Magnificent Meatloaf

I know it has been awhile since I brought on a new recipe, but life takes a sidestep every once in a while….I am sorry to be so late but here is a good one for you.


In a mixing bowl combine:

  • 1  3/4 – 2 lbs. lean hamburger
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • small handful of oatmeal (not instant)
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. seasoning salt
  • 1/8 tsp. celery salt
  • 1/2 grated medium onion
  • 1/8 cup ketchup
  • 1/8 cup H.P. sauce
  • 1/4 cup soya sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. Worchestershire sauce

Mix thoroughly and put in a casserole dish and bake in a preheated oven of 350 degrees for 60 minutes, or until done.

Serve with a green salad, mashed potatoes and a vegetable of your choosing.

Make a gravy if you wish. Great dinner during the week when everyone is so busy.  Enjoy.

New Carrot Cake Muffins with a Streusel Crunch Topping

When you operate a Bed and Breakfast like we did for so many years, you do get and use, many recipes for muffins. Here is a nice one and I am sure it will become a favourite.


  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. melted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking power
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup Crisco oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups grated Heritage carrots
  • 2 tbsp. dried and salted pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with Pam or equivalent.

To make the streusel, combine the flour and brown sugar in a small bowl. Add the butter and mix with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt into a large bowl.

Beat together the eggs,oil, buttermilk, brown and white sugar and vanilla in a medium size bowl until well mixed. Slowly add the flour mixture until just combined and then add the grated carrots.

Divide equally into the 12 cup tin and sprinkle the tops with the streusel. Bake for approximately 20 minutes and then cool in the pan for about 8-10 minutes. Remove and serve warm with butter and a cup of freshly made coffee. You can even call a friend to come over IF you want to share.

If you want, you could add a cream cheese icing. It truly is not necessary for this muffin.



Ragout De Boulettes

  • This is a French Canadian dish and my husband says it is wonderful. Take it from me, if he says it, then it is. It is really a great pub food.

This will serve 10 – great for family dinners or potluck dinners.


  • 3 lb. ground lean pork
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. ground salt pork
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 3 large sprig celery leaves
  • 8 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup browned flour * see note
  • 1 tsp. salt (approximately)

In a large bowl combine the meat, onion and bread crumbs. Beat the eggs, milk, salt and pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves together with a fork. Add the meat and mix really well.

Shape into golf ball size meatballs. Roll the meatballs in the 1/2 cup flour to coat completely.

Heat the oil in a very large saucepan. Brown the meatballs, a few at a time. Do not crowd the pan. Drain the fat when all the meatballs have been browned.

Return all the meatballs to pan and add the celery leaves and hot water. Bring this to a boil.

Combine cold water and browned flour in a jar with a tight lid (make sure) and shake until totally blended. Gradually add this to the boiling liquid in the pan stirring constantly. Turn down the temperature, cover and simmer for 2 hours.

Taste the gravy and add salt as needed (1 1/2 tsp. is about right)



  • To brown flour, put in a fry pan, turn on medium heat and constantly stirring until it turns a golden colour – do not burn.


Don says this is a very rich dish.  Serve with small boiled potatoes and, of course, French bread.



Simple Fish “Tagine”

The title shouldn’t scare you. It really means if you don’t have a tagine (who does?) make sure you have an oven-proof large fry pan with a tight fitting lid. There…simple.


  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. Hungarian paprika
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • pinch of salt and black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. saffron
  • 4 x 4 oz. halibut or cod, skinless (4 servings)
  • 1 Vidalia onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cored and julienned
  • 1/3 cup colossal green olives
  • 3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fish stock (vegetable will also work)
  • 1/2 lb. raw prawns, cleaned, tails on
  • 1/2 lb. mussels, scrubbed
  • lemon wedges for garnish
  • crusty bread (for dipping)

In a food processor whirl 1/4 cup of the olive oil, garlic, cilantro, turmeric, paprika, salt, pepper and saffron until almost smooth. Transfer to a shallow bowl. Add the fish pieces and turn in the mixture to coat well. Set aside.

In a large oven proof fry pan heat 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add the onion and saute until almost soft. Add the orange pepper and olives and saute for a further 2 minutes.

Fold in the tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Snuggle the fish pieces into the vegetable mixture and scrape the remaining marinade over the top. Cover the pan and simmer for 5 minutes of a medium low temperature. Remove the lid and tuck the prawns and mussels into the mix and continue cooking for another 5 – 10 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with lemon wedges and slices of crusty bread for dipping into the liquid gold sauce.


If you want to take this one over the top, serve with a really chilled Chardonnay. Just sayin’.


Chicken Satay With Peanut Sauce

Everyone will enjoy these – food on a stick! How easy is that? You can also use beef and, if allergies are in the mix, make a vegetable wonton dipping sauce as a complement to either protein.


