Thursday, 31 July 2014

Coconut Curried Chicken

Coconut Curried Chicken


1 Green Pepper
1 Red Pepper
2-4 Boneless skinless chicken breast
250 or about 1 Cup Coconut Milk
1 Can Diced Tomatoes, drained
3-4 Cloves Garlic
1/2 Onion
4-6 Tablespoons Curry Powder
1 Tablespoon Paprika
1/2 Tablespoon Taco Seasoning or Cumin
3-4 Stalks Green Onions, finely sliced

Special Tools:

Slow Cooker


Set up the slow cooker and turn to high setting.

Shake the can(s) of coconut milk, open and pour into slow cooker, if there are lumps give it a whisk until smooth.

Finely mince the onion and garlic, stir into sauce. Measure in the curry powder, paprika and taco season. Whisk well to blend into a sauce.

Slice the chicken into finger sized pieces. Stir into sauce and cook on high for about 2-3 hours.

Dice the bell peppers to desired size. Stir into slow cooker, cover again and continue to cook for another 2-3 hours.

Before serving prepare white rice to serve along side.

Serve curry over white rice, garnish with green onion slices.



Too hot to cook, go go gadget slow cooker!

This could also be made in a large skillet or stock pot. Saute the chicken in a little olive oil with salt and pepper until cooked through, add remaining ingredients and simmer until sauce is thick and flavorful. Adjust the seasonings as needed for best results.

Other Places:

Something else the doesn't need the stove?

Beef Tacos

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Recipe Test - One Ingredient Caramel

Technically not real caramel, this is a recipe for dulce de leche, which tastes similar and can be used in the exact same way as store bought caramel sauce. But this one you can make at home with only one ingredient.

Seriously, just one ingredient.

One can sweetened condensed milk, not evaporated milk. There is a slight difference.

Take the unopened can of condensed milk, peel off the label if there is one and place the can on it's side and cover with water in a sauce pan large enough to allow the can to be completely under water.

Heat over medium high heat to boil, reduce heat to medium and continue to boil for two to two and a half hours.

Add more water as needed to keep the can under water the entire cooking time.

If the pot boils dry the can could explode and it will be awful.

Remove can from water and cool to about room temperature.

Open the can and pour contents into a small bowl. Whisk with a fork or proper whisk to smooth the sauce out.

Serve over desserts, ice cream, or whatever you usually use caramel sauce for.

Can be reheated briefly in a microwave to make it more willing to pour.



Goes Excellent with:

Ice Cream

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Quick Set Chocolate Shell

A chocolate syrup that magically sets into a hard shell when something cold is dipped into it, like frozen fruit, or ice cream pops.

It is pretty awesome.

Chocolate Shell:

16 Ounces Chocolate, I used 12 ounces dark, 4 ounces milk chocolate
1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Coconut oil


Heat a medium sized sauce pan of water to a boil. In a large stainless steel bowl melt the chocolate until smooth over the boiling water, removing from heat occasionally to stir vigorously.

Once chocolate is just melted smooth, whisk in the coconut oil until evenly blended in.

Allow to cool to room temperature.

Pour over a sundae, or dip something cold and frozen right into it for a delicious chocolate coating.



What was cooking one year ago?


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Vanilla Custard Ice Cream

Vanilla Custard Ice Cream


1 1/2 Cup Heavy or Whipping Cream
1/2 Milk

1 Cup Sugar, Divided into 1/2 cup portions
1 Tablespoons Vanilla or 1 Vanilla Bean Pod*
3 Egg Yolks

*See Notes below for details on using a vanilla bean.

Special Tools:

Ice Cream Churner/ Maker/ Machine


In a medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar until pale yellow and creamy.

In a large sauce pan whisk together the cream, milk and 1/2 cup of sugar. Heat over medium heat, whisking occasionally until just scalded or roughly 140°F degrees. 

Remove milk mixture from heat for just a minute. This prevents our custard from becoming scrambled egg yolks.

Pour the scalded milk mixture into the egg mixture and whisk well to blend everything together.

Return custard mixture to the pot and continue to heat and whisk for 10-15 minutes, or is roughly 180°F degrees and will coat the back of a spoon lightly.

Stir in Vanilla.

Strain custard mixture through a fine sieve or cheese cloth to catch any eggy bits that may have formed.

Pour into a bowl with a lid and chill completely in fridge, at least 8 hours.

Churn ice cream according to the instructions for the particular machine or method you are using. After churning place ice cream in containers and chill an additional 30 minutes in freezer to help the ice cream set.



To make this recipe using a vanilla bean:

Omit the vanilla extract in recipe completely. Use a sharp knife to split the bean pod and scrape out the tiny black tar like seeds. Add the seeds to the heavy cream mixture right at the beginning as well as the remaining split pod halves.

Follow rest of the recipe as normal, and when you strain the final custard for eggy bits, strain out the two split vanilla pods as well and discard.

Fancy custard ice cream!

Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

Peppered Steak Stir Fry

Butterscotch Sauce

More velvety than a caramel sauce, and my favorite sundae topper! I was devastated when Dairy Queen decided to axe butterscotch sauce off the menu, but now I got it covered!

