Archive | December, 2011

NYE Glama Pa-JAM-a

30 Dec

glama pajama year 1
For the most part, we’ve been spending New Year’s in the mountains since childhood, and it’s a sublime tradition. Snow-capped Rocky mountains, fresh air and anticipation of the future — it’s hard to beat.

But this year, we are thinking of ringing in the New Year by staying home in our new digs.

Perhaps a formal pajama night: diamonds and lipstick and jimjams. Pa-JAM.

After popping some bubbles, we’re thinking of nibbling on warm cocktail nuts and chewing on some good baguette slathered in this luscious goat cheese with herbed olive oil.

For dinner, the Mister will surely love sirloin topped with shrimp and lobster butter sauce.
I read that if you steam/poach lobster tails, remove meat, and add pulverized shells in a food processor with some butter, you can scrape the coral contents into a sauce pot, and simmer with one cup of butter (total) with water and a splash of wine. Simmer for 40 minutes. Strain butter into a container and refrigerate. The orangey lobster butter fat separates from the water and you can add it to bearnaise sauce. Woot!

from Gourmet Magazine, January 1994

1 small bay leaf
4 garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves
¼ tsp. coriander seeds, crushed lightly
¼ tsp. fennel seeds, crushed lightly
10 whole black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crumbled
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ pound (250g) log of soft mild goat cheese, such as Montrachet, cut into 8 pieces.

In a small saucepan simmer bay leaf, garlic, rosemary, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and peppercorns in oil for 5 minutes. Arrange goat cheese slices on a platter and spoon oil mixture over. Serve goat cheese with bread.

Cheese crisps

22 Dec

Another Christmastime go-to recipe.

The Best of the Best of Bridge
Our favorite cocktail cookie – freezes well. Package up a bundle to make a delicious hostess gift.

1 cup butter 250ml
8 oz. pkg. (250 g) MacLaren’s Imperial cold pack cheddar cheese
dash of salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper or tabasco 1ml
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 1ml
1 1/2 cups flour 375ml
4 cups Rice Krispies (add an extra half cup: it makes a difference!)

Cream room temperature butter and cheese together. Add seasonings. Beat in flour then add Rice Krispies. Mix well. Shape into balls. Press down with a fork which has been dipped in cold water.

NEW: Use small ice cream scoop! No need to press down!

Bake at 350F (180C) for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Mele Kalikimaka

22 Dec

We are more than a little jealous of friends spending Christmas on the beach in Hawaii.

During this — the shortest, darkest day of the year — here is a little island sunshine for an inspired cocktail hour: a round of tropical drinks and seared scallops with coconut, mango and avocado. Good excuse to crack into that bottle of Malibu banana.

Here’s the recipe for the Lava Flow at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel:

Muddle in the bottom of a Boston shaker glass:

2 fresh strawberries
1-2 in. slice of banana

Fill shaker glass with ice and then add:

1 oz. coconut cream (Coco Lopez)
1 oz. pineapple juice
1.5 oz. Mount Gay Rum (or other golden rum)

Cover with top of the Boston shaker, shake vigorously. Pour into a hurricane glass. Garnish pineapple wedge and paper parasol. Enjoy.

(A boozier version: to pureed strawberry and banana, add 1 oz. coconut rum, 1 oz. light rum, 2 oz. pineapple juice, 2 oz. coconut cream)

Turkey lurky

19 Dec

Calgary Petroleum Club executive chef Liana Robberecht created some Christmas meatballs that sound interesting.

Turkey Meatballs stuffed with Brie
1 small onion, grated and caramelized

1 large egg

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 pound ground dark turkey meat

1/2 pound white turkey meat

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tsp chopped thyme leaves

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

1/2 tsp chopped Madagascar green peppercorns

zest of ½ orange

2 tsp brandy

125gr wheel of brie cut into small pieces ( to stuff middle of meatball) put into freezer


Add the onion, garlic, egg bread crumbs , zest , peppercorns, herbs, salt and pepper to a large bowl and blend. Mix in the turkey. Shape the turkey mixture into 1 1/4-inch-diameter meatballs. Take frozen brie pieces and push into middle of meatball. Place on a large plate or baking sheet.

Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and saute until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Transfer the meatballs to a baking pan , bake at 350 F , for approx 10 minutes or until done, season with salt and pepper . dollop small amount of tomato jam on top , skewer with a festive wooden pick and serve . enjoy and have Fun

Tomato Jam Recipe

2 Lt Tomato (Pulsed in blender until liquid consistency)

2 Lt Sugar

1.5 Bay Leaves

1/2 Red Onions Finely Diced

1 tsp Minced Garlic

4 springs Chopped Rosemary (removed from stem)

2 springs Chopped Thyme ( removed from stem)

1 Tbsp. Salt

1/2 Tbsp. Pepper

1/2 Cup Vermouth


Add all ingredients and simmer for 4 hours until thick.

Meringue cookies

18 Dec

Where have we been? For sure we’ve been treated to these delightful holiday cookies in the past: one bite took us back to childhood.

Here are two meringue cookie recipes from Seventeen magazine from the 1970s or 1980s and Best of Bridge, which are nearly identical.

From Seventeen magazine
3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 (6 ounce) bag butterscotch chips
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat egg whites until stiff. Add the sugar gradually and beat well. Fold in the butterscotch bits and the walnuts.

Grease two cookies sheets (or easier, yet, line the cookie sheets with parchment paper and apply a little shortening to the paper). Drop mixture by teaspoonfuls onto sheets in peaks, leaving a space between each. Put sheets in oven. TURN OFF HEAT. Leave in oven a minimum of four hours, or overnight for best results.

From The Best of Bridge
“A Christmas favourite or – a big hit at a childrens birthday party if you add the food colouring!”

2 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
6 oz. (170g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 F. Beat egg whites until stiff, add sugar gradually, beating at high speed for at least 5 minutes. Fold in vanilla, chips and pecans. Drop from teaspoon onto foil or parchment lined cookie sheets.

Put in oven and turn off heat. Leave overnight or at least 8 hours.

Makes about 3 dozen meringue-like cookies.
You can add a few drops of food colouring (with the nuts and chips) if you feel festive!

December Seventeen

15 Dec

Thanks to the wonderful Lori, we are kicking off a New Year’s project a little early.

Vintage 1980s Seventeen magazine recipes, brought to you by month. She’s sent us this oldie for December. Although it seems familiar (loving those 1982 bubble letters), this is new to our collection!

“The crowning glory of a holiday feast — roast loin of pork, flavored with garlic, basted with an apple jelly glaze… and suprisingly easy to prepare.”

seventeen roast pork loin dec 1982.jpg

Dinner and a (Christmas!) movie

11 Dec

We may not be in Hammond, Indiana, but the charms of a cold winter’s dinner of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and red cabbage is not lost on us.

Especially after watching the beloved A Christmas Story and its uncredited co-star, red cabbage.

Watching the movie left us struck with a crave for meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and sweet and sour red cabbage, bolstered by bacon and apple.

We’ve been meaning to give this Cook’s Illustrated meatloaf recipe a whirl, so now is the perfect time!

Recipe courtesy of Warner Bros. Studios

1 medium-size red cabbage, thinly sliced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

4 bacon slices, diced

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 apples, peeled and diced

3/4 cup red wine

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon minced garlic

Toss together cabbage, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium high flame for 10 minutes or until just crisp.

Add onion to bacon and saute another 5 minutes or until tender.

Stir in cabbage mixture, apples, red wine, sugar and garlic to onion and bacon mixture in the pot. Cover and reduce heat to medium and simmer 30 to 35 minutes, adding a splash of water, if necessary.

Makes 6 servings.

america’s test kitchen adaptation
1 Tbsp olive oil
1½ cups onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs
½ cup milk
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp hot sauce (siraccia)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Lawry’s salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb chuck
½ lb veal
½ lb pork
1½ cups fresh bread crumbs
¼ cup fresh parsley, minced

½ cup ketchup
¼ cup light brown sugar
1½ Tbs cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Make glaze: In a saucepan stir together ketchup, sugar, and vinegar. Heat until sugar is dissolved and set aside to cool.

In a skillet over moderate heat, add the oil. Saute onion and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, mustard, and hot sauce together. Add thyme, oregano, Lawry’s salt, and pepper. In a large mixing bowl, combine the meat, egg-milk mixture, cracker crumbs, parsley, and the cooked onion mixture.

