Week 4 - January 15 to January 21

This week was pretty awesome if I do say so myself. I had some really exciting recipes that I was so ready to try and make. Although I did have to switch up a couple recipes because we wanted to have a nice Sunday dinner instead of something small. So I moved a few things around. Overall this week was a lot of fun and tried a couple new things that I have never made before which was very exciting. So lets start off the week.

 

January 15 - Creamy Cucumber Salad

This is one of my favourite recipes, when I want a salad for lunch but not a real salad I make this. The only thing about this salad is you have to have patience since it does take 30 minutes to make. This time I decided to use mini cucumbers instead of the big ones, and I immediately regretted it because there was not enough cucumbers at all. It was more an onion salad with a garnish of cucumbers.

  • 2 large cucumbers, sliced
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  1. Mix cucumbers, sweet onion, and sea salt together in a bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Turn cucumber mixture into a colander set over a bowl or in a sink; let drain, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has drained, about 30 minutes more. Transfer drained cucumber mixture to a large bowl.
  3. Stir mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, dill, garlic powder, and black pepper together in a bowl with a whisk until smooth; pour over the cucumber mixture and stir to coat vegetables with the dressing.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

 

January 16 - Classic Cheesecake

You can never go wrong when making cheesecake, but this was a first for me, it was my first no bake cheesecake. I have always made baked cheesecakes, but this one was different and it was absolutely amazing. The cheesecake filling seemed so heavy and thick when I first put it into the crust. But after it had set overnight, it ended up being really light and creamy. I would want to add some flavour next time I made this cheesecake though since it really didn’t have any flavour at all. I would also garnish it with fruit and make it look all pretty. Making it one night and then having to wait until the following night is the hardest part about making a no bake cheesecake. I guess it teaches you a little self control, I guess. 

  • 1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 lbs cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp gelatin
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. To make the crust, in a food processor, combine the graham crackers and sugar, mix well. Add the melted butter and process just until the crumbs stick together. Press the crumbs onto the bottom of the pan and 2 inches up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes.
  3. To make the filling, in a bowl, using a electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with the sugar until blended smooth. Beat in 1/2 cup of the cream until mixed.
  4. Place 1 tbsp water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and let stand for 5 minutes. Place the saucepan over low and stir until gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat and whisk remaining 1/2 cup cream. Add the mixture to the cream cheese mixture, beat for 1 minute.
  5. Pour and scrape the filling into the cooled crust. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
  6. To serve, run a knife around the sides to loosen, remove and serve.

 

January 17 - Sesame Lime Steak Wraps

I was so happy that it was going to be nice so I could barbecue the steaks instead of grill them inside the house. The recipe says to marinate for 30 minutes, but I decided to marinate for the whole day instead so that they really infused with the flavourings. It added so much of the flavouring to the steak it was delicious. After dinner my parents did say that next time maybe we try sirloin steaks or medallions since they are better meat than the eye of the round steaks. Overall the favour was amazing. The wraps that I had purchased were not the best, so I would change the wraps to just ones that you can buy at CO-OP or any grocery store. I plan on making these again when the weather is nice again.

  • 1/2 pound eye of round, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root
  • 4 leaves red leaf lettuce
  • 4 flour tortillas
  1. Place sliced beef in a shallow bowl. In a jar, combine lime juice, honey, oil, sesame seeds, soy sauce, sesame oil and grated ginger. Seal lid tightly, and shake until well combined. Pour over beef, and marinate 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a nonstick skillet until very hot. Pour beef and marinade into pan, and saute on high heat until steak is evenly brown. Remove beef with a slotted spoon. Continue boiling marinade until reduced by half, stirring frequently to prevent burning, about 5 minutes. Put steak slices back into marinade, mix well, and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Place lettuce leaves on tortillas, and evenly distribute steak slices between all tortillas. Fold bottom of tortilla up by 1/3, then tightly roll from the side until wrapped.

 

January 18 - Greek Salad

Love the fact that this recipe has three (3) ingredients and a homemade vinaigrette. I had purchased fresh veggies so they were amazing and crisp. Since I love onion I followed the recipe but after seeing how much onion it actually calls for I would change it to 1/4 onion. A couple other changes I would make is less feta and more cucumbers and tomatoes. The feta made it a little to salty for my liking. It tasted really good and when you add hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner it makes it even better. 

  • grape/cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. In a large bowl, stir together tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and red onion. Gently fold in feta.
  2. In a small bowl, make dressing: Combine vinegar, lemon juice, and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Slowly add olive oil, whisking to combine.
  3. Drizzle dressing over salad.

