Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Quick Note for My Subscribers

Hello everyone! I hope you're doing well.

Just wanted to send out a quick note to let you know I will be away at a conference for the next week and won't be back to the blog until next Monday.

That week I will have all kinds of great recipes, videos, and brand new installments of Cherry Hill and Starring Samantha.

Take care and have a wonderful week!

Love from your friendly neighborhood Kitchen Witch!
xoxo

Sweet and Sour Meatballs with Bok Choy and Mushroom Stir Fry

It's been awhile since I shared a good Asian inspired recipe - but I just I couldn't resist posting this one today! Sweet and sour meatballs with just a hint of heat are bathed in a luscious sauce and served over rice. Accompanied by one of my favourite Asian side dish recipes for stir fried bok choy, I know you're going to love this easy meal!



















Serve this on a Saturday movie night with chop sticks and don't forget the fortune cookies for dessert!

Visit the printable recipe here: Sweet and Sour Meatballs with Bok Choy

Please enjoy my easy to follow step by step recipe video: 




Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4

Sauce
  • 1 398 ml (14 fl oz tin) pineapple chunks
  • 1/3 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp hot Asian garlic chili sauce
  • 1/8 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp water
Meatballs
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/4 cup finely diced water chestnut
  • 1/4 cup finely diced scallions (green stems included)
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/2 tsp each garlic powder, ginger powder, salt, dried chili flakes, and pepper
Stir FryVeggies
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 cups baby Bok Choy
  • 8 large sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
Directions
  1. Drain pineapple juice into a medium bowl. Reserve pineapple chunks.
  2. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients to the pineapple juice, stir well, and set aside. 
  3. Mix all of the meatball ingredients together. Roll into small 3/4 inch in diameter meatballs. Place onto a rack on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes until almost cooked through and much of the fat from the meatballs has been released.
  4. Heat the sauce ingredients and the pineapple in a large pot and bring to the boil. Add the meatballs and finish cooking them in the sauce for 15 more minutes over medium high heat.During the last minute of cooking mix the cornstarch and water together to form a slurry and stir into the sauce to thicken.
  5. Heat the olive oil and sesame oil in a large non-stick skillet or wok and stir fry the mushrooms just until they begin to lose their water. Add the Bok Choy and continue to stir fry until tender crisp. Add the ginger and garlic and saute for an additional minute. Finish with the soy sauce. Serve the meatballs over rice with the stir fried mushroom and Bok Choy 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


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Easy Baking: Nutty Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's been awhile since I posted a great recipe for a snack or dessert - and these incredible cookies are well worth the wait!!




















One of the best ever basic cookie recipes is elevated with a mixture of butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, and toasted nuts.

The only problem is, these cookies are so damn good you're going to have to hide them on yourself (or your Poolboy ;)

Please enjoy today's fun and easy to follow step by step video and visit the printable recipe here:
Nutty Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies




Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1\2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup each semisweet chocolate chips and butterscotch chips
  • 1/2  cup each chopped almonds and cashews, toasted
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Add baking soda to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate and butterscocth  chips, and nuts. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Warm Embrace: Cherry Hill Episode 28

Hello dear readers!

When last we left Cherry Hill, Amanda and her white wolf familiar, Namanya, had tracked Jack to an airline hanger where he was being held captive by Walt Fischer and The Association. Even more surprising was the reappearance of Nurse Val - there to interrogate Jack using painful medical interventions! But before she could get started, a loud crash came from deep inside the airplane hanger sending Walt Fischer, his men, and Nurse Val back inside...

***

Namanya looked deep into Amanda's eyes, sending her an unspoken message to stay put outside the hanger while she tracked Jack inside; and as difficult as it was for Amanda to not know what was going on, she nodded in acquiescence and ducked off to hide behind a tree.

Inside the hanger, Jack managed to free himself from the chair he had been tied to by smashing it against a wall and breaking the chair in pieces - and knowing the noise would alert his captors, quickly made his way along the side of the large room toward the exit.

But just as he reached the door, Walt Fischer's voice came from across the room. "Don't even think about it Wilson," he said, pistol pointing straight at Jack's head, "We've got you completely surrounded - any attempts at getting away are just going to make it harder on you."

