Maple Bacon Brussel Sprouts

Last Saturday, I was walking along in the market and came across a bushel of brussel sprouts. I’ve only ever seen brussel sprouts in the grocery store before, taken off the stem and bagged. I had no idea that they grow on a long tree-like stem, right out of the ground. Well, that sounded like a culinary adventure to me!DSCN0500

These are brussel sprouts, still on the vine. I just had to pick one up when I saw how cool they looked!DSCN0502

Close up, they look like mini cabbages! They were so cute!DSCN0504

This recipe was incredibly easy. It only had three ingredients: Bacon, maple syrup, and brussel sprouts!DSCN0505

You roast them all together in the oven, until the bacon is crispy. DSCN0506Here they are, ready to be devoured!

Maple Bacon Brussel Sprouts

You will need:

1 large stem of Brussel Sprouts

1/2 pound of bacon, cut into small, bite sized pieces

1/4 cup maple syrup

Pre-heat oven to 375. Clean and remove brussel sprouts from the stem. Add them to a large baking dish. Slice up your bacon and sprinkle on top. Drizzle bacon and sprouts with maple syrup. Bake at 375 for 25-30 mins, stirring once, until bacon is crispy. Serve as a side.

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Eggs Benedict with Home Made Hollandaise Sauce

Weekend breakfasts are great! They allow for lazy long mornings where you have time to spend an hour or two making breakfast. I had an awesome such morning this weekend, where I decided it was high time I tried making my own home made eggs Benedict, smothered in home made blender hollandaise sauce.

I started by frying up some bacon in a pan, while I was preparing the hollandaise sauce.

Once I found a good recipe for hollandaise sauce, I couldn’t believe it! The main ingredients to hollandaise sauce are egg yolks, butter and lemon juice. That’s it! No wonder it tastes so good!

I separated 6 eggs (I doubled the recipe).

I had to take the bacon off the stove because it was nice and crispy at this point.

Then I blended all the egg yolks together with some salt and pepper.

Next, I had add the melted butter to the blended egg yolks, while the blender was on. This made a hot buttery mess all over my kitchen. It was great fun though!

I also poached some eggs with my handy dandy egg poacher.

Then I assembled the benies by layering toast, eggs, bacon and hollandaise sauce. This was quite the rich breakfast. I wasn’t able to eat again until dinner!

Jacquie’s Home Made Eggs Benedict and Blender Hollandaise Sauce (Courtesy of the Food Network)

For the hollandaise sauce, you will need

– 3 large egg yolks

– 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

– 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the eggs benedict, you will need:

– Four medium eggs

– 1 pack of bacon

– 2 pieces of whole wheat multi grain bread

Blender hollandaise sauce instructions:

Put the egg yolk, lemon juice, and cayenne in a blender. Pulse a couple times to combine.

Put the butter in a small microwave safe bowl and melt in a microwave until just melted. With the blender running, gradually add the melted butter into the egg to make a smooth frothy sauce. If the sauce is very thick, blend in a teaspoon of lukewarm water loosen it up. Season with the salt and serve immediately or keep warm in a small heat-proof bowl set over hot (but not simmering) water until ready to serve.

Assembling the benie:

Cook bacon until crisp. Poach eggs to your desired softness. Toast the bread. Layer the bacon and poached eggs on top of toast. Slather generously with hollandaise sauce. Enjoy!


Baba’s Homemade Perogies

What a great time the family has been having lately, with all of the wedding festivities, and the return of summer like weather. My Baba stayed an extra day after the wedding to make a few batched of perogies with us. We were so lucky to be able to get her secret recipe, and boy, was it ever a treat! My sisters and I have been enjoying these perogies since we were little kids, and we never tire of them. They were always highly anticipated family meals, when prepared, and they still are today!

Baba uses dry cottage cheese and minced potato in hers perogies. Very simple, but ridiculously delicious.

The dough was simple as well, and was left to rise for the better part of the day (see the little air bubbles?)

The dough was so stringy and sticky that we had to cut off big chunks with a knife before rolling it out.

This was my work station, where I was the dough roller and cutter.

It took a while (and some fancy rolling pin action) to get the dough to roll out smooth, because it kept springing back at me.

There’s my little perogy cut out!

Here’s my Baba expertly stuffing and pinching the perogies into their ideal-sized pockets.

She used about a half a tablespoon in each perogy, so not to over-stuff them.

She pinched them along the sides…

making sure to pay extra attention to the ends, as they tend to come apart in the water while boiling.

We put them on cookie trays, sprinkled with a bit of flour, and froze them like this. That way, they do not clump together in the freezer, and stay together better while they are boiling. Oh yes, there is a method to our madness!

Here I am, rolling out more dough, while the others pinched away!

And soon, we had LOADS of perogies, to last us quite a while!

