Saturday, March 5, 2016

Mac N'Cheese

Mac N'Cheese has gained popularity in the last 10 years........... what am I saying, it has always been popular.

Mac N'Cheese has been re-visited in the last 10 years, that's more like it. Next week, between March 7 to 11, 2016  there will be Mac N'Cheese competitions all over Toronto, Montreal and Québec.

Who makes the gooiest, who makes the most creamy, who has the most original recipe etc etc.
People will eat Mac N'Cheese for 5 straight days and vote for the most original recipe.

Well I decided to participate with the Mac N'Cheese frenzy. Only me, one participant, but OOOO what a Mac N'Cheese I've created by combining two delicious recipes from the Québec chef Louis-François Marcotte from Signé M.

* There are two ways of doing this recipe, you can cook your macaroni completely, and when ready serve the Mac N'Cheese immediately.....OR..... you can cook the pasta half way, let the dish stand for the night and finish cooking the next day for 30 min at 350F.

So here goes.

Mac N'Cheese....... another one.

2 cups elbow pasta (macaroni)
Boiling water in a big enough pot.

Béchamel / Cheese sauce
1/4 cup butter
1 onion, cubbed rather small
1/2 cup celery, cubbed same as onion **
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp thyme
1 laurier leaf
3 cloves
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk (you might want to heat this a min in the microwave)
2 tbsp of Ketchup (yep, ordinary regular Ketchup)

1/2 cup white wine
2 cups of cheese, shredded. You can combine 2-3 kinds of your favorite cheeses as long as you have one strong flavored one. (I used sharp Cheddar, Tête Dure and Cantonnier) 

Salt & Pepper

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice.

Bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta for ONLY 5 min. This is very important because you want it to finish cooking in the sauce in the oven later on.

On medium heat, melt butter in a deep pan. Sauté onions and celery, do not brown. Add all the dry spices, stir well and then sprinkle flour over the mix and stir well to blend.

Add the milk one cup at a time stirring non stop, turn the heat down to 4 (5 being medium). Keep adding the milk and stirring non-stop until all milk has been added.

Add the ketchup and stir to blend.

Be attentive to this part of the recipe.
Remove from heat and add 1/2 the shredded cheeses, stir to melt and put back on warm stove element. Stir, Try not to let this bubble, turn down heat if necessary.

Pour the wine into the rest of the cheese, mix.

Keep the pot on the element and add the rest of the cheese to the bechamel. Mix well. At this point you might have to add 1/4 to 1/2 cup more of milk if you find the sauce too thick. Salt & Pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

At this point the macaroni should be ready, but only semi-cooked. The reason for this is that we want the pasta to absord the cheese sauce as they finish cooking........ tomorrow.

Now, drain the pasta and pour the cheese sauce into the cooked pasta, mix well. Pour this into a rectangular buttered pan big enough to hold all. Let it rest for at least 4-5 hours or all night (I do all night)

Heat oven at 325F and when your ready to cook it, sprinkle with a mixture of bread crumbs and a shredded cheese of your choice.

Cook for 30 min at 325F. Serve immediately.

** In one of the original recipes, it says to drain the cheese sauce before mixing with the pasta to get rid of the onion and celery pieces. I just find that's a waste so I left them in. 

Enjoy. JMSK

Mac N'Cheese revisited. Fresh out of the oven 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sour Cream Cookies with Clementine frosting

My X loved sour cream cookies, he probably still does. Well every time I would make some I would get this:

"Yes, they're good but not like my mothers"

Is there anything a girl hates more than; "Not like my mother!"
Well X, eat your heart out because you're not getting any of these.

Introducing the most delicious, scumptious, light and fluffy Sour Cream Cookies with a touch of Cardamom glazed with Clementine frosting you are ever going to taste. (My changes appear in red)
**Update at the bottom


6 tbsp of butter, at room temperature (I used Becel margarine)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt (I forgot)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp or Cardamom
1/4 tsp baking soda (I put 1/2 tsp) 

Preheat oven 350F.
You should get between 20 to 24 cookies.

In a bowl combine butter and sugar, beat until light and fluffy, 2 min. (I did the full 2 min, this does miracles)
Add the egg and sour cream, and beat until combined, 1 min.

Add sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda and cardamom and mix with a spoon until no flour is left.
Using a soup spoon, scoop a spoonful onto greased or parchement lined cookie pan. 12 cookies per cookie pan.
Bake cookies in a preheated oven until brown around the edges 8-9 min. Keep an eye on them. Let the cookies cool completely before removing from the pan.

