Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Creamy Vodka and Smoked Salmon Pasta

Geoff and I went out for dinner a couple of weeks ago and had a pasta dish really similar to this. It was so good we wanted to have it again. Luckily, it was also easy enough to recreate at home.

It was pretty cheap for us to make this recipe since my dad had given me a smoked salmon that his boss had given him. We had sectioned it off and froze it in separate baggies for easy meal use. Also, there was half a mickey of vodka hidden in the back of the fridge from months ago that had been long forgotten about (unfortunately!) so our entire meal only cost maybe $8.

Unfortunately, we made enough to feed a ravenously hungry family of 4. Far too much for the two of us, so when looking at the ingredients, remember, its for at least 4 people to eat until they can eat no more.

4 tbsp butter
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 box bow tie pasta (or enough from a bag to feed 4)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes ( you could use crushed, but I like the chunks of tomato)
1 can tomato paste
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup vodka
1 small jar of capers
smoked salmon (as much as you want, I'm not sure how much we used, but it was quite a bit)
4-5 tbsp cream cheese (not really necessary, just tasty and we had bought cream cheese in bulk from Costco that needed to be eaten)

  1. Bring a pot to boil for pasta, cook pasta al dente
  2. Melt butter in a pot or pan or roasting pan that will be large enough for the sauce AND all of the pasta
  3. Add red pepper flakes, garlic and let cook for 30 second, then add vodka to butter, bring to a boil. Let simmer for 2 minutes
  4. Add the cans of diced tomato and tomato paste along with the cream to the vodka mixture. Bring to a boil, then let simmer 5 minutes
  5. Now if you're going to, add cream cheese. Slice up the smoked salmon and add it to the mix along with the jar of drained capers.
  6. Drain the pasta, and stir it into the tomato mix and serve!

Jamie Oliver's Spinach and Goat Cheese Risotto

Geoff and I make risotto every other week, sometimes weekly. It's so easy and tastes so good with minimal ingredients.

My mom gave me Jamie Oliver's recipe book, COOK for Christmas (well actually, she gave it to my uncle and he already had it, so I took it) and in it, he lists several risotto recipes. This one was by far the tastiest looking and included everything that we already had on hand (I know, it's weird our kitchen staples include the ingredients for risotto and goat cheese...).

(serves two as a main dish, four as a side)

1 cup arborio rice
2 tbsp butter
2 glugs of olive oil + slightly more for serving
1 med white onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 glass dry white wine
goat cheese (get the little tube, that's more than enough)
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
5 oz spinach
3-4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth

  1. In a pot, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium - high heat, and add 1 glug of olive oil. Add the diced onion to the pot and cook until translucent, then add 1 clove of choppe garlic and cook for a minute longer.
  2. Add rice to pot and let it toast a little in the pot for 1-2 minutes. Then add the cup of white wine.
  3. Once the wine is absorbed, start adding a cup of broth at a time. Continuously stir the rice so it doesn't stick to the pot. After 2 cups of broth have been absorbed, you're going to have to keep checking the rice to see if it's done. You might not need all of the broth.
  4. In a frying pan, melt the rest of the butter, add a glug of olive oil and the other clove of garlic. Then add the spinach (Jamie added a grating of nutmeg to the spinach, but I didn't have any nutmeg and it still tasted amazing).
  5. Once the spinach is wilted, chop it really finely, or put it into a food processor.
  6. The rice should be done by now, so turn off the heat and stir in the parmesan and the spinach to the risotto. Cover and let it sit for about 2 minutes.
  7. Now, take about half of the goat cheese and stir it into the risotto.
  8. Serve in bowls or pasta bowls. Add a little coarse salt and a fresh grating of pepper. Crumble the remaining amount of goat cheese on top of the risotto and just a splash of olive oil.

I can't believe it's butter!

I had been craving banana bread for days and finally my bananas were ripe enough. This same week, I came across a recipe for homemade butter, and I realized that I had previously bookmarked 3 other recipes for homemade butter. It was fate, I had to make my own butter!

