Thursday, 28 August 2008

Salmon cakes & Corn Salsa

My favorite kind of cooking lately too is very non-involved, as I just don't have the energy for much more that than :) This one was perfect! So quick and easy and it was just bursting with flavor!

Salmon Cakes:
1 can salmon, drained well
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 tbsp finely chopped red pepper
1 egg
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup fine bread crumbs, plus 1/4 cup for dredging
2 tbsp olive oil for pan-frying

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Form round patties, 2 inches in diameter. Spread remaining bread crumbs on a plate. Coat patties in crumbs, pressing to form firm, well-coated cakes.

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Pan-fry cakes about 3-4 minutes per side or until lightly browned and crisp.

Sweet Corn & Tomato Salsa:

Salmon cakes & Corn and tomato salad

2 cobs of corn
1-1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
2 green onions, finely sliced
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil

Cook corn in large pot of boiling water. Run knife down sides of cobs to remove corn. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Menu Planning

Yes, this is becoming a bi-weekly event. So is the grocery shopping though. Somehow we are making things stretch out a little long. Okay, I know it is happening and it really ain't very pretty. Hubby works late, eats at some greasy fast food place, wife doesn't feel like cooking for herself so eats cereal for dinner :0 Bad family! We are stopping that I swear, our waist lines as well as wallets can't handle it much longer.

Tuesday: Deli pizza
Wednesday: Salmon cakes & Tomato and corn salad
Thursday: Shangri-La Beef
Friday: Tandoori Chicken & Gobi Masala
Saturday: Working a wedding :)
Sunday: Pyrogies
Monday: Left overs

Have a good week :)

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Cold Noodle Salad

My pie is in the oven, my family is coming over to eat it within the hour (I was supposed to make it yesterday but didn't have time), and my kitchen is a disaster. At this moment I should really be downstairs getting ready, but instead I am sitting hear inhaling my dinner and dying to share it with you all. I am sure you can guess what won that battle ;)

I had been looking for something quick, involved minimal 'cooking' as we have a mini heat wave going on, and lastly vegetarian. This one fit the bill perfectly, and is delicious. To be honest there is a slight chance that I am on my second bowl of it :)

Cold Noodle Salad (Courtesy of Emeril, with minor modifications)

Cold Noodle Salad

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 teaspoons sesame oil
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti noodles, cooked until tender and the run under cold water to cool
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
3/4 cup thinly sliced carrots
3/4 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 cup lightly crushed toasted cashews
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

In a small bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce and sesame oil. To the noodles, add green onions, bean sprouts, carrots, cucumber, cashews, cilantro, sesame seeds, and the soy mixture and mix thoroughly.


Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Menu Planning

I was going to weasel out of grocery shopping today, then I remembered it was

A) 15% off Tuesday (First tuesday of the month)
B) Wing Night at a restaurant right near out grocery store.

Can you guess what we are doing tonight :)

Wednesday: Nails night - No cooking
Thursday: Cold noodle salad (it is supposed to be HOT)
Friday: Shaking beef
Saturday: Tandoori Chicken
Sunday: Pirogies

Oh, and the great blueberry event is on again at our local grocery stores. That means this little beauty will soon be gracing our presence again :)

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Menu Planning

I have the urge to cook this week! After night after night eating at either of ours parents it is a miracle. I have been spoiled for sure :)

Wednesday: Tuna and artichoke paninis
Thursday: Portobello mushroom burgers
Friday: Salmon and green beans
Saturday: Wedding :)
Sunday: "Kernael Austin" (Black bean and corn salad from ESBM)
Monday: Left overs of course.

Have a good week everyone. We will see you back here soon, I have lots of yummy stuff to to share over the next while.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Tofu in black bean sauce

I love tofu, consequently I cook tofu for dinner. Now guess who else in our house likes it too...Hubby. He always used to turn his nose up at the sound of the, but now really enjoys it. Probably because he learned that I didn't really care if he liked it or not, I was cooking it and he had to eat it :) Of course he will deny that he likes it completely, to all of his red-meat-eating friends and family :)

Anyway, because we do eat a fair amount of tofu I am always on the search for new recipes to use it in. I stumbled across this one here on Epicurious the other day. I made a few minor alterations but it was soooo good! I think it was the black bean sauce that got me, as oddly it is something I have been craving for awhile.