Once the cookies are cool, dip each one in the glaze, (recipe below), let cool and dip a second time if you have any glaze left (this  2nd step is not necessary but.... you don't want to throw out any leftover glaze... right?)

Clementine Glaze

What I did was: I took 2 clementines and pulverised them with a vertical wand.
At first I thought I would use the juice to make the glaze, then I thought why not use the pulp.

Well, I did. I still had to use +/- 2 tbsp of the juice.
The glaze has lumps of pulp in it. It's great.

1 cup of icing sugar
The pulp from 2 clementines + 1 or 2 tbsp of the juice. (Drink the rest) 

The glaze will be more liquid than not.
Once the cookies are cool, dunk each one face down and let drip on the cookie pan. Cool and dunk the second time if wanted.


this recipe was adapted from Sour Cream Cookies

Hi there, as was mentioned on the original blog from which I took this recipe "These cookies will soon become a family favorite" Boy were they right. I made them again, same recipe, but I changed the cardamom for nutmeg ang the clementine icing or blueberry icing.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Spice mix for chicken

This morning, I made 3 Chicken Pot Pies. As I surfed the web searching for which spices to use I was surprised not to find any.

So, I decided to search further, I can across several spice mixes on this site, . I've often cunsulted this cooking site in the past and find they have great recipes.

Naturally I found what I was looking for, "Mélange d'épices pour poulet" or if you prefer, Spice Mix for Chicken. There are also several other spice mixes. I prefer by far to make my own mix than to buy ready and often too salty made spice mixes.

I slightly modified it to make it a bit less salty to my taste.

1.5 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of dry basil
1 tsp of dry rosemarry
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1/2 tsp of mustard powder
1/2 tsp of paprika (I used smoked)
1/2 tsp of black pepper
1/2 tsp of thyme
1/4 tsp of celery seeds (I didn't have any)
1/4 tsp of dried parsley (I used 2 tbsp fresh)
1/8 tsp of cumin
1/8 tsp of Cayenne
1/8 tsp of powdered chicken base (didn't use too salty) 

Mix well and keep in a tight spice jar. Gives about 5-6 tbsp in all. 
The Rosemarry is the one we taste the most, reduce to half quantity if you don't like Rosemarry.

I would rub a chicken breast (no skin) with this. I would stuff it under the skin of a chicken. I used it in my Pot Pie mix this morning. 



Saturday, November 14, 2015

Salmon Pie

Originally this recipe is called "Tuna Pie" but since I don't eat tuna I thought I would try it with salmon, and you know what? It's delicious. I've made it twice. As in the past you will see my changes between (  ). So here goes. 

Tuna Pie (Salmon) 

2 eggs
1 small shredded carrot 
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I didn't use this)
1 cup cooked rice
3/4 shredded Swiss cheese
     (I used what I had)
1/2 cup chopped onions (red onion)
2 celery branches chopped
2, 4 oz cans of Tuna
     (1 can of Salmon) 
Salt & Pepper

Heat oven at 400F (350F) 
Butter a 8" pie plate (try to use a glass one) 

In a large bowl beat the eggs. Add all ingredients and mix well. 

As you might have noticed there are no spices or herbes in this recipe. I added some, but no more than 1 tsp.
You choose your herbes, try something different the next time. 

Once everthing is well mixed, pour into the reserved buttered pie plate and place in preheated oven for 25-30 min. 

Let it cool slightly and cut the pie in 4, serve with a nice green salad or a spinach salad as seen in my pictues. 

Or, let it cook completely and cut the pie in 4, individually wrap each portion and freeze for a lunch during the week to come. I've done it, it keeps well. 

How good does this look?



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Single & Double serving desserts

Well, well, well......... Let's go straight to the point......... Chocolate.
Now that I have your attention......

I have three little individual portion desserts to share with you.
If any of you live alone and (as myself) do not want an 8 or 10 or 12 (even worse) portion dessert to eat, I have just what you need.

All three of these have been tried and tested and some variations applied.

