Monday, October 28, 2013

Thai Style Coconut Chicken with Rice

The other day I went for lunch to a Thai restaurant with a friend and had a dish that was so delicious, I had to attempt to recreate it.


Tender chicken cooked in a velvety coconut broth was served family style with big bowls of rice. As I often do when eating something delicious, I put my palette to work and picked out flavours like fresh ginger, garlic, and cilantro.

And utilizing both white and dark meat in this recipe added a depth of flavour to the broth that was so close to the original I just had to share the recipe. In other words, this is amazingly good!

Please enjoy my easy to follow step by step video.



Visit the printable recipe here: Thai Style Coconut Chicken with Rice

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp Thai green curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen brand)
  • 1/2 tsp chile pepper flakes (reduce to 1/4 tsp if you like it less hot)
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 400 ml tin coconut milk
  • 1 cup of fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon or lime
  • 1 tsp of sea salt to finish
  • Cooked Jasmine rice
  • 2 cups steamed broccoli or other green vegetable like spinach, kale, or Bok Choy
Directions
  1. Sprinkle the chicken pieces on both sides with salt and pepper
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large shallow sauce pan or skillet over medium high and saute the ginger, garlic, green curry paste, and chiles stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  3. Add the onions and continue to saute an additional 2 minutes until they begin to soften. Adjust the heat if pan too hot.
  4. Add the chicken and brown on each side (about 2 minutes per side) moving around and stirring so nothing burns.
  5. Pour the chicken stock and coconut milk over all and stir well to incorporate. Bring to the boil, add the cilantro, reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  6. Stir in the fresh lime juice and additional sea salt.
To serve
  1. Serve family style at the table with the rice, vegetables, and the chicken broth in large separate bowls with serving spoons.
  2.  Dish up by placing rice, and steamed broccoli into a soup bowl. Ladle generous amounts of chicken and broth over top. 
  3. The dish is nice served with chopped cashews, additional chopped fresh cilantro, and quarted lime wedges for garnish.


***

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

Friday, October 25, 2013

Recipes for a Spooktacular Halloween Dinner Party

I love special occasions and I adore entertaining but I don’t like to spend all my time in the kitchen while the action is going on outside. With that in mind, I’ve put together a fun, easy, and stress free menu for feartastic entertaining!

Visit the fun step by step video here to see how it all comes together or scroll to the end to watch!



Cocktails

When I entertain I like to offer a choice of non-alcoholic beverages, wines, beers, and two signature cocktails like these freaktabulous martinis – the Screamtini, and the Bloody Ceasar...

Screamtinis

2 oz vodka
1 oz peach schnapps
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon
1 cup Fuze Refresh Peach Mango drink (or other peach based juice)
2 drops red food colour
2 drops yellow food colour

Shake all ingredients with a martini shaker filled with ice. Pour into to chilled martini glasses.

Bloody Caesar or Mary Martinis














 
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 3 oz clamato or tomato juice
  • Splash Worcestershire, hot sauce, olive juice
  • Pinch celery salt
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon
Shake all ingredients with a martini shaker filled with ice. Pour into to chilled martini glasses.

Munchies

When I think of Halloween I can’t help but think of caramel corn. I hope you enjoy this month’s adult blend. Mix the caramel with kosher salt for an updated twist you won’t be able to stop eating!

Sweet and Salty Caramel Corn
Visit the printable recipe here: Ca



Ingredients
  • 10 cups oil-popped popcorn - pop 1/3 cup of kernels in 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped toasted pecan pieces
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher or Sea Salt
Directions
  1. Place the popcorn and pecans into a large stainless steel mixing bowl.
  2. In a small pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter with the brown sugar and the rest of the ingredients, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture gets foamy and light. Pour it over the popcorn and pecans, and use a wooden spoon to stir it well.
  3. Spread the coated popcorn mixture out on a pair of large, rimmed baking sheets, and heat it in a 200-degree oven until it feels dry to the touch, about 20 to 30 minutes. Cool completely before serving - about 20 minutes.
And now for the main course... so easy to prepare and sure to get raves from all your guests!

