Just a little ole working gal, who loves food

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Boneless "Rib" Medallions

Us up here in Ontario have been experiencing one of the worst winters. Snow storm after snow storm, frigid temperatures, long dark days...makes one crave summer and the barbecue. Well I couldn't wait anymore and was really craving some ribs...but with the super cold weather and wind...our smoker just kept on going out. So indoor boneless 'cheat' ribs it is!
 
 
Boneless "Rib" Medallions
 
Ingredients:
 
2 Pork Tenderloins
1/2 Cup of your favourite Rib rub
(Mine includes: Brown Sugar, Paprika, Cayanne, Chili Flakes, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, touch of Cinnamon, White Pepper & Sea Salt)
1 1/2 Cups of BBQ Sauce, Homemade or Store Bought, simmering on the stove top

 

 
Rub the spice rub all over your tenderloins and let rest in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

 
Allow tenderloins to come to room temperature. In a cast iron pan sear the tenderloins on high heat with some vegetable oil until browned on all sides.

 
 
Once browned remove from the pan and place on a foil covered pan in a 325F pre-heated oven

 
In the meantime heat up your BBQ sauce...we like to make our own (secret recipe!) but store bought works fine as well.

Baste the tenderloins every 10 Minutes with your sauce...flipping them each time to get good caramelization.

Once tenderloin has been cooking for about 40 Minutes remove from the oven and slice...they should be pink in the middle still.

Baste with more sauce and throw back into the oven for another 10 minutes or until cooked through.

Serve with your salad and channel some warm summer thoughts!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Twice Baked Sweet Potato with Goat Cheese & Scallions

I don't have much to say in this post except that I miss by Barbecue that is currently buried under a few feet of snow, I miss the sight of green grass, and I miss flip flops. Calling on the spring gods to wake up and give me some warm weather!!! Here is a recipe in the meantime:
 
 
Twice Baked Sweet Potato with Goat Cheese & Scallions
 
Ingredients:
 
4 Sweet Potato
2 Tbsp Sour Cream
1 Tbsp softened butter
Salt & Pepper
Nutmeg
Fresh Goat Cheese
1 Scallion, chopped
 
Roast your sweet potatoes for 1 hour or until soft to the touch in a 350F oven. I wrap mine in tin foil.

Remove the cooked potatoes and allow to cool for about 15 minutes so you can handle them. Slice the potatoes in half and with a spoon gently scoop out the flesh into a bowl.

Add your Sour cream, butter, salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg. Mix well!

Scoop the potato mixture back into the skins

Top the potatoes with crumbled goat cheese and scallions and return to the oven for about 10-15 minutes at 325F to warm back up.
 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Shrove Tuesday-Pancake Muffins with Maple Brown Butter & Candied Bacon!

When I decided to run a marathon in the fall everyone that I knew that had run one before warned me of the time commitment. They weren't joking. My life has become run, eat, sleep, repeat it seems. My eats have been pretty boring as well...lots of chicken salads, oatmeal for breakfast 6 days a week and lots and lots of protein shakes and vitamins.

The husband has for sure gotten tired of the repetitive meals, and freezer meals I have been cooking up so this week I decided its time to revive the blog and get myself back in the kitchen! I am a foodie after all and am running enough that I can burn all the calories!!!

Tomorrow is one of my favourite days...Pancake Tuesday!! An excuse to eat pancakes and bacon for dinner...or all day long! Of course we do eat breakfast for dinner at least once a week anyways but there is something  fun about everyone joining in! Unfortunately, I have a group run after work tomorrow that won't get me home until late...so I have a limited time that I am home to change and scarf something down and came up with this rather brilliant way of making pancakes to go...with ALL the fixings!!

Brown Butter & Maple Syrup Pancake Muffins with Candied Bacon!

Ingredients:

5 Strips of Bacon
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
3 Cups sifted unbleached all purpose flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
2 1/2 Cups Milk
2 Large Eggs
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
3 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Butter
Maple Syrup

First you need to make your candied bacon. Lay your bacon flat on a foil lined baking sheet. Rub brown sugar over the side facing up. Bake a 350F for about 20 Minutes or dark brown and crispy.

Perfectly cooked! Allow to cool on paper towels or a cookie rack.

Once cool roughly chop and set aside.

Next is the brown butter. Take your butter and allow to melt over medium heat...swishing around every couple of minutes

Brown butter needs to be watched. Keep on swishing it around...it will start to foam up.

And eventually turn a nice golden brown. Remove from the heat at this point and set aside.

Combine Flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, eggs, milk and oil in a mixing bowl with a whisk. Mix together until just combined and all large lumps have disappeared

Grab your muffin tins and with a brush, grease each muffin tin with the brown butter. Make sure to get all the sides and bottom.

ladle the pancake batter into the muffin tins (about 3/4 full). Bake at 425F for 10-12 minutes or until the outer edges turn a light brown.

Remove the cooked pancake muffins from the oven once cooked and immediately baste with maple syrup while still hot (I would pop them out of the tin first...ignore my poor picture showing otherwise)

While the maple syrup is still sticky, top with the crumbled bacon. Serve with more warm maple syrup for dipping!!!

Breakfast is ready!!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Korean Beef with Broccoli

Do you ever go to Costco and buy one of those giant things of ground beef...then you get home and make spaghetti sauce, some burgers then you don't really know what to do with the rest of it? Well make this! Its fast, super yummy and realllllly easy to make for a weeknight meal!
 
