Saturday, November 14, 2009

Honey-Ginger Chicken Bites

Soo delish! This has made it's way into one of our regulars. Usually just steam some rice, add the chicken bites and sauce.

Honey-Ginger Chicken Bites
From: Cooking Light - Best of Chicken Recipes
    2/3 C. Honey
    2 Tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
    2 TBSP Fresh Lemon Juice
    2 TBSP Cider Vinegar
    2 TBSP Low-sodium Soy Sauce
    2 TSP dark sesame oil (I could not find it so just used reg. sesame oil
    1 TSP grated orange rind
    1 TSP Worcestershire Sauce
    4 Garlic Cloves, minced
    1 1/4 pounds, skinless, bonless Chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces (about 16 pcs)
    Cooking Spray
    1 TSP Salt
    1/4 TSP black pepper
    2 TSP cornstarch
    2 TSP water
    2 TSP sesame seeds, toasted (Optional)

1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic, seal and shake well. Add chicken pieces; seal and toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

2. Preheat oven to 425

3. Remove chicken from bag, reserving marinade. Arrange chicken in a single layer on th erack of a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Back at 425 for 20m, stirring once.

4. While chicken is cooking, strain marinade through a sieve into a bowl, discard solids. Place marinade in a saucepan, bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes; skim solids from surface. Combine cornstarch and 2 teaspoons of water in small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add cornstarch mixture to pan, stir with whisk, cook 1 min. Remove from heat, pour glaze into large bowl.

5. Pre-heat broiler.

6. Add chicken to glaze, toss well to coat. Place chicken mixture on a jelly-roll pan; broil 5m or until browned, stirring twice, sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size about 1.5 oz)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Beef and Barley Soup

For Samantha!

Looking for Mr. Goodbarley Soup

1-1/2 pounds stewing beef, trimmed of fat and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup each chopped celery, chopped carrots and chopped onions
1 clove garlic, minced
7 cups water
4 tsp beef bouillon powder
1 cup tomato sauce
2/3 cup pearl barley
1-1/2 tsp dried marjoram
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
Salt to taste

1/3 cup

chopped, fresh parsley

1. Spray a large soup pop with non-stick spray. Add beef and brown on all sides over high heat. Work in two batches if necessary

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add celery, carrots, onions and garlic. Cook and stir for 5 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients to pot, except parsley. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours, until beef is very tender. Stir in parsley and serve hot

Sunday, October 11, 2009



2/3 cup strong espresso (or substitute 1 tablespoon instant coffee dissolved in 2/3 cup of boiling water)
½ cup Kahlua
4 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 cups whipping cream
2 cups mascarpone cheese, room temperature
40 (about) crisp Italian ladyfinger cookies
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting


In a small bowl, combine the espresso and Kahlua. Set aside to cool completely. If the espresso mixture is hot the ladyfingers will absorb too much liquid and fall apart easily. Using a whisk, beat the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a medium metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the mixture is pale and thick and forms a ribbon when the whisk is lifted.

Cool for 5 minutes. Place the mascarpone in a large bowl. Stir half of the yolk mixture into the mascarpone to lighten, then fold in the remaining yolk mixture. In another large bowl beat the whipping cream and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar with the electric mixer just until stiff peaks form.

Fold the whipping cream into the mascarpone mixture and set aside.

Quickly dip enough of the cookies into the Kahlua mixture to cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 glass dish or pan. Cover with half of the marscapone mixture Top with another layer of dipped cookies and the remaining marscapone mixture.

Sift the cocoa powder over the tiramisu. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours (overnight is best.)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cold Shrimp Soup

This is a little odd but it is very tasty and a summer favorite around here :)

1 bottle Clamato
Lemon juice
Worcestershire sauce
Celery salt
Fresh ground pepper
Peeled, cooked shrimp
1 pkg cream cheese, cut into small cubes (about 1/2" or so)
2 avocados, cubed

Chill the Clamato and pour into a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients (lemon juice, Worcestershire, celery salt, and pepper are all to taste... it's like making a big caesar) and chill until serving (eat within an hour or so.. the shrimp turns red after a while.)

Very yummy with crusty bread!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Easy Peasy Soft Granola Bars

From one of the moms on DIP!


41/2 cup rolled oats
1 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c butter
1/2 cup honey
1/3 c packed brown sugar
2 cups mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 F . Lightly grease 1 9X13 in rectangle pan.

In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, flour, baking soda. Set aside. In a microwave safe container melt the butter until liquid. Stir in honey, vanilla and brown sugar until incorporated and smooth. Add to oat mixture. Add in chocolate.

Pour mixture mixture into prepared pan and press down until flat. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until the edges are starting to brown. Let bars cool completely before cutting and removing from pan. Store in a container with a lid. Makes 18 bars.

You can mix up the recipe to suit what you have on hand, use whole wheat flour or a nice 7 grain flour, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc. The combinations are endless. Can substitute corn syrup instead of honey and quick oats work just as well as regular oats.

Rhubarb Nectar

This one is for Sam :) This is sooo tasty when mixed with 7-up or soda water!


10 cups (2.5 L) chopped rhubarb (about 3 lb/1.5 kg)
3 cups (750 mL) water
1 strip each orange and lemon rind
2 cups (500 mL) granulated sugar


In large saucepan, combine rhubarb, water and orange and lemon rind; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until rhubarb is broken up.

Strain through cheesecloth-lined strainer into clean saucepan. Stir in sugar and bring to boil. Pour into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch (5 mm) headspace. Top with lids and screw bands; process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Shake or stir before using.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bavarian Apple Torte


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
8-oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups peeled, sliced apples
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 450 Fahrenheit.

Cream butter and 1/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla. Add flour; mix well. Spread on bottom and sides of a springform pan. Combine cream cheese and 1/4 cup sugar, mixing until well blended. Blend in egg and vanilla. Pour in pastry lined pan. Toss apples with combined sugar and cinnamon; spoon over cream cheese layer. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 400 and continue baking 25 minutes.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Unbaked Cookies

I had a craving for these and whipped up a batch during E's nap this afternoon...


1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup coconut


Mix rolled oats and coconut together in a large bowl. Set aside. Mix butter, sugar, cocoa, milk, and salt together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper and let cool.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Greek Potato Spinach Salad

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 stick butter (8 tablespoons, 4 ounces or 1/2 cup)
  • 6 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 12 pieces each
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled into cloves
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 1/2 cup more of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 10 oz baby spinach
  • Sprinkled sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Greek Potato and Spinach Salad

  1. Place a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add the first olive oil and butter. When the butter has melted and begins to sizzle, add the potatoes and brown slowly and patiently for 15-20 minutes, turning them as necessary until they have evenly browned on all sides.
  2. Meanwhile finely chop or puree the garlic. Whisk the lemon, second olive oil, garlic and oregano into a small bowl and whisk until emulsified. Put browned potatoes into a salad bowl and toss with garlic dressing, salt and pepper and spinach.

