Thursday, April 28, 2011

Moroccan Pork Tenderloin

I was digging through my spice cupboard and was overcome by the gorgeous aromas and an idea. Since I cook so much pork tenderloin for my kids, why not try something new and exotic using these spices.

Score your pork tenderloin and put aside. In a bowl mix together this rub: 1 tsp. of allspice, 1 tsp. of dry mustard, 1 tsp. of anise seed, 1/2 tsp. of cumin, 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. of brown sugar, OR, artificial brown sugar and 1 tsp. of orange zest.

You'll also need, 2 tbsp. of olive oil, 1 tbsp. of butter, 1 yellow pepper sliced up, 1 red pepper sliced up, a spring of fresh rosemary, 1/4 cup of orange jam or marmalade (I use sugar free Smuckers), 1-2 cups of chicken stock - I use the Knorr Homestyle stock bouillon (they look like little gelatins).

Rub the spice mixture all over the pork tenderloin and put into an olive oiled pan on medium heat and sear on all sides. When the pork is nice and brown on all sides, take out of the pan and put aside. Add 1 tbsp. of butter to the pan and add a mixture of sliced red and yellow peppers and saute until al dente and remove. Then add the chicken stock to the pan with rosemary sprig and simmer to reduce for about 3 minutes over medium heat. Then put the pork tenderloin into a casserole dish, top with the peppers, and pour the chicken/rosemary stock around the pork and cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or less if you like less done. Take out of the oven and rest the pork tenderloin while you make the au jus.

Au Jus: Mix the chicken stock and the orange jam/marmalade together.

Slice the pork tenderloin and arrange on a plate with the peppers. Finally pour the au jus over it and enjoy. I think I may have to do some Moroccan recipe experimenting. You can also serve with mashed potatoes or rice.


Apricot-Orange Sauce

Though apricots aren't in season you can save this recipe for summer. This is the other multi-purpose sauce from the article, Honey, I Forgot the Guests" circa, 1992.

1 pound fresh apricots (about 7 large), pitted coarsely chopped, 1 cup apricot nectar, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 2 tsp. grated orange peel, 1/4 cup Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur or orange juice.

Combine first 6 ingredients in large saucepan. Cook over low heat until apricots are soft, stirring occasionally about 8 minutes. Coarsely mash fruit. (Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Freeze, then thaw, then simmer and add liqueur).

Multi-purpose? Pour over ice cream or cake, pancakes, whip into cream cheese to spread over crackers, and how about them chickens?

Olive Basil Sauce

OK - I found this recipe about 20 years ago in one of my Bon Appetit magazines and it was from a really cute column called, "Honey I Forgot The Guests." As with many people this couple would invite guests to their home for a dinner party only to realize that they had this bad habit of leaving the menu and the shopping until the very last minute. So what was the secret to ending this madness? Making lots and lots of multipurpose sauces they could defrost and toss into pasta, over ice cream, in an omelette, you name it. Quite a charming idea actually. I'll post their second sauce, Apricot-Orange too.

Olive-Basil Sauce (makes 1 1/4 cups): 1 cup of pittled Kalamata olives, 1 cup of fresh basil leaves, 3/4 cup of toasted walnuts, 1 large garlic clove, 1 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. of dry mustard, 1/4 cup of olive oil.

Blend first 6 ingredients into a processor to course the puree. With the machine running gradually add oil through feed tube. Season with pepper (can be prepared 2 weeks ahead. Refrigerate or freeze.)

Uses? Toss into pasta, smear in an omelette, dollop over grilled fish or meat, or spread on baguette.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Princess Diana's Chocolate Biscuit Cake for William

Here is a cake recipe that's all over the internet that will be served at Prince William and Katherine Middleton's wedding breakfast. If you plan on watching the royal wedding it might be nice to make this in honor of both a special woman and a very special historic day.

