Showing posts with label main dishes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label main dishes. Show all posts

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pineapple Chicken Rice - Gluten Free

This is one of my favourite comfort foods.
While my husband will still ask "What's for dessert?" , I need no dessert with this meal.

Before I give you  the recipe I'd like to share how I cook my rice -  I love it...  no mess, no fuss, perfect rice every time.   I like Uncle Ben's Brown rice , or converted rice .. my favourite is sprouted brown rice which is the most nutritious.

  • 1 cup rice 
  • 3 cups water 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 tsp butter 
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  1. Put all ingredients into a microwave proof bowl or baking dish (with lid - can use plate)
  2. Place in microwave and set cook time for 25 minutes..  (microwaves vary so you might have to adjust for your microwave or the type of rice you prefer) 
Pineapple Chicken Rice 
  • 2 or 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 tin pineapple tidbits 
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg 
  • 1 tsp thyme 
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce (make sure its gluten free)  
  • 1/2 onion 
  • 2 tbsp butter 
  • 1 tbsp oil 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • dash of pepper 
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch 
  • pineapple juice 
  1. Season chicken breast and cook as desired -  I like to do them in the pressure cooker - it takes 20 minutes and they are melt in your mouth tender. 
  2. Put finely chopped onion and butter/oil into sauce pan and cook until onion is tender.  
  3. Mix sugar, nutmeg, thyme, salt, pepper and cornstarch. 
  4. Drain pineapple tidbits, saving juice - add more pineapple juice  to make 2 cups 
  5. Add soya sauce
  6. Stir juice/soya sauce into dry ingredients and mix until smooth 
  7. Add to onions and cook , stirring until smooth and thickened. 
  8. Add pineapple tidbits 
  9. Add chicken cut up into bite size pieces. 
  10. Cook a minute or two to make sure it is all heated through.
  11. Serve over rice..... Enjoy ! 
NOTE -  sugars and spices can be adjusted to personal taste. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ham for a Crowd

This is the time of year we begin to plan a back yard get together or a family picnic. Cooked ham goes a long ways, and is delicious hot or cold. Summer is a good time to cook a ham and gather salads to go with it. It's also easy to pack up and serve.
Choose a ham with bone in for best flavor. A butt half with a flat side on it is a good option. A 10 lb ham will serve about 20 - 25 people. Half a pound per person is a very safe guide. The leftover bone makes for great split pea or bean soup stock later.


  • 1 (10 lb) fully cooked bone in butt ham end
  • 1/2 cup grainy mustard
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  1. Place ham flat side down in a roasting pan. Add about 1 cup water. Cover and cook at 325 F for 2 hours or 15 minutes per pound. Remove from oven and turn oven up to 375 F.
  2. Mix the mustard and brown sugar to make a paste. Spread all over the top and sides of  ham. Return to oven uncovered to roast for 20 minutes or until internal temperature is 160 F.
  3. You can let it sit for 20 - 30  minutes before carving if you want to serve it hot or refrigerate to carve the next day. 
  4. To carve, set flat side down and just begin on one end, slicing thinly, until you get to the bone, then slice other side of bone or remove parts according to how they will easily come apart and slice according to personal taste. 
Salad ideas that go well with ham . . . or why not browse through the salad options here

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Easy Noodle Bake

From time to time we are asked for recipes for easy meals for busy moms with young children. This recipe will fit the bill. This recipe is enough to serve two adults and one or two younger children. It can be doubled to feed more.

  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked egg noodles (I used medium)
  • 1 cup frozen vegetables of your choice (I used chopped broccoli)
  • 10 oz. can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup shredded colby/jack cheese

  1. Saute onion with a little olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add ground beef and cook thoroughly, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, drain excess fat, set aside.
  3. Spread uncooked noodles evenly in bottom of prepared baking dish.
  4. Top with cooked beef and the vegetables.
  5. Whisk soup, milk and water together.
  6. Pour over vegetables.
  7. Top with cheese.
  8. Cover dish with foil sealing well.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
  10. Serve hot with a side salad if desired.

