2017 Cook My Books Challenge: June

Can anyone believe I’m still going strong with my challenge? I sure as heck can’t. I never stick with anything this long! When I was 5 my parents signed me up for violin lessons, but I gave up after only a few months because I said that holding up the violin made my arms sore! Then when I was 14 I told my parents I was becoming vegetarian… which lasted all of two weeks. Even just last month I embarked on a quest to clean out my closet… which I gave up on after 1 hour. Needless to say I’m not good at toughing things out – I’m amazed I’m still blogging after 5 years, let alone still doing this challenge after 6 months.

But here I am, another delicious month later! Here’s what I cooked from my books in June:

Greens and Fontina Baked Eggs with Garlic Brown Butter Breadcrumbs from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant

Words cannot even express how amazing this recipe is. Like omg. The combination of garlic, cheese, and brown butter is just utter perfection. It’s also incredibly easy to make, so it would be a great brunch recipe for guests. I know I’ll make this one again and again.


Spinach and Ricotta Pappardelle from Brown Eggs and Jam Jars by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque

I had to improvise with this one because my grocery store doesn’t sell pappardelle noodles, so I used a tip from my friend Patrick and cut some fresh lasagna sheets into strips. I think lasagna sheets are thicker than pappardelle though, and this pasta dish needed a more delicate noodle to go with the simple sauce. With real pappardelle and a heavy hand with the salt, this would be a nice easy weeknight dinner.


Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes from The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger

I switched up this one slightly and used 1 part buckwheat flour to 2 parts whole wheat pastry flour instead of half of each because John doesn’t like an overpowering buckwheat taste. The 1:2 ratio was perfect. Buckwheat pancakes I’ve made in the past have been hit or miss, but these were a hit.

Incredible Smashed Peas and Broad Beans on Toast from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver

To be honest I’m not sure how I felt about this recipe. I like sweet peas in risotto and salads, and even in spring pea soup, but the mashed pea mixture was just a little too much pea flavour for my liking. Not even the parmesan and mint balanced it out for me, although the buffalo mozzarella helped – it better have for $3.50 worth of cheese per toast!


Magical “Ice Cream” Smoothie Bowl from Oh She Glows Everyday by Angela Liddon

This was so good and it actually did kind of taste like ice cream! Smoothies don’t always satisfy me, but this one was packed with good stuff like avocado and almond butter. I also use cow’s milk at home, so that’s what I used in this recipe instead of almond milk.  I always need something to chew with my smoothies though, so I topped it with some homemade granola and shredded coconut.


What cookbook recipes did you make this month?

Missed my previous Cook My Books Challenge posts? Check them out below!


1 Comment

Filed under cookbook

2017 Cook My Books Challenge: May

Still going strong with my Cook My Books Challenge for 2017! Here’s what I cooked from my books in May:

Apple Pie Oatmeal from The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon

I’m a creature of habit when it comes to breakfast (hello banana almond butter oatmeal or mango coconut overnight oats), but this was a nice departure from my usual. It was not only delicious, but also very filling! Angela suggests topping with walnuts, hemp seeds, and coconut but I went with raisins and a scoop of almond butter instead.


Chickpea Deli Salad from The Sprouted Kitchen by Sarah Forte

Such a simple recipe to throw together! I loved this for weekday lunches stuffed into a pita or just eaten on its own with some side dishes. I do a lot of heart health classes at work focused on cooking with beans and often make salads like this one – it’s such an easy way to eat more beans and boost your fibre intake!


Roasted Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus from Oh She Glows Everyday by Angela Liddon

The only thing better than these three foods on their own is these three ingredients in combination. The roasted garlic adds such great flavour (note: I definitely recommend adding two heads of roasted garlic). Next time I might actually add more sun dried tomatoes though.

Spaghetti with Prawns and Rocket from Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver

At first bite I thought this recipe needed more sauce, but I ended up really enjoying its simplicity. I used shrimp with their shells on and doubled the garlic, both of which really help to add more flavour to the dish. I wouldn’t use 455 grams of spaghetti like the recipe calls for though – I used only 375 grams and that was the perfect amount. If you don’t have this cookbook, you can get the recipe on Jamie’s website here.


Roasted Shrimp and Orzo from Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten

I’ve made this recipe several times before and it’s one of my all-time favourites! So when my mom asked me to come up with  a menu for my birthday lunch with the family, I knew I wanted to make this one. It has the perfect combination of herbs, lemon juice, and feta cheese that hits all the right notes. I’ve also made this vegetarian with chickpeas in place of shrimp and it’s just as good. The recipe is available on The Food Network website here – I highly recommend you make it!

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant

So I might have messed these guys up a little. After forming the rolls and letting them rise for 30 minutes, I realized they were not going to fit in the baking dish I’d selected. I moved a few to another dish and rearranged the other rolls, but while handling them I made them all deflate. So I probably should have let them rise for another half hour, but I didn’t have time for that. Instead I just baked them as is, which I think is why they came out a bit on the harder side. They weren’t too bad on the first day, but the leftovers the next day were as crunchy as croutons!


What cookbook recipes did you make this month?

Missed my previous Cook My Books Challenge posts? Check them out below!



Filed under cookbook

Pesto Naan Pizza with Bacon and Feta

Pesto naan pizza topped with a delicious combination of bacon, feta cheese, and caramelized onions. Good for an easy meal or a party appetizer!

Pesto naan pizza topped with a delicious combination of bacon, feta cheese, and caramelized onions. Good for an easy meal or a party appetizer!

Cheater pizzas and I go way back.

When I was a kid I went to summer camp up north every year. One of the highlights for me was always the week long canoe trips on remote lakes. They were hard work with 8 hour days of paddling and sometimes 4 km long portages! But gathering around the fire for dinner after a long day was one of the best feelings! Pita pizzas were a staple meal on these trips because of their simplicity. Still to this day, the combination of pita with pizza sauce, cheese, and pepperoni is a comfort food for me.

Even though these days I tend to make real pizza with homemade dough, sometimes I still crave the simplicity of a cheater pizza. Okay, that’s just my way of saying “sometimes I’m too lazy to make dough.” This pesto naan pizza is inspired by a pizza that I had a few years ago at a restaurant in Hamilton. Theirs used a more unique homemade pesto with mint and lemon in it. But given that cheater pizzas are a lazy meal, I decided to just go with a bottled pesto. Feel free to make this vegetarian by leaving off the bacon – it’s still just as good!

Pesto naan pizza topped with a delicious combination of bacon, feta cheese, and caramelized onions. Good for an easy meal or a party appetizer!

Pesto Naan Pizza with Bacon and Feta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Pesto naan pizza topped with a delicious combination of bacon, feta cheese, and caramelized onions. Good for an easy meal or a party appetizer!
Yield: 2 naan pizzas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced thinly (makes leftovers)
  • 4 slices bacon
  • ⅓ cup pesto
  • 2 pieces whole wheat naan
  • ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Heat up the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the thinly sliced onion. Saute for about 3-4 minutes, then turn down the heat down to low and cook for about 15 minutes until the onions are soft and slightly caramelized. Remove from heat and set aside. *Note: this makes leftover caramelized onions.
  2. Lay out the bacon in a cold skillet and place over medium heat. Cook until starting to get crispy on the underside, then flip over and cook until the other side starts to get crispy. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  4. Spread the pesto on each piece of naan and top with the bacon, caramelized onions, feta cheese, and mozzarella. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for about 7-10 minutes, until cheese has melted. To brown the mozzarella, broil it at the end, keeping a close eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn.

Your turn: What’s your favourite pita or naan pizza toppings?


Filed under recipe