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Creamy Cauliflower Chowder

Baby its cold outside (in the North, actually here in Mexico too, trust me on this one…). Great time for a hearty chowder – vegan if you leave out the bacon!

It calls for a whole head of cauliflower, but here we can but 1 lb. packages of florets which simplifies the recipe. I think you’ll really like this one my friends…great start to the New Year!

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Creamy cauliflower chowder

Prep Time: 10 minutes         Cook Time: 30 minutes       Yield: 4-5 people

Creamy Cauliflower Chowder is a healthy, easy, comfort food recipe and ready in under 30 minutes. It’s gluten free, low carb and keto friendly.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup diced Onion
  • 5 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 cup diced Carrots
  • 1 Whole Head of Cauliflower (cut into small florets)I bought a one lb. bag of florets
  • 1 1/2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • Salt to taste

Olive Oil and cooked bacon (4 strips) for topping

 Instructions

In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat butter and add onions and garlic. Saute for a few minutes until the onions are soft.

Add carrots, cauliflower, vegetable broth, pepper, oregano and salt to the pot. Bring this to a boil, and slow the heat down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or so till the cauliflower is tender.

Switch off the flame and using a blender, blend the soup partly in the soup pot. If you don’t have a hand blender, pour half the soup into a blender and pulse a few tips till creamy.

Switch the flame back on and add a cup of water or broth along with the cream cheese. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and switch off the flame. Feel free to thin the soup further if  you like with some more broth or milk. Top with olive oil and bacon and serve hot.

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Mediterranean Caesar Salad

Thanks to all of you who follow and view my blog. As of today I have reached 13000 VIEWS and over 5400 Visitors!!!  Hope you will continue to spread the word…hope you still have time to try this wonderful salad…

Today’s Caesar salad is tomorrows Mediterranean Caesar Salad if you have left over homemade dressing…which I always do. I just substituted the Parmesan and sliced mushrooms for feta cheese and black olives. You could even add a few garbanzo beans for added protein and texture. We actually liked it better tha the original Caesar!

Mediterranean Caesar Salad

The Dressing –

  • 1 ½ teaspoons fish sauce or use the traditional anchovy paste (TIP)
  • 3 or 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. lemon or lime juice
  • 1 T. red wine vinegar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¾ cup oil (NOT olive oil) vegetable oil

Blend all ingredients in a shaker,. Shake and refrigerate until needed…

The Salad –

  •  Romaine lettuce torn in pieces
  • 2 or 3 sliced green onions
  • 3 or 4 strips crisp bacon crumbled
  • Black olives halved (to taste)
  • Feta cheese (to taste…I like lots)
  • Caesar bread crouton
  • mushrooms sliced

*For more protein throw in a few canned garbanzo beans

Slow Cooker Kielbasa and Barbecue Beans

Took this recipe off of Pinterest – Mom on Timeout, since I had all of the ingredients at hand and felt like a lazy dinner. I am not a fan of BBQ sauce so I omitted it entirely at first. I also changed the amount of beans as you can see by the red… My slow cooker often seems to cook in less time, so I checked it after 3 hours and it was done as well as I like it.

Slow Cooker Kielbasa and Barbecue Beans (Author: Trish – Mom On Timeout)

Ingredients

  • 2 large can black beans, drained and rinsed (originally 2 – 15 oz. cans)
  • 1 15.8 oz. Great Norther beans, drained and rinsed (instead of two)
  • 1 15.25 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce (omitted and it made no appreciable difference)
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 14.5 oz. can chicken broth
  • ½ lb. bacon, cooked, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 lbs. Kielbasa, cut into bite size pieces (or less)

Instructions

  1. In a large slow cooker, add all of the ingredients except for the kielbasa and stir gently to combine.
  2. Place the kielbasa on top and cover with the lid.
  3. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours. (I found it was done on low after 3 hours and kept it on warm for 2 more).

Notes

I recommend the low setting for this recipe because on high, the beans tend to get dried out. If you need to cook on high due to time constraints, monitor the beans and add more broth or water if necessary.

 

Fragrant Fall Red Cabbage with Apples and Bacon

This has to be one of my favourite fall recipes and it would be great with your Thanksgiving Dinner! The origin of the recipe was the Dallas News way back in 2008. When I searched online it is nowhere to be found, either on Google or Pinterest as far as I could check. Fortunately I had a copy! You’re going to love serving this fragrant dish with your dinner.

Fragrant Fall Red Cabbage with Apples and Bacon

4 slices bacon cut into 1 inch pieces

1 large head red cabbage cored and thinly sliced

1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 apples, halved, cored and sliced

¾ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup maple syrup

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon allspice

Salt and pepper to taste.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon until lightly browned, but NOT crispy, about 4 minutes.

Add the cabbage, onion and apples. Stir well to coat with bacon drippings. Cover and cook until the vegetables and apples are limp, about 15 minutes.

Add the vinegar, maple syrup and spices. Stir well, then season with salt and pepper.

