Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Holiday Cocktail

This is so simple and so wonderful!

1 part Carolans Irish Cream (or substitute Baileys)
1 part Frangelico Hazelnut Liquor
Serve over ice or with coffee

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Mini Lentil Cakes

These cakes have the consistency of muffins.  I got the recipe from Food and Drink Early Summer 2014…but I am leaving out the cheese icing…I don't think they need it.  I did put some goat cheese on some of them though and it was very nice.  These are a nice snack for lunch or a side on a dinner plate.

1 cup split red lentils
2/3 cup milk, divided
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs

  1. Place lentils in a bowl and cover with enough cold water to come 2 inches above the lentils.  Soak 4 hours at room temperature or overnight in refrigerator.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray or oil 36 mini muffin cups.
  3. Drain lentils well and place in food processor or blender with 1/3 cup milk.  Pulse until evenly ground and then whirl until pureed.  Melt butter and set aside to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, use a fork to stir flour with baking powder, cumin, sugar and salt.  In another bowl, whisk eggs with remaining 1/3 cup milk, then whisk in melted, cooled butter.  Pour into flour mixture and stir to mix.  Stir in lentil puree.
  5. Immediately spoon just enough batter into each cup to fill three quarters full, about a level tbsp for each.  Bake in centre of oven until cakes are golden and bounce back when lightly tapped, 5 to 18 minutes.  Remove to a rack to cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around cake edges to loosen.  Remove and place on a baking rack to cool.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Roasted Chicken with Pomegranate, Mango Salsa

This is from Food and Drink Holiday 2014 but it was for Halibut.  The mango and pomegranate work really well together.

1 mango, peeled and diced
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup chopped shallots
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp grated lime zest
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp chopped jalapeno pepper
1/4 tsp chili flakes

4 chicken breast, boneless, skinless
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Combine all Salsa ingredients, set aside.
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Saute over medium height in pan with olive oil.  
  4. Place chicken on serving dish with salsa
Serve over Quinoa or Couscous.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Huevos Rancheros

A traditional Mexican breakfast, these eggs are cooked in a fresh tomato sauce and served open faced on corn tortillas with a sprinkle of cheese.  A little bit of hot sauce on it is nice!  From the Foodland Calendar.

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 sweet yellow pepper, chopped
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
pinch each salt and pepper
4 eggs
4 corn tortillas
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
Hot sauce

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and yellow pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper; bring to boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. With the back of a large spoon make 4 wells in sauce.  Break egg into each well.  Reduce heat to medium low or low; cover and cook until eggs are firm, 4 to 6 minutes.
  3. Heat tortillas in microwave on high until warm, about 20 seconds.  Place 1 tortilla on each plate.  Place egg on each tortilla.  Divide sauce over egg, sprinkle with cheese, and coriander, if using.  Serve with hot sauce if desired.
**flour tortillas can be used instead of corn tortillas.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Corn and Onion Flan with Feta Salad

A nice brunch or lunch meal.

3/4 cup corn
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 pie shell pre baked
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 egg
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup diced feta cheese
1 tomato, diced and seeded
1/2 small red pepper, diced
1/2 small yellow pepper, diced
Balsamic vinaigrette

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Placed the corn and onion into the tart shell
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream and eggs and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Gently pour the custard mixture into the tart shell to fill.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until set.
  6. Mix feta, tomatoes, red and yellow peppers together.
  7. Toss with 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette 
  8. Place feta salad on top of each piece of flan on serving plate.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Cheesy Asparagus Frittata

I just love asparagus and it goes so well with egg and cheese.  This is a great breakfast/brunch idea.  The original recipe called for whipping cream and Aioli but I have switched it to a 5% table cream and eliminated the Aioli - I think it still works well.

12 large eggs
1/2 cup table cream 5%
1/2 tsp grainy Dijon or 1 tsp regular Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp butter
1 bunch thin asparagus, trimmed and blanched
150 g good quality cheddar, coarsely crumbled

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Crack eggs in a large bowl.  Add cream, mustard, salt and pepper to egg mixture in a bowl.  Whisk until evenly mixed.  Melt butter in a very large ovenproof skillet set over medium heat, swirling so it coats sides.  Alternatively, coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with butter.  Add asparagus.  If using a skillet, turn asparagus in butter to coat, then cook for 2 minutes.  Pour in egg mixture.  Cook until egg sets slightly on bottom.  If using baking dish, pour in egg and carefully redistribute asparagus as needed.  Scatter cheese overtop.  Bake in centre of preheated oven for 20 minutes until egg is set.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Mango Almond Tart

This is a wonderful rich tart with a cookie base and some great seasonal spices.  From Food and Drink Holiday 2000.

250 g butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 cups ground almonds, toasted
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp stem ginger in syrup, minced
pinch salt
2 eggs, beaten

1 to 2 mangoes, thinly sliced
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup apricot jam

  • With electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and egg yolk.
  • Sift together flour, salt, cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Blend into creamed mixture.  Form into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Lightly flour a board and roll out dough about 1/4 inch thick to fit a 10 or 11 inch tart pan.  Prick with fork.  Place a layer of foil on pastry and fill with dried beans or rice to weight pastry down.  Bake 15 minutes, remove foil and beans and bake a further 10 minutes or until pastry is pale gold.
  • Combine almonds and butter.  Sprinkle in sugar and ginger and mix until mixture is lightened.  Add salt and eggs and combine.  Spread on base of baked pie shell.  Bake 20 minutes or until almond mixture is set.  Cool.
  • Toss mango slices with lime juice.  Fan mango slices over top.  Melt apricot jam and brush top of tart with glaze.
Serves 8

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Curried Squash and Apple Soup

A great soup with a bit of spice!  From Food and Drink Holiday 2000.

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 tsp curry paste
4 cups peeled, diced butternut squash
2 cups peeled chopped green apples
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 tbsp chopped mint

  1. Heat oil in soup pot on medium heat.  Add onions and saute fro 3 minutes or until softened.  Stir in ginger and curry paste.  Saute for 1 minute, add squash and apples and saute for 2 more minutes or until vegetables are coated with spices.
  2. Pour in stock bring to boil and reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer gently for 20 minutes or until vegetables are softened.  Puree soup in batches in food processor or blender.  Return to heat and add coconut milk.  Bring to boil, then simmer for 5 minutes or until flavours are combined.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Stir in mint.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Orchard Mist

A refreshing cocktail I got from Food and Drink Autumn 2011.

To a cocktail shaker, add 1/4 cup cranberries and 1 cup sweet red apples, peeled and chopped, Muddle well.  Fill the shaker with ice and and 1 1/2 oz Calvados, 1/2 oz lemon juice, 1oz simple syrup.  Shake sharply and strain into a goblet filled with crushed ice.  Add a pinch of cinnamon and garnish with apple slices and whole cranberries.

**Simple Syrup:  Combine equal parts sugar and water, bring to boil, stir until sugar has dissolved.  Once cooled, store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Guilt Free Hot Wings

As I was boiling these wings as per the recipe I must admit I was a little skeptical…but thankfully I was wrong.  This is a delicious recipe and because the wings are marinated and simmered in stock they are as fat free as you are going to get.  From Food and Drink Early Summer 2014.

2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup white wine
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 kg chicken wings, wing tip discarded, cut in half
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp hot pepper sauce or to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Combine chicken stock, white wine and garlic in a pot over high heat.  Bring to a boil and and wings.  Turn heat to medium and simmer wings, stirring occasionally for 8 to 10 minutes or until chicken is almost cooked.
  3. Drain chicken wings and place skin side up on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes, turning once or until wings are golden brown and cooked through.
  4. While chicken wings are baking, combine vinegar, mustard, honey, hot pepper sauce and oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve as a dip for wings if desired.
Serves 4

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Mini Maple Cheesecakes with Maple Glazed Hazelnuts

These are simply delicious and I like that they are in small portions.  The cheesecake came out nice and moist.

