Friday, 31 May 2013

Fettuccine with Spicy Vodka Shrimp and Vegetables

This is from Food and Drink Spring 2001.  Loved the flavour of the shrimp.  If you want to change the pasta to a quinoa that works really well too.

3 tbsp olive oil
750 g large deveined raw shrimp, peeled but with tails left on
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 to 1 tsp chilli pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup vodka
2 small red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into thin strips
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp grated orange zest
375 g fettuccine
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

  1. Place half of the oil in a large non stick heavy skillet and heat over high heat until almost smoking.  Add shrimp, garlic, chilli pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, stirring for about one minute or until shrimp are pink and almost cooked through.  Add vodka and ignite with a match.  Cook, shaking pan, until flames subside.  Transfer shrimp and juices to a bowl.
  2. Add remaining oil to skillet and heat until hot.  Add red pepper and fennel strips and cook, stirring for two minutes or until tender crisp.  Transfer to bowl with shrimp.
  3. Add stock, cream and orange zest to skillet.  Bring to a gentle boil (take care that it doesn't boil over) until sauce has reduced by about half in volume.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Return shrimp and vegetable mixture to skillet and heat through.
  4. Meanwhile cook fettuccine in a large pot of boiling slated water until just tender but firm.  Drain well.  Return to pot.  Toss with shrimp and vegetable mixture and sprinkle with parsley.  Divide among warm pasta bowls or plates and serve immediately.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Squash Corn Soup

The original recipe called for pumpkin, but I went with a butternut squash instead.

8 ears corn, shucked (or 4 cups frozen corn kernels)
2 tbsp vegetable
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp seeded and minced fresh hot chili
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 cups diced, peeled and seeded squash
8 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
4 slices cooked bacon

  1. With a sturdy serrated knife, cut kernels from ears of corn.  Set corn kernels aside.
  2. In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes or until onion is softened but not brown.  Add garlic, ginger, chili and cumin; cook, stirring for 1 minute or until fragrant.  Add squash to pot, stirring to coat with onion mixture.  Add stock and half of corn kernels.  Bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered for 20 to 30 minutes until squash is very tender.  Remove pot from heat and let soup cool slightly.
  3. In a blender (or with a hand blender) blend soup in batches until smooth (I don't like it completely smooth). Return soup to rinsed out pot; stir in remaining corn kernels.  Bring soup to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until corn kernels are tender.  Stir in lemon zest, juice and coriander.  Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.  Ladle into soup bowls and crumble bacon on top.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Roasted Broccoli with Cipollini Onions

I love roasting squash, potatoes and after this recipe broccoli.  Something about roasting really brings the flavour forward.  If you can't find Cipollini Onions (which I couldn't) just use Pearl onions.  From Food and Drink Autumn 2010.

12 cipollini onions
1 bunch broccoli, cut into large florets, stems peeled and thickly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper (I don't salt it)

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add cipollini onions and blanch for 2 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon.  Peel and trim root end.  Add broccoli to pot and blanch for 1 minute.  Drain and refresh with cold water.
  3. Toss broccoli and onions with olive oil and salt and pepper and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, turning once, or until vegetables are tender and browned.
Serves 6 to 8

Monday, 27 May 2013

Quinoa Risotto

There are several varieties of Quinoa out there now and a bit of colour in this dish works well.  We eat a lot of quinoa in our house so this was a nice recipe to try.  From Food and Drink Autumn 2010.

1 cup water
1/2 cup quinoa
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup carnaloni rice
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups hot vegetable, chicken stock or water
2 cups roasted diced squash ***
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp white truffle oil, optional

1/4 cup Parmesan shavings

  1. Place water in a small pot over high heat and bring to a boil.  Add quinoa, cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 12 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender.  Remove from burner and set aside to steam, still covered while preparing rice.
  2. Heat oil in a wide heavy bottom soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add rice and saute until rice is becoming whiter and feels very hot to the touch, about 3 minutes.  Add onion and saute another 2 minutes or until softened.
  3. Add vegetable stock, bring to boil, cover pan and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 12 to 14 minutes or until rice is al dente.
  4. Add squash and quinoa along with another splash of stock if mixture seems dry.  Stir until they are fully incorporated, about 2 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Stir in Parmesan cheese, butter and parsley.  Serve hot with a small drizzle of white truffle oil.  Garnish with shaved Parmesan.
***To roast squash, toss diced squash with 2 tbsp olive oil, place on a baking sheet and roast at 400F for 15 to 18 minutes or until tender and golden, tossing once halfway through cooking.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup

Love the colour and flavour of this soup!   From Food and Drink Autumn 2010.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
3 cups peeled and chopped sweet potatoes
1 tsp chopped ginger
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup red lentils
5 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup whipping cream (I use milk)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup sage leaves

  1. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat.  Add onions and saute for 2 minutes or until they begin to soften.  Add carrots and sweet potatoes and saute for 5 minutes.
  2. Add ginger, chili flakes and cinnamon and saute for 1 minute or until fragrant.  Add lentils and stir to coat with oil.
  3. Add stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables are very soft and lentils have exploded.
  4. Puree soup in a food processor or with hand blender.  Return to pot, stir in whipping cream and season with salt and pepper.  Stir in lemon juice and maple syrup.  Reheat when needed.
  5. For garnish, heat oil in a small skillet over medium high heat and fry sage leaves for 30 seconds or until crisp.  Drain on paper towels.  Place on soup.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Wehani and Barley Red Cabbage Rolls with Cheddar Sauce

I thought this was fabulous.  A new recipe I tried from Food and Drink Autumn 2010.  The Wehani Rice is a red rice that stays somewhat chewy.

1/2 cup Wehani rice
1/2 cup pot barley
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small leek, finely sliced or 3/4 cup diced onion
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne
1 egg
125 g orange cheddar cheese, grated, about 1 1/2 cups
1 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped
1/2 cup lightly packed parsley leaves or spinach, finely chopped (I like the spinach)
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced, about 1 1/2 cups
Kitchen twine
1 large red cabbage
4 tsp white vinegar

125 g orange cheddar cheese, grated, about 1 1/2 cups
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups milk (it calls for 2% or whole but I used 1% and it was fine)
3/4 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1 large sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme or summer savoury
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne
2 to 3 green onions, thinly sliced

  1. Wash rice and barley in sieve under cold running water; drain in sieve.  Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until hot.  Add leek; cook 3 minutes.  Add rice mixture; stir in 1 cup broth, salt and cayenne.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover.  Cook for 30 minutes; mixture is still chewy in texture.
  2. Drain in a sieve for 5 minutes.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl; cool to lukewarm.  Thoroughly mix in egg; stir in cheese, pecans, parsley and tomatoes until combined.  Cut a dozen pieces of twine, each about 12 inches long.
  3. To prepare cabbage, bring a large pasta pot two-thirds filled with water to a boil; add 3 tsp vinegar.  Remove core of cabbage; then plunge whole cabbage into boiling water.  Boil 5 minutes; then begin to remove outer leaves with tongs (or remove whole cabbage from water, briefly cool under running water and remove leaves in batches, returning cabbage to boiling water for another 5 minutes to loosen more leaves).  Stack leaves on a plate; once there are 10 to 12, remove cabbage core from water.  Return stack of leaves; boil another 10 minutes or until lighter in colour and tender.  Drain leaves; rinse under cold running water.
  4. Turn each leaf up side down so rip is prominent.  Shave a bit off the rib where it is thickest; turn over again so it curls upwards.  Fill, placing a generous amount of filling on thickest part of rib (a large leaf can take 3/4 cup filling, medium takes 1/2 cup and small takes 1/3 cup).
  5. Begin to roll from rib, tucking in sides until a neat roll forms.  Tie around middle with string.  Trim twine ends; discard.  Place rolls seam side down and largest on the outside, in an ungreased 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Rolls can be covered and left at room temperature for up to an hour.  (If making ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to a day.  Add 10 to 15 minutes to baking time.)
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F.
  7. Pour 1 1/2 cups broth mixed with 1 tsp vinegar over rolls; snugly cover baking dish with foil.  Bake 45 minutes or until rolls are hot.  
  8. Meanwhile, to make sauce, stir cheese with flour.  Set aside.  Heat milk, salt herbs and cayenne in a medium saucepan over medium heat or in an 8 cup glass measuring cup in microwave.  When just starting to boil, about 5minutes, stir in cheese mixture.  Heat or microwave, stirring frequently until sauce is just starting to bubble and is thickened.  Remove bay leaf and thyme stem.  If mixture seems too thick, stir in additional milk.  (Sauce can be made ahead. Cover with plastic wrap directly on sauce surface for up to a day.  Reheat slowly over medium low heat in a small saucepan or in the microwave on medium power). Stir frequently with a whisk and add more milk as needed to thin sauce.
  9. To serve, drain rolls and place on warmed serving plate; remove strings. Generously nap with sauce and sprinkle with sliced green onions.  Serve with whole grain bread.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Ginger and Lemon Madeleines

