Mini Banana Bread Loaves

Banana Bread loaves IV

Mini Banana Bread Loaves

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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In my ever continuing quest to become a baker I have decided to practice with very easy baking formulas and ones that I have had some success with before therefore I have chosen this one as it is super easy and even I can’t mess it up….. well I can but not this time.

I decided to use my mini loaf pan for this as the results are the perfect after school snack size and they can go in my grandsons lunch for school.

Cooks note: I have referred to this as a “formula” because I was taught in culinary school that Baker’s use formulas and Cooks/Chefs use recipes and it kind of stuck in my mind. 

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 cups smashed overripe Bananas
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Pam® Olive Oil spray

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the bananas, eggs and the remaining wet ingredients.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
  5. Spray the loaf pan with the Pam and pour the batter into each loaf slot.
  6. Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the loaves comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

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

Until next time………

                             Bon Appetit


Ground Beef Stew With Mashed Potatoes


Ground Beef Stew with Mashed Potatoes

Ground Beef Stew With Mashed Potatoes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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The idea for this dinner came from a conversation I had with my wife where we were reminiscing about the old days and the types of things we used to have for dinner. Now my wife, being born in Manchester England, had a lot of things that were typical in a British household…. Fish and Chips, Lamb Chops, Shepherds Pie just to name a few but there was one that stuck in my head and is the inspiration for this dish….. Ground Beef Gravy With Mashed Potatoes and it is something my late Mother-In-Law loved to make.

This recipe is my version of this old time favorite and I hope you enjoy it.

Cooks note: This is a budget friendly recipe. It fed 6 for less than $20.00.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 3/4 cup Beef stock
  • 4 – 6 ounces Worcestershire sauce
  • 7 Yukon Gold Potatoes – peeled and cubed
  • 4 Garlic cloves – peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium White Onion – chopped
  • 1 26 ounce bag of frozen Mixed Vegetables
  • 1 28 ounce can Diced Tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • 3/4 cups Milk
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large pot of salted water cook the potatoes until just fork tender.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking brown the ground beef in a large frying pan.
  3. When browned remove the ground beef, drain the grease and add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add back the beef and mix in the vegetables, tomatoes, Worcestershire, beef stock and salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 15 mins.
  5. Drain the potatoes and mash with the butter and milk.
  6. Plate the mashed potatoes and top with the stew.
  7. Enjoy.

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

Until next time………

                           Bon Appetit 

Curried Mussel Chowder

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Curried Mussel Chowder

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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You don’t become a chef to become famous.

Eric Ripert

I think every home cook has the daydream of hitting it big on T.V. as the host of their own cooking show and having millions of adoring fans just gobbling up any and all recipes they showcase and I admit that I fall squarely in this group however being the practical person that I am I know this will never happen so I will be content with cooking the best food that I can for my family and friends and posting the pics to my blog in the hopes that others will enjoy it as well.

Shopping list:

  • 1 1/2 pounds frozen precooked Mussel meat
  • 4 cups Vegetable stock
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1 cup diced Potatoes
  • 1 cup chopped Leeks – white and light green only
  • 3/4 each finely chopped Celery and Onion
  • 4 tablespoons Yellow Curry powder (see cooks note)
  • 1/4 all purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Corn Kernels
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Cilantro for garnish

Putting it all together:

  1. In a stock pot or Dutch oven melt the butter and saute the onions for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until blended. Cook the butter and flour for about 5 minutes but don’t let it brown.
  2. Pour in the vegetable stock and whisk until smooth. Add in the remaining ingredients except the Cilantro and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer (stirring occasionally) for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Pour the soup into four individual bowls, top with some cilantro and serve.

Cooks note: For a milder curry flavour substitute Garam Masala for the Yellow Curry powder.

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

Until next time……….

                          Bon Appetit

Linguine with Shrimp and Scallops in a Creole Cheddar sauce

Linguine with Shrimp and Scallops in a Creole Cheddar sauce

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pasta doesn’t make you fat. How much pasta you eat makes you fat. 
Giada De Laurentiis

I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest about a month ago and it turned out really quite good so when my daughter in law told me that it was chef’s choice on what her Birthday dinner would be it didn’t take much to convince me to do this one.