Butterscotch Sauce


For roughly 1 cup finished sauce

1/4 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Whipping Cream
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1-1 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla extract


Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.

Add the sugar, whipping cream and salt. Bring to just the boil and continue to heat and whisk boiling mixture for 5 minutes.

Remove sauce from heat, stir in vanilla. Whisk again to combine evenly.

Transfer to a container with a lid or a jar and chill completely.

Heat lightly in a microwave to soften and serve just warm over ice cream or any dessert.


Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

Home made Taco Seasoning

Pork Bánh Mì Sandwich

A Thai sandwich made popular in New Orleans and on Top Chef. The pickles and marinade can take some time but it is well worth the wait and thinking ahead.

Pork Bánh Mì Sandwich

Also pictured, Thai Sesame Peanut Ramen Noodles


3-4 Sausage Rolls, or a Baguette divided into 6 inch sections
Leaves of Crisp Lettuce
Green Onions
Chopped Cilantro
Finely diced Jalapeno Pepper, seeds removed to reduce heat.

Pickled Carrots and Rashish

1 Recipe Thai Marinaded Pork Loin


The day before or as short as 30 minutes before meal time, prepare the pickled carrots and radishes as per recipe. Also prepare the pork loin and marinade as per the recipe provided. Allow Vegetables and pork to sit in fridge until ready to make the meal.

To prepare the pork loin for sandwiches, follow the cooking instructions and shred the cooked pork. If desired you can return the shredded pork to the skillet over very low heat to keep warm while you finish prepping everything else.

To assemble the sandwich, gently toast the buns if desired.

Spread mayonnaise on the inside of the bun and line both sides with a thick layer of crispy lettuce leaves.

Place some of the shredded pork loin into the roll.

Garnish with jalapeno peppers green onion and cilantro to your taste.


Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

Spicy Mexican Beef filling for Tacos

Thai Marinaded Pork Loin

Thai Marinaded Pork Loin


1 Small Pork Loin
Cooking Oil

3 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
2 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1/2 Tablespoon Sesame Seed Oil
2-4 Cloves Garlic
1 inch Fresh Ginger Root
2 Tablespoons Chopped Green Onion
Pepper to Taste


Measure out the fish sauce, maple syrup, soy sauce, and sesame seed oil into a medium bowl.

Peel and finely mince the cloves of garlic as well as the inch of ginger root. Stir into the sauce. Stir in the chopped green onion. Season with a bit or a lot of pepper to your usual liking.

Ideally, freeze the pork loin for about 10 minutes to make slicing easier. Slice the pork loin into long thin strips, then use either a mallet or your hand to flatten the strip further between two sheets of parchment or plastic wrap.

When entire pork is sliced thinly, transfer to marinade bowl, and turn to coat.

Allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes, or up to as long as overnight.

When time to cook, Remove pork from marinade and let stand on a plate for 10 minutes, Drain any excess marinade.

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet, or a grill to a medium high heat.

Quickly sear each side of the thin strips of pork of the grill or skillet, about 2-3 minutes a side, watching carefully to make sure they do not burn.

Once cooked through remove from heat and transfer to another plate.

Serve as is (sliced over rice or noodles), or shred and return to skillet to make a stir fry. Or you can also fill a sandwich.


Other Places:

What's for dinner tonight?


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Pickled Summer Salad

Pickled Summer Salad


1/2 Cup Water
1 Cup Cider or Rice Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
2 Tablespoons Sugar
Several Fresh Strands Dill Weed* Optional



In a medium sized bowl whisk together the water, vinegar, salt and sugar. If you desire dill flavor in your pickle add the dill weed now as well.

Julienne the carrots, and ideally use a mandolin to thinly slice the radish. I used about 1/2 cup of each.

Add the sliced veggies to the brine you prepared. Let stand at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Serve as a side salad, on a sandwich or with cheese and crackers.

Will keep for about 5 days in sealed container in fridge.


Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

White Wine Sangria! YUM!

Sesame Peanut Sauce

For an Asian themed salad or noodles.

Sesame Peanut Sauce


Makes just over 1/2 Cup of sauce

2-3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2-4 Cloves Garlic, minced extremely fine or mashed into a paste
1-2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoon Sesame oil
1/2 Tablespoon Sriracha

Optional Garnish for Noodles tossed with dressing:

Green Onions
Chopped Cilantro


In a small bowl using a spoon mash the extra finely minced garlic and peanut butter together until smooth. Add remaining ingredients one at a time, blending well after each new addition to ensure dressing stays smooth.

You could also pulse everything in a small bowl food processor with a blade attachment several times to mix everything smooth.

Cover and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Use on noodles, salads, stir fry etc.


Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

Chocolate Trifle

Monday, 21 July 2014

Avocado Crab Sandwich

Avocado Crab Salad Sandwich

Light and tasty on a hot summer day. I used imitation crab meat just because it is more readily available and it is a sustainable fish product.