This is a lovely recipe from Food and Drink Winter 2013.  The browned butter makes all the difference in the batter, giving it a nutty taste.  I had never heard of Madeleines before and learned that there are special pans you can buy to make them.  I will have to look around and see if I can find a store that supplies them.  These were made with mini muffin tins.

Melted butter and all purpose flour for preparing the pan
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 1/2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
3/4 cup sifted cake flour
1/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Icing sugar for dusting

  1. Brush inside of mini-muffin tins with a thin layer of melted butter.  Dust with all purpose flour, invert pan and tap out excess flour
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until foamy.  Continue heating until the foam subsides and the butter turn a golden brown colour.  Transfer to a bowl to stop the cooking and cool 10 minutes.
  3. Beat eggs and both sugars together in an electric mixer using the whisk attachment.  Continue beating 2 to 3 minutes or just until the mixture is foamy and lightened in colour.  Beat in the grated ginger.
  4. Combine the flour and baking powder, and with the mixer on low speed, add to the egg mixture. Mix just until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  5. Add the brown butter and mix just until the butter is incorporated.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, filling about two thirds full. Refrigerate for 1 hour to firm up the batter.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  8. Place pan in the oven and bake until the cakes are lightly browned and just set, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven, invert pan over a wire cooling rack and tap lightly to release cakes.
  9. For the glaze, stir together the icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth.  Dip the tops of the cakes into the glaze, allowing the excess glaze to fall back into the bowl.  Allow the glaze to firm up and dust the tops with icing sugar if desired, just before serving.  The cakes will keep 2 to 3 days in an airtight container.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Grilled Vegetables

I love veggies on the grill!  Switch up the veggies with your favourite and add some herbs and spice.  You will get a different taste every time.  Try a little bbq sauce on them some time.

Vegetables of your choice cut into large pieces (try to keep the pieces about the same size)

  • onions, zucchini, red onion, red and yellow peppers
Cherry or grape tomatoes
Olive oil
fresh herbs such as basil and oregano

  • Preheat your grill and oil the grates.
  • Place the cherry tomatoes in foil.
  • Chop garlic and place on top of tomatoes, drizzle with oil and add 1 tbsp fresh herbs
  • Place on grill
  • Mix other vegetables in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.  Place on grill and bbq for approx 5 minutes, turning once to get a nice char mark.
  • Place vegetables on plate and top with tomatoes.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Applesauce Spice Muffins

I love the smell of these as they bake.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts
1 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Grease or line 12 large muffin cups and set aside.

In a large bowl cream together butter and brown sugar.  Beat in egg.

Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Combine with chocolate chips and nuts.  Stir these dry ingredients in three parts alternately with the applesauce in two parts into the batter.  Mix only until blended.

Transfer to muffin cups, filling them almost full.  Combine topping ingredients and spoon equally over muffins.  Bake at 375 Degrees for 20 minutes or until well risen and firm to the touch.  Cool on a rack and serve for breakfast or snacks.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Stuffed Fish Rolls

