Homemade Canned Alphabet Vegetable Soup

Alphabet vegetable soup

Some of our favourite older recipes (including many in the Best of Bridge back catalogue) included canned soup, which is an ingredient that many of today’s cooks shy away from — it just feels better sometimes to take the extra step and make things from scratch. We were making an old pork chop recipe that calls for a can of Alphabet Vegetable Soup and figured we could make it ourselves. This soup is thick — as it would be coming straight out of the can, which makes it ready to go into your favourite vintage recipe. If you’d rather eat it as a soup, simply thin it with more chicken stock or water.

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Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

strawberry ice cream

I don’t have many kitchen gadgets, but I love my ice cream machine – it’s so easy to make your own, and experiment with interesting flavours and fresh fruit in season. My go-to formula is so simple it doesn’t require eggs, or making a custard (which must be well chilled before using) – it’s just cream, sugar and fruit. I find strawberry irresistible when they’re in season – here’s an easy recipe we make over and over.

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Stampede Morning Parent Saver

Stampede Morning Parent Saver

Stampede can be a crazy time of year if you live in Calgary – if you’re feeling rushed, you can make this cowboy-inspired version of the famous Best of Bridge Christmas Morning Wife Saver, and slide it into the oven in the morning to feed your hungry cowpokes.

Even when it’s not stampede, a simple strata makes for a fantastic brunch – and it’s a great way to use up stale veg or leftovers from the fridge – bits of sausage, ham, bacon, veggies and even cheese ends can all be transformed into something delicious.

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Canola Granola

granola

It’s Stampede week, and we’ve been busy doing cooking demos over at the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre. Julie was asked to do a show featuring canola, one of our favourite Alberta ingredients and our go-to cooking oil; granola was a perfect pick. It’s easy to make and great for packing to take on hiking or road trips, to summer camp or to the cabin – anywhere you need a healthy burst of energy, granola is perfectly portable, and you don’t have to worry about it squishing or melting. Read More

Homemade Ketchup

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It’s hot dog season – and the tomatoes in our garden are already plentiful. I’m starting to get the urge to make a batch of homemade ketchup – perfect for burgers, steaks, and all those summery things you cook on the grill. (And if you ask my 10 year old, everything else.) Pick up some ripe tomatoes at the farmers’ market when they’re a good deal – or use those that may have been sitting on your kitchen counter too long and have gone a bit squishy. In ketchup, no one will notice the difference.

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Watermelon Popsicles

berry popsicles

 

If you’re concerned about the amount of sugar, artificial colours and flavours in typical frozen treats, here’s an easy way to make all-fruit popsicles to keep kids cool during the warm summer months. With its high water content, watermelon is perfect for pureeing and freezing in ice pop moulds – add a few whole berries to add an even bigger vitamin boost. 

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Watermelon Rind, Carrot & Pineapple Slaw

Rind Coleslaw_Veg Version_2014

How different is this?? A fresh, tasty coleslaw made out of white watermelon rinds! In addition to being environmentally friendly and economical (a great way to eliminate food waste), the rind is packed with citrulline and arginine, two compounds that aid in healthy blood flow! No one will guess what this crunchy salad is made out of.

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Bleu D’Élizabeth Cheese, Dark Chocolate & Date Bites

blue cheese bites

Ever tried blue cheese paired with dark chocolate? It’s divine! These fudge-like squares are deliciously different, and can be stored in the fridge until you’re ready to serve them – perfect for summer nibbling.

This recipe features the 2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix winner in the Blue cheese and Organic cheese categories – Bleu D’Élizabeth, a beautiful organic semi-soft cheese from Quebec. But any blue will do – I like to support our local farmers and producers by choosing Canadian cheeses – some of the best in the world!

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Watermelon Salsa

Watermelon-Salsa

In case you haven’t tried it, finely chopped watermelon is a great addition to salsa – juicy, crunchy, slightly sweet; a refreshing contrast to the chilies, black beans, corn and spice. It tames the heat, and lightens it – it’s a great way to use up that enormous watermelon that might be taking up space in your fridge or on your kitchen counter. Serve it with tortilla chips or over grilled chicken or fish.

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Orzo Salad with Cherries and Lime Vinaigrette

Orzo Salad with Cherries and Lime Vinaigrette

We love a good picnic salad. This one is made with orzo pasta and takes full advantage of summer cherry season. Feel free to use other fresh produce if you have it — strawberries would also work well and the kernels off of a fresh ear of corn would also be a tasty addition.
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Quinoa Salad with Chicken, Avocado & Oranges

Chicken-citrus-quinoa-salad-1

I love a big quinoa salad – not least of all because quinoa can be cooked and kept in the fridge to dole out into nutrient-dense salads all summer long. It’s gluten free, high in protein and fibre, and as technically a seed, it’s lighter in texture than most whole grains.

This combination makes use of leftover roast chicken (or pick one up at the deli if it’s too hot to cook) – try adding just about anything in season, or from your garden.

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Prosciutto-wrapped Brie & Watermelon

Prosciutto-Brie-Bundles

It’s patio season – which means having some great nibbles in your repertoire that are easy to pull out and assemble without turning on the oven. These little bundles of joy are similar to the prosciutto wrapped melon of the eighties – the addition of a chunk of creamy brie puts them over the top.

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Balsamic Caramelized Onion Pizza with Arugula and Maple Drizzle

Caramelized Onion Pizza

A new cookbook by Katie Webster celebrates real maple syrup – it’s so Canadian, eh? Maple: 100 Sweet and Savory Recipes Featuring Pure Maple Syrup  is right up our alley – maple season came early this year, and our shelves are stocked with the sweet stuff from our neighbours out east. The hardcover cookbook is gorgeous, packed with recipes from appies to desserts – and of course breakfast – using pure maple syrup in ways we’d never have thought of.

This balsamic-spiked caramelized onion pizza caught our eye immediately – perfect for home entertaining, it’s easy to make, and the maple drizzle really brings it to a whole new level.

Thanks Katie!

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Mediterranean Watermelon Salad

watermelon salad

Summer is (almost) here – depending on where you live – and watermelons are starting to fill up produce shelves. We love a good watermelon salad – that juicy, sweet crunch goes so well with so many other ingredients – it’s a great way to rehydrate and delivers a healthy dose of lycopene. Here’s a unique salad for this long weekend’s backyard barbecue – it’s sure to be popular all summer long!
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