Is there anything more delicious than an refreshing and creamy ice cream sandwich on a hot day? Probably not, but a simple way to make it even more decadent is to customize your own. It wasn’t until my charming ice-cream-sandwich-addict hand model introduced me to the world of White Squirrel Coffee Shop near Trinity Bellwoods. Their made-to-order ice cream sandwiches are what may best be described as #winning, and the best treat I’ve had all summer! The traditional chocolate wafer variety is like a cruel joke compared to their signature chocolate gingerbread cookie casing. Not to mention that the small but quality selection of ice creams will leave even the most decisive eaters weighing their options.

The whole DIY ice cream sandwich seems too smart to resist especially since we started spending more on ice cream sandwiches than on coffee. Now you can combine your love of cookies n’ cream and concoct your own versions at home. We suggest picking a cooler day to whip together a batch of cookies. Then freeze the cookies until you’re ready to fill them with your favourite ice cream flavours. Here are some ideas:

1. Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Vanilla Ice Cream (pictured here)

2. White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies with Strawberry Ice Cream

3. Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies with White Squirrel Ice Cream or Toasted Marshmallow (à la White Squirrel)

4. Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies with Praline Ice Cream

5. Sugar Cookies with Pistachio, Hazelnut or Honey Ice Cream

Want to get even more creative? Try accessorizing your ice cream sandwich by rolling it through a selection of crumbled treats like:

– cookie crumbs

– sprinkles

– toffee pieces

– toasted slivered almonds or pistachios

– chocolate chips

Happy Ice Cream Sandwich Making! XO

I was planning on making Amanda’s mussels recipe for Father’s Day. It turns out that Sunday is not a good day to find fresh mussels and I needed to make some substitutions. I bought a bag of raw frozen shrimp and some scallops and the results were a big hit!

All I did was follow Amanda’s instructions from this episode, but instead of adding mussels, I added thawed frozen shrimp and fresh scallops.


While dad’s are great at many things, grilling seems to be a common strength. That’s why this Father’s Day we propose giving your dear old dad a break! Like most good burgers we have kept the ingredients simple to let the charred succulence shine through. We recommend indulging in 85% lean ground beef. Yes, that means put down the 99% lean stuff, it is a celebration after all!

To turn this burger from weekend regular to Father’s Day must-make, add some customized toppings. Toppings can get gourmet or personal (well personalized that is). I choose toppings that remind me of great times with my dad. We’ve got a fried egg because every Saturday after coffee and paper we make a big family-style egg breakfast. Shredded cheese because…well frankly I’ve never seen him eat a burger without it. Finally, ketchup because he stomached bland boarding school food back in the day and never quite kicked the habit. Burgers are the perfect and well-deserved treat to reward our dads’ for being, well dads!

P.S. we also used to make floats whenever my mum left us all along so I couldn’t resist this bottle of Root Beer…the kid eating the double double burger is too funny!

Last night we had an extremely successful potluck, Black Bean Soup! It was a BYOI style so everyone brought an ingredient and we made not just a pot, but a humongous vat of soup. Talk about being cheap and cheery! This soup is pretty basic in terms of ingredients so get creative when adding toppings. We kept it classic with cilantro, avocado and lime but other topping ideas include: shredded cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds, sour cream, etc. Bonus: this soup freezes amazingly and will keep for up to 2 months. P.S. I’ve halved the recipe here since I imagine most of you won’t be feeding a small army. It makes enough for 4-6 hungry people.

What You’ll Need:

extra-virgin olive oil

2 tins black beans, drained and rinsed

1 Spanish onion, finely chopped

1 red pepper, finely chopped

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

pinch cayenne pepper

3 cups water, vegetable stock or chicken stock

salt and pepper

Garnishes (optional): cilantro, avocado, cheese, lime wedges, etc.

What to do:

Preheat olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions and peppers and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, cayenne and black beans and season with salt and pepper, stir for 1 minute.

Add the water or stock and bring everything to a boil. Reduce to rapid simmer (medium heat) and continue to cook for 30 minutes. Mash or purée the soup to your desired consistency. Serve with garnishes.

