Monthly Archives: December 2012

Homemade Korean BBQ Sauce

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For those of you who are reading my Manitoba-Made Beef Short Ribs recipe at a distance and want to make them using a similar Korean BBQ sauce that you can easily make at home… please give this a try.

Korean BBQ Sauce & Marinade Ingredients

You will probably find that you have all the necessary ingredients in your kitchen right now

Korean BBQ Sauce & Marinade

1 cup White Sugar
1 cup Soy Sauce, low-sodium
1 cup Hot Water
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
2 cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Fresh Ginger, grated
6 Green Onions (whites only), chopped
1 tablespoon Lime Juice
2 teaspoons Sriracha

1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, whisk together sugar, soy sauce, water, onion powder, garlic and ginger.

2. Bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat to a low setting, and simmer at least 5 minutes.

4 Remove the mixture from the heat and cool it for 5 minutes.

5. Whisk in green onions, lemon juice and sriracha.

6. Cool and strain to store in a tightly sealed container in your fridge for up to a month. Or make a triple batch of my Manitoba-Made Beef Short Ribs using all of this sauce! You can probably omit the orange juice in that ribs recipe if you’re using this thinner sauce.

This recipe also makes a great marinade for any meat, especially chicken. Enjoy!

Makes 3 cups of yummy goodness

Makes 3 cups of yummy goodness

NOTE: If you find that the consistency is too thin for what you’d like, substitute brown sugar for the white sugar, and simmer the final mixture on low for a couple of hours to reduce it to a more sauce-y texture. You could also take 1/4 cup of your final sauce while it is hot and shake it with 1 tbsp. cornstarch to thicken, then add that mixture back into the whole pot and whisk together.
What is your favourite homemade BBQ Sauce recipe?
Please feel free to share it in the Comments section below.
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3-2-1 Mug Cake: A Super Easy Mid-day Dessert

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I love cake, don’t you? I just don’t love all the dishes it takes to bake one. And with just the two of us… one cake is WAAAAAY more than we need to eat in any given week.

Earlier in the year I found out about how to make Mug Cake at home. Now I can make CakeFor1 or two, and here’s how you can too!

Take one Betty Crocker Super Moist Cake Mix and one Betty Crocker Angel Food Mix in any flavours or combinations you want. I chose chocolate, but we’ve already used up the vanilla! Mix them together in a large resealable container.

So simple! Mix together two cake mixes and have it ready to go - anytime.

So simple! Mix together two cake mixes and have it ready to go – anytime.

1. Use a regular sized coffee mug.

2. Add 3 tablespoons of your “Mug Cake Mix”.

Easy Chocolate Mug Cake in 3-2-1

Easy Chocolate Mug Cake in 3-2-1

3. Add 2 tablespoons of water, and stir until combined with a spoon or small whisk.
You could also use milk or any liquid I’m sure.

4. Microwave on high for 1 minute.
Caution… don’t try to bake more than 2 mugs at a time though.

Microwave for just one minute and voila! You've got cake.

Microwave for just one minute and voila! You’ve got cake.

5. Let cool for one minute, but be ready to eat it right away as it does not like to hang around to be eaten later.

6. Garnish with whatever you have on hand. I used white chocolate chips and chocolate sundae syrup.

7. Tuck your container of 3-2-1 Mug Cake Mix back in your cupboard for future use.

An amazingly simple dessert that even a non-baker can make in minutes

An amazingly simple dessert that even a non-baker can make in minutes

Suggestions for garnishes and flavour combinations…

* Use vanilla cake, strawberries and whipped cream from a can to create very fast Strawberry Shortcakes. Also great with ANY fruit or berry!
* Use prepared icing, which keeps so well in your fridge, to frost your Mug Cake.
* If you have an Epicure Selections Frother, you can make thick, fat-free whipped cream out of Skim Milk. Flavour it with any liqueur you have on hand, like Frangelico.
* Add bananas, butterscotch and a small scoop of ice cream for a unique Sundae-style Mug Cake.
* Use canned cherry pie filling, chocolate whipped cream and chocolate shavings to create a Black Forest Mug Cake.

How will you top your Mug Cake?
Please feel free to share your own personal combinations below.

