Beef Bourguinon

Beef BourguignonThis dish to me might be the perfect winter comfort food! This would be a great dish to make for friends and family.  It can be made well in advance, leaving you more time to enjoy your company.

This recipe is from Julia Child’s Cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”.  The recipe calls for stewing beef, however we used Beef Shanks instead and it was delicious!

Whenever possible we like to buy our meat or produce directly from the farm.  I like knowing where the product is coming from and also knowing the quality as well.  We purchased our Beef from an Alberta farm called Rose Ridge Farms.  Check out their website for all of the products that they provide.

If you are going to try out this recipe give yourself plenty of time.  You do not want to rush anything.  Plus the great thing about this is the longer the dish cooks the better it gets! Slow and Steady!

Follow this link for steps on how to make this great dish! Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon

Enjoy!

 

Braised Duck Legs With Cherries

Braised Duck Legs with Cherries

 

So I subscribe to this great food service called Hatchery Box, which every month sends out Tasting Boxes.  Hatchery focuses on finding small farms or small food providers and then sends out samples for you to try! With this dish I used the Modern Gingham Cherry Preserves and the Red Duck Foods Curry Ketchup.

What you need:

– Modern Gingham Cherry Preserves
– Red Duck Foods Curry Ketchup
Melvilles Ginger Beer (or use a non alcoholic one if you want)
– 4 Duck Legs
– Shallots
– Garlic
– Salt & Pepper
– Cocunut Oil

I love Braising Duck Legs or really anything for that matter.  It is such an easy meal to have for a dinner party or for any night of the week! Now lets get to the details…

First you want to use a dish that you can use on your stovetop and then put it directly into your oven.  Heat a small amount of Coconut Oil in your pan, you want to get this nice and hot.  Season the Duck Legs with Salt and Pepper on all sides.  Working quicly, sear the duck legs on all sides.  Once you have this done, remove the pan from the heat and put in the chopped Shallots (I like to leave mine in pretty large pieces) and the garlic.  I mixed together the Cherry preserves and the Curry Ketchup with a little bit of the Ginger Beer first and pour that all over the Duck Legs.  Pour the remaining Ginger Beer into the pan, you want to make sure that you have a good amount of liquid in the pan but you don’t want the liquid to come up over the top of the duck legs.  If you didn’t want to use beer you can use wine instead.  At first you might think that there is too much liquid but trust me you’ll want.  This helps to make sure that the meat won’t dry out while it is cooking and will take on those flavours.  Put this all in the oven and thats that! Mine took roughly 1.5-2 hrs to cook.  Duck can be very rich so I wanted to have ours with something really light and served them with sauteed vegetables…so good…

Enjoy!

 

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Muffins

I am always looking for quick healthy snacks.  Both my hubs and I have busy work schedules so I like to have healthy snacks ready to go that we can quickly grab!

When I found this recipe it couldn’t have been better timing as I was having a few girlfriends over for an early brunch on the weekend and knew they would be up for trying them!

What you will need:

2 Ripe Bananas – Mashed
2 Eggs
1/3 cup of honey
1 cup of Peanut Butter – I used Kraft Light Peanut Butter
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
2 scoops of Protein Powder – I use Refuel White Chocolate Brownie Protein Powder, but you can use whatever you want
2 tbsp of vanilla
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of baking powder
Cocunut Oil – for the muffin pan

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Mix all your ingredients together and pour equal amounts into greased muffin pan.  Put the oven and let it bake away for about 20 min, depending on your oven. This recipe made 12 muffins.  Next time I think that I will substitute the Peanut Butter for Almond Butter.

Nutritional Info: 145 Calories, 5.4g of Fat, 19.4g of Carbs, 7.8 Protein (I use the My Fitness Pal App to input my recipes and get this information)

What are some of your go to healthy snacks?

Muffins

Holiday Cooking – Pierogies!

Well we are somewhat settled into our new home, just in time for Christmas! My parents came up from Whitehorse to be with us for the holiday so us girls decided to have a Holiday Cooking Day!  My sister came over and on the menu today is Pierogies and Cabbage Rolls!

We grew up in small northern communities for almost all our lives, and instead of the Moms having cookie swaps they did food swaps.  They would all get together and teach each other new recipes!  Each of them would bring a recipe and ingredients to make it and then swap with each other so that each Mom went home with a couple different meals.  This year I went to a cookie swap at a friends place and it made me want to go back in time and be there at my mom’s food swaps.  I wonder if they would have had the same discussions that we had? Probably…but it would be fun to be there!

Back to the food!

This is my mom’s Perogi recipe that she got from a friend of hers in 1977 when we lived in Churchill, Manitoba.