1/3 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
1 tbsp butter, melted

1 pkg (250g) brick cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp Maple Syrup
2 tbsp greek yogurt
1/2 tsp male extract
1 egg

Maple Glazed Hazelnuts
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
2 tbsp Maple Syrup

Base:  Place paper liners in 8 muffin cups.  In small bowl, combine crumbs and butter.  Divide and press into paper liners.

Filling:  In medium bowl and using electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, sugar, maple syrup, yogurt and maple extract until smooth.  Add egg; beat on low speed until combined.  Divide among muffin cups.  Bake in 350F oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until filling is set and slightly puffed.  Let cool on wire rack in pan.  When cool, refrigerate covered for at least 2 hours.

Maple Glazed Hazelnuts:  In small skillet over medium heat, stir chopped Hazelnuts until toasted and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in maple syrup; increase heat to high and cook, stirring constantly until nuts are glazed and most of the syrup is absorbed, about 1 minute.  Transfer to parchment paper-lined plate; let cool completely.  Break any hazelnuts apart that stick together.  Break apart and use to garnish cheesecake.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Southern Style Pulled Pork Pies with Buttermilk-Chive Biscuits

This can be made in individual servings or in a large casserole.  I chose the casserole as I didn't have enough individual dishes.  From Food and Drink Autumn 2011.

1.25 kg boneless pork shoulder roast
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 cups canned diced tomatoes
1 cup water
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup molasses
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed and drained
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp table salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
3/4 cup buttermilk (or soured milk)
Additional buttermilk for glaze

  • For filling, preheat the oven to 325F and adjust oven rack to lower middle position. 
  • If pork is enclosed in a net bag, remove bag and tie pork with string to make a compact roast.  Pat pork dry and season generously all over with salt and pepper.  In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium high heat.  Add pork to pot and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, turning often until browned on all sides.  Remove pork from pot and set aside on a large plate.
  • Add more oil to pot if necessary and reduce heat to medium.  Add onion to pot and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often, until softened and golden brown.  Add garlic chili powder, paprika, cumin and cayenne and cook, stirring for 30 seconds or until fragrant.  Add tomatoes, water, vinegar, molasses and Worcestershire sauce to pot.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pot.  return pork to pot, along with any juices that have accumulated on plate.  Cover pot tightly and transfer to oven.  Cook for 30 minutes.
  • Reduce temperature to 300F and cook for 1 hour more.  Turn pork over and cook for a further 1 1/2 hours or until pork is very tender.
  • When pork is ready, remove from the pot and set aside on a large cutting board.  Tent loosely with foil and let rest for 15 minutes.
  • With a large spoon, skim any fat from sauce in pot.  Boil sauce over medium high heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced to about2 cups.  Remove from the heat.
  • Snip strings on pork and remove.  With 2 forks, shred pork finely, discarding any visible fat.  In a large bowl, stir together pork, corn, parsley and reduced sauce.  SEason with more salt and pepper if necessary.  Divide pork mixture among six 2 cup individual baking dishes or into large casserole.  
  • For buttermilk biscuits, preheat the oven to 425F.
  • Put flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor.  Pulse once or twice until combined.  Add butter and pulse about 10 times or until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  tip flour mixture into a medium bowl and stir in chives.  Add buttermilk and mix lightly with a fork just until dough holds together and no dry spots remain.
  • Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly.  Divide dough into 6 even sized balls.  Flatten each ball to 1/2 inch thickness and put  1 on top of each pie or all 6 in the casserole.  Brush biscuits with additional buttermilk.  Put on large baking sheet.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until biscuits have risen well and are golden brown and pork mixture is bubbling.
Serves 6

Monday, 24 November 2014

Fragrant Chicken and Mushrooms

From Food and Drink 1999 here is a great fall dish.

1.5 kg chicken cut in 8 pieces
3 tbsp flour, season with salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 5ps dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 1-inch piece orange peel
2 cups dry red wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp brandy
12 small button mushrooms, sauteed in butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped parsley

  1. Trim fat from chicken and coat lightly with seasoned flour.  Heat oil in skillet on medium heat.  Add chicken in batches and fry 3 to 5  minutes each side or until golden.  Remove from skillet.  
  2. Add garlic cloves, onions and carrots and fry until onions begin to turn colour, about 3 minutes.  Stir in thyme, bay leaf and orange peel.  Pour off any fat.
  3. Add wine, stock, tomato paste and brandy to skillet.  Bring to boil, and cook 3 minutes.  Return chicken to skillet.  Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.  Add mushrooms and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer, or until juices are clear.
  4. Remove chicken and vegetables and keep warm.   Raise heat to high and reduce stock for 3 to 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Season well with salt and pepper and pour over chicken.  Sprinkle with parsley.
Serves 4

Friday, 21 November 2014

Baked Sticky Wings with Asian BBQ Sauce

The original recipe called for deep frying but I prefer the oven baked.  These are mildly spicy and were enjoyed by the whole family.

2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
2 tbsp Thai Chili Sauce
1 tsp Curry paste
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp peeled and minced ginger
1 green onion, thinly sliced
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp sesame oil

1 kg chicken wings, wing tip discarded, cut in half
1 cup rice flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinch Cayenne powder
Vegetable oil

  • Combine all Sauce ingredients in a medium pot over high heat.  Bring to boil, remove from heat immediately and let cool.
  • Take 1/4 cup of mixture and toss with wings.  Reserve remaining sauce.  Marinate for 2 to 4 hours.  Remove wings from marinade.  Discard marinade.
  • Season rice flour with salt and pepper and cayenne.  Toss wings with flour mixture.
  • Place on parchment paper lined tray in oven at 400F for 20 -25 minutes.  Turning once.
  • Bring remaining sauce to a boil in medium saucepan.  Remove from heat and toss with wings.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Apricot Tart

I made this for my husband and I last week.  It is a fresh tasting flavourful cocktail, perfect for a brunch.  Use fresh lemon juice as the concentrate is not a good substitute.  From Food and Drink Summer 2011

To a cocktail shaker filled iwth ice, add the juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 tbsp apricot jam, 4 ton basil leaves and 1/2 oz simple syrup.  Shake vigorously and strain into a Champagne flute or coupe and top with a sparkling white wine.

Serves 1 (so double it!)

Simple Syrup
Combine equal parts sugar and boiling water and stir until sugar has dissolved.  Once cooled, store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Salmon Fillets with Umami Relish

Another great Salmon recipe!  Simple and robust with flavour.  From Food and Drink Early Summer 2014.

4 salmon fillets (each 175 g)
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp chopped anchovies
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil

  1. Brush all sides of salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Whisk together Parmesan, tomato paste, anchovies, soy sauce and oil.
  3. Preheat grill to high.
  4. Place fillets skin side down on grill, close lid and grill for 7 to 9 minutes or until still slightly pink in the centre.  Grill a few minutes longer to completely cook through if desired.
  5. Place on 4 serving plates and brush over umami relish

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Bangkok Lemonade

From Food and Drink Summer 2011.  This is a refreshing lemonade with a tropical flavour.

Add 1 stalk chopped lemon grass, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 oz simple syrup (recipe follows) and 1 1/2  oz white rum to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake sharply and strain into a tall glass filled with ice.  Top with coconut water and garnish with an additional stalk of lemon grass and a wedge of lemon.

Serves 1

Pitcher size:
To a large pitcher filled with ice, add 3/4 cup lemon juice, 1 cup lemon grass syrup (recipe below) 5 cups coconut water and 1 cup white rum.  Garnish individual glasses with a stalk of lemon grass and a wedge of lemon.

