Saturday, 26 December 2015

Shrimp Po’Boy with Crunchy Slaw and Lemon Aioli

This is a great sandwich that I got from Food and Drink Spring 2015.  Using simple fresh ingredients makes this stand apart.  Traditionally cornmeal is used to bread the shrimp but panko give the shrimp a lighter and crunchier texture when fried.

625 g large shrimp, peeled and deveined, thawed if frozen, rinsed and patted very dry
1 lemon
1/4 cup vodka, regular or lemon flavoured
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 cups store bought bag coleslaw mix
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
14 tsp each salt and pepper

About 8 cups vegetable or canola oil for frying
1 egg
4 tsp each dried oregano and thyme leaves
1 1/2 tsp each garlic powder and cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves, crushed in a press
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 baguette, about 20 inches long
1 tomato, thinly sliced

  • Place shrimp in a bowl just large enough to hold them.  Finely grate about 1 tbsp lemon peel overtop, then squeeze out 2 tbsp lemon juice.  Stir with shrimp along with vodka and cayenne.  Cover and marinate, stirring occasionally for 2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, place coleslaw in a medium bowl.  Toss with oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • In a very large deep sided pot, add enough oil to measure about 1 1/2 inches.  Oil should not come higher than a third of the way up the pot (or use a deep fryer and follow directions). Heat oil over medium heat to 350F.
  • Drain shrimp, placing marinade in a medium bowl.  Whisk egg into marinade.  In a small bowl, place flour.  In another medium bowl place panko crumbs.  Stir 1 tbsp spice mixture into flour and remaining into panko crumbs.  Toss shrimp in flour mixture to coat.  Then, working with a few shrimp at a time, dip in egg mixture, shaking off excess.  Then coat in panko crumbs.  Place coated shrimp on a baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining shrimp.
  • Once oil is hot (it will bubble when shrimp are added), add one third to one half of the shrimp to pan (don’t crowd).  Fry, stirring occasionally until cooked through and a very deep golden brown,  about 3 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined baking sheet.   Repeat with remaining shrimp.
  • Stir garlic and lemon juice into mayonnaise.  Split baguette in half lengthwise, keeping one side still attached.  Spread both sides with aioli.  Top base with tomato slices, followed by shrimp, slaw and then top of baguette.  Serve on a large cutting board for guests to slice themselves, or cut into serving size pieces.  Serve with hot sauce and lots of napkins.
Serves 4 to 6

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Island Pork Loin and Pineapple Brochettes

I love the flavour of pineapple on the grill.  This is quite hot because of the Scotch Bonnet Peppers.  I only used one instead of the two - three called for and I found it hot but not overpowering.  If you prefer it without the heat skip the peppers.  From Canadian Living - The Barbecue Collection.

2 or 3 Scotch Bonnet Peppers or habanero peppers, halved and seeded
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp each lime juice and orange juice
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp pepper
565 g pork loin or shoulder, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 cups cubed fresh pineapple
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Fresh cilantro sprigs
Lime wedges

  • In blender or food processor, puree together peppers, garlic, onion, lime and orange juices, tomato paste and ginger; transfer to bowl.  Stir in cumin, oregano, 1/2 tsp of the salt, allspice and pepper; toss with pork until coated.  Cover and marinate, refrigerated, for 3 to 8 hours.
  • Toss pineapple with remaining salt.  Reserving any remaining marinade, alternately thread pork and pineapple onto skewers.  Stir oil into marinade; brush over skewers.
  • Grill, covered on greased grill over medium high heat, turning once, until just a hint of pink remains inside for loin or until no longer pink inside for fattier shoulder, 12 to 15 minutes.  Garnish with cilantro; serve with lime wedges.
Makes 4 to 6 main course servings

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Fruit and Nut Brownies

Adapted from a recipe in Food and Drink Spring 2015

1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup dried cherries
1 cup warm water
3/4 cup + 1 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp Baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts, chopped
1 tbsp icing sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease an 8 inch baking pan.  Line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang for handles.
  2. Soak dried fruit in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes or until plump.  Drain and pat dry with paper towel.
  3. Stir flour with cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Whisk oil with eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl.  Stir wet ingredients into dry and mix well.  Stir in fruit and nuts.
  4. Scrape mixture into prepared pan.  Spread into an even layer with the back of a spoon.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is no longer glossy and the edges start to come away from the sides of the pan.  Do not over bake.  Remove from oven and cool in pan for 15 minutes.
  5. Lift brownies from pan using parchment handles.  Dust with icing sugar.  Cool fully on a rack.  Slice into 2 inch squares.  Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Makes 16

Monday, 7 December 2015

Warm Arugula, Olive and Tomato Salad

A really nice salad to accompany dinner.  From Food and Drink Spring 2015.

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cups grape tomatoes
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup chopped, pitted dry cured black olives
2 cloves garlic minced
4 cups packed arugula
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 cups torn romaine lettuce hearts

  • Whisk together 2 tbsp of the oil, the vinegar and mustard in a small bowl; set aside.
  • Heat remaining 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add tomatoes, onion and olives and sauté for about 3 minutes or until onion is softened.  Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant but not browned.
  • Pour in vinegar mixture, then add arugula.  Stir just until arugula is wilted, for about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Divide romaine lettuce equally between individual salad plates, the top with warm tomato mixture.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Chili Lemon Oil

From Food and Drink Spring 2015.

This oil is simple to make and has many uses.  You can use it in dressings or for sautéing vegetables, chicken or fish.

1 large lemon
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • Using a vegetable peeler, peel zest from entire lemon into long strips, trying to avoid the white pith as much as possible.
  • Place Zest peels, chili flakes and oil in a small saucepan.  Warm oil over the lowest heat (simmer) for 15 minutes.  If zest peels or chili begin to brown, immediately remove saucepan from heat and let cool.
  • Strain oil into small bowl and discard zest peels and chili.
Makes 1 cup

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Grilled Veal Saltimbocca

These are delicious! They work really well as an appetizer but can also work for a main course.  Saltimbocca is Italian for “jumps in your mouth” which is perfect for this tasty dish.  rom Canadian Living/The Barbecue Collection.

8 thin slices prosciutto
8 pieces veal scaloppine, about 450g
225 g soft goat cheese
1 tsp pepper
24 to 32 fresh basil leaves

  • Arrange prosciutto slices on work surface; top each with 1 of the veal pieces, matching edges as closely as possible.  Spread goat cheese evenly over veal; sprinkle with pepper.  Arrange 3 or 4 basil leaves in a single layer on top; starting at 1 short end, roll up.  Thread each roll diagonally onto 2 soaked wooden toothpicks.
  • Grill, covered on greased grill over medium high heat, turning once, until just a hint of ink remains inside veal and edges of prosciutto are crisp, about 1 minutes.
  • To serve, cut rolls in half between toothpicks.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Hamburger Casserole

From Company’s Coming..a simple family dinner.

2 cups cooked small egg noodles
500 g ground beef
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 x 213 ml tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup sour cream
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

  • Prepare noodles as directed on package.  Drain.  Measure.  Spread in bottom of 1.5 L casserole.
  • Scramble fry beef in cooking oil until brown.  Drain and discard fat.
  • Add onion, garlic, tomato sauce, salt and pepper to meat.  Simmer gently for 15 minutes.  Pour over noodles in casserole.
  • Spread sour cream over meat, meaning a smooth level surface.
  • Spoon cottage cheese over top.
  • Layer cheese over top to cover completely.  Bake uncovered in 350F oven for 30 minutes until bubbly.  Serves 6 to 8.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Adobo Style Pork with Sweet Potato

From Food and Drink Holiday 2014….I like the combination of pork and sweet potato here.  I am also a big fan of one pot meals :)

1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
Generous grinding black pepper
500 g pork tenderloin cut into bite size pieces
1 tbsp vegetable oil
10 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
3 slices ginger
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 bay leaves
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
3 green pinions, very thinly sliced diagonally

  • Place cornstarch, salt and pepper in a  medium bowl.  Add pork and toss to coat.  Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat.  Add pork to oil.  Cook a couple of minutes just until browned all over; it will not be cooked through.  Remove and return to bowl.
  • Reduce heat to medium, adding a little more oil to pan, then add garlic and ginger.  Stir, cooking 1 minute.   Add water, vinegar, soy and hoisin sauces, bay leaves and a generous grinding of pepper to pan.  Stir and scrape up brown bits from bottom of pan.  Add sweet potato, cover and simmer until potato is nearly tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Return pork to pan.  Simmer gently uncovered, stirring occasionally until pork is cooked and potato is tender, about 2 more minutes (don’t overcook pork or it will toughen).  Discard bay leaves and ginger slices.  Stir in green onions.  Serve over rice.
Serves 4

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Smoked Salmon-Dill Scrambled Eggs

A great way to start your day!

