Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Halloween!!

video
                                                         Pie Monster

I have a video for you today that my oldest son put together for us. I was trying to do 10 things at once one day and also decided to bake a pie. This is what I created...perfect for Halloween don't you think?  :P

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fried Salted Cod with Skordalia (Garlic Sauce)

Fried Salted Cod
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It

Fried Salted Cod

I cut the salted cod into smaller pieces and put into a pot and fill with water. The cod needs to soak for at least a couple of days and the water needs to be changed twice a day. If the cod is really thick then I would suggest one more day of soaking.

After soaking the cod for a couple of days, it is ready to fry. I like to use blending flour and I mix in some black pepper and paprika. Coat the cod with the flour mixture and fry in olive oil until golden brown. I fry the thicker pieces first and the thinnest pieces last. Serve with skordalia (garlic sauce).



Skordalia
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It

Skordalia (Garlic Sauce)

4 cloves of garlic, grated (use more or less to suit taste)
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white vinegar
6 slices of white bread with the edges trimmed, softened (you can substitute 3 or 4 boiled potatoes, mashed, for the bread)
Salt and pepper to taste.

Place 3/4 cups of the olive oil in the blender and add the garlic and vinegar, mix and then add the bread in pieces that you have softened with water and squeezed out the excess. Mix again and slowly add the rest of the olive oil while mixing. I usually serve this with fish, pickled beets, eggplant, or 
fried zucchini.


Pickled Beets
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It

Pickled Beets

These beets were from our garden last year. We love our beets pickled. Our 'syrup' consists of :

3 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
3 cups of brown sugar

For every 6 quart basket of beets.


Fried Eggplant
                                                                                        Pic by Christine It

Fried Eggplant

So simple and so good! I cut the unpeeled eggplant lengthwise in about 1/2 inch slices, place it in a colander and sprinkle with salt on both sides. I let this sit for about 20 minutes, rinse off the eggplant, and then dry it on a paper towel. I will then fry the eggplant in a mixture of olive oil and vegetable oil until browned on both sides and serve it with the Skordalia. Tip: tilt the dish that you are placing the eggplant in after frying so that some of the oil drains from the eggplant before serving. 

Fried Zucchini
                                                                                          Pic by Christine It      

Fried Zucchini 

I cut the unpeeled zucchini lengthwise in about 1/2 inch slices and fry it up in a mixture of olive oil and vegetable oil until browned on both sides and serve it with the Skordalia. Don't forget to tilt the dish that you are placing the zucchini in after frying so that some of the oil drains from the zucchini before serving. 




Plate It
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It


Leftover Fried Salted Cod in Tomato Sauce
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It

Leftover Fried Salted Cod in Tomato Sauce

In a frying pan, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until softened. Add in the leftover fried salted cod. Spoon your favourite tomato sauce on top of the cod and let simmer covered until cod is heated through. Serve on top of rice or pasta.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Roast Leg of Lamb and Potatoes (Greek Style)**


                                                                                            Pic by Christine It

For the lamb:
4 lb leg of lamb

3 cloves of garlic
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp pepper 
1 tbsp. salt 
Oregano
2 tbsp. butter
Olive oil

For the potatoes:
For this photo I had used white potatoes and sweet potatoes. The amount will depend upon the size of your pan. In a large bowl, coat the potatoes with olive oil, lemon, salt and oregano. Set aside.

Preheat oven to broil. Place lamb into large roasting pan. Peel and cut each piece of garlic into two pieces. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and insert into leg of lamb, making slits with the point of a sharp knife. Rub the lamb with all of the lemon juice, sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano. Place butter in the hollow of the leg. Drizzle the olive oil over top of the lamb. Bake in oven on middle rack on broil turning once until both sides are nicely browned. Take pan out of oven, reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Place the coated potatoes around the lamb in the pan and add 1 cup of water and drizzle more olive oil onto the potatoes. Cover the pan with lid or foil and place in oven on middle rack to bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, turning the meat over once during baking and at that time check to see if more water is needed. I usually serve this with Greek salad or broccoli.

VARIATION: Prepare the lamb as stated above and place the lamb on a rack, in a baking pan, putting the skin side down. Put 1 cup of water into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees, reduce the heat to 350 and bake for 2 or 2 1/2 hours, turning the meat once during the baking, add a little water from time to time. Test for doneness. This can be served with rice and Greek salad.


                                                                             Pic by Christine It



                                                                                           Pic by Christine It

**Recipe written is from Louis Pappas' Famous Greek Recipes Booklet. My mom used to make it the same way. :D


Saturday, October 25, 2014

CHILI CON CARNE

                                                                                Pic/Recipe by Christine It

4 lbs ground beef
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green sweet pepper, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes (540ml)
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red chili pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 cups cooked red kidney beans (4 cans 540ml)
1 can (398ml) tomato sauce

1. In large non stick skillet ( I use a big pot) over medium heat, cook ground beef, stirring frequently for 10 minutes. Drain the fat. Add onions, celery, garlic and green pepper: cook for 15 minutes longer or until onion is translucent.

