About This Blog

I like food. A lot. In this blog, I will divulge all my delicious recipes, giving you a full list of ingredients, step-by-step instructions, and notes to help you successfully make the dish. Feel free to try these at home, and let me know how it went in the comments for the dish! If you have any questions, I will answer them as quickly as possible. If you use my recipe and discuss it on your site, please link back to this blog. Happy eating!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Roasted Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

Another soup, since I spent a lot of fall and this winter being in love with soups. This one took a little more time, since we oven roasted the vegetables.

Ingredients: 1 sweet potato, peeled and halved
                     1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
                     4 shallots, peeled and halved
                     olive oil
                     5-6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
                     chicken stock (About one container, or 3-4 cups)
                     salt, ground black pepper
                     heavy cream (optional)
                     snipped chives, for garnish

Directions: Heat oven to 375F (190C)
                   Brush cut side of sweet potato, squash, and shallots with olive oil and place on non-stick baking pan (i.e. cookie sheet). Distribute garlic gloves amongst them.
                   Roast vegetables for about 30-40 minutes, or until tender. Allow to cool briefly.
                   Spoon flesh away from squash halves, cut sweet potato, and peel garlic cloves.
                   Add vegetables to large pot containing stock and bring to a boil.
                   Add salt and pepper, to taste.
                   Simmer for about 10--15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
                   Transfer soup to blender and blitz until smooth (This may need to be done in batches).
                   Transfer soup back to rinsed pot on low heat, add heavy cream and more seasoning, if needed.
                   Serve with snipped chives and ground black pepper as garnish.

Notes: This soup was amazing. The robust taste of the roasted vegetables really gave a hearty feeling to the meal, and made us looking for more.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please let me know! Give us a follow, and be the first to know when we cook up something delicious!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hot Sausage Burgers with Homemade French Fries

We have a TON of sausage in the house. In the summer, Momma Brayton brought us something like five packages of sausages -- four of links and one of patties. They're the big package of links, too, with like, twenty sausages in them. We are down to two packages of links. I keep trying to find new ways to use them, so I, personally, don't get bored of sausage forever.
Since it's winter now, we don't use our grill -- we brought it into the apartment for the colder months. Still, when I was thinking about dinner this afternoon, it came to me -- we can put those patties to use. So, here's how we did it.

Ingredients: 1 package of hot sausage patties
                     5 Russet potatoes
                     Cheese (we used pepper jack for this)
                     Fresh, soft Kaiser rolls
                     Olive oil
                     Salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 425F (about 220C).
                   Wash potatoes. Cut into strips, keeping them thin so cooking time can be kept short.
                   Place strips in large bowl, coat with olive oil and seasonings.
                   Place strips on cookie sheets (You may wish to grease these -- we had to).
                   Bake for 25-35 minutes, until browned on the edges, turning over once.
                   Whilst potatoes cook, add butter or oil to a nonstick pan and bring to medium-low to medium heat.
                   Cook patties, turning once (should be about 5-8 minutes per side, based on pan heat and thickness of patty). If needed, cut patty open to check for doneness -- undercooked pork can cause illness, so be sure to cook thoroughly!
                   Reduce heat slightly, add cheese and allow to melt. Move to Kaiser roll.
                   Serve whilst still hot. Add extra seasoning to fries if desired.

Notes: The recipe here is for two servings, which consisted of two patties, and a bowl of fries. Five good-sized potatoes will make more than two servings, and we stored the rest in the refrigerator. Further, if your cookie sheets are way better than my abused old guys, you might not have to grease those, so operate at your discretion.
           As always, exercise caution when cooking pork -- it cannot be cooked to different degrees, like beef, and eating undercooked pork can make you very ill, so always be sure to double check for doneness!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Butternut Squash Soup

This was the first soup I ever made. Really, I'm not a very big soup person, so it has to be really good for me to want it. Since I had never made soup before, and every time my old boss made it, everyone loved it, I decided I wanted to give it a go. There are a lot of ways to add variety to this dish, so I'll first note how I make it, and then tell you how you can adjust it for yourself.

