Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Leftover Turkey is good for sandwiches.  You can always freeze some for later use.  What else can you do that is easy and also make use of other left overs in your fridge?  How about a simple Turkey pot pie with perhaps all with left overs.

4 cups cut up Turkey
1 or 2 small cans (284 ml) Turkey gravy
1 small can (284 ml) peas and carrots
1/4 cup cooked rice (optional)
1 onion (optional)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Salt and pepper
1 package puff pastry
1 egg
  • Cook the rice according to package instructions.  If you have left over pilaf that would work just fine.  This is optional
  • Drain peas and carrots
  • Saute finely chopped onion in cooking oil.
  • Mix together cut up Turkey, peas and carrots, rice, onions and gravy.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cut dough in half
  • Roll out the first half a little longer than the size of your pan.  I used a 10.5x14.5 pan
  • Spray your pan with vegetable oil
  • Place the dough in the pan making sure it goes up the sides
  • Pour Turkey filling on the dough and spread it out
  • Roll out the second half of the dough and place over the filling making sure the sides of top and bottom meet.  Roll the sides together to ensure filling does not come out during cooking.
  • Mix the egg and spread it over top
  • Preheat oven at 350.  Cook 30-45 minutes until the top is golden brown
  • Serve with salad

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Turkey is the specialty food for New Years, Christmas and Thanksgiving.  While very special, I think it is the easiest dish on the table.  Perhaps most complex part is the stuffing if you are making it from scratch.  I found packaged stuffing works just fine.  Using a stuffing bag makes it easy to take out the stuffing.

1 lemon juice
1/4 cup cooking oil
Spice for sprinkle on top (like barbeque flavour)

  • Mix lemon juice and cooking oil
  • Brush the bottom and side of the pan you'll be using with the lemon and oil mix.
  • If you are stuffing the Turkey, you'll need to do that first.
  • Brush the back of the Turkey and place it in the pan. 
  • Pour remaining mix over the front.  Sprinkle with spice. 
  • Cover with aliminium foil. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Use cooking guideline below for weight and cooking time. 
  • Last 1/2 hour uncover to ensure it is nicely roasted. 
  • Remove from oven cover and let it sit for 1/2 hour.

                                                                                                               Cooking time in Hours
                      Weight in Kg                 Weight in Pounds               At 350 degrees

                             2 - 4                                5 - 8                                       2.5 to 3
                             4 - 5                                8 - 11                                        3 to 3.5
                             5 - 6.5                           11 - 14                                      3.5 to 4
                          6.5 - 7.5                          14 - 16                                        4 to 4 1/4
                          7.5 - 9                             16 - 20                                  4 1/4 to 4.5
                             9 - 11                           20 - 24                                     4.5 to 5                  

Saturday, December 25, 2010


This fava bean puree can be served as a side dish for fish, steak or chicken.  It can also be served as an appetizer with crackers or Pita bread.  You can use a variety of molds for the occasion.  I used a Christmas tree mold for the family Christmas dinner this year.  Decorated with dill to make it look like a tree and used olives for tree decorations.  You need to start a day ahead for best results. 

2 cups (500 gr) Fava Beans

1/2 lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 lemon juice
1 onion
1/4 cup olive oil
1.5 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 bunch dill (finely chopped)

