Archive for January, 2014

Penne Alla Vodka

I am pretty sure I found this recipe online somewhere, though I am not sure where.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced (we used about 1/4 of an onion)
  • Salt to taste
  • A 796ml can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons 35% cream
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Parmesan cheese

1. Pour olive oil into skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Don’t let the garlic burn. Add onions along with salt to taste. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, to caramelize. Add can of tomatoes and let simmer around 10 min until sauce has thickened. When sauce has thickened, remove from heat and add in the 35% cream.

2. Meanwhile, cook pasta as directed on the package.

3. Drain pasta and return to pot. Pour vodka over pasta. Add butter and stir until butter has melted. Add the sauce. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Penne  Vodka

Verdict: Looking back on this recipe I probably would have added more 35% cream, so the sauce was maybe a little closer to a rosé sauce. I probably would have also added the vodka to the sauce instead of pouring it over the pasta. I thought there was too much of a vodka taste to the dish, overpowering the sauce instead of enhancing it.


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Turkey Burger

I found this recipe online, though I can’t remember where. The one I found is the scaled down version before, but all I seem to be able to find now is the non-scaled down version online.

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned breadcrumbs (we used 5 to get a good consistency, maybe because we used the whole egg and not just the egg white)
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced onion
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten (we used the whole egg as mentioned)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley (we did not use)
  • 1/2 clove garlic, peeled and minced (we used garlic powder, about 1 teaspoon worth)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. In a large bowl, mix together turkey and all other ingredients. Form into 6 patties.

2. Cook patties in a skillet over medium heat, turning once, until turkey has cooked.

Turkey Burgers

Verdict: These were very tasty. They weren’t dry and the onions – which were pretty much raw – didn’t overpower the taste.

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Chicken Pie

I found this recipe in the French language Metro newspaper.

  • 4 cups cooked chicken
  • 2 cans (284 ml) of cream of celery
  • 2 cans (284 ml) of cream of chicken
  • 1 can (540 ml) of mixed vegetables
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pie crust

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Mix together all of the ingredients except the pie crust. Transfer to pie dish and cover with crust.

3. Bake for 1 hour.


Verdict: We regretted not giving the crust an egg wash to have it come out really golden. The recipe was easy to make, but we were a little disappointed in the result. We had been hoping that the filling would thicken a little, but it came out more like a soup covered with crust than a pie. It was tasty, though.

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Apple Dumplings

I found this recipe online, though I am no longer sure exactly where I found it.

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 apples (the original recipe recommended Golden Delicious. We didn’t use those but I can’t remember what we did use), peeled and cored.

1. Preheat oven to 425F.

2. In a small bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon.

3. (The original instructions were a little unclear to me with regards to the puff pastry. What it basically came down to was: on a lightly floured rolled out each of the puff pastry sheets. Cut each sheet in half, so you have 4 rectangles of about 9 by 6 inches.) With the beaten egg, lightly brush a 1 inch border around each rectangle.

4. Place on apple in the centre of each rectangle and fill each of the empty cores with the sugar mixture (we had a decent amount left over). Gather the four corners of one rectangle, bring to the top of the apple and twist and pinch together. Pinch together all edges of the pastry. Repeat for other rectangles.

5. Chill for 15 min. Place on baking sheet and brush with egg (we also sprinkled with the remaining sugar mixture we had). Bake for 8 minutes then reduce temperature to 400F. Bake another 20-22 minutes – don’t over bake or dumplings will burst.

Apple Dumpling

Verdict: These were really easy to make and really tasty, but it’s hard to go wrong with apple and cinnamon (though it has happened to me). I am still not really a fan of store made puff pastry, but I am not sure I want to try to make my own, so I guess I can put up with it. I was a little afraid that the apples wouldn’t be cooked all the way through or would be too mushy, but they had a nice consistency to them.

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Beef Stroganoff Pot Pie

This is a Pillsbury recipe.

  • 2 pie crusts
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (we use seasoned breadcrumbs)
  • 1 cup parsley (we did not use as we were using seasoned breadcrumbs and because nothing needs that much parsley, in my opinion)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can (10 3.4 ounce) of condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 4.5 ounces of mushrooms, sliced (we didn’t use because my sister is not a big fan of mushrooms)
  • 1 egg white, slightly beaten

1. Prepare pie crusts (as per the box’s instruction). Place one crust in a 9 inch pie pan. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. In a skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until beef is all cooked. Drain. Stir in all remaining ingredients except egg white. Pour over the bottom crust.

3. (The original recipe says to make leaf shaped cut outs in the second crust and then place over filling. We just used the second crust as is, nothing fancy was done to it.) Brush with beaten egg.

4. Bake 45 to 55 minutes (ours needed 45) until crust is deep golden brown. After the first 15-20, cover edges with aluminum foil to prevent burning. Cool before serving.

Beef Stroganoff Pot Pie

Verdict: I really liked this dish. It wasn’t too overwhelmingly meaty and the cream cheese (which I am learning to enjoy in certain dishes) with the condensed soup gave it a creamy texture. We should have probably added a vegetable to replace the mushrooms. I am thinking potatoes and/or carrots.

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Polynesian Chicken

I found this recipe on the back of a box of Minute Rice.

  • 2 1/2 pounds of chicken pieces
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 8 1/4 ounce can of pineapple chunks
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 scallion, sliced (we didn’t use this as it was just garnish)

1. Mix together flour, pepper, nutmeg and paprika. Coat chicken pieces in the mixture and brown well in a skillet with the melted butter.

2. Drain pineapple, reserving 1/4 cup of the juices (we used all of it).

3. Combine pineapple juice, brown sugar and vinegar in a small bowl. Pour over chicken. Reduce heat and let simmer until chicken is cooked.

4. Add pineapple pieces, water and salt. Bring to boil and stir in rice. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 min. Garnish with scallion, if using.


Verdict: This was an easy and delicious recipe. The pineapple brought sweetness, but it wasn’t too much. The chicken had a nice flavour in the coating.


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Chicken and Bacon Lasagna

I found this recipe in the French lanuage newspaper, Metro.

  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 1 broccoli (I found this an extremly unhelpful ingedrient note. One whole bunch seemed like too much, but 1 cup didn’t seem enough. We used closer to 1 1/2 to 2 cups, I think)
  • 4 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 15 slices bacon
  • 1/2 brick cheddar cheese, grated (also unhelpful. We again used 1 1/2 to 2 cups worth)
  • 1/2 brick mozzarella cheese, grated (also unhelpful. We again used about 1 cup worth)
  • 2 cans of cream of chicken soup

1. Cook lasagna noodles as directed on package. In another pot, cook broccoli. Run under cold water to cook and then finely chop.

2. Brown the chicken in the olive oil and butter. Cook bacon and crumble.

3. Thin the cream of chicken with half a can of water and mix well.

4. Pour some of the cream of chicken on the bottom of an oven dish. Cover with 3 noodles, 1/3 of the chicken, 1/3 of the bacon, 1/3 of the broccoli and 1/3 of the cheddar. Repeat layers (cream of chicken, noodles, chicken, bacon, broccoli and cheddar) twice more. Cover with cream of chicken and the mozzarella cheese.

5. Bake for 25 min at 350F and finish by broiling until cheese is browned (we forgot this part, because we were hungry).

Bacon Chicken Lasagna

Verdict: This was a good non-traditional lasagna (I consider the traditional ones to be with tomato sauce, but that’s a personal definition). There were a lot of different flavours, with the chicken, broccoli and bacon, but I thought they worked really well together.


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