Saturday, December 31, 2005

Ricotta sausage and spinach calzones


robin rolling it out


baked Posted by Picasa

I found this recipe over at Danielle's new blog. We met Danielle at the Egullet food gathering back in July. The recipe comes courtesy of FoodMan on egullet.

Since moving to Canada, its hard to find a calzone( aka panzerotti) with ricotta, They just don't make them that way. However, that is the way I grew up eating calzones and that is what I crave when I crave calzone. We have access to wonderful turkey sausage so I knew that is what I'd use. I made the dough the day before and refridgerated it as recommended. I used the foodprocessor and the dough came together beautifully. I used the dough blade and I know that I'll never make pizza dough in the KA again. I had some trouble rolling out the dough because of my arthritis so thats where Robin came in. The first dough ball she rolled was very thin, I thought it might be too thin so I told her to make it a little thicker. Well, it turns out she was RIGHT( you wont hear that too much) because the thinner calzone was much better. The filling was wonderful( even though I didnt have really good crumbly ricotta. I used Meijer brand as we made a trip to MI last week and its a lot cheaper there than here) and fresh spinach. I also used 5 cloves of roasted garlic instead of the fresh garlic the recipe calls for. My only regret( besides making them thinner) is I used some storebought marinara to serve on the side and it was horrible. I should have made my own. I'll try this recipe again, subbing whole wheat flour for part of the breadflour.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup......

tomato basil soup

yummy soup Posted by Picasa

I dont know why I've never tried this before. It was so easy to make. I usually pop open a can of the ubiqitious cambell's tomato, add some cooked rice and maybe a grilled cheese sandwich to go along with it.( this is what I want when I'm sick or I'm really cold). Today was a cold kinda day. The sun hasnt come out in over a week and I just felt like having some soup.

I spotted these organic canned tomatoes on sale for 69 cents. I think they are normally 1.69. I drained off and saved the liquid, and then roasted the tomatoes along with a clove of garlic and a chopped shallot. After roasting, I threw it in a blender with the juice and half a can of chicken broth. I brought it to a simmer, added a couple cubes of homeade pesto and a touch of cream. It was so good, I didnt even need a grilled cheese sandwich.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Happy Huanakkah...........

Potato latkas Posted by Picasa

In the Jewish Religion, latkas are usually served on the first night of huanakkah. Since I am jewish, and this year the first night of haunakkah fell on xmas day I had to put off my latka making until two days ago. These came out great. Crispy and delicious.

I grated 4 small russetts, squeezed out the starch. I also grated an onion, added a beaten egg and some matzameal. Fry until crisp and serve with sourcream and applesauce.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Xmas gifts.........

We're full!!!

and so are the boys  Posted by Picasa

I thought I would record all the wonderful culinary gifts I got this year. Robin bought me this kick ass Paderno( canadian brand) roasting pan. Its ginormous. She also got me America's Test Kitchen cookbook and a rimless cookie sheet. SIL got me a silicon set. Oven glove, tongs, spatula, etc. MIL got us a deep fryer which I am exchanging for the West Bend profesional fryer. Thanks everyone, I appreciate all my gifts.

Xmas Day.........

Turkey and stuffing in the crockpot

turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, potato casserole, glazed carrots and spinach gratin

my mom's sour cream coffee cake Posted by Picasa

And yet even more food. The full turkey dinner along with the coffee cake we had for breakfast. I made Ina Garten's spinach gratin and its to.die.for. You must make it for a special meal. I'm still so full thinking about that meal. I also made the cooking light pumpkin streusel pie( I took a pass on that, I was so full)

Xmas Eve........

deli platter

salads, dips, veggie tray


more goodies Posted by Picasa

Just a munchie kinda night. On my way back from Florida, I stopped at the grocery store in MI that carries boar's head deli products and bought stuff for a platter. I made some dips, macaroni salad and potato salad. We hung out at mother in law's lake house and played games and ate. I'm very sick of eating!!!!


