Sunday, October 28, 2018

Slow-cooker Maple Sage Pork Roast

Prep30 MIN
Total8 HR 30 MIN


2- to 3-lb (1.5 kg) boneless pork shoulder roast
2 tbsp (30 mL) real maple syrup or maple-flavoured syrup
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp (10 mL) dried sage leaves
1/2 tsp (2 mL) beef bouillon granules or 1 beef bouillon cube
1/2 cup (125 mL) water
2 cups (500 mL) 1 1/2-inch cubes peeled butternut squash
2 cups (500 mL) baby-cut carrots, cut in half lengthwise
2 small onions, cut into wedges
3 tbsp (45 mL) cornstarch
1/2 cup (125 mL) water

Spray 4- to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. If pork roast comes in netting or is tied, remove netting or strings. Place pork in cooker. In small bowl, mix syrup, garlic, sage, bouillon granules and 1/2 cup water; spoon over pork. Arrange squash, carrots and onions around pork.
Cover; cook on Low heat setting 8 to 9 hours.
Remove pork and vegetables from cooker; cover to keep warm. If desired, skim fat from juices in cooker. Pour juices into 4-cup microwavable measuring cup. In small bowl, mix cornstarch and 1/2 cup water until smooth; stir into juices in cup. Microwave uncovered on High 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every minute, until mixture thickens. Serve with pork and vegetables.

Pan-Broiled Steak

Image result for pan-broiled steak

Use tender steak 3/4 to 1 inch thick.  Trim off excess fat.

Heat heavy skillet moderately and grease very lightly.  Place steak in pan.  Brown quickly on both sides.

Reduce heat.  Cook slowly until done, pouring off fat as it accumulates.  To test for doneness, cut near bone.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Pan-Broiled Bacon

Image result for pan-broiled bacon

Place slices in a cold skillet over moderate heat.

Turn frequently for 8-10 minutes, until all parts of the bacon are evenly crisp but not brittle.

Do not let the fat smoke or the bacon will have a burnt flavour.

Pour off fat as it accumulates during cooking.

Old-Fashioned Pot Roast

Image result for pot roast

3 lb boneless rump roast
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 bay leaves, crushed
2 medium onions, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup red wine
1 apple, peeled and sliced
For gravy:
pan juices, about 1-1/2 cups
1/2 cup beef broth
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup half & half cream

Place roast in a deep casserole or pan with lid.  Sprinkle roast with brown sugar and bay leaves.  Add onions, carrots, and celery.  Add beef broth and red wine.  Bring to a boil.  Cover with lid.

Cook meat in oven at 325F for about 2-1/2 hours or until meat is tender.  Check for doneness.

Add apples clices to meat for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.

For gravy, strain pan juices and add beef broth in a saucepan.  Mix cornstarch with a little water.  Bring pan juices and broth to a boil.  Add cornstarch mixture.  Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Taste.  Add half & half and more seasonings if needed.

Slice meat, Serve with gravy spooned over.

Reindeer Chow

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1 box Chex Corn Cereal - 14 oz
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups pretzel pieces
2 cups Christmas M&Ms

Pour Chex cereal into a large bowl and set aside.

In another bowl combine chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter.  Melt in the microwave on high heat for 1 minute.  Stir and continue heating for another 30 seconds.  Remove from microwave.

Add the vanilla extract then mix well.

Pour chocolate mixture over the cereal and stir to evenly distribute.

In a gallon-sized bag pour in the powdered sugar.  Add the chocolate Chex mix, seal and shake well.

Pour Chex mix into a bow, add pretzels and M&Ms, and mix well.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Slow Cooker Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Quantity : 4 servings
Preparation : 20 min Cooking : 4 h

1 tbsp olive oil 15 mL
1 onions, chopped 200 g
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 carrots, chopped 100 g
1 stalk celery, chopped 70 g
2 tsp dried oregano 2 g
1 dried chili peppers, minced 0.4 g
460 g ground beef, extra-lean
1 slice bread, whole wheat, processed into bread crumbs 35 g
1 eggs size large, beaten
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated 6 g
1/2 tsp salt 2 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]
2 1/2 cups My Mother's Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup water 125 mL

Before you start
A slow cooker is needed to make this recipe.
A blender or food processor will be very useful to pure the vegetables.

