Light Swirl Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

Light Swirl Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

This months FoodTV.ca's Cooking Clubs Challenge was a Light Swirl Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze by Christine Cushing. I just couldn't pass up on the chance to make a tasty sounding recipe with maple syrup. The coffee cake itself sounded interesting because of its use apple butter. I have been interested in trying apple butter for a while and this was the perfect opportunity. Along with the apple butter the coffee cake uses yogurt and thus promised to be nice and moist. The coffee cake also advertises a swirl which sounded like fun. The swirl is formed by half of the coffee cake being chocolate and the other half being plain. Overall the coffee cake sounded pretty good. The recipe called for the coffee cake to be baked in a bunt cake pan but I did not have one so I just used a standard 8x8 inch baking pan. Both the apple butter and the coffee cake were easy to make. The coffee cake was nice and moist and light and fluffy. The maple glaze was of course really good. I could not really taste the apple butter in the coffee cake but then again I could easily spread some apple butter onto a slice of the coffee cake. My favorite way to enjoy baked goods is with melting butter while still warm from the oven and this coffee cake was no exception.

Apple Butter

Apple Butter

I have been wanting to try apple butter ever since I heard about it. Apple butter is basically a concentrated for of apple sauce where the sugar in the apples caramelizes and turns dark brown. It gets its name from the fact that it has a thick butter like consistency. Apple butter is pretty easy to make. You essentially just simmer some apples, sugar and spices until the the apples start to turn dark and then puree them. In addition to being easy to make the apple butter is really good. The apple butter that I made is disappearing quite quickly.

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake

Dorie's Perfect Party Cake

This months Daring Bakers challenge was Dorie's perfect party cake. I had mixed feelings about this challenge. On the one hand, I had never baked a cake before and I was really looking forward to trying. On the other hand, the last time that I tried making a butter cream it did not work out...

Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower

I had heard a lot about roasted cauliflower and how good it was. I had even heard it compared with popcorn. (Perhaps that is because it looks a little like popcorn. I had always just chalked it up as a way to try to get kids to eat healthier.) When I made my roasted cauliflower and red pepper soup I made sure to try some of the roasted cauliflower and it was pretty good. Good enough to get another head of cauliflower and roast it up to snack on. I enjoyed it by itself but I imagine that it would be good with dukkah or curry powder, or even dipped in hummus.

Strawberry Sour Cream Bread

Strawberry Sour Cream Bread with Melting Butter

I have been seeing a lot of imported strawberries in the grocery stores lately and that reminded me of the fact that strawberry season was coming in a few months. I also remembered that I had frozen a lot of strawberries from last year and they were still taking up a lot of my precious little freezer space. I would have to use the frozen strawberries before strawberry season starts! Besides I would need that freezer space for my ice cream makers bowl and all of the ice cream that I plan on making during the summer. :)

Dukkah

Dukkah

A while ago I was watching Ricardo and Friends on the Food Network and he made something called Dukkah which sounded pretty interesting. Dukkah is an Egyptian blend of nuts, seeds and fragrant spices. I searched the web and quickly found a bunch of recipes and each of them had a different combination of nuts, seeds and spices. I tried to distill all of the recipes down to the core ingredients of a basic dukkah and came up with this combination. Most of the dukkah recipes used either almonds or hazels nuts but I decided to use both. I wanted a chunkier texture so I just chopped the nuts by hand though you could place them into a food processor to make a finer dukkah. One recipe called for dried lemon zest which I will have to try next time.

Since dukkah is used to add flavour to dishes toasting the nuts, seeds and spices is an important step to bring out the full flavour of all of the ingredients. Since I was already toasting so many things I decided to toast up some chili peppers and made a fresh chili powder blend for the dukkah.

The dukkah turned out to be pretty aromatic and tasty. I first tried the dukkah by dipping bread in olive oil and then in the dukkah. Since then I have used the dukkah as a garnish on soups , salads and other vegetables (like roasted cauliflower). Dukkah sounds like it would make a great crunchy crust for fish, chicken, pork chops, etc. I keep finding myself thinking, "Can I put dukkah on this?".

Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper Soup

Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper Soup with Dukkah

Recently I have really been enjoying simple vegetable soups. I am still surprised by how such simple recipes can make such great soups. Many vegetable soups only have a few ingredients and yet they are so tasty. A while ago I came across this recipe for roasted cauliflower and red pepper soup . I really like roasted vegetables as roasting them adds a lot of flavour. Roasted red peppers are among my favorite roasted vegetables and I just had to try a roasted red pepper soup. I had also been wanting to try roasting cauliflower so I roasted the cauliflower as well. This soup was super simple to make though it took a bit of time roasting and simmering. It turned out really tasty! The roasted red pepper was the star flavour and the cauliflower contributed a really nice texture and thickness to the soup. There are a lot of things that you can garnish a vegetable soup with including sour cream, fresh chopped herbs, pestos, etc. I garnished mine with a bit of sour cream the first time and some dukkah the second time. The dukkah was really good as a garnish for the soup. It added a bit of spice and heat and a nice contrasting crunchy texture.

Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

Dolmades are grape leaves that are stuffed with various ingredients. I had never eaten grape leaves before and the idea of stuffing them with a tasty filling sounded really good. I have been wanting to try making them ever since I saw Peter's dolmades post. I recently came across a jar of grape leaves and the dolmades quickly made it to my meal plan.

I had a bit of trouble getting the grape leaves out of the jar as they were packed in so tightly but after that they were fairly easy to work with. I covered the grape leaves in boiling water to make sure that they were tender. (You could also boil them briefly.) I also rinsed them a few times to remove any salt from the packing liquid. The grape leaves that I got had their stems removed so that was one less step that I had to do.

Overall the dolmades were pretty easy to make though it took a bit of time to stuff all of them. They turned out pretty well. One of the reasons that I really enjoy Greek cuisine is because it commonly includes lots of mint and dill which are two of my favorite herbs. With the herbs, feta and avgolemono sauce the dolmades were really tasty! The grape leaves themselves were nice and I look forward to using them again.

Baklava

Baklava

Baklava is one of my all time favorite desserts and I have been wanting to try making it for a while now. I kept putting it off because the recipe sounded a little bit intimidating. The baklava has actually made it to my meal plan a few times but I either ran out of time or forgot to thaw the phyllo dough. I finally got over procrastinating and got to it and made baklava. It wasn't nearly as hard as I though it would be.

I decided to go the easy way and used store bought phyllo dough. The dough needs to be thawed overnight in the fridge so you need to think about it the day before. It helps to have everything ready before you start. I mixed the nut filling and melted the butter ahead of time. I pulled out the phyllo dough and covered it with a slightly damp towel to keep it moist. Assembly was as simple as brushing butter onto the dough and placing it into the pan. Over all it was surprisingly easy.

I used this recipe for baklava as I liked the sound of using the lemon and orange peal in the syrup. The syrup smelled really amazing while simmering with the cinnamon and citrus peals. I used some good local honey that I got at the farmers market.

The baklava turned out really well! It was nice and crispy on top and slightly damp with the honey syrup on the bottom. The baklava had a cinnamon and citrus aroma though I could not really taste any of the citrus. There was a really nice honey flavour to the baklava where most store bought baklava that I have had doesn't have any honey flavour. With baklava being so easy to make and being so good I will be making this a lot in the future. I am already thinking that I could try it with different nuts and sweeteners.

