Sunday, November 4, 2007

Chicken and Artichoke hearts

So yummy....

2 chicken breasts
olive oil
2 cups artichoke hearts
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

Pound chicken breasts until they are 1.5 their original size, dredge in flour.
In a heated pan coat with olive oil and place each breast in pan. Cook through, turning once.
When cooked remove chicken from pan. Add chicken stock to deglaze pan. When stock is simmering add artichoke hearts and stir to heat through. Add butter to thicken and add salt and pepper to taste.
To serve pour artichoke sauce over chicken breasts.
It's so good!

Jalapeno Cornbread

I made this to go with chili. It's not at all spicy, although it could be made to be spicier. You can really taste the jalapenos though. Also it's really moist, should be refrigerated if not all eaten.

3 cups cornbread mix
2 cups milk
1/2 cup oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 slices bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup creamed canned corn
1/2 cup jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 2 oz jar pimentos

In food processor combine onion, garlic and jalapenos, blend to a mulchy mix.
In a large bowl add corn bread mix, milk, oil, sugar and the corn and mix, add the onion mix and combine. Add remaining things and combine.

Pour into a 12X9X2 greased pan and bake at 350 for 40ish minutes or until an inserted toothpick is clean.

to make spicier chop jalapenos whole, to make less spicy remove seeds and ribs.

Banana and Whopper Icecream

I got Adam an ice cream maker for our anniversary, so let the ice cream making ensue.

2 bananas
1/2 cup Whoppers balls, crushed
1 cup less a tablespoon low fat milk
1 cup less a tablespoon half and half
1 cup less a tablespoon heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

in a food processor blend sugar and banana until it's pasty
add milk and blend
add half and half and blend, make sure the sugar is dissolved
add cream and blend briefly to combine
add Whoppers and stir as to not chop them up any smaller.
From this point follow the directions of the ice cream maker (ours is a 1.5 pint model)
when it's done freeze until desired consistency, and eat.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Asian Marinated Cucumber Salad.

Adam says that this is "good for a cucumber" salad.

1 seedless cucumber thinly sliced
1 green onion sliced
1 carrot thinly sliced *
1/4 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

In a bowl mix the final 6 ingredients and heat in microwave for 1 minute. When warm add the sliced veggies and mix well. Chill for a couple hours and eat.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Citrus and Red Wine Fruit salad

I made this up tonight, it's so good.

I used the fruit I had, I'll list what I used, but I think that anything along with citrus would work.

4 cups cubed watermelon
1 cup blackberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1 mango, cubed
2 peaches, sliced
1 cup pineapple, chunked
2 grapefruit, sectioned
2 blood oranges, sectioned
1 orange, sectioned

1 cup red wine
1/2 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon

I started by making the sauce, mixing the wine, sugar, zest and juice and boiling it.
Then I started on the salad, starting with the mango. After I had cut away what I could from the mango pit, I squeezed it over the red wine sauce, getting the juice from the remaining pulp on the seed. To section the citrus fruits I cut away the skin and white pith, then cut between the sections in the fruit so that it resulted in chunks of fruit with no membranes. Then I squeezed what was left into the sauce after I had removed all of the sections. (there will be some small pieces left and plenty of juice) After I prepared all of the fruit I carefully mixed it, taking care not to crush the watermelon. Then I refrigerated the salad with the sauce in a separate container. To serve drizzle the sauce over a bowl of the salad.

Mom's Banana Bread

I had this a lot growing up, it's great.

2 2/3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter*
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 bananas (if I have more I use more)

1. mix top 4 ingredients together
2. in a separate bowl cream butter and sugar
3. add eggs to creamed sugar and butter, mix
4. add bananas to mixture, mix
5. add dry to wet, in batches.
6. makes 2 loaves, bake at 350 degrees until a tooth pick comes out clean.

* I have also used 1/3 cup oil, or 1/2 cup applesauce, it all works well. The butter gives it a richer taste, but oil is better for you, and applesauce is the best, but results in a drier loaf.
**extras could be chocolate chips, raisins, or nuts. I've also adds citrus zest and it's nice. I add raisins etc. when everything is mixed together. If I'm adding zest I add it to the moist before adding the dry.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cajun Shrimp

1 cup melted butter
2-3 tablespoons pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons hot sauce
2 lemons, thinly sliced
2-3 pounds shrimp (deveined, shells on or off)

mix first 4 ingredients
spoon some of the sauce into a 9X13 baking dish, enough to cover the bottom
add 1/2 of the shrimp to the baking dish and layer the slices of one lemon over them
cover with some of the sauce
add the rest of the shrimp evenly, top with lemons and cover with sauce.

bake in a 350 degree oven until the shrimps are pink, take care not to overcook.

