Sausage, Spinach & Potato Soup

This soup is fast to make and is really delicious!  Took me about 30 minutes from beginning to end.

I”m testing different soups to make at our local Hospice.  I”m sure they will love this one!

Love when something comes together fast and it’s really good too!

So here goes:

Sausage, Spicach & Potato Soup

  1. 1 TBSP olive oil
  2. 1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed  (however spicy you want)
  3. 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  4. 1 large onion, diced
  5. 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  6. 3/4 tsp dried basil
  7. 1/4 tsp crushed red peppers flakes (or to taste)
  8. salt & pepper to taste
  9. 5 cups chicken broth
  10. 1 bay leaf
  11. 1 lb potatoes, diced (small potatoes diced is easy too)
  12. 3 cups baby spinach, rough chop
  13. 1 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  • heat olive oil in a stockpot or dutch oven. Over medium heat cook sausage until browned.  Crumble sausage while cooking.  Drain excess fat.
  • stir garlic, onion, oregano, basil and pepper flakes.  Cook and stir frequently until onions are translucent. Season with salt & pepper
  • stir in chicken broth and bay leaf, and bring to a boil.  Add potatoes and cook until tender..about 13 minutes.
  • stir in spinach until it begins to wilt.  Stir in heavy cream and bring just to a simmer.  Salt & pepper to taste.
  • serve immediately….( I sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top)

Enjoy!

Chocolate Carrot Cake

This is my Valentine’s treat to you!!! Valentine’s Day is fast approaching.  My hubby and I have been invited to celebrate with a group of friends.  So I decided to make this delectable cake into cupcakes.

When I had my business PattyCakes it was my absolute most popular cake.  I thought I’d share this recipe with you today so you can enjoy it as much as we have.

So here goes:

Chocolate Carrot Cake

  1. 2-1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  2. 1 cup flaked coconut
  3. 3/4 cup of Dutch process cocoa powder – sifted
  4. 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
  5. 1 tsp baking powder
  6. 1 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 2 cups granulated sugar
  9. 1-1/2 cup oil (I use grapeseed)
  10. 3 eggs
  11. 1 tsp vanilla
  12. 8oz crushed pineapple with the juice
  13. 2 cups grated carrot
  14. 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Line 2 regular cupcake pans with liners or grease and sprinkle with cocoa one 9×13 pan

  • In a large bowl, beat together sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla.
  • Beat in pineapple with juice and carrots.
  • Add flour mixture beating only until smooth
  • Stir in chocolate chips
  • Using a scoop fill your cupcakes 3/4 full
  • Or spread into your prepared pan
  • Cupcakes: bake for 21 minutes
  • Cake Pan:  about 21 minutes as well or till done when a toothpick comes out clean
  • Let cool
  • Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. 1-8oz pkg of cream cheese softened to room temperature
  2. 1 cup butter at room temperature
  3. 4 1/2 -5 cups of icing sugar – sifted
  4. Pinch of salt

Cream your butter and cream cheese together until well blended.  Add salt.  Then add icing sugar a bit at a time and beat until smooth.  Frost your cupcakes with your favourite decorating tip.

Enjoy!

Tourtiere (Meat Pie)

Tourtiere (meat pie) is a french tradition.  My mother in law was a great cook and baker.  She taught me how to make pie crust.  She would call me when she was making her meat pie and she’d say “Patsy..I taught you how to make pie crust and now you do it better than me” LOL…miss her!

So today I used her meat pie recipe that she got from a lady she knew….it’s really good.

Make your favourite pie crust recipe or purchase one already made.

Today I made mine in hand pie form….it’s easier for me and my hubby instead of warming up a whole pie.  I used a 5 inch round cutter..put 2 TBSP of filling..wet one half of the dough edge with cold water and fold over and crimped the edge.

So here we go:

Tourtiere (Meat Pie)

  1. 1 lb of ground veal
  2. 2 lbs of ground pork
  3. 1 whole onion chopped
  4. 1 TBSP of parsley
  5. 3 tsp salt
  6. 2 tsp pepeper
  7. 4 large cloves of garlic minced
  8. 3/4 tsp of savoury
  9. 3/4 tsp sage
  10. 3 pinches of cloves

NOTE:  this amount made 25  hand pies (depending on what size you make them).  And 2 5 inch round mini pie plates.