Combine equal parts sugar and boiling water and stir until sugar has dissolved.  Once cooled, store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup simple syrup with 6 stalks of finely sliced lemon grass.  Bring to a boil, remove from heat and allow to cool.  Strain and reserve syrup.  Discard the lemon grass.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Garam Masala

This is a wonderful and versatile blend of spices.  Translated it means "hot spices" but this mixture is more fragrant than hot.  You can buy Garam Masala in your grocery store but fresh is always better!  From Food and Drink Holiday 2000.

2 tbsp cardamom seeds
2 3-inch cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp whole cloves
3 tbsp black peppercorns
1/2 cup cumin seeds
1/2 cup coriander seeds

* Place all spices in a dry skillet over medium heat.  Cook stirring frequently until they darken slightly and smell fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove from heat immediately.

* Place in coffee grinder and grind until powdery.  Cool and store in an airtight jar for up to 6 months.

Makes about 1 1/4 cups

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The Colada Mojito

This is more suited to warmer weather…but if you crank up the heat and put on some summer music you can pretend you are on the beach.  From Food and Drink Summer 2014.

To a blender, add 1 cup ice, 1 1/2 oz spiced rum, 2 oz margarita mix, 2 oz pina colada mix and 5 mint leaves, torn.  Blend until slushy.  Pour into a Colada glass and garnish with a pineapple spear and a mint sprig.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Marinated Vegetables

This is nice as a side dish or included in a burger or sandwich…From Food and Drink Summer 2011.

6 cups bite size vegetables such as carrots, sweet red pepper, cauliflower and broccoli florets, quartered mushrooms and green beans
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
2 tbsp water
1 shallot, minced
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

  • Cut vegetables in various shapes, keeping all pieces bite size.  Keep hard vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower and green beans separate.
  • Combine vinegar, water, shallot, sugar and slat in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Add carrot and cauliflower; cover and cook for a minute.  Add green beans; cover and cook for a minute more.  Take off heat.  Stir in black pepper.
  • Pour hot mixture, including liquid, over pepper, broccoli and mushrooms ina  large mixing bowl. Drizzle with oil; toss.  Salad keeps well at room temperature for a couple of hours.  Or cover and refrigerate until needed, up to 2 days.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Spiced Nuts

This recipe can be made several months ahead and stored in the freezer and will keep well for a week in an air tight container in the refrigerator.  The recipe is not too spicy…you could always add a little hot sauce if you felt the need to add some heat.  From Food and Drink Holiday 2000.

2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried leaf oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup each pecan halves, macadamia nuts, blanched almonds and cashews about 500 g (mix in whatever your favourites are)

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  In a large bowl, stir butter with Worchestershire, sugar and spices until mixed.  Add nuts and mix well until evenly coated with spice mixture.
  2. Turn onto a baking sheet, spread to form a single layer.  Bake in oven 8 to 10 minutes stirring 3 to 4 times during baking.  Turn into a bowl, taste and adjust seasoning.  

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Beef Dairy Casserole

The family loved this one!  From Company's Coming.

500 g Ground Beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 cup milk
250 g cream cheese, softened
284 ml condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups kernel corn
1/4 cup chopped pimiento
2 cups cooked noodles
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine beef, onion and cooking oil in frying pan.  Scramble fry until meat is browned.  Drain off any fat.  Spoon meat into 2.5 litre casserole.  Set aside.

Combine milk with cheese in medium size bowl.  Blend on low until smooth with hand mixer.

Add soup, corn, pimiento, nootles salt and pepper to milk and cheese mixture.  Stir.  Pour all into casserole, stirring to distribute through meat.  Bake in 350 F oven for 40 minutes.

Serves 4

Friday, 24 October 2014

Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes

A different take on mashed potatoes.  Roasted garlic always makes mashed potatoes taste better and I am also a big fan of goat cheese.  From Food and Drink Autumn 2011.

1.5 kg Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
1 cup milk
1 cup soft goat cheese
1/4 cup roasted garlic puree
1/2 cup butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Cut potatoes in even size chunks and place in cold salted water.  Bring to boil and boil until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Drain well, return potatoes to pot and place on turned off burner to dry.
  2. Mash potatoes with a potato masher or whisk.  Whisk in enough milk to make a thick puree, together with goat cheese, roasted garlic and butter.  Season well with salt and pepper.
Serves 8

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Deep Fried Olives

This was my first attempt at these (actually made them with my daughter and her boyfriend) and I thought they turned out well.  I used a goat cheese…because I love goat cheese.  They were a little fussy but turned out rather well.  The recipe is from Food and Drink Autumn 2011.  These are great for any get together.

8 oz pitted large green olives

125 g Brebis or soft feta or goat cheese
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
Pinch dried thyme
Pinch smoked Spanish paprika
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (the finer the crumbs the better these will turn out)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
Olive oil for frying

  1. Combine cheese, grated lemon rind, thyme, Spanish paprika, salt and pepper.
  2. Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan in a separate dish.
  3. Use a butter knife to fil cavity of each olive with cheese mixture.  Roll olives in flour seasoned with salt and pepper, dip in egg and rollin bread crumb-Parmesan mixture.
  4. Add enough olive oil to fill pan 1/2 inch deep, heat to 350 F.  Fry olives a few at a time for 30 seconds, turning as needed or until golden.  SErve hot.
Serves 4 to 6

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Salmon Fillets with Herb Vinaigrette

Sometimes simple is best and I believe that is the case for this Salmon recipe.  I started barbecuing salmon this year and I love it!  I am not a big fan of fish but have really enjoyed the flavour of fish over the bbq.  The herb vinaigrette enhances the salmon and I used leftover vinaigrette on my salad for work lunches.  Feel free to experiment with the herbs for the vinaigrette..substituting Basil or thyme or whatever you have on hand.  From Food and Drink Summer 2014

4 salmon fillets
2 tsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped chives
2 tbsp grainy mustard
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 cups torn, mixed lettuce

  1. If your salmon has skin, rub the skin side with vegetable, otherwise rub both sides with oil.
  2. Combine oregano,parsley, chives, grainy mustard, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar.  Whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Remove one quarter of mixture and brush over salmon fillets.  Reserve remainder.
  3. Preheat grill to high.  Place fillets, skin side down, on grill, close lid and grill for 7 to 9 minutes or until still slightly pink in the centre.  Grill a few minutes longer to completely cook through if desired.
  4. Toss lettuce with remaining vinaigrette, add 1 tbsp at a time until just coated.  With tongs place on 4 plates.
  5. Remove fillets from grill.  Place on salad.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Soup

I always love sweet potato, this is just another great way to use it.  From Readers Digest November 2013.

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup onions, chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced (about 2 cloves)
2 cups Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
5 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp each salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh parsley or basil for garnish, chopped

  • In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Cook the onions and garlic for 5 minutes or until the onions begin to brown (I always add the garlic later - when the onions are almost done - as it can burn and then taste bitter). 
  • Stir in the potatoes, stock, basil, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  
  • In a food processor or blender, puree the soup with the milk.  Serve sprinkled with the basil.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup

A nicely flavoured soup great for the fall and winter.  From Readers Digest 2013.

8 plum tomatoes, halved
6 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 tbsp spelt flour

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  In a medium bowl, toss tomatoes and whole cloves of garlic with olive oil, then add salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer into a large baking dish.  Roast tomatoes for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove dish from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
  2. Melt 2 tbsp of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat  Add the onion and rosemary and saute until onion is translucent.  Add broth and roasted tomatoes and garlic.  Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Working in batches, transfer soup to a blender and puree.  Return soup to the saucepan set over low heat.  In a small frying pan, melt remaining 1 tbsp of butter over low heat.  Add flour and whisk continuously until blended to make roux.  Add roux to the soup, combine well and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Simmer uncovered for 3 more minutes.  Serve topped with  croutons.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Firecracker Fish Sandwiches with Green Mango Salsa and Greens with Blueberry Vinaigrette

This recipe is amazing on so many levels.  I have never made a Blueberry Vinaigrette before and I was pleased with how easy it was to do and the wonderful flavour of the Vinaigrette.  I had some left over and used it on my lunch salads.  The rub worked great on the fish and again there is still some left over so I have been also using it on chicken.  The salsa is a great contrast to the rub and it can also stand on its own.  This is from Food & Drink Summer 2011.

