Gluten-Free Banana Nutella Ebelskivers

Well, it looks like I’ve been a while since I posted, so I figure it’s about time to dig into the backlog of recipes that we developed and photographed *prior to moving home to Canada*.

Yes, we actually worked ahead, came up with a big folder of recipes to post while in the process of moving into our RV, traveling from MN to Canada, living in that RV while we found a house, etc. We planned ahead, so I’d have content to post even when our kitchen and photography set ups weren’t really appropriate.

… Then, everything got away from me, and I didn’t post any of it. Whoops!

Anyway, prior to moving, we’d been on a big Ebelskiver kick. I can’t remember what prompted me to want an Ebelskiver pan in the first place, but we went a few months with having them every weekend – expect some more recipes from that time, in the near-ish future!

These were a runaway favourite, obviously. Banana and Nutella is a wonderful combination, and both work really well in this format. The pancake batter creates a soft, fluffy casing for the molten Nutella, and the combination is highly addictive.

As with many of my other gluten-free recipes, this is another case where the gluten-free recipe tastes better than an all-purpose flour recipe would. I just find that the flavours of the chosen flours really brings a lot to the pancake, and the texture is great, too!

Serve these as-is, or sift some icing sugar over them immediately before serving.

Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Banana Nutella Ebelskivers

Makes about 21 stuffed pancakes – Serves 3-4

2/3 cup white buckwheat flour
1/3 cup sorghum flour
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ripe banana, peeled and chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
Nutella

Whisk together dry ingredients, set aside.

In a blender, combine banana, egg, milk, butter and vanilla, blitz until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry, whisk until smooth.

Heat a nonstick ebelskiber pan over medium-low heat, spray with cooking oil. Place 1 Tbsp pancake batter in each cavity, followed by about 1/2 tsp Nutella in the middle of each. Top with about 1 tsp batter, using the spoon to carefully coat the nutella entirely.

Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.

Using two chopsticks, carefully flip one pancake over. If it’s golden brown on the bottom, continue to flip all other pancakes over. Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes, or until all are golden brown on both sides.

Serve hot

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Mango Salad Recipe

Short and sweet blog entry today – I knocked off this recipe this morning, and have a bunch of friends waiting on me to share it… so, good excuse to post this blog!

Shortly after moving to Ontario, we happened across a Vietnamese restaurant on our way into Toronto one day. We’d gone in wanting pho, or maybe a vermicelli noodle bowl… but we were intrigued by the mango salad on the menu. I’d never seen it before, and it sounded amazing.

Blew. My. Mind.

After that, we noticed it on other Asian restaurant menus – at the sushi place we like, at a Chinese restaurant we’d met friends at. I guess it’s a *thing* here… but none of those other salads lived up to that first one.

We’ve been back to that restaurant a few times, and that salad has me happily rocking in my seat each time.

… We may actually need to rename “The Sushi Rock” “The Mango Salad Rock”. (It’s one of my happy Autistic stims. Basically the complete opposite of my “IKEA 2 days before Christmas Flap”!)

Excuse my crappy cellphone photo of the source material. It’s kind of amazing I actually managed to get a photo before inhaling it!

I love the bright colours and flavours of it. It’s such a sunny dish, and the taste of it lingers (and burns a little!) on the lips for a fair amount of time afterwards, just a drawn out reminder of how amazing it was. Pretty sure it’s actually my favourite dish, now.

Anyway, I shared a photo on my personal Facebook this past weekend, raving about how amazing it was. Friends who don’t live in Ontario hadn’t heard of it, and I promised I would share my recipe as soon as I replicated it.

… and here we are.

Look at this other crappy cell phone photo of the preparation:

Even the separate ingredients just look amazing! LOVE.

Anyway. For this recipe, you’ll want under ripe mangoes – pick ones that are pretty hard. They’ll have the best texture for this, and besides… it’s a salad, not a dessert! It’s also vegetarian and gluten-free!

When it comes to servings… I have no idea. I can put away a truly embarrassing amount of this salad in one sitting, so it’s hard to estimate how much it makes. I’d say 3 as a main dish, and maybe 6 as a side?

Enjoy!

Mango Salad

Makes 3-6 servings

2 under ripe mangoes
1 Large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
½ Small green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 Red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup Fresh mint, chopped
3 Tbsp Fresh lime juice
4 Tbsp Vegetable oil
2 tsp Granulated sugar
1- 1 ½ tsp Crushed dried chilies
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Salt
Cashew halves or pieces

Peel mango, slice fruit into long, thin strips (thicker than matchstick). Place in a large bowl, along with peppers, onion, cilantro, and mint – mix well.

In a small food processor or blender, combine lime juice, oil, sugar, chilies, pepper, and salt. Blitz until well combined, and chilies are finely chopped.

Pour dressing over salad, toss well to fully coat. Chill for 30 minutes or so before serving… assuming you can wait that long. (I could not)

Serve topped with a handful of cashews.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Chicken-Based Swedish Potato Sausage Recipe – Potatiskorv

Today’s recipe was a fun challenge to tackle.

As I’ve mentioned before, my husband is no longer able to eat pork or beef, which has been … interesting… to work around. It’s not a religious or ideological thing, his body just can’t handle either any more.

SO, for the most part, he just eats chicken, fish, or vegetarian dishes, and doesn’t normally miss the pork or beef – save for the odd cheeseburger craving. For the few favourites that he didn’t want to give up, I’ve had great success with replicating the taste and texture, using non-pork ingredients. For instance, my Chicken and Mushroom Tourtiere, or my Vegan Donair “Meat”.

Early on in our marriage, my husband made mention of potato sausage he used to get as a kid. His extended family all went in on a bulk order of the stuff from some unnamed (to him) supplier, and they’d split it up, freeze it all, and eat it over the following month or two.