Creamy Flank Steak Stoup: When Supper Transforms and Becomes Lunch

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One of my newly found, favourite recipes from last summer was Miles Thatcher’s Guinness & Honey Marinated Hanger Steak (I use flank steak) from the June 2012 issue of Flavours Magazine. I’ve made this recipe about 4 or 5 times since discovering it’s yumminess, and usually one flank steak is way more than enough for the two of us. And a great accompaniment to this recipe are my Spicy Marinated Mushrooms.

Guinness Beer

BUT… neither my husband nor I are big fans of Guinness‘ darkness… Nothing against the brand, but I just don’t drink beer. Initially I was leery of trying this recipe because I was worried that the strong taste of this Stout would be pronounced in the final result. But it’s not, this is an incredible BBQ recipe that you will want to add to your repertoire – forever.

Here’s a great tip… when I want to make this flank steak, I try not to waste the leftover 3/4’s of the can of beer… so I actually make a quadruple batch of the marinade, and freeze the extra three portions for later use.

So when you make this flank steak recipe, and if you have leftovers that you don’t want to use for sandwiches, fajitas, steak & eggs breakfasts or… whatever, please consider giving my soup a try for lunch the next day.

Just a lil' something I threw together

Just a lil’ something I threw together that was a big hit

Originally, I wasn’t going to blog about this soup because I’ve been including a lot of soup recipes lately. Plus, I’ve been making these soups up off the top of my head. It’s been very cold here in Winnipeg this past week, so soup has, of course, been top of mind.

After grocery shopping and picking up some fresh mushrooms and Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup to have for an easy (i.e. discrete and not blogged about) lunch I found myself inspired to try yet another LunchFor1 soup recipe.

I had also picked up a couple Tetra Paks of Beef Broth because my freezer’s stash of broth was getting low, and it’s always a good idea to have some broth either in the cupboard, in the fridge, or in the freezer at all times for quick soups, sauces and stews.

So it was with these ingredients on hand that inspiration struck! Plus I had to do something with the leftover flank steak… and thankfully it all worked out – and we loved it!

Creamy Flank Steak Stoup

(Stoup is a word I first heard used by Rachael Ray, it’s Stew+Soup)

Leftover BBQ Flank Steak, diced

1L Campbell’s Beef Broth

1 Ready to Serve Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

20 Baby Carrots, chopped

3 Celery Stalks, chopped

3 cloves Fresh Garlic

1/4 Onion, diced

1/4 cup Pot Barley

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

1 tablespoon Canola Oil

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1. Heat oil in large pot.

2. Add vegetables, and saute for 5 minutes.

3. Add diced beef and beef broth, and bring your soup to a boil.

4. Add uncooked barley to the pot, and turn down your stove to Medium-High. Cook for 30 minutes.

5. Stir in cream of mushroom soup just prior to serving, and warm the soup through for 5 minutes. NOTE: Overcooking this step may cause your soup to “break” or separated, so be careful.

6. This recipe made 4 hearty servings, with a side dish. Try my Chevre Grilled Cheese Sandwich or my Feta Dip and crackers as an accompaniment – those posts will follow later this week.

Soul warming, hearty goodness made quick and easy for a yummy supper or lunch.

Soul warming, hearty goodness made quick and easy for a yummy supper or lunch.

What recipe do YOU make for supper one night, and then turn around the next day and create an amazing lunch from?
I’d love to hear about it in the Comments section below.

Spicy Marinated Mushrooms – A Great Holiday Appetizers

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At this time of year it’s a great idea to have a few last-minute appetizers to pull out of your fridge to wow unexpected guests. These marinated mushrooms are super easy to make, and hold well for 3 to 5 days in the fridge, or can try canning them for a longer-lasting product.

Tender, spicy mushrooms for the fungi-fan in your family

Tender, spicy mushrooms for the fungi-fan in your family

Spicy Marinated Mushrooms

1/2 bag White Button Mushrooms, small
2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
3 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
5 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
3 Green Onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Soy Sauce, Low-Sodium
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoon Sriracha (or more)

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1. Boil a large pot of salted water.

2. Place the mushrooms whole into the boiling water for 7 minutes.
I do not recommend washing your mushrooms until just before you are going to cook them – a light washing is fine. I scrub mine 4 at a time in my hands under running water.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, green onions, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and sririacha.

