Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chicken Bacon and Corn Chowder

We've certainly been hit with the weather here in the Pacific Northwest! First snow, and now rain and gale force winds that have our country roads so wet I spotted a duck swimming in a puddle this morning as I drove to the grocery store!

In the meantime, the folks at Recipe to Riches announced on Friday that they had GINORMOUS news to share this week which I'm hoping means there will be a second season for the popular Canadian Food Network show. 

Those who have been around awhile will recall that I was a gold ticket winner last year during the American Idol style auditions and then went on to the short list - only to discover one black Wednesday that I wouldn't be going any further - so a second season would be my ultimate chance at redemption.

Except, holy put the pressure on Batgirl, last year I entered on a lark but this year feels like a much bigger deal. Especially because many, many more Canadian cooks will be aware of the contest thus thickening up the competition.

Tonight I am cooking what I hope will be "the one" - the dish that will get me an audition so that I can present it in Vancouver.

It should be noted that:

(a) This is my fourth attempt at culinary brilliance
(b) Deep frying and me are a lethal combination.
(c) I will not be going anywhere near the dessert category. This is for Canada's sake as much as my own.

In the meantime, it's comfort food Sunday and I have a wonderful recipe for you for Chicken, Bacon, and Corn Chowder. This is not my Recipe to Riches entry, but it did comfort my jangled nerves this chilly weekend.

Tune in to see where we're at with our renovations (ergo: "Damn Girl, your kitchen is a hot mess!"), experience the dulcet tones of my singing voice (no, I will not be singing in every episode of CHARMED), and join me and my unfortunate hair style as I stir up some magic!

 For the printable chowder recipe click HERE



Chicken and Bacon Corn Chowder

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 5 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
  • 2 large carrots diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper diced
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp creole seasoning
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • juice of one small lime
  • 2 cans niblets corn
  • 2 large potatoes peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • hot sauce to taste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup finely ground cornflake crumbs
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro (optional)
Directions
  1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large dutch oven at medium high. Add the onions, celery, carrots, chicken, jalapeno pepper, and saute for app. ten minutes until the onion becomes translucent.
  2. Sprinkle on the creole seasoning and mix well to incorporate
  3. Add the chicken stock, lime juice, corn, potatoes, and garlic and bring to a boil. Let simmer for ten minutes.
  4. Scoop one cup of corn, potatoes, carrots, and a little broth out of the pot and blend until smooth with one cup milk. Stir that back into the soup along with the cornflake crumbs. 
  5. Add crumbled bacon. Add hot sauce to taste. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired.


***

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

Facebook Twitter YouTube

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mushroom Beef Stew

Hi everyone!

How's the weather in your part of the world?

Here on Vancouver Island it's cold, cold, cold with a side order of snow!

This has made for some very entertaining moments with our dog Max who turns into "SNOW DOG" at the first hint of frost. His love of romping in the white stuff somehow makes it more bearable and - truth be told - I actually quite like it when my world is blanketed in white.

And then there's the whole foodie thing. I mean, what could be better on a cold winter day than stew?

I adapted this recipe from one on the Canadian Living website adding a few Kitchen Witch twists of my own and what resulted is one of the best stews I have ever made.
































For printable recipe, click HERE 

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 2 lb stewing beef cubes
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried Herbes de Provence or thyme
  • 2 large cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cups button mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 cups baby potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
  • 1 pkg dried mushrooms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1 cup frozen peas
Directions
  1. Trim and cut beef into cubes; toss with the flour. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In large skillet, heat half of the oil over medium-high heat; brown meat, in batches and adding more oil if necessary. Transfer to a large Dutch oven that has a lid.
  2. Add stock to the same skillet and bring to boil, scraping up any brown bits off the bottom; pour over the meat in the Dutch oven.
  3. In same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat; fry onion, bacon and thyme for 1 minute. Add button mushrooms; cook until softened and almost no liquid remains, about 8 minutes. During the last minute of cooking, add the minced garlic and continue to stir until fragrant.Add to Dutch oven.
  4. Add celery, potatoes, dried mushrooms, bay leaf and 1 cup (250 mL) water, and tomato ketchup to the Dutch oven; stir to combine. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until beef is tender, about 1 hour.
  5. Add peas; simmer until heated through. Discard bay leaf. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. This stew is even better cooled and refrigferated to serve the next day.


***

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

Facebook Twitter YouTube

Monday, January 16, 2012

Chicken, Potato, and Kalamata Olives in Parchment Bundles

I used to be a runner.

A pursuit, based on body type alone, I really had no business participating in.

But in grade seven when I tried out for junior high track and didn't make it, some kind of fire was lit within me and I became determined to get onto the team.

Two years, many grueling miles, and ten pounds of baby fat later, I found myself, not only on the track team, but winning medals.

Such has been the story of my life.

Nothing has ever come particularly easy, but with a little elbow grease and determination I have always been able to touch my goals.

Except in one area: my weight.

I go up and down according to the season but have never put the kind of heart and determination into this struggle that I have other things in my life.

Though I have been on every diet plan imaginable, it is just recently that something clicked reminding me that it's not the plan in charge of my destiny, it's me.

And I have the power to choose how this thing is going to play out.

I am not some unwitting victim of metabolic happenstance, but rather a willing, butter wielding participant in my own life's drama.

As such, I have decided there is no try, only do.

No more, "I'm just trying to get healthy let the chips fall where they may yadda yadda."

This time I have a plan - and a big part of that plan is you because I can't do this alone.

Right now I'm riding high on the fabulosity of new beginnings. I'm motivated, and primed, and excited, and everything's new - but remember, I've been down this road enough times to understand that what goes up will eventually and certainly, come down.

And when I I do, I need to be accountable to something or someone other than myself or, as sure as I'm sitting here, I will slide right off this wagon and back into old patterns.

When I want to turn right, I must remember to turn left...

I have several goals I wish to accomplish before the clock strikes midnight 2012.

The first being my opening blog of 2012; beginning with the following sentence:

I am a runner.

***

In the meantime, I can't say enough about tonight's dinner:

















My recipe for tender chicken and potatoes infused with fresh herbs, tomatoes and kalamata olives is quick and easy to prepare and sure to become a weeknight favourite!

Chicken Potato and Kalamata Olives in Parchment Bundles
For printable recipe click here

















Ingredients
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 1 small onion sliced in thin rings
  • 3 medium red skinned potatoes, scrubbed clean or peeled
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
















Directions
  1. Mix all ingredients except the chicken together in a medium bowl.
  2. Place each chicken breast onto a 12 x 12 piece of parchment paper and spoon equal amounts of the olive, potato mixture over both.
  3. Bring edges of the paper together and fold together to crimp closed. Be sure to leave some room inside the bundle for heat expansion which will happen as the chicken bakes. Bake at 375 degrees F for 40-45 minutes.
  4. Serve rustic style on a large plate. Garnish with fresh parsley.
Please enjoy my easy to follow step by step video.





***

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

Facebook Twitter YouTube




Monday, January 9, 2012

Panko Crusted Sole

It's a Monday and I shouldn't be this tired so early in the week. But with cold and flu season upon us, I feel like I might be fighting something off. That being said, when I arrived home from work I was absolutely exhausted but hungry for some kind of comfort food.

So I went to the freezer to see what was what and remembered I had purchased a tray of beautiful fresh sole at the fish market over the weekend.

Perfect!

But how to prepare it?

Did I want it stuffed with shrimp and covered in a luscious cream sauce?

Mmmm... sounded good - but I didn't have the right ingredients on hand to pull it off.

So what did I have?

After a nice forage into my pantry I came away victorious with a box of panko breadcrumbs and a container of Emeril's Creole Seasoning I'd mixed together over the weekend. (truly a kitchen staple - his spice blend is good on just about everything)



The perfect combination for a crunchy and comforting fish bake!




































Please enjoy my how to video to create this dish with oven baked chips:




Panko Crusted Sole
For printable recipe click here


















  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs (Kikomen makes them now. They can be found at just about any grocery store)
  • 1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning
  •  2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds sole fillets
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 2 teaspoons prepared white horseradish
Directions

1. Preheat oven to 475. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, spray with PAM; set aside.
2. Place egg in a wide shallow bowl; season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, combine panko, creole seasoning, and oil. Dip sole into egg, then into panko mixture, pressing to adhere. Place on prepared baking sheets.
3. Bake until lightly browned for app. 8-12 minutes (do not overcook). Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, parsley, mustard, lemon juice, and horseradish; season with salt and pepper. Serve with sauce and lemon wedges on the side.


Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

Facebook Twitter YouTube

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Healthy Winter Soup

We have officially begun our kitchen remodel here in Casa de CHARMED.

Here's a photograph of the table I purchased - the cool thing is that it doubles as an island!
















I've chosen a similar colour palette to the one pictured and we will hopefully have everything finished within the next few weeks - fingers crossed!

In the meantime, I will continue cooking up a storm while the reno's go on around me.

Over the weekend I created a favourite Kitchen Witch recipe for Lentil Soup with Maple Turkey Bacon, Apples, and Swiss Chard. It is warm and comforting and absolutely delicious!

Stop by and watch the video and if you like what you see, please hit the "like" button. Better yet, leave me a comment! http://youtu.be/hIV4767fnjQ

To visit the printable recipe, please click HERE.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sweet Salmon Bake with Fruity Avocado and Cashew Salad

The chocolates are gone, and the house has been clean swept of all offending holiday treats. I managed to get through the festive season relatively unscathed with a five pound weight gain - three pounds of which I have already taken off eating meals like the one I'm featuring today.

In the meantime, all kinds of exciting behind the scenes things have been happening here at "Casa de CHARMED" with the most exciting being a kitchen facelift! We will be embarking on a huge reno this month so watch for a brand new kitchen in February!

So strap on those runners, get out there, get moving, get breathing, and start the New Year off right with today's easy dinner idea: http://youtu.be/9Cp5fVpmKaQ

Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.com

Salmon Bake with Fruity Avocado and Cashew Salad
For printable recipe click HERE