Thursday, December 29, 2005

Thursday, December 22, 2005


A very Happy Christmas and Holiday Season to all of you out there.
I wish you all a wonderful peaceful Christmas spent with the ones you love.
Thanks to all of you out there who email me, comment, or just check out my blog from time to time. I appreciate your time and effort, and are glad you appreciate mine.



Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Turkey Burgers

Good Lord, I swear that my food tastes better than it looks in these pictures. If you're ever in Calgary, stop by and show me how to use my camera properly. I'll buy you a beer.

I got this idea from an older copy of Organic Style magazine, but changed it a bit to suit my tastes.

Makes 4 burgers

1 lb ground turkey
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
brie cheese, cut into slices
4 slices of ham
spinach leaves
mango chutney
4 slices french bread

Mix the turkey, onion, salt and pepper. Form into 4 patties and cook on your bbq or a grill pan. Meanwhile, toast the bread. Spread the spinach on the bread and put a piece of ham on each sandwich. When the burgers are done, lay the slices of brie on the burgers and cover to let the cheese melt a bit. Then put the burgers on the bread, top with some chutney and serve.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Weekend Cookbook Challenge Round Up

Hey you! Go over to the new Weekend Cookbook Challenge site and check out the roundup from our first challenge, "A recipe from your oldest cookbook".
Do it!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Help me make Paella!

Saturday night we went to a big Christmas party and had the best dinner. Had I not had a "few" cocktails before dinner, I would have taken some pictures of the fabulous spread. We ate at a Spanish restaurant. We had some really great tapas - honey chicken, grilled sausage, scallops, langostines, and tortellini and cheese. But the highlight of the night was the paella. It was remarkable. Very flavorful, and absolutely full of chicken, calamari, mussels, clams and shrimp. Frankly, it was the highlight of my weekend!

I'd love to make my own paella. I even received a paella pan this year as a gift.

So here are some recipes I've found from:

Delia Smith
Rob Feenie
Man Made Food
Jamie Oliver

There are so many out there! Gah. I won't eat rabbit, so all those are out. I don't want vegetarian. I don't want beans. I would rather the stock be chicken than fish. I don't want diced up seafood, I want big chunks. I don't want pepperoni.

Can you help me? Does anyone out there have a kick-ass paella recipe they'd like to share with me? I'd love you forever!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Weekend Cookbook Challenge - My Oldest Cookbook

I am excited to write my first post for the new Weekend Cookbook Challenge hosted by myself and Alicat. I am really looking forward to the recipes and memories that all of the contributors will share.

The first challenge for the new WCC is to cook something out of the cookbook you have owned the longest. When I was younger I would regularly clean out my cookbooks, selling those I had no longer had an interest in to the used book store. So, my cookbook that I have had the longest was given to me by my Grandmother when I was getting ready to leave home at 18. It's called The Working Family's Cookbook. My sweet Grandmother never knew that I couldn't afford to cook anything out of here; I existed on toast and peas and rice and cheap food bought from the restaurant I worked at. I only kept this book because my Grandmother had given it to me;it's not something I would have bought for myself. Had I got it as a gift from someone else, it would have been out of my collection long ago. But now my Grandmother is gone, and this cookbook is one of the memories I have of her. I will never, ever give up this cookbook, and plan on cooking as many recipes out of it as I can, for her.

Well! On to the recipe. Since the weather here took a turn for the worse last week, I decided to make a hearty winter-y type dish. And sometimes nothing says winter better than a casserole.

Chicken Broccoli and Garlic Pasta Casserole
Serves 4
Adapted from the Working Family's Cookbook by Irena Chalmers
8 oz Radiatore pasta
3 cups broccoli florets and thinly sliced and peeled stem
3 tb butter
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tb flour
1 tsp dry thyme
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
1 bay leaf
2 chicken breasts, cut into thin slices
Pinch ground nutmeg
1 small container cottage cheese
Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and place in a large bowl.

Steam the broccoli for 5 minutes. Add to the pasta.

Heat oven to 350'.

In a large pan, heat butter over medium heat. Cook onion for 5 minutes until soft, then add the garlic. Add thyme and flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the stock and milk and whisk to combine. Add the bay leaf and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so. It's ok if the chicken is not fully cook through. Remove from the stove and season with salt pepper and nutmeg. Add to the bowl with the pasta and broccoli and stir to combine.

Line a 11x8 baking dish with parchment paper and pour in the pasta mixture. Spread the cottage cheese to top and grate some Parmesan cheese over the top.

Look at Scott go!

Bake for 20 minutes, then put under the broiler for 5 minutes or so to melt and brown the top.

