Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Butter Tart Squares

This is adapted from a recipe my mother used to call 'crumb cookies'.  It has a shortbread type crust, and is filled with my classic butter tart filling.
Preheat oven to 325*F

What you need:

For the base layer: 1 and 3/4 cup flour, (can be regular white, or a blend of white and whole wheat, or a Gluten Free blend); 1 tsp baking powder; 1/2 tsp salt; 1/2 cup brown sugar; 2 egg yolks; and 1/3 cup shortening.
For the filling layer: 1/2 cup melted butter or margarine, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 beaten egg, 1 cup currents or raisins. Optional, 1/4 cup maple syrup.

What you do:  Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the shortening until the mixture is like coarse meal. Add beaten yolks, and stir until crumbly. Press into an 8" pan.  Mix first 4 filling ingredients, until well blended. Add raisins or currents, and pour into pan on top of crust. Bake 20-30 minutes -(20 minutes at sea level, but longer at higher altitudes). Squares are ready when the filling is bubbly, and the crust seems golden brown.

Cool on a rack, then cut into squares to serve.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Avocado and Shrimp Appetizer

Avocado and Shrimp Appetizer - this is not a recipe I created. I had this at the home of a friend back in 1980, and asked if I could copy it. It was created by the boyfriend of a co-worker at the daycare where I worked for 3 years in Vancouver.

What you need, per person: 1/2 an avocado, about 3 Tbs of cooked shrimp, about 2-3 Tbs of alfalfa sprouts, and 1 1/2 tsp of Italian salad dressing.

What you do: About 3-4 hours before serving time, place all the shrimp into a glass bowl.  Pour the dressing over the shrimp, and stir. Place in the fridge, and allow to marinate.  About 10 minutes before serving time, slice the avocados in half. Rub cut sides with the dressing, or with lemon juice. Place each avocado half on a small serving plate. Fill the cavity with shrimp, and top with the sprouts. Drizzle a little dressing from the bowl over the top, and serve.
You can peel the avocado, or leave in the peels.


Sunday, 8 October 2017

Shrimp and pasta casserole

Tonight I posted photos from the casserole I made for dinner. Within an hour I had 2 requests for the recipe. Here it is.

What you need: 1 package of shrimp, the 31-40 per pound size; 1 Tbs minced garlic, 1 block of margarine, divided; 1 cup milk; 1/2 cup dry white wine; 3 Tbs flour, or GF thickener; about 1 tsp Italian seasoning; 300 gr dry pasta, in any shape you like; 1 small onion, chopped fine; 6 small sweet peppers, sliced into thin rings; 200 gr large grated Parmesan cheese; 400 gr Mozzarella cheese in thin slices; white pepper and salt to taste.

What you do: In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions in boiling water until al dente. Meanwhile, in a 4 cup glass measuring cup or microwave safe bowl, heat 2 Tbs of margarine for 30 seconds. Add the flour or thickening agent, and whisk until well blended.  Add milk, salt, and pepper. Cook on high power in microwave for about 4 minutes, or until sauce is thickening well. While sauce is cooking, in a frying pan, heat 4 tbs - or 1/2 the block - of margarine, and add garlic and shrimp. Cook until just opaque. Stir wine into sauce, and cook another 4 minutes, stirring every minute.  Drain cooked pasta, and return to pot. Stir in cooked shrimp and garlic. Add Italian seasoning, and stir well.  Add chopped onion and sliced peppers. Pour everything into a 9x13 lasagna pan or casserole dish.  Pour sauce over pasta mixture. Add Parmesan cheese, stirring gently. Cover casserole dish with foil, and bake at 350*F for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven, and take off foil. Cover with thin slices of mozzarella cheese. Return it oven and broil for 5 minutes. Let stand about 5 minutes before serving.  Goes well with a green salad and a lovely glass of white wine.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Breaded Pork Chops

I have been making breaded pork chops for many years, since it is something Wil loves. In fact, I learned to make this from him.  I had never heard of them before I met Wil.  A simple, and delicious version, which helps to hold the moisture in the chops. You can use centre cut chops with the bone in, but I like to use the little boneless loin chops.

What you need:  1 pork chop per person; 1 egg for every 2 chops; 1/4 cup bread crumbs for every chop; seasonings - salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder for sure, but you can add a little sage, or your favourite spice. Margarine or oil for cooking.

What you do:  in a flat dish whisk the eggs with a tbs water per egg.  In another flat dish, mix all your seasonings with the crumbs.  Dip each chop in the egg wash, then in the crumbs. (You can repeat if you like your breaking thicker.). Place on a plate, and repeat with each chop. Heat oil or margarine in a large skillet. Brown chops on both sides over medium high heat.  Reduce heat and continue to cook for 6-8 minutes, turning halfway, to prevent burning.
Serve with your favourite side dishes.  We often have with pan fried potatoes or mashed potatoes, and veggies or salad.

