Sep 30, 2009

Easy Goulash

This is a dish I grew up with, my mom used to make it very often  when we where kids. Maybe I should say this dish is inspired by the one my mom used to make, I simplified the dish a little to suite my boys taste and the time I have to spend on cooking during weekdays . It's much faster then the one my mom used to make but just as delicious.
I used boneless chicken tights because they cook much faster than chicken drumsticks, but any of them would be delicious in this dish.


1 lb.                  boneless chicken tights
3                       big potatoes ( or 3 medium, recommended golden Yukon)
1 tbsp               vegetable oil
1                       small onion chopped ( recommended viddalia)
1                       clove garlic minced
7 1/2 oz            caned tomatoes cut up or same amount of tomato sauce.
1/4 cup             water or chicken stock
2 tbsp                smoked paprika ( or hungarian paprika)
1/2 tsp               sea salt
1/2 tsp               caraway seeds
1/2 tsp              dried  marjoram
1/4 tsp              dried thyme
1                       bay leaf ( optional)
2 tbsp+ 2 tbsp water to thicken sauce if needed or desired
Pepper to taste.

 Cut the chicken tights into 1-inch cubes, set aside. Peel and dice  the  potatoes, set aside.

In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, heat  the 1 tbsp of oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

Add chicken to the skillet and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Drain off the fat. Add the potatoes, tomatoes (or tomato sauce), 1/4 cup water, paprika, salt, caraway seeds, marjoram,  pepper and thyme.

Bring to a boil , reduce the heat. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender about 15-20 minutes, and the chicken is cooked.

Stir together the 2 tbsp of flour and 2 tbsp of water. Stir into the chicken goulash, and cook and stir until thicken and bubbly, about 2-3 minutes. This step only if needed, if you like a thicker sauce.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream over hot cooked noodles, or polenta.


Sep 29, 2009

Gingerbread Pull-Apart Rolls

I know, I know, its not Christmas yet but Alexander has been asking for gingerbread cookies for the past 2 weeks. Every time we are going shopping he's looking for the gingerbread house kit, I tried to explain to him that we still have same other holidays to celebrate until Christmas..... All I got were puppy eyes.
So finally we came to an understanding I offered to make the gingerbread rolls. He wasn't impressed at first, that until he smelled the ginger, after that he pulled his stool  next to the oven so he can see the rolls bake.


  • 1/2 cup                   warm water
  • 1 tsp                       granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp                 active dry yeast 

  • 1/4 cup                   brown sugar packed
  •  2 tbsp                      fancy molasses 
  •  2 tbsp                      milk  
  •  1 1/2 tbsp                butter
  •  3/4 tsp                     salt

  • 1 1/2 cup                 all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp                      fresh grated ginger  or 1 1/2 ground ginger 
  • 1/2 tsp                     ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp                     all spice

  • 1                              large egg fork beaten 
  • 1 1/4 cups                all-purpose flour 
  • 1/4 cup                     all purpose flour ( approximately)
  • 2 tbsp                       butter melted for brushing the rolls.

Combine warm water and granulated sugar in small bowl, sprinkle yeast over top and let stand for 10 minutes until foamy.

Combine the brown sugar, molasses, milk, butter and salt in a small saucepan.

Heat and stir on medium for 2 minutes. Until butter is melted and the brown sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat let stand for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Add to the yeast mixture and stir well.

Combine the flour, grated ginger, ground cinnamon and all spice in a large mixing bowl.

Add the beaten egg and the yeast mixture to the flour. Stir until smooth.

Work in the second amount of flour (1 1/4 cups)  1/4 cup at the time, mixing until a soft dough forms.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface .

Knead adding the third amount of flour (1/4 cup) one tbsp at the time if needed it to prevent sticking.
Knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Place in an oiled bowl turning once to grease top. Cover with cling wrap and tea towel. Let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until double in size.

Punch down the dough and turn on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough in 12 equal portions.

Roll each portion into a ball,arrange into a greased 9 inch round pan.

Cover with cling wrap and tea towel and let rest for 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Bake in an 375˚F preheated oven for 20 minutes until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped.
Remove from oven.
Immediately brush tops with melted butter. Let stand in pan for 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack to cool completely.

Serve for breakfast with your favorite jam or pure maple syrup.