This was very good and fairly quick too. I might add a bit more garlic and something other than thyme next time I make it. And maybe I'll try replacing the chicken and broccoli with something else. Ham and peas? Slices of pork tenderloin and mushrooms? Mmmmm, the possibilities could be endless.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Reminder - WCC!

Hey everyone, please don't forget about the Weekend Cookbook Challenge! The deadline is Monday, and the theme is about your first cookbook.

Check out the website here.

Cheddar and Ham Biscuits

This recipe is from a friend of a friend and was given to me years ago. These are very tasty, and will keep for 4 or 5 days, if you didn't gobble them down as soon as they came out of the oven, like we usually do!

3 cups flour
1 tb dried rosemary
1 tb baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup grated cheddar
3/4 cup chopped ham
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400'. If you have a pestle and mortar, grind the rosemary until fragrant. If you don't have a p&m, place the rosemary on a cutting board and roll over it a few times with a rolling pin or heavy jar. Combine the flour, rosemary, baking powder salt and pepper in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or your fingers. Stir in the buttermilk just until it forms a dough. It will be crumbly. Turn out and knead to incorporate any loose crumbs. Pat the dough into a 6 inch square and cut into biscuits. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook, turning halfway until cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Breakfast Casserole

Here's a recipe that my Mom made for Christmas Day breakfast a couple of years ago. Scott just loved it. We have it every couple of months. Very nice in the winter. It's not a complicated recipe and could be made for 1 or 10 people. Just throw in how much of each ingredient you want.

Frozen commercial hash browns, or potatos, parboiled and diced
Sliced deli ham, diced
Brie, diced

Fry the potatos until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper. Set them aside into a large mixing bowl. Add the diced ham and Brie and mix well. Preheat the oven to 375'. Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray. Pour the mixture into the dish and lightly press it down. With the back of a large spoon, like a ladle, make an impression in the potatos. This is where your egg will sit, so make as many impressions as you need eggs. Try not to crowd them too closely together. Crack an egg into each indent. Season with salt and pepper. If you are like me and don't like eggs any way but scrambled and hard boiled, just scramble your egg with some water and pour into the indent. I always do mine last as it seeps a bit more than the whole eggs. Bake for 10 minutes or so, until the eggs are done to your liking. Plate up and serve with ketchup and Tabasco.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Too busy.

So busy. So very, very, very busy.

In my absence, please enjoy Barefoot Contessa vs The Turkey.

And also check out Suggestive Barefoot Contessa Moment of the Day.

That Ina is a treasure!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Weekend Cookbook Challenge

The first challenge is up.

Please check it out.

Weekend Cookbook Challenge.

Weekend Cookbook Challenge - New and Improved!

Back in September I started the Weekend Cookbook Challenge on my blog. I have so many cookbooks that I have never cooked out of, and I thought it was time to change that. To my surprise, people were interested in it, and were asking me if I was planning on making it an event where other people could participate.

I've teamed up with the fabulous Alicat from Something So Clever and we've turned the WCC into a challenge that is open to anyone who wants to participate. We are very excited about this and hope that you guys are too!

So stay tuned, we'll be letting you know what the first challenge will be shortly!

Saturday night dinner - steak with tomato-olive relish

Steak with tomato olive relish - origin unknown.

1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives
2 tb olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tb minced red onion

Place all ingredients into food processor. Process until blended but still chunky.

Cook your steaks as you like them. Toast a thick slice of french or sourdough bread. Spread with relish, and top with your steak.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Roasted Asparagus

This is truly the best way to cook asparagus. One bundle of asparagus serves 4 people.
Preheat broiler. Wash and trim the asparagus. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Season with salt and add a couple of generous glugs of olive oil. (Don't season with pepper as it will burn.) Toss together and spread out in an even layer on the pan. Take 2 large garlic cloves, peel and cut in half. Stick them under the spears so they don't burn. Place the tray under the broiler for about 4 or 5 minutes. Take out, stir and back under the broiler for another 4 minutes. Check them at this point. They should be bright green and have a few brown and crisp spots. Turn onto a plate, season with a bit more salt and some lemon juice. This goes very well with steak.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bean and Veg soup

Here is a nice hearty soup recipe. I made this one cold day for lunch and it was good. I always use homemade salsa in this, and our salsa tends to be fairly spicy. If yours is not, throw in some tabasco or chile flakes.

2 tb olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 carrot, sliced into rounds
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 can mixed beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups water
1/2 cup salsa
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tb red wine vinegar
salt and pepper

Heat the oil over medium high heat and saute the onion, garlic, carrot and pepper for 10 minutes. Add the rest of ingredients, season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Either serve as is or puree half the soup in a blender or food processor and return to pot.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The most terrible recipe in the world.

Friends, life cannot be all sunshine and flowers. Sometimes something happens to you that you think you may never recover from.