3. Once the mushrooms are done boiling, drain them, and place them into a large resealable container.

4. Pour the liquid over the mushrooms, stir together, and cover with the lid.

5. Let your container sit on your kitchen counter to cool.
Allow the mushrooms to begin their marinading process at room temperature for a couple of hours.

6. Then you can refrigerate your mushrooms, and use as needed.

7. Create an Antipasto Platter by adding Roasted Red Peppers and Roasted Garlic. Serve the mushrooms with on a platter with room-temperature cheeses, deli meats and crackers or baguette.

TIP: The spicy taste is great!!! For a more intense flavour, pull the mushroom stems out of the caps before boiling which will allow the marinade to permeate into the mushroom from the inside.

These little, succulent snacks go well with any appetizer spread

These little, succulent snacks will go well with any appetizer spread you can dream up this Holiday season

Other Uses…

* Diced the marinated mushrooms up and use as a condiment on burgers or beef dip sandwiches.
* Mince them up to use as a mushroom tapenade on french bread.
* Pop off the stems, and pipe in some soft cheese like Boursin for a fancier appetizer.
* They’d be a great accompaniment to any steak.
* Excellent choice for use in any salad, especially to dress up a Caesar salad with fresh tomatoes.

What do YOU like to have with these mushrooms?
Please feel free to share your uses below in the Comments section.

Cookies for Lunch? Why Not!

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I just sent my dear hubby off to work after having him home for five days straight. To kick off our holiday season, I loaded him up with a couple dozen of my Orange-Infused Madeleine Cookies for his co-workers to enjoy today.

Delicious little shells of scrumptious orangie-goodness - perfect for the holidays!

My delicious, little shells of scrumptious orangie-goodness – perfect for the holidays!

I should preface this recipe with the fact that I chose to bake these cookies for my 1st Annual Cookie Monster Christmas Cookie Exchange, which I hosted last Sunday. I actually needed a minimum of 12 dozen cookies, but I ended up with many more!

Here’s my funny (but long-winded) tale… skip to the bottom for the recipe, if you’re in a hurry.

– I first baked a 2-dozen test batch, in which I found I needed to add more orange flavouring. Thankfully I had a very willing 3-year old taster who readily gobbled up a dozen that afternoon.

– Then when baking a double batch a few days later, I only got 6-dozen cookies from the recipe. No problem, but I was out of eggs… and low on butter.

– A few days later while baking a second, double batch (after buying more eggs), I forgot to add the melted butter at the end, and left it cooling in the freezer. However, I got some very tasty French macaroon-like cookies as a bonus, and will definitely repeat that mistake again in the future… with a piping bag and macaroon filling handy!

– Finally I completed the task that same day with the last 6-dozen that were thankfully perfect.

BUT… I ended up with TWENTY dozen cookies in the end. More for sharing!
See I told you it was a long story… 🙂

Sometimes great things come out of little mistakes… but only sometimes.

Before attempting Madeleine cookies, you need to make an investment in a couple of molded-cookie pans. I picked mine up at my favourite local kitchen store, D.A. Niels on Berry Street here in Winnipeg. They had a wide selection of choices – at different prices points. I liked the idea of the smaller shell-shapes (for $9 each) as opposed to the larger $25 pans.

Non-stick Madeleine pans are the better choice, I think.

Non-stick Madeleine pans are the better choice, I believe.

Orange-Infused Madeleine Cookies

yields: about 24 small cookies

2/3 cup Flour

½ teaspoon Baking Powder

½ cup Butter, melted and cooled

2 Eggs

1 teaspoon Orange Extract
*Grand Marnier would also work

1 teaspoon Orange Zest, finely grated

1 cup Powdered (Icing) Sugar

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1. Preheat your oven to 350*F, and set your oven rack into the higher middle position.

2. Using a Madeleine pan, spray your pan(s) lightly with Pam.

3. Sift together flour and baking powder in small bowl – set aside.

4. In the mixer’s bowl, beat eggs, orange extract and orange peel on high for 5 minutes.

5. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, and beat another 5 minutes.