Ellen's Extra Tip:
Why not cook up a larger portion of ground beef when preparing this easy meal since ground beef usually sells for less in larger packages. Use a whole onion and cook up a three or more pound package of ground beef and save equal portions in freezer ziploc bags for future use. You could store one package in the refrigerator and make a nice taco salad another night of the week. Freeze the other portions for easy retrieval for a quick meal like hamburger soup or chili. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Stuffed Baby Bok Choy

When I passed by this baby bok choy at the grocery store I suddenly had a thought of how they might taste if stuffed like cabbage rolls. They went into my cart and we were not disappointed.


  • 1 lb baby bok choy (about 20)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 cup cooked white or brown rice (1/2 cup raw)
  • 3 Tbsp sour cream
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • pepper
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 yellow sweet pepper, chopped fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 single serving (200 ml) tomato vegetable cocktail
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup broth (or 1 tsp better-than-bouillon and 1 cup water)
  • 2 Tbsp flour and 1/2 cup water for thickening
  1. Mix meat stuffing ingredients
  2. Cook onion and sweet pepper until soft, then add garlic.
  3. Add tomato cocktail, soy sauce and broth and bring to boil.
  4. Thicken with flour by shaking flour and 1/2 cup water before adding to sauce. Simmer 10 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, open up bok choy babies and fill with prepared meat stuffing. Lay or stand up in small roaster and cover with sauce.
  6. Bake at 350 F for 1 1/2 hours. Halfway through, gently turn stuffed bok choy so that more of the top gets covered with the sauce. 
We had the first go with mashed potatoes and the left overs with a Waldorf salad and a roll. Tasted even better the second round.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Saturday in Norma's Kitchen..making perogies.

My sister Norma and I often talked about making perogies/varenechi together and after they had their kitchen reno done she suggested we make them in her kitchen and enjoy a meal together with our husbands. We came happily with camera in hand. Norma mixed and rolled and I pinched perogies. Jack watched over the boiling process and John made sure all was done right..oh and he took photos when I was busy.

Norma's Cottage Cheese Perogies..we use the same recipe.
  • 1 cup whipping cream or you can use half and half, I think the whipping cream makes the dough more tender.
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 egg whites (save yolks for the cottage cheese filling)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups flour (plus extra you need for rolling the dough)
  1. Beat together cream, milk, and egg whites.
  2. Add salt and flour, 3 cups of flour at first, then add the rest as needed,  knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
  3. Divide dough into 3 parts.
  4. Spread a little flour on the counter and roll out each part of the dough to approx 1/8" thickness.
  5. Cut circles with a 3" biscuit cutter, spoon a tablespoon of filling into the center of the circle, fold over the dough and pinch the edges to seal. I do it this sister has her own method:) 
  6. Place on cookie sheets sprayed with oil.
  7. Bring water to a boil in a large pot, place approx a dozen perogies at a time in the boiling water.
  8. Boil for 10 minutes.
  9. When done scoop perogies out of the pot with a slotted spoon and brush with butter to prevent perogies from sticking together.
  10. Serve with cream gravy, warm Saskatoon sauce, and farmer sausage. Coleslaw is a very good side dish as well.
  11. Yields: 35 perogies.
Cottage Cheese Filling:
  • 2 containers of dry cottage cheese
  • 2 egg yolks and 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper 
  1. Mix all together until well blended. I do this by hand. Because that's how Mom always did it:) You can use a spoon if you so desire.
Cream Gravy:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt butter in saucepan, add flour and whisk till mixture is smooth.
  2. Add the cream slowly stirring constantly until thickened.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Saskatoon Sauce:
  • 2 cups Saskatoon berries or you can use blueberries. We like Saskatoons best for this sauce.
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat,  bring berries and water to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  4. Add to berries and stir constantly until mixture is clear and thickened.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.

My Dad didn't care for the regular cream gravy so Mom would make his favorite kind and when she made it we all wanted some of it as a topping on the cream gravy. It sure tastes wonderful but it does add extra calories! I don't make it but my sister does and they call it Grandpa's gravy at their house.

Grandpa's Gravy:
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  1. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until it curdles and turns golden in color.

