Maple Lime ‘Salad’ Bites with Goat Cheese Drizzle

I like to be in and out of the kitchen as efficiently as possible, so this recipe is written the way I made it and I was out of the kitchen 20mins after starting!  Don’t like goat cheese?  Make extra marinade and drizzle on your Salad Bites!

Photo 2016-07-27, 8 08 19 PM

Chicken Bites

  • 2 Tbsp Oh Canada (https://danakayal NULL.epicure
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • juice of two limes
  • 4 Chicken Breasts, cut into chunks

Combine Chicken ingredients.  Marinate while you prepare your ‘salad’ fixings (longer is fine too!)

Salad Fixins

  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cucumber Slices
  • Zucchini Slices
  • Snap Peas
  • Bell peppers in chunks

Goat Cheese Drizzle

  • A knob of goat cheese (sorry, didn’t measure!)  It’s about 2″ off a goat cheese log
  • 2 tsp Oh Canada
  • Milk until it is thin enough to drizzle (approx 1/4 cup)
  • Maple Bacon Pepper, to taste
  • OPTIONAL – I was out of limes after my marinade, next time I’ll squeeze a little lime into my sauce!

Photo 2016-07-27, 7 45 39 PM


1) Combine chicken ingredients and allow to marinate while you grab and slice your veggies.  I did my cucumber and zucchini on my Ceramic Slicer (https://danakayal NULL.epicure since it does the job in seconds!

2) Fry or grill your chicken until cooked.  While that’s cooking make your Goat Cheese Drizzle!

3) Pop your goat cheese into your microwave for 15-20 seconds until it is soft.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until smooth.

4) grab toothpicks and poke on various salad fixings and cubes of chicken.

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5)Drizzle with goat cheese.  Devour

Photo 2016-07-27, 8 10 04 PM Photo 2016-07-27, 8 09 43 PM

Fizzy Fruity Kombucha

I’m a fruity frizzy drink kind of girl.  Fruit ciders (not the beer ones!), Mojto’s, and their friends, those are my drinks!

Kombucha is a healthy fizzy fruity goodness.  You can make it without it without fruit and fizz too, of course.

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Tonight I had a BBQ with a group of ladies.  No Smirnoff Ice for me!  Instead it was BerryBoochHooch.  Berry Kombucha, Ice, Vodka.  Oh ya!

Basic Kombucha – 7-30 days Ferment


  • Gallon Jar (easiest!) – Make sure it’s scrubbed clean and rinsed well with hot water
  • A Scoby & cup of starter tea (you can grow your own (http://www NULL.thekitchn or simply ask on FB, I bet some of your friends have some to share)
  • 4 ‘bags’ of Black Tea
  • 4 ‘bags’ of Green Tea
  • Purified water, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar – I use the Unbleached Cane Sugar from Costco
  • Paper towel or coffee filter (cheesecloth can allow fruit flies in)
  • Rubber bands

Brew a kettle full of hot water.   Put your 8 bags of tea and your sugar in your gallon jar.  Steep until it cools to room temp (which means it should feel cool).  Remove tea bags with clean utensils or hands.  Add your scoby and starter tea.  Note! If your tea is still warm it can KILL your scoby.  Top up to full with more room temp purified water.  Cover with a double layer* of paper towel or coffee filter secure with a rubber band.

*I use one paper towel in winter and two in summer.  Two helps a bit with the fruit flies.

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Set your tea on a counter (never in a cupboard) where it can sit undisturbed, out of sunlight. Let it sit there and do it’s thing.  Remove the cover and check the taste starting around day 7 in warmer periods or 10 when it’s a bit cooler.  Use a non-metal spoon or a straw to remove some from your jar to taste. The longer it sits the less sweet it will get.  I prefer mine less sweet since I’m adding fruit back in.  Once it’s at your preferred taste remove your scoby and set aside with a cup of your batch so you’re all set for your next batch.  If you’re not brewing another batch right away (you really should though!) DO NOT REFRIGERATE.  I put mine in a mason jar covered with paper towel and sit it aside on the counter just like I did with the fermenting tea.

Kombucha gallon jar

Now here comes the fruity fizzy bit!  The Second Ferment:   2-14 days

Important:  The jars needs to be airtight AND you need to check it every day or two, Kombucha has been known to explode.  It’s not common although you are dealing with fizz!

  • 4-6 750ml to Litre Mason Jars (any size will work!) with lids
  • ziploc baggy sections
  • Berries – in winter I use Costco’s organic frozen

Fill your Mason Jar 1/4 full with berries.  Then add Kombucha leaving a couple inches of head space (empty space).  Having head space is important for the fizz!

Cover the top of each jar with with a square of plastic before adding the lid and ring.   The plastic does 2 things.  It ensures my kombucha won’t come into contact with the metal lid for even a second AND it gives a tighter seal to help the fizz.  The Kombucha won’t be in contact with the plastic either.  I have used flip top bottles although getting the fruit in and out and getting the bottles clean was a major pain in the butt!

Flip top bottle

Set your sealed jars of Kombucha back on the counter.  Depending on the temperature of the room it may be at your desired fizz in 2 days.  In warm summer days open EACH jar each day to ‘burp’ and check the fizz level.  If you miss a day… open over the sink with a tea towel over the lid just in case, better safe than sorry.  Once it’s as fizzy as you want it (max 14 days), strain it and put it in the fridge.

