Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Leek, Bacon and Pea Risotto

So I decided I needed to find another recipe for bacon and use leeks.  This recipe stuck as sounding interesting so I figured I would try it tweaked.

So how I tweaked this recipe: I didn't have arborio rice to make risotto but wanted a similar flavour profile so I ditched the white wine and lemon juice, switched the rice to jasmine basmati, added 2/3 package of bacon chopped and cooked and also upped the quantity of Parmesan cheese.

This went over well with everyone and because I precooked the leeks to soften before adding they seemed to melt into the pot and the kid resistant to onions didn't even notice them and actually ate a large bowl.  I also found this meal to be delicious as a side later or simply as a lunch. Delicious! 

Sunday, 12 January 2014

K Bars

So KBARS aren't a huge secret or anything but are always loved by everyone who gets them.  They have been made by my mother for many years and have been passed on to me and my brothers.  In my time making them I have tweaked the process a bit to make it easier for me and mine but the overall ingredients haven't changed.   What I then did is decided to tweak it.  I will detail my original recipe than my little tweak. 😊

6 cups original Special K cereal
1 cup peanut butter (mom uses chunky but I like smooth)
1 cup white sugar 
1 cup corn syrup
1 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips
1 bag of butterscotch chips

Tweak ingredients : 
3/4 cup of finely chopped raw almonds
Dash of almond oil

Put cereal in large bowl.  Mix syrup, sugar and peanut butter on low heat in saucepan stirring constantly....you must watch this as it burns very easily and is hard to clean off pan if burned.  Pour over the cereal and while hot use spatula to coat all cereal with hot mix.  Once coated evenly (do it fast as it hardens quickly) pour into pan(s) and use spatula to crush it into the pan....if it starts cooling enough I use my clean fingers to press it down tightly.
 For this I used two round 8" pans but I usually use my 9" springform pan for cakes as it's easier to take out and cut.  I used these pans this time so I could make a batch of regular and tweaked at the same time for tasting purposes.

At this point I then put the chocolate and butterscotch in a double boiler and heat until melted and combined.  I pour this chocolate over the top of the cereal and put in the fridge to set.  

My tweaks: when mixing cereal with the hot syrup mixture I added finely chopped almonds into the cereal first.  I then added a dash of almond oil to the chocolate mixture for added almond taste.
I also added a few raw almonds to the top of the one with almonds so I could tell which was which.

"I didn't notice a huge difference but it still tasted good"
"This is awesome!"
"I loved how it wasn't too powerful to take away from the original flavours but just added an extra hint of almond to the complexity of it"

All in all either way this is made it was a success. Cheers!

Ingredient two SAFFRON = saffron rice

So in an effort to find four ingredients I have found many more ingredients I would like to play with.  

For this blog I am reporting on a compilation of ingredients that made up Saffron Rice.  
My husband loves rice but I get tired of the plain old recipes we usually eat.  They are tasty don't get me wrong but it's nice to have a variety and I enjoy givi my child new flavours to try for her palette. 

I started off by googling saffron rice recipes....each was different and not in small ways...so I decided to wing it this time.

Ingredients used: 
2 1/2 cups of Basmati Rice
1 box of Campbell's Chicken Broth (salt free)
1 tsp of saffron (a little goes a long way)
2 small grated onions (I grated so the kids didn't know it was there)

I simply boiled the rice and saffron in the chicken broth until cooked, ended up adding a bit of water if it looked dry. Added the grated onion when it was looking more like rice than a soup.....salted and peppered to taste.  Voila! 

I think this recipe turned out awesome and just as I expected....very flavourful!  Now most of the online recipes also called for turmeric but I happened to be out of this spice so didn't include it and it still looked and tasted beautiful!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Ingredient one LEEKS = leek soup

So I have a challenge child who "hates" onions.  I decided that one of my goals would be to change her mind slowly by introducing leeks to her as not an onion but as another food.  Here was my first experiment without a recipe and with simple ingredients put together.  I got my initial inspiration while searching recipes that included leeks, and found a lot of people used leeks and potatoes together.  I then decided because we have been sick in my house I would eliminate the cream/milk component and tweet it to our likes.  Here is how I did it.

