Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Consumption notes: OMNOMNOMNOM!! It's quite good, very flavourful and delicious. I think if you use the spinach like I did, don't put sauce between the layers of ravioli. Put it on the top like you're supposed to. A few of my top ravioli pieces got a bit dried out due to lack of coverage. And if you drop any pieces of ravioli on the floor while attempting to transfer them to your plate, they make a nice "splat!" sound and a big mess. I'm just sayin'........
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I don't normally eat a lot of dessert, but I've got an awful lot of baking ingredients lying around, begging me to use them up. I found this recipe under the "Healthy" section so I thought I'd give it a try.
I think next time, mostly for esthetic reasons, I'll use regular white flour for this recipe. I only had whole wheat flour on hand and wasn't going to go buy more just for this recipe. It does make the crust a little difficult to discern when it has baked to a golden brown, and the lemon topping looks a little weird with whole wheat flour in it, but overall, it doesn't seem to affect the taste and might even enhance the "healthy" factor. I didn't substitute any other ingredients and actually added the salt which I don't normally do when cooking.
I went and bought a pasty blender to try with this recipe, but it didn't really work all that well. It eventually got the job done, but seemed to clog very easily with the ingredients it was supposed to be blending. First time for everything. I managed to separate the egg without incident, but spilled flour and sugar all over the counter when they surged unexpectedly quickly out of their respective bags. I squeezed the lemon into a separate little dish before adding to the big bowl of ingredients which turned out to be a stroke of brilliance on my part. It's easier to pick out the seeds from the smaller bowl.
You might want to read ahead as I failed to do, and notice that you're supposed to pour the filling onto the cooled, baked base. The operative word here is cool because when my filling was ready, my base was still blazing hot, having just recently been snatched from the oven. A trip downstairs to the "cold cellar", and an eventual stay in the freezer finally chilled the temperature enough for my impatient self.
You might notice from my photo that my light dusting of confectioner's sugar is rather heavy-handed. Once again, the sugar threw itself out of the tipped bag in a giant pile before I could correct the angle at which I was pouring it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Besides, the white top helps to disguise the strange appearance of the filling.
The ratio of filling to crust seems a little low to me. While the filling has a nice lemon flavour, there just isn't very much of it and most of my mouthfuls consist of salty-ish crust and excessive amounts of sickeningly sweet icing sugar, the latter being my own fault. I also don't seem to have prepared my pan well enough as I have to fight with my squares to remove them which results in a lot of messy lemon square destruction. Oh well, at least they're tasty.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Well, I lucked out on this recipe in terms of groceries. I didn't need to buy any. The best kind of recipe!
I didn't have the precise chicken bits that they called for so I used my last two chicken breasts. My soup wasn't the no-fat, no-fun version, just the regular version. I used my newly discovered no-salt-added chicken broth, and since I had an extra 3/4 of a cup to finish off the container, I threw it in the dish and added an extra 1/3 cup of brown rice to compensate. No scallions here. Don't like them and didn't have any. I didn't bother with the pepper and added the paprika after uncovering the chicken. The veggies I used are a peculiar mixed batch that I probably won't buy again, containing such things as yellow zucchini and lima beans. I also used an 8x8 glass pan instead of the recommended 9x13 size.
I had an epiphany the other day when I discovered that I could use the 1/2 tsp twice to fit into a spice container when the 1 tsp spoon wouldn't fit. Genius! Saved me shaking the bloody spice all over the counter as has happened before.
After the chicken finished cooking, there was a bit of rice stuck to the edges of the dish, but overall, the soupiness that I had seen earlier was gone. Stir in some veggies, cover, and chuck back in the oven for a few more minutes.
End result? Tasty! LOTS of rice in my version, but hopefully you will abide by the suggestions laid forth in the actual recipe. I just realized I was so hungry and my food was so good that I forgot to take a picture for the blog...bon appetit!
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
As recipes go, this one is pretty straight forward and easy if you don't mind all the chopping, draining, and other prep steps. I don't have a photo of my results just yet because my camera is suddenly acting strange. I'll post it later if I get a chance.
There were a few substitutions/modifications for my version of this recipe. I found only 1/2 lb of ground beef in the freezer so I thawed the additional 1/2 lb of ground pork that I found in there too. And by the way, 1 lb of meat as called for in this recipe is a LOT of meat at the end.... I couldn't find lime juice at the store so I skipped it altogether. I used canned corn and added an extra handful. I passed on the red pepper on principle since I don't like peppers. I only had dried coriander so I used 3 tbsp of it and I keep forgetting to serve myself the cheddar cheese on my chili.
I can tell I've been away from cooking for a while: my eyes keep streaming when I'm chopping onions. My immunity seems to have worn off while I was in New Zealand. I had to guesstimate how many baby carrots to chop to make up the 1 carrot I was supposed to be dicing, but I just used as many to make a slightly bigger pile than the celery. I'm learning not to be perfect.
