Cajun Sweet Potato Seafood Chowder

Cajun Sweet Potato Seafood Chowder
It's the perfect weather for soup and this is the soup that I have been enjoying recently, a cajun sweet potato seafood chowder! This is a pretty easy sweet potato chowder where the sweetness from the potatoes is balanced by a tasty savoury homemade cajun seasoning and finished with plenty of seafood. The base is sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, corn and seafood. I like to use shrimp, scallops and crab as the seafood and I like to simmer the shrimp shells in the broth before straining them out to add even more shrimp flavour. It' nice to have a seafood chowder that's packed with plenty of seafood but adding other meats like bacon and andouille sausage adds a ton of flavour! I like to add the salt in this chowder in the form of fish sauce which adds even more seafood flavour along with that hit of umami. I like to finish this cajun sweet potato seafood chowder off with fresh tarragon and lemon juice to add a hit of freshness and that something special!

Korean Kimchi Meatloaf

Korean Kimchi Meatloaf
Meatloaf is a classic home style comfort food dish; not only is it easy to make and pretty cheap but it's also super tasty! I often like to play with different flavours for my meatloaf and this Korean kimchi meatloaf is one of my favourites. I am a big fan of Korean flavours, especially homemade kimchi, and it makes an amazing addition to meatloaf! This meatloaf starts out with ground beef and kimchi where the kimchi is drained and chopped before it's added to the meatloaf. The flavour continues to be built up with onions, garlic and ginger before moving on to dried mushroom and fish sauce which add that hit of umami and it's all finished off with toasted sesame oil which adds an amazing aroma to meatloaf. The eggs and breadcrumbs are in there as binders to hold everything together and once you have it all mixed up you can place it in a pan or just shape it into a loaf by hand and place it on a baking sheet before baking it in the oven. I sometimes like to glaze meatloaf with a sauce and this Korean kimchi meatloaf is great in gochujang sauce mixed with ketchup which you can brush on a few minutes before pulling the loaf out of the oven.

Seared Scallops in a Cajun Mustard Cream Sauce

Seared Scallops in a Cajun Mustard Cream Sauce
Mardi Gras is quickly approaching and that's the perfect excuse to pull out some New Orleans style recipes and I'm starting out with these seared scallops in a cajun mustard cream sauce! The best way to enjoy scallops is often quite simply, seared and in a light sauce so that you can really enjoy the scallops and this is a nice way to do just that. The scallops are seasoned with a cajun seasoning and seared or blackened in a pan over medium-high heat until lightly golden brown on the outside and yet still nice and moist and tender on the inside. Once seared the scallops are set aside and a simple mustard and cream pan sauce is made to serve on top of the scallops. These seared scallops in a cajun mustard cream sauce are perfect as an appetizer/starter or as a light meal, especially during Mardi Gras!

Pizza Stuffed Chicken

Pizza Stuffed Chicken
Pizza is one of my favourite foods and it's always fun to try to find new ways to enjoy the flavours, with this pizza stuffed chicken being what I'm currently obsessed with! I basically just take all of the toppings that I would have placed on the pizza, including the sauce, cheese and other goodies, and sprinkle them onto a chicken breast before rolling them up. The rolled up chicken is then fried in a pan until lightly golden brown on the outside before being smothered in even more pizza sauce, covered in cheese and more toppings to bake in the oven making the whole pan look like one large pizza coming out of the oven! You can enjoy this pizza stuffed chicken all by itself or on top of pasta, rice, potato wedges, waffles, etc. For these pizza stuffed chicken breasts I went with pepperoni, green pepper, onion and olives for the toppings but you can use your favourite pizza toppings!

Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potatoes

Slow Cooker Loaded Baked Potatoes
Today I have some baked potatoes for you, but not regular baked potatoes, super easy, no mess slow cooker baked potatoes. Baked potatoes are pretty easy to make in the oven but sometimes you don't have access to an oven or your oven is too full of other things, or you just don't want to have your oven on and the slow cooker is the perfect alternative way of baking them. You pretty much just need to scrub the potatoes, add a bit of oil, salt and pepper, wrap in foil and cook in the slow cooker! That's less than 5 minutes of effort and some no attention required slow cooker time and you have great baked potatoes every time! I like to make a meal out of them by topping them with cheddar cheese, sour cream, bacon and chives!

Slow Braised Beef Stroganoff Soup

Slow Braised Beef Stroganoff Soup
With the cooler days I have been enjoying a lot of soups and the one that I have been crushing on recently is this slow braised beef stroganoff soup! This soup was inspired by the flavours of beef stroganoff with the beef in a paprika and sour cream broth along with egg noodles! Instead of going for a quicker stir-fried beef version I like a slow braised beef one that takes nice big chunks of stewing beef and slowly simmers it until it's melt in your mouth tender; pure comfort food in a bowl! This recipe starts by browning the beef to build the flavour, followed by cooking the onions and mushrooms until they start caramelizing, which continues the flavour train! Next up we have some garlic, and thyme and one of the primary ingredients, the paprika which when combined with the sour cream, forms the base flavour for the broth. The flavours just keep getting better with the addition of dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce, a hit of fish sauce and a personal favourite, dill. After the soup braises for a few hours, and all of the flavours have had a chance to come out and mingle and the beef tenderizes, it's time to add the egg noodles to cook before adding the sour cream and enjoying! After writing this I can't wait to curl up in a comfy chair with a nice big bowl of this slow braised pot roast beef stroganoff soup tonight!

Dark Chocolate Lava Cakes

Dark Chocolate Lava Cakes
After I made the raspberry white chocolate lava cakes I could not help but make the dark chocolate version, I mean chocolate cake is a classic for a good reason! This recipe is super easy with only 5 ingredients, starting with a bar of dark chocolate and continuing with butter, sugar, flour and eggs! You pretty much just melt the chocolate into the butter, mix in the remaining ingredients, pour into ramekins and bake! It's that easy! Impress that someone special in your life this Valentine's, or any other occasion that you want to be extraordinary, with these dark chocolate lava cakes!

