Combining my interests of music, cooking, recipes, photos and tune talk.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Grey Cup Celebration

The Event: Grey Cup Partay
The Drinks: Canadian Beer

With Calgary making it to the Grey Cup, it was cause for gathering and celebrating while hopefully watching the Stampeders win the big trophy.  Not being from Calgary and having long standing family ties to the Stamps, I appreciatively got invited to the Loach family residence where Stampeders Fever was in full swing.  I am still waiting for my Riders to return to Ottawa which is supposed to happen in 2014 once Landsdown is finished.  Until then, the Stamps are my number one and will remain my top western conference team after that.
Spare SAAB Key

Problem #1: The day started ominously when I arrived at Neil's place to pick him up and head to the party and my car decided to lock its doors while still running.  I wasn't even aware this was possible with cars made in the last 20 years, but another lesson in life learned the hard way.  But after a few "what the **** do we do now?" and "This is my worst nightmare!" comments, we quickly jumped into action.

Fortunately, the car door wasn't completely closed so there was a little gap at the top of the window.  After sacrificing a wire coat hanger to the cause, Neil and I managed to stick it in the small gap and hit the automatic window down button.  Problem solved in plenty of time to make kick-off.  Gone in 60 seconds eat your heart out!  I think I might be ready for a career in car jacking, should this engineering gig not work out for me, and so long as everyone leaves their cars running without fully closing the doors.

Pigs in a Blanket
Upon arrival, the house was decked out with jerseys, pennants, footballs and tons of other related paraphernalia!  Quite the football party scene.  And even more importantly; tons of food.  Tables of chicken wings, cold meet plates, stuffed mushrooms, Shrimp, etc.  And all of this before a full dinner and dessert!

Not wanting to go to a football party empty handed, I did a quick surf of the Internet to find an appropriate appy to bring and pigs in a blanket sounded perfect.

Pigs in a Blanket Ingredients:
Mini Smokies
Onion (Sauteed)
Cheddar Cheese
Puff Pastry

 Apart from the fact you have to individually wrap each one, its a fairly easy process to make.
The smokies are slit down the middle and then cracked open to squeeze in some sauteed onions,  and a small piece of cheese.

I decided to wrap the squares by tucking two of the corners together at the top.  This allows the consumer to see what is inside before they shovel it in their mouths.

These went over real well and I'm sure I'll make them again next time I need finger foods.  Superbowl party??

Roasted Salsa
Roasted Salsa: For no other reason other than I had a bunch of tomatoes sitting on the counter, I also decided to make salsa.  I've done this a bunch of times before so I decided to find new recipe.

Roasted Vegetables in the Food Processor
Martha Stewart told me to try this one. Its basically like regular salsa, but you roast all of the vegetables first.  Probably the best salsa I've made so far and my new go to Salsa Recipe.

3 Tomatoes
1 Onion
3 Jalapenos
3 Cloves Garlic
1 1/2 Limes Juiced
Salt and Pepper
1 Schwack Cilantro

Basically following the instructions right out of the recipe, I put all of the vegetables on a roasting pan and chucked them on the top rack of the oven on broil.  I let them brown up a little bit (~10 minutes with a few rotations) and then put them in the food processor. Mix in the lime juice and salt and pepper.  Too hot?  Add more lime juice.

Lastly add the chopped cilantro. Add as much as necessary depending on how much you like cilantro, but Martha recommends 1/4 cup (chopped).

Unfortunately, I had completely forgotten that the wonderful hostess of the evening, Mrs. Loach, is allergic to peppers.  Being the second time I have now contributed something with peppers in it, I will have to pay more attention next time.  I least I had the piggies.

Problem #2: The game was pretty shitty.  Unless you were an Argos fan and and weren't too concerned about the quality of the football being executed on the field, it was a pretty ugly game to watch.  The Stamps played a poor game and the Argos won the Grey Cup without too much resistance. I guess the world needs to throw Toronto a sports related bone every once and a while since they obviously can't win anything else.

