Butter Pie Crust (Pâte Brisée)

Butter Pie Crust (Pâte Brisée)


I just realized that despite the fact that I have been posting about pies for a while, that I have not actually posted the pie crust recipe that I use. Although it is perfectly acceptable to use store bought pie crusts I like to make my own especially if I am not rushed for time. My first few attempts at making a pie crust did not turn out too well but I stuck with it and now I am enjoying making them. With a little practice they are actually fairly easy to make. The trick is keeping everything nice and chilled.

If I am not rushed for time I like to cut the butter and then chill it in the freezer for a bit. Then next important step is the water. You want to add enough water that the dough starts to clump and enough that it is going to stick together when you roll it out but not too much. I find that 5 tablespoons of water usually works out well. Ideally when you have mixed the water into the flour and butter to form the dough you should be able to see small bits of butter in it and it is these bits of butter that are going to make the pie crust nice and light and flaky. After you have formed the dough you want to chill it in the fridge before rolling. Chilling it in the fridge helps ensure that those bits of butter don't melt and that they remain as bits of butter in the pastry. After the pastry has chilled in the fridge it is time to roll it out. You will want to wait a few minutes after pulling it out of the fridge to let it warm up just a bit so that you can roll it easily without it crumbling. Once the crust has been rolled out you will want to lightly fold it in half 2 times and transfer it to the pie dish and then unfold it and fit it into the pie plate. After you have fit the pie crust into the plate you will want to use it right away or put it back into the fridge until you are ready to use it. The uncooked pie crust freezes well so you can make them ahead of time and use them when you need them reducing the amount of effort that a pie takes to make.

This recipe make one pie crust so if you are making a pie with a top and bottom crusts you will need to make this recipe two times. To help get those nice golden brown colours to the pie shell you can brush it in an egg white and water mixture before baking. If you are going to be baking the pie for a long period of time you can cover the crust with foil and then remove the foil for the last 30 minutes of baking time to help ensure that the crust does not burn.

Note: This pie crust recipe works equally well for both sweet and savoury pie. For a sweet pie you may want to add an extra tablespoon of sugar to this recipe.

Pay it Forward

A while ago I left a comment on a post on Not Quite Nigella and then a few months later I was delighted to receive a package in the mail containing containing many foodie goodies! The package included some candied Australian macadamia nuts, biscuits, fig and fennel paste, Persian fairy floss and lemon myrtle leaves! The post on Not Quite Nigella was about a food blogging event called Pay it Forwardwhere Lorraine randomly picked 3 comments and sent their authors a package containing foodie goodies. In return for receiving those packages those lucky recipients would then continue to Pay It Forward by sending out 3 packages themselves.

It took me a while but now that it is the holidays I figured it was the perfect time to continue to Pay It Forward! The rules are simple; leave a comment on this post and I will choose 3 random comments on Saturday December the 5th. I will send the authors of the chosen comments a package containing food related goodies. The recipients of the packages agree to Pay It Forward and send out 3 similar packages within a year.

Dulce de Leche Apple Pie

Dulce de Leche Apple Pie


The reason that I was so enthusiastic about making the dulce de leche was that I had recently seen this recipe for a dulce de leche apple pie on The Cooking Photographer that looked so good. Caramel and apples go so well together and with the thought of a caramely dulce de leche apple pie there was no way that I could resist making it! With so many apples at the farmers market these days it was the perfect time to make the pie and I used a mixture of different types of those wonderful varieties of apples. This pie was pretty easy to make with you only needing to mix the apples, dulce de leche and a few other ingredients, assembling the pie and baking it. The hardest part is waiting for the pie to finish baking and then letting it cool while you are intoxicated with its heavenly aroma. The dulce de leche turned out amazingly well and it was very tempting to have seconds of dessert each night! The dulce de leche and apple flavour combination is just as good as the caramel and apple combo and I look forward to using this combo again! Of course I served the dulce de leche apple pie with a scoop of melting vanilla ice cream.

Homemade Dulce de Leche

Dulce de Leche with Apples

I have been seeing dulce de leche around the food blogging sphere since I started food blogging and it has always looked and sounded so good! Unfortunately I have had problems finding it. I could not find it for a long time but after I had given up I did come across some and I picked up a jar right away. The dulce de leche was a lot like a caramel sauce and it was so good that it disappeared really quickly leaving me craving more. When I went back to get some, it was all gone and I never did run into it again. I finally got tired of waiting to find it and I just decided to make my own.

