Monday, September 27, 2004

Friday, September 17, 2004

Ham and Kale

1/2 onion chopped
1 lb kale, washed, stems removed and chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup beef broth
1 cup water
1 cup chopped ham

Saute the onion in some oil until softened. Add the kale and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer, covered for 45 minutes until kale is softened.

Lavender Salt

Use on chicken, fish or lamb.

2 1/2 tsp dried chopped lavender
1/2 cup coarse salt.


Thursday, September 16, 2004

Shrimp Dip

1 or 2 tins of shrimp, drained
1 block cream cheese, room temperature
chile sauce
Worcestershire sauce
lemon juice
onion powder
1/2 tsp horseradish

Combine all ingredients but shrimp and season to taste. Fold in shrimp. Let sit for a few hours, and serve with crackers, potato chips or veggies.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Hot Pepper Jelly

Speaking of the best recipes, here's my mom's recipe for Hot Pepper Jelly. It is good with cream cheese (try garlic cream cheese) and crackers, in sandwiches, and brushed on chicken and stuff.

I usually just seal the jars with wax as we eat it so quickly.

3 red peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
6 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 bottle of liquid or 1 pouch of powdered Certo
red food coloring if needed

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a pot, and cook over medium high heat. Stir frequently until mixture comes to a boil. Add food coloring if you want. Add Certo and boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, skim off foam, and pour into sterilized jars.

Makes about 6 small jars.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Bread and Butter pickles

This recipe makes the absolute best Bread and Butter pickles I have ever had. This takes you to the recipe on the Food Network site.

The recipe is from Alton Brown who I like very much.

Although points must be taken away for his stint on Iron Chef America.

Monday, September 13, 2004

My Birthday Wish

Dear Scott and family,

As you know, my birthday is fast appraoching. This weekend, while in Chapters at the mall, I came across what would be for me the ULTIMATE birthday present. My very own copy of Anthony Bourdain's cookbook. I know, it says that it is not in stores until October, but IT IS HERE! I held it in my arms on Saturday.

Please help my deepest birthday wish become a reality. Let me bring Tony home.

Beef Ribs

Sometimes you get a recipe from an unexpected source. Like your boss, who rips recipes out of newspapers and magazines for you to try (and bring him leftovers). Or your 6th grade teacher. Or a gossip magazine.

This recipe came from a recent In Touch magazine. I made it for dinner last night, and was it good!

Blue Smoke beef baby back ribs

2 racks beef ribs
2 Tbsp pepper
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp paprika

Heat oven to 200 degrees. Combine all but ribs, and coat ribs with mixture. Put ribs on a shallow pan, and cook for 5-6 hours until tender.

Serves 4.

The magazine also says you can cheat and parboil the ribs for 1 hour with some onion and garlic, and then rub and cook them at 350 for 1 hour. I liked the slow method though.

Thursday, September 09, 2004


Went to beautiful Canmore, Alberta this weekend for the Highland Games. We had a great time, saw lots of dancing, piping and drumming, and of course, the heavy sports (caber throwing, hammers etc.).

We went down early Saturday morning so we could do some walking and sight seeing. We went to Nosh, the new(ish) food store, did an olive oil tasting, tried some other foods, and bought some sweet paprika, fancy mustard, and cream of balsamic. When I posted the entry about some of the things we did in B.C., I forgot to include that we had fruit and cream of balsamic vinegar. It's a thicker, sweeter version of balsamic, and was really good over peaches and nectarines from the farmers market, and strawberries from the garden. And of course, now we have our own bottle just in time for winter when there are no peaches, nectarines, or strawberries. Oh well.

We also went to the lavender store (can't remember the name) and bought some herb de Provence, and organic lavender for cooking. Brulee bakery here in Calgary makes really good lavender cookies, and I want to try too.

For lunch on Saturday, we went to Murrieta's. It's a very nice restaurant on the second floor of a building, so you can look down and people watch. Scott had the lamb burger. It came on a bun with grilled tomatoes, caramelized onions, and melted cambazola cheese. I had the chicken brioche, basically a chicken sandwich, with grilled tomatoes and boar bacon. Boar bacon tastes just like regular bacon! My sandwich was pretty good, but a few of the bites had a fishy aftertaste, like the chicken had been cooked next to or in a pan that had previously held fish. Scott liked his lamb, but said they could have used a little less cheese. Both meals came with a spring mix salad that was really nice, and Scott had potato salad which he didn't like because he said the potatoes were still hard. I had fries. We skipped dessert, and went down the road to the candy store for Cola bottles and Swedish berries.

Our very favorite place in Canmore is the Grizzly Paw pub. Canada was playing Russia in the world cup hockey that night, so we were very lucky to snag a table in front of one of the fireplaces that also had a view of the big screen TV. The place was packed, but since we knew we would not be back again this visit, we decided to take our time. To my amazement, they serve Mojitos!!!! I started off with one, while Scott had the flight of light beer (smaller serving of 4 of their beers). He decided that the Grumpy Bear was his favorite, and drank that the rest of our stay. I, of course, wisely stuck with the Mojito. We shared some potato skins to start. I had the beef dip, which wasn't super, and Scott had a chicken wrap with spinach, feta cheese and pepper jelly. About halfway thru the meal we switched. He said his wrap was too spicy, but I loved it. We both had fries and the house salad which was greens with cheese, boiled egg and picked beets. No dessert. Candy, hot tub and beer waiting back at the hotel.

The Highland games just wouldn't be complete if Scott didn't get to try haggis. So he did. He loved it. I didn't try it. I am just not that brave.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

A really good new recipe

As I said a few posts ago, I have been feeling the need to cook more and try new recipes lately. Last night I made chicken with mango chutney and Brie. Don't know where this one came from, as it is written in one of my notebooks. I have 5 (and counting) spiral notebooks that I have copied recipes to, and written down my own ideas to try. Few of them have sources though. This one doesn't.

For 2 people:

2 chicken breasts
Dijon mustard
Bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
Mango Chutney
Brie slices

Preheat oven to 400.

Pound the chicken breasts until about 1 inch thick. Brush with mustard. Mix the crumbs with the thyme, garlic and salt and pepper. Coat the chicken in the mixture. Heat pan with some oil and cook chicken until done. Drizzle chicken with chutney and cover with cheese. Cook until the cheese is melted - 10 minutes or so.