1 tbsp salt
1 tsp each of granulated sugar, freshly ground black pepper, paprika, cayenne, dried thyme and dried oregano
2 tsp each of chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder and onion powder

3/4 cup blueberries, divided
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp granulated sugar
Pinches of salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small head romaine, torn
90-125 g feta cheese, crumbled

1 medium to large underripe mango, peeled and julienned
3/4 cup julienned red onion
3/4 cup seeded and diced tomato
1/2 large lime, juice and zest
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp vegetable oil

4 tilapia fillets or other white fish fillets
3 to 4 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 Italian rolls, each about 6 to 8 inches long
3 to 4 romaine lettuce, shredded
1/4 cup chopped coriander

  1. Stir rub ingredients together; store in an airtight jar, out of the light for up to several weeks.
  2. Measure 1/4 cup blueberries into a small mixing bowl.  Mash with a fork.  Add vinegar, sugar and salt; set aside for 30 minutes or more at room temperature.  Then strain through a fine strainer, discarding solids.
  3. Whisk 2 tbsp blueberry vinegar with oil.  (Cover and refrigerate remaining blueberry vinegar for another time.) Toss with romaine just before serving.  Scatter salad with remaining blueberries and feta.
  4. Toss mango with red onion and tomato.  Stir lime juice and zest with sugar, salt, garlic and oil.  Drizzle over mango mixture; stir well.  Set aside to develop flavours for 30 minutes at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to half a day (bring to room temperature before serving).
  5. When ready to serve sandwiches, sprinkle each side of fillet with 1/2 tsp rub.  Heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat until very hot.  Dip each fillet into flour; shake off excess.  Fry each coated fillet for 3 to 4 minutes per side, using more oil as needed, or until a fork separating fish flakes shows centre to be opaque.
  6. Meanwhile, line rolls with shredded lettuce.  Top with hot fish, cutting to fit as needed, and a heap of the mango salsa.  Sprinkle with coriander.  Serve with salad.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Grilled Chicken Satays with Late Harvest Peach Dipping Sauce

A really simple recipe that is great for summer grilling.  From Food and Drink Summer 2011.

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
24 wooden skewers, soaked in warm water for at least 1 hour

2 shallots, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 red chili, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp chopped ginger
1/2 tsp each ground turmeric and cumin
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup late harvest wine
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup peeled and sliced peaches
Cilantro and roasted almonds, chopped

  1. Slice chicken into thin strips.  Place in large bowl; set aside.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine shallots, garlic, chili, ginger, turmeric, cumin, soy sauce, wine and vegetable oil.  Blend until smooth.  Pour half of the mixture over the chicken.  Stir until well combined, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
  3. Add peaches to remaining marinade and process until combined.  Transfer to bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
  4. Thread chicken onto wooden skewers.  Grill over medium high heat until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.  Serve immediately with peach dipping sauce and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and chopped roasted almonds.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Sesame Grilled Baby Bok Choy Salad

Love this grilled salad.  The toasted sesame and orange flavours blend well and the grilled bok choy is a new favourite for me.  From Food & Drink Summer 2011.

1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp dry mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 baby bok choy, about 750 g
250 g snow peas, trimmed
8 red radishes, halved and thinly sliced
8 large leaves curly leaf lettuce

  1. Whisk together orange juice, vegetable oil, sesame oil, mustard 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a measuring cup.
  2. Heat barbecue to medium.
  3. Trim ends and any tough outer leaves from bok choy.  Cut in half lengthwise and place in a large bowl.  Pour in 1/4 cup of the dressing and toss to coat.  Grill turning once, for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until grill marked and starting to get tender.  Return to bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leat steam for about 10 minutes or until tender crisp.
  4. Meanwhile, blanch snow peas in a large pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes or until bright green and tender crisp.  Drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water; let stand until chilled.  Drain and pat dry.
  5. Just before serving, drain any accumulated liquid from bok choy and cut each half in half again lengthwise.  Return to bowl and add snow peas and radishes.  Pour in remaining dressing and toss to coat.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Tear leaf lettuce into bite size pieces and arrange on a platter.  Arrange bok choy mixture on top and drizzle with dressing remaining in bowl.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Brined Smoked Salmon with Potato Salad and Green Tartar Sauce

This recipe was fabulous.  I made a couple of changes to the original from Food and Drink 2014 recipe by only soaking it for about half the time in the brine and using skinless salmon.

1/3 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup hot water
3 cups cold water
2 bay leaves
6 peppercorns
4 pieces salmon fillet (I used skinless)
2 tsp vegetable oil

1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup minced celery
1 tbsp chopped capers
1 tbsp chopped green onion
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped chervil
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp lemon juice
Pinch cayenne
Salt to taste

250 g mini gold potatoes
250 g mini brown potatoes
250 g mini purple potatoes

  1. Add salt and sugar to hot water and stir until dissolved.  Stir in cold water, bay leaves and peppercorns.  Place salmon in a baking dish.  When liquid is cool, pour over salmon.  The fish should be submerged in the brining liquid.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Remove salmon from brine and pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Preheat grill to high.  Add smoking packages (wrap 2 cups wood chips in foil. Poke holes in foil and add to barbecue before you reduce heat.) Turn off 2 burners and reduce heat to 225 to 275 F.
  3. Rub the salmon with vegetable oil.  Place on the side of the grill that is turned off.  Close lid and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until white juices begin to appear.  Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.  
  4. Combine all the tartar sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and reserve.
  5. Bring potatoes to a boil in a large of of salted water.  Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 15 min.  Drain and let cool.  Slice potatoes in half and then mix with 1/3 cup tartar sauce.  
  6. Serve cold or hot.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Baby Greens, Steak and Tomatoes with Chimichurri

So simple and so tasty.  From a recipe in Food and Drink Summer 2011.  Chimichurri is a sauce from South and Central America that combines fresh herbs and jalapeno. It is great on steak, pork and chicken.

1 tsp minced jalapeno pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
4 tsp sherry or red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp each coarsely chopped packed Italian parsley and coriander
4 cups lightly packed baby greens (I like baby spinach)
Thinly sliced leftover grilled steak (about 1/2 strip loin)
1 yellow or orange pepper, thinly sliced into strips
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 pkg (113 g) creamy herbed goat cheese, crumbled

  1. If jalapeno is not spicy add a few of the seeds too.  Place in a small bowl along with the garlic, salt, pepper, vinegar and oil.  Whisk together, then stir in herbs.
  2. Place greens in a large bowl.  Add steak, yellow pepper and cherry tomatoes.  Toss with dressing.  Sprinkle with goat cheese, then toss gently.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Honey Roasted Apricots, Chilled Icewine Sabayon and Linzer Cookies

This takes a  bit of work to prepare but it is worth it!  There were also lots of the linzer cookies left over and everyone was happy about that.  I didn't get icewine but used a Riesling and it worked out well.  Based on a recipe from Food and Drink 2014

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup ground almonds, lightly toasted
1/3 cup ground hazelnuts, lightly toasted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves

6 tbsp honey
3 tbsp water
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 vanilla bean
12 fresh apricots cut in half and pits removed

4 egg yolks
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup icewine or late harvest Riesling
2/3 cup whipping cream

