Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Gary's favourite...cheddar onion chive biscuits!

Gary and I have something in common...again! Besides his wife and one of my best friends Devon, he loves my cheddar onion chive biscuits and so do I.  This is the recipe just in case you want to join us for the best biscuits ever!  Thanks Gary and Devon for sharing. 

Stay safe out there!

Gary loves to bake these biscuits

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Carla's one pot beef stew

serves 6-8

This recipe is Carla's go-to beef stew recipe which is so easy to put together and so delicious. The fact that nothing has to be pre-cooked is amazing and the result is a very tasty stew for family or friends. This can also be put together the day before and refrigerated. No need to dirty other dishes as this can be mixed right in the pot you are cooking it in.

Pre heat oven to 350°. Top rack will be placed in the middle of the oven.

In a large dutch oven or stainless steel pot (with tight fitting lids) add beef chunks, salt & pepper, tomato paste, flour and vinegar. Stir well. 

Prepare the vegetables by peeling where necessary (no need to peel the yellow potatoes) and cutting into the same size of chunks. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the beef chunks and stir well. Place the pot onto the stove top and bring the beef broth up to the boil. 

Open the oven and place your stew pot into the pre heated oven. Cook for 2 hours.

Serve hot with your favorite fresh bread or Yorkshire puddings.

I whipped up a batch of Yorkshire puddings to serve with this stew and it was excellent for sure. Click here to go directly to my recipe for Yorkshire puddings.

1 kg. stewing beef (cut into bite sized chunks)

1/4 cup flour

tomato paste - 1 small can

4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

salt & pepper ground to taste

1 large onion - peeled and chopped 

4 yellow skinned potatoes - washed well but not peeled

4 carrots - peeled

1 small rutabagas - peeled

4  cups beef broth  

6 garlic cloves - peeled and smashed

3 bay leaves

1 tsp. thyme 

Carla in her element in her lovely Campbellford kitchen

turnips (on the left) are white fleshed, rutabagas are yellow fleshed

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Best Ever 'closed oven' Prime Rib Roast Beef

I first learned of this roasting method from friends of mine (Donna and Mike Teasdale) in North Vancouver years ago. It has only been recently that I use this method and it is the best roast beef ever. 

The roasting time depends on the weight of your roast. This cooks the prime rib to a medium rare. If you wish the prime rib to be more well done, leave the roast in the oven at 500° for longer.

So, if you buy a 2 pound roast, you multiply 2X 5 and the roast will stay in the oven at 500° for 10 minutes plus add 5 minutes to make up for opening the oven.  When I am cooking for a crowd I roast my prime rib earlier in the day and slice it when it is cooler and then just before serving I reheat the roast just slightly to serve.

Decide when you want the roast to be ready for carving. If you want dinner served at 6pm, preheat your oven to 500° at 3:20pm (oven rack in the center of the oven). When the oven is ready, place the roast on a shallow roasting pan of your choice and place the roast quickly into the preheated oven at 3:45pm. Close the oven quickly so that the heat doesn't escape. Set your timer for 15 minutes. Roast for 15 minutes at 500° only. Then TURN OFF THE OVEN and allow the roast to remain in a closed, undisturbed oven, for 2 hours. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DURING these  2 HOURS. I often tape the oven shut with a paper reminding myself not to open the oven (this seems a bit picky but you will be surprised how many times I go to check on my roast). The paper reminder is also a warning to guest who may want to peek too. After the 2 hours remove the roast and carve the roast to serve. My family and friends are always thrilled to have Yorkshire puddings with this perfectly cooked roast. Please click here to go directly to my recipe for my Mom's Yorkshire puddings.

I hope you enjoy this easy recipe, because every time I am serving roast beef I use this fail-proof method.  

Rub for the prime rib:

1/4 cup soft butter

1/8 cup olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

2 tbsp. dried herbs of choice (I like to have rosemary, oregano, herb de Provence, Italian seasoning ) or any combination you choose.