We bought a few different kinds over the years, all of which he found to be “meh” – they weren’t THE ONE. He knew.

Last year – our final Christmas in the US – I happened across a little Scandinavian store in Minneapolis, and picked up a bit of their sausage for the hell of it. As luck would have it, that was THE ONE.

Unfortunately… it’s a pork and beef sausage. He braved the consequences and had some anyway, just in the name of nostalgia, but I promised him I’d make a safe version. It felt like big shoes to fill, having seen how “meh” he was over everything that wasn’t IT.

I played around with chicken, mushrooms, potatoes, and spices, and came up with a recipe that was BANG ON, bringing him right back to his childhood on the first bite! Even his father was shocked and in disbelief – He seemed to think we were pulling his leg when we told him that we’d made it at home, and it was chicken!

The only problem? When frozen and thawed, my sausage turned all kinds of ugly colours – like blue black, marbled in. After making some calls, we learned that this was safe – if unappetizing – it was just the raw potato oxidizing. The solution? Cook the potatoes first.

I tweaked the recipe, tested it out, and here we are! Once stuffed into casings, this sausage can be boiled right away, put in the fridge for a day or two if needed, or frozen – so do whatever makes the most sense for your needs, without worry about discolouration!

Note: Sausage making can be a bit of an… undertaking. This recipe can easily and successfully be halved, for a smaller batch!

Swedish Potato Sausage Recipe, Chicken Version.
Makes about 10 lbs of sausage

2 lbs Boneless skinless chicken breast
4 lbs Boneless skinless chicken thighs
3 lbs Russet potatoes
1 ½ lbs Yellow onions
1 lb Baby Bella / Crimini mushrooms
3 Tbsp Salt
2 Tbsp Pepper
1 ½ tsp Allspice
3/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 cup Milk
Casings*

* We used pork casings, available at most butchers, as it doesn’t cause him a problem, and it’s easy. If you need it to be NO pork, you’ll want to use synthetic casings – I have no experience with those, so I don’t have any advice there.

Peel potatoes, chop into 1″ cubes. Place in a large microwave safe dish and cook on high for 10-15 minutes, or until fork tender. Set aside

Peel and chop your onions, chop mushrooms. Add both to a food processor, process until finely chopped / pureed. Add to bowl of cooked potatoes, mash until not quite smooth. Set aside.

Set your food grinder with the coarse disk, and process the chicken down. In a large bowl, combine chicken with potato mushroom mixture. Add remaining ingredients, mix well.

Following the instructions on your meat grinder / sausage stuffer, set it up with the appropriate nozzle to make sausages. Make the sausages whatever size you like – we usually aim for about the diameter and length of a kielbassa ring, but you can make them longer or shorter – a whole coil, as pictured, or individual sausages. Tie off ends:

Use a fork to poke a few holes in each sausage.

To cook, place in a pot of boiling water, turn heat down to a simmer, and allow to cook for about 30 minutes.

To serve: Pan fry cooked sausage in butter, either whole or sliced up.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Replica Recipe: Trader Joe’s Tofu Edamame Nuggets (Gluten-Free)

A while back, a friend of mine posted on Facebook, lamenting the discontinuation of a food they were very fond of – Trader Joe’s Tofu Edamame Nuggets. One of my “big autistic superpowers” is being able to accurately replicate commercially produced food products (See: a big chunk of the recipes in “More Than Poutine!), so I wanted to help.

Problem 1: I’d never tried the source material.

Problem 2: The source material was no longer available… and my friend lived very far away!

I DO love a challenge though, so I offered to give it a go anyway. My husband is borderline vegetarian himself, and is always up for fun new treats.

First level research was easy: Finding the ingredient listing, nutritional data, and product images online – both commercially photographed, and photos from customers who bought them.

This gave me a good idea of what I’d need for my recipe – minus a few unnecessary commercial ingredients.

The next step was to fill in the missing pieces, the information that’s not as easily obtained through an ingredient list.

This is where thorough questioning came in. Lucky for me (and them, and all of you!), my friend is as good at answering questions as I am at asking them. Within a few minutes, I had a long list of very detailed information about the textures, mouth feel, ingredient sizing and proportions, and much more.

My lovely friend is also autistic, which was absolutely a blessing – NO ONE notice, catalogs, and clearly and efficiently relay fine details about things like an autistic!

Between the nutritional data and my friend’s detailed notes, I was able to put together a fantastic recipe. Aside from the “leave out unnecessary commercial ingredients” adjustment, I also developed this recipe to be gluten-free, as my friend has wheat issues.

I’m basically an obligate carnivore, and I’ve got to say – these are really tasty. REALLY tasty!

I’ve done up the directions so that you can cook and eat these fresh, OR be more true to the source material and par-cook them before freezing, so they’re available as a “throw it in the oven” convenience food, later on.

If you were a fan of the source material, be sure to try these and let me know what you think!

Replica Recipe: Trader Joe’s Vegetable Nuggets

Makes about 28 nuggets

Filling:

1 Brick medium-soft tofu, about 1 lb
½ White onion
1 Egg
1 Tbsp Soy sauce
1 ½ tsp Nutritional yeast, optional
3/4 cup Soy flour
1/4 cup Corn starch
1 tsp Garlic powder
½ tsp Pepper
3/4 tsp Salt
2/3 cup Shelled edamame
1/3 cup Shredded carrot (Large shred, not fine)

Drain tofu, wrap in 3 layers of paper towels, and place in a strainer. Add something a little heavy – we used a peanut butter jar – on top, to press. The tofu will mush a bit, that’s OK. Allow to stand for ten minutes. Discard paper towels, chop up pressed tofu and transfer to a food processor.