Entree

Chicken Diablo
Visit the printable recipe here: Chicken Diablo

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 6 chopped button mushrooms
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ½ tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 8 slices smoked applewood bacon
Directions
  1. Sautee the mushrooms, apple, and onion in olive oil until the onion is translucent and the mushrooms have lost their water. Set aside and cool.
  2. Butterfly the chicken breasts and pound thin. Place an equal amount of the mushroom and apple mixture onto each and roll. Place seam side down onto a baking dish or plate and cover with ¾ of the barbecue sauce. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.
  3. Cut each slice of bacon in half and lay the four halves on a plate. Place the marinated chicken breasts, seam side up, onto the bacon and bring the bacon up and around the chicken, Affix with toothpicks.
  4. Place the chicken seam side up onto a baking sheet covered with foil and treated with cooking spray and brush the remaining barbecue sauce over each of the breasts covering well.
  5. Bake in a pre-heated 350 oven for 45 minutes and then broil each side until the bacon is crispy (about a minute a side)
Ghost Potatoes
Visit the printable recipe here: Ghost Potatoes




  • 2 pounds large russet potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons butter cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large egg yolk
Directions
  1. Boil the potatoes until they’re soft and tender.
  2. Mash until they are completely fluffy with no lumps (I use my immersion blender with the whipper attachment)
  3. Place in a pastry bag or ziploc bag with a hole cut into the tip and pipe little ghosts onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Add eyes using caraway seeds or bacon bits.
  4. Bake in a 350 oven for 30-40 minutes until golden and crispy on the outside.
Dessert

I’m not a big fan of stuffing people beyond belief at a dinner party. For this reason, I prefer to go light with the dessert. These easy to make Snickers Squares are the perfect end to a holiday themed party!

Visit the printable recipe for the frosted version as pictured below here: Snickers Bar Squares



















  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 King Size (93 gram, 3.29 oz) Snickers Bars, cut into 3's
  • 3 cups Rice Krispies 
Directions
  1. Cut the Snickers bars into 1 inch pieces.
  2. In a large saucepan melt the butter and chocolate bars over low heat.
  3. Add the RICE KRISPIES. Stir until well coated.
  4. Using a buttered spatula evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan lined with parchment paper.. 
  5. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares.

Please enjoy my fun, easy to follow video for Halloween!

 



***

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, October 21, 2013

Chocolate Frosted Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

Hey everyone! Its time for another episode of "Big V's Secret Ingredient Cooking" - and I know you're going to LOVE today's recipe.

Why?

Because these are some of the best cookies I've had in a long, long time!


Visit the printable recipe here: Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

Enjoy Big V in action as he gets all "manly" with the cookie dough!





Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp bourbon or pure vanilla extract
  • 2 mashed ripe bananas
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
Frosting
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 square unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 tbsp milk
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 (180 c) and prepare cookie sheets with parchment or silpat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugars, butter, peanut butter, egg, and bourbon. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. 
  3. Add bananas. Beat at low speed just until combined. 
  4. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, continuing to beat on low until a soft dough forms.
  5. Fold in the peanut butter chips and then using a tbsp, form into small, round, cake like cookies and place 2 inches (5 cm) apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool completely.
  6. In a small mixing bowl, combine frosting ingredients. Beat at low speed of electric mixer until smooth. Spread frosting evenly on cookies. Let dry completely before storing.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

An Engagement is Announced... Cherry Hill, Episode 29

 Hello dear readers and welcome to another installment of my popular web series Cherry Hill! When last we left the story, Amanda and Jack had escaped Walt Fischer, his men, and the nefarious Nurse Valerie and had arrived back in Cherry Hill at the home of Jack's parents; Marjorie and Henry Wilson, leaving Amanda's children with her Protector at a school where they would learn to channel their magic.

We resume the story in Marjorie Wilson's kitchen...

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

***

It was almost surreal, sitting in Marjorie Wilson's kitchen eating macaroni and cheese while Jack fielded questions from his father who had absolutely no idea about The Zanzibar, The Association, or any of the reasons why he and Amanda had left town with the children.

"To be honest, dad," said Jack, holding Amanda's hand and looking into her eyes, "We thought it would be best to leave for a while. We knew once the town got wind of our relationship, the rumour mill would explode."

"What do you think it did when the two of you disappeared?" shouted Henry Wilson. Overcome with relief his son had come home, the dinner hour had made way for a new emotion to emerge and Henry found himself choking back tears of  anger when he thought of the torture his son's disappearance had caused.

"It was bad enough when you were overseas during the war - the waiting, the wondering - but to have you vanish like that, so soon after coming home, it was almost more than my heart could take."

Marjorie looked at her husband with a new found sense of love and loyalty. She had never shared with him the secrets of The Zanzibar because she had been forbidden, but now she wished this man who loved them both so deeply, had been privy to everything from the start. With a sigh, she placed her hand on his shoulder.