I chose two of the sites and kind of mixed together their methods for the butter. In this recipe, Dutch Girl Cooking uses a food processor (though I used a blender, in retrospect I should have used the food processor that Geoff recently got from his grandmother), way easier than shaking! and Omnomicon rinsed her final butter product which is supposed to make the butter keep longer.

I still have plenty of butter left, so tonight Geoff and I are going to use it to make butter chicken!

1 pint of whipping cream

  1. Make sure the cream is room temperature, everything will be much faster. Pour the cream into the food processor and process. First, it will become whipping cream, then a firm cream and finally butter!
  2. Drain the buttermilk (you can save it to use for pancakes or biscuits or something that uses buttermilk if you want).
  3. Next, rinse the butter. Using cold water, cover the butter in water, and drain it several times until the water runs clear.
  4. Put the butter on a cutting board and press it down with a spoon and squeeze out all the excess water.
  5. You can now add 1/4 teaspoon salt if you want the butter to be salted, or any herbs and spices you'd like

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Roasted Asparagus and Brussel Sprouts with Jamie Oliver's Egg Salad

for the egg salad
8 large hen's eggs
6 tbsp mayonnaise (we used Helman's light mayo because it doesn't add too much sugar too it like other brand tend to, alternatively you could make your own mayo which would be much better)
Lemon zest from one lemon
Juice from 1/2 lemon plus a little more
Salt and pepper

for the asparagus and Brussels sprouts
1/2 pound Brussels sprouts
1 bunch asparagus, stems removed
Coarse salt
3-4 tbsp white wine vinegar
Olive Oil
Freshly ground pepper
2-3 garlic cloves chopped

For the eggs:
  1. Place eggs in a pot of water that is lightly salted. Bring to a boil.
  2. Let boil for 3 minutes, then immediately place under cold water
  3. Peel the eggs and cut in half like you were going to make deviled eggs
  4. Mix the mayo, lemon zest, lemon juice together in a bowl, add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. put the mayo mixture on top of the eggs
For the veggies:
  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Cut ends off of Brussels sprouts and peel off outer leaves. Cut in half
  3. Clean asparagus and cut into 3 sections
  4. Toss veggies in olive oil and garlic and put in a roasting dish
  5. Squeeze some lemon juice on top, sprinkle liberally with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  6. Put in oven for 15 minutes. About 8 minutes in, flip veggies.
  7. When the 15 minutes is up, put the white wine vinegar on top, we just eyeballed it, but we probably put 3-4 tbsp of the vinegar. Put back in oven for 3-4 more minutes.
The veggies also taste REALLY good dipped in the lemon mayo that was used on top of the eggs

Eggs Benedict with Lobster

We love seafood, and just about any time we go out for breakfast we get sucked into ordering Eggs Benedict. We decided to bring these two fantastic things together with a can of lobster we got on sale at the store. What resulted: a buttery-seafood breakfast that fell just short of a heart attack and, instead, led to a state of utter satisfaction.

This almost turned out to be a disaster. We'd never made Hollandaise sauce before but we decided to give it a try with our newly inherited double boiler. Don't let the eggs scramble and you should be fine.

For the Hollandaise Sauce:

1/2 cup salted butter

1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

4 egg yolks

2 tablespoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

If you don't have salted butter, just add a little salt instead. Also, it's easy to go overboard on the lemon juice so take care not to add too much.

