Roses

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Roses

It’s late October here in Canada and one would think with nighttime temperatures dropping below 50° F that mother nature would be busy bundling up her kids and getting ready for the long snowy nap. Well you and I would be wrong in that presumption as is evidenced by these little darlings happily soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the 62° F temps we have today.

Now I have to admit that I don’t know a whole lot about flower gardening, that’s my wife’s domain, and I do realize there are flowers that are Fall bloomers but to me Roses have always been a Summer flower and to see them blooming in the fall is just wondrous. So while the trees drop their leaves and the squirrels gather nuts for the winter I will continue to enjoy the beauty that is blooming outside my window.

Until next time…….

 

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Tuscan Style Spaghetti with Chicken and Pancetta

 

Tuscan style spaghetti with Chicken and Pancetta

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Tuscan style spaghetti with chicken and bacon

As someone who cooks on a daily basis every once in a while I run into the “cooks” version of Writer’s Block and have absolutely no idea what to make for dinner and as any seasoned cook knows this can be very frustrating so when I ran into this particular issue tonight I turned to the Internet and searched for some inspiration and “what do you know”…. I found some.

I stole this particular recipe from Delish.com and I modified it ever so slightly and to say it was a hit would be an understatement so thank you Delish for the inspiration.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 12 ounces of Spaghetti
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless Chicken Breast – sliced into strips
  • 6 ounces Pancetta – diced
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Garlic cloves – finely chopped
  • 5 ounces sliced Olives
  • 2 cups Tomatoes – diced
  • 3 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large pot of salted water cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and reserve one cup of the pasta water.
  2. In a large skillet heat the oil over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Add the Pancetta to the skillet and cook for about 6 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain half the fat.
  4. To the skillet add the garlic, tomatoes, olives and spinach. Season with salt and pepper, then add the heavy cream, Parmesan and half a cup of pasta water and let simmer. Add the past and mix until well coated.
  5. Add back the chicken and Pancetta, mix well and serve.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…..

                           Bon Appetit

 

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Curried Rice Salad with Shrimp

 

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Curried Rice Salad with Shrimp

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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This is one of those super easy recipes to make that can be a side or main dish and as an added bonus it can be made ahead and left in the refrigerator for a couple of days and all you would need to do when you wished to have it is add the shrimp.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 bag medium shelled and deveined Shrimp
  • 1 medium White Onion – diced
  • 3 tablespoons Canola oil
  • 1 13 ounce can Coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons Curry powder
  • 1 8 ounce can of Peas
  • 1 medium Red pepper – diced
  • 2 1/2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Long Grain Rice

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°
  2. In a large dutch oven heat the canola oil and cook the the onions until just translucent… about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the rice and stir until well coated. Pour in the chicken broth. stir and bring to a boil with the lid on. Turn off the heat and put in the oven for 35 minutes.
  4. In a large sauce pan heat the coconut milk and curry powder stirring continually until sauce starts to thicken. Mix in the red pepper and peas and continue cooking for about another five minutes.
  5. Add the curry sauce and vegetables to the rice, mix well and set aside to cool.
  6. While the rice mixture is cooling saute the shrimp until just pink.
  7. When the shrimp has cooled, plate the rice mix and top with the shrimp.
  8. Enjoy

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……

                         Bon Appetit

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Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joe’s

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Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joe's

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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This is one of those super easy recipes that is sure to please anyone in your household and because it is so versatile you can add or delete anything you like.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 pound ground Beef
  • 1 pound ground Pork
  • 1 medium Red Pepper – diced
  • 1 medium Yellow Pepper – diced
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion – diced
  • 4 small Garlic cloves – finely diced
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoons Ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons liquid Beef Base
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup Beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons Butter
  • 3 tablespoons All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Ground Pepper
  • 6 slices Provolone
  • 6 soft Kaisers

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large fry pan brown the ground meat and remove to a bowl reserving the “meat juice”.
  2. To the pan add the onion, peppers and garlic and cook in the “meat juice” until just tender. About 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the butter and when melted add the flour and cook for about another 5 minutes.
  4. Whisk in the beef base and Worcestershire sauce and then add the ground meat back into the pan stirring well to incorporate.
  5. Add the ketchup and beef broth and simmer until the sauce thickens.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  7. Serve over toasted Kaisers and top with the Provolone
  8. Enjoy.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                          Bon Appetit

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Taco Pie

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Taco Pie

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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I had recently purchased a couple of frozen pie shells because I was too lazy to make them from scratch and after using one for a pie I was kind of stuck on what to do with the other since I really didn’t want it taking up freezer space indefinitely.