Directions:

  • prepare your favourite pie crust (or buy one)
  • you will need a 5 inch round cutter or a turnover cutter (see pictures)
  • Line cookie sheets with parchment paper
  • put all your meat and all the rest of the ingredients in a large pot or pan and cook till no more red shows
  • DO NOT GET RID OF THE JUICE!
  • cool till its not hot but warm
  • roll out dough and cut circles in the size you prefer
  • mine took 2 TBSP of meat mixture
  • KEEP STIRRING MIXTURE TO KEEP IT MOIST AS YOU FILL YOUR CIRCLES…YOU DON’T WANT DRY MEAT
  • brush the edge of half the dough circle with water, then fold over and crimp.  You can use a fork.
  • brush tops with an egg wash
  • make 2 slits in each pie for steam to escape
  • bake @425 for 15 minutes…
  • cool completely …..then on cookie sheets freeze before placing them in a container
  • later take how many you want and thaw on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  • place in oven @300 degrees till the centre is nice and hot.

Enjoy!

 

 

Savoury Mufins

My husband and I volunteer on Tuesdays at our local Hospice.  I cook/bake and he takes care of all the dishes…what a guy!

The residents there sometimes don’t have much appetite..but we decided to make a batch of blueberry waffles and then I made these Savoury Muffins for a breakfast treat.

These muffins could be eaten with stew, soup, alone , etc.  But always warm and with butter..lots of butter.  I think they might be good with garlic/herb whipped cream cheese.

I know you’ll enjoy these.  You might want to make a batch to have on hand for company.

So here goes!

  

Savoury Muffins

Prepare your muffin pan.  I sprayed mine for these and used a scoop large enough to fill the cavity to the top…that way you get a nice muffin top.

In  large bowl mis:

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper ( or more if you wish)
  • 1 bunch of green onions (scallions)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon
  • 1/2 small sweet pepper chopped

in a medium bowl whisk:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 TBSP oil
  • 3 TBSP melted butter
  • 1 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese

Directions

  • In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients
  • In a medium bowl mix wet ingredients and cheese
  • Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and with a spatula GENTLY MIX….DO NOT  OVERMIX! You want nice fluffy muffin.
  • Scoop into prepared pan.

Note: I sprayed my pans and my scoop filled the muffin tins to the top

The best way to store muffins is to freeze them.  Then put one in the microwave for about 40-45 seconds on high..add butter or cream cheese…YUM!

Enjoy!

 

 

Blueberry BBQ Sauce

I’ve prepared something special for you today since I haven’t posted for a while.

We have had a crazy few months helping out friends with their new house build.  So there has been shopping sprees, packing the old house, more shopping,  Making all the selections for the house, being there for much of the installations etc.

So today I wanted to treat you for being so patient with me.  Thanks for that.

I prepared ribs with a dry rub and cooked them in the oven.  So use your favourite dry rub recipe.  And I always use back ribs.  They are more tender.  I put together this blueberry bbq sauce which I first simmered then poured onto the already cooked ribs.  I am now baking those till they almost fall off the bone.  Which won’t take long since they are already cooked.

Don’t hesitate to use it on pork tenderloin and other meats

So here goes!

 

Blueberry BBQ Sauce

  1. 3/4 cup of ketchup
  2. 1/2 cup of cider vinegar
  3. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  4. 1 TBSP of regular molasses
  5. 1 tsp chili powder
  6. 1 tsp ground black pepper
  7. 2 cups of blueberries, fresh or frozen

Directions

  • place ALL ingredients in a saucepan over high heat.
  • add 1/2 cup water stir
  • bring to a boil
  • reduce heat and simmer till thickened and still chunky, about 20 minutes
  • Pour over your prepared meat
  • Bake in 350 degree oven and cook till meat is almost falling off the bone.

Note:  if using with another meat other than ribs…pork tenderloin I would sear first then pour sauce on top and bake in 400 degree oven.  I would do the same for thick pork chops etc.

Enjoy!

 

Cranberry/Walnut Rustic Brea

I’m in the mood lately to make rustic breads, so I am trying a variation of them.  They are almost all identical in amounts and times of baking but of course different ingredients.  This will be the third one on my blog.

I am just loving how easy they are to make.  You do need a cast iron dutch oven…you won’t get the wonderful crust without it.  It is worth the investment.  Love mine for many different things.

I also love being able to make my own bread and knowing there are no preservatives in it.

After it’s cooled I slice it, put wax paper or parchment paper between the slices and freeze it.  Then we can just take out what we need.  I am now baking a few to take to camp.

So here goes!!

