Thursday, 27 November 2014

World's best chicken dipping sauce

Ok, world's best might be stretching it a bit, though this is darn good sauce. We are having roast chicken for dinner and I came across a recipe for a dipping sauce. My darling husband mentioned he would love some sauce with dinner so a challenge was born, make a super awesome sauce comparable to a Canadian chicken chain. I googled and googled some more, found a recipe that looked good except I didn't want to make it on the stove and it was missing a little something. I added my magic touch, documented cooking times and voila!

World's best chicken dipping sauce "Swiss style"

3 cups water
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
4 drops hot sauce

1 chicken broth cube
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp white sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
1 tsp onion flakes
1 bay leaf
4 tbsp cornstarch

In a large microwave safe measuring cup whisk together wet ingredients.
In a bowl mix together dry ingredients.
Whisk dry mixture into the wet.
Microwave for 12 minutes on high whisking after every 2 minutes.

Note: My microwave is only 700kw, keep an eye on your sauce if your microwave is stronger.

The original unaltered recipe that I used as a starting point is here:

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Shortbread drop cookies

Shortbread drop cookies

1 cup shortening softened 
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup icing sugar 
Vanilla to taste, start with 1 teaspoon
Jam, chocolate chips, raisins, whatever you choose for the middle. 

Whip shortening until fluffy
Add other ingredients
Whip at least 5 minutes until really fluffy.
Roll into tiny 1.5 inch balls, squish slightly leaving a thumb print
Press jam or other fillings in middle
Bake @350F for 12-14 minutes until the texture changes and they look done. 
Cool before indulging.  

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Crockpot Honey Orange Chicken

Adjusting from one child to two is an experience. It is well worth it but combined with volunteer commitments it doesn't leave much time for anything else. I have still been cooking but for the most part haven't been measuring, not the best thing when I want to post a recipe. I'm easing back into posting my recipes again, starting with this adaptation of my most popular recipe; sweet and sour chicken. Let me know in comments how you like it.

Honey Orange chicken

1 diced green pepper
1 diced red pepper
1 can of diced pineapple with juice
1 diced onion
2 inch minced ginger
4 garlic cloves minced
2 large chicken breasts diced
3 tsp Orange zest

1/2 cup honey
3 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar (You can use white if you want the cider is just a nicer flavour)
5 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate

1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup water

Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce.
Place the rest of the ingredients except for the slurry in the crockpot, pour sauce over.
Cook on low for 5 hours.
15 minutes before serving whisk in slurry.
Serve over rice or noodles

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Buying meat in bulk part 2

Now that you know how much meat you need you need to source it from somewhere. When you look at it a good option would look to be just to buy a whole, 1/4, 1/2 of a large animal. I am not fond of this method, while it is easy you don't get to choose your cuts, you end up with too much of one thing.

Some things to look for in a place to buy meat
- Buy from the meat packer or wholesaler
- If they butcher the animal on site or own the site it it butchered it is cheaper
- Look for places that offer you meat frozen and already packaged. (Usually only available for pork and beef, we freezer pack our chicken.
- Try before you buy (This is huge, you want quality)
- Talk to them about your meat, if they know their cuts that is better, how flexible are they?
- Compare prices, look for the best quality for the lowest price (I buy all my shrimp at Costco and canned crab)
- Don't dismiss cutting up whole meat yourself (We buy whole frozen  utility turkeys when they are super cheap , thaw them enough to be able to cut them up then freeze in manageable portions, the Turkey Farmers of Canada has good info on that)
-Don't be tricked by pretend bulk buys,
- Know what you eat, if you aren't adventurous in the kitchen don't buy cuts you won't eat, even if they are substantially cheaper. Buy what you will eat! Just because it is cheaper does not mean buying 80lbs of ground beef is the best choice. Or now is not the time to buy 10lb of beef tongue just because you saw it on Masterchef and have decided you are going to try cooking it, by all means buy a little to experiment with, but don't count on it.
-Budget, put a little money aside every paycheck to save up for it as it is a huge investment all at once.
-Don't plan to pick up all the meat on the same day. You need time to fit it all in the freezer and time to package it up. If it isn't frozen putting all that unfrozen meat in the freezer at once could raise the temperature to unsafe levels and spoil the food, or cause your motor to burn out by working too hard.
-Know your freezer size and put your freezer through a defrost before filling it
- Invest in a freezer lock and or alarm. (Nothing is worse they having someone not notice that they left the freezer open a crack and spoiling your food)
- Buy soup bones and make stock, there is nothing like fresh stock. I save my turkey bones and chicken bones and buy beef bones make stock then can it in the pressure canner. It is well worth the effort. Not only is is cheap you know exactly what went into it, there is no hidden MSG and it tastes better then the store bought stuff anyways :)

