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Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Lasagna is one of those recipes I have always wanted to try but again, a bit intimidated to give it a go, yeah I know, i get intimaidated by food ALL the time; that is is until I watched the lovely and talented Giada de Laurentiis and saw how easy it was.

This recipe can be done with or without the prosciutto if you wanted a vegetarian version...


    2 tbsp unsalted butter
    4 tsp all-purpose flour
    1 1/4 cups whole milk
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/8 tsp ground black pepper
    Pinch of ground nutmeg


    1 - 15-ounce container whole milk ricotta cheese
    1 - 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeeze dry - wrap in kitchen towel and twist
    1 cup tbsp grated Parmesan
    3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped - optional
    1 large egg, beaten to blend
    3/4 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
    12 uncooked lasagna noodles - I prefer the narrow ones.
    2 cups marinara sauce - homemade
    1 cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Bechamel sauce:

Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes.  Whisk in the milk then iincrease heat to medium-high.  Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes.  Whisk the salt, pepper, and nutmeg in.

Whisk the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, prosciutto, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.

Add a 2 tablespoons of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water.  Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite.  Drain.  Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet.  The oil will help prevent them sticking.

Butter a 13 by 9 glass baking dish. Pour the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish.  Lay out a lasagna noodle on your work surface.  Place a good portion of the ricotta mixture about an inch from one end and roll.  Roll each noodle like a jelly roll.  Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down, without touching, into the bechamel sauce in the dish.  Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture. Spoon 1 cup of marinara sauce over the lasagna rolls.  Sprinkle the mozzarella and some more Parmesan, maybe 4 tablespoons over the lasagna rolls.  Cover the pan with foil.  Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Hope you enjoy.

Also, feel free to increase the volume of is so good.

Credit to the Food Network and Giada de Laurentiis on this one.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Homeade Coleslaw

So I have always wanted to try to make coleslaw.  I love it on pulled pork sandwiches, as a side in a picnic etc, but have always been intimidated by the dressing.

Here is my take on it.

1/2 cup of Miracle Whip or Sour Creme - Miracle Whip adds a bit more zing to it
1 1/2 Tbsp white or cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper
1/3 cup white sugar - could reduce to make less sweet
1/2 Tbsp garlic salt
1/2 Tbsp Season salt

Whisk together well.  Feel free to add more or less sugar and or vinegar if you want to adjust the sweet or tang.  Place bowl in refrigerator while you prepare the vegetables

Also consider adding some fresh squeezed lemon juice for another level of flavor, maybe a nice touch for spring.

For the actual slaw mix.  For a small, kid-friendly batch:

2 Large Carrots - peeled and julienne
1/4 head Red Cabbage
2 Apples - I use 1 Gala and 1 Granny smith to balance tart and sweet

Also could add red onion, peppers or maybe even cucumber.

Julienne all these items then add to a large serving bowl.  Slowly add the dressing you prepared until you reach the coverage you want.  If you like it saucy, add it all, if you like it light and more dry, just add enough to flavor the mix.

Refrigerate and serve cold.



Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Twist on Baked Beans

Even if you are not a baked bean fan, or a fan of beans period, you will be after you try these...

This recipe serves 6 to 8.

4 Cans Pork and Beans - use your favorite brand and flavor - mine are Libby's in Molasses
1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup favorite mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp Season Salt
Pinch of Kosher Salt
Pinch of ground black pepper

1/2 Pound bacon
1/2 Red onion - chopped or diced depending on your preference - I chop
1 Clove Garlic - fine chop


Cut bacon into matchsticks cook until begins to turn translucent.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until bacon just starts to crisp up, not all the way.

Place beans into a baking dish.  Add the the rest of the ingredients and mix to blend everything.  Add the bacon, onion and garlic right from the pan.  I add in the fat from the pan sometimes for that extra flavor.  Blend everything well.  Cover with foil and place in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Uncover and continue baking for another 30 minutes.  Remove and serve.


Best Burgers

1 Package or Ground Sirloin - Lean
2 Tbsp Garlic Salt
2 Tbsp Season Salt
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tsp Franks Red Hot Sauce
1/2 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup BBQ Sauce - my homemade BBQ Sauce
1 Egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs


Place all into a large bowl and mix well with hands.  i find it is better to add the cheese at the end a little at a time to avoid it clumping together.  Get in there and use your hands to blend it all in well.  Form into patties, approximately 7 oz. 

