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.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cheese Blintzes

Looking at ideas for a potluck, I found this on and it looked interesting and different.

Cheese Blintzes recipe is here.

They don't seem like true blintzes, since it uses a shortcut of sliced bread. But it seemed pretty easy as a finger food and I like trying new tastes.

Using an entire loaf of white bread, cut off the crusts for each slice.

TIP: Save the crusts to make a meatloaf with some ground beef.

Cutting off the crusts

Next you flatten each slice with a rolling pin. I don't have one yet, so I use a large bottle.
Works just as well!

Flattened bread slices

Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.

Sugar and Cinnamon mixture

Mix the room temperature cream cheese, milk and vanilla in a large separate bowl.

Filling mixed

Spread the filling generously on each slice and roll up. Cut off the ends if you want to make it look nice. I also cut each piece in two, so they would be smaller.

Filling spread

Blintz rolled up with the ends cut off

The whole batch

Dip each blintz in melted butter and roll in the sugar cinnamon mixture.

The video cuts a little bit short. I ran out of memory in the card. You get the idea though.

Put all the blintzes on a cookie sheet. I love parchment paper. So easy for no sticking!!!

Prepared to go into the oven

Put into the pre-heathed oven at 350F for 10 minutes.

Coming out of the oven

Serve them with a dollop of sour cream. They're not an overly sweet desert. A little bit tart.

EDIT: They went like CRAZY! Everyone seemed to love them. And they never knew that the cream cheese and the sour cream were low-fat. Shhhhhh! ;)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pork Roast with Vegetables

I had never done a pork roast before and while grocery shopping, I saw that they were on sale this week. So I grabbed one and decided to go for it!

What you need:

- 1 tsp of butter/margarine
- 2 tsp of oil
- 1 pork roast
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 branches of celery
- 1 potato
- 3 carrots
- Salt, pepper, thyme

First, pre-heat your oven at 350F.

Pork roast

The piece of meat is about two pounds (2 lbs) which is good for one person with plenty of left-overs for lunches throughout the week.

Searing the meat

Over a medium-high heat, heat your oil and melt your better. Sear the piece of meat on every sides for about 30 seconds to prep it for cooking and seal in the juices. Do the top and bottom as well, even though it's awkward holding it.


After that, put your piece of meat aside and season it with salt, pepper and thyme to taste.
Cut up the veggies and crush the cloves of garlic.

You would usually use one hand to press down on the knife blade while the other is guiding the handle, but I had to hold the camera. :P

Vegetables : carrots, onions, celery, garlic.

I cut up about 3 regular size carrots in, 2 celery branches and a medium-sized onion.

Browning the vegetables

Lower your heat to medium. Using the pan you just heated for the meat, drop the onions, garlic and celery in and brown them just for a few minutes, so that they're not raw anymore.


While the vegetables are heating, cut up a potato. I left the skin on, because I like it, but you should take it off if you don't. It doesn't affect the cooking.

Chicken sauce

The recipe I used as a guide called for some brown sauce (you can get that in a can apparently). But I didn't have any so I looked for recipes to make some. It called for beef concentrate, which I didn't have. I DID have some chicken one though, so I used that instead. So, instead of a brown sauce, it was now a yellow sauce.

6 table spoons of butter/margarine
6 table spoons of chicken concentrate
6 table spoons of flour
1 laurel leaf
Thyme, salt and pepper

Melt the butter and chicken concentrate over medium heat until well blended. Add the laurel leaf, thyme and flour and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Add some water to taste to get a liquidy texture. Mine in the picture was way too thick and I added water later.

Into the pan

Lay your cooked vegetable at the bottom of a foiled pan (makes it easier for cleaning!). Lay the roast over them and put the carrots and potatoes around it. Spread the sauce over the roast.

Covered with tinfoil

Cover the roast and veggies with foil. Don't close it tight, so the steam will be allowed to get out.
Leave in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the center is slightly pink. It's important not to over-cook the meat, because it will become dry and tough.

Letting the roast rest.

When the meat is done, take the broiler out and put the roast aside. Leave it to rest covered in foil for 15 minutes. This allows it to finish cooking and seals in the juices.
Use that time to take out the vegetables from the pan.

Vegetables are DONE!

Roast, done and cut open
The picture makes it look a bit pinker then it was actually.

This was a success, and I'm happy that I could improvise some last-minute changes and it still turned out great!

This is the original recipe I used as a guide. It's in French though. :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Apple Cranberry Streusel Custard Pie

I'm a sucker for sweet desert things.
I had some cranberries left from last week's Thanksgiving dinner and a left-over frozen pie crust from a previous baking. So, I went and looked around for a new recipe!

Found this one, which thankfully used many things I already had in my pantry/fridge.
Now, I didn't have any FRESH cranberries. I had canned cranberries and jam. Here's hoping it works out still. So off I go!

Ingredients (except for the hot water)

Sliced apples

When slicing the apples, try and have them roughly all the same thickness. So that they get evenly baked.

The filling ingredients, mixed together before pouring in the shell.

After putting the filling into the shell, drizzle the crumble over the mixture and slip it into the oven.

In the oven it goes!

The recipe makes a little bit too much filling for a pre-made regular pie shell. So, be sure to use a deep dish pie crust. You can see a little bit spilled over. And I hadn't even put all the filling in.

