Cooking with Alison

Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

Carrot and Roasted Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing

In Sides and Sauces, Soups and Salads on June 14, 2016 at am

Salad prior to being tossed with dressing.

The timing of my discovery of this recipe was perfect, because I was looking for winter-friendly cold salads, I had all of the ingredients on hand, and it helped me clear out my pantry. I’ve made this for pot lucks, picnics, and packed lunches. I hope you’ll try it for yourself.

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Grocery Budget Challenge – Introduction

In Grocery Budget Challenge, Mind Your Cents on May 31, 2016 at am

The rate of food inflation in Canada is exceeding the general inflation rate and is estimated to increase by up to 4.5% in 2016, according to the 2016 Food Price Report released by The Food Institute of the University of Guelph. Meats, fruits, vegetables, and nuts are likely to be affected the most. Some of the main factors that affect the price of food include: climate, geopolitical risks, currencies and trade, etc. Considering some of these are likely to worsen over the long run, it’s as good a time as any to start maximizing your savings on groceries. With simple changes to the way you shop and cook, you’ll be able to reduce your grocery budget and increase your savings towards the things that matter the most to you.

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Birthday Cake Chocolate Bark Recipe

In Desserts, Other Desserts on May 25, 2016 at am


This is a fun and easy-to-make alternative (or addition) to birthday cake for casual or last-minute celebrations. It’s convenient for cottage or ski chalet getaways, classroom or office celebrations, dessert tables, etc.

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Korean Pork Bone Soup Recipe (Gam Ja Tang)

In Asian, Soups on May 17, 2016 at am


Korean restaurants and food courts put too much salt and MSG in their pork bone soup, so, naturally, I started making my own. It’s really easy to make and it’s freezer-friendly. The broth is spicy and salty with a hint of fermented flavour from bean paste. You really need to use your hands to get to the flavourful meat and soft bone between the pork neck bones. So this dish is usually only served to family and close friends. But sometimes I will remove all of the meat from the bones prior to serving it. That way, it’s easy to eat, it’s not messy, and no one feels embarrassed.

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Kimchi Bokkeum Bap (Korean Beef and Kimchi Fried Rice)

In Rice and Noodle Dishes on May 12, 2016 at am

My ex’s mother introduced me to beef and kimchi fried rice years ago. It doesn’t look like much, but it is addictively good. It’s also easy and cost-effective to make, which is why I was outraged when I saw it being priced at $14 in a Korean restaurant recently. It inspired me to finally get around to sharing my recipe. You could also top it off with a fried up (sunny side up) and/or add other vegetables.  Want to try a fusion version of this? Top it with cheese and melt it under the broiler in the oven.


Note: If you prefer more red colour, you can add Korean red pepper paste (gochujang).

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Addictive ‘100 Good Cookies’ Recipe

In Cookies on May 4, 2016 at am

100 good cookies

One Christmas, many years ago, when I was volunteering for Camp Trillium, the coordinator made small cookies for all of the volunteers. I have to admit, being the pickiest cookie eater you may ever meet, I almost didn’t try one. They looked like ugly, over baked, firm mounds. I usually prefer thin, chewy cookies. Luckily, I talked myself out of my cookie snobbishness and tried one. They were absolutely addictive! After eating the entire bag within a few minutes, I emailed the coordinator and begged her to share the recipe with me. She said they were called ‘100 good cookies’. I never forgot them, but I didn’t make them until now.

After putting my first batch in the oven, I worried that maybe my palette had changed and that I wouldn’t like them anymore. You’d think I would have learned not to doubt these cookies again. They made it to John’s top 3 favourite cookies list. Several of his co-workers and my sister used the word “addictive” after trying these cookies. John’s manager even said, “Your wife is evil.” as he left his office for the third time to get more. 🙂

These cookies have a bit of everything in them: oats, coconut, Rice Krispies cereal, and toffee bits. But the flavours are so well balanced, that you almost can’t tell what’s in them. The texture is just as varied: crispy, light, and crumbly with chewy specks. Finally, this recipe actually makes 100 cookies, so it’s perfect for bake sales, large parties, pot lucks, cookie exchanges, and holiday gifts. You also have the option of freezing them.