Such a thing happened to me last night.

While innocently flipping through a cookbook I came across a recipe that struck fear in my heart, and literally made Scott leave the room. It is a recipe that would make grown men cry, and no one hungry.

I give to you...

Penis Stew
by Jennifer Patterson

1 lb of ram or bull penis
3 tb oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 tomato, chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
salt and pepper

Scald the penis** (!!!!!!!!), drain and clean it. Place in a pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Remove the scum and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and slice. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion garlic and coriander until the onion is golden. Add the penis slices** (!!!!!) and fry on both sides for a few minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients, add enough water to cover and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 2 hours, until tender. Add a little water from time to time to keep from burning.

(** Two things I never thought I would say. Ever. )

Now I know there are lots of people out there who enjoy organ meat, tripe, sweetbreads, all that sort of stuff, it's called offal. And that's fine by me. Good for you, you are more adventurous than I will ever be. I'm sure it tastes really good.

But seriously, PENIS?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Recipe recommendation

Head over to Kayak Soup and try out Linda's recipe for Sticky Coconut Chicken with Chili Glaze. Chicken thighs are my favorite cut of chicken and I just happened to have some coconut milk left over from another recipe. It was a knockout dish. The chicken itself was great. I cooked it on the bbq, so it had that smoky charbroiled taste that went very well with the coconut and ginger. It was a really wonderful dish. I am looking forward to making it again very soon.

That chile sauce had a wonderful kick to it too. We had ours with smashed spuds and stir fry veg.

Peanut Dipping Sauce

Serve this with the Chicken Satay.

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tb tamari
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp hot chile sauce
3 tb lemon juice

In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients except lemon juice. Add the lemon juice to taste. Add water or additional lemon juice to thin to the desired consistency.
Serve at room temperature.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Chicken Satay

This is a nice and gingery, mildly spicy satay. I cooked this on my George Foreman grill, but next time I'll grill it on the bbq.

Chicken Satay

1 tb chopped ginger
1/4 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup tamari
1 tsp hot chile sauce
2 tb lemon juice
1 tb sugar
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients but the chicken in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. Slice the chicken into strips. Transfer to a bowl and pour the marinade over. Stir to combine, then cover and refrigerate at least one hour.
Heat bbq or grill pan. Thread chicken on skewers and grill until chicken is cooked through. Serve with peanut dipping sauce.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Potato-Leek Soup

This is a family recipe for THE BEST potato leek soup ever!

1 1/2 cups diced leeks, approximately 2
1/2 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic minced
4 tb butter
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups diced potato
1 cup heavy cream (I use milk)
salt and pepper

Saute leeks, onion and garlic in butter. Add the broth and potatos, cover and simmer until potatos are tender. Puree, then add cream or milk. Season with salt and pepper.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Coffee granita

Coffee granita with baileys whip cream - a twist on after dinner coffee.

Granita from Gourmet, Baileys whip cream from Scott


2 cups hot espresso or strong coffee
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Stir together coffee and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Stir in vanilla. Pour into an 8 inch metal pan and freeze, stirring every 30 mins until slushy, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Stir vigorously until smoother in texture. Freeze until firm enough to scoop, about 30 minutes more.

Baileys Whip Cream:

Whip heavy cream until at soft peaks. Add Baileys liquer to taste, and whip 2 or 3 minutes more.

Spoon granita into glasses or bowls and top with cream.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Aboot me

(You know how everyone says that Canadians say "aboot" instead of "about"? Well we totally don't. But anyway.)

I am taking some time out of my busy day to do a Q&A.
I have got these questions from many different sources.
Feel free to play along. If you do, leave me a comment or email me so I can learn some stuff about you too!

5 movies you've seen recently
Batman Begins (because Scott wanted to see it)
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (kind of funny)
Super Size Me (freaked me the hell out!)
A Very Long Engagement (wonderful!)
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (i love harry potter)

5 random songs from your mp3 player
Smoke and Ashes by Tracey Chapman (such a good cd)
Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall (this one always cheers me up)
It's a Sin by Pet Shop Boys (the 80's!)
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by The Darkness (they crack me up)
Are We The Waiting by Green Day (I love Green Day and I always will. Especially Mike Dirnt.Grrrrowl!)

Yesterday I...
was completely stressed out at work. Went home and had a couple of drinks, watched tv and went to bed.

Today I...
am completely stressed out at work. Have to go pick up my car from the shop and go to the gym before going to the grocery store to find something for dinner, then go home, make dinner, eat dinner, clean up after dinner, then go to bed. I'm tired today.

Tomorrow I...
hope to sleep in.

What are you listening to right now?
Green Day, baby!

What color of pants are you wearing?
Um, I'm wearing green pants, with a brown shirt and black shoes. Did I mention I'm tired today?

