Thursday, November 27, 2008

Creamy Tomato Bisque

Okay, this recipe is normally very fattening, and if you'd like to make it the original way, I will post how much butter and cream you need to use. When I make this reduced in calories, my family can't tell a difference. I thought it tasted the same as well. It was really nice in texture and the flavour was the same as always. This soup is fantastic on a cold night when you want something warm and comforting. When I was a child, I hated tomato soup from the cans and I swore to never eat it again, but my family was begging me to make a tomato bisque. So, I reluctantly made it and I was astonished with the difference from homemade to canned crap. I love this soup and I would hope that you guys would try it too. :)

* 4 tablespoons Brummel & Brown or real butter
* 3 slice bacon, finely chopped
* 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
* 1 carrot, chopped
* 1 stalk celery, chopped
* 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 litre chicken broth
* 28 ounces tomato sauce
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (I grew my own and sometimes I use fresh, if you use fresh throw in 3 sprigs fresh thyme)
* 2 tablespoons pesto
* 1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream, or 1 cup heavy cream
* Kosher salt to taste
* Freshly ground black pepper


Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until crisp and most of the fat has rendered, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Place a soup pan over medium heat, add the brummel & brown, or butter. When the soup pan is hot add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes.

Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Pour in the broth and tomato sauce and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Add the thyme and pesto. Lower the heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return the puree to the pot and reheat over medium heat.

Whisk the evaporated milk and heavy cream, or just all heavy cream into the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide among warm soup bowls and serve immediately with bacon on top of the soup.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Gypsy Chicken

Okay, so this is a Spanish dish that my sister's husband's grandmother gave to me... When I say Spanish, I mean Spanish. From Spain. Not Mexico. So, anyhoo... This is a great recipe. You just throw everything in a pot and let it cook for a couple hours, and then serve it with some cooked rice. Please don't snub your nose at this when you see that it has raisins and green olives. It's actually really good. I didn't think it sounded good until I actually tasted it, and it's an amazing dish.

Serves 6

You will want to cook this dutch style (in a large pot with a tight fitting lid).

Combine together into large pot:

2 15 oz. cans of tomato sauce
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 cup dark raisins
1 cup green Mediterranean olives
1 1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 1/4 teaspoon oregano
4 large bay leaves
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
4 pounds chicken legs or chicken breast, whatever part of the chicken you prefer

Bring to a boil for 2 - 3 minutes, stir, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for at least 2 hours. You can stir occasionally throughout the cooking period. Serve over white or brown rice.

*NOTE: I usually simmer this for about 3 hours. The longer you let it simmer the better the sauce tastes.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Flourless Chocolate Kahlua Cake

I love making this cake because it's so light and airy, but extremely rich and chocolaty. The cajeta sauce is amazing as well. I hope you all like it!

Yield: 10 to 12 servings


* 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
* 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
* 7 egg yolks
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 1/2 ounces coffee liqueur (recommended: Kahlua -- I've used hazelnut coffee liqueur before and it turned out really nice)
* Whites from 5 eggs
* 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
* Cajeta, recipe follows


* 1/2 cup water
* 1 cup sugar
* Approximately 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 2 tablespoons butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch round pie pan. Line pan with greased parchment or waxed paper. In the top of a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate and stir until smooth. Whip the egg yolks and the sugar until fluffy and pale in color. Fold butter and chocolate mixture into the egg yolk and sugar mixture, adding the coffee liqueur. Whip the egg whites to soft peaks and gently fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the pie pan and bake for 25 to 35 minutes then allow to cool completely.

Cover cake and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Cajeta: In a medium saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil, do not stir. Remove from heat when the sugar is amber in color and add enough cream to thin the caramel to a fairly liquid consistency. Stir in butter. To test consistency, dip a spoon into the caramel mixture and allow to cool. If the "cajeta" is gooey but holds its shape, it's ready; if it hardens too much, add a little more cream and test again.