I love handwritten recipes. Don't you?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Chicken Black Bean Stew

It's the time of year when salads are put on hold...while soups and stews take their place.  This recipe came from my niece who lives in Australia several years ago...and has been changed up a little over the years.  It became Turkey Black Bean Stew last week, as we used up the last of our Christmas turkey in this recipe. Top with grated cheese, a dollop of sour cream and avocado pieces according to preference. It's a favorite at our place! 

  • 1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4" cubes (or 3 - 4 cups cooked chicken, bite-sized pieces*)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon. olive oil
  • 1 or 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup red or orange bell peppers, coarsely chopped
  • 1 19 oz. / 540 ml can corn
  • 2 x 14 oz. / 398 ml. canned diced tomatoes
  • 19 oz / 540 ml. can black beans, drained
  • 4 oz. can chopped chilies, drained
  • 1 tsp. each salt, oregano, basil
  • 1/16 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  1. In a large heavy pot, saute chicken, onion and garlic in oil until onion is soft. 
  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. 
  3. Reduce heat and simmer gently, uncovered for about 30 minutes.
*If using cooked chicken pieces, add with other ingredients once the onion and garlic are sauteed.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Make Ahead Meals with Shredded Pork

It's a new year and for many of us some cold winter days are still ahead of us. I thought it would be helpful to share some make ahead meal ideas with just one slow cooked meal. Take a day to cook a 4 -5 lb pork shoulder roast in the slow cooker, shred and divide into 1 1/2 - 2 cup Ziploc containers to make a quick meal any time later this month. You can use your favorite recipe or try this one here. I ended up with about 9 - 10 cups of dry shredded pork and froze the sauce separately. In the recipes below, amounts are approximate, so use as desired for the number you are cooking for. These recipes serve 4 - 5.
Meal Number One - Quick Chili
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 sweet or green pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1 tsp oregano, salt to taste*
  • 1 can chili style diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chili style beans
  • 2 cups shredded pork
*increase spices if not using chili style tomatoes and beans (not sure if they are available everywhere)
Cook onion and pepper until soft in small amount of oil. Add garlic, spices, tomatoes, beans, and pork. Bring to boil and simmer 20 minutes. Serve with cornbread. We like our chili on rice with a salad on the side.


Meal Number Two - Stuffed Yams
  • 2 cups leftover shredded pork chili OR 1 1/2 cup shredded pork and a can of no meat chili
  • 1 can corn or 1 cup frozen corn
  • grated cheese
  • chives
Wash yams. Spread with olive oil, poke once with fork and bake 45 minutes or until done.
Heat chili, shredded pork and corn. Serve over split yams with cheese and chives.

Meal Number Three - Pork and Mango Quesadilla
  • 4 large tortillas
  • 1 cup apple chutney
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded pork
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and sliced thin
  • shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Spread two tortillas with chutney and pork. Lay thin slices of mango on top, cover with cheese and  top layer tortilla. Heat in large non stick pan over medium heat until brown underneath. Carefully flip over to do the other side and cook until cheese is melted. Cut into wedges with Pizza cutter.

Meal Number Four - Pulled Pork Soup
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 can crushed or chunky tomatoes
  • 1 can Romano or white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded pork
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or 3 tsp better-than-bouillon and 4 cups water)
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
Cook onion, pepper, celery and garlic in small amount of oil. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to boil and simmer 30 minutes.

Meal Number Five - Pulled Pork Sandwiches
  • 2 cups shredded pork (approx)
  • 2 cups sauce (liquids set aside when pork was cooked)
Heat and serve on buns with coleslaw on the side. 
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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Crock Pot Carnitas

This easy recipe using inexpensive meat would be great to have cooking all day long before your New Year's Eve festivities. Carnitas is Mexican slow cooked pork that is easily shredded for fillings in soft tacos or burritos or Chimichangas.