8 eggs
3 tbsp milk
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter
4 green onions, thinly sliced
6 oz sliced smoked salmon, cut into strips

  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk, dill, and salt.  Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add egg mixture; cook e to 4 minutes stirring occasionally until almost set.  Add green onions.  
  2. Mix in salmon, cook 1 minute more or until eggs reach desired doneness.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015


A simple and kid friendly dinner that can handle any sauce.

1 kg ground pork
1 grated onion
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp flour
4 tbsp flour

Combine all ingredients; beat vigorously until mixture is smooth and well blended.  Keep in fridge 1 hour.  Heat in a heavy skillet 2 tbsp oil.  Drop meat mixture by spoonful into skillet; brown.  Steam in oven (350f) about 1/2 hour or until ready to serve.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

European Spice Cookies

An old fashioned gingerbread cookie, thin, dark and spicy.  These don’t need to be iced but a small amount of royal icing can make them look festive.  From Food and Drink Holiday 2014.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fancy molasses
1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups icing sugar
1 tbsp meringue powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 to 2 tbsp water
Gel food colour if desired

  1. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, pepper and salt in a bowl.
  2. Beat together butter, sugar, molasses and vanilla until smooth.  Add flour mixture and beat until well combined (dough will be soft and slightly sticky.) Divide dough into 2 pieces, wrap well in plastic and chill for 1 hour or until dough has firmed up.  Working with 1 piece at a time, roll dough out on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper with a floured rolling pin to about 1/16 inch thick.  Transfer sheets of rolled dough to fridge or freezer for 1 hour to firm up again.
  3. Preheat oven to 375F.
  4. Working with 1 sheet of dough at a time, use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Gather, chill and re roll scraps as desired.
  5. Bake for 6 to 7 minutes or until cookies are dry to the touch and slightly darker at the edges (don’t over bake or they will get hard). Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  6. Combine icing sugar and meringue powder in a bowl.  Whisk in lemon juice and enough water to make a thick icing.  Stir in food colour if desired.  Transfer to a piping bag with a fine round tip.  Decorate cookies as desired.
Makes about 36 cookies, depending on size.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Cherry, Almond and Lemon Florentines

These are outstanding for the upcoming Holiday season.  They are similar to the classic Italian Lace Cookie.  From Food and Drink Holiday 2014.

1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp grated lemon rind
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
6 oz dark chocolate, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine cream, butter, sugar and honey in a small pot over medium low heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Bring to a boil, remove from heat and stir in lemon rind, salt and flour until smooth.  Stir in sliced almonds and dried cherries.
  3. Lightly butter the wells of a nonstick muffin tin.  Spoon 1 tsp of batter into each well, and use the back of a spoon to spread into an even layer.  Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or until golden brown and set.  Let cool for 5 minutes to harden then use the point of a butter knife to pop the cookies out of their wells, and let cool completely on a baking rack.  Repeat with remaining batter.
  4. Melt chocolate in a small heavy pan over low heat.  Remove from heat.  Dip cookies into chocolate to cover halfway, or drizzle chocolate overtop cookies.  Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and let stand until chocolate has set.
Makes about 36 cookies.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Tart Lemon Peel and Cheese Danishes

These were a huge hit at home although I must admit I left out the candied Lemon Peel.  Either way these are an easy way to make Danishes and are delicious.  From Food and Drink Holiday 2014.

2 lemons
2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup water
1 block (225 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 pkg (397 to 454 g) store bought puff pastry, defrosted.

  • Using a vegetable peeler, pull long strips of peel and pith from one end of lemon to the other.  Cut into strips about 1/4 inch thick.  Bring a saucepan filled with water to a boil.
  • When boiling add peel.  Cook for 1 minute.  Using a slotted spoon, remove to a bowl of cold water.  Repeat this step 2 more times.
  • Pour 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water into a medium saucepan.  Set over medium heat.  Heat until sugar dissolves.  Add peel. Simmer until lemon is tender and mixture is syrupy, about 10 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, remove peel to a rack.  Let cool completely.  When cool, place 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl.  Add peel and turn to evenly coat.  Remove to a lightly oiled rack set over a baking sheet.   Let cool and dry for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • Finely chop half of lemon peel.  Place cream cheese in a bowl.  Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat until smooth.  Add all purpose flour, vanilla, 1 egg and remaining 1/2 cup sugar.  Beat on low speed until evenly mixed.  Add chopped peel.  Beat until evenly mixed.
  • Using a floured rolling pin, roll out half of pastry over a lightly floured counter until 12 x 12 inch square.  Cut into 4.  Repeat with remaining piece of pastry.  Arrange pastry squares over 2 parchment lined baking sheets.  Divide and spoon cream cheese mixture over centre of each.  Beat remaining egg in small bowl with a little water.  Brush over edges of pastry.  Working 1 pastry square lift 2 opposite corners and pinch together over cream cheese.  Repeat with remaining pastries.  Refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes until chilled and firmed up.
  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Brush pastry tops with egg wash.  Bake in centre of preheated oven until pastry is golden, about 16 to 20 minutes.  Carefully press a few pieces of candied lemon peel into tops of warm pastries. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Beef Kabobs with Horseradish Sauce

These are packed with flavour and I love the horseradish/yogurt sauce to go with them.  A fun and quick meal to make on the BBQ.  From Canadian Living/The Barbecue Collection.

2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
4 tsp mined fresh rosemary
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp pepper
450 g Beef top blade flatiron grilling steak or beef flank marinating steak, cut into 1 inch cubes

Horseradish Sauce:
2 tbsp each sour cream and 2% Greek Yogurt
1 tbsp minced fresh chives
1 tbsp extra hot prepared horseradish

  • On cutting board, coarsely chop garlic; sprinkle with salt.  With flat side of knife or fork, mash into paste.
  • In large bowl, stir together garlic paste, rosemary, oil and pepper; toss with beef until coated.  Marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Thread onto skewers.  Grill on greased grill over high heat, turning once, until desired doneness, about 7 minutes for medium rare.
Horseradish Sauce:
  • Stir together sour cream, yogurt, chives and horseradish.  Serve with kabobs.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Squash and Gruyere Frittata

A great way to start your day or end it!

1 tbsp butter
1 Acorn Squash and 3 shallots
Olive Oil
1 packed tbsp thinly sliced fresh sage or basil leaves
10 large eggs
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup coarsely shredded Gruyere cheese

  • Cut squash and shallots into 1/2 inch pieces, sprinkle sage over them and place on a tray drizzle with olive oil and roast in 425 F oven for 30 minutes or until soft 
  • Whisk eggs, water and salt in a bowl.  Melt butter in skillet; pour squash and shallot mixture in skillet.   Pour eggs over squash.  Reduce heat to medium low.  Cover, and cook until set on bottom and edges but the top is still loose, about 3 minutes.  Sprinkle Gruyere evenly over the top.
  • Broil frittata until just set, about 1 minute.  Cut into wedges to serve.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Danish Meatballs

A family favourite.

1/2 lb lean ground pork
1/2 lb ground veal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1 small grated onion
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup milk
Oil for frying

Mix all ingredients well in a large bowl.  Heat oil in non stick frying pan.  Form meatballs with tablespoon and fry until golden brown.  Place in oven safe dish.  Bake in 350F oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Hong Kong Meatballs

A different take on meatballs for the family.

1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 tsp salt
Dash pepper
1 tbsp salad oil
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 pkg onion sup mix
3 cups water
1 cup rice
2 tbsp soya sauce
1 cup sliced celery

Combine beef, bread crumbs, salt and pepper.  Shape into tiny meatballs, about 30.  Brown meatballs in oil.  Pour off fat.  Add remaining ingredients, except celery.  Cover and cook at 20F for 25 minutes.  Add celery and cover.  Cook an additional 15 minutes.  Serves 4.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Tomato Cucumber Guacamole

A nice side dish or condiment for burgers.

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 large English cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 avocados, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp grated lime rind
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, toss tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, onion, lime juice, rind, and cumin.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

The carnivores in my family love these kinds of recipes, serve with rice or a mashed potato.

1 lb ground beef
3/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp minced onion
2 eggs

1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup boiling water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tbsp soya sauce
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup green pepper, cut in strips
1 cup pineapple chunks

Mix first 6 ingredients.  Make meatballs.  Fry for 20 minutes.  Mix sugar and cornstarch.  Dissolve chicken cubes in 1 cup boiling water.  Stir in cornstarch.  Add vinegar, soya, pineapple juice and chunks.  Cook until smooth.  Pour over meatballs; simmer 15 minutes.  SErve with rice.

