HOLIDAY BEER SPICE CAKE

Here is a wonderful easy bake holiday recipe that I can do with my eyes closed. The smell of the cinnamon, cloves, allspice filling the kitchen air always remind me of Christmas. The addition of the beer gives the cake batter a fluffy texture which help the cake rise and become moist and crumbly when it is finished baking. The beer also gives the cake a richer and deeper flavour which matches perfectly with the holiday spices. Tell your guests that you have beer in the cake and you'll have them all wanting to give this a try. Sit around the fireplace, have a cup of hot cocoa and a piece of this holiday beer cake. Make extra just in case you run out!

Adapted from the "Beer Spice Cake" recipe in the All Recipes: Easy Everyday Favorites Magazine (2006 edition). Submitted by: Erin P.

Makes one 9" x 5" inch loaf

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Baking time: 40-50 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp each: ground cloves, ground cinnamon, allspice
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and lightly grease and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, the spices, baking soda, and salt. Set it aside for now. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar, then add in the egg.

2. Add in the flour mixture alternately with the beer until well combined. Fold in the chopped walnuts at this point. Pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake it in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool the cake for a good 20 minutes before slicing.


Read Full Post >>

Print This

MINI INDIVIDUAL VEGGIE FRITTATAS

One typical brunch item I love to serve to a crowd is a simple veggie frittata but when I want to enjoy this breakfast, brunch or lunch favourite on my own I make these individual frittatas. I modified the recipe from one serving to four, so families out there can make this an easy go to meal during the week. What's great about this frittata recipe is that the veggies are interchangeable. If your kids don't like mushrooms feel free to change it up to whatever your heart desires that day. Add sauteed chorizo if you like too. It's a great way to spice up this egg dish.

Serves 4

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Baking time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk or cream
  • coarse salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (more to oil the ramekins)
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 cremini or button mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or chives
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and lightly grease 4 ramekins. Place the ramekins on top of a baking sheet. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Heat oil in a skillet, on medium heat, and saute the minced onion, red bell pepper, and mushrooms for a good 3-4 minutes or until tender. Turn the heat off and let them cool slightly.

2. Add the sauteed veggies into the egg mixture, then mix in the chopped fresh parsley and 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese. Reserve 1/4 cup to top the frittatas before baking. Pour the egg mixture equally into the greased ramekins and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top if you wish. Bake it in the oven for a good 20-25 minutes or until just set. The frittata should feel slightly firm to the touch when done. Serve warm.

Read Full Post >>

Print This

MULTI-BEAN SALAD

We all have a can a beans on hand in the pantry to make that weeknight chili recipe, but this particular night I felt like doing something else with that same old can of beans. I made this tangy bean salad earlier in the day and left it in the fridge so it can sit in the vinaigrette until I was ready to eat it. Needless to say, the flavour got only better as it sat! I served this with a nice simple egg frittata. You could easily pair this with grilled fish or chicken or serve this with a delicious panini sandwich. Open your next can of mixed beans and make them into this salad.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
  • 1 can of mixed beans (28 oz.), drained and rinsed
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • juice of one lemon
  • garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • coarse salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
In a bowl, combine the drained beans, minced onion, tomatoes; then add in the rest of the ingredients. Gently mix it altogether. Cover with saran wrap and place in the fridge for a good 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

Serving suggestion: Slice some tomatoes, place them on a plate, then pour on the bean salad and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.

Read Full Post >>

Print This

I do say dear reader, that some bottles of wine, particularly those from grandiose sounding French estates, are somewhat...daunting.

Even the flipping label - which is lovely I might add - sporting a large gold crest, and regal font, with some fellow named "Baron de Montfort" scribbled on the front, makes one want to check one's appearance and ensure one's shoes are rightly polished.

And EVEN in the tasting of the wine, one also almost feels like they should be looking for and what more, finding! nuanced flavours that obviously must have been included in the crafting of such a beautiful wine: damn you! slightly ripened plums! damn you! freshly tilled earth!

Etc. etc.

Well I'll have none of that here on Matt's Wine Not! I'll wear an old t-shirt and not find a damned nuanced flavour, if that's how I want to do it!

I still have a job to do however, and I must carry on...(by reading the back of the bottle and telling you what it says).

This nice wine comes to you from a wine making family that has been in the trade for four centuries (pretty good!) just outside of Bordeaux, perhaps the most famous of French wine making regions, and is a blend of three grape varieties: 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc. Our friends at wiki have informed me that the Franc is used largely in France for blending with the other two varieties, but is in fact the FATHER of Cabernet Sauvignon (the mother being Sauvignon Blanc). Wow, what is this, Maury Povich?

Anyway! Yo yo yo yo...it's WYNE TYME!

Naturally corked as per the photo above, this wine gives a deep rich red colour. Very regal to match the equally regal label. That folks, is LOGIC!

The nose emits a noticeable alcohol zing, with deep "red" flavours of berries, including strawberry, and perhaps blueberry?; it is definitely robust and full (not surprising at 13.5% alcohol).

Upon tasting, prepare for a VERY dry experience, but with a rich medium bodied, dark fruit taste to compensate and enrich your taste buds. This wine certainly falls into the vein of other French reds which I've reviewed that produce dark fruit-tasting wines which are satisfying and quite tasty.

The aftertaste still allowed some of its fruit goodness to resonate, but was still dry, yet balanced with the fruit and thankfully not bitter.

So! Despite its rather imposing appearance, this was a fruit-forward wine 0f the dark variety, uncomplicated, and satisfying. Tres bien!