3-4 Burger Buns or Crusty Rolls, cut in top and bottom buns
Spinach or lettuce leaves


1/3 Cup Mayonnaise
1/2 Lemon, Zest and Juice
1 Tablespoon Lemon or Lime Juice
1/2 Finely chopped Avocado
1-2 Teaspoons Cider or Rice Vinegar
2-3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
1/2-1 Tablespoon Capers
Salt and Pepper

Crab Salad

1 Cup Fresh Crab meat, or flaked style imitation crab
1/2 Avocado, Chopped
1/2 Red Pepper, Chopped
1-2 Tablespoons Chopped Green onion
1-2 Celery Ribs, Chopped

Special Tools:

Small bowl food processor with a blade attachment. If you don't happen to have a food processor you can mash the avocado with a spoon or potato masher, your sauce wont be as smooth but the flavor should still be there. Just be sure to finely mince or grate the garlic if you don't have a food processor! No one wants to eat a whole clove of garlic in one bite.


If you are using imitation crab meat you can make the salad and sauce component up to a day ahead of meal time, and then just toast the buns and mix everything together when you are ready to eat.

To prepare the sauce measure out the mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice, lime juice if using, chopped avocado, chopped cloves of garlic, cider or rice vinegar.

Season lightly with salt and pepper and blitz/pulse several times in the food processor until smooth.

Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the capers. Cover and set in fridge until ready to use.

In a medium bowl combine the avocado, red pepper, green onion and celery. Gently flake the crab meat into the bowl and gently toss everything together. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, lightly butter the tops and bottoms of the buns, and lightly toast.

Spread some lettuce leaves or spinach over the bottom bun.

Gently fold 2-4 Tablespoons of the mayonnaise mixture into the crab salad mixture. Continue to fold in mayonnaise by the tablespoon until salad is at a consistency to your liking. I prefer my salad mix to be pretty light on the mayonnaise but other people likely prefer it with more. So this part is up to you.

Gently spoon the crab salad on top of the leaves on the bun, until full.

Serve with fresh veggies, fruit, or Roasted Corn on the Cob for best results!



Made this for lunch after working a night shift so I can attest to this being a silly easy recipe and quick to boot! Plus I served it to my beloved husband to be at lunch as well and he literally couldn't think of anything he would change or that he didn't like. Leaving him speechless is a rather rare occurrence, so this is pretty much a husband winner dinner as far as I am concerned now!

Also this is another recipe that suffered from "we were too hungry to wait to take a picture". Which usually only happens when it is something really good!

Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

Berry Trifle

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Queen B's Buttermilk Biscuits

So easy. So very very easy to make, and then eat all of them.

Buttermilk Quick-Drop Biscuits

Serve with fresh butter. Butter and Buttermilk back together is a good thing.


1 1/2-2 Cups Flour
1/2 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 Generous Tablespoon Sugar
1/2-3/4 Teaspoon Salt
3/8 -1/2 Cups Vegetable Shortening
1/2 Generous Cup Buttermilk


Preheat oven to 450°F.

In a stand mixer or in a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

On low speed or with a fork mash the vegetable shortening into the flour mixture until crumbly and sand-like in texture. If you are using a stand mixer keep an eye on it as this step does not take long!

Once mixture is crumbly, remove from stand mixer.

Make a small well in the center of your crumbly mixture.

Pour the cold buttermilk in all at once and fold in gently with a fork until just coming together. Mix carefully to just incorporate everything together.

Over mixing biscuits is a bad thing to do, it does take practice to get it just right.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or use an non-stick baking sheet.

To shape biscuits gently pluck a golf-ball sized portion of dough, barely shape into a round and drop onto prepared pan. Repeat process with all biscuit dough.

Bake in preheated oven for between 10-15 minutes, until golden brown and bottoms are done.

Allow to cool on pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to a rack.

Best served warm with butter.


Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

Herb Roasted Taters which I ultimately make at least once a week to be honest.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Oreo Rice Krispies Treats

Oreo Rice Krispies Treats

I had some left over knock off puffed rice cereal from making granola bars that needed to be used, so mine turned out more chewy than "Krispie".


5 Cups Mini Marshmallows
1/4 Cup Butter
1 1/2 - 2 Sleeves Oreo Cookies
4-5 Cups Puffed Rice Cereal
1/2 Cup White Chocolate* Optional, squares will still be delightful without extra white chocolate
Cooking Spray


Gently crush the Oreo cookies into small chunks and measure out the puffed rice cereal. Set Aside.

Spray a brownie style pan well with cooking spray, set aside.

In a large microwave safe bowl, half melt the butter, soft and nearly melted texture, about 20-40 seconds. Add the marshmallows, and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval until marshmallows and butter and smooth and melted.

Add the crushed cookies and rice cereal all at once, stir quickly and well until evenly blended.

Press the mixture into the prepared brownie pan, if needed spray hand with cooking spray and press down into an even layer.

Melt the white chocolate in a small bowl and drizzle over top of the entire layer of treats.

Cover and chill in fridge for several hours, cut into squares and serve.



Great for a child's party or special occasion, but easy enough to just be a special treat. Or honestly in my case totally worth cheating on my eat healthy before matrimony plan. . .

Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

Tempura Batter, from scratch!

Queen B's Sesame Burger Buns

Sesame Burger Buns


1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Water
1/4 Cup butter
2 Tablespoons Dry Active Yeast
4 1/2-6 Cups Flour
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Egg
Olive oil

1 Egg White
2 Tablespoons Sesame Seed Oil
2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
2-3 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds


In a medium sauce pan gently heat the milk, water and butter over medium heat until very warm and all the butter is just melted. Remove from heat and let stand several minutes until it isn't scalding hot any longer.

