here and there

Friday, November 27, 2015

Sweet and Sour Cabbage soup

With the temperature dropping in the Foothills, I've seen a few bloggers making Cabbage Roll Soup and posting their pictures on Instagram.
My Mom did do what she called "Lazy Cabbage Rolls" which was a casserole.

This recipe takes the Cabbage Roll Soup recipe a step further by adding some Asian Flavors. 

Sauté about a pound of ground meat, I used ground pork

To make this soup; I used 1/2 white Onion, fresh grated Ginger, 1/3 c Rice Vinegar, 1/4c Soya Sauce, hot chilies, Shiitake Mushroom, 1 clove of Garlic, fresh ground pepper, 1 -2 cup chopped Cabbage,1 can diced Tomatoes, 1/2 cup of rice.

Soften the chopped onions in about a tablespoon of Olive Oil

Add the rest of the ingredients, top with water.  I never use a purchased broth as I am not sure what is actually in the broth. I'm thinking pork chops for the stock in this soup would be awesome!   Water works just fine. Bring to boil and then simmer until rice cooked. 

I found that 1/2 cup of rice was too much, but my husband loved the soup thick. 
I also added a tin of Tomato paste as I thought it need more tomato flavor.

This makes a lot of soup, about 3 Litres. This recipe is a keeper.  In my husband's words, "Dam!  That is good soup!"

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Maine Pancakes, Pennsylvanian Dutch Pancake

In trying to organize my Christmas recipe, I came across a recipe that I know as a Pennsylvanian Dutch Pancake but this was referred to as a Maine Pancake.  I am not sure why!

It suggests making this batter a day ahead and chilling it overnight.  Never am I that organized! 

The first time I made a Pennsylvanian Dutch Pancake in my Cast Iron, it certainly rose more than this recipe, but with two teenage boys, I couldn't make it fast enough. I didn't make it again as needed more than one cast iron pan to feed a family of five.

Armed with this information, I cut up three apples, handful of raisins and sautéed them in a tablespoon of butter.  I also chopped up two cooked sausages. 

 Whisk 2 lightly beaten large eggs, 1/2 c flour, 1/2 cup milk, pinch of salt, vanilla together, Batter can be a bit lumpy.  

Heat Oven to 425 degrees.

If you wanted to do just the puffy pancake, melt some butter in a cast iron pan.
Pour batter into the heated cast iron pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve right away as the pancake will be puffy like a soufflé and most dramatic!

Dust with Icing sugar or serve with maple syrup. 

Since I have two pieces left over, I will serve it with ice cream for supper. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Sandwich Pickles

I spent a wonderful morning a few years ago with my Ninety year old Aunt as we poured through her recipes.

She was looking for her favourite recipes she wanted to share with me.

August 26, 2011 at 10:40 AM

On her kitchen counter, she had jars of Sandwich Pickles that she had just made. The cucumbers had been sliced thinly to make this recipe.

Here is my Aunt's Sandwich Pickles recipe that she had hand written

Recipe for Sandwich Pickles

Kasputa or Sauerkraut soup

Today on a beautiful wintery sunny day, I decided to  phone my aunts.  My aunt in Ontario was not home, but a cheerful opening greeting from my Aunt in Manitoba meant she was ready for a chat.

When asking what her plans for the day were, she replied "I'm making soup after lunch." 
She was making Kaspusta soup or Sauerkraut soup
 and Yes, using her own Kaspusta that she had made earlier this fall.  

June 16, 2014 at 12:28 PM

To the soup she was adding potatoes, onion and rice.  "Of course" she was adding Pork Ribs to make the stock.   She was also julienne a couple of carrots, "for color". 

This conversation brought back memories of when my Mom was in hospital given birth to my youngest brother.  I hadn't realized until then how much my Dad loved this soup as we seemed to have it every day.   She laughed at this memory!

I love the flavor of the ribs when cooked slowly in the Sauerkraut and I did eat the ribs but not the soup.  In listening to my Aunt, I thought how I would love a bowl of this soup right now.

I mentioning to her the jar method of making Sauerkraut I had read on line and discussed with one of my cousins, Bernice.  My ninety year old Aunt, said she had use this method but "did not like the texture as the Sauerkraut seemed cooked instead of fermented." 

She then told me how she made her Sauerkraut.

She used a large rubbermaid container.  The strength and thickness of the container was important. I know my daughter in law's Mom makes Kimchee also in a rubbermaid container.  