Buying meat in Bulk Part one

This is just one part in a multiple part series on how to cut your costs and still eat well.

In order for us to eat well and on an appropriate budget I order my meat in bulk and keep it in the freezer. Depending on our budget at the time I order anywhere from 4-7 months worth of meat at a time. I have had many people ask me how I figure it out, this is my system.

We are a family of four. (Though I don't add the baby imto the calcukations as of yet) 

1) First look at how many times a week you eat meat, for us it is 6 times but two of those days are leftovers. Write this number down, for my family that is 4 meat meals that I need to cook a week. Figure out how often you eat different meats. For us we eat chicken once, Beef twice and pork or seafood  (usually shrimp) once a week

2) Next look at how much you cook per meal, I have found that if I average .5lbs of meat per person per meal it all averages out, sometimes it is slightly more but most times it is less,. Add up the amount of each different meat for a week, for us it is 3lbs beef, 1.5lbs chicken, and .75lbs pork and .75lbs seafood (

3) Figure out how many weeks you are buying for, write this number down this time around we are buying for 28 weeks,
4) Multiply the weeks by the amount of different meat per week. Write this number down
for us we need 84lbs of beef, 42 lbs of chicken, 21lbs of pork, and 21 lbs of seafood.

5) Look at your number and meat prices and adjust accordingly, for me that seafood number looks really high, I know that I will buy some turkeys when they go on sale I also know that I would like to order more pork then that, so maybe this time around I will plan for 1lb pork a week and .50 of seafood. So the number for pork goes up to 28lb and the number for seafood goes down to 14lbs, which is a much more manageable number.

6) Now you know how much meat to order where do you get it? How do you package it up? How much space do you need to freeze it?

Monday, 28 October 2013

Dairy free cheesy mushroom baked rice

 We got our first snowfall of the season here, This is my mind calls for oven roasted meals. I wanted to make something that was filling and savory and rice based. I came up with this recipe and it seemed to fit the bill of what I was looking for.

Dairy Free Cheesy rice
1/3 cup nutrtional yeast
3tbsp onion flake
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp each of pepper, salt,and  mustard powder
2.5 c  sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup shredded daiya chedder
3 cup cooked rice
1 cup soy milk
2 tbsp coconut oil

Mix first 6 ingredients together in a bowl,
Put into a greased casserole dish
Pour soy milk over it all and dot coconut oil over top
Bake covered at 400F until hot and done (About 40 minutes)

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Blueberry Waffles, eggless, dairy free

I was dreaming about making brunch last night, I woke up and was so disappointed that my dream wasn't real. So I came down poured myself a cup of coffee and started making waffles, in the past I have tried making them from other recipes but they always left me disappointed and not quite what I was looking for. This time I used the little bit of knowledge I have about baking to create my own recipe, it seems to work well. I may change it over time to make it better but it is a REALLY good start

3 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp water
2 c unbleached white flour
1 cup pastry flour

1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 oil
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries

In small bowl whisk together first three ingredients.
In another small bowl cream oil, sugar, vanilla, Add milk and stir again
Mix two flours and add all the wet ingredients, stir well, depending on your humidity level you may need to add more flour or more milk.
Place in a preheated oiled waffle maker and cook until golden, mine takes 6 minutes with the heat at 3/4 high.