Monday, November 15, 2010

Tomato and Corn Pie

My friend Jelena told me about this pie this past summer. She found it on The thought of a pie made from tomato and corn does seem a tad off. But it is really good! I've made this a few times using different cheeses and herbs and it has tasted fantastic every time. I'm posting the original recipe here, it calls for basil and chives. I really like using parsley or cilantro instead of the basil and chives. The last time I made this I tried it with frozen corn. As long as you defrost the corn and remove as much excess water as possible. I find that tomato's are a little sour in the winter and sweet in the summer, yes I know this is most likely because they are not in season. Because of this I would add about 1 teaspoon sugar per tomato used if making this in the winter. Now I say that this recipe feeds 2 people but that is because I tend to only cook for two people. I did however bring some to work the next day. This taste good either warm or at room temp. I'm not a huge fan of it right out of the fridge.

You will need for 2-4 people
2 cups flour
1 tbs baking powder
1 3/4 tsp salt, divided
6 tbs cold butter cut into cubes
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 3/4 pounds beefsteak tomatoes ( depending on size about 3-4)
1 1/2 cups corn chopped finely
3 tbs finely chopped basil, divided
2 tbs finely chopped chives, divided
1/4 tsp black pepper, divided
7ounces coarsely grated sharp Cheddar (1 3/4 cups), divided

1)Pre heat your oven to 400f. Heat a pot with water. Lightly score the bottom of the tomatoes with an x, place in the hot water for 10-15 seconds. Remove from pot and place in a bowl of cold water. Peel off the skin and slice thinly width ways.
2) In a bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and one tablespoon of the herbs. Add the butter and mix until fine crumbs appear. Add the milk and blend until combined. Depending on humidity and the type of flour you are using you may need to add more milk. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, knead several times until all the excess flour is combined. divide the dough in half. Roll out one half and place in a pie dish. Place the other half in the fridge.

3) Combine the lemon juice and mayonnaise.
4) Place 1/2 of the tomato's in one layer on top of the dough in the pie dish. Sprinkle half of the corn on top then sprinkle half of the cheese, herbs, salt and pepper on top.

5) Layer the rest of the tomato's on top, followed by the rest of the corn, cheese, herbs, salt and pepper.
6) Pour the mayonnaise mixture on top, spreading it out as evenly as possible.
7) Roll out the second half of the dough, place on top of the pie. Crimp the edges to create a seal. Cut every slits in the dough, this will allow steam to escape.
8) Bake for 30-35 minutes.

1) Use whatever cheese and fresh herbs you have in your fridge. I used parsley and basil this time, the cheese was Cheddar and Parmesan

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Crustless Pizza

This is the first recipe that I have tried from Kitchen. Nigella made it on her new show I think it was in the first or second episode. It is a cross between a Yorkshire pudding and a quiche. I really liked it, although I didn't follow the recipe exactly as written. Nigella's version uses pepperoni or chorizo, both of which I don't have. I'm a vegetarian and Adam is not, this can sometimes make meal time frustrating. So I made half meat and half not. We have bologna in the house so I cut up a piece of it and put on his half. I then added some parsley and changed slightly changed that cheese. The recipe calls for Cheddar cheese, which I have. But a couple days ago we had bought a dill Havarti, I used some of it as the finally topping of cheese. I really liked this recipe, I know I didn't stick to the original but it was pretty close. I know I'm going to make this again, often. However the next time I make this I am going to add just a pinch of nutmeg.

You will need for 2 people

1 egg
100g plain flour
250ml milk
100g Cheddar cheese ( or cheese of your choice)
50g Chorizo or Pepperoni ( or meat of your choice)
Butter to grease with
Salt to taste

1) Preheat the oven to 200c. Butter a pie dish.
2) Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Beat the milk and egg together, add to flour mixture and mic until smooth.
3) Add half of the cheese, pour into pie dish. Sprinkle parsley and place meat on top.
4) Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Take out of the oven and sprinkle half of the cheese. Put back in the oven for 2 or 3 minutes, just until the cheese melts.