3 lbs. pork ( I used a pork shoulder)
1 lb. pinto beans (dry)
6 cups water
1/2 Cup onion, chopped.
2 cloves garlic, minced.
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon Cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon salt
1 small can diced jalapenos
1/2 - 1 cup salsa of your choice

Put all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until beans are soft and meat falls apart. Uncover and cook on high to thicken liquid to desired consistency. At this stage you can skim off any fat if you desire.You can also cook these ingredients in a dutch oven on the stove top for 5 or more hours.

Serve with flour or corn tortillas, shredded cheese, cilantro, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, green onions, limes, avocado, and salsa.

This recipe will serve 8-10 people generously.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Turkey Shepherd's Pie

Here's another way to make use of the leftover Christmas Turkey and mashed potatoes. 
 I like the addition of Butternut squash.

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 cup cubed roasted or cooked squash
  • 1/2 cup chopped cooked carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups cut up roast turkey
  • seasoned mashed potatoes - about 2-3 cups or to cover
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs 
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

    For the sauce
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 1 cup turkey or chicken broth (you can add some of the turkey gravy if you have some)
    • 1 cup milk
    • Salt and pepper to taste.
    •  1 - 2 teaspoons Poultry seasoning (to taste)

      1. Place oil and butter in a frying pan over medium high heat.
      2. Add mushrooms, onion, celery and red pepper and saute' until soft.
      3. Place cooked vegetables in a casserole dish. (I used 2  4 cup casseroles)
      4. Add cooked squash, carrots and turkey. Set aside. 
      5. Make Sauce by melting butter in microwavable dish or saucepan.
      6. Add flour and stir until blended.
      7. Add milk a little at a time, whisking it well.  
      8. Cook until thick, stirring frequently.
      9. Stir in salt and pepper and poultry seasoning to taste.
      10. Pour over turkey and vegetables in casserole dish and mix
      11. Cover with mashed potatoes.
      12. To make topping, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a microwavable bowl.
      13. Add bread crumbs, parsley and Parmesan and toss together.
      14. Sprinkle potatoes with topping.
      15. Bake in a 350ºF oven for about 50 minutes or until heated through.
      16. Serve with a fresh green salad.
      I froze the extra casserole for another day.

      Tuesday, December 10, 2013

      Meaty Baked Beans for a Bunch

      I made these beans several days ahead of the day we made apple juice as a family.
       I knew I'd not feel like cooking after a long day and these beans needed only to be heated through in the oven.  This is one of those recipes that is flexible to your preferences. ie: If you like more heat,Use Chroizo sausage and add hot salsa in place of the medium,
       if you think there is too much sugar, reduce it to your taste.
      • 1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
      • 1/2 lb Italian sausage meat, browned and drained
      • 8-10 slices bacon, cut up and fried until crisp
      • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped                      
      • 2 stalks celery, chopped 
      • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper                              
      • 1/2 cup chopped red or yellow pepper  
      • 1  24 oz. can pork and beans, drained                  
      • 1  14 oz. can pork and beans, drained
      • 1 can niblets corn, drained
      • 1  19 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
      • 1  19 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
      • 3/4  cup brown sugar
      • 3/4 cup Chili Sauce
      • 1 1/2 cups medium salsa 
      • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
      • 1 Tbsp. prepared mustard
      • 1-2 tsp. liquid smoke
      •  4-6 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
      1. Place crumbled ground beef and sausage meat in a large roaster.
      2. Fry bacon until crisp, remove from pan and add chopped onions and celery. 
      3. Sautè until soft.  
      4.  Place beans and corn, bacon, onion celery and peppers in large casserole. 
      5. Mix sauce ingredients in a large bowl.
      6. Pour sauce over bean mixture and stir to combine.
      7. Cover and bake for 2 hours in 350˚ F oven.  Remove lid for the last 1/2 hour.
      8. Serve with Patty's Oriental Salad ( or Apple and Cabbage Coleslaw ( and fresh baked buns.

      *This will serve at least 10-20 people depending how much else you are serving.

      *You can increase this recipe by adding another can or two of the pork and beans.