What's on your mouse pad?
Here at work, it's plain black. At home it has a bulls eye on it.

Favorite meal - breakfast, lunch or dinner?

Favorite snack?
Plain pita chips. In the summer, fresh fruit.

Favorite non-alcoholic drink?
Water or a smoothie.

Favorite alcoholic drink?
Rye and Coke.

Pancakes or Waffles?
Pancakes. My stupid waffle iron NEVER works.

Pasta, Rice or Potatos?

What site is a must see for visitors to your city?
I guess the Calgary Stampede. We also have a very nice Zoo.

Stretch your right arm out as far as you can. What do you touch first?
My printer.

What is the last thing you watched on TV?
The MTV Europe Awards last night.

With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
My desk fan. Our office building is incredibly warm today.

When did you last go outside?
Just before noon. I walked to Tim Hortons and got a bowl of chili.

When did you last laugh?
Last night.

What is on the walls of the room you are in?
Some pictures, some work certificates, a calendar and a SpongeBob Squarepants sticker.

Tell me something about you I don't know
I am terrified of dogs.

Two truths and a lie. Which is the lie?
I have a hard time sleeping on a regular basis.
I graduated from University.
I used to be a vegetarian, but one day I had an overwhelming desire to have a ham sandwich.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Morning person.

What color is your bedroom?

What color is your bathroom?
White. We haven't painted anywhere in the house yet. We are still trying to get the basement finished.

What should you be doing right now, instead of this?
Working, but my boss is out of town this week, so I am having an extended lunch.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Steak with spicy tomatos and feta

I love tomatoes and feta cheese any way I can get them. Here's a good, fast and tasty recipe. My amounts are just a guideline. It's all approximate, so put in however much of each ingredient you want.

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
olive oil
salt and pepper
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup red onion, sliced thinly
1/2 to 1 whole jalapeno pepper, diced finely
handful cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup or so of feta

Put the tomatoes on a baking sheet and put under the broiler until they start to pop. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix about 1/3 cup of olive oil and the rest of the ingredients. Add the tomatoes, mix gently and season with salt and pepper. Cook your steak as you like them, then slice thinly, plate and top with the tomato mixture.

Fuzzy picture! But doesn't it look good?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Weekend Cookbook Challenge #5 - Fat Horse Potstickers

This weekends cookbook was the local The Best of City Palate cookbook. City Palate is a local food newspaper released 10 times a year, covering the Calgary "Food Scene".

Dumplings are great and tasty, but are time consuming to make and cook. You'll need a couple of hours free to make them. If you wanted, once you made them you could freeze them and store them for when the dumpling mood strikes you. Or, do what we did, cook and eat, standing in the kitchen.

Fat Horse Potstickers
adapted from Best of the City Palate

makes approximately 30 potstickers

wonton wrappers
1/4 lb raw chicken, ground or finely chopped
1/4 lb raw pork, ground or finely chopped
1/4 lb crab meat, shredded
2 tb chopped cilantro
10 cloves garlic, minced
2 tb ginger, minced
2 green onions, minced
2 tb tamari
2 tb coconut milk
1 egg
1/2 jalapeno, minced

Blend all ingredients together except wrappers and peas. Heat a frying pan and cook a spoonful of the filling to make sure it tastes good. If necessary, adjust the seasonings. Measure spoonfuls of the filling into the wonton wrappers and form into a flat bottomed dumpling that is open at the top. Stick a pea in the centre of each.

Heat some oil over medium heat in a non-stick pan. Add the potstickers in a single layer. The size of your pan will determine how many batches you will have to cook yours in. Cook until the dumplings are brown on the bottoms, then add about 1/4" of water, cover and steam for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and cook until all the water has evaporated. Use a flexible spatula if you have one, to remove the dumplings carefully from the pan.
Serve hot with vinegar chile dip, plum sauce, or hoisin.

Vinegar chile dip
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
sugar to taste
salt to taste
chile flakes to taste

Monday, October 24, 2005

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Shepherd's Pie

This is my least favorite time of year. I am still clinging to the memory of summer, still willing the weather to stay warm so I can sit on my deck, open the windows all day, wear sandals everyday instead of shoes and socks. Now there is heavy frost outside when I wake up every morning, and all my outside plants are dead. All the summer fruit and produce is gone, and I MUST wear shoes and socks. The only silver lining I can see is that now I can cook some meals that are simply not summer food. Shepherd's pie is definitely one of those dishes.

Shepherd's Pie

3 baking potatoes peeled
1/2 cup milk
2 tb butter
4 cloves garlic minced
1 lb ground beef
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
2 1/2 tb Worcestershire
4 tsp flour
1/2 cup onion diced
1/2 cup carrot diced
1 cup beef, vegetable or mushroom broth
1 1/4 cup canned corn kernels

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain, return to pot and mash with the milk, butter and salt. Set aside.