Dough:

3.5-4cups of All Purpose Flour
1 Pint of Sour Creme
Pinch of Salt

Filling:

Mashed Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes (sweet potatoes is something new we are trying)
Shredded Cheese
Fried Bacon & Onions

Tips from Mrs. W: Use full fat Sour Creme and do not fill the Pierogies to full or you will have a mess on your hands! 

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Slice Bacon & Onion into small pieces and fry all together.  You just want the Bacon & Onion to go a light brown, not crispy!

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In a large bowl, put the flour, sour creme and a pinch of salt and mix.  Get your hands in there and mix everything up!

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Take a chunk out of the dough and kneed a bit and then roll out.  We used a glass cup to cut out the dough into a good circle size.

Mrs. W tip: are too make sure the dough is rolled out nice and thin.  

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Take your cooked potatoes and sweet potatoes and mash them up.  Add a little salt and pepper and any other seasoning you would like.  Take a dough circle and a small scoop of the potato mixture and place it in the middle of the circle.  Fold your dough over and press along the edges so that all the edges are sealed up.  Repeat the process until all ingredients are used up.  Place Pierogies on a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer until frozen solid, once that is done you can then transfer them to a ziploc bag.

When you are ready to eat them (we didn’t have ours til Christmas Day), bring a pot of water to a boil and place a few of the frozen Pierogies into the water.  They will be ready once they rise and float to the top.  Some people will eat them like that with a little bit of Sour Creme.  My mom has always fried up a little extra bacon and onions and then she would fry the cooked Pierogies in a little bit of butter and then serve them with the Sour Creme, bacon and onions.

CABBAGE ROLLS! My mom was first taught how to make Cabbage Rolls from my Grandma Newman-Jones.  She was a nurse and again was taught the recipe from a friend.  Typically my mom would make the cabbage rolls with a mixture of ground beef and ground pork.  However, this year for Christmas we had a couple of family members that you do not eat beef or pork, so we decided to try out ground Chicken instead!  They turned out awesome!

Ingredients:

Full head of Cabbage
Ground Chicken
White Rice (Uncooked)
Salt & Pepper
White Onion (Uncooked)
Garlic (Of Course!)
Tomato Sauce
Worcestershire
Chicken Broth
Tobasco
Herbs
Brown Sugar

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First things first, get out a large pot, place the whole cabbage head inside and and fill with water, bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling and the cabbage is cooking my mom just took a very sharp knife and cut around the stalk of the cabbage.

Mrs. W tip: do not rush cutting the cabbage, once you cut around the stalk the cabbage should come off in layers

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While the cabbage is cooking start working on your meat mixture.  Take a bowl and combine the ground chicken (or whatever ground meat you are using), rice, garlic, chopped onion, Worcestershire, herbs, salt and pepper.

At this time you also want to work on your tomato sauce.  So take a pot and start to simmer the tomato sauce, garlic (of course), some herbs, salt and pepper.

Mrs. W tip: put in a little bit of brown sugar with your tomato sauce to help sweeten it up a little bit!

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Now you are ready to roll! Grab a Cabbage leaf and you cut out part of the stem so you can roll them up easy.  Then take some of the filling and put into the “pocket” of the leaf.  Fold in the sides and roll them up! We put ours into a big aluminium roaster to make it easier for cooking.  Continue the process til your filling is all used up.  My mom just puts any extra cabbage leafs over the top and then pour over your tomato sauce all over.  My mom also pours in broth in the bottom of the pan to help keep them moist when you cook them.

Once you are all down cover and put them in the freezer.  We had ours on Christmas dinner, make sure you plan out your time so that you have enough time to cook them for dinner! Mine took a lilttle bit longer then I thought they would!

Enjoy!

Coho Salmon…Delish!

My Hubs recently went to Haines, Alaska for the big Coho Salmon run and was lucky enough to bring some home! So last night we had some friends and family over and decided to try out a new recipe!

After doing some searching online I came across this recipe for Buttered & Pesto Salmon (thank you Bon Appetit!).  It was too good not to share!

What you will need for the Salmon:

– Fresh Coho Salmon
– Kosher Salt
– Vegetable Oil
-Butter

What you will need for the Pesto:

-Hazelnuts (try to get blanch Hazelnuts…trust me or you will be stuck having to peel a cup of hazelnuts like me…grrr…)
-Cilantro
-Parsley
-Garlic
-Lemon
-Olive Oil
-Kosher Salt

First off Preheat your oven to 400F.  Layout the Hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 6-8 minutes…shaking the pan half way through.  Take your food processor and throw in the Cilantro, Parsley, Garlic, lemon zest and 1/4c of the Hazelnuts.  Pulse the food processor until everything is combined really well.  With the processor running, begin to slowly pour in the olive oil (1/2c) til it is combined.  Add in a bit of Kosher salt and taste to see if you need anything more.  I made mine ahead which was great because we had quite a bit of time between appies and the main meal.