Stir-Fried Tofu in Black Bean sauce:

Tofu and spicy black bean sauce

-15 shiitake mushrooms
-1 tablespoon cornstarch
-1 cup chicken broth
-2 tablespoons soy sauce
-1 tablespoon rice vinegar
-1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
-1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

-3 tablespoons peanut oil
-1 small leek (white and pale green parts only), cut into matchstick-size strips
-2 tablespoons black bean sauce
-2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-2 teaspoons hot sauce
-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-1 package medium tofu cubed

Trim ends from mushrooms and chop finely.

Dissolve cornstarch in 2 tablespoons broth. Stir in remaining broth, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Whisk together.

Heat oil in heavy large wok or nonstick skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms; stir-fry until browned, about 3 minutes. Add leek; stir-fry until beginning to brown. Add black beans, ginger, garlic, chili-garlic sauce, and peppercorns; stir-fry until fragrent.

Stir cornstarch mixture to blend, then stir into vegetable mixture. Add tofu; toss gently to coat with sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until sauce thickens slightly.

Serve over fresh rice, and Enjoy!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Iced Coffee

It is H-O-T! After a less that stellar spring we are being 'rewarded' with temperatures in the thirties nearly everyday. It is wonderful, except in a city that is not accustomed to it, and very few people have a/c. Therefor it can be slightly difficult to cool off. Lucky for me I stumbled across this incredibly simple iced coffee recipe, that helps a little ;)

Iced Coffee:

Iced Coffee

- 10-cup pot of coffee
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk

Brew coffee. In jug combine coffee with condensed milk. Place in refrigerator until chilled. Serve over ice.


Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Sweet, Heat Salmon

There has been no posting because there has been no meals.

There has been no meals because there has been no menu planning.

There has been no menu planning because there has been no Hubby.

Apparently I am too lazy to put that much effort into myself, and 3 year old that won't eat anything. There has been the odd stir fry, or pasta dish, that I have made that will last a good couple of days, but really that is it. To be completely honest I have been living off of these:


and these:


There was one brief weekend where Hubby was home, and wanted a home cooked meal. I though we would have gone out for dinner so didn't really plan anything, oops! Lucky for my and my well stocked pantry I was able to pull our this delicious dry, rub salmon recipe. Definitely we be doing this one again it was so incredibly quick and easy!

Sweet, heat Salmon

Sweet heat salmon $ Salad

- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 salmon fillet

Combine rub ingredients in small bowl. Cover both sides of salmon with rub. Heat a fry pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Place salmon in hot fry pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip salmon and continue to cook until done. See it is seriously that easy!


Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Menu Planning

Work has been crazy. Hubby has been sick. Grocery shopping has not occurred in over two weeks, and my pantry and freezer is running low. Two out of three of those are good things, the other is in the process of getting better.
With everything that has been going on though I didn't have the time to sit down and flip through the pages of my cookbooks. Something I haven't had the opportunity to do in what feels like forever now! Now I am faced with the fact that it is the middle of the afternoon, I have no menu plan, and consequently no grocery list, for the grocery shopping trip that must happen at 4:30 this afternoon. Solution, I am turning to the the blogosphere for help this week. I have many recipes bookmarked in bloglines, time to start trying some! Oh, just an aside trying to keep things light and easy for Hubby's tummy this week.

Tuesday: Eating on the run, soooo bad
Wednesday: Creamy black lentils
Thursday: Portobello Toast
Friday: Chickpea, ginger and coriander soup
Saturday: Cooking with a dear friend, or more like watching, who is my kitchen inspiration
Sunday: Seared scallops with pureed cauliflower and asparagus

Monday, 14 April 2008

Banana Nut Muffins

I was wandering the asiles of HomeSense the other week month, and I came across these fun little silicone muffin cups.

Silicone muffin cups

There were also pink and purple triangle ones, which I completely regret not getting now. At the time however, I could not justify both sets when I had yet to try them out in my own kitchen. Of course the moment I used them for the first time I was completely in love with them. Now I can't image life without them. There is no more running out of those annoying little paper inserts, that I can never get apart, half way into a recipe. Oh, and they clean up so easily too!

I hoped by chance the others were still when I ventured back, but alas some other lucky sole snatched them up. Lucky them!

Banana Nut Muffins

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • zest of orange
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

Banana Nut Muffins

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine in bowl flour, baking soda and salt. Partially mash two fof the bananas. Then with beater whip them with sugar until light and fluffy. Add melted butter, eggs and vanilla.

Mix in dry ingredients stirring slow, and so still slightly lumpy. Fold in zest, nuts and finally banana in chunks.

Pour into muffin tins and back for 18-20 minutes.


Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Menu Planning

Well, there is no menu plan for the week *gasp*!!!

With the medical issues we are having in our house right now I would be cooking for one. Something that just isn't worth it. So it will be a week of freezer soups, and salads for me.

Something I could probably use after eating all of that Easter chocolate ;)

Have a good week everyone.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Menu Planning

Leslie over at Definitely not Martha just wrote a fantastic post on freezing meals. I admit this is something I love to do too, but my problem is I never seem to eat it again! They sit for months and months getting more and more freezer burnt by the day. Yucky!

So last night after reading her post; it inspired me to actually clean out my freezer, and start fresh! I am actually ashamed of all the delicious meals that I threw out last night :( There were a few that I was able to salvage a couple, and we will be eating them over the next couple of weeks. Hey it is good for the grocery budget too ;)

Tuesday: Tofu and Eggplant curry (Freezer)
Wednesday: Pizza for Hubby
Thursday: Raspberry-Chipolte sauce (freezer) with pork chops and salad
Friday: Sauteed scallops with a sweetcorn salsa
Saturday: Tofu parma
Sunday: Fried chicken take II
Monday: Left overs

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Poitou-Style Pea Soup

As a child my Dad loved green pea soup, and ate it religiously. I thought he was completely crazy, and even the smell sent me running to my room. Granted he ate the canned kind so maybe he kind of was ;)

Now however I have seen the light and there is nothing I love more than a bowl of pea soup. There is something incredibly refreshing and light about it, it is honestly perfect at any time of the year. Oh, and the crostini, my new favorite snack in to have in the middle of the afternoon :)

Pea Soup (From Great soups, Empty Bowls):
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 5 cups frozen peas
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp savoury
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3 cups butter lettuce chopped
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
Heat butter in soup pot. Add onions and cooked until softened, but not browned. Add peas, herbs, sugar and lettuce and toss until coated. Add broth, and salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.

Using blender, puree soup in batches until smooth. Serve either hot or cold.

Pea Soup and over sized crostini

Over Sized crostini:
  • 1/4 cup ricotta
  • Sliced French bread
  • 2 Tbsp walnuts chopped
Spread ricotta on bread, and sprinkle to with walnuts. Place in toaster over or normal oven until bread it crisp.

Serve with soup.


Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Menu Planning

This week, well this month, was supposed to be a quite month with little in the way of financial expenditures. That has gone completely out the window this week with three meals out scheduled! That darn social life that gets in the way sometimes ;)

Tuesday: Pea soup and dinner out for Hubby (I think he plans it deliberately when I make soup)
Wednesday: Dinner out for Me
Thursday: Pork quesadilla
Friday: Fried chicken, new recipe for this one as I am not overly impressed with the old one I have
Saturday: Both of us dinner out, double date with my baby sister
Sunday: Linguine with chicken ragu

Have a good week!

Friday, 21 March 2008

French Toast

While I admit during the work week I hardly stop for breakfast, on the weekend in our house it is a pretty big thing for a couple of reasons.

First I can guarantee that Lilly, who is still stuck in the incredibly picky stage, will actually eat a complete meal. Second. it is the one time that my Hubby will actually participate in cooking with me. He does the bacon and eggs, something I can't cook for the life of me, and I either waffles, pancakes or French toast. Third, well family time and it tastes good :)

French Toast:

French Toast
  • 5 -6 slices of bread of choice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Icing sugar
  • Syrup
Heat griddle or fry pan on medium heat. Beat eggs, cream vanilla, honey and cinnamon in a shallow bowl, or pie plate. Place bread in mixture pressing down gently, then flip to coat other side. Place on hot fry pan and cook until that side is golden, flip and cook other side as well.

Serve hot with a sprinkle of icing sugar and syrup.


Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Menu Planning

I know you all missed me last week!

It was a really good week too foodwise, but I didn't take any photos of my creations to share with you all. It was just too busy! This week isn't any quieter unfortunatly, but due to the holiday this weekend, friends coming over for dinner in the middle of the week and a nail appointment I really am not doing much in the way of cooking.

We all need a 'break' every once and awhile ;)

Wednesday: Nail = pizza
Thursday: Friends over = pizza
Friday: Shrimp and chickpeas red curry
Saturday: Indian spiced salmon
Sunday: Easter = dinner out
Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Menu Planning

Just really quickly, because I need to have some sort of organization in this mass of chaos I am supposed to call my life ;)

Wednesday: Chicken with Acai red wine sauce...if I can find acai berries otherwise we get we will have to see
Thursday: Tacos
Friday: Orange Chipotle shrimp
Saturday: spaghetti con pomodoro e tonno (still trying to use up that canned tuna)
Sunday: Slow cooker beef Stroganoff

Should be a busy week. In case you didn't notice I am now cooking every night as Hubby's work schedule has changed and he will always be home for supper! Of course that means he will also get to inherit one of these nights to cook supper for me, have to spread the love ;)

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Valentine's Dinner

We aren't really the couple that does much for Valentine's day. No presents, or flowers or store bought chocolates. I think it stems mostly from my unwillingness to celebrate the 'holiday', and Hubby's wise decision to follow my lead.

The one thing I do like to do, and Hubby likes to enjoy, is have a nice meal. I mean we have to eat supper anyway so why not make it slightly more special. Of course what a better way to make a meal 'special' than by including chocolate. We didn't limit our selves to dessert however to add this rich ingredient, but we slipped it into our main course as well. The result: Fantastically sinful!

Chile Marinated Steak: (original from Epicurious)
Serves 2
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup chipotle chilies
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Steaks
Chili Steak

In blender place garlic, cilantro, and chilies, and roughly chop. Add olive oil in stream and puree mixture. Add cocoa and lime juice and continue to blend together. Final marinade will be a very thick paste.

Season steak with salt and pepper. and place in dish. Cover one side with marinade, and then flip and cover other. Cover and marinade in fridge for 24 hours.

Before cooking remove steak and place on counter for 30 min to bring to room temperature. Wipe off excess marinate. and cook steaks either on bbq or under broiler until desired tenderness.


Chocolate Pots:
Serves 5-6
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp rum
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Strawberries
Chocolate pots

In medium sauce heat cream until bubbles begin to appear on sides of pan. Remove from heat and add chocoalte. Let side 1 minute, then whisk together.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and slowly add 1 cup of hot cream mixture. Transfer back to pot and whisk until smooth. Add butter and rum, mixing well.

Pour into ramekins and refrigerate, min of 4 hours, but can be made the night before.

Serve with fresh strawberries, which according to Hubby "make the dish!"

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Menu Planning

Ahhh, Valentine's Day is this week. Love, romance and most importantly chocolate ;) To be perfectly honest though we aren't really Valentine's day celebrating people. I don't like all the fuss, and just use it as an excuse to make dessert in the middle of the week. My Hubby of course doesn't protest that part at all and sits back and enjoys.

Other than the Hallmark holiday though there isn't much excitement in our home this week. Next week will be totally different though, and there will be big changes in our household family dynamic...stay tune for that one! Consequently simple, but delicious meals, that really require minimal time to prepare are on my list every night this week. I am really looking forward to everything though, and it should be fun.

Tuesday: Pizza
Wednesday: Reuben Sandwiches
Thursday: Chipotle marinated steaks (also marinated in cocoa), asparagus, potatoes and chocolate pots for dessert.
Friday: Night off
Saturday: Tofu and veggie green curry stir fry
Sunday: soup
Monday: Left overs

Have a good week everyone@

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Hidden Tresures

Years ago for my birthday, by some of my dearest friends, I was given this beautiful little Japanese teapot and set of cups. I absolutely adore it, and was somehow lucky enough to stumble across some of the matching dishes at Home Sense one day. Of course I walked out with as many as I could afford that day, knowing I would never get a chance to pick them up again there. When I got them home though I put my treasures in a box (home was still the condo at that point) and forgot completely about them. It wasn't until we moved, and I unpacked the unmarked box that I discovered them again. This time a space in the cupboard was made. This time I vowed to use them soon.

Well I finally did last night, and it was on a recipe I wish I had found a long time ago too! The dish was sort of an at home version of one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes, Pho. I pleasantly was surprised at the ease and speed in which everything came together, and the versatility that the recipe holds. I can definitely see it being repeated in our house, instead of going out to eat quite so often at least.

Beef Noodle Bowls: (Serves: 4) - Originally from: Eat, Shrink, & Be Merry
  • 4oz rice noodles or whole wheat spaghetti
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger root
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 12 oz beef tenderloin very thinly sliced
  • 3 cups thinly sliced bok choy (I like this addition because we are trying to each more veggies at the moment)
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 chopped basil
To serve along side:
  • bean sprouts
  • lime, cut into wedges
  • mint leaves
  • Chili sauce
  • cilantro leaves

Cook noodles according to package directions, rinse in cold water and set aside.

Combine broth, ginger, soy sauce, oil and lime juice in pot. Bring to boil reduce heat and simmer for three minutes.

Add bok choy, basil, green onion and beef. Cook until beef is just cooked through.

To assemble: Place noodles on bottom of bowl, top with bean sprouts. Ladle soup over top. At this point season to individuals taste with mint, more lime juice, cilantro or hoisin and chili sauce.

(Our personal favorite thing to add!)


Sunday, 3 February 2008

Ever expaning collection

I love cookbooks! Honestly who doesn't. Even if I don't make any of the recipes out of them for years them bring me so much joy. Curling up on the couch, with a hot cup of tea I love to read through them. I search for inspiration, drool over the photos, and in the case of many read the stories.

I find they are the absolutely perfect gift for just about anyone on my list, and I of course love to receive them too. Quite frankly I am always shocked when my family says they don't know what to get me. It seems so obvious to me that a new cookbook would be perfect. I guess I will have to work on them ;) They are getting better though. For Christmas I did receive a copy of Nigella's Feast. Unfortunately this was the third time I have received this book as a gift. The first from my mother at Christmas a few years back, then from my Hubby for my birthday the year after, and this final time from my brother. It has become a little bit of a joke in the family now :)

I did regretfully exchange the book, as I hate returning Christmas gifts, and acquired myself a copy of Giada's Family Dinners. I am in love with the book! I have just barely started using it, but am very impressed. Easy to follow, simple dishes that make your mouth water. For the moment it is definitely staying on the top of my ever growing pile of FoodNetwork chef cookbooks :)

Friday, 1 February 2008

Better late than never

I have been meaning for weeks now to share all of the wonderful details of our Christmas dinner. Hubby and I had so much fun doing everything, and worked very well as a team. I was initially a little sceptical about this joint cooking venture, as it would have been the first time something like this was too occur. Okay, it is practiacally the first time Hubby would be in the kitchen doing something other than trying to steal a taste of whatever I am preparing ;) But, yes it all turned out. Both of our families were so impressed with everything from the appitizer right on through to dessert. Even now we are still getting compliments on the bacon wrapped, maple syrup baseted turkey we Hubby cooked.

Pictures and recipies were to supposed to follow very quickly after the glourious occasion, but never seemed to make it here. Then all of a sudden it was one week after the holidays, then two and three. Now it is February, and it seems rather inappropriate to be bringing up Christmas dinner all of a sudden (even though that is exactly what I am doing right now). I guess for now most of it will be nicely tucked away, waiting to make its debut next holiday season.

There is one that I will share however, and that is the dessert. I debated and went back and forth on many different choices before selecting and sticking with this tarte. I am so glad this is the one I picked in the end :) It was a nice balance of sweet and tarte and had such a festive feel to it. The magnificent thing about it too was the ability to prepare it in advance, so I wasn't scrambling around at the last minute after dinner.

Cranberry Chocolate tarte

Chocolate Cranberry Tarte:

Cranberry Topping:
1/2 cup cranberry juice, divided
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 12-ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

1 1/4 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (made from about 6 1/2 ounces cookies, finely ground in processor)
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Mascarpone Filling:
1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup chilled whipping cream1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Thin strips of crystallized ginger (optional garnish)

Cranberry Chocolate tarte

For cranberry topping:
Pour 1/4 cup cranberry juice into small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand until softened, 15 minutes. Combine 1/4 cup cranberry juice, cranberries, and next 5 ingredients in medium saucepan; bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until cranberries are tender but still plump, 5 minutes. Strain into bowl; set cranberries aside. Add gelatin mixture to hot juice in bowl; stir until gelatin dissolves. Stir cranberries back into juice. Chill until cranberry mixture is cold and slightly thickened, at least 8 hours or overnight. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.Stir chopped crystallized ginger into cranberry mixture.

For crust:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Combine chocolate wafer cookie crumbs, sugar, and salt in medium bowl; add 5 tablespoons melted butter and stir until crumbs feel moist when pressed together with fingertips, adding remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter if mixture is dry. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Bake chocolate crust until beginning to set and slightly crisp, pressing with spoon if crust puffs during baking, about 14 minutes. Transfer tart pan to rack and cool crust completely before filling.

For mascarpone filling:
Using electric mixer, beat all ingredients except ginger in medium bowl just until thick enough to spread (do not overbeat or mixture may curdle). Spread filling in cooled crust. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.Spoon cranberry mixture evenly over mascarpone filling. Chill at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours. Garnish with crystallized ginger strips, if desired. Cut tart into wedges and serve cold.


Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Menu Planning

I don't have a menu plan this week.

No, not becuase I am being adventourous and flying by the seat of my pants. But, rather becuase it is so cold outside that there is no way I am going grocery shopping. So instead we are eating whatever we can find in the freezer this week. Hopfully by the weekend this cold spell will be over, and I will venture out.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Soups on

It's cold, and snowy. The wind is blowing and only on a good days does the sun seem to peak from behind the clouds. To top it all off, it is only half way through January and here we have many more weeks of this to go before the snow starts to melt and the temperature warms up.

So depressing, the winter blahs. At least it is a good excuse to make and eat lots of soup. Here are a couple of recent ones from our kitchen:

Potato, Leek and bacon soup:
  • half pound bacon, roughly chopped
  • 4-5 medium leeks; cleaned, dark green part removed, and sliced thin
  • 4 small yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubbed
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Potato leek and bacon soup

In large pot, cook bacon until starts to turn golden, but not crispy. Add leeks and stirring occasionally, cook until soft, approximately 20 minutes.

Add potatoes and broth to pot. Increase heat to medium-high in order to bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer approximately 45 minutes, or until potato is tender.

Remove from heat. Either using immersion blender, or blender, puree soup until smooth. Slowly stir in heavy cream, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

For a vegetarian option, omit bacon and use 3 tbsp of butter to cook leeks in.


Italian Turkey soup: (Original recipe courtesy of Epicurious)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 2 carrot, diced
  • 1 9-ounce package fresh cheese tortellini
  • 2 cups diced cooked turkey
Italian turkey soup

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add bell pepper, onion, garlic, basil, and crushed red pepper and sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth. Cover pot and simmer 10 minutes. Add zucchini and carrot. Cover and simmer until carrot is almost tender, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to high and bring soup to boil. Add tortellini and boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Add turkey and cook just until heated through, about 1 minute. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Serve, passing cheese separately.


Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Menu Planning

Well it is going to be an interesting week. My situation at work is kind scary at the moment, requiring longer hours that I normally care to put in. On top of that Hubby is getting the remaining three of hiw wisdom teeth out tonight! I am surewon't have to much of an appetite for the next few days, but I guess we will haveto wait and see for sure.

Yes, those are my excuses for not posting more. I know it is getting to be the same thing week after week. I am sorry!

Wednesday: Italian Turkey Soup (I have quite a substantial amount of turkey in our freezer from the holidays!)
Thursday: Going to the in-laws for supper, my MIL worries to much about her son :)
Friday: I am having a girls night out!
Saturday: Well, Hubby gets to fend for himself again, I have a shopping date with my Mommy :)
Sunday: Slow cooker French dip sandwiches. With these I want to try my hand at some type of homemade bread or rolls, haven't figured out what exactly, but I have time.

Have a good week.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Menu Planning

I know I am am bad blogger! We have just been going a mile a minute at our house since well before the holidays, and we are just starting to settle back into things. To be completely honest I haven't even bought groceries for the house in almost a month, which of course means I haven't really cooked in sometime. Well aside from our Christmas dinner extraordinaire, which was fantastic! I will share the detail with you all as soon as I get the opportunity, which at this rate does feel like never!

Anyway, Hubby and I will be hitting the grocery store tonight, along with the crowds for 15% off day. Of course that means I need a list, and that means I need a menu, and that means I have to actually do some planning. I need to ease myself back into this cooking thing, so here we go:

Tuesday: East Indian take out, can't shop on an empty stomach after all :)
Wednesday: Grilled cheese, probably some recreation of this
Thursday: Soup and Bread
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Ginger-Chili Shrimp
Sunday: Sake Steak
Monday: Leftover