I’m not entirely certain where the brainstorm for this one came from but it works and it is really good plus I got to use some of the remaining hot peppers from my garden.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 pound ground Pork
  • 1 pound ground Beef
  • 1 nine inch frozen Pie crust
  • 1 1/2 Green Habaneros – finely chopped
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion – diced
  • 1 medium Yellow pepper – diced
  • 1 medium Red pepper – diced
  • 2 tablespoons Chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons Chipotle powder
  • 2 tablespoons Sea Salt
  • 1/2 cup Chicken stock
  • Shredded Cheddar
  • Chopped Green Onion for garnish
  • Diced Tomato for garnish
  • Sour cream for garnish

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° and bake the pie crust for approximately 15 minutes
  2. In a large pan brown the pork and the beef, drain the grease setting the meat aside.
  3. In the same pan saute the yellow onion, red and yellow peppers for about four minutes
  4. Add back in the browned meat, hot peppers, seasonings and chicken stock, stirring well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Pour the mixture into the pie shell and put in the oven for about 10 minutes. Cover with the cheese and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly. About another 4 minutes
  6. Top with the green onions, tomatoes and sour cream and enjoy.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……

                           Bon Appetit

 

 

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Kitchen Hack

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Kitchen Hack

I was cleaning up the other day when I came across this long lost Cast Iron pan and was sad to see the shape it was in.

In days gone by this guy would have been tossed however with the cost of things these days it was worth looking for a way to rescue it. Enter the Internet and a whole slew of ideas on how to bring it back to life. This particular hack seemed to be the easiest and since I was feeling a bit lazy I went with it.

I’m here to tell you this works and works very well……. In my  case it took less than 5 minutes to transform the above to this……..

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AND…. I used TWO simple ingredients—– Kosher Salt and half a Potato. That’s right!!!! Salt and a Potato… who’d a thunk it.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • Kosher salt
  • Potato
  • High heat point Cooking Oil – Corn oil or Canola Oil

Putting it all together:

  1. Put a thin layer of salt in the bottom of the pan and, using the potato, scrub the pan with moderate pressure.
  2. Rinse the pan and repeat if necessary.
  3. Rinse out the pan with warm water and dry thoroughly.
  4. Re season the pan by heating it over a medium low heat and when hot enough brush on a thin layer of the high point oil and “cook” for about 20 mins.

There you have it. This may not be a “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond” but it is a kitchen hack that will last a long time.

Until next time……

                           Bon Appetit

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Baked Apple Pie Enchiladas

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Baked Apple Pie Enchiladas

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

My baking experience is somewhat limited and the past few attempts have been less than stellar…. my Clafoutis didn’t rise and my Peach Cobbler was more like peach gelatin so what I decided to do with this one was to follow the formula to the letter and see what happens.

The flavour profile was certainly there although it could use a bit of tweaking but the overall appearance of the finished product was not what I was expecting and I’m a little disappointed with it however as they say practice makes perfect so I will keep trying this “baking” thing and hopefully it will get better.

Here’s how we do this one.

 

Shopping list:

  • 1 21 ounce can Apple Pie filling
  • 6 8 inch Tortillas
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Water

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F
  2. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish
  3. Put the tortillas in the microwave for about 15 seconds to soften so they are easier to roll.
  4. Put about a 1/4 pie filling just off center of the tortilla, sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar and roll up. Place the roll ups seam side down in the baking dish
  5. In a medium sauce pan bring the butter, white and brown sugar as well as water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately three minutes. Stir constantly
  6. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas, sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar if desired and let stand for 20 minutes.
  7. Bake in your preheated oven until golden brown.
  8. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or caramel sauce

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……

                            Bon Appetit

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“Trini” style Hot Pepper sauce

Hot pepper sauce

Trini style Hot Pepper sauce

  • Servings: 3 cups
  • Difficulty: Easy
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“The cuisine expresses the spirit of the chef, the spirit of the city, the country.”

