Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Blog

Hi everyone (or anyone? Does anyone even read this blog?):

Since my recipes are just too good not to share with the world, I have started a new recipe blog where I will take my own pictures and take a bit more seriously than this one.  (This one is basically just my online recipe book). 

So, head on over to Mama's Home Cafe and cook some fantastic recipes!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Corn potato chowder

Made this tonight and it was great! At first it was only so-so, but with a the few changes reflected below, it's now a stellar dish. Mark loved it as well.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups water (or chicken stock)
  • 3 small red potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 3 cups frozen sweet corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a stockpot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the onion and celery begin to soften. 
  2. Add potatoes then water to pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Partially cover and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are completely soft.Add corn and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in milk and cream and heat very gently for 1 minute more. Puree with stick blender to your desired thickness. You can add a tablespoon of corn starch if you like.
  3.  Season with pepper and cayenne, ladle into bowls, serve with crusty bread.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

3 ingredients nutella cuppy cakes

UMM WOW! Seriously, only 3 ingredients? So easy! And quick! Top with whipped cream and you have yourself the perfect dessert! Found here


   -1/2 cup Nutella spread
   -1 large egg
   -5 tablespoons all purpose flour

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Line a 12-cup mini muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
  2. Put the Nutella and egg in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth and well blended. Add the flour and whisk until blended.
  3. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins (about 3/4 full).
  4. Bake until a pick comes out with wet, gooey crumbs, 11 to 12 minutes. Let them cool for at least 5 minutes. Serve immediately or cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

These were great! Will definitely make again! Found here.

For the enchilada sauce:

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
3 tbsp. chili powder (I only used about 1 T and that was enough!)
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. sugar
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
3/4 cup water

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add the onion and salt, cook until softened, 5 minutes.  Stir in the chili powder, garlic, cumin, and sugar.  Cook until fragrant.  Add in the tomato sauce and water and bring to a simmer.  Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Season to taste.

For the enchiladas:
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced
1 (225g) package cream cheese, cut into cubes
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, more to garnish
1 (400g) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 batch enchilada sauce, divided
4 cups shredded cheese (cheddar and Monterrey Jack work well), divided
flour tortillas

1.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Heat a medium saucepan over medium low heat.  Add in cream cheese and stir to melt.  Stir in green onions, 2 cups shredded cheese, and drained black beans.  Stir to combine and heat through, about 3 minutes. Stir in chicken and black olives and remove from heat.  Add in 1 cup of enchilada sauce, stir to combine.
2.  Heat tortillas in microwave, a few seconds at a time, so that they are soft and pliable.  Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray (I used a baking sheet).  Spread 1/4 of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of the pan.  Spoon 1/4-1/3 cup chicken mixture into the center of a warm tortilla and roll tightly.  Place in pan seam side down.  Continue with remaining tortillas until pan is full.  Pour 1 cup enchilada sauce over the prepared tortillas.  Top with remaining 2 cups shredded cheese.
3.  Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

oven baked fish fingers

Will definitely be making these again! It got Henry to eat salmon! He loved them! Found here.

380g skinless fish fillets (such as sole, flounder, tilapia or other firm white fish... I used salmon and it was good)
5 tbsp plain flour
1 large egg, beaten
20g dried breadcrumbs (normal)
20g panko breadcrumbs (Japanese breadcrumbs)
20g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp paprika
Pinch of salt
Dash of freshly ground black pepper

What you do:
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Pat the fish dry with paper towels and cut into strips (1/2 inch thick x ¾ inch width). Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Set up your assemble line. Get ready with 3 bowls (even plates or small pan sheets are possible) which are large enough for coating the strips.
  4. The first one is for flour.
  5. The second one (preferably use bowl) is for egg. Crack an egg and whisk well. You may want to add a little bit (eg ¼ tsp) of milk or water to dilute the beaten egg.
  6. The third one is for breadcrumb mixture. Mix breadcrumbs, Parmersan cheese, paprika, garlic powder and black pepper together.
  7. Toss each strip in the flour and shake off any excess. To minimize any messiness, continue for the remaining strips before moving on to the next step.
  8. Next, dip the strip into the egg mixture and allow extra egg liquid to drip back into the bowl.
  9. Then coat the strip with the breadcrumb mixture. Slightly press the strip into the crumbs to make sure it is well coated. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes. It will help the coating adhere to the strip better.
  10. Prepare a baking sheet (I lined it with non-stick parchment paper but it’s optional). Brush/ spray some oil on the sheet/paper.
  11. Arrange strips in a single layer on the prepared baking tray. Drizzle or spray some oil over the strips.
  12. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown and the fish is cooked through (eg flakes easily). Turning halfway through. Adjust the baking time according to the thickness of your fillet. Do not overcook the fish as it will be dry and hard.
  13. Transfer to serving plates and allow it to cool a little before serving.
  14. Best to dip in some sauce such as ketchup, sweet chilli sauce or tartar sauce.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Roast chicken with caramelized shallots

This was a really quick and easy weeknight chicken dinner. Will definitely make again. Really packed with flavour. Served with green beans and some spanish potatoes (I didn't like the recipe I used, so I will need to find another one for next time).  Found here.

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 4 large shallots, peeled and minced
  • 8 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken (I used boneless skinless chicken breasts) 
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Minced fresh parsley
  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚ F (220 C).  In a baking dish large enough to hold all the chicken pieces in a single layer, combine the olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce and shallots; whisk to combine.  Toss the chicken in the mixture, coating with shallots.   Season with salt and pepper.  Place the chicken pieces in the pan so they are skin-side up.
  2. Bake for 10 minutes, until the chicken pieces begin to brown on top.  Turn the pieces of chicken over and spoon some of the juices and shallots over the top.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the shallots are caramelized.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle lightly with fresh parsley.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

chicken pot pie crepes

WOW! These are the best ever! Found here.  Will definitely make again. Perfect lunch.

