Sunday, 31 July 2016

Reuben Slaw

I really enjoyed this recipe too.  I wish I'd taken photos.  This one was so fun to make with the little grilled Swiss cheese croutons.  The recipe book is called Company's Coming Meal Salads by Jean Pare.  Excellent book

Swiss Croutons:
1 tbsp butter of margarine
6 rye bread slices
3 Swiss cheese slices

Deli Slaw:
1 cup grated or julienned carrot
1 cup grated unpeeled tart apple such as Granny Smith
1 cup shredded red cabbage, lightly packed
1 cup wine sauerkraut, drained
1/3 cup Thousand Island dressing

113 g (4 oz.) shaved pastrami or smoked meat, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup chopped dill pickles

Spread butter over each bread slice.  Arrange 3 bread slices, butter-side down, in large frying pan on medium.  Place 1 cheese slice on each.  Top with remaining bread slices, butter-side up.  Cook for about 3 minutes per side until bread is golden and cheese is melted.  Transfer to cutting board.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Cut into 1 inch pieces.

Combine first 5 deli slaw ingredients in large bowl.  Makes 4 cups.  Transfer to 4 serving plates.

Top each plate with pastrami, pickles and Swiss Croutons.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Perogy Salad

8 cups water
2 lb bag of frozen bite-sized potato and Cheddar cheese perogies
1 cup baby spinach, lightly packed
1 cup chopped English cucumber
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup wine sauerkraut, drained and finely chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
1-1/2 tsp chopped fresh dill ( or 1/4 tsp dried dill)
4 bacon slices, cooked crisp and crumbled
pepper to taste

Pour water into Dutch oven.  Bring to a boil.  Add perogies.  Boil, uncovered for about 5 minutes until tender.  Drain.  Rinse with cold water.  Drain well.

Combine remaining 8 ingredients in large bowl.  Add perogies.  Toss.  Makes about 7 cups.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

160 g spaghetti
1 large egg
3 slices bacon or pancetta, chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Start cooking the pasta according to package directions.

Put the chopped bacon in a nonstick pan and fry until the bacon is crisp.  Set the bacon aside on a paper towel to absorb the excess fat.

Stir the egg in a serving bowl, add salt and pepper, then beat 1 minute with a fork.  set the bowl aside in the oven at a minimum temperature in order to keep it warm.

Pour drained spaghetti into the serving bowl.  Mix rapidly in order to cook the egg and coat the spaghetti at the same time.  Add the bacon, butter and grated cheese.

Serves 2.

Tomato and Feta Cheese Salad

Tomato and Feta Cheese Salad
Spaghetti Carbonara

Tomato and Feta Cheese Salad

2 tomatoes, sliced
50 g feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 black olives
2 tsp dried oregano
ground pepper to taste

Cut the tomatoes crosswise into slices approx. 5 mm thick and arrange them in a shallow dish.

Crumble the feta cheese over the tomatoes.  Drizzle with oil.  Add the olives and sprinkle with oregano.  Season with freshly ground pepper.  It is not necessary to add any salt, since the feta cheese is already rather salty. 

Serve at room temperature.  Serves 2.

Hal & I both LOVED this salad.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joe

1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp canola oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
260 g ground beef, lean
ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp water
4 drops Tabasco sauce (optional)
2 hamburger buns

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add the onion then cook until it is translucent, about 3 minutes with occasional stirring, paying attention not to let it burn.  Add salt, then reduce the heat, cover and cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cayenne pepper then cook with stirring until fragrant, 1 minute.

Add the beef then cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until it loses its pink colour, about 5 minutes.  It is important not to overcook the meat at this point, otherwise it will end up dry and crumbly.

Season with ground pepper to taste, then add the tomato paste, ketchup, brown sugar and water.  A few drops of Tabasco sauce may be added for extra spiciness.  Cover, then simmer 10 minutes

Spoon the meat mixture onto hamburger buns, then serve.

Makes 2 servings.


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Cream

Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Cream

2 peaches or nectarines
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup whipping cream 35%

Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits.  If the pit does not pull out easily, use a small sharp knife to cut around it.