      Tuesday, November 19, 2013

      Autumn Sausage Medley

      I'm thinking it's definitely past Autumn in most parts of Canada now but the ingredients of this dish still speak to me of crisp Fall days.
      Farmer Sausage, Butternut squash, apples flavoured with a touch of Rosemary - what's not to like?
      • 1-2 cups butternut squash, cubed
      • 2 apples, cubed
      • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
      • 1 small can sliced water chestnuts drained (optional)
      • 1 red pepper cut into 1 inch pieces
      • 6 large mushrooms quartered
      • 1 link Farmer Sausage cut into 1 inch pieces (you can use garlic or Kielbasa sausage if you like)


    • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
    • 1/2 cup apple juice
    • 2-3 tablespoons honey
    • 2 tablespoons chili sauce
    • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
    • 1 1/2 cups apple juice
    • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

      1. Saute' apple and squash in 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan until lightly browned.  Remove to 3 or 4 cup casserole dish.
      2. Place onion, red pepper and mushrooms in pan, and saute' until wilted adding more oil if needed.
      3. Remove to casserole dish. 
      4. Add sausage pieces.
      5. Mix cornstarch and 1/2 cup apple juice in a small bowl.  Set aside.
      6. Add remaining sauce ingredients to pan  stirring well until sauce boils. 
      7. Add cornstarch mixture and stir and cook until sauce returns to a boil and thickens. If you like a sweeter sauce, feel free to add more honey. Add more cornstarch mixed with a bit more apple juice if you'd like the sauce a bit thicker.
      8. Pour sauce over ingredients in casserole dish and bake at 350˚ for 30- 45 minutes or until squash and onion are tender.
      9. Serve over rice or noodles.
      10. Serves 4-6.

      Friday, November 15, 2013

      Spanish Rice

      I always enjoyed eating at my mom-in-law's table...and Spanish Rice was a dish she served often.  I've made a few changes to her recipe over the years (adding salsa for some zip and using diced tomatoes instead of tomato soup)...but whenever I make Spanish Rice I am always reminded of 'mom'.  Serve with green salad and warm dinner rolls for the perfect fall meal.

      • 1 1/2 cup long-grain rice, white or brown...uncooked
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 6-8 slices bacon*
      • 1/2 cup chopped onion
      • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
      • 1 398 ml can diced tomatoes (about 1 pound)
      •  1/2 cup hot salsa
      • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
      1. Cook rice according to directions...adding salt if desired.
      2. Fry bacon in large skillet until crisp.
      3. Remove bacon from skillet and pour off all but two tablespoons of drippings.
      4. Add chopped onion and green pepper to skillet; saute until tender.
      5. Stir in cooked rice, bacon, diced tomatoes, salsa and pepper.
      6. Cook uncovered on low heat for about 15 minutes.
      Serves 4-6

      *Variation: Omit bacon and add 2 cups of  cooked ham. 

      Tuesday, November 5, 2013

      Chicken and Butternut Squash Lasagna

      How many of you head to the computer when you're looking for a meal idea or for a particular recipe?
      I love paging through magazines and cookbooks but find myself turning more and more often to the internet - to Pinterest or various recipe sites for ideas.
      Lately, I've been intrigued by several chicken lasagna recipes I've seen on the internet 
      and decided to experiment with the fall flavours of butternut squash and sage.
      Here's what we had for dinner tonight.  I must say it was delicious.

    • 1 small head garlic
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil (2nd amount)
    • 1 Butternut squash, peeled and seeded (I use a potato peeler)
    • salt and pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon fresh sage chopped fine (1st amount)
    • 2 cups cooked chicken, sliced
    • 2 cups fresh spinach
    • 1 leek, washed, halved and sliced
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1  1 /2 cups Ricotta cheese
    • 1 egg beaten
    • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
    • 3 cups white sauce

    • 1/2 cup butter 

    • 1/2 cup flour

    • 3 cups milk 

    • 3/4 tsp fresh sage, chopped fine (2nd amount)

    • salt and pepper to taste

    • 12 lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
    • sliced Mozzarella cheese
    • 1/2 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped fine (3rd amount)

