Archive for January, 2012

Italian Sausage Casserole

I found this recipe in the French Metro newspaper.

  • 4 Italian sausages
  • 3 celery branches
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 3 red peppers (omitted)
  • 1 1/2 cup rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • Pinch of saffron
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Remove the casing on the sausages. Chop up the sausages.

2. Dice the onion, celery, peppers and tomatoes.

3. Brown the onion and celery on medium heat.

4. Add the sausages.

5. Once the sausages are cooked, add the tomatoes and rice and brown one minute.

6. Add the chicken broth, saffron, salt and pepper.

7. Cover and cook 30 min, or until rice is cooked.

Verdict: At the 30 min mark, the rice was cooked but there was still a lot of liquid left. I think we could have started with more rice.

This was the recipe where I finally concluded without a doubt, that I do not like Italian sausage.

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In Search Of: the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Part 32: Blueberry, Caramel and White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

I found this recipe on another food blog.

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar (I read the recipe wrong – long time since that has last happened – and mixed up the sugar and brown sugar, so I used 1 cup of sugar)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (as per the note above, I used 3/4 cup brown sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt (omitted because we use salted butter)
  • 2 cups Caramel bits (we couldn’t find any, so we used the caramel squares and cut them into really small pieces)
  • 1 1/2 cup dried blueberries
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips (we used milk chocolate chips, because my sister doesn’t really like white chocolate)

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

3. Mix together flour, baking soda and salt (if using) in a medium bowl. Add to wet ingredients.

4. Mix in the dried blueberries, caramel and chocolate chips.

5. Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheets and bake 9 to 11 min (ours took nine).

Verdict: We made 8 dozen cookies! I am not sure what they would have tasted like if I hadn’t mixed up the two sugars, but I really liked them the way I made them. The cookie dough part of it just had this really nice moist taste to it. I thought I wouldn’t like these cookies with everything that was mixed into them, but the caramel, blueberries and chocolate just worked perfectly together. Even for the cookies that had more caramel than others and kind of ended up looking a little too melted. Delicious!

ETA: I just realized that in the version of the recipe I have, there was no oatmeal. They were still great though!

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Double Cheese and Macaroni

I found this recipe in one of my WeightWacther’s cookbooks, but I didn’t use all the healthy versions of the ingredients they recommended.

  • 1 1/2 cup farfalle pasta (we used double this amount without doubling anything else and we still had enough cheese to cover everything)
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained (we just used 2 real tomatoes, cut up. The book also said the can would be of tomatoes, onions and peppers, but I haven’t seen a can like that at stores up here. So we just chopped up an onion and omitted the peppers)
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package. Drain and keep warm (or time the pasta so that it finishes cooking right when the sauce is done).

2.Whisk together milk, cornstarch, mustard and pepper in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until sauce thickens and bubbles, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes (we also added the onion, which we had cooked first), stirring until heated through, 2 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Add the pasta and stir until it is well mixed.

Verdict: Boxed macaroni and cheese is not my favourite food. I hated it as a kid. But pasta and cheese I could eat everyday! This dish tasted so different from anything I’ve had. I think the Monterey Jack gave it a different taste. And the way the tomatoes broke in the heat, kind of adding a tomato-taste to the sauce without big tomato pieces was perfect too. I would probably not add onions in the next time I made this, though.

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In Search Of: the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Part 31: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this recipe on another food blog.

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or maple extract (we used vanilla)
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (omitted because we use salted butter)
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips (we used semi-sweet)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar and maple syrup until combined. Add eggs and vanilla (or maple extract).

3. In another bowl, mix the flour and baking soda. Add to the wet ingredients. (The mixture seems a little dry, but mixing it enough will combine everything.)

4. Add chocolate chips and walnuts.

5. Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheet. Bake 10-12 min.

Verdict: We made 4 dozen plus 1 cookie, one short of the 50 we were aiming for. I am not sure if substituting the semi-sweet for white chocolate chips through the taste of the cookies off, but we found the walnuts to be too overpowering a taste in this recipe. We couldn’t even taste the maple syrup (the real stuff!).

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Baked Egg with Potato, Bacon and Tomato

Another recipe I found in an Inspire Magazine.

  • 4 strips bacon
  • 6 small potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 796 ml can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 roasted red peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces (omitted because I don’t like peppers)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (omitted because I can’t handle even the mildest “spicy” foods)
  • 8 eggs (this seemed like way too much, so we used 3)
  • 1 tablespoon thyme (we didn’t use)

1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. Cook bacon in skillet. Meanwhile, poke potatoes with a fork and microwave 2 min. Cut potatoes into quarters. Add to skillet and cook bacon and potatoes for 5 min. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to remove excess fat.

3. Add oil to the same skillet and cook onion until translucent. Stir in tomatoes (and peppers and chili flakes if using). Simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, 15 min.

4. Mix tomato mixture with potatoes and bacon. Transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Make wells in the vegetables (one for each egg). Break an egg into each well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 22 to 25 min. (We didn’t sprinkle with thyme to serve as per the original recipe.)

Verdict: I wasn’t really sure what I expecting from this recipe, but I don’t think I found it. The eggs came out kind of hard-boiled, which I am not very fond of.

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Apple Raspberry Crisp

I found this recipe in the Inspire magazine given out at my grocery store.

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped (we had only about half this amount left in the house)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter, cold
  • 4 apples (or 3 cups), peeled, cored and sliced
  • 3 cups raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Mix flour, oats, the 1/2 cup brown sugar, almonds and cinnamon in a bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to mixture. Combine the butter with the mixture until it resembles coarse bread crumbs.

3. Combine fruit in another bowl. Mix with the 3 tablespoons brown sugar.

4. Place fruit in a 9×9 baking dish. Top with oat mixture. Bake 45 min.

Verdict: I am not sure if we made it in too big a bowl, but the topping was much thinner than I would normally like on top of a crisp. Maybe if we had the right amount of nuts it would have been different, but I am not sure. My sister and I both thought that the raspberries kind of overpowered the apples so that you couldn’t even taste that there were apples in the dish, but my mom thought it has the right balance.

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Beef and Vegetables

I am pretty sure I found this recipe in the French Metro newspaper. It also marks my first time trying out my slow cooker!

  • 700g beef cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large onion, thinly slices (we didn’t use all of a large onion, because ours was rather large. We probably used closer to a small onion)
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 4 or 5 medium potatoes (we used 4), diced
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1 tablespoon basil

1. Place the meat at the bottom of the slow cooker (it can’t be frozen).

2. Add the vegetables, in layers. Salt and pepper to taste.

3. Add in tomato soup, tomato juice and basil.

4. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. (We cooked ours 7 and the bigger potato pieces were still a little hard.)

 

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage a very good picture.

 

Verdict: I liked this. It was like a beef stew, but with a tomato base instead of a gravy base. Next time I might add more carrots and make sure the potatoes are all cut small, so they can all cook properly.

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