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  1. In a medium bowl beat the Ricotta with the eggs. Beat in the flour, salt, and milk. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Coat with vegetable cooking spray when hot. Pour in 2 tablespoons of batter and swirl the pan to coat the entire surface in a thin layer. Allow to cook, without turning, until completely done. The top should be no longer shiny and when you touch it it’s not wet. The bottom will be have a very slight golden color. If it’s too dark, lower the heat.
(These can be impossible to flip and they don’t need to be, so don’t try if you don’t want to.  I do sometimes to get the same color on each side, but they are done when it’s dry on the top.) Gently loosen the edges with a spatula and slide out of the pan onto a plate. Very lightly spray the top with vegetable spray – this way you can stack them on top of each other.
Lightly coat the pan with cooking spray before each crepe. Proceed with above directions until batter is gone. Allow the crepes to cool to room temperature and then wrap the plate tightly with plastic wrap. These keep well in the fridge – unfilled – for several days.
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/2 cup finely diced, or shredded carrots
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Dash grated fresh nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup half & half
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 cups diced or shredded, cooked chicken
  1. Melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots, and slowly cook until soft, about 5-7 minutes. 
  2. Stir in flour and cook for one minute. 
  3. Add salt, pepper, sage, thyme, sugar, and nutmeg. 
  4. Whisk in chicken broth and cream. Cook until bubbly and boil for one minute, stirring constantly. 
  5. Remove from heat and stir in peas and chicken. Cook for one minute to heat through. Makes twelve 1-crepe servings.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Slow cooker garlic chicken

This was fantastic! The garlic gravy was great! Served with asparagus and sweet potato bake.  This would also be good with mashed potatoes.  Found here.

  • 1 3-4 pound chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 heads garlic, unpeeled, separated into cloves
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 
What you do:
  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a large skillet, over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and cook, until well browned on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to a slow cooker.
  2. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat in the pan.  Add the garlic cloves and sauté them over medium high heat until lightly browned (about 2 to 3 minutes).  Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to stir and scrape all the brown bits from the bottom.
  3. Pour the garlic mixture over the chicken and sprinkle the thyme over all.  Cover and cook until the chicken is tender—for 3 hours on the low heat setting. Transfer the chicken to a platter and cover it with aluminum foil to keep it warm.  
  4. Set a fine mesh sieve over a saucepan, pour all the sauce from the cooker through, and press with the wooden spoon to push as much of the liquid and the pulp through as possible.  Then bring the mixture to a simmer on the stove and season it to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve the chicken either topped with the sauce or with the sauce on the side.

Tomato Sauce with Pumpkin

Henry liked this: http://www.thelittleteochew.com/2011/02/tomato-pasta-sauce-with-pumpkin.html

Sunday, July 31, 2011

chocolate mug cake

I've tried several different mug cake recipes and this one is the winner. So moist! The other ones use cocoa powder and this one uses chocolate chips, which I think makes the difference. Found here.

  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons butter (43 g)
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
What you do:
  1. Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add flour, ground cinnamon and sugar to a small mixing bowl, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and mix well. Add the melted chocolate and mix again.
  3. Pour the mixture into a large microwavable coffee mug. Microwave for 2 minutes on medium, 1 minute on high. It should be cooked (skewer test comes out with moist crumbs), but still a lil moist. Remember, it will continue to cook while standing.
  4. Allow to cool a little, give yourself a pat on the back, and indulge!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Slow Cooker Sticky Chicken Legs

Yum! So good! Definitely will make again! Served with potato skins and green beans. Recipe from here.

  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, miced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12-14 chicken legs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
what you do:
  1. Add 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, the ginger, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper to a bowl (you may have to double this if it's not enough). Transfer the mixture to your slow cooker then add the legs and toss to coat them with the paste.
  2. Cook on low until the chicken is tender, 3-4 hours (I did high for 1 hr and low for 2-3).  Transfer the wings to a large bowl, leaving as much of the liquid behind as possible and discarding it when all of the wings have been removed.  Let the wings cool for about 20 minutes.  (At this point you can put the cooled wings in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.) 
  3. Preheat your broiler and position one of the oven racks about 10-12 inches from the broiler.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, then place a wire rack inside the baking sheet.  Spray the rack well with nonstick cooking spray. 
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the water, tomato paste, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, remaining 3 tablespoons soy sauce, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.  Add half of this sauce to the bowl with the wings and gently toss to coat.  Place the wings on the rack, skin side up. Broil until the wings are lightly charred, about 10-15 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and flip the wings over.  Brush the remaining sauce over them and return them to the oven.  Broil for another 3 minutes, or until the sauce caramelizes.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Mexican Rice

  • 1 cup of long grain white rice
  • 2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt to taste
 what you do:
  1. In a medium-sized pot, add rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir. Cover the pot, lower the heat to low and simmer until done. 
  2. While the rice is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the onions in the hot oil until translucent and starting to brown. 
  3. Add the garlic to the skillet and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. 
  4. Stir in the tomato paste and cumin and cook for another minute or two. 
  5. Mix in hot, cooked rice until well combined. Season to taste with salt. Serve immediately.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Honey Lemon Slow Cooker Chicken

 This was good. Will definitely make again.  Very easy! Serve with rice and asparagus. From here.