Prepare the vegetables: Finely chop the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery.
Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables then sauté until softened and translucent, about 3 min. Stir in the oregano and chili pepper, then cook an additional minute, with stirring.
Layer about half of the cooked vegetables in the bottom of the ceramic cooking pot. Transfer the remaining vegetables to the food processor, then pulse a few minutes until the a puree is obtained.
Transfer the pureed vegetables to a bowl. Chill a few minutes to cool slightly.
Add the beef, bread crumbs, beaten egg, grated cheese, and salt to the bowl with the pureed vegetables. Add pepper to taste then mix well. Scooping about 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time into your hands, make the meatballs (3 per serving).
Pour half of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the ceramic cooking pot, along with the water. Combine well with the vegetables.
Place the meatballs on top in a single layer. Pour on the rest of the tomato sauce. Cover the slow cooker with the lid and cook on 'low' for 4 h.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Chicken Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Just tried this recipe for the first time and it is definitely a keeper.  Only one thing I would change . . . more tomato juice.

Quantity : 6 servings
Preparation : 1 h 
Cooking : 1 h 30 min 
Cooking Dish : 22 x 32 cm

This traditional Canadian recipe requires time and patience to fill and roll each cabbage leaf individually. As an alternative, a modern and simplified version suggests to alternate layers of chicken with layers of chopped cabbage. The resulting dish will be less elegant, but equally good, cutting down at least 30 minutes of the preparation time mentioned here.

1 green cabbage 1 kg
paper towels
1 tsp butter, unsalted 5 g
1 tbsp olive oil 15 mL
1 onions, finely chopped 200 g
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 tbsp rice, long grain, uncooked 90 g
1/2 cup canned tomatoes (diced) 130 g
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 1 g
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 1 g
1 tsp dried oregano 1 g
1 tsp dried savory 1 g
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed 1/2 lemon
500 g ground chicken
1 pinch salt [optional] 0.2 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]
1 cup tomato juice 250 mL (I would double the amount of juice)
aluminum foil

Using a paring knife, remove the centre core of the cabbage. In a large stockpot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the cabbage and cook until the outer leaves are tender, 2-3 min. Lift the cabbage from the water, then remove and set aside the softened outer leaves. When the undercooked inner leaves become difficult to remove, return the cabbage to the pot. Repeat the brief cooking and removal of leaves until enough leaves are cooked (you will need 3 leaves/serving, plus some larger leaves to line the bottom of the baking dish).
Drain the leaves well, then pat them dry with paper towels. Trim the thick centre vein from the bottom of each leaf. (As an alternative, you can also microwave the cabbage to soften the leaves: Place the cabbage in a bowl with about 2 tbsp of water, cover, then microwave on 'High' for about 12 minutes, depending on the power of the microwave and size of the cabbage head).
Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F. Butter a baking dish, then line the bottom with a few of the larger cabbage leaves.
Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic, then sauté 2-3 min until softened. Add the rice then cook, with stirring, until golden, about 3 min. Stir in the tomatoes, spices, herbs and lemon juice. Mix well, then add the chicken. Sauté over high heat, with stirring, until the meat has lost its pink colour, 7-8 min. Season with salt and pepper.
Place 3 tablespoons of the mixture into the centre of each reserved cabbage leaf. Fold the sides over the filling, then roll the leaf up tightly. Arrange the rolls with the seam side down in the cabbage lined baking dish. Pour the tomato juice over the rolls, then cover with aluminum foil.
Bake in the middle of the oven until very tender, about 1 h 30 min. Serve.

You can bake the cabbage rolls ahead of time, cool, then cover them with plastic wrap and overwrap with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Refrigerate them for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 1 month. To serve, thaw them in refrigerator for 24 hours and reheat, covered, in a 175°C/350°F oven for 1 hour or until they are heated through.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Meat Cakes

Image result for meat cakes

Combine 1 cup ground cooked meat with 1 slice of bread, crumbled, 1 tbsp milk, and 1/2 tsp prepared mustard.