Crockpot Fried Rice

Easy, delicious, satisfying.

2 cups leftover rice
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup diced onion
1 cup fresh or frozen vegetables
1/2 cup leftover meat (or more or less....whatever)
1 egg

Put all in crockpot.  Cook for 2-3 hours on high or 3-4 hours on low. 

From Crockpot 365  

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Roasted Garlic Hummous

1 head garlic
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/8 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt & pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

Heat oven to 375F. Slice off the very top of the head of garlic so all cloves are exposed. Drizzle with a little olive oil, wrap in foil, and place in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until nice and soft. Allow to cool until you can handle it safely.

Grab your food processor and toss in chick peas, roasted garlic (squeezed from the cooled head, sesame oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Process on high until all ingredients are combined. Slowly add olive oil until the hummous is the constancy and texture that you like (anywhere from 1/4 - 1/2 cup.) Spoon into a dish, drizzle with olive oil and serve with pita wedges.

Greek Salad

5 large ripe (but not too ripe) tomatoes, cut into wedges and then cut in half
1 - 2 English cucumbers, cut into quarters lengthwise and then cut into 1/2" slices
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 Tbsp capers, drained
1 cup (at least!) cubed feta
1 can whole black olives (Kalamata are the best)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp oregano

Toss together tomatoes, cucumber, onion, capers, olives, and feta. Mix together dressing and pour over salad. This tastes best when it can sit on the counter for a few hours so the flavors can meld nicely.

Chicken Souvlaki

Tonight we are having some friends over for Greek food... yum! There is something about Greek that just screams summer to me :) I have am making a bunch of different stuff but I will post each recipe in it's own thread so I can label them properly.

Chicken Souvlaki
(serves 4)

4 skewers (if using wood be sure to soak them overnight)
4 chicken breasts, cubed
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2-3 tsp oregano

Toss cubed chicken, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and oregano into a plastic bag or container to marinate for at least 4 hours in the fridge. Just before cooking, tread onto skewers. BBQ until chicken is cooked through! Serve with Tzatziki.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes Filled with Chocolate-Mint Ganache with Topped with Mint Buttercream


Recipe from

Chocolate Cupcakes
24 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

200 gram bar of Valrhona 61% cocao
3 sticks butter
2-1/4 cups sugar
8 eggs
1-1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt


1. chop chocolate and transfer into the bowl of a standing mixer.
2. add butter to the chocolate and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. stir until chocolate melts and butter is combined.
3. remove from heat and stir in sugar. let mixture cool for 10 minutes.
4. beat in an electric mixer for 3 minutes.
5. add one egg at a time, mixing for 30 seconds between each
6. sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and a pinch of salt into the mixture and mix until blended.
7. scoop into cupcake cups and bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Chocolate-Mint Ganache

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon chopped mint leaves
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature

1. chop chocolate and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
2. heat cream and 1/4 cup mint until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, pour cream through strainer, over the chocolate.
3. let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.
4. add butter and the remaining teaspoon of chopped mint and stir until combined.
5. let cool then transfer to the refrigerator to thicken, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Mint Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon all natural peppermint extract
1. beat butter until creamy, scrape bowl.
2. add 4 cups of sifted powdered sugar, milk, and peppermint extract, beat until combined.
3. add more powdered sugar as needed to get piping consistency.

Note: I tried to keep the mint flavor subtle and not too overpowering. I recommend starting on the light side with 1/8 teaspoon or less and tasting to get the flavor you want.

1. stuff the cupcakes with ganache using the cone method (cut out a cone shape from the top, cut off the pointy cone part, stuff the whole with filling, then put the top back on)


2. frost them.
3. top with something green (if you want), like a mint leaf, green candy, or whatever you fancy.


What do you mean none of them are for me?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Double Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Filling

From Food&Wine -


  1. 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  2. 1/2 cup boiling water
  3. 1 cup buttermilk
  4. 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  5. 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  6. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 1/2 sticks plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  9. 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  10. 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  11. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  12. 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  13. 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  14. 1 cup heavy cream
  15. 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and position 2 racks in the lower and middle third of the oven. Line 24 muffin cups with paper or foil liners.
  2. Put the cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Add the boiling water and whisk until a smooth paste forms. Whisk in the buttermilk until combined. In a medium bowl, sift the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1 1/2 sticks of the butter with the granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, then beat in the dry ingredients in 2 batches, alternating with the cocoa mixture. Carefully spoon the cupcake batter into the lined muffin cups, filling them about two-thirds full. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are springy. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the peanut butter with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter until creamy. Sift the confectioners' sugar into the bowl and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Spoon all but 3 tablespoons of the peanut butter filling into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch star tip. Holding a cupcake in your hand, plunge the tip into the top of the cake, pushing it about 3/4 inch deep. Gently squeeze the pastry bag to fill the cupcake, withdrawing it slowly as you squeeze; you will feel the cupcake expand slightly as you fill it. Scrape any filling from the top of the cupcake and repeat until all of the cupcakes are filled.
  4. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Off the heat, add the semisweet chocolate to the cream and let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk the melted chocolate into the cream until smooth. Let the chocolate icing stand until slightly cooled and thickened, about 15 minutes. Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the icing, letting the excess drip back into the pan. Transfer the cupcakes to racks and let stand for 5 minutes. Dip the tops of the cupcakes again and transfer them to racks. Spoon the remaining 3 tablespoons of peanut butter filling into the pastry bag and pipe tiny rosettes on the tops of the cupcakes.
Make Ahead
    The cupcakes are best served the same day they are made, but they can be refrigerated overnight in an airtight container.


    Cooking Club Tip: If you don't have a pastry bag with a fitted tip, you can fill these cupcakes by carving a hole in the center (from the top) with a sharp paring knife. Put the filling in a resealable plastic bag and snip off one of the corners. Pipe the filling directly into the hole.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Barry Maniloaf - Raspberry Lemon Loaf Recipe

My first post! I just made this today, it's delicious, Ian and both the girls were devouring it.

Low-fat raspberry lemon loaf uses fresh or frozen raspberries so you can enjoy it year-round. Serve as a dessert with raspberry sauce or spread slices with butter for breakfast.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes


  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup low-fat, lemon-flavored yogurt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, egg, egg whites, and lemon zest. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and stir just until moistened. Gently fold in raspberries.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely before slicing.

Yield: 1 loaf, 12 slices

Recipe Source: Crazy Plates by Janet and Greta Podleski (Perigee)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream

This was ariadne's contribution to cupcake camp; I am posting it on her behalf. This was one of the best frostings there... the cake was good, but the coconut buttercream was AMAZING. You could probably put it on a rock and it would be declared the best! cupcake! EVER!

Chocolate Cupcakes


1 cup boiling-hot water
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Rounded 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature for 30 minutes


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

Whisk together hot water and cocoa powder in a bowl until smooth, then whisk in milk and vanilla.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in another bowl.

Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add flour and cocoa mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture (batter may look curdled).

Fill cupcake liners to about 3/4 full. Bake until a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean and edges of cake begin to pull away from sides of pans, 15 to 20 minutes total. Cool in pans on racks 10 minutes, then remove from pans, and cool completely.

Coconut Buttercream


4 large egg whites at room temperature (or use pasteurized egg whites from a carton)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces and softened
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract

Special equipment: a candy thermometer


Combine egg whites and salt in bowl of a standing electric mixer or other large bowl.

Stir together sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved and washing down side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. When syrup reaches a boil, start beating whites with electric mixer at medium-high speed. Once whites are frothy, add lemon juice and beat at medium speed until they just hold soft peaks. (Do not beat again until sugar syrup is ready—see below.)

Meanwhile, put thermometer into sugar syrup and continue boiling, without stirring, until it reaches soft-ball stage (238–242°F). Immediately remove from heat and slowly pour hot syrup in a thin stream down side of bowl into egg whites, beating constantly at high speed. Beat meringue, scraping down bowl with a rubber spatula, until meringue is cool to the touch, about 6 minutes. (It's important that meringue is fully cooled before proceeding.) - it took mine at least 15 to 20 minutes to cool enough. Don’t use a hand mixer – it will die, believe me.

With mixer at medium speed, gradually add butter 1 piece at a time, beating well after each addition until incorporated. (If meringue is too warm and buttercream looks soupy after some butter is added, chill bottom of bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice and cold water for a few seconds before continuing to beat in remaining butter.) Continue beating until buttercream is smooth. (Mixture may look curdled before all butter is added, but will come back together before beating is finished.) Add coconut extract and beat 1 minute more.

Cooks' notes:
•Buttercream can be made 1 week ahead and chilled, covered, or 1 month ahead and frozen. Bring to room temperature (do not use a microwave) and beat with an electric mixer before using.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Deluxe Turkey Meatloaf

I thought this would be a good addition to the blog...

1 lb ground turkey
Olive Oil
200g mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp dried basil
Salt & Pepper
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
1 egg, beaten
1 slice bread
Splash of milk
8 slices of prosciutto
goat cheese

Saute sliced mushrooms in a little bit of olive oil. Add basil, salt, pepper, and white wine. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Cool mushrooms. Soak bread in milk until mushy. Squeeze out bread and break into pieces in a bowl. Add beaten egg, ground turkey, and mushroom mixture. Lay out 4 slices of prosciutto on a baking sheet, you may want to grease it with a bit of olive oil first. Top with turkey mixture, forming a log. Crumble goat cheese on top of turkey mixture. Bring prosciutto slices up around the turkey log. Use remaining slices on top of the log, tucking in the bottom so you have a nice, neat package. Bake at 350F for 45min-1 hour or until internal temp reaches 165F.

Very yummy!

Pasta with Home-Style Tomato Sauce

From; William Sonoma Cookbook - The essential recipe collection for Today's Home Cook

For Homestyle Sauce:
1/4c. extra virgin oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 yellow onion finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 leek, white part only, rinsed and finely diced
1 small inner celery stalk, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 fresh plum(roma) tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1 can (35oz.1.1kg) plum (roma) tomatoes, chopped, with juice
1 bay leaf
2 or 3 fresh thyme sprigs
Salt & freshly ground pepper

For the Pasta;
1lb sturdy pasta such as spaghetti, bucatini or dried shaped pasta
small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
Thyme sprigs for garnish (optional)

To make the sauce, in a large frying pan over medium heat, heat the 1/4c oil. Add the onion, carrot, leek, and celery and saute until just turning lightly golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute without colouring, about 1 minute. Add the fresh and canned tomatoes with their juice, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook, unocvered, until slightly thickened, no more then 20 minutes. The sauce should remain at a lively simmer; stir several times during cooking.

Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook until al dente, 7-9 minutes.

Remove the thyme springs and bay leaf from the sauce and discard. Add the parsley, basil and a drizzle of olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Drain the pasta and put it in a warmed large shallow bowl. Add the sauce, toss it gently with the pasta, garnish with thyme sprigs, if using, and serve at once.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Peanut Butter-Nutella Brownies

I've died and gone to heaven! I made these this morning for Owen to take tomorrow for a potluck and I can barely stop myself from having more then one. Chocolate-y, moist, goodness. Yum! I sprinkled the top with mini chocolate chips as well as a bit of icing sugar that I'd mixed with Milk.

Peanut Butter-Nutella Brownies
Adapted from Culinary in the Country
From the Noble Pig Blog

1 cup butter (2 sticks), melted
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
4.5 ounces (1 cup) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup peanut butter

In a medium bowl combine all-purpose flour, cocoa (sift this in to get rid of lumps), baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Over low heat, melt butter and stir in sugar and vanilla extract until well combined.

To the butter-sugar mixture add eggs, one at a time. With a wooden spoon vigorously mix in each egg until well-combined.

To the butter-egg mixture whisk in the cocoa mixture until fully combined.

In a microwave safe bowl add Nutella and peanut butter. Heat in the microwave in 20 second intervals until it reaches a runny consistency. Stir this mixture into the batter.

Pour the batter into a glass 9 x 13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. (I used Baker's Joy.) Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Let brownies cool completely before cutting.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

We had this last night over a bed of rice. They were yummy! Even N ate some.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs
adapted from Lion House Recipes

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (you don't want the beef to be too high in fat because the fat will all pool at the bottom of the baking dish after baking - big time grody-ness in my book)
3/4 cup quick oats
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Form into about 12 balls, eacha bout 2 inches in diameter. Place in a casserole dish. Cover with sauce (below). Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Serve over rice.

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard
1/4 cup barbeque sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Combine ingredients and blend thoroughly. Heat in a small saucepan until combined and sugar is dissolved and pour over meatballs.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Smoked Salmon Vodka Cream Pasta

Based on

This sauce is delicious and easy to modify depending on what you like!
  • 2 servings of pasta. I've used all kinds, but like Whole Wheat penne
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced shallot
  • 1/2 cup diced smoked salmon
  • 2 fluid ounces vodka
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons capers (We usually add lots more because we love them. Chopped up black olives would be good too)
  1. Cook pasta according to package, maybe one minute less, so that when you mix it with the sauce the pasta sucks some up sauce.
  2. In a large saucepan saute butter and shallot with smoked salmon. Once the pan begins to lightly smoke, pull saucepan away from heat source and add the Vodka.
  3. When the Vodka has burned off, return the sauce to heat source and mix in the tomatoes, tomato sauce and heavy cream.
  4. Season sauce with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and chile pepper.
  5. Reduce sauce to desired consistency.
  6. Stir in capers .
  7. Stir in drained cooked pasta. Let all the ingredients become friends in the pan for about 3-5 minutes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mocha Cupcakes with Kahlua Frosting

Recipe from Genesis of a Cook (

Notes: I doubled this recipe for Cupcake Camp and it seemed to work fine. I didn't find the coffee flavor very strong in either the cake or the frosting. If I were to make the frosting again, I'd skip the cream cheese and substitute butter. I thought the cream cheese flavor overpowered the Kahlua. I also added at least a cup more icing sugar than called for (5 cups instead of the 4 required by doubling the recipe) and even then the icing could have been stiffer.