Serves 6

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Pork Chops with Dressing

A simple dinner for the family they will love, serve with a salad or roasted veggies.

4 to 6 pork chops
4 cups diced bread (your favourite)
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp sage
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 apple, chopped

Lay chops flat in bottom of greased pan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover with dressing.  After covering meat with dressing, place pan in preheated 350F oven and bake approx. 1 hour.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Pork Chops in a Dish

A very family friendly recipe.

4 to 6 pork chops

1 can skinless chopped tomatoes
100 g grated cheese
100 g bacon sliced
Oil or butter
Salt and pepper
Fresh oregano
Chili sauce
Mashed Potatoes:
750 g potatoes (4 large)
50 g butter
1/2 dl whipping cream
2 eggs
Salt and pepper

Heat oil in pan; brown pork chops on both sides.  Add salt and pepper.  Put in a baking dish.  Add tomatoes and juice to pan.  Boil 1 to 2 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, chili sauce, basil and oregano to taste.  Pour sauce over pork chops in baking dish.  Spread grated cheese on top.  Cover with sliced bacon.  Put in 200C oven and bake until bacon is browned and crisp, approx. 30 minutes.

Boil Potatoes; mash.  Stir in egg yolks one at a time.  Whip egg whites until stiff; fold into mashed potatoes.  Put in a baking dish.  Bake until golden brown, approx. 30 minutes.  Serve.  SErves 4.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Crockpot Golden Glow Pork Chops

Love using the crockpot during the school year!

5 to 6 pork chops
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
8 oz can tomato sauce
29 oz can cling peach halves
1/4 cup vinegar
Salt and pepper

Brown pork chops.  Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, tomato sauce, 1/4 cup syrup from peaches and vinegar.  Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper.  Arrange in crockpot.  Place drained peach halves on top.  Pour tomato mixture over all.  Cover and cook on low in crockpot 4 to 6 hours.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Orange-Sesame Bok Choy and Soba Noodle Salad

This is a nice light recipe for dinner.  From Food and Drink Spring 2015.  If you can’t use Soba Noodles, use an egg or Chow Mein Noodle.

6 oz (175g) Soba noodles
3 oranges
2 tbsp Vegetable oil
1 tbsp liquide honey
2 tsp dark sesame oil
1 tsp Sriracha, or to taste
1/2 tsp dry or Dijon Mustard
2 tsp sesame seeds
3 cups sliced bok choy
1 carrot, julienned
1/2 large sweet red pepper, cut into thin strips
2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

  • Bring a pot of salted water to the boil.  Add soba noodles and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until just al dente.  Drain and rinse under cool water until chilled.  Drain well.
  • Finely grate zest from 1 orange and squeeze 1/4 cup juice.  Place zest and juice in a large bowl.  Cut peel from remaining oranges, removing all white pith, and cut between membranes into segments to small bowl; cover and refrigerate until serving.
  • To bowl with orange zest and juice, add 1 tbsp of the vegetable oil, the soy sauce honey, sesame oil, Sriracha and mustard; whisk to combine.  Measure out about 1/4 cup and set aside for vegetables. Add noodles to remaining dressing bowl and toss gently to coat.  Cover and refrigerate noodles for up to 4 hours.  Set reserved dressing aside at room temperature.
  • Just before serving, toast sesame seeds in a large dry skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until golden and fragrant.  Immediately transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • Return skillet to medium heat and add remaining 1 tbsp vegetable oil.  Add bok choy, carrots and red pepper, and sauté for about 1 minute or until just wilted.  Pour in reserved dressing and stir to coat vegetables well.  Remove from heat.
  • Add orange segments with any accumulated juice and green onions to noodles, and toss to combine.  Divide among individual bowls or plates.  Top with warm vegetables, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Chocolate Lava Cakes

These are rich tasting and fun to make.  From Readers Digest February 2012.

2 oz (60g) Bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 oz (125 ml) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup cake and pastry flour

  1. To make centres:  In double boiler or heatproof bowl set over pot of barely simmering water, melt 2 oz chocolate with the cream, stirring occasionally, until smooth.  Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.  Form into six balls; refrigerate until needed.
  2. To make cakes:  Preheat oven to 350F.   Grease six 6 oz ramekins or custard cups; place on baking sheet.
  3. In double boiler or heatproof bowl set over pot of barely simmering water, melt butter and 4 oz chocolate, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  4. With stand mixer or in large bowl with electric beaters, beat the whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla on high speed for about 5 minutes, or until thick and light.  Fold melted chocolate mixture and flour into egg mixture until just combined.  Spoon cake batter into ramekins.  Place a chocolate ball in the middle of each ramekin, making sure each is completely covered by batter.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes or until cakes are firm to the touch.  Remove from oven and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Beef Bulgogi Skewers

These are excellent with a unique Asian flavour.  You can serve these over lettuce leaves and steamed rice or offer assorted pickles and Kimchi alongside.  From Canadian Living Barbecue Collection.

6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
450 g Beef grilling steak, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 red onion cut into 1 inch pieces
1 sweet green pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces

  • Whisk together garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, sesame oil and hot pepper flakes.
  • Place beef in bowl; place onion and green pepper in separate bowl.  Divide marinade between bowls. Marinate for 15 minutes or covered and refrigerated, up to 1 day.
  • Reserving any remaining marinade, alternately thread beef, onion and peppers onto skewers; brush with marinade.  Grill on greased grill over high heat, turning once until desired doneness, about 8 minutes for medium rare.
Makes 4 main course servings.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Turkey Pie

From Company’s Coming Casseroles…simple and good!  A good recipe for after Thanksgiving.

2 cups cut up Turkey, cooked
284 ml condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 cups Tea biscuit mix
3/4 cup milk

Put turkey, soup and celery in 1.5 L casserole.  Stir in milk, salt and pepper.  Heat in 400F oven until bubbling hot.

Mix biscuit mix and milk as for dumplings.  Drop by spoonful over top of hot meat and sauce.  Bake in 450F oven for 15 minutes or until brown.  Serves 4 to 6.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Classic French Omelette

This is made with a Goose Egg but you can substitute 4 large chicken eggs if Goose is not available.  From Food and Drink Spring 2015.

1 goose egg
1 tsp water
2 tsp each chopped parsley and chives, divided
1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp herbed Boursin or soft chèvre, crumbled

  • Beat egg with water until white and yolk are uniform.  Add 1 tsp each parsley and chives and season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a 10 inch nonstick pan on high heat.  Add butter and swirl pan to melt and coat.  Return pan to heat, and when butter is hot and sizzling, pour in egg mixture and let cook for 10 seconds or until egg has set on the bottom and air bubbles are forming between pan and egg.  Keeping it in direct contact with the burner, swirl pan in a circular motion to allow uncooked egg to move to edges of omelette, until almost all liquid egg is gone.  Sprinkle on half of crumbled cheese then begin jerking the pan towards you to roll omelette over on itself and enclose the cheese.  Immediately turn omelette out onto a serving plate so that the bottom is facing up.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and herbs and serve immediately.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Duck Confit and Springtime Hash with Fried Duck Egg

If you cannot find duck you can change this to Chicken.  From Food and Drink Spring 2015.

750 g mini new potatoes, cut into 3/4 inch thick rounds
2 duck legs confit, about 275 g
1 tbsp unsalted butter
Salt to taste
500 g asparagus, tough ends trimmed and cut on the bias into 1 1/2 inch lengths
175 g sugar snap peas ends trimmed, stringed
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp unsalted butter
4 duck eggs
Pepper to taste

  1. Place potatoes in a pot of cold salted water over medium high heat.  Bring to a boil and boil for 8 minutes or until tender.  Drain well.  Reserve.
  2. Place duck legs, skin side up, in a large frying pan, (ideally cast iron) over medium low heat.  Cook for 12 minutes, turning after fat has begun to render or until duck is warmed through.  Pull meat from bones in largest possible pieces and return skin and any fat to pan.  Cook skin for 10 minutes longer or until browned and crisp.  Remove from pan, chop and reserve, leaving fat in pan.
  3. Add butter and potatoes to pan, season with salt, and cook on medium, turning for 8 minutes or until nicely browned.  Remove from pan.
  4. Add asparagus and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened.  Add sugar snaps, garlic and thyme and sauté 1 minute longer or until vegetables are tender crisp.  Return potatoes to pan along with duck meat and stir to rewarm and combine.  Add 1 tbsp parsley and season with salt.
  5. While hash is warming, heat a large nonstick frying pan on medium low heat.  Add butter, and as soon as it has melted crack eggs into 4 separate corners, cover pan with a lid and cook for 3 minutes or until white is set but yolk is still runny.  Season with salt and pepper and serve onto of hash and chopped crisp skin.  Sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp parsley.
Makes 4 servings.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Steak Shish Kabobs

If you can try to use a rib eye for this, it has great flavour that makes wonderful kabobs.  When threading meat onto skewers, don’t cram the pieces up against one another, leave a little space for even cooking.  From Canadian Living - The Barbecue Collection.