2. Stir in tomatoes, chili powder, cocoa, cumin, salt, red chili pepper and cinnamon. Cook for 5 minutes for flavours to mingle.

3. Stir in beans, then tomato sauce.

4. Simmer, covered, for about 1 hour.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

                                                                                Pic/Recipe by Christine It

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup buttermilk (1 tbsp vinegar in measuring cup and then add milk to make 1 cup)
1/4 lb butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

Brown sugar to sprinkle on top

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and butter. Make a well in dry ingredients and pour in liquid ingredients. Do not over mix. Fold in berries. Spoon batter into lined muffin cups, sprinkle brown sugar on top and bake until golden. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. This recipe makes 12 jumbo blueberry muffins.

Tonight's Dinner--Ribs, French Fries, and Corn

Tonight's Dinner was Ribs, French Fries, and Corn.  Everyone was really hungry tonight and wouldn't wait to let me take a picture of their plates.  What about my plate, you ask? I couldn't wait either.  :P   

Oven Baked Ribs
Pork Ribs with Diana Sauce (Gourmet Rib and Chicken BBQ Sauce)

Cut the ribs to have two or three bones in each piece and place them in a large pot. Fill the pot with water to cover the ribs and boil the ribs for approximately 45 to 60 minutes until tender, while skimming off the foam that arises. Once the ribs are tender, drain the water and put the lid on the pot and let the ribs sit for one hour.
Then place the boiled ribs in a large foil lined pan meat side down and brush Diana Sauce (or your favourite BBQ sauce), over top and bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. After 30 minutes turn the ribs over and brush the rest of the BBQ sauce over top and cook for another 50 minutes. So good and the meat is so tender. 

Instead of baking in oven..try the BBQ! So good!

Farm Fresh Corn
                                                                        
This is corn from our farmer friends. I boiled the cobs for a few minutes. Cut the kernels off, let them dry a bit and then saved them with our food saver. Tastes so fresh!!

#Ribs #DianaSauce #Pork #BBQ 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Chicken Rice Soup

                                                                                 Pic/Recipe by Christine It

1 whole chicken

Carrots
Onion
Celery
2 tbsp Olive oil

4 vegetable cubes dissolved into 6 cups of boiled water

1 cup of uncooked rice

Salt
Parsley

I put the whole chicken in a large tall pot and added water until it was about two inches below the rim of the pot. Once the water was boiling, I reduced the heat and simmered the chicken for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the meat pulled away from the bone. I then removed the chicken from the pot and spread it out into a shallow dish to cool and strained the broth into a large bowl. While the chicken was simmering I dissolved the vegetable cubes into 6 cups of boiled water (I used two measuring cups) and set it aside. For this soup I peeled and cut up 5 carrots, chopped up 5 ribs of celery and diced one medium sized onion--the amounts may vary depending on what I have in the fridge and if I want the soup more 'vegetabley' (I know, not a real word). In the large cleaned pot, I poured about 2 tbsp of olive oil and then on medium heat sautéed the carrots, onion and celery for about 2 to 3 minutes stirring continuously. I then added the vegetable cube broth and the strained broth of the boiled chicken and give it a little stir. I set this to simmer while I separated the meat from the bones and cut the chicken into smaller pieces for the soup. Once I had the chicken cut up I put it into the pot with the vegetable/broth mixture. At this time I did a taste test and then added some salt and parsley. My vegetable cubes have some seasonings added to them so I didn't have to add too much more. I then added in 1 cup of rice. I simmered the soup until the rice was cooked. This recipe takes awhile but it is so worth the work/wait.

Cream of Broccoli Soup

                                                                                 Pic/Recipe by Christine It

Ingredients
6 tbsp butter, divided
1 large onion, chopped
2 leeks, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups fresh broccoli florets and chopped stems
6 cups vegetable broth (I use organic vegetable cubes, 1 cube for every two cups of boiled water)
3 cups 10% cream
4 tbsp flour

Directions
1. In a large pot, melt 2 tbsp of the butter over medium heat and saute the onion, leek, and garlic until the onion is soft.
2. Add the broccoli and vegetable broth. Simmer uncovered until the broccoli is just soft enough to puree. Puree the broccoli/broth mixture.
3. In another pot, melt the remaining 4 tbsp butter over medium low heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Add the cream. Pour it slowly, whisking constantly. Simmer until it thickens, whisking often.
4. Pour the cream mixture into the broccoli puree. Stir until it is well blended. 


