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Chicken and Sausage Bake

2 Oct

This may be one of my most requested recipes (behind lasagna of course, nothing can compete with carbs, cheese and wine – don’t even bother!). Promise you’ll still come back, even when I’ve given away all my good recipe secrets?

So lets all give a big hooray for one pot wonders!!!!!! If you’re someone who I have served this to when you came for dinner – I worked so much harder than the instructions I am about to give when I made this for you……I promise…..

Chicken and Sausage Bake

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or chicken legs with the thigh attached if you prefer dark meat

4 hot or mild Italian sausages

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp dijon mustard

2 tbsp olive oil

5 grinds of black pepper

1 small bulb of fennel, sliced (to slice fennel, cut off the frawns (the finger looking things), slice the bulb into quarters and cut out the core, then slice into strips)

2 pints of cherry tomatoes (I find it extra fun to get the multicoloured ones – ya, those are the kind of things I find extra fun, great.)

2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped

2 large cloves of garlic, chopped

4 full sprigs of rosemary, still on the stalk.

Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, dijon, olive oil and black pepper and coat the chicken. Allow to marinate for at least 2 hours.

Turn the oven on to 375 degrees. In a baking dish (that will snuggly fit the chicken and sausage) toss the fennel, cherry tomatoes, chopped herbs and garlic. Add a glug of olive oil and toss until they are all well coated.

Place the marinated chicken on top of the bed of vegetables. Squeeze the sausages into the gaps between the chicken. Use your left over rosemary sprigs to tuck in between some of the chicken and sausage.

Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to one hour, until the chicken and sausage are cooked through.

To serve, toss the full rosemary sprigs in the garbage and remove the chicken and sausage to a large serving dish using tongs. Then, using a slotted spoon, remove the cherry tomatoes and fennel and spoon over the chicken and sausage.

The cherry tomatoes will have slightly burst making the most amazing sauce for the chicken and sausage!

I typically serve this over garlic mashed potatoes with a very simple arugula, lemon and parmesan salad on the side.

Winner winner chicken dinner!

Fall off the Bone Ribs

20 May

You will be singing my praises after this. I promise.

When I started this blog I got an e-mail from a friend making a few requests. My ribs were one of them. They truely do fall right off the bone when you pick them up. So tender. So loving. I’m getting carried away.

My house smells wonderful when I make these beauties.

Fall off the Bone Ribs

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 racks of baby back pork ribs

lots of salt and black pepper

your favourite BBQ sauce.

ummmm, I’ve never had an ingredient list this short. I feel a bit naked. The truth is these are cooked with such perfection they need very little else.

I am publishing a picture of the pan I use for this, b/c it’s kinda important. It has a grill on the top and a pan on the bottom. This allows for steam action.

If you don’t have a pan like the one in my picture, don’t fear! I would just use a roasting pan, such as one you would use for turkey or a roast. It has a rack with space under it. That’s what you need for this to work.

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

In the bottom of the pan pour in about 1 inch of water. Then place the ribs on the rack over top of the water. Cover them in salt and pepper (be generous) and rub it in. Then cover the entire pan with tin foil. You want to take the tin foil right to the edges, so the ribs are sealed in.

place the ribs in the middle of the oven and let them cook for 3 1/2 hours.

Remove them from the oven, discard the water from the pan. Either turn up the oven to broil, or turn on your BBQ (I usually go with the oven method b/c at this point the ribs are very delicate – remember, fall off the bone ribs – and they can fall apart on the BBQ if you’re not careful).

Paint on your favourite BBQ sauce on both the back and front.

BBQ or put back in the oven. You need to watch them closely in the oven, broil is intense and can burn things very quickly. How long you leave these in depends entirely on your oven, I find the broil feature varies significantly amongst ovens. You want the sauce to caramelize slightly. Flip the ribs once to ensure caramelization on both sides.

Cut into 3 bone each pieces and serve with lots and lots of wet wipes.

This dinner is so comforting. At the cottage we usually BBQ some chicken covered in the same BBQ sauce for a ‘chicken and ribs’ dinner. Delicious!

The Best Lasagna EVER

9 Apr

If you are on a diet stop reading immediately. Click the X at the top right corner of your screen. Come back tomorrow.

This lasagna is not for the weak. It will not disappoint. It will make you a bit fatter. You’ll be ok with that.

If you want to make new friends, this will do it. People bother me constantly to come over for this.

It’s time-consuming. It is worth every second.

I die.