  1. For the linzer cookies, preheat the oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Cream butter and all the sugar together in an electric mixer using the paddle attachment.
  3. Continue beating until the mixture is smooth and light.  Add the egg and yolk, then the vanilla and continue beating scraping down the bowl 1 or 2 times.
  4. Combine the flour, ground nuts, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cloves in a separate bowl and with the mixer on low speed, add to the butter mixture.  Increase the speed to medium and beat until combined.
  5. Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain tip.  Pipe the dough in 2 inch lengths, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or just until golden.  These cookies freeze well.
  7. For the honey roasted apricots, combine the honey, water and lemon juice in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the honey mixture.  Add the vanilla pod.
  8. Place the apricot halves in the dish and toss gently to coat with the liquid.
  9. Arrange cut side up and roast in 350F oven, brushing occasionally with the juices until tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
  10. For the sabayon, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and wine in a medium stainless steel bowl.  Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.  Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick and hot to the touch, about 3 minutes.  Set the bowl in another bowl filled with ice water, whisking occasionally until cool.
  11. Whip the cream to stiff peaks in a separate bowl, then fold into the egg mixture.  Refrigerate until serving.  The sabayon should be prepared the same day.
  12. To serve, place 2 apricot halve in the bottom of each serving bowl.  Top with sabayon, then another apricot half.  Finish with another spoonful of sabayon.  Place cookies on the side and serve.
Serves 8

Friday, 26 September 2014

Dumplings with Crispy Sage and Sherry Brown Butter

I could make this a whole meal!  Another recipe that makes me glad I try new things.  Based on a recipe from Food & Drink Winter 2012.

2 medium sweet potatoes, totalling 500g
8 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
70 g goat cheese
1 tsp salt1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
30 wonton wrappers
1 egg white, lightly beaten
18 fresh sage leaves
3 thin slices prosciutto torn into 1 inch shreds
3 tbsp sherry vinegar

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Pierce potatoes with a fork; place on a baking sheet.  Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until very tender and soft.
  3. Peel sweet potatoes and mash in a bowl.  Melt 2 tbsp butter and combine with sweet potato, cheese, salt, pepper and spices.
  4. Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with plastic wrap and a moist paper towel to keep them from drying out) brush edges of wrapper with egg white.  Spoon a scant 1 tbsp potato mixture into centre of each wrapper and press edges together to seal, forming a triangle.  Make sure all air pockets have been pushed out or dumplings will burst when boiled.  Trim dumplings if edges are uneven.  Repeat, filling and sealing dumplings with remaining wonton wrappers. Cover dumplings with plastic wrap and chill until ready to cook.
  5. Melt remaining butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.  When butter stops foaming, add sage leaves and fry until crisp but still green, about 1 1/2 minutes.  Transfer sage to paper towel to drain.  Increase heat and fry prosciutto until crisp, about 3 minutes.  Drain and crumble.
  6. Reduce heat to medium and continue heating butter until it turns brown; about 3 minutes.   Keep butter warm over low heat while cooking dumplings.
  7. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add 15 dumplings to pot at a time and cook 2 minutes; dumplings will float to top of water when done.  Drain well and transfer to a lightly greased platter and keep warm.  Repeat procedure with remaining dumplings.
  8. When all dumplings are cooked, increase heat to high to warm brown butter.  After 60 seconds remove pan from heat, add sherry vinegar and cover with lid to contain sputtering.  When pan stops sputtering, season sauce with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  Serve dumplings with a drizzle of hot brown butter sauce and garnish with crumbled prosciutto and crispy sage leaves.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Peameal Bacon on a Bun

A Canadian sandwich!  Use Ontario cheddar to make it extra special.  From Food and Drink Summer 2011.

Bourbon Mustard
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
1 tbsp bourbon
2 tsp brown sugar

Corn Relish
1 cup cooked corn
1 cup seeded and chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped yellow pepper
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tbsp chopped jalapeno pepper
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tbsp vegetable oil
8 to 16 slices peameal bacon
1 tbsp bourbon mustard

4 kaiser buns warmed
1 1/2 cups shaved jalapeno Gouda
4 crisp lettuce leaves

  • Combine mustard, bourbon and sugar in a small bowl and stir until uniform.  Reserve.
  • Combine corn, tomatoes, peppers, onions and jalapeno peppers in a food processor and process until chunky or chop together by hand.  Stir in sugar, cider vinegar and olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Working in batches, add vegetable oil and bacon to pan and cook for 1 minute or until lightly browned.  Brush with bourbon mustard and turn bacon slices over.  Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer or until underside is browned and bacon is cooked through.
  • Spread each bun with bourbon mustard.  Top with peameal, cheese and corn relish.  Finish with lettuce.  Cut in half before serving.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Pepper Crusted Salmon

I really like using Maple Syrup with Salmon, the natural sweetness of the syrup really seems to go well with the fish in this dish.  Since we make our own syrup I enjoy finding recipes that use it.  Based on a recipe from Food and Drink 2012.

2 tbsp Maple Syrup
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 salmon fillets
1/8 cup fresh coarsely ground pepper
2 tsp canola oil

In a shallow dish, combine maple syrup, soy sauce and garlic.  Place salmon fillets in marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

Place ground pepper on a large plate.  Remove salmon from marinade and firmly press fillet into pepper.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over high heat.  Place Salmon in pan, reduce heat to medium and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily when tested with fork.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Pea Falafel Sliders with Curried Mango Chutney

This recipe is a good example of why I try new things.  I wasn't hopeful that this would be a great dinner…especially for the kids…but I was wrong.  This has amazing flavour and texture and every bit was eaten! Based on a recipe from Food and Drink Magazine

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1 small ripe but firm mango, finely chopped
1 small red chili, seeds and veins removed, finely chopped
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 cloves garlic
4 green onions, roughly chopped
1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves
3 cups cooked and cooled peas
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil

12 slider buns, toasted

Pea sprouts to garnish

  1. To make chutney, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium low and cook onion until translucent, about 3 minutes.  Stir in curry powder and turmeric, cook for 30 seconds.  Add mango, chili, vinegar, sugar and salt.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until mango is very tender but not yet broken down.  Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
  2. For the falafel, whisk together flour and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl; set aside.  Combine garlic, green onion, mint and cilantro in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until herbs are roughly chopped.  Add peas, cumin, coriander and salt.  Process until peas are finely chopped with some texture remaining.  Turn out into bowl containing flour mixture and stir to combine; refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Form into 12 patties, about 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and fry patties for 2 minutes per side or until browned and crisp.  Place 1 patty on each bottom bun, top each with a generous spoonful of chutney, pea sprouts and bun tops; serve while hot and crunchy.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Double Chocolate Cookies

These are rich and moist!  A really yummy and easy cookie.

2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup Cocoa
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips

  • Heat oven to 350F.
  • Stir together flour cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until fluffy.  Gradually add flour mixture, beating well.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes or just until set.  Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Coll completely.  About 4 1/2 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Beef and Corn Bake

This is extremely easy and family friendly.  I browned the beef and cooked the onion in my cast iron pan, added the ingredients and the popped it in the oven.

1 tbsp cooking oil
1 kg ground beef
1 onion, chopped finely
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
2 x 284 ml condensed tomato soup
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tbsp ketchup
2 cups cooked noodles (I like the swirly ones)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Place oil in pan and heat over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until soft.  Add ground beef, stirring to break up meat as it browns.  Drain off and discard fat.  Add corn soup, pepper and ketchup.  Stir to mix with meat.

Prepare noodles according to package directions.  Drain.  Combine with all ingredients in pan.  If pan is ovenproof sprinkle grated cheese on top and bake at 350F for 45 minutes.  If pan is not ovenproof, place in a casserole, sprinkle with cheese and bake.