First I cut three small onions and sautéed them until soft

While this is softening clean than slice three leeks into small pieces

Peel and dice three potatoes

Grate a while head of garlic

Once the onions are soft I added the leek pieces and let it cook a bit longer (6 minutes)
I then add a box of salt free Campbell's chicken broth,  add the potatoes and grated garlic. 

I added spices (1 tsp of thyme and rosemary) to season per our families likes, then cooked until the potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes).

Here is the biggest and most important step........I then blended the soup in a blender to incorporate all ingredients into a thick cream like consistency

This is the point where is put it back into the pan and added about 1/3 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste 

This was the finished product: 

And all three kids LOVED it! The one who hates onions.....was the first to finish too!

Monday, 30 December 2013

Exciting new ingredient project

I plan to continue my journey in tweaking tested recipes and sharing delicious other ones but came up with an idea for the new year.  I am going to start a series on ingredients and how versatile they can be.  I have selected two ingredients and am in search of two more.  How this will work is once per months. Will search and find and create one recipe with each ingredient then blog about my experiences with this ingredient and recipes.  I pride myself that my family really enjoys trying new recipes and there are just so many out there.  I think 12 different dishes made with each ingredients over a year seems like a reasonable project.  If I keep the plan to what I hope I will make one dish per week with a new recipe.  I am positive some recipes will fail but at least I will have tried it and explored new things.  In this process I encourage if you find a recipe you think we may like please send it my way! I will take a look before deciding on the weekly project.

I am looking forward to this and am going to research the four ingredients this week to finalize them.
I have decided I am interested in trying Pumpkin year round to see its versatility so this is ingredient #1.  Ingredient #2 is Cinnamon as per hubby's request he things that would make for some interesting recipes.  I am also thinking of either Artichokes or Leeks but haven't decided yet.  Suggestions are welcome but note the ingredient must be readily available in odometer form year round for this to work.

Cheers from my home to yours!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Turkey Soup

Alright I don't really go by a recipe for my soup.  I kind of took how my mom did it....and made it my own many years ago.

I take the bones, wings, and extra pieces of the turkey and boil them in water for about 1.5 hours.  While boiling I also include about 1 tbsp of dried rosemary, 1tbsp of dried thyme and 3 bay leafs.  Once boiled down to make stock I strain liquid and return to the pot.

My normal recipe would then have me adding chopped onion, celery, carrots and turkey meat.  Simmer until the carrots and celery are cooked.  Then I would add the spices again (thyme, bay leaf and rosemary) and noodles of choice <my house likes mini shells>  

My tweak this time is I also included the leftover gravy I made from the pan drippings the day before....this thickened it a bit but gave it a great strong turkey flavour.  I simply added more water so it wasn't so thick.  I will do this from now on as soup was gone first day.

Happy holidays!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Libby's Pumpkin Pie

So I am a pumpkin pie maniac.  I love it.  Growing up mom has made many pies....but it always came back to Libbys.   The combination is such a wonderful balance it just works perfect.  I could enjoy a piece of this anytime.

My tweak: while I enjoy the original recipe I enjoy it even more if I put into it about a 1/4 teaspoon of ground all spice, ground cloves and ground nutmeg.  I usually put even more nutmeg as this is my go to spice for the holidays.  I also like cooking these in mini tart shells as they are proportioned for easy consumption.

These went over so well this weekend we even saw them go home with people. My family enjoys them and any leftover filling put in the fridge can be mixed with warm hot chocolate or latte to make pumpkin pie latte or hc......or even mix with white ice cream for pumpkin pie ice cream.....delish?!?