1 1/3 cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

2. In another bowl, combine the milk and brewed coffee. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined.

3. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk mixture in 2 additions, beating on low speed until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

4. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20-22 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

Kahlua Frosting

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 tbsp. butter, room temperature
2 1/2 tbsp. Kahlua
2 cups powdered sugar

1. In a bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Mix in Kahlua, then powdered sugar in one cup increments until frosting reaches desired consistency. Apply to cupcakes.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cookie Monster Cupcakes

This isn't a recipe really because I just used a mix but I thought the directions might be helpful anyway!

You will need:

Chocolate chip cupcakes (I used vanilla with mini chips)
Vanilla icing
Flaked coconut
Blue food coloring
White candy melts (I used the Wilton ones)
Chocolate chips
Chocolate chip cookies, cut in halves or thirds depending on size (I used Chips Ahoy)

1. Place coconut in a large ziplock bag. Add several (like 20) drops of blue food coloring and shake. A lot. Add as much food coloring as is needed to get a nice bright blue color.

2. Tint icing blue as well.

3. Melt about 1/4 cup of chocolate chips in a small ziplock bag (30 second in the microwave should do it), cut a small hole in the bottom corner and pipe dark centers onto white candy melt. Allow to cool.

4. Ice each cupcake with a thin layer of blue icing. Add 1/2 chocolate chip cookie to one side of the cupcake and top with enough icing to round out the cookie monster head. Cover with blue coconut, pressing gently to make sure the head is round and the coconut sticks. be sure to get some on cookie monster's chin.

5. Top with a pair of eyes and you are done!

Fried Chicken with Buttermilk Crust

This is sooo yummy! I made it Friday night for friends and they could not stop telling me how delicious it was! I did not however, as the recipe calls for, buy two small Chickens to cut into serving pieces, I'm lazy like that so I just bought a pkg of breasts and legs. :0) I did up 10 pcs of chicken total and there was plenty of marinade for them all.

From Williams Sonoma Cookbook - The essential recipe collection for today's Home cook

- 2 c (500ml) buttermilk
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed through a press
- 1 tsp crumbled rosemary
- 1 tsp dried marjoram
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 small chickens, 3lb (1.5kg) each, cut into serving pcs
- 2 1/2 c all purpose plain flour
Canola Oil for frying

In a large bowl, stir together the buttermilk, garlic 1 1/2 tsp salt, rosemary, marjoram, sage, thyme, and cayenne. Add the chicken and turn to coat well. Cover and refridgerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours. (I let it marinade for 4hrs)

Put the flour in a bowl. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture and , one piece at a time, roll the chicken in the flour to coat and place it on baking sheet. Let the coated chicken stand for 30 minutes to se the crust.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a large, heavy frying pan over high heat, pour in enough oil to reach a depth of 1/2"(I used my fryer bc I had N running around). Heat to 375 F (190 C) on a deep frying thermometer. In 2 or 3 batches without crowding, fry th chicken, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the browned chicken to a baking sheet. Maintain a temperature of at least 325 F while frying and allow the temperature to return to 375 between batches.

Transfer the baking sheet with the chicken to the oven and bake the chicken until there is no sign of pink when the thickest parts are cut into near the bone, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack set over paper towels to drain. Serve within 2 hours of cooking.

It was super yummy the next day too!

Creme Brulee Cupcakes

From I Heart Cuppycakes.

This made 24 easily for me. The burnt sugar topping is a MUST, in my opinion. I tried it with the icing, due to a short hunt for the misplaced-in-the-move kitchen torch, but it's really better with the burnt sugar. Otherwise, it tastes like a brown sugar/caramel type cupcake. Never a bad thing, but the burnt sugar kicks it up a notch.

Probably a bit more work than actual Creme Brulee, but it was fun to make at least once!

For the cupcakes:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (plus a pinch for egg whites)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
3 tbsp caramel syrup (like ice cream topping or whatever)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix flour, salt, and baking powder together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately beat in dry ingredients and milk.

Add caramel syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth.

In a separate bowl (I wish I had had two KitchenAid bowls for this!), beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff (and not dry). Gently fold into batter. Pour into cups, about 3/4 full, and bake for 15-20 mins.

Frosting/Filling (dubbed by the blog, "Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream")

1 cup brown sugar
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter

Put sugar, egg whites and salt on top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water.

Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees, if you care to check).

Pour mixture into bowl of electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 mins.

Switch to paddle attachment and with mixer on med-low speed, add butter slowly, about 2 tbsp at a time. Increase speed to med-high and beat until thick (about 3 mins).

Reduce speed to low and beat 1 min to reduce air bubbles.

To assemble cupcakes:

Cone the middle, fill with frosting. Push it down with a spoon if you remember. I forgot to do this on half of them, so they had dome tops. Sprinkle with white, brown, or raw sugar, and torch away!

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

These are the cupcakes I made for Calgary's (private) Cupcake Camp... chocolate cake with strawberries, and a strawberry buttercream topped with a strawberry slice and dark chocolate shavings. The cupcakes were adapted from a family chocolate cake recipe.


1 cup white sugar
3 tbsp. butter
1 egg
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup chopped strawberries
boiling water
heaping spoonful of flour

Cream together the sugar and butter. Add the egg (beaten). Put the cocoa in a liquid measuring cup, and add enough boiling water to make 1 cup of liquid. Mix well and add to the sugar/butter/egg mixture. Mix the baking soda with another 1/2 cup boiling water and add that in. Mix 1 cup of flour and baking powder and mix that in. Mix the strawberries with the spoonful of flour. This shold keep the berries from all sinking to the bottom; so if there's not enough flour, add a little more so they're pretty well coated. Fold them in. Divide into 12 paper-lined cupcake tins and bake for 20 minutes at 350oF.

(The original recipe left out the strawberries and the flour covering them; use a greased and floured 9x9" cake pan and bake for 30 minutes.)


1 cup strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
juice from half a lemon
1/2 cup butter or margarine
icing sugar

Start by mixing the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it cook down a little (10 minutes or so). Put this into a food processor or blender and mix until no large chunks remain. Let the strawberry sauce cool (I stuck mine in the fridge or freezer if I was in a hurry).

