Una’s Kale Caesar Salad

If you live in Calgary, chances are you’ve been to Una. For those of you who don’t, its an amazing restaurant on a trendy street selling mostly thin-crust, California-style pizzas. It’s one of those places where you can’t make reservations, and if you’d like to get a table anywhere around dinner time between Wednesday and Saturday, you’re going to expect a wait. But the wait will be worth it. Because not only are their pizzas seriously to die for, but they’ve also got amazing appetizers/salads/everything else. In particular, they have managed to make a killer Kale Caesar Salad – something that is great in theory, but in my experience, is hard to do well.

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I picked up a cookbook from my favourite doughnut shop, Jelly Modern, a few months ago that features recipes from some of Calgary’s best restaurants – it’s called Calgary Cooks. In it, I found the recipe for Una’s Kale Caesar Salad. I made it. And it was actually just as good as it is in the restaurant. And it was really simple to make! The dressing is the star of the show here, but I think that the thinly sliced kale really helps, and I mean, the toppings certainly don’t hurt it. This is definitely going to be a recipe that I make fairly often.

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Una’s Kale Caesar Salad 

Adapted from: Calgary Cooks

Serves 4

Caesar Dressing

1 clove Garlic

4 Anchovy Fillets

1 tbsp Dijon Mustard

Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon

1/2 cup Olive Oil

1. Throw garlic, anchovies, dijon mustard, and lemon juice and zest into a small food processor or blender, puree until combined. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until mixture is smooth.

Kale Salad

2 tbsp Olive Oil, plus more, if needed

4 thin slices Prosciutto, julienned

1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs

Sea Salt & Black Pepper

2 bunches Kale, leaves only, julienned

1 cup Pecorino Romano, grated

2 soft boiled Eggs, peeled & halved

1. Line a plate with paper towels. Heat olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add strips of prosciutto and pan-fry until crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to towel-lined plate and set aside.

2. Reduce heat to low. Add panko crumbs to pan, adding a little more oil if required, and toast, stirring frequently, until golden, about 2 minutes. Scrape the panko into a small bowl, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

3. Place kale in a large bowl, pour in the dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. At this point, either transfer the kale to smaller serving bowls, or if you would rather serve from a big bowl, leave it in there. Top kale with pecorino romano, toasted panko, and crispy prosciutto. Serve with the boiled eggs.

Gifts for Girls – DIY Christmas Picks

Can you believe that Christmas is only one month away? I’ve been seeing all kinds of adorable DIY gifts that would be perfect to make for a few of my girlfriends, and thought I’d share a few of my favourites. Sidenote – I didn’t realize how obsessed I was with gold painted things until I put this post together… so cute, though! Sidenote #2 – If you’re friends with me in real life, stop reading here.

Etched Glass Votives from Stripes & Sequins 

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Marbled Clay Ring Dish from A Beautiful Mess 

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Hand Painted Gold Mugs from Lauren Conrad

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Stamped Holiday Cards (with Emoji’s) from A Beautiful Mess 

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Gold Leaf Headband from P.S. – I Made This

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White Bean & Rosemary Dip with Spicy Zucchini Chips

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I’m on a bit of a cookbook binge. I’ve bought a bunch of new ones lately, and I’ve been using them at least a few times a week for new ideas. Most of my recipe inspiration in the past has been from other blogs, but there is something to be said for flipping through an actual book and making the dishes that catch your interest. What are some of your favourite cookbooks?

I’m particularly obsessed with the Thug Kitchen cookbook, and have made quite a few things from it over the past few weeks. I’m on a bit of a healthy food kick, and this book has so many unique, un-boring options (I know that isn’t a word) for delicious foods that are also super good for you.

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Like this chips – and – dip combo. Different, healthy, super yummy, and really simple to throw together. I love the idea of making a few different healthy dips with a variety of veggie chips to share with friends for a movie night – so much better than your standard loaded nachos or bags of chips from the gas station down the street.

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White Bean & Rosemary Dip 

Makes about 4 cups 

Adapted from Eat Like You Give a F*ck 

3 cups Cannellini or other White Beans

1/4 cup Tahini

1/4 cup Vegetable Broth or Water

3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, minced

1. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender, and puree until smooth.

2. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Spicy Zucchini Chips 

Makes 30 – 50 chips, depending on the size of the zucchini

Adapted from Eat Like You Give a F*ck 

1 Medium Zucchini

2 tbsp All Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp Paprika

1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

Pinch of Salt

1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or by lightly coating with cooking spray.

2. Cut the zucchini into thin slices (a little thicker than a coin). Dry pieces with some paper towel.

3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, paprika, garlic powder, and salt. Add the zucchini to the bowl and toss to coat the pieces.

4. Lay the zucchini on the baking sheet and spray on a thin layer of cooking spray. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, flipping every 10 minutes, until golden and crispy. Make sure you’re paying attention for the last 10 minutes, because they can get burnt pretty quickly. Serve immediately.