Serves 6 to 8

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Chewy Chocolate Brownies with Icing

The kids devoured these rich chewy brownies.  I did not put cocoa powder in the icing…for a vanilla icing…but either choice will work.

1 cup butter
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 1/2 cups sugar
5 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour

6 tbsp butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 2/3 cup confectioners sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375F.

In small saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat.  Stir until mixture is smooth.  Remove from heat and cool 10 minutes.

In large mixer bowl, beat sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt.  Fold in chocolate mixture, then gradually add flour.  Pour into greased 9 x 13 inch pan.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes.  Cool completely then frost.

For icing:  cream butter in small mixer bowl.  Add cocoa and confectioners sugar alternately with milk. Beat to spreading consistency (add a tablespoon of milk if necessary).  Blend in vanilla.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

A different peanut butter cookie!  The whole family enjoyed these treats.

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup quick cooking oats

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together shortening, butter, brown sugar, white sugar and peanut butter until smooth.  Beat in the eggs one at a time until well blended.  Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture.  Mix in the oats until just combined.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven or until just light brown.  Don't over bake.  Cool and store in an airtight container.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

White Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts
1 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.  Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture.  Mix in the Hazelnuts and white chocolate.  Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Strawberry Shortcake

This s a lighter version of the traditional Strawberry Shortcake. I liked the use of a strawberry sauce.  Use a vanilla bean like the recipe suggests in the sauce…it is so much better than vanilla extract.  I used Turbinado sugar instead of brown sugar.  Based on Food & Drink Early Summer 2014 recipe.

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1/3 cup loosely packed Turbinado sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Finely grated rind of 1 orange
1 tbsp demerara sugar
Icing sugar for dusting

500g fresh strawberries, quartered
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp water
1/2 vanilla bean
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 tsp cold water
1 tsp lemon juice

1 cup whipping sugar
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
500 g fresh strawberries, sliced 1/4 inch thick

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line the bottom of an 8 inch square cake pan with parchment paper.  Set aside.
  2. Combine all purpose and cake flours, turbinado sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, whipping cream, egg, vanilla and grated orange rind. Make a well in the centre of the flour ingredients and pour in the milk/cream mixture.  Fold together gently with a rubber spatula just until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened.  The mixture will look a little shaggy.
  5. Turn the mixture into the prepared cake pan and level the top with an off set metal spatula or the back of a spoon.  Sprinkle the top with the demerara sugar.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until top is golden brown and the edges just start to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Allow to cool in the pan on a rack.
  7. Invert the cake out of the pan onto a cutting board and peel off paper.  Turn the cake right side up.  Trim the edges, then cut into 1 1/4 inch squares.  Store the squares in a sealed container until serving.  The cake is best the same day but can be made up to 1 day ahead.
  8. For the strawberry sauce combine the strawberries, sugar and water in a medium saucepan.  Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the black seeds into the strawberry mixture.  Add the vanilla pod to the pot.
  9. Place the pot over low-medium heat and cook until the berries begin to release their juices.  Toss gently and continue cooking until the dissolved cornstarch and bring to a boil.  Cook just until the juices have thickened.  Remove from heat, add the lemon juice and discard vanilla pod.  (The sauce can be made ahead and gently reheated before serving.)
  10. Whip together the cream, sugar and vanilla to stiff peaks.  (Use immediately or refrigerate covered for up to 2 hours.  If necessary lightly re-whip before using)
  11. To serve, dust the cake squares with icing sugar.  Place about 2 tbsp of warm strawberry sauce on each plate.  Top with 3 cake squares per serving.  Distribute fresh strawberry slices on each plate, and top with a dollop of whipped cream.  
Serves 12

Monday, 11 August 2014

Lamb and Halloumi Pizza

This is a nice change from the regular pizza.  If you can't find Halloumi cheese Feta is a good substitute.  I used fresh lemon thyme and orange mint from my garden to give a slight citrus flavour to the recipe but any thyme and mint will work.  This is the first time I used ground sumac and was warned by the cashier at the bulk food store that I might not like it.  I must say that I did enjoy it.  I have been using more Middle Eastern spices lately though so perhaps I am a bit more adventurous with my spices than most.  I based this recipe from a Food and Drink original but have made a few changes to suit my palate.

1 tbsp minced fresh thyme
1 tbsp toasted almonds, chopped finely
1 tsp ground sumac
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
450 g lean ground lamb
2 Naan Bread
1 cup crumbled halloumi
1/4 cup fresh torn mint

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. In a bowl, combine thyme, almonds and sumac until well blended.  Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil over medium high heat.  Brown lamb breaking up with the back of a spoon, until no longer pink.  Stir in spices.
  4. Place Naan Bread on a rimmed baking sheet.  Spread lamb mixture evenly over lavash.  Sprinkle with halloumi.  Bake in the centre of the preheated oven until Naan Bread starts to brown and halloumi melts slightly, about 15 minutes.
  5. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and top with fresh mint leaves.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Heritage Chocolate Cake

This is a really moist cake.  My biggest chocolate fan really enjoyed it!

2/3 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups soured milk (Use 4 1/2 tsp white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 1/2 cups

  • Heat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour two 9 inch round baking pans
  • Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl until fluffy.  Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add alternately with milk to butter mixture, beating just until smooth.  Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks.  Cool completely.   Frost with Chocolate Fudge Frosting.
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup Cocoa powder
  • 2 2/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat; add cocoa, stirring constantly until smooth and slightly thickened.  Remove from heat; pour into medium bowl.  Cool until very thick (about 40 minutes).

Add powdered sugar alternately with milk and vanilla, beating to spreading consistency.  About 2 cups frosting.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Crunchy Vegetable and Tofu Salad

I love the Tofu cubes in this salad.  It is enough for a main…but if you have a meat and potatoes guy grill some chicken for him too.  Based on a Food and Drink 2014 recipe…I changed it a bit.  I must say I had never had raw beets before and they are quite nice in a salad.

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp grated fresh garlic
1/4 tsp Sriracha

2 large peeled carrots, sliced thin
2 medium peeled beets grated
3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
2 cup sunflower or other crunchy sprouts
1/4 cup coriander leaves
1/4 cup mint leaves

1/4 cup canola oil
1 block (350 g) extra firm tofu, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt

  1. Combine lime juice, canola oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic and Sriracha in a bowl and whisk until uniform.   Reserve.
  2. Combine carrots, beets, cabbage, sprouts and half of the herbs in a serving bowl.
  3. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat.  Pat tofu cubes dry with paper towels and toss with cornstarch.  Fry for 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden.  Drain on paper towels and season with salt.
  4. Toss vegetable mixture with dressing top with crunchy tofu cubes and remaining herbs.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Chevre Terrine with Watercress, Asparagus and Roasted Red Pepper

This feels like a blast from the 50's type recipe.  I enjoyed it but felt it would be easier to cut up if the asparagus and peppers were diced.  Of course this wouldn't look as pretty if you did that.  Make sure the asparagus is not too firm.  Serve with pita crisps as an appetizer.  From Food and Drink 2014.