In a large bowl combine the yeast and sugar, set aside. 

Add the warm milk and butter mixture to the yeast and sugar, whisk gently and let stand 7-10 minutes. Until a frothy foam is present. 

Stir in about 1 1/2 Cups flour and the teaspoon of salt as well as the egg. Mix well until egg is evenly incorporated. Continue to stir in flour with a fork until it becomes too thick, then turn dough out on a floured surface and continue to knead and add flour until dough is smooth and elastic. 

Oil the entire surface of the dough ball with olive oil and place in a bowl to rise for about 15 minutes. 

After 15 minutes, divide dough into 10-12 portions and shape into burger buns. Place Shaped Buns on a greased baking sheet about 1 inch apart. 

Cover and let rise 10 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a small bowl combine the cider vinegar, sesame seed oil and egg white, whisk well to blend. 

Using a silicone baking brush, brush the egg wash mixture over top of each bun and sprinkle each well with sesame seeds.

Bake buns for about 15 minutes in preheated oven, until golden brown. 

Use for sandwiches, burgers, etc.


Other Places:

Grilled and herb rubbed steak!

Spicy Coleslaw

Since regular coleslaw can get boring right? Also it is still too hot, cat has an icepack cuddle buddy and I am jealous.

Spicy Coleslaw


1 1/2 Cups Shredded* White Cabbage
1 1/2 Cups Shredded Red Cabbage
1/2 Cups Shredded Carrots
4 Cloves Garlic
1/2-3/4 Cups Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
3-6 Tablespoons Sriracha
Sprinkle of Paprika, Optional
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

* Cut/shred the vegetables to your taste, I prefer a a larger chunk of vegetable but my husband to be was less than impressed with my slightly chunky style coleslaw.


Shred the cabbages and carrots and set aside.

Finely mince the garlic and mash into a paste with the teaspoon of kosher salt.

In a large bowl measure the mayonnaise, lemon juice and sriracha. Stir well to mix. Blend the garlic and salt paste into the mayonnaise mixture and whip to evenly blend everything together.

Fold the Cabbages and carrots into the mayonnaise mixture until evenly coated and it's a nice consistency. You might need extra mayo or extra cabbage/carrots to get the blend just right.

Transfer coleslaw blend to your serving bowl of choice and sprinkle the top liberally with paprika, if desired.

Cover and keep chilled up to two days before serving. If making ahead I would cover and chill without the paprika, and then toss gently again before serving and then top with paprika.


Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

Fried Pepperoni and dipping sauce, a proper Nova Scotian delicacy.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Very easy recipe, but does take some time. You have been warned!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Is it sweltering where you are? Because myself and my fat fluffy cat are both overcome by the current temperature situation.  So expect more slow cooker and oven free recipes in the future.


A Fresh Pork Shoulder Picnic Roast*
1-2 Cups Beef or Vegetable stock
2 Onions
3-6 Cloves Garlic
Salt and Pepper

Sandwich or Burger Buns
One Bottle Smokey BBQ Sauce**

*Do not get a cured picnic or shoulder roast, we want a fresh light pulled pork, not a cured/salty ham pulled pork. This is very important, as I once made the mistake of getting the cured pulled pork and let me say that it does not make for a good sammy.


Cut the picnic roast into four chunks, season each with salt and pepper, set aside.

Chop or dice the onions and garlic, add half of each to the bottom of the slow cooker insert, add the cups of stock to the insert.

Arrange the four chunks of pork on top of the onions in the stock inside the slow cooker insert. Arrange the remaining half of the onions and garlic over top. Most of the pork should be submerged in the stock, if not add a bit more water.

Turn slow cooker on low for at least 8 hours, but up to as long as 12. Or high for at least 4 hours, but up to maybe 8, not 100% sure because I usually just do this step over night.

After cooking the roast, allow to cool for about 10 minutes with lid open and slow cooker turned off. Using a slotted spoon remove all of pork roast from the insert, transfer to bowl and set aside to cool a bit longer.

Strain the slow cooker insert through a strainer and collect the liquid in a large pot or bowl.

**In a medium sauce pot over a medium high heat, reduce the pot liquid strained from the insert on the stove for about 20-40 minutes, until concentrated.**  You can skip this step if you like, this just really intensifies the flavor of the final result.

Once the cooked pork roast isn't burning hot anymore, use two forks to shred and literally pull it apart, which it should do pretty easily. Remove any bits that are all fat or not palatable. Return the pork to the slow cooker insert.

Pour in about 1 cup of the pot liquid you saved, stir well, the pork should look nice and juicy but not be soupy.

Pour in about half of the BBQ sauce, stir well to evenly coat, add more BBQ sauce if needed.

Continue to heat over low for about 2-4 hours until ready to eat. If the pulled pork dries out add more of the pot liquid or BBQ sauce, to your taste.

Serve on a toasted bun.


Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

Herb and Citrus Chicken

Fish Taco, with Citrus Marinade and Sriracha Slaw

Fish Taco


3 Portions or one side cod Fillet (Or about 1 pound of white fish)
6-8 Tortilla


1 Large Orange, Zest and Juice
1/2 Lemon, Zest and Juice
1 Lime Zest and Juice
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
3-4 Cloves Garlic
2-4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Chilies

Sriracha Coleslaw:

1 Cup Red Cabbage, shredded
1 Cup White Cabbage Shredded
1/4 Cup Julienne Carrots
1/3-1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
3-4 Cloves Garlic
1 Tablespoon or more sriracha
Pinch Cayenne Pepper or Crushed Red Chilies, Optional for extra heat


Fresh Chopped Cilantro
Fresh Diced Green Onions
Sliced Avocado (Optional, its not in the picture because I forgot it. Sad times.)
Lime Wedge


Prepare the marinade in a large glass bowl by measuring out the soy sauce, finely mincing the garlic, and juicing and zesting the lemon, orange and lime. Add the crushed red chilies and stir well to mix everything together.

 If you have one large fillet of fish, cut it into smaller portions, submerge the fish in the marinade, cover, refrigerate and marinade for about thirty minutes to one hour.

While the fish marinates, Prepare the coleslaw topping, in a large bowl measure out the mayonnaise, sriracha and the chilies or cayenne if using.

In a small bowl with a spoon or in a stone mortar and pestle smash the cloves of garlic with the kosher salt until a paste forms. Stir the paste into the mayonnaise. Cover and set aside.

Wash and chop the cilantro, set aside. Wash and dice the green onion, set aside. Slice the avocado if using, set aside.  Shred the cabbages and cut the carrots. Prepare lime wedges for garnish.

After marinating the fish, Drain off marinade and allow fish to stand on a plate for a minute.

Heat a large skillet to medium heat, and cook the fish carefully until it flakes apart and is just cooked. Transfer cooked fish to a large plate and gently break into pieces. You may need to cook the fish in batches, don't be crowding the pan! I usually fried for about 4-5 minutes a side, less for some of the thinner sections.

Either gently grill each of the tortilla to warm it up or wrap a stack of them in tin foil and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Wrap warmed tortilla in a clean tea towel to keep warm until ready to serve. 

To assemble, serve a generous bit of the flaked fish in a warmed tortilla, Arrange a bit of the sriracha coleslaw next and finally scatter some chopped cilantro and green onion over the top and if desired, some sliced avocado. Squeeze the lime wedge over top of everything to finish.

Fold tortilla over or fold like a burrito, pick up and enjoy. I served mine with some plain corn chips and salsa for a light easy summer dinner.


Other Places:

Quick Chicken Brine, helps prevent dry chicken, highly recommend trying this one.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Slow Cooker Venison

I am a very lucky lady, in many ways, but today I had the good fortune to bring my beloved fiance home to meet the family and my wonderful little brother had a dry aged venison rump roast for us to try while we were here! Seriously it has been a dream of mine to try venison for about two years now, and to get to eat some my own brother hunted and butchered? My goodness a girl can't hardly ask for anything more.

Fair warning, I have only tried this once and the venison was done to just well done and we loved it. If you want it more towards medium then I would suggest checking after only 2-3 hours.

Slow Cooker Venison


1 Venison Roast, roughly 3 pounds
2-3 Carrots
1-2 Onions
3-4 Cloves Garlic
Salt and Pepper
1-2 Teaspoons Thyme
1 Teaspoon Paprika
1/4 Cup Butter
2 Cups Beef or Vegetable Stock
1/2 Cup Wine (I used a blueberry but red or white will do, this adds richness to the final flavor)

To make Gravy:

About 1/3-1/2 Cups Flour and enough water to make a thin thickener for the gravy
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
Salt and Pepper
Liquid Gravy bouquet (Darkener/Flavor enhancer) Optional of course

Special Tools:

Large Slow Cooker, Sorry everyone I haven't tested this in an oven so I am not sure of the cooking temperature or time if you don't have a slow cooker. . .


Chop the onions and carrots and set aside.

In a small bowl or in a mortar with a pestle finely mince the garlic, add a bout 1 teaspoon of salt and mash together until a paste forms. Add the thyme and paprika to the paste, mash again until well combined. Set Aside.

Pour the stock into the slow cooker insert. Add the carrots and about 1/3 of the chopped onions.

On a plate, dry any liquid from the outside of the roast with kitchen paper (paper towels). Season all over well with salt and pepper.

Rub the garlic, salt, paprika, and thyme paste all over the roast and place the roast in the slow cooker insert on top of the carrots and onions. Dab the butter over top of the roast.

Surround and cover the roast with the remaining onions.

Cover the slow Cooker, turn to high and leave along for about 6 hours, less for a medium well done roast.

After six hours, remove the roast from the slow cooker carefully, it will be tender. Cover with tin foil and rest at least 10 minutes.

To make gravy, Strain the pot liquid through a strainer and into a medium sauce pan. You can use the carrots and onions as a side if you like, I usually don't though. . .

To make gravy, Bring the sauce pan of pot liquid to a boil over a high heat. Add the seasonings listed above and season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk to blend well.

Make the flour slurry, it should be smooth and not too thick to pour, but not as viscous as water either, it's a fine balancing act to learn.