In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, honey, oil and half of the ground cinnamon.  Dip each peach half into the mixture and transfer it, cut-side down, to a medium ot grill.  Cook until the cut side is golden and juicy, about 3-4 minutes.  turn the peaches and cook them an additional 3 minutes or so until the skin side is soft.  The exact cooking time will vary with the size and ripeness of the peaches.

Meanwhile, whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Transfer the peaches to individual serving plates.  Portion out the cream on top of the peaches.  Drizzle any remaining vinegar-honey mixture over each peach, dust with the remaining ground cinnamon, and serve.

Serves 2

Monday, 25 July 2016

Chicken Cutlets Milanese

Chicken Cutlets Milanese

2/3 chicken breast, boneless, skinless (obviously I used a whole breast . . . LOL)
1 large egg
2 tbsp bread crumbs
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp canola oil
salt and pepper to taste

Tenderize the chicken by flattening the cutlets using a meat pounder.  Slice breast horizontally into 2-3 cutlets.

Prepare 2 shallow dishes:  beat the egg in one, and put the bread crumbs in the other.  dip one cutlet at a time in the egg, let the excess egg drip off before coating the cutlet with bread crumbs.  Turn the cutlets to coat both sides, then set them aside.

Heat the butter and oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, taking care not to let them burn.  Add the cutlets and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes on each side.  Add salt and pepper.  Serve on the warmed plates.

Any remaining beaten egg may be cooked as an omelet and served along side the cutlets.

Serves 2

Rhubarb and Strawberry Sorbet

Rhubarb and Strawberry Sorbet

1-1/2 stalks rhubarb
8 tbsp sugar
1-1/2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
3/4 cup water
1-1/4 strawberries
1 egg white

Put a metal or glass bowl into the freezer so that it will be cold when filling it with the sorbet mixture.

Wash the rhubarb stalks briefly.  If necessary, the fibrous stings can be removed by pulling them as with celery.  Cut them crosswise into approximately 1.5 cm pieces and place them in a saucepan.  Stir in the sugar, lemon juice and water.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer 8-10 minutes.  Take the saucepan off the heat.

Hull the strawberries and halve them lengthwise, then add them to the rhubarb.  Transfer the mixture to a blender and process until smooth.  With the blender running, pour in the egg white and continue to mix until homogeneous.  You may also beat the egg white in a separate bowl using an electric mixer, then add to the fruit puree and mix well.

Let the mixture cool down about 10 minutes in the refrigerator, then pour it into the prepared container, cover and chill in the freezer.

After about 3 hours, take the mixture out of the freezer and stir it using a whisk.  Return it to the freezer and repeat the same stirring operation after an additional 2 hours.  In order to reduce the standing times between the stirring operations, you may distribute the mixture into 2 smaller containers, rather that just pouring it into 1, so that it will freeze more rapidly.  This is particularly useful when preparing larger amounts.

Take the sorbet out of the freezer at least 15 minutes before serving, so that it will soften slightly.

Serves 5.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Cabbage and Apple Salad

Cabbage and Apple Salad

A delicious salad . . . we really enjoyed the dressing . . . 

2 tbsp white vinegar **
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1/4 tsp paprika
2-3/4 cup Savoy or green cabbage, thinly sliced **
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced **
salt and pepper to taste

** I didn't have any white vinegar left so I used apple cider vinegar.  I like my salads lightly dressed so I added an extra handful of sliced cabbage and the leftover 1/2 apple to the bowl. **

Put the vinegar, brown sugar, oil and water in a saucepan.  Heat 4 minutes over medium heat.  Remove the pan from the heat then add the mayonnaise, paprika, salt and pepper and mix well.  Set aside.

Prepare the cabbage, green onions and apple and put slices in a salad bowl.  Pour in the vinaigrette and mix well.  Adjust the seasoning.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.

Makes 2 servings.

Smoked Sausage with Lentils

Delicious meal . . . Hal did not like the lentils, which surprised me, until he explained it was too "hot" . . . I must have been a little carried away with the seasoning . . . 
Had some leftover Tomatoes with Oregano to add to the plate and a few raw carrot slices . . .

1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1/2 carrot, finely chopped
1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/4 dried chili peppers, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup green-brown lentils (dried)
2/3 cup chicken broth **
1 tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
2 smoked sausages
1 tbsp Italian parsley, fresh, finely chopped

** I didn't think there was enough broth in the pot so I added a little extra **

It is not necessary to soak the lentils in advance.

