Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Chorizo Italian Sausage Gumbo

Comfort in a bowl.  That is what I love about Fall and Winter recipes....warmth, substance, AND....IN A BOWL!!!  Soups, stews, and chilies are some of my favorite foods, and this GUMBO is tops!  I was just beginning my quest for delicious foods when I found this recipe in one of my mom's cooking magazines.  I did ask before I cut out the recipe....(I think she would have noticed the gaping hole...) and off I went to find the ingredients to this Gumbo.  My husband loved it!, and my toddler and infant sons thought we were is so good!  Spicy, but not too spicy

Now that was a couple of years ago and now I have made the recipe my own, but with keeping the true essence of the recipe. So I present to you a must make for your family...

Chicken - Chorizo Sausage Gumbo 

What you need:

2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs or small breasts cubed ***(see note)
4 chorizo or mild Italian sausages, sliced (I like a mix)
1 large onion diced
2 celery sticks diced
1 sweet red pepper diced
4 cloves of garlic minced

1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of pepper

1/2 cup white wine or chicken stock
1 can of diced tomatoes (28 oz/796 mL)
1/2 cup of chicken stock
3 tbsp tomato paste

parsley (freshly chopped or dried) - garnish

What you do:

1.  In large skillet, heat oil and brown chick an sausages.  Transfer to SLOW COOKER.

2.  In same skillet cook onions, celery red pepper, garlic, paprika, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper till golden. (about 8 min) ADD TO SLOW COOKER

3.  Add wine to skillet; bring to boil, scraping up any brown bits that might be there.  ADD to SLOW COOKER.
4.  Add to SLOW COOKER - tomatoes, broth, paste and a 1/4 cup of water and COOK on LOW for 4 - 6 hours.

Serve on top of basmati rice and you got yourself the most amazing meal!!!!  Enjoy!!

*** note*** - We have also added shrimp into the mix.  About 30 minutes left on Slow cooking time add some defrosted, de-viened, shrimp.  OOOOHHH YAAAAA BABY

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Vintage Reflections

This past September we witnessed the passing of a dear lady in our family, Granny Wiggins.  She was a sweet, wonderful lady full of spunk and vim, but also kindness, generosity and lots of love.  She will be greatly missed.

Recently we were able to choose a few items of hers as keepsakes to remember her by.  As I made a few choices I was drawn to some of her cookery items.  Granny Wiggins was a simple but GOOD cook.  I loved how Christmas was always a grand affair with her china laid out, everyone sharing the buffet.  Linda had a wonderful coleslaw which I will be making this Christmas - tangy sweet with a peppery flavor.  Yummy!  She'd sit down after grace and say, "Let's eat this grub!"

I have been reflecting about Granny this past week as I have been cleaning up and using her special cookery items.

On the left is a fish spatula.  I just thought it was a cool looking spatula.  I used it for cookie and eggs so far.  But it totally makes sense that it is for fish-frying....:)  The second item is a meat tenderiser.  Linda was a beef farmer and I bet she used this to tenderise some of her meat.  The cook book I found was covered in grease splatters and hand writing.  I loved finding this.  A book Linda used through the years to provide delicious and wholesome food for her family.  The apron was made in 1964 - never worn.  Linda wasn't an apron kinda lady....but she loved to sew.  This lovely memento is definitely a keepsake for me.

  This is the coolest flour bin ever!!!  I have always admired it when at Linda's house.  My husband has been complaining that our flour isn't in a protective container.  So when we were able to have this we both smiled....the needed flour protector and a cool keepsake from Granny Wiggins.  I never thought Linda was a huge baker, but man did she have me fooled.  Every once in a while she'd bring out one of her AMAZING Lemon Jelly Rolls.  SOOO GOOD!  I haven't the courage to try a jelly roll yet.  Someday.  :)

Anyways,  I am not a profound writer who will send you into roars of laughter or have you shed tears.  But I thought I would just share these precious things that I have acquired that were used to make meals for a family for decades.  If you have some cookery items from generations past think about the ladies who used them to nourish their families, and create specialties for holiday dinners.  Think about the love that they poured out everyday in just doing the "everyday".