Sep 27, 2009

Rosemary Chicken with Potatoes

This recipe is especially for my friend Rekha. I wasn't sure if I should post it, it's that easy to make. No step by step pictures because are only two steps to make it.
But Rekha kept asking when am I going to post it, so I change my mind, and because  Kenny ( her son) is my son's Cass best friend and incidentally when it comes to food they like the same things.
So here it is the very easy chicken rosemary with potatoes.


  • For about 2 lb. of boneless chicken tights or chicken drumsticks.

  • juice from           1/2 lemon 
  • 5                         Yukon golden potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 3 tbsp                  olive oil
  • 2 tsp                    dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp                    dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup                chicken or vegetable stock ( made from bullion or cub works)
  • 1 tbsp                  smoked paprika ( or any kind of paprika) smoked paprika is available at Bulk Barn (    for Canadians)
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Peel and cut the potatoes in small cubes. Trim the chicken tights of any visible fat.
In an oven save dish, add the potatoes and chicken tights.
Add the olive oil,  the juice from the lemon, sprinkle rosemary, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly.
Bake in the oven uncovered for 20 minutes. Add the 1/2 cup stock and gently toss, making sure that you turn the chicken pieces. Bake for 15 more minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink and the potatoes are tender.

If you are using chicken drumsticks increase the baking time to 30 minutes than add the stock and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more.


Sep 26, 2009

Potato Bake

       I think that the best think about fall is that the oven gets turned on more ( like every day). I love baking, from bread to cookies to savory foods, everything goes in the oven.
One of my favorite dishes is potato bake. A very versatile dish. I don't think I made it twice the same way ( same ingredients). I always use what I have on hand, or what I'm in a mood for. So, this is "this times recipe", but of course feel free to change it.

  • Ingredients:

  • 12 slices                           turkey bacon diced
  • 1 onion                             diced ( about 1 cup) recommended viddalia
  • 2 cloves                            garlic finely minced
  • 2 cups                               whole milk
  • 1 cup                                 sour cream ( not low-fat)
  • 3 lb.                                   Yukon gold potatoes , peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup                                sliced scallions  ( green onion)
  • 2 cups                               grated three cheeses mix ( or your favorite mix of cheeses)
  • 1 tbsp of smoked paprika to sprinkle ( optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Cook bacon until crisp and remove to drain.

Sauté de onion over medium heat for about 5 minutes

Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute more. Add the milk and bring up to a simmer. Remove from heat and season lightly with salt and pepper.

In an oven proof dish spoon a little of the milk mixture and arrange a layer of the sliced potatoes.

Spoon a layer of milk mixture over potatoes and sprinkle with bacon, green onion and cheese. Dollop small amounts of sour cream on top and if desired sprinkle with smoked paprika.
Repeat the layer until all the potatoes are used. Finish with cheese and sour cream.

Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Then remove the cover an d bake for 20 minutes more.

Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.


Sep 23, 2009

Club Sandwich Roll

Left overs. I don't know about your kids, but mine are not very good at eating left overs, they like only fresh made food. My husband says that that's the way I thought them, well...... he is right (but don't tell him). Therefore I have to reinvent my left overs into a new fresh food.
So yesterdays chicken drumsticks became todays club sandwich roll perfect for lunch with a bowl of soup.
     This recipe belongs to one of my favorite canadian chefs Anna Olson. Love her and her recipes and especially her cooking show " Fresh, with Anna Olson". She lives in the Niagara Falls region and in all her shows she promotes the local farms and  fresh markets.
I had changed the recipe a little, to suite the taste of my 3 boys, but if you are interested in the original recipe you can find it here.



  • 2 cups                       warm water
  • 1 tbsp                        instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp                        honey 
  • 2 tbsp                        cornmeal
  • 4 1/2 cups                 all-purpose flour ( plus more for kneading)
  • 2 tsp                          fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup                      extra virgin olive oil


  • 10                              strips turkey bacon ( or your favorite bacon)
  • 3 cup                         of cooked chicken meat ( I used chicken drumsticks but chicken breast would work  very well)shredded 
  • 1 tbsp                        smoked paprika 
  • 1 tbsp                       dry parsley leafs 
  • 2 1/2 cups                 shredded three cheeses mix or cheddar cheese or your favorite mix.


Mix the water, honey, cornmeal together and sprinkle yeast over top. Let stand for 10 minutes until foamy.