Cranberry/Walnut Rustic Bread:

  1. 3 cups of bread flour (or all purpose if that’s what you have)
  2. 2 tsp salt
  3. 1 tsp yeast
  4. 1 cup of dried cranberries
  5. 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  6. 1/4 cup of liquid honey
  7. 1-1/2 cup of lukewarm water

Directions:

  • in a large bowl put your flour, the salt and mix that well, then add the yeast and mix well together
  • mix in the cranberries and walnuts
  • measure your liquid honey in a 2 cup glass measuring cup
  • then fill to 1-3/4 mark with lukewarm water ( as warm as a baby bottle of milk)
  • Mix all together IT WILL BE A STICKY DOUGH
  • I fold it over in the bowl to incorporate all the flour
  • transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap (bowl needs to be big enough for the dough to double in size)
  • place in a draft free area (I put mine in my oven) and let rise overnight for 12-15 hours.
  • now you’re ready to bake it
  • turn your dough out on a heavily floured board or countertop
  • fold over gently till not too sticky anymore
  • transfer your dough to a parchment paper.
  • Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
  • Place your cast iron pot to heat up in your oven
  • once ready place your dough with the parchment paper in the dutch oven
  • with the lid on bake for 25 minutes
  • then remove lid and bake another 15 minutes
  • let cool completely before slicing…it’s still baking!!!

Enjoy!!!

Rustic Raisin Bread

Making bread again..but this time it’s raisin bread.  Again it smells wonderful in here.  I’m loving these no knead breads…man…you prepare the dough the night before and in the morning it’s ready to go. No kneading at all!

So here goes!

Rustic Raisin Bread:

You will need a cast iron dutch oven with lid.

  1. 3 cups flour
  2. 3/4 tsp yeast
  3. 1-1/2 tsp salt
  4. 2 TBSP of sugar
  5. 2- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  6. 3/4 cup raisins
  7. 3/4 cup water (room temperature)
  8. 3/4 cup milk (room temperature)

Directions:

  • in a bowl large enough for your bread to double in size mix flour, yeast, salt, sugar, raisins and cinnamon
  • add milk and water and mix till well blended
  • dough will be rough and a bit sticky
  • transfer dough to another bowl lightly oiled
  • cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 15 hours
  • on a floured board turn you dough (without kneading) till you get somewhat of a ball…it will be very soft
  • place on a parchment paper large enough that it will fit in a cast iron dutch oven.  Cover with a clean cloth and let rise one hour
  • pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • place your cast iron pot with the lid in the oven for about 10 minutes to warm up
  • lift your parchment paper with the bread and place it in the dutch oven
  • bake for 35 minutes with lid on
  • remove lid and bake another 10 minutes

Enjoy!

Dutch Oven Rustic Bread

Well…this will be the easiest post I’ve ever made.  This bread was so easy to put together it’s almost “too good to be true” but it is true and delicious!

I put the dough together at 7pm..I transferred the dough to another bowl lightly oiled to make it easier to turn the dough out.   Cover and leave overnight 12 hours in all right on the counter.  I got up at 7:30am and turned my oven on to 450 with the cast iron Dutch oven and cover in the oven to heat up.

I turned my dough out on a floured surface and just formed a rough ball…NO KNEADING!  Then I transferred the dough to a parchment paper and let rise till my oven was ready.

Once the oven was ready I took my Dutch oven out and placed my dough with the parchment paper inside the pot and put the lid on it.  I baked it for 30 minutes with the lid on, then removed the lid and baked it for 15 minutes.  Absolutely perfect.  It had this wonderful rustic crust, but inside….ahhhhhh…what can I say…true bliss.  I let it rest for 15 minutes (that’s all the waiting I could take)…then sliced myself a piece and of course buttered it.  The texture is perfect!!

So here goes.

 

Dutch Oven Rustic Bread:

  1. 3 cups of bread flour
  2. 1 tsp salt ( I used kosher)
  3. 1 tsp fast acting yeast
  4. 1-1/2 cups of warm water (if it feels warm on your wrist)
  5. mix it all together with a wooden spoon till it forms a rough, shaggy  dough
  6. transfer dough to another bowl lightly oiled
  7. cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 12 hours

Instructions:

  • pre-heat your oven to 450 with Dutch Oven and lid in the oven
  • place a large piece of parchment paper on your counter
  • turn your dough onto a floured surface
  • form a rustic ball DO NOT KNEAD!
  • transfer the dough to a parchment paper
  • let sit for 30 minutes while your oven heats up
  • place your dough with parchment paper into the hot Dutch Oven
  • bake for 30 minutes with lid on
  • remove lid and bake for another 15 minutes
  • let sit on a wire rack for 15 minutes before cutting (if you can wait that long )

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creamy Italian Dressing

This is such a tasty dressing…we love it on all kinds of salads.   The list of ingredients is mostly what you’ll have in your pantry…easy peasy.

You don’t need much on your salad so it goes a long way.

So here goes!

Creamy Italian Dressing

  1. 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar (it keeps the colour creamy)
  2. 2 TBSP lemon juice
  3. 1/3 cup good olive oil
  4. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  5. 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  6. 1/2 tsp dried basil
  7. 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  8. 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  9. 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  10. 2 tsp honey
  11. 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
  12. salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Add all ingredients to a large mason jar and shake very well until combined.    Serve over your favourite salad
  • Shake well before using.
  • If the dressing is too thick after refrigerating just add a bit of water.