1) I don't see why you can't add left over meat to this or even some veggies.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I met Nigella Lawson!!!!!

Today Nigella had a book signing at an Indigo book store downtown Toronto. So I went and it was AMAZING!!! I was so excited!!!! When I got there I had to buy her new book then stand in line. I should of gotten there earlier, I ended up being near the end of the line. But that was ok. I waited in line for almost an hour. She signed my book and I got to take a picture with her. I also was a little creepy and took a few more of just her. But only a few!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Glace Fruits

I love Christmas, it's my favorite holiday. So this year I decided to make a Christmas Cake and a Plum Pudding. In order to make both of these I need glace fruits. I remember watching a Nigella Lawson video where she mentioned that one year she started making her glace fruits in July for her Christmas Cake. This gave me the idea of trying to make them myself. I do realise that it would be a lot easier to just go to the store and buy it. But at the same time if I can make it at home then why not do it. I'm not totally sure if I would make these again, it isn't very hard but I think store bought convenience might win out.

I've read several different recipes about glaceing fruits at home. Some take a couple hours other take weeks. Mine take took 2 weeks, give or take a day. The thing about these is that everyday you spend maybe 10 minutes fiddling with them then they soak in their syrup. I've yet to try these so I'm not totally sure how they turned out from a taste stand point. I'm waiting to make my cakes before I try them. Visually I really like them, I glaceed all my fruits together so the juices from all the fruit blended together and made a orange-pink colour. I used clementines, plums, pears, lime peel, kiwi and blackberries but you can use whatever fruit you wish.

You will need:
1 1/2 pounds fruit
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup clear corn syrup

1) Peel and cut your fruits.

2) In a sauce pan combine 1/2 cup sugar, the water and corn syrup. Bring to a boil and allow to cook until mixture reaches 180 degrees.
3) Add fruit and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes
4) Pour into a bowl and allow to steep for 24 hours

5) Strain fruits, keeping the liquid. Place the liquid in a sauce pan and add 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to a boil and cook until it reaches 180 degrees.
6) Repeat for 3 days

7) Add the fruits along with the liquid and 1/2 cup sugar to a sauce pan and cook until it reaches 180 degrees. Remove from heat and put back into bowl. Let steep for at least a week or up to 3.
8) Preheat oven to 150 degrees Centigrade. Remove fruits and discard liquid. Place fruits on a wire rack with a cookie sheet underneath. Place in oven and dry until fruits are dry but still a little sticky, about 3-4 hours depending on the fruit.

9) Place in a container with a lid until ready to use

1) When drying place like fruits/ thicknesses on the same cookie sheet.
2) If you don't want the colours to bleed candied each fruit separate.
3) For garnishing, heat some water in a sauce pan. Place several fruits in the water for 5 seconds, then roll in sugar and leave to dry.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cheese Scones

I am the proud owner of The Joy of Cooking. The 75th anniversary edition to be exact. I was looking through it last night and decided that I would make scones for breakfast. So I did! They where pretty amazing. I added grated old Cheddar cheese and some Parmesan. Then I topped it with some smoked Jarlsberg, just because I had a bit laying around. This recipe is very easy. I used a cookie cutter to make the scones but you can shape it into a circle and cut it into triangles. I came out with about 10.

You will need
1 3/4 cup flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold cubed butter
2 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons reserved
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 cup cheese, reserve 1/4 cup for sprinkling at the end

1) Whisk together all the dry ingredients.
2) Add the cubed butter. Using a dough blender 2 knives combine together until small balls form.
3) Create a well in the center of the flour and butter mixture. Pour in the eggs and cream and stir to combine
4) Pour out onto a lightly floured surface and gently kneed a few times. You just want any left over flour to be incorporated.
5) Roll the dough out into a circle and cut into triangles or using a cookie cutter cut the dough into pieces. Transfer to a cookie sheet.
6) Brush some of the reserved eggs on top and sprinkle some of the cheese on top
7) Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.