3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lemon juice

Green Olives
Black olives
  • Soak Fava beans in warm water, lemon juice and sugar overnight.  Water level should be 1-2 cm passed the fava beans.
  • Next morning drain the beans
  • Use a big pot.  Put beans in it.  Put fresh water in the pot.  Water level should be 1-2 cm passed the Fava beans
  • In a separate pan combine 1/4 cup olive oil and chopped onions and cook until onion is a bit soft.  Be careful not to burn
  • Add onions to the beans and boil beans until soft.  Be sure to mix frequently and check on water level.  It should be a little watery when done.
  • Add in salt, sugar and chopped dill
  • Using a food processor mix everything together
  • Rinse mold with cold water and pour in hot Fava bean mix.  Make sure all the air bubbles come out by tapping it a couple of time on the counter.
  • Wait until it cools
  • Cover and leave in the fridge for 7-8 hours or overnight
  • When ready to serve, take out of the mold.  Decorate with dill and olives.
  • Prepare dressing by combining 3-4 tablespoon olive oil with 1/2 lemon and pour over the bean dish.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I tasted these for the first time in the office last week when Joelle brought them in as a treat.  She had all so many varieties in her lollipops like mint chocolate, chocoloate cheesecake with coffee bean chippings.  They were absolutely delicious.  I just had to make them for our family gathering Christmas evening.  What I liked most about this idea is that you can use your imagination and be creative with the shapes, and colours.  It requires a lot of time and needs a couple of days to complete but the good part is that you can make them weeks in advance and freeze them until they need to be served.

2 packages of Cream Cheese (250gr each, 500 gr total), room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 package vanilla sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
4 tablespoons heavy cream

250 gr chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Crushed Skor Candy Bars
Any kind of unsalted nuts like hazelnuts

Wooden skewers (short ones for shish kebaps work fine)

Makes 35 to 40

  • First make the cheesecake:  Mix together cream cheese and sugar until soft.  Add all of the ingredients and mix well to even consistency
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare a 8 x 8″ square cake pan or spring form pan by melting butter at the bottom or  line it with cooking paper.
  • Pour cheesecake batter into the cake pan
  • Bake for 40 to 50 minutes
  • Leave the cake in the fridge overnight.  Make sure it is covered.
  • Making the Lollipops is the creative part.  First decide the shape you would like (balls, circles, hearts use your imagination).  You can cut out the pieces as you like.  Insert a wooden skewer into the cheesecake to make them into lollipops
  • Cover and freeze overnight.
  • Prepare your toppings.  My favorite is ground Skor candy bars.  I usually freeze them first then use a blender to ground them.  All kinds of colourful candies or chopped (unsalted) nuts work very well.
  • Melt chocolate
  • Dip cheesecake lollipops in melted chocolate, dip into the topping of your choice
  • Cover and freeze overnight.
  • Take out of the freezer 1/2 hour before you need to serve

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


You will not see Almonds in the picture because this recipe uses ground almonds.  I also chose star shape and thought they would look like a wreath on the plate to give it a Christmas kind of theme.  Other shapes like hearts can be used especially around Valentine day.  Optionally you can sprinkle melted Chocolate on the cookie part too.  This time, I chose Apple jam but now that I look at the picture, Strawberry would have been a better choice for the pictures.
2 cups ground Almonds

1/2 cup yogurt
200 gr butter
1 cup icing sugar
2 egg whites
2.5 cups flour
1 package vanilla

Any flavour jam for the middle and sprinkle icing sugar
  • Mix all the ingredients together (except the jam of course) to make a soft dough.  The dough should not stick to your hand.  If it is sticky, add a bit more flour
  • Roll out
  • You will need 2 different cookie cutters of the shape that you choose.  One bigger than the other.
  • Using the bigger size cookie cutter, cut 1 cookie out.  This is the bottom of the cookie
  • Again using the bigger cookie cutter, cut another cookie out but this time using the smaller cookie cutter, cut the same cookie to get a hole in the middle.  Put the cookie with a hole in the middle on the first cookie.  You will have a "taller" cookie with a hole in the middle to be filled after cooking.
  • Continue using the rest of the dough the same way.  If you like, you can use the small middles as cookies too with chocolate sprinkles as variety.  Kind of like "Timbits"
  • Line a cookie sheet with cooking paper and put your cookies on the cookie sheet
  • Preheat oven at 350
  • Cook until the bottoms of the cookies are brown (approx 20 minutes)
  • Cool
  • Add jam in the middle and sprinkle with a bit of icing sugar