Heat some oil over medium heat. Add garlic and beef, and cook until beef is browned. Season with salt. Add the rosemary and Worcestershire. Stir and sprinkle 2 tsp flour over the top. Stir again and cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove beef from pan. Drain any excess grease.

Preheat oven to 350'

Add the onion and carrots to the pan and cook for 7 or 8 minutes, until veggies are browning around the edges. Add the last 2 tsp of flour and stir. Add the broth. Stir frequently and simmer for another 5 minutes until thick.

Add the corn and the beef and stir well to combine. Add a bit of water if the mixture seems too thick.

Spray a dish with non-stick spray and spread the beef over the bottom. Cover with the mashed potatoes.

Bake for 20 minutes, then put under the broiler for 5 to 10 minutes until top is a bit brown and crunchy. Serve straight away.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Pasta with Butter and Myzithra Cheese

Here's a by-the-seat-of-your-pants recipe for some very good pasta. Myzithra is a greek cheese made from Sheep milk with a similar texture to Parmesan, it's a very hard cheese with a sharp salty tang. You only need 3 ingredients for this dish: pasta, butter and Myzithra.

Cook enough pasta for how every many you are cooking for. Slowly melt some butter, probably a few tablespoons for each person. (You can always melt more later if needed.) Grate the cheese using the smallest holes on the grater. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and return to the pot. Add the butter, trying to leave the milky solids in the pan. Toss the pasta and butter until the pasta is coated.
What you do next is up to you. You can either add the cheese to the pot and mix together, or do what we do. We plate the pasta, then add the cheese so each person can add how much they want.
Whichever you do, don't forget to grind some pepper on your pasta before you eat.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Weekend Cookbook Challenge #4 - Appetizers

This weekend I tried 2 new recipes instead of 1. Scott and I were supposed to go to the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival this weekend, but Scott is ill and not able to leave the house. So I brought the appetizers to him.

I bought Fab Food from a discount bin a couple of years ago. It has a lot of tasty sounding recipes, including Welsh Rarebit, which I LOVE, but the recipe for Onion Bhajis with Spicy Sauce has always sounded good.

onion bhajis with spicy sauce
adapted from Fab Food from White Cap Books

spicy sauce
1 chile pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 red or orange pepper, diced
1 small can diced tomatos
1 garlic clove, diced
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tb cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a small pot. Simmer for 15 or 20 minutes. Remove from heat. I used my hand blender to smooth it out a bit.

onion bhajis
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chile powder
1 egg
1 onion, very thinly sliced
handful cilantro, chopped
oil for frying

Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the egg and 2 to 3 tb water, whisk to make a smooth batter. Stir in the onion and cliantro.

Heat the oil in a medium to large pot. Fry tablespoons of the batter 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels.

These were really great. The spices were nice with the onion, and who doesn't love a fritter? The sauce was definatly the best part. I increased the sugar from the original recipe, turning it into a sweet-spicy dip.

They were Scott's favorite part of dinner!

I also made Chorizo and Artichoke Quesadillas.

This is another bargain bin cookbook. Mexican food is one of my very favorites, but we don't have many Mexican places in our area. I chose this recipe because I really like chorizo.

chorizo and artichoke heart quesadillas
adapted from Cookshelf Mexican from Parragon Publishing
1 chorizo sausage, diced
1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts
2 cloves garlic, diced very finely
4 flour tortillas
grated cheese (I used marble cheese because that's what I had)
tomato, diced
2 or 3 green onions, diced
small handful cilantro, diced

Cook the sausage over medium heat.
Arrange the sausage and artichoke hearts on the tortillas. Transfer to a baking sheet. Sprinkle with garlic and top with the cheese. Broil until the cheese has melted.
Cut into wedges and sprinkle with the diced tomatos, green onions and cliantro.

These were quite good too, although I wasn't crazy about the chorizo. I wasn't sure about the garlic, but it really added a great flavor. I would make them again, I think they'd make a good quick dinner too, maybe replacing the chorizo with chicken or steak until I find a better sausage.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Something So Tasty

Run, don't walk over to Something So Clever and make a batch of Alicat's fabulous Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies!

I made them for dessert for our Thanksgiving dinner on the weekend. Everyone just loved them, even the people who don't like pumpkin.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Pork Enchiladas

I love Mexican Food! Here is a great recipe for pork enchiladas from Martha Stewarts Everyday Food magazine. It is very easy and quite quick. I served this with Zatarin's beans and rice on the side. I didn't have a chance to buy green salsa, so I used regular red salsa. I also used a bit more cheese than the magazine used.

