Sunday, March 18, 2012

Oven Roasted (not Dried) Tomatoes

Ooh I made the Oven Dried Tomatoes. I did not cook them all the way to Dried, but they turned out so intense. they will be great added to Pasta & Salads.
I took yellow Cherry Tomatoes & Romas, cut the Romas in quarters & the Cherry Tomatoes in half. Squeezed out the pulp & seeds. Tossed them with quite a bit of Olive oil , Italian Seasoning, Thyme & Garlic Cloves. Cook them for several hours at 200degrees. When they are done they will be so sweet & intensely flavoured. I put them in a Jar and Covered with More Olive Oil. This was a wonderful way to use up tomatoes so they don't go bad. I can't wait to use them in a salad and the wonderful Olive oil in a dressing

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Not really Roasted Garlic

This is a easy way to ensure your house smells delicious and will give you some wonderful enhancements for most recipes.

I like to use the Bags of Whole peeled Garlic cloves & Good Olive oil for this.

Pour all of the garlic into a small sauce pan. Pour in enough Olive oil to completely cover the Cloves. (The more you use the better it will be lately)

Bring it just to a boil and turn the heat down to simmer.  Leave it simmering for an hour. On my stove I kept it on level 1.

Leave it in the pan to cool.
Then you can take out the garlic and seal it in a jar or Tupperware.

The Oil I put into a picnic Ketchup Bottle and keep it in the fridge as well.

Now not only do you have wonderful garlic to cook with (or spread on good Bread), you also have a wonderfully flavoured Olive oil.

A great use of Cheese

We still have an overflowing cheese drawer so I decided that Mac & Cheese was the Solution.  This turned out so well.  Its great when the reality of a Dish meets your expectations.

3 cheese Baked Macaroni

1lb Macaroni Cooked (shells, bow-tie, penne)
2 Cups Shredded white Cheddar (goats Milk)
1 wedge Brie (remove rind & Cube it)
1 cup Mozzarella (Shredded)
1 pack Cherry tomatoes
1 Small Onion sliced very thin
Roasted Garlic  (optional)
4 Slices Bacon  (Cooked & Crumbled)
3 Eggs
1 Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Italian Bread Crumbs
Olive Oil

1 Toss Tomatoes & Onions with a bit of Olive oil & roast in a 400degree oven.

2 When the Veggies are Soft and the skins have turned a bit brown mix them in the Pot you cooked the Macaroni in. If you have it add the roasted garlic cloves Whole or cut in half (they make a yummy surprise ).  Add in all but 1/2 cup of the mixed cheeses and stir well.  Move the Macaroni & veggies to a large baking pan.

3 Beat the eggs & Milk together .

4 Pour the egg mixture over the Macaroni & stir. 

5 Sprinkle the left over cheese on the top of the Macaroni & then finish with a light layer of bread crumbs over the top.

6 Bake at 350 for 30 min.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Breakfast for Dinner

I was doing my Daily food reading and came across this Blog entry from . I knew we had to have it Today.  Perfect Lazy day Comfort food.

Give it a try. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Time to Clean the Fridge

I wanted something Yummy & comforting for dinner, but have been trying to make sure we do not waste food.  So after scanning the fridge this is what I came up with. I can easily replicate it with Non Leftovers another time. It was good enough to have again on purpose.

Chicken veggie Stew

1-2 Cups cooks Chicken (shredded )
2 Cups Cooked Cannelini beans
1 Cup Sliced Carrots
2 Stalks Celery Sliced
1/2 Onion Chopped
4 Small Sweet Peppers
4 Cups Home made Chicken Stock
1 large Can Diced Tomatoes
1/2 bag Shredded Cabbage
Saute the Veggies & herbs add Chicken , beans, tomatoes & stock.

Let cook for about 1/2 hour.  add Shredded Cabbage Cook for 15 min.

I put buttered Sour dough Bread at the Bottom of the Bowl & served the Soup over it. A little bit of Shredded parmesan made it perfect .