Even though the horse didn't get to make a victory lap, the party was a success and I eventually rolled myself to the car after way too much delicious food.  Time to get ready for Grey Cup 2013!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Deep Fried Bacon Wrapped Mac and Cheese

Deep Fried Mac and Cheese
The Meal: Deep Fried Bacon Wrapped Mac and Cheese
Mandatory Accessories: Defibrillator

So this is one of those meals inspired by Paula Dean.  It's what she calls a 'sometimes food'...  Meaning that you only eat it sometimes because you wouldn't last too long eating it all the time.  In fact, since her latest health kick, you can't even find her recipe on her website anymore.  Using a different mac and cheese recipe and free styling the bacon and deep frying part, I used her previous recipe as an inspiration for the dish only.

Cheese Sauce
Since you have to make the mac and cheese recipe first and then let it cool before making the cubes to wrap, it became a two night process, with regular mac and cheese on night one. This worked out find since Robyn came over for dinner and had no interest in the bacon wrapped deep frying debauchery.  She made the Mac and Cheese, but didn't leave the recipe so I can't include it here.  But in the end, the secret it lots and lots of cheese. I'm sure pretty much any Mac and Cheese recipe will work.

In night two, this is where you put your cardiologist on speed dial.

Chilled Mac and Cheese Cubes
1 Mac and Cheese Recipe, prepared, chilled and cubed
Vegetable Oil

Using the chilled mac and cheese, it can now by cut into cubes that should stay together assuming you used enough cheese. Wrap each cube with a strip of bacon.  Then coat in flour, egg and breadcrumbs.
Most literature I found on the subject suggested that the optimal oil temperature should be around 350F.  I don't have a thermometer so I guessed.  Not sure how big a difference that makes, but my results weren't fantastic.  The first one cooked on the outside, but was still cold on the inside.   Oil too hot perhaps so it cooked too fast on the outside?  Not sure.
Coating Process
Boiling Oil

But my solution was to microwave the the cubes before deep frying them so that the middle is at least warm before the fry process.  While this worked, its probably not a technique taught in culinary school...

I served it on a bed of lettuce to show that there is some green and healthy sides along with it.

In the end, it probably wasn't worth the effort to make nor fat intake.  It was good, but not as epic as the title might lead you to believe.   The plain ol' mac and cheese was a superior meal.

So that's two posts in the last several that have added bacon with marginal results.  This won't slow me down and I am going to have to start posting some delicious bacon successes, since it makes almost everything better.

Monday, October 22, 2012


 A meal straight from the old country, if I were at all Italian...
The Meal: Lasagna and Caesar Salad
The Tunes: Aimee Mann - Charmer
The Drink: Glass of Orvieto

Homemade lasagna and Caesar salad is one of the best meals going.   I've made my dad's recipe many times but I'll never get tired of it.  I don't think he gets tired of it either since it was my grandfather's recipe that he's been making all of these years.  The secret to its deliciousness is likely the boatload of cheese that's in it.

It tastes great right out of the oven and it still tastes great the next day reheated.  It'll have for another dinner later this week, a few lunches and perhaps I'll freeze a few pieces for lunches another time when I am too busy/lazy to make anything else.

I just got Aimee Mann's new album Charmer.  I've really enjoyed her last couple albums so I was looking forward to hearing this one. Not sure if I like it as much as @#%&*! Smilers, but I'll see if it grows on me.  You also have to be in the right mood to listen to her so I'll definitely be listening to this again. 

Tons o' Cheese
1lb Ground Beef
1/2lb Sausage
1 Recipe tomato sauce
1lb Cottage Cheese
3/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
12oz Mozzarella
1 Pasta Recipe Rolled into Lasagna Noodles

Now you might ask, what is "1 Recipe Tomato Sauce"?  Well, in this case, its a homemade tomato sauce that I took out of the freezer since I always make double batches.  It takes a while to make since it needs to simmer and a double batch takes the same length of time to make as a single.  I'll definitely get to posting that recipe here when I make it the next time. 

Beef, Sausage and Tomato Sauce
Make the pasta (1 cup flour, 1 cup semolina, 3 eggs) and let it rest while you get the rest prepared.  Brown the ground beef and sausage and then add the tomato sauce to warm it up. 


Start with a quarter of the meat sauce on the bottom of the dish and over with a layer of noodles, then one third of the cottage cheese and Parmesan and finally mozzarella.
Repeat these steps a total of three times ending with a meat layer.  Top with the remaining Parmesan and Mozzarella. 

Assembling the Layers
Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350F.

Serve it with a fine Italian wine, some garlic bread and a delicious Caesar Salad.  As for that recipe, I'll have to include it at a later date.