  • handful of fresh thyme leaves
  • A couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 lemons
  • 2 heads of garlic peeled and and separated into cloves
  • 2 medium onions
  • sea salt
  • fresh pepper
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of chicken stock
For the sauce:
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup of cold water
  1.  Rinse and dry your chicken.  Rub the chicken with olive oil and season with sea salt and fresh pepper.   Get a fry pan, drizzle with some more olive oil and let it get really hot (somewhere between medium and high).  Fry chicken on both sides to get a nice golden colour all over the chicken. 
  2. Put half an onion inside the cavity of the chicken as well as half a lemon and 6 garlic cloves whole.
  3. Cut up an onion on the thicker side as well as one lemon.  Take a whole head of garlic and remove the skin but leave the garlic whole.  Get a handful of fresh thyme.  
  4. Put the sliced onion on the bottom of the crock pot.  Add the chicken to the crock pot breast side up.  Sprinkle the chicken with the thyme.  Cover the chicken with more onion slices, lemon slices and garlic.  
  5. Finally, pour 1/4 cup of honey all over the top of the chicken and 1/4 of chicken stock to the bottom of the crock pot.  Cook  on high for 1 hour then turn to low for 4-5 more hours.  When there is one hour of cooking left add rosemary to the crock pot-just throw it in there.
  6. When chicken is done strain the juice into a pot and add a mixture of 2 tbsp of cornstarch with 1/4 of cold water.  Bring the strained juices to a boil and add the cornstarch a bit at a time until your desired thickness.  Pour this over the chicken before serving. 

Monday, June 6, 2011


Here is my go to recipe for crepes:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup milk

Banana Bread/Cake

This will definitely be my go to recipe for banana cake from now on.  It's simple, moist, and very tasty.  Awesome.  From here.

Serves 1 x 20cm round cake or 1 x 30cm oblong fluted cake
The recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 24cm round cake tin.

  • 125 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 125 grams sugar
  • 2 medium bananas, very ripe
  • 2 eggs (about 60g each)
  • 125 grams plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  •  icing sugar, nutella, or whipped cream for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.  Line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper. 
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy and the sugar has dissolved.  Cut the bananas into a few pieces and add to the butter and sugar and beat until the banana is fully incorporated into the batter.  Add the eggs and beat well.
  3. Sift together the flour and baking powder and add to the batter, beating until the batter is light and fluffy.  Scoop the batter into the prepared cake tin and level the top.
  4. Bake at 180°C/350°F for about 45 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  When cooked, remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.  When cool, remove carefully from the tin.
  5. Dust with icing sugar to serve. Or serve with whipped cream or nutella

Burger Patty Melts & Special Sauce

Oh man, awesome. Definitely making again. Served this with my Cajun French Fries and some salad (would have been good with corn on the cob too). Burgers from here.  Sauce from here.

Burger Ingredients:
  • 1 pound (~450 g) 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion grated
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • butter
  • wholemeal bread
  • slices of cheese
 What you do:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the meat, grated onion, egg, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Form into 6 thin patties.
  2. Heat a bit of olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the patties for about 3 minutes per side, or until browned. Remove from the pan and place on paper towels to drain. Set aside. Drain the grease from the skillet.
  3. Spread the butter on one side of each slice of bread. Place butter side down in the skillet. Top each with a slice of cheese and a burger patty. Top with the remaining cheese, if desired, and a final slice of bread, butter side up.
  4. Cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove from the heat and serve with special sauce (recipe below).
Burger Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • small squirt of mustard 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

*Mix all sauce ingredients together. set aside.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hasselback Baked Potatoes

 Mark loved these. He said it was the best thing he's ever eaten. Needless to say, these will be made again! Recipe from here.

4 medium Potatoes, cleaned & leave skins on
4 cloves of Garlic, sliced thin
3 tablespoons of Olive Oil
pinch of Salt
pinch of Black Pepper
pinch of Smoked Paprika
1 ounce shaved Parmesan Cheese (have some additional for sprinkling as a garnish)
sour cream for garnish

Pre heat oven to 425˚F (220 C) with rack in the middle of the oven. Lay potatoes flat on cutting board and starting from one end of the potato, make slits about 3-4mm apart. Cut to about 1/4 inch from the base of the potato. Be careful not to slice all the way through. The potato will fan out a bit as it bakes.
Combine olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Carefully insert pinches of this mixture in between the slits of the potatoes. Rub the outsides of the potatoes with residual oil. Arrange potatoes on baking sheet and bake for about 40-45 minutes. The inside should be cooked through and the outside of the potato should be a bit crispy. Garnish with additional salt, smoked paprika, pepper, parmesan and sour cream.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Crispy Oven Chicken

This was good! The chicken was perfect! Next time I will make a few changes, reflected below in the recipe.  Original recipe found here.

  • Mixed legs & thighs of chicken
  • New potatoes
  • Shallots or small onions
  • Few sprigs of Thyme
  • Rosemary 
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken Stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
For the Chicken Seasoning
  • Garlic Powder (approx 2 tsp)
  • Celery Salt (approx 2 tsp)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Corn flour to coat the chicken
What you do:
  • Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C
  • Coat the chicken in the seasoning ingredients then add a light coating of corn flour. Dust off the excess.
  • In a frying pan heat the olive oil and butter and fry the chicken until golden on both sides.
  • Put the potatoes and onions to your baking dish and season with salt, pepper, and rosemary.
  • Add the chicken on top (we leave the chicken sitting on the potatoes to remain crisp). Pour off some of the frying oil and butter on top of the chicken and potatoes.
  • Place in a hot oven (200 degrees) for 10 minutes to crisp up
  • Mix the stock and white wine and add to the oven dish (half cover the potatoes/chicken).
  • Add fresh thyme (or rosemary) and place back into the oven.
  • Reduce the heat to 180 degrees and allow to cook/reduce for about 30-35 minutes or until the chicken has cooked.
  • To serve we removed the ingredients and mixed in a little cream into the remaining gravy, then poured over the chicken

Friday, May 6, 2011

Sherried Tomato Soup

MMMMmmm! This was great! It's from the Pioneer Woman.  We had it for lunch with a grilled cheese sandwich on the side.  And easy to make too!