Bonus ! There is now lots of room in the Fridge & I started a new pot of chicken stock.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Shrimp, Smoked Fontina & tomato Quiche with Shredded Potato Crust

This all Started Because we have WAY too many eggs & like 10 kinds of Cheese in our Fridge. I said I would make Quiche in the Morning , went to bed and dreamt Quiche recipes all night long.

I had pie crust but thought that a Crunchy Potato Crust would add more flavour & texture.  It worked really well . Took quite a bit more time so if you are in a hurry using a pie crust would be a better idea.This would have been amazing with the Shrimp left out and Spinach added as well.

IF you want a Basic mix your own ingredients/crust options check out the Moosewood cookbook.  Here is a version of that.

Shrimp, Smoked Fontina, Tomato Quiche with Shredded Potato Crust

2 med Potatoes Shredded (scrub & leave peels on)
1 TableSpoon  Flour
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
Salt , Pepper to taste

Preheat Oven to 400. Place 9 inch cake pan with 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil in the oven while it heats up.

Shred the Potatoes and then use paper towels to pat them Dry.  toss potatoes with Flour , Salt & pepper.

Take the Pan out of the oven & lightly press the potatoes into the bottom of the pan. The Oil should sizzle when you put the potatoes in.
Bake at 400 for 30 min. 
When its done it should be a bit Crunchy like Good Hashbrowns.


6 eggs
4 slices of Smoked Fontina
1/2 C. Cottage Cheese
1/4 C Milk
16 shrimp
1 med Tomato sliced
1 Tablespoon Flour
Salt & Pepper

Take Pan out of the Oven & set aside.

Place Cheese on top of the Crust.
Lay the Shrimp on top of the Cheese.

In a Bowl thoroughly mix eggs, milk , cottage Cheese, flour & seasoning.
Pour in the pan over the Shrimp.
Lay Tomatoes on egg Mixture.

Bake at 350 for 40 min.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mommo's Coleslaw Salad

All I had to do for dinner tonight was make a salad. My Friend Theresa was coming over to make Home Fried Chicken.  I was wandering thru the veggie aisle at the grocery and Pre-shredded Coleslaw was on Sale for $.98 . I decided to make the Coleslaw Salad that my Mother used to make.  It is great the first day but Better the next when all the Veggies have wilted a bit. ( This was Coleslaw Salad in my family because it had tomatoes & Cucumbers in it )

Tonight I made a small batch. Double it to take to a Potluck.

Mommo's Coleslaw Salad

1/2 bag pre shredded Cabbage
3 Med tomatoes diced
1 Cucumbers Diced
3 green onions chopped including green parts
2 tablespoons sweet Relish
1/2 C Mayonnaise
Salt  & Pepper to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Make sure to get all the Juices from the cutting board.   Let sit for a while before eating to let the flavours meld. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower with Vindaloo Spice & Rice with Indian Spices

The other night I felt like playing with my Indian Spice Box that I got during an Ambien night on Amazon. It is amazing and when I opened it My Living room smelled sooo exotic.

I don't really have recipes for these Items as it was a toss in what looks pretty ;-P

For the rice I toasted 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp dried Garlic Flakes, 1 whole dried Chile (break open if you want Spicy) & about 1/4 tsp of each of these yellow Mustard Seed, nigella seeds, white Poppy seeds, cumin seed, ground cumin, coriander seed, ground coriander . After the spices have toasted for a bit and are smelling fragrant add 1/4 C coconut oil (or Ghee or Butter even) and let the Spices infuse into the oil for a few min.  Add this to your Rice make with the makings for 3 Cups rice.  Instead of Water I used Chicken stock.  This rice came out with a really luxurious taste and texture.  Totally worth the time Toasting the spices.
 (It also goes with all kinds of Flavours. I used this with Cannelini beans & Roasted Veggies with Puttanesca Sauce both were yummy)

For the Cauliflower I used Penzy's  vindaloo spice mix, Garlic , Coconut Oil & A bit of Roasted Sesame Oil. I toasted the Spices and then melted the coconut oil and let them infuse.  I tossed this with 3/4  of a cauliflower & one Sliced Onion & finished it with a drizzle of Roasted Sesame oil.  Bake at 400 for about 1/2 hour.