Broccoli Soup without the cream
#Broccoli #Soup #Cream

Simple Butternut Squash Soup

                                                                                 Pic/Recipe by Christine It


1 butternut squash peeled and cut into cubes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely chopped
6 cups vegetable broth ( I use organic vegetable cubes, 1 cube for every two cups of boiled water)
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped

1/8 tsp nutmeg

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, warm olive oil with butter. When butter melts, add onion and saute 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the prepared broth, carrots and sweet potato. Simmer until the vegetables start to soften. Then add the squash and simmer until everything is cooked. Puree soup with an immersion blender or food processor. Stir in nutmeg.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

                                                                                 Pic/Recipe by Christine It

2 tablespoons butter
4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms, any kind (I used mini bella mushrooms)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

2 cups vegetable broth (1 organic vegetable cube dissolved in 2 cups boiled water)

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup half and half

1 tablespoon apple juice

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan, saute onions, garlic and mushrooms. Stirring constantly, add salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Add the 2 cups of vegetable broth and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes until mushrooms are tender. Puree the mixture (I use an immersion blender but a regular blender can be used), leaving some chunks of mushrooms in it. Set aside.

In another saucepan, melt the 3 tablespoons of butter, whisk in the 3 tablespoons of flour 1 tablespoon at a time until smooth. Add the half and half and whisk until thickened. Add this to the mushroom puree. Stir well and then add the apple juice.

Lentil Soup

Red Lentils


2 cups dried lentils (brown, green or red) **
8 cups water
2 tsp salt
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp oregano
olive oil

First look through the lentils to check for small pebbles. Then place in a strainer and rinse them thoroughly under cold water. Place the lentils in a pot with all the ingredients except for the olive oil. Bring to boil. Turn down the heat to simmer, add the olive oil (one or two turns around the pot is good). Partially cover and simmer for approximately 45 minutes (may need more or less time depending on which type of lentils you are using--brown and red are about 30 minutes), stirring occasionally. 


*Some people prefer to soak the lentils overnight in water before using them in the soup.

**Another option is that lentils may be boiled for about 15 minutes and drained before using them to make the soup.

#lentil #soup

Simple Turkey Ball Soup

Turkey Ball Soup
                                                                               

1 Onion, diced
3 Carrots, diced
2 Celery, diced
Olive oil

3 Vegetable cubes (6 cups boiled water)

Cooked turkey, chopped

Soup noodles (about two handfuls depending on how thick you want your soup to be). We like the little 'pasta balls'. (acini de pepe) 


In a large pot, saute onions, carrots and celery in olive oil until onions soften. Dissolve the vegetable cubes into the 6 cups of boiled water and add this to the pot with the onion mixture. Add the cooked turkey. Once the carrots can be pierced with a fork, add the soup noodles and cook to desired tenderness.

VARIATION: You can also make this soup with cooked chicken and add rice. (Add the rice to the pot the same time as the cooked chicken or turkey.) Sometimes I will add a diced potato to the onion mixture. 



Chicken Rice Soup with Chicken Wings, Broccoli, and Cucumber/Avocado

Chicken Ball Soup
Turkey Rice Soup 
#leftovers #turkey #chicken #rice #soup 

Cucumber/Avocado Salad

Cucumber/Avocado Salad 
Cucumbers, avocado, red onion (or chives), olive oil, salt and oregano. Simple and yummy!

Creamy Yummyness

With chives from our garden.

#Avocado #Cucumber #Salad 

Caesar Salad Dressing

                                                                                            Pic by Christine It

Original Recipe Hellmann's, and then Christine It version.

Romaine Lettuce
Parmesan Cheese to sprinkle on top
Caesar Salad Dressing*
Optional: Bacon and Croutons

*Caesar Salad Dressing

http://www.hellmanns.com/recipes/detail/42471/1/easy-caesar-dressing



My version of Hellmann's Caesar Salad Dressing

1 cup Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise
1/4 cup or more grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 anchovy fillets, crushed
1/4 tsp pepper

#Caesar #Dressing #Salad #Hellmanns

Christine It Tuna Salad

                                                                                 Pic/Recipe by Christine It
  
This is one of my favourite meals. Tuna mixed with sweet peppers, red onion and Hellmann's mayonnaise set on top of a bed of head lettuce (can use romaine), tomatoes, and cucumber. Top with pimento stuffed green olives and sprinkle with salt and oregano. So good!

#Tuna #Salad #Hellmann's

Club House Greek Salad

                                                                                 Pic/Recipe by Christine It


Cleaning the fridge out of the leftovers doesn't have to be a bad thing. This salad consists of left over Greek salad topped with turkey (from my MIL), bacon (breakfast a few days ago) and some sliced tomatoes (the other half of the tomato that I had used for yesterday's breakfast) sprinkled with some salt and oregano. I wrapped up the turkey and bacon in foil and warmed them up in the toaster oven--I still don't know how there was left over bacon but I'm not complaining. lol There you have it people, Club House Greek Salad.