Serves 8 to 10

Lamb Liver and Bacon Casserole

Before you even get started on me, yes I love liver, but not the way my mother overcooked it after dredging it in flour! Quite a few months back we found a lamb store here and we purchased this lamb liver to try. Where else would I turn but Pinterest? The recipe could be made with any liver…well maybe not chicken…cluck cluck. Leftovers were great for breakfast with  fried eggs on the top. Trust me!! Let me know if you try it…Chuck? LOL

Lamb Liver and Bacon Casserole

Ingredients:
– 500 g lamb’s liver, trimmed and cut into small pieces ( try baby beef)
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 230 g rind less smoked bacon rashes, cut into pieces
– 2 small onions, chopped
– 2 cups mushrooms, cut into quarters
– 2 tablespoons plain flour
– 150 ml hot water
– 1 teaspoon smoke sweet paprika powder
– 1 tablespoon soy sauce
– salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a casserole dish and stir-fry the bacon until crisp. Add the onion and continue frying until the onion is soft. Add the mushrooms and fry for another 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon (to make sure that oil and bacon fat will stay in the casserole dish), remove the bacon and vegetables and put aside.
Add the liver to the remaining fat and cook over a medium heat for about 4 minutes, turning so it’s seared and cook all around. Remove from the dish and keep warm.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Chowder

What to do when your stove gets taken away for repairs? Three choices – BBQ, Microwave or Slow Cooker. Oh, and company for dinner… Pinterest to the rescue as always. The best part is that we had everything in the house! Hope you will try this sometime soon, it beats cooking inside, as we can put our cooker outside, A great way to enhance the BBQ season!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 12 ounces red potato, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 4 cups chicken broth 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Directions:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  2. Place chicken, potatoes, onion, carrots, celery, and corn into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in chicken broth, garlic, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper and bay leaf; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together half and half and cornstarch. Stir in half and half mixture and butter during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
  5. Serve immediately, topped with bacon and garnished with chives, if desired.

 

 

Strawberry & Avocado Spinach Salad in Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

A truly summer salad! If you are not into making your own dressings, buy a similar raspberry balsamic one at the store. This salad both looks and tastes great!!

Strawberry and Avocado Spinach Salad in Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes Servings: 2

ingredients
• 1 (5 ounce) package baby spinach
• 2 cups strawberries, sliced
• 1 avocado, diced
• 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
• 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
• 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
• 1/4 cup raspberry white balsamic vinaigrette (* see below)
directions
1. Assemble salad, toss in dressing and enjoy!

Option: Goat cheese or feta also work well in place of the blue cheese.
Option: I like to throw in some fresh peas when available in spring.

  • Raspberry White Balsamic Vinaigrette
    Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 5 minutes Servings: 1cup

ingredients
• 1/2 cup raspberries fresh (or thawed frozen)
• 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon honey
• 1 large clove garlic, minced
• salt and pepper to taste
1. Mash the raspberries and mix everything. 2. Pour over your favourite summer salad…

Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Soup

Thanks again to Costco for selling those huge packages of sliced mushrooms…what to do? Make soup…and it was awesome! Thanks also to Taste of Home website…link at bottom. BONUS…it makes a great sauce for chicken if you have leftovers. I also added some to some rice after it was cooked…

Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Soup
Ingredients
• 10 bacon strips, diced
• 1 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 quart heavy whipping cream (or Media Crema if you live in Mexico)
• 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
• 1-1/4 cups shredded Swiss (or Provolone) cheese
• 3 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 3 tablespoons cold water
Directions
• 1. In a large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels; drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. In the drippings, saute mushrooms and onion until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in cream and broth. Gradually stir in cheese until melted.
• 2. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, salt, pepper and water until smooth. Stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Garnish with bacon. Yield: 8 servings (2 quarts).

Read more: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/creamy-bacon-mushroom-soup#ixzz3YX0QN79F

Read more: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/creamy-bacon-mushroom-soup#ixzz3YX0QNAV9

EGGS BENEDICT or EGGS MADELEINE WITH HOLLANDAISE SAUCE

I first had eggs Madeleine in a small restaurant on Hazelton Lane in Toronto back in the early 2000s. Needless to say I fell in love with the smoked salmon version of Benedict. Finally got up my nerve to try it since we always have smoked salmon in the fridge. Thanks to Tyler Florence of Food Network for his version, which I modified to include the salmon!

Hollandaise Sauce (Tyler Florence)

The sauce is the trickiest part. Have all of the sauce ingredients ready, put your muffins in the toaster BUT don’t start them. Have a pan ready to make your poached eggs!

Ingredients

4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice OR sour orange juice if you can get it
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
Pinch cayenne
Pinch salt

Directions

Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler,) the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use for the eggs benedict. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.
EGGS BENEDICT/EGGS MADELEINE
4slices Canadian bacon* OR smoked salmon
2English muffins, split
2 teaspoons white vinegar
4eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Hollandaise sauce, recipe above
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

*Brown the bacon in a medium skillet and toast the English muffins, cut sides up, on a baking sheet under the broiler.

Fill a 10-inch nonstick skillet half full of water. Add white vinegar to the cooking water. This will make the egg white cook faster so it does not spread. Bring to a slow boil. Gently break 1 of the eggs into the water taking care not to break it. Repeat with remaining eggs. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook 3 1/2 minutes until the egg white is set and yolk remains soft. Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing the egg to drain.
To assemble: Lay a slice of Canadian bacon OR smoked salmon on top of each muffin half, followed by a poached egg. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon Hollandaise sauce over the eggs. Garnish with chopped parsley. Yield: 4 servings
Great served with fresh cooked asparagus spears!

Jack’s Icebox Salad

My mom used to belong to the Women’s Institute when I lived on the farm. This salad often appeared at family functions with different variations. I was surprised to see it again at a recent birthday party, brought along by our friends Jack and Carlos. This was Jack’s version. If you leave out the bacon it is VEGAN!

Chop up romaine lettuce and spinach and place in the bottom of a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish.

Add the following in layers –
1 cup shredded celery
6 hard boiled eggs chopped
10 oz. frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
8 green onions sliced
6 oz. sliced water chestnuts
8 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon

Dressing – 1 cup mayonnaise + 1 cup sour cream + 2 Tablespoons sugar. Spread the dressing over the bacon layer!

Top with –

1 cup grated medium cheddar
8 slices cooked and crumbled bacon.

Cover with Saran wrap and place in refrigerator for 24 hours!! Trust me on this one…it sets better…

When ready to serve cut into squares and place on chilled salad plates.