Drizzle warm cajeta over individual slices of cake and sprinkle each slice with 1 - 2 tbsp toasted almonds.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Mongolian Pork with Vegetables and Rice

I found this recipe on the net, but the only thing I used was the sauce recipe for the pork... The vegetables and the method of cooking is all my own. I tasted the sauce before it was cooked and it didn't taste very good, and I was starting to wonder if it was going to ruin my pork chops, but fear not... This recipe, if cooked the way I am telling you, will turn out beautifully. I have some left overs for lunch and thank God for that because this stuff is wicked good.

Makes 8 servings

18 oz. raw pork chops on the bone, trimmed of all fat
8 cups cooked jasmine rice to serve

Mongolian Marinade:

* 1 cup hoisin sauce
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce (if you use reduced sodium, I cannot guarantee that they will turn out good)
* 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
* 1 teaspoon any brand hot sauce sauce
* 1 1/2 teaspoons lee kum kee black bean chili sauce
* 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed ginger (I bought the ginger in a jar that is like a paste)
* 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
* 3/4 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper


* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 1/2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
* 2 zucchini's
* 1/2 an onion
* 1 red bell pepper
* 1 green bell pepper
* 1 yellow bell pepper
* 1/2 cup of reserved marinade set aside

Trim the excess meat and fat away from the ends of the chop bones, leaving them exposed. Put the pork chops in a clean plastic bag and lightly sprinkle with water to prevent the meat from tearing when pounded. Using the smooth side of a meat mallet or heavy object like a bottle of wine or a marble rolling pin, pound the meat down to an even 1 inch thickness, being careful not to hit bones. Alternatively, have your butcher cut thinner chops and serve 2 per serving. To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Take out 1/2 cup marinade and set aside for later. Coat the pork chops liberally with the rest of the marinade and marinate for 1 hour.

Place the pork chops and the marinade the chops were in into a slow cooker on high. Cook for 3 1/2 hours, then take the pork chops out and remove the bone and any gristle and cut each chop into strips and cook for an additional 1 hour.

Turn the slow cooker off, and let the chops and sauce sit while you make the stir fry.

In a large frying pan or wok, heat olive oil over medium high. Add the vegetables and salt and stir frequently until the vegetables are no longer crunchy, but still have a crispness to them.

Once the vegetables are cooked, remove from heat and coat the vegetables with the 1/2 cup of reserved marinade and let them stand for a few minutes.

Cook the rice about 20 minutes before the vegetables then remove from heat and keep covered until ready to serve.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Low-Fat Cherry Clafoutis

I love Cherry Clafoutis, it's like a custard with cherries in it. This is a low-fat version and it's really good, despite the fact that it's "low-fat". Don't let those words scare you, because this is a wonderful dessert. I got this recipe from weight watchers, but I made a couple changes to it. I hope you all enjoy!

1 14 ounce can pitted dark cherries, drained
3 large egg(s)
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 oz cognac
1 cup(s) 1% low-fat milk
2/3 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup(s) powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon powdered sugar, for garnish
6 tablespoons aerosol whipped cream

EDIT: July 28th, 2009
I used my own cherries, I took about 1 1/2 lbs to 2 lbs of cherries, and rinsed them, stemmed them, and slit the side of the cherries. Then I brought 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar to a boil, then cooked the cherries in the simple syrup for 20 minutes. Then I drained the cherries, and kept the syrup left over. Let the cherries cool a bit, then pinched the pit out, and cut the cherries in half.

I also tripled the recipe, and I used 2 cups whole milk, and 1 cup half and half and I tripled all the other ingredients.

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a 10-inch pie plate with cooking spray.

Arrange cherries on bottom of prepared pie plate; set side.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs until frothy; whisk in extract, salt, cognac and milk. Add flour and 1/3 cup of sugar, a little at a time, whisking with each addition; mix until just combined. Pour mixture over cherries and bake for 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 300ºF and bake until center of clafoutis puffs up and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Allow clafoutis to cool before sprinkling with 1/4 teaspoon of powdered sugar. Cut into 6 pieces and serve.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Minestrone Soup

I created this soup because I wanted something light for dinner and it's getting quite cold outside now, so I wanted something warm and comforting. This is a great recipe if you are trying limited to the amount of calories you can eat. I'm not exactly sure how many calories would be in this, but on Weight Watchers it's 3 points per serving.