"Henry, you're a good man, and a wonderful father. But perhaps it's best now to put our fears aside and celebrate our son's return home, and even more so, to rejoice in the knowledge that he's found what we've had for so long: love."

Amanda drew a surprised breath as the woman who had always appeared to be her enemy looked across the table at her with a mixture of pride and care that almost bowled her over. But then came Marjorie's voice in her head, "I love you as if you were my own and always have. Nothing in heaven or on earth could make me happier than I am right now."

Amanda remembered. 

That day in the apartment. The woman who took her on the train to her new family was Marjorie. The inimitable Mrs. Wilson. Cherry Hill's most revered hostess, and for a time, Amanda's Achilles heel, was in truth, her Protector. Her ultimate Protector, and she shyly sent a thought message back: "I always knew there was more to you than clam dip."

Though no one else knew what had just transpired between the two women, Marjorie threw her head back and began laughing. Soon everyone was wiping tears of relief and joy from their eyes; and to the casual observer, the picture that evening of a happy family sitting around the kitchen table on a sleepy Cherry Hill evening in 1948, would be one that would provoke envy.



But Marjorie knew better. She knew this brief respite would not last. There was a storm coming to Cherry Hill and by the time it ended, the fabric of innocence that had begun to unravel with Paul's death would hit with a vengeance. It was time to tell Henry the truth. It was time to alert The Zanzibar.

If Amanda and Jack were to enact destiny, it was only fair that her parents be there to bear witness and it was only right that Amanda's adopted family come to Cherry Hill.

"Would I be premature, " queried Marjorie with a glimmer in her eyes, "If I announced we have a wedding to plan?"

"You wouldn't be mother," said Jack, and then looking at the woman he had grown to love more than life itself, he reached into the pocket of his jacket to the small box he had been carrying for the last two months; unsure he would ever get the opportunity to make his deepest desires known.

"Amanda Fitzpatrick," he said opening the box to reveal a ring with tear drop diamond and two tiny opals, one in the upper right of the setting and one in the lower left, "Would you be my wife."

Without hesitation, Amanda threw her arms around Jack and said, "Yes!!"

Outside Namanya howled.

In a dark room somewhere on the outskirts of Copenhagen a small man wearing coke bottle glasses looked into a mirror and said "It has begun."

***

Stay tuned next Sunday to find out what happens next!



***

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, October 16, 2013

Old Fashioned Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Spaghetti sauce is one of those things most cooks have their own recipe for - and when teaching new people to cook, a good sauce is one of the first places to start. That said, I'm going to blow my own horn by letting you know my sauce is very, very good.




















Visit the printable recipe here: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Please enjoy my easy to follow step by step video:




Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt, black pepper, dried thyme, dried oregano, dried basil, dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp brown sugar 
  • 2 large cloves minced garlic
  • 1 796 ml (28 oz) tin Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1 680 ml tin tomato sauce
Directions
  1. Mix together the sea salt, black pepper, dried thyme, oregano, basil, parsley, and
    1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. Saute the diced onion, diced celery and sliced button mushrooms in the extra virgin olive oil just until the onion begins to soften and then add the extra lean ground beef and Italian sausage. 
  3. When the meat is almost cooked through, add half of the dried herb mixture to the pan and continue to saute along with two cloves of minced garlic. 
  4. Remove any extra fat or liquid from the pan and then add the Italian plum tomatoes, tomato sauce, the remainder of the herb blend and the sliced black olives. Stir, reduce heat, cover, and continue to simmer for at least 30 minutes. 
  5. Serve over spaghetti cooked to al dente.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Italian Hero Sandwich

It's hockey season and with it comes cold evenings (and cold beer) as fans gather in living rooms all across Canada and the USA to watch as their favourite teams battle for victory on the ice. In our house, that means cheering for Les Habs - also known as the Montreal Canadians - a team that the men in my household have always taken seriously.

But with all of the cheering and adrenaline that comes with watching a game, appetites need to be taken care of in a "manly" way - meaning all food must be hand held, substantial, and packed with flavour.

That's where the Habs Hockey Hero comes in!

Four kinds of meat are layered with mozarella cheese, peppers, onions, Italian dressing and pizza sauce and then slow baked until the cheese is soft and melty.




















Serve this masterpiece of hand held fabulousity for the next big game along with your favourite cold beer and as you bask in the glow of the deliciousness, look to the heavens and say with reverence "Oh Canada."

The Man I Married will be happy.