      1. Heat oven to 400º F.
      2. Remove outer paper skin from garlic head, slice the tips off of the whole head and place on a square piece of foil.
      3. Drizzle the garlic with 1 teaspoon olive oil, gather the four corners of the foil and twist.
      4. Place garlic in oven and roast for 20 minutes or until tender.
      5. Cut squash into 1/4" slices and then cut again to make 1 inch pieces.
      6. Toss in a bowl with olive oil and salt and pepper and 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage.
      7. Lay squash pieces on parchment paper lined baking sheet and place in oven alongside the garlic.
      8. Roast squash for 12 minutes or just until tender.
      9. Saute' leeks in butter until tender.
      10. Mix Ricotta cheese with egg and Parmesan cheese.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.
      11. Make white sauce by blending melted butter and flour, adding milk and seasoning. Stir and cook until thickened. ( I do this in the microwave)
      12. When garlic is done, squeeze the cloves out of the paper skin, into the white sauce and whisk until blended.
      13. In a 9"x 13" pan or two smaller pans, assemble lasagna in layers as follows:
      1st layer: Spread 1/4 cup white sauce  in the bottom of the pan and cover with lasagna noodles, 
      2nd layer: 1/2 of the chicken slices, spinach,  1/2 of the leeks, 1/2 of the butternut squash, 1 cup or so of white sauce
      3rd layer: lasagna noodles, 1/2 of Ricotta cheese mixture, remaining chicken, squash and leeks, cover with white sauce
      4th layer: lasagna noodles,, remaining ricotta cheese, white sauce 
      5th layer: sliced Mozzarella cheese, 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage.

        14. Cover with foil and bake in preheated 350º F oven for 40 minutes.
        15. Remove foil and continue to bake for about 20 minutes or until cheese begins to brown and the casserole bubbles.
        16. Let sit 10 minutes before cutting and serving. 

      Wednesday, October 30, 2013

      Butterflied Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

      This is a rustic meal with rough cut vegetables roasted in a pan that can go from your stove top to your oven. Butterflying the chicken gives you the option to cook the chicken breast down which results in breast meat that is not dried out while you wait on the dark meat to be cooked thoroughly.

      1 -3-4lb. whole chicken
      4-5 white potatoes, quartered
      4-5 carrots rough cut
      1 large onion, quartered
      2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed, optional
      Seasoned salt
      2 Tablespoons Olive Oil and more Olive Oil to coat the vegetables.
      1 Tablespoon butter
      Salt and fresh ground pepper.

      Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
      Rinse and pat the whole chicken dry.
      Using good kitchen shears cut out the backbone of the chicken and set aside to make chicken stock or discard.
      Flatten the whole chicken by pressing firmly on the breast bone. Remove any excess skin.
      Prepare vegetables placing them in large bowl and season them with salt and pepper (to taste). Add the smashed garlic. Sprinkle the vegetables generously with olive oil and toss together to coat all the vegetables evenly. Set aside.
      Heat oil and butter in large oven proof pan or dutch oven.
      Season chicken well with seasoned salt of your choice. If you don't have seasoned salt season with salt and fresh ground pepper.
      Place chicken breast side down in heated pan to brown and crisp up the skin. Turn the chicken over carefully and brown the other side.
      Remove the chicken to a plate or platter while you go on to the next step.
      De-glaze the pan with a little chicken stock or white wine.
      Add all the seasoned and oiled vegetables to the pan.
      Place the chicken breast side down on top of the vegetables.
      Place pan with vegetables and chicken on the center rack of preheated oven.
      Roast for 60 minutes.
      Turn chicken over and roast for 10 more minutes or until meat thermometer registers 165 degrees at the thickest part of the dark meat.

       Remove the chicken from the pan onto cutting board and cut the chicken into serving sizes. You can return the chicken to the roasting pan or onto a platter at this point adding the vegetables.

       Serve with your favorite additions or no additions. We chose some salad and sour dough bread.

      Tuesday, October 29, 2013

      Reuben Meatloaf

      I like reuben sandwiches so why not a reuben meatloaf? It's very tasty, I love the pairing of sauerkraut, ground beef, and swiss cheese in this recipe. If you wish, you can put a layer of corned beef slices on top of the sauerkraut which would add an authentic taste as in a reuben sandwich. Leftovers are great served cold for sandwiches.

      • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, I used lean
      • 1 egg
      • 2/3 cup bread crumbs
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
      • 2 tablespoons cucumber relish
      • 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
      • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
      • 1/4 cup Thousand Island Dressing
      • 1 cup sauerkraut, drained and chopped
      • 1 cup grated swiss cheese, divided
      • Aluminum foil
      1. In a bowl, mix together the first eight ingredients.
      2. Lay out a piece of aluminum foil, spray with cooking oil. Pat meat mixture onto the foil into a rectangular shape that will fit your  9" x  5" (approx) baking pan.
      3. Spread with thousand island dressing, top with sauerkraut, and half of the grated swiss cheese.
      4. Roll up jelly roll style, peeling away the foil as you roll. Seal the seam and ends.
      5. Place in a greased baking pan.
      6. Bake uncovered in a 375º oven for 50 to 55 minutes. When cooked, drain off any juices collected in pan.
      7. Sprinkle the other half of the swiss cheese over meatloaf, place back in oven, and bake a few more minutes until cheese is melted.
      8. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before slicing, using a sharp knife.
      9. Delicious served with mashed potatoes, creamed peas and a salad. 

      Wednesday, October 23, 2013

      Lazy Linguine for Two

      One-dish pasta recipes having been making the rounds on pinterest recently. Most serve four to six...and since there are just two of us for most meals...I decided to try a pared down version recently.  My husband is wondering when I will be serving it again! How much simpler can it get...than throwing everything into one pot and having it on the table a short while later?

      • 6 oz. linguine (half of 12 oz / 375 gr package)
      • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
      • 1 small onion, julienned (cut in strips lengthwise)
      • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
      • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
      • 2 1/4 cups water or vegetable broth
      • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
      • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
      • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for  serving
      1. Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and basil in a skillet or stock pot.
      2. Add water or broth and olive oil.
      3. Sprinkle with pepper flakes and salt.
      4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
      5. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes (stirring frequently)...or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
      6. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stirring to distribute juices evenly.
      7. Dish into two pasta bowls.
      8. Drizzle with additional olive oil, if desired.
      9. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.
       * Double or triple the recipe to serve four or six.


      Thursday, October 17, 2013

      Country Fried Pork Steaks

      Any kind of country fried steak or Schnitzel, be it beef, pork or chicken is a favorite for the one I cook for most.
      For this recipe I purchase fast fry pork cutlets and tenderize them with a meat mallet until they are quite thin. You can also use rouladen cut beef or thinly slice some chicken breasts and tenderize them.
      • 6 - 8 slices of fast fry boneless pork cutlets or as many you wish to make
      • salt, pepper, seasoning salt and garlic powder
      • 2 - 3 eggs
      • 1 -2 cups fine bread crumbs
      • oil for browning
      • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
      • 1 cup light cream
      • 1 - 2 Tbsp flour
      1. Trim fat on meat. Tenderize and season lightly on both sides.
      2. Prepare a shallow bowl of whisked eggs as well as a plate with bread crumbs for dipping
      3. Pour about 2 -3 tablespoons of oil into a large non-stick or stainless steel frying pan, set on medium heat.
      4. Dip each slice into egg, then coat with crumbs and place into heated frying pan.
      5. Fill pan, but do not crowd. Brown both sides, repeating with added oil if needed. Keep warm on ovenproof plate covered, on low heat or serve immediately if not making gravy.
      6. To make gravy, add sliced mushrooms to pan drippings, stirring for a few minutes.
      7. Stir in cream. Shake up flour with a small amount of cream or water and add to thicken.Season with salt and pepper according to taste.

      Tuesday, October 1, 2013


      Here is a recipe that is a perfect mid week night dinner. Quick and easy while you are rushing off to the next soccer game or music lesson.
      It comes together quickly. Can be assembled ahead of time and baked when needed.