TIP: Put the pie on the lower third of the oven, so that the crust bakes, but the filling doesn't get burned off the start!

TIP: I always put a cookie sheet under my pies, because those sneaky things always seem to spill over no matter how careful you are with the filling. You'll save yourself a lot of grief by doing so. Easier to clean the sheet then the oven!

Wow! I really need to clean my oven! Yeesh!

Ready for second part of baking

The pie is prepared here for the longest part of the baking. The oven temperature is lowered and I cover the crust with some tinfoil.

TIP: Covering the crust edges with foil prevents them from burning. A little trick I learned. :)

I took advantage of that step to switch the cookie sheet under the pie, so that the spilled filling wouldn't start burning. I hate it when the stupid fire alarm starts mouthing off on false alarms.

Finished pie!!

And here we are! A finished pie after it's cooled down!
I'm saving it for tomorrow, so I'll know if it's okay on the inside only then. The outside looks good, so there's hope!

I'll let you know. :)

And here's the recipe I used ---> Recipe

Interior of the pie

The pie having been done with cranberry jelly, it mixed with the condensed milk, giving it it's pink colour.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Figgy Duff

So I decided to take some suggestions as to what my next creation should be.

My good friend Darryl suggested that I try making a figgy duff, which is some sort of native dish from his faraway mystical land of Newfoundland.
While the first few recipes I found involved crushing leprechaun toenails or or moose oysters, I did find one from an "official" Newfie site that seemed like it could be good.

Here is a map to where NEWFOUNDLAND is in Canada.

Darryl did dissaprove of the contents, but I figured there must be different recipes so I should give it a shot and make this one. What's the worst that could happen? So he would send his ninja hippos after me in retaliation. BRING IT, I says!

But, no hippos were necessary.

I usually go over new recipes carefully so that I go to the making prepared. But this one was short, with a few ingredients and I skimmed it and it looked simple enough.

So this is a pudding. Which means the thing has to cook by boiling for a few hours. So, I follow the mixing instructions, seal up the ingredients and drop the container into the boiling pot. There I though, now only gotta sit and wait, topping the boiling water from time to time.

Then I remembered that the recipe ingredients called for different spices ... which I haven't been instructed to put in. Maybe they're for the sauce that's separate. Well nope! Nowhere is there instructions on WHEN to put the spices in. So I get the boiling thing out, it's been in for a few minutes. Unseal it, hurriedly put the spices in, mix it and re-seal it. Hopefully, the damage wasn't too bad.

A few minutes later ... I realize that the recipe also calls for FLOUR, which I was NEVER told to put in!!! At that point, I figured I'd just let it go and see how it turned out.

Well, it's a little dense and deflated, but it tastes ok. Very "molassy".
I'll probably try another recipe sometime, but I'll make sure to get better prepared for that one.

Still, edible. Not a total loss.
Funny how the picture makes it look like chocolate, but it's molasses.

I can give out the recipe if anyone is interested.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms

I went for something that seemed easy tonight.
An old staple of frozen TV dinners.

The home made version seems much healthier. Doesn't even taste like it's frozen counterpart.

Which is a good thing, I think.

Here is the recipe.

Nothing complicated, everything pretty much straightforward. Almost seems like a meatloaf except that the sauce is added on the top, as opposed to mixed in.

Still delicious and easily frozen, for a quick meal!
Just call me Mr. Stoufers.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and my roommate and I hosted the annual dinner.

She made the turkey (yum yum!) and I made some desert.

I wanted to try some delicious cheesecake recipes.

Going into the oven.

On the left, a raspberry swirl cheesecake with graham crust. On the right, a caramel cheesecake with chocolate crust. Not burnt!!!

Coming out of the oven.

The caramel one cracked a bit I'm afraid. You gotta be careful of those temperature changes. The crust isn't burned! It's chocolate!

The raspberry swirl one looks better, but I think it's because of the fruit that makes it easier not to crack.

The pies broken in.

I think they turned out well. People really seemed to like them. I found the raspberry one a bit too fruity. I should put less filling next time.

The rest of the food brought was also excellent! Happy thanksgiving everyone!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pan seared Salmon

I'm not very fond of fish, but from time to time I get the urge to eat a little salmon.
And I usually don't get it very often either because it is kind of expensive. So I always wait for it to be on sale. :P

So here's my recipy. Simple and imprecise, but I like it. I usually just throw ingredients in to taste.

Marinade :

- Soy sauce (try lower sodium, it's better for you), enough so that the piece of fish's bottom is soaking in it.
- A few sprinkles of garlic powder (or a clove of chopped garlic if you have it)
- 1 tbsp of honey mustard
- 2 tbsp of brown sugar
- 1 tbsp of vegetable oil

Put in a shallow dish and mix together until the sugar is melted. Put in the piece of salmon and let marinate in the fridge at least 15 minutes. I usually leave it about an hour, turning it over a couple of times.

The fish sitting in it's marinade.

Next, heat your pan on medium heat with a bit of oil. When the oil is hot, drop your piece of fish in for about 5 minutes on the first side.

Turn it over and let the other side cook about another 5 minutes.

When there is no more dark pink and the meat easily flakes, the fish is cooked!

I added a few flakes of dried parsley on top of the fish and some pan fried corn to add a little vegetable touch. Tadaa!!!