Flashback Friday ~ Baron of Beef



This year we are in the middle of renovations in our kitchen.  So I quickly made this baron of beef dish, before my appliances were removed, knowing that I would have the perfect leftovers for the following week. All I needed to do was to warm up the dish in my microwave.   Little did I know that we would be off skiing and it became the perfect supper to serve to the family when we all arrived home to my daughter's house.  If you check back you can see that this has always been a favorite over the past years.

Baron of Beef
  • Sirloin Tip Roast
  • 3-5 pounds
  • dry mustard
  • 1 package dry onion soup mix
  1. Rub with dry mustard/onion soup mix
  2. Put it in the oven to roast and add some water
  3. Roast approximately 2 1/2 hours. (depending on the size)
  4. When the meat has cooled, slice it very thin and layer it in the same roasting pan.

Sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced onions
  • 2 tablespoons soya sauce  
  1. Blend these items together in a small bowl.
  2. Layer this sauce over the meat.
  3. Cook for 1 hour in the oven at 350° F
Tip:  When the roast is finished cooking, I leave it in the roasting pan to cool.  Then I take it out to slice thin and put it right back into the roasting pan so that all the juices can be mixed together which gives that added flavor.

Curried Sweet Potato / Carrot Soup


I love any kind of creamed vegetable soup with exotic spices and flavours, whether ordering at a restaurant or trying them at home. This easy to make soup is sure to warm you on a cold day.

Ingredients:
  • 2 sweet potatoes (yams) peeled, chopped  (4 - 5 cups)
  • 5 carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • pepper
  • 1 onion, choped very fine
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated fine
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cury powder
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 cups chicken stock ( I use water and 3 teaspoons better than bouillon) 
  • 1 cup half and half cream
Method:
  1. Chop peeled yams and carrots into 1 inch slices. Bring to boil in salted water and cook for 5 - 7 minutes. Drain. Transfer to aluminum lined roasting pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and pepper. Roast at 400° F for 30 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, cook onion with the rest of the olive oil in the same pot as you cooked the vegetables. Cook until soft and golden.
  3. Add vinegar, garlic, ginger and spices. Cook, stirring for a minute, then add 1 cup broth. Simmer until the roasted vegetables are done. 
  4. Blend roasted vegetables along with the cream in blender (or add all to pot and use immersion blender.)
  5. Add to pot along with enough broth to make the right consistency. 
  6. Serve with a dollup of yogurt or sour cream, if desired. Pumpkin seeds, toasted coconut and chives are options for garnish.  Serves 6



Mashed Potato Waffles



Not sure what to do with leftover mashed potatoes?  Here's something you may not have thought of.  Pull out your waffle iron and cook up some savory waffles for a brunch treat.

  • 2 cups cold leftover mashed potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped chives (or green onions)
  • 6-8 slices bacon, fried to a crisp and crumbled or cut into pieces
  • sour cream
  1. Preheat waffle iron on medium heat and spray with cooking oil.
  2. Combine potatoes, eggs, flour and salt in mixing bowl. 
  3. Stir in cheese and chives.
  4. Place a small scoop of mixture onto each section of the Belgian waffle iron and close lid.
  5. Cook until waffles are golden and crispy (about 5 minutes).
  6. Remove waffles and repeat with remaining potato mixture. 
  7. Serve waffles topped with sour cream, chopped green onion, and bacon pieces.
Yield: 8 small potato waffles


Peach Cherry Pinwheel Cobbler


Cherry pie filling and canned peaches with a hint of lemon and cinnamon is a delicious combo for the filling. This was our dessert for Valentine's Day dinner.
This is a little different method of making a cobbler. Rolling out the dough, spreading with peach jam and rolled up pinwheel style is a different twist to the topping.