Grate onion. With clean hands, squeeze out as much water as you can. Measure 2 Tbsp squeezed onion into a food processor, along with egg, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast, if using. Blitz until smooth and well combined.

In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine soy flour, corn starch, garlic powder, pepper, and salt. Add tofu mixture, stir until smooth and well combined. Add edamame and carrot, stir until vegetables are well distributed.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using two tablespoons, scoop mounds of filling onto the prepared baking sheets – you’ll want rounded Tablespoons, close to about 2 Tbsp in volume. Use a wet finger to smooth mound into a “nugget” about 1.5″ x 2.5″, and about ½” thick. Once all nuggets are formed, transfer pans to freezer and allow to chill until firm.

Once your patties are prepared, heat vegetable oil to 375 F. You can use a deep fryer, or a heavy pan. If not using a deep fryer, use a deep, heavy pot, filled to at least 3″ deep. As oil is heating, prepare your batter:

Batter:

½ cup Masa flour
½ cup White rice flour
1/4 cup Corn starch
½ tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Paprika (for colour)
1 Large egg
1 tsp Soy sauce (does this need salt?)
1 1/4 cup Cold water

Whisk together dry ingredients. Add egg and soy sauce, whisk until well combined. Add a small amount of water, stirring to combine. Continue adding cold water, stirring gently until just combined – mixture can be a bit lumpy.

For best results, set bowl of batter in another, larger bowl that is filled with ice. The colder the batter, the better the coating!

Gently dip chilled patties in the batter one at a time, slowly removing from the batter and allowing excess to drip off. Carefully transfer to heated oil. Fry a few at a time – turning every couple of minutes.

To eat immediately:
Fry until golden, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer fried pieces to platter lined with paper towels. Salt lightly – if you’d like – and serve hot!

To freeze and heat/eat later:
Fry only until batter is no longer wet and is only lightly golden, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from oil, transfer to paper towels, and blot well. Cool to room temperature. Arrange on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, freeze. Once frozen, transfer to airtight freezer container until use.

To bake frozen nuggets:
Preheat oven to 350F. Place frozen nuggets on a baking sheet, bake for 10 minutes. Flip each nugget, bake for 10 more minutes. Serve hot!

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Apple Blueberry Muffins

Wow, I knew it had been a while since I blogged a new recipe, but looking at it now… if I’d left this til tomorrow, it would have been a full month. Oops!

Things have been busy here. We’re mostly settled in, both as far as the house and our new lives go. I’m working my butt off at my spandex costuming business, while also working on editing and formatting Maize Craze. For his part, my husband is about halfway through finals – he had to go back to university, to become qualified to do the job he was doing for the 20 years before moving to Canada. Yikes!

Anyway. I’ve been making muffins more often, lately, as they make great grab and go breakfasts for his long commute to the university.

Sometimes they’re my tried and true recipes (We’ve done my Pina Colada Muffins and my Cardamom Pear Streusel Muffins recently), and sometimes I just ask what he’s in the mood for, and build a recipe around that.

This week, he was in the mood for apple cinnamon muffins.. but blueberries were on sale and looked good. We kept the cinnamon in, as not only does cinnamon work well with apple, it also works well with blueberries – this is something he learned as I was working on More Than Poutine – they’re the main flavours of Blueberry Grunt! I’d originally (ie: while mentally planning this recipe at the grocery store) intended to put some maple syrup in, but managed to forget.

They turned out really well, regardless – they’re definitely going into regular rotation!

Enjoy!

Apple Blueberry Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

2-1/4 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup White sugar
2 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 Large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup Milk
1/2 cup Butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 large apple
1- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 12 muffin cups with liners, or spray with baking spray.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking powder and cinnamon. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.

In another bowl, combine eggs, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Peel and grate the apple; add grated apple to this wet mix. Add mixture all at once to the flour mixture, along with the blueberries. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy.) Divide batter between 12 prepared muffin cups, filling each to almost full.

Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm.

Banh Mi Power Bowls (Gluten Free!)

One thing I’m loving about our new life in Ontario is the multiculturalism – and the food, by extension. Even the most mainstream grocery stores have a wide variety of interesting ingredients and prepared foods from around the globe. I can go grocery shopping, and hear 6+ different languages spoken, as I wander the aisles! LOVE IT.

There’s also an abundance of ethnic food available from restaurants. No exaggeration, you can find shawarma easier than a mainstream fast food chain: Shawarma places are everywhere, along with every other cuisine you can think of. There are several different places that specialize in banh me (Vietnamese sandwiches) AND deliver through the major services!

Our first few weeks here saw us eating banh mi on an almost daily basis. It was cheap, easy, full of good stuff, and was only $3-3.50 for a meal. Can’t beat it!

I’ve been getting more into making power bowls at home for meals lately. Combine that, with our love for banh mi, and the fact that our favourite place is a 15 minute drive away, and … today’s recipe was bound to happen. I’d seen mention of a banh mi bowl on social media, and decided to make my own take on the idea.

We eat a lot of chicken in this house, so that was the protein I chose. You can use whatever banh mi fillings you like, though. There’s a “dry” tofu that our fav Banh Mi place uses – we initially thought it was some kind of mushroom! – that we’ve since found at a local Asian grocery that would be great, sliced up over this. Use BBQ pork, or whatever else you like.

This makes a bit more pickled veggies than you’ll actually need for 4 servings. I like to use the extras to make actual banh mi, to put on other meals (they add a flavour punch to a variety of foods!), or just to munch on.

Also: To make this gluten-free, just be sure to use a GF soy sauce – it’s that easy!