Meanwhile, start prepping the icing base. Cream the butter together with 2 cups of icing sugar. Add 2 tbsp. of the (cooled!) strawberry sauce, mix it in and add 1 more cup of icing sugar. Add 1-2 tbsp. more strawberry sauce to thin it to spreading consistency. (Note: This should be about enough for a dozen cupcakes... if you're doing more, just keep adding 2 tbsp. of sauce alternating with 1 cup of icing sugar until you've got enough icing.)

Frost the cupcakes and top with some chocolate shavings and some strawberry!

I wouldn't do strawberry slices again; they dry out too quickly and start to look funny. The first time I made these I used quartered strawberries and they last much longer. I think the perfect garnish would actually be the tiny whole strawberries you buy at farmer's markets in the summer... they would last much better and wouldn't leak juice on the icing.

Lemon Coconut Snowballs

From the book Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans

Makes 12 Regular Cupcakes (I dbl the recipe and it still worked out well, in hindsight I did not need to dbl the lemon filling and did not dbl the frosting)

1 1/3c Cake flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/8 tsp Salt
6 Tbsp Whole Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Almond Extract
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 C Sugar
6 Large Egg Whites
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
3/4 C Lemon Filling

Lemon Sauce and Filling
Makes 1 Cup (I dbl'd it since I could freeze it to use for when I make these cupcakes again)

1/4 c (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 c fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 c. sugar
2 tbsp cornstart, dissolved in 1/4 c water
1 tsp grated lemon zest

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter and lemon juice over medium heat until the butter melts and th emixutre is hot, about 130 F on a thermometer.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar together to blend them, then whisk in the dissolved cornstarch. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the hot butter and lemon juice into the yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a large spoon, just until it comes to a boil and thickens; it will take about 6 minutes. Which thickened, the sauce will leave a path on the back of the spoon if you draw your finger across it and look clear rather then cloudy. Immediately remove from the heat, strain into a small bowl, and stir in lemon zest. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the sauce, use a toothpick to poke a few holes in the plastic wrap to let the steam escape, and refridgerate until cold. The sauce will thicken further as it chills.

The sauce can be refridgerated for up to 3 days or leaving at least an inch of space in the top of the container, press plastic wrap onto the surface, seal tightly and freeze up to 3 months. It does not freeze solid so it's easy to just take it out of the freeze and spoon out what you need w/o having to defrost it.


3 C. shredded sweetened coconut
Seven Minute Frosting

Seven Minute Frosting:

1 1/4 C. sugar
1/3 c. water
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla exract
1/4 tsp almond extract

Put the sugar, water, egg whites, and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler with at least 2 qt capacity and beat with a handheld electric mixer on high speed until opaque, white, and foamy, about 1 minute. Put the bowl over, but not touching , a saucepan of barely simmering water (or the bottom of the double boiler). The top container should sit firmly over the pan of hot water; be sure to keep the cord of the electric mixer away from the burner. Beat on high speed until the frosting forms a soft peak that standsd straight up if you stop the beaters and lift them up, about 7 minutes. The frosting should register 160 F on the thermometer. Remove the container of frosting from the water, add vanilla and almond extracts, and continute beating for 2 minutes to further thicken the frosting.

Make the cupcakes. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Pre-heat to 350 F. Line 12 muffin tin cups with paper cupcake liners.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, stir the milk and vanilla and almond extracts together.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until smoothly blended and lightened in colour, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating until each addition is incorporated before adding the next, set aside.

In another large bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on low speed until the whites are foamy and the cream of tartar dissolves, about 1 minute. Beat on medium-high until soft peaks form. Use a rubber spatula to fold one-third of the whipped egg whites into the batter, then fold in the reamining whites until no streaks of egg white reamin.

Fill each paper liner with 1/3c of batter, to about 1/4" below the top of the liner. Bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few dry crumbs clinging to it, about 23 mins (mine were done at around 18-20 mins). The tops should remain pale or barely brown just on the edges. Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove cupcakes and cool completely on the wire rack.

Fill the cupcakes. Remove the paper liners. Cut a cone-shaped peice, about 1" across and 1" deep, out of th emiddle of the top of each cupcake; set the peices aside. Spoon 1 tbsp of lemon filling into each hole. Replace the cone-shaped pcs of cupcake. Immediately frost the cupcakes.

Frost the cupcakes. Spread the coconut on a plate or piece of wax paper. Holding the cupcake in the palm of your hand, use a small metal spatula to spread about 1/2c of frosting over the top and sides, cover it completely. Sprinkle coconut generously over the frosting, letting any extra fall onto the plate to be recycled onto another cupcake. Place on the serving plate and continue frosting the remaining cupcakes.

Serve or cover carefully and refridgerate to serve cold. Cupcakes can be refridgerated up to 2 days.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chocolate Swirl Brownies

Source: An old Toronto Mount Sinai Hospital fundraising cookbook, probably from the 1980's. I wonder if they still make these, it's a really great cookbook!

  • 6 squares semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 brick (1 cup) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease 9" (23cm) square baking pan
  3. In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and butter.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat. With wooden spoon beat in 2 eggs and 1/2 cup sugar until well blended. Stir in flour, salt, and baking powder.
  5. Pour batter into baking and set aside.
  6. In a small bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese, vanilla, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 egg until smooth, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.
  7. Spoon cream cheese mixture over batter in baking pan. With fork cut and twist through batter a few times to obtain swirled effect.
  8. Bake brownies 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean
  9. Cool brownies in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.
Makes 20 brownies. Calories per brownies: 190

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Blue Cheese Burgers

Adapted from Pinch My Salt

This is an absolutely amazing blue cheese-filled burger. I used Danish Blue, but you could easily use whatever blue cheese strikes your fancy. These burgers are a little bigger than indicated in the source blog - I used the Tupperware burger press to form my patties, and found that the suggested 2oz balls weren't enough to make the patties big or thick enough to hold up. The extra ounce makes a big difference! These patties also freeze beautifully, so you can make them ahead and enjoy them at a moment's notice!

2 oz cream cheese, softened
2 oz blue cheese, crumbled
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp dried parsley
salt and pepper
1.5 lbs lean ground beef

Mash together cream cheese and blue cheese in a small bowl. Mix in herbs and spices, and some salt and pepper to taste.

Break your ground beef into about 8 3oz portions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, roll into balls and flatten into thin patties all about the same size. Tip: form the patties on waxed paper, it will be easier to move them!

On 4 of your patties, spread about a tablespoon of the cheese mixture. Be generous, but leave about a half inch around the edge of the patty so you can seal your burgers. Carefully place one of the non-cheesed patties over top, and gently press the edges to seal.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill!