In the bowl of a stand up mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment combine 4 cups( from the total of 4 1/2 cups of flour), salt, olive oil and the yeast mixture. Knead on low speed until the dough comes together. Add the remaining flour if the dough is sticky and clings to the side of the bowl.
Continue mixing on low speed for another 7 minutes or turn the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead by hand until smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap and tea towel and place in a draft free place to rise for 1 hour.

Cook the bacon strips. Place on paper towel to drain.

Shred the chicken.

After one hour the dough is ready to be filled.

Roll the dough (on a lightly floured surface) into a rectangular sheet of approximately  18 x 9 inches.
Arrange bacon strips on the dough.

Sprinkle the shredded chicken and the smoked paprika and parsley flakes.

Sprinkle cheese over the top.

Roll the dough up from the short end, and pace into a 10 X 5 inches  greased loaf pan. Cover the dough with  tea towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
bake into a preheated oven of 375˚F for 20 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350˚F and bake for another 25 minutes.
Let the loaf cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out on a cooling rack.

Serve warm with a bowl of steaming soup or as an appetizer.

Note: if desired when the loaf is taken out of the oven the top it can be " rubbed" with a piece of butter   for a nice shine and to keep it soft.


Sep 21, 2009

Stir-Fried Crispy Tofu with Noodles

Tofu and noodles, is one of my favorite dishes. I love that is very quick to make and taste delicious. Of course you have the added bonus that is high in protein and low in fat. I choose for this dish yellow pepper, onion and scallions but you can substitute with whatever you have on hand or with your favorite asian greens.


  • 350 g                               firm tofu cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp                               peanut oil or sesame oil 
  • 1/4 cup                            low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp                                finely grated ginger
  • 3/4 cup                            rice flour
  • vegetable oil for frying 
  • 2                                    onions cut into thin wedges
  • 2                                    garlic cloves finely minced 
  • 2 tsp                               brown sugar
  • 1                                     yellow pepper cut into thin strips
  • 5                                     scallions ( green onion) cut into short lengths
  • 2 tbsp                             dry sherry
  • 2 tsp                               finely grated orange zest
  • 1   package of noodles cooked according to manufacturing instructions, to serve with or, steamed rice.

Cut the tofu into small pieces, place into a non-metallic bowl.
In a different bowl mix together the peanut oil, soy sauce and ginger.

Pour over the tofu and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Drain tofu reserving the marinated.

Toss several pieces at the time in the rice flour to coat heavily.

Heat a wok or a frying pan until very hot. Add about 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Working in batches , stir-fry the tofu over medium heat about 1 1/2 minutes, or until golden. Remove from wok, drain on paper towel and keep warm.

Drain any oil from the wok. Reheat the wok add 1 tbsp of fresh oil and stir-fry the onion, garlic and the sugar for about 3 minutes.
Add the yellow pepper, scallions, sherry, orange zest and reserve tofu marinade.

Stir fry for about 1 minute.

Add tofu and stir and toss to heat through.

Serve with noodles or steamed rice.


Sep 17, 2009

Swirling Nutella Cookies

Nutella! Probably the most popular sweet spread in the world. Nutella got its start in 1963 in Italy produced by the Ferrero company. The mixture of chocolate, hazelnut paste and skim milk is adored by kids everywhere and could be find in over 75 countries around the world.

My boys definitely  are part of that category. Nutella is a constant companion for breakfast from waffles to pancakes or just plain toast. Cookies with nutella spread....... What could be better? 1 recipe yields about 36 cookies.

  • 3/4 cup                                    chocolate hazelnut spread ( recommended Nutella) 
  • 1/3 cup                                    chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 1/4 cup                                 all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp                                     baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp                                     salt
  • 1/2 cup                                   butter room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup                                    granulated sugar
  • 1 large                                    egg yolk 
  • 1/4 tsp                                    vanilla extract

Combine the chocolate spread and chopped walnuts in a small bowl.
 Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add egg yolk and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Add flour mixture . Stir to combine. Shape the dough into a ball.

Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of wax paper to an 8 x 10 inch (20 x 25 cm) rectangle. Trim the edges. Discard top sheet of wax paper.
Spread the chocolate mixture over dough, living an 1/2 inch border at each long edge.

Roll up tightly from the long side, jelly roll-style, using the wax paper as a guide.

Press seam against roll to seal. Wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour .
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with silicon mats.
Cut the cookies into 1/4 inch slices (6 mm)

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool.


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