Homemade BBQ Sauce for Absolutely Everything

Last night Don made this sauce for our BBQ chicken but after tasting it we joked it would be good on our eggs in the morning. Guess what? We did and it is fabulous. Don makes Paquette McMuffins every Sunday and we dobbed some on our egg and it was great.. Now he has made more for our steaks tonight.  Here it is.

 

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, Packed
  • 1 tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tsp. ground powdered mustard
  • 1 1/2 Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (garnish)

Whisk all the ingredients until fully combined and smooth as silk. Cover and store in the refrigerator.

You won’t have to worry about the shelf life because it won’t last long enough to be wasted.

 

 

 

Pull Apart Cinnamon Nut Buns

I wanted to make these for breakfast Sunday but I forgot how they grew. When done, I did not have a platter/plate to put them on and used my largest cookie sheet. But Oh so good!

  • 20-24 frozen dough rolls
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (more if you wish)
  • 1/3 cup instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups chopped pecans/pistachio nuts
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup  melted butter

The night before, spray a bundt pan with non-stick spray and set in the frozen rolls.

Now add the layers of ingredients and cover with a tea towel. Go to bed and in the morning…

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake these for 25 minutes. Leave them for about 5-8 minutes before trying to serve. Enjoy!!!!!

Manicotti Stuffed With Crab With Parmesan Sauce

Don made this back in 2007 for his niece and I decided to resurrect it once more. It is beyond delicious and I hope you will give it a try.

  • 12-16 Manicotti shells, cooked 10 minutes
  • 1/2-1 lb. frozen crabmeat, flaked (mock crabmeat is just as good here)
  • 1/2 lb. wilted spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Parmesan cheese sauce (below)
  • 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook the manicotti shells as directed for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Spray the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine the crabmeat, spinach, cheeses, egg and salt. Mix well.

When the shells are cool enough to handle, stuff carefully with the crabmeat mixture and set in the baking dish. Cover completely with the Parmesan cheese sauce and sprinkle with the Asiago cheese.

Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes.

Parmesan Cheese Sauce

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 5 cups milk
  • 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 3-4 drops of Tabasco

In a saucepan make a roux with the melted butter and flour, stirring until bubbling. Slowly add the milk and stir until thickened.

Add the cheese, salt, pepper and tabasco sauce, stirring again, until the cheese melts.

Call the family to the table, add a green salad and enjoy. Oh and more wine please…..

Rack of Lamb – Marinated With Herbs and Garlic

Don prepared this last night and really liked it. I think it was just because he wanted to use his new Christmas Le Creuset pieces.

  • 1 rack of lamb
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 cup red wine. We used a lovely Shiraz

Chop the thyme and garlic together, add the rosemary and place in a large bowl. Add the salt, pepper, chili powder, olive oil and lime juice. Mix well and set aside.

Trim off the excess fat on the lamb, then cut the lamb into 2 bones each pieces. Place the lamb into the spice mixture and rub it into the lamb, using your hands. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. (The lamb, not your hands).

Heat the oil in the Le Creuset skillet and sear all sides of the lamb until the meat is dark brown and crispy. When ALMOST done, pour in the red wine and then remove from the heat. Let sit covered for 15 minutes.

Serve with roasted vegetables and enjoy. Truly a real treat.

* just use whatever skillet you have.

 

Really Special Trout Pie

Sometimes you try something because it sounds good and this would be one of them. It is sooooo delicious!

  • 2 frozen pie crusts (yes, it works really well)
  • 3 trout fillets (approx. 8 ounces each)
  • pinch each of salt and lemon pepper
  • 1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in 3 cups water
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
  • 2 cups freshly mashed potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season the trout with salt and pepper.

In a saute pan, bring the bouillon water to a simmer and add the trout to simmer for 7-8 minutes. Allow the trout to cool in the water until just tepid. Remove the trout and discard the liquid. Flake the trout in a bowl.