The original recipe calls for Hot Pepper Sauce but since I like my food seasoned and not blow your head off hot I decided to substitute some Creole Seasoning and it worked just fine.

I would also like to tip my hat to Black Diamond Cheese ® as the original recipe came from their site.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 5 Tbsp (75 mL)  Butter, divided
  • 2 cup (500 mL) sliced Cremini mushrooms
  • ½ cup (125 mL) finely chopped Onion
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) dried Thyme leaves, crushed
  • 1 lb(s) (500 g) fresh or frozen large Shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 1 lb(s) (500 g) fresh or frozen small Scallops
  • 1 cup (250 mL) White Wine
  • 4½ Tbsp (67 mL) all-purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Paprika
  • 1 ½ cup (375 mL) whole Milk
  • 2 cup (500 mL) Black Diamond Old Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 3 Tbsp (15 mL) Creole Seasoning, or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb(s) (500 g) hot cooked Linguine
  • Parsley for garnish

Putting it all together:

  1.  Melt 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the butter in a large non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion and thyme; cook and stir until tender. Add shrimp, scallops and wine to pan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes or until seafood is cooked. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) broth. Set cooked seafood mixture aside.
  2.  Melt remaining 3 tbsp (45 mL) butter in the same saucepan. Blend in flour and paprika then gradually stir in reserved broth and milk. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat and add Black Diamond Old Cheddar Cheese; stir until melted. Add creole seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. To serve, divide pasta among 4- 6 shallow bowls. Mix the seafood with the cheese sauce. Top the pasta with the seafood/ cheese sauce mixture, add more creole seasoning and garnish with parsley, if desired.

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

Until next time………

                            Bon Appetit

Epic Oops


  • Servings: “5”
  • Difficulty: “easy”
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I, like many other cooks, love to take a recipe and twist it to make it my own especially if it is something I have not tried before. Now most times this works beautifully and the recipe gets filed away for future dinners or for use by others however every once in a while one of these recipes falls into the category of “Oh lord!! What have I done?” This one my dear friends falls squarely into that category but at the same time it also offers up the challenge of getting it right.

Now I have always said that I am my own worst critic when it comes to the food that arrives from my kitchen to your table and this is one of those times despite the fact that my dinner guests loved the flavour profile and the idea of the dish. My disappointment comes from the fact that instead of being presented like a seafood type Cottage Pie it resembled more of a seafood “Swamp Pie” with the mashed potatoes slowly sinking into the horizon which then got me to thinking (after I finished berating myself) — “just what on earth went wrong?”

After carefully going over what I did (hey this could lead to a new profession….. “Forensic Foodologist”….LOL) I came to the conclusion that it was simply a matter of the broth/sauce being too thin and the mashed potatoes not thick enough and thankfully this type of mistake is easy to correct the next time around.

Here is how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 pounds peeled and diced potatoes
  • Alaskan Pollock fillets – cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 package 51-60 shrimp – cleaned, peeled and tail off
  • 1/4 cup White wine
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh Dill
  • 2 cups frozen Mixed vegetables
  • 1 tablespoon granulated Garlic
  • 3 1/2 cups Chicken stock
  • 1 cup quartered small Cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup milk

Putting it all together:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 375
  2. Bring the potatoes to boil in a large pot of salted water
  3. When tender, about 15 minutes, mash with butter, milk and granulated garlic
  4. Melt the butter in a large stock pot and add the onions
  5. Cook the onions for about 3 minutes
  6. Add the flour to the butter and onions and mix until there are no lumps
  7. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and mix until you get the consistency you want
  8. Add the mushrooms and mixed vegetable and cook for about five minutes
  9. Add the fish and shrimp and cook until the fish is firm and the shrimp is pink, about 10 minutes
  10. Pour into individual ramekins or an oven proof casserole dish, top with the mashed potatoes and bake for 15 – 20 minutes

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

Until next time………..

                                 Bon Appetit




Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet potato pie

  • Servings: 2 nine inch pies
  • Difficulty: easy
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For this recipe I decided to go back to the beginning and make the very first thing I ever learned to bake —- the iconic and oh so good sweet potato pie!

