Maple Roasted Root Vegetables

Originally published on March 28, 2018

Well it’s Maple Syrup Season up in the Great White North, and now is the time I usually start putting maple syrup into anything I touch. Maple Syrup Season is an exciting time. It’s the first real crop of the season because, in my area, it’s still really too cold to grow anything outside, but it’s just warm enough that the ground is softening and the sap starts flowing.

It’s the type of weather that makes these Maple Roasted Root Vegetables perfect. Warm and comforting vegetables with the sweet taste that reminds us spring really is just around the corner!


  • 1 pound carrots, cut into chunks
  • 3 – 4 beets, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ chunks
  • 1 onion, cut into large chunks
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish with olive oil.

2.) Place all vegetables into a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, and freshly ground black pepper. Pour most of the marinade over the vegetables, reserving two tablespoons. Stir everything together so that the vegetables are evenly coated.

3.) Pour the vegetables into the prepared casserole dish, spreading them out evenly. Place the pan into the hot oven and roast for 45 – 60 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. 10 minutes before the vegetables are finished roasting, pour the remaining marinade over top of them and stir.

4.) Serve and enjoy!

Easy Lo Mein

Originally published on April 9, 2018

I love noodles, especially Chinese noodles that are coated in a salty, fatty sauce. I would always choose noodles over rice and they may be even easier to make, as you’ll see in this Easy Lo Mein recipe. You can add even more vegetables or protein such as chicken or tofu if you want to make it a full meal. On the night I made it, we were having a full Chinese buffet at our house with egg rolls, a platter of vegetables, and chicken balls so there was no need to add too much more to the noodles.


  • 8 ounces lo mein noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
  • Sliced green onions, for garnish


1.) In a small bowl whisk together soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, ginger, and Sriracha. Set aside.

2.) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously and add the lo mein noodles. Cook according to package directions and drain.

3.) Heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add carrot and Savoy cabbage and cook for just a few minutes, until the carrots have just slightly softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.

4.) Stir egg noodles into the vegetables and add soy sauce mixture. Toss gently to combine.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

Bell Pepper Salad

Originally published on April 19, 2018

If there’s one kind of vegetable that’s always in my fridge, it’s bell peppers. Green, red, yellow, orange, I don’t care. But my fridge isn’t complete if I don’t have at least one in there. They’re great for throwing into a fast stir-fry on busy nights, or for just slicing up and dipping when it’s a working lunch day. But I never really knew how versatile these little bulbs of goodness were until I chopped them up and made them the star of the show in their very own Bell Pepper Salad.

The salad came as a result of a visit home I took many years ago, and I’ve been making it ever since. I bought too many bell peppers, which isn’t a surprise, and needed to use them up before I packed my stuff and headed home. With three bell peppers, and a lot of mouths to feed, I thought a big Bell Pepper Salad would be perfect. And I wasn’t wrong.


  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into matchstick pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced into matchstick pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into matchstick pieces
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt


1.) Place bell pepper slices, onion, and basil into a large bowl. Season with salt and stir.

2.) In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, rice vinegar, grainy mustard, and another pinch of salt. Pour over the bell peppers and stir to ensure everything is evenly coated.

3.) Place in the fridge for at least two hours. This will slightly soften the bell peppers and will also mellow out the flavour of the raw onion as it sits in the dressing.

4.) Serve and enjoy!

Chicken Thighs in Creamy Garlic Sauce

Originally published on April 30, 2018

People often get bored with chicken. Well to be honest, I often get bored with chicken. But when that happens, I just have to remind myself that a dish doesn’t have to be about the chicken, but about the sauce you put over top of it. So when I wasn’t excited about the chicken in the fridge one night when about to make dinner, I decided not to spend too much time worrying about the meat, and changed my focus to the sauce.

I’m glad I did because this recipe for Chicken Thighs in Creamy Garlic Sauce is packed with spinach, which not only tastes good but also gets more veggies into my meal. And it all swims in cream and butter to form a beautiful sauce. This was one chicken dish that I was very excited about!


  • 4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream, warmed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.) Sprinkle chicken thighs on both sides with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.

3.) When hot, add the chicken, skin-side down, and sear for about 5 minutes, until the skin has browned and just starting to crisp. Flip chicken thighs over and sear for another 4 or 5 minutes. Place entire cast iron skillet in the oven and roast for about 40 minutes or until chicken is entirely cooked through.

