Monday, November 23, 2009

French Onion Soup

I'd never done it from scratch and felt like some. This is one of my comfort foods.

At first, I tried making the croutons myself, but I baked them too hard and they were a little burnt. So I threw them out and used some toasted english muffins instead. That was a mistake. It's good for broiling croutons to be absorbant and take in a bit of the broth on which they're sitting. The muffins were too waterproof and came out hard and rubbery. :(

But the soup itself was delicious!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cabbage Roll Casserole

I thought I'd try something different and see what I could do with cabbage. I never buy cabbage (not too fond of it).

So this is a variation on stuffed cabbage cigars. Basically the same deal, except everything gets shredded and thrown into a casserole dish.

It was all right, but the rice wasn't cooked enough. I can't figure out brown rice, which is what I use. I never get it right.

Oh well.

Mushroom Soup

There is a lot in this recipe that I substituted. It was probably not as good as the original recipe, but it was still pretty darn good. Experimenting can sometimes give good results. This is one of them.


- 1/4 cup of butter (I used margarine)
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 cup half/half. (I used 2% milk)
- 2 tbsp of flour
- 1 cup of chicken broth
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 cups of mushrooms (I used regular white ones)

On medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms and onion and let them sautee for about 5 minutes, or until they're soft.

Add the flour and mix until evenly blended. It will make a sticky paste.

Stir in the chicken broth and cook while stirring until it starts to boil.

Add the half-half (milk), salt and pepper.

Bring to the point just before boiling.

Stir often. Heated dairy will create a film on top or burn at the bottom if not stirred.

Serve right away and store any left-over quickly in the fridge.

You can try it with different kinds of mushrooms. There are many, so try the ones you like!

Click here to link to the original recipe.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Curried Tuna Melts

This is a pretty easy snack.

What you need:

- 1 can of tuna
- 2 English muffins
- Raisins (optional)
- 2 tbsp of mayonnaise
- 1/2 Onion
- Mozarella cheese
- Curry powder

Pre-heat the oven to broil.

Chop the onion.

On medium-high heat, brown the onions slightly in a little bit of oil.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

Add curry to taste.

Spread the mixture over the split english muffins and put on a cookie sheet.

Cover with sliced cheese.

Put into the heated on the middle-upper rack and leave until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

TIP: Never leave anything on broil unatended. It's really hot and things can bake (brun) really fast.

There you go!

Vegetable Stir-fry

Easy and goes great with the Chicken Fried Rice recipe.

What you need:

- Teriyaki sauce
- Garlic powder (real garlic would be awesome too!)
- Instant noodles
- A bit of water
- A bit of oil

Now, this is pretty much good with any vegetables you want to throw in.
- Green Peppers
- Onions
- Mushrooms
- Frozen asian vegetable mix

Start the water boiling at high heat. When the water boils, throw in a couple of squares of quick noodles. The instruction say to boil them for a minute, but I always find it undercooked. I leave them in until they're tender. When they're done, drain the water and put aside.

While the noodles are cooking, heat up a skillet (or wok if you have one) with a little bit of oil in it. Use medium heat.

When it's hot, drop in the fresh veggies and heat for a few minutes, just to brown a bit.

Stir occasionally.

Then, you can add the frozen veggies and a little bit of water. Cover with a lid. I use a pizza pan, because it's just the right size for my skillet.

TIP: The lid gets hot! So don't touch it without mitts!

Lift the cover and stir on occasion, so it won't burn or stick.

When everything is cooked to taste, add the noodles, and teryaki sauce. It's all to taste.

Keep stirring in everything until it's all mixed.

You're done!

You can eat it on it's own or over a bed of rice.

I like sprinkling some sesame seeds over, to give a bit of taste. And it makes it look nicer. Yum!

Chicken Fried Rice

This is pretty easy!
A tasty rice that uses left-over chicken scraps.

What you need:

- Cooked rice (instant works fine)
- Soy sauce
- Garlic poweder (or chopped garlic)
- Vegetable oil
- Mushrooms (if you want) *
- 1 or 2 eggs (depending on how much you want)
- Chicken, chopped

* You can choose any vegetable you'd like in there, as long as it's finely chopped. Green onions would also be good.

Heat the skillet with a bit of oil on medium heat. When the oil is hot, throw in the mushrooms and let them cook for a few minutes until they're brown.

