Generally when we decide to make something there is a reson for it i.e. we have cabbage to use up or we needed a dessert for a dinner party. With this recipe I have no idea why we made it. Perhaps it was to see if a low-fat, stove-top version of chicken and broccoli casseroel would be any good.
I am sure you've experienced that casserole many times - it is generally found at every pot luck. There are a gazillion different versions but generally the key ingredients are mayo, mustard, chicken, broccoli, noddles, and cans of soup. Yes, they are generally a diet disaster but yummy as all get out! Isn't that always the way.
This low-fat version made on the stove top is from Eating Well. We really enjoyed it and I was pleased with how easy it was to throw together for a weeknight meal. While we love heavily spiced and seasoned food, sometimes mild, creamy comfort food is just what the doctor ordered, and this recipe fills that role nicely.
Stovetop Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
8 ounces whole-wheat egg noodles 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed, cut into 3/4-inch pieces 1 14- to 16-ounce package frozen broccoli florets, thawed and chopped, if desired 1 1/2 cups skim milk 1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1 1/2 cups shredded Colby-Jack or Cheddar cheese
Place noodles in a large skillet. Pour broth over the noodles. Layer chicken, then broccoli over the noodles.
Whisk milk, mayonnaise, flour, dry mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour over the broccoli.
Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the noodles and chicken are cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes.
Meanwhile, position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.
When the casserole is done, sprinkle cheese on top and broil until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
It isdefineately soup season here!! Last week I even pulled out the slow cooker for the first time since the spring- a sure sign that I am in the mood for warm, comforting foods.
I decided to make this soup from Kalyn's Kitchen. We had a cabbage from the CSA to use up andthis seemed ot bejust the way to do it. Pieces of chicken sausage give heft to this cabbage soup, while fennel and thyme add in lots of flavor.
The great thing about soups is you often just dump everything in the pot and then ignore it for some time. With this slow cooker soup you get to ignore it for a long time - although you'll not forget it is there because the house is soon full of delicious smells!!!
This is a soup to warm your bones and make ou forget that snow is on the way!
Slow Cooker Cabbage Soup with Tomatoes, Chicken-garlic Sausage, and Parmigiano
6 cups chopped cabbage (1 pound) 1 onion, chopped small 1 cup celery, diced small 2 cans (14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes 6 cups beef stock 2 tsp. dried thyme 1 tsp. ground fennel fresh ground black pepper to taste 4 (or 6) links Chicken Sausage 2 tsp. olive oil freshly-grated Parmigiano cheese for serving
Chop the cabbage, onion, and celery and place in the slow cooker. Add the 2 cans of tomatoes, beef stock, dried thyme, ground fennel, and black pepper to the slow cooker. Cook 8-9 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.
When the cabbage is well-softened, slice the sausage into pieces about 1/4 inch thick. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pan and cook over medium-high heat until the sausage is nicely browned. Add the well-browned sausage to the soup, turn to high if you were cooking on low, and cook 30-45 minutes more. Serve hot, with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
One of our favourite food trucks tweeted last week that they would be at the Handmade Market on the weekend. I had no idea what that was but after a wee bit of googling I discovered that it was a culinart and artisan fair in Niagara - with food trucks!
We quickly decided that it sounded like a great Jerry and Paul activity.
Paul and I headed out to Honsberger Estates (the host winery) and visited on Sunday. . .
You know how there are times that seem as if they are sent to try you? I believe that I am in one of those times. Work is incredibly busy. In the midst of this non-stop schedule of craziness I have been trying to get my car in to have a tire replaced, a tune up, and perhaps think about snow tires. . .although not all at the same time. :-)
Last week I popped into the garage to see about the tire since it has needed replacing for some time.
They had none in stock but ordered one in.
I dropped my car off on Friday. Since I still needed to get to Toronto for meetings I walked to the GO Station to get the train. The train was delayed for 25 minutes and I was froze on the platform. This was a sign.
