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  • Well, leave it to me to try putting tea into just about everything. I’ve put it in soup and on fish, so why not try it in a cake, right? On a mildly unrelated note, my iPhone (4!) took the photo below. How crazy is that? Oh technology, you’ll never be as delicious as this pound cake, but you’re pretty cool!


    What you’ll need…
    1 cup butter (softened)
    1 1/2 cups white sugar
    5 eggs
    2 TSP vanilla extract
    1/3 cup milk
    1 lemon (zest and juice)
    1 TBSP earl grey tea (finely crushed)
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 TSP salt


     Dan Clapson    





    Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated. 




    Comments ( 2 )
  • Superfood Salmon Salad from The Hot Plate

    Some nights I end up having to eat by myself. My hubby sometimes works late and tells me to eat dinner on my own. I am sure that a lot of us have been in this position before, and I sure we all feel the same way. Cooking for one can be a bummer. If you are stumped on what to make, but you are looking for healthy dinner options that can be made in under 20 minutes than you’ve come to the right place! Today and tomorrow we’ll be featuring great dishes that use similar ingredients in different ways. This salad definitely fits into this category. In just 15 minutes you can have a delicious salmon salad. It’s not only super tasty, it’s has so many healthy components like grapefruit, quinoa and avocado. These are ingredients that are sure to keep you full and make eating on your own a little more enjoyable.



    1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

    1 – 3 ounce salmon fillet

    ½ cup grapefruit wedges

    ¼ cup sliced avocado

    ¼ cup cooked quinoa

    2 cups spring salad mix


    Make the dressing. Whisk together vinegar, honey and mustard. Whisk in oil until emulsified.
    Preheat the broiler to high. Arrange tin foil in the center of a baking sheet and place the salmon on it. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and broil until cooked to medium, about 5 minutes.
    Meanwhile, toss salad greens, grapefruit wedges, sliced avocado and quinoa with dressing and toss to combine. Season with pepper.
    Break salmon into pieces and add to the salad to serve.


     Amanda_GarbuttAmanda Garbutt is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients.  








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  • Big Chewy Ginger Cookies from The Hot Plate

    ginger cookies

    Every year around this time, my family used to get together to bake cookies. My favourite thing we used to make were gingerbread cookies. These were so fun to make because we used cookie cutters and different candy to decorate them. I love this tradition, but these days I don’t always have time to make regular gingerbread cookies. I decided it was time to come up with a Ginger Cookie recipe that is easy and delicious!

    These Ginger Cookies are big cookies, that are meant to give you that spicy taste without being too much for first time ginger cookie makers. And if you are worried about buying molasses because you will never use it again, it keeps until the next year you want to make these cookies. These cookies are also freezer friendly! They can be frozen for up to 2 months as a disc or shaped into individual cookies. This recipe is meant to be super easy for you, yet still tasty for your friends!

    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 50 minutes
    Serves: 1 1/2 dozen


    2 ½ cups all purpose flour

    2 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

    ½ teaspoon salt

    ½ teaspoon ground allspice

    1 ½ tablespoon ground ginger

    ½ teaspoon ground black or white pepper

    ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

    ¼ cup granulated sugar, plus ½ cup extra for dusting

    ½ cup dark brown sugar

    1 large egg

    1 tablespoon milk

    6 tablespoons molasses


    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

    2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, all spice, ginger and pepper.

    3. In a separate bowl, cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, molasses and milk.

    4. Gradually beat dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 20 minutes.

    5. Divide dough into eighteen (18) 2-inch balls. Place remaining granulated sugar in a bowl and roll each ball through it. Divide the dough balls between the cookie sheets and arrange 4-inches apart. Flatten using the bottom of a glass or other flat surface until dough is 3-inches in diameter. Sprinkle cookies with remaining granulated sugar.

    6. Bake until browned, about 12-15 minutes. Rotate cookie sheet half way through cooking for even browning. Cook for 15-20 minutes before eating.

    Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients.


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  • Wild Rice Chicken Skillet from The Hot Plate

    chicken skillet recipe

    Some nights of the week, when it comes to dinner, I feel like I just kind of throw things together. Mostly it’s because I don’t have a lot of time to plan and just end up using whatever I have in the kitchen. But then there are those nights I really just want to have a delicious and hearty meal. You know that feeling you get when you have worked hard on cooking a meal and when you eat it, it’s awesome? And then it makes you feel relaxed and full all night? That’s the feeling I want at least once a week.

