Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Mediterranean Lamb Stew

This rich and delicious hearty Lamb Stew
is a slow cooked meal that falls off the bone
because of how tender it is.
This meal adds a new twist to Sunday cooked meals at home with the family.
Because leg and shoulder cuts are tough
require slow cooking,
cuts are far more economical for the budget.
But, they cuts are so tender when cooked and the bone adds soooo much flavor to the dish.

Mediterranean Lamb Stew
Here's what you'll need:

1 tbsp. EVOO
3-4 lbs of shoulder or leg chops
1 1/2 cup pureed stewed tomato
1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp each oregano, salt, pepper
1/4 tsp chili flakes
3-4 chopped stems of flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup white or red wine

Preheat a large skillet on med. high heat.
Add the oil.
Place each rinsed and patted dry chop into the pan.
Do not over crowd.
Brown on all sides

Add wine and reduce turning the meat over.
I had too much for this pan so I transferred the meat to a large pot.

Add tomato puree, paste and the herbs and spices.

Stir to coat.
Add 1 cup of water

Cover leaving lid slightly ajar.
Simmer on low, checking for liquids every half hour until tender approx. 2 hrs.

Enjoy with love

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Classic Tiramisu


A classic pick me up dessert.
Every Italian household has prepared or devoured this wonderful dessert that has delicate biscuits soaked in alcohol flavoured espresso.
Ready to prepare in minutes and oh so delish!
Sometimes special occasions call for special desserts.
This dessert is spectacular without the fuss.

Here's what you'll need:

1 1/2 pkg of Savoiardi biscuits or lady finger
1 1/2 cup brewed, cooled espresso
500g tub Mascarpone
3 tbsp. sugar
1/8 cup kalua, rum or amaretto liquor
2 lg. eggs separated
1 tbsp. of cocoa

Beat egg whites in a stand mixer bowl to firm peaks
Remove to another bowl.

In the same bowl beat yolks on high for 2-3 min to a light lemon colour. Pour in the sugar and continue beating until no sugar granules remain.

Add the cheese.

Beat for 3-5 min. on medium high until fluffy.

 Fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture.
Set aside.
Mix the coffee and liquor together in a vessel.
Dip each cookie and place along sides of a springform pan.
If needed cut the ends to fit the size you would like.
Use the ends to fill in the bottom and any spaces.
 Spread half of the cheese filling to the edges.

 Repeat until you reach the top of the pan.

 Sprinkle with cocoa powder.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Enjoy with love!

Saturday, 13 February 2016

How to make a
Hearty Beef Stew

In my home stews, are my comfort food.
I can stew them slowly on the stove or in the oven.
I can prepare them and toss the ingredients into a
slow cooker and when I return home...
everything is done.
If the chunks of meat are small enough I can even eat the stew with a spoon~
don't tell anyone but, when I'm home alone and we don't all eat together...
I curl up on the sofa and eat my stew nestled into my hand! Heaven!
I hope you like this rendition which utilizes
leftover gravy and leftover green stems, which
save on the budget and reduce our footprint on the

You'll need:
2-3 lbs of stewing beef or veal
2 tbsp. oil
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 bay leaves
2-3 peeled and cubed potatoes
1 onion chopped
1/2 bell pepper diced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2-3 peeled broccoli stems and fennel tops, diced
1/2 pickled jalapeno pepper, chopped 
1 tsp chipotle spice
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup red wine
 2 cups leftover gravy

 In a preheated saucepot add the oil and brown beef on all sides.

Add the wine, parsley and bays leaves.

Stir to mix, reduce the liquids for 5 min.
Add gravy to the pot.

Prepare the vegetables.

 Add to the pot.

Stir to mix.
Bring to a boil.
Immediately reduce to a simmer.
Cover with lid, ajar.
Cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hrs, stirring regularly until fork tender and liquids are reduced.