The garage called at 3:30. They had no idea why the car had been dropped off. Apparently Mike, the guy I had been chatting with, was off on Friday and he hadn't left any notes.
I explained about the tire and they said they were get right on it.
Unfortunately they closed at 6 and I didn't leave Toronto until 5:45. Because I was car-less and there was no way to retrieve my car I just took the bus home from the train station. Thank goodness Paul was able to tell me what bus to take.
I have limited experience with busses in Burlington.
I had to go into work yesterday to try and get caught up on things. I could have taken two busses down to the garage but I took a cab instead. Burlington bus service is horrendous on the weekend!
When I got to the garage it was a ZOO. Apparently everyone was getting snow tires put on. My car was nowhere in sight.
I stood in line and when it was my turn Mike (back from his day off) had a funny look on his face.
Apparently my car was refusing to start!
They had replaced the tire and left it in the garage overnight. When they went to move it out in the morning it was dead. They had no idea what was wrong with it.
Four burly mechanics shoved it outside and Mike said they'd look at it as soon as they got some of the tire backlog done.
That left me stranded with no car and really needing one.
I called the nearest car rental - yes, they had cars available.
I called yet another cab and headed over to get a car to use while Mike and the guys tried to figure out why my car was dead.
I am now in the tiniest car I have ever had.
Whatever, it is just for a short period of time ... I hope.
It would have been nice if it had been full of gas when I received it. Instead I had to put $ 38 worth of gas in before I got on the highway!
I'm not used to a car this small. When I got back to Burlington yesterday afternoon I did the grocery sopping and running around that needed doing. After one store (where I realized all of the reusable grocery bags were sitting in my dead car at the garage) the trunk was FULL! A trip to Costco is out of the question.
I guess Mike and the boys never had a chance to look at why my car was dead yesterday because I never heard from them. Or perhaps they did look but they have no idea.
Oh well, I guess my wee car and I shall be friends for awhile longer.
I found this recipe on the Eating Well webiste while I was looking for a way to use up some apples that had arrived in our CSA as well as a bottle of apple cider we had bought and I was worried would become apple cider vinegar if we didn't drink it! *smile*
Stuffed inside a flattened plank of pork tenderloin is a mixture of leek, softened in extra-virgin olive oil, and a chopped sweet organic apple with a bit of fresh thyme thrown in. The apple was added in with the leek to cook, but just for a brief two minutes - not long enough to make the apple mushy, but just enough to tame the crispness, leaving it barely tender.
If you've never had to butterfly a piece of tenderloin, there is no need for you to think it is at all complicated. All you'll need to do is halve the pork, lengthwise, yet hold back on slicing all the way though, which would split it in two pieces. You want one piece that you can open like a book, to which you'll cover with plastic wrap and whack the heck out of it to flatten the pork to an even thickness. Use a meat mallet if you have one, but a rolling pin, the bottom of a flat skillet or even a thick bottle will do the job.
Apple and Leek Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided 1 cup chopped leek 1 large sweet apple, chopped 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided 3/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, divided 1 1/2 pound trimmed pork tenderloin 1/2 cup applejack or apple brandy (we used Calvados) 1 whole thyme sprig 2 garlic cloves, crushed 2 cups apple cider 2 teaspoons cornstarch 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium. Add chopped leek - cook, stirring often, until leek just begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Stir apple, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apple begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and scoop mixture into a bowl to cool - wipe out the pan and set aside.
Place tenderloin on cutting board and butterfly by slicing lengthwise through the center of the meat, stopping just short of the opposite edge. Open the halves of the pork and lay a sheet of plastic wrap on top. Pound pork until it is evenly 1/4" thick.
Spread cooled apple mixture down the center of the pork, making sure to leave a clean 1" border around the edges. Fold in about 1" of the two short ends of the pork - then roll it up, jelly roll style, starting on one long side, to enclose the filling. Tie kitchen string firmly lengthwise around the roast to secure the two ends. Use the string to then tie it crosswise at 2" intervals.
Brush pork with 1 teaspoon oil, then season with remaining salt and pepper.