1)Instead of cheese you can add herbs like basil or dill.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Avocado Chicken

I remember years ago going to a Caribbean restaurant that a friend of my moms owns and having chicken stuffed with avocado and poppy seeds (at least I think it was poppy seeds, also this was way before I was a vegetarian.) for some reason this popped into my head yesterday, so I made it. At least I made my own version of it. I looked online to see if I could find a decent recipe for avocado stuffed chicken, I ended up finding one ok recipe repeated on several different sites. Sometimes the Internet can be useless. I ended up making a sort of chunky guacamole, minus the nachos of course. I went to put poppy seeds in it but I forgot to add it, you can add it if you like. But really after making this I don't really see the point. I'm also not entirely sure if that was really poppy seeds in it the first time I had it. Adam really enjoyed this, hopefully you will to. Also I forgot to take pictures while I was making it so I plan on making this again soon. The only one I managed to snap was after I had put it on the plate with some pasta, odd pairing I know.

You will need for 1
1 skinless chicken breast flattened
1 ripe avocado diced
1/3 cup tomato diced
1/2 green onion
squeeze of lime or lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of Sage

1) In a bowl combine the avocados, tomato, green onion, lime juice and salt and pepper. Gently mix.
2) Place the mixture on one end of the flattened chicken breast. Roll into a cigar shape.
3) Place on a pan, lightly salt and pepper the top of the chicken, add a pinch of sage and a slight drizzle of oil.
4) Place in a pre-heated oven (350 degrees) for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the chicken breast.
5) Done!

1) You can get you chicken flattened at the market or you can do it at home. Place the chicken in a plastic sandwhich bag or place it between two piece of wax paper, hit the chicken with a meat tenderizer ( or a rolling pin like I did).
2) Instead of a flattened piece of chicken you can use a piece that had been butterflied. You can also do this at home. Cut the chicken breast in half width ways, making sure to stop before you cut all the way through.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Roti and Curry

So before go on about my latest food experience, I just wanted to say that I completed my cheese challenge. I had wanted to blog everyday about it but I didn't. Either work or my own laziness got in the way.

Roti and Curry is the one dish that up until recently I have only had when my mother would cook it. I don't know why, it isn't very hard to make. But with that said  I have always disliked paying for Guyanese/ Indian food when I could just as well go home and have my mom make it for me. I was having a curry craving Saturday night, so I decided that I would try and make it for myself.....and Adam. Adam.....the boy who hate curry, who cringes every time someone even says the word. I have made it my mission to make him a convert... wish me luck.

I also must say that although it looks very unappealing (something along the lines of body fluids, gross I know) it taste very good. I made this curry with chicken and potatoes. But you can just as easily add whatever you want. Curried egg anyone?

You will need for the Curry
2 medium sized potato ( or 1 large) diced
1 whole onion
4 cloves garlic
1 5cm piece ginger cut into two pieces
2 chicken drumsticks
2 chicken thighs
2 cups water
3 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon coriander
oil- to cook with
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Place 1/2 onion, 2 garlic cloves and 1 piece of ginger into a food processor and chop. If you do not have a food processor  mince the above ingredients. Place in a mixing bowl. Add 1 tablespoon curry powder, stir to combine. Place the chicken pieces in the mixing bowl and stir to coat the chicken in the curry and onion mixture. Let sit for 30 mins.

2) In the food processor place the rest of the ginger, garlic and onion, chop. Heat a pot with a little oil. Add the chopped onion mixture. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
3) Add the coriander and 2 tablespoons curry powder. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.

4) Add the chicken pieces and the potatoes. Stir to coat them with the curry mixture.  Cook for 5 minutes

5) Add the 2 cups water and salt and pepper. Stir, cover and cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally

6) Uncover and cook until the liquid is thickened. About 15-20 minutes, stir occasionally.

Saturday night I made Roti for the first time. It didn't really work out. So I called my mom and she told me how she makes it. I made it today came out! I was very pleased with myself.