  1. Microwave the butter until melted
  2. Bring 1/3 of a pot of water to a boil and place a stainless steel bowl on top of it without it touching the water (or use a double boiler).
  3. Separate the yolks from the whites by passing the yolk back and forth from one side of the broken shell to another, until all the white has dripped into an empty container below.
  4. Place yolks into the bowl, along with the lemon zest and juice.
  5. Bring heat to simmer and whisk yolks, ensuring that they don't scramble
  6. Once the mixture is thick, but not scrambled, pour the melted butter in as slow and steady as possible while whisking briskly. Be sure you don't add too much butter at once or the mixture will split.
  7. Add the cayenne pepper and mix.
For the Eggs and Lobster:

1 Can of lobster

1 knob of butter

English muffins


Dash of white wine vinegar

  1. Melt butter in a frying pan and drain excess water from the lobster can
  2. Fill a pan with water and bring to a boil. Add the white wine vinegar (this helps keep the eggs together when poaching)
  3. Dump the lobster into the pan and heat up to get rid of the excess water
  4. Poach the eggs in the simmering water
  5. Toast the English muffins
  6. When lobster is heated enough, drain excess liquid and distribute the lobster onto the English muffins
  7. Place an egg on top of the lobster
  8. Cover with Hollandaise Sauce and Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Deluxe Grilled Cheese

I want to start by saying that I had the best orange ever today. It peeled easily, it was ripe AND there were no seeds in it at all. It was perfect.

My nanny makes grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch almost every time I'm home. She uses white Wonderbread, Kraft cheese slices and some crispy bacon and as she's frying it up she squishes it flat so its barely 1cm thick. The best part about the grilled cheese sandwich was that she always served with with a huge dill pickle. I love grilled cheese sandwiches, and I didn't think any sandwich could compare to my nanny's until the last time I went to Montreal with Geoff to visit his parents.

His mom had cooked a ham for dinner the night before so there was plenty of ham left over. She used pumpernickel bread instead of white bread. This was the first time it ever even occurred to me that you could use any bread other than white sandwich bread. She filled the sandwiches with real cheese and thick slices of ham, and it was delicious. I've been craving another one since.

2 slices black forest ham
Gouda, sliced
Pumpernickel bread sliced
Tomatoes, sliced

  1. Butter the outer side of the bread
  2. stack the cheese, ham and tomato (I used grape tomatoes because we had them left over from dinner a few nights ago) and put the other slice of buttered bread on top
  3. fry over medium low heat until all the cheese is melted (5-7 minutes)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spicy Pasta with Shrimp and Grape Tomatoes

Geoff and I made up this pasta as we went last night. We wanted to try and take pictures before it was too dark so we kind of rushed this meal. It was pretty tasty and really easy.

(serves 2)

200g pasta of your choice (we chose springs)
3/4 of a carton of grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
5 cloves chopped garlic
1 jalapeno pepper
1 other hot pepper that was green and small
12 shrimp (6 each!)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 tbs olive oil
2tbs butter
grated Parmesan cheese to your liking
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Defrost and peel shrimp
  2. Boil pasta until al dente
  3. While pasta cooks, melt butter in pan, add garlic for 20 seconds with red pepper flakes.
  4. Add peppers to pan, then add shrimp
  5. Cook shrimp until they curl up and turn pink (1-2 minutes per side)
  6. Toss pasta with olive oil then dump in everything from the frying pan
  7. Add Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste
You could toss in some spinach to this recipe for extra fiber, but we used pasta that already had lots of fiber and protein added to it (Catelli has made white pasta healthy, finally!)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Yummy Potato Salad

This is my go to recipe for potato salad. It tastes really good right away, but if you let it sit in the fridge over night, the potatoes soak up all of the flavour and get REALLY creamy and delicious.

1.5 - 2 lbs baby potatoes, assorted colours
1/2 - 3/4 cup mayonaise (I'm not sure exactly how much, but it also depends on how you like it)
3 green onions, chopped
2 tsp dill
3 generous splashes rice wine vinegar
Juice from half a lemon

  1. Bring potatoes to a boil over high heat then turn down to medium-low. Boil 15 minutes, or until fork tender
  2. drain the potatoes and let sit until cool enough to handle
  3. cut potatoes in half or into quarters, depending on how big the potato is
  4. mix everything together in a bowl. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Perfect Gin and Tonic

In my family, gin and tonic is the drink of choice. At the cottage, making a gin and tonic has become somewhat of an art. You have to have the right size glass, the right amount of ice, a perfectly sliced lemon, the right brand of tonic and of course, the right kind of gin.