8 cups beef broth
1 cup red wine (something good enough to drink)
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
4 tablespoons basil pesto
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
2 large potatoes with skin on, cubed
1 carrot, diced
1 14 ounce can kidney beans, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt or kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
4 ounces uncooked pasta (I used Barilla Piccolini Mini Wheels pasta)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, boil broth, wine, diced tomatoes with juice, basil pesto, garlic, and tomato paste for one hour.

Add potatoes, carrots, kidney beans, celery salt, and sugar. Cook covered for another 45 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.

Add pasta and cook covered for 15 minutes or until al dente.

Makes 12 - 1 cup servings

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Low-Fat Antipasti Pasta Salad

My grandmother made this and I couldn't believe that it was low-fat pasta salad because it tasted so good... I really like this pasta salad and I will definitely be making this in the near future!

Servings: 8 – 1 cup servings


2 ½ cups broccoli, cut into small florets
12 ounces cooked pasta, rinsed with cold water
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
½ cup purple onion, diced
2 bell peppers of any colour, chopped (My grandma used red, yellow, and green in hers)
20 medium burgundy olives, sliced
½ package turkey pepperoni, sliced into strips
2/3 cup light Italian salad dressing (I like wishbone salad dressing)

1. In a pan blanch the broccoli for a few minutes then drain and rinse with cold water.
2. In a bowl add all of the ingredients and mix well.
3. It’s ready to serve! Enjoy!

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Thai Chicken Curry

This recipe is great... I love it, it has great flavour and it's really easy to make. Serve it with rice and you've got a nice meal.

* 3 tablespoons red mild Indian curry paste, Patak's Mild Coriander & Cumin is a good brand
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
* 1 tbsp. pesto
* 1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves chopped
* 2 (13.5-ounce) cans coconut milk
* 2 tablespoons soy sauce
* Kosher salt
* Freshly ground black pepper
* Steamed rice, to serve
* Paprika, for garnish
* 1 scallion, thinly sliced, for garnish

In a large skillet, mix together the curry paste and oil over medium heat. Cook until it sizzles for 2 minutes. Add the chicken to the skillet and stir. Cook for 8 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the pesto, cilantro, coconut milk, and soy sauce and season with salt and pepper. Give it a good stir, cover it, and cook on medium low for 10 minutes. Stir it again, cover, and let it rest for 3 or 4 minutes off the heat. Serve over steamed rice, garnished with paprika and scallions.

*Note: Patak's Curry paste is available in the US & UK. You need to get it at indian markets in the US.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Barley Tabbouleh Salad

This recipe is wonderful... It goes very well with my spiced hummus recipe that I have posted earlier in this blog. Both hummus and tabbouleh are middle eastern dishes. You can eat tabbouleh with flat bread, pita chips, romaine hearts, or by itself. This recipe has a nice balance of all the flavours and tastes amazing. I hope some of you will be able to enjoy this.

* 1 1/4 cups pearl barley
* 3 cups salted water
* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 3 tbsp. lemon juice
* Zest of 1/2 lemon
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 green onion, chopped
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 1 roma tomato, seeded and diced
* 1 cup seedless cucumber, diced
* 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, minced (please don't use regular parsley, flat-leaf is traditional in middle eastern cooking)
* 1/4 cup cilantro, minced

In a saucepan, bring salted water to a boil. Add the barley and reduce heat to a simmer covered for 25 minutes. Drain.

Rinse barley with cold water in a strainer until all the grains are cooled.

Transfer to bowl and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, minced garlic, green onions, salt and pepper.

Before serving add tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, and cilantro.


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Monday, June 9, 2008

Khichdi (Rice and Lentils)

This Indian dish is very easy to make and only takes 30 minutes to prepare... It is also prepared in one pot, which is nice for me. No extra dishes! Oh and did I mention it tastes really good? I love it! My mum hates lentils, but when she tried this, she really liked it.