Using a sauerkraut cutting board, my Aunt shreds the fresh cabbage.  It is important to get garden fresh cabbage as it supplies it's own water as it ferments.

The layers of cabbage is salted with non-iodized as she goes along.  When asked how how much salt, "no really measure".  She also adds a sliced onion and a bit of allspice. "Not a lot as difficult to get the allspice out if you add a lot".  The cabbage is "pounded" down as she goes along. 

The cabbage is also pressed down using a gallon of water which is placed on top of a plastic lid.  She laughed that things were so much easier now with plastics.  Not too sure how she does this step.  My Mom used a stoneware crock and weighted down the cabbage with stone that fit the crock perfectly. 

She did not find that there was a strong smell only when she rinsed the cabbage, although she did keep the container in the garage or granary when she lived on the farm. 

She lets the cabbage ferment for 8 to 14 days. Then she packages the Sauerkraut in ziplock bags and freezes the bags for later use. 

Today, she was using one of those frozen bags of Sauerkraut to make soup! 

This picture was taken Sept, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

Mexican brunch,

Brunch in a Mexican restaurant

For an appetizer, Baked Tortilla chips with Salsa, pico de gallo and guacamole

 Pico De Gallo - A traditional fresh Mexican salsa made with tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapenos , made fresh daily!

The heat of this sauce varies greatly as to the heat of the Jalapeños.  

My recipe for Pico De Gallo is;

Chop one tomato, 1/2 onion, handful of cilantro, lime juice and chopped jalapeño
Mix together and season with salt and pepper.

We all ordered a different dish, my husband loves the Chicken Chimichanga, I had the Mexican platter and ended up taking the Chicken Enchilada and the beef Burritos home. 

Chimichanga - A deep fried flour tortilla filled with pico de gallo and cheese, with your choice of chicken or beef, topped with our homemade chipotle sauce and pepper
Mexican platter, that had one Enchiladas with chicken, Mexi Burritos - Flour tortilla filled with Spanish rice, refried beans, pico de gallo  with beef and hard taco with chicken. 

My son had the Enchiladas - Three handmade enchiladas served with Spanish rice and refried beans with Chicken.  Beef or vegetable were the other choices. 

Dutch Waffle - Loaded with their very own saskatoon topping and whipped cream.

Roasted Potato slices

Couple of days before Canadian Thanksgiving, the new Italian Supermarket posted this recipe on Instagram and I decided to make it.

It was a hit, not only did infusing the rosemary and garlic into the olive oil and butter, make the house smell wonderful, the dish was delicious and quickly disappeared. 

1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup evoo, 4 cloves garlic, 1 sprig rosemary, salt and pepper. 

Combine on stovetop, medium heat. Cook til garlic is golden...Remove from heat. Toss sliced potatoes in mixture, then place in cast iron skillet. Bake at 350c for 1hr then crank up heat to 400c for 25 min. Baste potatoes throughout with butter mixture til golden brown!

I did use more olive oil in the mixture as did baste the potatoes frequently 

This picture also won me a spot with nine other Gastroposter in Calgary for dinner and interactive photography using ASUS's smartphone.  Their Zenphone is an android smartphone with the camera as their big feature, a little different from the iPhone, but certainly a wow factor in taking pictures in low light. This phone has two SIM cards and NO contact!  Not to mention the principles of adult education put into play as each one of us handled one of these Zenfones!  Great fun as we all had our own zenphone to use.. smart marketing!  Most of the group were bloggers and photographers!it was most interesting to see food bloggers all taking pictures as the food got cold! 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Chocolate Bundt Cake

Something about baking a cake for a birthday.  Okay, I did use a cake mix, something my Mom rarely did.  She did use Lemon Pie filling which I believe was because fresh lemon were not readily available.  She also used Angel Food Cake mix which I remember her telling me that it was just as good as making it from scratch.. I believe the reason she used the cake mix instead of making the cake from scratch is that you would then be left with 12 egg yolks and then the need to use them in something like noodles! She did make beautiful Chiffon cakes, Maple Walnut or Poppy Seed for my birthday, that she would even put on the bus for my birthday when I couldn't come home. Chiffon Cakes use the whole egg!
The history of cake mix is very interesting! 

My Bundt pan is one of my favorite pans to use for cakes. 