"That item in particular is a nod to Diana, who used to make the cake for William when he was a child," Gray says. "It’s just one of many ways that she will be kept in mind on the day of her son’s wedding." And with no baking and precious little preparation required, the biscuit cake is one that can be made at home for your own royal wedding celebration — at 6 a.m. or otherwise.

Chocolate biscuit cake

Serves 8 commoners.

From Eating Royally by Darren McGrady

1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) soft butter

8 ounces (227 grams) McVities rich tea biscuits

4 ounces (113 grams) soft butter

1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar

4 ounces (113 grams) dark chocolate

1 egg, beaten

8 ounces (226 grams) dark chocolate for icing

1 ounce (28 grams) white chocolate for decoration

1. Line the base of a springform pan with silicone paper, and butter the sides. Break the biscuits into almond-sized pieces and set aside.

2. Cream the sugar and butter in a bowl. Melt 4 ounces (113 grams) dark chocolate and mix with butter, add the beaten egg and mix well. Add biscuits and coat well.

3. Pour into the pan, making sure the bottom is well covered as this will be the top of the cake when it is unmoulded. Let set in a fridge for three hours. Let partially warm outside of the fridge while 8 ounces (226 grams) dark chocolate and white chocolate are melted. Flip cake and drizzle chocolate on top.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hummingbird Cake From a Box

I have a penchant for cakes with cute names: Red Velvet, Grapefruit, Hummingbird. And though I have made little Miss Hummingbird from scratch in the past, imagine my delight when I found a recipe to make it triple quick from 2 boxes of cake mix but with all the charming ingredients that makes Hummingbird so darn good. So get out your bowl or mixer and bake a cake:

1 box of lemon cake, 1 box of vanilla cake (not the ones with pudding in the mix). I bought the Betty Crocker brand. Make each cake according to instructions and put into the mixer together. Add 3 bananas (mash prior if you aren't using a mixer), one 8 ounce can of drained crushed pineapple, 1/2 cup of chopped cherries (though I didn't have them) and a nice pinch of cinnamon. Mix all of these ingredients together and pour into 2 greased cake pans and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Once done, let the cakes cool for about an hour. Then ice one of the cakes, top with the second cake, ice it and decorate with candied flowers. My word it's just so perdy berdy.

About Company's Coming - The Jean Pare Story

About Company's Coming - The Jean Pare Story

Pear Gorgonzola Vinaigrette Jello Salad

I just knew I could find a good Jello Salad Recipe from a Jean Pare cookbook! She is so not a cooking snob and because of that has surpassed many a cookbook author 10 times over. I read her autobiography and to me she is a true Canadian Rock star! I posted her biography on Succulent Sage/Tara Cooks (how many names do I have?). I was determined to find a Jello Salad Recipe to prepare for tonight's dinner because you can put so much spring or summer into a single bowl. My Aunt Linda used to make the most gorgeous several layered jello salad which is now a family tradition. A Jello Salad is Prairie food, it's Midwest, it's down home, it's so 1960 and it's very very gorgeously kitschy. Be brave, step out and step over all those silly little cooking snobs you know and serve a jello salad at the next family or friend dysfunction.

I'm printing a recipe here today and have no idea as of this moment if it will turn out, but I'm determined that it will....and if it doesn't, add tequila and turn it into a jello shot.

2 packs of lime jello
½ cup of pear Gorgonzola salad vinaigrette (or choose another fancy vinaigrette)
2 cups of boiling water
1 ½ cups of cold water
½ cup of light Hellman’s mayo
3-4 cups of shredded coleslaw/cabbage mixture (I bought a bag of already can also add cucumber chopped up or shredded too).

Mix jello up first according to the package directions (hot water then cold water) then all all of the above, stir and put into the fridge.