*** out of 4

Purchased at a Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) store for C$15.00 (US$14.12).

From LCBO.com:

CHATEAU DE LAFAURIE-MONBADON 2005, 750 mL bottle
LCBO/Vintages #140012
Wine, Red Wine
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content: XD
Made in: Bordeaux, France
By: Baron de Montfort
Read Full Post >>

Print This

CHIMICHURRI STEAK WITH MEXICAN RICE

Chimichurri is a sauce/marinade that is widely used in Argentina and Uruguay but is also used in Mexico as well. It is essentially a green sauce that has a lot of fresh herbs mixed into it; along with red wine vinegar or lime juice which gives it a nice tangy flavour. Although I used steak here you can easily substitute the beef for chicken or shrimp. This sauce goes well with almost any meat or seafood you can think of. I decided to pair the steak with a Mexican flavoured rice to keep the Mexican theme going. I always believe cooking different ethnic cuisines in my home kitchen is a great way to experience another culture, without leaving the comfort my own home.

Adapted the chimichurri recipe from the "Mexican Steak with Chimichurri Sauce" in the "Favorite Brand Name: Mexican" Cookbook (2003)

Serves 4

Chimichurri Steak Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lb boneless steaks (1" thick)

Mexican Rice Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup white rice
  • coarse salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp each: chili powder and dried thyme
  • 2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • handful of chopped fresh coriander
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tomato, diced

1. In a food processor, blend all of the chimichurri sauce ingredients together. Reserve 2/3 cup of the sauce mixture in a small bowl. In a large resealable food storage bag, place in the steaks, then pour in the remainder of the sauce. Place the steaks in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour to marinade.

2. Take the steaks out of the marinade and either grill the steaks or cook them on a cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Cook to desired doneness. Discard the marinade in the bag. Let the meat rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.

3. Mexican Rice: In a saucepan, heat oil on medium heat, and saute the onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Pour in the white rice and start to lightly toast it for a minute, then stir in the salt, pepper, chili powder and dried thyme. Pour in the chicken stock and stir to gently combine, turn the heat down to a low simmer and cover. Cook the rice for about 12-15 minutes.

4. In the last couple minutes of cooking the rice, add in the diced zucchini and red bell pepper. Turn the heat off once done and leave it covered for 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the chopped coriander and squeeze over the lime juice. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve along side the steaks, with the chopped tomatoes over top the rice. Remember to serve the reserved chimichurri sauce, so any one that wants more sauce on their steak can have some.


Read Full Post >>

Print This

RATATOUILLE AND SALMON SAUCE ON MACARONI

Ratatouille is a wonderful French Provencal vegetable dish that I enjoy making when I want something comforting and stew-like. Although normally I eat this stew by dipping in a warm crusty bread, I decided to really make a meal out of this by adding macaroni and salmon. I wanted to bump up the o-mega 3 in my daily diet so I added this oh so delicious fish into the ratatouille sauce. Now if you're vegetarian please feel free to omit the fish altogether. This is a nice dish that you can even entertain with. Imagine the expression you will get when you tell people you're making them a ratatouille salmon sauce on pasta...

Serves 4

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups dry macaroni
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium zucchini, quartered, then chopped
  • 1 small eggplant, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • coarse salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 cup olives, chopped
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (14 oz each)
  • 1 can of wild salmon, drained
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley

1. Put on a large pot of boiling water. Salt the water and cook the macaroni for about 8 minutes or until al dente. In a large deep shallow pan, on medium high heat, drizzle in the olive oil and saute the onion and garlic for a minute.

2. Add in the chopped zucchini, eggplant, and red bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper, then add in the oregano, basil and chopped olives. Cook for a good 3 minutes. Pour in the diced tomatoes and stir all of the ingredients altogether. Drop the heat slightly to medium and let it cook so it can reduce a bit. This should take 5-7 minutes.

3. Incorporate the drained salmon into the sauce at this point, then add in the macaroni and chopped fresh parsley. Stir to combine all of the ingredients and take the pan off the heat. Serve immediately.


Read Full Post >>

Print This

Pork tenderloin is one of those cuts of meat that take minimal effort to prepare and cook. You definitely get a big bang for your buck. The meat is oh so tender and juicy when cooked at the right temperature, and it really doesn't take all that long to cook. I wanted to bring out all of the fall flavours here with a rustic roasted pork dish. The sweet and sour marinade help to breakdown the meat even further and help to bring out a nice juicy texture. The sweetness from the roasted apple and sweet potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to this easy and tasty weeknight meal. People will think you slaved in the kitchen all day with this one.

Adapted and modified from the "Sweet and Sour Pork Tenderloin" recipe on the Pork Tenderloin Recipes Website.

Serves 4

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Baking time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 2 pork tenderloins
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp liquid honey
  • 1 tsp each: chili powder, ground cumin
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes, cut into small wedges
  • 3 firm baking apples, cut into wedges
  • 6 green onions, cut into thirds
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
1. Place the pork tenderloins into a large ziploc bag. In a bowl, combine brown sugar, vinegar, honey, chili power, cumin, minced garlic, soy sauce, fresh rosemary, salt and pepper. Pour the marinade into the ziploc bag and make sure the marinade coats all of the pork. Take some of the air out of the bag before closing, and place it into the fridge for a good 4-6 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a large roasting pan, add in the sweet potatoes on the bottom, place the apples and green onions right on top of them. Clear the centre of the roasting pan and place the onion slices in the middle. This is to help elevate the pork while cooking. Drizzle the apples and the veggies with salt and pepper, and drizzle olive oil over top.