Banh Mi Bowl

Serves 4

Pickled Veggies:

1 large carrot
1 small daikon radish
1 jalapeno
1 cup water
½ cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp salt

Peel carrot and radish, slice jalapeno in half and remove the seeds (optional). Use a vegetable peeler to create long strips of the carrot. Even the smallest daikon radish is going to make a lot more strips than a large carrot, so I like to peel enough daikon to create about the same volume of strips as the carrot. Feel free to make more or less, depending on your tastes. Slice jalapeno into long, thin strips. Set vegetables aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together water, vinegar, sugar and salt. Add carrot, radish, and jalapeno strips to this mixture, stir well to combine.

Cover bowl, refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

Marinated Chicken:

2 large (or 3 medium) chicken breasts
1/4 cup soy sauce (Gluten-free if needed)
1-2 Tbsp ginger/garlic paste*
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1Tbsp Sriracha
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp fish sauce

* This is a paste I buy in jars, and use a lot when cooking Asian or Indian dishes. You can find it in Indian and/or Asian grocers, and sometimes in the Asian aisle of mainstream grocers. We use 2 Tbsp for a potent flavour, but you can cut it back to 1 Tbsp if you prefer more mild flavours.

Slice chicken into whatever form you prefer – strips, small cubes, etc – and place into a bowl or plastic baggie for marinating.

Whisk together soy sauce, ginger garlic paste, rice vinegar, Sriracha, brown sugar, and fish sauce. Pour over cut up chicken, stir well to coat. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

For serving:

3 1/4 cups chicken broth**
1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ an English cucumber, sliced
Cilantro, chopped
Green onions
Sesame seeds

** Here in Canada, Campbell’s makes a “Thai” chicken broth, which is what we use for this. Regular chicken broth works just fine if you can’t get this, though!

To Assemble:

45 minutes before you want to serve it, cook the brown rice in the chicken broth.

When the rice is almost ready, use a slotted spoon to strain excess liquid off chicken (don’t throw out the marinade!), transferring chicken to a nonstick frying pan along with olive oil. Cook until browned, then add the leftover marinade and simmer for 2 minutes, or until chicken is cooked all the way through.

Divide rice among bowls. Top with cooked chicken, pickled veggies, cucumber, cilantro, and green onions. Drizzle with a little cooked marinade from the pan, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve immediately.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

“Extreme” Caesar Salad Recipe (And Homemade Croutons!)

About a year or so ago, I happened across a post – maybe it was a tweet? – where someone mentioned using mayo as a base for Caesar dressing.

I hadn’t considered it before – it’s easy enough to make an emulsion with a stick blender or food processor after all – but it was actually kind of brilliant. Not only did it make things a lot easier, it gets rid of the worries associated with the use of raw eggs.

I decided to mess around with making a mayo based Caesar dressing to our tastes, and came up with this… monstrosity.

This dressing smells TERRIBLE. It burns to eat. The lemon in it makes my tongue feel like it’s ripped to shreds halfway through.

… and it is – far and away – the BEST Caesar salad I’ve ever had in my life.

The weird thing about this recipe is that almost every rave I have about it sounds completely negative! This isn’t about “burst of flavour”, it’s more like “punch you in the face with flavour”. This recipe is definitely geared towards garlic lovers, so keep that in mind!

If you’ve never worked with anchovies before, you may have a weird idea of what to expect. Though this recipe has a lot of anchovy in it, it doesn’t taste fishy at all. Anchovy doesn’t really taste like fish, it just has a rich, salty, complex flavour that adds a ton of character to whatever you put it in. You buy them in little jars, either by the canned meats, or in the fresh fish aisle, depending on your grocery store.

This dressing whips up in just minutes, and makes a SUPER potent dressing. A little goes a long way, so use less dressing than you think you’ll need – you can always mix more in if you want to kick it up a notch or ten!

Anyway.

Making homemade croutons is a good way to accent this dressing, because who wants crappy store bought croutons when you’re serving a special dressing? Not I! So, I’m including a non-recipe recipe for my croutons at the end of the dressing recipe. It only takes about 3 minutes to prepare, and 15 or so minutes to bake – totally worth the effort!

Enjoy!

Caesar Dressing

Makes just over 1 cup of dressing

6 Anchovy fillets
5-6 Cloves garlic, pressed
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
1 tsp Grated lemon zest
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

In a small food processor or blender, combine anchovies, pressed garlic, and lemon juice, blitzing to create a smooth paste. Add zest, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce, once again blitzing until combined and smooth. Add mayo and cheese, blitz once more to combine.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Homemade Croutons

Bread of choice*
Butter or oil**
Garlic powder
Dried parsley
Salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or don’t. It’s not really needed, but makes clean up easier!)

First, cut your bread into cubes of whatever size you like, and place in a bowl that’s big enough to stir them around easily. I like to cut fairly big pieces, so that they can get toasty and crisp on the outside, and stay tender inside. Your mileage may vary!

Next, melt your butter (if using). Drizzle some butter or oil over the bread pieces, tossing well to coat. You want them lightly coated, not drowning in butter. Eyeball it – you can always add more if you feel it needs it!

Once you have the bread lightly coated, sprinkle on the remaining ingredients, to suit your tastes. Taste as you go!

Once you’re happy with the flavour, spread the bread pieces out on your baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes, stirring a few times during the baking. If you’re happy with the colour of them at 15 minutes, remove and let cool slightly before adding to your salad. If not, let them bake a little while longer, keeping an eye on them.

* While many people use stale bread, I don’t. I like soft interiors to my croutons, so I just chill a few slices for a bit to make them easier to cut nicely. If you like very crunchy croutons, use stale bread. In terms of type, I like bread with a little character – this was a flax seed bread. You can use whatever bread you like, however – even gluten-free!

** If you want to be *Extra* about it, you can use melted bacon drippings in place of butter or oil!

“Maize Craze” Campaign Launched This Morning!

