Most of us all have crazy schedules and the ones who don’t are blessed… lol! With my Club Foody cooking website, creating recipes, filming, editing, writing, publishing/promoting, this is 2 full time jobs combined in 1 plus I also work as a manager at a store. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining but I sure would like to have 48 hours instead of 24 in a day so I would have some time to relax!
Where was I going with all this? Oh yeah… being busy! To compensate for a lack of time, some will compromise by skipping some tasks. Interestingly enough more often than not, it will be on cooking. People will go and buy prepared food (yuck!) or even worse, go to a fast food joint (now that’s gross). In my book taking the time to cook a nice decent meal is more important than anything else. Eating the right food has a big impact on people’s health so that’s why good home style meals are important… you know what goes in them.
All right enough about that… So not enough time to cook…time to dust off your crock pot and start cooking more often with it (I’m still lecturing). I’m serious though… there are so many great slow cooker recipes out there including… my Texas BBQ Slow Cooker Pulled Pork!
Just saying it makes my mouth water! Pulled pork is so versatile and can be used in many different recipes. After combining your ingredients and placing them in the slow cooker, your job is almost done. You can go run errands, do your laundry, go to your son’s hockey game, clean the house or just relax (sigh)! Stop finding excuses for not cooking a nice meal at home (yep I’m lecturing all the way to the end…), take your crock pot out from the pantry and try this amazing recipe… Bon Appétit!
I think that one thing all kids around the world like to do when getting home from school is to run to the kitchen to see what their parents are cooking. I was lucky that my mother didn’t have to work outside and was at home every day. She was always in the kitchen (like mother like daughter) cooking something and baking some yummy desserts and snacks. Although I had a serious sweet tooth as a child, I always enjoyed the main course. I’m not too sure if it’s because we are French Canadian but many dishes were cooked in or with sauces. It seems like there was always a sauce accompanying the meal.
When I first went out on my own, cooking was very challenging. For some reason I never really paid attention when my mother was cooking – I just didn’t have any desire to learn. I was a “tomboy” and being outside playing was my thing. My only chore in the kitchen was to wash the dishes (not by choice) and licking the beaters (totally my idea) when she was making a cake batter. Other than that I had no interest in cooking or baking.
So back when I got my first place, I started making very simple dishes although I screwed up a few and then moved on to slightly more complicated recipes. One thing I got pretty good at was making sauces. These were my savior because if I didn’t cook my dish properly, the sauce would help to cover it up… well that was my way of thinking until I became good in the kitchen.
There was a sauce my mother made often and it is Béchamel Sauce also known as White Sauce. It was used in many different dishes. It was later on that I found out that Béchamel is one of the “mother” of sauces in French cuisine. It is a very simple “basic” sauce that can be altered to other sauces such as Mornay (it’s béchamel with cheese) which I love to use quite often especially for my Macaroni & Cheese recipe, Soubise (onion sauce), Mustard, and so on. This is a sauce that every home cook should master and the technique to achieve a good Béchamel is very simple. Bon Appétit!
Ever since I was a child, I always preferred caramel or butterscotch over chocolate. WHAT? Yep, that’s right! Hey don’t get me wrong, I enjoy chocolate very much but I get weak when there’s butterscotch or caramel around. I can go through a whole bag of butterscotch candy in no time and when I make my Salted Caramel Sauce , I find all kinds of excuses to scoop some from the jar.
The difference between butterscotch and caramel is not too far apart. Butterscotch is made with brown sugar while caramel is made with granulated sugar plus butter and milk or cream for both. Although pretty similar, their tastes are distinctly different.
I have many recipes that use both butterscotch and caramel but today there’s only one… Butterscotch Pudding! OMG! The taste of this dessert is insane… It is so simple to make and yet incredibly flavorful! Using just a handful of ingredients, this is a recipe that everyone will enjoy.
There’s a key ingredient that elevates this dessert that you just CANNOT substitute and it is vanilla bean! I don’t care if you have to order them on line or fly to Madagascar (okay maybe a little too extreme)) but there’s nothing to replace it. You can always use vanilla paste but it’s not the same and definitely the pure vanilla extract can be substitute but… it’s okay. It is pricier but it will make your pudding “sublime”. Also let’s not forget about the butterscotch chips… do yourself a favor and buy a very good quality brand – I use Guittard®.
When you have a dinner party at home and are not too sure what to serve for dessert, this is a tasty one to make. Just keep in mind that the pudding needs to sit about 4 hours in the refrigerator to set up. Other than that, it takes only 10 minutes or less to make… c’mon how much easier could something so delicious be? Bon Appétit!