    So I decided to try this Wild Rice Chicken Skillet recipe. It has all the ingredients for a filling meal. With wild rice, tender chicken and some fresh spinach, this meal is also super healthy for you! Not only is this dish healthy and tasty, it’s super simple and quick. Which makes it even better!

    Wild Rice Chicken Skillet is a great way to get your comfort food on without losing any flavour or heartiness! Try this meal for any night of the week and you won’t be sorry!

    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 35 minutes
    Total Time: 40 minutes
    Serves: 4


    3 cups cooked wild rice

    4 skinless boneless chicken breasts

    6 baby Bella mushrooms, cut into six pieces

    2 cups packed baby spinach

    ¼ cup reduced sodium chicken stock

    pinch dried red chili flakes

    ½ cup fat free sour cream

    1 cup part skim shredded cheddar cheese

    ¼ teaspoon salt


    Fresh parsley, for serving


    1. Using an oven safe skillet (all stainless steel), heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear on both sides until golden, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

    2. Add mushrooms to the skillet; stir until softened, about 5 minutes. Deglaze skillet with chicken stock. Stir in spinach, rice, sour cream, dried basil and chili flakes.

    3. Add the chicken breasts back to the skillet, sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

    Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients. 


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  • Lamb Stew from Derek's Kitchen

    rosemary lamb stew

    Nothing beats a warm, stick-to-your-ribs stew on a cold winter's day. This kind of comfort food happens to be my favorite style of cooking. What separates a great stew from a merely good one is not fancy ingredients or fussy plate presentations, but good old-fashioned tender loving care. A hearty stew is a dish where you can really taste the love that went into making it. It's all about taking your time and and enjoying the process as much as the finished product.
    Lamb is a bit of a luxury ingredient, but what's nice about this dish is that you don't need to buy a luxury cut like rack or filet. The best cut for this recipe happens to be one of the cheapest: shoulder. You can either buy a large boneless piece and cube it yourself, or you can buy a package of pre-cut "stewing cubes" that will most likely be shoulder anyway. Either way, you want meat that still has a decent amount of fat left on, because that fat will melt away into the stew, making it rich and flavourful.   

    lamb stew ingredients

    Prep time: 30 minutes. Cooking time: 90 minutes. Serves 5


    2 lbs (907g) boneless lamb shoulder, cubed 
    1/2 lbs (225g) nantais carrots 
    4 branches celery
    1 pound (454g) small potatoes
    1 large onion, peeled & diced
    1 head garlic, halved
    1 medium size celeryroot (celeriac), peeled & cubed
    2 cups (500ml) red wine
    4 cups (1L) beef or veal stock
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    2 branches fresh rosemary
    2 tablespoons fresh chives
    2 tablespoons cornstarch


    1. Season the lamb generously with salt & pepper.  Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot and sautee the lamb and onions until they are nicely browned. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. If you need more space, use a frying pan to saute half the onions & lamb and then transfer it over to the pot when nicely browned. When the meat has fully browned, add a small amount of red wine to the pot to deglaze. Use a wooden spoon to scrap any brown bits off the bottom of the pot because these will add flavour to the stock.

    2. Add the remaining red wine, along with 2 carrots, 2 celery stocks, garlic and rosemary branches, all left whole so that they can be easily removed later. Add the beef or veal stock along with enough water to make sure that the lamb is thoroughly covered. Simmer until the lamb is very tender, but not yet falling apart, about 60 to 90 minutes.

    3. Remove the vegetables from the stock. They have already given their flavour to the stock and are ready to be replaced with fresh veggies that will serve as the accompaniment. Add the potatoes and gently simmer for 20 minutes. Top with water occasionally to make sure everything stays covered. 

    4. Chop the remaining carrots & celery and add to the pot along with the chopped celeryroot. Simmer until the vegetables have just softened, about 10 minutes. Continue to add water as necessary to make sure everything stays covered.

    5. In a small cup, mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water, then pour into the stew. Simmer the stew until the broth is just thick enough to coat a spoon. Season with salt, pepper & fresh chives. 


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