Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Happy Easter!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope everyone had a nice Easter Weekend!
For us the festivities included egg painting, huge amounts of delicious food, and lots and lots of playing!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

An Old Favorite.....slow cook style

Rouladen is a German (I think) recipe my Husband grew up loving, and it was him that introduced me to it.    It offers a really great comfort food feel that totally fills you up.  I think traditionally (although I might be wrong)  Rouladen is bacon, onions, pickles, and mustard wrapped in a thin cut of beef and then cooked.  I sometimes leave out the bacon but otherwise that pretty much sums it up!  Without ever having tasted it the combination might seem strange, although I suppose if you really stop and think about it.....it's pretty much a bread less roast beef sandwich.

Well last week I tried Rouladen in the slow cooker for the first time.........it was yummy!  I still chose to brown the meat in a pan first..............for those of you who have used a slow cooker you know that browning the meat first although it doesn't really affect the flavour of the meat at all it does make it look much more appitizing.  once they were all rolled up and I had arranged them into the slow cooker I made a sort of gravy which I then poured over top and then set the cooker on high for 5 hours.  they were well worth the wait let me tell you!
Once the time was up and the rouladen was plated I ladelled a bit of gravy over top and served it with mashed potatoes (potato salad works well too) and sour Kraut for T (I hate the stuff)
Definitely a slow cooker success!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Healthy and Delicious!

My little Heman is still on his chicken kick, which I guess is good for me seeing as I'm trying to eat healthier.  This is a recipe that I took from my weight watchers cookbook.  It tastes delicious and it is pretty simple to make.  It's Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese-stuffed Chicken Breasts.  the picture above is the picture from the actual cookbook.....I once again forgot to take a picture of mine before eating it up, but with the exception of the sprig of thyme the dish I made looked just like that!

I took 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts and stuffed them with:

2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms stems discarded caps finely chopped
1 tsp herbs de provence (The standard mixture typically contains Savory, fennel, basil and thyme......with thyme being the dominant herb)
1/2 tsp of freshly ground pepper
2 oz of goat cheese 
1 shallot chopped

once the breasts are stuffed I cooked them in a pan on the stove top for about 7 minutes per side with a little bit of olive oil......it's that easy
hope you enjoyed!  if you do end up trying this recipe let me know how you like it and if you changed anything.....I love tweaking recipes to give them a little twist!

Swing and a Miss

Not written a new post in a while, I've had a lot on my plate but now I'm back!  In early preparation for Easter I decided to try taking a swing at Hot Cross Buns.  Whomp Whomp.......swing and a......miss.  ohhhh so close, they looked great (sorry I forgot to take a picture) the flavour was good, so where did I go wrong?  density.  That's right, what was supposed to be light, cakey, and dinner roll-esque  was heavy and oddly reminiscent of the bread I used to eat while living in Germany.  I can't be certain why but I'm assuming I was a little heavy handed with the flour or perhaps I need to practice using yeast more....who knows?! but a re-do is in order!  And for any of you reading this.....if you happen to have your own fool proof hot cross bun recipe in your repertoire I would really appreciate the share!  thanks!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Carrot Cake Anyone?

my Dad recently gave me the latest issue of Food and Drink and I was immediately inspired to bake!  It's like it was fate or something, when my dad brought me the magazine my mom had been cleaning out her own baking cupboard and brought along a bag of pecans that she realized she likely wouldn't use not to mention I had at least 2 lbs of carrots just sitting in the fridge and when I crack open my newly acquired Food and Drink Magazine they're doing a feature on cakes......Carrot cakes!  so I chop up the pecans and I dig out my grater and I grate every carrot in the house.  about 6 cups in total.....thats alot of grated carrot.  but what's better than one cake? two cakes!  (one was given to the neighbors, and the other was shared with friends)

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

  •  Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • shredded coconut (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-12 inch round pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots and pecans. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  4. slice the cake in half (horizontally) if you want to make it a layered cake
  5. To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Frost the cooled cake.  *optional* sprinkle shredded coconut over iced cake

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Easy Roasted Chicken

Often I notice great sale prices on whole chickens at my local grocery store, and although I've made roasted chicken quite a few times in the past I always forget how easy it is and often walk by those great sale prices without a second glance.  but now my son is in a I Love Chicken phase, and just can't get enough!  Neither my husband nor I are chicken fanatics as we both generally prefer red meat but now, in an effort to keep things healthy and varied I've been experimenting with a bunch of different chicken recipes and this is an oldie but a goodie!  like I said, I often forget how easy this one is and it is oh so yummy!
I started making this recipe while we were in Germany and have subbed the chicken for duck and goose (unintentional I assure you!)  the recipe works best with chicken (about 3 lbs) but duck was okay too.

make sure all of the giblets and insides are removed from the chicken cavity quarter 2 small onions and stuff inside the bird along with a few whole garlic cloves.  Rub the outside of the chicken with salt pepper onion powder (I've also added a bit of Cayenne in the past for a bit of spice)  next cut 1/2 cup of butter into smallish cubes and place around the chicken and 1 or 2 inside with the onion and garlic

Then you just throw her into a preheated oven (350 degrees)  uncovered for about an hour and 20 minutes....cooking time varies depending on the size of the bird.....I am always paranoid of under cooking chicken so to avoid any chance of potentially getting sick from undercooked chicken I use a meat thermometer (my dad got me an awesome one from Williams Sonoma one year at Christmas) to make sure the internal temperature hits 180 degrees....insert it into the fleshiest part you can find and make sure you don't hit bone

Once the Chicken is out of the oven let it stand for about 20 minutes and I promise you you will have the most juicy, tender, flavorful chicken you've ever made!


On Thursday I gleefully ripped the top off my rubbermaid container to see what was in my weekly organic delivery and.........  

my initial reaction I have to admit was WTF?!   Why oh why would they send me unripe carrots?  upon closer inspection of my invoice I see that the carrots in question are labeled as rainbow carrots,  something I have never heard of.   I do know that not all carrots are orange.......but green, really?  Does anyone out there know if these are for real?  or should I be trying to get my money back? lol