Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Easy Vanilla Pancakes're sharing a pancake recipe??? If that's what you are thinking remember the reason for this blog. It's so my family can make the food they are used to without asking me for the recipe all the time...on to the pancakes...

1 1/2 cups a purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons white sugar

1 1/4 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. Set aside. In a microwave safe bowl melt the butter. Set aside to cool slightly so as not to scramble the egg...not the idea here... lol
In a medium sized bowl  break in the egg and whisk, then stir in the milk, vanilla and finally the slightly cooled butter.

Pour into the middle of the bowl containing the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.

I often make this ahead and keep in a closed container till ready to cook. Have kept up to 3 days with perfect results.

When its time to cook heat a griddle pan or large enough skillet and drop in a bit of butter. Scoop out scant 1/4 cup of batter and bake till bubbles form on top. Gently flip and continue cooking till fluffy and golden.

Serve with warmed syrup.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Roasted Brussels Sprout

 (adapted from  serves 4

3 slices of quality bacon, diced
1 teaspoon butter (optional)
1/2 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 or 2 garlic cloves
1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, cheese-finely shredded
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/16 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Lightly coat an oven proof baking dish with spray or butter

In a 12" skillet cook bacon till crispy, then remove with slotted spoon and place on paper towel. Cook onion and garlic in the bacon fat over medium heat for 3 minutes or until softened (you can add the optional butter too)

Stir in brussels sprouts and thyme.
Cook for a few minutes to let onions and brussels brown.
Add broth, bring to a boil.
Cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes or until broth is nearly evaporated.
Add whipping cream and nutmeg.
Cook for 4 minutes, or until mixture begins to thicken.  Add the bacon back in too at this point
Transfer to a prepared baking dish.
Stir in half of the cheese, all of the salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.

Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until brussels sprouts are tender and golden :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Firehouse BBQ Chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ Cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
¾ Cup of your favourite BBQ sauce
4 Tablespoons melted butter
2 Tablespoons Worstershire sauce

Place all ingredients in a large ziplock bag and marinate for at least 5 hours. I prefer 24 hours

Preheat grill over medium heat. Grill chicken for 6-8 minutes each side or until chicken is cooked through.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Broiled Salmon with Chipotle Mayo and Bruschetta topping

For 2 servings

2 salmon fillets
1 teaspoon or so of olive oil
salt and pepper
chipotle mayo (recipe to follow) 
bruschetta topping (recipe to follow) which is painful for me as I don't measure really :)

Prepare bruschetta and mayo ahead of time...
Place salmon on foil lined cookie sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil
Sprinkle on salt and pepper. 

Broil on high till flaky and fully cooked (do not overcook)

Spread on half of the mayo and bruschetta topping on each and serve :)

Chipotle mayo ingredients:
2 Tablespoons hellmann's mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon of  chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (buy in small tin and puree yourself)
fresh squeeze or two of lime juice
mix together in small bowl
that's it!

Tomato Bruschetta ingredients:
2 ripe tomatoes, cut to a small dice
1/8th cup red onion, also cut to a small dice
2 cloves of garlic, grated
a little salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons of Kraft balsamic vinaigrette
1 cup of washed fresh basil, roughly chopped
combine in small bowl and place in fridge

The finished plate :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Maple-Balsamic Glazed Spiral Ham

what you need:

1/4 cup  Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
1/4 cup maple syrup
1Tbsp Mustard
1 bone-in skinless smoked ham (7 lb.)

HEAT oven to 325ºF.
MIX dressing, syrup and mustard. Place ham, fat-side up, in roasting pan. cover with foil. Bake 1 hour.

REMOVE foil. Brush ham with 1/3 of the glaze. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour or until heated through (140F), brushing with remaining glaze every 20 min.

I used the BBQ in the same way as an oven.
I do however add in a little bit of water or chicken stock at the beginning then allowed the accumulated steam to keep it moist. 
Be sure to wrap the foil tightly around the roasting pan :) 

Also, the ham will cook in about half the stated oven time SO....after 20 minutes pour 1/2 of the dressing over allowing it to seep between the spiral cuts. Then repeat once more after another 20 minutes.
It's important to remember that each BBQ is unique! Don't let the sauce burn..adjust temp accordingly. My Weber was set at low
Today is windy and mine blew out once :(

Once it's finished cooking, bring inside and allow to cool a bit before removing the slices off the bone. Pour the sauce over the plated ham.
I save the bone for making delicious ham stock for split-pea and ham soup. (recipe is on blog)
I freeze the bone till i'm ready to use it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

slow cooker beef pot roast

We all have our own way of cooking a roast beef. Sometimes it's fun to try someone else's version. This is one I found on the internet and decided to try :)

It's currently in the crock-pot! I used red wine, as well as beef stock to replace the chicken broth.