Lay out a piece of parchment or wax paper on a plate or in a baking dish so the patties don't stick to the surface.  Once you have laid them on the plate, form a small impression in the center on the top of the patty.  this will help keep it from shrinking too much during cooking.

I sprinkle some of my own spice blend  over the top of the patties in the tray then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.

Take the patties out ahead of time to bring them up to room temperature before you put them on the grill.  Grill to your liking.



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Teriyaki Beef Bites

Brent gave me posting rights to this blog he created, so I figured I would start posting. Something yummy we tried the other night that was a great success:

Teriyaki Beef Bites

  • Soak sirloin steak in cider vinegar for several hours (this helps make it tender)

  • Rinse the steak off, trim off fat, cut it into strips or bite size pieces

  • Marinate in teriyaki sauce (I used a store-bought thick teriyaki marinade, but next time I think I will try making my own teriyaki sauce) for several hours - I marinated overnight.

  • Spread beef bites over a cookie sheet lined with foil and broil on high for a few minutes, then turn the bites and broil a few minutes more. When I say only a few minutes - really, they burn fast when you broil them.

  • Remove from oven and toss in a bowl with salt and pepper.

  • Serve with toothpicks.

We didn't take a picture, sorry. but I took the idea from a recipe on AllRecipes.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Chili

I have been making Chili for years trying to get the most flavor and substance.  Chili has always been my favourite comfort food.

Here it is!

 - 1 lbs Ground Beef
 - Beef stock/boulion - 1 1/2 cups
 - 4 Vine Tomatoes - diced
 - 3 Cloves Garlic - diced
 - 1/2 Red Onion - diced
 - 3 Celery Sticks - Chopped
 - 2 tbsp Olive Oil
 - 1 tsp Salt
 - 2 tsp Fresh cracked pepper
 - 2 Cans Tomato soup
 - 1 Package Chili mix - Old Elpaso has good heat already and is my favourite
 - 1 tbsp Worchestershire Sauce
 - Favoutire Hot sauce - to taste
 - Kidney Beans
 - Pork and Beans - i like to add the Maple flavoured

   Brown ground beef in sauce pan until it just starts to carmalize and go dark brown.  Take off heat and place in bowl until later.  Add Olive oil to saucepan and red wine to deglaze from the ground beef.  Add in Onion.  Cook until onions begins to soften, add Garlic and Celery.  Sweat these items until the onoins start to turn translucent.
   Add back into the saucepan, the ground beef and tomoatoes, stir together and reduce heat to medium.  Season this mixture with salt and pepper then add in the tomato soup and beans and stir together.  Stir in the Beef stock, mix together.
   At this point start to add in the flavour.  Add entire package of Chili mix, worchestershire sauce and hot sauce.  Mix well and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 20 minutes and add salt and pepper to taste.

This is a very simple recipe and i am sure there are many variations out there.  this is my favourite.  i have to keep the beans out sometimes as my boys arent big bean fans but it is still great tasting Chili.


Friday, April 8, 2011


I love Food!  I love the that you can take any recipe, any dish, and add some of your own character, style and taste and change the entire profile of the dish.  There is so much opportunity to be creative with Food.

Food is key to life.  The types of food we eat, the portions, the ingedients; it all plays a vital role in how we live our lives.  Don't just settle for waht is put in front of you.  Go out and find what you like, experiment, try new dishes.  Don't be one of those people who orders the exact same dish at their favorite restaurant.  Endulge your taste budds and try new things.

Look up that old recipe from your mother's dusty recipe book, that one you loved as a kid.  Make it, but make it your way.  Add something new, take something out, make it your own.  Just have fun with it, then share it with your freinds.  It is very gratifying to see the reactions on someones face when they try your recipe for the first time.  that pause as they chew, the eyes widening, sometimes rolling back in their heads.  It is wonderful.

Please feel free to share, comment and try any of the recipes, restaurant ideas, favorite eateries here.  As i experiment and try new things i will post them here for you to try but feel free to add your own spin or take on what i have done.