Years ago, when I was visiting my mother for a week, I would take her out for dinner often but we also enjoyed cooking together. The odd time – you know “once in a blue moon” – we ate something already prepared but as I said, rarely! Well on this trip, we had a frozen dinner…
Back then, she owned a couple of hair salons and was quite busy running them both. One day she called me from work to let me know she was too tired to let me take her to a restaurant that evening. She just wanted to take a bath, put her comfy clothes on and chill out at home. I understood and then she asked me to take a Vegetable Lasagna from the freezer and pop it in the oven. It was prepared food… yuk! I insisted we go out for dinner instead but she was firm on her decision. Till this day, I’m totally not a fan of prepared food. Anyway, I made a fresh garden salad – at least something healthy – and by the time she got home, bathed, changed and sat down, dinner (from the box) was ready. It was a shocking surprise when I took my first bite… it was actually quite good although slightly too salty for my liking. When I returned home after my week spent with my mother, I actually believe it or not, went to the supermarket and bought the same frozen lasagna. Being single at the time it was convenient for me to enjoy lasagna once in a while although I probably only had it once every two years…
It is only when David and I moved in together that I decided to make homemade lasagna instead of buying it. It is always more fun to cook for 2 or more than for one person especially when it comes to lasagna. So making my own, I was in control of the sodium level and the spiciness of the dish plus buying fresh produce that I personally picked…
This Ultimate 8-Cheese Vegetable Lasagna is sooooo delicious! It is a simple dish packed with yumminess! Although pretty easy to make, be aware that it takes time to put this together. This is a recipe that you want to start prepping in mid-afternoon so it is ready for dinner time. Is it worth it? Absolutely! Play your favorite music and enjoy a cup of joe while making it. This is the kind of dish that you’ll want in your repertoire especially if you have some picky eaters at home who don’t like veggies… they will love it! Bon Appétit!
As friends we should always be supportive and encourage each others dreams although we might not always agree about the choices… I call that respect!
One of my friends Joanne from Milton, Ontario decided years ago to start a tea shop. The concept was amazing! She wasn’t only selling loose tea but also anything related to it; tea pots, tea cups, tea containers, tea bags, etc. Where the cash register was, she had a wide selection of chocolate… yummy!
As a friend, I bought whatever I could because I wanted to support and encourage her in her business venture. I bought so many different varieties of loose teas; from oolong to rooibos and everything in between. One day, she made me try a popular tea from India and Pakistan. Oh boy! It was incredibly amazing and I became an addict! The one I’m talking about here is Masala Chai! This aromatic tea is fabulously flavorful! Brewed with black tea and spices, this is a beverage that is seriously awesome! Just a quick info – masala means “mixture of spices” and chai means “tea”
When I moved to British Columbia, I went to a couple of tea shops in Vancouver and bought some but unfortunately they were not as strong and spicy as Joanne’s. One day I decided to make my own. Just by the taste of it, I kind of knew which spices were in it and since then I’ve being enjoying my homemade masala tea whenever I feel like having some!
When it comes to the ingredient amounts, I give “the smoother” version of it. I personally prefer much stronger flavor therefore using more peppercorns. Like any recipe you come across, the amounts are just a guideline so from there, you can always adjust them to your liking.
Depending on how I feel, I either make it with half water and half milk or go for a richer flavor using strictly milk. It is such a tasty chai to enjoy by the fireplace with a book and your favorite music playing in the background. Take your spice grinder out and don’t delay to savor this delicious chai! Cheers!
Oh my! A New Year… a new chapter! I’m so excited to see what this year brings. Last year was awesome… I met a lot of great people that became friends! David and I moved to a bigger place with a bigger kitchen… yeah! Although there was a lot of work involved, the rewards were greatly appreciated. Club Foody has grown rapidly and as you’re reading this, there are many recipes that rank in the top 20 on the Google search page! Overall 2017 was a good year and David and I are looking forward to 2018…
There was a lot of cooking involved last year and I really tried to keep it simple. This year won’t be any different and I’m very glad that you, my lovely subscribers, keep enjoying them. As you know me better throughout my recipes, I love to diversify my culinary repertoire… from healthy to sweet to meat and vegetarian. I don’t channel my cooking into a specific category because I would get bored (that’s the way I am) plus I’m too curious… I love experimenting and creating with a wide variety of ingredients, herbs and spices. It’s interesting when someone asks me what I prefer cooking because my answer is… EVERYTHING!
The first recipe of the year that I’m sharing with you is my Winter Salad! This delicious recipe is packed with vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants… all the good stuff to boost your immune system especially during the colder winter months. The ingredients you’ll find in this recipe are very “wintery”. Each season brings us its own gems so what better way to take advantage of it than by using fresh ingredients! One of them that I’m using is homemade Pomegranate Molasses which is a great recipe to have on hand!
As the year begins, we might have a couple of resolutions to start off on the right foot! The most popular one is losing weight. Having a salad as a meal can definitely help shed some extra pounds added over the Holidays. On one hand, there’s the health benefits and on the other a light meal to slim down. What else is there to add besides going ahead and giving it a try… Bon Appétit!