Pork Enchildas
adapted from Everyday Food Magazine

1 lb pork tenderloin, cut lengthwise
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
olive oil
2 cups salsa
8 tortillas
1 cup grated monteray jack cheese

Dust the pork with the cumin and oregano. Heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the pork, and cook until just cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board. Let rest for 10 minutes, then slice thinly.

Preheat oven to 450'. Puree salsa and 1/4 water in a blender. Add to skillet, warm through.

Reserve 1/2 cup cheese.

Evenly divide the pork and cheese between the tortillas. Roll each tortilla tightly and place, seam side down in a baking dish. Top with heated salsa and reserved cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Sunday lunch

Satuday at Millarville we had some samples from Fairwinds Farm (in Fort Macleod, Ab 403-553-0127). They sell goats milk, yogurts, cheeses and soaps. The onion and garlic chevre was out of this world.

We bought a tub of the cheese and talked on the way home about what we would do with it. We thought about pasta, a tart, even just cheese and crackers. Sunday at lunch we decided on sandwiches. But not just any sandwiches, oh no. Goat cheese and tomato for me and cheese and smoked trout for Scott.

We had some very nice sourdough bread left over from dinner on Saturday. We toasted the bread, then spread with the cheese. I sprinkled some basil, salt and pepper on my toasts, then topped with tomatos. Scott made his sandwich simple with just the cheese and slices of smoked rainbow trout (also from Millarville). We toasted the sandwiches under the broiler for a couple of minutes, then ate.

Very simple and very good. The sourdough was crispy and tangy. The cheese was so rich, and my tomatos (also from Millarville!) were great. Scott loved his too, and the whole house smelled smokey from the fish. Yum.

Close up of Scott's "trout toast":

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Plum jam

We bought a ton of plums last week at Millarville. Even though we were eating them everyday I was worried they would go bad before we could get through all of them. On Sunday I found a pack of freezer jam pectin in the pantry.
Plum Jam!

Plum Freezer Jam
adapted from the back of a package of Club House No Cook Freezer Jam gelling powder
4 cups of finely chopped plums
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 pkg freezer jam pectin

Gently mix plums and sugar in a large bowl.
Let stand for 15 minutes.
Slowly sprinkle gelling powder over friut, stirring for 3 minutes.
Let stand for another 5 minutes.
Stir again for 1 minute, then pour into jars.
Seal tightly.
Use jam within 6 weeks, or freeze for up to one year.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Weekend Cookbook Challenge #3 - Tarte Flambe

This weeks WCC cookbook is "Cooking with Master Chefs" by Julia Child. I have had this cookbook for years and have read it over and over again. There are many great sounding recipes in it, but, like all cookbooks in the WCC, I haven't cooked out of it yet.

I was torn between 2 recipes from this book, so Scott made the final call. I think he chose this one because it had cheese and bacon, 2 of his favorite things.

There is no open flame used for this savory tart. The books says the name comes from the Alsatian method of baking. The tart was cooked in a bakers oven when it was being fired, and when the oven flared up, the flames would engulf the tart.

Tarte Flambe, Alsatian Flammekueche
by Andre Soltner, from Cooking with Master Chefs

7 to 8 oz puff pastry
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1 tb flour
2 tb vegetable oil
4 oz bacon, diced
1 cup thinly sliced onion

Lightly flour your counter, and roll the pastry into a 20 inch square, less than 1/8" thick. Cut into 4 disks, 8" across. Transfer to a baking sheet. Prick all over with the tines of a fork. Cover with saran and chill at least 1/2 hour.

Process the cottage cheese in a food processor until smooth. Add the creme fraiche, flour, salt and pepper and oil. Process to combine.

Fry the diced bacon over medium heat. When the bacon starts to render it's fat, add the onion and cook another 3 minutes. Take off the heat and let cool.

Leaving a 1/4" border, spread the cheese on the pastry. Top with the bacon and onions. Bake in a 425' oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Tarts may be assemble several hours in advance. Cover loosely and refrigerate.

I could not find creme fraiche, I used sour cream instead. In typing this, I realized I missed the step to add the flour and oil to the cheese. It tasted fine to us though. Would I make this again? Absolutely, although I would go a bit heavier on the bacon and onion. We felt the tarts were a little too light on the toppings. Once again, Julia scores a touchdown! Published in 1993, this is a neat book to look back on. Included in the "Master Chefs" that Julia Childs cooks with are: Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, who used to have a show on the Food Network and have 3 restaurants, Jacques Pepin, Alice Waters, and Emeril Lagasse, who looks like he's about 12 years old.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Raspberry Pastries

I have been dying to try this recipe for months. I had planned to cook these for breakfast for weekend company we were supposed to have. Unfortunately they weren't able to come, but I decided to make them anyway.