Add the cooked rice with a little bit of water and garlic. Stir constantly for a few minutes.

Add the chopped chicken and the soy sauce to taste.

Now, comes the "tricky" part. It's actually quite easy. Push the rice to one side of the skillet. Break the egg and drop it in the cleared space. Stir constantly, until fully cooked, so the eggs get scrambled. When that's done, mix in with the rest of the rice.

The egg is not fully cooked at the end of the video. When it's not runny anymore, it's cooked.

And there you have it. Fried rice!

Friday, November 6, 2009


I felt like having this when I came home from work.

A delicious oven-baked sandwich.
This is a version of a treat my mom made sometimes. She always baked it in the oven. I found some recipes similar, where they fry them in a pan. I'm sure it would work, but it wouldn't be like mom's.


- 2 slices of bread
- Some ham
- 2 slices of cheese. Whichever one you like. I recommend either Swiss or Mozzarella.
- 1 egg
- Honey Mustard (optional)

Pre-heat the oven at 350F

Spread the mustard over the bread.
Put the cheese over the slices of bread and add the ham. Close the sandwich

Scramble the egg with a fork in a bowl. Soak both sides of the closed sandwich in it.

In an oven-proof plate, put in the oven on the middle rack.

Leave for about 15 minutes. Just keep checking that it isn't burning and that the bread turns a nice golden colour.

Just out of the oven

When it's done, take out and enjoy!

Mmmmmmm! Tasty and warm!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Broiled Chicken

It's easy to broil a chicken!
Pre-roasted chickens from the store may be less expensive, but I find that I can do so much more with a home-cooked chicken's left-over parts.

So, here is what you need:

- 1 chicken
- 2 carrots, julienned
- 2 branches of celery, julienned
- 1 clove of garlic (I forgot the garlic this time!)
- 1 onion, sliced (I forgot this too. Late night baking makes me forgetful!)
- vegetable oil
- paprika
- 1/2 cup of water


Pre-heat the oven at 400F

Mix the oil and the paprika.
Oil and paprika mixture

Coat the bottom of the roasting pan with the vegetables.

Use this to coat the chicken. Make sure to get every nook and cranny!

Coating the chicken

Put everything uncovered on the 2nd lower rack in the oven. If it's in the middle, I find it's too close to the top element and makes it burn too fast.

Leave it in there for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 325F. Still keeping uncovered, pour the water into the pan and leave to cook for about an hour.

TIP: Fire alarms usually don't like this stage. They'll go off, even though nothing is actually BURNING. So, be prepared to open a window or air out with a towel.

To check if your chicken is done, check the meat temperature. It is cooked at 180F.
If you don't have a thermometer, the chicken is cooked when the juices run clear.

TIP: Another trick to ckeck how done the chicken is. Grab the thigh bone and try twisting it around. If you feel the meat easily coming off and letting go, it's cooked.

Cooked chicken, out of the oven

You can use the vegetable either as a side or combine them with some BBQ sauce to make a tasty sauce.

Frosty Strawberry Squares

These are delicious and easy! THe trickiest part is separating the egg whites.


I modified the recipe slightly.

What you need:

- 1 cup flower
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds
- 1/2 cup margarine
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups of sliced strawberries *
- 2 tbsp of lemon juice
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, which is whipped **
- 1 tsp of vanilla. (I added that. I thought it would go well with the strawberries and almonds)


* I used some strawberries that I had frozen earlier this summer. Thawed strawberries become very mushy, because they contain a lot of water. So what I did was actually mash them with a potato masher.

** I realized as I was making the recipe that I had forgotten to pick up some whipping cream!!! So I hurried to the nearest convenience store and sadly, all they had was coffee cream (18%). See below for results.

Ingredients (except the sugar)

Mix the sugar, flour, butter and almonds. Keep mixing until everything is slightly crumbly.

Crumbly mixture

Next comes baking the bottom of the squares. You can use a shallow pan, but if you don't have one, you can make a temporary one by spreading some aluminum foil, rolling the sides to make sides for the temporary dish.

Preheat the oven at 350F.
Bake for about 20 minutes, on the middle rack.

Preparing the crumble crust for baking

While the crust is baking, mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl EXCEPT THE CREAM until well blended. Using whipped cream, you would fold it gently in, not mixing too much to keep it stiff. Because I used cream, it was still liquid so it didn't matter.