I understand that I just posted a meal of Lasagna and Caesar Salad and I didn't post the tomato sauce recipe nor the dressing, but I'll get to them, I promise. 

Super Cheesy Deliciousness

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip and Bacon Cookies

Cookies with Bacon
The challenge: Does Bacon make everything better?

This was a conversation I had with Molly a few weeks back and while chatting, I found a recipe for bacon cookies.  Chocolate-chocolate chip with bacon!  There were lots of different bacon cookie recipes believe it or not.  This one had some of the best reviews so I figured it was worth a shot.

Conveniently, we had a work pot luck on Thursday and poker night on Friday which allowed me to make a batch, try one and then share the rest so I don't have to eat an entire batch myself.

As I made them Wednesday night, I was chatting on the phone with Matty so no tunes in the background.

Cookies in the Oven
6 slices of Bacon (I'd recommend more)
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Butter
2 Eggs
2 Tsp Vanilla
2 Cups Flour
2/3 Cup Cocoa
3/4 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Salt
2 Cups Chocolate Chips

First step is to cook the bacon and then crumble.

Mix together the sugar, butter eggs and vanilla.  Then add the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
Finally, stir in the bacon and chocolate chips.

Bake for 10 minutes at 350F.

I brought a batch to the work potluck where the cookies were well received, except most of the comments where similar to "Great cookie, but can't taste the bacon".  So I might recommend adding more bacon next time if you want to bring out the salty bacon flavour.  Otherwise, don't bother.

Another batch I brought to poker night on Friday night.  These cookies didn't last 5 minutes.  I didn't solicit any feedback, but the fact they sold out almost as fast as a Garth Brooks concert tells me they couldn't be that bad...

Does bacon make cookies better?  Inconclusive.  The cookies were delicious, but I am not sure how much better they were because of the bacon.  I'll need further testing before fully committing.

More Turkey Leftovers

The Meal Plan: Turkey and more turkey

Turkey Tacos
After several leftover turkey dinners and the turkey pie already mentioned there was still some turkey left over and a carcass for soup.

A Turkey Taco uses everything leftover from thanksgiving  so it'll help clean out the fridge.

Leftover Turkey
Mashed potatoes
Soft shell tortillas

The picture pretty much tells the whole story.  Reheat and layer the leftovers, add some cooked bacon and shredded lettuce.  Eat carefully so you don't get covered in gravy!

Turkey Soup
Turkey Soup

This soup recipe I found on the internet.  Don't be fooled by the photo on their website...  There are no noodles in the recipe so its obviously not the right soup!  This is the actual soup.

Turkey Carcass
2 Celery Stalks
2 Carrots
1 Onion
2 Bay Leaves
1 Tsp Poultry Seasoning
2L Chicken stock
2 Cups Rice

In a large pot, put in the carcass and add the celery stalks, carrots, onions, bay leaves poultry seasoning and chicken stock.  Add some water as required to make sure the carcass is covered and then bring to a boil for at least an hour.

After boiling the carcass, take it out and scrape off all of the pieces of turkey.  Cut up any turkey pieces that are too big and add it all to the soup.  Add two cups of rice and boil for another 15 minutes.
In my case, this turned my turkey soup into a turkey pilaf as the rice absorbed all of the liquids, but it was easily fixed by adding more water.  It actually turned out well since I froze a concentrated container that I can just add water to later.

This brings an end to the Turkey tales for Thanksgiving Turkey.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Turkey Pot Pie

Slice of Turkey Pot Pie
The Dish: Turkey Pot Pie
The Tunes: INXS Live Baby Live

After a successful turkey dinner at Thanksgiving, there was a pile of turkey leftovers so one delicious way to use them up is by making a turkey pot pie.  Afterwards, mom asked me if I used dad's recipe, which I did not.  I was unaware he had a specific recipe.  So perhaps next turkey time, I'll try that one.  But for now, I used this recipe from allrecipes.

Now it still had a home feeling since I used the last of the dough that mom made last time she was in town.