1 large sweet red pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded
16 very thin asparagus spears, about 125 g
1/2 cup whipping cream, divided
1 packet (7g) gelatin
500 g creamy goat cheese
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 tsp cayenne or hot smoked paprika
1 cup lightly packed watercress leaves or 1/2 cup snipped chives

  1. Cut roasted pepper into thin 1/4 inch strips; all the pepper may not be needed. Snap off woody ends from asparagus; discard.  Blanch spears in shallow boiling water for 2 minutes.  Immediately rinse under cold running water to stop cooking; drain.
  2. Line 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, letting ends generously hang over sides.
  3. Measure out 1/4 cup whipping cream; sprinkle with gelatin.  When 10 minutes has elapsed, heat remaining 1/4 cup cream in microwave for 25 to 30 seconds or until cream is hot or has just come to a boil.  Pour hot cream into cream and gelatin mixture.  Stir to dissolve gelatin completely.  (If some of the gelatin crystals are still visible after generous stirring, place whole mixture in microwave for 10 seconds.  Then stir well again.) Cool.
  4. In a food processor or with hand mixer whirl cheese with lemon juice, garlic, salt and cayenne until well mixed.  Scrape down sides; while running, add cream mixture.  Then remove 2/3 of mixture to another bowl.
  5. Chop watercress and add to remaining cheese mixture in food processor; whirl to incorporate.
  6. Spread half of white cheese mixture in lined pan.  Lengthwise, without touching either long side, alternately place, slightly apart half of the asparagus and red pepper strips so vegetables run from short end to short end.  Spread watercress-cheese mixture evenly overtop.  Lengthwise, alternately place remaining half of asparagus and red pepper strips .  Evenly spread remaining white cheese mixture over top.
  7. Bring up ends of plastic over loaf; pat gently into place.  Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.  To serve, lift set loaf from pan using plastic wrap; slice.  Kept chilled terrine keeps well for several days.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Butter Chicken Pizza

A flavourful and different variety of pizza.  This was simple to make and a great dinner when paired with a fresh salad. The best part of all was my husband made this for me.   From Food and Drink 2012.

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp medium curry paste
1/2 tsp mild paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp salt
500 g cubed chicken

1 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp mild paprika
1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
3 tbsp whipping cream
2 tbsp cold butter, cubed
4 pieces naan bread
1 cup paneer or pressed cottage cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  1. In a bowl, stir together yogurt, garlic, ginger, garam masala, lime juice, curry paste, paprika, cumin, coriander and salt until well blended.  Stir in chicken until completely coated.  Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
  2. Preheat oven to 425F.  Arrange chicken on a greased, foil lined baking sheet.  Roast in oven until cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Put into bowl.  Do not turn off oven.
  3. In a saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat.  Cook onion until golden, about 8 minutes.  Stir in garam masala, paprika and curry paste.  Add tomatoes, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Stir in cream and butter until well combined.  Stir in chicken and remove from heat.
  4. Arrange naan on a large baking sheet.  Divide chicken mixture over each.  Sprinkle with paneer and put back into the oven until naan starts to crisp and sauce is hot, about 12 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve immediately.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Seafood Newburg

This is delicious but VERY rich.  it is relatively simple and quick to prepare.  Based on a recipe from Companys Coming.

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
4 cups milk
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp butter
2 cups sliced mushrooms
500 g scallops
300 g lobster
2 cups frozen shrimp

In large saucepan milt first amount of butter.  Stir in flour and salt.  Add milk.  Stir and cook until mixture boils and thickens.

Add tomato paste, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Melt remaining butter in frying pan.  Add mushrooms and saute until golden brown.  Add scallops, lobster and shrimp and cook until not translucent.  Drain and stir into sauce.

Place in casserole and heat in 350 oven for 30 minutes.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Classic Boston Cream Pie

This is from the Hershey's Kitchens website and I haven't changed a thing as it is perfect!  The only tricky thing about this cake is making the custard.  Don't leave it…you need to keep stirring until it thickens or you will get lumps or burn it.  Other than that it is a pretty easy and delicious recipe.

1/3 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk

  • Heat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour one 9 inch round baking pan.
  • Beat shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until fluffy.  Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; add alternately with milk to shortening mixture.  Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into centre comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.  Cool completely.
  • Prepare Custard Filling.  Using long serrated knife, cut cake horizontally into two even layers.  Place 1 layer on serving plate, cut side up; spread filling over layer.  Top with remaining layer, cut side down. Prepare Dark Cocoa Glaze.  Pour glaze over top of cake, allowing glaze to drizzle down sides.  Refrigerate several hours or until cold.  Cover; refrigerate leftover dessert.

1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Stir together sugar and cornstarch in medium saucepan making sure there are no lumps.  Gradually add milk and egg yolks, stirring until blended.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil.  Boil and stir 1 minute until thickened.  Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla.  Cover; refrigerate several hours until cold.

3 tbsp water
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp cocoa
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Friday, 25 July 2014

Salmon Ball Casserole

This was pretty simple to make and as a person who is not fond of fish I enjoyed it.  I used salmon without bones and skin.  The better quality the salmon the better the dish. From Company's Coming.

2 x 220 g Canned salmon with juice
1/2 cup Long grain rice
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup chopped onion (chop this finely)
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 can 284 ml Condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup water

Put salmon into medium sized bowl.  Add rice, carrot, onion, egg salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Shape into balls and put in casserole leaving room for expansion.

Mix soup and water together.  Pour over top.  Bake covered in 350F oven for about 1 hour.

Serves 5 to 6.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Grilled Italian Potatoes

A simple addition to any grilled meal.  Use a metal pan on top of your grill to give them good colour.  From Food and Drink Magazine Summer 2011.

750 g Small red new potatoes, scrubbed
12 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 tbsp chopped basil

Preheat grill to high

Place potatoes in metal baking dish.  Add garlic and toss with olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.  Cover baking dish with foil and grill for 20 to 25 minutes, shaking pan occasionally or until potatoes are tender and lightly browned.

Remove from heat, sprinkle with Parmesan and basil and toss until cheese is melted and well combined.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

This was made to share with friends at their place.  Kids and adults enjoyed this moist cake and rich icing.  We put some locally picked strawberries on it to balance the sweetness.  A really great dessert.

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

  1. Heat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour two 9 inch round pans or one 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan.
  2. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.  Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes.  Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks.  Cool completely.  Frost.

6 tbsp butter, softened
2 2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat butter in medium bowl.  Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency.  Stir in vanilla.  About 2 cups frosting.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

These are delicious!  I did find though that the icing crystallizes after a day or so…so eat and share them quickly.  They would have been more appropriate with green icing, but I had a princess helping me so the icing became pink.

1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup (2 oz) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped, melted
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 cup chocolate milk
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Line cupcake pans with liners.
  3. Cream together the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.  Beat the melted chocolate into the butter mixture.  Add the eggs, peppermint extract and chocolate milk. Beat until creamy.
  4. In a separate bowl combine the flour and baking soda.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and chocolate mixture until well blended.  With a spatula stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Fill the cupcake liners three quarters full.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.

2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp light corn syrup
1/3 cup cold water
1/4 tsp peppermint extract

Place all of the ingredients except the peppermint extract in a double boiler over boiling water.  Beat constantly with an electric mixer on medium high speed until stiff peaks form, 4-7 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add the peppermint and beat to spreading consistency.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Chocolate Cake Brownies

My family always likes brownies.  These are more cake like with a rich ganache like icing.  Substitute semi sweet chocolate if you can't find bittersweet.

6 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp sour cream
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

4 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup 35% cream
1 tbsp cornsyrup

  • Melt chocolate and butter together in microwave using 20 second intervals
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Line a 13 x 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper
  • Add sugar to chocolate and butter mixture with mixer
  • Scrape down sides and add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed between additions.
  • Add the vanilla and beat on low until blended.
  • Blend in sour cream.
  • Sift together the dry ingredients and add to chocolate mixture.  Beat on medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping down sides.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake 20 to 25 min or until just firm to the touch.


  • Chop chocolate finely and place in a medium bowl.  Boil cream and pour over chocolate.
  • Let stand for several minutes.  Stir until smooth
  • Add the corn syrup and stir until smooth.
  • With a spoon, pour glaze over brownies.
  • Refrigerate. 

Friday, 4 July 2014

Chocolate Mint Dessert

This is simple and just delicious!