Jack felt deflated. As Amanda's Watcher he had completed his sworn duty to keep her safe, but he couldn't shake the feeling that, somehow, their story wasn't over. He believed if he could just get out the hanger to safety it would be sign enough that he needed to turn back and find her.

But it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out they wouldn't be letting him out of this one alive. Jack took a deep breath and accepted his fate. He was a man and he was Amanda's Watcher - they would have to kill him before he would ever divulge where she was or who she was with. But just as he began to raise his hands in surrender, a massive white wolf leapt onto Walt Fischer knocking him to the ground. The gun flew from his hands on impact and with one swift move, Jack grabbed it and was running toward the side door with the wolf behind him.

Jack knew exactly where he was going. There was a Stinson biplane parked at the far end of the runway - if he could just get there before the rest of Fischer's men, he could get out of there - and as he made the long sprint praying for speed, he had no idea that Amanda was directly above him willing him to run faster and that Namanya was right behind.

When he reached the plane, Amanda landed on the ground directly in front of him.

"Jesus Murphy!" he exclaimed, your lucky I didn't shoot you! What are you doing here?"

"There's no time Jack, get into the plane!"

And with Walt Fischer's men gaining on them, Amanda, Jack, and Namanya jumped into the plane. Jack fumbled with the starter and though it seemed as if they would never get away, the plane taxied down the runway at breakneck speed and amidst gunshots from the ground below, was air bound and headed back to Cherry Hill.

***

Marjorie Wilson was setting the table for dinner when the oddest feeling about Jack overtook her. Ever since her son disappeared with Amanda Fitzpatrick and her children, the two had been the talk of Cherry Hill. But because no one living in the sleepy little prairie town were of The Zanzibar (including her own husband) Marjorie had to suffer the rumour mill in silence.

As a Watcher of the highest order, it had been Marjorie who had come to take Amanda from her parents, Tristan and Victoria, and after hand picking the family Amanda would grow up with, she hoped the girl would be able to live out this lifetime in peace; but The Zanzibar had had other plans. Originally it had been Jack who was supposed to go to Halifax and woo Amanda, but her head strong son had enlisted and was shipped overseas - leaving the Zanzibar no choice but to send Paul.

The plan had been for a Chosen and a Watcher to marry and have children in the hopes that their offspring would have the strength and intuition of a Watcher and the powers of a Chosen - and though all went according to plan, Paul had never truly loved Amanda and resented being tied down. It had broken Marjorie's heart to see Paul so flagrantly carry out his affair with Val Peterson - an affair the entire town was aware of - except Amanda.

But when The Zanzibar got wind of what was happening, justice was swift and final and Paul was killed in a terrible car accident while Val Peterson's life had been spared. This left an icy shiver in Marjorie's heart because she had always suspected Val Peterson might be with The Association. There was a sense of deja vu where Val was concerned and though Marjorie couldn't quite put her finger on it, she couldn't shake the feeling that she had known Val in another lifetime.

Sighing deeply, Marjorie wished life could be as simple as it appeared on the surface. The kitchen table was set with cheerful rose embossed Melmac plates, and Boston Blackie played on the radio in the front room.

Supper was her husband's favourite dish: Macaroni and Cheese with Ham and Peas.




















And under any other circumstances a lovely dinner in their cozy kitchen would imply comfort and contentment.

In the meantime, Amanda and Jack were in the air.

"How did you find me?" asked Jack, marveling once again at the effect Amanda's blue eyes had on his heart.

"After you left, the strangest things began to happen," said Amanda gazing at Jack's handsome profile as he navigated the plane, "You told me you're a Watcher; well after I met my Protector, I began to remember who I am. My parents, our legacy, the Zanzibar - and as the memories flooded in, so did you. Jack, I knew you were in danger and so I left the children with my Protector and set off to find you. Along the way, I found Namanya, and I began to remember some of my, um, abilities."

"Abilities?" asked Jack raising his eyebrows.

"Yes. It seems my identity isn't the only thing that's been kept hidden from me."