We also roasted Brussell Sprouts & Radishes. Just toss With Olive Oil , garlic, Salt , Pepper & maybe a bit of flavoured Vinegar.  Radishes are actually Sweet when roasted. give them a try.

With the leftover Cauliflower heat it up and cook for a bit in Chicken(or Veggie) broth then Blend it for a soup with a major taste explosion. 

This is a ridiculously healthy and satisfying meal.  You won't miss the Meat. Trust me , give it a try. Go play with your own spice box.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I walked a few times today and am tired(but improving)so Tony is being my Cooking Hands.
I am trying to be good and use what we have in the house for meals. Since we have way too much in the house that gives us a lot to play with.
Tonight we are having Pork Chops w/ Apples & Onions served over Buttered Egg Noodles. Earlier this week Julie made Beer-Thyme Mustard from Scratch and I thought this would be great with Pork.  This is where I got the recipe.

This turned out wonderfully. So tender and the flavours melded perfectly. Everyone liked it, even Eric (the Picky eater).

Pork Chops

4-6 Pork chops or steaks
4 Apples (cored & sliced fairly thinly)
2 med or 1 large Onion (Halved & Sliced thin)
2 Tblsp of Beer Thyme Mustard (Any Grainy Mustard will do)
2 cups Broth (if not using Beer Thyme Mustard add a bit of Apple Cider Vinegar to this)
1 Tblsp Maple Syrup (Optional)
Garlic powder
salt & Pepper
Olive Oil
Flour for thickening sauce

1.   Season Chops on both sides and brown in Olive oil.
When both sides are brown remove from pan & add butter.

2.  Add apples and Onions to the pan and cook Stiring occasionally till they are starting to get soft.  Add a bit (maybe 2 Tblsp) of flour and stir till the Oil & Butter are absorbed.

3. Add Mustard and Broth.  Stir to mix well.

4. Return Chops to the Pan and bring to a boil.

5. Reduce Heat to med. & cover pan.

6. Let simmer for 30 min.

I thought this would be good with a little Maple syrup added with the Apples. Tony thought it was too much.  What do you think?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lately I have really been wanting Mjadra (, but my brain got ahold of the concept and went nuts with it.  I wanted veggies involved and we had some ground lamb that needed to be used.  My thanks go out to Julie who is out in the kitchen cooking this for me(I chopped the veggies).  It smells delicious. We have bread with Zaatar ( on it just in case we need more food.

Update( It turned out wonderfully all these wonderful flavors blended together, but each standing out)

Lentils & Rice w/Lamb

1lb Ground Lamb

2 cups lentils

2 cups Rice

2 1/2 large onions Sliced(Caramelized)

1/2 large Onion Diced

3 carrots Chopped

3 stalks Celery Chopped

2 red peppers chopped

8 oz mushrooms sliced

Raw Spinach 

Olive Oil & Butter



Red & Black seasoning (Penzy's Cayenne & Black pepper)

Sezhuan pepper & Salt to taste


  1. Slice onions & cook with olive oil & butter over low heat until onions are deep brown.
  2. brown ground Lamb with garlic, cumin & Black & red spice.
  3. add celery, carrots, peppers, mushrooms,  diced onions & a bit of Olive oil for a few minutes. Add tomatoes, 4 Cups Broth/ water & lentils. Cook for 15 min on Med heat. (add more water if needed for rice)
  4. Add Rice & cover. Cook for 15 min.
  5. Serve with Caramelized onions on top.
  6. put a bit of spinach in your Bowl and spoon the hot Lentil/Rice on top and stir. The Spinach should wilt a bit 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

big plans for tomorrow

Tomorrow I am going to Drive my car for the first time since August 10th. I am really excited to take this big step towards having my life back. 