 

January 19 - Grilled Cheeses

BEST DINNER EVER! I really love grilled cheeses. Since it being Friday I though I would make something simple, and who doesn't like grilled cheeses. So to up this recipe I picked up fresh bread from Cobs and then picked up some fresh sliced cheeses. I got marble, old cheese, medium cheese, and havarti. My dad asked for onions to be added which is such a nice touch, if I do say so. After making every ones I found that the medium cheese didn’t melt the way I thought it would. Overall though you can never go wrong with grilled cheeses for dinner.

  • Bread
  • Cheeses
  • Butter
  1. Butter two pieces of bread, place cheese in-between bread, butter side out.
  2. Cook in pan until golden brown, roughly 7 min.
  3. Serve immediately. 

 

January 20 - Rosemary Potatoes

Appetizer night. So in the honour of appetizer night I decided to make rosemary potatoes. They smelt so good while they were cooking. The rosemary just added so much flavour, plus the added garlic was just amazing. The recipe called for them to cook for 25 minutes, but we all know that it is always longer than that. I cut them smaller than what they had said so that they would cook quicker and get softer faster, but that didn’t work the way I thought it would. I feel like next time I should boil them and then chop and put into the oven. I believe the flavour was good but I didn’t really taste garlic, so maybe garlic oil next time instead of garlic. This was not my Mom’s favourite thing that I have made, she has kindly asked me not to make them again unless I find another way to make them. 

  • 2 1/2 lb red potatoes, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, halved
  • 1 tbsp fresh or dried Rosemary
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes, return the water to a boil, reduce the heat, cover partially, cook for 5 minutes. Drain well.
  3. Arrange the potatoes in a baking dish, preferably in a single layer. Drizzle the oil over the top, then turn the potatoes to coat. Scatter the garlic over the potatoes. Sprinkle the rosemary and a little salt and pepper.
  4. Bake, turning the potatoes several times, until tender and golden, 20-25 minutes.
  5. Transfer the potatoes to a serving dish, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve right away.

 

January 21 - Apple Cranberry Pork Roast

This recipe smelt so good while making it, the glaze tasted so good. Although the recipe said it would take 60 minutes, instead it took 120 minutes. This really depends on how you like your pork cooked. Even cooking it as long as I did the pork was not dry, it was moist and delicious. The good thing about pork is that it really takes on the flavours that it is being cooked in. This cooks in Apple Cider and Apple Cider Vinegar, dried apples and dried cranberries. So the pork really tasted like apples. I think if I were to make this again I would not put in the dried apples into the filling. Overall it was delicious and yummy, hopefully I get the chance to make this again.

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large shallot, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups dried apples
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 1/2 pound boneless center-cut pork loin roast
  1. Chill the roast to make it easier to cut: Before starting on the pork, put the pork roast in the freezer for 30 minutes to make it easier to cut. While the pork is chilling, you can make the filling.
  2. Make the filling and glaze: Bring all the filling ingredients to simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until apples are very soft, about 20 minutes.
  3. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving the liquid. Use a rubber spatula to press against the apple mixture in the sieve to extract as much liquid out as possible.
  4. Return liquid to saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside and reserve this liquid for use as a glaze.
  5. Pulse apple mixture in food processor, about fifteen 1-second pulses. Set aside.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F or prepare your grill for indirect heat.
  7. Butterfly the roast: You will be "double-butterflying" the pork roast. Lay the roast down, fat side up. Insert the knife into the roast 1/2-inch horizontally from the bottom of the roast, along the long side of the roast.
  8. Make a long cut along the bottom of the roast, stopping 1/2 inch before the edge of the roast. You might find it easier to handle by starting at a corner of the roast.
  9. Open up the roast and continue to cut through the thicker half of the roast, again keeping 1/2 inch from the bottom. Repeat until the roast is an even 1/2-inch thickness all over when laid out.
  10. Spread filling on roast and roll up tightly: Season the inside of the roast well with salt and pepper. Spread out the filling on the roast, leaving a 1/2-inch border from the edges.
  11. Starting with the short side of the roast, roll it up very tightly. Secure with kitchen twine at 1-inch intervals. Season the outside of the roast generously with salt and pepper.
  12. Roast in oven: Place roast on a rack in a roasting pan, place in oven, on the middle rack.
  13. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes, until the internal temperature of the roast is 130 to 135 degrees F.
  14. Brush with half of the glaze and cook for 5 minutes longer. Remove the roast from the oven or grill. Place it on a cutting board. Tent it with foil to rest and keep warm for 15 minutes before slicing.
  15. Slice: Slice into 1/2-inch wide pieces, removing the cooking twine as you cut the roast. Serve with remaining glaze.