****OMGoodness - so beautiful and delicious! Easy and addictive. Ingredients are perfect. I think I'm going to try a few more this year.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Quick and Easy Sausage Stuffing Using Stove Top Bread Crumbs

Get 2 boxes of stove top stuffing, 1 tube of sausage meat, 1 onion chopped, 2 tbsp. of butter, 1 peeled and chopped apple. Sautee onion and apple and put into a bowl with two boxes of stove top, seasonings, sausage meat, and 1/2 cup of water. Mix together. You can add more bread crumbs if you like (left over bread is good). Put the stuffing underneath the turkey to roast, or in a separate dish and drip some turkey drippings into it.


Champagne Marinated De-Boned Roasted Turkey

I read recently that if you would like to roast your turkey quickly all you have to do is have it de-boned. How fabulous I thought! With such beautiful sunny days of late on the coast of B.C. not only can I make a quick turkey feast fast, but I can sit on my patio, soak up some rays, and enjoy the glorious aroma of a cooking bird.

And so I picked up my de-boned albiet lazy looking turkey tonight (the little dude looked as though he'd had a little too much gin and juice by the pool in California....then again, how else is one to look when they are missing their spine?) As I write this my turkey is flat out and just waiting for a pan to do some seriously relaxing roasting. My turkey looks lov-er-ly and will be oh so easy to carve when it's cooked!

I heard a rumour that some champagne might be a nice marinade for turkey. So I bought three little one serving bottles: one for me and two for my spineless friend.

Combine: 1 tbsp. salt, 3/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper, 1 tsp. celery salt, 12-15 lb. turkey de-boned, 4 tbsp. of butter, 2 onions chopped up, 1/2 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. of marjoram, 1 cup of chicken broth, 1-2 cups of champagne and flour.

Heat oven to 425 degrees, mix salt, pepper, celery salt and rub into turkey. Put the turkey into a roasting pan and rub with the melted butter. Roast at this temperature for 15 minutes.

Mix onions, thyme, marjoram, and broth and pour over turkey. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and roast for another 15 minutes. Pour champagne over turkey and roast for another hour basting frequently. I always use a thermometer to make sure meat is cooked. Once cooked, put on a platter and cover with tin foil.


Strain pan gravy into a saucepan. Melt remaining 1 tbsp. butter in a cup. Stir in flour smoothly. Cook in a microwave for 1 minute then added cooked flour mixture to strained pan gravy gradually. Stir and let simmer 5 minutes.

Serve in a warmed gravy boat.


Springy Easter Turkey Dinner

I love combining spring and turkey together. I'm just making up my menu for tomorrow night, but I've ordered a de-boned turkey from the grocery store because then a 15 pound turkey will take only two hours to cook. So far the menu is:

De-boned Champagne Basted Turkey
Jello Salad
Minty Roasted Potatoes
Hummingbird Cake for Dessert

Will organize then put the entire menu on-line. XO

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Quick and Easy Tomato Basil Soup

I got and tried this delicious recipe from a book I have called, "Healthy Sin Food." I recommend it because it is a super positive health book, unlike some "health" books that like to shame you to bits for a couple of bad habits. Well pshaw I say - what's this one glass of wine once a week crap for instance? I'd like to know what these extreme health experts look like...they're probably cold all the time and do a lot of frowning and worrying. Well, not me. Back to the book. We all need a couple of sinful habits and well, the title and the recipes in this book grabbed me. Enjoy!

1 tbsp. of butter, 1/2 cup of onion, 1/2 cup of diced celery, 1 tbsp. flour, 2 cups of low sodium broth, 2 cans of 28 ounce/796 ml crushed tomatoes, 2 tbsp. of chopped fresh basil, 1/2 tsp. of salt, 1/2 tsp. of pepper.

Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat and saute onion and celery until tender (3ish minutes). Add flour and stir for about another minute then slowly pour chicken broth and whisk until blended. Add the crushed tomatoes another pot and add basil and salt and pepper, as well as the chicken broth mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Allow to cool and puree in a blender to create a smooth texture (or commit soup sin and don't blend it). Reheat and serve.

