Sunday, August 29, 2010

My Kitchen My World - Visiting Canada!

I love being in this group!  We get to visit a different country each month.  For August, we traveled to Canada.  I researched Canadian traditional foods and the one that I kept finding over and over was poutine - basically french fries topped cheese curds and then smothered with gravy.  It may be the most delicious side dish there is, but for some reason it did not appeal to me on this day.  Maybe tomorrow...

I chose Pork Chops with Apples.  Having only had a half bag of popcorn for lunch today, I was ready for something really substantial.  These were very easy to cook and I have to say, they were delicious!  I served a creamy corn soup, Potage de ble, as an appetizer.  I left off the celery and the leek, however, and added a touch of cilantro for flavor.  I also cheated a bit and used frozen corn.  It was pretty good, but I'm not a huge corn fan, that is unless it is fresh corn on the cob grilled to perfection in which case I will be the first in line!  Chandler said the pork chops were sooo good that once he tasted those, he quickly forgot the soup.  I heartily recommend these chops - especially on a busy weeknight.

As most of you know, we just returned from Dallas where we were blessed with our first grandbaby.  We were able to spend a few days holding her, and we hated to leave her, but. . .work and other obligations were calling me back home unfortunately!   They will be here for Thanksgiving so I guess it doesn't need to be said that it will be a long three months waiting to see her again.  I fell in love instantly when I saw that pretty little face!!

Here are the recipes for my virtual trip to Canada!  I can't wait to see what everyone else in the group chose this month.  Check out the website for more recipes!

Apple Pork Chops

6 Pork chops
Pork chop fat or oil
2 ts Butter
-salt and pepper to taste
3 Apples-unpeeled with cores
1 ts Sugar
Cook the chops using melted fat trimmed from the meat and 1 tsp butter.
(Note those concerned about their fat intake may chose to use corn oil or
some other vegetable oil rather than the pork fat). Season to taste and set
on hot platter. Keep warm. Slice the apples 1/2" thick and add to the pan
with 1 tsp butter, the sugar and a few pinches of cinnamon or cloves. Cook
over medium heat for about 10 minutes, turning once or twice until some of
apples are browned. Arrange them around the chops and serve. Serves: 4-6
To quote Mme. Benoit, "The apples keep the chops moist and tender. I
sometimes use 6 to 7 apples, then I use 1 Tablespoon sugar. Serve very

Source" _The Canadiana Cookbook_ by Mme. Jehane Benoit
Potage de ble ( Corn Soup)

2 c -Water
2 c Milk
4 c Corn kernels; fresh
-frozen may be used if out
-of season
1 ts -Salt
2 tb Butter
1/3 c Celery; chopped
1/4 c Onion; chopped
1/4 c Leek; chopped, white part only
2 tb Flour
1/2 c Whipping cream
-Salt & ground black pepper
This fresh corn soup from Renard Jacques, chef at Auberge Benedict Arnold
in St. Georges is rich and creamy. It may be made with frozen or canned
corn kernels, but it won't have the same delicate sweetness.
Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add milk, corn and salt; cook
just until corn is tender. Strain cooking liquid into a bowl and set corn
aside. Heat butter in same saucepan and sauté celery, onion and leek until
softened. Blend in flour; cook until bubbly. Stir in reserved corn
cooking liquid. Bring to a boil, then partially cover and let simmer for
15 to 20 minutes.
Place corn and liquid in food processor or blender and puree in batches
until smooth. Return to saucepan and add cream. Adjust seasonings with
salt and pepper to taste. Reheat until piping hot.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


As most of you know, my first grandbaby, a baby girl, is arriving shortly so I will not be cooking this week for the blog.  If the baby has not arrived by Sunday, my daughter-in-law will be induced on Monday morning -- so at least we have an end date to look forward to!!  YEA.  

I will be back to cooking and blogging after next week!   Look forward to reading yours and seeing what good things to eat you all are preparing.

I'm sure there will be photos next blog!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

CEiMB - Sloppy Joe's!

Hostess this week is . . .

My blogging friend and a wonderful cook, Chaya, chose this week's Ellie Krieger recipe for our CEiMB group.  Sloppy Joes.  Now we are big "Manwich" people.  Especially in the winter months.  I love to make them for dinner and have a couple left over for work lunches the next day.   I have never heard of sloppy joes, however, with beans in them.  Until today.