I am sure glad I didn't have to make these for anyone but Scott. They were more difficult than I imagined.

First off, I could not find puff pastry sheets, just squares you rolled out yourself. Apparently I am not good at rolling a square.

Then you slice the pastry into 5 strips. Brush the strips with sugar and jam (I used my wonderful raspberry jam that I made from Nigella. Then you stack them and put them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes until firm. It took AGES for them to firm up. After 20 minutes in the freezer they were still too difficult to cut. Finally, they were somewhat firm, and we cut them. (By this time we had died from hunger)

Isn't that the ugliest thing you've ever seen? Ew. Then the recipe says to bake them for 15 to 20 minutes, until puffed and golden. Well sure, if by puffed and golden you mean burned and black. Even 15 minutes was too long. We cooked them for around 12 minutes. You have to watch them like a hawk - they go from golden to black very fast.

They were cute-looking and tasted fine. Would I make them again? I'm really not sure. They were pretty fussy for the end result. After all the work and hassle, I would have been just as happy if I'd had toast and jam instead.

Raspberry Pastries
From Everyday Food Magazine

Preheat oven to 400'. Unfold one sheet of puff pastry and cut crosswise into 5 equal strips.

Spread 4 strips with a total of 3 tb of jam and sprinkle with 2 tb sugar. Stack coated strips and top with remaining strip. Freeze until firm, 10 to 15 minutes.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. With a serrated knife, slice the stack crosswise into 1/4" strips, placing on baking sheet. Sprinkle with 2 more tb of sugar.

Bake until puffed and golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool slightly on the sheet, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.


Pink Peppercorn Shortbread from Brulee.

Friday, September 30, 2005

The 23/5 Meme

I have been tagged by both Punky from Busy Nights Real Food AND the wonderfully named Sarah Lou at One Whole Clove for the 23/5 meme.

1. Delve into your archives.
2. Find your 23rd post (or close to it).
3. Find the 5th sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog, with these instructions. Ponder it for meaning, subtext and hidden agenda.
5. Tag 5 people to do the same.

My 23rd post was written last September. It is for a Shrimp dip that Scott's family makes for special occasions. The 5th line is:


Um, I don't think I will be able to find any meaning, subtext, or agenda in that. That whole post was simply the recipe for the dip.

Let's go back to my 20th post. The fifth sentence:

Please help my deepest birthday wish become a reality.

Now that's more like it. This post was written shortly before my birthday. I had just discovered that Anthony Bourdain's cookbook Les Halles had been released early. I desperately wanted it and hoped that Scott or someone in my family would buy it for me for my birthday. I have an unholy crush on the man, and NEEDED have this book. I did receive the book for my birthday and read it over and over again. Have I cooked anything out of it? That is a different story. I smell an upcoming Weekend Cookbook Challenge!

I know tons of people have had this meme already. So please forgive me if you have already been tagged. I'll tag Kitchen Hand at What I Cooked Last Night, Alicat at Something So Clever, Liz at Truffle Mutt and Linda at Kayak Soup.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

BBQ Ribs

We bought some pork ribs to bbq. We took some ideas from an old episode of Good Eats. After removing the membrane from the back of the ribs, we made a rub of brown sugar, salt, onion and garlic powders, chili flakes and Old Bay. We rubbed it on the ribs and made an envelope out of aluminum foil. We added some beer, sealed it up and cooked it in the oven at 300' for 1 hour. Then we took the ribs to the bbq and finished them off with some sauce.

The result:

Monday, September 26, 2005

Curry Picture

Not the best picture, but the best I can do! Here's my Thai Tofu over Red Curry Sauce with Coconut Rice that I made for IMBB. Post and recipe below!

IMBB #19 - I can't believe I ate vegan!

When we first started dating I took Scott to a vegan restaurant. He hated it. He hated the "fake meat" texture and taste. I secretly thought that he only hated it because he knew what it was. Or wasn't. Over the years I have successfully fed him tofu and soy protein and not told him what it was. That seems to work best.

One of my favorite foods is a curry. Scott likes all kinds of curry, especially chicken. So I figured it would be easy to fool him with a vegan curry I decided to cook to enter IMBB #19 hosted by Sam from Becks&Posh.

I picked this recipe partly because of the name of the dish, and also for the first lines in the recipe; "Even if tofu turns you off, try this dish. The flavors will win you over."

Thai Tofu with Red Curry Sauce over Coconut-Scallion Rice

This recipe was an all-around winner. It was easy to make, fairly quick, and the aroma and taste were amazing. And Scott's reaction? I was truly surprised how much he loved it, especially after he realized he was eating tofu. Too often meatless meals, especially ones with tofu are looked down on. This is one of the best meals we have had in recent memory, vegan or otherwise.