Enjoy!

Easy Homemade Crackers

Talk about easy!!! Seriously. Anyone can do this! How great is it to have company and you’ve made the crackers!!!

Just get yourself a package of egg roll wrappers and away you go!

I’m having a Nygard home party this coming week so I decided to make these crackers.  I think they will be impressed!

You can use any type of herb….I chose thyme and fleur de sel…see picture in post if you don’t know what that salt is.  You can find it where salt is sold in the grocery store.

So here goes!

 

Easy Homemade Crackers:

  1. 1 pkg egg roll wrappers ( in the produce section)
  2. olive oil
  3. salt ( I used fleur de sel)
  4. thyme (use any herb you prefer)

Directions

  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • Drizzle oil on the paper…not too much
  • Take your cut out wrappers and place them on the oiled paper then brush the tops with oil
  • Sprinkle with fleur de sel or any other sea salt
  • Lightly sprinkle with thyme
  • Bake @ 375 degrees for about 6-7 minutes
  • WATCH THEM CAREFULLY….THEY COOK FAST!
  • When they are a nice golden take them out and place them on a paper towel.
  • Once cooled store in an airtight container
  • THAT’S IT!!!

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Sheet Cake

This cake is just delicious.  It’s moist, has a creamy cream cheese frosting…raisins.  What more could you want???

This cake recipe belonged to my aunt Murielle…she is my late mom’s sister and I love her to the moon and back.  She has stayed with me while recovering from a couple of surgeries.  She has helped me pack when moving…love love love her!!!

So this recipe is hers…and it is very tasty.

So here goes!!!

Pumpkin Sheet Cake

  1. 3 cups of all purpose flour
  2. 3 tsp baking powder
  3. 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
  4. 3/4 tsp salt
  5. 3 tsp cinnamon
  6. 6 large eggs
  7. 1-1/2 cups of oil ( I used grapeseed)
  8. 3 cups sugar
  9. 1-28oz can of pure pumpkin purée – NOT PIE FILLING
  10. 1-1/2 cups of raisins
  11. 1-1/2 cups of chopped walnuts – toasted for topping

Directions:

  • in a medium bowl whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt & cinnamon
  • in bowl of a stand mixer beat eggs, oil, sugar and pumpkin till oil is well blended
  • add raisins
  • pour into a 12”x17” sheet pan greased and floured
  • bake @ 350 degrees for approx. 30 minutes
  • if it springs back when touched it is done
  • Cool on rack
  • frost with cream cheese frosting and top with toasted walnuts

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • in a stand mixer with the paddle attachement beat 2-8oz pkgs of cream cheese at room temperature , 1 lb of butter at room temperature and 1 tsp salt
  • Add 9 cups of icing sugar – sifted a bit at a time
  • blend well between additions of icing sugar
  • Note: you’ll think at first that the cream cheese frosting will be too soft…but once the icing sugar is all added it will be perfect consistency.  Freeze what’s leftover for another time.
  • You can 1/2 the recipe

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cowboy Cookies

Put on your cowboy boots cause you’re going on a cookie ride!!! This recipe is huge…makes about 5 dz cookies…large cookies.

Been looking at this recipe for a while now and today was the day to try it.  Not overly peanut buttery…but a nice subtle flavour…but lots of texture with the oats, peanuts , chocolate chips etc.  Lots of butter ….YUM!!!

By now you should know that I’m a chocoholic!  If I can sneak chocolate into something I WILL!  I truly believe there should be a medical test for those that don’t like chocolate..just sayin!

Your kids will devour these.  When my kids were at home they would literally inhale fresh cookies…they would never make it to the freezer.  Kind of miss those days.  Always a full house of kids.

So here we go!

 

 

Peanut Butter Cowboy Cookies;

Note:  I doubled the recipe.  I find why not freeze some for unexpected company or to surprise someone!

  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 1 cup butter, softened
  5. 1 cup of brown sugar
  6. 1 cup granulated sugar
  7. 2/3 cup of peanut butter ( I used smooth)
  8. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  9. 2 large eggs
  10. 2 cups quick cooking oats
  11. 1 cup peanuts (no skins) roughly chopped
  12. 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  13. 12 oz chocolate chips (about 1-1/2 cups)

Directions;

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, set aside
  • In a larger bowl or in a stand mixer, cream together butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, peanut butter, vanilla.  Beat for 3 minutes until smooth
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions.
  • Add the dry ingredients gradually beating in on low speed.  Scrape bottom of bowl to make sure all is incorporated.
  • Increase speed and mix for 1 minute
  • Use a # 24 scoop…(my favourite for cookies)
  • The batter will be stiff
  • Bake for about 14 minutes….till slightly browned and soft to the touch.

Enjoy!