You will need
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp oil
1/3 cup warm water
pinch salt

1) In a bowl place the flour and salt, pour in the oil.
2) Pour half of the water and mix with your hands. The dough should be slightly sticky but all the flour should be incorporated. If not add more water. Do not knead, squeeze the dough. Let rest for 15 minutes
3) Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Once rolled, push the center into itself. This is very hard to explain, hopefully the pictures below will give you a better idea.

  Roll out into a circle. Pour over 1 tsp oil and rub over dough. Cut one corner of the dough. Roll the dough together.

4) Let the dough rest for 30 minutes
5) Roll the dough out.
6) Heat a pan or a tava( roti pan), lightly oil. Place the roti on the pan and cook for 2 minutes, you will know when it is cooked when the dough starts to bubble and browns slightly. Flip over and cook a further minute.

7) Carefully remove the roti from the pan and clap right away. But clap I mean take the roti in you hand and clap it to let the air out. If you don't so this it will dry out, be careful it is hot.
8) Enjoy!!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cheese Challenge Day 3 and 4

Yesterday was easy, I went to work and came home. No temptations. Today on the other hand.....not so easy. Once again I went to work and came home, when I got home I started to make dinner. I roasted sweet potatoes last night I was originally going to make this sweet potato salad with dried cranberries and sunflower seeds. But when I got home Adam was home from work. Someone he works with called him and asked if he could take his shift. Because of this I decided that today would be a good day to use of the wonton wrappers in the fridge. So I made ravioli. I pureed the sweet potato with about a tablespoon of water and a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. I would of liked to have finished them off with some sage butter and Parmesan cheese. But of course I can not eat cheese until Sunday, I also didn't have any sage in the house. So I ended up making a basil butter( melted butter with lightly cooked basil) and eating it that way. I have high hopes that tomorrow will be easy. I'm working in the afternoon/evening and since I try to bring food with me to work I won't be tempted to buy something. Lets just hope I don't give into temptation.

Until tomorrow,

Monday, October 18, 2010

Natalie's Cheese Challenge

K, so my friend Natalie has challenged me to not eat any cheese for a week. Which sounds easy but when your me and love cheese it is very hard. I started yesterday and decided that I would track my week via my blog. Yesterday wasn't that bad, I was pretty busy. Adam and I got some furniture that was left at my moms house delivered. Today was sort of harder. We went to the super market....the one with the amazing cheese selection. I had originally made a list of stuff to get which included 3 kinds of cheese. All of which I couldn't buy. On the up side of that it did save us some money.

My other challenge so far has been that a lot of the recipes that I wanted to make this week/ try have cheese in them. Example my ravioli, which I still need to show everyone. They are sooooo good, I think what I might do is make a cheeseless version. We got a pumpkin today so I may make a pumpkin ravioli. But we shall see.

Anyway, day 1 and 2 for my cheese challenge have been successful.....hopefully tomorrow is to.


Monday, August 30, 2010


K, so I'm about to go all Guyanese, well sort of. My mom is Guyanese which makes me 1/2 Guyanese. She makes Pholourie, which is basically a fried dough. But it is so much more then that. It is these little balls of curry goodness. They taste fantastic on there own but when you dip it in a mango sauce it taste even better. This recipe calls for split pea flour, which I have yet to find at a normal super market. To make it easier on yourself just go to a bulk food store, that is where I get mine. Spilt pea flour isn't expensive, so you can make this over and over again. My only suggestion is to use new oil, using old oil will make the pholourie taste like fish or whatever you fried last. I also don't recommend re using the oil unless you want your food to taste a bit like curry. Please, please please be very careful when you fry these, I find that I need only put 2 or 3 inches of oil in the pot. There is a lot of moisture and the oil will bubble up because of this. Use your best judgment and be safe.

You will need:

For the Pholourie

1 cup split pea flour
1 cup plain flour
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup water

1) In a bowl add all the dry ingredients and stir

2) add the garlic
3) Add a cup of the water and stir to combine, if the batter seems to dry add more water. It should resemble a pancake batter
4) Let rest for 45 minutes to an hour.