Top with you like with sour cream and chives or creme fraiche (which is even more delightful) and chives.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Classic paneer - Chatelaine Recipes

Classic paneer - Chatelaine Recipes


Palak Paneer (Spinach with Indian Cheese)

This is my absolute favourite meal at the moment....ok, I fibbed, I have a million favourite meals at the moment, ok, I exaggerated. How could I possibly have a million favourite meals? I first tried this Indian recipe via Frozen Fast Food. Amy's Fast Food to be exact and it was delicious. Recently I found Palak Paneer without all the rice, but with just the spinach sauce and paneer cheese in a little microwavable bag and I thought I'd died and gone to Bollywood. Seriously, I love Indian food. So get this.....not only did I find a recipe to make my own Paneer Cheese, but I have a recipe to make my favourite Palak Paneer. When I eat this I need nothing else, every spice, the textures, the smells, the taste, fantastic! I'm going to print the recipe I found and if I can find the Paneer Cheese recipe I'll print that too. You can buy paneer cheese at an International or Indian grocery store. And, if you don't feel like making this, just buy it frozen or from the shelf and pop it into the microwave. It's the best fast food I've ever had!

PALAK PANEER (Spinach with Indian Cheese)


2 lbs fresh baby spinach leaves (or frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained)
1 lb of paneer cubes (about 28-30 cubes)
1 large onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1” piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
1 tsp ground cumin powder
1 tsp ground coriander powder
½ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp red chili powder, to taste
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
salt & pepper, to taste
½ cup cream (you can use light cream or even half & half)
2-3 tbsp oil, vegetable of canola


In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the spinach leaves for just a minute or two. Remove, drain well in a colander and run under cold water. This will stop the cooking process and also set their lovely green color. Using a food processor or blender, puree the spinach into a smooth paste. Do not over blend otherwise you may end up with spinach juice! Obviously if you are using frozen spinach leaves, they don’t need to be blanched.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, add about 1 tbsp of the oil and lightly fry the paneer cubes until they are browned on all sides. Drain well on absorbent paper towels and set aside until needed. This step adds a wonderful depth of flavor but is optional, you can add the paneer directly to the spinach without browning it.

To the same skillet on medium high heat, add another tbsp of oil (if needed). When the oil is hot, add the onions and let cook until they are translucent (around 5-6 minutes). Now add the ginger and garlic. Stir fry for a few more minutes and add the spices (turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala, red chili powder, salt and pepper). Let the spices cook for a few more minutes and then care fully add the pureed spinach. You can add a little water if needed, the traditional consistency of this dish is that of a thick gravy. But you can add as much or as little water as you prefer. Mix well to combine all of the ingredients, reduce the heat to medium low and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Now add the paneer cubes, cream and the freshly grated nutmeg. Stir and let cook for a few more minutes until the paneer cubes have warmed through. Serve with fresh rotis and fragrant Basmati rice.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Meal Improvisation and Having Fun

OK, I need to talk to you about cooking for a moment. I was told by one of my readers recently that they sometimes feel intimidated when it comes to putting together something special or something new. Here is what I believe and practice. If you screw up you screw up, who cares! Most of what I cook is crazily simple, give or take a few things. First and foremost please enjoy the cooking journey and even more importantly than that, the pleasure of it all. Meals do not need to be complicated, and the truth is, the simpler the better. Don't focus on impressing, focus on keeping it simple and having fun. I remember Maya Angelou once said (she loves cooking by the way) that when you feel the love when you're cooking for your family and friends they'll feel that in the food.

Growing up my mom was the master of improvise. We didn't have all the "right or fancy" utensils, but not only could we cut her steak with a butter knife, we could whisk an egg, not with a fancy whisk but with a fork and it would taste amazing. So here is the lesson of the day. Do not focus on image and looking good, focus on hospitality, being your charming lovely self, and making your guests feel at home.