  • 6 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 1 bottle (46 Oz.) Tomato Juice
  • 2 cans (14 Oz. Cans) Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon (up To 3 Tablespoons) Chicken Base
  • 3 Tablespoons (up To 6 Tablespoons) Sugar
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1 cup Cooking Sherry
  • 1-½ cup Heavy Cream
  • Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • Chopped Fresh Basil

Preparation Instructions

Sauté diced onions in butter until translucent. Then add canned tomatoes, tomato juice, chicken base, sugar, pinch of salt, black pepper and stir. Bring to a near boil, then turn off heat. Add in sherry and cream and stir. Add in parsley and basil to taste.
Adjust other seasonings and serve with yummy, crusty bread on a cold blustery, dreary, depressing, rainy, snowy day. Then close your eyes.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

General Tso's Chicken

  • 4 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3-4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 6-8 spring green onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated (optional)
  • hot pepper flakes (optional)

Mix together the brown sugar, hoisin, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, and water and set aside. This is the sauce.

Dredge the chicken cubes in the cornstarch, shaking off any excess. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and saute the chicken until browned. Remove the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

Wipe pan clean with paper towel and add sesame oil with onions and chopped ginger. Fry about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add sauce mixture. Bring to a boil and simmer about 2 minutes, until the sauce thickens a bit. Add the chicken back to the skillet, toss to coat with sauce and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through. Serve garnished with green onion tops and red pepper flakes, if desired.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chicken and Dumplings

Oh wow, ok this was SO GOOD! Like phenomenal. Because it's not gluten free, I saved this recipe for when Mark was away on business and it was amazing! And surprisingly easy! And the sauce was surprisingly thick (despite it looking soupy in the picture)! Got the recipe from here.


  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ½ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 whole Chicken, Cut Into Pieces (could also use breasts and thighs)
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 2 Finely Diced Carrots
  • 2 ribs Finely Diced Celery
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Thyme
  • ¼ teaspoons Turmeric (optional)
  • 6 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth (I used 3 cups vegetable broth and 3 cups water)
  • ½ cups Apple Cider (do they even sell this in australia? had to omit this)
  • ½ cups Heavy Cream (I used probably closer to a cup)
  • Dumplings:
  • 1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
  • ½ cups Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1-½ cup Half-and-half
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley (optional)
  • Salt As Needed

Preparation Instructions

  1. Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then dredge both sides in flour.
  2. Melt butter in a pot over medium-high heat. In two batches, brown chicken on both sides and remove to a clean plate.
  3. In the same pot, add diced onion, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-low heat. Stir in ground thyme and turmeric, then pour in chicken broth and apple cider. Stir to combine, then add browned chicken. Cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. While chicken is simmering, make the dough for the dumplings: sift together all dry ingredients, then add half-and-half, stirring gently to combine. Set aside.
  5. Remove chicken from pot and set aside on a plate. Use two forks to remove chicken from the bone. Shred, then add chicken to the pot. Pour heavy cream into the pot and stir to combine.
  6. Drop tablespoons of dumpling dough into the simmering pot. Add minced parsley if using. Cover pot halfway and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Check seasonings; add salt if needed. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese

I got this recipe from The Kitchn.  It's so good! I've tried homemade mac & cheese recipes before and this one is the best.

  • 1 pound (450 g) pasta, any shape
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2-3 cups shredded cheese (I used 2 cups cheddar plus some cream cheese) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered mustard
  • Optional extras (cook before adding): Ham, bacon, onions, peas, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower
What you do:
  1. Bring a large amount of water to a boil. Add a handful of salt and the pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, begin heating 1 cup of milk over medium heat. Whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup of milk and the flour until there are no lumps. Whisk this into the heating milk and continue whisking gently until the milk thickens to the consistency of heavy cream.
  3. Turn the heat to low and add the 2 cups of the cheese, salt, and mustard. Using a wooden spoon, stir until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy. Taste and add more cheese or adjust the seasonings as desired.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, any extras, and half of the cheese sauce. Continue adding cheese sauce until the pasta is as coated as you like it. Serve immediately while still warm.
Variation: You can also bake this into a casserole. Heat the oven to 350°. Pour the macaroni and cheese into a baking dish, cover with a lid or foil, and bake for a half an hour. Remove the covering, sprinkle with breadcrumbs if desired, and bake uncovered for another 15 - 20 minutes, until the top is golden and the interior is bubbly.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Baked Salmon with Lemon Wine Sauce

This is my go-to salmon recipe.  It's very yummy and easy!

  • 2 salmon fillets, bones removed
  • fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (optional)
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 (230).
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick spray.
  3. Place salmon fillets on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle fillets with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Place 2 lemon slices on top of each fillet. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove and tent with aluminum foil for 10 more minutes. Fish will continue to cook during this time. It will flake easily when done.
  4. While salmon is baking, melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add minced garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in wine. Cook for 5 minutes or until sauce reduces by 1/3. Stir in fresh dill and remove from heat.
  5. Remove lemon slices from the top of the salmon and discard. Gently slide a turner or serving spatula between the skin and the flesh of the fillet to remove the skin, it should separate very easily. Transfer to a serving platter and spoon white wine dill sauce over the top.
  6. Serve.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Island Chicken

Oh wow ok, I have to admit I was a little skeptical about this recipe.  There's nothing special about the ingredients and the picture made the chicken look plain.  But let me assure you, this is anything but plain! It was FANTASTIC! Definitely will become a staple in our house.  Not too lemony at all! I got it from here.