Intense Brownie, 2 portions
(my changes)

2 tbsp of flour
2 tbsp of sugar
2 tbsp of cocoa powder
1/8 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of vanilla
3 tbsp of sour cream
1 tbsp of milk (soya milk)
1 oz of semi-sweet chocolate broken in pieces (chocolat chips, of any kind)

In a 2 cup measuring cup mix well flour, sugar, cocoa and baking powder. Add vanilla, sour cream and milk. Stir until well blended, no more. Add chocolate, give 1-2 stirs.
Pour into two buttered ramekin and cook in microwave 1 min each. Do one at a time.
Let rest for 1 min before you eat.

Chocolat chip minute cookie, 1 portion*

1 tbsp of melted butter
1 1/2 tbsp of brown sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp of flour
1 tbsp of semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a coffee cup (not a mug) mix well first 4 ingredients. Add flour and chocolate.
Cook in the mix cup 40 seconds, let rest one minute.

* I found this one heavy in texture and taste, so I did it again my way. I added 1 tbsp of orange juice and brought up the cooking time by 5 seconds extra. Was better but not my favorite. My favorite is next.

Soft chocolat hazelnut cake - 2 portions

1 egg
3 tbsp of sugar
Imagine a melting scoop of vanilla icecream beside
3 tbsp of milk
3 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp of chocolate spread (Nutella, look on my blog for my own recipe)
1/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp of baking powder
3 tbsp of cocoa powder

In a 2 cup measuring cup mix well egg, sugar and milk, oil and chocolate spread. Add flour, baking powder, and cocoa. Mix well.
Pour into two buttered ramekin and cook in microwave 1 min each. Do one at a time.
Let rest 1 min after cooked.

Now, I've done this one 3 times. Using the same measurements, use soya or chocolate milk instead of regular. Use almond butter instead of chocolate spread.

All three of these come from Coup de Pouce February 2014.
There are two other recipes on the liste which I haven't tried yet. Keep your eyes on my blog, I will add them later.

Enjoy. J.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Chocolate Balls

I bought a new recipe book, "Hypoglycémie: 21 jours de menus" by Alexandra Leduc, nutritionnist. Every recipe I've tried so far is pretty good. 

Here is one recipe I've adapted for those of you who have a slightly sweet tooth, this is just right. You will find my adaptations below.

1/4 cup Chia seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 cup almond powder
1/2 cup Hazelnuts, finely chopped
3 tbsp of cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup oat bran

In a large bowl mix well Chia and apple sauce, let stand for 10 minutes. It will swell.
Meanwhile, mix cocoa, almond powder, Hazelnuts, sugar and oat bran.
Add dry ingredients to wet ones. Mix well with hands and then make balls the size of big marshmallows. Should give between 15 to 18 balls.

Finished product
Finished product on the left. Keeps for 1 week in the fridge or you can freeze. Have 2-3 mid morning as a snack, they keep the wolf from the door until lunch.

At this point they are still healthy.

But this is where I made changes. First I doubled the recipe (except sugar & only 4 tbsp of cocoa instead of 6tbsp) and made the balls smaller, they came to +/- 53 balls. 
I did not add the hazelnuts in the mixture but rolled the balls in them instead as you can see below. I didn't have oat bran, but took some oatmeal and put it through the blender, it gave the same constistancy as oat bran. 
Balls rolled in Hazelnuts

Once this was done, I let them sit for +/- 1 hour and went ahead and melted some dark chocolat in a double boiler, made a mess on the stove while doing so. 

When the chocolate was melted, I rolled each ball in it and placed them on a cookie sheet with parchement paper to cool down. Place them in the fridge for the chocolate to harden. 
All done and ready to serve. 

Only 49 left at this point.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pineapple chutney

This sweet and spicy chutney is a nice side to cold cuts, roasted meats, chicken or a strong cheese.

Here goes

1 cup of finely cubed fresh pineapple
1 whole pepper finely cubed (your choice of color, red, yellow, green, orange, purple..... )

1 medium size onion also finely cubed
1/2 cup of honey (I used maple syrup)
1/2 cup of rice vinegar
1/2 cup of water
1 clove of garlic smashed
1/2 tsp of whole coriander seeds (I used pickling mix, if you have coriander seeds, use them)
1/4 tsp of chili flakes
salt & pepper

Put everything into one pot on stovetop and bring to a simmer for about 20 min stirring now and then. Let cool, then let marinate in fridge 2 hrs before serving.

Enjoy. J.

This recipe is in my Super Bon recipe list.
This recipe was addapted from, 

Makes just enough for a 500ml jar + a bit more for supper tonight.