As always, enjoy.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Nanny George's Hurry Up Cake

This is a Heritage recipe, passed down from my great grandmother, Annie Murphy, aka Nanny George. This recipe came from Ireland, when her family emigrated to Canada in the 1880s. My mother made this often.

This recipe is easy to cut in half. I am putting the original quantities. Turn oven on to 350*F.

What you need: 4 eggs, 2 cups sugar, 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 cup hot milk, 4 Tbs melted butter, 2 tsp vanilla, and 2 tsp salt -( I have been known to reduce this to 1 1/2 tsp.) for topping: 1/2 cup grated coconut, 3 Tbs brown sugar, 3 Tbs melted butter, and 2 Tbs cream.

What you do: In a large bowl, beat eggs well, then add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. (The original says to sift flour, salt and baking powder together, but I don't think modern flour needs sifting, so I usually skip that step). Add flour salt and baking powder to the bowl and fold together. Add liquids altogether. Pour into batter, and stir well.  Pour into a greased and floured 9x13" pan.
Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove pan from oven and turn on the broiler.
Cover cake with topping mixture, and place under broiler for a few minutes, just until the topping is browned and bubbling.  Cool 10 minutes in pan, then cut into squares.  Goes well with ice cream.

I have also used this cake as a base for shortbread desserts, or trifle.

For shortbread, cut baked cake in half top to bottom.  Cover bottom with whipped cream and fruit, then add top. Cover with whipped cream and fruit. As an option, you can mix 1/2 cup jam into the whipped cream for the filling layer.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Bacon wrapped pork chops

This is a wonderful gluten free recipe which I created by combining 2 other recipes I found in a cook book. Of course, I did add a little twist of my own.

Bacon Wrapped Pork Chops

What you need:  a bowl of the spice blend, (recipe follows); 4-5 pork chops, boneless or bone in, your choice; toothpicks, one per pork chop; 1 tomato, sliced; 1 onion, sliced; 4 pieces of sweet peppers, either green, orange, or yellow; 2 slices of bacon for each pork chop; cooking oil.

What you do:
Preheat oven to 400*F.
 Make up the spice blend. Use a brush to coat each pork chop with oil. Let sit for 10 minutes.
 Sprinkle on some of the spice blend, about 1 tsp per side of chops. Place 2 strips of bacon in an X on a work surface. Place the spiced pork chop on top of the X. Add a slice of onion, a slice of tomato, and a slice of pepper. Bring up the bacon slices and secure with a toothpick.  Pour a little oil into a baking dish. Place the wrapped pork chops into the dish as they are prepared. Add any extra slices of veggies or bacon on top after all the chops are in the pan.  Place in the oven. Bake 40 minutes, or until the chops are cooked through.

Serve over rice or noodles.

Spice blend:  1.5 tsp cumin, 2 tsp coriander, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp salt. Mix all these in a small bowl.  Use as above.

 I made rice to go with this, and I added 2 tsp of the spice blend to the rice cooker, along with the melted margarine, 1 Tbs of Epicure 3 onion blend, and 2 tbs of minced dried garlic.  The rice smelled divine when it was ready..........

As always, enjoy.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Gluten Free Barbecue Sauce With Pork Ribs

Today I created a new recipe for BBQ sauce, and BOY, does it ever taste great! The best part is it is GF for all those people who can't have gluten.

What you need: 2 Tbs cooking oil, (I used canola); 1 medium onion, chopped finely; 2-3 garlic cloves, minced; 1 large can (796ml) crushed tomatoes; 300ml water; 3 Tbs white vinegar; 1/2cup of GF soy sauce; 1/2 cup molasses (I used blackstrap); 1 tsp each ground mustard, ginger, coriander, and  laos or galengal - (this is an Indonesian spice often used in my kitchen.); 1 Tbs crushed red hot chiles - (you can increase or decrease the hot peppers to your own comfort level; salt and pepper to taste.

What you do: heat oil over medium heat in a 2 L saucepan. Add onion and garlic, and cook until softened, but not browned. Reduce heat to low.  Add all the other ingredients, and stir well, letting the sauce simmer for 20 minutes or so.

I am planning to make ribs for dinner, so I will pour the sauce over the prepared ribs and allow them to marinate for a couple hours, then cook in the oven for 2 hours at 300* F.

To prepare the ribs, I cut them into pieces of about 4 ribs, and then put them into a large pot and cover them with water. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat. Let the ribs simmer about 40 minutes to an hour.