When you are ready to start the salmon, you will need to use a large ovenproof sauce pan.  Season the fish with kosher salt, and place in a hot pan with the vegetable oil.  Let the salmon cook and do not touch it for 4 minutes so that the skin gets nice and crispy.  Once that is done start to add the butter, quickly when the butter is melted lift up just a little bit on one side of the pan and begin to scoop the butter over the salmon in a continuous motion.  When the recipe called for Butter Basting, I’m not gonna lie I was pretty intimidated, but I just went online and watched a couple videos and that really helped! Back to the fish! You want to continue with the Butter for about a minute and then place it in the oven to finish.  I pulled mine out to bast with the butter every couple of minutes until the fish was finished cooking.

Now the goal was to be able to take the fish out of the pan and serve it with the skin side up.  But mine actually didn’t turn out that way.  When I tried to take mine out of the pan the skin stayed so I just laid it out nicely on my platter and served it that way instead! Not sure if I didn’t maybe use enough oil or what, but if anyone has any tips for me on that, let me know!

After I had the fish on the platter, I then took my pesto and just put it down the centre of fish and sprinkle some of the leftover chopped Hazelnuts over the top. I served my fish with a nice Arugula Salad and Baby Potatoes dressed with Olive Oil, Fresh Herbs and Salt and Pepper.

Enjoy!

Coho Salmon

Beef Short Ribs…For the First Time

I have always wanted to try making Beef Short Ribs.  Every time I go to a restaurant and they are featured on the menu, that is typically what I would order.  The same with Crab Cakes…but that’s a whole other conversation!

So I was at the Butcher Shop (which is conveniently located beside my office) and they had packages of Beef Short Ribs as a special. They don’t have them a lot so I grabbed the opportunity to get them and try to make them!

I looked around online and went through  a couple of recipes, but either I din’t have everything needed or was going to take too much time. So I just did my own thing and they turned out AWESOME!

What you need:

– Beef Short Ribs
– Black Pepper
– Kosher Salt
– Coconut Oil
– Thyme
– White Onion
– Cherry Tomatoes
– Bottle of Red Wine

First things first get your oven on! I have a great Slow Cooker option on my oven so I put mine on the high setting.  Grab a pan or pot, something with a good lid and that is also safe to put in the oven.  I have an amazing pan from Epicure called the Everything Pan…the name is perfect because it is literally perfect for everything.  I use it all the time. Get in a good amount of Coconut Oil and get it to a really good high heat.  You want to now season the meat.  Always try to make sure that your meat is at room temperature.  I love fresh ground pepper so I use a little bit more and then put a good amount of kosher salt on them as well.  Once the pan is at a good heat you want to sear the meat on all sides so that it has a good crust on the outside.  Remove the beef from the pan and reduce the heat.  Put in the chopped Onion and I also throw in some Garlic.  Let the Onions cook for a little bit so that they soften up a bit.  Once that is ready, remove it from the heat and put the beef back in the pan.  Pour in your WHOLE bottle of wine.  Which reminds me, Julia Child said that when cooking with wine, if you wouldn’t drink it then you shouldn’t cook with it.  That has always stuck with me, so don’t be cheap and use a good one! Throw in a good handful of Thyme, the Cherry Tomatoes, put the lid on, throw it in the oven and WALK Away!

Mine stayed in the oven for about 6-7 hours and when I took them out, the meat just fell right off the bone. THEY were awesome! These would be really good served with garlic mashed potatoes or for an alternative have them on mashed cauliflower (my favourite!).

Enjoy!

Beef Short Ribs

 

Birthday Weekend BBQ

I believe that the best meals are those that are prepared by everyone and that was exactly how my long weekend went. We had a busy household with my Mother-In-Law, Mrs. Gartner, My Hubs Brother, Mr. Gartner and his girlfriend, Ms. MacLachlan, My Hubs Twin Sister, Ms. Gartner and her boyfriend, Mr. Hasenuik! It was great to have everyone together for an early birthday celebration for my Hubs and his sister.

Over the weekend we cooked, laughed, had a few cocktails and really spent a lot of much needed time visiting. It was great!

One of the best dinners we had was Beer Can Chicken, Corn on the Cob and a delicious Shredded Kale salad that Ms. MacLachlan made. The Shredded Kale salad was so awesome and I know I will be making it again in the future. Check out the recipe here at JustaTaste!

Can’t wait for the next time that we can do this!

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