To prepare them, I used my Baba’s favorite method. I began by cooking up some bacon, and boiling some water.

I had to take a shot of my perogies before they went into the water. This is what you would like to avoid by freezing the fresh perogies on trays first. Since I was impatient, and didn’t want to wait for them to individually freeze before taking them home, I ended up with a big frozen clump…

Ah, bacon and onions, the perfect pairing to homemade perogies!

I’m so lucky that my clumped perogies separated in the boiling water (I added some canola oil, so that they would separate.)

When they begin to float, transfer them to a pan with some oil (I used a bit of the leftover bacon grease), and fry them up until they reach your desired crispiness.

I served them with a side salad, and a side of bacon. Yum! Oh and don’t forget your sour cream and jam. Then you’re in for a traditional Ukrainian feast!

Baba’s Homemade Perogies


For the dough, you will need:

4 cups all purpose flour

1 Teaspoon of salt

2 Teaspons vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon of baking powder

1 cup warm water (or reserve potato water)

1 egg, beaten

For the filling, you will need:

1 pound of peeled, cooked, and minced potatoes (reserve potato water after cooking)

1 pound of dry cottage cheese

1 teaspoon each of salt & pepper

In a large bowl (we used a large pot), mix together flour, salt and bakign powder. Make a well in the centre.

In a separate bowl, mix together vegetable oil, warm water (or reserve potato water), and the egg. Pour into the well of dry ingredients. Knead dough for 8 to 10 minutes.

Cover dough and let rise for 2 hours. Roll out and fill.

While you are waiting, make your filling by peeling, cooking and mincing 1 pound of potatoes and mixing them with 1 pound of dry cottage cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

When dough has risen, roll it out thin and, using a round cookie cutter, cut out rounds of dough. Fill with 1/2 tablespoon of filling and pinch all sides of perogy closed.

Freeze on a baking sheet, which has been lightly dusted with flour. When frozen, transfer perogies to a freezer-safe ziplock bag.

To serve, boil perogies from frozen. When they begin to float, transfer drained perogies to a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil. Fry until desired crispiness has been reached. Serve with Ukrainian sausage or bacon and onions. Enjoy with sour cream and jam!


Baked Bacon and Egg Cups

Another sick day gives me more time to post old entries on the ol’ blog. and watch a lot of TV. (I think I watched almost 6 hrs of TV today. Whoa!)

I made these on the weekend for Justin and I. They were a nice take on the classic breakfast staple of bacon and eggs.

First things first, cut out a toast circle using a cookie cutter (or in our case, a shot class), for the cup base.

Then place the toast bits in the bottom of a muffin tin.

Fry up some bacon in a pan until its still soft, then line the cups with the bacon strips.

Crack eggs into the middle of the cups. You can season with salt, pepper and whichever seasoning you like (we left it plain and it was still delicious!)

Tada!! These are a genius easy breakfast creation! Enjoy!

As you can tell, Justin liked them quite a bit as well! 🙂

Jacquie’s Tasty Bacon and Egg Cups (Courtesy of Kirbie’s Cravings)

Ingredients

  • 4 slices of bacon 2 slices of bread 4 eggs salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Using the top of a round glass that has an opening slightly bigger than a muffin mold, about 3.5 inches, cut circles from bread. You should be able to cut two circles per slice of bread.

Grease four muffin molds. Place the bread on the bottom of each muffin mold. Preheat the oven to 400F.

Cook bacon slices in a pan about 3 minutes or until halfway cooked. Place bacon slices around the edges of the muffin tin. To help them stay, you might want to tuck the ends underneath the slices of bread.

Crack an egg and put in the middle of each muffin mold. You may want to leave out some of the egg white so that the yolk doesn’t overcook while waiting for the egg white to cook.

Place muffin molds in the oven and cook for about 12-15 minutes until eggs are cooked to your liking and bacon is crisp. I like to leave the egg yolk a little runny.

Use a knife around the edges to help lift cups from the muffin mold. Season with salt and pepper and serve while hot.


Aussie Chicken

I’m taking a sick day today because my throat is all scratchy and I feel like I will soon loose my voice. Blah, stupid March… But it’s ok because it gives me a chance to catch up on my blogging!

Oh Aussie Chicken… I think I’ve found another one of those recipes that I will add to my repertoire of awesome, delicious recipes! It’s basically honey mustard chicken, with some tasty extras…

I used local Alberta honey. Now I have to say this about honey: I normally have an intense hatred for the substance. It’s sticky, sickeningly sweet, it’s got a goopy texture. All around, I’ve never found honey appealing. This may also have stemmed from working in a tea house for two years, where, if you drop a teaspoon of honey on any work surface, a half hour later its in your hair and on the bottom of your shoe… I digress… This honey is worth the sticky goopy mess! It’s tasty and sweet, but not too sweet. Its also not pasteurized, leaving tasty little honey kernels in the silky liquid. I like this honey, enough so to get over my intense dislike for the stuff, and to use it in this delicious recipe!