3. Heat oil in a large heavy bottom skillet, on medium high heat, and sear the marinaded pork loins on all sides. This should take 5-7 minutes. Place the seared pork loins on top of the onions in the roasting pan and bake it in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the juices in the pork run clear. Rest the meat for a good several minutes before slicing. Serve warm.

Cook's tip: You could also grill the pork tenderloins if you like. If you happen to have any meat left, make a delicious sandwich with the leftovers. Reheat the meat the next day and slice it thin.


Read Full Post >>

Print This

MATT'S BEER WE GO! DUCHY ORIGINALS ORGANIC ALE

As you've seen in a previous post dear reader, some beers claim to be king of brews. The most obvious claim to the crown is from Budweiser (one I have yet to review), and also from said previous post, König Pilsener, which claims some degree of, well, regality ("König" meaning King).

That's all well and good to have a claim to royalty by name, but this ale has a literal claim in its very pedigree - the company "Duchy Originals" was set up by The Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and some of this beer's ingredients are grown on his organic farm, Highgrove.

While you'd think that this beer might make one prone to developing large ears and a taste for older women, what it won't do is sour your taste buds.

And for this week to help me review this ale, I was ("was" because I drank this on Sunday) pleased to have been joined by one of my oldest dearest friends (dating back many years yonder). I will summarize our views and in-depth thoughts (*snort*), and you'll not only be enlightened, but you'll also know if two strangers you've never met came to any kind of consensus.

First, let me enlighten you with what is written on the back of the bottle (but imagine reading it with an English accent, perhaps a la Stewie Griffin or some old English butler):

"Duchy Originals Ale has been brewed in the traditional way, [meaning what??] using a blend of the finest aroma hops and malt made from Plumage Archer barley..." blah blah etc. blah...organic something... Anyway. Review time!

We both agreed that it came with a bottle cap that required a bottle opener.

Check. So far, so good.

Colour wise, this ale showed itself to be a dark amber, bronze if you will. Check check.

Two for two! If only the Leafs could achieve even this (if you lived in Canada, you'd understand).

Nose wise, my friend didn't note too much (perhaps because he was more interested in drinking), but I observed that it had a somewhat malty nose, which was fresh and light, and inviting. As I also noted in yet another previous post, I am dubious when it comes to ales, but these recent ones have perhaps turned me around to them...

Taste time, my comrade declared that it was not overly bitter for an ale (bitterness something he likes, to an extent), and is tasty, and not pungent, nor was its aftertaste too heavy.

I too concurred. I found it distinct, in that it was malty and hoppy, but blended to a very smooth degree to present a quite tasty drink. It leaves the mouth and gives a reverberation of the tastes, but in a genteel way (can an aftertaste be genteel?).

We pretty much had a good consensus on this drink; the taste was approachable and agreeable, and we both appreciated the half pint sized bottle, so you get a good deal for your money.

In the end, our ratings were slightly different; had he graded it 3 (of 4) or higher, it meant to him that he'd go out of his way and buy it; he couldn't give it that high a grade. I agree with him on that scale. I probably would not go out of my way to buy it either, but we both gave a nod to the fact that if we were given a bottle at a social gathering, we'd definitely not say no, and we'd enjoy this ale again.

So! While this beer has not usurped the sceptre as Lord and Master of Beers from whomever holds it (if anyone), it stands up to its princely label by being noble and respectful. I bow to thee Duchy Originals Organic Ale...but God Save the Queen!

DDD's rating: **3/4 of 4
Matt's rating: *** of 4

Purchased at a Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) store for C$3.35 (US$3.15).

From LCBO.com:

DUCHY ORIGINALS ORGANIC ALE, 500 mL bottle
LCBO #26971
Beer, Ale
5.0% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content: 3
Made in: England, United Kingdom
By: The Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd.
Read Full Post >>

Print This

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY BARS

As December is fast approaching I decided to get a head start on my Christmas holiday baking. I like to give myself a little practice run every late-November so I know exactly what recipes to try for Christmas. This is an old recipe that I had written down in one my recipe books several years ago. I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches so the thought of making this favourable combination into sweet treats brought a huge smile to my face. This recipe definitely brings out the kid in all of us.

Adapted from the "Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars" recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens: Christmas Cookies Magazine (1997)

Makes about 36 squares

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Baking time: 15 minutes (1st bake)
15-18 minutes (2nd bake)

Ingredients:
  • 1-1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/3 cup quick cooking rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup peanuts or walnuts, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup grape jelly or your favourite jelly

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Using your clean hands, crumble in the cubed butter until you see coarse crumbs.

2. Add in the peanut butter and use your spatula to mix it in, and then add in the chopped peanuts. Reserve 1 cup of the crumb mixture in a bowl. Mix in the beaten egg, then press the mixture into the bottom of a 13" x 9" x 2" baking pan. Bake it in the oven for 15 minutes then take it out.

3. Carefully dollop the jelly all over the partially baked crust, then sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture on top. Place it back into the oven to bake for another 15-18 minutes. Cool after baking for a good 30 minutes before cutting it into bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Read Full Post >>

Print This

KOREAN BIBIM BAP (MIXED RICE & VEGGIE BOWL)

Bibim bap is exactly the type of food that I grew up eating. Being of Korean background, my Grandmothers and my mom used to make a ton of bibimbap and other delicious Korean dishes. The smell of soy sauce, sesame seed oil, hot pepper paste, among other Korean ingredients would fume the household air when I would come home from school. Needless to say I was never disappointed with what was on the table. This is essentially my mother's recipe for bibim bap, but I made a few adjustments so all of you can make this more easily at home. This is a Korean one bowl wonder that is both flavourful and extremely satisfying to the tummy. Every time I make this it takes me back to my childhood and leaves a big smile on my face.