Half onion, grated
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp pepper
Generous pinch cinnamon
Generous pinch cayenne pepper
675 g beef rib eye grilling steak or strip loin grilling steak, cut into 1 inch cubes
450 g cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt

  • Mix together onion, oil, lemon juice, garlic, allspice, cumin, pepper, cinnamon and cayenne; toss with beef until coated.  Marinate for 20 minutes or covered and refrigerated, up to 4 hours.
  • Alternately thread beef and tomatoes onto skewers, sprinkle with salt.  For rare, grill on greased grill over high heat, turning once for about 6 minutes; for medium rare to well done, grill over medium high heat until desired doneness. 10 to 12 minutes for medium
Makes 4 to 6 main course servings.

Per each of 6 servings:  about 252 cal, 20 g pro, 17 g total fat (6 g sat. fat), 4 g carb, 1 g fibre, 48 mg chop, 234 mg sodium, %RDI: 2% calcium, 19% iron, 6% bit A, 17% bit C, 6% folate.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Mediterranean Olive Mini Loaves

These are a great compliment to any dinner.  I love the smell of fresh bread.  It does take some time to make, but it is worth it.  From Food and Drink Holiday 2014.

3/4 cup warm water
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 pkg active dry yeast
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp finely minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp finely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
2 tsp finely chopped oil packed sun dried tomatoes
Olive oil for brushing

  1. Pour warm water, 110F in a bowl.  Stir in sugar until dissolved.  Sprinkle yeast overtop.   Don’t stir.  Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, stir flour with rosemary and salt.  When yeast is foamy, stir in 1/4 cup olive oil.  Then gradually stir into flour mixture.  Keep stirring until dough is evenly moist.  Gather dough into a ball (this should be easy to form). If too dry, add water 1 tbsp at a time; if too wet, add flour in a similar manner.  Place ball on a lightly floured work surface and, using floured hands, knead until dough is smooth and satiny on the surface, adding a dusting of flour to the work surface whenever the dough becomes sticky.  It will need about 5 minutes of kneading.  Then, continuing to gently knead, gradually add olives and tomatoes by scattering some over the dough, a few at a time as evenly as possible.  Fold dough from the top back toward you and knead again.  Repeat until all olives and tomatoes are added.  Do not stretch the dough.  This will take about 3 minutes.
  3. Form dough into a ball and place in a bowl brushed with olive oil.  Cover with an oiled piece of waxed paper and then a damp cloth.  Sit in a warm place, such as the top of the refrigerator, until almost doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Gently deflate dough by pressing down on it and place on a work surface brushed with olive oil. Using an oiled rolling pin roll dough into a rectangle about 8 x 10 inches with the shorter side closest to you.  Slice in half lengthwise, forming two 8 inch long pieces; divide each of those into 4 2 inch wide pieces.  You will end up with 8 pieces.
  5. Working with one piece at a time gently fold in long sides and pinch seams together. Fold in ends and pinch to seal.  Place seam side down on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with olive oil. Repeat for all 8 mini loaves.  Make 3 shallow diagonal slices on top of each, about 1 inch long, if you like.  Cover with a piece of oiled waxed paper, then a light damp cloth. Let sit in a warm place until almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile preheat oven to 450F.
  7. When mini loaves have risen, place pan in centre of oven.  Turn oven down to 375F and bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes.  Brush with okie oil.  Remove to a rack to cool.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days or freeze for longer storage.
Makes 8 mini loaves.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Potato Cheese Casserole

A easy and family friendly recipe.

2 lb hash brown potatoes
Boiling water
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 to 1 pt sour cream
1 can chicken soup
2 cups grated cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup melted butter
Bread crumbs

Pour boiling water over hash brown potatoes.  Pour off immediately and rinse off with cold water quickly.  Mix all ingredients together; place in greased casserole.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs and drizzle with butter.  Bake at 350F for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Cover with foil for the first 25 minutes.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Classic Butter Tarts with Flaky Salt

The pastry here is not rich, but it works because it doesn’t overpower the filling - which is excellent.  I used a mix of hazelnuts and pecans and skipped the raisins.  Adapted from Food and Drink Spring 2015.

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
2 tsp white vinegar
6 tbsp cold water

3/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tsp flaky salt such as Maldon

  1. Stir flour with sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Grate in butter with a box grater.  Rub in butter using fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Stir vinegar into water.  Drizzle water mixture into flour and mix together with a fork.  Gather dough into a ball.  Turn out onto counter and knead for 1 to 2 minutes, or until dough holds together.
  2. Press dough into a disc on a lightly floured surface.  Divide in half.  Wrap one half with plastic wrap and reserve at room temperature.  Roll out remaining dough into between 1/3 and 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut out six 3.5 inch rounds, rerolling dough as necessary.  Grease a 12 cup muffin tin.  Fit pastry rounds into muffin tins.  If the pastry cracks, press back together and use scraps to patch any holes.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Freeze tray for 30 minutes.
  3. Combine coconut sugar, maple syrup, eggs, butter, vanilla, vinegar and salt in a large bowl  Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until combined.  
  4. Arrange rack in lower third of oven.  Preheat oven to 400F.  Drop raisins and nuts into the base of each tart shell.  Stir liquid mixture and our in each tart, filling to 1/4 inch from the top.
  5. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until filling is puffed up and pastry is golden.  Remove from oven and sprinkle each butter tart with a pinch of flaky slat.  Let butter tarts rest in muffin tin for 10 minutes.  Run a sharp knife along the inside of each cup to loosen tarts, then allow to cool in pan for 30 more minutes.
Makes 12 tarts.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

This is a great alternative to the processed spaghetti sauces you buy in the grocery store.

2 (19 oz) cans stewed tomatoes
2 small cans tomato paste
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 medium onions, cut fine
3 stalks celery, cut fine
1 yellow pepper, cut fine
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
750 g lean ground beef.

Brown beef and drain  fat.  Add onions and mushrooms and cook until softened.  Add remaining ingredients and let simmer for 2 hours.  Serve over pasta of your choice.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Bacon Boursin Biscuits

These are rich and flavourful biscuits that go great with almost any meal.  I got this recipe from Food and Drink Holiday 2014.

8 slices bacon
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter
1 pkg Boursin cheese with your favourite flavour
3/4 cup milk
Melted butter for brushing

  • Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crispy, 8 to 10 minutes.  Lower heat if it starts to burn.  Remove to paper towels, then finely chop.
  • Preheat oven to 400F.  Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.  
  • Place flour, then baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Blend with a fork.  Cut butter and Boursin into 8 pieces each and add.  Cut in using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Stir in bacon.  Add milk all at once.  Blend lightly and quickly with a fork until evenly moist.
  • Flour your hands and form dough into a slightly sticky ball.  Place on a lightly floured work surface.  If any dry bits remain in the bowl, sprinkle with just enough milk to moisten, then gather up and add to the dough ball.  Gently knead dough about 8 times, dusting with flour if it becomes too sticky.  Pat or roll to 3/4 inch thickness.
  • Cut out biscuits using a 2 inch floured biscuit cutter and place on prepared baking sheet.  Press scraps together, pat again and cut out.  Brush tops with melted butter.  Bake in centre of oven until golden, about 20 minutes.  Serve warm.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Roasted Squash and Kale Cannelloni with Miso Cream Sauce

This is from Food and Drink Holiday 2014..a really nice flavour and a different take on traditional Cannelloni.

1 medium buttercup squash, about 1 kg
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 large bunch kale, stems and ribs removed, chopped
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
20 oven ready cannelloni shells, about 175 g

2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup white miso
1/4 cup flour
5 cups hot water
1 cup whipping cream

1 tbsp butter
3/4 cup panic bread crumbs
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Cut squash into quarters and discard seeds.  Place on a baking sheet and brush with 1 tbsp oil.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until tender.  Remove from oven.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350F.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and cook for 3 minutes, or until soft.  Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Add kale and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often or until wilted.
  • Spoon squash into pan with kale and stir to combine.  Remove from heat and add Parmesan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Let cool.
  • Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Press squash mixture into cannelloni.  Place in prepared dish.
  • Melt butter with miso over medium heat.  When butter begins to of, stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.  Whisk in 1 cup hot water.  Continue whisking in water 1 cup at a time until smooth.  Whisk in cream.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Pour sauce over cannelloni, they will be fully covered.  Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.  To make garnish, melt butter in a small frying pan over medium heat.  Add bread crumbs and cook until golden, about 5 minutes.  Remove format and stir in parsley.  When cool, stir in Parmesan.
  • Remove foil from cannelloni and top with bread crumb mixture.  Return to oven and cook uncovered for 10 more minutes or until bubbling and golden.  Remove from oven and drizzle with remaining olive oil.
Serves 4

Monday, 27 July 2015

Caramel Pretzel Cheesecake

Salty and sweet this is an excellent recipe for a special get together!