I made a few changes to the recipe when I made it. The only other change I will make next time I cook this is to ease up on the chile sauce a little. I found this just a bit too spicy for my liking.

Thai Tofu with Red Curry Sauce over Coconut-Scallion Rice
Adapted from Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons.

I took some pictures of this dish as it was ridiculously good looking. Sadly, my camera is holding them hostage. If I ever get them I may post them separately.

1 1/2 tsp grated lime rind
1 1/4 cups (10 oz) coconut milk
2 3/4 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups jasmine, basmati or regular long grain rice
2/3 cup chopped cilantro plus more for garnish
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
1/2 tsp salt
3 tb oil plus 1 tb oil
3 tb hot chile sauce
1 pkg firm tofu, cubed
4 cups broccoli, in small pieces
1 cup green onions

Bring the coconut milk, water and first amount of salt to the boil. Add the rice, stir and cover. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and cook for 25 minutes.

In a food processor or blender, combine the lime rind, cilantro, garlic and peanuts. Blend to a paste. With the machine running add the 3 tb oil. Mix to combine, add the chile sauce and mix again. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil over high heat in a non stick skillet. Add tofu and cook until browned. Transfer to a plate.

In the same pan, add the broccoli and 1 cup of water. Cover and steam for 3 minutes. Stir in the sauce and cook for 1 minute. Add the tofu and toss.

Mix the green onions into the rice. Mound the rice on plates and top with the curry. Garnish with additional cilantro if desired.

Tagged with: +

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Saturday night dinner - caesar salad

Caesar salad.

This one is from my mom.

1 garlic clove
1/4 tsp anchovy paste
1 tsp hot mustard
1 tsp worcestershire
2 drops tabasco
2 egg yolks

Blend above together. Add:

4 tb red wine vinegar
4 tb oil

Makes enough dressing for at least 6 servings. Add cheese, bacon bits, croutons etc to lettuce and dressing.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Martha's Apprentice

So The Apprentice, Martha Stewart is on right now.

Matchstick - great name. Primarius - not so much.

I am already not liking Dawn. Jim can get out NOW. What a jackass. I went back and forth between liking him and feeling iffy about him. It's now the boardroom, and I officially hate him. Poor Jeff. I think he is being unfairly picked on.

And Martha! I liked the beginning. I also like her in the boardroom. Not as pompous and idiotic as "The Donald". Not crazy about the theme song.

Who's going to get kicked off? And what will Martha's line be? I really hope it isn't "You don't fit in" like I heard it might be.


Oh, Martha. Wrong move. How could you get rid of Jeff? And use that stupid line!

God I hate Jim and Dawn.

Martha so sweet, writing Jeff a note.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Weekend Cookbook Challenge #2 Silvana's Velvet Cauliflower Soup

The recipe for the WCC #2 comes from "The Best" by Paul Merrett, Silvana Franco and Ben O'Donoghue. I loved this show when it was on the Food channel. 3 cooks/chefs competing against each other to cook the best dish in different categories. This was a dish cooked for their "Best Summer Soup" competition.

Instead of picking a cookbook first and then a recipe, this week I picked the ingredient first. I bought the world's biggest head of cauliflower yesterday at Millarville. It weighed just under 5 pounds and cost $3.00.

We really enjoyed this soup. I think I went a little too heavy on the cauliflower. The recipe just calls for a large head. I used 1/2 of the gigantic head and it was a bit too much. We also added a couple of handfuls of sharp cheese for Scott, since this wasn't a cauliflower cheese soup. The croutons were yummy too. Thanks to Scott for the great picture of the bowl of soup!

Silvana's Velvet Cauliflower Soup
adapted from The Best, recipe by Silvana Franco.

750 ml milk
2 garlic cloves
1 bunch green onions
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp tumeric
1 large head cauliflower
2 tb olive oil
2 tb grated parmesan cheese
1/2 small ciabatta loaf
100 g pancetta, cubed
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400'. Pour the milk into a pot. Roughly chop the garlic and add to milk. Finely chop the white part of the bunch of green onions and add to the pot. Add the cumin and tumeric and salt and pepper. Break up the cauliflower into small florets and add to the pot. Bring to the boil and simmer partially covered for 20 minutes, until cauliflower is tender.

Meanwhile, toss the oil, parmesan cheese and some pepper in a bowl. Cube the bread and coat with the cheese. Spread out the cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet for 15 to 20 minutes, until crisp and brown.

Dice the pancetta and fry over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towel and set aside.

Finely slice the remainder of the green onions.

Puree the soup, either in a food processor or with a hand blender. Check the seasonings. Ladle into bowls and top with the green onions, croutons and pancetta.