½ cup vegetable oil
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1½ tbsp. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
½ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2-4 chicken breasts

  1. Combine all ingredients except chicken in a mixing bowl or large airtight plastic bag.  Whisk or shake well until the marinade is well mixed.  Add the chicken breasts to the bowl or plastic bag so that they are covered by the marinade.  If using a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap.  If using a plastic bag, press out all the excess air and seal the bag tightly.  Refrigerate and marinate up to 10 hours.
  2. When ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 350° F (180 C).  Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish and pour the excess marinade over them.  Bake in the oven until cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165° F, about 45 minutes (exact baking time will depend on the size of your chicken pieces.)  Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  3. Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwich

These were great!  Got the recipe from here.

1lb (500 kg) boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 large head romaine lettuce leaves (torn into bite sized pieces)
1 bottle Caesar salad dressing
Grated parmesan cheese (to taste)
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 package pocket pita bread (or use turkish bread)
Croutons (optional)
olive oil

What you do:
Step 1: Grease an indoor grill pan or an outdoor grill and heat to medium high heat. In a small bowl combine garlic powder, thyme and rosemary. Season chicken breasts with the garlic powder mixture on both sides. Place chicken on the grill and cook chicken until it is fully cooked and the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees. Remove from the grill and allow to cool.  Once the chicken has cooled slice the chicken breasts into thin strips.
Step 2: In a large bowl combine chicken, lettuce, and croutons (if using). Toss with Caesar salad dressing and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the Caesar salad mixture into pita bread halves.
(Makes 4 Servings)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cajun Fries

Oh man, these were so good! I served them as a side to sloppy joes and corn on the cob.  I used sweet potatoes and regular potatoes.  The regular potatoes were way better than the sweet potatoes, but the sweet potatoes were still good enough to include next time. 

  •  2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • a few shakes of cayenne 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 regular potatoes 
  • 2 sweet potatoes
What you do: 
  1. Preheat oven to 230 C (450 F)
  2. Slice potatoes into thirds and then slice each portion into 3 or 4 wedges.  
  3. Mix the spices and olive oil together in a bowl, add the potatoes and coat thoroughly.
  4. Spread out into a single layer onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until done! ENJOY!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Herbed breaded chicken

This one was great! I served with a potato bake dish that wasn't anything special.  Next time I will serve with potatoes au gratin and a vegetable.  Recipe from here.

  • 1 pack of chicken legs (mixed drumsticks and thighs are fine too - about 8 medium sized pieces)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 T. parsley (dried or fresh is fine)
  • 2/3 sprigs fresh rosemary (dried is also fine - about 1 1/2 -2 T. will do)
  • 6 leaves chopped fresh basil (dried is fine)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar 
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/3 c. plain bread crumbs 
  • 1-2 T. butter
What you do:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C fan forced)
  2. Place chicken parts in a bowl, add garlic, all herbs (dried or fresh), salt, pepper, vinegar and olive oil and toss/coat chicken very well
  3. Sprinkle bread crumbs over top (bread crumbs will absorb all liquid) and coat chicken
  4. Lay chicken out in a roasting pan - be sure to place any bits of the bread crumb coating on the chicken, as the goodness should not go to waste
  5. Pat with butter on top and roast for 35 minutes
  6. Once chicken is cooked through, finish off in the broiler for 3-5 minutes (watch well so it doesn’t burn) so bread crumbs darken and chicken fat crisps
  7. Remove chicken from pan and place on a dish

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Yum! This was great! Like, seriously amazing! I got the recipe from here.  The only thing I might do differently next time is perhaps use a touch less sugar. Although, I'm not sure I want to mess with this sauce too much because it really was great.

*Note: if you like extra sauce, double the sauce ingredients – pour half over the chicken and follow the baking directions in the recipe and pour the other half in a small saucepan. Cook the sauce on the stovetop at a simmer for 8-10 minutes until it reduces and thickens. Serve it on the side of the chicken.
*Serves 4-6

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
Cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg. Fry in a little oil until brown but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish. Mix sauce ingredients (below) together and pour over chicken.

  • ¾ cup sugar (try using a bit less next time) 
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
Bake for one hour at 325 degrees. Turn chicken every 15 minutes so it is evenly coated with the sauce. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bread

 This was great bread! 
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup warm milk
1/2 cup raisins (I used sultanas)

1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup palm sugar (I used brown sugar)
2 eggs
1/4 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon palm sugar (I used brown sugar)
1 tablespoon butter

Yields 1 loaf
Combine oats, milk and raisins in bowl, cover, let stand for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Line loaf tin with parchment paper.

Beat olive oil and sugar in small bowl until smooth.  Add eggs,  one at a time. Whisk until well incorporated, before adding the next one. Stir in yogurt and vanilla. Stir in oat mixture.
In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Combine wet and dry ingredients.

For the topping, combine oats, cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Rub in butter with your finger tips until mixture becomes crumbly. 

Pour cake batter into prepared loaf tin. Sprinkle with topping . Bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick come out clean. Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mongolian Beef

This was a pretty good asian dish.  I'm notoriously terrible at asian cooking, but this one was good enough to make again.  Next time I will use the veggies I listed below:

  • 500 g beef, thin sliced (I used sirloin, 4 steaks should be good)
  • 2 tbsp sherry cooking wine
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp plus 2 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red capsicum, sliced into strips
  • 1 broccoli head
  • 1 zucchini, in sticks
  • 6 green onions, cut into 2" pieces
Place beef in a bowl and add sherry cooking wine and cornstarch. Mix together and marinate for 15 minutes. If you are making rice, start it now so that it's ready when your stir fry is finished. Meanwhile, mix together the 4 tablespoons of hoisin sauce and the soy sauce and set aside.