6. Turn down your mixer to low, and gently fold in your flour mixture. Mix until just combined.

7. Fold in your cooled, melted butter, then mix gently on a slightly higher speed for about a minute, until smooth.

8. Spoon the mixture into the cups, filling about ¾ full, or you’ll end up with an overly mounded cookie. Wipe any excess batter off of the sides of the pan before baking.

I use a gelato scoop to maintain consistent sizes. Don't worry they will spread.

I use a small gelato scoop to maintain consistent sizes. Don’t worry your batter will spread while baking.

9. Bake approximately 8 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.

10. Cool in the pan for 2 minutes. Loosen cookies with a knife, then invert the pan on a rack to cool the cookies fully.

And for the finishing touch a little bit of snow

And for the finishing touch a little bit of snow…

11. When cool, sprinkle the tops with powdered sugar. I used an old-fashioned flour sifter to do this, but you could also use icing sugar in a sieve.

If you’ve made Madeleine Cookies before,
what flavours have you used?

Please feel free to share your experiences in the Comments area below.

Perogies – Ukrainian Cure for the Common Cold

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Today, my husband, Jeff is home sick again – so it’s LunchFor2! When lunch rolled around, he again requested a bowl of soup… URGH! I thought that I’d whip out a little of my Russian magic, and try a “perogie-cure” on him. Hopefully this will do the trick to get him back to work tomorrow!

Using ready-made perogies allows you to create a quick lunch in about 10 minutes

Using ready-made perogies allows you to create a quick lunch in about 10 minutes

There’s nothing really special about heating up pre-made perogies. Ann’s Perogey Palace here in Winnipeg are one of our favourite brands. And our preferred flavour is Potato and Cheddar Cheese. It’s a bonus that I can easily pick these up fresh at my local, independent grocery store.

Check back tomorrow to find out if my Ukrainian cure for the common cold worked!

Check back tomorrow to find out if my Ukrainian cure worked!

As you can see, buying a dozen perogies can get pricey at $7 each. However after attempting to make perogies from scratch last year… I know first-hand that the trick is to get the dough just right. And I am SOOOO not a great dough-maker. It’s one of my Bucket List items to perfect in the kitchen!

To make my version of super easy perogies, place your 2 dozen perogies in a large pot of boiling, salted water, and cook them until they float.

While simultaneously using a small fry-pan to cook 3/4 of an Onion (diced) in 2 tablespoons of Canola Oil for about 5 – 8 minutes, or until translucent.

I then threw in 3 – 4 tablespoons of Butter in the fry pan to melt with my the onions.

For a quicker finish to lunch, I added a small handful (1/3 cup) of good-quality Bacon Bits (Costco’s Kirkland brand are my favourite) to the fry pan and tossed that around for a minute.

Strain the perogies out of the pot into a casserole dish. Again I love my Coring Ware dish with lid as it allows me to quickly put my leftovers away in the fridge.

Top the perogies with your onion/bacon/butter mixture, and serve with a dollop of Sour Cream, and some fresh-ground pepper.

You can almost taste the goodness if you get really close to the screen.

You can almost taste the goodness if you get really close to the screen.

Not the healthiest lunch… but definitely a great comfort food on a super cold day (-32*C with the wind chill here) when someone in your household is sick.

PS – There seem to be many different spellings for the word perogy/perogie… these are mine, and Ann uses Perogey. This food by any other name… still tastes just as great! 😉

Everyone has a favourite perogy, and way to prepare it – What’s Yours?
Please feel free to share it in the Comments section below.

Anna’s Kitchen Tip #3 – Oven-Baked Basmati Rice

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Here’s a super easy way to make Basmati rice
turn out perfect every time – ON time!

Pre-heat your oven to 350*F.

Using a covered, oven-safe dish, stir 2 cups of basmati rice
into 4 cups of lukewarm water.

I prefer using a flat covered dish like my favourite Corning Ware. Makes it very easy to put away after it cools too.

I prefer using a flatter, covered dish like my retro Corning Ware piece. Makes it very easy to put away after it cools too.

Stir in 1 teaspoon of salt, and add 1 tablespoon of butter.

Bake covered at 350*F for 45 minutes.

Fluff & serve.

This makes enough for two people for 3 meals.

We eat one, and then I freeze two batches for an easy side later.

BTW I love adding a cup of cooked frozen peas to my basmati rice!