Serves 2 generously

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white rice (sticky rice preferred)
  • 2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, sliced thin
  • 2 carrots, cut thin on an angle
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, cut in half, then on an angle
  • 2 green onions, cut into thirds, then sliced length ways
  • handful of bean sprouts
  • 4 tsp light soy sauce
  • coarse salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 cup bulgogi style beef, chopped (substitute: super thin slices of tender beef)
  • 2 tbsp sesame seed oil (use more if you like)
  • 2 tbsp Korean Gochujang (Hot Pepper Paste)
  • 2 eggs, cooked sunny side up (optional when serving)
1. Cook the rice according to the package instructions. Recommended: rinse the rice in a colander a few times first to wash out some of the starch. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet or a wok, on medium high heat, and add in the garlic, onion, carrots, red bell pepper, zucchini, and the green onions. Saute for 1 minute, then add in 2 tsp of soy sauce, pinch of salt, and pepper. Add in the green sprouts at this point. Cook for another 3 minutes, until the veggies are cooked but still a bit crisp.

2. In a non-stick skillet or wok, heat 1 tbsp of oil on medium high, and saute the chopped beef. Season with a pinch of salt, ground black pepper, and 2 tsp of soy sauce. Cook this for about 2 minutes. The beef should take no time at all to cook.

3. Take two medium sized shallow bowls and scoop in equal parts of the cooked rice. Layer the sauteed veggies on top of the rice, then on the other side of the bowl spoon in the cooked beef. Drizzle 1 tbsp of sesame seed oil onto each rice bowl, and spoon 1 tbsp each of the Korean gochujang. If you don't like it that spicy then add half the amount of the hot pepper paste.

4. Serve immediately while it is still warm. When you're ready to eat it make sure to mix all of the ingredients with your spoon. You rice should turn a light red colour and you should start smelling the sesame seed oil as well. Enjoy!

Cook's tip: We Koreans even like adding a sunny side up egg on top as well. The cooked egg just adds another layer of flavour.


Read Full Post >>

Print This

EASY ORANGE CORNMEAL CAKE

I really like making easy cake recipes that I can enjoy with a nice cup of tea. This is definitely a no fuss cake that has good crunch from the cornmeal added in the batter, and when baked the outside of the cake becomes a slight bit crunchy as well. This is a nice textural change from the other super moist delicate cakes I usually make. The addition of good olive oil and orange juice makes this cake a more healthy option than others. I say if you love cornbread and orange flavours like me than I think you should give this cake recipe a try.

Adapted from Everyday Food

Makes one 8" round/square cake

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Baking time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • Orange segments, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 F and lightly grease an 8" round or square baking pan. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, eggs, granulated sugar and orange juice. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and orange zest. Gently incorporate the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients, until just moist.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and bake it in the oven for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in comes out clean. Cool the cake for a good 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with orange segments.


Read Full Post >>

Print This

CHICKEN KOFTAS ON TOMATO SAUCE & ORZO

Koftas are essentially meatballs or dumplings that are of Middle Eastern and South Asian origin. I love making any type of meatballs, so I jumped at the chance to make this when I read the recipe in an old cookbook I had from several years ago, called The Ultimate Chicken Cookbook. I had tried many of the recipes in this book before but I couldn't believe I had missed this one. The meatballs have a nice earthy smokey undertone to it from the spices added in. It is really a great twist to the traditional spaghetti and meatballs dish. I'm going to have to make this one for my mom and dad sometime.

Adapted and modified from the "Koftas in Tomato Sauce" recipe in The Ultimate Chicken Cookbook (1998) Written by: Linda Fraser

Serves 4

Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 lb chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 2 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp each: ground cumin and ground coriander
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • coarse salt and ground black pepper
  • seasoned flour, for rolling the meatballs in
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 14-oz chopped tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • 1 cup orzo, cooked

1. Place the chicken breasts into a food processor and pulse it a few times, until the chicken looks is grounded up in texture. Make sure not to grind it up too fine. Place the chicken into a large bowl, then start to combine the grated onion, grated garlic, parsley, spices, egg, salt and pepper. Shape the chicken mixture into 1-1/2" balls, then roll them lightly on the seasoned flour.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottom skillet, on medium heat, and brown the meatballs in small batches. Then remove the browned meatballs onto a plate lined with paper towel. Note: you don't need to cook the chicken all the way through, as it will be cooked in the sauce later.

3. Sauce: Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Sprinkle in the flour, then whisk in the stock and tomatoes, along with their juices. Add in the sugar and the dried Italian herbs. Bring it up to a bubble, then add back in the chicken meatballs, cover and simmer for a good 10 minutes. Cook the orzo in the meantime. Follow package instructions. Once done serve it immediately.


Read Full Post >>

Print This

TANGY RUSTIC TUNA SPAGHETTI

Everyone can use another spaghetti dish on their dinner repetoire. I also think everyone can use another canned tuna recipe as well. This is a good recipe that combines the best of both worlds! I consider this to be a not your average spaghetti dish since there is the addition of white wine vinegar in the light spaghetti sauce. Surprisingly, the vinegar is not as overpowering as you might think. The grated Parmesan cheese and chopped tomato creates a nice balance to the tangy flavour in the dish. I also added a good amount of shredded brussel sprouts, but no worries your kids won't suspect a thing!