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups chocolate syrup (16oz)
Mint Cream Centre
Chocolate Glaze

  • Heat oven to 350F.   Grease 13x9x2 inch baking pan.
  • Combine flour, sugar, butter, eggs and syrup in large bowl; beat until smooth.   Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in centre.  Cool completely in pan on wire rack.  Spread Mint Cream centre on cake.  Cover; refrigerate.  Pour chocolate glaze over chilled dessert.  Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.  Cover; refrigerate leftover dessert.  About 12 servings.
  • Combine 2 cups powdered sugar (sifted), 1/2 cup butter (softened) and 2 tbsp green creme de menthe in medium bowl.  Beat with hand mixer until smooth.
  • Melt 6 tbsp butter and 1 cup chocolate chips in small saucepan over very low heat.  Remove from heat; stir until smooth.  Cool slightly.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Chocolate Cornstarch Pudding

A favourite of my family's for a long time.  Simple to make.  Just make sure you heat slowly so it doesn't scorch the milk.

1/2 cup white sugar
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 tsp salt
2 3/4 cups milk
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

  • In a saucepan, sift sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt.  Stir together.  Place over medium low heat and stir in milk.  Bring to a boil slowly and cook stirring constantly until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon.  Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.  Let cool briefly and serve warm or cover with plastic wrap and chill until serving.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Blueberry Cobbler

Here is my favourite recipe for blueberry cobbler.  This tastes decadent but is lower in fat than you would think at just 231 calories per serving with approx 5 g of fat.  I found this recipe online at tasteofhome.com

4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
3/4 cup sugar, divided
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp grated lemon peel
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp cold butter
3/4 cup buttermilk (I used soured milk - 3/4 cup 1%milk with 2 tsp vinegar)

* In large bowl, combine blueberries, 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Transfer to a 2 qt baking dish coated with cooking spray.

* In a small bowl, combine the flour, lemon peel, baking powder, salt, baking soda and remaining sugar; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in buttermilk just until moistened.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto blueberry mixture.

* Bake, uncovered at 375 for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm.  8 servings.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Chicken Pot Pie

I modified this recipe from a Company's Coming book.  It originally had a lot of salt and canned mushrooms.  I liked the final result.  I was in a hurry so I just used a Pilsbury Pie crust…so easy!

3 chicken breasts - skinless and boneless
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
3 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups cut up potatoes
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp celery salt
Pastry for top

  • Cut chicken in bite size pieces and fry over medium heat in oven proof skillet (I use a cast iron skillet for this) with oil and seasoned salt.
  • Once chicken is almost cooked add mushrooms and cook approx. 4 min.  Add carrots onions and potatoes.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Add flour and mix well then add chicken broth, frozen peas and onion powder and salt.  
  • Place pastry on top of  meat and vegetables.  Bake in 400F oven for 30 minutes or until pastry is light brown.  

Friday, 20 June 2014

Jim Jams

For my good friend Jim Cahill who gave me this recipe!  I only modified it a bit changing the margarine to butter and adding some flour.

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

Mix sugar, butter and egg well and add rest of ingredients.  Roll a tsp of dough in the palm of your hand.  Put on a greased pan.  Flatten with a fork dipped in flour or sugar.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Bake approx 8 to 10  min or until just brown.  Put together with jam after they cool.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Maple Mustard Salmon

I am not a big lover of seafood so when I really enjoy a seafood recipe you know it is good!  I used our own homemade maple syrup in this and purchased wild salmon fillets.  I have heard some bad news about farmed salmon lately.

4 1/4 lb salmon fillets
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
4 tsp Honey Dijon Mustard
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce

Place salmon in an 8 x 8 " baking dish.  Mix sauce ingredients together and pour over salmon, then bake at 425F for about 12 minutes or until salmon flakes with a fork.  Serve hot with extra sauce spooned on top.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Beef and Sausage Lasagna

This is a fantastic recipe…it takes some time as do most lasagna's…but it is worth it.

500g sweet Italian sausage
500 g lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups spaghetti sauce
2 (6oz) cans tomato paste
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
23 oz smooth ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 egg
500 g shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
12 lasagna noodles

  1. Brown beef, sausage, onions and garlic in a pot until they are no longer pink over medium heat.  Drain grease.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, 1/2 cup water and stir into meat.
  3. Add Italian Seasoning
  4. Cover pot and let meat sauce simmer on low for approx 1 hour.
  5. Soak 12 lasagna noodles in hot tap water for 15 minutes.
  6. While noodles are soaking put ricotta cheese and nutmeg in bowl and mix.  Add egg. Sprinkle with additional Italian Seasoning if desired.  Mix with spoon.
  7. Now build lasagna layers.
    1. Use a 9x 13 inch baking pan
    2. Spread 2 cups of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan.
    3. Remove lasagna noodles out of the water bath.  Shake water off wet noodles.
    4. Lay 6 noodles across the layer of sauce.
    5. Spread half of the ricotta cheese mixture over the layer of noodles.
    6. Spread 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese over the ricotta layer.
    7. Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese over the mozzarella layer
    8. Spread 2 cups of the meat sauce over the cheese layer
    9. Lay down the next layer of noodles.
    10. Spread the remaining ricotta mixture over noodles
    11. Spread the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese saving some cheese for the top of the lasagna
    12. Put the last layer of meat sauce on the cheese
    13. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top
  8. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes at 350F.
  9. Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 25 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool for approximately 15 minutes.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Chicken Supreme

This is delicious and very simple to make.  Even my fussy eater enjoyed it.  Adapted from Company's Coming.

1/3 cup All purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp Paprika
1.4 kg Chicken breast, boneless, skinless
4 tbsp butter
284 ml condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup white wine or apple juice
1 medium carrot, cut in thin strips

  1. Combine flour, salt, pepper and paprika in a plastic bag.  Shake to mix well.
  2. Add damp chicken, 1 at a time.  Shake to coat.
  3. Melt butter in frying pan.  Add chicken.  Brown well.  Transfer to casserole or small roaster.
  4. Add mushrooms to frying pan and saute until browned.  Layer on top of chicken.
  5. Empty soup into medium size bowl. Add wine.  Stir well.  Pour over chicken.  Place carrots on top.  Cover.  Bake in 350F oven for 1 hour.
  6. Serve over rice.

Monday, 9 June 2014

All Purpose Barbecue Rub

Make this ahead to put of ribs, chicken or mix into some ground beef for burgers. From Food & Drink Summer 2014

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup seasoned salt
1/4 cup onion salt
1/4 cup garlic salt
1/4 cup celery salt
1/2 cup paprika
2 tbsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp allspice

Combine all ingredients in an airtight container.  Store in cool, dark place.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Toffee Crunch Crepe Cake

This is a cake my son loves!  It is time consuming because you have to make the crepes…but it is well worth the effort.  The flavour is very heavy on vanilla (which I like) but you could switch it to  almond extract for a change.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
1/2 cup water
4 eggs
1/4 cup shortening, melted
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vegetable oil

2 cups whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla
Skor Toffee bits
icing sugar for garnish

Crepes - combine all ingredients for crepes in a food processor, blender or bowl.  Mix until you have a smooth thin batter.  Cover and let rest 30 minutes.  Heat a non stick skillet or crepe pan over medium heat.  Brush pan lightly with oil.  Add about 1/2 cup batter to pan.  Swirl batter around pan and pour excess back into bowl so crepe will be very thin.  Cook until bottom browns, 2-3 minutes, turn crepe over to cook other side.  Flip out onto plate.  Repeat until all batter is used.  You should have 10 to 14 crepes.

Filling- Whip cream in a large bowl until thick and cream holds its shape.  Beat in vanilla.

Assemble - place one cooled crepe on platter.  Spread a layer of whipping cream and then sprinkle with about 2 tbsp toffee bits.  Continue until crepes/whipping cream are used up.  Finish with a layer of whipping cream and toffee bits.  Sprinkle with icing sugar if desired.