  •  2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1  1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced 1/4 inch thick

Combine all the ingredients except the chicken together in a medium bowl.  Add the chicken (or beef) and toss to coat. Cover and marinate for one hour in the refrigerator.

Thread the meat onto skewers and working in batches, grill on the bbq for 1-2 minutes per side or until the chicken is cooked through.


Peanut Dipping Sauce

  • 1 tbsp. vegetable sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. chili flakes
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp. water (optional)

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft. Add the garlic and chili flakes and saute for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, bring to a boil , cooking for 4 minutes or until reduced and thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in the soy sauce, ketchup and lime juice. Allow the mixture to cool down to room temperature.

Sir in the peanut butter. If the sauce appears to separate or is too thick, add the water, whisking to incorporate. Serve with the chicken.

Yummmmm! This serves 4. Double it up and use beef in one and chicken in the other for a fun night.

Mediterranean Lamb With Almond Saffron Sauce

If you want to try something different or are hosting a “country-themed dinner” then this is the one for  you.


  • 1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds
  • 1 x 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves. chopped
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 x 3 cinnamon stick pieces
  • 7-8 cardamom pods
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 1/2-2 lbs. boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. saffron threads
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream  (but of course)
  • chopped cilantro – just for garnish


Almond Saffron Rice

This will serve 6

  • 2 pinches of saffron threads
  • 3 1/4 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 1 tbsp. coconut  oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups basmati rice

In a small bowl, gently crush the saffron and pour 1/4 cup of stock over the saffron and set aside.

Wash rice until the water runs clear. Drain really well. In a large heavy casserole, heat the oil over a medium heat and add the onion and cook until golden in colour. Add the rice and stir until the moisture is absorbed. Stir in the saffron and remaining broth, Increase the heat to a medium high and just bring to the boil. Cover tightly and reduce to low. Cook for 20 minutes or until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is tender. Fluff with a fork. do not burn. Keep warm.




Soak the almonds in a cup of boiling water for 2 hours Transfer nuts and water to a blender and add the ginger and garlic. Set aside. Process until smooth and set aside.

Heat a heavy casserole over medium heat and add the oil. When hot add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaf and fry for about 5 seconds or until it become fragrant. Add half the lamb and brown all sides. Remove with tongs and set in a bowl, brown remaining lamb and return all to the casserole and pour in the almond sauce. Add the cayenne, chili flakes, salt and saffron, Stir well and bring just to a simmer. Cover and reduce the het and cook gently for about 65 minutes or until the lamb is tender.

Sir in the cream and cook on a medium heat for a few minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. Serve over the saffron rice.

This would be perfect with Sauv. Blanc





Gazpacho Soup – The Very Best

I love cold soups in the summer and I have been known to serve company cold soups even in the winter months so…..This is lovely, fresh and truly company fare.

  • 2 tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley
  •  1 small clove garlic, minced
  •  1 1/2 tbsp. grated onion
  •  1/4 cup cucumber, peeled and diced (seeds removed)
  •  1/4 cup finely diced celery (peeled)
  •  1/4 cup yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
  •  1/2 cup finely diced firm Roma tomatoes
  •  2 tbsp. Crisco oil
  •  pinch of pepper
  •  generous pinch of salt
  •  1/2 tsp. basil leaves chopped
  •  1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  •  2 tbsp. wine vinegar
  •  1/2 tsp. Worchestshire sauce
  •  1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
  •  3 cups tomato juice
  •  croutons

Mix together all the vegetables and spices. Stir in lime juice, vinegar, Worchestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and tomato juice.

Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours. Serve with croutons and you could even add a dollop of homemade creme fraiche.

Yuuummmyyy! (not a mistake). This is yummy.

Whiskey Pumpkin Cheesecake

I love cheesecake…..any kind….and this is a really nice one to present to company. Sit down, pour a coffee and read through. Gather all the ingredients needed and go for it.

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled
pinch of cinnamon (secret ingredient)

1 1/2 cups pure pumpkin (not pie filling)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp. whipping cream
1 tsp. really good vanilla
1 tbsp. whiskey
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
pinch of salt
3 x 8 0z. pkgs. Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature

2 cups sour cream
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. whiskey

Toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Invert the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan (create a flat bottom, making it easier to remove cake later). Then lock on the side and butter the pan.

Put the rack in the middle position of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream, vanilla and whiskey, until well combined.

Stir together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt in a large bowl. Add the cream cheese with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy and smooth (about 3-4 minutes). Reduce speed to medium and add pumpkin mixture and beat until completely smooth.

Pour filling into the crust, smoothing the top with an off-center spatula. I always wrap the pan in tin foil (to catch any leaks, if there are any). Put a bowl of water in the bottom rack, and place the pan on the middle rack and bake for about 55-60 minutes.Transfer to a rack to cool for 5 minutes.