Prepare the vegetables.  Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add the vegetables, sauté 2-3 minutes until they are slightly softened.  Stir in the lentils, cook 1 minute.

Pour in the broth and tomato paste.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until the lentils are cooked al dente, about 30 minutes.  Stir occasionally and check that the lentils remain moist, adding some more broth or water if necessary.  Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the sausages on a medium-hot grill until brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Alternatively, sauté the sausages in a grooved grill-pan, ten add them to the lentils.  Cover then cook an additional 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley then serve.

Makes 2 servings.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Cold Melon Soup

Hal had two helpings of the Cold Melon Soup . . . which means I have to come up with a new dessert for Saturday night . . . but that's okay.

Cold Melon Soup

1 melon
1/4 cup apple juice
2 tbsp sugar

Cut the melon in half and remove the seeds.  Using a melon baller, cut 4 balls per serving and set them aside in the refrigerator.  Using a spoon, scrape out the remaining pulp, dice it coarsely and transfer to the blender or food processor.

Pour in the juice and sugar, then pulse until very smooth.  Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.

When ready, pour the "soup" into cups, add the melon balls and garnish with mint leaves.

Makes 4 servings.

Grilled Chicken with Caraway and Black Peppercorns

I made the marinade at noon and when Hal smelled it he actually drooled.  The smell is delicious.

Grilled Chicken with Caraway and Black Peppercorns

4 chicken thighs, bone-in, with skin **
1/2 tsp peppercorns, coarsely ground
1/2 tsp caraway seeds, coarsely ground
1 tbsp gingerroot, finely chopped
1-1/2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp paprika
1-1/2 tbsp canola oil
salt to taste
1/2 lime, quartered

** skinless, boneless chicken breasts were on sale so that's what I used instead of the thighs.

The chicken must be marinated at least 6 hours before cooking.  The chicken may be cooked, using either an outdoor grill or by broiling in the oven.  (We used the grill)

Score the chicken pieces deeply using a knife to allow the marinade to penetrate, then arrange the pieces in a shallow bowl.

Grind the peppercorns and caraway seeds using a mortar and pestle or using a pepper mill or place the spices in a plastic bag and crush them using a rolling pin.  Finely chop the ginger and garlic, then add them to the mixture.  Add the sugar, paprika and oil, then grind into a paste.

Spread the mixture over the chicken pieces, making sure to coat them well.  Cover the bowl with a plate and let the marinate in the refrigerator at least 6 hours or overnight.

Cook the chicken on a medium grill for about 20 minutes, basting with the marinade and turning the pieces once.  Alternatively, put the chicken on the rack of a broiler pan, then roast it in the oven under a preheated broiler 7-10 cm from the heat.

Season with a little salt and serve with lime wedges.

Makes 2 servings.

Carrot Soup with Orange and Ginger

Carrot Soup with Orange and Ginger

1 tbsp canola oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
6 carrots, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed (2 oranges)
2-1/2 tbsp gingerroot, coarsely grated
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1/4 cup cream 15% (optional) **
salt and pepper to taste

**I didn't add the cream and it was lovely and flavourful.  I'll try adding cream next time I make it.

Prepare the vegetables; chop them coarsely.

In a pot, sweat the onion in oil over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes.  Add the carrots, orange juice, gingerroot, broth and water.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 25 minutes.

Puree the soup in a blender or processor, then pour it back into the pot.  Stir in the cream and just warm the soup a few minutes.

Makes 4 servings

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Cinnamon Peach Cake

Cinnamon Peach Cake

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 peaches, pitted, cut into 2 cm segments
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.  Butter a 23 cm dia. spring form pan.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter in a bowl until it is fluffy.  Add all but 2 tbsp of the sugar and beat until blended.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then pour in the lemon juice.  Mix the flour with the baking powder in a separate bowl, then blend it into the sugar-egg mixture.  Beat well until smooth, then spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

Arrange the peach slices on top of the batter in concentric circles to cover completely, pressing lightly to adhere. In a small bowl mix the cinnamon and the remaining 2 tbsp of sugar, then sprinkle over the cake.

Bake the cake in the middle of the oven until the top is brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 1 hour.  Let the cake cool down for a few minutes, then cut around it to loosen it from the pan and remove the pan sides.