On occassion I've had friends and family stay for dinner (when we didn't plan for it) or my children and their friends have an impromptu sleep over and I needed to come up with something quick to eat. Not every meal is a seriously thought out plan and it doesn't have to be gourmet. But let me tell you, when you let go of trying to be the perfect cook, your creativity will flow.....and maybe that's why I love it so. Here are some of my more recent improvs that worked out amazingly!

Pizza: of course you can order it - but that can add up when you're always feeding your son's friends. So last night I made pizza dough in my bread maker. Holy Crap I thought, I have no pizza sauce. So I opened a tin of tomato soup and added some pesto to it to make it less sweet. The kids ate it all up. If you don't have pesto, you could add some creamy salad dressing to cream it up and make it less sweet. You can also add dinner left overs to it. Got extra chicken or sausage from Wednesday's dinner? How about left over hamburger or tomatoes that need to be used up. You can also use any other kind of sauce. Do you have some jarred Alfredo or Indian Sauce? Give it a whirl and soften up the flavours if need be with some sour cream.

Frittata: You got eggs? Always keep these handy. I had two girlfriends over to my home and we were having so much fun. I stepped in the house for a few minutes, cracked a few eggs, added some cheese, left over potato, herbs, some pantry spices, baked and served with a salad. Friends were happy. :)

Greek Salad Pasta: My hubby was coming home from work and I'd figured he'd already eatten. "Hey hon, what's for dinner?" Oh my, nothing I didn't want to say. Pasta is amazing! I boiled some linguine noodles (any pasta will do), and once drained tossed in some left over Greek salad (no lettuce) with some Feta cheese and spices and he thought it was amazing.

Marinated Banana Dessert: I peeled a few bananas, sliced them, added them to a buttered pan and on medium heat, added a little rum with sugar and cinnamon. You can serve this over ice cream. You can do the same with apples or even orange and grapefruit segments and of course PEACHES!

Bowl of Soup: Got a Can? Add some sauteed sliced mushrooms to a can of mushroom soup. Do you have left over rice? Add it to a can of chicken or tomato soup. How about a dollop of sour cream with chopped chives or green onion. Serve with Garlic Bread...

Garlic Bread: Left over hamburger buns or hot dog buns just need a swipe of butter, garlic powder and a sprig of rosemary or some pantry parsley sprinkles.

Philly Cheese Appetizer: Unwrap the cream cheese and drizzle with some sugared/brandy/nut mixture. Or drizzle with some spaghetti sauce and herbs or some jam like strawberry or apricot and serve with crackers.

Chips: Got a bag of chips? Put them on a platter and put some sour cream and chopped sundried tomato or even a sliver of red pepper on the tip of the chip.

Left over cake: Mix some jam and a little water or wine in a pot until it gets thin, add a little more sugar if need be and drizzle over cake with maybe a little whip whip about a little sour cream that's been mixed with some sugar or even yogurt would be nice too!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

White Cheese Sauce with Rosemary Sprigs

Last night I made ham steaks and cauliflower for dinner. It so reminded me of the kind of dinner my Grandma used to cook up - simple, traditional, economical, and delicious. My Gram always made a homemade cheese sauce to go with ham. Did anyone else do this? Anyways it's very good though last night I threw in some fresh Rosemary on a whim and it was spectacular!

To Make Cheese sauce, first....
Make a roux: Melt 4 tbsp. of butter in a pan over medium heat. Then add 1/4 cup of flour to the melted butter and whisk quickly until it resembles crumbs. Then add 2 cups of cold milk to the flour/butter mixture and whisk like crazy to keep the liquid smooth. When the liquid begins to bubble, add 1 cup of cheese (I added one cup of all white shredded Kraft four cheese Italiano). Then turn down the heat and continue stirring until all the cheese is melted. Finally toss in 2 sprigs of fresh Rosemary and continue cooking for about 10 minutes so the flavour of the Rosemary distributes through the cheese sauce. Serve over ham and let it seep into your cooked cauliflower or broccoli. Yum!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Grapefruit Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Grapefruit Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (I just bought the frosting already made)

1 1/2 cups of sifted cake flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. of baking powder, 1/2 tsp. of salt, 3 large eggs separated, 1/4 cup of vegetable oil 1/4 cup of water, 3 tbsp. of grapefruit juice - I used pink grapefruit juice, 1/2 tsp. of finely grated lemon zest, 1/4 tsp. of cream of tartar.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and heavily Pam spray a 9X2 inch round cake pan. In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolkds, oil water, grapefruit juice, and lemon zest until smooth. Whisk in the flour mixture.