When beef is ready, add remaining 1 teaspoon of hoisin sauce and mix into beef. Heat a tablespoon of cooking oil in a wok on high heat. Add beef and stir fry for 2-3 minutes, or until no longer pink. Don't cook too long or it will get tough! If it's still a little pink it's ok. Remove the beef to a bowl and return wok to the stove. Add a little more oil to the wok and stir fry the garlic,veggies, and green onion for 2-3 minutes. 

Move the vegetables to one side of the wok, add beef to the other side. Pour the soy sauce mixture into the centre and stir a little then combine beef, vegetables and sauce. Stir just a minute or so to combine and serve immediately over rice. 


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sloppy Joes

Another great recipe!  I tried another sloppy joes recipe a few weeks ago and it just wasn't quite right. This one is perfect.  I found it here.


  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced 
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 green capsicum, finely diced 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste 
  • ~800 g ground beef chuck 
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste 
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste 
  • 1 (400 g) can crushed tomatoes 
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine 
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoon red wine vinegar

6 buns, sliced
mayonnaise (not the salad dressing stuff)
yellow mustard
bread and butter pickles

What you do:
  1. In a large skillet ( bigger if you are doubling the recipe) over medium-high heat, melt the butter.  Add the onion and capsicum and sauté until it begins to brown, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.  Set aside.
  2. Add the beef and cook until brown, breaking up any large clumps, about 5-7 minutes. Add the veggies back in.
  3. Add the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, remaining salt and black pepper and cook, stirring every few moments, for 2 minutes.  
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring for another minute.  Add the crushed tomatoes, wine, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar and boil, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, about 6-8 minutes.  Stir in the vinegar and season to taste with additional salt and black pepper if needed.

To serve
Slather a bit of mayonnaise on each bun half.  Spoon some of the meat sauce on the bottom of each of the buns, top with a few onion slices, some bread and butter pickles, and a drizzle of yellow mustard.  Add the top half of the bun.  Smoosh together and take a big bite.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Slow cooker asian chicken

 This recipe is from my sister.  It was AWESOME! It seems like it's not enough sauce, but trust me, it's plenty of sauce!

  • 1 3-4lb whole chicken
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed lite brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sherry or apple juice
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 green onions, halved + trimmed
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed

  1. Wash/dry chicken, remove giblets, neck, + excess fat. Put chicken in slow cooker breast side up
  2. In bowl combine: everything I said above. Pour over chicken, cover and cook on high for 3.5-4.5 hrs.
  3. Remove chicken.
  4. Remove and discard onions. Add 2 tbsp cornstarch abd 1 tbsp water to sauce. Stir over heat. Toast 2 tbsp of sesame seeds and serve on top of chicken and white rice with a side of broccoli

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Oatmeal Cream Pies

OH. MY. GOD. You HAVE to make these! I promise that they will be amazing!

Ingredients (recipe from here)
  • 1 cup butter (225 g), softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder (I used hot chocolate powder and it turned out great)
  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats
In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Beat in vanilla and the eggs, one at a time until well incorporated. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and oats. Beat into the cream mixture. Refrigerate cookie dough for 15 minutes.

Drop about 1 tbsp of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees (180 C) for about 10 minutes. The centres should still be slightly underdone when you remove them from the oven. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Spread about 1 tbsp of cream filling (recipe below) on the bottom of one cookie and then top with another cookie.

Cream Filling (I already had this recipe)


1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, scraping bowl. Beat on high until light and fluffy.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

America's test kitchen ultimate banana bread

This really is the ultimate banana bread! Recipe from America's Test Kitchen.  Sorry there's no picture this time...

Also, I have new, much better cooking blog here: Mama's Home Cafe

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
6 large very ripe bananas (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled (see note)
8 tablespoons (113 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees (180 C).
  2. Spray 8 1⁄2 by 4 1⁄2-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl.
  4. Place 5 bananas in microwave-safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap and cut several steam vents in plastic with paring knife. Microwave on high power until bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes. Transfer bananas to fine-mesh strainer placed over medium bowl and allow to drain, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes (you should have 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup liquid).
  5. Transfer liquid to medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 1⁄4 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir reduced liquid into bananas, and mash with potato masher until fairly smooth.
  6. Whisk in butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla. Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined with some streaks of flour remaining. Gently fold in walnuts, if using. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
  7. Slice remaining banana diagonally into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices. Shingle banana slices on top of either side of loaf, leaving 1 1⁄2-inch-wide space down center to ensure even rise. Sprinkle granulated sugar evenly over loaf.
  8. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, 55 to 75 minutes.
  9. Cool bread in pan on wire rack 15 minutes, then remove loaf from pan and continue to cool on wire rack.
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Be sure to use very ripe, heavily speckled (or even black) bananas in this recipe.
  • This recipe can be made using 5 thawed frozen bananas; since they release a lot of liquid naturally, they can bypass the microwaving in step 2 and go directly into the fine-mesh strainer.
  • Do not use a thawed frozen banana in step 4; it will be too soft to slice. Instead, simply sprinkle the top of the loaf with sugar.
  • The test kitchen’s preferred loaf pan measures 8 1⁄2 by 4 1⁄2 inches; if you use a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, start checking for doneness five minutes earlier than advised in the recipe.
  • The texture is best when the loaf is eaten fresh, but it can be stored (cool completely first), covered tightly with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Flourless Chocolate and Cream Cheese Marble Cake

This cake is just like the flourless chocolate torte I made the other day, but this one has cream cheese in it.  YUM! Will definitely make again!  Got it from here.

For the cream cheese batter:
  • 8 oz. (225 g) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For the chocolate batter:
  • 10 oz. (283 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 141 g (10 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch table salt
  • Cocoa powder for dusting

1) Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F (150 C). Lightly grease a 9×2-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment.

2) To make the vanilla batter: In a medium bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and continue beating until well blended and no lumps remain. Add the egg and vanilla and beat just until blended. Set aside.

