha easily transforms sweet ketchup into a sophisticated sauce – making these fish sticks dinner party worthy.



IMG_4151 I think I may like our second fish stick recipe even better than the first – but you be the judge.



Cornflake Crusted Fish Sticks with Spicy Pineapple Ketchup

Serves 4
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Freezable
From magazine Adapted from Cooking Light


  • 4 tilapia fillets (cut into strips)
  • 2 cups cornflakes
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup pineapple (chopped)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2-1 tsp sriracha
  • 1/8 tsp pepper


A healthier version of the traditional frozen fish sticks that the whole family will enjoy. These can also be made in advance in frozen - freeze prior to baking and bring them to room temperature before cooking or cook and then freeze for a quick repeatable weeknight meal.


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cornflakes in a large zip lock bag and using a rolling pin, roll over flakes until they are crushed to small crumbs. Place crumbs in a shallow bowl and mix in lemon zest and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk egg with lemon juice.
2. Season fish with salt and pepper. Dip fish in egg and then in cornflake crumb mixture, pressing crumbs to fully coat fish. Continue until all the pieces are coated and placed on the parchment line baking sheet. Bake for about 14 minutes, until browned and fully cooked. Serve with ketchup.
3. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or mini chopper until fully combined. Taste and add more sriracha if you like things spicier.


How to: Seasonal Cooking – Corn Fritters


Yup. That would be two corn recipes from yours truly.

In a row.

Pretty sure avoiding repeats is food blogging 101.


The hell with it though, because seasonal corn deserves the spotlight.

Just look at that charisma.


These beauties are a cinch to throw together in under 20 minutes.  I used fresh corn right off the cob, but these are also a great way to use up leftover corn (as if that’s even a thing).

DSC_9571I’ve seasoned these simply with chives, salt and pepper because I want the corn to be best in show.

DSC_9575 DSC_9583

While these are best served immediately due to the crispy factor, they’re still almost as good reheated in a 400F oven for 5-7 minutes.


Serve them on their own or with with some kind of awesome creamy dip.





Corn Fritters

Serves 10-12
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 20 minutes


  • 2 cups fresh corn - about 2-3 cobs (leftover corn works well and frozen can work too)
  • 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (divided)


1. Remove corn from the cob by standing the corn on one end inside a large bowl. Run a sharp knife along the length of the cob and remove one strip at a time.
2. In a separate bowl, mix egg and water. Add flour, salt and pepper and stir until just combined. Add corn and chives and stir until batter is incorporated.
3. Over medium heat in a non-stick pan (a cast iron works beautifully), add 2 tsp canola oil. Drop batter by ¼ cups in to the pan and flatten slightly into circles. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until lightly browned. Add an additional 2 tsp canola oil between batches.
4. Serve immediately or reheat in a 400F oven for 5-7 minutes.

How To: Quickie Meal – Broccoli and Cheddar Patties


I’m always very happy and consider it a huge win when I make a new recipe that has my husband reaching for seconds.

But even better is when my 11 month old daughter gobbles up this recipe with such enthusiasm that she can’t seem to get the food into her mouth fast enough. A double win!



Going from cooking for two adults with adventurous pallets to cooking for the same two adventurous adults plus an almost one year old (which I SERIOUSLY can’t believe) adds an extra twist to meal planning. Now, instead of just cooking up whatever we may be in the mood for I have to think – is the broccoli cut small enough? Are the patties soft enough? And will she even eat these green and cheese filled patties??



And just because she seems to like something one night, does not mean she will enjoy the same meal the next. And then I made these patties and I struck gold.

She not only ate them for dinner, but also enjoyed them for lunch AND dinner the next day. And my husband and I ate them right along with her.



I also love that they seem to be a complete meal in a small package. You’ve got broccoli, cheddar cheese, eggs, and bread crumbs all packaged up in a delicious little patty. While they taste great on their own, they are also delicious topped with some Greek yogurt or salsa. Have one for a snack, two with a salad for lunch, and three with some roasted taters or quinoa for dinner.



A quick and healthy meal the whole family will enjoy – I believe I’ve hit the jackpot!



Broccoli Cheddar Patties

Serves 15 patties
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish
Website Adapted from Wholesome Baby Food


  • 500 gram package of frozen broccoli (defrosted and chopped)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups aged cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 3 eggs


These broccoli cheddar patties make a great light lunch, a side for chicken or fish, or a delicious breakfast topped with a fried or poached egg. They can also be jazzed up with some additional spices - try adding some dried basil and oregano. Shredded mozzarella would be a good substitute for the cheddar.


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well until combined.
2. Shape mixture into patties and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Flip and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.


How To: Make Your Own – Whole Wheat Tortillas


This recipe came about after trying to find the perfect vehicle for my husbands favourite dinner, kung pao chicken. I should say it’s not only his favourite dinner, but probably his favourite lunch, snack, and if I ever made it at 6 in the morning, breakfast.

Having purchased several varieties of tortillas from the grocery store, we were both always left disappointed with both the taste and texture. So what’s a kung pao chicken taco loving couple to do? Make your own of course.



So as I put my daughter down for what I hoped was an extra long nap, I got ready to spend some time in my kitchen to create our ultimate taco wrap. And boy was I in for a shock – not only did my daughter take an epic 2.5 hour nap, but I had time to make tortillas, prep dinner, AND watch the last episode of OITNB. That is how easy they are!


These whole wheat tortillas are so much tastier than the plastic wrapped grocery store variety – you will be shocked as to how easy they are to make. With just a few simple ingredients you can have fresh out of the skillet tortillas to top with the filling of your choice.


And this household that means one thing…


I highly suggest doubling this recipe as once you taste them fresh out of the skillet you may find yourself a tortilla or two short!



Whole Wheat Tortillas

Serves 6
Meal type Bread
Website Adapted from Tasty Kitchen


  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 8 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup hot water


These tortillas are delicious hot out of the pan. Once they sit, they tend to stiffen up a bit so microwave them to make them to help soften before using. They are delicious filled with your favourite taco filling or simply eaten straight out of the pan with a little butter.


1. Mix together all the dry ingredients. Add the oil and mix with your fingers until oil is incorporated. Mixture should look like small balls/clumps of sand. Add the hot water and mix with your hands until a shaggy ball is formed.
2. Place dough on a floured surface and knead with your hands until a smooth ball is formed. Place back in bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let stand for at least 30 minutes at room temperature. (I let mine rest for 5 hours).
3. Divide the dough into 6 balls and roll on a floured surface using a rolling pin until it is a very thin circle. Preheat a non stick skillet over medium high heat and and cook tortillas until blistered and browned on both sides (about 2-4 minutes per side).
4. Once done, stack and cover with a clean dish towel to keep warm. If you aren't using them all right away, store in a sealed container or zip lock bag and reheat for about 30 second in the microwave prior to using.