Jam Thumbprints

milk chocolate chunk cookies Posted by Picasa

Wow, Im so far behind. So much to do and so little time. I did almost all of the holiday cooking and baking this season. I didnt mind as I love to do it, but I was sick with some weird cold/bacterial infection thing so maybe thats why my cookies look crappy.

The first recipe I used was Ina Garten's coconut jam thumbprints. Why is it that almost all of her recipes use over a cup of butter? I usually try to stick to recipes that use 1/2-1 cup of butter. However, these cookies used 3 sticks( 1 1/2 cups). The dough also has no eggs which I thought was kinda strange. They smelled wonderful as they were baking though and the tasted really great. Everyone loved them. I used my homeade rasberry plum jam and some jarred apricot.

Next up were some milk chocolate chunk cookies. I dont know what happened here, as they spread out quite a lot. This was a Martha Stewart recipe from the Holiday baking magazine. I used the Hershey's special dark cocoa so maybe thats why they spread so much. Nevertheless, the flavor was really intense.

I also made some butterscotch blondies but forgot to take a picture. Sorry!!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The main course.............

veggie/cheese tray

crackers and alouette

guac and chips

grilled chicken

peppers and onions

rice and beans  Posted by Picasa

I decided to bring a little of Tex/Mex cuisine to Canada with this dinner. I made fajitas, rice and beans. I also served some short cut appetizers and everyone just raved. I'm off to Florida for a week. See ya when I get back.

2nd annual cookie exchange.....

ginger snaps

lots of cookies

still more

my niece filling her cookie box up

Robin Posted by Picasa

We had our second annual cookie exchange. We had lots of cookies and great food!! I made these ginger snaps taken from Joe's blog. They were good, but Robin and I bought thought that Cookie Madness's version was a lot better.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Italian PotRoast

italian pot roast Posted by Picasa

My clients were out of town last week and their son was running their business. He wanted some food for Saturday night( last minute) and when I delivered it, he said that his parents would be really busy with work and would want meals all week. Well, of course said Murphy's law because this is a very busy week for me too. On Sunday I made an Agean Chicken dish that had roasted peppers, potatoes and feta cheese. Tuesday they got Asian Meatballs with peanut sauce, brown rice and the celery apple salad. Wednesday they ate leftovers and tonight they get this pot roast. I still have to think of a side dish. Anyway, as you know by now, I dont eat red meat so I rarely cook it except for clients or family. One of our towns three grocery stores is going out of business so they are having a 10% off sale. I went looking for a chuck roast, but of course in Canada the names of meats arent the same as in the US. I ended up asking the butcher what to use for a pot roast and he suggest this. It was a boneless short rib roast. It cost 3.59lb. I removed as much visible fat that I could and then I generously sprinkled salt and pepper over it. I browned it up on all sides then threw it in a crock pot with a can of italian tomatoes in puree, 2 onions, bay leaves, fresh thyme and rosemary( wintering over in the sunroom) some leftover frozen red wine, more salt and pepper and 2 little packets of red pepper flakes that I pilfered from the pizza place in MI. My clients love spicy. I cooked it on high for 5.5hrs and it smelled divine. I pulled out a potato and tasted it and it was a bit bland. I then made myself taste a sliver of the meat, but then I spit it out. ( I know this sounds so gross). It just tasted so beefy to me. LOL. I let it cool, then this morning I removed all the solidified fat and purred the sauce in the food processor. I sliced the meat up, removing even more fat( wont buy this cut again) and sprinkled some chopped italian parsley over the top. Hopefully, they will like it.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A stolen salad............

granny smith, celery, lemon dijon dressing Posted by Picasa

I was reading Alice's blog the other day and I saw this salad and it sounded really good so I decided to make it for my clients today( saving some for us too). Anyway, I went to the market as I do practically everyday and saw celery hearts on sale. Imagine my surprise when I came home and re-read the recipe and saw that I needed celery leaves. Oh well, It was still wonderful. I really liked it and so did my fruit hating wife. I hope the clients liked it.