I am also going to wedge myself back in the Kitchen & cook again.  Beans & greens italian style.   I know it is a bit annoying for my sweeties to have t help me with this, but its worth it to get back into doing as much as I can.  Soon I will be able to reach for things myself.

I was out walking yesterday and today. It was sunny and amazing.  200 feet each time.  Tomorrow I am gonna go out again.  It takes someone following me very Closely with the wheel chair , but thats OK for now.

Thanks for letting me share my excitement.  I will let you know how the beans & greens turn out.

Friday, February 3, 2012

I did it ---- Chicken Stew

I actually sat in my kitchen & participated in making a meal.  Tony cleaned the kitchen a bit then put away Groceries so that there would be Space for me and the Kitchen Chair. 

Earlier I had inventoried the big freezer and pulled out a bag of Turkey Broth & a package of Chicken thighs.  I decided I was gonna cook tonight.  
Well it was my vision and I did the chopping .  Considering its the first time since August that I have been able to get in my kitchen, I am happy with that as a start.

My Vision was a chicken Stew with fresh egg noodles in it.  We had Potatoes instead of noodles and it was perfect.  So comfort foody.  Dumplings would also be perfect with this.  I like the Bisquik dumplings with a bit of Sage added.

Chicken stew

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs

6 cups chicken Broth (we used home-made Turkey stock that was in the freezer.

Roughly chop:
3 Stalks Celery
3 Carrots
1 Onion

8-10 baby Red Potatoes (halved)
1 small or 1/2 large bag of frozen Peas

Feel free to throw in other veggies that you like Turnips, parsnips, squash & or kale would be great too.

Garlic Powder
Toasted onion powder (Penzy's)
Dried Sage
Salt /Fresh ground pepper
Butter/Olive Oil

Heat Olive Oil & Butter in a large heavy pan.
Season Chicken with onion /garlic Powder, sage & salt & pepper.

Cook Chicken until Brown on all sides.  Remove Chicken to a plate.

Put Onions, celery & carrots in to cook for several minutes until they are softening.  (Mushrooms would be good added at this point.)

Add the Broth & chicken and let cook on Med Low for 30 minutes . 

Add Potatoes and cook till tender. Add Peas and cook for a few minutes.  If you want the broth to be thicker , you can add some Flour & Butter(that has been mushed together)

Serve with well buttered rolls.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Playing With Spices

I love Spices! All kinds.  
I decided that I want to work on organizing what I can even though I can't get into the kitchen yet.  The obvious place to start was the Spice drawer because it is easily moved out to my bed.   (my bed now smells like Vindaloo)

Most of my spices are bought in bulk bags at Penzy's or on line.  The bags make the spices hard to find in the Drawer.   I was given 3 doz baby food jars. I labelled them on the Lid and the Side of the jar so that when you look down in the Drawer it is easy to find what you need.  Each of the Penzy's 4oz bags filled 2-4 Jars.

I will need to get more Jars (hopefully a little bigger jars) I will put up Pictures when I have it all fixed up.

My favorite Spices are :garlic, Cumin, fresh sage, rosemary, Thyme, Oregano & all kinds or Peppers.    What are your favorites?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Eggs poached in Veggies

This is another comfort food non recipe. It is also a really easy quick recipe when you are too tired to think about what to eat.
You could serve this with buttered bread, tortillas, rice or pasta.  I like buttered bread.
I have made this for people who thought it sounded odd and then Loved it. I am craving it now and will see if I can get into the kitchen this week (with some help) and make it.    
Bonus is that is is So healthy and adjustable for food allergies/preferences.

Veggies  (as many or few as you want : Onions, Peppers, mushrooms,
zucchini, carrots, celery, broccoli, beans )
Spices (depends on what style you want  italian garlic, oregano, rosemary Mexican garlic, cumin, chili powder  )
1 Can diced tomatoes

In a large fry pan saute your veggies & spices in a tiny bit of Oil.

When they are not quite Soft add the can of tomatoes and cook for 5 or so minutes on Medium heat.  