Baklava

Baklava

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes Servings: 1

Light and flaky phyllo pastry layered with walnuts and cinnamon covered in a honey based syrup.

ingredients
  • 4 cups walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 pound phyllo pastry, thawed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 inch slice lemon peel
  • 2 inch slice orange peel
  • 3/4 cup honey
directions
  1. Mix the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
  2. Brush the bottom of a 9X13 inch pan with butter.
  3. Brush butter onto the top of a sheet of the phyllo dough and place the sheet into the pan. Repeat until there are 8 sheets in the pan.
  4. Sprinkle 1/3 of the walnut mixture onto the phyllo in the pan.
  5. Brush butter onto the top of a sheet of the phyllo dough and place the sheet into the pan. Repeat until there are 2 sheets on top of the nut mixture.
  6. Sprinkle 1/3 of the walnut mixture onto the phyllo in the pan.
  7. Brush butter onto the top of a sheet of the phyllo dough and place the sheet into the pan. Repeat until there are 2 sheets on top of the nut mixture.
  8. Sprinkle 1/3 of the walnut mixture onto the phyllo in the pan.
  9. Brush butter onto the top of a sheet of the phyllo dough and place the sheet into the pan. Repeat until there are 8 sheets on top of the nut mixture.
  10. Slice the baklava with a sharp knife.
  11. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown on top, about 25-35 minutes.
  12. Bring the water, sugar, cinnamon, lemon and orange to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  13. Add the honey and simmer for 2 minutes.
  14. Remove the cinnamon, and peals from the syrup.
  15. Pour the syrup over the baklava when it comes out of the oven.
  16. Let the baklava cool for a few hours.

Moroccan Lamb Tagine

Moroccan Lamb Tagine

Recently I have come across several Moroccan dishes that have sounded pretty interesting. They are interesting because they tend to include a lot of spices and flavour combinations that I would not normally think of using. The Moroccan dishes also used dried fruit and harissa for some sweetness and some heat.

I have also come across several tagine dishes. A tagine is a clay pot with a lid that braises meat very efficiently. The tagine can be baked in the oven or it can be cooked on the stove if the tagine has a metal bottom.

In the end I decided to go with a Moroccan lamb tagine . This dish could also be made with beef but I went with lamb since there is a lot of nice looking lamb in the stores now. Since I don't have a tagine I braised the meat in a covered pot at low heat on the stove. The Moroccan inspired lamb tagine turned out really well. The flavour combinations were really amazing. The spices, the sweetness and the heat all balanced out well. I served the lamb tagine on lemon and mint couscous and garnished it with toasted almonds and cilantro and parsley. Overall it was a very tasty meal.


Kare Pan (Curry Bread)

Kare Pan (Curry Bread)

I though I had experienced the best that curry had to offer. Japanese curry is one of my favorite meals and it is hard to improve on something that is already so good. I was wrong. Curry bread is the ultimate way to experience curry!

Kare pan or Japanese curry bread is curry wrapped in bread and covered in panko bread crumbs. It is normally deep fried though it can be baked. Curry bread is a popular dish in Japan.

This was my first time making or eating curry bread. This was also only my second time deep frying. I was a bit worried about the deep frying but it turned out ok. Since this recipe uses a yeast based bread it requires some rising time. I am glad that I made this dish on a day off as it took a while.

The kare bread was amazing!! The golden brown crust was nice and light and crispy and the inside was soft and moist. I of course ate them while they were still warm. Each bite was a crisp, soft, warm, and tasty moment of utter enjoyment. A moment that disappeared all to quickly along with the all of the curry bread. I can not believe that simply placing the curry into crispy deep fried bread can make it so much better.

I ran out of curry before I had used all of the dough so I formed the extra dough into balls, fried them and rolled them in sugar and cinnamon. They made for a tasty desert for the curry bread meal.

Kare Gyoza (Curry Potstickers)

Kare Gyoza (Curry Potstickers)

Not too long ago I came across a post about curry gyoza . I had never even though about filling gyoza with left over curry. It sounded like a great idea and I just had to try it.