"Like what?"

"Well, for starters, I can fly."

Something about the way she said it, about the incomprehensibility of the entire situation, struck Jack in the funny bone and although he didn't want Amanda to think he was making fun of her, he started to laugh, softly at first, and as the stress of the past few weeks began to peel away, Amanda joined him.

Soon they were wiping tears from their eyes and as Jack expertly landed the plane in a field on the outskirts of Cherry Hill, laughter turned to embrace under the bright light of a full moon as Jack did what he had longed to do for so many years.



























When their lips met for the first time an unusual magic ignited. Passion met safety and comfort and what was always meant to be came to pass.

Amanda and Jack had come home.

***

Marjorie scooped up a generous helping of macaroni and cheese casserole for her husband and just as she was about to serve herself, the back door swung open.

"Mother, we're back!"

Marjorie's eyes filled with tears as her only son walked through the door with Amanda by his side.

In the back yard, a large white wolf made herself comfortable in a pile of soft leaves and, howling at the moon, let the universe know of her happiness that all was as it should be.

But in an airplane hanger deep in the woods of the Lost Lakes Walt Fischer understood that The Association had only just begun. Darkness was coming to Cherry Hill...

***

Stay tuned next Sunday for the next exciting installment of Cherry Hill! And if you enjoy reading my food related fiction, pop by and check out my hilarious new web series "Starring Samantha."

Samantha Wentworth's catering business goes belly up along with her marriage to cut throat divorce attorney Alan Wentworth. To recoup her losses she applies to be on a reality TV show, falls in love with the married producer, just about kills the pompous chef host, and gets herself into all kinds of other interesting predicaments. 


Stay tuned Saturdays for this brand new serial on The Kitchen Witch! I'll be basing the characters off of well known food world celebs to keep you guessing! So be sure to bookmark The Kitchen Witch and come along for a fun, food related, romantic romp through the world of reality TV!

Click here for the series index: Starring Samantha



***

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, September 22, 2013

Cooking Technique: Roasted Tomatoes with Chicken, Spaghetti, and Herb Butter

With tomatoes in so much abundance as we head into Fall, I love to feature recipes for using every last one up - and what better way to do so than by roasting?

Roasting tomatoes brings out a depth of flavour that just can't be beat - and combined with herb butter infused chicken breasts, this recipe makes a sauce that is just amazing!




















Visit the printable recipe here: Roasted Tomatoes with Chicken, Spaghetti, and Herb Butter

Please enjoy my easy to follow step by step recipe.




Ingredients
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, thyme, and parsley
  • 6 medium tomatoes cut into quarters
  • 2 large cloves garlic, split
  • 1/2 tsp each salt, black pepper, dried chili flakes (to sprinkle on the tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp each salt, pepper, and garlic powder (to sprinkle on the chicken)
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 450 gram pkg dried spaghetti noodles
  • a handful of sea salt for the pasta
Directions
  1. Toss the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and dried chili flakes in a large bowl to coat. 
  2. Mix the fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary into the butter and place onto a piece of saran wrap. Roll to form a quarter inch in diameter tube and place in the refrigerator to harden.
  3. When the butter has set, cut into discs, and stuff 2 discs each into slits made in boneless skinless breasts (as per the video). Squeeze the chicken breast together to seal and then rub the outside with a tsp of additional butter and sprinkle with the mixture of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. 
  4. Spread the tomato mixture onto a baking sheet with the seed sides facing down, and place the chicken breasts alongside. Bake in a 350 oven for an hour.
  5. Remove the chicken to a platter, cover to keep warm, and then mash the roasted tomatoes and garlic until it forms a rustic slightly chunky sauce. 
  6. Reserve a half cup of the sauce for the chicken. 
  7. Boil the spaghetti noodles in well salted boiling water until al dente (seven minutes) and add a quarter cup of the pasta water to the sauce in the pot. Pour in the cooked, drained spaghetti, and toss with a quarter cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese. Thinly slice the chicken breasts and serve over top the cooked spaghetti. Pour the reserved sauce in equal amounts over each dish.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pantry Cooking: Salmon and Potato Casserole

Those of you who've been following The Kitchen Witch know that I love having tried and true, easy to put together, delicious recipes in my repertoire for week night meals.