Because the blue cheese is such a strong flavour, condiments are best kept to a minimum. Our tastiest burgers yet involved a little ketchup, some mayo, sliced avocado and bacon. Just enough to accent without overpowering. Yum!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rockin' Moroccan Stew

This is from one of the Looney Spoons cookbooks and is a favorite of ours. I thought it would be yummy with Sam's Moroccan Couscous :)

2 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup each diced celery and chopped green bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable stock
3 cups peeled, cubed sweet potatoes (I use yams)
1 can (19 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
1 can (19 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp each ground cumin, curry powder, ground coriander, and chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup raisins
2 tsp each peanut butter and chopped, fresh cilantro

Heat olive oil in large saucepan or pot over med-high heat. Add onions, celery, green pepper, and garlic. Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add all remaining ingredients, except raisins, peanut butter and cilantro. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, about 20 minutes.

Stir in raisins, peanut butter and cilantro. Mix well. Simmer for 5 more minutes.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Moroccan-Style Couscous

This dish was inspired by a meal I had at a local Moroccan restaurant. By itself, couscous is rather blah, but this is a delicious side that can easily be adapted to suit your own palate. This will serve four easily as a side, two as a main (more if you add lots of vegetables to it!)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp butter
2 cups uncooked couscous

3 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp salt
1/4 c lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion until almost translucent, then add garlic at the very end. Add spices, stir for 30 seconds, and remove from heat. Set aside.

Bring water and butter to a boil. Add couscous, stir, cover with a lid and remove from heat. Let sit 5 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.

Fluff couscous with a fork, and fold in onions, parsley, salt, lemon juice, olive oil and chickpeas. Adjust seasonings to taste.

To make this side into a full meal, add sauteed or roasted vegetables such as zucchini, carrots, eggplant, peppers, cherry tomatoes, etc. Roasted or grilled chicken or lamb would also make a great meat addition, either mixed in or on the side.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pub-Style Chicken Wings - Baked or Fried, You Decide!

It's been a long time since I've been able to go out to a local pub for chicken wings. Since the birth of my darling daughter, actually. Such liquor-serving establishments tend to frown upon the accompaniment of minors, and given that babysitting s at a premium for us, I wanted to figure out a way to enjoy those delicious, mouth-watering wings, but without having to find a babysitter.

Below are two different cooking techniques - the pub-style deep-fry, and a more kitchen-friendly baked version. The fried ones are more authentic, cook a little faster (though in smaller batches, so perhaps it evens out for large amounts), and are a little more greasy. Baked are still quite good (especially when you're coating them in copious amounts of sauce), and less greasy. Regardless of which method you choose, the prep is pretty much the same up until you apply the heat. I made these wings in a 3-lb batch, but this recipe is easily scaled for more or less. Measurements are approximate anyway, and seasonings are to my taste, so feel free to adjust for your own liking.

You will need:
- 3 lbs chicken wings, split and tips discarded (you can buy frozen, pre-split wings in large boxes if you so desire!)
- 1 cup flour
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika

Step 1: Choose your cooking method. If you are baking, preheat your oven to 425, get an appropriately-sized pan and spray it with cooking oil. If you are frying, get a good, wide pot and heat a light oil (canola is good) to about 375 over medium to medium-high heat. Keep an eye on it with a candy/frying thermometer - it is essential that you not overheat your oil. Or, use a deep-fryer set to 375 (or thereabouts).

Steps 2 through 4 are the same, no matter what cooking method you use.

Step 2: Boil your chicken wings. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and drop 'em on in (still frozen is fine!). Bring back to a boil, turn heat down so you don't get chicken-water all over your stove, and boil for 10 minutes or so. Do this in batches if necessary, just strain out the wings, bring it back to a boil and add more. Drain, and set aside.

Step 3: In a large bowl, combine flour and desired spices. Toss with a fork to combine.

Step 4: Dredge chicken wings in seasoned flour. Toss in 6 or so, toss the bowl around to make sure they're coated. Pick them out, shake off the excess, and proceed to your desired cooking method. (If you are frying, dredge your wings just before you drop them into the oil, to avoid them getting soggy while you are frying a previous batch).


Step 5: Arrange your dredged chicken wings on a greased baking sheet. Spray with Pam (or other such spray oil) to get a light coating - this little bit of oil will help the flour coating crisp up nicely.

Step 6: Bake at 425 for 40-50 minutes, until crispy and golden and delicious! Skip ahead past the frying directions for seasoning.


Step 5: Gently lower your dredged wings into the hot oil. I suggest frying in small batches - too much at once will lower the temperature of your oil quickly and result in overly-greasy wings. Be careful if using the open-pot method - the oil will bubble up with each addition. Add wings a couple at a time until you are comfortable with how many are in there. Let fry for 10 minutes or so, until wings are golden and crispy.

Step 6: Skim out the cooked wings, lay on a paper-toweled baking sheet and pop in the oven at 200-250 to keep warm while the rest of your wings cook. Repeat this until you are done.

Now, the following steps are for seasoning all your wings, both baked and fried!

Step 7: For dry-seasoned wings (salt & pepper, lemon pepper, etc), sprinkle your wings liberally with your seasoning of choice. For saucy wings, put your cooked wings in a bowl (with a lid is better), add a splash of your sauce of choice, and toss 'til evenly coated.

Step 8: Serve, with ranch or blue cheese dressings to dip, and enjoy with your beverage of choice!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fiesta Shrimp

This is one of my mom's recipes and I have no idea where it came from. It's damn good though!

2 pounds cooked shrimp
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons snipped cilantro or parsley
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a heavy plastic bag set in a medium bowl combine garlic, lime peel, lime juice, olive oil, onion, cayenne pepper, cilantro or parsley, sugar, salt, and pepper; mix well. Place cooked shrimp in the bag; seal bag. Turn bag to coat shrimp with marinade mixture. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours, turning the bag occasionally.

To serve, drain the shrimp, discarding the marinade.

Slow Cooker Korean Ribs

Adapted from Daily Unadventures in Cooking.

This is a favourite slow-cooker recipe in our home now. We buy ribs in giant packs at Costco, and half a pack is about perfect for this! Leftovers are delicious, too.

3 -4 pounds pork or beef ribs, trimmed of excess fat and cut into single ribs
½ cup soy sauce
1 cup + a couple Tbsp orange juice
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp ginger, grated
2 tsp hot chili flakes
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp corn starch mixed w/ cold water, as needed.
Sesame seeds & chopped green onions (garnish)

The night before:
Place a large saute pan over medium heat add ribs and cook for 15-20 minutes until browned on all sides. Remove from pan to a plate to cool, and use a couple tbsp of orange juice to deglaze the yummy sticky bits off the bottom of the pan. Reserve these delicious juices.

Transfer ribs to a container and refrigerate.

In a bowl, combine the reserved juices, soy sauce, juice, vinegar, ginger, garlic, chili, oil and honey and mix well. Refrigerate.

The next day:
Transfer ribs to slow cooker and pour sauce over top. Cook on low for about 8 hours or until meat is very tender. If you would like a sauce, remove the ribs from the slow cooker, and add cornstarch & cold water (mixed together) to thicken.

