It’s that time of year. No, not me FINALLY writing a post though these days that would be a pretty big deal.
The past year has been life changing to say the least. I want to write about how motherhood has literally changed everything. How I can’t seem to get back to writing, to myself even. I want to share the ups and downs, the challenges, the boredom, the intense love. But I just can’t seem to get there.
Days are filled with being silly and reading and library trips and feeding the insatiable monster. I barely get a chance to cook until he’s in bed because he’s too curious – and too hangry most often – to “allow” me to get anything done. hen all I want to do is finally sit down. And don’t get me started on how badly I eat since he’s arrived. It’s terrible and unnecessary but I still can’t seem to find that balance.
So here we are 15 months in. Though many days I rush to get work done, there are times I can relish in it and perhaps get a glimpse of who I used to be or perhaps still am. The PC Insiders Holiday Collection was just that opportunity. For the second year in a row I’ve had the pleasure to create recipes inspired by the curated collection of must try products. As expected, the site is gorgeous and makes me want to run to the Superstore to eat everything.
This year’s DINE collection is focused on twists on tradition, letting tradition take unexpected turns. From a double stuffed turkey to Korean fried potatoes, your holiday dinner table is about to get a world more exciting. With globally influenced favours in mind, I created Za’atar Crusted Cauliflower Steaks with Mint, Yogurt and Garlic Oil. I’m a big fan of za’atar and this didn’t disappoint. It could be an exciting – though not too ‘out there’ – Middle Eastern inspired side dish on your holiday table or an impressive vegetarian main. I mean do the vegetable-loving folks always have to eat tofurky?! Plus, using the new PC Organics Sea Salt Multigrain Flatbread Crackers instead of plain ol’ breadcrumbs added the goodness of seven whole grains. Win. Win.
- 4 tbsp. PC New World EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 cauliflower
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 8 PC Organics Sea Salt Multigrain Flatbread Crackers, processed into crumbs
- 4 tsp. PCBL Za’atar Spice Blend, plus more to serve
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp. PC New World EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ cup PC Plain 2% M.F. Greek Yogurt
- handful mint leaves
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread 2 tbsp. olive oil over a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet.
- Trim the end off the stalk and remove the leaves from the cauliflower. Slice it in half through the stalk. Carefully slice each half into slices, reserving any florets that fall off. In three large shallow bowls or containers, place the flour, the egg and lemon juice, and the flatbread crumbs mixed with za’atar. Working slice by slice, dip the cauliflower into the flour then the egg then the za’atar crumbs. Place on the oiled baking sheet. Repeat with reserved florets. Drizzle slices with remaining oil. Bake 15 min then flip and bake another 15 min until golden brown and tender. Meanwhile heat garlic and oil in a small saucepan just until it starts to sizzle. Remove from heat. Strain, reserving the oil.
- To serve, spoon 1-2 tbsp. yogurt on top. Drizzle with garlic oil. Garnish with za’atar and mint leaves.
But my mind was on reclaiming the Christmas cake. You know that dense, rum soaked, dried fruit concoction that shows up at every holiday gathering. Needless to say, I am not a fan. Tradition or not, you’re not getting that thing anywhere near me. In other parts of the world, Christmas cake is entirely different. Take Japan. They celebrate the holidays with a light sponge cake iced in whip cream and strawberries. They’re onto something those Japanese. This modern day version has it all: a lightly spiced PC Gluten Free Golden Cake, creamy spiced rum (yes, SPICED RUM!) buttercream, rich PC Dulce de Leche and the new PC The Decadent Chocolate Ganache. Now that’s what I call a Christmas cake. Though it seems labour intensive, you’re really only making the buttercream from scratch and taking advantage of several great PC products. Less time baking, more time on more important things like say, that spiced rum. Hello holiday season!
- 2 PC Gluten Free Golden Cake Mix
- 1 tbsp. ground ginger
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. cloves
- ¼ tsp. cardamom
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup water
- 1 jar PC Dulce de Leche Caramel Cream Spread
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 3 ½ c. powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp. spiced rum
- PC The Decadent Chocolate Ganache Pots
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease 3 8” cake pans and fit the bottom with a piece of parchment. In a large bowl, whisk together the cake mixes with spices. Whisk in eggs, oil and water just until smooth. Divide equally among prepared pans. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 min. Allow to cool completely before removing from pans. Carefully level the cake tops.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (or using hand beaters), beat the butter until light in color and fluffy, Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating well on high after each addition. Add the rum and beat another minute until incorporated. Place some of the buttercream in a pastry bag.
- To assemble the cake, invert one cake onto a cake stand. Pipe a border of buttercream around the cake. Fill with half of the dulce de leche. Invert a second cake on top and repeat. Top with the third cake. Ice the cake with the remaining buttercream, creating a naked cake effect if desired. Heat 2 ganache pots in the microwave for 15 seconds. Pour evenly over the top. Allow ganache to set before serving.