Monday, April 29, 2013

Sumptuous, Healthy, Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup

You'd think I've never met a soup I didn't love... Well, I do love soups; I love to make them and I especially love to eat them.  I also judge a restaurant by its soups- if soups seem to be an afterthought, so might the rest of their food.

Hot and sour soup tops my list of foods to order in a Chinese restaurant.  The hotter the better!  This version  begins with a Nina Simonds light version of the classical soup by substituting the usual pork with chicken.  I go further by foregoing the meat and making it vegetarian.  It's just as flavourful and perfect for a light lunch or dinner.

Don't let the list of ingredients scare you.  All of the ingredients are available at your local Oriental grocer or at well stocked grocery stores.

To serve six.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Leftover Egg Whites- What To Do? Meringues!

Meringues!  I haven't made meringues since grade six Home Economics class way back when.  They were just plain old dollops of gooey good stuff on a baking sheet.  So easy!

This past week, I have been baking lemon meringue pies.  That left me with nine egg whites to get creative with.  What to do?  Back to my cooking roots... These meringues are flavoured with crushed walnuts and with crushed chocolate espresso beans.

This recipes make approximately eighteen three inch meringues.

Skip the Wontons- Easy Faux Wonton Soup with Pasta

I love wonton soup!  But sometimes, I just don't feel like, or have the time, to make wontons and I don't really like the frozen variety.  This soup gives me the flavour of the wonton filling and the bite of the wonton wrapper with a minimum of preparation.  Add lots of ginger and vegetables and voilà! a healthy, satisfying Asian soup.

This soup serves 6 to 8.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This recipe is based on one provided by Hedy Goldsmith, a master baker with interesting approaches to the kitchen.

I love coffee cakes.  They can be frozen, ready to be "pulled out" at the stroke of the doorbell.  This recipe is  straightforward and easy to make.

To serve 12.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Yucatan Spiced Chicken- Olé!

Bring the Yucatan to your kitchen with this spicy, citrusy chicken dish.  It's light and easy to make.  Serve this chicken with rice and beans, maybe a side of Mexican inspired cole slaw and you have yourself a special dinner.
Yucatan chicken served with roasted chayote squash and rice and black beans

This recipe serves four.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ya Mon! Jamaican Beef Patties

Jamaican beef patties are the iconic dish of the Jamaicans, and half the Caribben Islands too! Flacky crust and spicy meat, all hand held- what a treat! You could buy them, in bulk at the grocery store, but, homemade is oh sooo much better! and easy to make. Enjoy!

To make 10 – 12 large patties

There may not be a prize, but who can resist caramel coated popcorn and peanuts?

Take me out to the ball game... give some peanuts and Cracker Jack... well Hedy's version comes pretty close.   Take my word for it, they are difficult to put down!

Makes five cups.

Pie in the Sky? Heavenly Lemon Meringue Pie

My mom made amazing lemon meringue pie, and banana cream pie, chocolate cream pie... I've been craving lemon meringue pie for the past few weeks and it's time to get down to baking!

I'm making the lemon pie filling from scratch, lemons and all.  You could use a little box of instant pie filling (my mom did), but try it from scratch and see what a difference fresh makes!  I guarantee you won't want to go back to the box.

I'm adding chocolate cookie crumbs to my crust, for fun and to help keep that crust crisp.  You can also use graham cracker crumbs or just leave the crumbs out alltogether.

This pie serves eight.

The Queen of Flourless Chocolate Cakes- Queen Mother's Cake from Maida Heatter

Maida Heatter is one of America's great bakers.  She's now is her eighties and her recipes are as popular as ever.  I love reading her cookbooks- she tells a great tale about all of her recipes and her directions are clear, complete and guarantee great results every time.

My sister often asks for gluten free desserts. Sis, this one's for you!  It's made with ground almonds, the texture is light, but rich and moist as well.  Not like the usual heavier cakes we are used to being served.

When I make this cake, I skip the dry bread crumbs and the icing.  I serve the cake with whipped cream and fresh fruit.  When I made it the first time, I worried about not having enough to serve my five guests.  Well, it served everyone and I still had half a cake left!  So, really, 12 great portions of deliciousness.

This recipe serves 12.

More Bark- so good and so easy... Popcorn and Peanut Bark

I love popcorn, and peanuts and chocolate... This treat doesn't get much better- it's a heavenly combination.

To make one pound.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sorry New England, Manhattan is One Up on You!

I love creamy, rich New England clam chowder.  But, ohhh those calories.  Less known, but just as delicious is Manhattan clam chowder.  Clam broth based, loaded with vegetables and clams, this soup is lighter, brighter and healthier.  I make my version of this chowder using homemade fish broth (ask your fishmonger for white fish bones- not from oily fish).  I also like to make a large batch of the soup base (minus the fish) to freeze in double portions and save for later.  When I want a bowl of this great soup, I gently warm the soup, then add cubes of fish until they are just cooked through.  My local fishmonger, Codfather's in Kelowna, sells assorted bits of fish, cubed, which work well in this soup.

It can easily become Manhattan clam chowder, by steaming two dozen fresh clams and adding the clam meat at the end of the soup making process, or by adding canned whole clams.

To make 4-6 portions.