A nice mild fish recipe.  From Food and Drink Autumn 2010

4 Tilapia fillets, each about 175 to 210 g
4 thin prosciutto slices
1 lemon
1/2 cup extra smooth ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 to 2 cups lightly packed sorrel leaves or baby spinach and arugula mixture
Kitchen twine
2 tbsp butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Generously butter or grease an 8 inch square baking or gratin dish that will snugly hold rolls.  With best looking side down, lay fish on paper towels; bat dry.  Lay a prosciutto slice over each, folding prosciutto to fit as needed.
  3. Zest lemon ans squeeze juice; keep separate.  Stir ricotta with pepper. Divide ricotta mixture among fillets; smooth over prosciutto.  Sprinkle with Parmesan.  Top with a layer of sorrel, pressing into cheese.  Cut 8 pieces of twine, each about 16 inches long.
  4. Roll up each fillet from the short end; tie neatly on either side of middle with twine.  Trim twine ends; discard.  Place rolls seam side down in dish.  (Fish rolls can be covered and promptly refrigerated for up to half a day.  Add 10 minutes to baking time).
  5. Melt butter; evenly drizzle over rolls.  Sprinkle with 2 tbsp lemon juice.  Cover dish tightly with foil.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until fish at bend of roll flakes easily when prodded with a fork.
  6. Mix lemon zest with a finely chopped leaf or 2 of sorrel.  Place fish onto warmed serving plates; garnish with zest mixture.  

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin with Apples and Sage

Get the best bacon you can for this…preferably from a will make a huge difference.  From Food and Drink Autumn 2010.

2 large pork tenderloins (or 1 pork loin roast 1 kg)
10 fresh sage leaves very finely chopped or 1 tsp dried rubbed sage
2 to 3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
9 to 10 slices thick cut bacon
Kitchen twine
3 to 4 large apples such as Cortland or Spy
1 large cooking onion
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth or stock

  1. If any silver skin on loins is present cut away and discard.  Sprinkle sage, garlic, salt and pepper all over loins.  Place loins closely together lengthwise, with thick ends meeting thin ends to even out roast thickness.
  2. Lay out slices of bacon snugly together on a cutting board, forming a rectangle.  Place loins across bacon so bacon ends emerge from each side.  Beginning at one end, lift a bacon end up over loins at a 45 degree angle.   Then, alternating sides, continue lifting bacon ends down the length of roast forming a chevron pattern of bacon on top.
  3. Cut five 12 inch lengths of twine and one 30 inch length.  Place 5 shorter lengths of twine under loins widthwise.  Working out from roast centre, firmly (but not causing deep indents to form) tie up each piece of twine, spacing evenly apart.  Then tie up roast lengthwise with longer piece of twine.  Trim twine ends; discard. (Roast can be prepared, covered and refrigerated for up to half a day.  Add 10 to 15 minutes to roasting time).
  4. When ready to roast, preheat oven to 425F.  Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.  Lightly brown roast on all sides, about 15 minutes in total.  Transfer to a baking pan lined with a rack.  Place in oven; set time for 30 minutes.  Check and continue roasting until a meat thermometer reads 145F.  Remove from oven: transfer to cutting board.  Cover roast with foil; let rest 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, peel core and slice apples.  Thinly slice onion.
  6. Drain most of fat from frying pan; place back over medium heat.  Add onion; cook 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Stir in flour; cook 1 minute.  Stir in chicken broth; add apple slices.  Bring to a boil; simmer, covered 5 to 10 minutes or until apples are tender and sauce is lightly thickened.  Add more broth if too thick; keep covered and hot.
  7. To slice pork roast, snip off lengthwise string.  Then slice about 3/4 inch thick removing crosswise strings as they are encountered.  Place a few saucy apples on each warm serving plate, top with a couple of slices of roast and drizzle with more sauce.  Serve with mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Zucchini Fritters with Roasted Tomatoes

These are a good starter and a nice way to present zucchini.  The Roasted Tomatoes are flavourful and work really well with the fritters.  From Food and Drink Autumn 2010.

Roasted Tomatoes
2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Zucchini Fritters
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 eggs
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini, approx 1 zucchini
1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (basil, oregano, tarragon, thyme, parsley and or sage)
Vegetable oil

  • For the roasted tomatoes, preheat oven to 400F.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Combine tomatoes, garlic and oil in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Place, cut side up on baking sheet.  Roast for about 25 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
  • For the zucchini fritters, preheat oven to 300F.  Place an ovenproof cooling rack on a large baking sheet and place in the oven.
  • Combine flour, baking soda, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  In another bowl, using a fork, whisk together eggs and yogurt.  Stir in zucchini and herbs.  Pour over flour mixture and combine with a fork just until evenly moistened.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Pour in a thin layer of oil an swirl to coat pan.  Drop a heaping tbsp of batter for each fritter into pan, being careful not to crowd the pan, and flatten slightly.  Cook for about 3 minutes or until dry around the edges and bottoms are browned.  Flip over and cooked through.  Transfer to rack in the oven.  Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil and adjusting the heat as necessary between batches.
  • Top hot fritters with roasted tomatoes and place on a serving platter.