If you have any of the ingredients wrong, it just doesn't work and you can't enjoy that drink until you've had 2 or 3 perfectly made drinks.

14 oz glass
lots of ice
a slice or two of lemon
1.5 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
1 can (not bottle) Schweppes tonic water

  1. Fill glass with ice
  2. Pour in shot of gin
  3. Squeeze slice of lemon into glass, then put the slice into the glass
  4. Fill the glass with tonic water
  5. Stir with your finger
  6. Repeat

Jamie Oliver's HUGE Yorkshire Puddings

My nanny used to make yorkshire pudding every time we had roast beef. She'd have to make at least 30 because everyone would want 2 or 3. The recipe she used had her whisking the batter all day before baking it. They were really good, but they didn't rise that much.

Then, one day my Uncle John was watching Jamie Oliver and saw him make HUGE Yorkshire puddings. Since then, this has been our go to recipe.

Tonight, my mom made the Yorkshire puddings. It was the first time she has ever made them and they didn't collapse, so I had to document it!

Makes 8-10 Yorkshire Pudding

1/2 pint (285 millilitres) milk
4 ounces (115 grams) all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
3 eggs
Vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Mix the batter ingredients together. Let rest for 10 minutes
  3. Preheat a Yorkshire pudding tray or muffin tin with 1/2-inch (1 centimetre) of oil in each section.
  4. After the 10 minutes divide the batter into the tray. Cook for around 15 to 20 minutes until crisp and puffy, don't open the oven door before then or they won't rise.

Roast Prime Rib of Beef with Horseradish Crust

My grandpa called me on Thursday when he found out that I would be coming back home for the weekend. He wanted Geoff and I to bring a 10 pound roast beef home for dinner Saturday night. At Costco they didn't even have roasts cut that big! We had to have it specially cut, but it was definitely worth it.

I've had this recipe bookmarked since last Christmas. I was watching the Food Network with my mom and we decided we had to try it. The last time we tried it we didn't have use the right cut of meat and it was too tough to chew. This time, perfection.

Taken from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/roast-prime-rib-of-beef-with-horseradish-crust-recipe/index.html

We used a 10 lbs bone in prime rib
7 cloves smashed garlic
1/3 cup grated or prepared horseradish
leaves from 3 fresh rosemary sprigs
leaves from 6 fresh rosemary sprigs
3/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 325F
  2. Lay the beef in the roasting pan, bone side down (you can use the bone as a roasting rack)
  3. In a small bowl mix together all the ingredients and rub all over the roast
  4. Cook for 20 minutes a pound to cook to medium-rare (the thermometer should read between 130F-135F, take out and let rest for 20 minutes before carving. While letting it rest, cover it with tinfoil)
  5. Make gravy from the drippings!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Stuffed Zucchini

This was soooooo good. I can't even start to explain to you how much I enjoyed making eating this. Somehow the zucchini even tasted meaty. It was great!

I could eat these every day. Geoff and I found this recipe and had to try it right away. Unfortunately, the night we decided to make it, we made WAY too much, and also made the goat cheese crustinis because my sister was coming to visit me and we were going out to dinner the next night.

Luckily the left overs kept pretty well in the fridge overnight and Geoff was able to bring them into work the next morning to share with everyone was there. He said everyone that the stuffed zucchini loved it.