Serves 2

Ingredients:
  • 8-10 oz. spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of chili flakes
  • 1 small onion, sliced thinly
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups shredded brussel sprouts
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • coarse salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped olives
  • 1 can of tuna, packed in oil or water, drained
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • juice of half a lemon
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Put on a large pot of boiling water and cook the spaghetti until al dente. Follow the package instructions. In a large deep shallow skillet, on medium high heat, drizzle in the olive oil. Sprinkle in the pinch of chili flakes and add in the onion and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes, then add in shredded brussel sprouts, carrots and season with salt and pepper.

2. Then add in the diced tomatoes and olives and once the tomatoes start to cook down; add in the can of tuna, drizzle the white wine vinegar and squeeze the lemon juice all around. Quickly add in the cooked spaghetti and the chopped fresh parsley; then gently combine with the rest of the ingredients. Once incorporated together, give a generous sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. If you wish drizzle with a little bit of good quality extra virgin olive oil.
Read Full Post >>

Print This

LEMONY CRISPY POTATOES & MIXED BABY GREENS

This is a nice light salad that I like to serve with a grilled steak. The light lemony flavour of the vinaigrette brings a bit of freshness into the meaty supper. I crisped up the small potato wedges separately first in a non-stick skillet and placed them into the salad like a crouton. Meat and potatoes won't be the same anymore.

Serves 2

Ingredients:
  • 3 medium potatoes, cut into small wedges (parboiled)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • coarse salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 small package mixed baby greens
  • 1 green onion, cut into thirds, then sliced length ways
  • 1/2 cup radishes, sliced thin
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet, on medium heat, melt 1 tbsp of butter and add in the parboiled potato wedges. Season with salt, pepper and the dried thyme. Stir the potatoes around to coat each potato with the oil and butter, then leave it alone to start crisping up. Once the potato turns a golden brown, flip them over to the other side to crisp up. Once done, leave it to slightly cool for a good 10 minutes.

2. In a large salad bowl, add in the mixed baby greens, the sliced green onion, radishes and the lemon zest. Add in the crispy potato wedges and drizzle in the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil, and squeeze in the lemon juice. Sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese and gently toss it altogether. Serve immediately so the potatoes stay crispy. Add some freshly cracked black pepper before serving if you like.


Read Full Post >>

Print This

SWEET ITALIAN SAUSAGE SLOPPY JOE WRAPS

Here's a twist on an old childhood favourite! Instead of using ground beef or turkey, I used sweet Italian sausage. The smokey sweet flavour from the meat blended perfectly with the other ingredients in the recipe. It almost tasted like barbecued meat, which always gets a thumbs up in my book any day. Although you could always sandwich the sloppy joe meat in between hamburger buns, I thought it would be a fun twist to wrap them up. I baked them in the oven for 5-7 minutes to help seal together the wrap and to help melt the cheese. This turned out to be a real winner!

Serves 4

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Baking time: 5-7 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage, out of their casings
  • 1-1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 portabello mushroom, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 4-5 large tortillas
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • red cabbage, thinly sliced
1. In a large heavy bottom skillet, drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil and add in the chopped onion and minced garlic. Saute for 2 minutes on medium heat, then add in the sweet Italian sausage and the fresh rosemary. Cook for about 5-8 minutes, then drain a bit of the fat if any.

2. Stir in the diced bell peppers, and the sliced portabello mushroom. After a minute, stir in the ketchup, chili powder, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh parsley. Cook for a good 5 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken. Then turn the heat off and let it cool for about 15-20 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Take the tortillas and start to assemble the wraps. First spoon in the sloppy joe mixture, then add in the shredded mozzarella and then the sliced cabbage. Once you have wrapped the tortillas, place each wrap onto a foil-lined baking sheet seam side down. Bake it in the oven for about 5-7 minutes. Slice the wraps in half and serve immediately.


Read Full Post >>

Print This

LIME BLACKBERRY MUFFINS

Being the avid baker I am, I like to think of different ways to make muffins. I just think muffins are the perfect little snack, that can keep you energized until you have your next big meal. I had looked through my Muffins cookbook and found a "lime and poppy seed muffin" recipe that I wanted to try. I just happened to have a pint of black berries sitting in my fridge waiting to be used, so I figured why not add them in since citrus pairs well with berries. The match was "heaven". My husband Matt took a few of these to work for his co-workers to try, and later at home he told me that one of them said that the muffins were "exquisite". Needless to say, with an endorsement like that I knew I had to post this recipe for all of you to try.

Adapted and modified from the "Lime and Poppy Seed Muffins" recipe in the "Muffins" cookbook (2005). Written by: Gemma Reece.

Makes 12 muffins

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Baking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-1/8 cups superfine granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp grated lime zest
  • 1 pint of blackberries

Preheat the oven to 375 F and lightly oil a 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper muffins cups. In a large bowl, add in the flour, baking powder, salt, and superfine sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, milk, lime juice and the lime zest.

Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture and gently stir it together, until just combined. Gently mix in the blackberries at this point. Then spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin pan and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden on top. Cool the muffins for a good 15 minutes before taking it out of the pan. The muffins are delicious served warm or at room temperature.