And today's recipe for Salmon and Hash Brown Casserole is just that.




















I came up with this dish years ago when my son was a little boy and money was often tight; and despite its simple and frugal ingredients, it's remained a mainstay in our home that I prepare frequently during the autumn and winter.

So join me today in the Kitchen Witch cottage as I show you how quick and easy this is to put together,




To visit the printable recipe, please click here: Salmon and Potato Casserole.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 of a 1 kg pkg. frozen hash brown potatoes 
  •  1/3 cup melted butter  
  •  1 diced onion
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (can use low fat)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup(can use low fat)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 tins drained sockeye salmon, skin and bones removed, or 1 cooked salmon filet, shredded
  • 1 tbsp dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp pepper 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar 
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs:
Directions 
  1. Place hash browns in a medium bowl. Add the diced onions. Pour margarine over and mix well. 
  2. Mix sour cream, soup, egg, and salmon with dill, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. 
  3. Pour the hash browns into the bowl with the soup and mix everything together well. 
  4. Spoon into a 9 x 13 baking dish that has been treated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cheese and panko. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for one hour.

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, September 15, 2013

Big V's Secret Ingredient Mushroom and Guinness Beef Stew

Hi everyone - and my apologies for not posting this week. It's been a hectic time with school back in session and my work life revving up!

That being said, with all this busyness, it's great having a husband who also loves to cook - even if he does slip in the odd secret ingredient or two! And I have to tell you, today's recipe for Vaughan's beef stew is a Winner with a capital W!!




















Tender chunks of stewing beef are bathed in Guinness and then combined with a luscious array of root vegetables - perfect for the fall. Pair this with a beautiful glass of red wine or another nice cold Guinness and you've got an earthy, wonderful dish that's perfect for warming cold hands on a cool Autumn evening.

Visit the printable recipe here: Mushroom and Guinness Beef Stew

Please enjoy watching "Big V" as he cooks up this beautiful stew!




 Ingredients
  • 2 lb stewing beef cubes
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp espresso powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup Guinness
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 onion,diced
  • 2 cups button mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large cloves roughly chopped garlic
  • 1 small sliced jalapeno pepper
  • 2 cups baby potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, cubed sweet potato
  • 3/4 cup peeled, cubed parsnip
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, cubed turnip
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary and thyme tied into a bouquet
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions
  1.  Mix the flour with espresso powder, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  2. Trim and cut beef into cubes; toss with the flour mixture.
  3. In large skillet, heat half of the oil and butter over medium-high heat; brown meat. Add the Guinness to the browned meat and bring to the boil, cook until the alcohol has cooked out. Transfer to a large Dutch oven that has a lid
  4. Pour 2 cups of the stock over the meat in the Dutch oven.
  5. In same skillet, heat remaining oil and butter over medium heat; fry onion, 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 garlic and jalapeno slices and continue to stir until fragrant. Add the vegetables and stir well to coat with the butter and oil. Add to the Dutch oven.
  6. Stir everything well to combine. Add the herb bouquet, lemon zest, and the last cup of beef stock. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until beef is tender, about 1 hour.
  7. Add peas; simmer until heated through. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. This stew is even better cooled and refrigerated 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

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Canadian Food Experience Project: My Version of Pate Chinois

This month as part of The Canadian Food Experience Project we're celebrating our most cherished Canadian recipe and this was a stretch for me because I have so many to choose from. So many memories and happy times involving everything from Saskatoon berry jam on toast at the lake, to my grandmother's creamy Hodge Podge each spring when the new vegetables came in; or my mom's Swiss chard right from the garden with butter and white vinegar, and the multitude of Canadian classic recipes I have made over the years from the Best of Bridge cookbooks.

But the more I thought about it, the more my heart and mind kept going back to Quebec; the province where I spent my young adulthood - and Montreal; the city of my very first apartment, my very first real job, and the place where I began to cook.