Then beat the egg whites and the cream of tarter with an electric mixer in a medium bowl until stiff peaks start to form. Whith a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the yok mixture, until just blended. Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched lightly in the center. Invert the cake, still in the pan, and cool.

Once cool cut the cake in half horizontally.

Spread the Cream Cheese Frosting on the bottom half of the cake. Put the cake together and ice the top and all around the sides and decorate with slices of grapefruit.


Bourbon Marinated Beef Tenderloin with Braised Red Cabbage and Crab & Artichoke Appies

OK - this Sunday night dinner is simply too gorgeous and amazing, I could cry tears of joy! Wait until you also try the Grapefruit Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting I prepared for dessert, you will seriously think you've expired and gone to heaven. I wish I'd posted this earlier for your dinner tonight, but next week's good too! Here is our Sunday night dinner:

Crab and Artichoke Cakes: 1 cup of marinated and diced artichokes, 1 pound of imitation crab meat, 3/4 cup of panko bread crumbs, 1 tsp. finely chopped red onion, 1/2 tsp. of chopped fresh chives, 1/2 cup of Hellman's may. 1 egg yolk, plus one whole egg, 1 tsp. of Dijon mustard, 1 tsp. of Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tsp. of Louisianna Hot Sauce, a little Fleur De Sel (or regular salt) and unsalted butter.

Chop up imitation crab and artichokes and combine with all of the above ingredients except butter. Melt unsalted butter in pan, shape crab cakes, bigger or smaller depending if it's for an appie or for dinner, and pan fry on each side until just nicely brown. You can serve right away or reheat a little latter. They are delish!!!!!

Bourbon or Whiskey Marinated Steak or Beef Tenderloin: 3/4 cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of Jack Daniel's, 1 cup of pineapple juice, 2/3 cup of low sodium soy sauce, and 4 cups of water.

Combine brown sugar and Jack in a bowl and stir until it's dissolved. Then add pineapple juice, soy sauce, water and stir. Place beef tenderloin steaks or the steaks of your choice in a deep dish and pour marinade all over and stick into the fridge for at least 6 hours but 24 if you can. Then grill over BBQ to your liking and devour.

Braised Red Cabbage: 1 cup of distilled white vinegar, 1 cup of sugar, or I use 1/2 cup of Brown or White Sugar substitute, a pinch or two of salt, 1 tsp. of caraway seed, pinch of ground cloves, and one head of red cabbage all nicely cut up or shredded.

Mix together all ingredients EXCEPT FOR CABBAGE, in a pot and stir together, and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cov er, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 35 to 40 minutes until cabbage is very tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. You can store this dish in a glass jar for up to 6 weeks.

Dessert is next - check out the most delicious Grapefruit Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting!

This is a dinner to behold. Now take a bow. You've done all you need to do this week. Life is good!


Friday, April 08, 2011

Potato Puffed Pastry Appies or Perogies in Puffed Pastry

Oh my these are delicious and so easy. My friend Smith thinks puff pastry is amazing. She wraps it around marinated fruit, left over meat, mashed potatoes and cheese. She buys a brick of it at the grocery store, thaws it out, and rolls it out on a floured surface to whatever size she wants. Then she cuts it into squares or circles stuffs it or tops it, bakes it, serves it and impresses everyone.

She whipped up this little appie with some left over potatoes she had.