      • 1 package of 6" soft tortilla (8 in a package)
      • 2 pounds of lean ground beef or chicken / turkey
      • 1 - 19 ounce / 540 ml can of black beans, drained and rinsed
      • 2 cups frozen corn
      • 1 jar (about 2 cups) of medium salsa
      • 4 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
      • 1/2 cup of sour cream or Greek yogurt (I used 1/4 cup of each)
      • 2 cups low fat shredded Mozzarella, Cheddar Cheese or a combination of both (whatever kind you have on hand)
      1. Brown the beef and drain the fat if needed.
      2. Add the taco seasoning, beans, corn and salsa.
      3. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
      4. In a 9 x 13 inch pan layer a bit of salsa, tortilla shells, sour cream mixture, cheese, beef, and continue with repeating the layers. It should give 4 layers.
      5. Top with the final amount of cheese.
      6. Bake in 350 oven for 20-30 minutes and all the cheese is bubbly and melted.
      7. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into it.
      8. Serve with a fresh crisp salad.

      Monday, August 26, 2013

      Ginger Chicken with Hot Potato Salad

      I thought I'd squeeze in one more grilling recipe, before the season is done. Along with this chicken I served a German Potato Salad and thought I'd share it as a meal combo idea. It's a nice menu for four adults or you can multiply as you like.
      Ginger Chicken Marinade
      • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
      • 2 Tbsp sherry cooking wine
      • 2 garlic cloves, minced
      • 1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger root*
      • 1 Tbsp honey
      • 1 tsp Montreal Chicken Spice
      1. Mix all ingredients and let sit for an hour or so to blend flavors. Pour over 8 boneless chicken thighs and allow to marinate for about one hour before grilling.
      * An easy way to have fresh ginger on hand is to peel a piece and freeze it. To use, simply grate on fine part of grater while still frozen and return unused portion to freezer.
      Hot German Potato Salad
      • 16 - 20 nugget potatoes (about a pound)
      • 4 - 5 slices bacon, fried, drained and  diced (keep drippings)
      • 1 medium onion, chopped
      • 1 Tbsp sugar
      • 3/4 tsp prepared mustard
      • 3 Tbsp vinegar
      • 4 Tbsp water
      • 3/4 tsp salt
      • 1/4 tsp pepper
      • 2 - 3 Tbsp cream (optional)
      1. Cut potatoes in half and cook, leaving skin on. This will take about 10 - 15 minutes. Drain.
      2. In the meantime, prepare bacon, set aside and cook onion in drippings until golden / transparent looking. Stir in sugar, mustard, vinegar, water, salt and pepper. Let simmer.
      3.  Just before serving, add bacon, then add mixture to potatoes in pot. Stir in cream and reheat.
      4. Garnish with parsley or minced green onion.

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      Tuesday, July 30, 2013

      Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

      One of my favourite things about summer is the wealth of 
      fresh locally grown tomatoes.
      Here is a lovely fresh pasta side dish you can make for
       one of those warm summer evenings.
      There is no cooking required for the sauce so you are 
      out of the kitchen in no time.
      Add some left over grilled salmon and you have a fresh tasting main dish.

      • 8 ounces / 250 g  linguinni or fuselli (small spirals)
      • 1 large Beefsteak tomato or several smaller ones  If you can get them, Heirloom tomatoes would be a good alternative to the Beefsteak (a variety of cherry tomatoes halved also works)
      • 8 ounces / 225 grams brie cheese*
      • 1/3 cup / 50 ml good quality olive oil
      • 3 or 4 cloves garlic
      • 1/2 teaspoon / 5 ml salt
      • 1 teaspoon / 15 ml freshly ground black pepper or to taste
      • 1 handful fresh basil, coarsely chopped or julienned
      • 1/2 cup sliced black olives (if desired)
      1. Chop tomato and place in a large serving bowl.
      2. Cut up Brie cheese.  You can leave the rind on or discard it, if you prefer. Add to tomatoes in bowl.
      3. Add remaining ingredients and  stir just to combine. Set aside to allow flavours to meld.
      4. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water.
      5. When pasta is cooked to your liking, drain it (do not rinse) and turn it out of the colander on to the sauce in the serving bowl.
      6. Toss until the cheese starts to melt, and serve immediately..
      *I've also done this using 1 package of cream cheese, cubed, instead of the Brie.