This is what the base looked like before I whisked it. It’s equal parts mustard and honey, to 1/2 a part mayonnaise. I also sprinkled a bit of garlic in there for added flavor. hmm, garlic…

Tada! Whisked, perfect sauce. Make sure to make a lot. You’ll want leftovers.

We embellished on the recipe a bit, and added bacon and mushrooms to the chicken. Trust me, the extra effort is worth it.

First things first! Spray your chicken pan. Then lay the chicken down in thin strips, and add a layer of sauce.

Then cover it with strips of Bacon.

Then cover it with mushrooms.

Then sprinkle it with cheese.

Then add even more sauce! hmm!

Bake for a half hour – 45 mins on 350. Serve right away!

Hmm, was this ever good? Wow. I think I’ll make it again this week!

Jacquie’s Aussie Chicken (Courtesy of Frugal Girl)

Chicken
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – pounded to 1/2 inch thickness (I just sliced mine in half to make cutlets)
2 teaspoons seasoning salt

Sauce (I halve the sauce, but if you really love honey mustard, you might not want to halve it!)
1/2 cup prepared yellow mustard
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes

Toppings
6 slices bacon, cut in half
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese

Directions
1. Rub the chicken breasts with the seasoning salt, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the mustard, honey, corn syrup, mayonnaise and dried onion flakes. Remove half of sauce, cover and refrigerate to serve later.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until crisp. Set aside. Saute the mushrooms in the same skillet until tender; set aside.

4. Place the breasts in the skillet and saute for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned. Remove from skillet and place the breasts into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Apply the honey mustard sauce to each breast, then layer each breast with mushrooms and bacon. Sprinkle top with shredded cheese.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and chicken juices run clear (if you use thin cutlets, they’ll already be cooked through, so you just need to bake them for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted). Serve with the reserved honey mustard sauce.

We used the leftover sauce as salad dressing. Whoa. I think I need to go and make some more right about now…


French Canadian Crock Pot Baked Beans

In honor of sugar month (Les temps des sucres au Quebec), I decided to make one of the most traditional French Canadian dishes, to celebrate my heritage. Live local Alberta’s Eat Local First initiative were very generous to my endeavor and provided almost all of the local ingredients for this meal.
Local and sustainable, Irvings Farm Fresh’s Back Bacon slices are dry-cured and un-smoked. They were such tasty, thick pieces of bacon that it was very hard for Justin and I not to eat them right out of the pan, without giving them a chance to go into the recipe. Wow. This is high quality bacon. If you’re a bacon lover, you’ll find it hard to go back to the thin pieces from the grocery store…
Did you know that you can get locally grown and dried beans in Alberta? Yea, I didn’t know that either! Eat Local First sells beans and seeds from Columbia Seed Company, where you can purchase chickpeas, as well as black, red, and white beans!
The recipe was actually really simple, and didn’t take much more than the beans, the bacon and this onion.
I let the beans soak overnight in the crockpot. Warning! They will double in size when left soaking. Strangely, some of the beans didn’t expand in the first soak. This was because the larger ones choked out the smaller ones, not letting them expand. You may want to put all the beans in a larger bowl (or two separate bowls) and add double the amount of water, so that all the beans are able to absorb it!
I let the beans cook on low for 10 hrs while I was at work, and ta da! Don’t they look amazing?
We served the beans with a locally made, scrumptious organic whole wheat pita from Happy Camel (one of these days, I will do an entire post just for Happy Camel. I have the biggest Happy Camel addiction!!)
They went from freezer to toaster and ready to eat in 2 minutes. Hmm… Happy Camel…
Enjoy! This dish reminded me of the community league Cabanne a Sucres from my childhood. Delicious!
Jacquie’s French Canadian Crock Pot Baked Beans
  • 2 cups red and white beans (measured prior to soaking)
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 3/4 lb bacon (sliced small)
  • 1 medium onions (chopped) or 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (chopped or sliced)
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Soak 2 cups of bean in water over night, or in the morning. The beans must have soaked a minimum of 6 hours. For those who have never soaked beans, pour the beans in to a bowl and cover beans with water. Water should be at lease 1/2 inch to 3/4 of an inch above beans. This allows beans to absorb enough water with out getting dry.
  • Strain and pour the beans in the crockpot. Slice your bacon I use scissors if it is completely unthawed medium to thin slices. Chop onions to your preferred size I like Medium, and chop garlic. Add to the beans.
  • Pour water into a bowl and mix remaining ingredients in the water and stir. Pour over beans and mix well.
  • Cover turn on LOW and cook 8 to 10 hours. DO NOT LIFT THE LID, only when it is close to the end of cooking time. Take a test and see if you like the texture, if not cook for remainder time.