Raspberry White Chocolate Lava Cakes

Raspberry White Chocolate Lava Cakes
Today I have a recipe for raspberry white chocolate lava cakes to share with you for Valentine's Day, or any other special occasion, even "just because"! This cake has a nice, light and fluffy outside and the centre is filled with melted/molten raspberry white chocolate that just gushes out when you cut into it! You might think that this would be a complex recipe but it's actually super easy with only one batter that bakes into the cake with the solid outside and liquid inside! The base of this cake is white chocolate, butter, sugar, eggs and a bit of flour along with raspberries! The baking time is the magic here, where you bake it until the outside has baked into a solid cake but the inside is still liquid. It's actually pretty easy to time it perfectly, you want to bake it until the edges look baked, lightly golden brown and the middle of the top looks like it's still a little moist and it still jiggles a bit. You want to serve it soon after pulling it out of the oven so that the middle remaining nice and liquid! Whether you are making these raspberry white chocolate lava cakes for someone special on Valentine's Day or "just because", they are sure to impress and nobody needs to know how easy they are to make!

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy
I always enjoy a nice steak, whether it's a tenderloin steak, a rib eye, a new york, etc. and I also enjoy the classic salisbury steak, aka the hamburger steak which is so quick, easy and cheap to make. The salisbury steak is basically a ground beef patty (aka a burger patty) that is pan fried until crispy on the outside and served like a steak to be eaten with a knife and fork rather than in a bun like a burger. Because the steaks are cooked in a pan it's really nice to make a simple pan sauce to take advantage of all of the brown bits of flavour that are stuck to the bottom of the pan after cooking the patties in it! I like to go with a mushroom and onion style gravy seasoned simply with garlic and thyme and the combo with the beef patties is a fabulous one. Because we are dealing with a ground meat patty here, we have the opportunity to add flavour, both to the patties and to the gravy. I often like to keep it simple and go with the recipe as written but it's also nice to change it up every once in a while. No matter how you go with these salisbury steaks with mushroom gravy, you are sure to enjoy them!

Dark Chocolate Souffle Cheesecake

Dark Chocolate Souffle Cheesecake
Valentines Day is next week and I have been testing some new recipes out! Not too long ago a shop (Uncle Tetsu) opened up in town (Toronto) that makes Japanese souffle cheesecakes and there were lineups around the block for months after it opened! Eventually I got around to trying it out and they were good, and that meant one thing, that I would have to try making my own! I usually enjoy a nice creamy New York style cheesecake which are normally pretty heavy or dense where as these Japanese style cheesecakes are nice and light and fluffy while still having that amazing cheesecake flavour. Given that Valentine's Day was approaching I thought that it was the perfect time to start working on my Japanese souffle style cheese cake, aka cotton cheesecake, and of course it would have to be chocolate!

I tried a number of different recipes and I settled on this one which is super easy to make, containing just 4 ingredients, and takes less than an hour to whip up! You start out by melting some dark chocolate into the cream cheese which is nice because melting them together helps ensure both that the chocolate does not burn and that there are no lumps of cream cheese, because no-one like lumps in their cheesecake! The egg yolks and sugar are then mixed into the chocolate and cream cheese mixture. The next part is what makes this cheese cake souffle like and adds that nice lightness and fluffiness, the egg whites are beaten into stiff peaks and gently folded into the batter. (A new York style cheesecake differs in that there is more cream cheese, less eggs and the egg whites are not beaten which give it it's denser texture.) The batter is then poured into a pan and baked in a water bath during which the cheesecake will puff up even further only to collapse a bit as it cools. The final result is a light and airy Japanese souffle style cheesecake (cotton cheesecake) that simply melts in your mouth! This dark chocolate version is decadently delicious and perfect for your chocolate indulgence!

Slow Cooker Roast Beef Philly Cheesesteak French Dip Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Slow Cooker Roast Beef Philly Cheesesteak French Dip Grilled Cheese Sandwich
I recently made some slow cooker roast beef and I could not help but think that the leftovers would make amazing sandwiches, especially for enjoying while watching the football playoffs this weekend! Roast beef can be used in so many different kinds of sandwiches (See below the recipe for links!) and this time I just could not decide which one to make so I made one sandwich that combines them all! One sandwich to rule them all! This roast beef sandwich combines the basic roast beef sandwich, the french dip sandwich the grilled cheese sandwich and even the Philly cheesesteak style sandwich all in one! You basically take the roast beef and combine it with sauteed onions and peppers, along with plenty of cheese, stuff all between two slices of buttered bread and grill it up so that it's nice and lightly golden brown, crispy and good and the cheese has melted! The sandwich is then served with some of the juices (au jus) from the roast for dipping the sandwich into! Yum! This mouthful of a slow cooker roast beef philly cheesesteak french dip grilled cheese sandwich is sure to satisfy your hunger and set your tastebuds alight!

Meatball Parmesan Dip

Meatball Parmesan Dip
I always enjoy a nice Italian style "parmesan" dish where the meat (or veggie) is served in a marinara sauce, topped with mozzarella and parmesan and baked until the cheese is all nice and melted and good! The other day I was thinking why not make it as a dip to enjoy while watching football this weekend? I figured that meatballs would be the perfect way to go since they are already bite sized and they certainly only get better when you top them with sauce and cheese! This meatball parmesan dip is basically some simple, and tasty, homemade meatballs, in a marinara sauce topped with cheese that is baked until the cheese has melted and then it's enjoyed by scooping it up with crostini! Yum!