Strawberry mixture

When the crust is baked, take it out and allow it to cool down a bit into the pan. I left mine a little bit too long and it cooked slightly too much. But still good! Not burnt.

Baked crust

Transfer the crust to the serving dish, about 9 X 13 in size. You're supposed to save a third of the mixture, but I forgot and put it all in. You're supposed to keep the rest to sprinkle on top. But anyway, this not being made with whipped cream, would have sunk in anyway. :P

Crust in the dish

Pour the strawberry mixture over the crust. Put into the freezer for at least six hours.

Mixture added on the crust

The squares, frozen and well-eaten!

Eat the squares still frozen. Very sweet and tasty!

Squash and Potato Soup

This is a slightly modified version of a recipe I found online.
This recipe requires a blender, a hand mixer or a food processor, because it is a puree.

Click here for original recipe


- A decent size spaghetti squash. About 2 lbs. (The original recipe called for butternut squash, but this worked out fine too)
- A medium sized onion, sliced
- 2 tbsp of butter or margarine
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
- About 2 litres of chicken broth
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed.
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup cream cheese. (I had this left over. It's optional, but gives it a nice thick texture)
- 1/2 cup sour cream. (The recipe suggest a dollop upon serving. I decided to put it in right off)

Spaghetti Squash

TIP: To make sure that your squash is ripe, check the skin. It should not have any soft spots and the squash should sound hollow when slightly tapped.

Preheat the over at 375F.

Cut the squash in half, lengthwise. Use a cookie sheet or baking dishes with rims. Put a thin layer of water in them (about 1/4 inch) and put the squash face down in the water.
Bake them in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the flesh is soft.
Take them out and let them cool down a bit. Scarpe-off the flesh and separate the seeds. Put the flesh aside in a bowl.

Spaghetti squash, cut in half. Before cooking.

In a large pot, melt the butter and add the onions and garlic. Sautee them until they're tender.

Onions and garlic

Pour in the chicken broth. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are soft.

Added the broth and potatoes

When the potatoes are cooked, add the saved squash and mash the whole thing. Then, using a hand mixer, puree the whole thing until smooth. I don't have one, so I had to use a food processor. Which means that I had to transfer smaller quantities back-and-forth. That was a messy pain. Anyone want to send me a hand mixer? :D

When all is smooth, add all the spices, salt and pepper and cream and bring the whole thing to a simmer for about 20 minutes.

TIP: I usually don't add very much salt to my recipes. People's tastes are different and it's easy enough for them to add salt to taste. Not so easy to take it out. ;)

Final soup!

This soup is delicious either warm or cold as left-overs.

This recipe makes a lot, so you can put some aside in air-tight containers and frozen to be enjoyed later! It will just be a bit more liquid, because of the freezing process. It's a great fall/winter soup for warming you up.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Meat Loaf

An easy classic!

You will need:

- 1 lbs of ground beef
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 small onion
- 2 slices of bread with crust (I used the crust I had saved from the blintzes!)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground mustard
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup barbecue sauce (You can also use ketchup or chili sauce)



First, heat the oven at 350F.

TIP: The oven needs to have fully reached the indicated temperature in recipes. You can't just turn it on and shove the stuff in right away. Bad! :P

While the oven is heating up, peel and chop the garlic finely. Peel and chop some onion so that you have about 3 tbsp. Or more, if you like onions!
Put the beef in a large bowl and add the onions and garlic.

Adding the onions and garlic

Tear the bread in small pieces and add them to the mixture.

Adding the bread

Drop in the milk, Worcestershire sauce, salt, mustard pepper and egg. Mix it all until everything is well blended.

Everything mixed in

Put the mixture in an ungreased baking pan. Pat the whole thing down lightly so it's leveled.

Patting down the loaf

Spread the BBQ sauce / Ketchup / Chili on top of the loaf.

Sauce spread on top

Put into the oven, middle rack and uncovered. Leave for 50 to 60 minutes.
You'll know it's done when you cut into the middle and the juices run clear. BUt I find it so much easier with a meat thermometer. No guessing!! When temperature reaches 160F, it's done!


Take out the loaf and let it rest a few minutes before cutting in slices and serving.

Add some vegetable, and enjoy!


Based on Betty Crocker's meatloaf recipe.