Serve with a salad and bread.

Biscotti breakfast

serves 1

2 biscotti cookies
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1 cup frozen raspberries
silvered almonds (optional)

crumble cookies into a bowl
in a blender blend the yogurt and raspberries
pour over cookies
sprinkle with almonds

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bread Salad

This is my new favorite salad.

serves 1

2 slices of a rustic stale bread (like ciabatta or a baguette) cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tomato, cubed
1/2 a cucumber, cubed
5-6 black olives, whole
1 tablespoon capers
1-2 tablespoons feta (optional)
1-2 tablespoons balsamic (to taste)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil (to taste)

I start with adding the bread to a large bowl, then veggies and stir. When I add the olives and capers I may add a little juice if the bread is really hard, less if it's less stale. I just drizzle the oil and vinegar on the top of it all, to taste. I like it to be a little more vinegary than oily. I tried it with feta, but I though that the salad has enough flavours and the feta competes too much with the capers.
Overall it's a really yummy salad.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Eat Your Veggies! chocolate cupcakes.

I found this recipe somewhere and it intrigued me. They're good, Adam even likes them.

1 1/4 cups butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup grated zucchini

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, vanilla, yogurt and cocoa, stir until smooth.
In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients, mix well and add to moist mixture, (I did it in 2 batches) mix until combined, take care not to over mix. Fold in veggies.
Spoon into lined muffin tins and bake in a 350 degree oven for approx 18 mins, or until a toothpick or other such pointy object comes out clean.
Yields 24 cupcakes.

I don't really notice the veggies in them, they just blend in well. The batter is really thick, an ice cream scoop would work well to get even cupcakes.
I think they would be really good with icing.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fresh Pea Soup.

I'd been looking for a fresh pea soup recipe after my friend Monica made it for me once. I've finally found a recipe, however I made a few alterations. Here's my version.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion chopped
4 cups chicken stock
2 10 ounce packages of frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Saute the onions in the oil. When they're soft add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the peas and cook for 3 minutes. Turn off heat and add the mint, salt and sugar, taste and adjust seasonings as needed (you may also want to add black pepper). Puree the soup in batches. I used a magic bullet and dumped the pureed soup into a bowl as I went along. When all smooth add the yogurt and stir well.
Can be eaten hot or cold.

I like this soup, I find it to be rather refreshing and bright.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Lemon Snowball Cookies.

I made these as an accompaniment to a desert wine.

2 sticks of butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 cups flour

2/3 cup icing sugar
3 single serve packages of crystal light lemonade

Cream butter and sugar, add flavourings, mix well.
Add flour in 2 stages, mix well.
When combined roll into 1/2 teaspoon balls.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, or until they are firm to the touch. The will not brown. They don't spread much.

While the first batch is baking mix the coating, then roll the hot cookies in the coating.

They are tangy cookies! Great with a desert wine that you would want to highlight, as they are not sweeter than the wine.

Dduk Soup

Dduk is pronounced duck, and is compressed rice. It's a Korean dish. The dduk is rice forced through a press and emerges from the other side like a long fat spaghetti noodle, one type is about as thick as your thumb which are cut into 3-4 in pieces used for dduk bogie which is a spicy spicy dish. The other kind of dduk is about an inch in diameter and is cut into thin slices on the bias. This type of dduk is used for the soup.

Okay here we go.
This is my version of the soup.

1/2 package of dduk
3-4 green onions, sliced
1/2 lb ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons Korean beef granules (oxo can be substituted, but it makes a darker coloured soup)

Start by browning the beef. I don't season it at this time. When cooked strain out fat and rinse with hot water. (I don't like to have grease floating on my soup) Return to soup pot (which should hold 2-3 litres of water), add water, about 3/4s of the way up. Add dduk, onions and soup granules, bring to a boil. When the dduk is tender, turn off the heat and add the egg, stirring to make the long egg strings. Serve. Should make 5-6 bowls.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Bacon Rosemary Pea Soup

This is so good. I make it in the crock pot.

1 medium onion diced
2 large carrots diced
2 cloves of garlic diced
5 rashers of bacon sliced into 1 cm pieces
1/2 cup cooked ham cubed
1 1/3 cups split dried peas
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1-2 tablespoons chicken stock powder
6-8 cups water

In a pan saute onions and garlic, when soft add to crock pot. Saute bacon, when crispy add to crock pot. Add remaining ingredients, making sure to crumble rosemary well. Cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8-10. This freezes well, and is so flavourful!