Ingredients: 1 butternut squash; peeled, seeded, and cut into small cubes
                     1/2 cup diced sweet onion
                     3/4 cup diced carrot
                     1 large, or 2-3 mid-sized garlic cloves, diced
                     1 small knob of butter (about 1/2 tsp)
                     Olive oil (about 3-4 tbsp)
                     3-4 cups vegetable stock
                     Salt, ground black pepper, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, to taste

Directions: Add butter, olive oil, and garlic to a large pot, and put under medium heat for about 20-30 seconds after butter melts. At this point, the smell of garlic will be much stronger.
                   Add onions, and sauté until tender. Add carrots and squash, followed by vegetable stock.
                   Bring soup to a boil, add seasonings (I usually start with about a teaspoon each), boil for thirty seconds, reduce heat, and simmer for about fifteen (15) minutes or until squash is tender.
                   Carefully add soup contents to a blender and puree. This should be done in batches, and may require a separate pot. Make sure the soup is thoroughly pureed, and place back over low heat.
                   Carefully taste soup and add more seasoning, as needed. Serve immediately with biscuits, croissants, garlic bread, or other bread.

Note: If your soup is not quite as thick as you would like it, you can add heavy cream to it after it has been blitzed. Be sure to add it over low heat, with constant stirring to allow the soup to thicken up.
         Many would not think cinnamon is a good seasoning for this soup, but I find that it adds a level of complexity to the flavour that is both interesting and delicious, as it gives a little bit of sweetness to the nutty hints of this very autumn-y soup.
         One very common variation is to roast the squash. Although I have not done this for this recipe, I have roasted vegetables for a soup, and it definitely changes the flavour. If you do this, cut the squash in fours (two halves for the stem and two halves for the bulb), and remove the seeds. Coat the flat (face-down) sides with olive oil. Roast in an oven preheated to 350F (about 180C) for 20-25 minutes, or until the flesh is tender and be scooped from the skin easily (Be sure to allow the squash to cool a bit so you don't burn yourself!). This can then be added to the soup at the appropriate step.
        This soup can be garnished with snipped chives if desired. Additionally, fresh ground black pepper can be used. We're too poor for a pepper mill right now, so we have the pre-ground stuff, but definitely use fresh-ground if you can -- it will enhance the flavour afforded by the spice.

Lime Posset with Raspberries

I wanted to start this blog off with something sweet and delicious. There are few things I love more in the world than scouring the Internet and magazines for new recipes I can learn. Cooking and baking is one of my favourite things to do, and I love food! So the first recipe I'll start with is the posset. Very easy, very quick, and great to make in advance.

Ingredients: 200 ml (about one pint) of heavy cream
                     4 tbsp granulated sugar (caster sugar will work, too, but I use granulated)
                     The juice of three limes
                     The zest of one lime
                     Raspberries, for garnish

Directions: Zest one lime. Set aside.
                    Roll each lime on a table or countertop, pressing firmly with your hand. This will make the lime easy to juice via the squeezing method. Use a citrus juicer if you have one. If juicing by hand, place a strainer over a container to keep pulp out of the juice. Set juice aside.
                    In a small saucepan, pour heavy cream and add sugar. Over medium to medium-high heat, bring mixture to just boiling, and stir constantly for two and a half minutes.
                    Remove from heat. Add juice and zest, stir.
                    Divide mixture between two ramekins.
                    Place ramekins in refrigerator and chill. Minimum chilling time should be between four and five hours. Leaving overnight allows for complete setting of the dish.
                    Before serving, place fresh raspberries on the set surface.

Notes: This recipe can be done with a variety of fruits, namely lemons and even oranges.
            If the boiling mixture is not constantly stirred for the full two and a half minutes, the sugar may not fully dissolve. Further, the heavy cream may become overheated or even burn.
            There is room for creativity in this recipe. I once made this with a homemade pomegranate syrup. Although there was no zest to strengthen the flavour, the posset had the nice reserved taste of the syrup, making for a calmer-tasting treat.
          If this dish sits at room temperature for an extended period, it will begin to soften, and sort of melt, so keep this in the fridge until it's serving time!