When the tomato veggie mixture gets thick make little holes and break an egg into each hole (my pan holds 4 -6 eggs).

Cover & cook for a few minutes. Check the eggs when they are almost the way you want them sprinkle on the cheese and cover for another minute.

Beef Stroganoff in the Slow Cooker

This is a total Comfort Food for me. I like the Hamburger Mushroom Soup version well enough, but this is so much better & it has leftovers.   I don't use exact recipes so the amounts of these ingredients are usually dependent on what I have around.  If you have dried mushrooms to use with this it will kick up the flavour, but they are not required. Whatever Mushrooms are on sale work just fine. You can even add a can of Mushroom soup and it will be great.  Don't you love Flexible cooking?
(Scroll to the bottom for a in a hurry version)


1 beef roast (7 bone or whatever is on Sale one with some fat will have better flavour)
Olive Oil
Garlic  cloves, Chopped  ( Optional Roasted garlic cloves coarsely chopped)
1 large Onion Chopped
1 oz Dried Mushrooms (any kind you like, Costco has a great Mix of dried mushrooms)
2 cans beef  or Veggie Broth ( water works too)
a bit of Red Wine or red wine vineger (optional)
8 oz fresh mushrooms chopped/quartered
1 16 oz sour cream
1 bag wide egg noodles

(spices  that you like.  I like Salt, Pepper, GARLIC, sage, oregano & or Rosemary)

Season the roast liberally with salt & pepper
Heat Oil in a Dutch oven & Brown roast on all Sides.
remove Roast to a plate & add Onion & Garlic to the pan cook on Med for a few minutes & then add Fresh Mushrooms ( & roasted Garlic).  Cook for a few Minutes & add red wine  or vinegar to the pan scraping the bottom to get all the good mixed in with your veggies. 

Put the Roast back in the pan.

Add The broth & dried Mushrooms (& any herbs/spices that make you happy) cover the pan , bring to a boil & then put in the oven at 250 degrees for 7-8 hours.

Remove the Roast & let cool for a bit.

Add a bit of Water to the Dutch oven (or Crock pot) & bring to a boil.  When the broth is boiling add a bag of Egg Noodles and let them cook till done (soaking up the broth).

While the noodles cook shred the roast .  When the noodles are done mix the shredded beef back into the pot and add sour cream right before you eat.

If you are using a crock pot and in a Hurry you can season the meat to taste and dump everything except for the noodles &sour Cream in the Crock pot and leave it on Low till you get home from work. Then follow the rest of the instructions for after the roast is done.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Bean Soup & Outback Style Bread

Since I am not able to move around my kitchen yet if I want to "cook" I need a helper.  Tonight I really wanted to use the new bread-maker, but figured if I was going to put Poor Eric to work searching for ingredients it should be for something he would like to eat.  Thanks to the Internet I found  a recipe for his favourite bread.

 Here is the recipe we used.

I wanted to make the Black Bean, Black Eyed Pea and Barley soup mix that I picked up at Bob's Red Mill today, but was tired and had bugged Eric enough for the day so Tony took over and dinner is almost ready.  Everything Smells so good and I am looking forward to being able to enjoy ameal that I got to at least help a bit with the prep on.

Bob's Red Mill

Today Laurel took me to Bob's Red Mill ( and I got lots of exercise wheeling myself around looking at all the wonderful products.
 If you go to the regular grocery Bob's products can be a bit spendy, but at the Mill you can get them all in bulk for much less money. The bulk section is really nicely organised . There are file drawers with Labels & Recipes for every product.

Many of the Flours & Mixes are gluten free.  If I were cooking for someone that needed the Gluten Free products I would get the individually Packaged Mixes as the bulk section has regular and gluten free Items near each other and Flour tends to get everywhere when you are scooping from bins.