Friday, 17 May 2013


So simple…these come out very soft, they are not the cake like ones with icing.  Our families favourite!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts…or try toasted almonds

Blend together butter, sugar and vanilla.  Add eggs and beat well.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Gradually blend into egg mixture.  Stir in nuts.  Pour into 9x9 inch greased pan.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Cool and serve.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Easy Peanut Butter Cups

These are delicious!  The whole family will love them.

4 oz white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
12 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped

Line 2 - 12 cup mini muffin pans with paper liners; set aside.  In a microwave safe bowl, combine white chocolate and peanut butter.  Microwave until almost melted, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring halfway through.  Set aside to cool slightly.  Meanwhile, place semi sweet chocolate in another microwave safe bowl.  Microwave, stirring once or twice until almost melted.  2 to 3 minutes.  Dividing evenly, use a spoon to layer semi sweet chocolate and peanut mixture into liners, beginning and ending with chocolate; sprinkle with peanuts.  Place muffin pans in freezer until peanut butter cups are firm, about 15 minutes.  Bring to room temperature before serving.  To store, place in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.  Makes 24.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

A classic the kids will love.  I use vegetable or canola oil for this.

1 cup oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups oatmeal (rolled oats)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 eggs

Mix all dry ingredients together.  Add oil, eggs and chocolate chips and mix.  Flatten out 5 cm balls onto a cookie sheet and bake at 180C for 15 minutes.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Spicy Calamari

A very nice dish with lots of flavour and low on fat.

500 g squid rings
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Salt and Freshly ground pepper to taste (I don't use salt on this)

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes 1 to 2 minutes or until garlic is lightly golden.  Remove garlic with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  2. Add tomatoes, basil and oregano to saucepan.  Bring to boil; add squid.  Reduce heat to low and cook 20 to 25 minutes or until squid is tender, stirring occasionally.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a serving dish and scatter reserved garlic over top.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013


These are so simple…and delicious

3 cups dry unsalted roasted peanuts
300ml can sweetened condensed milk
icing sugar

Finely chop peanuts.  Put in saucepan on low.  Pour in milk and heat and stir until mixture forms a big ball (approximately 10 to 15 minutes).  Remove from heat.  When cool enough to handle roll into small bite size balls and roll in icing sugar.

Skillet Quiche

6 to 8 slices of bacon or ham
3 cups cooked cubed potato
1 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp chives or green onion
6 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Fry bacon in frying pan.  Drain fat.  Add cubed potato, onion and chives.  Cook 5 minutes.  Stir in beaten eggs.  Salt and pepper.  Sprinkle grated cheese over mixture.  Cover and cook over moderate heat for an additional 5 minutes.  Cut in wedges to serve.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Pear and Cranberry Galette with Poire William Sorbet

This is a wonderful dessert…it would work well with apples and walnuts as well if you do not like Pears and Cranberries.  I did not have time to make the Poire William Sorbet but it looks so good that I included it.

From Food and Drink Holiday 2000.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut in 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup cream cheese cut in 1 inch pieces
1 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tbsp lemon juice

6 pears, peeled and diced in 1 1/2 inch chunks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp quick cooking tapioca or flour

1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt
1 tbsp granulated sugar

  1. Place flour, salt, butter, cream cheese and lemon rind in food processor.  With on off motion pulse fats into flour until the size of small peas (I did this by hand with a pastry cutter). Add lemon juice and pulse for a few more turns.  Remove pastry from processor and combine into a ball by hand.  Pastry may seem dry but it comes together when you knead it.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 450F.
  3. Toss together pears, sugar, cranberries, lemon juice and tapioca.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Roll pastry out in 15 inch circle and place on cookie sheet.  Pile fruit mixture onto pastry leaving a 3 inch border.  Press border up over fruit forming a free form shape.  Brush with egg and sprinkle with sugar.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350F and bake 30 minutes longer or until pastry is browned and fruit is bubbling.  Cool.  Serve with Poire William Sorbet.
Serves 8


Because of the high alcohol content, this sorbet has a soft set.  It keeps for at least 2 weeks.