I also made saigon balls( an asian meatball with pork) homeade peanut sauce and rice. Once again, I forgot to take pics before we ate it. I had some of this salad earlier in the day thus the reason why I only have a picture of this.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


Chicken kiev, lemon spagetti Posted by Picasa

Wow, this is a monumental event. Robin cooked!! Can you tell how happy I am because of that? Robin has a specialty dish and its chicken kiev. I really really love to cook( I have a food blog don't I?) but sometimes( rarely) I am just not in the mood to cook for us. This started because of my business. Today, I spent about 2 hours roasting peppers, and making a greek chicken dish for clients( forgot to take picture, sorry). I just wasnt in the mood to make dinner. Robin came thru. While we were enjoying dinner, I asked her where she got this recipe and she said she saw it in a magazine about 20 years ago and she made this her signature dish. She really has perfected it. She has the flavor and texture down pact. As for the side dish, I sat in the kitchen and talked her thru the lemon spagetti. If you're not aware, that is a Giada De Laurentis recipe and we both really love it. Robin is a pasta girl. She'd rather eat pasta than rice or potatoes. If you like lemon, I really urge you to try the spagetti. Its fresh and tart and surprisingly light for having only olive oil, lemon juice and parmesean. We use reggiano for this, but you could use grana padano. I always use way more rind than the recipe calls for. We usually use a whole grain pasta, but I was using up the dregs from the pasta container so we used some fettucini.

Robin usally does the dishes because I cook, but she cleaned up as she cooked so there are no dishes. Im one lucky gal.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Happy Birthday to me

green curry, pad thai Posted by Picasa

boston cream pie

boston cream pie 2 Posted by Picasa

Today and I turned 39 and wow, even typing the numbers out was hard. I dont look 39 and most days I dont feel 39. Anyway, I was supposed to meet Robin in London tonight for dinner, but that didnt work out due to Mother Nature. We had a terrible storm AND our neice was dropped off here last night because she had no school today and she woke up with a terrible sore throat. I spent the day taking care of her and that culminated with a trip to the doctor and pharmacy. She officially has strep. I hope and pray I dont get it because I'm off to Florida on Dec 13th.

So, with Robin in London, I had to make dinner. I asked a friend over to sit with Chels while I fought blizzard conditions up to the store. I ended up making a thai green curry that I used no recipe for and some pad thai. I used the pad thai recipe from CooksIllustrated. I had tamarind pulp and fish sauce. I didnt have any dried shrimp or preserved radish. Also, dont know if you're away, but the entire crop of Bean sprouts in Ontario has been destroyed due to salmonella. So, no beansprouts. It was good, but it was definatly lacking. It didnt have that familar red color either.

I made Gale Gand's recipe for Boston Cream pie today. I even assembled the cake in the pie plate. The flavor was good, I liked the pastry cream, it was nice and tight. The ganach was just so so, I think it came out a tad thin. I didnt have any semi sweet chocolate so I just used chips. The entire recipe uses 8 eggs, 6 yolks and 2 whole eggs. Looks like we might be having egg white omlets for breakfast tomorrow. I got the recipe from FOODTV if you're interested.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

BBM 3 Package arrived

BBM 3 Posted by Picasa

One of the perils of giving people my Michigan address is that I never know when I'll get there to pick stuff up. I felt so bad for my last swap partner who spent 20 bucks to ship my package to Canada that I gave my MI address this time. I thought I said no homeade goods just because I didnt know when I'd get there. Well, I guess I forgot to say that because Stephanie sent some homeade rice krispie treats. They were just a tad bit stale, but my dogs really loved them. I let them split one when I brought them home and Oliver sat staring at the container the rest of the night. He didnt only stare, he made that noise that dachsunds make when they want something.

This round of BBM was hosted by Cathy. As you can see from the picture, I got the food section for the Seattle newspaper, some yummy looking chocolate sauce and some apple pepper jelly along with the rice krispie treats. Steph also included a recipe for southern biscuits. We're having a big cookie exchange/dinner party next weekend and I'm going to bring that choc. sauce for the coffee. Yummy. Head on over to Templars blog to sign up for BBM4