2 cups finely crushed pretzels
2 cups sugar, divided
3/4 cup butter melted
4 pkgs (250 g each) brick cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp butterscotch flavoured liquor
5 eggs
1/4 cup caramel sauce
1 1/4 cups whipping cream, divided
1 1/4 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

  • Heat oven to 350F
  • Combine pretzel crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar and butter, press onto bottom and 22 inches up side of 9 inch springform pan.
  • Reserve 2 tbsp of the remaining sugar.  Beat remaining sugar with cream cheese in large bowl with mixer until blended.  Add liqueur, mix well.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended, pour into crust.
  • Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 5 min or until centre is almost set.  Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake, col before removing rim.  Refrigerate cheesecake 4 hours.
  • Spoon caramel sauce over cheesecake, spreading to within 2 inches of edge.   Bring 1/4 cup whipping cream to boil in small saucepan.   Remove from heat.  Add chocolate chips, stir until melted.  Let stand 10 min or until slightly thickened.  Pour over cheesecake, spreading to completely cover top.
  • Beat remaining cream in medium bowl with mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.   Add remaining sugar; beat until stiff peaks form.  Spoon into pastry bag fitted with star tip, use to pipe whipped cream onto cheesecake just before serving.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Son In Law Eggs

I am not sure how these got their name...but I enjoyed the recipe.  I found this in Food and Drink Spring 2015 and while I didn't get a chance to use Quail Eggs this time I fully intend to at some point.  This worked well with regular chicken eggs.

Tangy Chili Sauce
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 can good quality diced tomatoes (398 ml)
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp Asian chili sauce
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

18 Quail Eggs (I used chicken and only cooked up 6)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced and separated into rings
Pinch salt
1/4 cup cilantro leaves

  • Heat canola oil in a large pot on medium low heat.  Add garlic and sauce for 1 minute or until golden.   Add tomatoes, sugar, cider vinegar, fish sauce and chill sauce, and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 18 minutes, stirring frequently or until mixture is thick and jammy in texture.  Add balsamic vinegar and simmer for 2 minutes longer or until flavours have come together.  Remove from heat and reserve.  Makes about 1 cup.  Chili sauce will keep in the refrigerator, covered for about 2 weeks.
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat.  Working in batches use a large serving spoon to carefully lower quail eggs into water and boil for 2 1/2 minutes (eggs will be soft boiled).  Immediately drain and transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking further.  Carefully peel eggs and blot dry with paper towel.
  • Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium low.  Working in batches add shallots and fry for 2 minutes or until browned and crisp.  Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  Season with a pinch of salt.
  • Working in batches add eggs to hot oil and fry, turning frequently for 1 minute of until lightly browned.  Drain on paper towels.
  • To serve place 1 heaped tsp tangy chili sauce in the bowl of an Asian soup spoon.  Cut quail eggs in half and place on top of sauce, sprinkle with fried shallots and top with cilantro.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Turkey Chow Mein

From Company's Coming - Casseroles..a simple family meal.  I have changed it slightly.

Minute Rice 2 1/2 cups
Water 2 1/2 cups

1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
Water chestnuts, sliced, drained 284 ml
Celery stalks, sliced thinly on angle - 2
Chopped Green Pepper 1/4 cup
Chopped fresh green onion tops 1/3 cup
Chopped pimiento or strips  2 tbsp
Cooked turkey, cut up  2 cups
Onion, thinly sliced 1/2 cup
Butter 1/2 cup
Eggs, fork beaten 3
Salt 1/2 tsp
Pepper 1/2 tsp
Canned Bean Sprouts with juice 540 ml
Soy Sauce 1 tbsp

Prepare minute rice, cool.

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and add mushrooms.  Cook until browned.  Remove and cool.  In large bowl combine mushrooms, water chestnuts, celery, green pepper, green onions, pimiento, turkey and sliced onions.  Set aside.

Melt butter in frying pan, add slightly beaten eggs, salt and pepper.  Fry for a few minutes, stirring with fork to keep broken up.   Do not allow eggs to become too firm.  Add rice and meat mixture.  Stir to combine over low heat.  Add a bit of water to simmer if to dry.

Stir in sprouts and soy sauce.  Simmer covered 10 to 15 minutes until hot.  If too dry, add 2 tbsp butter.  Serves 8.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Spicy Steak Kabobs

A simple recipe that works well on a warm summer day when you just don't want to turn on the oven.  I got this recipe from Canadian Living - the Barbecue Collection.

Half white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 piece fresh ginger, chopped
3 tbsp Tomato paste
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp chili paste
1 tsp packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
450 g grilling steak, cut into cubes
1 each sweet red and green pepper, each cut into pieces

  • In a blender (I used my mini blender for this) pulse together onion, garlic and ginger until coarse paste.  Add tomato paste, vinegar, chill paste, sugar and salt; pulse until smooth.
  • Transfer onion mixture to bowl; toss with steak until coated.  Marinate for 10 minutes.
  • Discarding tomato mixture, alternately thread beef and red and green pepper pieces onto 8 skewers.
  • Grill, covered on greased grill over medium high heat, turning occasionally until medium rare, 10 to 12 minutes.
Makes 4 main course servings.

Soak wooden or bamboo skewers in water for about 30 minutes before using to keep them from charring or catching fire.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Sweet Potatoes in Orange Sauce

A great dish for the holidays!

2 kg sweet potatoes
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
2 cups orange juice
4 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp grated orange peel
1 orange, thinly sliced

Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch slices.  Overlapping slices, arrange in rows in a shallow 3L baking dish.  Set aside.

In a small pan combine sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Stir in orange juice until well blended.  Bring mixture to a boil; cook, stirring constantly, until thick and clear, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat; add butter and peel.  Pour over sweet potatoes.  At this point you may cover and set aside until ready to bake.  Bake at 400F for 45 to 50 minutes.  Uncover and baste thoroughly with sauce.  Bake, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes more or until tender and well glazed.  Arrange orange slices over top to serve.

Serves 10 to 12

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Beef Satays

I really enjoyed this flavourful and easy to prepare barbecue dinner.  I was not able to buy kecap manis in my rural community so I did the homemade version of it.

1 tsp finely grated or minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin
450 g beef sirloin grilling steak or lamb or pork cut into 3 x 1  x 1/4 inch strips

Sweet Soy Satay Sauce
1/4 cup peanut oil or vegetable oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp chopped Thai birds eye peppers or other hot peppers
1/3 cup kecap manis
1/4 cup lime juice
3 tbsp finely chopped peanuts (I used almonds)

Homemade kecap manis
Boil together 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup soy sauce and 1 1/2 tbsp fancy molasses until sugar is dissolved

  1. SWEET SOY SATAY SAUCE:  in small saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat; fry shallots until golden.  Remove with slotted spoon.  Add garlic to pan; fry until golden.  Remove with slotted spoon, reserving oil.  In mortar with pestle, pound Thai peppers to paste; add shallots and garlic and pound until almost smooth.  (or finely mince Thai peppers; add shallots and garlic and mince until almost smooth.) Mix in kecap manis, lime juice and peanuts.
  2. Mix together 1 tbsp of the reserved oil (save remainder for another use), ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, coriander, turmeric, cayenne and cumin; toss with beef until coated.  Marinate for 30 minutes or covered and refrigerated, up to 8 hours.  
  3. Thread onto skewers.  Grill on greased grill over high heat, turning once, until desired doneness, about 4 minutes for medium.  Serve with sweet soy satay sauce.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Spiced Sugar Cookies

These are a nice twist on a regular sugar cookie.

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
Icing and sprinkles to decorate

  • Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Beat sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla, mix well.
  • Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed.  Refrigerate 2 hour or overnight until firm.
  • Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut into shapes with cookie cutters.  Placed on greased baking sheets.
  • Bake in preheated 375F oven 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on baking sheets 1 minute.  Remove to wire racks, cool completely.
  • Decorate with icing and sprinkles.  Place on wire rack to dry.
Makes 6 dozen

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Banana Rum Bread Pudding

This is a Michael Smith recipe that I got from Readers Digest.  I didn’t use the Whipped Cream, but will include it in case you decide you want to.  Ice Cream would also go well.