The Best Lasagna EVER

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

For the meat sauce:

1 lb ground beef

5 hot italian sausages, with the casings removed

1 onion, diced

1 package of sliced crimini mushrooms (not a mushroom fan? just leave these out)

1 clove of garlic, chopped

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 can of tomatoes, blended in the food processor for a few seconds

1/2 a bottle of red wine (whatever kind you like!)

10 grinds of black pepper

For the white sauce:

1 tub of creme fresh

3/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp salt

10 grinds black pepper

For the assembly:

Lasagna noodles (whatever kind works for you, I use fresh oven ready, no need to boil them!)

1 package buffalo mozzarella sliced

2 cups of shredded Italian cheeses (whatever kinds you like)

Heat a large pan to medium heat and add a splash of olive oil. Add the beef and sausage and saute and it up with a wooden spoon. Saute until cooked (about 10 minutes). Set aside in a bowl. Add another splash of olive oil and add the onions and mushrooms. Saute until soft (about 8-10 minutes). Add the garlic and saute another 2 minutes. Add the meat back into the pan. Add the pepper and tomato paste and stir to incorporate. Add the can of tomatoes and wine. Stir to incorporate. Let simmer for 30-45 minutes.

At this point you should probably treat your self to multiple glasses of wine! You deserve it b/c you’re almost there!

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl combine the creme fresh, parmesan, salt and pepper. This is your white sauce! Oh god, it’s heaven!

Rub your lasagna pan with oil. Proceed to layer in any way you want. The only thing you must do is start with a bit of sauce on the bottom of  the pan. This way the bottom noodle won’t become attached to the pan when you cook it. How I layer is meat sauce, noodle, meat sauce, white sauce, buffalo mozzarella, noodle, meat sauce, white sauce, noodle, whatever sauce I have left and then the mixed italian cheese.

(yes that’s more cheese in the background. We need an intervention and some serious professional help!)

Bake for 35-45 minutes. At the end I like to put the oven on broil so that my cheese topping gets nice and brown. If you do this, just be sure to watch it very closely. It only needs a minute or two.

Let the lasagna rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

This is not the fanciest looking. Once you’ve had one bite you won’t care.

If I were to write a book on how to make friends, this would be my first chapter.

Again, I die.

Moo Shu Pork

8 Apr

Chinese food is a dream come true. Moo Shu Pork is pretty close to perfection. I can’t eat this fast enough – and believe me I try – I am a crazy fast eater. When I make all my food I cook for 4 so that we both always have lunch the next day. With this we make double, simply so we can have 2 servings each – yes, we are disgusting! When this is my lunch, I eat around 9:30 a.m. Patience is a virtue, one that I was not blessed with!


This looks more anemic than it should. I am a moron and forgot to buy green onions. This worked out perfectly for me last week when I realized at the last-minute that I didn’t have green onion. Turns out the green onion gods were looking out for me that day. I had bought some the week before and there was an ENTIRE bunch in the fridge. This week when the EXACT SAME PROBLEM occurred I was not as lucky. No green onion in sight. apparently all green onion karma was gone. Needless to say, these photos are lacking some serious green colour pop. Please imagine how much better it could look.

Moo Shu Pork (adapted from Martha Stewart)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 eggs

1 pork tenderloin*, sliced into rounds, and then slice the rounds into strips

2 tbsp cornstarch

1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced into strips

2 tbsp grated ginger

1/2 head of savoy cabbage, cored and thinly sliced

5 green onions, sliced (yup, I’m a moron)

1/3 cup of soy sauce or tamari (to make this recipe gluten free use tamari)

1/4 cup rice vinegar

Heat a large pan to medium high heat. Spray with cooking oil. Whisk your eggs in a bowl and add them to the pan. Move the pan so that the eggs spread out into a large thin pancake. Cook until cooked through. Slide out of the pan onto the counter. Roll into a log and slice into strips. Set aside.

Coat the pork in cornstarch in a bowl. Heat a large non-stick pan to medium-high heat. Add a splash of grapeseed oil (or canola oil, or any vegetable oil) and saute the pork until cooked through (approximately 10 minutes). Transfer to a separate bowl.

In the same pan saute the mushrooms and ginger until the mushrooms are soft (approximately 5 minutes). Add the cabbage, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Saute for 5 minutes until the cabbage softens slightly. Add the green onions, the eggs strips and the pork. Cook until warmed through. Serve over rice.

* If you aren’t a pork fan, this can be substituted with thinly sliced boneless skinless chicken or turkey.

I got a complaint the other day at work regarding how loud I was eating. I was eating this. I can’t control myself. Help!

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