Tuesday, June 29, 2010


In Marie's words, "It's spelled 'brajole' pronounced brashol." Meet Marie. There's much more to her name than that, so I'm just going to leave it at Marie. Heck, there's so much more to Marie than her name, like her cooking. It is Marie's cooking that I am now learning about, after knowing her for about the last 20 years of my life, give or take a few! Marie was up for our party last weekend, and at Bruce's request made Brajole. What a journey of cooking! It was a fun trip to the market with Marie and got most of the photos of the process that I wanted - even scoring my favorite cooking photo ever. With out further ado... here's Marie and her Brajole!
Flank Steak, butterflied
curly parsley, minced
fresh garlic cloves, minced
butchers twine
tomato sauce
bacon, slightly cooked
parmagiano reggiano cheese
Italian herbed bread crumbs

Basically you use butterflied flank steak, stuff it with various "stuff", roll, tie tightly with twine (don't use cotton twine) and bake fry or cook in oil or gravy aka tomato sauce. (oil cooks faster than the sauce).
Options for "stuff" include grated Parmagiano Reggiano cheese (can use Parm or Romano, any brand will do), minced fresh curly parsley, Italian flavored bread crumbs, minced FRESH garlic (jarred stuff just sucks all the way around), and raisins (these are optional).

And top it with bacon. My family does it the following: slightly undercooked bacon (don't use specialty bacon...just the run of the mill)

This is my favorite picture ever - just look at the shape of her hands and the way the raisins fill the bottom corner of the picture. OK, kill me now, I am loving food photography too much.

We roll it, tie it tight and fry in a frying pan with olive oil on low with lid on part of the time (helps to cook middle without charring the outside).

Let it cool a bit, carefully snip off twine and slice - not too thin as it will fall apart! A serrated knife works best. Sometimes it helps to slice before you take off the string. This dish takes time, patience and constant supervision.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

I modified this recipe from an Everyday Living recipe. Ranch dressing is a staple in this house, so I like to have it available home made as much as possible, especially since HFCS is in so many of the store bought brands.

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons lemon juice (and more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
a dash of fresh ground black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
2. Whisk to lighten it up a bit.
3. Serve on salads or as a dip or dressing for sandwiches.
4. Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to one week.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Quick, easy, and a crowd pleaser. This is a highly simple and thusly in my opinion bland mac and cheese recipe. I hopefully have another more exciting version of this dish coming soon! Double this recipe for a large crock pot.

8 ounces cooked macaroni
1 stick butter melted
2 eggs, beaten
1.5 cups milk
3 cups grated cheese (or more)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons oil

1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together.
2. Pour oil in crock pot.
3. Pour mixture into crock pot.
4. Cook on low for three to four hours.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Brussels Sprout Bisque

I can't track the origin of this recipe, but I beleive it is from a Google search for mystery soup - a family tradition!

1/2 cup butter
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 pints fresh Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 large onion, chopped
42 ounces chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 Tablespoon (or more) Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups cream

1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter
2. Add the carrots and onions and saute until softer.
3. Add the broth, wine and Worcestershire stirring to combine.
4. Add the Brussels sprouts and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender (10 minutes or more).
6. Stir in spices.
7. Remove pot from heat.
8. Puree soup either with an immersion blender or using a blender (takes several batches to complete)
9. Return to pot, add cream and bring up to temp.
10. Serve in soup bowls and hope that the flavor and color make it a mystery!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sausage Brunch Casserole

1 pounds ground pork sausage
1 (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent roll dough
2 cups mozzarella cheese
6 large eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

1. Place sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over
medium high heat until evenly brown.
2. Drain, crumble and set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
4. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
5. Lay crescent rolls flat in the bottom of the pan.
6. Cook rolls 5-10 min till just starting to brown.
7. Combine cooked sausage, cheese, eggs, milk, salt and pepper pour over
crescent rolls.
8. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, until bubbly and rolls are baked

Also good with cheddar cheese. This is a really good brunch and different from a torn bread or hash brown potato base.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Egg's benedict

I've been debating how to write this recipe out. I've decided, I am going to leave it as a photo essay to one of my favorite breakfast or brunch options ever. It is also what SP makes me for every Mother's Day. For instructions, he always uses the Joy of Cooking. So all you need is a good cookbook, and these pictures as a way of doing it! It is time consuming and laborious, but well worth your time.

sliced tomatoes (or bacon)
and if you don't want to make it yourself, some premade or packaged Hollandaise sauce (My ancestors just rolled over in their graves at the very mention of such a thing.)

1. While you bring a large pot of water to a boil, prepare your Hollandaise sauce according to directions over a double boiler. Look closely, SP invented his own by putting a large glass bowl over a sauce pan of boiling water.

2. Very carefully breaking your egg into a spatula, poach your eggs in lightly rolling boiling water doused with a little vinegar.

3. Toast some English muffins.

4. Plate the muffins, with sliced tomato (or if you insist bacon) and cover with the poached egg.

5. Whisk your Hollandaise again.

6. Liberally coat in Hollandaise.

7. Re-coat if desired. Serve with extra Hollandaise on the side.

I don't think I mentioned this. I love Hollandaise. I like my Eggs Benedict bathing in it. Come to think of it, I think I'd like a lot of things bathed in Hollandaise.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lamb Burgers

I created this recipe after a jealous months long hockey-induced craving for a Lamb burger from Gritty's pub. Sadly, I lost most of the pictures of this recipe. Why you ask? I am inept at using PCs, and SPs PC dooped me into deleting them when I tried to edit this recipe a few minutes ago. Grrrr!
Anyway, these yummy burgers have become a family favorite and friends, who happen to be pictured holding the bread below, are requesting a repeat performance when they visit next weekend.

*proportions are a suggestion to guide you but are very able to be manipulated to suit your tastes. *
1 pound ground lamb
1/2 a bunch of mint, finely chopped
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
Crumbled feta - the more the merrier.
sourdough bread, sliced
sliced tomatoes
lettuce leaves, preferable romaine
spreadable feta if you can find it.

1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
2. Shape into burgers.
3. Grill the burgers
4. Slice the sourdough bread.

5. Dress the burgers with lettuce, tomato, and ketchup.
6. If you are a fromagophile like I am, add more feta or spreadable feta on the bread if you are so lucky!
7. Enjoy!