Taken from http://www.kayotic.nl/blog/?p=1465


2 zucchini

½ tomato, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 tbsp sour cream

1 tsp lemon seasoning

4-5 slices bacon

Goat cheese

1 tbsp butter

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and spoon out the centre so it looks kind of like a boat
  3. Roughly chop up the zucchini that you just scooped out and mix together in a bowl with the sour cream, lemon seasoning and tomato
  4. Melt butter in a frying pan; add onion and garlic, sauté until the onion starts to brown. Mix in with the sour cream, tomato and zucchini
  5. Cook bacon until crispy. Crumble into the sour cream mixture. Spoon mixture into the zucchini boats. Crumble a little goat cheese on top
  6. Bake for 20 minutes

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spinach and Goat Cheese Crustinis

This is the start of the night that was deemed "The Delicious Disappointment." Due to the last minute arrival of Sarah's sister, we were forced to merge two nights worth of recipes into one. What followed was the Stuffed Zucchini. We feasted upon these crustinis as the zucchini cooked and ended up with two huge meals, instead of two small appeteizers. Theres no feeling worse than looking at two sets of food and not being able to eat them. I warn you: make these, but don't make too many because it will hurt more to throw them out.

Taken from http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=74098320&blogID=430277954

Large bunch baby spinach

1 garlic clove chopped

1 tbsp butter

Sliced almonds

¼ cup white wine

Goat cheese


Olive oil

Salt and pepper

  1. In a frying pan, melt butter. Sautee garlic for a minute then toast almonds in the butter. Once they start to toast, add spinach until it begins to wilt. Add white wine. Cook until most of the liquid has disappeared.
  2. Brush sliced baguette with olive oil and sprinkle kosher salt and black pepper on top, put in broiler for 1 minute until slightly toasted
  3. Slice goat cheese and put on top of toasted baguette. Put back under broiler for 1-2 more minutes
  4. Spoon spinach and almonds on top of baguette and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Greek Salad and Balsamic Vinaigrette

It's finally getting warmer, so we decided to take a break from the hearty foods we've been accustomed to all winter and opt for something light. This Greek salad was a simple option that we were able to put together with some leftover vegetables from the pizza we made the night before. Sitting out on the deck in the sun was a nice change and brought up a new set of ideas for other summertime meals.


1 English cucumber

1 yellow bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

2 large handfuls baby spinach

1 red onion

1 large red tomato

Artichoke hearts marinated in oil

Feta cheese

  1. Cut the cucumber in 2cm slices, cut the bell peppers into long slices, slice the tomato into wedges, and cut the red onion into really thin slices (add as little or as much as you want... I only added 3 slices since I’m not a huge onion fan. Put in a large bowl. Add spinach
  2. Rip apart the artichoke hearts and crumble feta cheese on top. I also added some of the marinade that the artichokes were in to the salad because it tastes so good

Salad dressing:

4tbs olive oil

2-3tbs balsamic vinegar

1tsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp diced garlic

Salt and pepper

  1. Mix everything together really really well.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste

Monday, March 16, 2009

Naan Pizza

(Makes two pizzas)

2 pieces of Naan bread (eventually we’ll get around to posting a recipe for naan bread)

1 orange or yellow pepper (we used half an orange, half a yellow) sliced thinly

2 green onions sliced thinly

2 cloves chopped garlic

1 tomato sliced thinly

4 slices black forest ham

Artichoke hearts marinated in oil

Herb goat cheese


Olive oil

  1. Preheat broiler
  2. Brush naan bread with olive oil and garlic
  3. Layer peppers, green onions, tomatoes, ham, artichoke hearts
  4. Crumble a little bit of goat cheese on top of it all
  5. Cover loosely will mozzarella cheese
  6. Put on cookie sheet and place under broiler until cheese is all melted and starting to brown

Pecan Mascarpone Pasta

This wasn't my favourite meal ever. I saw pictures of this pasta on eatmakeread and it looked so good I had to try it. Unfortunately, when I actually went to make the pasta, i realized I was missing a few of the key ingredients, namely nutmeg and macadameia nuts. Don't get me wrong, the pasta was good, it just wasn't all I had hoped for. Next time I might use some cream cheese, or actually follow the recipe exactly as they had it on eatmakeread and not use garlic.
Geoff loved it though, and its really easy to make at least!

