Saturday, December 19, 2009

Family Recipes

Next Christmas, I'd like to give my kids each a collection of our family's favorite recipes. Any suggestions? I'd rather do a binder or book than a recipe card file, I think.

Anyone else done something like this?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Comfort

Every year I drag down my old Burgundy coloured plastic folder and look for a yellowed sheet of paper that holds my favourite seasonal recipe.
A French Canadian friend of mine taught me to make this years ago and never a Christmas season passes without at least one Tourtiere emerging from my very busy oven!

Simple to make...
and very easy to eat. It is traditionally a part of Christmas Eve revellion in Quebec and sometimes also New Years Eve.....and it is a part of French Canadian food culture that I love - along with the very tasty and equally simple Poutine!

You will need to make yourself a double pie crust....use your favourite recipe, I use only butter pastry now, having acquired a preference for that after living in Europe.

The filling is as follows:
2lbs ground beef and ground pork mixed
3 cups water
1 white onions chopped (small, small dice)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp. sage
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves (I always add a little extra spice)
garlic and savoury are optional (I never use them)

Bring this to a boil and simmer for 20 mins. then drain it and cool (covered) for about 30 - 40 mins.

At this point I always add a small amount of mashed potatoes (no butter or cream added to them) just to bind the meat. I fill my pie crust very very full, and top it off, crinkling the edges. I give it an egg and cream brush and bake @ 450 for ten mins and then for another half hour @350.

Some people add other mushrooms - but not the purists that I know!
It can be eaten hot along with the rest of your favourite festive foods, or just cold with ketchup...can you believe it, but the cold ketchup way is my favourite!!


Belgian Waffles

Makes 4 Waffles

For this classic waffle, you need a Belgian waffle maker. I picked one up a garage sale (from Maria Stahl) years ago for five dollars. Whether you make Belgian or basic waffles, they are well worth the effort ... and using fresh ingredients minus all of the junk preservatives and additives boxed mixes add makes for a healthier choice.


4 eggs, separated 1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted 1 cup milk

Using a stand mixer (or hand held) add the egg whites to clean large mixing bowl and beat until stiff. Transfer to another bowl. In same mixing bowl add egg yolks ... beat until very light. Add vanilla and butter. Combine flour and salt and add with milk to egg yolk mixture. Beat well. Gently fold in egg whites by hand. Bake in a Belgian waffle iron that has a light coat of cooking spray or oil.

Optional: sprinkle a small handful of fresh or frozen blueberries, huckleberries, or your favorite small berry on top of the freshly poured batter before closing iron lid. Bake according to your irons settings and instructions.

Serve with fresh maple syrup or homemade 'maple' flavored syrup found here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Good for you muffins

Apple Cinnamon Oat Bran Muffins - from Women's Health Magazine

1/2 c oat bran
1 c whole-wheat flour
1/4 c ground flaxseed
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
4 Tbsp canola oil
1/3 c applesauce
1 shredded apple
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together bran, flour, flaxseed, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and oil until smooth. Stir in applesauce, shredded apple, and sugar. Combine mixtures and fold in pecans.

4. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin cups. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool the apple muffins a wire rack.

Makes 12. Per muffin: 147 cal, 9 g fat (1 g sat), 163 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 3 g protein

Thursday, December 03, 2009