Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mom's Microwave Mac & Cheese

The recent cold weather has brought along with it early cravings for winter foods. So for dinner tonight I made my mom's mac and cheese. This is a great recipe and both kids and adults alike will enjoy it. I've made some alterations to the original recipe to make it a bit healthier. If anyone wants the original recipe, let me know, and I can put up the changes I've made. Although this may sound a bit unappealing, since it is made in a microwave, it is both quick and yummy. And it also freezes well, should there be any leftovers.


2 C uncooked whole-wheat macaroni
2 C hot water
1 tbsp. light margarine
¼ C chopped onion
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. Keen’s mustard spice (or paprika)
1 ¼ C milk (regular or soy)
8 oz. (240g) reduced-fat old cheddar cheese (small package)
1/4 C whole-wheat flour

1. Put first 7 ingredients in a casserole. Cover and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Stir, cover and microwave on medium for 4 - 6 minutes.

2. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and microwave for 12 minutes, stirring every 4 minutes. Macaroni should be tender and mixture should be bubbly.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Homemade yogurt

All who know me know that I am somewhat obsessed with yogurt. Particularly the yogurt in France... Ter, you will clearly recall my excitement as I attempted to choose from the array of dazzling flavours that lined the dairy case of every grocery store when we were in Paris. Everyone else goes for the wine and cheese, but not me...

Last week, we splurged on a yogurt maker (Waring Pro Yogurt Maker for any who might be inspired by this review).

Today was our first attempt using it. It's quite simple, despite being called a 'professional yogurt maker'. You add the bacteria to milk, heat to a boil, let cool and then place in the machine for about 5-6 hours. Once refrigerated for a couple of hours, it is ready to eat. The bacteria can be found in any health food store for about 50 cents per litre of yogurt.

I've gotta admit that the yogurt doesn't come close to what is sold in stores. You have to like real, plain yogurt to enjoy this though. But I love it just like this or with a bit of sugar (especially maple sugar or syrup) and/or fresh fruit stirred in. The machine is definitely a keeper. And I'm sure that in the long-run, given the quantities of yogurt that we go through, that we'll actually end up saving money too.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Looks like this may be fun

Thanks for all of the great feedback I've been receiving so far. I've gotten tons of suggestions for topics of discussion and different recipes. Apparently, I'm not the only one who loves food quite so much! I'll address everyone's suggestions over time. I don't want to run out of ideas too soon.

A few people have asked about having an automatic e-mail sent to them every time I do an update. I'm still trying to figure out how to do this, but should get back to everyone soon.

Others have asked if they can contribute their own recipes... um... clearly... I mean, that's obviously the only reason I even started this thing was to get even more wonderful ideas of fabulous recipes to impress guests with. Feel free to mail me things and I'll put them up over time. And no worries - I won't steal your credit!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Joining the blogging world... one recipe at a time

So I've decided to start a food-related blog on Steph's suggestion. Clearly she knows that I both love to talk and love food. So her suggestion that I might enjoy constantly writing about food was right on. I figure that this is a good medium for me to share some of the recipes that I have come across in my unending quest for wonderful recipes.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to cook, love to eat and love to have people over to cook for. Perhaps not in that order. I sometimes can't wait to have a family so that the food can disappear more quickly and I can cook more. I quite enjoy pouring over cookbooks, picking out new recipes as the seasons change. I love exploring grocery stores in new countries to find odd and exotic items. And we often spend much time dodging the Agriculture Canada dogs at the airport upon return from our travels, so that our newest finds don't get confiscated - such as the mass quantities of vanilla we just brought back from Tahiti.

In any case, I guess I'll see what this develops into and how long I keep doing this. I'll start by posting the recipe that Steph had mentioned she wanted from me, as well another that I threw in as a bonus (ha!). Enjoy!

Baked Brie, Potatoes, Ham and Eggs

This is a favourite for brunch... right Katie?

· 4 large potatoes (1.125 kg)
· 1 tsp. olive oil
· 8 oz. brie cheese, diced
· 1 C finely chopped ham
· ¼ C each chopped fresh parsley and sliced green onions
· ¼ tsp. pepper
· salt to taste
· 8 eggs
· pinch of paprika

1. Cook potatoes until tender but firm, about 15 minutes; drain well. Refrigerate until cold. Cut into 1/4 –inch cubes.

2. Fry potatoes in oil, stirring often, until crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool. Stir in Brie, ham, parsley, onions, pepper and salt. Transfer to greased baking dish, spreading evenly. Make 8 wells in mixture.

3. Heat in 400°F oven until warm, about 15 minutes. Scramble eggs and pour over potatoes. Bake, uncovered, until eggs are set approximately 30 minutes.

Makes 8 servings.

Smoked salmon can be substituted for the ham.

Lentil Feta Salad

This recipe makes a great summer lunch and is perfect for bbqs or potlucks.

· ½ C slivered almonds
· 1 C dried green lentils
· 2 cloves garlic
· ¼ C olive oil
· 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
· 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh oregano
· ¼ tsp. salt and pepper
· 1 ½ C diced cucumber
· 1 C halved cherry tomatoes
· ½ C diced sweet or red onion
· 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
· ¾ C crumbled feta cheese

1. In small dry skillet, toast almonds over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside. (ok, I often skip this step because I'm too lazy - but I'm sure it'd be even tastier if I did this).

2. Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add lentils and garlic; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard garlic. (ok, I also use canned lentils. Again, laziness.).

3. In large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. Add lentils, cucumber, tomatoes, onion and parsley; toss to coat.

4. Stir in almonds and feta. If serving at a bbq or special function, you may want to sprinkle a bit of feta on top.

For a vegan version, omit the feta cheese.

Makes 6 servings.