March 19 to 25

This week my headaches continued. Stupid weather. So I really tried to push my self through a couple of these recipes. The Eggs Benedict was the worst day. I started and then couldn’t finish, so thank you to my parents for finishing that day for me. The Chicken Pot Pie was the next day, and I have never liked chicken pot pie so the small really got to me and gave me a worse headache than I had. I was so excited to make the Slow Cooker French Onion Soup. I did add an extra recipe in this week, Panna Cotta. I have been wanting to try and make it for a while. Wish it would have turned out better than it did though. I will be remaking this in the future. 

 

March 19 - Eggs Benedict

A huge thank you to my parents for finishing this recipe for me since my headache was the worst and I couldn't even focus. I wanted to retry and make the hollandaise, since I failed last time, so I started it and then couldn’t finish which is sad. Overall I wish I could have ate this, because the photo my Dad sent me looked really good. 

Eggs Benedict

  • Hollandaise Sauce
  • English Muffins
  • Canadian Bacon
  • salt
  • eggs
  1. Preheat the grill. Heat the Canadian Bacon.
  2. Cook the eggs, and heat the english muffins.
  3. Prepare hollandaise.

Hollandaise

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, swirling the pan, until the butter turns golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Whisk 1/4 cup buttermilk, cornstarch, salt and cayenne in a heavy medium saucepan until smooth. Whisk in egg along with the remaining 1/2 cup buttermilk.
  3. Set the pan over medium-low heat and cook the sauce, whisking constantly, until it comes to a simmer.
  4. Cook, whisking, for 15 seconds.
  5. Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice and the reserved butter. Serve hot.

 

March 20 - Noodle Bowls

I love any kind of Noodle Bowl so I was super excited to make my own. Instead of Vermicelli I used Udon Noodles, and I don’t think I would do that next time since I think they were too big for this recipe. It still tasted really good, I think I might have got more flavour infused with the Vermicelli instead. Overall this was a family favourite which I was pleased about. 

  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 piece fresh ginger, cut
  • 2 thick slices
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 8 ounces rice vermicelli noodles
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced (I didn't use Jalapeno)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lime, quartered, for garnish
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, rice vinegar, fish sauce, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, just until bubbles appear at the edges and the sugar has dissolved. (Alternatively, microwave in 30-second bursts until the sugar has dissolved and the dressing is hot.)
  2. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. With a slotted spoon, remove and discard the ginger and garlic. Taste the dressing for seasoning and add more sugar, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, if you like. The dressing should be a nice balance of vinegary and sweet.
  3. Warm the oven to 400F. In a bowl, combine the hoisin and oyster sauces with the canola oil. Add the chicken and turn well to coat all over. Arrange the chicken in an 8x8 baking dish in one layer. Cover with foil and cook for 35 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the breasts registers 165F.
  4. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Remove from heat, add the noodles, and let stand for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the noodles are tender when you taste one. Drain into a colander, rinse with cold water, and shake the colander to remove excess water. (If the chicken isn't quite ready yet, cover the noodles with cool water to keep them from drying out. Drain before serving.)
  5. Heat a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the cooked chicken breasts in one layer and cook 2 minutes. Turn and cook 2 minutes more. Watch carefully so they do not burn.  Remove from the pan, and allow to cool briefly. Slice the chicken thinly, keeping the slices together if possible.
  6. Divide the noodles among 4 large bowls. Top with sliced chicken, carrots, bean sprouts, jalapeno, and scallions. Sprinkle with a few spoonfuls of dressing, then garnish with cilantro, mint, and peanuts. Serve with lime and remaining dressing on the side.

 

March 21 - Chicken Pot Pie

Again I do not like pot pies in any sense, so this was clearly just for the family. This happened to land on the second big headache of this week so I really had to push through to finish this one. Thankfully I didn’t have to smell it, since I don’t like it, and since I went downstairs when they decided to finally eat. Everyone said it was really good, only thing is I should have cut the shredded chicken down a little more. Noted for next time. 

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut
  • 3 medium carrots, cut
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 rib of celery
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups cooked chicken meat
  • 2/3 cups frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp minced parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 pkg pie pastries
  • 1 egg
  1. In a large pot, add butter, potatoes carrots, onion, celery and garlic. Sauté until tender. Stir in flour until blended.
  2. Gradually add broth.Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in peas, 1/2 cup cream, parsley, garlic salt and pepper. Stir in chicken.
  3. Spoon into two ungreased 9 in pie plates. In a small bowl, whisk egg and 1 Tbsp or cream, set aside.
  4. Roll out the pastry to fit the top of each pie. Place over filling and trim, seal and flute edges. Cut slits in pasty to vent. Brush top of pies with egg mixture.
  5. Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes or until golden. Let stand for 10 mins before cutting

 

March 22 - Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

Love French Onion Soup and when I found a slow cooker recipe I knew I had to try it. After last time making French Onion Soup I knew of things to change, this was the perfect opportunity to make those changes. Making those very few changes really made the soup taste so much better. I used only Beef broth, a little less sherry, and more cheese on the top. Everyone really liked this recipe. I just didn’t realize how filling French Onion Soup can be, I only ate half of the one I made for myself. I am on the hunt for smaller French Onion Soup bowls now. 