4.) About 10 minutes before the chicken is done, start making the sauce. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. When it’s fully melted, whisk in the flour, making sure to incorporate both ingredients. Let the flour mixture cook for about 2 minutes.

5.) Slowly add the chicken stock and cream to the flour mixture, whisking as you do to prevent lumps from forming. Add spinach, season with salt and pepper, and stir.

6.) Add the spinach to the cream mixture and stir to let wilt.

7.) Remove chicken thighs from the oven and let rest for five minutes before transferring to a platter. Pour sauce over chicken thighs.

8.) Serve and enjoy!

Copycat Swiss Chalet Quarter Chicken with Chalet Sauce

Originally published on May 18, 2018

I love Swiss Chalet. And I love copycat recipes. Why it’s taken me so long to bring the two together and recreate Swiss Chalet’s quarter chicken meal at home, I have no idea. Now, I don’t have a rotisserie. And I don’t even know anyone that does. If the same is true for you, don’t let that stop you. Just prepare the chicken and when ready to cook, do it all in the oven. It will still turn out tasting quite like the Swiss’ rotisserie. I think the secret is really in the marinade. And that sauce? Now that is pretty darned close to Swiss Chalet sauce.

Ingredients for the chicken:

  • 4 quarter chickens
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt, to taste  

Ingredients for Chalet sauce:

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup tomato juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


1.) Mix all the ingredients for the chicken, except for the chicken quarters, in a large resealable bag or bowl. Combine thoroughly then add chicken. Place in fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.

2.) When chicken is finished marinating, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove chicken from the marinade, allowing excess to drip off, and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with your desired amount of salt (I usually use between one and two teaspoons) and place in preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until chicken is tender and completely cooked through.

3.) While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce. Pour all sauce ingredients except lemon juice, cornstarch, water, and vegetable oil into the pan. Whisk to combine all ingredients.

4.) Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes to reduce slightly.

5.) Remove bay leaf and stir in lemon juice. Mix cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cold water and stir into the sauce. Whisk the sauce constantly until thickens then add vegetable oil.

6.) Serve quarter chicken with sauce on the side, and enjoy!

Anthony’s Bad Boy Cauliflower

Originally posted on June 25, 2018

On June 8, 2018, we sadly lost Anthony Bourdain. Anyone who’s ever watched one of his shows, read one of his books, or even just listened to one of his interviews knows that while Bourdain loves good food, he knows that it doesn’t always have to be taken so seriously. Garnishes don’t always need to be placed ‘just so’ on plates using a pair of tweezers. You don’t need a culinary certificate to be able to cook a good meal. And just because you pay $100 for a meal doesn’t guarantee that it’s going to be any better than what you can make in your own kitchen.

This is the thing I loved most about Anthony Bourdain. He literally walked into Parts Unknown in his hit CNN show and showed us the importance of not only food and drink around the world, but also the people that made it. It was rarely fancy, but it always left the viewer wanting a taste.

After hearing the news of his tragic death, I knew I wanted to search out some of his recipes and post them. Not only to remember Anthony, but also to help carry on the idea that good food doesn’t need to be gourmet food. This recipe for Anthony’s Bad Boy Cauliflower exemplifies jut that. The recipe is in his latest book Appetites and while simple, is so good it still leaves you wanting just one more little taste. Thank you, Anthony, for this recipe, and for showing us time and time again what good food is really all about.


  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken by hand into florets
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons white toasted sesame seeds


1.) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2.) In a large mixing bowl combine the cauliflower, oil, salt, coriander, oregano, and pepper. Toss well to evenly coat the cauliflower with the oil and spices. Transfer to a baking sheet and arrange in an even layer, leaving as much space as possible between the florets.

3.) Roast the cauliflower in the oven for 20 minutes, turning the tray and lightly tossing the pieces halfway through.

4.) While the cauliflower roasts, combine the tahini, miso, vinegar, and water in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth.

5.) After the cauliflower has finished cooking, remove it from the oven and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower, add the sesame seeds, and toss.

6.) Serve and enjoy!

Patty Melts

Originally published on September 4, 2018

Can you believe I only recently found out about patty melts? I’m not sure why, since I’m a big fan of diner food, which these totally are, and I also love any type of sandwich that’s turned into a melt. Okay, let’s be real. I love any and all sandwiches. But patty melts just may have moved up to the top spot.