In another saute pan, heat the oil and when hot, add the onion and saute for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the garlic and parsley. Add this to the trout and mix thoroughly.

Mash the potatoes and beat the egg into the cream before adding to the potatoes. Mix well and carefully add to the trout. Carefully mix together and now spoon the mixture into the pie shell. Place the second pie dough over the top and crimp the edges to seal completely. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a golden brown.

Honest…you won’t believe just how delicious this is until you make it. It is wonderful.

Vanilla Poached Pears in Spectacular Sauce

That sauce….Don could bottle it and become very rich. Kelly feels bartenders would also go crazy as in something like an Old Fashioned. Take out the simple syrup and use this sauce. OMG!!! Anyway, I digress. here we go.

  • 1 bottle of a Riesling white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 4 firm Bosc pears, peeled but leaving the stem intact
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/4 tsp. anise

Place the wine, water, sugar and vanilla bean with seed pulp, cinnamon stick, and anise in a 4 qt. saucepan and bring to a boil.

Core the pears from the bottom. Reduce the heat to medium low and set the pears in the liquid, cover and cook for about 30 minutes or until the pears are tender but not breaking apart. Maintain a very gentle simmer. Remove the pears to a serving dish, standing upright and place in  the fridge.

Remove the vanilla bean, bring the heat back to high and reduce the syrup to about 1 cup. This should take 20-25 minutes. Do not let the syrup turn brown. Place in a heatproof dish and place in the fridge for about 1 hour to cool.

Remove the pears from the fridge and spoon the sauce over them.

NOTE: This sauce was used on waffles, pancakes and anything else Kelly could find.

Beer Battered Fish and Homemade Chips

Last night Don made Fish and Chips and I have to be honest….they were THE best yet. So  we agreed no more ordering in. You might be surprised at one of the ingredients but, boy oh boy, it worked.

  • 3 large russet potatoes
  • vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  •  2 tsp. baking powder
  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 bottle chilled n.a beer
  • 1 1/2 lb. skinless cod fillets, cut into 4 fillets
  • Malt vinegar, lemon wedges for serving

 

Slice the potatoes lengthwise into 1/4 inch sticks. Add to the ice water as you work. Let sit for 30 minutes and lift out, rinsing well and patting really dry.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat about 4 inches of oil in a large frying pan until a thermometer reaches 280 degrees. Add half the potatoes and fry until just tender but no colour. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper lined plate. Repeat with the remaining potatoes then turn the temperature up to 365 degrees.

Whisk together the dry ingredients, using only 3/4 cup of flour, with the beer until MOSTLY smooth. Let sit for about 5-6 minutes to thicken up.

Set a rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Season the fish with salt and  working in two batches, dredge the fish in the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, then dip into the beer batter, letting the excess fall off. Fry until crisp and golden brown (about 4 minutes). Transfer to the rack and place in the oven to stay warm.

Increase the temperature of the oil for 380 degrees. Working in two batches again. fry the potatoes until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Drain on a paper lined plate. Finish the second batch and then plate and serve.

OMG!!!!n So yummy.

 

The Most Awesome Shrimp Stuffed Mushrooms

Don made these and my goodness, they are truly awesome. If you make them once, you will definitely make them many more times.

  • 20 very large white mushrooms, stems removed
  • 12 medium shrimp, tails on
  • 1/2 cup softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup s grated Parmesan Cheese

Steam the shrimp for about 60 seconds, remove and let cool enough to remove the shell and tail. Lightly chop.

Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Fill a saucepan with water and simmer the mushrooms caps over a medium heat for 2 minutes, until they begin to soften. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon, drain and let cool, gill side down on paper towels for about 15 minutes.

While the caps are cooling down, combine the shrimp, cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder in a bowl and blend well. Spoon about 2 -3 tsp. of the mixture in each mushroom cavity in the baking dish and cover, placing in the refrigerator for about 3 hours to blend the flavours and firm up the stuffing.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Uncover the dish and bake for about 15 minutes until the cheese is browned and bubbling.