Leave the oven on….Whisk together the sour cream, brown sugar and whiskey until smooth and spread over the cake, sprinkle the top with the toasted pecans and bake for 5 minutes. Remove and cool for 3 hours. Chill, covered until cold.

When ready to serve, simply remove from the pan and take to the table to show the cake to your company then return to the kitchen to cut and serve.

Beyond yummy and damn you did it!

Other Ways To Use Squash And Squash Parts

Now that is an intriguing title, isn’t it? Besides, roasting squash and using only as a vegetable, or making it into a soup, here are a few tips that you might like to try. I know, we have and it is a beautiful thing.

We really like the butternut squash, acorn squash and, of course, pumpkin. Spaghetti squash is also a great way to cut the caloric intake, if that is what you are doing.


1. Roast butternut squash and puree it with a splash of orange  juice and a little fresh grated ginger.

2. If using acorn squash, bake until tender. Remove the ‘meat’ and fill with some diced apples that you have sauteed in butter, and then add a splash of dark rum (only a smidgen).  Puree the squash meat, that has been seasoned with salt and pepper and a dollop of butter. When fluffy, place over the top. This will make your company sit up and take notice, oh Chefette.

3. Try this….take chunks of roasted pumpkin and season with walnut oil, brown sugar and ground ginger. When well mixed, toss with some dried cranberries.

4.  Best one yet….steep the seeds from a fresh pumpkin in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towelling. On a parchment lined cookie sheet, bake in a 300 degree oven until toasty (about 23-25 minutes). Sprinkle with fine sea salt. Now, THAT is a treat that costs practically nothing and you can enjoy for hours.

Now, pour a coffee, sit back and say, well done, damn I can do this. Besides, the kids WILL eat their vegetables when you think outside the box, just sayin’.

New Orleans Bread Pudding With Whiskey Sauce

This is a pretty good bread pudding. I must say, almost every restaurant in New Orleans has their own version of this pudding and this is one that we got at the New Orleans School of Cooking.

When we talking with some neighbors about this class, we found many other of our friends/neighbors have been there as well. What fun!


  • 1 loaf of stale french bread (only one to use, apparently) OR Croissants
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 tbsp. melted butter
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp. good vanilla extract
  • 1 cup golden raisins – soak in whiskey for 25 minutes
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 tsp.  ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg


In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. This mixture should be very moist but not soupy. Pour into a buttered 9 x 12 baking dish or larger.
Place in a NON-preheated oven (yes, a cold oven). Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, 15 minutes or until the top is a golden brown.

Serve warm with the whiskey sauce (below).

  • 1 stick of butter (8 tbsp.)
  • 1 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 c whiskey (or to taste)


Cream butter and sugar over medium heat until all the butter is absorbed. Remove from heat and blend in the egg yolk. Pour the whiskey in gradually, stirring constantly until the sauce cools and becomes thickened.

Serve this warm over the warm pudding….ahhhhhhh! soooooooo good!.

This will make about 16 -18 servings. Great for the family or entertaining night. Thanks Sondra.


Don’s Fresh Tomato Soup With Creme Fraiche

Everyone who knows us, knows my husband could make an icicle taste good. This is one of the many soups he makes, and I might say, is really, really good.

The only thing to add is my grilled cheese sandwich…..just sayin’.


In a large pot add:

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 carrots, medium chop
  • 2 celery stalks, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 tsp. onion powder (not salt)
  • 12 large Roma tomatoes, skinned and chopped
  • 1 box (900 ml) chicken broth
  • 1 can (398 ml)  tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. baking soda*
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tbsp. parsley flakes
  • 1 tbsp. sugar

Cook on simmer for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

When cool enough to work with, put in a blender in 3 – 4 batches and blend until really smooth.

Serve hot and add a dollop of creme fraiche or 2 tbsp. sour cream on top.

* the baking soda will neutralize the acid effects on the cream.


Note: If it was me making this, I would alter the chicken broth amounts and put in cream…..that’s just me! But then I  would take some puff pastry, cut into squares large enough to cover the filled soup bowls, and bake in the oven until the pastry is cooked to a golden colour. We used to do this. It is a real show stopper.

Buttermilk Pie – New Orleans Style

  • You probably have never tasted anything as scrumptuous as this dessert. When the server at the Oak Alley Plantation gave this as one of the choices for dessert at our luncheon 6 out of 7 chose it. The 7th was allergic to corn and this has cornstarch in it.

It is so easy to make but just taste it…….yummmmmmmm!

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp.  ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • unbaked pastry shell – 9 inch


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the sugar, spices, vanilla, cornstarch, butter and eggs and beat on slow speed until the batter is blended and uniform.

Add the buttermilk and mix really well. Pour into an unbaked 9 inch pastry shell and bake for 40 minutes until it has set and is brown on top.

Add a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream on the side with a fresh strawberry on top.

This is absolutely THE best.