Read Full Post >>

Print This

STUFFED TOMATOES WITH VEAL & HERBED RICOTTA

This was a dinner that almost didn't happen... I was chatting online with some of my fellow foodies on twitter. I mentioned that I was going to use ground veal in my dinner plans. I let them know as well that I wasn't quite sure what to make using ground veal, since I don't usually use this meat. One of my twitter friends said that I should stuff veal in squash or eggplant, but then a light bulb went off. Stuffing veal in tomatoes was the answer! (I should mention here though that her twitter name also helped, since there is tomato in the name) The tomatoes being so juicy would keep the veal moist and tender. I looked up a recipe, gave it a few tweaks and the rest was history! It was simply delicious and looked very elegant on the plate too.

adapted and modified from the "Stuffed Tomatoes with Veal and Herbed Ricotta" recipe on the Vealrecipes.com website.

Serves 4

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Baking time: 45-50 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 4 large tomatoes, hallowed out
  • 7-9 oz. ground veal
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg
  • coarse salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Take the tomatoes, and with a sharp knife slice off the tops, then hallow them out using a spoon. Place them onto a casserole dish, and make sure to keep the tops of the tomatoes for later.

2. In a large bowl, gently mix together the ground veal, ricotta cheese, grated garlic, the herbs, egg, salt and pepper. Stuff the tomatoes, then sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese on top, drizzle the olive oil and place the tops of the tomatoes back on.

3. Drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil all over the tomatoes, and pour 1/4 cup of water into the casserole dish. Cover the casserole dish with foil, then bake it in the oven for 45-50 minutes. Uncover the casserole dish halfway through baking. Serve immediately.


Read Full Post >>

Print This

GREEN BEANS WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS

Green beans are definitely a family staple when it comes to vegetable side dishes. They're cheap to buy, easy to prepare and always seem to be available at the supermarkets all year long. Of course frozen beans are always available as well. I usually saute a bit of onion and garlic and then add in the green beans, but what I decided to do this time was "kick it up a notch," as Emeril Lagasse says. I took the same idea but caramelized the onions instead, and drizzled in a bit of balsamic vinegar to help bring out the sugars in the onions. Sprinkle a bit of toasted walnuts and I ended up with a wonderful side dish that would pair well with any meat you choose to serve it with.
Serves 4
Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced thin
  • coarse salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lb fresh or frozen green beans
  • 1 tbsp butter or margarine
  • toasted walnuts, chopped

1. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet, on low-medium heat, and add in the onions. Season with salt, pepper and 1 tsp of sugar. Slowly saute the onions for a good 25 minutes, until the onions shrink in size and deepen in colour.

2. While the onions are cooking, put on a pot of boiling water and partially cook the green beans. Once it has turned a bright green, drain and place the green beans in ice cold water to stop the cooking process.

3. Add in the minced garlic into the pan with the onions, and saute for a minute. Then drizzle in the balsamic vinegar and quickly add in the partially cooked green beans. Generously season with salt and pepper, drop in the tbsp of butter and saute for another 2 minutes. Place on a large serving plate and sprinkle toasted walnuts on top, serve immediately.


Read Full Post >>

Print This

PENNE WITH ROASTED SHREDDED CHICKEN & BROCCOLI

Have leftover chicken from the roasted chicken dinner that you had the night before? I have just the recipe that you can use for any leftover chicken you have in the fridge. This easy pasta dish is something I came up with when I was in the mood for something simple with clean flavours. Although I love a saucy pasta dish I sometimes like to change it up and make one without sauce. I flavour of this dish really comes from the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest and the final sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Although I added red bell pepper for some colour and crunch please feel free to omit it if you wish. So next time you make roasted chicken, I say make extra so you can have a carry over meal the next day!

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:
  • whole wheat penne (half of a 375 g pkg)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (need extra when serving)
  • small onion , chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • coarse salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 large bunch of broccoli florets
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (optional)
  • 2 cups of shredded roasted chicken
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Put on a large pot of boiling water and cook the penne pasta until al dente. Follow the instructions on the back of the package. Start the next step when the pasta is almost done cooking. In a large deep heavy bottom pan, on medium high heat, drizzle in the olive oil and saute the onions and garlic. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.

2. Pour in the 1/2 cup of chicken stock and add in the broccoli florets. Season the broccoli and cook for only a minute. Then stir in the diced red bell pepper and the shredded roasted chicken. Heat the chicken through for a couple minutes, then add in the cooked pasta and gently mix it altogether.

3. Add in the lemon zest, lemon juice and the chopped fresh parsley. Once mixed thoroughly, take the pan off the heat. Serve immediately with a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese, and a drizzle of good quality olive oil.

Cook's tip: This dish takes no time at all to cook, so make sure to have the onion, garlic, broccoli, red bell pepper, and parsley ready to go. You want to make sure that the veggies don't overcook.


Read Full Post >>

Print This

TURKEY & GRUYERE MONTE CRISTO

This is a sandwich that I make when I feel like treating myself at lunch. Sometimes I honestly cannot face another tuna sandwich! I just get bored of the same old sandwiches for lunch. I just adore the monte cristo sandwich. You get the "eggy" flavour in the bread, the crisp crunchy texture on the outside, and to make things even better, the gooey cheesiness from the inside. Anything else you add to the sammy just adds on another layer of goodness. This is a "not to miss" sammy that I highly recommend to anyone who is just as bored as I am of the same old sandwiches.

Makes 2

Ingredients:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 slices of rye or sour dough bread
  • 4 slices gruyere cheese
  • 4 oven roasted turkey slices
  • sweet onion, sliced thin
  • tomato, sliced thin (optional)
  • 6 basil leaves
  • dijon or grainy mustard
  • 1 tbsp butter or margarine
1. In a shallow dish, beat together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. On your cutting board, start to assemble the sandwiches. Get a slice of bread and layer on cheese, sliced roasted turkey, slice of sweet onion, tomato, and 3 basil leaves. Then spread a bit of dijon or grainy mustard onto the other slice of bread and sandwich it altogether.