Let the cake cool down about 1 hour, then serve it slightly warm or at room temperature.

Makes 8 servings.

Chicken Cutlets in Pizzaiola Sauce

Chicken Cutlets in Pizzaiola Sauce

200 g chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, thinly sliced
1 tbsp white flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup canned tomatoes (diced or chopped)
1 tbsp olive paste **
1/2 tsp dried oregano

** I substituted a handful of sliced black olives for the olive paste

Put the serving dish in the oven at the lowest setting to keep the mean warm while cooking the sauce.

Flatten and tenderize the cutlets using a meat pounder.  Make a few shallow cuts around the outside edge to avoid curling during cooking.  Coat each cutlet with the flour then shake off the excess (the flour will give a thicker sauce).

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add the whole garlic clove, sauté 1-2 min, then add the cutlets, and brown each side for about 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove the cutlets from the pan to the warmed serving plate in the oven.

Add the tomatoes, olive paste, and oregano.  Cook 4-5 minutes, then put the meat back into the pan.  Continue to cook 2 minutes, turning the cutlets once.

Makes 2 servings.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Potato Wedges with Rosemary and Garlic

Potato Wedges with Rosemary and Garlic

2 potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 4 wedges
2 tsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 sprig rosemary, fresh, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Blanch potatoes in a pot of salted boiling water for about 5 minutes, then drain well.

Toss the potatoes with the olive oil, garlic, rosemary and freshly ground pepper.  Arrange the potatoes on an outdoor grill rack or an oven broiler pan.

Cook the potatoes on a hot grill or in the over for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden brown.  Season with salt and serve.

Serves 2.

Swedish Meatballs

This meal went over so well that Cameron cleaned his plate and Hal actually went back for seconds.  If you know Cameron and Hal you will know that this is nothing short of a miracle.

Swedish Meatballs

"Kottbullar" (meatballs) is a Swedish dish, traditionally served with boiled potatoes and a "lingonberry sauce", similar to a cranberry sauce.  The spice used here is the berry of a pimiento tree.  It is aptly named "allspice" because it tastes like a combination of spices, mostly cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

1/2 potato, peeled
2 tsp Italian parsley, fresh, minced
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1 large egg
400 g ground beef, lean
1-1/2 tbsp milk, 2%
1/4 tsp allspice powder
1/4 tsp salt
ground pepper to taste
2-1/2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp apple cider
2 tsp canola oil
2 tsp olive oil

Peel the potatoes, boil them until very tender, 20-25 minutes.  Drain well, then put them in a bowl and mash.

Mince parsley, add half to the bowl of potatoes and reserve the rest.  Add onion, egg, ground beef, milk, allspice, salt, and pepper.  Using your hands, blend the mixture together until it is just combined well (do not over mix).  Form the mixture into 2-3 cm balls and arrange them on a tray.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight.  The purpose is to firm up the meat mixture.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together all remaining ingredients, including the reserved parsley, except the olive oil, until the brown sugar is dissolved and a sauce consistency is obtained.  Set aside.

Preheat the over to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Working in batches, add the meatballs and saute until they are golden on all sides, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the meatballs to the prepared baking sheet and brush them with the sauce.

Cover loosely with foil and roast in the middle of the oven 25-30 minutes.  Alternatively, the meatballs may be threaded onto bamboo skewers and cooked on the oiled rack of an outdoor grill.  Serve the meatballs with any remaining sauce on the side.

Serves 4.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Pasta with Sausage and Cauliflower

Pasta with Sausage and Cauliflower

½ onion, coarsely chopped
1-1/4 cups cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 Italian sausages
¼ dried chilli peppers, minced
¾ cup chicken broth, warm
2 cups penne rigate or other short pasta
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp parmesan

Keep the serving dishes in the oven at the lowest setting so they are warm when you serve.  Put a colander in the sink to drain the cooked pasta so that it will be ready when needed.  Prepare vegetables.  Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté 2-3 min with stirring.  Remove the skin from the sausage, and then add the meat to the pan.  Break up the meat using a wooden spoon and cook 4-5 minutes until it loses its pink colour.  Add the chilli pepper (if the sausage is not already spiced).  Pour in the warm broth and stir in the cauliflower.  Bring to a boil then lower the heat.  Cover and simmer 10 min until the cauliflower is cooked al dente and the broth is almost completely absorbed.  Cook the pasta.  Drain the pasta then pour it into the frying pan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Toss well, serve in warmed dishes.