Grease well a Bundt pan
To a cake mix, add 4 eggs, 1/2 c oil, 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 c water, 1- 4oz pudding
Mix well 
Add a handful of fresh cranberries and chocolate chips (optional) but I love the taste of fresh cranberries in the Chocolate cake or brownies. 
A cherry pie filling works well here too!
Bake for 30 -40 minutes at 350 in preheated oven 

The best part of the cake is helping decorate using raspberries and whip cream! 

Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped Potatoes was a frequent dish when growing up.  I remember my Mom slicing the peeled potatoes thinly with a knife.  Each layer of potato has been dusted and seasoned with pepper and salt, then a layer of thinly sliced while onions.  This step was repeated until the dish is filled.  Heated whole milk was added to the greased casserole to cover the potatoes.   Bits of butter were dotted over the top of the casserole.   Simple enough, but the first time I made this dish, I remember the mess of burned milk as the milk did boil over in the oven. 

I would have seen my Mom making this when very young, which certainly demonstrates that kids do learn by observing. 

My girlfriend as far as my family is concerned makes the best scalloped potatoes and her scalloped potatoes have become legionary.  She would parboil the potatoes, slice the potatoes, layer in a greased casserole dish with sliced onions and potatoes and then pour in heavy cream! 

A recipe that I had made for Brunch for my visiting cousins from British Columba, included a layer of sweet potatoes.  The color was lovely, but the sweet potato and regular potato cook at different times, so the texture of the sweet potato was much softer. 

For my Husband's birthday, I made roast beef, gravy, roasted organic beets and scalloped potatoes with Caesar Salad.

To make the scalloped potatoes, I sliced clean unpeeled potatoes with a mandolin, layered the potatoes with thinly sliced white onions in a well greased casserole. 

Add 1  cup of cream to the potatoes
Bake covered with tin foil at 325 for 45 -60 minutes until potatoes tender
Uncover potatoes and add grated Mozzarella cheese if you like and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes 

The length of cooking time depends on the size and depth of pan.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Gu Jeol Paan, Korean Hot Pot,

My son's in laws prepared a Korean meal for his birthday.  In my opinion, the best recipe one can get is those told to you by the chef or cook that has made or making the dish.  


A healthy and delicious Gu Jeol Paan was prepared; six items with sauteed vegetables, mushroom and chicken - served with small crepes for an appetizer.

This recipe needs a lot of chopping and then all the items are sautéed separately and arranged either in a circle or on a long rectangle plate as above.

Carrots, Red Bell Pepper, Cucumber, white Onion and Hydrated Shitake mushrooms were chopped finely into Julienne strips.  Sauté separately in a bit of Olive Oil. The shiitake mushroom or another of one's favourite mushrooms can be used.  The mushrooms can also be marinated in Soya Sauce with sesame seed oil. 

Separate 2 eggs, beat the egg white and egg yolk and fry separating as a pancake.  Roll the pancake when cool and slice into thin strips. 

Meat or seafood can be used. Chicken was sliced into thin slices and marinated in a curry mixture.  The chicken strips were sautéed  until cooked.

The small crepes is a regular crepe recipe, one part flour to one part liquid, milk or water., pinch of salt

Use a medium heated pan and make small discs of crepes for this dish.

Dipping sauce:
 1/4 c soya sauce
1 T sesame seed oil
1 T rice vinegar
1 -2 tsp Dried Keen's mustard
2Tsp Brown sugar

Adjust ingredients to taste

Using one of the small crepes, assemble the vegetables, chicken and egg garnishing with the dipping sauce

The Father in Law was proud to make an appetizer he had tasted on his last trip to Korea in the summer.

Thin slices of beef was dredged in 
flour, seasoned with salt and pepper and deep fried until crispy
They were used as garnish for for rice along with green onions.

Homemade Korean hot dumplings, Mandu were made by my daughter in law.

Since there were 8 adults, two hot pots were set up.  Hot Pot has been my favourite Birthday meal, but with a small grandchild around I have not been making this.  

 Hot sauce and mustard were added by the Mom in law to each soup bowl

The Hot Pot was done a little different here as all the meat was par boiled in the stock and so where some of the vegetables.  I must say they were surprised I did cook the meat or vegetables first, but cooked the vegetables and meat as we went along.  I also do not like the noodles all put into the soup as the noodles tend to  become soggy and the broth cloudy.  I have the cooked noodles placed in bowl  which one can added to the hot broth in the soup bowl. 

The meal was ended with a purchased Black Forest Cake.