Beat 1 egg slightly.  Combine half of egg with meat mixture and form into 2-1/2 inch patties.

Dip patties into remaining egg mixed with a tbsp of water or milk.  Roll patties in flour, brown on both sides in a little fat in a skillet.

Serve with ketchup, chili sauce, or mustard.

Makes 2 large cakes.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Kansas City Steak Strips

2 sirloin strip steaks, about 12 oz each
3 tbsp butter or margarine
1 cup thinly sliced green onions, tops included
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup chili sauce
dash salt
dash black pepper
1 pkg (9 oz) frozen green beans (may substitute mixed frozen vegetables)

Cut meat into even strips.  Heat half the butter in a skillet.  Add meat.  Saute over medium high heat until meat is brown and cooked to your liking.  Do not overcook.  Remove meat and keep it warm.

Add remaining butter to pan.  Add green onion.  Saute over medium high heat for 4-5 minutes until onions are soft but not brown.  Remove.

Add broth to pan.  Heat and scrape pan brownings.  Add chili sauce.  Add green beans to pan and heat for a few minutes.  Add meat and green onion and stir to blend well.  Cook over high heat for a few minutes until mixture is hot.  Add salt and pepper, if desired.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Serve with pasta or rice and a salad

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Community Conversations: Imam Abd Alfatah Twakkal

Image result for Community conversation st thomas

The second speaker at the Community Conversations meeting at the CASO Station on September 13, 2018 was Imam Abd Alfatah Twakkal from the London Muslim Mosque speaking on the topic of "Contemporary Islam and Muslim Identity".

Islam is to surrender or submit to God.  One who submits is Muslim.  Assalam u Alackum is a traditional greeting which means Peace be with you.

And who is more beautiful in speech than one who calls unto God, works righteousness, and says, “Truly I am among those who submit”? ~ Qur'an 41:33

The website has a lot of interesting information.

Islam in Canada
1991     253,265 
2001     579,640    129% increase 
2011  1,053,945      90% increase 

Islam in London
London is home to one of the oldest Muslim communities in Canada, established in 1899.
The London Muslim Mosque is the second mosque built in Canada and the first in Ontario.  It is the longest running mosque in Canada.

Muslim in Canada contribute to the diversity and betterment of our communities.  They are active in issues related to community service, social justice, and public education.

In a 2016 survey done by Environics Research Group, when the question was asked "Would you say you are very, somewhat, not very or not at all proud to be a Canadian?", the majority (83%) of Muslims felt very proud to be Canadian, and this sentiment has strengthened since then (especially in Quebec).  In comparison,  73 percent of non-Muslims felt similarly proud to be Canadian.  

Community Conversation: Victoria Esses

I've had to wait to post while my broken finger has been healing.  As they say, better late than ever.

Image result for Community conversation st thomas

It was my pleasure to attend Community Conversations at the CASO Station on September 13, 2018.  After a warm welcome by Karen Vecchio MP, the first speaker was introduced.

Victoria Esses from Western University spoke on the topic "The Media's Portrayal of Immigrants and Refuges" in which she discussed the ways that media dehumanizes immigrants.

In 2016, of all new permanent residents in Canada, 53% (155,994) were Economic class immigrants, 26% (78,004) were Family class immigrants, and 21% (62,348) were Humanitarian class immigrants.

The media (and others) use words such as flood, bogus, and que jumpers when describing immigrants and refugees.   Sadly, people tend to respond to negative portrayals of new residents.  One sided negative messages help to reduce uncertainty by dehumanizing these newcomers.  The media (and others) accomplish this by blaming immigrants and refugees for everything wrong in our world, by showing how they are a threat to Canadians, using words that suggest they are animals or monsters.  Immigrants blamed as sources and spreaders of infectious diseases such as ebola increase their dehumanization.