Shape loaf onto a foil covered sheet. Glaze. Bake in oven for around 45 minutes, until glaze has set.
Brush meat loaf with remaining glaze and bake for 15 minutes more; glaze again.


Cook’s Illustrated
Published January 2, 2007.

If you can’t find chuck and/or sirloin, substitute any 85 percent lean ground beef. Handle the meat gently; it should be thoroughly combined but not pastelike. To avoid using the broiler, glaze the loaf in a 500-degree oven; increase cooking time for each interval by 2 to 3 minutes.

3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated on small holes of box grater (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion , chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1 medium rib celery , chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium clove garlic , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (powdered)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2/3 cup crushed saltine crackers
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound ground sirloin
1 pound ground beef chuck
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread cheese on plate and place in freezer until ready to use. Prepare baking sheet.

Heat butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until foaming; add onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and paprika and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and add tomato juice. Cook, stirring to scrape up browned bits from pan, until thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to small bowl and set aside to cool.

Whisk broth and eggs in large bowl until combined. Sprinkle gelatin over liquid and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, mustard, saltines, parsley, salt, pepper, and onion mixture. Crumble frozen cheese into coarse powder and sprinkle over mixture. Add ground beef; mix gently with hands until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Transfer meat to foil rectangle and shape into 10 by 6-inch oval about 2 inches high. Smooth top and edges of meatloaf with moistened spatula. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of loaf reads 135 to 140 degrees, 55 to 65 minutes. Remove meatloaf from oven and turn on broiler.

While meatloaf cooks, combine ingredients for glaze in small saucepan; bring to simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring, until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Spread half of glaze evenly over cooked meatloaf with rubber spatula; place under broiler and cook until glaze bubbles and begins to brown at edges, about 5 minutes. Remove meatloaf from oven and spread evenly with remaining glaze; place back under broiler and cook until glaze is again bubbling and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes more. Let meatloaf cool about 20 minutes before slicing.

Saltine Cracker Brickle

11 Dec

Tree’s up, shoppings nearly done… it’s time to think about Christmas baking.
This year, we’re keen to give something new a whirl. We love the idea of the sweet chocolate, rich caramel and salty cracker crunch of this unusual treat.

From NY Times
Time: 20 minutes, plus overnight freezing

48 saltine crackers

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 pound unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups semisweet chocolate chips.

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan or large cookie sheet with sides with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Arrange the crackers side by side in a single layer on the foil. In a small saucepan, melt the sugar and butter, stirring constantly until they bubble, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and quickly stir in the vanilla. Pour evenly over the crackers and, using a spatula, spread to cover evenly.

2. Bake immediately. After 7 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the crackers. Return to the top rack of the oven and bake for 2 minutes more. Spread the chocolate evenly over the crackers with a clean spatula. Cool for 20 to 30 minutes before transferring the tray to the freezer. The next day, peel off the foil and break the brickle into pieces. Keep frozen or refrigerated.

Yield: About 2 pounds.

Hot dog!

11 Dec


We have just learned about oven hot dogs.

Where have you been all this time? We are not frankfurter people, per se. However, these are an amazing exception, thanks to the mayo-laden buns and crunchy exterior.

We made one small change; mixing yellow mustard into the mayo first, coating the inside of the buns. But then laying sweet relish, hotdogs, chili, cheddar and chopped white onion is pretty much un-improvable.

Just make sure you don’t smear the top of the bun — like we did on our first go — with too much topping, otherwise, you will miss out on the whole point — oven-baked, crunchy goodness, ya’ll.

Bake covered in tinfoil (don’t forget to spray the inside of the tinfoil so the cheese won’t stick) at 350°F for 45 minutes.

We would like to try these topped with Coney Island sauce: a rich, beefy Greek-inspired topper we have yet to master.

Also, an oven baked meatball/marinara switcheroo would make a great winter snack after tobagganing or snowshoeing!

Stew Pour Vous

7 Dec

More from the 1980s Seventeen recipe obsession:

From Seventeen magazine, December 1987. The oversized sweaters. The scrunchy. Sigh.

Also from this issue: Season’s Eating’s Christmas treats from your kitchen.

Dec 1982.jpg