Hearty Beef Stew
Enjoy with love.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Blueberry Smothered BBQ Duck

I have made many types of meat, poultry and game.
I have really never attempted at making duck,
I received a gift certificate from one of my winning entries,
I decided to use some of it for
Organic Duck Breasts
Many of us have heard of Duck a l'orange or Tart Cherry sauce.
I had none of that in my home except blueberries.
At first I thought it would be too sweet,
but then,
I realized that fruit is only sweet if you add sugar to it.
I decided to pare my fresh blueberries with rosemary and some white wine.
Well, the combo is awesome, dark, rich and colourful.
The Organic Breasts were so tender and not gamey at all. I rendered the skin on the BBQ, skin side down and I got a crispy skin that didn't need to be removed to be enjoyed.
This would be a great Valentine dinner for 2!

Blueberry Smothered BBQ Duck

Here's what you'll need:

2 organic duck breasts
1 pint washed, picked through blueberries
1/4 cup white wine
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp each salt and black pepper
1 tsp paprika

 Score the skin

Sprinkle with seasonings, marinate for at least
1/2hr or overnight if you have the time.

 Place on a hot grill or BBQ skin side down.
Cook for 10min until crispy, turn over for another
5-8 min or until desired doneness.

Meanwhile add wine, berries, rosemary and a pinch of salt to a small saucepot.
Bring to a boil.
Skim any foam off the berries.
Cook for 5-10min reducing the sauce.

Diagonally slice breasts.

Spoon sauce over breasts.

Enjoy with love~

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Fa la la la la, la la la la.......
tis the season

to bake!
Candied Fruit Log

For a few years now, I have not baked cookies for Christmas.
Cookies do take extra effort and I have been baking fabulous desserts when invited instead.

This year I was in the mood to bake the cookies that I learned to make with my Sicilian neighbor, who bless her,
has passed on.
She was a wonderful baker.

This is where tradition begins,
 recipes pass from generation to generation.
She knew I loved to cook and bake so, when she made this big batch of cookies, any help would be grateful~
She would make them during the day and when my girlfriend (her daughter) and I would come home from school we would help her ice the cookies.

Of course we would sample as we helped too ;D...
Contrary to most Biscotti,
these are not baked twice and are softer in the center.

Here's what you'll need:

Candied Fruit Log

6 lg eggs
1/2 cup milk
I used dairy free
1/2 lb Crisco vegetable shortening, melted, cooled
6 1/2 cup flour
1 grated orange and lemon
2 1/4 cup sugar
5 tsp baking powder
1 cup each chopped nuts and candied fruit

Mix dry ingredients together.
Stir in fruits and nuts.

Whisk eggs, milk, sugar & Crisco

Pour liquids into dry ingredients.
Mix by hand to form a firm dough.
Knead gently on a lightly floured surface.
Divide into 6 pieces.
Roll each piece into logs*

Place 2 or 3 logs onto your baking sheet.
Roll out to the length of your baking sheet. This will determine the size of the roll.
Line with parchment or silpat.
Bake 20-25 min until lightly golden.

2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp lemon or orange extract
3-6 tbsp. milk or lemon/orange juice

Mix until you like the consistency.
You may like it thick or thinner.
Allow to dry then slice the roll.

You can ice each roll, dry, wrap and store
slice, ice individually, dry, then store.
Either way, place over a rack lined baking sheet.

Store tightly wrapped or layered with wax paper in a large plastic freezer proof container for
up to 3 months.

Enjoy with love!

Monday, 2 November 2015

BBQ Cider Beef Ribs

We are now in the full swing of Fall weather~
Patio furniture is stored, leaves raked and
the home is winterized.
I love to use the oven especially for slow roasting beef, not only does it warm up the kitchen but the wonderful aromas waft throughout the home making everyone feel comfy cosy inside, against the chilly backdrop in the evening.
These fall off the bone BBQ Beef Ribs have a bit of a tart bite using Canadian Apple Cider Vinegar.
 The glaze will give these fall of the bone ribs a mouthwatering shine!

Here's what you'll need:
3-4lbs of beef ribs
1 cup BBQ sauce
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 bay leaves
1 tsp each oregano, steak spice, salt
 vegetable oil

In an oiled skillet, brown all of the ribs on both sides and place into a casserole dish.

Sprinkle with spices, herbs and seasonings.

Pour the BBQ sauce and vinegar over the ribs.

Cover with foil and bake in a preheated 300F for 
2 hrs.
Remove foil after 2 hrs and continue roasting for 1/2-1hr basting with juices in between.
*Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook for 4-6hrs
with lid slightly ajar 
Enjoy with love!