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Yorkshire Puddings

I really want to try to put more savory recipes on this here blog here.....It is a challenge for me as my savory cooking usually happens at the most crazy of times......supper......  With 2 kids (and a hubby) getting antsy and hungry and me trying to make said supper....things get a little hectic.  Alas, that means that a lot of my recipes on here are things I can make in quieter times in the day, muffins, cake, granola, things like that.  Kids are more forgiving of me taking a 100 pictures of a piece of food in the morning than they are at crunch time.

But one will never grow if one doesn't try.  So here is a wonderful savory recipe that comes from my husband's Grandma Ellie.  A mother of 6 children living in a northern community with out many amenities, she followed her man and learned to cook along the way.   Sunday suppers at her house always include a full house and a whole bunch of these Yorkshire Puddings. They really are the BEST I've ever had.

What you need:

- 3 eggs (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup milk (room temp)
- 1/2 cup water (room temp)
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt

oil or beef drippings.

What you do:

1.  Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.

2.  Beat eggs in medium bowl until frothy.  Mix in milk and water.  Gradually beat in the flour and salt.  Keep beating until smooth and bubbly.

3.  Pour a small amount (1-2) teaspoons of oil or beef drippings into each muffin cup.  With a basting brush make sure the oil coats the cup.  If there is some oil (drippings) in the bottom of the cup that is fine.  Place muffin tin in oven to heat oil to sizzling (approx. 5 minutes)

4.  Immediatly pour in batter so the muffin tin is half-full.  Bake in oven for about 30 minutes.  They should be puffed and browned.

5.  Remove from pan.  If they seem a bit stuck (they do that sometimes) run a knife around edge.  They should release.

6.  Enjoy with roast beef and gravy....lots of gravy!!!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Candied Popcorn....Oh MY!!!

It's been a week since Trick or Treat day and my kids haven't really put a dent in their "stash".  Being that they are 5 and 3....we do keep an eye on their candy vs fruit ratio.  The nice thing is that I don't have to make dessert!   Alas, my husband and I are also trying to keep a lid on our sweets consumption too.  We both love mini chocolate addicting....

Here is my Lightning Mcqueen and Captain America!

Working on their pumpkin with Daddy!



 Daddy's pumpkin...SO COOL!

For Trick or Treat day we had a special pizza supper before the kids went out and we opened up for business at our house.  I also made a homemade treat reminicient of trick or treating when we were kids...(which was a decent amount of time ago.....eek!)


This recipe is incredible!  I am making this at Christmas but in red and green colors.  So yummy too.  I preffered it to the candy and ate my quota and then some!  This recipe is also really easy to make!  Few ingredients, not much time, and you got yourself an amazing snack!  Totally make this!!!!

What you Need:

12 cups popped popcorn
1 can of sweetened Condensed Milk (11 or 14 oz works)
1 package of your favorite flavor of flavored gelatin (3 oz)

What you Do:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. 

2. Line a large roasting pan with tinfoil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan.  Spray with cooking spray (or grease pan with margerine or butter)

3.  Making sure that you have removed all the unpopped corn, place popcorn into prepared pan.

4.  Combine sweetened condensed milk, and dry gelatin in a medium saucepan. 

5.  Heat and stir on LOW- MED heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly.  (5 minutes)  STIR CONTINUALLY SO THE MIXTURE DOESN"T BURN!!!!!!

6. Pour mixture over popcorn.  Carefully combine mixture using a wooden spoon. 

7.  Bake mixture for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

8.  Turn out popcorn onto greased tinfoil sheets.  Cool completely and break into clusters.

9.  CONSUME IN GREAT won't be able to help yourself!!!  Store any leftovers in an air-tight container for a few days.