(Serves 2)
Inspired by
Juice from 1 lemon
Zest from ½ lemon
½ cup mascarpone cheese
½ lb noodles
5 cups roughly chopped spinach
½ cup toasted chopped pecans
1-2 cloves garlic

  1. Combine zest, lemon juice, cheese, salt, pepper, garlic in a bowl
  2. Cook pasta until al dente, save ½ cup of pasta water
  3. Drain pasta, return to pot. Set over low heat. Add mascarpone sauce and spinach until it begins to wilt. Add ¼ cup of pasta water to keep the sauce fluid, add more if necessary
  4. Cook until spinach is wilted, toss in pecans and serve!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash

I love spaghetti squash. I love it A LOT. I could eat it on it's own with just butter and garlic forever and I would be happy with it. Two summers ago Geoff and I realized that you can actually use spaghetti squash instead of pasta. I don't know why the thought had never occurred to me before. I am not a big pasta fan so it's a perfect substitute.

(Serves 2)

1 medium sized spaghetti squash

1 jar pasta sauce (or homemade if you’re not lazy)

Mozzarella cheese



  1. Cook spaghetti squash however you like. We cooked it by cutting it in half, removing the seeds and putting garlic and butter in each half. Then placed in the microwave for around 10 minutes, until it was soft enough to string it
  2. Take a fork to the spaghetti squash and pull up all of the strings
  3. Use oven safe bowls and use half of the squash to fill up the bowls, put it some chunks of cheese and add pasta sauce, then put in the rest of the spaghetti squash, some more pasta sauce and cheese on top
  4. Turn oven to 350F and cook for 20-25 minutes

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

The pictures don't serve this recipe any justice. It tastes amazing. The mushrooms even taste all meaty. We've tried putting all different kinds of things into stuffed mushrooms before and it all tastes REALLY good. I don't know if you could make these taste badly. They could double as an appetizer but are perfect as a full meal. The best part is that they're really fast to make and can be pretty cheap if you use whatever you have on hand to stuff the mushrooms.

(Serves 2)

6 large flat mushrooms (we used Portobello)

Lots of spinach

2-3 Italian sausages

Half a bunch of asparagus

1 tomato

Mozzarella cheese

Olive oil


You can put whatever you want into stuffing the mushrooms but this is just what we had on hand. Use smaller mushrooms and serve as a delicious appetizer.

  1. Brush mushrooms with a little olive oil and chopped garlic. Place under broiler for a minute or two just to soften and flavour the mushrooms a little. Take out of oven and place aside.
  2. Cut up sausage and fry up in a pan until cooked. You shouldn’t need to add any oil or butter because of all the fat in the sausages. Once sausages are cooked, add asparagus cut into 1.5 inch sections and stir fry until tender. Add as much spinach as you want, and cook until wilted.
  3. Spoon the sausage, asparagus and spinach on top of the mushrooms, add a slice of tomato and then put some mozzarella cheese on top.
  4. Put under broiler until cheese starts to bubble

Mongolian Beef

We made this recipe after finding it on someone's blog. It was pretty good, although I would advise against eating it with brown rice. Definitely eat it with white rice. Brown rice tastes horrible. Yuck.

I'm not going to write out the recipe because we completely stole it and made no alterations whatsoever. It would be unfair to even say our meal was inspired by someone else's recipe since we didn't change a single thing about the recipe (except using brown rice... we were out of white and several months ago I decided to try brown rice and it was awful and vowed never to use it again... until this day and it was a mistake. In fact, when I get home, I am going to throw out the remaining brown rice).

So here is a link to the recipe. They even took better pictures of the meal.


