Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Where in the World are the Breast of Friends?

It all started in 2004, when 10 friends from Foam Lake, Saskatchewan channelled their grief and anger around breast cancer into a cookbook fundraiser and awareness campaign. Now, less then 10 years later, these breast friends have published 6 best selling cookbooks, raised $1.4 million in donations, accumulated 70 grandchildren and disseminated tons of cancer awareness.
Their adventure shows no sign of slowing down with Dragons’ Den naming them Game Changers in 2010 and awarding them $50,000 for marketing. In exchange they turned this investment into a donation of $50,000 to cancer causes. This year they won Best Charity Cookbook in Canada from the very prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for their Breast Wishes, For the Men in Our Lives. They then went on to win North America’s Top Charity Cookbook from the same organization beating out cookbooks from Microsoft and Michelle Obama! The award took them to Paris, France and after reading their blog I hope their next book features some of the wonderful food they tasted there!
The inspiration for this cookbook came from their husbands, sons, son-in-laws and grandsons. After many years focused mainly on breast cancer, the group thought it was time to dedicate a book to the men who supported them.  Breast Wishes, For the Men in Our Lives focuses on recipes men would enjoy with sections dedicated to breakfast foods, grilling and snacks! The book and the marketing around it is about raising prostrate cancer awareness.  As men don’t really network about personal things  this cookbook encourages us all to be more aware and includes information on diagnosis, prevention and treatment.
What is next for Breast Friends?  Well – on May 10th in Regina they are sponsoring a InspireHealth Life Program. InspireHealth is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting people who have a cancer diagnosis through seminars and workshops around nutrition, stress relief and exercise.  For more information check out their website at or  The Breast of Friends site also features their blog which is great reading and an online store!

The recipes for this article are all chosen from Breast Wishes, For the Men in Our Lives.  I have written about the Breast of Friends books before in the Western Producer – for fun I have reposted those articles on my blog – Enjoy!

Brie with Candied Walnuts and Blueberries
Very yummy and a great looking appetizer!  Reprinted with Permission: Breast Wishes for the Men in our Lives (2011 - Gateway Publishing).
1 – ½ lb/350 g wheel of Brie cheese
Candied Walnuts:
½ cup walnuts 125 mL
1/3 cup granulated sugar 75 mL
½ tsp. butter 2 mL
Blue Berry Compote:
½ tsp. canola oil 2 mL
½ tsp butter 2 mL
½ small yellow onion, sliced very thinly
1 cup blueberries, fresh and frozen
½ cup water 125 mL
1 Tbsp granulated sugar 15 mL
3 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar 45 mL
1.    For the Brie: Place the Brie on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 350°F (180°) for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven; allow to cool about 10 to 15 minutes. Before serving, top with Blueberry Compote then Candied Walnuts. Serve with crackers.
2.    For Candied Walnuts: Spread walnuts on a plate and microwave on high for 4-5 minutes or until fragrant. Be sure and keep a close eye on them as they will burn very easily. In a heavy bottomed saucepan melt butter and sugar over high heat. Once sugar has dissolved and is bubbling, add walnuts and stir immediately. Working quickly pour walnuts and sugar mixture on wax or parchment paper lined baking sheet and separate walnut pieces. Allow nuts to cool.
3.    For the Blueberry Compote: In a saucepan, over medium heat add canola oil and butter. Add onions and sauté for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and caramelized. Add blueberries, water, sugar and balsamic vinegar and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has been reduced off and the sauce thickens. Set aside to cool.

Balsamic-Glazed Salmon
A quick and easy salmon recipes. I used the leftovers to make the Salmon Salad with Grapefruit! Reprinted with Permission: Breast Wishes for the Men in our Lives (2011 - Gateway Publishing).
1 bunch asparagus
2 Tbsp olive oil 30 mL
2 Tbsp brown sugar or honey 30 mL
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp grainy mustard 15 mL
1 whole salmon fillets
1.    Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Line cookie sheet with parchment or foil. Pour olive oil over foil and coat. Place asparagus on foil and roll to coat in oil. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes.
2.    In a small dish, stir together sugar, vinegar and mustard.  Spread over the fillets to marinate.
3.    After 20 minutes (depending how well done you like your asparagus) remove from pan, (keep warm) and place salmon on foil. Bake 10 minutes per 1 inch (2.5 cm) width of fish. Serve immediately. Note: You could add the salmon to the asparagus in the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Salmon Salad with Grapefruit
A great way to use leftover salmon. The arugula adds a great peppery bit to this salad. I added salt and pepper to the dressing for make the flavours pop.  Reprinted with Permission: Breast Wishes for the Men in our Lives (2011 - Gateway Publishing).
4 salmon fillets
2 tsp canola oil 10 mL
1 cup snow peas 250 mL
4 cups leaf lettuce, washed and dried 1 L
4 cups arugula 1 L
2 avocados, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 red grapefruit, peeled, cut into segments (save juice)
¼ cup grapefruit juice 60 mL
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard 15 mL
1 tsp granulated sugar 5 mL
¼ cup olive oil 60 mL
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped 15 mL
salt and pepper to taste
1.    Cook salmon in canola oil in preheated skillet for 2 to 4 minutes on both sides.
2.    Cook peas in boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water immediately. Divide lettuce and arugula on 4 plates.
3.    Whisk dressing ingredients. Place avocados, grapefruit and peas over greens. Place salmon on top and drizzle with dressing before serving.  

Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo
My daughter loves Alfredo sauce so I was excited to try this one. She loved it.  What is not to love – butter, cream cheese and whipping cream… I used penne noodles cause that is what I had on hand! Reprinted with Permission: Breast Wishes for the Men in our Lives (2011 - Gateway Publishing).
Alfredo Sauce:
½ cup butter 125 mL
2 Tbsp cream cheese 30 mL
2 cups whipping cream 500 mL
2 tsp garlic powder 10 mL
1 Tbsp parsley 15 mL
1 tsp salt 5 mL
pepper to taste
½ cup Parmesan cheese 125 mL

6 chicken breast halves, boneless, skinless, cut into cubes
6 Tbsp butter, divided 90 mL
2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning 15 mL
1 onion, diced
1 – 10 oz/284 mL can sliced mushrooms, drained
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1  - 1 lb/450 g package fettuccini pasta
1.    For the Alfredo Sauce: In a saucepan, melt butter, add cream cheese and stir until melted. Add cream, season with garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.  Simmer for 15 minutes, it will thicken as it simmers. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
2.    In a large skillet, over  medium heat combine chicken, 2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter, 2 cloves garlic and Cajun seasoning. Cook until chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
3.    Place onion and mushrooms into same skillet and cook until golden brown.
4.    Bring large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
5.    Combine chicken mixture, mushrooms and onions and Alfredo sauce. Just before serving toss with Roma tomatoes. Serve over cooked fettuccini.

Asian Sesame Quinoa Salad
I actually took this salad to our family Easter meal and it was a big hit.  I will make it again!! I used ½ regular quinoa and ½ red quinoa which added extra color to the salad.  Reprinted with Permission: Breast Wishes for the Men in our Lives (2011 - Gateway Publishing).
1 cup quinoa 250 mL
2 cups water 500 mL
1 English cucumber , diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 tomato, chopped
1/3 cup green onion, chopped 75 mL
1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted 15 mL
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted 60 mL
2 Tbsp soy sauce 30 mL
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar 30 mL
1 ½ tsp sesame oil 7 mL
2 tsp canola oil 10 mL
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated 10 mL
1 tsp honey 5 mL
1.    In a fine sieve, rinse quinoa under running water. Transfer to medium saucepan and add water. Bring to boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer, covered for 12 – 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Cool.
2.    In large bowl, toss cooled quinoa, cucumber, red pepper, tomato, green onions, sesame seeds and pine nuts. 
3.    In small bowl, whisk, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, canola oil, ginger and honey. Pour over quinoa and vegetables toss well to coat. Serves 8.

Any Berry Lemon Winner Biscuits
Source: Breast Wishes for the Men in our Lives (2011 - Gateway Publishing).
2 cups all-purpose flour 500 mL
1/3 cup granulated sugar 75 mL
2 tsp baking powder 10 mL
½ tsp baking soda 2 mL
¼ tsp salt 1 mL
1 cup lemon or plain yogurt 250 mL
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup butter 60 mL
1 tsp lemon zest 5 mL
1 cup frozen or fresh berries
½ cup icing sugar 125 mL
1 Tbsp lemon juice 15 mL
½ tsp lemon zest 2 mL
In a small bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. In a medium bowl, mix yogurt, egg, butter, lemon zest. Mix wet ingredients well with dry. Carefully fold in berries. Place 1 large spoonful of mixture in well-oiled muffin tins. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for approximately 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Meanwhile, make gale by mixing icing sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest together. Brush on top of warm biscuits. Serve warm.

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