Once gravy is boiling, slowly whisk in the flour slurry and whisk constantly until the gravy begins to thicken, reduce heat once it begins to thicken. Whisk occasionally until ready to serve.

Carve the rested venison, serve with gravy, and perhaps some Roasted Corn, or Twice Baked Potatoes.


Ps. Miss Busy Bee apologizes for so many typos in the original post, I am not on my normal computer and the tiny little Acer Aspire keyboard is not my friend. . .

Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

Aaloo Keema, a mildly spicy ground beef curry with veggies, best served with rice and naan bread.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Cheese Crackers

Cheese Crackers

Gold Fish Crackers? Nope Golden Birds!

2 Cups Shredded White Aged Cheddar
1/4 Cup butter, room temperature and cubed
1 Cup Flour, plus extra
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3-5 Tablespoons milk
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic powder
1/2 Teaspoon Onion powder
1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric

Special Tools:

Large Food Processor with a blade
Small Cookie Cutter (Or you can just cut the dough into shapes or squares)


Preheat oven to 375°F

Add the shredded cheese, cup of flour, and cubed butter to the processor bowl. Pulse several times to start to combine the ingredients.

Measure out the salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and turmeric, add to the processor bowl and pulse until evenly blended and it looks like an even grainy mixture.

Add 2-3 Tablespoons of milk, pulse again. If the dough comes together its ready to use, if it stays dry add another tablespoon of milk and pulse again until a dough forms.

Divide dough into 4 parts.

Lightly dust a work surface and rolling pin with flour. Take one of the dough parts and roll to about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and use either a tooth pick or skewer to poke one hole into the center of each cracker. Place cut crackers onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Continue to roll and cut dough until it is all made into crackers. Might take two pans to have enough room.

Bake crackers in preheated oven for about 15-18 minutes, until lightly puffed, with golden tops. Allow to cool on pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.

Keep cooled crackers in an airtight container or bag. They will keep for several days.


Other Places:

What was cooking one year ago?

Dressing or stuffing for chicken, or turkey!

Texas Fried Potaotes

Texas Fried Potaotes

Why "Texas Fried" you ask? 'Cause I like how it sounds and honestly have no better name for them. Call them whatever you like as long as you try them, because they are a great addition to a meal. 


2-4 Whole potatoes
1 Bell Pepper
Salt and Pepper
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Teaspoon Garlic powder
1 Teaspoon Onion powder
1 Tablespoon Parsley

Special Tools:

I used a slow cooker the cook the potatoes through, that way the frying part only takes a few minutes. I have also found that cooking potatoes this way in a slow cooker allows them to keep their shape and not melt into mush. 

You could also steam the diced potatoes for about 15 minutes to keep the cook time low.


Fill the slow cooker insert with about 1/2 inch of water. 

Peel the potatoes and place into the slow cooker. Turn slow cooker onto high and leave potatoes for about 2 hours until cooked soft through, but not falling apart. Remove from slow cooker and allow to cool about 10-15 minutes. 

Dice the cooled potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter in the skillet.

Add the diced potatoes, Season with salt and pepper, garlic and onion powder and the parsley.

Dice the bell pepper and add to the skillet.

Allow the potatoes and pepper to cook undisturbed about 5-7 minutes. Gently turn and toss the potatoes and allow to fry another 5-7 minutes. Continue until potatoes have a nice golden crispy skin on the outside.

Once potatoes are crispy, serve right away.


PS: See a picture of the Texas Potatoes HERE with some glazed grilled chicken.

PSS: Also great at breakfast with some sausages. . .

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What was cooking one year ago?

Spicy Squid Chips

Buttermilk Marinated - Grilled n' Glazed Chicken

It's only June and it is already warm enough that I don't want to turn on the oven or stove very much, So I hope you are all in the mood for grills, skillets, one pot and slow cooker recipes for the next while!

Buttermilk Marinated - Grilled n' Glazed Chicken

Also Pictured, Texas Fried Potaotes


4 Bone and skin on chicken breasts or one whole chicken, cut into portions

Buttermilk Marinade

2 Cups Buttermilk
1 Tablespoon Oregano leaves
1 Tablespoon Paprika
6 Cloves Garlic
2 Teaspoons dried Onion powder/flakes
1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper* Optional
Juice and Zest of One Lemon or Lime


4 Cloves Garlic
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Lemon, Zest and Juice (Or lime)
2 Teaspoons Rosemary Leaves
1-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Special Tools:

Ideally a BBQ! or a grill pan will also work. Failing that searing the chicken in a skillet and finishing by roasting in the oven should give good results as well.

A Mortar and Pestle is great for making the glaze.


Prepare the marinade by mincing the cloves of garlic and adding to a large glass or stainless bowl. Pour in the butter milk, and add the lemon juice and zest. Measure the oregano, paprika, onion and cayenne if using. Stir well to blend the spices into the buttermilk.

Add the chicken to the marinade and turn to coat. Cover and marinade at least an hour or for up to about one day.  Turning occasionally if marinading for a long time.

When it's time to grill, Remove chicken from the marinade and let stand on a plate for about 5-10 minutes to allow excess marinade to drain off.

Heat up the grill to medium heat, let warm and clean debris off grill rack.