Luckily there are lot of articles around as to how to make your own dulce de leche! Dulce de leche is made by slowly heating sweetened condensed milk until it caramelizes and turns a golden brown. The easiest way to make dulce de leche it to simply simmer a can of sweetened condensed milk in water for several hours. The down side of this method, and the reason that I held off on making my own for so long, is that apparently there is a risk of the can exploding. (Who wants to be cleaning caramelized sweetened condensed milk from their ceiling?) One thing that I noticed about the instructions that I found was that different ones called for different cooking times. From what I could piece together, you want to simmer for 2 hours to get a light and mild dulce de leche and the longer you leave it in for after that the darker and more flavourful it gets.

I finally had enough incentive to make my own dulce de leche that I gave it a try. I used my old stock pot because I didn't want any possibility of rust touching my good pot and I made sure to keep the lid on and that the can of sweetened condensed milk was covered in water at all times. For the cooking duration I decided to leave mine in for 4 hours to get a nice dark rich tasting dulce de leche. Making the dulce de leche couldn't have been easier and I did not have any problems. I could barely wait for it to cool and when I cracked open the can, it was dulce de leche, and it was a nice deep brown and it smelled amazing. I could not resist putting a finger into it right away and I was rewarded with an amazing caramely flavour! It was so worth making! I will definitely be making my own dulce de leche from now on and I will probably be doing it frequently!

I had not planned to make the recipe that used the dulce de leche until the next day but I could not wait that long so I enjoyed some of the dulce de leche with sliced apples. The thick, creamy and caramely dulce de leche goes so well with crisp juicy apples! It was a real treat!

How to make dulce de leche:

Pumpkin and Mushroom Pasta with Gorgonzola

Pumpkin and Mushroom Pasta with Gorgonzola


The squash, caramelized onion, sage and gorgonzola flavour combo has been on my mine a lot ever since I tried it in the roasted butternut squash and caramelized onion pizza with gorgonzola and crispy fried sage . I was trying to think of new ways to enjoy this particular flavour combination when I realized that I had not had pasta in far too long. I had some pumpkin puree that I wanted to finish and I thought that a pumpkin, gorgonzola and sage sauce would go nicely on a pasta. For some reason I kept thinking about adding some mushrooms to the pasta and since I was going to be slowly caramelizing the onions anyways I figured that I might add some. In addition to adding some sage to the onions and mushrooms I could not resist frying some sage leaves in browned butter until they were nice and crispy and I used them to garnish the pasta. The pumpkin, gorgonzola, sage, caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms flavour combo was amazing and it worked really well as a pasta sauce! I can't wait to try experimenting with this flavour combo some more!

Pomegranate Tabbouleh Salad

Pomegranate Tabbouleh Salad


The other day when I was enjoying my pomegranate and pistachio whole wheat couscous salad it reminded me a little of tabbouleh . Tabouleh is a Mediterranean parsley salad that also commonly includes things like bulgur, mint, tomatoes, etc. I always enjoy whole grain salads and I was thinking that one would make for a nice light day before T day meal. For the pomegranate tabbouleh salad I went with the standard tabbouleh components and then I added pomegranate seeds and some of the pomegranate vinaigrette from the pomegranate couscous salad for the pomegranate components. From there I added some chopped walnuts and some feta to make the salad a bit heartier. The pomegranate tabbouleh salad turned out great! The the bulgur was light and fluffy and the pomegranate vinaigrette ensured that it stayed nice and moist. I really enjoyed the salty feta and juicy sweet and tart pomegranate combo. The large amount of parsley and mint made the salad seem so fresh and vibrant. I will definitely be making this pomegranate tabbouleh salad again!

Slow Braised Chili Con Carne

Slow Braised Chili Con Carne

I am a big fan of chilies! When I heard that Zantac was holding a Canadian Chili Challenge I immediatly set to creating a new chili recipe. Chili, like bolognese, is one of those dishes that I just can't resist playing with and trying something new each time. When I find something that I like, it gets carried forward to the next version, etc. Since I started food blogging I have seen a lot of chili recipes and many of them call for ground beef. Although I am going to have to try a ground beef chili one of these days, I find it really hard to resist taking the chance to get a good braise on. There is just something with those chunks of beef that are so tender that they literally melt in your mouth. Another thing that I like about a nice braise is that it takes a long time so all of the flavours have a chance to come out and mingle.