2. Heat 1 tbsp of butter or margarine onto a griddle pan or a non-stick skillet, on medium heat, then carefully dip your sandwiches into the egg mixture (on both sides). Really make sure that the egg is absorbed into the bread. Place the sandwiches onto the hot griddle and cook until golden brown, then flip over and do the same. Slice the monte cristo in half and serve immediately.

Cook's tip: You can omit the sliced tomato and place in sliced deli pickles instead, or change the deli meat and add whatever you like.


Read Full Post >>

Print This

STICKY LEMON HONEY CHICKEN

There is something that can be said about simplicity in a recipe. I strongly believe that when you use fresh bold flavours in a dish you really need to let those flavours speak for themselves. This is a recipe that I noticed a while back on the Half Hour Meals website and when I read the ingredients I just knew I had to try it. The ingredients sounded like a tasty vinaigrette for a salad, so I figured the chicken would taste really fresh and lemony. The chicken dish turned out to be a lot more than just lemony. The soy sauce really added that extra layer of depth that it needed, and also deepened the colour of the sauce as well. This simple dish got a big thumbs up from me and my husband. This is a recipe I will for sure keep on hand when I have last minute guests coming over.

Adapted and modified from the "Sticky Lemon Chicken" recipe on the Half Hour Meals website. Recipe submitted by: beejay72

Serves 4

Ingredients:
  • 1 large chicken (5 lbs), cut into 8 pieces (can substitute chicken breasts)
  • coarse salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp liquid honey
  • 3/4 cup warm stock or hot water
  • 1 lemon, finely sliced
  • juice of half a lemon
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley

1. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet, on medium high heat, and place in the chicken pieces. Sear the chicken pieces on both sides until brown. Take the chicken pieces out and place them on a plate for now.

2. In the same pan, on medium heat, saute the garlic and dried thyme. Pour the white wine vinegar and pick up all of the chicken bits from the bottom of the pan, then add the chicken pieces back in. Drizzle over the soy sauce, liquid honey and the 3/4 cup of stock or water. Cover the skillet and shake the pan a few times to give it a good mix. Add in the lemon slices and the lemon juice at this point.

3. With the lid off, let the liquid reduce a bit until the sauce becomes a syrup like consistency. This will take several minutes. Turn the heat off once the chicken has been completely cooked through. Sprinkle chopped parsley over and serve immediately.


Read Full Post >>

Print This

Well dear reader, it's been a while! Why, you may ask? One word: cold. I wonder who gave those sniffles to Nancy? *whistles inconspicuously* Fear not though, she's on the mend, and my sense of smell has much improved. I tell ya, nothing takes the fun out of wine and drinking, period, than the damn sniffles. I blame the devil.

That being said, it's good to be back in business, and having blamed the devil, it's appropriate that my first wine back is entitled, "The Devil's Cellar" (in English). Long story short, in 1883 the owner of this wine cellar noted that locals were stealing his booze, so given their superstition, he told them that Satan inhabited the depths of his cellar: no bottles were ever stolen again.

The story stuck to the point that the label was demonically branded, along with a frightening little devil plastered on the red foil atop the bottle and above the label. I love this frankly, but I guess it shows I'm not quite ready to give up Hallowe'en quite yet...

This Chilean delight comes with a natural cork and is blood...erm, a deep red crimson when poured.

Upon first sniff and many repeated sniffs thereafter, one can grab some nice deep notes of fruit, specifically cherry and perhaps some black fruits; it is rich with a medium to heavyish bodied nose.

Taking a swig, one can pick up some bitterness from the tannins, but it is not overbearing, leaving the rich full tastes of further cherries and dark fruits to take over, and perhaps with just the ever slightest hint of spiciness.

Now, I must admit that I hate reading the back of wine bottles prior to tasting, especially if they give tasting notes, because it will taint my taste buds. That is, instinctively, the mind will look specifically for those certain notes just so one can feel like a winepert (i.e. wine expert) and that one's taste buds are sophisticated enough to taste everything the label claims is in the wine. Got that? Good.

In this instance, I read the label after tasting, where it does indeed note cherry flavours, but further to that...notes of chocolate or mocha! I would never have thought of these tastes in a million years, but I swear, they are there!! I would never have guessed chocolate prior to reading it, but now that I have, well...now ya know what I meant by the above!

Anywayyyyy, the aftertaste perhaps isn't as pleasing as the initial taste, as I picked up almost a raisiny, "grape seed" taste kicking about, but not to the point of making one go, "Blech!" with a sour face. So worry not.

So then! A good bodied, smoothish and flavourful drink awaits you once you open a bottle of the devil's wine. I know we're taught to resist temptation, but this time, go ahead. What the hell.

*** out of 4

Purchased at a Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) store for C$12.95 (US$12.31).

From LCBO.com:

CASILLERO DEL DIABLO CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 750 mL bottle
LCBO #278416
Wine, Red Wine
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Made in: Chile
By: Concha Toro S.A.
Read Full Post >>

Print This

HERB ROASTED CHICKEN

Every good cook should know how to make a classic roasted chicken. This is a very easy and flavourful recipe that really any novice cook can do. When you fill in the cavity of the bird with pungent and herby flavours, the chicken while roasting, will absorb all of the flavours that were filled inside of it. Whenever I make roasted chicken I love roasting two at the same time, that way I can use the other chicken the next day for sandwiches and salads. Make this a weeknight dinner favourite at your house.