Visit the printable recipe here: Habs Hockey Hero Sandwich

Watch the easy to follow step by step video as The Man I Married aka "Big V" puts this one together!




Ingredients
  • 1 loaf Italian or French bread
  • Pizza Sauce
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 green pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 250 ml bottle Italian Salad Dressing
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 8 slices mozzarella cheese
  • ham, pepper salami, pepperoni
Directions
  • In a medium non stick frying pan saute the onion and green pepper until they begin to soften.Remove to a separate bowl.
  • Using the same skillet, fry up a pound of extra lean ground beef until it is brown and cooked through and then add the cooked onions and green peppers back to the pan and stir well to mix together. Add the Italian salad dressing and a half tsp each salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Cut the loaf in half and spread each side with pizza sauce.
  • Spread the ground beef mixture onto the bottom half of the loaf and cover with four slices of mozzarella cheese.
  • Cover with salami, ham, and pepperoni and finish with the last four slices of cheese.
  • Place the top onto the sandwich, wrap in foil, and bake in a pre-heated 350 over for 30-45 minutes until the cheese is melted all the way through. 
  • Slice and enjoy with a cold beer!


***

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, October 9, 2013

Thanksgiving: Turkey and Stuffing Crock Pot Casserole

With Thanksgiving just around the corner here in Canada, I thought I would share an easy and delicious crock pot meal that will give that Thanksgiving taste and flavour without all the fuss. It's the perfect meal for empty nesters, students, or people on their own for the holidays.

Best of all, it's made with real ingredients and features my Magic Stuffing Mix (a mix that is soooo much better than store bought Stove Top, and an easy recipe for decadently, creamy, pan gravy!)

All of the components for the dish can be made the day before and simply assembled prior to baking or cooking in the crock pot.

Serve with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and veggies and you've got one heck of a delicious turkey dinner any day of the week and an easy flavour infused meal for a fuss free Thanksgiving Dinner!


 Gobble Gobble!

Please enjoy my easy to follow step by step video.




Turkey and Stuffing Crock Pot Casserole
Visit the printable recipe here: Thanksgiving Casserole

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Serves: 8

Ingredients
  • 4 boneless, skinless turkey breasts
  • Magic Stuffing Mix
  • Mushroom Gravy
Magic Stuffing Mix Ingredients
  • 4 cups dried cubed bread
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh mixed herbs like rosemary, thyme, parsley, and sage
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
Mix everything together. Can be made the night ahead and then assembled in the crockpot in the morning.

Mushroom Herb Gravy Ingredients
  • 4 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp each extra virgin olive oil and butter
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs like rosemary, thyme, parsley, and sage
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup sour cream
Saute the mushrooms in olive oil and butter with the salt, pepper and garlic powder until they release their water and begin to brown. Add the flour and continue to saute for an additional minute stirring frequently. Add the chicken stock, herbs, and sour cream. Bring just to the boil and stir until well blended.

This gravy can be made the night before and then assembled in the crockpot in the morning.

To Assemble the Dish

Place the turkey breasts into the bottom of a prepared crockpot o casserole dish. Pour the Mushroom Herb Gravy over the turkey and then cover with the Magic Stuffing. Cook on the low setting for 4-6 hours or bake in a 350 oven for 60-90 minutes until the turkey is cooked through and the casserole is bubbly.

Serve with vegetables, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce 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, October 8, 2013

Creamy Dill and Herb Swedish Meatballs

Hi everyone, and happy Tuesday!

With no cooking shows on that I feel like writing about, I thought I would begin my Fall and Winter season at The Kitchen Witch with a Tuesday "Recipe Rewind" day by featuring some winners from the past - starting today with the most amazing recipe for Swedish Meatballs featuring Philly Cooking Creme.

These are an absolute must try and willif you like creamy Swedish meatballs as much as I do! Read on for the recipe...

***

One of my favourite shopping experiences when I go to the city is to visit IKEA and, when there, the trip isn't complete without stopping in the IKEA cafeteria for their famous Swedish Meatballs.

But being The Kitchen Witch that I am, I had to figure out an easy way to re-create the dish at home and when I was asked by KRAFT Foods Canada to come up with some recipes to spotlight Philadelphia Cooking Cream when it was launched in Canada, Cooking Creme seemed like the perfect product with which to re-imagine this classic recipe from IKEA.

The result: A creamy, delightful re-creation perfect for weeknight dinners, casual entertaining, and even New Years Eve that can be made ahead and frozen.
