Hey everyone,

If you’ve been following me on social media, you may have noticed that I’ve been working on another cookbook. Well, the campaign for it launched this morning, so I wanted to tell you a bit about it.

This project is a little different from my past cookbooks, for a few reasons:

1. It’s mostly done!

Unlike all of my other cookbook campaigns that were each started from scratch, this book is probably 80% done at this point.

It was actually released as “Sweet Corn Spectacular”, my first – and LAST – traditionally published cookbook. I had to make a lot of compromises to fit the publisher’s parameters, and was really unhappy with how it turned out. The name, cover, cover font, lack of photos – and the few photos they had were in black and white – it just wasn’t ME.

I had the rights reverted back to me a year ago, and have been working on giving the book an overhaul – it’ll now have full colour photography, with a photo for EVERY recipe… be in my voice, have more detailed directions where needed, and more. Also, I’ll be adding a few new recipes!

As the plan was to only include a few photos in the original book, not many of the recipes were photographed at the time – so we’ve been working on that lately, taking advantage of corn season.

2. “Legacy” and “Retail” book sizes.

Remember shortly after “More Than Poutine” came out, the printer raised their prices to the point where I’d need to significantly raise the price of my books, or change their size? Well, that’s made things tricky when it came to planning the reward levels for this book!

As someone with an eye to detail and patterns myself, I wanted to offer the opportunity to buy Maize Craze in the same size as all of my previous titles, before the change. I figured it would look silly to have multiple books from my line in one size, and then the final one (spoilers!) Slightly smaller.

SO – and this is only available through this Kickstarter campaign – I am offering “Legacy” sized books as an option. If you have any of my previous books – or have gifted them to people you would like to gift this book to – and would like to keep the same size here, that is the option you should choose. This is only available on a few reward levels, so be careful which you choose!

If size isn’t an issue, there are also listings for “retail” sized books – these are the slightly smaller books, and are a few dollars cheaper on this campaign.

Again, legacy sizing will ONLY be available through this campaign, so if you have a collection you’d like to finish off, this would be the time to do it!

3. It’s in .CAD!

I moved back to Canada, and that’s resulted in a few changes to the campaign, this time around.

Don’t freak out about the “high” prices on the rewards – they’re listed in Canadian funds. Give or take a few cents for the sake of rounding, they’re the same as they’ve been on all previous campaigns, just with currency conversion applied.

Additionally, there have been some changes to shipping, as logistics have changed.

Books will now be shipped both from the US and Canada, and the new prices reflect that. Books going to Canada have a slightly cheaper cost now, and books to the USA are slightly more expensive, reflecting the most recent changes to USPS shipping prices.

Canadian orders should arrive a lot faster now (depending on Canada Post!), and will not be subject to duty, etc.

4. No more international shipping

Figuring out international shipping tables has gotten far more complicated, and – from my experience – sweet corn isn’t as big of a THING in the rest of the world. So… we decided to save a few days worth of headache, and just not ship overseas from the Kickstarter.

That doesn’t mean you’re completely out of luck if you live outside of the Canada or US, though – Feel free to pledge $1 to basically subscribe to member updates, and we’ll let you know when the book is available to be shipped overseas, from our normal website set up.

Our shopping cart system is Shopify, and is much better able to calculate accurate shipping costs specific to each country. I’m sorry to make you wait, but this way will be a lot better for everyone!

5. Much shorter campaign.

In the past, I’ve done mostly 60 or 45 day campaigns – and those take a lot of stamina and are prolonged stress. This time around – where our goal minimum is a fair amount lower than usual – we’re going with a 30 day campaign.

6. This will probably be my final cookbook.

… at least for the foreseeable future.

As an autistic woman I have somewhat weird cycles when it comes to careers – I do my thing, and then I’m done and move on to the next one. Sometimes I cycle back eventually – I’m back to doing spandex costuming after taking several years off – but I generally know when a change is coming.

Think of it like Doctor Who regenerations.

I’ve known for a while that my time with cookbooks is drawing to an end, I just wanted to make sure to right this particular wrong before I move on to my next adventure!

I sincerely thank every one of you for supporting my cookbook career along the way, and I hope you’ll stay in touch even after the last copy of Maize Craze has been distributed!

——————————————-

With all of that said, I would love for you to check out the campaign, which is now live at www.maizecraze.ca . Please consider backing it, sharing it on social media, etc. You know the drill!

Thanks in advance for your support, let’s have some fun with this one!

Marie

PS: As you may (or may not?) know, the first day of a Kickstarter campaign is the most important day, to really get the ball rolling. Starting out with a mob of backers trips something in Kickstarter’s algorithms, resulting in a lot of additional help from Kickstarter in showcasing the campaign to Kickstarter members. It can make a huge difference to the outcome of a campaign, so please consider backing / sharing today in particular.

Also consider this your heads up that my social media output today will very heavily be Kickstarter related!

Canadian Candy Bar Salad – “Fusion Salad”

So – It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a blog entry!

A LOT has happened – we packed up and sold our house in Minneapolis, got everything onto two shipping containers, and moved to Canada. Shortly before we sold the house, we moved into a small, 27′ motor home, and that’s been “home” right up until we closed on our new house a couple weeks ago. The kitchen didn’t really lend itself to creating blog worthy meals, and we’ve been very busy with getting settled, so.. no posts. We’re now mostly settled, so I can get back into posting from time to time.

For the first recipe being posted from within Canada, this one seems appropriate. We’ve been calling it “fusion salad”.

This weekend, we attended our first social event in Ontario – a potluck BBQ. We were fussing over what we should bring, and my husband joked that we should bring a Minnesota “salad” – basically a desserty item made with things like Cool Whip, fruit, pudding, etc. One thing led to another, and we ended up coming up with a “Minnesota-Canadian Fusion” version of Snickers Salad, which we brought to the event last night. (Along with my Bananas Foster Upside Down Cake, just in case our creation didn’t turn out well!)