I haven't pulled out a CD to listen to while making dinner in a while so I decided to go to the shelf.  INXS Live Baby Live is a good live album of their late 80's and early 90's tracks (a bunch from their mega successful album "Kick" which I also have).   We picked this album up originally in 1991 while travelling in Australia as it had just been released at that time.
Turkey and vegetable mix in the pan

Pie Crust
4 Tbls Butter
1 Onion (diced)
2 Stalks Celery (chopped)
2 Carrots (Peeled and chopped)
1 Tsp Oregano
2 Cups Chicken Broth
3 Small Potatoes (Peeled and cubed)
2 Cups Leftover Turkey
3 Tbls Flour
1/2 Cup Milk

Uncooked pie with filling
First step is to fry up the onion, celery carrots in half of the butter.  Then add the herbs, salt, pepper, chicken broth and potatoes.  Boil until the potatoes are firm but not mushy. 
In a separate pan, toss in the remaining butter, turkey, flour and milk and heat.  Add the turkey mix to the vegetable mix and prep the pie dough.

I used a 9" pie dish with crust on the bottom and top with slits cut in the top to allow steam to escape.  This made a ton of pie which I ate for lunch and dinner for several days.

Delicious Pie!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


The Holiday Meal: Thanksgiving!
Golden Brown Stuffed Turkey
The playlist: Multiple
The drink: Multiple

Thanksgiving wouldn't be thanksgiving without turkey and fixin's.  As the host for the festivities, I volunteered to make the turkey, stuffing and gravy.  As an extra, I decided to make some fresh bred to to with the meal too.  Guests volunteered to bring salads, sides, desserts and of course more booze.

The day before prep started by getting the turkey cleaned and brined as well as getting the bread together to rise over night.

Brined Turkey:
Turkey in Brine Bucket
15lb Turkey
2 Cups Salt
2 Cups Brown Sugar
Fresh Rosemary
Food grade plastic container big enough for turkey

Dissolve the salt and the sugar in a bit of warm water.  Once dissolved, add cool water, cleaned, unfrozen turkey and fresh herbs into the food grade plastic container.   Make sure there is enough water to fully submerge the turkey.  Put it in the fridge and let it sit overnight.

The bread was a no-kneed variety with Kalamata Olives, Feta and oregano, but I'll get into that recipe and variations in another post since there's enough going on in this post already.

Robyn's Pecan Pie
The game day process started at about noon so that all of the various items could cycle through the oven in time to get the turkey cooking by 2:30.  First Robyn's Maple Pecan Pie, then the bread and finally the turkey.

The music was pumping in the house from the first dial of the oven, all coming from my various iPod playlists.  Drinking country, Retro dance mix, and a ton of hip-hop and pop favourites, including the now legendary Enrique Iglesias DDG remix which had earlier got us unceremoniously written up and booted from the Tunnel mountain campground (and by us, I mean only Neil).

Bread Stuffing:
1lb Sausage
3 stalks Celery
1 Onion
Poultry Seasoning to taste
Bread - Most of a regular loaf

Brown the sausage first and then add the onions and celery to the pan.  Season with poultry seasoning to taste and add to a bowl of bread pieces.  This is always a good time to use up the left over bread bums and miscellaneous buns left over in the freezer.  Since I always seem to run out of stuffing, I doubled this recipe.

Now its time to introduce the stuffing to the host bird.  Take the bird out of the fridge, empty out the brine solution and rinse the turkey.  Pat it dry including the cavity.
Cram the stuffing into the cavity and then close up the hole using the legs and the skin flap.

I covered the stuffed turkey with tinfoil and put it in the oven for 4 hours.

Then the guests started to arrive.  First in the door was Trid, with a bottle of rum and a vegetable dish in tow and I knew we were in for a good night.  We also mixed in a few beers and several bottles of wine to go along with the all night fire.

After eating too much main course, we then proceeded to eat too much dessert.  We polished off an entire cake for Steph's birthday! Happy Birthday Steph!

 With all the leftovers in the fridge, what's Honey Badger going to eat for the next week? Turkey.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Delicious Pie
The Dish: Nanny's Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

A classic around our house growing up was always rhubarb pie.  Mom would make it with various combinations, but typically with fresh rhubarb from the garden.   The recipe is my grandmother's as she tended to make a lot of pies too.

Well my house in Calgary also happens to have a rhubarb patch.  Its not big enough to do too much, but in clearing out the crop before the first frost, I did get enough to make a pie.

