Thursday, 17 April 2014

Apple BBQ Sauce (Tomato Free)

As I was making this, I commented that if this turned out, I would have no idea what I did to make it again. Well, it turned out and now I have the task of trying to remember everything I threw into the pot. The great thing about this is that while it tastes like BBQ Sauce, it also has the apple and smokey taste to it. I had it on pork tenderloin, but it would probably be amazing on ribs for the apple wood smoked flavour.

Recipe adapted from Taste of BBQ

Ingredients

1 1/4 C. Apple Sauce
2 C. Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp. Molasses
6 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1 1/2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce 
1 Tsp. Pepper
1/2 Tsp. Salt
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Tsp. Paprika
1/8 Tsp. Cayenne
1/4 Tsp. Dried Chilies 
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch

Directions

~Combine all ingredients (except cornstarch) together in a medium saucepan and whisk until smooth.
~Bring mixture to a boil and continue to whisk, then reduce to medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
~Whisk in cornstarch and bring back to a boil, continuing to whisk
~As soon as sauce thickens, remove from heat.

Enjoy

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Chow Mein

This recipe is amazing. Not much more to say than that. Other than this disappears at alarmingly fast rates and it honestly tastes better as leftovers the next day once all of the flavours have blended. It's even good cold, or hot, or anything in between.

Even though I've made this multiple times, I can't say I have a picture of it. Maybe the next time.

While I've used for the most part the same ingredients as the original recipe, the steps to make it I've really changed around to fit how I typically make stir fry's. So this recipe is adapted from Canadian Living.

Ingredients

1 - 400g pkg Chow Mein Noodles
1/4 C. Oyster Sauce
2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp. Oil
1 Onion, thin strips
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tsp. Ginger, minced
1/2 C. Chicken Stock
Optional
*Vegetables (snow peas, peppers, broccoli)
*Meat (chicken, pork, beef)
*Bean Sprouts

Directions

~Cook noodles according to package instructions, drain & set aside.
~In a bowl, combine oyster sauce, soy sauce & sesame oil. Set Aside.
~Heat oil in a large skillet and saute onion until transparent. Add garlic & ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes.
~Add noodles, chicken broth and sauces to pan and stir until heated through.

Optional
~Before adding noodles to onions, add in and stir fry your choice of vegetables, then add noodles.
~If adding in any meat, stir fry in a separate skillet and once cooked, add into onion mixture with the noodles and sauces.
~Sprinkle finished product with bean sprouts

Enjoy!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Tangy BBQ Sauce



This tastes amazing. What's even greater is that it doesn't have ketchup in it. It's pretty tangy. I tasted it before adding the final 3 ingredients in at the end of simmering and I just about knocked myself out. It was a little bit strong. Luckily it tamed down significantly towards the end and just tasted amazing.

I used this as a sauce for pulled pork and it was fabulous. It would also be wonderful I suspect on chicken. I had some extra sauce left over and it was dumped in the crock pot with a roast and the roast tasted pretty good the following day.

Recipe from about.com

Makes 4-5 Cups

Ingredients

2 C. Yellow Mustard
1 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1 1/2 C. White Vinegar
1/2 C. Water
1/4 C. Chili Powder
2 Tsp. Black Pepper
1/2 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 Tsp. Soy Sauce
1/4 C. Butter
2 Tbsp. Hickory Liquid Smoke 

Directions

~Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan, except for the soy sauce, butter and liquid smoke.
~Bring to a boil, whisking constantly and then lower to a simmer for 30 minutes.
~Whisk in the reserved 3 ingredients and allow to simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Enjoy

Monday, 22 July 2013

Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers



These were a success. Like a really, really big success. Usually only some of the more unique things I make, pass the 'would I make this again test?'. This one passed with flying colours and everyone seemed kind of shocked that this slightly bizarre concept could taste so amazing.

Recipe from Quick & Easy Recipes.