Bacon is a magical ingredient that makes everything better and it certainly works well in chilies. The bacon adds a ton of flavour and you can use the bacon grease to brown the beef and saute the onions so that you don't loose any of the flavour. Although I often like to use fresh chilies in chili, in the Winter they can be hard to come by and dried chilies work just as well. I like to use a variety of chilies and I almost always include some chipotle chillies for their smoky goodness. Next up is the sticky debate about tomatoes and beans and whether they belong in a chili or not. I like chilies both with and without them and this time I decided to go with them to bulk out the chili a bit. Adding some vegetables and beans made me feel a little bit better about the bacon. ;) Once you have all of you basic ingredients you are of course going to need some liquid to do the braising in. You could use water but why not take the opportunity to add some flavour and use some beef stock or better yet some beer and/or coffee. In addition to your standard Texmex spices I like to add a bit of cinnamon and chocolate to the chili to add that hint of something exotic.

Join in on the fun of the Canadian Zantac Chili Challenge or feel free to vote for my beer braised chili con carne recipe when the voting starts in December.

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Medjool Dates

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Medjool Dates


The last time that I came across medjool dates I tried stuffing them with cream cheese and the sweet and savoury combination was really good. Since then I came across the idea of taking it one step further and wrapping the stuffed dates in bacon! You really just can't go wrong adding bacon to anything and I immediately knew that I would have to try it the next time that I came across some medjool dates. You can stuff the dates with pretty much anything and this time I went with my favorite cheese, gorgonzola and some spicy chorizo sausage. I was also thinking that almonds or even pieces of olives would also make a good date filling. The bacon wrapped stuffed dates are pretty easy to make. You just need to pit the dates, stuff, them, wrap them and then bake them for a few minutes. For the amount of effort these take to make, they are so worth it! The salty bacon wrapping goes so well with the sweet medjool dates! I really enjoyed both the tangy gorgonzola and the spicy Spanish chorizo sausage fillings. These bacon wrapped stuffed medjool dates would make a welcome addition to any party and with them being in season now they would be a perfect appetizer for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Pomegranate Molasses and Pomegranate Syrup

Pomegranate Molasses


After my pomegranate and pistachio couscous I got a few questions about where to find pomegranate molasses or what could be used as a substitute for it. You should be able to find pomegranate molasses at your local middle eastern grocery store but if you cannot find it, it is easy enough to make if you can get your hands on some pomegranate juice. Making the pomegranate molasses is as easy as mixing some sugar into some pomegranate juice and simmering to reduce it to the desired consistency. You can also make pomegranate syrup using the same method, only stopping when it has the consistency of a syrup. This pomegranate molasses ends up with a nice level of tartness or tanginess but if you want a sweeter version you can easily add more sugar.

Medjool Date Pecan Pie

Medjool Date Pecan Pie

I came across medjool dates for the first time last year and since it was the first time that I had seen them I only picked up a few. They were so good! I ran back to the grocery store but alas, they were all gone. Since then I have been impatiently awaiting their return and when I came across some recently I picked up a ton of them immediatly! I used the first of them in the pomegranate and date lamb tagine and I knew that the next thing that I would make was this medjool date pecan pie that I had come across on The Cooking Photographer which sounded so amazingly good! You just cannot go wrong when you start with an already great pecan pie and then you add the soft and sweet medjool dates!