5) Heat a pot or pan with oil
6) Using a spoon or a mellow baller spoon the batter into the pot. Make sure not to over crowd the pot, 4-6 pholourie should be enough.
7) Cook until golden brown


Mango Sauce (Mango Chutney)

1 Large green mango or 2 small
1 clove of garlic minced
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)

1) Using a box grater, grate the mango
2) Add the garlic and pepper sauce, stir to combine


1) Make the mango sauce while the batter rests
2) The amount of curry powder and garlic can be adjusted. I like a fair amount of garlic.
3) A unripened mango is preferred, if you can not find one a rip mango is fine.

Homemade Cured Salmon (Gravlax)

Curing salmon at home isn't as hard as it sounds....really. It takes maybe 5 minutes to put everything together and you can change the amounts up if you like. Now the only hard part at least for me was waiting, you have to wait 2 or 3 days before you can eat it. It was very hard to know that you where making the most amazing food ever and that you couldn't even sneak a taste. Well I guess you could but you may not want to. Shortly after making and then devouring my cured salmon I learned that raw fish may carry tape worm eggs. Because I am paranoid by nature I started worrying about if my salmon had tape worm eggs in also didn't help that Dr Oz had a segment about tape worms.... but that is another story. Anyway upon further Internet searching I found that if you freeze the fish then defrost before you cure it will ensure there are no alive tape worm eggs. But really what are the odds that you will get a tape worm? beside it taste SO good. Now once again this is one of my recipes where the amount you need really depends on how much you want to make and your own taste. So feel free to adjust.

You will need
1 or 2 pieces of salmon
1 bunch of dill
1/3 cup of course salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper corns (Lightly crushed)
the juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
1 tablespoon vodka (optional)
Several cans ( to weigh down the salmon)

1) Clean the salmon. Check for bones and carefully remove any. Scale the salmon, since the fish is not whole be gentle and try not to harm the meat.
2) Place the salmon skin side down onto a dish. Sprinkle half the salt and pepper onto the meat, lay the dill over top.

3) Combine the lemon juice and vodka, pour half over the piece of fish.
4) Sprinkle the other half of the salt and pepper over the second piece of salmon.
5) Lay the second piece of salmon over top of the salmon with the dill on it. Make sure you lay the flesh side on top of the dill.
6) Pour the other half of the lemon and vodka mixture over the fish.
7) Cover with plastic wrap. Place cans or jars on the fish, this will weigh it down and aid in the curing process.

8) Place in the fridge
9) Turn the fish over once a day for 2-3 days depending on the size of salmon you are using.
10) Slice thinly.


1) The recipes can be halved. I originally made this with one salmon fillet, I didn't want to make two in case I didn't like the way it turned out.
2) The fish can be basted in the juices that gather at the bottom of the dish.
3) The salmon will still look raw when it is done. It will look just like smoke salmon you see in the super market. So don't worry if after 2 days your salmon is still bright red.

To Serve
1) Toast a bagel and spread with cream cheese, place some sliced red onion and layer with salmon.
2) Cut up several pieces and place over a salad.
3) Serve with crackers and cheese
4) Eat it as is, or any other way you can think of.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Homemade Strawberry Ice cream

My mom. niece and I made it. For my last birthday I got an ice cream maker, I think it is safe to say that it was the best gift ever. I love it. Making ice cream is pretty easy, the only thing you need to remember is to freeze the bowl the day before you want to make ice cream. I used to keep the bowl in the freezer all the time but I ran out of room. This recipe started off as vanilla and ended up strawberry, I ended up making one half vanilla and the other strawberry. If you want to make only strawberry add the strawberries in when you start the machine. I tend not to measure the amount of vanilla I use, really if you add more or less then a recipe calls for it doesn't really matter.

You will need for 2 quarts
3c half and half
2c milk
1c minced strawberries
1c sugar
Vanilla to taste

1) In a bowl mix everything.
2) Pour into frozen ice cream bowl and turn machine on

3) Let mix for 20- 25 minutes or until mixture is the consistency of soft serve ice cream

4) Put ice cream in a air tight container and let chill for at least 2 hours or until hard.