 
Korean Beef with Broccoli
 
Ingredients:
 
1Lbs Lean Ground Beef
3-4 Cloves of Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Tsp Minced Fresh Ginger
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Sesame Oil
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
1 Tsp crushed red peppers
Lots of Fresh Ground Pepper
1/2 Cup Green Onions
 
Steamed Broccoli
Cooked Jasmine Rice
 
 
 
 
In a large saucepan brown your ground beef with the sesame oil over medium heat

once almost browned add your ginger and garlic.

 
Once all cooked through add the brown sugar, soy sauce and pepper flakes. Allow this to simmer on low for about 10 Minutes. Season with pepper.

Before serving mix in about a half cup of Green Onions.

 
Serve over fresh Jasmin Rice and some steamed broccoli!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Spicy Coconut Thai Soup with Cilantro Lime Jasmin Rice

This winter has not been forgiving so far. Frigid temperatures, storm after blizzard after storm, the flu, colds coughs etc etc.

I have been fighting a cold and chest infection over the past week and was craving something warm and spicy to clear up my sinus's. I looked through my usual soup recipes and nothing really spoke to me. So last night at the grocery store while getting some ingredients to make a basic minestrone soup I came across the "Asian produce" aisle and saw a lovely bunch of lemongrass. Then I smelled the fresh cilantro and became inspired to make something with Thai flavours! This was a super flavourful soup that really did its job (I am even craving it for breakfast!)

Spicy Coconut Thai Soup with Cilantro Lime Jasmin Rice

Ingredients:

2 Small Cans (or 1 1/2 Cups) Coconut Milk
2 Cups Chopped Mushrooms (I used a mix of Shitake and Cremini)
1/2 Cup Diced Red Bell Pepper
4 Cups Chicken Stock (At Room Temperature)
2 Tbsp Minced Ginger
2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Stalk of Lemon Grass (Sliced Lengthwise)
3 Scallions, Chopped
1 1/2 -2 Tbsp Sambal Oelek (Ground Fresh Chili Paste) - More or less depending how spicy you like it!!
1 1/2 Tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Sugar
Fresh Chopped Cilantro for Garnish (Optional)
Juice of Half a Lime for Garnish (Optional)

4 Cups Cooked Jasmin Rice mixed with the Juice of 2 Limes and a 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

 
 

 
In a heavy bottomed soup pot saute your fresh ginger and garlic with the vegetable oil over medium heat until fragrant (a couple of minutes), stirring constantly so the garlic does not burn.

Add your mushrooms and bell peppers, continue stirring until the mushrooms start to soften.

Add your lemon grass stalk (I also sliced mine in half to fit in the pot) as well as your chili paste and thai red curry. Stir for a couple more minutes.

Add your coconut milk, chicken stalk, soy sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil and lower heat. Allow to simmer for about 30 Minutes.

In the meantime make your rice. Cilantro is optional as I know the flavour isn't for everyone.

After the soup has simmered for 30 minutes discard the lemon grass stalks, add the chopped scallions and ladle soup over rice in individual bowls.

I like my rice swimming in soup!

Garnish with more fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Orange Almond Lace Cookies

I make these cookies every Christmas. Something about the distinct orange flavour in them makes me feel like they are a little festive. They are also SUPER easy to make and a huge crowd pleaser (especially if the crowd loves butter!)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Cups of Finely Chopped Almonds
3/4 Cup unsalted butter
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Tbsp unbleached Flour
1 1/2 Tbsp Orange Zest
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Egg, beaten



Take your almonds (about 2 cups to start) and place them in a large ziploc bag. Mash the bag to chop the almonds. You can also use a food processor however I like some larger chunks left in the blend.

The texture should look something like this. I actually ended up with 2 1/4 cups of the chopped almond mix and used it all. The 2 cups is just a guideline.

Zest your orange (1 orange should be enough)

I a sauce pan melt your butter over very low heat. You do not want it to boil.

Once the butter is JUST melted remove from the heat and add your Almonds, sugar, flour, zest and salt...mix together quickly with a spatula.

Lastly add your beaten egg. Mix quickly to combine.

Spoon out Teaspoon fulls of the batter on to a parchment lined baking sheet. Leaving lots of space in between each cookie. These spread very very thin. Bake at 325F for about 12-15 Minutes or until the edges of the cookies are a nice golden brown.

allow cookies to cool on parchment paper.

Enjoy this crispy, chewy, lovely cookies!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Jalapeno Artichoke Cheese Dip

I have been making this dip since my days in college. It was introduced to me by some friends of mine who while in University, needed to whip up a dip for company coming over. This was all the stuff they had in their fridge and served with a fresh baguette, was an instant hit.
I have since stolen the recipe and have been making it for family events ever since (Although my family all refer to this dip as "Natasza's Dip" cause I did give her the credit for telling me all the ingredients!)

Ingredients:

1 Block (250g) Room Temperature Cream Cheese
1 Cup (+ 1/2 Cup extra) Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Onion, Sauteed in 1 Tsp Butter
1 Small Jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts
5-10 Pickled Sliced Jalapenos, chopped (Use more or less depending how spicy you like it)
1 Tsp of the Jalapeno pickling juice of the jar
1 Tsp Garlic Salt

In your saucepan, saute your chopped onion with 1 Tsp of butter until caramelized. Set aside.

Chop your Artichokes and Jalapenos

In a large oven proof serving bowl add the cooked onions, artichoke and jalapenos

Add your Cream cheese and sour cream

and lastly add your grated cheeses and garlic salt. Season with pepper only. Salt is not needed.

stir everything together really well, adding the jalapeno pickling juice into the mixture.

drizzle the extra 1/2 cup of cheddar over the dip and garnish with some more jalapenos.
Bake at 375F for about 20 Minutes or until the dip is heated through and bubbling. Serve with sliced baguette and tortilla chips.