  • 3 large white onions , sliced
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 8 cups Beef Broth
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 8 slices dry french bread
  • 3/4 cup Gruyere cheese , shredded
  • 1/2 cup Emmental cheese , shredded
  • 6 tbsp fresh parmesan cheese
  1. In a large non-stick pan, cook onions, butter and brown sugar over medium low heat until golden and caramelized. (About 20 minutes).
  2. Once golden, add to the slow cooker along with remaining ingredients except bread and cheeses.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. Remove and discard bay leaf and ladle the soup into bowls. Top with dry bread slices and cheeses. Broil 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned.

 

March 23 - Stuffed Peppers

My Mom has made this before and told me to make a couple changes to the recipe before I even started which I think was amazing. Instead of using a whole pepper I sliced in half and stuffed half a pepper. A whole pepper is way to much. I also used majorly beef and 1/4 pound Italian Sausage for the filling. I left out any of the spicy spices and allowed individuals to add the spicy to it themselves. Overall my Mom said this turned out way better and she would even use this recipe next time. 

  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2 cups water

Sauce:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Peppers:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/4 lb. hot Italian pork sausage (I used regular Italian Sausage)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 4 large peppers, cleaned
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Bring rice and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, and the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. Set the cooked rice aside.
  3. Cook onion and olive oil over medium heat until onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Transfer half of cooked onion to a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Stir marinara sauce, beef broth, balsamic vinegar, and red pepper flakes into the skillet; cook and stir for 1 minute.
  5. Pour sauce mixture into a 9x13-inch baking dish and set aside.
  6. Combine ground beef, Italian sausage, diced tomatoes, Italian parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper into bowl with reserved onions; mix well. Stir in cooked rice and Parmigiano Reggiano. Stuff green bell peppers with beef and sausage mixture.
  7. Place stuffed green bell pepper halves in the baking dish over tomato sauce; sprinkle with remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano, cover baking dish with aluminum foil, and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
  8. Remove aluminum foil and bake until the meat is no longer pink, the green peppers are tender and the cheese is browned on top, an addition 20 to 25 minutes.

 

March 24 - Cherry Tomato Pasta & Panna Cotta with Strawberries

I got up early this morning to start the Panna Cotta since it has to set for eight hours before serving. The pasta sauce didn’t take that long you just have to have the cherry tomatoes and the chicken broth in a pan so that the cherry tomatoes burst. After that you blend it all together, don’t worry if your sauce is very runny, mine was too. The sauce ends up being a light sauce, not heavy, it just coats the pasta so you can have the flavour. So good. The Panna Cotta on the other hand, sad face, didn’t set the way I wanted to, so I have to do some research and make some adjustments to make it better. 

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves 
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 14 ounces penne pasta 
  • 1/2 cup grated Parm-Reggiano cheese
  1. Combine cherry tomatoes, oil, garlic, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook and stir until garlic is just toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Pour chicken broth into tomato mixture; bring to a simmer and cook until tomatoes start to collapse and burst, about 10 minutes. Stir oregano and red pepper flakes into tomato mixture. Puree tomato mixture with a stick blender until sauce is smooth.
  3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain and return pasta to the pot. Pour tomato sauce over penne and stir until pasta absorbs some of the sauce, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese into pasta and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Panna Cotta 

For the Cream:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 envelope unflavoured gelatin
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 piece vanilla bean, split
  • 3 tbsp light rum

For the Fruit:

  • 4 cups strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  1. To make the cream, place the milk in a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the top, let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the cream and sugar. Using the top of a small sharp knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into the cream mixture and then add the pod. Place over medium heat and stir until cream just begins to simmer. Remove from heat. Add the gelatin-milk mixture and stir to dissolve completely. Let cool for 10 minutes, then stir in the rum. Remove and discard the vanilla. Divide the mixture among 12-1/2 cup custard cups. Cover the cups with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 8 hours.
  3. About 1 hours before serving, prepare the fruit. In a large bowl, combine half the strawberries and the sugar and crush with a fork. Slice the remaining strawberries and add to the bowl. Toss to combine, then taste and add more sugar if needed. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
  4. To unmold the creams, set each custard cup in warm water to reach halfway up the sides. Let stand for 20 seconds. Remove from water, wipe dry, then invert a serving plate over the cup and invert the serving plate and cup together. Shake gently until the cream comes loose. If it doesn’t come loose easily, run a small knife around the inside edge.
  5. Spoon the berries around the unmolded creams, divining evenly. Serve right away.

 

March 25 - Honey Mustard Salmon

The cooking time that it says in the recipe is for a very thin slice of fish, mine was a little thicker and it cooked for 20-30 minutes and it was still amazing and flaky. I really enjoyed this recipe, since it was the second fish dish of the challenge, I wanted to try something different. Making a Honey Mustard dressing to cover the fish while cooking was definitely different. The sauce tasted amazing and I could not wait to serve it to the family. I decide to serve this fish with some brown rice to really complement the flavours. Everyone loved it, even Dad said it was really good. I think I will have him liking fish after all. 

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds salmon fillets
  • 3 Tbsp honey mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F .
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey mustard, garlic, 2 Tbsp of olive oil, lemon juice, dill, and salt.
  3. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil. Brush the salmon fillets on both sides with olive oil. Place fillets skin-side down (if your fillets have skin-on) on the foil-lined pan. Use a basting brush to coat the top side of the fillets with the honey mustard mixture.
  4. Place in oven and bake at 400°F  for 8 to 10 minutes, until just barely cooked through (since my fish filet was pretty thick it actually cooked for 20-30 minutes). It's okay if the salmon is still a little rare in the center, when you remove it from the oven, the residual heat will cook it through.