2 cups unsweetened pear juice
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup Poire William

  1. Stir together juice, sugar and water in a pot.  Bring to boil, remove from heat and cool.  Stir in Poire William.  Freeze overnight.  Remove from freezer and add to food processor.  Process until smooth (You could also use a blender or beaters).  Refreeze for at least 4 hours.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Southwest Chicken Pot Pie

A hearty meal for the family and very easy to make.

1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
1 large sweet onion, diced
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
500 ml chicken stock

2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped chipotle pepper
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
2/3 cup butter, melted

Fry chicken in large skillet till no longer pink.  Transfer to plate.  Saute onion, celery and carrot for 5 minutes.  Transfer to plate.  Add butter, melt and add flour.  Cook 2 minutes.  Add stock to make roux. In 9 x 13 inch rectangle dish add above.  Mix all ingredients for cornmeal topping in a bowl and add by spoonfuls on top.  Bake in oven at 375F for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Apricot Chicken

Very sweet…so make sure you have something like some rice/Quinoa to go with it.

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg onion soup mix
1 jar apricot jam
1 small catalina dressing

Combine soup mix, jam and dressing in an oven proof container.  Place chicken in container and cover with sauce.  Bake in oven at 350F for 1 hour, stirring sauce over chicken occasionally.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Shepherd's Pie

A traditional dinner that is easy and the kids will eat.

1 lb hamburger
1 can cream style corn
2 small garlic cloves
5 medium potatoes
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 onion, chopped

Put hamburger in frying pan and cook over medium heat.  Drain fat and when browned mix in cream corn and 1 garlic (crushed).  Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.  Pour into a 9 x 12 inch pan.  Peel potatoes and cut in quarters.  Place in a pot of boiling water and boil until well cooked.  Drain water and mash potatoes with milk, butter and 1 crushed garlic clove.  Spread over meat mixture.  Sprinkle grated cheese over potatoes.  Place in oven at 350 F for 10 minutes.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Super Easy Banana Loaf

1 cup sugar
4 tbsp butter
1 egg
3 bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Mix all ingredients together and bake in a loaf pan at 350F for 1 hour.  Let cool and enjoy!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

3 large bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips

Mash bananas.  (You can use frozen bananas..just thaw them first).  Add sugar and slightly beaten egg. Add melted butter. Add dry ingredients.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Bake for 20 minutes at 375F.  Makes 12 large muffins.  Enjoy!

Banana Crumble Muffins

Another crumble!  This is a great way to use up those bananas that got a little over ripe.

Muffin Batter ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted

Crumble Ingredients
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/3 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter

Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt) together.  In another bowl mix bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter.  Combine the ingredients.  In a small bowl combine all topping ingredients.  Place muffin batter in muffin tin.  Sprinkle with crumble topping prior to baking.  Bake muffins at 375F for 18 to 20 minutes.  Makes 10 muffins.

Apple Streusel Muffins

Really yummy!

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup finely diced apple, unpeeled

Streusel Topping
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda; set aside.  In a small bowl, beat eggs, sour cream and butter.  Add all at once to dry ingredients along with apples.  Stir until just moistened.  Fill well greased muffin tins 2/3 full.

Streusel topping:  Combine ingredients and sprinkle on muffins.  Bake at 400F for 20 to 25 minutes.  Makes 18 muffins

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Soda Bread

Simple and yummy!  Serve fresh with bacon and eggs.

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
Buttermilk (or soured milk)

Mix all dry ingredients into bowl.  Add enough buttermilk to make a wet dough.  Sprinkle flour onto counter.  Place wet dough onto floured surface.  Pat wet dough down into a flat circle.  Flip and flour other side.  Bake in frying pan on medium heat until golden brown, then other side.  Cut into four and brown edges.  Slice in half.  Serve with butter, bacon and eggs.  Great for any big breakfast.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Prosciutto

I really love brussels sprouts…which is funny because when I was younger I wouldn't have touched them.  The original recipe for this asked for pine nuts which are not a favourite in my house so I have omitted them…If you wanted to add them just put 3/4 cup pine nuts into the skillet at the end.