Roast Pork and Peameal Bacon Sandwich (A Canadian take on a Cuban Sandwich)

Roast Pork and Peameal Bacon Sandwich


The Cuban sandwich has been on my to try list for a long time and with the last of my roast pork leftovers on hand I kept thinking about it. A Cuban sandwich is typically made with layers of roast pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles and mustard and it is grilled until it is nice and toasty and the cheese melts. Never mind that my roast pork was a Montreal steak spiced seasoned maple bacon wrapped roast pork rather than a mojo marinated roast pork. Never mind that I did not have the ham on hand. I could not get the idea of the Cuban sandwich out of my head. After a bit of thinking I decided to use the roast pork that I did have and I simply replaced the ham with some peameal bacon that I did have on hand. That is three kinds of pork in one sandwich with the roast pork, maple bacon and peameal bacon! You just can't go wrong with starting out with that combo! From there I finished the sandwich off as it should be with the swiss cheese, pickles and mustard. I guess in the end I had a kind of Canadian take on a Cuban sandwich and it turned out really well! The salty peameal bacon went well with the tender and slightly sweet maple roast pork and the melted cheese, pickles and mustard finished off the sandwich nicely. With this version of the sandwich being so good I can imagine what the original tastes like and I am going to have to try it soon.

Pomegranate and Pistachio Couscous

Pomegranate and Pistachio Couscous


I often like to serve my tagines over a bed of light and fluffy couscous to soak up all of the extra tasty gravy. Normally I like to keep the couscous nice and simple so that it does not steal any of the thunder from the tagine but this time I wasted to dress it up a bit. I just could not resist adding some of those beautiful pomegranate jewels to the couscous and with a the red there already I just had to round it out with some green in the form of pistachios. Couscous can sometimes be a little on the dry side so I thought that tossing it in a vinaigrette would help keep it nice and moist and a pomegranate vinaigrette using pomegranate molasses was the perfect fit. I finished the couscous off with some fresh chopped mint and parsley. The pomegranate and pistachio couscous went really well with the pomegranate and date lamb tagine but it could also easily be served as a side for any number of dishes or even as a salad all by itself.

Pomegranate and Date Lamb Tagine

Pomegranate and Date Lamb Tagine


Pomegranates are in season and the grocery stores have been full of them. I had been looking forward to the pomegranates as I had been wanting to explore with them some more. Despite the fact that a lot of the recipes that I have been seeing that use pomegranates are for sweet dishes for my first recipe I was thinking about something savoury. I was remembering the pistachio crusted rack of lamb with pomegranate and port sauce that I had made a while ago and I was thinking that another take on the lamb a pomegranate combo would be just right. I was also remembering a slowly braised lamb tagine that I had recently enjoyed and the thought of the falling apart tender lamb combined with pomegranates would be really nice. For the pomegranate ingredient I decided to use pomegranate juice to braise the lamb in and then to garnish the finished dish off with pomegranate seeds. Pomegranates can be a little on the tart side so I wanted to include something sweet in the recipe to balance things out. As luck would have it, medjool dates also seem to be in season and they fit in perfectly with the Mediterranean theme that was quickly developing. From there I went with the usual components from my previous tagine dishes making sure to include some fresh mint as a part of the herb blend. The pomegranate and date lamb tagine turned out great! I made absolutely sure to simmer the lamb long enough that it was falling apart tender and this gave time for all of the flavours to mingle. The tart pomegranate and sweet medjool dates balanced and complimented each other perfectly and they went really well with the lamb and the mint finished things off perfectly. I served the pomegranate and date lamb tagine on some light and fluffy pomegranate and pistachio whole wheat couscous .

Sour Cream Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Sour Cream Pumpkin Coffee Cake


I certainly have been into the pumpkins this season and next on my list was this recipe for a sour cream pumpkin coffeecake that I recently saw on Megan's Cookin . You just can't go wrong with coffeecakes and with the layer of pumpkin and a streusel topping I immediatly knew that I would have to make this one. I used the recipe pretty much as it was, though I replaced some of the flour with whole wheat flour and of course I used my own home made pumpkin puree . The ingredient list may be a little long but this coffeecake is pretty easy to make with the hardest part being waiting for it to cool down enough to get into it. The coffeecake was nice and light and the layer of pumpkin kept it nice and moist. I really enjoyed the layer of pumpkin pie filling and using part of the streusel topping with the pumpkin layer was a nice touch. I am looking forward to breakfasts this week!