• 2 tbsp butter
• 7 oz. (1 cup) basmati or jasmine rice
• 3.5 oz. (1/2 cup) green or yellow lentils
• 1 large onion, chopped (optional)
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 tsp ginger paste
• 2 potatoes, peeled and diced in cubes
• 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
• 1/2 tsp red chili powder
• 2 1/2 tsp garam masala
• 1 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
• 4 cups warm water


Heat the butter over medium low and fry chopped onions until it turns brown. Add minced garlic and ginger paste. Now mix garam masala and fry for 3 minutes. Pour in warm water and add lentils. Cook for 10 minutes. Add rice, potatoes, and salt; Stir. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.


This is supposed to be a very moist rice dish... Not all the liquid will evaporate like when rice is cooked plain. As long as the rice, lentils, and potatoes are cooked, it is finished.


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Friday, June 6, 2008

Paneer Makhani

This is such a wonderful dish... I made my own paneer, to go with my makhani sauce, but you can buy it pre-made if you don't want to make it yourself... You can replace tandoori chicken for the paneer and make chicken makhani or in indian, 'Murgh Makhani'. Serve this wonderful dish with basmati rice or pulao and some naan and you've got a great dinner.

Yields: 6 Servings

* 1 cup cubed paneer
* 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
* 1 tbsp sugar
* 1/2 tsp chili powder
* 1 14 oz can tomato sauce
* 1 tsp crushed ginger
* 1 tsp crushed garlic
* 3/4 cup whipping cream
* 1 cup water
* 1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
* 6 tbsp butter
* 1/2 serrano green chili, with insides taken out
* 1/4 tsp. salt

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in medium sized pan over medium low heat. Add the paneer and fry until golden brown on top and bottom of cubes. Remove paneer from pan and set aside on a plate or in a bowl.

Heat 4 tablespoons butter in the same pan the paneer was fried in, over medium low heat. Add garam masala. Wait until it crackles. Add ginger, garlic, and 1/2 green chili. Cook 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce, chili powder, salt, and 1 cup water. Boil, reduce heat, simmer 10 minutes. Add sugar and ground fenugreek.

Add fried paneer cubes. Simmer 5 minutes. Add cream.


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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Paneer (Fresh Indian Cheese)

This is a wonderful cheese and can be made in one day if you start in the morning, it will be finished by evening. The flavours are very mild, but it has a unique flavour.


* Stove top
* 3 - 5 sheets cheese cloth or old linen i.e. an old pillow case cut down each side and at the bottom seam throughly washed in soapy bleach water and rinsed very well. (I used old linen, and it worked out very nicely, in fact I don't think I'd use cheese cloth at all.)
* 1 large pot
* 1 wooden spoon
* 1 colander
* 2 plates
* Tin cans, or something heavy like a brick, at least 10 lbs or 22kg.


* 1 litre or 33.8 ounces rich 3.8% milk (avoid ultra-pasteurized)
* 2 tablespoons white vinegar
* 1/2 - 1 teaspoon kosher salt


In the sink or over a bowl, line the colander with the cheese cloth or old linen.

In a pot bring the milk to a low boil over medium heat (Be careful—once milk boils, it foams and makes a mess quickly). Stir constantly as it heats up to avoid scalding on the bottom of the pan.

Once the milk has come to a boil, removed from heat and add vinegar one teaspoon at a time and stir until curdles start to form and a yellowish liquid separates the white curds.

It should look like this...

Once the milk starts to curdle and you can see separate curds from the yellowish whey, walk away from the mixture for 10 minutes so that the curds can develop.

After 10 minutes, give it a stir again. Strain the curds over the lined colander.

Gently stir it around a bit to help the whey to drain. Once it is cool enough to handle sprinkle on the salt to taste, just a little not too much. Stir in the salt into the curds, then bring all sides of the linen together and start twisting. The tighter you twist the more liquid will come out. While twisting, stop for a few minutes and squeeze the ball of cheese to get the whey out. The more you squeeze, the firmer your cheese will be.

Once you have squeeze it, let the cheese sit in the colander to drain off the whey for a few minutes. Once the cheese has drained, untwist the cloth, but keep the cheese covered. While still in the cloth pat out a 1/2 inch disc on a plate and place another plate on top, then place your cans, or heavy object on top of the cheese and put it in the refrigerator for 2 hours. More whey will come off the cheese, discard it or save it for making your next batch of paneer. The whey from a previous batch will yield a more tender cheese.

