Wednesday, August 31, 2011

School Lunch

I'm not ready for it. School starts tomorrow and I am not ready to start packing lunches and snacks again. Here is something that may make its way into the kids lunchbox in the not-too-distant future.

Last week, I made some "cheese crisps" that were just cheese. It is pretty much the easiest thing to do. Ready for the instructions?

1. cut
2. fry
3. eat

Simple, right?

step 1: cut the cheese (I used mozzarella)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Breakfast Like A Mennonite

It was a slow start to the day and I soon realized that breakfast was turning into brunch... and then brunch was turning into lunch. So the breakfast-brunch-lunch became heartier as I made it, and here is where we ended up.

It started out as eggs and sliced tomato. Then I saw the leftover perogies, red onion, red cabbage, and sliced scallions in soft goat cheese and I knew I had all I needed to make a really great meal.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Herbes de Provence

It sounds so yummy - so French - so... complicated and intimidating. But it is not complicated. It is simple and delicious. You read right; French, delicious, simple.

This is a chicken thigh over salad. Super easy, incredibly flavourful.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Grandma's Chocolate Chip Cookies


Highly addictive chocolate chocolate chip cookie recipe follows. Use with extreme caution.

In combination with a tall glass of cold milk or a bowl of vanilla ice cream considered delicious and worthy of consumption until the cookies are all gone.

Consider yourself warned.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies & Learning From Mistakes

I made them on the weekend when we were having company over. I decided to use a recipe I am in process with - tweaking and changing.

The goal was crumbly, soft cookies that were ultra peanut buttery and tender like good shortbread. Like the ones Grandma used to make. The result was... somewhat unlike the goal. Oh they were peanutty. They were crumbly.

And regretfully, they were ultra dry. The first bite and every single person (all the company included) had to get a new FULL glass of water. In fact, several of the kids didn't even finish their cookies and most of the others declined the offer of seconds. You KNOW it is bad when that happens.

I am making a multitude of deserts this week - some for a dinner with family and friends (21 people total, if my math is close) and for a birthday boy who will be six this week. Hopefully they will all be raging successes. Hopefully the birthday boy will like his cake. And HOPEFULLY I will not make anything nearly that dry again this week!

The peanut butter cookie recipe will be fixed (hopefully) and I will post it then. For now, if you need dry peanut butter crumb, I have a great recipe.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


From time to time I am asked, "What are you reading lately?" and usually my answer is the title of a cookbook... or two... or three. Their reply (of course) is often something like, "No, I meant books that you are reading; novels, history or biography, self betterment, that type of thing." Honestly, I would rather read a cookbook the way one reads a novel.

I start at the beginning and read through, putting post-it's on the recipes I want to try first, marking my spot when I must leave and return to the book later. The current page-turner I have on the go is in preparation for Christmas baking, titled 'Scandanavian Classic Baking'. Such a great book. I cannot wait to try some of these recipes. For a review by a guy with a blog, go here.

So here I am late at night, looking up recipes, reading about food, and planning what to cook, bake, broil, grill, fry, boil, sauté, braise, or chop next. And I cannot wait to find out what it will be.

I wonder what will be for breakfast?

Philly Cheese Steak

Sometimes I think that any cookbook I make might have a full chapter devoted to "things that go on a bun". This sandwich would be in that chapter.

Neither I nor my husband have ever been to the east coast, but this is our best guess at what this legendary sandwich might taste like...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Culinary Inspiration

It can come from almost anywhere... inspiration to create a new flavour experience. Lately, we have been watching a lot of Food Network TV. Plenty of inspiration there!

That got me wondering... what kind of a "food kick" are you on these days? Are you experimenting with an ingredient? Style? Cooking method? Ethnicity? Spice? Vegetable?

This mushroom cap seemed like such a great idea at the time, and it was, but my execution turned it into a super spicy fail.

I stuffed the mushroom cap with a medley of fresh garlic, ginger, and italian parsley. I failed to gently sauté this medley first. Unfortunately, that left all components of the stuffing fresh and spicy and my children crying as they ran to the water cooler. Live, cook, eat, learn.

Next time, I will gently tone down the spice and enhance the sweetness of the stuffing in a skillet BEFORE roasting it to perfection. And next time, I think some cheese will find its way into those caps as well.

That got me wondering... what is your culinary inspiration these days?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

En Papillote

One of my favourite ways to cook fish is the french style 'en papillote' (in parchment). All it means is that you cook the fish in the oven, wrapped in parchment paper. The result is always perfectly done moist fish. Here is how it breaks down...