Prepare the glaze:

Using a mortar and pestle, or in a small bowl with a spoon, crush the rosemary leaves, salt together. Mince the Garlic and mash with the rosemary-salt mixture until it's almost paste like. Add the Lemon juice and zest and mash some more. Pour in the olive oil and stir well to emulsify the garlic paste in the oil.

Place Chicken on grill, bone side down and grill for about 10 minutes.

Turn chicken over, and using a silicone brush, coat the chicken in the glaze. Continue to grill for about 10 minutes.

Turn chicken again, coat the other side with glaze and continue to grill 7-10 minutes.

Continue this process until glaze is used up and chicken is cooked through. About 30-40 minutes usually on a grill.

Transfer cooked chicken to plate, allow to rest at least 5 minutes, and serve.

Goes great with a salad or grilled Corn on the Cob. Or the Texas Potatoes I had were also pretty great with it.


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In case you want to bake something:

Cinnamon Rolls 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Baked Pork Dumplings

Similar to my other recipe for Baked Veggie Dumplings, but less healthy since now I have added pork! But still better than a deep fried dumpling for the waistline. . .

Baked Pork Dumpling


Won Ton Wrappers
About 1/4 Pound Ground Pork
5-6 Mushrooms
2 Cups Cole-Slaw Blend*
3-4 Green Onions

1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Sesame Seed oil
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

1 Tablespoon Sesame Seed oil
1 Egg White

1 Recipe Dumpling Sauce

*There should be a variety of cole-slaw blends in the fridge of the produce section in your grocery. I saw Broccoli blend, carrot, cabbage, or even a shredded stir fry blend will work. Just try and get something a good blend of veggies. Also cabbage helps give the dumplings some crunch and texture, for once cabbage is a good thing.

Special Tools:

A large cast iron wok or a real big skillet. It doesn't sound like a lot of ingredients, but this recipe filled my large red wok and used up almost an entire pack of won ton wrappers. I only had about 3 left when I was done. (Which of course means I made crunchy won ton fries with cherry sauce dip)


Heat up skillet or wok over medium high heat. If using cast iron make sure to season the pan with oil before starting.

Scramble fry ground pork, onions and mushrooms until pork is just cooked through. Season pork once with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl whisk together rice vinegar, olive oil, sesame seed oil, garlic and ginger. This is our seasoning for the dumpling filling.

Once Pork is cooked through add the cabbage/cole slaw blend and pour the small bowl of seasoning over top of everything. Stir, cover and cook about 3 minutes. Add sliced green onions stir again and remove from heat.

Stir together sesame seed oil and egg white.

Line a large pan with parchment paper and spray well with cooking spray.

Open won ton package and fill center of won ton with about 1 tablespoon of filling. Fold in half to make a triangle, dampen fingers in a water bowl, dampen edges of won ton and press well to seal.

Lay folded dumpling on prepared pan. Use a silicone basting brush to lightly glaze the top with the egg and sesame seed oil mixture.

Repeat filling, folding, sealing and glazing until you run out of filling or wrappers.

Bake at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes, until crispy and golden. 

Serve warm with dumpling sauce with a meal, as a snack or an appetizer.


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Something useful to know:

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Chinese Five Spice Grilled Chicken

It's hot out! Barbecue season and heat waves are upon us, and thank goodness after that miserable winter!

Chinese Five Spice Grilled Chicken


2-4 Bone and skin attached Chicken Breasts


1 Tablespoon Sesame Seed Oil
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3-4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 inch of Ginger Root, Peeled and minced
1/2 Lemon, Juice and Zest
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
2-4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Honey, or Mirin or sugar, use a little less is using sugar
2-3 Teaspoons Chinese Five Spice Powder
1/4-1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli (To make it spicy to your own taste)


Fresh, Shredded Green Onions

Special Tool:

BBQ or Grill

If you don't have access to a grill you can roast the chicken breasts on a foil lined pan in a 375°F, basting every 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through.


At least twenty minutes, or up to one day before cooking prepare the chicken marinade by preparing the garlic, ginger root and lemon and adding to a large glass bowl. Measure the sesame seed and olive oils into the bowl along with the rice vinegar, soy sauce and either the honey or mirin. Add the Chinese five spice and stir well.

Add the chicken to the marinade and turn over and stir several times to coat the chicken. Stir or turn several times while marinating.

When it is time to cook, Heat up the grill to a medium heat, clean grill and allow to heat thoroughly.

Remove chicken from marinade and allow excess marinade to drip off, let chicken rest on a plate for about 10 minutes before grilling. Reserve remaining marinade to baste the chicken with as it grills.

Do not serve the marinade! It will have lots of raw chicken bacteria which can cause serious illness. Also allow at least 7 minutes of extra cooking time after last basting to ensure the chicken is cooked safely.

Grill chicken bone side down for about 10 minutes.

Turn chicken over, reduce heat to medium-low. Baste the chicken breast and cook an additional 7 minutes, or until nice grill marks show on breast side.

Turn chicken over, baste again. Grill for an addition 7-10 minutes.

Continue to flip, baste and grill for about 30-45 minutes, until chicken has cooked through, and the juice from a puncture in the chicken runs clear and a thermometer reads about 160°F. Right before the chicken is finished cooking, baste a final time and allow the basted chicken to cook for an additional 5-7 minutes. For food safety reasons.