We decided to use our 3 favourite Canadian candy bars, because neither of us wanted to actually choose. We decided to keep the Granny Smith apple, so the sour crunch could provide a good foil for all that chocolate.

For the fluff, we decided we would be adding maple syrup… because obviously we would. Knowing that, we decided on a cream cheese based fluff, so that the syrup wouldn’t be competing with pudding mix, nor would it be sickeningly sweet as a result.

What started as a joke ended up turning out really well! Once people got past the look of it (“What is THAT?”) and actually tried it, it seemed fairly popular. Definitely a conversation piece! The maple syrup in the fluff definitely elevated it from normal “salads” – it seemed to really tie everything together well. It just added a little something, without being overpowering.

If you are in the USA, these chocolate bars may be available in the international aisle of some grocery stores, and/or at World Market.

Also, as a tip: My $9 cheapie sushi knives that I bought off Amazon work REALLY well for cleanly cutting candy bars, as you can see with the garnish slice in the pic. (A Mr Big bar, sliced on an extreme diagonal!). You know, in addition to making sushi, carving foam, and everything else I use them for!

Enjoy!

Minnesota-Canada Fusion Candybar Salad
Makes about 8-10 cups worth

3 Wunderbars
2 Coffee Crisp bars
2 Mr Big bars
250 g / 8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup maple syrup
½ cup icing / powdered sugar
1 L / 16 oz container Cool Whip, slightly softened
4 Granny Smith apples

Thinly slice all 7 candy bars, set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and maple syrup together until smooth. Add icing sugar, continue mixing until well combined and smooth.

Gently fold in Cool Whip, until well combined. Add chocolate pieces, once again gently folding until well combined.

Chop Granny Smith apples into bit sized pieces, gently fold into mix.

Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving. Top with reserved candy bar pieces, if you set some aside.

NB: The sugars in the Cool Whip and Maple Syrup will draw the juice from the apples, so if you let it sit TOO long – more than 12 hours or so – the fluffy will break and become runny.

With 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s about time I wrote the Canadian cookbook I’ve been planning for YEARS.

“More than Poutine” will be a Canadian cookbook like no other – written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional homecooking recipes, as well as homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada!

High quality gluten-free versions of most recipes are included.

“More Than Poutine” is available for purchase, here.

Moving Back to Canada? Here’s a Timeline!

We’re quickly coming up on the “Two Months Before We Move” date, and it’s so exciting! I have my Google Calendar all colour coded (Daily chores, appointments, events, etc), and it’s thrilling to see more and more purple – move related tasks – coming up on the calendar. This has been SO long planning, it’s great to have things finally happening, you know?

I am a gigantic logistics nerd, and have had everything scheduled and on the calendar since the moment we had a vague target moving date. Once we scheduled a firm moving date, I updated everything, and have been obsessing over it ever since.

With the mass exodus of Canadians leaving the USA right now (I’m in multiple groups specifically geared towards Canadians moving themselves and their American spouses/families home!), I figured it would be a good idea to publish a timeline to help others. I know how overwhelming things can be, it’s a HUGE undertaking – and having things laid out can really make it seem more do-able.

So, here’s a list I came up with. Most of it is based on our situation (Canadian married to an American, spousal sponsorship applied for/approved while still in the USA, have pets/no kids moving with us), but can be easily adapted for your particular situation. Some things will vary based on province you’re moving to (for instance, health insurance). Maybe you’re moving back alone and don’t have to worry about immigration issues, etc. It should be a good start, and will hopefully inspire you to think of other things more applicable to you. (“Oh, that reminds me, we should _____!”).

All of these are ideal suggested time lines, for planning ahead. If you find yourself on a shorter timeline, just do anything under the time line target dates you’ve missed ASAP.

So, here we go:

As Early as Humanly Possible:

* Look into your employment / schooling situation in Canada. Will your schooling / certifications transfer over? Will you need additional education? Are you qualified to do your job in Canada? If you’re currently in school, will your credits transfer? Plan accordingly!

In our case, it turned out that my husband isn’t qualified to do the career he’s been doing for 20 years in the USA, as he doesn’t have a degree. So, he’s been doing some university here in the USA, and applied for University in Canada once we move.

* If you are married to an American (or someone from another country), look into the immigration process for Canada, and decide whether you want to do it yourself, or hire a lawyer. In our case, it was just my husband, we decided to go for spousal sponsorship from the USA, and it was VERY easy and straightforward, no lawyer needed. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

* Consider learning / brushing up on French. If a non-Canadian is moving up with you and is going on the points system (rather than by spousal/etc sponsorship), French competency is good for some points. It also opens up more possibilities for employment.

* Contact an accountant that specializes in cross-border financial issues and find out everything you need to. There are tax implications for EVERYTHING. Get expert advice, schedule anything you need to (tax filings, when would make the most sense to transfer assets, etc etc.

* Research the logistics surrounding buying a house, as applicable to your situation. There are tax penalties for foreign buyers and non-resident buyers. Know what you’re getting into, early!

1 ½ years Before Moving:

* Decide on a firm moving date if you can. This will form the point from which you work backward on this list!

* Apply for residency for any non-Canadians, if that’s the way you’re going. We found the process very easy, and we liked having everything set before we moved. If hiring a lawyer, find one now.

* If you’ve had any kids in the USA and have not yet obtained Canadian birth certificates for them, do so.