Lettuce and Tomato Salad

Lettuce and Tomato Salad

1 tomato
2/3 curly leaf lettuce
2 radishes
1 green onion
Salt and pepper

Cut the tomatoes into segments and place them in a salad bowl.  Add lettuce leaves.  Finely slice radish and green onion then add them to the bowl.  Pour in 2 tbsp Classic Vinaigrette.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Toss and serve.

Strawberry and Banana Salad with Mint Sugar

Strawberry and Banana Salad with Mint Sugar

1 cup strawberries
1 banana
2 tbsp fresh mint
1 tbsp sugar

Hull the strawberries, halve them and put them in a bowl.  Cut the bananas into small rounds and add them to the bowl.  Pulse the mint and sugar together in a food processor until finely ground.  Sprinkle the mint sugar over the fruit and toss gently to combine.  Let the fruit stand a few minutes before serving into cups.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Steamed Basmati Rice

LOVED, LOVED, LOVED these recipes and I was sure Hal would too.  Wrong again.  The man likes tomatoes, fruit, rice, curry and he has unwittingly eaten tofu many, many times in Thai food.  But apparently I'm wrong.  He liked the rice and the strawberries . . . sigh . . . well I won't give up!!

Steamed Basmati Rice
2/3 cup basmati rice
1-1/3 cup water
Salt to taste

Rinse the rice and drain it.

Pour the specified amount of water into a saucepan, cover, then bring to a boil.  Add the rice and salt.  Cover and cook over very low heat about 15 minutes without uncovering.

Remove the saucepan from the heat.  The water should be completely absorbed.  Should it not be, cover and simmer for a few more minuters.  Let stand, covered, 3-5 minutes.

Serves 2

Tofu Curry with Fruit

LOVED, LOVED, LOVED these recipes and I was sure Hal would too.  Wrong again.  The man likes tomatoes, fruit, rice, curry and he has unwittingly eaten tofu many, many times in Thai food.  But apparently I'm wrong.  He liked the rice and the strawberries . . . sigh . . . well I won't give up!!

Tofu Curry with Fruit

½ onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ apple, peeled and cut into quarters
2 slices canned pineapple, cut into bit-size pieces
1 banana, cut into bite-size pieces
150 g watermelon, cut into bit-size pieces
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp curry powder
½ cup vegetable broth
220 g firm tofu, cut into 1.5 cm cubes
½ tbsp canola oil
¼ cup cream 15%
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat half of the butter in a pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic, then sauté 3-4 minutes until they become translucent.  Add the apple and cook 3-4 minutes until it starts to soften.  Add the curry powder and sauté 1 minute with stirring.  Stir in the broth, and 3-4 tablespoons of the pineapple juice.  Cover and simmer 12-15 minutes with occasional stirring.

Gently press tofu between paper towels to remove excess moisture.  Heat the oil in another large, heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the tofu cubes in single layer and cook with some stirring until just golden, about 4-5 minutes.  Transfer the tofu to the curry mixture.  Pour the cream into the tofu and curry pan, bring to a boil, then season with salt and pepper.  Keep the pan warm over very low heat.

Add the remaining butter to the skillet used to sauté the tofu cubes.  Add the banana and pineapple pieces and sauté 2-3 minutes.

Serve the tofu curry over basmati rice or quinoa.  Arrange the banana, pineapple and watermelon pieces on top.

Serves 2.

Tomato Salad with Oregano

LOVED, LOVED, LOVED these recipes and I was sure Hal would too.  Wrong again.  The man likes tomatoes, fruit, rice, curry and he has unwittingly eaten tofu many, many times in Thai food.  But apparently I'm wrong.  He liked the rice and the strawberries . . . sigh . . . well I won't give up!!

Tomato Salad with Oregano

2 tomatoes cut into quarters
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
¾ tsp dried oregano

Put all ingredients into a bowl and toss well.