1 serving Tenderflake pie crust recipe, put together by Mom when she visits town and left in the freezer
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 Eggs
2 cups fresh rhubarb
2 cups fresh strawberries (likely from California)

One day I might make my own crust and post it, but for now, I'll take advantage of mom's work.  So thaw the dough and roll out the crust to fit into the pie plate.  Fill with four cups of fruit (in this case half and half strawberry and rhubarb).
Crust and filling

In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar flour and eggs and then pour on top of the fruit, filling to near the top of the pie crust.

Bake for 20 minutes at 425 and then for 40 minutes at 375.  Rarely are things done faster in my oven, but I took it out before the full hour was up, so pay attention near the end so it doesn't burn.

I took the pie to a friend's place for dinner and it was well received, despite the fact we were all stuffed before getting to dessert!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ice Cream: Blog Disaster Number 1

Drizzly Goodness
The Dish: Chocolate and Salted Caramel Swirl Ice Cream

I should clarify right off the bat; the Ice Cream itself wasn't a disaster, but the process of making it got messy.  People always ask if I edit out any errors or flops before posting on the blog, but that wouldn't be honest now would it?  But I'll get to the disaster later.

Once again, my recipe of choice came from Canadian Living Magazine. Until I got the magazine, the thought of making ice cream without any sort of ice cream maker had never crossed my mind.  But the process didn't seem too difficult and I had the food processor required for the blending part so I figured I would give it a try. The overall time commitment isn't too bad, however with all of the cooling and freezing steps, its ends up putting some restrictions on your day.  I think that's why people buy ice cream makers!

2 Cups Milk
4 tsp Corn Starch
1 1/2 Cups Whipping Cream
2 oz Dark Chocolate
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Vanilla

The first portion involves melting the chocolate in a half cup of the cream.  Use a little bit of the milk to mix together the corn starch.
The rest of the milk, cream, cocoa, sugar and vanilla get mixed together in a pot and then brought to a boil for 4 minutes on medium heat.  This is where the old adage "A watched pot never boils" comes into play.  I had this sucker on the stove for a while and nothing...  I turned my back for a few seconds to grab a drink and the pot erupted like a school child's paper-mache volcano experiment.  Boiling cream is a messy business.  It went everywhere on my stove top including on the element under the pot which instantly burned the creamy, sugary liquid into a black crusty pile of goo.
The disaster relief team jumped into play, Kevin Costner offered to send his extraction machine and the process was back online in a matter of minutes.  I had used a new burner since the full cleanup could not be completed until the first burner was cool.

I was mildly concerned about the proportions being off now that I burned away a portion of my cream mixture, but there was no reason to turn back now.   After the boiling, the chocolate mixture gets added and then refrigerated for an hour and a half or so to cool before being put in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours.  Firm, but not solid says the recipe.

Mine was slightly less than firm, but I proceeded anyway since time was an issue.  The food processor turned my mostly thickened cream into a smooth milkshake consistency.  This is where you were supposed to swirl in the salty Caramel, but this would have just mixed in. So it went back into the fridge for another 4 hours to harden.

After about an hour I finally "swirled" in my caramel.  This was still probably too early, but I was committed to my schedule and took the plunge anyway.

Salty Caramel Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 Sugar
1/4 Water
1/2 Whipping Cream
1/2 tsp Salt

This should be made once you put the cream mixture in the freezer the first time so that there is time for it to cool before mixing it in with the ice cream.

Once the ice cream was frozen, which took way more than the recommended 4 hours, I had a scoop and drizzled it with the remainder of my caramel sauce.  Every bit as delicious as it looks.  Perhaps even chocolatier than the recipe intended due to my reduced cream allotment.

For the effort involved, I probably won't make it again unless by request, but it was a worthwhile experience to know it can be done.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Creamy Beef Noodles

The Meal: Creamy Beef Noodles
The Soundtrack: Retro Dance Party Playlist
The Drink: Rum and Diet Coke

Creamy, Beefy, Noodly Goodness
After a day out biking in the mountains, there was very little left of my legs so I decided on something out of Canadian Living magazine that was in their "Quick and Easy" section.  As was their intended point, pretty much everything you need for the recipe is on hand in a stocked pantry.  I didn't have any evaporated milk and my cheddar cheese supply had long been depleted, so I had to make a quick stop on the way home, but no big deal.

Again with the quick and easy theme, I tossed on an existing play list to rock out to while making dinner as quickly as possible so I could get to the couch.  My Retro Dance Party playlist is a collection of 80's pop hits that you know all the words to and gives you fond memories of one of the very few good things to emerge from that decade: Black MJ, Duran Duran and even Tommy Tutone.