Gyoza are Japanese dumplings. They are generally filled with ground meat, vegetables and seasonings. The dumplings can be boiled, steamed, deep fried or shallow fried and steamed. I prefer to shallow fry and steam as you get to enjoy both the crispy fried side and the soft steamed side. Gyoza are typically dipped in a soy and chili oil sauce but since the curry has so much flavour I skipped the dipping sauce. The edge of the gyoza are typically folded up so that the bottom of the gyoza is flat. The first time that I made gyoza I was not able to get the wrappers to fold right but this time they came out pretty well.

By the end of the week the leftover curry is getting a bit dry from being reheated so many times and this is the perfect time to make the gyoza. Assembling the dumplings takes a bit of time but I had no problems doing this on a weeknight. The kare gyoza turned out pretty good. They were nice and tasty. If there are any leftovers I would imagine that they would be a perfect fit for a bento/lunch box.

Kare Udon (Curry Udon Soup)

Kare Udon (Curry Udon Soup)

Another popular way to have curry in Japan is kare udon or curry udon soup. Curry udon soup is generally a soup with udon noodles in a thick curry flavoured broth. Sometimes it is as simple as the udon noodles with the curry flavoured broth and sometimes it has the full curry including the beef, carrots and potatoes. I prefer curry udon with the full curry as it makes a nice and filling meal. Curry udon combines the best of both worlds; You get the amazing flavours of the curry along fun of slurping noodles. :)

Katsu Karē (Pork Cutlet with Curry Sauce)

Katsu Kare (Pork Cutlet with Curry Sauce)

Katsu kar? (カツカレー) is tonkatsu , a Japanese breaded and fried pork cutlet with curry sauce. Katsu kari is a popular meal in japan. It is typically served on Japanese short grained rice. I have ordered it at several Japanese restaurants both here and in Japan when I was there on vacation. Sometimes it comes with just the curry sauce and sometimes it comes with the full curry including the meat, carrots and potatoes. I prefer to have just the curry sauce so that I can enjoy the pork cutlet more.

Whenever I make Japanese curry I like to make it with some extra sauce. I skim off the extra sauce and freeze it to use later for katsu kare and other dishes. This meal combines the best of both worlds. Since the tonkatsu was just cooked it is still nice and crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside and it is covered in an amazing spicy slightly sweet curry sauce.

Karē (Japanese Curry)

Kar? (Japanese Curry)

Kar? (カレー), or Japanese curry is a thicker, sweeter and milder take on curry. Curry is one of the most popular foods in Japan. It can be made with different types of meat such as beef, pork or chicken. The most commonlused vegetables are onions, carrots and potatoes. It is normally served on Japanese style short grained rice.

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich

In addition to having more time to make breakfasts on the weekend I also enjoy being able to make a lunch. During the week I bring leftovers to work for lunch. On the weekend I can actually make a lunch. Recently I have been exploring sandwiches and this stop was at the philly cheese steak sandwich . At its base a steak sandwich is just steak in a bun. You can add more ingredients as desired. When I think of a steak sandwich I think of thinly sliced beef with caramelized onions, green peppers and melting cheese. While looking at steak sandwich recipes I noticed that a lot of them used cheese whiz which sounds good. I think that the next time I make a steak sandwich it will be have caramelized onions, mushrooms and cheese whiz.

Mushroom, Spinach and Feta Omelet

Mushroom, Spinach and Feta Omelet

Omelets are a really nice weekend breakfasts. An omelet is eggs cooked in a pan and then folded over some kind of filling. The filling can be whatever you want it to be. The combinations of fillings are almost endless. This time I filled my omelet with sauteed mushrooms, spinach, feta and dill. Omelets are pretty easy to make though you want to be careful that the egg does not stick to the pan. Using a non-stick pan and some butter really helps.