Makes 2 servings.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Sugared Peaches

Sugared Peaches

2 peaches or nectarines (I used nectarines)
1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 tsp sugar

Peel the peaches, cut them in half then pit them.  Cut into bite-size pieces.  Put in a bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice and sugar.  Let stand a few minutes.  Toss well, then portion out into individual cups and serve.  Makes 2 servings.

Beet Greens

Beet Greens

I saved the beet tops from the beets used in the salad.  I rinsed them several times and trimmed off the stems.  Cook, covered, using only the water that clings to the leaves after washing.  Boil for about 3 minutes until tender.  Serve at once seasoned with salt, pepper and butter.  You could also use a little vinegar or fresh lemon juice.


Potato Puree

Potato Puree

2 potatoes, Russet or Idaho-type or Yukon Gold
1 tbsp butter
1/3 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the potatoes, leaving the skin on.  Boil or steam until very tender, about 20-25 minutes.  Drain well and peel.  In a microwave-safe bowl, pour in the milk with the butter and microwave on medium-high for a couple minutes until hot.  Pass the potatoes through a food mill or potato ricer (I peeled the potatoes and used a potato masher), then put the puree back into the pot used to cook the potatoes.  Pour in the butter-milk mixture.  Season with salt and pepper and blend well.  Reheat and serve warm.  Makes 2 servings.

Italian-style Sausage in Tomato Sauce

Italian-Style Sausage in a Tomato Sauce

2 Italian sausages
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 sprig rosemary (I used fresh out of my herb garden)
1/3 cup My Mother's Tomato Sauce (recipe below)
salt and pepper to taste

Prick through the skin of the sausages in several spots using a fork.  Put the sausages in a saucepan, over them with water, then bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer 5 minutes.  Take the sausages out of the water, pat them dry, then cut each sausage into 3-4 pieces.  (I used mild sausage and cut them into 6 pieces each) .  Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-low heat.  Add the garlic and rosemary sprig, then sauté until the oil becomes perfumed with the garlic and rosemary aroma, 3-4 minutes.  Pay attention not to let them burn.  Add the sausages, then sauté until they become lightly coloured, 2-3 minutes.  turn them a few times while cooking.  Add the tomato sauce, then cook 8-10 minutes over medium heat, tossing occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Makes 2 servings.


My Mother's Tomato Sauce

1-2/3 cup canned tomatoes (Ijust used one large can)
1 clove garlic
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 carrot, finely chopped
1/4 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1-1/2 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste

Hint:  A food processor and pressure cooker would make things easier with this recipe.

Heat the oil and butter in the pressure cooker or in a saucepan over low heat.  Add the chopped vegetables.  Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring a few times.  The vegetables must soften without burning.  Add diced tomatoes and salt and pepper.  If you are using a pressure cooker, cover, close and bring to high pressure.  Cook 15 minutes from the time it starts to spatter.  If you are not using a pressure cooker, simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.  Makes 2-1/2 cups.

This sauce can be stored up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. 

Beet and Green Apple Salad


Beet and Green Apple Salad

3 beets
1 Granny Smith apple
2 tbsp Classic Vinaigrette (recipe below)
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the beets:  boil or steam them about 25-30 minutes.  Let the beets cool down a few minutes, then peel them and dice into 1.5 cm pieces.  Place the pieces in a salad bowl.  Cut the apple into 1.5 cm cubes, without peeling them, but removing the core.  Add the apples to the salad bowl.  Pour in the Classic Vinaigrette, then season with salt and pepper.  Toss well, then serve. Makes 2 servings.

Classic Vinaigrette

Whisk together 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 3-1/2 tbsp wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar) and 1 tbsp Dijon mustard.


Sunday, 10 July 2016

Blue Cheese Burgers

Blue Cheese Burgers

1/4 onion, finely chopped
1/4 stalk celery, finely chopped
220 g ground beef, extra-lean or lean
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
20 g blue cheese, crumbled
1 tsp olive oil
2 hamburger buns

Mix together onion, celery, ground meat, oregano, mustard, salt and pepper.  Divide the mixture into 4 portions.  Shape each portion into rounds and flatten each one slightly.  Crumble the cheese and place a small amount in the centre of half of the rounds (about 2 tbsp or crumbled cheese per round).  Place the remaining meat rounds on top of the cheese topped rounds.  Use your hands to mold the rounds together, encasing the crumbled cheese, and shaping them into burgers.
Cook the burgers on a medium grill, lightly oiled, for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through, turning them once.  Alternatively, you may cook the burgers on a non-stick, heavy-bottom pan, over high heat.  (I cooked in a pan over medium heat).
Split the hamburger buns and place a burger inside each one.  Serve with Dijon mustard and ketchup on the side.