In life, everything we're about is each other. The moves we make, the jokes we tell, the words we write, the kindness we extend, and the meals we create; each have the opportunity to influence and inspire other people's lives - and though she probably has no idea, there is an unforgettable woman, now living in New Brunswick named Noella Cardin, who did that for me.

I lived with Noella and her family when I first came to Montreal as a part of a French language exchange program and from the first moment I met her I understood the importance food had in the ways she connected to friends and family. And it wasn't entirely about the food. Though her homemade cretons spread onto white bread or toast, creamy coquilles St Jaques, oven roasted chicken with a side of sauce for dipping, and french fried potatoes (to name a few of her wonderfully memorable recipes) were always delicious and prepared with love, it was the feeling of belonging and connection I got sitting around her table that I will always remember.

It helped me realize at an early age the importance of tradition, of breaking bread with the ones you love, and the significance of inviting others to your table. What might seem like an everyday meal for you, could mean the world to someone who is lonely, or hungry, or not quite sure of their place in the world. And if a comforting weekday dish is served with love, it might just be the recipe for an experience someone else will never, ever forget.

 At least, that's how it was for me.

Pate Chinois is is a French Canadian dish similar to English cottage pie or shepherd's pie. It is made from layered ground beef, canned corn, and mashed potatoes on top and it was one of those weekday dishes Noella served often and with love.

Over the year's I have adapted it into my favourite recipe for making the transition from the lazy hazy days of summer into fall. Noella's Pate Chinois had ketchup mixed into the ground beef and called for canned corn. As a way to celebrate my memories of Quebec and the changing of the seasons, my recipe adaptation includes roasting the last of the summer tomatoes...

And making home made cream corn.

The result is my most cherished Canadian recipe for celebrating the end of a season as we get ready for another Fall.

God bless you Noella, and thank you.

I hope you enjoy my easy to follow step by step video.




Visit the printable recipe here: Pate Chinois

Ingredients
  • 8-10 medium tomatoes
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and split in half
  • 1 1//2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 6 sprigs each fresh thyme and rosemary
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup each diced zucchini, chopped onion, diced red pepper, and sliced button mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 4 ears fresh corn
  • 2 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp dried chilis
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 10-12 new potatoes
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Directions
  1. Cut the tomatoes in half and place on a baking tray with 2 large cloves of split peeled garlic. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt (I use my lemon herb salt blend), 1 tsp pepper, and 3 sprigs each of fresh thyme and rosemary. Drizzle with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Toss to coat and then turn the tomatoes so that their fleshy side is facing down. Roast in a 350 oven for one hour stirring occasionally. 
  2. Saute the onions, mushrooms, zucchini, and red pepper in a large non stick skillet over medium high heat in 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil until the onions are soft and translucent and the mushrooms begin to release their water. Season with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. 
  3. De-glaze the pan with the white wine and let simmer, getting all that good flavour off the bottom of the pan until the alcohol has evaporated. Set aside. 
  4. Saute one pound of extra lean ground beef with a half tsp each salt and pepper and a tbsp of garlic powder. When the ground beef is browned and cooked through, add the reserved vegetables back to the pan and stir to bring them all together. 
  5. When the tomatoes have roasted one hour, lightly mash them in the pan and then add them to the beef and vegetables.
  6. Remove the kernels from four ears of fresh corn using a knife and cutting downward.
  7. Saute for 7 minutes in 1 tbsp of butter over medium heat stirring well. Add a tbsp of all purpose flour and continue to saute a minute or two to cook any rawness out of the flour. Add the remaining fresh thyme and rosemary and then pour in a cup of milk. Stir, bring to the boil, and then cook for an additional 3- 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  8. Add the corn to the roasted tomato and beef mixture and stir well so that everything comes together and then add the dried chilis.
  9. Pour into a 9 x 13 oiled baking dish.
  10. Boil 10-12 new potatoes in their skins until tender. Pour a half cup of warm milk, a tbsp of butter, and a quarter cup of parmesan cheese over all and mash until it all comes together. 
  11. Spread evenly over the ground beef and vegetables and bake in a 350 oven for another hour until bubbly and golden.


***

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

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Why Cooking Contests Are A Lot Like Dating

I had an epiphany a few weeks ago when I entered into my latest cooking cray cray contest - Foodtube Star with Jamie Oliver and Uncle Ben. It occurred to me I was acting with the same fervency I once reserved for romantic relationships and, of course, I had to write about it!

Come on over to Sweatpants and Coffee where I am a food contributor and read all about it!

Why Cooking Contests Are A Lot Like Dating

And while you're there, enjoy my amazing recipe for Proscuitto Wrapped Boursin Chicken Breasts!




















I will be back later with some thoughts about Master Chef - until then, have a great day and come visit me at Sweatpants and Coffee.

Bye for now...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Crockpot Cooking: Old Fashioned Split Pea Soup

Today's easy weekday recipe is one of those tried and true comfort meals I make all the time during fall and winter. The recipe calls for the simplest ingredients but comes away tasting like you've been cooking a ham bone all day!


So join me in my Kitchen Witch cottage today as I prepare one of my all time favourite recipes for soup and find out just how simple this one is!

If you love Split Pea Soup, I'm certain this will become one of your comfort favourites for Fall and Winter.

Visit the printable recipe here: Old Fashioned Split Pea Soup



Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 6-8 hours
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients
  • 1 (16 ounce) package dried split peas, rinsed
  • 2 cups diced, smoked ham steak
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  •  1 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 10 cups low sodium chicken stock
Directions
  1. Layer ingredients in slow cooker in the order listed.
  2. Pour in broth.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, enjoy!


***

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, September 2, 2013

Amanda Remembers... Cherry Hill Episode 27

Hello dear readers! First, let me thank you for your patience as it's been a few weeks since the last installment of Cherry Hill. Hopefully this week's installment will have made the wait worthwhile!

When last we left the story, Amanda was just becoming aware of her powers and left her children in the care of her Protector in order to try and save Jack.

Now let's retun to the story...

Missed an episode? Just click here to get caught up: Cherry Hill Index

 ***

Amanda had no idea where it was all coming from, but as she flung herself off the pathway to the entrance of the cave, a flood of memory came rushing back. She was so much more than Amanda Fitzpatrick, the persona she had been given for this incarnation, and as the true knowledge continued to saturate her being, Amanda had to lean against a large boulder for support.

Her soul's name was Kestrel. She was the daughter of Victoria and Tristan Morgaine in this incarnation and in all others, and though she had lived the entirety of this life until now as a mortal, in a flash of some kind of unknown magic, she was now remembering where she had truly come from.

The Zanzibar. A powerful lineage of white witches charged with the protection of the light who had been under cover for centuries for fear of persecution from La Verite, also known as The Association - an organization dedicated to the extermination of witches and other non-humans world wide.

Amanda shook her head in wonder. All these years it had been kept from her and she didn't understand why. But with the resurgence of her memory it pressed upon the very essence of her soul that Jack was still in grave danger and she had to find him.

But where to start? Since her initial knowing, she was getting nothing, and as the sun continued to sink lower on the horizon, for the first time Amanda began to feel fear. Yes, she had some memories coming back - but certainly not enough to lead her through the forest alone at night and now, with no protector and her watcher in danger, Amanda's heart began to beat a little faster. Especially when she heard noises coming from a stand of trees to her right.

Backing toward the cave, Amanda startled when another blue eyed wolf, this time pure white, stepped out from behind the trees and howled. But before she could run for safety, the wolf looked into her eyes and another wash of Knowing overtook her.



"Namanya!" cried Amanda.

The giant white wolf gracefully ran to Amanda's side and then, circling her three times, sat.

Unlike the Protector, Namanya could not talk or shift into human form, but as Amanda's full blood wolf familiar, she had been summoned by The Protector to take his place and assist Amanda in her search for Jack.

For the second time that day Amanda's mind flooded with more memories. Namanya had been with her since the birth of her soul - given as a gift from the Gods as one of the Chosen, Namanya would be Amanda's familiar, there to guide, love and protect her throughout the ages and as the two old friends looked into each others eyes, both felt a sense of coming home.