Adapted and modified from the "Herbed Roasted Chicken" recipe on the About.com: Southern Food Website. By: Diana Rattray

Makes one 4-5 lb roasted chicken

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F.

Cook time: 20 minutes per pound

Ingredients:

  • 1 roasting chicken (4-5 lbs)
  • one lemon, halved
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 tbsp melted butter or olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and place the roasting chicken onto a roasting pan. Inside the cavity of the bird, juice the halved lemons and place them inside. Season the whole chicken with salt and pepper. Also add inside the cavity, the quartered onion, fresh rosemary, dried thyme, and the chopped fresh parsley. Tie the chicken legs together if you wish.

2. Baste the turkey with the melted butter or drizzle olive oil on top. Make sure all of the outer skin has been basted with the butter or oil. Place the roast in the oven and bake it for about an hour and 30-40 minutes. Half way through cooking, baste the chicken with some of the chicken drippings.

3. By the time the chicken has finished cooking, the internal temperature should read 165 degrees on a meat thermometer, when inserted in the thigh. Let the chicken rest for a good 10 minutes or so before slicing so the juices can redistribute throughout the meat.


Read Full Post >>

Print This

CITRUS COUSCOUS WITH MIXED GREENS

I first made this side dish when I was making a classic roasted chicken dinner. I wanted to really lighten up the meal with a fresh zingy side. I decided to use couscous as my carb of choice and started adding other ingredients like green onions, baby mixed greens and clementine segments. Then I poured a simple lime mustard vinaigrette and tossed it lightly together. It was the perfect match to my roasted chicken dinner. I know there are some people that don't really like the texture of couscous or find the flavour to be bland, but like other pasta dishes you need bold flavours to make it stand out. The citrus flavour and the mixed baby greens really give this side the feeling that you're eating a nice light salad. Yum!

Serves 3

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • coarse salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 clementines, zested and peeled
  • 2 large handfuls of mixed baby greens
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. In a large heat proof bowl, add in the couscous and the 1/2 cup of boiled water. Cover the bowl with a plate or saran wrap for 5 minutes, until the couscous has absorbed all of the water. Fluff the couscous with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Add in the fresh oregano, green onions, zest and segments of the clementine, and the mixed baby greens.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, yellow mustard, sugar and the extra virgin olive oil. Pour it over the bowl of couscous and gently toss all of the dressing and the other ingredients altogether. Serve immediately. Note: if you would like to serve this later then pour in the dressing when serving.


Read Full Post >>

Print This

This is a slight twist on the classic steak and fries dinner. I really wanted to showcase the simplicity in this dish, and wanted to focus more on how to bring out the natural flavours in the beef and potatoes. I marinated the steaks with a bit of Montreal steak spice and a little soy sauce which kept the steaks nice and juicy. As for the frites, I find the key here is to cut the potatoes into 1/4" matchsticks and to bake them at a high temperature. This will keep the outside crisp and the inside tender, which is how the texture should be. I'm betting you won't miss the deep fried version of this. It will be a terrific quick dinner any day of the week. Just make sure to keep a lot of ketchup on hand.

Serves 2

Preheat the oven to 450 Degrees F.

Baking time: about 30 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 4 medium sized potatoes, cut into 1/4" matchsticks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • coarse salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 quick fry tender steaks (or 2 regular steaks)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Montreal Steak Spice
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1. Frites: Preheat the oven to 450 F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, toss together the matchstick potatoes, olive oil, salt and the freshly cracked black pepper. Place them onto the prepared baking sheet and bake them in the oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to toss it with tongs halfway through baking.

2. Steaks: In a mixing bowl, place in the steaks, olive oil, Montreal steak spice, light soy sauce, and the minced garlic cloves. Using tongs, make sure that each steak is equally coated with the marinade. Leave it to marinade for about 20 minutes or longer.

3. Preheat a large non-stick heavy bottom skillet, on medium high heat, and sear the marinaded steaks on both sides. This should take not even 2 minutes per side. Obviously, depending on the size of your steak you may want to cook it for a bit longer. Serve it immediately, along side the baked frites.

Read Full Post >>

Print This

CHEWY GINGERSNAP COOKIES

Who doesn't love a warm chewy cookie fresh out of the oven, with a warm glass of milk to wash it all down? I absolutely love the chewy texture of these cookies. These are terrific cookies to make if you're not really used to baking all that much. This recipe will certainly take those baking jitters away. What's really nice about this recipe is that there is no softened butter needed! The recipe asks for vegetable oil instead, which always gets a thumbs up in my book any day. Whenever I need to bake something for a last minute get together I whip these cookies up in no time. If you're looking to make these over the top, melt some chocolate and dip these chewy treats in. You'll have everyone going mmm!

Adapted and modified from the "Dipped Gingersnaps" recipe in the Taste of Home's: Best Holiday Recipes 2005 Magazine. Recipe submitted by: Laura K.

Makes 7 dozen

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F.

Baking time: 10-12 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tbsp additional granulated sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and vegetable oil, then beat in the egg and the molasses. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and salt. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the molasses-oil mixture.

2. Shape the cookie dough into 3/4" balls, then roll it into the additional granulated sugar, and place it onto the baking sheets. Bake it in the oven for 10-12 minutes, then remove to baking racks to cool. Continue this process until all of the cookies have been baked.


Read Full Post >>

Print This

Send us a comment or question

Copyright © 2009 - Food Tastes Yummy - is proudly powered by Blogger
Smashing Magazine - Design Disease - Blog and Web - Dilectio Blogger Template