"The real secret here is making sure you sear the meat before the long, slow braising. The slow cooker does a great job of cooking the meat, but unless you brown the beef thoroughly beforehand, you're missing out on a lot of flavor."
1 (5 pound) bone-in beef pot roast
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, or as
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 medium carrots, cut into chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into chunks
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1.Generously season both sides of roast with salt and pepper. Sprinkle flour over the top until well coated, and pat it into the meat. Shake off any excess.
2.Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Sear the roast on both sides for 5-6 minutes each, until well browned. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
3.Reduce the heat to medium and stir in mushrooms and butter; cook for 3-4 minutes.
4.Stir in onion; cook for 5 minutes, until onions are translucent and begin to brown. Add garlic, stir for about a minute.
5.Stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons flour; cook and stir for about 1 minute. Add tomato paste, and cook for another minute.
6.Slowly add chicken stock, stir to combine, and return to a simmer. Remove skillet from the heat.
7.Place carrots and celery in the slow cooker. Place roast over the vegetables and pour in any accumulated juices. Add rosemary and thyme.
8.Pour onion and mushroom mixture over the top of the roast. Cover slow cooker, turn to high and cook the roast for 5-6 hours, until the meat is fork tender.
9.Skim off any fat from the surface and remove the bones. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tomato Basil Soup

Serves/Makes: 4

4 cups tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped, or canned diced tomatoes
4 cups tomato juice OR part tomato juice and part vegetable or chicken stock
14 washed fresh basil leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon butter
salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

I like to freeze my garden tomatoes to make this in the winter....then I roast them from frozen and remove skin (it slides right off) I roast them at 375 till slightly browned and very soft. If you don't want to use fresh then canned diced is okay.

Combine canned OR roasted tomatoes, juice/and or stock in saucepan. Simmer 30 minutes. Puree, along with the basil leaves, in small batches, in blender.

Return to saucepan and add cream and butter, while stirring, over low heat. Garnish with basil leaves and serve with your favorite bread.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

Combine in air tight jar or container:

2 Tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon KOSHER salt

Use 3 Tablespoons of mix with 1 cup of water in any recipe

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blueberry-Buttermilk Cake

This is a cross between a muffin and a pancake....
Serves 6-8

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sugar (for sprinkling on the top just before baking)
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 3/4cup + 2 tablespoons of the sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.
4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. 
Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. 
(Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) 
Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chicken Casserole

This is a simple meal that can be prepared ahead for an easy dinner. I add the crackers and butter just before baking, BUT I'm sure it would be fine to add them before covering and placing in fridge for several hours.

2 cups chicken, *cooked and shredded or cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups broccoli florets (I often use cauliflower, and or sweet red peppers as well, just 2 cups total)
3x 10 ounce cans cream of chicken soup or a combination (cream of mushroom)
1/2 cup mayonnaise 
2 cups old cheddar cheese, shredded
1 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed
4 Tbsp butter, melted

Combine the cooked chicken, broccoli, soup and mayonnaise in a 13×9 inch baking dish.  Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of mixture.  Combine crushed crackers and melted butter.  Spread on top of shredded cheese.  

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  
Remove foil for last 15 minutes of baking.
This recipe is so easy to double if you’re making it for a large group (or if you want leftovers!).
*I like to rub the raw chicken breasts with Memphis rub (recipe below) and then pan saute in a non stick fry-pan then cover and leave to slowly steam. Cool then shred or dice. This rub and final cooked product can be used in many other dishes that require cooked chicken.


Memphis Rub

In jar or container combine the following spices:

2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoons kosher salt (less than half if using table salt, which I DON'T recommend)
3 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

Instructions: Use enough to coat chicken pieces...saving the rest for another time

Caramelized Onion Dip

2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups chopped yellow onions
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 Heat olive oil in a large, thick-bottomed deep pot (I used a 5-quart Dutch oven) on medium high heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until translucent and starting to color, about 10 minutes. If at any point during the cooking of the onions they start to dry out, add a tablespoon of water to the pot. 
Stir in the brown sugar, balsamic, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat and cook gently, uncovered, for about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are nicely caramelized. Then set aside. 
(You can caramelize the onions up to 2 days ahead and chill until you make the dip.) 
Let cool a bit before adding to the other ingredients.

2 In a medium bowl, mix together the sour cream and mayonnaise (a rubber spatula works well for this). Stir in the caramelized onions. Sprinkle with garlic salt and stir to incorporate. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce.
Chill until ready to serve. Serve with potato chips.

Yield: Makes about 2 1/2 cups of dip.