Serve with a glass of chilled white wine, and a couple of other nibblers for a great start to Friday night.

Absolutely divine.

Scallop Spaghetti In A White Wine Sauce

Don made this for dinner one night last week and we are all still praising this dish. It is more than awesome and, trust me, you will love it.

White Wine Sauce

  • 1 tbsp. butter
  •  1 tbsp.  olive oil
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 tbsp. capers, drained
  • 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

8 oz. spaghetti

1 lb. medium sized scallops (about 16 and completely thawed, if frozen).

pinch of salt

2 tbsp. olive oil

 

In a medium skillet, heat the butter, oil and garlic on medium heat, cooking for about 60 seconds until it becomes transparent.

Add the wine and bring to a boil. Boil for a couple of minutes until the wine has reduced to approximately half.

Add the whipping cream and cheese. Bring just to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook this for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly until it begins to thicken.

Remove from the heat and add the capers and lemon juice, add a pinch of salt and pepper. Keep covered.

Cook the pasta to al dente. Drain and add to the sauce, stirring to combine.

Season with a pinch of salt

Heat the oil in a large skillet on high just until hot but not smoking. Oil should not be smoking, just rolling around the skillet.

Add the scallops but do not over crowd.

Sear on one side for 4 minutes until they are a golden colour. Please do not move the scallops around in the beginning.

Turn the scallops to the other side and cook for just 2-3 more minutes.

Remove from the heat immediately and transfer the scallops to a plate immediately.

Add the cooked scallops to the spaghetti / sauce and reheat gently, just to warm up. Serve immediately.

If you insist, you can lick the plate. These are sooooo darn delicious.

 

 

A Great Cheater Tomato Pasta Sauce

This is an apology to our Italian friends, but it is good!

  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1/2 can water
  • 1 small tin tomato paste
  • 1/4 tin water
  • 1 spaghetti sauce mix envelope
  • 1/2 cup half and half cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 6 frozen tomatoes

Put all in a medium saucepan and stir well to combine. Simmer for about 35-40 minutes and serve over ravioli, penne, or any pasta of your choice.

Simply add the garlic toast, crisp green salad and, of course, a glass of a chilled beverage.

Trust me, it is good.

Creamed Celery With Pecans

I know, you are scratching your heads over this one. It is tasty and it is really different from the norm. To me it is a great way to disguise celery. Give it a go. It is really simple to make and takes no time to prepare.

 

  • 4 cups celery pieces, string removed
  • 1 can cream of celery soup (Campbell’s is the best)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • buttered bread crumbs

Place celery in a greased baking casserole and add the soup, undiluted. Casually spread the soup around with a fork.

Sprinkle with salt and spread the pecan halves on top. Cover the surface with  buttered bread crumbs.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes. This will serve 4-6 people as a side dish.

 

Friday Night Special – Sloppy Burger And Coleslaw

If your house is like ours, Fridays are always a little special and this is one way to make it fun. You can curl up in front of the TV and make it a movie night with popcorn to be made later. See if you agree.

 

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 4-6 Kaiser buns, halved
  • 2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups baby spinach, stems removed

 

Heat the skillet on medium heat, adding the minced garlic, stirring for 60 seconds then add the rosemary. Stir until well mixed. Add the ground beef cooking until no longer pink, then add the ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper and stirring to mix well.

Halve the buns, butter them and place under the broiler until starting to bubble and brown on the rims. When ready to plate, add the cheese to the meat mixture and quickly stir together. Remove from the heat, pile equal portions on the bottom half of each bun, place a generous amount of spinach on top and place the top of the bun.

You can either serve the slaw on the side of the plate yourself or let everyone add their own. Either way, this is yummy. Pickles and a cold  beverage takes this over the top.