Tomato Potato Salad

                                                                                 Pic/Recipe by Christine It

Say that three times fast. Peel potatoes and boil to desired tenderness (I like them not too mushy), drain, and set aside. Cut up the tomatoes and put them into a large bowl. Add the warm potatoes, olive oil, salt and oregano. Stir it up. Sprinkle some feta and chives on top. (Usually I use red onion but I ran out so I put chives today). Love it!

Tomato Salad

                                                                                 Pic/Recipe by Christine It

Tomatoes (in this photo I used different types of tomatoes from our garden)
Red Onion
Feta Cheese
Black Kalamata Olives
Olive oil
Salt
Oregano

Cut up the tomatoes and onion, drizzle olive oil on top. Add salt and oregano. Stir it up and taste test Add feta and olives and give another stir. Serve with fresh bread to dip into the salad. The combination of the bread with the feta and olive oil...So good!

Tuna Salad Salad with Beets

                                                                                 Pic/Recipe by Christine It

Tuna salad made with yellow peppers, red onion, and Hellmann's Mayonnaise on top of head lettuce, cucumbers, and pickled beets that we made with the beets from our garden. Yummy!

#Tuna #Salad #Beets #Hellmann's

Beef Teriyaki

                                                                       Pic/Recipe by Christine It

Beef Teriyaki Stir Fry
(Great recipe for leftover roast beef, can also use cooked chicken or pork)

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
Leftover roast cut up into bite sized pieces
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup sliced butternut squash
1 cup small broccoli florets
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce*
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

Start by preparing and cutting all the vegetables and measuring your ingredients so that they are ready to go. In a wok or large skillet, heat olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add the peppers and onion while stirring constantly. While continuing to stir, add the squash, broccoli, garlic, cooked beef and teriyaki sauce. Cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add the pepper and salt and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes more.

Serve over rice.

*Teriyaki Sauce

Ingredients
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 -2 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
Directions
Mix all but cornstarch and 1/4c water in a sauce pan and begin heating.
Mix cornstarch and cold water in a cup and dissolve. Add to sauce in pan.
Heat until sauce thickens to desired thickness.



Pork Teriyaki made with leftover Pork Roast
Leftover Beef Teriyaki with leftover Mashed Potato

#Beef #Pork #Teriyaki #StirFry

Tonight's Dinner--Crock Pot Chicken, Mashed Potato and Gravy, and Squash.

                                                                                 Pic/Recipe by Christine It

Tonight's dinner. Crock Pot Chicken, Mashed Potato and Gravy, and Squash. Talk about comfort food! So good. I made the gravy from the juices in the crock pot that I added to a roux of flour and butter. What's on your plate? 

Crock Pot Chicken 

                                                                                Pic/Recipe by Christine It

Add salt, pepper, oregano, chicken spice, garlic powder, dry mustard and paprika to the chicken, drizzle a little olive oil on top, add 1/4 cup of water and cook on high for 6 to 6 1/2 hours depending on the size of the chicken(s). I usually turn the chicken over about half way through. 

Squash

                                                                            Pic/Recipe by Christine It

Boil the squash in salted water to desired tenderness. Drain. Serve with butter and a little salt. Simple but good.  :D

Crock Pot Chicken

                                                                                Pic/Recipe by Christine It

Add salt, pepper, oregano, chicken spice, garlic powder, dry mustard and paprika to the chicken, drizzle a little olive oil on top, add 1/4 cup of water and cook on high for 6 to 6 1/2 hours depending on the size of the chicken(s). I usually turn the chicken over about half way through. Don't they look cozy?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Greek Rotisserie Chicken

                                                                                 Pic/Recipe by Christine It

 

2 whole chickens, each about 3 to 4 pounds, trussed
Salt
Pepper

For the basting mixture, whisk together:
1 cup of olive oil
1 1/2 lemons, juiced
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tbsp Greek seasoning (I used Club House brand)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

To prepare the chicken make sure you remove any giblets and trim any excess skin. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Hubby likes to pour some of the basting mixture inside the chicken as well. Place the chicken onto the rotisserie spit.
Once you have placed your chickens onto your preheated grill, brush your basting mixture over them. We like to baste every 15 minutes for about 1 to 1/2 hours. Check for doneness with thermometer. Let them sit for 10 minutes before serving. 

No rotisserie, no problem!  BBQ Greek Chicken Breast.



#Greek, #Rotisserie, #Chicken

Tonight's Dinner--Double Pepperoni Pizza and Greek Salad

 

                                                                                 Pic/Recipe by Christine It

Tonight's dinner. Double Pepperoni Pizza and Greek Salad. Did I mention I love my bread maker? I put a layer of pepperoni under the cheese and one layer on top. Today I used Hunts Thick and Rich 4 Cheese tomato sauce and Black Diamond mozzarella cheese. Very YUM!