Filling:
  • 1 can 540 ml/ 19 oz cherry pie filling
  • 1 cup canned sliced peaches, drained and slices cut in half
  • Juice of half a lemon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Topping:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons peach jam
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sugar 
  1. In a greased  oven/microwave 8" square baking dish combine cherry pie filling, peaches, lemon juice and cinnamon.
  2. Microwave uncovered for 4 minutes until heated through.
  3. In a medium sized bowl whisk together dry topping ingredients.
  4. Cut in butter until you have coarse crumbs.
  5. Stir in buttermilk just until dry ingredients are moistened. Dump onto your counter and knead lightly until dough forms a ball.
  6. Roll dough into 8" x 9" rectangle. Spread peach jam over dough, roll up like a jelly roll starting with 8" side. Cut into 9 even slices.
  7. Place slices of dough over filling.
  8. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, I was out of coarse sugar and used granulated.
  9. Bake in a 400ยบ oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown
  10. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
  11. Yield: 9 servings  

One-Skillet Steak for Two


This is a complete one-skillet meal for two that is satisfying. I found the idea in a magazine and I added my own twists to the recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 1 - (12 ounce) New York Strip steak 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 2 teaspoons, plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or any broth, divided
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup cream or half and half

Method:
  1. Season both sides of patted dry steak with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  2. Heat a 9 inch cast-iron or stainless steel skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Rub seasoned steak with 2 teaspoons oil and cook, turning every 2 minutes, to desired doneness, about 7-11 minutes, depending on thickness of your steak.
  4. Transfer steak to a cutting board to rest.
  5. Heat remaining tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in the same pan adding 1/4 cup wine or broth slowly scrapping pan to de-glaze over medium high heat.
  6. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  7. Add garlic 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  8. Continue to cook, stirring, for one minute.
  9. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate and cover to keep warm.
  10. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the shallots to the skillet and cook, stirring, until softened, 1-2 minutes.
  11. Add the other 1/4 cup wine or broth slowly.
  12. Add half the spinach and cook, stirring, until just wilted. 
  13. Add remaining spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted.
  14. Add the cream, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until the cream has thickened slighty.
  15. Return the mushrooms to the skillet and stir them with the creamed spinach mixture.
  16. Remove from heat.
  17. Slice the steak and serve on top of the mushrooms and creamed spinach.
  18. Serves: 2

Tips: When I went to the grocery store boneless Rib-Eye steak was on sale at $5.00 less per pound than the New York Strip so I used it instead and it worked nicely. If you buy a small bag of baby spinach you can use the whole bag, dividing it in two. It wilts down significantly. Have all your ingredients ready and proportioned before you start to make the process work smoothly.