3) To make the chocolate batter:  Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave. Whisk until smooth and set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt on medium high until the mixture is pale and thick, 3 to 4 min. With the mixer on low, gradually pour in the chocolate mixture and continue beating until well blended.

4) To combine and bake: Spread about half of the chocolate batter in the bottom of the pan. Alternately add large scoopfuls of each of the remaining batters to the cake pan. Using a knife or the tip of a rubber spatula, gently swirl the two batters together so they’re mixed but not completely blended. Rap the pan against the countertop several times to settle the batters.

5) Bake until a pick inserted about 2 inches from the edge comes out gooey but not liquid, 40 to 42 min.; don’t overbake. The top will be puffed and slightly cracked, especially around the edges. It will sink down as it cools. Let cool on a rack until just slightly warm, about 1-1/2 hours.

Loosen the cake from the pan by holding the pan almost perpendicular to the counter; tap the pan on the counter while rotating it clockwise. Invert onto a large flat plate or board covered in wax or parchment paper. Remove the pan and carefully peel off the parchment from the bottom of the cake. Sift some cocoa powder over the cake (this will make it easier to remove the slices when serving). Invert again onto a similar plate so that the top side is up and carefully remove the wax or parchment paper. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight, or freeze.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Flourless Chocolate Torte

Oh man, this was great.  It was fantastic right out of the oven and it was just delightful the next day straight out of the fridge.  Will definitely make again.  Found it from here.

  •  400 g 70% dark chocolate, chopped – use the good stuff here, don’t go for the cheapo stuff.  You want a good chocolate that melts well. I only used 200 g and it was still amazing 
  • 10 tbs. room temperature unsalted butter, cubed + some for coating pan
  • 5 room temperature eggs, separated
  • 2 drops lemon juice (not a drop more!)
  • 2 tbs. granulated sugar + some for coating pan
  1. Preheat to 325F (162 C).  Place jelly roll pan filled with water on bottom rack.  Grease a 9” springform pan with butter on the bottom and sides.  Cut a round of parchment paper to fit your pan and place in the bottom.  Dust the sides of the pan with sugar, it will stick to the butter.
  2. Beat your egg yolks a bit with a whisk until they start to foam a little.  In a separate large DRY bowl, add your egg whites and 2 drops of lemon juice.  Beat with a whisk or hand mixer until it becomes foamy, then gradually add in the 2 tbs. sugar as you continue to beat to stiff peaks.  Remember to stop beating when you *just* get to stiff peaks.
  3. Melt chocolate and butter together in microwave (stir after every 25 secs).  When completely melted, take off heat and whisk in egg yolks.
  4. Fold about 25% of egg whites into the chocolate to “loosen” it up a bit, and then gently fold all of the chocolate back into the big bowl of egg whites.  Fold until it just blends together, there will be some white streaks still.  If you fold until all the color is exactly the same it will be too much.
  5. Pour into springform pan, smooth out with a spatula, and tap to get rid of any big air bubbles, then bake in the oven on middle rack for 40 min.  Take out and cool on a cooling rack.  Eat or then refrigerate overnight.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Refrigerator Pizza

This is my new favourite pizza!  It tastes great.  Just look in your refrigerator and see what you have lying around. 
 Make your pizza crust dough and bake the crust ahead of time (or use store bought).  Then preheat the oven, and pizza stone if using, to 500° (260 C) while you prepare the toppings.

The ingredient prep is easy.  Clean the vegetables (listed below), then slice the mushrooms, red onion and red pepper into thin strips.  Chop the spinach coarsely.  Rip the basil leaves. Mince the garlic.  Set aside.

If your cheese isn’t already grated or crumbled, now is the time to grate it.  Set the cheese back into the refrigerator while you gently sauté the vegetables.

For pizza topping, sauté these vegetables in a couple of teaspoons of olive oil while the crust bakes:
8 button mushrooms
One red pepper
¾ of a raw red onion
3 cups of raw spinach
cherry tomatoes

For additional flavoring, I added these during pizza assembly:
Feta cheese
Grated parmesan cheese
Grated mozzarella cheese

For my finishing touches, I complimented the pizza with some aromatics and a garnish:
1 bunch of basil leaves, torn, not cut
4 minced garlic cloves
Garlic Olive oil
4 thinly sliced green onions that I used as a colorful garnish (optional)

To begin, drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of good quality olive oil over the pre-cooked crust.
Here’s the quick 1-2-3 for Pizza Assembly:
  1. For the first layer of flavor, sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the drizzle of olive oil.
  2. Next spread those colorful sautéed vegetables, one by one, over the pizza.  Their order doesn’t matter.  Once the vegetables are arranged, sprinkle the basil and garlic olive oil over the top.
  3. To finish off the pizza and to prevent the topping from burning, crumble the feta cheese over everything and then end with the mozzarella cheese.
Place the pizza in the 500° (260 C) oven on the preheated pizza stone. If you don’t own a pizza stone, a pizza pan works just fine and doesn’t require preheating.  If you don’t have a pizza pan, use a cookie sheet.  It cooks fairly quickly, so watch it and remove when it starts to brown.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Apple and cheddar cheese melts

Um, how have I never thought of this before? I got the idea from here.  What an easy way to give a simple grilled cheese sandwich a twist. 

All you do is butter one side of two slices of bread.  Put a slice of cheddar cheese, a few thin slices of granny smith apples, another slice of cheese in between the bread slices (buttered sides out).  Then, fry it in small frying pan! Voila! It was great!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chocolate Souffle

Found this recipe here. It was really good! And it happens to be gluten free!  I stupidly didn't use enough chocolate, and you know what? I think it was perfect!