Roast Pork Sandwich with Apple Chutney

Roast Pork Sandwich with Apple Chutney


When I have leftovers from a roast, one of the first things that I think of to use them in is almost always a sandwich. With my newly made bacon wrapped maple roast pork I was looking forward to a nice roast pork sandwich and the best part was that the bacon was already covered. The next component is the one that really makes this sandwich, the spicy apple chutney , which went so well with the bacon wrapped maple roast pork. From there I finished the sandwich off with the standard lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. One of the best things about leftover roast sandwiches is that they are so easy to put together and they make for great quick meals. This roast pork with apple chutney sandwich was really good! The sweet and spicy apple chutney went really well with the salty and maple-y pork in sandwich form. As I had recently learned in my curried chicken salad sandwich with apple chutney the apple chutney and mayo flavour combo is also a great one and it really finished this sandwich off perfectly.

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Covered in Melted Gorgonzola

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Covered in Melted Gorgonzola


While I was enjoying the brussels sprouts with bacon, cranberries and pecans that I recently made, I thought that they would be even better with some crumbled blue cheese. Since I did not have any blue cheese on hand at the time I filed the idea away for later. When I had more time to think about it, I thought that instead of just having chunks of blue cheese with the brussels sprouts, why not use a softer blue cheese like gorgonzola dolce and let it melt completely? That way the yummy, creamy, melted gorgonzola-y goodness would completely cover the brussels sprouts! I just had to try it!

When I was thinking of sides for my bacon wrapped maple roast pork there was no question that creamy gorgonzola covered brussels sprouts would be included. In the end I decided that I wanted to more completely enjoy the gorgonzola and brussels sprouts flavour combo so I decided to drop the distractions of the cranberries and walnuts but you can't go wrong with bacon so that stayed in. The creamy melted gorgonzola covered brussels sprouts were so good! Each bite met you with the tangy gorgonzola followed by the natural sweetness and juiciness of the brussels sprouts which cut through the creamy gorgonzola perfectly refreshing your palette readying you to enjoy your next bite of perfection. The creamy, tangy and salty bacon and gorgonzola brussels sprouts went nicely with the sweet maple roasted acorn squash and the roast pork rounding off one amazing meal!

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash


Acorn squash are still really cheap and after the success of the roasted acorn squash with green tomato and jalapeno jam I just had to try roasting some more of them. This time I wanted to try a sweet filling rather than a savoury one and since I already had maple in my meal, continuing the theme with a maple filling sounded perfect. This recipe is deceptively simple for how good the end results are. I filled the acorn squash halves with some maple syrup and a touch of butter and then I let the slow roasting in the oven do the rest of the work. The maple flavour went so well with the sweet roasted acorn squash and if you are a fan of maple syrup like me then these will disappear quickly! I served the maple roasted acorn squash with the bacon wrapped maple roast pork and they went really well together. Though I served them sliced with the meal the first night, I scooped all of the remaining squash and maple filling from the leftovers and turned them into maple mashed acorn squash. The maple mashed squash leftovers were even better the next day!

Bacon Wrapped Roast Pork with Apple Chutney

Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin with Apple Chutney


Ever since I first heard about wrapping a pork loin in bacon before roasting it I have been wanting to try it! Now that the cooler weather is here it is time for more comfort food and the bacon wrapped pork loin quickly made it to my meal plan. I was thinking that I would keep the roast pork loin nice and simple and just go with a rub of some Montreal steak spice but when I was at he grocery store picking up the bacon they had maple bacon on sale and I could not pass up on adding a maple theme to the roast. So I covered the pork loin in maple syrup followed by the spice rub and then I wrapped it all in the maple bacon. After the pork roast was almost done cooking I glazed it in some more maple syrup. The bacon wrapped maple roast pork turned out so amazingly well! The bacon wrapping helped keep the pork loin nice and moist and juicy and good. The sweet and salty bacon went so well with the spice rub and the maple flavour! I found myself going back for seconds and thirds of the roast pork before I knew it. I had planned on making the bacon wrapped roast pork at the same time as the apple chutney as apples and pork are always a nice combo and I thought that the spicy apple chutney would go well with the bacony pork. I also served the roast pork with some maple roasted acorn squas h and some brussels sprouts and bacon covered in melted gorgonzola .

Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich with Apple Chutney

Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich with Apple Chutney


Now that I had my apple chutney I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it but first I wanted to take a quick detour. I had recently made and really enjoyed a turkey salad sandwich where I included some apple and I thought that using apple chutney in a turkey, or in this case, a chicken salad sandwich would be even better. I also remembered making a mango chicken salad sandwich a while ago that was so good! There is just something magical about the fruity chutney and tangy mayo flavour combination! This sandwich is pretty much just a basic chicken salad sandwich with the addition of some curry powder, the apple chutney and some dried cranberries and toasted pecans to give the sandwich a holiday feel to it. The curried chicken salad sandwich with apple chutney was so good! The chutney and mayo combination was amazing and it worked just as well in apple form as it did in mango form. I have a feeling that I will be enjoying a few more of these sandwiches over the next little while.

Apple Chutney

Apple Chutney


The farmers market has been bursting with apples over the last few weeks and it was time that I got around to doing something with them other than just snacking on them. I have been getting into chutneys lately and I was thinking that a spicy apple chutney would be a great idea. After searching the web for apple chutney recipes I decided to just go with a variation of the recipe that I have been using for chutneys. One thing that I did notice about the recipes that I did find was that most of them called for the use of tart green apples. I thought it would be a shame to not use some of those amazing varieties of apples available at the farmers market and so I used a mixture of a few of them. From there I added some onion, garlic, ginger and a jalapeno for a bit of heat. Cider vinegar was the obvious choice for the vinegar component and I went with brown sugar for the sweet component. With this being an apple chutney I could not pass up on adding raisins and a few spices that I remind me of apples. The chutney was as simple to make as throwing everything into a pot simmering it on the stove until it thickened. My apartment was filled with an amazing aroma of apples and spice while it simmered. The apple chutney turned out great! It was sweet and savoury at the same time with a nice blend of spices and a touch of heat. I am now looking forward to using the apple chutney in other dishes.

Pumpkin Pie White Hot Chocolate

Pumpkin Pie White Hot Chocolate

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I certainly have been enjoying a lot of pumpkin lately and in particular I have been enjoying transforming the pumpkin pie flavours into different dishes. When I came across the idea of a pumpkin pie white hot chocolate recently on The Luna Cafe I knew immediatly what my next pumpkin pie experiment was going to be. Not too long ago I had tried a pumpkin pie milkshake and a hot version of a pumpkin pie drink sounded perfect for the chilly weather that we have been having. This drink is pretty much as simple as making some white hot chocolate and adding the pumpkin puree and pumpkin spices and it is so worth making! The pumpkin pie white hot chocolate was excellent! It was nice and hot and the white chocolate added the perfect amount of sweetness that went really well with the pumpkin pie flavours. Lesson learned: Don't try to top a hot drink with whipped cream before photographing it as it melts pretty much right away.

Roast Beef Quesadillas

Roast Beef Quesadillas


While I was enjoying some of the leftover roast beef in the grilled roast beef and cheese sandwich I thought that all of the ingredients in the sandwich would make for a great quesadilla and I just had to try it. You can't really go wrong when you start with nice and tender roast beef and I often use sauteed peppers and onions as quesadilla fillings so it was perfect match. In my opinion quesadillas need to incorporate some kind of heat and with horseradish going well with the beef it wasn't even a decision to use it. Of course the glue that holds a quesadilla together is the cheese and I went with some swiss that I had leftover from the sandwich and since I also had some of the coffee gravy from the roast beef leftover I added a tablespoon of that to the quesadilla as well. The roast beef quesadilla turned out great! The tortillas were grilled until lightly golden brown and slightly crispy and good! The cheese melted nicely and went well with the roast beef, peppers, onions, horseradish and gravy flavour combo. I served the roast beef quesadillas with some coffee gravy for dipping.

BBQ Roast Beef and Cheddar Sandwich

BBQ Roast Beef and Cheddar Sandwich


While I was enjoying my grilled roast beef and cheese sandwich I could not help but think of other roast beef sandwiches. Although I have not been to Arby's in a long time I still remember their roast beef sandwiches all covered in melted cheese and very often with a tangy barbecue sauce. With this idea I knew exactly what I wanted to do for my next leftover roast beef meal, a tangy bbq roast beef sandwich smothered in melted cheese.

I started out by making my own bbq sauce and for the sandwich I simply warmed up and shredded some of my leftover roast beef and mixed it in with the bbq sauce and placed it on the bottom of the bun. Next came the cheese followed by a few minutes under the broiler to melt the cheese and it was done and ready to be eaten. This bbq roast beef sandwich was so good! How can you go wrong with moist, falling apart tender roast beef drenched in a tasty bbq sauce and covered in melted cheese?

Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin

Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin


Having decided to go with goat cheese mashed potatoes as the first side for my roast beef dinner I had go with a healthier vegetable dish as the second side and I knew exactly what I wanted to make. I had come across this recipe for a spaghetti squash and chard gratin on Kalyn's Kitchen not too long ago and it sounded really tasty in addition to being healthy. Spaghetti squash and chard are two vegetables that I do not use often enough and with the spaghetti squash in season now it was the perfect time to try this gratin. In addition to the vegetables there is of course some cheese in the form of some parmigiano reggiano and there is also a touch of sour cream for some extra creaminess. I was a bit surprised by the use of the cottage cheese but I really liked the sound of it being in there. With having to roast the spaghetti squash before baking the gratin this dish takes a bit of oven time so you will have to plan accordingly when making it. Other than the time it takes it is really easy to make and so worth making. The spaghetti squash and chard gratin was nice and light and moist and full of flavour. This recipe definitely makes a lot but the leftovers have certainly been the highlight of my leftover lunches so far this week. I have a feeling that this gratin will be making a regular appearance during squash season.

Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes Smothered in Coffee Gravy

Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes Smothered in Coffee Gravy


With a roast beef dinner one of the first sides that I think about is almost always potatoes. Potatoes are so versatile and you can do so many things with them but my favorite way to serve them is mashed. There is just something that is so addictively good about simple creamy and buttery mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes never get boring and they are like a open palate just waiting to have flavours added to them. A while ago I had tried some white cheddar and garlic mashed potatoes and I really liked how the cheese worked in the mashed potatoes and this time I was thinking about using some goat cheese.

Mashed potatoes are pretty easy to make; you simply boil the potatoes until they are nice and tender and then you mash them. One good thing about mashed potatoes is that they are done on the stove top so you don't have to worry about trying to fit the potatoes in the oven with the roast. The goat cheese mashed potatoes turned out great! They were so nice and creamy and the goat cheese added an amazing tanginess that kept me coming back for more. I served the goat cheese mashed potatoes smothered in the coffee gravy made with the drippings from the roast beef and they went really well together!

Roast Beef with Coffee Gravy

Roast Beef with Coffee Gravy


I recently received some samples of Starbucks new instant coffee VIA to try. Now, I may not be the worlds biggest coffee drinker I do like the flavour of coffee and I enjoy cooking with it so I was pleased to receive the samples. I wanted to try a savoury dish and a quick search of my bookmarks gave me this recipe for a pot roast with a coffee gravy that sounded really good. You can not go wrong with beef that is slow roasted to perfection and the coffee gravy sounded nice and tasty. The original recipe was for a pot roast which I generally associate with cooking the beef until it is falling apart and shredding it whereas I was looking for something more like a roast beef that was sliceable so I roasted the beef until it was nice and tender but not falling apart. Despite the long cooking time this roast beef was pretty easy to make and the results were great! The roast beef was nice and moist and tender and the coffee gravy was really tasty! The coffee flavour in the gravy was more like a subtle hint and not overpowering and the coffee aroma was really nice! I served the roast beef with coffee gravy with some goat cheese mashed potatoes and spaghetti squash and chard gratin . Overall it was a really nice comfort food kind of meal and I am looking forward to coming up with ideas to use the leftovers.

Pumpkin Pie French Toast

Pumpkin Pie French Toast

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Do you have some pumpkin leftover after Halloween? How about using it to make a pumpkin pie ? Before you set into making that pumpkin pie, how about some pumpkin pie french toast for a nice relaxing brunch after all of that Halloween partying last night? When I came across the concept of pumpkin french toast on Recipe Girl recently I knew that I would have to make it while I had some fresh in season pumpkin on hand and the morning after Halloween seemed like the perfect time. French toast is pretty easy to make and always good! It is a really nice weekend breakfast or brunch treat when you have a bit more time in the morning. This french toast of course includes some pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spices in the batter to give it the pumpkin pie flavours. I served my pumpkin pie french drenched in maple syrup with a side of crumbs of the gingersnap crust that I used in my pumpkin pie for a topping. (You can just make the crust, bake it until golden brown, let it cool and crumble it.)