The recipe is direct from Canadian Living.

2 Cloves Garlic
3/4lb Ground Beef
1/3 Cup Flour
1 Cup Beef Broth
1 Can Evaporated Milk
1 Cup Frozen Peas
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/3 Cup Fresh Parsley
4 Tsp Dijon
Salt and Pepper
1 3/4 Cups Macaroni

Using a large pan, cook the onion in the butter and then add the garlic. Add the beef to the onion/garlic and brown.  Add the evaporated milk, peas, cheese, parsley, Dijon, salt and pepper.  At the same time, boil a pot of water to cook the pasta.  Once cooked, drain and add to the creamy beef mixture.  Mix it all up and it's ready to go.

All in all, its not the best recipe I've made from the magazine, but it was still tasty and super easy to make.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Monster RAP

The Meal: Ham and bacon Shawarma twisted 'Monster' Rap
The Soundtrack: Matty's rap iPod Playlist

Since variety is the spice of life, we're switching up the theme and adding a guest chef on location for this epic meal.  While visiting Ottawa, we have plans to hit the climbing wall, but as any good climber knows, you need a ridiculously large wrap to kickstart your afternoon to elevate you up the walls.

This is a Matty creation (with some Dave influence) that we had the privilege of eating and I have the privilege of sharing with you, if only in photographic format.  We put this all together at his penthouse suite overlooking the city skyline.

To make the (w)rap pun work, we tossed on his rap playlist which is loaded with Biggie, 2Pac, Common, Jay-Z and even Massari. Which one doesn't belong he quizzed me?

Special Sauce (its Garlic)
The Ingredients:
Pickled Turnips
Garlic Sauce (procured from Shawarma Station)
Whole wheat wraps

The motivation came from a Shwarma style base, but with the idea of adding more and more until it became a monster. This was one behemoth of a wrap and we should be pretty full for the rest of the day.
Inside the wrap
The size, fusion sytlez and ultimately awesome taste lead Matt to proclaim that he's the greatest wrapper of all time! Take that Kanye!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Gateau au Chocolat Fondant

The Celebration: Molly's Birthday
The Challenge: Gateau au Chocolat Fondant de Nathalie
The Tunes: Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

T'was a friend's birthday this weekend and this particular friend is especially fond of celebrating birthdays.  Perhaps when she gets a few more under her belt, she might change her tune.  But for now, she's young so who can fault her for celebrating?
Her request: a birthday cake for the office.  Cakes are typically not my thing.  In fact, I don't think I've ever made a cake that didn't come out of a box and even that was probably only once or twice.  Never really been much of a dessert guy.  Challenge accepted!

The birthday girl was telling me about a Fleetwood Mac tribute album and how good it was earlier in the day.  I don't happen to have this album, however, I do have Rumours, one of the top selling albums of all time. So I thought I would toss that on the ol' turntable.  Start to finish its a great album with virtually the entire line-up making regular appearances on Classic Rock radio stations.  Always a good listen.

As for the cake, I turned to my dessert consultant en Paris and she recommended Gateau au Chocolat Fondant de Nathalie, which is a recipe from Trish Deseine's Je Veux du Chocolat! as mentioned in this blog.
Mountain of Chocolate and Butter
Only a few ingredients so it can't be that hard, can it?

1 Cup Butter
200g Dark chocolate
1 Cup Sugar
4 Eggs
1 Tbls Flour

Using a double boiler, melt together the chocolate and butter.  Once everything is melted and properly mixed, remove from the heat, add the sugar and let it cool for a while.  Add the eggs one by one making sure that they are properly incorporated into the mixture.  Finally mix in the flour.

Pour the mixture into a non-stick 9" pan (or grease up a pan) and cook in the oven at 350°F for approximately 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes the cake should be set.  Turn the oven off and let it sit in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.  Let it cool on the counter and then refrigerate.
As recommended, the cake is best made the day before and refrigerated.

To offset the heavy chocolate (and to add some nice colours), I topped with strawberries.

I believe it was well received at the office.  At least everyone was polite enough to finish it.
Hope you had a great birthday Molly!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Eggs Benny

The Meal: Eggs Benedict

My typical breakfast consists of cereal and milk.  Even on weekends I don't stray too far from the basics unless I go out to eat.  But when I do go out, Eggs Benedict is always one of my top options.  I had some time Saturday morning so I thought I would whip it up at home.