Carrot Spice Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

I know that it’s been pretty quiet around here lately, and I wanted to make it up to you. With cupcakes. Well, actually, I made these cupcakes for my mom’s birthday a few weeks ago, but they’re super yummy so they deserve to have two celebrations. Plus it was my one-year blogiversary a couple weeks ago, and I forgot to celebrate that too! I’ve still been cooking a lot, so I promise that I’ve got lots of recipes coming for you in the next few weeks. And they’re mostly a lot more healthy (but still almost as delicious!) than cupcakes and pizza.

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I’ve made a few carrot cakes before, but didn’t have a solid “go-to” recipe yet. I think it’s hard to do carrot cake badly, but it’s also kind of difficult to make an amazing one. So of course, I headed over to Smitten Kitchen, knowing that Deb would have something perfect for the occasion. And, unsurprisingly, she did. And with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, no less.

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I made these at home before bringing them to Red Deer for the party, and I waited to frost the cupcakes so that they wouldn’t get ruined during transport. And then I forgot to take pictures of them with frosting (oops!) These cupcakes were seriously so, so good. It makes me so happy to see everyone truly loving something that I’ve made, and everyone at the party raved about these. I left out the raisins and walnuts, since some people aren’t fond of them and I was making them for a group, but I know they would be really good, if you wanted to add in some extra texture.

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Carrot Spice Cupcakes 

Makes 24 Cupcakes 

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

2 Cups All Purpose Flour

2 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Table Salt

2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 tsp Ground Ginger

1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg

2 cups Granulated Sugar

1 1/4 cups Canola Oil

4 large Eggs

3 cups peeled & finely grated Carrots

1 cup coarsely chopped Walnuts (optional)

1/2 cup Raisins (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 24 cupcake molds with paper cups or butter and flour them.

2. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in medium bowl to blend. In a large bowl, whisk sugar and oil until well blended. Whisk eggs into oil/sugar mixture 1 at a time. Add flour mixture to oil mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, walnuts and raisins, if using them. Divide batter among cupcake molds, filling 3/4 of each.

3. Bake cupcakes 16 to 20 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the centre of one comes out clean. Let cool in pans for about five minutes, then transfer cakes to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before icing them.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes or 1 layer cake (+ a little extra)

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

2 8 oz. packages of Cream Cheese, softened

1 stick (1/2 cup) Unsalted Butter, room temperature

2 cups Confectioners’ Sugar

1/2 cup Maple Syrup

1. In a stand mixer (or a hand mixer, or with a fork if you need to buy a mixer but haven’t yet) beat all the ingredients on medium until fluffy. Chill the frosting for 10 to 20 minutes, until it has set up enough to spread smoothly

Chorizo Chèvre Skillet Pizza

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I make-a da pizza! (What I’ve been saying in my head for the last 24 hours every time I think about this delicious number – and now you will too.) This isn’t the typically italian pizza that I’m usually so partial to. In general, I prefer thin crust za (I also like to shorten words and za sounds cooler than pizza?) because in my opinion toppings > crust and if you have thinner crust the toppings shine more.

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Buut I had seen these skillet pizzas a few times around the internet and was very intrigued and decided that I must finally try. So I whipped up some tasty dough, bought some yummy toppings (I’m slightly obsessed with chorizo and chèvre right now), and voila! A delightful little deep dish pizza.

This crust ended up being super thick, but rather than being dry, it was soft and chewy and just crisp enough on the edges. It ended up being perfect with the spicy chorizo and tomato sauce. My friend Caitlin came over for dinner and we enjoyed it with my favourite kale salad (this one was store bought, but I’m obsessed with Kale Salad lately and have some amazing recipes coming your way!) and some white wine – it was perfect!

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Chorizo Chèvre Skillet Pizza 

Makes 1 small pizza 

Adapted from Minimalist Baker

1/2 Pizza Dough Recipe (or 1 store bought pizza crust)

1/2 cup Pizza Sauce

2 Raw Chorizo Sausages

5-6 Mushrooms, sliced (I used Crimini)

1/4 cup Chèvre, crumbled (Goat Cheese)

1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese

Fresh Basil – optional 

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Coat a cast iron pan with olive oil, then cut a garlic clove in half and run around the dish to add flavour. Put  your dough into the pan and use your hands to spread it to the edges and push it up around the sides (about 1 inch).

3. Remove the sausage from it’s casing and heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the sausage to the frying pan, breaking it into small chunks, frying until fully cooked. Remove the chorizo from the pan and set aside. Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan and cook for 2-4 minutes until beginning to soften. Set aside.

4. Spoon sauce onto prepared dough and spread around. Add chorizo and mushrooms, spreading evenly. Sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese, and then top with the crumbled chèvre.

5. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese and sauce are bubbly. Top with fresh basil if using. Let rest for 5 – 10 minutes before slicing and serving.