Patty melts are really simple. But because of their simplicity, every single step needs to be made just right. It won’t only elevate the humble sandwich, but also adds to its pure deliciousness. So, those onions need to be fully caramelized. Not fried, not sautéed, perfectly caramelized. Rye toast should be the only kind of bread that’s used, and sandwiched between that rye, a very thin hamburger patty. No, these are not burgers. They’re sandwiches. And they get pressed to be ultra-thin, so a thick patty just isn’t going to work here.

Once those sandwiches are pressed, you’ll have the perfect sandwich that should only be held by hand so all those greasy, delicious juices can run down your arm while enjoying it. And that only adds to their perfection.


For the patties:

  • 1 pound medium ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the onions:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the assembly:

  • 8 slices rye bread
  • 8 slices Swiss or provolone cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter (approximately)


1.) Combine all the ingredients for the patties, except the olive oil, and mix well. Shape into four patties that are very thin, but wide enough to cover most of the bread.

2.) Freeze the patties for about 30 minutes just to allow them to firm up and set.

3.) Place the butter for the onions into a frying pan set over medium-low heat. Let the butter melt and then add the onion slices, tossing to coat the slices in the fat.

4.) Cook the onions very slowly, waiting for them to brown, while you stir them regularly. This process will likely take 45 minutes to one hour, but is so well worth it. Once the onions are finished, season with salt and set aside.

5.) While the onions are cooking, heat the olive oil for the patties in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the patties and cook for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, until no longer pink in the center. Transfer patties to a plate when done.

6.) When the onions and patties are both finished cooking, the sandwiches can be assembled. Butter one side of each piece of rye bread. Like a grilled cheese, this will be the outside of the sandwich.

7.) Place one piece of cheese on each unbuttered side of bread. Place one hamburger patty onto each sandwich, placing it right against the piece of cheese. Top with caramelized onions.

8.) You will now have four pieces of bread with only cheese. Use one of these to top each of the other halves of the sandwiches.

9.) Heat a large frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, place the sandwiches into the frying pan. Place a very heavy skillet over the sandwiches, to press them together. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can place a heavy heatproof can into the frying pan to help weigh it down.

10.) Fry the sandwiches for about 3 minutes, until the piece of bread is toasted and golden brown. Remove the frying pan that’s being used as a weight, flip the sandwiches, and then fry the sandwiches again for another 3 minute.

11.) When the sandwiches are fully cooked, remove to a cutting board and slice.

12.) Serve and enjoy!

Cranberry Crescent Bites

Originally published on November 20, 2018

If you’re hosting a holiday party this year, or just want to give your family a special treat before the big dinner, these Cranberry Crescent Bites are perfect. Best of all, they’re super easy with just a handful of ingredients and a very quick cook time.

Dried cranberries and cream cheese get a slight kick from jalapeño pepper before being (nearly) completely wrapped up and getting a quick bake in the oven. When they come out of that hot oven they’ll warm you from the inside out, too. You can make sure everyone’s gathered around to grab one as soon as they come out of the oven, or serve them at room temperature. The fact that these don’t need to be served piping hot also makes them a great appetizer when you’re entertaining!

This recipe will make 12 crescent bites. If you’re feeding more than that, this recipe can easily be increased by simply doubling each ingredient.


  • 4 ounce cream cheese, softened
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, halved with seeds and ribs removed, finely diced (use 1/2 of one if sensitive to heat)
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 can refrigerated Pillsbury crescent rolls 


1.) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.) Place cream cheese, jalapeno pepper, dried cranberries, and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix well to incorporate all ingredients together.

3.) Unroll the Pillsbury crescent rolls. Separate the rolls into individual crescents, along the perforated lines.

4.) Place about a tablespoon of the filling into the center of each individual crescent roll. Gently pull the three points of the crescent rolls up over the filling and pinch to seal. As each crescent roll is filled and sealed, place on the parchment paper.

5.) Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the dough is puffed and golden.

6.) Serve and enjoy your Cranberry Crescent Bites!