Servings 8

Bread Pudding
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup rum
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, mashed but still chunky
1 loaf your favourite bread, cubed

Whipped Cream
2 cups whipping cream
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Lightly oil a 13x9 inch baking dish.
  2. To make pudding:  Beat eggs in a large bowl.  
  3. Add milk, cream, rum, brown sugar and vanilla.
  4. Whisk until thoroughly combined.  Stir in banana.  It is okay if banana makes mix a bit lumpy.
  5. Stir in bread cubes, evenly coating every piece. 
  6. Allow to rest until bread absorbs all the custard, about 10 minutes.
  7. Pour mixture into baking dish.
  8. Bake until pudding is set and cooked through and top is golden brown, about 40 minutes
  9. To make the whipped cream: Whip cream with sugar, nutmeg and vanilla until soft and pillowy.
  10. Serve and share with mounds of whipped cream

Friday, 26 June 2015

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

From Readers Digest….this is a combination I love.  Funny how I wouldn’t eat these when I was young but I just love them now.

Ready in: 40 min
Servings 4

3 slices bacon
5 cups Brussels Sprouts trimmed and halved
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
3 tbsp pure maple syrup

  • Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes
  • Transfer bacon to paper towel lined plate.  Let cool, then crumble or chop bacon, set aside reserving 1 tbsp of the fat
  • In a bowl, toss brussels sprouts with bacon fat, salt and pepper
  • Roast in oven proof pan at 425F for 25 minutes or until tender and golden
  • Stir bacon and maple syrup into mixture and roast for 5 minutes longer

Tuesday, 23 June 2015


This is a great way to start your day!  Use just the base or add some of the suggestions…or even better just create your own!  From Fresh Juice magazine.

Yogurt Banana

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
Half frozen banana, halved

  1. Place yogurt, milk and banana in a blender; puree until smooth.  Thin with more milk if desired.
Sweet Almond
Yogurt base + 4 pitted dates + 2 tbsp large flake oats + 2 tbsp almond butter + 1/2 cup ice cubes

Super Blueberry
Yogurt base + 1/2 cup frozen blueberries + 1/2 cup packed spinach leaves + 1 tsp liquid honey

Mango Dream
Yogurt base + 3/4 cup frozen mango chunks + 2 tbsp shelled unsalted pistachios + 1/8 tsp ground cardamom + 1/3 tsp vanilla + 1 tsp liquid honey

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Soba Noodle Salad with Broccoli Slaw

I substituted some fettucini noodles for the Soba as they were unavailable on my shopping day, but the salad turned out great anyway.  From Fresh Juice Magazine 2014.

340 g Soba noodles
1 pkg 340 g Mann’s Broccoli Cole Slaw
2 cups frozen shelled edamame, cooked and cooled
1 sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2/3 cup toasted chopped whole almonds

1/3 cup tahini paste
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp sriracha chili sauce
Sea salt and pepper to taste

  1. In medium bowl, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, soy sauce, sugar and sriracha.  Add water 2 tbsp at a time, up to 1/3 cup, until dressing is pourable but still thick.  Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
  2. Prepare noodles according to package instructions; drain well, cool and transfer to large bowl.  Add broccoli slaw, edamame, red pepper, onions and cilantro; toss to combine.  Gently toss with dressing; sprinkle with almonds.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Pork and Shrimp Dumplings

These were an excellent dinner.  The dumplings had lots of flavour inside and we just drizzled a little soy sauce on them.  From Fresh Juice Magazine March 2014.

150 g Bok Choy halved crosswise
225 g Lean ground pork
8 medium shrimp peeled, deveined and chopped
1 green onion, minced
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp each cornstarch and soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp pepper
1 egg, beaten, divided
1 pkg (450g) round rice flour dumpling wrappers (I couldn’t find these so I just used wonton wrappers)

  1. In small pot of boiling lightly salted water, cook bok choy until tender, 4 to 5 minutes.  Drain and cool in cold water; squeeze out excess liquid.  Thinly slice; place in large bowl.  Add pork, shrimp, onion, ginger, cornstarch, soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper and half of the egg; mix to combine.
  2. In small bowl, mix 1 tsp water into remaining egg (this wash will be used to seal dumplings).  Take 1 dumpling wrapper and moisten around edges with egg wash.  Place heaping teaspoonful pork mixture in centre of wrapper.  Fold over to match edges making a semicircle.  Gently pinch and pleat edges to seal; press lightly to flatten bottom.  Place seam side up on parchment lined baking sheet; cover with damp towel.  Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.  
  3. Place large bamboo steamer (mine isn’t bamboo and it worked fine) fitted with parchment in shallow skillet or wok filled with water until just below steamer bottom.  Place half of dumplings in steamer, cover and bring to a boil over medium high; cook for 10 minutes.  Repeat with remaining dumplings.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Jewelled Wild Rice Salad

The dried fruit and nuts pair beautifully with the fresh green grapes and wild rice in this salad.  This recipe is easy to change up with the fruit and nuts, if you have a favourite that you wish to substitute - go ahead.  From Fresh Juice Magazine.

1 cup long grain and wild rice blend
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup dried apricots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries
1/2 cup green grapes, quartered
1 green onion minced
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp kosher salt

  1. In medium saucepan, cook rice blend according to package instructions until tender.  Transfer to fine mesh sieve and rinse with cold water until cool; allow to drain completely in sieve for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in dry skillet over medium, toast pecans until fragrant and a shade darker, about 5 minutes.
  3. In large bowl, add rice, pecans, apricots, cranberries, grapes and onion.
  4. In small bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, turmeric and salt.  Drizzle over salad; toss well to combine.
Per serving about 282 cal, 5 g protein, 14 g total fat (2 g sat. fat) 37 g carb (4 g dietary fibre, 10 g sugar), 0 mg chol, 245 mg sodium

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Pink Lemonade Sangria

A perfect summer drink - from Food and Drink Summer 2011

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 1 chopped wedge each of lemon and orange, 5 raspberries, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 1/2 oz simple syrup.  Shake and strain into a glass filled with ice, top with dry rose wine and garnish with additional raspberries and a slice of lemon or orange.
Serves 1

Pitcher Size
To a large pitcher, add 1 lemon and 1 small orange, both thinly sliced, and a cup of raspberries.  Stir to bruise the raspberries slightly and top with 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, 3/4 cup simple syrup 1 cup water and bottle (750ml) of dry rose wine.  Chill thoroughly for at least 4 hours to allow the flavours to steep, and serve in a tall glass or large wine goblet over ice.

Serves 6

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.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Pumpkin Ale Sweet Bread

Pumpkin ale is sold in the fall…it was not available when I made this so I used a Ginger Beer which worked really well. From October 2013 Chatelaine

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/3 cup pumpkin ale
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp pumpkin ale
1/4 cup pepitas

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with oil.
  • Stir flour with baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Whisk eggs with brown sugar in a large bowl.  Whisk in pumpkin puree, 1/3 cup ale, oil and vanilla.  Whisk flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until combined.  Scrape into prepared pan (batter will be thick).  Smooth Top.
  • Bake in centre of oven until loaf is dark golden and a skewer inserted in centre of loaf comes out clean 60 to 65 minutes.  Transfer to a rack.  Let stand 15 min.  Run a knife along edges of loaf pan and transfer loaf to rack.
  • Whisk icing sugar and pumpkin ale in a small bowl.  Spoon over top of loaf and sprinkle with pepitas.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Pork and Zucchini Meatballs in Lettuce Cups

1 medium Zucchini
500 g Lean Ground Pork
1 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder
1/2 tsp salt
Vegetable oil
Iceberg Lettuce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp hot chili garlic sauce
2 carrots, grated
2 tbsp rice vinegar
Cilantro for garnish

  1. Grate zucchini and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.  Pat dry with paper towel.  Combine with ground pork, Chinese Five Spice Powder and salt in a large bowl.  Scoop out 2 tbsp balls.
  2. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium high.  Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil, then meatballs in a single layer.  Brown on all sides, by shaking pan a few times about 7 min.  Cover and reduce heat to medium low.  Continue cooking until juices run clear, 6 more min.  Arrange iceberg lettuce cups on plates.
  3. Combine mayonnaise with chili garlic sauce in small bowl.  Stir carrots with rice vinegar in another small bowl.  Place 1 or 2 meatballs in each lettuce cup and top with chili garlic mayo and carrots.  Garnish with cilantro.
Serves 4

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Red Pepper Falafel Cakes

I am becoming a big fan of the falafel!  These are yummy and not too hard to make. From Chatelaine October 2013

  1. Whirl a 540 ml of chickpeas (drained and rinsed) with 1/3 cup fine bulgur, 4 garlic cloves, 1 small onion, 1 egg, 1 1/2 tsp each ground cumin and coriander and 1/4 tsp salt in a food processor until they are finely chopped.  Stir in 2/3 cup all purpose flour and 1/3 cup finely chopped roasted red pepper.  Scoop batter into 1 tbsp balls.
  2. Heat a large non stick frying pan over medium.  Add 2 tsp canola oil, then half of batter balls.  Lightly press each with the bottom of a spoon to flatten into a cake.  Cook until golden and warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Repeat with 2 tsp canola oil and remaining batter balls.  Serve in pita halves with greek yogurt, tomato and cucumber.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Delicious Pizza

This is a recipe from Food and Drink 2014, except that it is supposed to be grilled and in 4 pizzas and I baked it on a stone in my oven as one large pizza.  The Sauce is what I really enjoyed about this pizza, and it was so easy to make.