* Figure out the basic logistics for HOW you’re getting back. Driving or flying? Taking a moving van yourself (U-Haul, etc), or hiring a moving company. If you have pets, how are they getting back? Will you visit ahead of time to set up a place to move directly to, or will you rent/stay in hotels while looking for a place? Schedule anything that needs to be scheduled.

In our case, our cats were a major deciding factor for us. We’ve heard too many horror stories about flying pets, and we don’t want them to be stuck in a kennel somewhere – exposed to kennel diseases – while we get our situation figured out. So… we bought an RV to move them from here to there, and for us to live in while we find a place. Unorthodox, yes… but when it comes down to it, renting won’t even be an option, so we had to get creative!

1 Year Before:

* If you’re selling a house, walk through and decide on everything that needs to be done in order to sell. Room by room, come up with a list of repairs to make, etc, and schedule it. It’s a lot easier to pick away at things well in advance, than to rush it all right at the end.

.

1 Year to 6 Months Before:

* If you are moving in the summer, book your movers WAY ahead of time. Many Canadians moving home are using U-Pack – and they tend to book up well in advance. Even if you’re moving in the off season, you should still contact your moving company 6 months in advance to ask about when you should book with them.

* If you’re moving to close to the border, consider signing up for the NEXUS preferred travel programs.

* If your passport(s) are not up to date or valid, renew one or both, as applicable.

* Start a zip up file folder/binder for your important paperwork for the move. Ours has pockets for:

Travel Documents: Passports, NEXUS cards, my husband’s immigration documentation and permanent resident card, etc

ID Documents: Birth and marriage certificates, SIN paperwork

Itinerary Info: Moving company paperwork, hotels you’re staying at, RV park contract (in our case)

Vehicle Paperwork: Bills of sale, vehicle registrations, importing/exporting paperwork, etc

Packing Manifests: Copies of the paperwork that will go to both the border and the moving company

Vet Papers: Vaccination records, etc

Banking Info: Bank account paperwork for Canadian accounts, any Canadian credit card paperwork, etc. Copies of past tax returns (Can be good for obtaining a bank account/loans in Canada)

Mail and Cell Phone Paperwork: Info for the Canadian cell phone account we set up, info on the two PO Boxes we set up.

Job Search: Copies of reference letters, resumes, etc.

6 Months Before:

* Research mobile phone providers in the area you’re moving to. Find out if your current phone – if you’re keeping it – is compatible. Contact your current service provider to find out what you will need to to in order to transfer it (Pay off the phone, any extra fees, if they have to unlock it, etc)

* Take a trip to Canada if at all possible, do to as much of the following as possible:

– Set up PO box. As we are moving relatively close to the border, we also got a PO box in New York, just in case.
– Get a cell phone with a Canadian number, set up a bank account.
– Try to get a Canadian credit card – we were approved through our new cell phone provider.
– Reactivate your SIN if it’s gone dormant (Just go to a Service Canada location, it takes only minutes!)
– Check out neighbourhoods, etc

* Email yourself your Canadian mailing address and phone number, if applicable. It’s good to have in easy reach!

* Set up a Canadian based paypal account, link it to your Canadian bank account.

* Contact a local real estate agent and get an idea of the time line you’ll want to work with for your area. If you have a set move date, add in key dates based on this. (When you need the house completely cleared out to show, when you’ll need a dumpster for – if applicable, etc)

* Check into your benefits, see what you’re entitled to before you leave the job, and when you qualify. Book those appointments for before you leave the job: Eye exam, dental cleaning, etc.

* Look into the health insurance situation in the province you’re moving to. Some provinces offer health coverage as soon as you arrive, others – like Ontario – have a waiting period. You may need to arrange for interim health insurance for once you arrive. You can do so well in advance!

* Make a bucket list of things you want to do/experience in your area before you move, schedule them as necessary. (Restaurants, favourite theme parks, etc)

* Look into festivals, trade shows, etc that you’d be interested in, in the new city – add them to the calendar for after the move. If you are a vendor at conventions, or sell through trade shows (for instance, I sell my books at gluten-free shows), start researching the options in the new city, make contact.

* Look into importing your vehicle into Canada, and decide whether you’ll be doing that, or selling it / buying a new one. This is a very individual decision, and will depend on things like how attached you are to your vehicle, the value/ how much it will cost you to bring it over, how much life it has left, how necessary a car is where you’re moving, etc (For instance, if we were moving to downtown Toronto, we would not bring our car over)

* Start packing items that you won’t be using in the next few months. Sort out the things you’ll want to sell/donate, list items for sale.

5 Months Before:

* Start compiling a list of every company and service you’ll need to do changes of address with. Once you have a good list going, keep it updated anytime you get a reminder of something else to add. I did it via a table in WordPerfect, but a spreadsheet will work. I have columns for “How Far In Advance”, “Company”, “Where/How” (Online, phone, etc), “Which Address” (Canadian or American PO Box), “Status”, and “Notes”. I have sections for “2 months in advance”, “1 month in advance”, etc. Some hints on who to include:

– Credit card companies
– Banks
– Social groups / member organizations you belong to
– Doctor and vet offices
– Government offices: City/county taxes, DMV,
– Anyone you do business with

* Start compiling a list of the things you will need to cancel. For each one, find out when you should cancel the service/etc, and add it to your timeline for the appropriate date. Some hints:

– Online streaming services – Netflix, Hulu, etc
– Amazon Prime
– Home security company
– Utilities
– Insurance companies
– Gym membership (if it’s a chain that’s also in Canada, call and ask about transferring – you may get grandfathered in on a cheaper plan!)

3 Months Before:

* Start researching the various insurance coverage needs you’ll need in place once you leave you job in the USA. Depending on your needs, you may want to consider insurance for your pets, disability insurance, eye/prescription insurance, life insurance, etc.