Asparagus and Prosciutto with Breaded Shrimp

(Serves 2)

1/2 bunch asparagus

Sliced prosciutto


Goat cheese




Olive oil

Chopped Garlic

Asparagus bundles (inspired by this recipe http://web.mac.com/marciaskitchen/Site/Asparagus_Bundles.html)

  1. Trim ends of asparagus and boil for 2 minutes. Immediately rinse asparagus in cold water after to stop them from continuing to cook
  2. Take 4-5 spears of asparagus, and wrap a slice of prosciutto around them. Do this until you’ve got all of the asparagus into bundles
  3. Place in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and crumble goat cheese on top
  4. Heat oven to 400F and bake 5-6 minutes

For the shrimp

  1. Peel and devein shrimp
  2. Coat in flour
  3. Melt butter in a frying pan, add chopped garlic
  4. Put shrimp in pan and drizzle juice from ½ of a lemon on top
  5. Fry on medium-low heat until both sides are pink and the shrimp start to curl inward – about 2 minutes per side

Cashew Chicken

Absolutely the BEST chicken you will ever eat. I don't know how it happens, but the baking soda you marinate the chicken in first makes the breasts so silky and tender. It just kind of melts in your mouth, you barely even need to chew the chicken is so tender. The chicken doesn't dry out and go all flaky as it sometimes can when you are stir frying.

Inspired by http://www.rasamalaysia.com/chinese-food-recipe-cashew-chicken/

2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into squares

½ to 1 cup cashews

2 or 3 peppers (we used yellow and orange but you can use red or green if you prefer)

5 slices ginger

½ cup chopped onion


2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cornstarch

1 tsp rice wine


1 tsp oyster sauce

1 ½ tsp soya sauce

6 tbsp water

6 dashes white pepper

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp rice wine

¼ tsp sesame oil

Salt to taste

  1. Marinate the chicken in the baking soda for 15-20 minutes. After, rinse the breasts thoroughly and pat dry. Marinate for 15 more minutes in the cornstarch and rice wine
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together for the sauce and set aside
  3. Heat up wok and put in a teaspoon or so of oil, and stir-fry chicken until the meat turns white, or is half cooked. Set aside
  4. Add another teaspoon of oil to wok, stir in ginger, onions, peppers
  5. Stir-fry until you can smell the peppers and add the chicken back in
  6. Add in the cashews, stir and then add sauce
  7. Continue to cook until meat is cooked through.
  8. Serve! You can eat as is, or you can serve on top of rice

Brussels Sprouts and Scallops

Geoff and I made this recipe last month for my mom's birthday. We actually made my grandpa cook the scallops because he has a tendency of saying seafood is "tough" if it isn't cooked right. I wasn't about to let a delicious meal be ruined with that horrible word. Unfortunately, he undercooked the scallops slightly, which is why they aren't that delicious golden brown. Surprisingly, both my nanny and my grandpa loved the meal. They enjoyed it so much that they even told me it was good. In the 5 months that they have been living with my mother, I think maybe they've complimented her cooking 3 or 4 times (and twice it was for the lobster mac and cheese recipe that I picked out!) so I think I'm winning.

Inspired by this recipe: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/scallops-with-brussels-sprouts)

(Serves 2)


¼ sour cream

½ tsp grated lemon zest

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp olive oil

6 jumbo scallops (my Uncle John swears that if you get the scallops that are slightly pinkish in colour that they’re WAY better, but white coloured scallops are really good too!)

½ lb Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced

1 green onion, thinly sliced

3 tbsp butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 ounces pancetta, cubed

  1. In a bowl, mix together sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice and 1 tbsp olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  2. In a medium skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add 1 clove of garlic. Sautee scallops on moderately high heat until golden and just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm
  3. Meanwhile, in another skillet, cook pancetta over moderately high heat, until brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts and green onions and cook, stirring until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; add butter and garlic until melted.
  4. Transfer to plates

Asparagus Soup

(Serves 2)

1 large bunch of asparagus, ends removed

4-6 slices bacon

Slivered almonds

  1. Toast almonds in a frying pan, set aside
  2. Cook up bacon however you want and cut into little pieces
  3. Bring asparagus to boil, about 4-5 minutes
  4. Put asparagus into the blender and blend. Add some of the water that you boiled the asparagus in to the blender until the soup is your preferred thickness. Here you can add whatever seasonings you want, but the bacon and almonds flavour the soup really well so you don’t need much.
  5. Pour soup into bowls and add bacon and almonds