Allow the prime rib roast to sit at room temperature for 4 hours. Dry off the roast with a paper towel and 

1 hour before roasting time rub the butter/oil/herb mixture on all surfaces of the roast to marinate. 

A good example of this recipe can be viewed on Chef John's post as well on and is the very good  explanation of how to do a perfectly roasted prime rib.

Marinating the roast for 1 hour before roasting

This is a 2 lb. roast which is perfect for 3-4 people who are not big eaters. Dry off the
 roast with paper towel and allow it to come to room temperature for 4 hours before roasting.

perfectly cooked medium rare

the 'Aunties' with my daughter in Ottawa 

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Is it 'pumpkin pie' time soon?

I think it is and if you are in the mood here is the link to the best pumpkin pie filling and my Mom's pastry recipe. (clink here to go to the recipe)  The recipe linked here is for a non-dairy substitute but I simply used milk instead and I doubled this recipe to get two delicious pies that you see below. Hope you enjoy!

Huh...I wonder who will be eating these beauties? 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Spanakopita - Devon's Style

This dish is as old as time and has been made millions of ways and millions of times but this recipe is simple, delicious and has a special twist to it. Generally, spanakopita is primarily made with spinach but because Devon is such a Chard or Swiss chard* fan we tried this recipe using mostly Swiss chard and 1/4 of the filling we used fresh spinach. The results were amazing so please enjoy this culinary journey with us. 

 3 tbsp. olive oil 
3 tbsp. butter
1 large onion - diced small
4 garlic cloves - diced very small
1 cup fresh parsley (pack the parsley in tight to make the 1 cup)
1/2 cup of fresh dill - de veined and chopped 
salt & pepper to taste
2 large bunches of Swiss chard
1 package of washed & trimmed spinach (approx. 284 grams or a little bit less)

2 large eggs
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/4 cup feta cheese - crumbled into tiny chunks

1/2 package of phyllo pastry/dough ( warning here!!!  thaw the phyllo dough in fridge or on the counter. Do not open the plastic wrap that it comes in until your filling is ready and cooled as the dough dries out very quickly.  Be prepared with a damp, clean tea towel to lay across the phyllo dough once opened. The dough will dry out very quickly and become unusable as you are assembling the spanakopita.

1/2 cup olive oil & 1/4 cup melted butter to brush onto the phyllo pastry

1 glass baking dish (please see photo below)


Sauté onions and garlic in 3 tbsp. olive oil and butter until onions are transparent. Remove from the heat. 

To prepare the Swiss chard it is important to remove the steam from the leaves and there are several ways to do this effectively. For this recipe I gently tore the green leaves away from the center stems. At this point I have a large bowl in the sink filled with cold, clean water and I immerse each leaf deep into the clean water. This is the cleaning stage and it is very important. The leaves stay immersed while you trim all of the Swiss chard.
After all leaves are rinsed of dirt or debris, transfer to a salad spinner or onto a clean tea towel to remove most of the excess moisture.
At this point I place the leaves onto a large cutting board and chop into small pieces so they can be cooked.
Rinse and trim the dill and parsley as well. Chop also into small pieces.

Meanwhile, continue the food prep by adding together 2 eggs, ricotta cheese, feta cheese in a large mixing bowl.  Mix well and set aside.

Add chopped Swiss chard and spinach to the cooked onions on low heat on the stove.  Stir well to ensure all the leaves are coated with the onion, garlic, oil and butter.
Add the egg mixture to the chard mixture and continue to mix well until well incorporated.

Open the phyllo dough to it's full length and immediately cover with a damp tea towel...not wet but just damp. This will help to prevent the dough from drying out.