Heat remaining tablespoon oil in the same skillet used above over medium-high heat. Place tenderloin into the skillet - reduce temperature down to medium and brown pork roast on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer pork to a rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Place into the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 145 degrees, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and place pork on a clean cutting board to rest for 5 to 10 minutes (reserve any juices on the baking sheet for the sauce).
Meanwhile, place skillet back over medium-high. Add applejack, whole thyme sprig and crushed garlic. Bring mixture to a boil and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
In a small bowl, whisk together cider and cornstarch. Whisk mixture into the skillet - bring back to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced by just over half, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat - remove thyme sprig and garlic. Whisk in mustard and any juice from the baking sheet. Slice pork and serve with the sauce.
I know that some folks get depressed about turing 50. I have decided to embrace it! My 50th was on July 14th and I am determined to enjoy a drink on the 14th of every month to celebrate this new decade.
On January 14th I celebrated with cake and champagne in Berlin.
On February 14th I celebrated with a martini and charcuterie in front of the fireplace.
On March 14th mom and I went out to lunch at one of our favourite wineries (and mom paid!).
On April 14th we enjoyed a ginger spice martini at home.
For May 14th Paul took me out for dinner and we had a nice Blackberry Ginger Lemonade drink.
I was in Venice for June 14 and we enjoyed a classic Venetian Spritz.
July 14th was my actual birthday and I celebrated with not 1 but 2 special drinks!
It's a long, long way from Toronto's Don Valley Parkway to the royal court of Shah Tahmasp I, who ruled Persia in the 16th century, but all of a sudden closer than you'd think.
On Sept. 18, the Aga Khan Museum, a chiseled, light-filled structure of Brazilian granite, opened its doors to the public and, with a primary goal of raising awareness about Muslim culture.
The project is funded by Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, the religious leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community, and his organization, the Aga Khan Development Network.
The museum is the first of its kind, displaying artifacts from Islamic civilizations over the centuries. As the first museum of Islamic art in all of North America, it acts as a pioneer of pluralism and tolerance.
Muslim societies comprise a quarter of the world’s population, yet there is limited knowledge of the people and their faith in the West. This considerable lack of understanding spans all aspects of the peoples of Islam: their pluralism, the diversity of their interpretations of the Qur’anic faith, the chronological and geographical extent of their history and culture, as well as their ethnic, linguistic and social diversity.
Artifacts are displayed on two floors, in large, high-ceilinged, discreetly lit white rooms with teak floors. The main-floor space prefaced by a corridor illuminated by an arresting series of video animations, has its treasures arranged chronologically on an L-shaped footprint, and is decidedly Catholic in its presentation. There are three large vitrines displaying Korans of varying degrees of calligraphic magnificence; a 10th-century inkwell carved from rock crystal; a marble fountain, with geometric mosaics, from a palatial courtyard in 15th-century Egypt; a tunic of beige brocaded silk worn by a horseman in 14th-century Iran; the oldest-known extant version of The Canon of Medicine, compiled in Persia in the 11th century; a bronze astrolabe with silver insets from 14th-century Spain, its surface inscribed in Arabic, Hebrew and Latin.
Not only are the artificats on display stunning - the setting is as well. The structure features a spectacular dome-shaped auditorium, two permanent galleries, a rotating gallery, an Ismaili religious centre, an indoor courtyard and an outdoor courtyard that mimics the Mughal-made Shalimar Gardens in Lahore.
For fine diners, the museum’s Diwan restaurant offers tastes of Turkey, Iran, North Africa, Central and South Asia. For those in search of merchandise, the building has a gift shop that features items inspired by the museum’s collection of nearly 1,000 artifacts.
We all enjoyed out visit to the museum and will be eturning for future exhibits and of course to eat again at Diwan!
We left the snow behind and headed to California for a long weekend of fun. We shoppedm toured wineries, tasted olive oil, met up with good friends, and ate some wonderful food. I can't wait for slow bowl 2009.