Oven Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Did you know you can make grilled cheese sandwiches in the oven?! I didn't either until I tried it and let me tell you it is AWESOME. The bread gets extra crispy on the outside, it stays gooey soft on the inside and it's less greasy than when you make it in your a pan. And since you're using the oven, you can make several sandwiches at the same time versus flipping one at a time on the stovetop. Mm, mmm melty goodness!


Ingredients (feel free to substitute your own ingredients)
• white bread
• butter
• smoked provolone cheese
• charcuterie (I used coppa ham, prosciutto & salami)
  1. Construct the inside of the sandwich by layering the cheese and charcuterie on a slice of bread. Top with another slice of bread.
  2. Spread butter on the outside face of each sandwich.
  3. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 425°F. After 6-8 minutes, flip the sandwiches and bake for another 6-8 minutes so the other side gets a chance to brown. 
  4. For extra brown crispiness, you can put it under the broiler for a few seconds.
  5. Serve with a pickle or some potato chips.

2-Ingredient Nutella Brownies

Just like the Microwave Chocolate Cookies I posted earlier this month, I didn't believe it was possible to shortcut brownies. I had to try it for myself and guess what? It works! The result is a moist, slightly fudgey and dense brownie with a crispy top. If you're looking for a rich chocolate brownie experience this recipe probably isn't for you but if you're looking for a quick fix this recipe is awesome. I also think this recipe would work great as a flourless chocolate cake baked in a springform pan. Just dust with icing sugar before serving and voilà, instant fancy dessert!

Adapted from the kitchn
• 1 cup Nutella
• 4 eggs
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. 
  2. With an electric mixer, whisk the eggs for several minutes until they are voluminous and pale yellow in colour. (This is the secret to getting a cake-like texture, the fluffier the eggs, the better.)
  3. In a microwave, heat the Nutella at short intervals until the mixture is just warmed and the texture is almost fluid.
  4. Whisk spoonfuls of the warm Nutella into the eggs until everything in combined.
  5. Pour into a buttered baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the edges pull away from the pan.
  6. Allow to fully cool before serving. (Unlike regular brownies, this recipe tastes better cooled.)

Coconut & Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding

I'll be the first to admit I was late to jump on the chia seed bandwagon. I'm so late I should probably be running after said wagon. This superfood is usually served for breakfast and Pinterest is chock full of recipes for soy or almond milk pudding but personally I really enjoy chia seed pudding as an afternoon snack and it's super delicious with coconut milk. Coconut milk adds a natural sweetness and when you pair it with fresh fruit it's like a tropical getaway for your mouth.

• 2 tablespoons chia seeds
• 1/2 cup coconut milk (I use Coconut Dream)
• shredded coconut
• strawberries, sliced

Mix chia seeds with coconut milk and allow to soak for 20 minutes or overnight in the fridge. (After the first 5 minutes of soaking give it another stir to make sure all seeds get soaked.)

Just before serving, top with shredded coconut and strawberries.

Happy Father's Day

What better way to celebrate dad than with a gourmet burger fresh off the grill? I promise he'll appreciate it a lot more than a bottle of cologne. Gourmet burgers don't need to be intimidating, think of some of your favourite flavours and go from there. Here are a few burgerspirations to get your tastebuds started:

Crispy Quinoa Burger with Sweet Potato Fries - Half Baked Harvest
Mexican Burger - Simply Delicious
Smoked Gouda & Bacon Burgers - Food & Wine
Siracha & Cheddar Burger - Baker by Nature

Golden Honeycomb Candy

Honeycomb was a favourite of mine growing up (hello Crunchie bars!) and I never knew you could make this at home until Nigella Lawson showed me the way. Nigella lives on the edge and makes this without a candy thermometer so the first attempt is always a bit tricky but once you recognize the signs of readiness it's really easy to make. Honeycomb is delicious on it's own...I dipped mine in chocolate to recreate the candy bar of my youth. Totally awesome.

• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 4 tablespoons corn syrup
• 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  1. Mix the white sugar and corn syrup together in a pot.
  2. Place the pot over medium heat and let the mixture melt. Do not stir while on the heat (it's one of those cardinal rules of candy making).
  3. Once the mixture is bubbling and caramelized into a golden brown, take it off the heat and quickly mix in the baking soda. The mixture will become very voluminous and turn a pale golden colour.
  4. Quickly pour the mixture into a small shallow pan. Silicone or aluminum pans work the best because of their flexible walls. If you use a hard metal or glass pan ensure it is lightly greased.
  5. Allow to cool before cutting or smashing into shards. 

Baked Cake Donuts

Home baked donuts are a fun treat to bake and they're so much healthier than their deep-friend counterparts. A good baked donut recipe is hard to come by as most end up tasting like muffins, but the recipe below is different because it produces a moist, fluffy, cake-like donut. I've also included a basic recipe for a coffee shop-style glaze that is limited only by your culinary imagination. So get out there and go nuts for donuts!

Donut Ingredients
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup white sugar
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup buttermilk
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 2 tablespoons butter, melted
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Add in the milk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla. Mix until just blended and no more dry flour remains. 
  2. Lightly grease a donut pan and fill each donut hollow 3/4 full. The batter is quite thick so a piping bag may be helpful with this step.
  3. Bake for 8-10 minutes in an oven preheated to 400ºF. The donuts are ready when they spring back to the touch (note, these donuts do not brown so take care not to over bake.)

Icing Ingredients
• 1 cup icing sugar
• 2 teaspoons corn syrup
• 2-3 teaspoons milk
  1. Mix all the ingredients together, add more milk if absolutely necessary.
  2. Spread icing on cooled donuts and allow to dry for at least an hour.
Icing Options
Chocolate: Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.
Extracts: Add 1 teaspoon of your choice of flavouring (vanilla, almond, mint, etc.) and reduce milk quantity accordingly.


The Ultimate Cookie Guide

Ever wonder what happens when you substitute white sugar with brown sugar? Or all-purpose flour with cake flour? Or maybe you're just looking to bake a really awesome chocolate chip cookie. Look no further because OZY has created a Coles Notes version of how to achieve your ideal of the perfect cookie by looking at the science behind baking. If you're looking for something a little more comprehensive and in-depth, check out Tessa's two-part analysis on Handle the Heat. Looks like I have a lot of delicious baking ahead of me!


Photo: Handle the Heat

The New Nude

There's something so trendy and fresh about understated nude nails elevated with a pop accent. I'm loving these runway looks with metallic striping or minimalistic colour blocking in darks and neons. Totally nailed it.


Photo source: Tomboy KC, Pretty Prudent, Makeup and Beauty Blog, Refinery29