Makes 2 servings.


Barley and Lentil Soup

Barley and Lentil Soup
1/3 cup green-brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 cups Swish chard, or spinach, coarsely chopped and packed
1-1/2 cloves garlic, minced (I love garlic so used 2)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1/3 cup pearl barley
3/4 cup canned tomatoes (diced or chopped)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté 3-4 minutes until soft.  Add the carrots, then sauté 5 minutes with occasional stirring, until they are golden-coloured.  Add the garlic and stir 1 minute, then add the cumin and stir 1 minute.  Pour in the broth, water and barley.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 25 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes and lentils.  Continue to simmer, covered, until the lentils and barley are tender, 25-30 minutes.
Add the Swiss chard or spinach to the soup, cover and simmer until the chard is tender, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Thin the soup with more broth or water, if desired.

Makes 5 servings.  The soup keeps up to 7 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Sweet N Sour Rhubarb and Spinach Salad

I made this recipe for Judy's 13th birthday party.  Deb is actually tossing the salad in this photo.  The only change I made to the recipe is that I added the cooked rhubarb into the salad dressing rather than on the salad greens and the greens I used was baby spinach.

4 stalks rhubarb, cut diagonally into thin slices
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
16-20 spinach leaves
6 tbsp. vegetable oil

Place the rhubarb in a wide saucepan.  Sprinkle on the sugar and add enough water to cover by 1".  Place over high heat and bring to a boil.  Cook, uncovered, for exactly 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and pour through a large sieve into a bowl.  Return the liquid to the pan.  Stir in the vinegar, salt and pepper, and place over high heat.  Cook, uncovered, until the mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup.  Meanwhile, divide the spinach among 4 salad plates.  Arrange the rhubarb over the spinach.  When the liquid is reduced, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the oil.  Pour over the salads and serve at once.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Barley Salad with Tomatoes and Corn

Barley is a source of B-complex vitamins and a good source of soluble fibre, the kind that helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels. I thought the salad was okay . .. but not exciting. My fellow testers seemed to feel the same way.

1 cup pearl barley
1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups corn kernels, cooked

Bring large pot of water to boil; add barley. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 50 minutes or until tender. Drain; chill under cold running water and drain again.

Meanwhile, in food processor or blender, puree basil, Parmesan, oil, salt and pepper ; stir in garlic. Toss with barley. add tomatoes and corn; toss again.

Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.


Thursday, 7 July 2016

Pickled Asparagus

My cousin Kim gave me this recipe. I haven't tasted it, but Mom had a jar from Kim last year and she said it was quite tasty.

5 pint jars, washed and sterilized
10 pounds fresh asparagus, washed, cleaned and cut into 4-3/4" spears
2 cups white vinegar
2-1/2 cups water
2 tsp mustard seed
1 tbsp pickling spice, placed in a gauze bag
2 tbsp pickling salt

Per jar:
Dash cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dill weed or dill seed
1/2 clove garlic
1/2 jalapeno pepper, optional
1 onion slice

Place asparagus spears in boiling water and blanch for two minutes; drain and cool.

Place dill, garlic, cayenne pepper, onion slice and jalapeño pepper into bottom of each jar. Pack asparagus spears upright into each jar.

Combine vinegar, water, mustard seed, canning salt and bag of pickling spice into saucepan and boil for 15 minutes. Remove bag of spices and discard.

Pour brine over asparagus, and seal jars.

Place jars into canner of boiling water for 10 minutes. Cool.

Cook's Notes: We made 4 quarts and 3 pints of pickles from 10 lb of asparagus. We had to triple to ingredients for the brine. All the stalks were trimmed, blanched, and frozen for use in casseroles and soups. Can't wait to try them.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Mexican Rice

1 cup long grain white rice
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, finely chopped

In a medium sauce pan, cook rice in oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil, Stir in onion, green pepper, jalapeno and diced tomato. Season with salt and pepper, cumin, cilantro, and garlic. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes.