Friday Night Special – Sloppy Burger And Coleslaw

If your house is like ours, Fridays are always a little special and this is one way to make it fun. You can curl up in front of the TV and make it a movie night with popcorn to be made later. See if you agree.

 

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 4-6 Kaiser buns, halved
  • 2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups baby spinach, stems removed

 

Heat the skillet on medium heat, adding the minced garlic, stirring for 60 seconds then add the rosemary. Stir until well mixed. Add the ground beef cooking until no longer pink, then add the ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper and stirring to mix well.

Halve the buns, butter them and place under the broiler until starting to bubble and brown on the rims. When ready to plate, add the cheese to the meat mixture and quickly stir together. Remove from the heat, pile equal portions on the bottom half of each bun, place a generous amount of spinach on top and place the top of the bun.

You can either serve the slaw on the side of the plate yourself or let everyone add their own. Either way, this is yummy. Pickles and a cold  beverage takes this over the top.

Rotisserie Roast Beef

On Sunday Don put a roast on the bbq and this is the rub he used. It was fantstic and I hope you will give it a try.

  • 1/2 cup red dry wine
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Worchestershire
  • 1 tbsp. Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Montreal steak spice

Mix this altogether and spread on the roast and marinate in a sealed bag for 2 hours.

Tie the roast up with butcher twine and place on the spit, cooking until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove and let rest for about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile proceed with the Au Jus below.

 

Au Jus

To the drippings, add

  • 1 1/2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook on the stove, stirring constantly until thickens.

We served this with garlic mashed potatoes, corn on the cob (halves) and it was incredible.

Grilled Chicken Salad With A Twist

The days are finally in summer temperature mode and I thought this would help out for making a light supper to be enjoyed on the deck.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. fig balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. dried dill
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • pinch of pepper and crushed oregano
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • spring salad mix (about 7-8 cups)
  • 1/3 cup seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup toasted pistachios, chopped coarsely

Mix the first 6 ingredients in a jar with lid and shake well. Let stand for 1 -1  1/2 hours to allow them to mellow out.

Cook the chicken over the grill, uncovered for about 15 minutes, until tender and no longer pink. Cool slightly.

On 4 plates, arrange the salad greens, topping with the grapes, goat cheese and nuts. Slice each breast and arrange 1 per plate. Shake the dressing and drizzle over all.

Add a glass of your favourite chilled white wine and simply enjoy.

Braised Ham With A Maple Raisin Sauce

Mother’s Day is very close and this could be a new way to serve ham.

  • 7-8 lb. fully cooked bone in ham
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup maple sugar, granulated
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup white cranberry juice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 cups golden raisins

In a very large (10 qt.) pot, place the ham, cut side own and add the water and maple syrup. Cover and bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low, cooking for about 2 1/2 hours. Remove the cover and let cool a little.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and when the ham is cool enough to handle remove the ham from the pot and reserve the liquid, Cut off any rind and excess fat and leave a very thin layer of fat. Transfer ham to a roast pan.

Whisk together all the ingredients, except the raisins and spoon over the ham. Add the raisins and 1 cup of the cooking liquid and roast in the oven for about 35-40 minutes, baste this occasionally so the ham is glazed and the juices are bubbling.

Serve warm to some very appreciative people around the table.

Just add the potatoes of your choice, a vegetable or two and you will be the winner. Just think about the ham sandwiches for tomorrow. Oh yeah!

Heirloom Carrots With a Lime Butter Toss

This time of the year, gardens explode with bounty to use by either braising, steaming, frying, bbq-ing or simply eating raw straight from the earth.

This is using multi coloured carrots, left with some of the tops (for added colour) and topping with the lime butter.

  • 3 lbs. baby carrots
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. good olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. grated lime rind
  • 2 tsp. minced mint leaves

Scrub the carrots and trim the tops off leaving a 1 cm of the stem, still attached. Bring a large stockpot of water to the boil and add the oil and sat the carrots in, uncovered, and cook for about 6-7 minutes.

Cream the butter in the food processor with the lime zest, juice and minced mint leaves, beating until light and fluffy. This should take  no  more than 2 minutes on high speed.

When ready to serve, drain the carrots and  add a couple of tbsp. of the butter mix, tossing to coat. The remainder of the butter can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks.

Soft Pumpkin Cookies

These remind me of an old-fashioned cookie my Mom would make. By the way, they are absolutely delicious. Make them and you will agree you should have doubled the recipe.

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup pure cane syrup
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup), room temperature
  • 1 generous cup pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie kind
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp.vanilla

Preheat oven and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Beat the butter, sugar and cane syrup until light a fluffy ( about 2 minutes). Slowly add the flour mixture until well blended. Add the egg (lightly beaten) to the pumpkin and mix well, making sure to incorporate the batter..

Drop by rounded tbsp. (or use  a scoop) to the prepared trays and bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove to trays to cool down.

Take a container of fluffy whipped icing and scoop out a good 2-3 tbsp. Add a small amount of half and half cream, mixing well to make a runny drizzle. Dip a fork into the glaze and drizzle over each cookie.

Frozen Black Coffee

You certainly do not have to go to a coffee specialty store to get your treat. Make this up, adjust to your liking and it is so inexpensive and delicious, you can simply say ‘thanks’ for saving you lots of money.

 

  • 2 1/2 cups strong black coffee (not instant please)
  • 1 1/4 cups basic sugar syrup *
  • sugar
  • Whipping cream
  • favourite liqueur

Combine coffee and syrup. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze until crystals form.

Dip edge of tall glasses in cold water and then into sugar to frost.

Spoon coffee into glasses, add 1 oz. of your favourite liqueur, if using) and top with lots of whipped cream. Serve immediately.

 

This will serve 4.

  • simple syrup is equal parts of water and sugar, boiled until sugar is dissolved.  Cool down and store in refrigerator.

Sticky Buns – Pauline’s Way

For breakfast, Pauline presented these and it wasn’t only the wonderful smells that were enticing but the flavours were awesome.

The only difference in this – I opted out for pecans. The recipe calls for walnuts and I know both would be super but it just depends on what your family likes.

  • 1/2 pkg. of frozen dinner buns (20)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 small pkg. regular (not instant) butterscotch pudding
  • pecans to taste (chop 1/2 cup and see if that will be enough)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar.

Melt the butter and pour into the bottom of a bundt cake pan. Top with the pecans, butterscotch pudding (dry) and brown sugar.

Put the buns around the pan, piling them up the sides and place in a cold oven. Close the door, turn out the lights and go to bed.

In the morning, the buns will be risen and ready for baking. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Loosen the edges of the pan and invert immediately onto your prettiest platter.

There will be moans and groans of delight. These are really good. Serve with fresh fruit or berries and your favourite yogurt.

Maple Pecan Tart

I love butter tarts with pecans and this is just slightly different. Try it and see if  you can keep any leftovers….nope! can’t be done.

 

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 egg, beaten (not kidding)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. light cream
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup ground pecans

To make this pastry, cream together the butter and sugar. When light and fluffy add the cream, vanilla and pinch of salt. Mix well. Fold in the flour and ground pecans to form a dough. Form into a ball. Pat into the bottom and sides of a 9 or 10 inch spring form pan.

Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until golden in a 375 degree oven. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.  Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees.

 

  • 2/3 cup dark maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp. butter

In a saucepan, heat the syrup with the brown sugar until it has dissolved. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Beat in the eggs, pecans and butter. When the butter has completely melted, pour into the crust. Bake for 20-28 minutes or until it is firm to the touch.

 

New Carrot Cake Muffins with a Streusel Crunch Topping

When you operate a Bed and Breakfast like we did for so many years, you do get and use, many recipes for muffins. Here is a nice one and I am sure it will become a favourite.

 

  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. melted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking power
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup Crisco oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups grated Heritage carrots
  • 2 tbsp. dried and salted pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with Pam or equivalent.

To make the streusel, combine the flour and brown sugar in a small bowl. Add the butter and mix with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt into a large bowl.

Beat together the eggs,oil, buttermilk, brown and white sugar and vanilla in a medium size bowl until well mixed. Slowly add the flour mixture until just combined and then add the grated carrots.

Divide equally into the 12 cup tin and sprinkle the tops with the streusel. Bake for approximately 20 minutes and then cool in the pan for about 8-10 minutes. Remove and serve warm with butter and a cup of freshly made coffee. You can even call a friend to come over IF you want to share.

If you want, you could add a cream cheese icing. It truly is not necessary for this muffin.

 

 

30 Minute Chicken Tomato Stew

When life becomes busy this might be a quick way to serve a nutritious dinner under 30 minutes. Let’s go.

 

  • 3 slices bacon, thinly sliced
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp. Crisco oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 pkg. white mushrooms (227g)
  • 1 can white navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups stewed tomatoes
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar

In a large skillet, cook the bacon only until the fat renders (about 2 minutes).

Add the chicken and cook, stirring until brown, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon and remove from the pan. Set aside.

In the same skillet, cook the onion, until clear, add the garlic and thyme and cook about a minute. Add the mushrooms and 2 tbsp. water, until the mushrooms are tender and there is no liquid remaining.

Return the chicken to the skillet, stir in the beans, tomatoes, salt, pepper and wine, and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the stew has thickened and the chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove from the heat, add the parsley and vinegar.

This would best be served over buttered broad noodles and a green salad.

Now, eat and off to the game or sporting event that is important to your family.

Sweet Potato and Leek Soup

I happen to really like sweet potatoes so this is a real winner. You can increase the amount of leeks if you wish, but for me, I find the taste to be milder and more palatable with the amounts in the recipe.

 

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 bunch leeks, white parts only. Wash really well; slice
  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup  – 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup, chopped chives (optional)

In a large saucepan, sauté the onion, leeks and garlic in the butter until they become soft.

Stir in the potatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes. Now add the chicken broth, nutmeg, salt, cayenne pepper simmering until the potatoes are soft. (about 20 minutes)

In batches, pour into a food processor or use a hand held blender, processing until smooth. Stir in the cream and heat through. Ladle into your prettiest bowls and, if using, sprinkle a few chives on top.