3 cups of mashed potatoes, 2 chopped green chilies seeded, 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese, 1/4 cup of chopped black or green olives, 2 small eggs, or one large egg, salt and pepper. Combine all of the above ingredients and put aside. Roll out pastry pretty thin but on a floured surface then cut out 2 inch round circles. Fill the centre of one circle and top with another one. Then using fork prongs, gently press and seal the edges all around and put onto a cookie sheet for baking. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes - or util just nicely brown. Put on a plate with a paper towel and serve. You can make these in advance, just reheat on low.

Now just think of the potato + fillings you can put together if you don't like olives.
What about sundried tomato and potato; potato, onion, and cheddar; potato, butternut and carmelized onion; potato, pesto and pinenut; potato with leek; sweet potato and goat cheese? Oh my gosh, the combos are limitless! Enjoy!


Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Wine Jellies

Who doesn't love booze in a dollop of jello? These are a yummy fun but sophisticated dessert you can serve to your friends this weekend. Set and serve in gorgeous wine glasses and top with whip cream.

2 envelopes of unflavoured gelatin, 1/2 cup of cold water, 2 cups of boiling water, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of wine, 3 tbsp. of lemon juice.

Add cold water to gelatin and let sit for 5 minutes. Add boiling water, stir until dissolved, add sugar. When cool add wine and lemon juice. Pour into wine glasses and chill until firm. Serve cold.


Baking Powder Cinnamon Rolls

Did you ever take home economics in school aka home ec? This was one of THE most delicious biscuity flavoured buns I'd ever had. Must make them for the boys tomorrow for an afterschool treat.

2 cups of flour, 3 tsp. of baking powder, 1/3 tsp. of salt, 2 tbsp. of butter, 2/3 cup of milk.

Melted butter, 1/2 cup of chopped raisons, 2 tsp. of sugar, 1/3 tsp. of cinnamon.

Mix first 5 ingredients and roll out with a pin to 1/4 inch thick. Brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with raisons, sugar, and cinnamon. Roll up like a jelly roll and slice into 1/2 inch rounds and put onto a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 10-15 at 375 degrees.


Chicken Piccata

I loved this chicken piccata and so did my family. I just haven't known what to make here in Vancouver because it seems like the weather changes every hour. This morning I was going to make something warm and cozy for dinner when we had a hail storm and now with the sunshine and fresh air washing through my living room, I'm leaning toward something fresh and springy. Goodness knows my fruit basket is simply overflowing with Spring's abundance. So now what? With this crazy change of weather I think Chicken Piccata is the perfect Winter/Spring infused meal. Enjoy!

4 boneless chicken breasts pounded out to 1/4 inch thick...the kids might enjoy doing this. Put chicken between two pieces of parchment paper and mallet away but don't get carried away!

Salt and pepper, 1 cup of flour, 2 large eggs, 1 1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs, olive oil, 3 tbsp. of unsalted butter, 1/3 cup of lemon juice, 1/2 cup of dry white wine, sliced lemons and parsley for a la decoration.

Put flour salt and pepper together onto one plate, bread crumbs onto one plate and mix eggs with a little water and put into a bowl. Then dip the chicken into flour mixture and shake off extra, then dip into the egg mixture, let drip off a little, then dip into the bread crumbs and shake off again. Repeat this process for the other 3 chicken breasts.

Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil into a medium low pan and saute each side of chicken until nicely tanned, but not too brown on each side. You may need to add a little more olive oil for the other chicken breasts. Put onto a sheet pan and pop into the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes.

In the meantime, wipe out the saute pan with paper towel and melt 1 tbsp. of butter then add lemon juice and white wine and lemon halves, 1/2 tsp. of salt and 1/4 tsp. of pepper. Boil on highish heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about a minute or so. Take the pan off the element and add remaining 2 tbsp. of butter and whisk. Take out the lemon and spoon the sauce over the chicken and garnish with lemon slices and parsley.