To serve arrange on a platter and pour sauce over top, garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

Cucur Udang (Prawn Fritters)

Adapted from Seasaltwithfood.

This is a delicious, simple Malaysian fritter recipe that doesn't look like much before it's cooked, but comes out crispy on the outside, chewy in the middle, and oh so tasty! These are simple to make small for appies, or a little bigger as a side dish with a lovely soup. I got about 12 big (about palm-sized) fritters out of this!

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt
1 cup water (maybe a little more)
1/2 cup green onions, roughly chopped (you could also use chives, or shallots!)
2 cups bean sprouts, rinsed well (really, really well!) and shaken dry
1/4 to 1/3 lb raw prawns, shelled and chopped roughly (or whole, if you prefer!)
Oil for frying

Combine the flour, baking powder, turmeric and salt into a mixing bowl. Add water and mix it with a spoon to make a fairly thick batter. Stir in the chives, bean sprouts and prawns. Add more water if the batter seems too thick - it should be smooth, but not like a chunk of dough. The consistency should be like a really thick pancake batter.

Heat about an inch of oil in a frying pan to about 375 degrees.

Using a large spoon, take a scoop of batter, and gently drop it into the oil. Repeat. Cook 3-4 minutes until golden brown, and flip to cook the other side, another 2-3 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Drain fritters on paper towel. Cool for 5-10 minutes, and then dig in! These are excellent served with a seasoned mayonnaise dip - we made ours with mayo, chile paste and a little chopped cilantro. These are also really delicious several hours later at room temperature! Next time I make some, I'm making extras to snack on after dinner!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Turkey Lettuce Wraps

This was posted on a message board and it is too yummy not to share!


* 2 tablespoons oil
* 1 to 1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
* 1/2 large onion - chopped
* 4 cloves garlic - minced
* 1 cup water chestnuts - finely chopped
* 1 large head butter lettuce
* 2 carrots
* 5 green onions - chopped

Special Sauce

* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup water
* 2 tbsp. hoisin
* 2 tablespoons soy sauce
* 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
* 2 tablespoons ketchup
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
* 1/2 to 2 tsp red chile paste based on how spicy you like things
* 1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp cold water

Stir Fry Sauce

* 2 tablespoons soy sauce
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons hoisin
* 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar


Bring 1 tbsp. oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan. Saute turkey, onions and garlic until browned. Add water chestnuts and saute over high heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Add brown sugar, soy, hoisin, and vinegar for the stir fry sauce. Saute and stir for a few more minutes until combined.

While the turkey is browning, make the special sauce by dissolving the sugar in water in a small pot over medium heat. Add hoisin, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice, sesame oil, and hot chili sauce to your taste. Bring to a boil, stir in cornstarch mixture to thicken, and turn off heat.

To Serve:

- On a plate place separated lettuce leaves (cut in half if really large), ribboned carrot (use your peeler), and chopped green onion. Place warm turkey in a serving bowl, and special sauce in a separate serving bowl. Everyone makes their own. Lettuce, chicken, carrots, green onion, and then a drizzle of sauce. Wrap and then enjoy.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Salmon Pasta Toss

I kind of came up with this one night when we were having salmon and I was sick of the same old thing, so some of the measurements are approximates (i.e. the oil, the Parmesan)

-2 frozen or fresh salmon fillets
-1/2 each red and green pepper, julienned
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-2 tbsp olive oil
-2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
-spice mix of 2 tsp Mrs Dash, 1 tsp lemon pepper and 1/2 tsp rosemary
-pasta, such as rotini or penne, enough for two people

1. Sprinkle spice mix over both sides of the fish. If it is frozen, brush with a little olive oil so it will stick.
2. Bake fish in 450 F oven for 10 mins (fresh) 20 mins (frozen)
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta.
4. Saute peppers in a small amount of olive oil along with garlic until soft.
5. When salmon is done, remove from oven and break apart into small pieces.
6. Toss salmon, peppers, pasta, parmesan and olive oil until well combined/coated.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Beef Stew

So today I decided to make a big old batch of beef stew for dinner (it has been cold here!) I have never made stew and had no real recipe... here is what I came up with:

2lbs stewing beef cut into cubes
1/4 cup flour
S & P
2 tbsp olive oil
2 bottles dark beer
2 cans beef stock concentrate
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp rosemary
2 bay leaves
S & P
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dry mustard
2-3 carrots, chopped into large pieces (I like chunky stew)
3-4 stalks celery, chopped into large pieces
4 potatoes, chopped into large pieces
1 onion, chopped into large pieces

Mix flour, salt, and pepper. Toss beef cubes in flour until coated. Heat up olive oil in a large pot, toss in beef (in batches) and brown all sides. Add beer, stock, 2 cans water, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, garlic, and salt & pepper. Bring to a boil then turn down and simmer until beef is tender (mine took about 2 1/2 hours.) About 30 minutes before you want to eat, add carrots and celery. 10 minutes later, add potatoes (if you use smaller pieces, adjust this accordingly.) Cook for about 15-20 minutes of until all veggies are tender but not mushy. Serve and enjoy!

This is not a thick stew, more of a chunky soup smile.gif This would freeze very well (most of my batch is in the freezer already!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pork Cutlets with Mushroom Sauce

I made this a while back when I needed to bribe my husband to go Christmas shopping with me - it worked!

2 - 4 Pork Cutlets (as many as you need really)
1/2 cup flour
S & P
Olive oil for frying (enough for a thin layer on the bottom of your pan)

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 minced red onion
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced (I used button but you could use anything)
1 cup white wine
S & P
1 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
1/2 cream

Heat up 1 tsp olive oil in a frying pan and add onions,mushrooms, and S & P. Saute for a few minutes and toss in white wine and balsamic vinegar. Simmer for a few minutes to cook off alcohol and the tartness of the vinegar. Add cream and simmer until thickened (I cooked the the pork after I added the cream.) Stir occasionally while the pork is cooking.

Heat olive in a frying pan (med - med high heat). In a shallow bowl, mix flour and S & P. Lightly coat pork in flour mixture and cook in olive oil until done and browned, about 3-4 minutes per side depending on thickness.

Serve pork with yummy mushroom sauce on top. I served this with potatoes as well but it would be equally good with spatzle or even egg noodles

Mixed Bean Stew with Cottage Dumplings

Stolen from a friend of a friend

1 can (15 oz) great northern, cannelloni or navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
2.5 - 3 cups tomato sauce
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp dried basil leaves
2 tsp olive oil
¼ tsp pepper

Cottage Dumplings…
1 cup shredded cheese (mozza or cheddar or whatever else you have in the fridge!)
2/3 cup frozen (thawed) or canned (drained) corn
1/2 cup cottage cheese (drain if really runny)
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup cornmeal
3 egg whites

For stew, place all ingredients in first recipe in a 3-quart saucepan and bring to a simmer. For dumplings, combine all ingredients in 2nd recipe and shape into 12 balls. Carefully slide balls onto simmering bean mixture (do not drop directly onto stew – place ball in a spoon and place spoon on top of stew mixture and slide ball off using finger or another spoon – this prevents them from “sinking” into the stew). Simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes longer or until dumplings are firm.