1 1/2 lbs (750 g) brussels sprouts
1/4 cup olive oil
6 slices prosciutto, chopped (bacon would also work well)
Salt and freshly ground pepper (I also didn't use salt…the prosciutto has lots)

  1. Remove root end and core from brussels sprouts, cut in half and thinly slice.
  2. Heat oil in skillet on medium high heat.  Add Prosciutto.  Saute until beginning to crisp.  Add sprouts and saute for 3 minutes.  Cover pan and cook 2 minutes longer or until sprouts are crisp tender.  Season with salt and pepper.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

This recipe has a frosting and I will add it for you, but I prefer it without.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup milk
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease an 8 inch pan and line with parchment paper.  Using electric beaters, cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs gradually, beating after each addition.  Add banana and vanilla; mix.  Dissolve baking soda in milk.  Mix flour and milk alternately.  Add chocolate chips and peanut butter chips.  Mix.  Bake for 1 hour or until cake tester comes out clean.

Frosting:  With electric beaters, mix lemon juice, sugar and butter.  Spread onto cooled cake.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Mushroom Cannelloni

This pasta dish can be used as an appetizer or as a main course.  The recipe calls for Aerie mushrooms, but I am not able to purchase them in my rural town so I just used some mixed wild mushrooms and it was still delicious.  I used fresh lasagne sheets for the pasta.  From Food and Drink Spring 2001.

4 sheets pasta
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped sweet or Spanish onion
4 cloves garlic, chopped
6 cups chopped chanterelle or other wild mushrooms
1 cup dry white wine (enjoy the rest)
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
2 eggs
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup shaved Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped parsley

  1. Cut pasta sheets in 12 4 x 4 inch squares.  Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Add 2 tbsp olive oil.  Stir in pasta sheets and boil for 4 to 5 minutes or until al dente.  Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the sheets sticking together.  Lay sheets on parchment paper.
  2. Add remaining oil to skillet on medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally for 4 to 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes or until tender and slightly coloured.
  3. Pour in wine and stock and cook until all liquid has disappeared, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove mixture from heat and cool.  Combine with breadcrumbs, eggs, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Mix well.
  4. Divide mixture between pasta sheets, using about 3 tbsp filling per sheet.  Roll up.  Place in lightly oiled casserole dish with 1 cup chicken stock, Parmesan and olive oil.  Bake at 350F. covered, for 20 to 25 minutes and serve from the dish.  Dust with parsley before serving. (I also put a little salsa on the top).

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Slice and Bake Almond Crisps

I made these at Easter and they were a big hit!  Make sure you toast the almonds…it is worth it.

1 cup butter softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups toasted chopped unblanched almonds

In large bowl, eat together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla.  Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into butter mixture.  Stir in almonds.  Shape into four 4 inch long logs.  Wrap and freeze for 2 hours or until firm.

Cut into slices about 1/8 inch thick; bake on greased baking sheet in 375F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden.  Remove to rack and cool.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Maple Butter

This doesn't come from a book..but rather a review of some information online.  My husband and I had a bumper crop of maple syrup this year so I decided to try my hand at maple butter.  I remember as a child going to Quebec and buying some.  It is wonderful!  There are a couple of variations, some combine butter and maple syrup and some just use maple syrup.   I just used the maple syrup.

  • Boil syrup to 22 degrees F above the boiling point of water.   This is important because temperatures can fluctuate.
  • Remove from heat, being careful not to disturb the maple syrup and set it on a cement floor in a corner (or kitchen counter) where no one will bump or jar it.
  • Cover with a towel to keep foreign particles out.
  • It is important to note that the slightest jarring or movement while cooling will create sugar crystals in your Maple Butter.
  • Let it cool until room temperature or lower and then stir until it creams. This is quite a workout….be patient…it will happen.
  • Note: A little Maple Butter from a previous batch, mixed in your syrup speeds up the process (at the time of stirring), making the whole process a little faster.
  • Pour into jars or plastic containers. Store in the refrigerator or for longer term storage a freezer is best.