Wrap the cheese and cut it into cubes and enjoy!

You can make paneer makhani (butter paneer), or fry the paneer in a little ghee (clarified butter), or oil for a tasty snack.


The paneer should not be crumbly, it should be a solid cheese, but soft like goats cheese.

Makes about 6 ounces of cheese. Use immediately, or keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Spiced Hummus

Difficulty: Easy
Appliances: Food processor and blender

* 2 (30 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
* Tahini Sauce, optional, See recipe below
* 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
* 4 tbsp lemon juice
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 1/2 tsp garam masala**
* 1 1/2 tsp. ground corriander
* 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
* 3/4 tsp salt
* 3/4 cup olive oil
* 1/2 cup water

Tahini Sauce:

4 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp olive oil

Tahini Procedure:

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a shallow dish, like a 8" - 9" pie tin, place sesame seeds and shake lightly to make an even layer.

Place sesame seeds in oven and toast for 6 - 8 minutes or until golden brown.

If you don't have an oven, you can do this in a skillet over some sort of low heat stirring occasionally until sesame seeds are brown.

Cool the seeds.

In a blender, place the cooled seeds and add the olive oil and blend until you get a thick, but pourable sauce.

Put aside.

Hummus Procedure:

Process garbanzo beans and tahini in food processor. Blend in remaining ingredients in food processor and blend for 5 - 10 minutes or until creamy and all the garbanzo beans are blended. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour or so for flavours to meld. Serve with flat bread, pita chips, or fresh vegetables.

** Available in some super markets, and most indian stores. If you can't find garam masala, here is a recipe you can use. Click here

This recipe makes a lot of hummus, I usually make enough to munch on over the week, so if you don't want so much, try cutting all the measurements in half.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008


I love this drink... There is a hamburger place in Astoria that serves hamburgers and orange freezes and I live about 2 hours away and I wanted to come up with something that was similar in flavour, etc. It's still a little fizzy from the soda and has a good creamy texture from the ice cream. A must try!

Serves 1 (You only want to blend one freeze at a time in the blender or you could end up with soda all over the place in your kitchen)

4 heathly sized scoops of a good quality vanilla or vanilla bean ice cream
4 ice cubes
1 cup - 1 1/2 cups sunkist orange soda (I like the sunkist because it's all natural) or any kind of soda you'd like to use in case you don't like orange

Place all the ingredients in the blender and on high start out on the lowest setting (on my blender there is a button for low and high and then from there, there are buttons that start out low and then go higher) then gradually go up higher until the mixture is smooth and frothy. Pour into a glass that is at least 16 ounces, preferably 20 ounces if you have it. Insert a straw of your favourite colour (pink was my straw) and enjoy the yumminess of the Orange FREEZE!!

Warning: This drink is COLD!!! Drink at your own risk. Side effects may include brain freeze, temperature drop within the body, and a case of the shivers. :)

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Looking To Link With Others

I am looking for some people with other cooking blogs or websites, or any blogs/websites for that matter to link with.... If anyone who views my blog is interested in linking with me, please send me an email... Thanks! :)

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This is something I made up on my own and have gotten the flavours right where I like it... I love sweet and sour chicken and I live out in the boonies, so it's not so easy to go to town and buy chinese food. It's more convenient for me to go to the small super market near my house and buy some of the ingredients than jump in my car and drive 15 miles to the nearest chinese restaurant... Haha. Most of the stuff in this are things that I usually have on hand, but the fresh produce is something I have to buy when I want to make it. This recipe is not as sweet as some in the restaurants and it has no food colouring in it because I don't want to polute my body with chemicals, but if you want it red, then by all means add food colouring. This is also a lower in calorie version of this favourite, but still has tons of flavour!

Serves 6



1/2 red bell pepper, chopped into big chunks
1/2 green bell Pepper, chopped into big chunks
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped into big chunks
1 tsp. minced ginger root
1 15 oz. can chunked pineapple, drained
2 tbsp. sweet chile sauce, optional
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
3 cups pineapple juice
3 tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
6 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup water
kosher salt to taste
non-stick cooking spray

In a large sauce pan, liberally spray with non-stick cooking spray over medium heat.

