Sunday, February 27, 2011

Maple Syrup

Through friends I recently discovered the joy of real maple syrup. Bought my first jug of Grade B syrup and was suggested that it can be used for more than just waffles / pancakes. Here is a collection of recipes I am putting together to encourage trying maple syrup in my cooking soon:

Maple Ginger Roasted Vegetables with Pecans

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts

and saving the best for last....

Roasted Squash Soup with Maple Glazed Bananas

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Brunch 1: Home Fries

First brunch of the weekly tradition... Home fries & eggs.

Home Fries Ingredients (serves 3):
1 medium red potato
1 large yukon gold potato (peeled)
3 table spoons butter
1 green pepper
1 medium/small yellow onion
1/2 portabello mushroom
salt & pepper to taste

Place cut potatoes in boiling water for 7 minutes. On butter greased large pan, cook potatoes for 10 - 15 minutes. Add cut pepper, onion and mushrooms and cook for an additional 10 - 15 minutes. Salt & pepper to taste.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Beef Chili

Beef chili with a perfect medium to hot spice level.

Serves 4 -5 hungry men. NOTE FROM HUNGRY MEN: Try putting less beef and more veggies next time. 

* 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, chopped
* 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
* 1 carrot, sliced I put in a lot more than just one. Also, Jonathan likes it when they're softer. I recommend boiling the carrot before putting in the pot for it to come out softer. 
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 stalks celery, chopped
* 1 dried red pepper, crushed
* 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper (or 1 whole green pepper)
* 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper (or 1 whole red pepper)
* 1/3 jalapeno pepper, minced
* 1/3 cup bottled steak sauce
* 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
* 1 (1.25 ounce) package chili seasoning mix
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

* In a large pot over medium-low heat, combine tomatoes, tomato paste, carrot, onion, celery, pepper flakes, bell peppers, jalapeno pepper and steak sauce.

* While tomato mixture is simmering, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook beef until brown; drain. Stir chili seasoning into ground beef.

* Stir seasoned beef into tomato mixture. Mix in cumin and continue to simmer until vegetables are tender and flavors are well blended.

* Stir in beans, cilantro and parsley. Total cook time approx 1.5 hours throughout all directions. Heat through and serve.

Used ingredients and quantities based on Award Winning Chili recipe posted on This recipe also calls for 1/4 cup white wine and 5 slices bacon which I omitted.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Southern Living's Chicken Pot Pie

Hands-on: 31 minutes; Total Time: 1.5 hours.
Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings. (Served four hungry diners in my case. We each had two helpings.)


  • 1/2  cup  butter
  • 2  medium leeks, sliced
  • 1/2  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1  (14.5-oz.) can chicken broth
  • 3  cups  chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 1/2  cups  frozen cubed hash browns with onions and peppers (I bought both ingredients separately)
  • 1  cup  matchstick carrots
  • 1/3  cup  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground pepper
  • 1  (17.3-oz.) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed (refrigerated Pillsbury pie crust was a less expensive equally good substitute)
  • 1  large egg


1. Preheat oven to 375°. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add leeks, and sauté 3 minutes. Sprinkle with flour; cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in chicken and next 5 ingredients.
2. Roll each pastry sheet into a 12- x 10-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Fit 1 sheet into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate; spoon chicken mixture into pastry. Place remaining pastry sheet over filling in opposite direction of bottom sheet; fold edges under, and press with tines of a fork, sealing to bottom crust. Whisk together egg and 1 Tbsp. water, and brush over top of pie.
3. Bake at 375° on lower oven rack 55 to 60 minutes or until browned. Let stand 15 minutes.

Comments: While chicken pot-pie is a wonderful comfort food, I discovered I would choose Shepard's Pie over Chick Pot Pie... 

Discovered recipe in Southern Living's February 2011 edition. See original recipe here.