Ingredients

8 oz. thinly sliced roast beef (or leftover steak)
8 Slices Provolone Cheese (I used a spicy Monterey Jack and it was amazing, don't use havarti it just melts away to nothing)
2 Green Bell Peppers
1 Onion, diced
1 C. Mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp. Butter
2-3 Cloves Garlic, minced
Salt 
Pepper

Directions

~Preheat oven to 400 F
~Slice peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and stem.
~Place a slice of cheese in side each half of the pepper
~Combine onion, mushrooms, butter, salt & pepper in a heated skillet and saute until softened.
~Add in beef slices and stir long enough to heat.
~Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly.
~Scoop mixture into each pepper.
~Top with another slice of cheese.
~Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese on top is bubbly and golden.

Enjoy

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Peach Cobbler


This is a Paula Deen Recipe that is absolutely amazing. In our household, we've always made crisps or crumbles. That's all we've ever known. Throw the fruit in the pan and top with some sugar and oats. That sort of thing. The odd time I'd comment that I wanted to make a cobbler and my Mom would whip out so and so's blackberry cobbler recipe. Fruit on the bottom, biscuit like dumplings on the top. Then one day things changed...

I wanted a cobbler. Something different you know. I made a couple attempts at finding a really good cobbler recipe, but nothing really seemed to be out there. A couple of times I combined a couple and came up with my own doughy topping, but it never was what I was looking for.

The whole time this was happening I kept finding these really odd recipes that were calling for a lot of butter to be melted in the bottom of a pan. Batter added next. Followed by fruit on top. How was this supposed to work? I dismissed them every time. To me this just didn't seem possible. How would you get a perfect layer of fruit on the bottom, when you put it on the top?

Finally one recipe convinced me it might be possible (plus logic that heavier things sink helped out), but the recipes all seemed to look like you had fruit on the bottom (dry, ungooey fruit) and a cake (dry again) on the top. Not what I wanted. So again I passed over these recipes.

Until I decided to trust Paula Deen's recipe. Because if she can't make a good cobbler, I don't know who could. And it was magical. Why did every recipe I found fail to mention that the cakieness on the top is anything but dry? As it moves up through the gooey peaches it gets all these amazing flavours. Then once it arrives at the top it has just the right sugar and butter amounts to caramelize and have an almost candy like coating over the top. All the while, the fruit on the bottom is so syrupy and delicious.

Verdict: Delicious. Amazing. So worth it. When can I make it again?

I didn't have enough peaches on hand (or so I thought). I wanted to double this recipe (wasn't necessary, it puffed up A LOT and almost overflowed the dish). So I used half peaches, half rhubarb (also because I had a lot of rhubarb to get rid of). So I just subbed out half of the peaches for rhubarb. Easy peasy. What I didn't expect to happen was for the rhubarb to completely vanish, and the peaches to stay whole. Of all things. If you were to hold a piece of peach and a piece of rhubarb in your hand, it would seem like a no brainer to say that the peach would dissolve and vanish during cooking. It is just so juicy and soft and moist, whereas the rhubarb is so hard. But that is not what happened. So my fruit layer was very much a white gooey syrup with a few peaches throughout. I can't wait to try this with all peaches though. Can't wait.

Ingredients

4 C. Peaches, peeled and sliced
2 C. Sugar, divided
1/2 C. Water
1/2 C. Butter
1 1/2 C. Self Rising Flour  (make own: 1 1/2 C. Flour, 1 Tbsp. Baking Powder, 3/4 Tsp. Salt)
1 1/2 C. Milk
*Optional* Ground cinnamon (for sprinkling)

Directions

~Preheat oven to 350 F
~In a saucepan, combine peaches, 1 C. of the sugar and water and bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Stirring often.
~Meanwhile, place butter in a 9x13 pan and place in oven until melted
~In a large bowl, combine remaining 1 C. sugar, flour and milk. Mix until clumps are gone.
~Pour flour mixture over melted butter (DON'T STIR).
~Place fruit on top (DON'T STIR)
~Pour syrup (from fruit) gently overtop (DON'T STIR)
~Sprinkle with cinnamon (I don't think this is absolutely crucial. Up to you. The topping has so much flavour already.)
~Bake for 30-45 minutes (I can't remember what my exact time was) until top is dark golden and crispy.