Bread For The Journey


                                                                                                                                                           (iStock)
I Believe 

It's been a year that we have walked through sorrow and grief of hearing the tragic news.
Grief has such an interesting way of defining itself.  Each day it wears a new face.
It's not the way I expected the year to unfold.
~~~~~~
This past week I have enjoyed watching the Olympics Winter Games in PyeongChang. As I watch and observe the Olympics,  I think of Joe and what it was like for him on his last day of work as he trudged up the Gold Coast Ridge at Squaw Valley to his job as a ski patroller. He was doing avalanche control work to ready the snow-drenched mountain for the day's onslaught of skiers. 
Did he know he was going to meet his maker that day?
Joe was the type of young man who loved nothing more than deep conversations
from politics to quantum physics, to theology.
He was not afraid to ask the hard questions.  But more importantly, he wasn't afraid to seek answers.
It was so special to hear how one friend shared his experience while he spent the day touring in the mountains with Joe when he asked a very direct question,
"Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?"
Out of fear of the tough questions that may have followed, hesitantly, the words followed
 "Uh-huh, yeah sure."
Joe quickly and confidently responded, with "Well, I sure do."
That statement gave the confidence beyond a shadow of a doubt that there would be many more deep conversations, and endless powder turns for all eternity with Joe.
What does your life represent....?
Can people say of you, that without a shadow of a doubt
  they will share more life with you in eternity?
Ask the tough questions in life and continue to seek answers.
He has left a legacy in his life.
Little do we know when our time will come.
When I think of Joe, I realized he stood proudly on his podium and declared his belief in God and
God took the Gold medal and draped it around his neck.
Do you believe?

They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household."
Acts 16:31 NIV

Cranberry and Ricotta Muffins ~ Flash Back Friday



I first posted these moist and tender ricotta muffins using dried cherries but have found that they are great with almost any chopped fruit or small berries. Today I'm using Cranberries.  The original recipe also has the option of adding a sugar butter topping.  You can find the original recipe here. 

Also, when I bake muffins, I prefer not to use cupcake liners. There used to be a muffin coffee shop in town and their muffins were just wonderful with a nice crisp exterior.  If you are having trouble getting your muffin pans to release without liners, it might be time to invest in some new ones.  My favourite pans are  USA tins.  I use them for Paska as well.  I don't even need to butter or spray them.  Marg told me about them and I've converted all my bread and muffin pans to that brand.
  • 1  cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup whole milk with a teaspoon of vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (partly chopped)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Spray a 12 cup non-stick muffin pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese and eggs with a whisk.
  4. Add the buttermilk and the flavourings, lemon peel and then butter.
  5. Add the dry ingredients all together and then stir just until combined.
  6. Add the cranberries, just stirring until evenly dispersed.
  7. Fill the muffin cups almost to the top.
  8. Bake for about 20 - 25  minutes or until a toothpick comes clean.

Cauliflower Chowder - Bev



I came across a large bag of finely chopped cauliflower in my freezer a few weeks ago.
We'd bought too much for the antipasto we made before Christmas and
I'd bagged up the remainder thinking I could use it in soup.
So that's what I did and it was delicious!
It's  hearty, healthy and satisfying!

  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced cooked farmer sausage *
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half cream or whipping cream** 
  • 1 head cauliflower, finely chopped ( about 4 cups)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and seasoned pepper (like Montreal steak spice)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Saute onion garlic, carrots and celery in butter until vegetables begin to soften.
  2. Place vegetables in large soup pot and add cauliflower, bay leaf and chicken broth.
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium low heat until cauliflower is softened. 
  4. Taste chowder and add seasoned pepper and salt if needed.
  5. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
Notes:
*You can replace the farmer sausage with 1 cup crumbled, pre-fried bacon
**You can replace the cream with 2% milk if you like but you may need to thicken the soup with milk and flour blended together. Add thickening and stir as you bring it back to a boil. Simmer a few minutes, stirring well.

Valentines Rice Krispie Treats


I had not planned on posting this here but when the date was free, I decided to take it, even if just for a super simple treat today. Maybe you have some littles in your family to do this with. As you can see, these three-year-olds can do it, so anyone can.

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 5 cups miniature or 40 regular (250 g pkg) marshmallows
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • sprinkles of choice
Method:
  1. In a large pot, over low heat, melt butter, then add the marshmallows, stirring until melted.
  2. Stir in vanilla and cereal. 
  3. Press onto wax or parchment paper lined pan to about 3/4 inch thickness.
  4. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and insert lolly pop sticks. (optional) You can keep reshaping the cereal before it hardens.
  5. Melt chocolate chips.
  6. Put the melted chocolate in a piping bag (or small zip-lock with a tiny hole cut in it) to outline or cover part of the Rice Krispie cookies. (I quickly did this and then let the girls sprinkle to their hearts content.)
  7. Refrigerate until set. Slip into tiny cellophane bags and tie.




If you do them without "help" you can perfect them a bit more ... but you'll miss out on the excitement of watching those sprinkles get dumped. I used a cookie sheet to work on for good reason.

Happy Valentines Day!

Ground Chicken Chili


This is an easy last minute recipe for a tasty chili if you have all the ingredients on hand.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil of your choice
  • 1-28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15.5 ounces each) of white chili beans
  • 1 can (7 ounces) of diced green chiles
  • 2 cups frozen roasted corn kernels
  • 1 jalapeno chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Toppings:
  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Sour Cream
  • Grated cheese

Method:
  1. Heat dutch oven with the 2 tablespoons oil then add the onion and cook till transparent.
  2. Add the ground chicken and cook through.
  3. Add the cans of tomatoes, beans, chiles, plus the corn, jalapeno, cumin and chili powder.
  4. Bring all ingredients to a simmer and continue simmering for 15-30 minutes. 
  5. Serve with toppings of cilantro, avocado, fresh tomatoes, green onions, sour cream and grated cheese. 
  6. Serves: 4-6

You can omit any toppings you don't enjoy. If you don't have a source for roasted corn you can use any frozen corn.