When we are able to dehumanize people it makes it easier to see them as a threat, as "other", and as less than ourselves.  

The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.
~ Aldous Huxley

Monday, October 15, 2018

Endive and Pear Salad

Endive and Pear Salad
Quantity : 2 servings
Preparation : 10 min
190 calories/serving

1/2 Belgian endive (Witloof), julienned 80 g
1/2 radicchio (red chicory), julienned 150 g
1 pears, julienned 150 g
1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 30 mL
2 tbsp almonds [optional] 16 g
1 pinch salt [optional] 0.2 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]


Prepare the Belgian endive and radicchio. Julienne and place in a salad bowl.
Peel the pear(s), cut lengthwise pieces, discard the core and julienne the pieces. Add to the bowl, sprinkle with the lemon juice and oil, add pepper and salt, then mix delicately. Add the almonds (*) and serve.


(*) Blanched almonds will be more attractive. To blanch, put them in boiling water 3-4 min, drain, and peel.

Nut and Seed Bread

Nut and Seed Bread

Quantity : 16 servings
Brining : 2 h 
Preparation : 10 min 
Cooking : 1 h Standing : 1 h
Cooking Dish : loaf pan standard (30x11x7cm) ou (24x13x7cm)
160 calories/serving

1 cup sunflower seeds 140 g
1/2 cup flax seeds 90 g
2/3 cup hazelnuts, shelled 65 g
1 1/2 cup rolled oats 150 g
3 tbsp chia seeds 30 g
4 tbsp psyllium husks 18 g
1 tsp salt 4 g
1 tbsp maple syrup 15 mL
3 tbsp canola oil 45 mL
1 1/3 cup water 330 mL

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix the sunflower, flax and chia seeds, hazelnuts, oats, psyllium and salt.
In a measuring cup, mix the water, maple syrup and oil. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well for a few minutes until mixture thickens and there isn't any liquid left at the bottom of the bowl.
Transfer the mixture into the loaf pan. Press the mixture using the back of a spoon. This is crucial to ensure that the bread does not crumble when slicing. Let rest on the counter for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F. Transfer the bread to the middle of the oven and bake for 20 min. Remove from the oven, unmold then put the bread back into the oven, directly on the oven rack. Bake for an additional 40 min, until golden-brown.
Let cool completely, then slice.

For easier slicing, leave the bread for a couple of hours in the fridge beforehand. It will be much easier to slice then. The bread keeps for a couple of days in the fridge and several months in the freezer. Slice before freezing.

Keto Bread

Keto Bread

Quantity : 16 servings
Preparation : 10 min 
Cooking : 1 h 15 min 
Standing : 30 min
130 calories/serving

3 cups almond meal 300 g
1 1/4 cup psyllium husks, very finely ground 90 g
4 tsp baking powder 10 g
1 tsp salt 4 g
5 tbsp apple cider vinegar 75 mL
6 egg whites 3/4 cup
1 1/2 cup water, boiling 375 mL

Before you start
Careful: Measure the psyllium husks before grinding them to obtain the right bread texture.
A hand-held or stand mixer will make things easier for this recipe.

Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F. Oil a loaf pan or a cookie sheet, depending on the chosen cooking method. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
Add the vinegar and egg whites to the dry ingredients. Mix a few seconds using a mixer.
Pour the boiling water into the bowl then mix well, using a mixer, until the dough thickens.
Transfer the mixture into the loaf pan. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 75-90 min, until the loaf is golden-colored and the inside is well cooked. Alternatively, divide the dough into 16 rolls. Transfer the rolls to the baking sheet, then to the oven. Bake for 60-75 min.
Let cool completely, then slice.

Baking the bread in a loaf pan yields a denser texture, while baking the rolls on a baking sheet yields a fluffier texture.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Low-Carb Zucchini Bread

I've had Type 2 Diabetes for a few years now and, despite medications and diet, I am still having trouble controlling my diabetes and I'm not losing any weight.  My "kids" have been after me for a while to try a keto diet but I'm nervous about drastic change . . . 

