Join Me in My Addiction!

Thank you for visiting my blog...and for allowing me to share with you my addiction. I love to collect recipes. I love to read cookbooks. I have been collecting recipes for as long as I can remember, and on any given day there are one or two (or more!) cookbooks residing on my nightstand!

This blog is chronicling my adventure as I fulfill my resolution of trying (at least) one new recipe each week. I hope that you enjoy!

I invite you to join me in my journey, simply by clicking the "Join this Site" link below. And please feel free to comment on any of the recipes, and pin away. Thanks, I look forward to sharing with you!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

In my world, Sunday nights are for "Family Dinner."  Typically it is just me and my three leading men, sometimes there are other family members too.  What that means though is on Sundays, we do a "big" dinner so that we have LEFTOVERS for a day (or two...or three!) afterwards.  Gets me out of cooking at least one night a week ;-)

This week we tackled a huge ham and scalloped potatoes.  The ham we jazzed up with a new glaze recipe that we found, and the scalloped potatoes are a recipe that I clipped in 1997 and am finally giving a try.  Yes, you read that right, 1997.  No, I am not a hoarder...I previously said that I love to clip recipes!

Ham & Glaze

Ham (one of the nicer ones)
1 can Sprite, 7UP or ginger ale

1/3 cup corn syrup (I used light)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup dark rum
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Place ham in a roasting pan and pour Sprite evenly over it.  Cover (with lid or tin foil) and bake for 1 hour. Combine the corn syrup, maple syrup, brown sugar, rum, pepper and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl.  Mix well. After the 1 hour of baking, evenly spoon the glaze over the ham.  Return the ham back to the oven (covered) and bake for another 20-30 minutes, or until the glaze is brown and bubbly.  Remove the ham from the oven and let rest for about 15 minutes before slicing to serve.

Light & Lovely Scalloped Potatoes (From Homemakers, 1997)

Peeled, thinly sliced potatoes (about 4 medium potatoes)
1 cup chopped onion (or more or less to taste)
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 cups milk (I used 1%)
2 tablespoons flour
Pinch allspice
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, cook sliced potatoes for 5 minutes ot until slightly tender; drain. 
Meanwhile in large skillet over medium high heat, cook onion in chicken stock for about 4 minutes or until liquid has evaporated.  In bowl, whisk together milk and flour; stir into onions.  Bring to boil, stirring as it thickens; boil gently for 1 minute.  Add allspice and salt and pepper to taste.  Combine sauce and potatoes, mixing gently but thoroughly.  Pour into 8 cup/2 litre casserole.  Cover with lid or foil and bake in 350 F oven or 30 minutes or until potatoes are just tender.  Uncover and sprinkle cheese over top, sprinkle lightly with paprika.  Bake uncovered for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and top is lightly browned.

Our four year old could NOT stop eating the ham.  He LOVED it.  Hubby and I both enjoyed the ham and the potatoes.  You could certainly taste the different ingredients in the glaze, which I particularly liked.  There was the sweet, the pepper and the rum flavours - all there and all balanced.

Searching for the Perfect Blueberry Bran Muffin Recipe

I love muffins, I really do.  Probably has something to do with the fact that they can be eaten with one hand, and I always have a baby in the other!  I know everyone says that muffins can be bad for you, especially those store bought ones, but I think that if you can find the right recipe, you know what's going into them and therefore what's going into your body.  And if you are satisfied with what you put into the muffins, then that's what matters :-)

I especially like blueberry muffins, and I like the idea of bran muffins, though I find bran muffins too dry.  So I have always been on the search for the perfect blueberry bran muffin recipe.  You'd think it would be easy to find the perfect recipe.  Maybe I am too picky, I'm not sure.  Today I found a new bran muffin recipe which I modified when we made them, and part of the modifications included adding blueberries.  Here is the recipe we used:

Blueberry Raisin Wheat Bran Muffins

I am forever searching for the prefect blueberry muffin...
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/4 cup molasses
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups natural wheat bran
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup raisins

Cream shortening and sugar together.  Add molasses and eggs, and beat well.  Add buttermilk, then add bran. 

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add to liquid ingredients.

Stir in raisins and blueberries.

Place in lined muffin pan, bake at 400 F for 18 to 20 minutes or until muffins are done.

Makes 12 large muffins.

These are a nice looking muffin and taste pretty good.  The blueberries make the muffins especially moist. Big plus! Personally I am not a big fan of molasses, so next time we make these I will actually cut the molasses from 1/4 cup to 1/8 cup.  I think it still needs to be there, just a smaller amount.  My husband hasn't tried one yet, but I'm sure they will pass in his eyes!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Double Cooked Baby Back Ribs

Tonight for dinner we had ribs.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I do not like ribs.  But my husband LOVES ribs and our eldest son now loves them too.  I found this recipe for ribs, and tonight my hubby told me that these were the best ever, and that even Gordon Ramsay would love them.  That says a lot! (and I'm certainly no Gordon Ramsay or MasterChef in the making). 

Note - Even though the recipe calls for garlic (and I normally love garlic), I didn't use any garlic this time for two reasons, one I am out of garlic and two, our baby doesn't like garlic in his milk. 

Here is the recipe:

Sweet and Spicy Double Cooked Ribs

These ribs are a 24 hour process, but they are so worth it!  The meat just falls off the bone, which makes my hubby very happy!


Our favourite, fall off the bone ribs.  Hands down #1!
Baby back pork ribs
2-4 garlic cloves, sliced (depending on your garlic preference)

1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup thai chili sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (Lea and Perrins)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 clove crushed garlic


1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Place ribs on tin foiled shallow roasting pan or cookie sheet(s), bone side down.  Scatter the sliced cloves of garlic over the ribs.  Cover and bake for 2.5 hours.  Cool slightly.

2) While the ribs are baking, in a small bowl, mix together the white sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, chili powder and ground cumin.  After the ribs have cooled, rub the spices all over.  Wrap tightly with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.

3) Approximately 1 hour prior to serving, in a small saucepan, mix together the brown sugar, cider vinegar, kethup, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, diced onion, dry mustard and one clove of crushed garlic.  Simmer over medium-low heat, uncovered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Reserve enough for basting, the remainder will be your dipping sauce.

4) Preheat grill for medium heat.

5) Place ribs on grill.  Grill, covered, for about 12 minutes, basting with the reserved sauce, until nicely browned and glazed.  Serve with remaining sauce for dipping (and don't forget the finger bowls!). 

Why Am I Here?

Don't worry, that's not some philosophical question about my existence...but really, why am I here doing this?  I have all sorts of things I COULD be doing, you know, fun stuff for a Friday night like laundry!  Instead, a Facebook post by a friend inspired me to think and act...and here I am.  She put out a call for a blogger about food, and I got to thinking:

1) I grew up loving to bake.
2) I have always always ALWAYS collected recipes.  I love to read and clip recipes.  I can spend hours browsing my cookbooks. Seriously, I can get lost in a good cookbook! 
3) I have grown to really enjoy cooking. My husband claims that he doesn't share the same sweet tooth that I have, but he does have a healthy, adventurous appetite which in turn has fed my love of reading, collecting and trying recipes.
4) One of my few New Years Resolutions for 2012 is to try a new recipe each week.  And now that resolution has grown to include "and blog about it".

After all these thoughts (and more...I just didn't list them all), I figured, hey, why don't I do this!?  And so this blog has been feed my love of recipes, to help us try new things, and to meet my goal of trying something new each week.  I look forward to telling you all about it!