* Research what your pets need in order to cross into Canada, and make those arrangements. (Link for info). In our case, our cats just need rabies vaccinations and vet certification for those vaccinations.

* Decide on the route you’ll be taking home, and what border you’ll be crossing at.

* Make plans for where you’ll be staying in between selling your house in the USA (if applicable), and settling into a new place in Canada. Make reservations as needed.

* Start asking friends in the area you’re moving to for recommendations on a real estate agent there. Decide on one, make first contact.

* Plan a going away party.

2 Months Before:

* Start working on paperwork to import your vehicle, if applicable. (Knowing what border you’re crossing at helps!)

* Submit changes of address to any organizations that you are members of, and anything else on your “2 months before” category for address changes.

* If you are an Etsy seller, set up a Canadian Etsy account, link it to your Canadian bank account, and start setting it up. Screen cap all of your reviews, etc – none of this will transfer over, and Etsy cannot/will not transfer your established account to be able to pay into your Canadian bank account – you need to start completely from scratch. I used screen caps of my past reviews on my old account as photos on new account listings.

* Start working on a folder to give the new owners of your house, if you’re selling. We included paint information for every room (where we bought it, the paint brand/type, the colour name and number), any quirks of appliances, a bit of history, paperwork for appliance warranties, user manuals, etc.

* If you are selling any of your American vehicles, discuss when you’ll list them, and schedule that. We are selling one of our 2, and listing it 2 months before.

* Talk to your doctor about any current prescriptions you’re on, and what your plan is for once you arrive. You likely won’t have time to decide on a new doctor right away when you arrive, and your current doctor’s prescriptions won’t be valid in Canada. You may be able to get a prescription for several month’s worth of your prescription. Alternatively, if you’re moving to somewhere close to a border, you may want to find an American pharmacy close to where you’re living, and have your prescriptions sent there until you’re settled.

* Look into the area you’re moving to, for fun things to do. Consider booking tickets, etc for an event or two, for something to look forward to. In our case, I signed up for a local discount thing similar to Groupon, and bought vouchers for a museum event, a tall ship cruise, etc that expire several months after we move. It gives my husband – who is terrified of moving – something to look forward to.

* Decide when you’ll be resigning from work, schedule it.

1 Month Before:

* File change of address with: Employers, the IRS, the Social Security administration, voter registration, USCIS (if applicable), city/county tax assessor, DMV, insurance companies, store/discount memberships (IKEA, CVS, etc), website hosting company, and anything else you scheduled under “1 month before”.

* Contact credit reporting agencies (Equifax, etc). Place a credit hold on your accounts, file change of address.

* Arrange for mail forwarding with the post office.

* If any of your American credit or bank cards are expiring in the next year or so, arrange to have them all replaced now.

* Arrange for any permits you may need for your moving day (parking permits, etc)

* Get reference letters / claims history statements from your home and auto insurance companies. Get reference letters from utility companies, etc. While you may not need the utility company reference letters, it’s better to be over prepared, than under.

3 Weeks Before:

* Send an email to the Canadian border office you’ll be crossing at, if applicable. In our case, the border wants an email with a scan of our vehicle title, with the VIN and ITN numbers as the email subject. They will send an auto response email, which we are to print and bring as proof of submission when we cross the border. This MAY vary between different border crossings.

* Contact auto manufacturers for fresh recall clearance letters. In our case, I contacted Ford through their website and had an email version within a couple days, and the printed copy a couple days later. File this in your binder for the border.

2 Weeks Before:

* Renew all prescriptions. (2 weeks gives leeway in case of any issues)

* Get proof of driving experience from your state. File this in your documents binder.

* Wire transfer money to your Canadian bank account, if applicable.

* Get reference letters from banks and credit reporting agencies.

* Fill out your customs forms.

* Back up all of your computer files onto disks that you will keep separate from the move. IE: if you are shipping your computers, keep the backups with you.

Just Before Moving:

* File change of address with: all bank accounts, all credit cards, any online payment processors/income sources you may have (for instance: Shopify, Etsy, Paypal, vet, your doctor/eye doctor/dentist/etc.

* Print out current credit report, file in your documents binder.

Immediately After Arriving in Canada:

* Apply for provincial health insurance.

* Register for a Canadian driver’s license. Do this AFTER you do anything that needs your ID (bank account, health insurance, etc), as at least some provinces take your existing license when you apply for a Canadian one.

Very Soon After Arriving in Canada:

* Check in with an immigrants organization in your area. (www.Settlement.org has details for Ontario, for instance.).

* Arrange for your RIV vehicle inspection, if you haven’t already. In our case, we scheduled it for the morning we crossed, at the location closest to that border crossing.

* Buy a vehicle, if applicable

* Register & insure your vehicle(s)

Once You’ve Purchased a House / Rented an Apartment:

* Set up with utilities: water, sewer, garbage/recycling, electric/gas, cable/satellite TV, internet, phone

Once You Have Settled into a House or Apartment:

* File changes of address with everything that you don’t want going to your PO box. Add in your new accounts: Canadian Driver’s license/vehicle registration, provincial health insurance, bank account, Canadian credit cards, mobile phone, etc. If keeping your PO Box, give them your new address as well.

* Find a doctor, eye doctor, dentist, vet, pharmacy etc as needed. Contact your former providers to have records transferred to.

Hope this helps you prepare for your Voyage Home!

In the meantime, if you need some comfort foods from back home, check out “More Than Poutine: Favourite Foods From My Home and Native Land”. It was written by an expat, specifically for expats!

With 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s about time I wrote the Canadian cookbook I’ve been planning for YEARS.

“More than Poutine” will be a Canadian cookbook like no other – written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional homecooking recipes, as well as homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada!

High quality gluten-free versions of most recipes are included.

“More Than Poutine” is available for purchase, here.