Enjoy

Friday, 19 July 2013

Pink Paradise (Hippie Juice)


Okay, I had to come up with another name for this. There was no way that I was going to be able to drink something called Hippie Juice. There was even less of a chance that the people I was serving this to would drink it if they knew the name of it. So, the name has been changed. It is now Pink Paradise. AKA Your Drink. This is the drink that I'm sure everyone has seen all over Pinterest. Yup, I had to give it a try. So worth it.

This is pretty good and by pretty good I actually mean you could very easily drink way too much of this. We did. In our defence though there was a lot of people we were sharing it with. But we did go through 3 jugs of this in a weeks time. If you use the actual Simply Lemonade you'll get three batches of this drink out of two jugs of lemonade, fyi. Also, I preferred the regular lemonade, to pink lemonade in taste, but the pink lemonade gave it a much nicer colour.

Also, if you're not going to drink this all within a day or two, either don't put the strawberries in, or pull them out and eat them (and watch when you try to stand up. Whew!). Don't leave them in there to sit for more than a day or two because they'll turn and wreck the whole drink. That's too much alcohol going to waste there. So don't do that. 

The original recipe used watermelon vodka. I haven't searched everywhere yet, but I'm pretty sure that it's not available in Canada. So hence the Watermelon Liqueur and Vodka split 1:1. The original called for that total volume of the two, just as watermelon vodka. So if you can find it, use 1 1/2 C. of the vodka.

Recipe from Peace, Love, Guacamole originally, but I used Quest for Delish's volumes (and I'm happy with them)

Makes 1.75 L

Ingredients

3/4 C. Watermelon Liqueur
3/4 C. Vodka
1/3 C. Triple Sec (plus an extra splash)
1/2 C. Malibu
Lemonade
7 Strawberries

Directions

~Using a funnel, pour alcohols into a clean 'Simply' jug
~Cut strawberries into pieces and add to alcohol
~Top up with lemonade.
~Put lid on and shake to combine.
~Chill before serving, or serve over ice.

Enjoy







Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Brownie Recipe - Chewy, Ooey, Gooey

Sorry, no picture for this one (is one really needed for a brownie anyway? We all know exactly what they look like, or rather, what they are supposed to look like). By the time I realized that this was the exact recipe I was looking for to call my best brownie recipe, the brownie was no longer worthy of being photographed. I mean, I guess I could go and snap a picture right now of the one remaining corner piece, but I think that saying that there is only one piece remaining says a lot more than a picture ever would.

I just wanted a basic brownie recipe. Was that too much to ask for? One that was gooey and fudgey and had very little flour and cakeyness to it. I also didn't want to add anything to it to make it gooey, like marshmallows. I just wanted a brownie. Well I found it!

I looked through the dozens and dozens of brownie recipes I have saved, to come to two conclusions. 1) 99% of the brownie recipes I have saved, all have something special done to them. Oreos, s'mores, rocky road, nutella, etc., and 2) the two recipes that were just plain old brownies, happened to be the exact same recipe. So armed with the knowledge that at least two people found this recipe to be worthwhile and posted it, I set out to make them, and I'm glad I did. It was so good. Like make your teeth hurt sweet, which is absolutely perfect.

I did change up the sugars a bit, like a lot of the reviewers commented they did. Instead of using 3 C. of white sugar, I did half and half of brown and white. I'm sure it would be great any way, but I know this way was delicious.

Recipe from All Recipes

Ingredients

1 C. Butter, melted
1 1/2 C. Sugar
1 1/2 C. Brown Sugar
4 Tsp. Vanilla
4 Eggs
1 1/2 C. Flour
1 C. Cocoa
1 Tsp. Salt
1 C. Chocolate Chips

Directions

~Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9x13 pan
~Combine butter, sugars and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add in eggs and whisk until incorporated
~Stir together flour, cocoa and salt in a separate bowl.
~Add dry into wet and stir until mixed.
~Stir in chocolate chips
~Spread into pan
~Bake for 30 minutes

Enjoy