Final result in my version is good! I had it for lunch today. It's got some pretty good flavour which is a stretch from my usual bland choices. Your guts will thank you for the fibre in the beans too :)
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Hallo again! I've returned to the kitchen, semi-reluctantly, after a prolonged absence mostly spent on the other side of the world. You should be proud of me; I ate goat cheese, edam cheese, curry, Tim Tams, and some weird kind of sandwich meat while I was gone. Not to mention the odd pieces of dirt and sandflies too.
So, back to Canada now, and back to the grind of post-vacation life. This means I need to cook for myself again. Back to the drawing board....and since it's spring, that means it's also time to use up all the crap in the deep freeze, cupboards, and shelves! I'm tired of being stared at by the same old ingredients.
I had what I thought was a smart-ass idea the other day, and I posted a Facebook status saying I was looking for recipes to use up ground beef and evaporated milk. "Surely", I chuckled to myself, "those two things NEVER belong together! Let's see if anyone else notices." But suddenly I did get a reaction - an unexpected one from my friend Donald who came up with Shepherd's Pie. To humour him (and myself), I opened the Carnation website and found a recipe that matched. Who knew? So I tried it...
I'm taking a new approach to grocery shopping these days. No longer am I going to buy in "stockpile" mode; instead, I will shop for what I need and use up stuff at home as much as I can. This means that since the recipe called for 1.5 lbs of ground beef and I'd only thawed about 1 lb, it's a bit lighter on the meat in my version. I added a bit more frozen vegetables to compensate, and I certainly have more than enough potato. Next time, I need to remember that I don't like peppers or lima beans when I'm shopping for frozen veggies. Blech!
Ah yes, the potato topping. Last time I made Shepherd's Pie, I had the bare minimum of topping. Not a problem this time! The only issues with the potatoes arose when I went to peel them and couldn't find my peeler. Admittedly, I couldn't really remember what it even looked like although I was 95% sure I actually owned one. I ended up cutting off the peel, but next time, I'll probably just wash them loads and leave the peel on. The colour is part of the appeal when I buy red potatoes.
After I'd cooked them to death, it was time to mash. By now, I'd found the peeler (now that I no longer needed it) and my eyes were no longer streaming from the onion, so I tried to figure out a way to smash a vegetable residing in a deep camping pot, knowing for an almost certain fact that I do not own a potato masher. I tried a couple of ideas, no go, but suddenly I was hit with a brilliant brain wave and ended up using my hand mixer to create some lovely smashed potato!
I left out most of the salt because I just don't need a ton of added salt in my life, and I also left out the red pepper because there were already gross peppers in the frozen vegetable mix. The ketchup was a bit of a gong show but seems to have been for the good. I used up what was left in the ketchup bottle, then I used up what was left in the BBQ sauce bottle, then I made up the remainder of the 1/3 cup called for with more BBQ sauce of unknown origin. I don't normally like BBQ sauce, but I figured this was a good way to not realize I'm eating it and it adds flavour.
My first dish to put into the oven was too big (I didn't have the required measurements so I had to improvise), but my second choice turned out well. Too bad I didn't know that first or I wouldn't have additional dishes to wash. Ah well, c'est la vie. It bubbled away for about 30 minutes and I had some today for lunch. I'd have to say it's pretty tasty although my version is a wee bit runny. I'm not exactly sure why, but I think it had something to do with the remainder of the can of evaporated milk, or maybe from the frozen vegetables thawing. Who cares, really? It's good enough to have again for lunch tomorrow.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Don't ask me what the "Dirty Rice" part means. I rinsed mine as directed. Is it dirty because the rice is brown instead of white? Bah, I'm so not Cajun-wise.
Well, I made almost this entire recipe while on the phone with a friend. Hats off to me for multi-tasking! Luckily, it wasn't a horribly complicated recipe or I probably would have messed it up somehow.
So, the alterations: I didn't use chicken liver (are you KIDDING me??), soy replacement (barf), ground pork or ground beef. I used ground chicken instead, because I can. It was more expensive than ground beef, but it's leaner so I thought I'd give it a try. I didn't have authentic big carrots to cut so I hacked up some baby carrots, roughly a handful. I used a tin of chopped tomatoes (you'll have lots of liquid at the end, fyi), and about 3 large handfuls of baby spinach because the grocery store didn't sell it in bags. I happend to choose chicken broth because it was where my hand landed in the cupboard, and I used a small dab of coriander from the squeeze tube because I couldn't find cilantro at the store and they both start with "C". I skipped the salt and pepper because I forgot about them (I was on the phone, remember?), and used olive oil to saute my vegetables.
I didn't adjust the amount of liquid I added to the recipe so my liquid hadn't quite evaporated/been absorbed as it was supposed to. After the 15 minutes of covered cooking, I still had lots of liquid left so I just turned the heat up a bit and left the lid off, stirring periodically until most of the remaining liquid had disappeared.
My version of this recipe is quite tasty. I have no idea how cilantro would have tasted instead of coriander, but I like what I made. Good thing since there's a lot of it and only me to eat it. The only thing I will mention is that the ground chicken looks a little white and pasty in the dish, in case that's something that might bother you. I'm sure ground beef would give a nice, darker contrast and perhaps a more favourable flavour? Try it and let me know :)