Now when I first heard about this dessert some 20 something years ago I thought “man people were nuts”… I mean really…. potatoes in a dessert? Well I tell you the very first bite had me hooked and the only sad part is I don’t make it nearly enough.

As you can see in the photo (Note to self: Get a different camera) the pie is lacking the one element my family and friends missed and that is whipped cream but seeing as how it was Thanksgiving and I was in the middle of doing about 18 other things I was forgiven. Maybe the next time.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 4 Large sweet potatoes – peeled and diced
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 stick of melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4  teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 nine inch ready to bake pie crusts

Putting it all together:

  1. Boil the sweet potatoes until fork tender
  2. When cooled place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl
  3. Add the remaining ingredients except the milk
  4. Using a hand blender mix all the ingredients until smooth
  5. Add the milk and mix until incorporated
  6. Pour equal amounts of the sweet potato mix in the pie crusts
  7. Place in a 350 degree convection oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the middle clean
  8. Let cool and dig in

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

Until next time……….

                              Bon Appetit


Grilled Pork chop with mushroom gravy


Grilled Veal chop with mushroom gravy

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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I found this picture on an old phone of mine and I thought that in honour of my late father who, by virtue of working in the pork industry for some 40 years, instilled in me a love of pork it would be today’s post.

I would have loved to have done an apple compote for this really nice piece of pork but since I didn’t have any apples I went with a really tasty mushroom gravy instead.

Here’s how we do this one.

  • 1 to 1/12 pounds Pork butt chops
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 1/4 butter
  • 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup All Pupose dry rub (see rubs and marinades)
  • 2% Milk or any full fat milk

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat your grill to 350 degrees
  2. Season the chops with the All Purpose rub
  3. Grill the chops until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees and then set aside
  4. While the chops are resting heat a sauce pan and melt the butter
  5. Stir in the flour and make a roux
  6. Add the milk and stir until you get the consistency you wish. Bear in mind that as soon as you add the milk the roux will really thicken. Just keep stirring in the milk.
  7. Stir in the mushrooms until incorporated again bearing in mind that mushrooms are like sponges and they will soak up liquid like crazy so keep extra milk on hand.
  8. Season with salt and pepper
  9. Plate the chops and pour on as much gravy as you wish.
  10. Add the sides of your choice and enjoy.

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

Until next time…………

                               Bon Appetit



Cheesy Italian Chicken Pot Pie

  • Servings: ”4-6″
  • Difficulty: ”easy”
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Cheesy Italian Chicken Pot Pie Facebook

I belong to a Facebook group called International Food Bloggers and the members are constantly posting various and sundry recipes. Some of the recipes are submitted by professional Chefs while most are from like minded people who just simply love to cook and share recipes.

I was surfing through the group postings yesterday when I came across this particular recipe and it intrigued me to the degree that I had to take a further look at it. I followed the link and found myself at where this particular recipe can be found. I read through the ingredients list and instructions and decided that since I had 95% of the ingredients in the house and I was looking for a “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond” that I would give this one a whirl….. I am so happy that I did. This recipe is just plain awesome!!

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce— I didn’t have any so I used some Marinara that I had made.
  • 1/2 cup Bisquick mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees
  2. Chop the chicken into bite sized chunks
  3. In a large skillet saute the chicken with the dry spices until cooked.
  4. Add the tomato sauce to the chicken and mix well
  5. Add the Parmesan and Mozzarella and mix well
  6. Pour the chicken mix into a greased pie pan or deep dish
  7. In a separate bowl mix the Bisquick, milk, pepper and eggs until well blended
  8. Pour over the chicken mixture and bake for 35 minutes
  9. Sprinkle with the remaining Mozzarella and bake for an additional 5 minutes
  10. Allow to settle/rest for about ten minutes before cutting.

This recipe can be served on its own or as the main part of the meal accompanied by some veggie sides.

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

Until next time.