Eggs Benedict consists of poached eggs, ham slices, and hollandaise sauce on top of an English Muffin.
The interesting part is making the sauce. Since I was eating alone, I made the recipe using only a single egg so I didn't have a ton of leftovers.

1 Egg yolk
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Butter

Start by whisking the egg yolk and the lemon juice together.  Using a double boiler so that you don't end up cooking the egg, slowly whisk in the melted butter until the sauce is smooth. Easy as pie.

Toast the English muffins, poach the eggs, fry up the meat, in this case a round sausage patty and fry up some hash browns and then assemble.

Load the sausage and egg on top of an English muffin half and then drizzle with the Hollandaise sauce.  Garnish with a little cayenne pepper and parsley and its breakfast time!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sausage Breakfast Sandwich

The Meal: Sausage Breakfast Sandwich
The Drink: Orange Juice

Breakfast at McDonalds has always been their best offering and the Sausage and Egg McMuffin has been a favourite of mine since forever.  I've been making a similar creation at home for a long time and it provides a welcome change to my typical bowl of cereal.
Breakfast Sandwich and Juice

Sausage Patty
English Muffin

There's not much more to it than frying the egg and sausage, toasting the English muffin, then piling it all together with the cheese and then topping with ketchup.
Served with a delicious glass of not-from-concentrate orange juice, it's tough to beat in the morning.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Slammin' some Beef Sandwiches with Dead Rappers

The Meal: Shredded Beefwhich with Gangsta Slaw
The Soundtrack: Dead Rappers Playlist
The Drink: Sailor Jerry's

Last weekend while I was out camping, the topic came up about dead rappers.  There are a lot of good rappers with punched tickets.  Apparently it's a tough business.  At least it was, back when to be a rapper with any cred, you truly were a gangsta and lived the life.  Bullet holes, heart attacks, HIV, even if you managed to live through the 90's it appears that the high living seems to have caught up with a bunch of them.
So I put together a play list with some of the best starting with my personal favourite: Big Pun.  At over 500lbs, his heart just couldn't support his 'crushing' lifestyle, even though he wasn't a playa.  Biggie, Pac, Eazy-E, Nate Dogg, Jam Master Jay and new addition MCA are some of the highlights.
Last week, the playlist wasn't a big hit at 2am when the crowd desperately wanted more pop dance tunes, but tonight it was fully appreciated by all!
Sweet Sailor Jerrys

Another fine note for the evening, Sailor Jerry's Spiced rum was on sale at Coop today.  Couldn't turn that down and what a delicious drink that makes!

I did eventually eat tonight too, although as you can tell from the post, it was quite late.

Spice Rub

Shredded Beef Ingredients:
4.5lb Roast
3 Cloves garlic, crushed
Chopped Veggies
2 Tsp Paprika
2 Tsp Garlic powder
Dried parsley
1 Tsp Ground black pepper
2 Tsp Chili powder
2 Tsp Cayenne pepper
1/2 Tsp Mustard powder
1/2 Dried tarragon
1 Bottle Beer
Worcestershire sauce
1 Onion
1 Red pepper
2 Jalapenos
Beef roast with Rub
 So the recipe I got from this website with a few of my own modifications. All of the spices get blended together in a bowl and then rubbed onto the roast.  The onion, red pepper, and jalapenos get chopped.  The beef goes into the slow cooker with the spices, the diced go veggies on top and then the pot gets filled up with beer.  The beer didn't quite cover the roast so I added some cola to make sure the whole thing cooked for the 10 hours I left it on low.

Once the meat was cooked, I took out the roast and shredded it with 2 forks.  If its properly cooked, it should just fall apart with ease.  The liquid seemed far too runny, so I boiled it down on the stove and then added it to the beef.

Coleslaw Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Miracle Whip
1/3 Cup Sugar
3 Tbls Oil
1 Tbls Vinegar
1/2 Tsp Poppy Seeds

Mix it all together and then add to a selection of cabbage and carrots.  Chill before serving.There's really nothing gangsta about it, but it made for a more eye catching title.

The Beefwich is exactly as it looks.  Bun, beef, slaw, bun. Delicious!!