Lay one sheet of phyllo dough in prepared baking pan (sprayed with baking spray), (cover dough with the damp tea towel each time your remove one sheet) and brush lightly with olive oil & butter. Lay another sheet of phyllo dough on top but turn the dough so it runs the other way. Brush again with the oil/butter mixture.  Repeat this process by adding two more sheets of phyllo. Not to worry because the sheets will be bigger than the baking dish and will overlap the pan. Spoon all of the Swiss chard/spinach mixture onto the sheets of phyllo in the baking dish. Be careful not to tear the phyllo when you are spreading it out. To finish this off, repeat the dough process again by laying down four more sheets of phyllo dough, one at a time, on top of the chard mixture, brushing each sheet with oil/butter. Finally,  fold over all of the overhanging dough onto the top of the filling to seal your spanakopita. Brush again with oil/butter. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 375° until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve hot.

Cut up into portions needed for dinner and serve with Tzatziki.  I will be publishing a great recipe for Tzatziki soon. Please stay tuned.
I hope you enjoy!
Stay safe out there everyone!
My friend Devon of

Swiss Chard 

Feta Cheese, eggs & Ricotta Cheese

*Chard or Swiss chard is a green leafy vegetable. The leaf stalks are large and often prepared separately from the leaf bladeThe leaf blade can be green or reddish in color.

Monday, September 6, 2021

The best baked beans ever

Cole and Christine Pantages have the best recipe for curried beans. I am using their recipe but changing it slightly so I can bake the beans in a slow cooker or in the oven.

1 large onion - small diced,
6 slices bacon - diced and sautéd with onion
2 large cans (14 ounces each) brown beans 
1 can of black beans - rinse well first 1 can of red kidney beans - rinse well first 
1 tin of diced tomatoes 
1/2 c. molasses 
1/8 c. vinegar - I am using cider vinegar today but any type of vinegar will do 
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard ( if you don't have dijon not to worry, use regular mustard) lots of curry powder, as much as you want (I am using 1/8 of a cup today) 
2 teaspoons ground cumin 
1 tablespoon chilli powder 
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 
¼ teaspoon dried oregano  
4 green onions - chopped (optional for a garnish but not necessary) 

 Cut up bacon into small pieces and sauté the bacon and chopped onions until the onions are transparent. Drain cans of beans and rinse well with cold water. Add rinsed and drained beans to a slow cooker as well as the the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Turn slow cooker onto low and set for 4 hours. Stir once at the 2 hour mark. If using the oven preheat the oven to 325°F and bake for 2 hours.

Thanks Kiki & Cole for a great recipe.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Almost Fall Salad Dressing for Auntie Andrea

40 ml         champagne vinegar ( honestly, if I didn't have champagne vinegar I would use apple cider, or vinegar you may have available

1/3 cup       evoo. (extra virgin olive oil)

1 tsp.          dijon mustard

3 tbsp.        maple syrup

2 tsp.          red pepper pot jelly 

salt & pepper to taste

In a small jar or a designated salad dressing container add all the above ingredients together.

Shake well and store in the fridge when not being used to dress your salad.

Enjoy and please stay safe out there.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Roasted Spatchcock Chicken, Auntie Andrea style

Auntie Andrea served up a delicious herb roasted chicken that was easy to prepare and very delicious for a great chicken dinner. She uses a technique called 'Spatchcock Chicken'. This is a technique that allows you roast the chicken flat for a more even roasting.  Please click here to see a great video from Chef John on how to spatchcock a chicken.

Andrea's secret is a recipe she borrowed from Donna Hay "the instant cook" cookbook. The author uses a combination of  herbs, lemons, garlic and olive oil and the results are fantastic.

When I roast chicken I use a probe thermometer so that I know exactly when the chicken is done. The internal temperature must be a minimum of 165° to be safe to eat and is still tender and juicy. Once the chicken reaches this internal temp remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

oven safe probe meat thermometer


1 lemon - sliced

fresh thyme - 10 sprigs 

fresh rosemary - lots

1/2 cup olive oil

6-10 cloves of garlic - peeling not necessary.

salt & pepper to taste

Rub the olive oil all over the chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper and sprinkle with herbs.  Add garlic to the pan and roast at 400° for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350° and continue to cook until the probe thermometer reads 165°.

Serve with steamed vegetables of choice.

Enjoy and please stay safe out there.


Spatchcock chicken

Auntie Andrea in her kitchen