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Favourite Kale Salad Recipe

In Soups and Salads on April 25, 2016 at am

John and I are lucky enough to be apart of a community garden down the street from our home. We grow kale every year and we love making salads with the young tender leaves. But you don’t need a garden to enjoy kale salads. You can use the older bunches of kale that you find in grocery stores. The trick is to massage the leaves with citrus/vinegar and extra virgin olive oil until the leaves darken in colour and soften in texture. What I love most about kale salads is that the leaves maintain their texture despite being doused with salad dressing.

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Marsala Sauce Recipe

In Poultry, Red Meat and Eggs, Sides and Sauces on April 8, 2016 at am


Marsala is an Italian, fortified wine that is very similar to Spanish sherry and madeira. All of these wines are great for cooking. I love the flavour and subtle sweetness of this sauce, and I love the simplicity and versatility of the recipe. Marsala sauce pairs nicely with chicken, pork, and steak. The meat is usually cooked in the sauce, but since I love to batch cook, I usually make the sauce separately from the meat and freeze the leftovers.

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Favourite Peperonata Recipe

In Appetizers, Hors D'oeuvres, Snacks, Sides and Sauces on April 2, 2016 at am

I was first introduced to peperonata at a restaurant that used it as a topping for bruschetta. I then learned that peperonata is either served as a side dish or with sliced bread. I adapted an authentic, Italian (Sicilian) recipe to recreate the version that I had at the restaurant, so that I could serve it on top of toasted baguette slices for a party. If you prefer a more authentic version, cut the bell peppers into large chunks, add tomatoes, simmer longer, and allow it to be more liquidy.


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Introducing Cooking with Alison’s Social Media Accounts!

In Random on March 28, 2016 at am

Hi everyone! Cooking with Alison is becoming more active on social media!

All accounts will have slightly different focuses, so I hope that you will ‘like’ and subscribe to them.

Thanks very much!

penguin (33)


@cookingwithali – I plan to use twitter to tweet about my favourite restaurant dishes, product brands, and wine recommendations.


Cooking with Alison – On the ‘Cooking with Alison’ facebook page, you will see current food-related news, cooking tips and tricks videos, and some of my favourite older recipes. Furthermore, all future food blog posts will also be publicized on the facebook page.


@cookingwithalison – On the Instagram account, I plan to share photos of restaurant meals, wine recommendations, recipes (old and new), and favourite lifestyle products (e.g. make-up, kitchenware, serveware, etc.). You can also find some of my wedding photos on Instagram.


@cookingwithalis – Follow me to food events and festivals through Snapchat!


Don’t forget to keep pinning your favourite Cooking with Alison recipes!

@cookingwithalison – This is where you will find all of my reviews for restaurants in and around Toronto.

Orzo Salad with Olives and Feta Recipe

In Pasta, Rice, and Doughs, Soups and Salads on March 25, 2016 at am


I don’t cook with olives or feta cheese very often, because I try to stick to a low sodium diet, but when I received a can of olives from Spain as a souvenir, I knew that I had to do them justice. In my opinion, this orzo salad was the perfect way to use them, because the olives add the perfect saltiness and tanginess to the otherwise bland pasta. The great thing about this salad is that it can be served cold or at room temperature and during any season.

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Mini Chicken and Waffles Hors D’Oeuvres

In Appetizers, Hors D'oeuvres, Snacks on March 19, 2016 at am


John loves deep fried chicken with waffles. I love deep fried chicken, probably more than any other food in the world, and I like eating waffles every now and then for dessert, but I didn’t like them in combination until I made mini chicken (soft bones) and waffles drizzled with maple syrup. These one-bite hors d’oeuvres make sense to me, because they are easier to eat than the regular sized version, they have the perfect ratio of meat to waffle, they have a great balance of sweet and savoury, and the waffles stay crispy for longer. I was inspired to make these when I spotted Eggo Minis at the grocery store. I usually try to avoid processed foods, but I couldn’t help myself. They’re adorable! Top them with tiny scoops of ice cream (use a melon baller), chocolate or strawberry sauce, and toppings (e.g. mini oreos, crushed nuts, whipped cream, sprinkles) and you’ve got an even more adorable dessert. [Confession: When I first started living on my own, I would eat Eggos for dinner. I’ve eaten a LOT of Eggos in my lifetime. Looks like I’ll be picking up where I left off. ;)]

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