Namanya sniffed twice and pointed her regal nose to the East. As if they had never been apart, Amanda responded with a clap of her hands. She knew what Namanya was telling her, and remembered why her soul was called Kestrel - it meant "Wind Hover." As one of the Chosen, not only could Amanda fly, she could noiselessly hover high above the ground, completely undetectable to the people below.

Namanya howled once in the direction of where the opening to the path had been, and sent a message to The Protector on the other side. She was with Amanda and would not leave her side. The Protector nodded to the East knowing Amanda's journey was as it should be - life seldom went according to plan and when fate stepped in, it was the wise soul who knew not to fight it.

"Come children," he said to Sally and Bobby, "Your mother is perfectly safe. She is acting on a Knowing for the very first time in this lifetime. We should be excited."

The children looked relieved, but Sally - always the serious one - still worried.

"Those men were bad," she said, "And the woods are so dark at night. Without Jack, how will our mother ever know where to go?"

"She'll know child," said The Protector, "There is more to all of you than any of you could ever possibly imagine. The best part is, you're going to come with me to a school where you will get the chance to learn all about it. Before you know it, your mother will be back with Jack and we can all carry on with this adventure together."

"Will there be ice cream at the school?" asked Bobby.

For the first time that day The Protector, who had a wonderful sense of humour, felt some levity. "Bobby, the ice cream  is like nothing you ever tasted before."

With a wink and a smile he beckoned them forward.

In the meantime Amanda hovered above the tree line following Namanya who was tracking the scents of Jack and the men from The Association from the ground. They traveled the better part of three hours until Namanya led them into a clearing with a large building in the center, two planes, and what looked like a landing strip.

As Amanda hovered  closer, she recognized Walt Fischer and another man having a cigarette just outside the door of the building.

"Fischer, you better be right about this one. If we don't get the woman and those kids our neck is on the line."

"Grabbing Wilson was our best option," Walt Fischer snarled, "He'll be giving up whatever information he has about Amanda before the night is over. We've got The Association's best medical interrogator - who also happens to be a Dark Old - on the job."

Just then Val Peters, dressed in crisp nurse linens and holding a long handled object with a razor sharp tip poked her head out the door. "Gentlemen," she said curtly nodding, "I'm ready to get started."

For a split second Val's eyes darted upward, as though sensing Amanda's presence, but when a crashing sound came from inside the building they all jumped and ran in...

***

Visit the next exciting installment of Cherry Hill here: Episode 28, A Warm Embrace



***

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.

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Big V's Secret Ingredient Ribs

Over the years the Man I Married has become notorious at slipping secret ingredients into everything he cooks. Whether that be hot banana peppers, licorice (don't ask), or today's secret ingredient ribs - which turned out to be so amazing we just had to share.




















The secret ingredient - which in this case was Philly Cream Cheese (don't judge) - makes for the most moist, tender, flavourful, fall off the bone delicious ribs this side of the border!




















Serve with homemade potato salad and some tossed greens and you have a meal for the record books!

Learn how to make these first hand with today's fun video featuring the Man I Married aka "Big V" and visit the printable recipe here: Big V's Secret Ingredient Ribs.



Ingredients
  • 1 rack pork ribs
  • 1/2 cup Chive and Onion or Herb and Garlic Phildelphia Cream Cheese (light or regular)
  • 3 tbsp rub mixture
  • BBQ sauce of your choice
Rub Ingredients 
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp chipotle chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp thyme
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix all of  the rub ingredients together and store in an air tight container.


Directions
  1. Rub the Philadelphia Cream Cheese into both sides of the ribs.
  2. Blend the other spices and rub 2 tbsps of the rub into the topside of the ribs and the third tbsp on the bottom side. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Bake in a preheated 250 oven, bottom side down on a cookie sheet on the middle rack for 4 hours.
  4. Finish on the bbq for 3-4 minutes per side brush with your favourite BBQ sauce


***

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.

Lyndsay's husband Vaughan is an award winning recipe developer, artist, and all round great guy! Watch for lots more of his secret ingredient recipes and other innovative ideas for elevating the flavour in all of your meals. 

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

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