Adam can't eat eggs or cheese, and yet he loved the alfredo sauce they had when he was residence at U of T. He figures he was able to eat it because the cheese was so processed and cheap that it was no longer cheese.
I decided that I was up to the challenge to try and make something tastier that still agreed with him.

1 large onion, diced
1 green pepper diced
5 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped
6-7 rashers of bacon, sliced into 1 cm pieces
1 cup diced cooked ham
2 tablespoons chicken stock powder
1/4 cup flour
1 cup water
2 cups milk
1 1/2 lbs pasta

In a large sauce pan fry up 1-2 rashers of bacon, when crispy remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
Remove most of the remaining fat in pan, leaving enough to saute onions and garlic. Once sauteed remove from pan and place aside.
Saute the rest of the bacon, when crispy remove from pan to drain with other bacon. The bottom of the pan should be covered in fat, of there is more than just a covering remove some and discard. Then while on the heat add the flour to the fat and stir to make a roux, watch carefully so it doesn't burn, cook for about a minute or two in order to remove the starchy taste of the flour. Add water and stir, it will turn into a really thick sauce, add chicken powder. When combined and smooth add milk and stir until thickens. Add onions, bacon, ham and green pepper, let simmer for 5 minutes. Serve over cooked pasta.

Adam likes this a lot. It seems to satisfy his alfredo cravings. It freezes well. Sometimes I don't use bacon, just ham and then I use a little extra vigin olive oil to do the satueeing. Chicken stock could be substituted for the powder and water, however since this is just a white sauce with stuff in it, the extra flavour is needed.

Asian Potatoe Salad

Step one.
6 large potatoes
salt to taste
Peel potatoes and boil until tender, but not mushy.
could also use the equivalent in young potatoes which don't need to be peeled.

Step two*.
1 1/2 tablespoons (crushed) roasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
1 large clove of garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I like the Korean kind which don't have the seeds in them)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
6 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Blend together in a food processor

Step three.
After potatoes are cooked, drain and toss with dressing, a little at a time, to taste. Eat warm or let cool.

This salad would be good for picnics becasue there is no mayo to go bad. It's also lighter than a traditional mayoed salad.

The dressing is also good on a green salad also.

*Everything in step two is to taste, this happens to be my taste....

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Bran Muffins.

This is a standard recipe that I made my own. It's quite nice and not very sweet at all.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oat bran
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons egg whites*
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup robust molasses**
1 1/2 cups reduced fat buttermilk
1/2 cup raisins***

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine first five ingredients and raisins,
then in a separate bowl combine the next four.
Then add wet to dry and mix, only until mixed together, don't over mix.
Line 12 muffin tins and evenly distribute mixture.
Bake for 20 mins.

* or one egg.
** or regular, the robust is darker and has a more molassesy flavour.
*** I used chocolate chips, although next time I would only use 1/4 cup or chips.

My alterations from the original.
I replaced equal amounts of buttermilk with milk, and added the baking soda to make up for the extra acid. I used egg whites instead of eggs. I replaced equal amount of applesauce for oil. And changed regular molasses for robust.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Oatmeal Pancakes

Another Gay recipe.

3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

Beat oats, milk and egg well. Add salt and sugar and mix. Sift together flour and baking powder, and add to wet ingredients. Mix to combine.

Makes 12 smallish pancakes, or 6 larger ones (2 to a 9 inch fry pan.)

These are hearty, yet tender, the oats just melt into the batter.

English Style Chocolate Pudding.

This is Gay's recipe, c'est si bon. It's more of a cakey pudding than a creamy pudding, the centre is liquidy, almost like a lava cake.

step one
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa

step two
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter

step three
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa

step four
2 cups boiling water

Combine step one ingredients in a oven safe vessel, I use a two litre pot.
Combine step two ingredients and add to step one mixture, combine and use a spatula to clean sides of pot.
Combine step three ingredients and sprinkle on top of mixture in pot. The gently and slowly pour the boiling water over the pudding, try to avoid letting the water make a hole in it. Bake in a 350 oven for 40-45 minutes. It will more than double in size so make sure your pot is tall enough, and oven safe!

This is a very good pudding. It is important to use boiling water or you will have a really runny pudding. I check it frequently to see if it's done, it will look solid on the outside and wobbly in the centre.

I made this into a mock upside down pineapple cake, I made the pudding substituting 1 teaspoon vanilla for cocoa in step one, and omitted cocoa in step three. I also placed rings of pineapple onto the pudding at the end of step two. All in all it was good, although not as flavourful as the chocolate variety.