Chocolate Chip and Sour Cream Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip and Sour Cream Banana Bread

My freezer was filling up with over ripe bananas that needed to be used. Since I really enjoyed that banana bread that I had made a while ago I though I would make another one. This time instead of making a plain banana bread I though I would make it a bit more exciting. I decided to add chocolate chips, walnuts, sour cream and some cinnamon. One of the reasons that I like banana bread so much is that I really enjoy the aroma of baking bananas. The cinnamon in this banana bread made the aroma even better. This banana bread turned out really good. I had a slice while it was still warm from the oven and the chocolate chips were still slightly melted and it was really good. I ate the banana bread for breakfasts during the week. I placed some of the banana bread in the fridge so that it would still be good by the end of the week. One morning I did not heat the chilled banana bread up and I found that I liked the texture of the solid chocolate in the banana bread. The chilled solid chocolate chips made you chew more to find all of them and thus you enjoyed the flavour of the bread longer.

White Bean and Kale Soup with Turkey Sausage

White Bean and Kale Soup with Turkey Sausage

Kale is a vegetable that I have been wanting to try using for a while. I have seen a few kale dishes around and some of them combined kale with white beans. I thought that the kale would go nicely in an Italian style white bean soup. I knew that I wanted to include Italian style turkey sausage for some meat and flavour but for the rest of the ingredients I played it by ear. I wanted a bit of a rustic feel to the soup so I cut everything roughly leaving fairly large pieces. The white bean and kale soup with turkey sausage turned out well and it was really tasty. I think that I should have cut the kale into slightly smaller pieces but this way I got to experience more of the kale. The kale worked well in the soup. Even though it wilted it did not fall apart or turn mushy. I look forward to experimenting with kale again. I served the white bean and kale soup with some toasted cheesy garlic bread .

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

I recently got some vanilla beans and I have been itching to use them. I though that I would try using them in one of my favorite desserts, a cheesecake. For the vanilla bean cheesecake I just added the seeds from a vanilla bean to a basic cheesecake recipe. In the past I have used graham cracker crusts and pecan crusts and this time I thought I would try a walnut crust. I also had some raspberries so I added a garnish of a simple raspberry sauce. The vanilla bean cheesecake with walnut crust was really good! It smelled amazing while it was baking. Vanilla is one of my favorite flavours and I really enjoyed the strength of the vanilla flavour provided by the vanilla bean seeds. The walnut crust was really good as well. How can you go wrong adding butter and sugar to walnuts? I am looking forward to more adventures with vanilla beans.

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

What better to go with Irish lamb stew on Saint Patrick's Day than some Irish soda bread? Irish soda bread is a quick bread that uses baking soda rather than yeast. Traditional soda bread consists of only flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. The buttermilk reacts with the baking soda to produce carbon dioxide and thus rise. I decided to go with the brown soda bread which replaces half of the flour with whole wheat flour. I also decided to add some rolled oats for additional texture and flavour. I halved the recipe as I did not want to have too much in the way of leftovers. Soda bread would normally just be hand formed and baked on a baking sheet but I decided to put it into a loaf pan to give it a loaf shape. While looking for recipes I saw several that called for some non-traditional ingredients such as raisins, caraway seeds, etc.

The soda bread was the easiest bread that I have ever made. You just mix everything and bake it. It turned out pretty good. The crust was crispy and crunchy without being too hard and the inside was nice and soft and light. I timed it such that the bread came out of the oven at the same time that the stew was done so I got to have the bread while it was still warm from the oven. Of course I had to spread some butter on a few slices to melt into the bread. Melting butter on freshly baked bread is one of my favorite things. Given how easy this bread is to make it would be little trouble to make it for almost any meal.

Irish Lamb Stew

Irish Lamb Stew

With Saint Patrick's Day coming up I was feeling like something Irish. I had seen some nice looking lamb at the grocery store and I was thinking that a nice lamb stew would do. It kind of worked out well as we got buried in snow again and the stew really hit the spot on a cold day. I went with a pretty basic lamb stew that contained lamb, onions, carrots and potatoes. I was thinking that you could also add parsnips, rutabaga, barley, celery, etc. Of course I could not resist adding a Guinness to the pot. :) I wanted to get a lot of lamb flavour so I made sure to brown the meat really well. I also wanted the lamb to be fall apart tender so I braised it for several hours. Since I did not want the carrots and potatoes to fall apart I did not add them to the stew until the meat was almost ready and then simmered just long enough to cook the vegetables. The lamb stew turned out really well. It was tasty and had a nice lamb flavour. The lamb was melt in the mouth tender. I enjoyed the lamb stew with a Guinness and some Irish soda bread .