Some of the things I picked up are:
 Black Bean, Black Eyed Pea & Barley Soup Mix, Garbanzo Flour, Vital Gluten powder, Pastry Flour, Nutritional Yeast Flakes, Dark Rye Flour, Currants, Dried  apples(diced small), Date Crumbles & Bean Seasoning packet.  Lots to play with.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chicken Stock/ soup

Since my tummy is still slightly unhappy I am really wanting Brothy soup.  We have a couple of left over chickens and they will go in the Stock pot tomorrow. one is ust a store bought raosted chicken the other is the Soy Sauce Chicken we had this week, I think they will make a great flavorful broth.    I am also planning on making a ginger honey 7 grain bread.  Wish me luck , I will let you know how it goes.

Monday, January 9, 2012

One Huge Step for Sammo's Life

After many Months of being in bed and relearning to walk, today I made my first trip out in a CAR. I was able to get in and out of My Laurel's car. We went to Uwajimaya and I got to enjoy picking out all my sauces & seasonings for way cheaper than they would have been at Safeway.

After I Napped a bit Julie helped get me to the edge of the kitchen & I got to mix up the poaching liquid for the chicken.  Julie did the rest of the Cooking things and Eric put together my Cooking Chair so I can start cooking this week. 

I have been waiting since August 11 to have my life back,  today was a step in the right direction. 

Julie just brought me in a taste of the chicken & veggies. It was amazing.

Thanks for letting me share my happiness,


Soy Sauce Chicken

A whole chicken poached in soy sauce, Chinese wine,
ginger & sugar sounds so yummy right now.  I made this many years ago when we were in Vegas, but I was not organised enough to freeze the poaching liquid so that I can reuse it.
 I am including the recipe I used from the NYT (Mark Bittman). Some changes I will make to this recipe are adding a tiny bit of Sesame oil, Dried Mushrooms, &  red chili flakes.  Not being fans of Anise we will skip the star anise pods.

(note  we added A bit of Mushroom oyster sauce, a ton of Garlic & some Rice Wine Vinegar)


Recipe of the Day: Soy-Poached Roast Chicken

This is the antithesis of the usual poached chicken, in which all the bird’s flavor leaches into the cooking liquid. Instead, the meat takes on a powerfully complex taste from the seasonings.
Soy-Poached Roast Chicken
Yield 4 servings
Time 40 minutes
Mark Bittman
You can serve the chicken straight out of the stockpot with the liquid as a sauce, but I like to finish it in a hot oven, where it develops a crispy, dark brown crust that takes roast chicken to another level.
  • 3 cups mushroom-flavored soy sauce, or any dark soy sauce
  • 3 cups mei kuei lu chiew or any floral off-dry white wine, like gewurztraminer or muscat
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 14-ounce box yellow rock sugar, crushed, or 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 ounces ginger (about a 5-inch knob), cut into slices and bruised with side of knife
  • 10 scallions
  • 1 chicken, 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
  • 1. In stockpot or narrow 6-quart pot, combine soy sauce, rice wine, 2 cups water, star anise, sugar and ginger. Bring to rolling boil. Add 6 scallions. Lower chicken gently and slowly into liquid, breast side down.
  • 2. Bring back to boil, and cook steadily for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, and turn chicken over. Let sit in hot liquid 15 minutes.
  • 3. Meanwhile, trim and mince remaining scallions and preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  • 4. Carefully remove chicken from liquid, and put in skillet or roasting pan. Roast 5 minutes, or until nicely browned; keep an eye on it -- it can burn easily. Meanwhile, reheat liquid. When chicken is ready, carve and serve with a few spoonfuls of sauce over it. Put minced scallions into a cup of sauce; pass at table to go over white rice.
  • Note: You can reuse the liquid -- it improves with each use -- although I would strain it and replace the ginger, scallions and star anise each time, adding extra liquid. I also recommend freezing it between uses, or refrigerating it and bringing it to a rolling boil every few days.
Source: The New York Times

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Why Dumplings?

This blog isn't about dumplings. Its about the fact that pretty much every culture has a dumpling.  They are all made a bit different, but it is a wonderful thing that no matter where you go there will be Dumplings to eat