When pan is hot, add the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, onion, and ginger root and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add pineapple chunks, sweet chile sauce, rice vinegar, pineapple juice, and soy sauce.

In a small bowl or cup, add cornstarch and 1/2 cup water and stir until completely mixed together.

Season sauce to taste and bring sauce to a low boil over medium heat... When a boil emerges, pour in the water and cornstarch mixture.

Stir with wooden spoon until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Turn off heat and serve with chicken (see recipe below) and jasmine rice.

At this point you have to decide if you want to deep fry your chicken, or pan fry it in a little oil in a pan... This recipe for chicken can be made either way.

Fried Chicken:

4 large chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 cups buttermilk
1 tbsp. sweet chile sauce
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
Corn oil for frying

In a zip lock bag combine the chicken chunks, half the buttermilk (1 cup), and sweet chile sauce and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, preferably 1 hour.

In pie tins or any kind of shallow dish, mix flour, breadcrumbs, and salt in one dish and 1 cup buttermilk and 2 eggs in another dish and a large plate for placing chicken on after breading.

Take the chicken chunks and place them in the flour mixture and roll around for an even coating, then place chicken chunks into buttermilk mixture and back into the flour mixture for a double coating. Repeat until all chicken is coated.

Prepare your deep fryer with the corn oil at 350 degrees. When the fryer is ready, place only a few pieces of chicken at a time (about 4-6 pieces). Fry for about 5 minutes or until golden brown, repeat all the chicken in batches.

If you want to pan fry them, you can prepare a large skillet with about 1/2 an inch of corn oil or olive oil in the bottom of the pan over medium-low heat. When pan is hot, but not smoking, add the chicken in batches of 6 - 8 pieces of chicken at a time for 3 - 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Serve chicken with jasmine rice and sweet and sour sauce. Enjoy!

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Friday, February 8, 2008

Make Your Own Microwave "Warm Delights" Minis

Okay, I really like those warm delights, the mini ones are 150 calories and very yummy... I was trying to think of a way to replica that at home and I figured out a way that I really like it, but even better than the Warm Delights you buy in the store, and way cheaper too... It's a little more work at home, but I figured out it's 15¢ for each mini cake at home, versus $2.00 per cake from the store... You pay about $4.00 for the cake minis for a package with 2 mini cakes in them, but the regulars only come with 1 cake and those are $4.00 each. I'm sorry, but I really have a hard time paying that much for a cake that is a single serving when I can buy a cake mix for less than a buck at my local super market and a cheap packet of generic brand pudding and make the same thing for much much less. Dollars less in fact. It costs pennies to do at home, versus dollars from the grocery store.

So, here is the Recipe:

Makes 21 Mini Cakes with 1/4 cup dry mix

1 Duncan Hines Cake Mix
1 Sugar Free Instant Pudding Package (4 serving package; in the corresponding flavour of the cake mix)
1 1/3 Cups Dried Egg Whites (you can purchase this at baking shops)
Fruit Preserves, Hot Fudge, or Caramel in the tubs for dipping fruit (I get the low fat caramel and it tastes great, just don't go overboard with it, it can be a bit overwhelmingly sweet if you put too much on.)

Okay, you can do two things... You can either measure out 1/3 cup of mix into little packets or you can just scoop out 1/3 cup of mix whenever you want to make a cake... Then add 1 1/2 tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon oil and mix well.

Now, the Dried Egg Whites are not necessary. This is how I make it at home because I don't have the dried egg whites... I measure out 1/2 cup of mix (just the cake and pudding), and mix in 1 egg white, 2 tablespoons water, 2 teaspoons of oil, and mix well. Then I divide it into 2 mini cakes because I share with my mum whenever I make them. The problem is, I don't know how to make just one serving because I can't put half an egg white in the cake mix... So, for me it works out well to use the egg whites from an egg, but if you are single, it might work best to get the egg whites dried.