IF IT”S NOT as fizzy as you want it at 14 days, leave the fruit in and put in the fridge.  This is one of those, the fruit swelled up so much that I didn’t have enough head space for proper fizz.  I tucked it away in the back of the fridge months ago!  I had fresh and perfectly fizzed Kombuchatoavailable to drink so I just ignored this old batch.  Today I opened it and WOW!!  Barely any fermentation smell (the ‘booze’ smell my 14yo calls it) and as fizzy as could be!

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DIY Greek Yogurt

Scroll down for an update on an accidental tweak I’ve discovered that gives me EVEN MORE yogurt and less whey!!!

I haven’t done this since my 20′s and I remember it being complicated. It isn’t!  I think back then I barely even cooked, so everything seemed complicated!

There are dozens of recipes on the internet, they’re pretty much fundamentally the same.  They all make ROCKING Greek Yogurt!  I found I was scrolling and scrolling before coming to the how-to, so I have pared down to the essentials.  If you’re looking for explanations and details, here (http://www NULL.daringgourmet is one of my fav sites.

I like the crockpot version, it takes about 24hrs although the hands-on time is about 30mins.  It’s a BIG cost saver too.  $4.80 in BC for a 4L jug of milk which results in 7-8 cups of Greek Yogurt and ~8 cups of Whey.  Do not DISCARD the whey -There are dozens of great uses for it.  It’s a fab protein source for use in smoothies, creamy soups, pasta’s, etc.  I use mine as a chicken supplement, they LOVE it.  There are lots more ideas here (http://dontwastethecrumbs

You’ll need:

  • Crockpot – NOTE.  If you have an instant pot it is MUCH FASTER!  Like less than an hour.  Watch carefully.  I’ve also noted that the faster I heat my milk the more likely I am to get ‘sharper’ more ‘tangy’ yogurt similar to store bought.  I prefer the sweeter milder version.
  • 4 Litres 2% or Homogenized Milk
  • Instant Read Digital Thermometer.  I picked mine up for under $10.
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt (store bought to start, then you can use a cup of the batch to start the next batch)
  • Cheesecloth (can get at $store and can wash and re-use!)
  • Strainer

TIP!  Start your Yogurt one evening as you walk in the door, it will be ready to go to bed when you do.  :)

1.  Pour your Milk into your lg crockpot and turn on HIGH.  Set a timer for 2-3hours!  Once milk is over 180° turn the crockpot OFF.  NOTE:  Not all recipes call to heat to this temp.  It’s key to getting your yogurt to thicken properly.  WATCH CLOSELY once it gets close to 180.  Once you’ve gone over 190 the yogurt is MUCH sharper/ more tart and not as creamy.

Fresh milk getting started

Fresh milk getting started

2.  Take 1 cup yogurt out of your fridge and put into a bowl to come to room temperature.  Set your timer for another 2hrs.  Watch for the temp of the milk in the crockpot to drop to between 110° to 115°.  I typically take my liner out of the crockpot & remove the lid so it cools faster.

Almost time!

Almost time!

3. Once the temp is between 110° and 115° – mix a few ladles of hot milk into your bowl of room temp yogurt &  combine until smooth.  Then mix the bowl of yogurt into the crockpot.  Use Back/forth and side to side motions NOT circular.  I have no idea how come.  If you do, inform me!

4.  Once mixed put the lid back on and wrap your crockpot in a small blanket or lg towel.  Keep away from drafts and leave undisturbed in room temp or warmer.  Walk away and come back 12hrs or overnight (my preference).

In the blankie for the night

In the blankie for the night

5. Ready to strain!  You’ll see the whey has started to separate from the milk.  Line your strainer with cheesecloth and set over a bowl that will hold at least 8 cups of whey – I’m straining into my 12 cup Multi-Purpose Pot (https://danakayal NULL.epicure  It’s got the easy pour spout for using the whey later.  Using a big scoop, move your soft yogurt/whey to your lined strainer.  IF you have a chinois or fine bouillon strainer (https://en NULL.wikipedia you won’t need the cheesecloth!

How beautiful is this?!

How beautiful is this?!

A simple piece of cheesecloth  with a rubber band

A simple piece of cheesecloth with a rubber band

6.  Strain approx 4hrs at room temp for thick Greek yogurt!

First spoonful!  Instant LOVE!!

First spoonful! Instant LOVE!!

7.  Refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

My Favorite Mix-ins – Epicure’s Chocolate Truffle (https://danakayal NULL.epicure Summer Berry (https://danakayal NULL.epicure Mix – Top either with fresh berries and you’ll be IN LOVE!

Chocolate Truffle Fruit Dip.  Get in my BELLY!

Chocolate Truffle Fruit Dip. Get in my BELLY!

This yogurt is so creamy and amazing and not as tart, so I used even less dip mix to bring it to a perfect flavor!

Now it's even better!

Now it’s even better!


So recently I’ve discovered a trick!  We accidentally missed the 110-115 window (step 3) when my sister was here, so she turned the crockpot back onto low to bring it up to 110.  Then continued on with the process.  The resulting yogurt was EVEN THICKER with much less whey to strain.  I thought it was a fluke.  Last night I had the same oops.  It had cooled to the 90′s before I caught it so I reheated to 111 and then onto step 4.  Today I’ve gotten 11 cups of thick (stand up on a spoon) yogurt!! 

Compare the whey that seeped into the ladle hole in the ‘regular’ method to the lack of whey in the ‘oops/re-heat’ method.

Regular method - check out the wheyPhoto 2016-12-18, 10 32 09 AM