Crusty French Bread

Originally posted on February 13, 2021

Hi, friends, it feels like it’s been years! Joking. It has been years. And even then, the posts on the blog were guests posts and not my own. Between the time I last wrote a recipe for this blog and now, a lot has changed, hasn’t it? Yes, we are still smack dab in the middle of the pandemic and EVERYTHING has changed. Okay, so as much as we don’t want to go back to the beginning days, I’m going to take you there for just a minute. If you have not yet learned how to make bread, now is the time. That is what I did in the early days of 2020 and I know I’m not alone. While I had made bread before, it was never quite like this. So, get out your stand mixers and your Dutch ovens because we are about to make some breadthat will take you back to the old country. Trust me, it’s very good there. At least the bread is.

2 1/4 teaspoons (9 grams) instant dry yeast
1 teaspoon (4 grams) sugar
1 14 cups (300 grams) warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons (10 grams) kosher salt
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour

1.) Measure warm water in a liquid measuring glass. Add sugar and stir. Add yeast and stir. Let sit for about 5 minutes until foamy.

2.) Place flour and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix briefly for a few minutes to combine flour and salt.

3.) With the mixer running, add yeast and water mixture. Continue mixing until all of the flour is mixed in, scraping around the sides and bottom to ensure all flour is incorporated.

4.) Sprinkle a bit of flour around the top and sides of the dough, but do not mix it in. This step is just to make sure the dough does not stick to the bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and let sit until the dough has doubled in size, about one hour.

5.) Sprinkle a little bit of flour on a counter or work surface. Turn dough out onto the flour. Starting at one corner, fold a piece of the dough into the center. Continue with all sides of the dough until the dough starts to resist and becomes difficult to fold. Then, turn upside down. Cover the dough with the same clean tea towel.

6.) Preheat oven to 460 degrees Fahrenheit and place Dutch oven, with the lid on, inside the oven while it gets hot.

7.) Once the oven has preheated, use oven mitts to remove the Dutch oven from the oven and take off the lid. Place the dough, right-side up, into the Dutch oven. Using kitchen shears, cut four slices into the corner of each dough.

8.) Place the lid back on the Dutch oven and place in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes. Then, take the lid off and cook for another 15 minutes.

9.) Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and then, move the bread to a cutting board. Let rest for at least 30 minutes.

10.) Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Pork Dumplings

Originally published on February 21, 2021

People make plans and God laughs. That’s one of my favorite sayings because it’s so true and it sometimes extends to the kitchen, as well. I found this out, once again, when I was preparing a Chinese menu and had planned on making egg rolls to go with it. Of course, because that’s what I had planned, egg roll wrappers were nowhere to be found. So, I bought some wonton wrappers and started thinking about what I could do with them. Turns out, while the shape won’t be traditional, wonton wrappers make for great dumplings. So, that’s what I made and when I placed them alongside the chicken ballslo mein, and other Chinese goodies, no one missed the egg rolls.


Vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
6 green onions, finely chopped
2 pounds ground pork
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 package of wonton wrappers


1.) In a large frying pan, heat two tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic, and ginger until translucent and slightly caramalized. Add the green onions and cook just until they are softened, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool.

2.) After the onion mixture has cooled, add the pork, salt, pepper, and soy sauce. Combine the mixture until it is well mixed.

3.) Fill a small dish with water and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place approximately 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of each wonton wrapper. Using your finger, dip it in the water and then “paint” a little water along two edges of one wonton wrapper. Fold the wonton wrapper over the filling and then pinch the two seams together to seal. Place the finished dumpling on the parchment paper and repeat with the remaining wrappers.

4.) At this point, you can freeze the dumplings. Wrap with plastic wrap and freeze as-is on the baking sheet. Once frozen through, the dumplings can be transferred to a large freezer bag. When ready to cook, prepare from frozen and add approximately 1/3″ of water to a frying pan to ensure they cook through. To cook from fresh, continue with instructions below.

5.) Heat a nonstick frying pan with just enough oil to coat the bottom. Heat over medium-high heat. Add just enough dumplings so they are not overcrowded and do not touch each other. Brown the dumplings on one side then add approximately 1/4″ of water. Cover and steam the dumplings until the water evaporates entirely.

6.) Remove the lid and allow the dumplings to continue frying, just enough to crisp them again slightly.

7.) Remove dumplings to a plate lined with paper towel to allow them to drain slightly. Then serve alongside soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or whatever you want to dip them in!

8.) Serve and enjoy!