Mushroom Lasagna

Mushroom Filling
2 lbs mushrooms, chopped (use what you like, I used a mix of buttons and crimini)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 onion, finely chopped
S &P

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups whole milk
S & P

1pk lasagna sheets (I used the fresh ones)

Parmesan cheese

Saute the chopped mushrooms, onion, garlic and S & P. Cook down and remove as much liquid as possible (you can reserve this and use it in place of some of the milk in the sauce, just add milk to make 4 cups.)

Melt butter over medium heat in a sauce pan. Add flour and whisk well. Allow to bubble a bit so the flour cooks off. Add 4 cups whole milk and S & P. Bring to a low boil and shut off, stirring frequently.

Place a small amount of sauce (about 1/6th) in the bottom of a 9 x 13" pan. Layer other ingredients:

1/2 mushrooms
1/3 sauce
handful parm
1/2 mushrooms
1/3 sauce
handful parm
remaining sauce
handful parm.

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until hot. Let rest at least 15 minutes before you cut or it will run everywhere!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Enchilada Casserole

Adapted from Sandi Richard

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 can chopped green chilies
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 cup salsa
1 cup each (divided into 1/2 cup portions) mozzarella and cheddar cheese
14 oz can of tomatoes without liquid (or a few tomatoes you have a home, etc)
12-14 (depending on pan size) oven-ready lasagna noodles
2/3 cup water

Brown ground beef. Add onions and let cook until soft. Add chilies, soup, salsa, tomatoes and 1/2 cup of each cheese. Stir until all well combined.

Place 3 noodles in the bottom of a lasagna dish (I often put three lengthwise and then 1/2 of one perpendicular at the "top") and coat with 1/3 of the sauce. Continue 2 more times. Top with remaining cheese. Pour water over the whole thing (if you've used more than 12 noodles add a little more water, but not much. I rarely add more than 3/4 of a cup).

Cover tightly with tin foil (water helps steam cook the noodles).

Cook in oven 350 F for 50 mins. Remove and let rest 5 mins. If you find it looks watery when it comes out (only happened to me once) put it back in for a few more minutes.

Serve with salad.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Adapted from a Canadian Living cookbook

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 corn tortillas cut into strips
veg or olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp cumin (the recipe calls for 1 tsp but we found it had no taste so I upped it)
1 tbsp chili powder (ditto)
1 each red and yellow pepper, chopped
4 plum tomatoes, chopped (or I often use one carton of small grape tomatoes)
4 cups (or 1 large tetra pack) of chicken stock
1 cup frozen corn
dash of lime juice

Heat some oil in a frying pan and on medium low heat toast the tortillas (this can also be done in the oven to be healthier or just use crushed tortilla chips to save time).

Remove chips and let rest on a paper towel. Cook chicken in frying pan. When nearly done, add onions and garlic and cook until softened. Add cumin and chili powder and cook for a few minutes more. Add peppers and let cook for a few minutes to soften. Then add stock and tomatoes, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 7 minutes.

Add the frozen corn, cook for a few minutes until corn is softened. Add a splash of lime juice and top each individual bowl with tortilla chips.

Baked Yam Medallions

From the Looneyspoons cookbook

4 medium yams/sweet potatoes scrubbed, unpeeled
2 egg whites
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp dried rosemary

Preheat oven to 425 F

Slice yams into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Combine egg whites and garlic in a large bowl. Combine other ingredients and place on a plate or shallow dish.

Add yams to egg mixture, toss to coat. Then coat both sides of yams in the bread crumb mixture. Place on a single layer on a cookie sheet that was sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 15 minutes, flip yams, then bake 15 mins more.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Italian Sausage and Pasta Soup

Italian sausage was on sale today so I dragged out this old favorite with every intention of making it for dinner. I quickly learned that I was missing a bunch of ingredients and ate KD instead. Oops?

Time: about an hour to prep and cook
Makes about 10 1-Cup servings.

• 1 lb hot or mild Italian sausage
• 3 medium carrots peeled and chopped
• 1 large onion, peeled and chopped (works with shallots or leeks, too)
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped or crushed
• 8 C lowfat or fat free chicken broth
• 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
• 1 15 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 T dried basil
• 1 ½ C large shell pasta
• 6 oz spinach leaves, rinsed and slightly chopped (I use bagged baby spinach)
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Grated parmesan cheese

1. Squeeze sausages from their casings into a 5-6 qt pan over high heat and stir often, breaking up sausages with a spoon. Cook until brown and crumbly. Spoon out and discard all but 1 T fat from pan.
2. Add carrots, onion and garlic; stir often until onion is limp, 5-7 mins.
3. Add broth, basil, tomatoes (including juice), and beans and bring to a boil.
4. Add pasta, reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally until pasta is just enter to the bite about 10 mins. Skim and discard any fat.
5. Stir in spinach and cook just until it is wilted, about 30 seconds.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parmesan.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Flourless chocolate cake

Source : Gourmet magazine via epicurious

An easy and fast and delicious recipe. The cake is moist and fudgey. Good quality chocolate is key!
  • 4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus additional for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375°F and butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with a round of wax paper and butter paper. (I use parchment)

Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate with butter, stirring, until smooth. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk well. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake in middle of oven 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes (if you can wait that long) and invert onto a serving plate. (I just leave it in the pan and let the family pick at it every time they walk by)

Dust cake with additional cocoa powder and serve with sorbet if desired. (Cake keeps, after being cooled completely, in an airtight container, 1 week. But it won't last that long)

Blueberry buttermilk pancakes

My quest for the perfect buttermilk pancake ended with this recipe. The batter and resulting pancakes are thick and fluffy. I've substituted strawberries or chocolate chips for the blueberries and also make them plain for my kid. I use some metal cookie cutters from Ikea to make pancake hearts and stars for her (remember to butter the edges of the cutter) or if I'm feeling ambitious, a free-form pancake turtle.

Also, because they're so thick, I find I have to play with the heat a little to make sure the outsides aren't burnt and the insides are cooked. I turn the heat down a bit after flipping to avoid the dreaded "sashimi pancake".

  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (I reduce this to 1 tbsp)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (sometimes a bit more if the batter is really thick)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for cooking
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • Pure maple syrup (Ha, like Canadians would use anything else)

Preheat oven to 250°F. Place baking sheet in oven. Whisk first 4 ingredients in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, and 2 tablespoons butter in medium bowl; stir into dry ingredients. Fold in berries.

Heat large nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat; brush with butter. Drop batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto griddle. Cook pancakes until brown, brushing griddle with more butter as needed, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to sheet in oven to keep warm. Serve pancakes with maple syrup.