Let chicken rest for about 5-10 minutes before serving. 

Serve chicken with fresh cooked Basmati rice, garnished with sesame seeds(Lightly toasted is best) and lime wedges.


Other Places:

Not in the mood for Chinese? Perhaps something Indian?

Naan Bread

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Sunshine Rhubarb Jam

I went on a lovely vacation this past weekend to my Husband to be's family home land "out the bay" if you understand newfie. While out there I stumbled upon a lovely growth of rhubarb. Also known as pie plant to some. I was planning on stealing the lot of it under the cover of darkness. But the kind locals saw the voracious look in my eyes and said I could pick my fill, and they would send more into town when it grew back to boot. Pleased like a cat who wasn't caught eating the canary I was, you can be sure of that. So I went out and picked every firm stalk I could get a grasp on and filled my bag with about three pounds of rhubarb. Which meant it could only be time to make some jam!!

Making jam isn't overly difficult but it is a rather strange and old fashioned thing to be doing these days. People are very impressed if you tell them you make jam and do not currently have grandkids. Making jam properly in a large batch and properly canning does take a bit of time and can go wrong if you are not careful. But follow instructions carefully and things shouldn't go too far astray.

However if you wish to fake it and only make a small amount of rhubarb jelly, check out my Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe; There is a simple recipe there for rhubarb jam for desserts or as a snack on toast or crackers.

Sunshine Rhubarb Jam

(My recipe I can name it whatever I please!)


About 2 1/2-3 Pounds Fresh Rhubarb
4 Cups White Granulated Sugar
2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 Cup Water
1 Package Certo Pectin Crystals*

*This is the brand my papa uses. This is the brand I use and trust. I have no idea if another brand or kind of pectin would work.

Special Tools:

Enough Jars to hold roughly 9-8 cups of jam
Plus Fresh Flat Sealing Lids and Rings to fit the jars
Cheese Cloth
Canning Pot or Large Stock Pot
Tongs or jar Lifters
Silicone Hand Pot Lifter
Another Large Stock Pot
Immersion Blender


Fill the canning pot or a stock pot (large enough to submerge the jars under water) with water and bring to a boil. Do not salt the water.

Wash and dry the jars. Turn oven to 225°F. 

Wash the Jar lids and rings in warm water. Place in a bowl of hot but not boiling water until ready to use.

To sanitize jars place them in heated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Turn oven off and keep jars in warm oven until it's time to fill them.

Wash the rhubarb and remove the leaf and root ends. Chop into small pieces. Or if desired pulse a few times in a food processor.

Add all of the rhubarb to the second large stock pot. Add one cup of water and cook over medium heat until rhubarb is softening and the water is boiling. Allow to boil about 5 minutes covered.

Remove rhubarb from heat. Line a large strainer over a large bowl with several layers of cheese cloth. Pour cooked rhubarb into lined strainer and allow to strain about 30 minutes. Pressing with a large spoon to squeeze all the juice out. Try and get about 4 cups of juice from the pressed rhubarb.

Spoon out about 1/2 cup of the cooked rhubarb and pulse with an immersion blender. Add this pulp to the pressed rhubarb juice.

Rinse out the large pot that was used to cook the rhubarb.

Pour the rhubarb juice and pulp back into the stock pot that you just rinsed.

Remove the warm Jars from the oven and place on a folded tea towel in a draft and bump free place.

Whisk in the pectin and bring the pot to a full boil while stirring. Allow to boil about 1-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir for an additional 5-7 minutes.

After 5-7 minutes, carefully fill the jars to about 1/4 inch from the top of the jar with the jam liquid. Using the funnel and ladle.

Wipe any drips from around the lips of the bottles.

Carefully center sealing lids onto jars, and screw rings on to just finger tight. Air is still going to need to escape from the jars!

Hopefully that large pot of water we set to boil at the start is boiling now! If it isn't, wait until it is and crank that heat up.

Place the lidded and ringed jars into the boiling water carefully and "Process" (boil) for 5 minutes. Adding about 5 minutes for ever extra 1000 feet you are above seal level. I am about 20 feet above sea level where I am but I boiled mine for about 7 minutes total just to be safe.

After processing, turn off heat to burner and allow to sit another 5 minutes in the hot water.

Carefully lift jars from the boiled water. Here is where I used the Silicone pig in the picture with the jam. He has lovely grip ridges that work excellent for this. Since I can't for the love of anything seem to find a jar lifter when I need one, he was a solid investment.

Leave jam on tea towel undisturbed for about 24 hours.

Push the lids with your fingers, if they don't pop or flex, then they have sealed.

If not. . .  Google how to fix that. It's basically just reprocessing but with new lids.

Next turn properly sealed jars on their sides, does it look like jelly? If yes, congrats!

If not, you likely need more sugar or pectin in the recipe, all isn't lost, just Google to see how to fix that too, it is possible.

If your lids have sealed, and the jam has set. . .  Congrats! Properly sealed jelly can be stored in a pantry or cool room out of the sun for about a year.

Sorry to have not included how to fix the problems that you may run into but this already feels like a rather long recipe to me.


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Something useful to know:

Is my baking powder fresh?