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.