Happy Cooking! XO



I cannot believe that we haven’t featured frittatas in an episode yet. Frittatas are basically rustic Italian omelets that are perfect for a new cook that is a little shaky at the stove. What differentiates these from omelets is that they don’t get flipped. Instead they cook partially on the stove then get tossed under the broiler for a few minutes until they’re golden and puffy. I love making these for breakfast, lunch or a light dinner and leftovers make incredible sandwiches. You can use any ingredients in a frittata so be creative with leftover odds and ends of food. We kept it simple so that the focus would be on technique.

What You’ll Need:

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

7 eggs

1 shallot, peeled, halved and thinly sliced

8 chives, finely chopped

1/4 cup baby spinach

1/4 cup Greek feta, crumbled

salt and pepper

What to do:

1. Prep all your ingredients. Preheat your broiler to high.

Preheat the olive oil in a small oven proof skillet (no rubber or silicone) over medium heat. Slice your shallots and toss them and the spinach into the skillet.

While the shallots and spinach soften, beat together the eggs and chives with some salt and pepper until the yolks are just broken. Don’t beat the eggs into submission.

Add the egg mixture into the skillet with the shallots.

Sprinkle the crumbled feta over top of the frittata. Keep the heat at medium and cover the skillet. Continue to cook covered until the bottom is set, the edges are slightly puffy and start to pull away from the side and the center is still a bit liquidy. Transfer the frittata under the broiler. Broil until the center of the frittata is puffed up, golden and cooked. Keep a close eye on it, this will take between 3-8 minutes depending on your oven.

Run a spatula around the edge of the pan to loosen the frittata then carefully transfer to a plate. There you go, your first frittata!

Happy Cooking! XO

I got the idea for this dish from my friend Laura who cannot eat gluten. She has come up with several creative substitutes to everyday dishes and one of them is using thinly sliced cucumber or zucchini instead of pasta noodles. Loved it!

Makes 10 servings of sauce


2 mini cucumbers per person, cut into very thin strips

1 lb ground turkey

2 cans whole tomatoes

10 mushrooms (any type will work), cut in quarters

1 red onion, chopped

1 can tomato paste

4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp cayenne pepper

olive oil



leftover vegetables in your fridge (I used 2 tomatoes and half an eggplant and zucchini)


1. Make the sauce. This can be done ahead of time, frozen and thawed. In a large pot, cook the ground turkey on medium heat. Break it up with a spoon until it is fully cooked. Add the chopped onion and stir for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and any chopped leftover vegetables from your fridge.

2. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the 2 cans of tomatoes and break them up with a wooden spoon. Let it simmer on low heat.

3. Add the herbs, cayenne pepper and balsamic vinegar to taste.

4. For the cucumber pasta, saute the slices in a skillet over low-medium heat with olive oil, salt and pepper. It should take around 8 minutes for them to soften. Add the sauce and serve!

Happy cooking :)

Everyone likes their coleslaw a different way. For some it is all about a rich soft and creamy, others like it crunchy and slightly acidic. I definitely fall into the crunchy fan club. Up until I started making my own coleslaw I always looked at the little plastic container with slight disgust. Two years ago I decided that it was time to get over it, and just make one for me. This is a lighter, healthier coleslaw that has the perfect amount of zip to balance a juicy burger or rich smokey ribs. Next time you’re heading to the grill make sure to have this as your side kick (I mean dish)…

What You’ll Need:

1/2 small head green cabbage, halved and thinly sliced

1/2 small head red cabbage, halved and thinly sliced

1/4 cup mayonnaise

¼ cup plain yogurt

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp Dijon

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

What To Do:

1.    Prepare the dressing by mixing together the mayonnaise, yogurt, maple syrup, Dijon, lemon juice and salt together.

2.   An hour to 30 minutes prior to serving, toss the cabbage together and add 2/3 of the dressing. Combine thoroughly. Add more dressing if necessary or serve extra on the side for those that like it extra creamy.


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