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 100 grams 70% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 large eggs, separated

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Butter and sugar four ramekins, as desired. Beat egg whites with the sugar at medium speed, until they just hold stiff peaks. Add vanilla.
  2. Mix chocolate and heavy cream and microwave for 30 seconds. Let sit for another 30 seconds and stir until combined (if chocolate is not fully melted, microwave for an additional 15 seconds). Allow to cool for a minute and then stir in the egg yolks.
  3. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg whites. Fill 4 ramekins almost to the top. Bake approximately 12-12 minutes, or until the soufflés are puffed and just set. Serve.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lemon-Herb Slow Cooked Chicken

I just made this and it was fantastic! I'm loving my new slow cooker!

  • 1 whole chicken, about 4 to 5 pounds, giblets removed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, peeled, trimmed, cloves left whole
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 medium lemon, juiced and zest removed
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (about 3/4-ounce)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 potatoes, thickly sliced
  • Fresh basil, rosemary or lemon slices, garnish, optional
What you do:
  1. Rinse chicken and place in large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Place onion, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, basil and rosemary in bowl, stirring to combine. Pour half of basil-rosemary mixture over chicken, coating chicken inside and out. Place quartered onion and bay leaf inside chicken cavity. Tie legs together at end of drumsticks if desired and place in large slow cooker (crock pot), about six-quart size.
  3. Toss potatoes and quartered lemon in remaining half of basil-rosemary mixture. Add to slow cooker with chicken. Cover and cook 4 to 6 hours on High or 6 to 8 hours on Low heat. Chicken is done when temperature reaches 180°F on meat thermometer. Remove chicken and vegetables to serving dish and garnish if desired with fresh basil, rosemary or lemon zest. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

sugar cookies

just made these: http://annies-eats.com/2010/06/23/sugar-saucers/
They were AWESOME! will definitely make again

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Orange Chicken

I made this yummy orange chicken dish and it was surprisingly really good!  Next time I will use less cayenne pepper because it was a bit too spicy for my taste.  I didn't have a thermometer for the oil, so I heated it for 5 minutes on high heat before adding the chicken and that was perfect.  I used 2 large chicken breasts and it was plenty for two people.  I will definitely be making again!  OR, I will be making the chicken the same way, but with sweet and sour sauce from here or here.

For the marinade and sauce:
¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1½ tsp. finely grated orange zest
6 tbsp. white vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
½ cup brown sugar (dark or light)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1½ lbs. boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. cold water
8 thin strips orange peel (optional)

For the coating and frying:
3 large egg whites
1 cup cornstarch
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 ½ cups each peanut and canola oil

To make the marinade and sauce, combine the chicken broth, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper in a large saucepan; whisk to blend well.

Measure out ¾ cup of the mixture and transfer it to a large zipper lock plastic bag.  Add the chicken pieces to the bag, pressing out the excess air and sealing well.  Refrigerate and let marinate 30-60 minutes, but no longer.  Place the saucepan with the remaining mixture on the stove and heat over medium-high heat.  Bring to a simmer.  In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth.  Add the mixture to the saucepan with the sauce.  Continue simmering until the sauce is thick and translucent, about 1 minute.  Remove from the heat and stir in the strips of orange peel, if using.

To prepare the coating, place the egg whites in a pie plate and whisk until frothy.  In a second pie plate combine the cornstarch, baking soda and cayenne pepper; whisk to blend.  Drain the chicken of the marinade in a colander or large strainer; pat dry with paper towels.  Place half of the chicken pieces in the egg whites and turn to coat.  Transfer the pieces to the cornstarch mixture and coat thoroughly, shaking off the excess.  Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.

To fry the chicken, heat the oil in a 11- or 12-inch round Dutch oven or straight-sided sauté pan until the oil reaches 350˚ F.  Carefully place half of the chicken pieces in the oil and fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes, turning the pieces halfway through cooking.  Remove from the oil with a skimmer or slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.  Return the oil to 350˚ F and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.

Reheat the sauce if necessary and toss with the cooked chicken pieces.  Serve over rice, if desired.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cajun Chicken Pasta

This version is better than my cajun chicken pasta.  It's really yummy! I modified it a bit, but here is where I got the recipe: http://anediblesymphony.blogspot.com/2010/05/boston-and-rees-cajun-chicken-pasta.html

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 lb spaghetti pasta
3+ tsp Cajun Spice seasoning (I just kept adding and tasting as I went along)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 green capsicum, sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
1 brown onion, sliced
3 tsp minced garlic
4 small tomatoes, diced
3/4 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream

1 T cornstarch mixed with a bit of warm water
1 tsp cayenne pepper / chili powder
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley for garnish

What you do:

1. Sprinkle 2 tsp of the cajun spice mix over the chicken pieces, then toss to coat. Heat 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of the oil in a pan and brown the chicken over high heat. Remove from the pan and set aside.  You can also start cooking your pasta now too. 

2. Add the remaining oil and butter into the same pan, then sauté the capsicums, onion, and garlic with more cajun seasoning, along with some salt. Do this over high heat because you want the veggies to really caramelize and start to get dark (flavor!).

3. Add tomatoes and cook for an additional 30 secs. Pour in the chicken stock and wine now, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the sticky bits incorporated into the sauce. Cook for 5-10 mins.

4. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in the cream. Keep whisking the saucing, and sprinkling in the spices per your taste. A dash more salt, lots of black pepper, and some chili powder too. 

5. Add the chicken back, and continue to stir the sauce until the whole thing reaches a consistency you like - I just wait for the sauce to be able to coat the back of my wooden spoon. 
I added in the corn starch mixture to thicken everything up.  

6. Cook your pasta per the instructions on the box. Drain it and add it directly into the pan with the sauce. Turn off the heat, then toss the pasta, coating it completely with that awesome sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.