1) If you want to make more then one flavor it vanilla and strawberry once the ice cream is ready remove some of the ice cream and put in the freezer. Put the minced strawberries into the ice cream maker and let the ice cream mix for 2-3 minutes more.
2) If you don't like strawberry ice cream use whatever fruit you like.

Homemade Butter

I admit you don't have to make your own butter. I don't...well I didn't until now. I'm pretty sure I won't be doing this often considering whip cream is kind of expensive. But it was pretty fun to make. I salted the butter after I strained it. I over salted it so my butter came out salty, but overall it was tasty.

You will need
1 container of cream
1 tsp salt

1) In a cold bowl add the cream and whip until the cream separates into curdled butter and milk. The leftover liquid is buttermilk.

2) Drain the butter from the buttermilk.

3) Using a spatula fold the butter until smooth
4) Add salt and fold a few more times to combine.


Strawberry Torte

I went strawberry picking with my sister and niece over the weekend. It was amazing!! I got so many strawberries, so be the next few days will most likely be all about strawberries. I had read a recipe for a strawberry torte a few days ago. I couldn't find the exact recipe when I went to make this today so I just made it up from what I remember I had read. It is a pretty simple recipe, the only thing I would change about it is the use of puff pastry. It was good with the puff pastry but I think that I would like to make this with a pie dough instead.

You will need:
1 package of puff pastry
2c strawberries, washed stems removed and cut in half length ways
1/8 cup sugar
1c whipping cream or ready made whip cream
1tbs icing sugar

1) Roll out the puff pastry and place inside a pie dish. Cut off any extra dough, you can save the extra dough and use in a another recipe. Score the puff pastry with a fork, this will let steam to come out when baking.
2) In a oven heated to 350 degrees, bake the pastry until it starts to turn golden brown. About 15 minutes. Let cool.
3) Place the strawberries in the pie dish, you can arrange them to make them look nice. It is up to you. Bake for 20 minutes.
4) Put the whipping cream in a bowl and whip until soft peeks form. You can use either a whisk or a electric blender. Do not over whip, over whipping the cream will result in butter.
5) Sieve in the icing sugar to the whip cream, stir to combine. Place whip cream in fridge to firm up.
6) When the pie is cool, serve with whip cream.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Homemade Pretzels

I had a lot fun making these. Trust me it is not as hard as it looks to make. Making pretzels is very similar to making bagels, in the sense that these are cooked twice. Once in boiling water and again in a very hot oven. The only downside of these pretzels, which was purely my fault is that I forgot to add the salt in with the flour. As soon as I bit into the pretzel I could taste that it wasn't in the dough. There is salt on the top of the pretzel so it sort of balanced it out. Next time I'll make sure I add the salt.

You will need
1 tsp dry active yeast
2 tablespoon plus 1/3 cup honey
1 cup milk plus 2 tablespoons
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
course salt(optional, enough to salt the tops of your pretzels)

1) Heat the milk to 110 degrees.
2) In a bowl, add the 2 tbs of honey, milk and yeast. Let sit for 20 minutes of until yeast starts to foam.
3)In a separate bowl add the 2 1/2 cups flour and the salt. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and stir to combine. The dough will be sticky, roll out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes. Add more flour if the dough is to sticky. The amount of flour you will need to add will variety depending on the humidity and altitude of where you are.
4) Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a cloth. Let rise for an hour

5) Knead the dough for 5 minutes and cut into pieces. I cut mine into 5 then cut is piece in half. This way I ended up with smaller sized pretzels.
6) Roll the dough into logs. Place on a baking sheet and let rise for a further 5 minutes.

7) Shape the dough into pretzels. Take the ends of the log and fold them to the center of the dough, the ends should cross each other in the center. Pinch the ends to the bottom piece of dough, this is very important. If you don't do this your pretzels may open when boiled.