And then came out with a Low Carb Healthy Fat menu plan and I've decided to give it a try.  

From the website: "Have you tried losing weight by counting your calories, without success? Do you have type 2 diabetes and find it difficult to control your blood glucose? A Low Carb diet (LCHF) could help you. With less than 100 g of carbs/day (‘keto-liberal’ diet), our Low Carb Healhy Fat (LCHF) meal plans and recipes will help you eat well without even thinking about it. Whether you are alone or with your family, these meal plans based on the Mediterranean diet will help you achieve your goals with ease and no hunger pangs.

I made this zucchini bread last night and when it came out of the oven I cut a slice and added some cheese and olives to my plate.  A perfect evening snack.  This morning I had another slice with cheese, strawberries, and yogurt.  It is a really savory bread with a nice texture.


Low-Carb Zucchini Bread

Quantity : 12 servings
Preparation : 20 min 
Cooking : 1 h Standing : 30 min 
Cooking Dish : 1 standard loaf pan (30x11x7cm) or (24x13x7cm)
260 calories/serving

3 eggs size large
1/2 cup olive oil 125 mL
2 3/4 cups almond meal 280 g
1/2 tbsp baking powder 4 g
2 tsp dried oregano 1 g
1 pinch nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt 1 g
1 zucchini, unpeeled, shredded 130 g
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped 50 g

Before you start
A hand-held or stand mixer will make things easier for this recipe.

Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F. Generously oil a loaf pan.
Beat together the eggs and oil in a large bowl.
Sift together the almond flour, baking powder, oregano, nutmeg, and salt into another bowl. Fold the almond mixture into the egg-oil bowl, combining them gently but thoroughly. Stir in the nuts and zucchini.
Pour the batter in the prepared loaf pan, spreading it evenly, then bake the bread in the middle of the oven until golden-brown about 60 min. Check with a toothpick or skewer to see if the bread is cooked through.
Cool the bread 10 min in the pan, then remove it from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack for at least 30 min before slicing.

The zucchini bread, wrapped well in foil, will keep at room temperature for 1 week or frozen for 1 month.

Nutrition Facts Table
per 1 serving (60g)

Amount% Daily Value
Fat25 g38 %
Saturated 2.8 g
+ Trans 0 g14 %
Cholesterol50 mg
Sodium80 mg3 %
Carbohydrate6 g2 %
Fibre3 g11 %
Sugars2 g
Protein7 g
Vitamin A4 %
Vitamin C3 %
Calcium8 %
Iron9 %
Servings of Canada's Food Guide
1 serving of this recipe is equivalent to :
Vegetables and Fruits : ¼ serving
Grain Products : 0 serving
Milk and Alternatives : 0 serving
Meat and Alternatives : 1 ¼ servings
This recipe is :
Low :
Source of :
Calcium, Fibre, Folacin, Iron, Niacin, Omega-3, Omega-6, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium, Selenium, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Vitamin K, Zinc
Good source of :
Copper, Phosphorus
Excellent source of :
Magnesium, Manganese, Vitamin E
Free :
Added Sugar
1 serving of this recipe is equivalent to:
Food Group Exchanges
Vegetables 0
Meat and Alternatives 0
Fats 4 ½

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Pork Sausage Links

Image result for pork sausage links

Place sausage links in a cold skillet.  Cook over low heat 12 to 15 minutes, pouring off fat as it accumulates.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Oven-Cooked Bacon

Image result for oven cooked bacon

Lay slices of bacon on a wire rack in a shallow pan.

Bake in hot oven (400F) about 10 minutes, or until the desired crispness.

This bacon needs no draining and browns evenly from end to end without curling.  This method is recommended when cooking large quantities because bacon requires less watching and needs no turning at all.

Canadian Bacon Sauteed

Image result for canadian bacon

This is a lean meat usually cut in thin slices.

Place slices in a heavy skillet and cook over low heat about 5 minutes.  Turn slices frequently.

When done, the lean part is a red brown and the fat is a light golden brown.  It rarely requires draining.