These were very simple to make.  You just cook some ground beef with onions, garlic, add some tomato sauce and a little paste, a can of beans, a few other items, dash of this and a dash of that, and in just a jiffy you have some fabulous sloppy joes! 

I did make a few substitutions.  First, I left off the bell pepper because we aren't fans of the big ole red or the big ole green, or the big ole yellow for that matter. Although I do love a good stuffed pepper occasionally. I used red pepper flakes instead of the jalapeno because I didn't have a jalapeno.  And I was fresh out of molasses so I used some brown sugar.
Ellie you did it again.  They were fabulous and I will never buy Manwich again!

Oh a sour note.  I was very ill over the weekend.  I passed a kidney stone.  Please take my tip and drink lots of fluids -- always.  You never want a kidney stone, especially one that decides to come out!

Now, here is the recipe for Ellie's fabulous sloppy joes!  Now go try them for yourself and let me know if you agree.

1 pound extra-lean ground beef

1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 red pepper, diced
1 can small red beans or pinto beans, preferably low sodium drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups no-salt-added tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon mustard powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 whole-wheat burger buns


Brown the meat and the onion in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, breaking up the meat into crumbles as it cooks. Pour the drippings out of the pan and discard. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and red pepper and cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes more. Place a half-cup scoop of the mixture onto each bun and serve.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

CEiMB - Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Spinach or. . . if you are allergic to shrimp, try salmon!!

Host for the week:  Jennifer of The Rookie Baker

As most of you know, I don't walk away, I run from shellfish since I am uber allergic.  I wanted to make this dish and cook along with Jennifer, so I adapted and used grilled salmon.  Jennifer, this was an excellent choice - we give it ten stars!

First, I had to find some wine that I liked while Chandler grilled our salmon.  I usually do not drink dry wines, so this was all I had.  It was pretty tasty.

This recipe was so easy.  You saute some onions and garlic.  Then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer.  I did substitute cayenne pepper for the red pepper flakes, and sort of put in a pinch too much so ours had a kick to it.  "Fra Diavolo" means "Brother Devil", which means it is spicey, so it is not for the hot spice sissies. But man, is it good. I used whole wheat angel hair pasta and by the time it was ready, the sauce was too!  After the sauce cooks a bit, you add some fresh spinach to it and the shrimp salmon, then the pasta.

Added some breadsticks filled with mozzarella on the side, and we had a beautiful and healthy dinner on the patio!  Check out Jennifer's blog by clicking on her link above and see what she did with this recipe!  Ellie Krieger this is one great dish!


12 oz Whole Wheat Spaghetti

2 tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup Red Onion
4 clove Garlic
3 1/2 cups Canned Tomatoes, Diced
1 cup Dry White Wine
1 tbsp Tomato Paste
1 tsp Oregano, Ground
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
1 lb Raw Shrimp
3 cups Baby Spinach

Monday, August 2, 2010

TWD - Gingered Carrot Cookies

One of my favorite bloggers, and I consider her my friend as well, is our TWD host this week.  When I saw it was her turn, I knew she would pick something delicious and I knew I would want to bake it along with her.  Chandler was very excited about her choice too because he loves carrot cake and figured these would be very similar.  He was right!  They are like miniature little bundles of carrot cake in a cookie shape!  I always think twice about baking a carrot cake because they just seem like a lot of trouble to whip up.  But these were so easy I will definitely be rewarding Chandler with these often.  I halved the recipe since we are still reeling from chocolate turtle cake that I made last night. It is a good thing I did because I could eat the entire cookie sheet while they were still warm!  The only change I made to the recipe was I substituted pumpkin pie spice for the nutmeg and I put the entire egg in rather than trying to halve an egg.  Okay, can you halve an egg?  Just a click on the link above will take you to Natalia's blog where you will lots of creative baking with an Italian twist!
My firm sends us healthful tips on occasion and I thought this one worthy of sharing with you all.

The best way to remove a splinter is with an onion! Cut a small, postage-sized piece of fresh onion and place it on the padded part of an adhesive bandage. Then, wrap it around the splintered skin and keep covered all night. By morning, the onion will have drawn the splinter to the surface, making it easy to remove with a pair of tweezers.