Now, I usually very lightly spray the bottom of my bowls (any microwave safe bowl works just fine, I have used correll (sp?), and even a mug.), and then swish a paper towel inside the bowl to make an even coat. Then I pour the cake mix in the bowl and if I am having chocolate cake, I use that caramel that is already made for dipping apples, and put 1 1/2 teaspoons on top and then microwave for 35 seconds in a 1000 watt microwave. Times may differ depending on the microwave, but you want the cake to look dry on top and have no sign of moistness... The caramel will melt and get saucy, so don't let that get dry, just the cake.

You can experiment with flavour, I am thinking of mixing up a white cake version and using lemon curd on top to make a light lemony swirl cake... For chocolate, you could use fruit preserves for flavours, or hot fudge, peanut butter, etc.

I know it sounds odd to microwave a cake, I thought it was too, but if you follow my recipe, you will see that it's very moist and quite good... I also top off with a little squirt of whipped cream. :)

If you don't want a mini, you can make the entire 1/2 cup serving with 1 egg white etc, and you will want to microwave for 90 seconds or so.

I use these little ramekins to make my minis in, but you'll want a bigger bowl, just a normal sized cereal bowl to make a regular sized cake in. :)

I hope everyone enjoys. If you try it, please let me know what you think.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Vietnamese Stick Noodle Salad with Grilled Shrimp

It's been a long time since I've posted an entry, and for that I am sorry.

I've been a bit lazy lately and a lot has been going on in my life lately. I am hoping I can try to make more time for my blog. I really do enjoy sharing recipes with other people and I would love to hear from all of you and if you've tried my recipes how you liked them.

So, since I've neglected my blog so much lately, I will post a recipe to try to make up for it. :) I've been on a lower in fat diet since November and I've been trying to lose a little weight and I hate the fact that a lot of the foods I like are not low in fat and it's hard to replica something that is rich in fat and carbohydrates. Alas, I have come to the conclusion that you can cut the fat by about half and still be safe and limit the carbs and eat the things you love in moderation. So, here is a recipe for something that I love that I've made lower in fat and still just as tasty.

This recipe is Traditionally made with pork, but you can get it with shrimp in the Vietnamese restaurants. It's one of my favourite foods of all time.

Vietnamese Stick Noodle Salad with Grilled Shrimp

Serves 4


1 lbs. Stick Rice Noodles, cooked 3 minutes
1 lbs. Raw Medium Sized Shrimp, Marinated (see following recipe)
4 Cups Butter Leaf Lettuce, tore into small pieces
1/2 Large Cucumber, sliced into thin strips
1 Large Carrot, shredded, or grated
1 Bundle Cilantro aka Coriander, chopped
1 Small Package Bean Sprouts
4 tbsp. Peanuts, Chopped
3 tbsp. Green Onion, Chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil or corn oil


1. Divide the Nuoc Cham in half. Use one half for marinating the shrimp for 10 minutes.
2. Preheat skillet over medium-low heat with 2 tbsp. olive oil or corn oil.
3. When pan is hot, place the shrimp in skillet and cook on each side for 1 to 2 minutes or until cooked throughly.
4. Place the cooked rice noodles into serving dishes and top with lettuce, cucumber, carrot, cilantro, bean sprouts, peanuts, green onion, and desired amount of shrimp.
5. Pour 2-3 tbsp. of Nuoc Cham on top of each salad and toss to coat.
6. Serve and Enjoy!

Tip: A lot of people over cook their shrimp, and the best way to cook it is to cook until each side begins to turn a red pearly opaque colour and begins to curl up. You want to cook it just until it turns white all the way through, if it cooks for much longer it will turn rubbery, dry, and lose it's flavour.

Nuoc Cham (Dressing & Marinate)


* 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
* 1 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
* 1/2 cup nuoc mam (fish sauce), available at Asian markets
* 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 1/2 cups boiling water


1. In a small bowl, soak the red pepper flakes in the vinegar for 10–15 minutes.
2. In a second bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, and sugar.
3. Stir in 11/2 cups boiling water and the pepper-vinegar mixture.
4. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool. Serve at room temperature.
5. Store in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 30 days.

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