Irish Lamb Stew

Irish Lamb Stew

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 2 hours 50 minutes Total Time: 3 hours Servings: 4

A slowly braised Irish style lamb stew with Guinness.

ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 pound lamb, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 can Guinness
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 white potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4 carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped
directions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, add the lamb and brown on each side.
  2. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Sprinkle in the flour and stir.
  5. Add the Guinness and beef stock.
  6. Add the rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper.
  7. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the lamb it fork tender, about 1-2 hours.
  8. Add the potatoes and carrots and some more beef stock to cover.
  9. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until they are tender, about 20 minutes depending on cut.
  10. Plate and garnish with parsley.

Slow Cooker: Optionally implement steps 1-3, implement step 4, place everything except the parsley in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-10 hours or high for 2-4 hours before adding the parsley.

Banana Buttermilk Pancakes

Banana Buttermilk Pancakes

One of the good things about the weekend is that you have more time to make a good breakfast. It had been a while since I last had pancakes and I was craving them. I had some over overripe bananas in the freezer and I though they would go nicely in the pancakes. I also had some buttermilk in the fridge so it became banana buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup. They turned out pretty good. They were nice and moist and fluffy. I enjoyed the banana flavour of the pancakes. I garnished the pancakes with slices of bananas and some pecans. They were a great way to start off a day on the weekend.

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Roasted Garlic Hummus

After discovering the greatness of roasted garlic I though that I would have to try it in what is one of my favorites snacks, hummus. Hummus is a nice and versatile dip that you can add pretty much any flavour to and I thought that roasted garlic hummus would be a tasty treat. The roasted garlic hummus turned out to be pretty good! The sweetness of the roasted garlic went really well in the creamy hummus. The roasted garlic hummus disappeared quite quickly and I will have to make some more soon.

Chicken Salad Sandwich

Chicken Salad Sandwich

While I was looking for ways to use up my leftover roasted chicken I came across the concept of a chicken salad sandwich. At its base, a chicken salad seems to be shredded cooked chicken mixed with mayonnaise. A lot of recipes also included celery and green onions. I decided to go with a basic sandwich for the first time. The chicken salad sandwich was easy to make and really good! Now that I have had the basic sandwich I am thinking of all sort of possibilities. I could add curry, chutney, herbs, nuts, raisins, cranberries, etc. You could also do a turkey salad sandwich. The possibilities seem to be near endless. I can't wait to roast another chicken so that I can use the leftovers to make more chicken salad sandwiches.

Marinated Feta with Olives and Roasted Red Pepper

Marinated Feta with Olives and Roasted Red Pepper

Not too long ago Peter posted about a meze (a Greek appetizer) of marinated feta with olives that looked really good. Since I was having so many other Greek flavoured dishes this week I though what better time to try it. I went to Greek town and found some nice imported Greek feta and black olives (along with some baklava). This dish was super easy to put together, though, since I roasted my own red pepper it took a bit longer. It tasted great! The flavours all came together really nicely. Even though the feta and the olives were great, I felt that the roasted red pepper stole the show. The sweetness of the roasted red pepper went really well with the balsamic vinegar. The sweet and balsamicy roasted red pepper then went really well with the salty feta and olives. I will definitely be making this again.