“Trini’s” or Trinidadians, if you wish, are some of the greatest people on the planet. I mean all you have to do is look at my Daughter In Law and her awesome family to see I speak the truth so this particular recipe is an Homage to them and their superb cuisine.

Now as I am oft want to do I have taken the basic recipe I found on line and tweaked it based on what I had on hand and I have to say it is awesome…… it even impressed my soon to be son in law who is a hot sauce fanatic. What I particularly like about this one is that it has just enough heat to let you know it’s there but not so much that it blows the top of your head of. Of course you can adjust the heat to your own taste but for me this is perfect as is.

Cooks note: The original recipe calls for 15 Habaneros however I only had 8 from my garden and so I added 7 Sweet Heat to make up the difference.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 15 Habaneros 
  • 1 medium Mango – peeled and diced
  • 1 large White Onion – rough chopped
  • 3 Green Onions – rough chopped.
  • 2 cloves of Garlic – rough chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups White Vinegar
  • 2 Limes – juiced
  • 2 tablespoons Canola oil
  • 1/4 cup dry Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Curry powder

Putting it all together:

  1. Wearing rubber gloves remove the seeds from the Habaneros and rough chop.
  2. Put the Habaneros, onions, mango and garlic into a blender or food processor.
  3. Pour in the vinegar, lime juice and Canola oil and pulse with the top on until finely chopped.
  4. With the blender stopped add the mustard powder, salt and curry powder  and blend until the sauce is smooth.
  5. Put in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                           Bon Appetit

 

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Chocolate Butterscotch Brownies

Brownies

Chocolate Butterscotch Brownies

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

I don’t bake all that often mainly because I don’t think I am very good at it but secondly because baking really is an exact science. Unlike cooking where you can get away with not using exact measurements baking requires precise measurements otherwise the finished product will not turn out and most times I just don’t have the patience.

What then lead to my decision to make brownies? My wife’s best friend of 60 years was by for a visit and since she does not bake and does not really cook I decided to offer up a treat.

This particular recipe is an adaptation from the baking queen, Anna Olson, so I hope I do it justice.

Here is how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  •  10 oz (300 g) Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate, chopped
  • ⅔ cup (150 mL) unsalted Butter
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) Sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Vanilla extract
  • 3 large Eggs
  • ½ cup (125 mL) All-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) Salt
  • 3 oz (90 g) Butterscotch chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped Peanuts

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F (160 C) and grease and line an 8-inch pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl resting over a pot of barely simmering water, melt chocolate and butter, stirring gently. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla.
  3. Stir in eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour and salt. Fold in the chopped peanuts and butterscotch chips.
  4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the brownies comes out clean. Cool before slicing.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………

                           Bon Appetit

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Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp Tacos

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Easy
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My grandson loves Taco Tuesday at our house because he gets a chance to basically make his own dinner and with the invention of Old El Paso Taco Bowls™ he really looks forward to Tuesday nights.

Now for me I need to find an alternative to the ordinary usual type taco because I have to avoid red meat so this Tuesday I decided to go for Shrimp Tacos and since we have a place near home with really reasonably priced shrimp it was a no brainer. This decision also gave me the opportunity to experiment with my Actifry™ Hot Air Fryer and I have to say it performed as well as I expected.

Cooks note: When using the Actifry for things like shrimp or chicken nuggets remove the center spindle that way the shrimp etc will sit flat while cooking.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 bag 31-40 shell off, deveined Shrimp
  • Small head of iceberg Lettuce – shredded
  • Medium bag shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 medium Avocado – sliced
  • 3 Spring Onions – chopped
  • Old El Paso™ Taco kit
  • 1 jar Old El Paso™ salsa
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 2 tablespoons Chipotle powder
  • 4 tablespoons Old Bay™ seasoning
  • Pickled Anaheim peppers
  • Sour cream for garnish

Putting it all together:

  1. Season the flour with the Old Bay and Chipotle powder and mix well.
  2. Dredge the shrimp in the flour making sure to shake off any excess and place half in the Actifry.
  3. Cook for 10 minutes turning half way. Repeat with the remaining shrimp
  4. Build your Taco and enjoy.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……….

                           Bon Appetit

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