Visit the printable recipe here and enjoy my easy to follow step by step video!



 Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup panko style breadcrumbs
  • 12 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup low sodium beef stock
  • 1 container Savoury Garlic Cooking Creme
  • 1 tablespoon dry dill
  •  1/2 teaspoon paprika
Directions
  1. Mix first 8 ingredients together and using a spoon, form into uniform meatballs.
  2.  Brown the meatballs on all sides over medium high heat in a non stick skillet that has been treated with cooking spray.
  3.  Remove meatballs to a shallow casserole dish or lasagna pan that has been treated with cooking spray.
  4. In the same pan you browned the meatballs in, heat 1 tbsp of butter over medium high heat and saute the mushrooms until they are golden brown and have released their water.
  5. Deglaze the pan with beef stock and let reduce by half.
  6. Add the Cooking Creme, dill, and paprika and pour over the meatballs in the casserole.
  7. Bake covered in a 325 oven for 30 minutes and serve over cooked egg noodles.

   

Subscribe to me on YouTube


Follow Me on Pinterest
 

Bring the daily magic of The Kitchen Witch straight to your inbox every time a new one is written.


Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner

Or you can subscribe by rss feed...


Subscribe in a reader

Monday, October 7, 2013

Jalapeno Grape Jelly - The Canadian Food Experience Project Preserving: Our Canadian Food Tradition

This month the theme for the Canadian Food Experience Project is Preserving: Our Canadian Food Tradition - and what better for such a theme than to talk about the ways time spent in the kitchen have had a preserving effect on my marriage.

I met the man I eventually married in the winter of 1989 when I was on a date with his best friend. The best friend had a little too much to drink and ended up passing out -- which left Vaughan and I in the unexpected position of getting to know one another. This included his offer to cook me dinner because with drunk best friend on the couch, there was no way we were going to make it to the restaurant as originally planned.

And so I agreed to dinner in - which I see to this day in tunnel vision. Vaughan served up a stack of some kind of mystery meat chicken cutlets with baked frozen french fries and canned peas. All of it drenched in ketchup. But he was so sweet and earnest about his offering, I didn't have the heart to inquire any further about the cutlet. I vowed, however, that the next time we did dinner, I would do the cooking.

This brought forth its own set of problems for Vaughan who had, up until then, not been introduced to much variety in his diet. I nearly fell off my chair one evening when I served him breaded veal cutlets and a chopped Italian salad only to see his gag reflex at Defcon 5 - his eyes were watering so badly as he choked down the veal that I finally gave up and mixed him up a box of KRAFT Dinner.

And so it went. In the 24 years since, meal preparation has been a slow tango as together the two of us have honed our culinary skills and our palettes. In so doing, we've also discovered a love for the tastes of sweet and spicy and today's adapted recipe from Vaughan for Grape and Jalapeno Preserved Jelly is so delicious, it might even be good on those chicken cutlets!




















Serve on crackers with cheese or use as a gorgeous glaze for chicken, pork, or fish - any way you jiggle it, this simple and surprising recipe is perfect for gift giving - and really quite incredible on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich...






















The grapes were picked right off the vine and the jelly itself, has become a family tradition that we make every fall in anticipation of Christmas.

Please enjoy Vaughan's  funny, step by step how to video...




Jalapeno Grape Jelly (recipe adapted from Canadian Living Magazine)

Visit the printable recipe HERE

Ingredients
  • 3-3/4 lb (1.7 kg) green grapes 
  • 2 large jalapeno peppers, sliced
  • 1 pkg fruit pectin crystals
  • 5 cups (1.25 L) granulated sugar
 Directions
  1. Rinse grapes; drain well. Remove enough from stems to make 10 cups.
  2. In a large pot, crush grapes with potato masher. Add the jalapeno pepper, and 1 cup of water; bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Scoop cooked grapes and jalapeno peppers into a colander lined with three layers of cheesecloth and place over a large pot or bowl. Let drip, without squeezing bag, until juice measures 4 cups (1 L) this should take about 2 hours.
  4. In a large pot, bring the juice and pectin to a boil. Stir in sugar; bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Boil vigorously, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam.
  5. Using a sterilized funnel and a 1/2-cup measure, pour into hot sterilized 1-cup canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. If necessary, wipe rims. Cover with prepared lids; screw on bands fingertip tight.
  6. Process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Transfer jars to rack; let cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. Check for seal, ensuring that lids curve downward. If not, refrigerate and use within 3 weeks. Store in cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year.