Avgolemono Soup

Avgolemono Soup

I have been wanting to try an avgolemono soup for a while now. An avgolemono soup is a soup that is made with chicken stock, eggs and lemon juice. Since I had my freshly made chicken stock and some leftover lemons it was the perfect time to make the avgolemono soup. Many recipes that I found for avgolemono soup had little more that the base ingredients but my fridge was full of leftover chicken and vegetables and I could not resist throwing them into the soup. Several of the recipes included rice or pasta and I had some orzo pasta that I had been wanting to try so it went in as well. I also had some fresh dill that also went in. In the end I guess it turned out to be a fairly hearty chicken noodle soup with avgolemono sauce. I cut the vegetables into really small pieces so they they were tender by the time the orzo was cooked. The soup turned out to be pretty tasty. I really enjoyed the lemon and dill flavour of the soup. I also enjoyed the orzo pasta. The orzo added a nice soft chewy texture to the soup.

Easy Hommade Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock
Making soup tonight? This time how about using a chicken stock instead of a chicken broth ? Chicken stock is chicken broths older brother and is more full bodied and has more flavour! A chicken broth is made by simmering a chicken in water along with some vegetables, herbs and spices whereas a chicken stock is made by simmering chicken carcasses in water along with the same ingredients. The bones provide a ton of extra flavour and chicken stock is perfect for a tasty chicken noodle soup where a strong chicken flavour is required! Just like chicken broth, chicken stock is super easy to make, requiring only a few minutes of active time and the rest is just unattended simmering. Making your own chicken stock is a great way to get further use from your chickens so save the carcass from your roast chicken dinner in the freezer for the next chicken stock!

Easy Hommade Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 2 hours Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes Servings: 6

Easy homemade chicken stock that is healthy, full of flavour and perfect for any soup!

ingredients
  • 1-3 chicken carcasses
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 6 sprigs parsley
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (2-inch) piece parmesan cheese rind (optional)
  • water
directions
  1. Place everything in a large stock pot, cover with 4 inches of water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours.
  2. Strain the solids from the stock and discard them.
  3. Optionally, let the stock cool in the fridge over night and skim off any fat before using.

Tip: Save any leftover celery and carrot ends, herbs and parmesan rinds in the freezer for the next time that you make stock.
Tip: Chicken stock freezes well so you don't have to use it all when you make it.
Tip: Save chicken carcasses chicken in the freezer for the next time that you make stock.

Spinach with Feta Dressing

Spinach with Feta Dressing

I often find myself thinking that dinner is just not complete without a green vegetable. One of my favorite green vegetables is spinach and I decided to have some with my lemon roasted chicken dinner . Since I was going with some Greek flavours with the rest of the meal I decided go continue with the theme for the spinach. This spinach was inspired by the spinach filling of spanakopita . The spinach was pretty tasty. I really enjoyed the spinach, feta, lemon and dill flavour combination. I will be making this again and now I really need want to try making the spanakopita.

Lemon Roasted Potatoes

Lemon Roasted Potatoes

What better to accompany lemon roasted chicken than some lemon roasted potatoes? You can even cook them in the same dish at the same time. You can also make these potatoes when you are not roasting chicken. They are pretty simple to make and really tasty.

Lemon and Oregano Roast Chicken

Lemon Roasted Chicken

One of the good things about the weekend is that you have time to make big dinners. This weekend I made roasted chicken dinner. This was the first time that I cooked an entire chicken. I am not sure why I was hesitant about cooking an entire chicken as it turned out to be pretty easy. I decided to season the chicken in a simple fashion with lemon and oregano. The chicken turned out pretty good. It was nice and tasty. I had some lemon roasted potatoes and some spinach with feta dressing with the roasted chicken. Overall it was a really tasty meal. I only cooked a small chicken but I have a lot of left over chicken meat to use in other dishes. Now I also have a chicken carcass with which I can make some home made chicken stock.

Kimchi

Kimchi

Over the past few months I have been trying some Korean cuisine. One thing that keeps coming up in my exploration of Korean cuisine is kimchi. Kimchi is fermented raw vegetables. One of the most common forms of kimchi is made with cabbage and chili. Up until now I have been buying my kimchi in little jars from the store but it was a bit expensive. I have seen several posts about how to make your own kimchi that sounded pretty easy. I decided to try making my own kimchi.