8) Heat a pot with water, add the 1/3 cup of honey and stir. Allow the honey to be incorporated in the water.
9) Place one pretzel at a time into the pot, do not crowd the pot. Cook for 1 minute then flip and cook for another minute.

10) Take the cooked pretzels out of the pot and place on a baking sheet. I used my stoneware pans, I find they bake bread nicer then a regular metal pan.
11) Lightly spread some of the 2 tbs of milk on top of the pretzels. Sprinkle the salt on top and place in a pre heated 450 degree oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.


1) I didn't have course salt, so I use regular table salt. If you don't have course salt do the same.
2) You can make pretzels balls as well, I did. I made 6 regular pretzels and 4 pretzel balls.
3) Don't roll the logs to thin, they may break when resting.

Olive Tapenade

I was looking through my cabinet yesterday and found a jar of black olives. Now I don't really like black olives and I can't remember when I bought it. So I decided to make tapenade. I tried to make it in my mini food processor but when I tried to puree everything my processor wouldn't start. I have no idea what happened to it, but that ok. I bought it from Wal-Mart for $8.00, so really shame on me. I ended up using my room mate blender.

You will need
1 can black olives
1/2 cup green olives
2 garlic cloves sliced
2-3 anchovies
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs parsley minced
the juice of 1/2 a large lemon or 1 medium lemon

1) In a blender add olives and garlic, puree
2) Once puree, add anchovies and 1 tbs olive oil blend for 30 seconds or so
3) Add additional 1 tbs olive oil, lemon juice and parsley. Blend until combined

To Serve
1) Put in a glass jar and serve with bread or crackers
2) Slice a baguette on a diagonal, drizzle oil over the bread and toast in a 350 degree oven until golden brown. Spoon tapenade on each piece and serve.
3) If you want to keep the tapenade for several days, place in a jar and cover with a film of oil. It should stay for about 2 weeks in the fridge.


1) If you buy olives with pits and easy way to remove the pit is: using a knife press down on the olive, the olive with separate from the pit.

Mushrooms and Haloumi English Muffins

I have no idea what to call this. So I decided to call it mushrooms and haloumi English muffins. I ate it for breakfast but to me it looks like something that you could make for a brunch.Yesterday I was at the super market and stumbled on a package of Haloumi. I remember Nigella Lawson using it is several of her recipes. I had originally bought it to make some of her recipes. Haloumi is a hard cheese, it taste similar to feta cheese but is a little rubbery. Yesterday I pan fried it and ate it with a salad, it was so good. I'm hooked.

My mushrooms and holummi English muffins are very simple to make. It takes about 10 or 15 minutes to cook. Really it the hardest and longest thing to do it saute the mushrooms. In the past I've made something very similar to this. It was my mushrooms on toast, which I've also blogged about. Mushrooms on toast was my inspiration for making this. If you don't have Haloumi or can't find it don't worry, just try it with whatever cheese you have at home. The same goes for the beech mushrooms. I buy them in a package from the Asian super market. If you are going to use them I suggest just using the top part. I tend to put them into inch long pieces, I find the tops taste better then the bottoms. If you can't find them or don't want to use them just use a few more button mushrooms, or try shiitake mushrooms that are finally sliced.

You will need to serve one
3 button mushrooms sliced
1/4 cup beech mushrooms
1 English Muffin (cut, toasted and buttered)
1/8 cup parsley
1 piece haloumi cut in half
pinch of salt (optional)
1 tbs butter or oil

1) In a saute pan heat the butter or oil and add the mushrooms and salt (optional) Saute until soft and slightly browned.
2) Add the parsley and cook for 2 minutes.
3) On a plate, place the toasted and butter English muffins buttered side up. Remove the mushroom for the heat and place on top of the English muffins.
4) In the same saute pan put the sliced haloumi and brown on each side. This takes about a minutes per side.
5) Remove from heat and add on top of mushrooms


The addition of salt is optional because the Haloumi has some salt in it. I added the salt to this recipe, salt bring out the flavor of the mushrooms.

The picture below is of the mushrooms when I first put them in the pan. You can see the Beech mushrooms.