                       Bon Appetit

Biscuits and gravy


I’m not a morning guy which by extension means I’m not a breakfast person either or let’s say not a traditional breakfast type of guy. My breakfast may be anything from peanut butter toast to a fried egg and cheese sandwich however when the mood strikes me or we have brunch quests I will put out quite the spread and one of my favorites is Biscuits and Gravy.

This is the quintessential Southern breakfast dish which is right up there with Grits and one that I trot out when I have a lot of hungry people to feed.

Gravy Ingredients:

–         1 pound sausage meat

–         1 medium White onion – diced

–         2 Garlic cloves minced

–         1 Tsp salt

–         1 Tsp fresh ground pepper

–         4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

–         3 Cups milk

Biscuits Ingredients:

–        2 cups flour

–        1/4 cup sugar

–        1 teaspoon vanilla

–        4 teaspoons baking powder

–        1/4 teaspoon baking soda

–        1 pinch salt

–        3 ounces cold butter, diced

–       8 ounces buttermilk


–         Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

–         For the biscuits combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until combined

–         Using two knives or a pastry blender cut in the butter

–         Slowly add the buttermilk and begin to mix all the ingredients trying not to overwork the dough

–         Turn out your dough on a table dusted with flour and knead for approximately 4 minutes (dust your hands with some flour so the dough will not stick)

–         Flatten the dough with the heal of your hand until it is about ¼ inch thick

–         Using a standard water glass cut out your dough and put it on a baking pan

–         Put the biscuits in the oven for approximately 12 minutes or until the top is golden brown

–         While the biscuits are baking heat a large frying pan and brown the sausage meat

–         When the sausage is browned remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon while RESERVING the grease in the pan

–         Add the onion and garlic to the grease and sauté until the onion is translucent, about three minutes.

–         Add the flour and whisk until blended— this is a Roux

–         Slowly add the milk while constantly whisking and you will see the gravy start to thicken

–         Add back in the sausage and salt and pepper to taste

–         Split a biscuit and pour the gravy over top.

Now I never claimed this was a healthy recipe in fact a friend of mine calls it a heart attack on a plate but this is just so darn good and when you add scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage and toast you just may die. The other thing I wish to point out is that this is not just a breakfast dish but one that can be used for dinner all on it’s own.

I hope you enjoy this one and if you try it be prepared to loosen your belt.

        Bon Appetit

Chicken fried steak


It seems that whenever I mention this recipe to someone I get the whole “chicken fried WWWHHHAAATTT????” and to be honest when I first heard about this dish some 30 years ago when it was called “Steak and Bake” I had the same reaction. Well fast forward 30 years and it’s not a stranger anymore.

One of the reasons I really like this recipe is that it is using an inexpensive cut of meat that does not require and inordinate amount of time to cook AND when you add smashed potatoes , “milk” gravy and a vegetable you can feed a family of four  for under $20.00. That’s right you heard me — UNDER $20.00.

Here’s how:


–          1 2 pound Round steak

–          1 Cup of flour

–          ½ cup milk

–          2 Tablespoon salt, pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion

–          3 Eggs (whisked)

–          1 Cup bread crumbs or cracker meal (I use Kellogg’s bread crumbs)

–          1 Cup of milk

–          ½ cup Butter

–          1/2 Cup plus 3 tablespoons Canola oil

–          Chicken stock

–          1 Medium onion, diced


–          Cut the steak into four serving sizes

–          Mix the spices with the flour and place on a flat surface

–          Dip the steak into the seasoned flour then the eggs and finally the bread crumbs

–          Repeat with all four pieces

–          Heat a half cup of Canola oil in a large non- stick pan

–          Fry the steak until golden brown

–          Remove from the oil and drain on some paper towel

–          In a separate sauté pan heat the remaining Canola oil and add the butter

–          Sauté the onions until just translucent, about three minutes

–          Sprinkle in half the seasoned flour and whisk until incorporated

–          Allow the flour to cook off for approx. 5 minutes

–          Slowly add the chicken stock until you get the consistency you want

–          Add the milk and let reduce until the gravy is as thick as you would like

Serve the steak with your sides, I suggest smashed potatoes and green beans and ladel on the gravy.

There you have it. Simple ,tasty and inexpensive.

Bon Appetit