3 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely shopped
 Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1 can (798 ml) San Marzano Tomatoes (or the best quality you can find)
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
375 g Hot Italian sausages
1 pkg (680g) Pizza Dough
1 cup pitted black olives
125 g drained fior di latte, torn into small pieces (or the best quality mozzarella you can find, grated)
1/4 cup finely shredded fresh basil leaves

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium heat.  Add onion and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, stirring often, until onion is softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and red chili flakes and cook, stirring until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add tomatoes and sugar.  Bring to a boil, breaking up tomatoes with the back of a spoon.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened and reduced, abut 50 minutes.  Stir more frequently and reduce heat, if necessary, toward end of cooking time so sauce doesn't scorch.  Taste and add more slat and pepper if necessary.  Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a small nonstick skillet over medium.  Remove casings from sausages and crumble meat into skillet.  Cook, stirring often, until sausage meat is completely cooked and no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. 30 minutes before cooking remove dough from fridge.
  5. Heat oven to 400F.  
  6. Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to size of pizza stone and place on stone.
  7. Spread tomato sauce over crusts.  Sprinkle with cooked sausage, black olives and cheese.
  8. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until crust is cooked through.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Pastrami Salmon

A nice summery dish for the grill!  From Food and Drink 2014.

750 g Salmon
1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp black peppercorns, coarsely ground
1 tbsp coriander seeds, coarsely ground
1 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt

  1. Brush salmon with olive oil on both sides and place on parchment paper.  Combine spice mixture ingredients in a small bowl.   Pat mixture evenly over the salmon.  Let sit for 15 minutes before grilling.
  2. Preheat grill to high.
  3. Slide salmon from paper onto grill.  Close lid and grill for 12 to 15 minutes or until white juices begin to appear.  Remove from grill and let sit for 5 minutes.  Cut into 4 serving pieces and serve with grainy mustard and a slaw.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Stromboli with Smoked Ham and Spinach

Even my picky child liked this one!  From Food and Drink Magazine 2014.  Stromboli is an Ital-American creation of rolled pizza dough around your choice of fillings.  So versatile!  Try chicken and broccoli or steak and bbq sauce.

2 tbsp flour
500g store bought ball of uncooked pizza dough
3/4 cup pasta sauce, plus extra for dipping if desired (thicker style is better)
4 to 5 slices smoked ham, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup hot banana pepper rings
1 cup Asiago cheese, grated
Olive oil for brushing

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Sprinkle work surface with flour to prevent sticking, use extra if needed.  Roll pizza dough out to an 11 x 14 inch rectangle with longest edge facing you.
  3. Spread entire dough with tomato sauce leaving a 1 inch border around the edge.
  4. Cover sauce with ham, then spinach and sprinkle with remaining ingredients
  5. Roll dough into a log, then pinch edges of dough to seal.  Place roll on a greased baking sheet with seam down.  Brush entire roll with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes in middle of the oven, or until golden and cooked through.
  6. Let rest 15 minutes before slicing, to allow cheese to firm up.  To speed up the process you can cut the stromboli in half to release the steam.
  7. Slice and serve with extra warmed sauce for dipping.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Rose Summer Sangria

A great summer drink for the patio.

1 cup strawberries
1 wedge of watermelon
1/2 pink grapefruit
1 bottle rose wine, 750 ml
1/2 cup St Germain liqueur or Cassis liqueur
2 cups carbonated or sparkling water
Strawberries and pink grapefruit for garnishing

  1. Trim and chop strawberries.  Cut watermelon into small pieces and measure out 1/2 cup.  Segment grapefruit half, then cut into small pieces.  Pour wine into a large pitcher or punch bowl.  Add fruit.  Refrigerate and allow flavours to infuse overnight.
  2. Just before serving, stir in liqueur and carbonated water.  Ladle sangria, including fruit, into ice filled rocks glasses.  Garnish with fresh strawberries and a wedge of grapefruit, if you like.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Raspberry Lime Creme Brulee

This was a great combination of flavours!  I am a big fan of Creme Brulee.

1 cup frozen raspberries
2 tbsp each water and granulated sugar
1 tbsp corn starch

1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 cup 10% Half and Half Cream
4 egg yolks
1 egg
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp finely grated lime zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
Additional granulated sugar for brulee

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.  Stir raspberries with water sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan set over medium heat.  Cook, stirring until thickened.  Divide berry mixture among six 6-oz ramekins; arrange in a deep baking dish or roasting pan.  Let stand until set.
  2. Custard:  Meanwhile, heat whipping and half and half cream together in a heavy saucepan set over medium-low heat until steaming.  Whisk egg yolks and whole egg with sugar.  Gradually whisk in creams until well combined.  Strain into a measure or pitcher; gently stir in lime zest and vanilla.
  3. Divide custard among prepared ramekins.  Carefully pour enough boiling water into baking pan to reach halfway up sides of ramekins.  Bake for 40 minutes or until custard is slightly jiggly in centre.  Cool to room temperature in pan; chill completely before serving (or up to 2 days).
  4. Sprinkle 2 tsp sugar evenly over each custard.  Use a brulee torch, moving back and forth over the sugar until evenly melted and amber coloured.  Or, broil on the top rack for 3 to 4 minutes or until the sugar is golden.  Let stand at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before serving.
Makes 6 servings

Monday, 4 May 2015

English Muffin Bread

This is wonderful toasted with some butter and Strawberry Jam.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
2 pkgs Quick Rise Yeast
4 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
Cornmeal for sprinkling

  1. Combine 1 cup all purpose flour with whole wheat flour, cranberries, yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.  Heat milk and water until very warm and add to flour mixture and beat with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes.  Gradually stir in enough all purpose flour to make a stiff batter.  
  2. Grease two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pans and sprinkle lightly with cornmeal.  Divide batter between prepared pans.  Cover with a tea towel; let rise in warm, draft free place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.  
  3. Preheat oven to 400 F.  Bake loaves for 25 minutes or until tester inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Remove from pans immediately; cool completely on wire rack before slicing.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Double Chocolate Pudding Cake

This was so good and so easy!

1 3/4 cups boiling water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup corn syrup

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup 10% cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Lightly grease a 10 inch baking dish.
  2. Sauce:  Whisk boiling water with brown sugar, cocoa and corn syrup until smooth; set aside.
  3. Cake: Stir flour with sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk cream with oil, eggs and vanilla.  Stir into flour mixture just until combined.  Fold in chocolate.  
  4. Spread batter evenly in prepared dish.  Carefully pour sauce mixture evenly over batter.  Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until top springs bake when lightly touched.  Serve warm with ice cream.
8 servings

Monday, 27 April 2015

Cranberry White Chocolate Cardamom Cookies

Easy to make and a nice flavour.  Perfect for the holidays.

1 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 egg
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely chopped white chocolate
1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries

  1. Beat butter with sugar and cardamom until fluffy.  Beat in egg and orange zest.  In a separate bowl, stir flour with baking powder and salt.  Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture.  Stir in chocolate and cranberries.
  2. Divide dough into quarters.  Roll each portion into a 6 inch log about 1 1/2 inches wide.  Wrap tightly and chill until firm, about 3 hours. 
  3. Preheat oven to 375F.  Slice logs about 1/4 inch thick and arrange on parchment paper lined baking sheets.  Bake for 10 minutes or until bottoms are golden.  Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
  4. Garnish the cookies with additional melted white or dark chocolate.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Cheddar Cranberry Stuffing Topped Turkey Breast

I substituted chicken breast for the turkey in this recipe as I couldn't find any Turkey breast….it still turned out great.

3 tbsp salted butter
1 each small onion and celery stalk
2 tsp dried sage leaves
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 eggs
1/2 cup sodium reduced chicken broth
4 cups cubed, crusty Italian bread
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard

  1. Melt butter in a skillet set over medium heat.  Add onion, celery, sage and thyme, saute for 4 to 5 minutes or until fragrant and tender.  Stir in dried cranberries, then let cool to room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350F.  Toast bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet for 8 minutes.  Cool to room temperature.  Whisk eggs with broth.  Stir bread, 1 cup cheese and the egg mixutre into vegetables until combined.
  3. Place turkey breasts on a rack on a rimmed baking sheet.  SEason all over with salt and pepper.  Brush mustard evenly over turkey.  Tuck tenderloin portions underneath to create a uniform thickness.
  4. Lightly press stuffing mixture over turkey, making an even crust.  Cover loosley with greased foil.  Roast for 80 minutes.  Uncover and roast for 15 minutes or until stuffing is browned and turkey breasts register 160F on a meat thermometer.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Tent loosely with foil; let turkey rest for 10 minutes before slicing.  

Monday, 20 April 2015

Caramel Chocolate Truffle Tarts

Wonderful rich chocolate tarts.  A nice desert to share with friends.

Truffle Tarts
1 box 255 g tart shells
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup each dark and milk chocolate chips
1 tbsp salted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Truffle Tarts:  Preheat oven to 375F.  Arrange tart shells on a baking sheet.  Dock bottoms with a fork, then bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Cool completely.
  2. Heat whipping cream in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute or until steaming.  Add chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth.   Pour warm filling into cooled tart shells.  Chill until set.
  3. Caramel: Meanwhile, mound granulated sugar in the centre of a medium, heavy saucepan set over medium heat.  Add water; cover and bring to a boil without stirring (about 4 minutes).  Uncover and cook, swirling the pan often, until the sugar turns a deep amber colour.
  4. Remove from heat.  Immediately, wearing oven mitts, slowly whisk in whipping cream until smooth; stir in butter and vanilla.  Let cool for 20 minutes.  Spoon evenly over chocolate.  Chill until set (about 2 hours.). 

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Summery Pot Pie

Comfort food with lots of veggies! Switch up the veggies with what is available to you. From Food and Drink Early Summer 2014.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cooked skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
1 bunch Chinese broccoli, chopped
6 spring onions, chopped
2 cups snap peas, trimmed and sliced in half
1 sweet pepper, chopped
4 sheets defrosted phyllo pastry
3 tbsp butter, preferably salted, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a very large saucepan set over medium heat.  Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir in flour.  Cook stirring frequently for 2 minutes.  Slowly whisk in milk and broth until incorporated.  Whisk in tarragon, salt and pepper.  Stir in chicken and vegetables.  Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until slightly warmed.
  3. Meanwhile prepare phyllo.  Working quickly, remove a sheet of pastry to countertop.  Cover remaining stack of phyllo with a damp kitchen towel.  Lightly brush phyllo sheet with melted butter.  Continue with remaining phyllo and butter, stacking prepared sheets on top of each other.  Turn creamy chicken mixture into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Carefully lift prepared phyllo stack overtop.  Crimp edges.
  4. Bake in centre of preheated oven for 20 to 22 minutes or until phyllo is lightly golden.  Carefully cut through phyllo.  Scoop servings into bowls.  Serve warm with mashed potatoes to soak up the sauce.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

The Colado Mojito

This is a great summer drink!  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.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Olive Biscuits

These are simple to make and are a nice addition to dinner.

3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup unsalted cold butter, diced
1/2 cup soft goat cheese
1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or pinch dried
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
1/4 cup chopped black olives

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Add flour and butter to bowl and using a pastry cutter or two knives combine until it looks like coarse bread crumbs.  Crumble goat cheese, salt thyme and grated lemon rind and continue to cut with pastry cutter until well combined.  Add olives.
  3. Place in bowl and combine into a ball.  Chill 30 minutes.  Roll out about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut 3 inch rounds, rerolling scraps until you have 4 biscuits.  Place biscuits on greased cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until golden.  Cool on a rack.
Serves 4

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Devil's Food Cake

This is a Devil's Food Cake recipe from Food and Drink Autumn 2011.  It is sinfully rich and delicious!  The frosting used in the recipe is excellent!

1 1/2 cups cake and pastry flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk at room temperature

6 oz dark unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 cups icing sugar sifted

  1. Heat oven to 350F.  Butter two 9 inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.  Set aside.
  2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add 1 egg at a time and beat until well incorporated.  Beat in vanilla.  Add half the flour mixture to the bowl and stir together with a large spoon; stir in milk, stir in second half of the flour.  Stir until all is well combined but do not overstir.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Leave cakes in pans for 10 minutes before removing onto a cooling rack.  Let cool completely and remove parchment paper before frosting the cake.  
  7. For frosting, melt chocolate in a bain-mrie over low heat.  Once chocolate has melted add butter and stir until butter melts and is combined with the chocolate.  Take off the heat and whisk in hot water, salt and vanilla.
  8. Place chocolate mixture in a large bowl and gradually beat in icing sugar.  The frosting may need more or less than the 4 cups to achieve the proper consistency.
  9. Set frosting aside until ready to use.  If needed, place in the refrigerator to harden it slightly; this will make it easier to work with.  If it becomes too hard, microwave for a few seconds.
  10. Place 1 layer of cake on platter and cover the top completely and generously with frosting.  Top with second layer and continue frosting the entire cake with as much frosting as desired.
Serves 8

Friday, 27 March 2015

Peach and Blackberry Slump

Very much like a cobbler, this is a great dessert!  From Food and Drink Autumn 2011.

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp chopped ginger
5 cups peeled peaches, sliced in eighths (about 6 peaches)
1 cup blackberries

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup buttermilk (I used soured milk)

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Combine water, sugar and ginger in a small pot over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Combine peaches and blackberries in a large bowl.  Toss with cool sugar syrup and spoon into a buttered 8 or 9 inch gratin dish.  Bake for 10 minutes while making the topping.
  4. Prepare topping by combining the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in a bowl.  Blend in butter with your fingertips until mixture looks like fine bread crumbs.
  5. Mix in buttermilk until a soft dough forms, adding more buttermilk if necessary.  The dough should be soft and slightly sticky.  Drop spoonfuls of topping onto fruit. 
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is fully baked and juices are bubbling.
Serves 4 to 6

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Chai Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee is one of my favourite desserts and I really liked the added spices in this recipe.

1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup homogenized milk
3 slices fresh ginger
5 egg yolks
6 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine spices, cream and milk.  Add ginger.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Remove saucepan from the heat, cover tightly and let stand for 1 hour.  Strain cream mixture, discarding ginger.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  3. Boil a kettle of water.  In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, 3 tbsp sugar and vanilla.  Whisk in cream mixture.  Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a pitcher.
  4. Set six 1/2 cup ramekins in a shallow roasting pan.  Pour cream mixture into ramekins, dividing evenly.  Set roasting pan on puled out middle rack of oven.  Pour boiling water from kettle into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of ramekins.  Slide rack into oven.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until custards are just set around edges but centres still jiggle slightly.  
  5. Remove ramekins from roasting pan and let cool completely.  Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
  6. Just before serving, sprinkle remaining sugar over each custard, dividing evenly and covering surface of custard completely.  Light a blowtorch and play flame evenly over tops of custards to caramelize sugar, moving torch constantly so sugar doesn't burn.  Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes for caramelized sugar to harden.  

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloins with Spiced Cranberries

From Food and Drink Autumn 2011.  I liked the tangy cranberries paired with cinnamon for this recipe.  It gives the meal a wonderful rich taste.

2 pork tenderloins about 500g each
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried leaf thyme
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick, about 2 inches long
1 star anise (I didn't use this)
1/2 cup beef stock or broth
1 cup cranberry juice
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries ( I like the fresh ones)
Sprigs of fresh thyme

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Trim tenderloins of any fat and silver skins that may be partially covering them.  Use a small sharp knife to remove these thin white membranes.  Slice tenderloins in half crosswise.
  3. Sprinkle pork generously with slat and pepper.  Rub into the meat.  Sprinkle with thyme.  Heat a wide ovenproof skillet over medium high.  Add oil and coat the bottom.  Place pork in pan and turn often until lightly browned on all sides and the ends, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Place skillet in the oven and roast, uncovered, until an instant read thermometer inserted in the centre of the meat reads 150F (65C) about 12 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat.  Turn pork several times during the roasting, then remove to a cutting board and cover.
  5. Return skillet to the burner.  Break cinnamon stick in half and add with star anise.  To toast spices, stir about 2 minutes over medium heat.  Then add the broth and scrape up the lovely brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Pour in the cranberry juice and add berries.  Boil gently until cranberries break down a little and sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally.
  6. Slice the pork and arrange on serving plates.  Spoon berries and juice overtop.  Scatter with a few fresh thyme sprigs.