Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Marvellous Malted Milk Cookie Tart

This is a fun dessert – it mixes a popular sweet you can get at any neighbourhood convenience store with the elegance of a tart.
   Malted Milk Cookie Tart, from the July 2010 issue of Bon Appetit (click here for the recipe), has a topping of chopped malted milk balls (I used Maltesers).
   Under that is a thin layer of chocolate, and comprising the base is a crust that has a salty taste that’s a bit like peanut brittle.
   It was super-easy to make. I turned on the oven to 325 F as required, and had the crust ready to go in just as the light went out!
   There was one ingredient in the recipe I wasn’t sure about: malted milk powder.
   I wasn’t the only one. Taking a look online, there were a few debates about exactly what it is.
   Wading through the conversation threads, I came to the conclusion that Ovaltine, found in the hot chocolate and chocolate milk mix section of many supermarkets, is malted milk powder (although there were many online posters who swore it isn't!) A quick check of the ingredients on the back confirmed it is.
   However, I found a brand called Horlicks, recommended by many people on the threads as an excellent malted milk powder, at the local Superstore.
   Here’s my official make-it-better tip for this recipe: Although people will want to try it the day you make it, I found the tart was better the next day, after my husband cut it up and put it in a plastic container. The crust seemed to soften up a bit, making it a bit easier to bite.
   However, the next time I make this, I am going to cut back on the 45-minute baking time and see if this makes a difference in the crust’s tenderness. I may also butter the pan.
   This recipe calls for a nine-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, but it says you can substitute a nine-inch glass pie dish.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fresh Cherry Margarita: There's nothing sweeta

Fresh Cherry Margaritas (click here for the recipe) earn two votes for sweetness. That's because 1 -they're sweet-tasting, and 2 - they're sweet in the fantastic sense, as in, statement: “I just won $5 million in the lottery.” Reply: “Sweet.”
   This bright red libation is a real crowd-pleaser.
   Who knew cherries and tequila could go so well together? But here they are, in a beautiful relationship, in this refreshing cocktail.
   The recipe calls for maraschino liqueur, for which I needed to find a substitute after not finding it at my local liquor store.
   After reading a few raging online debates on the topic, I decided to try using the syrup that maraschino cherries is packed in (even though some of the online posters swore that certain cocktail death would result).
   It ended up being a perfect substitution, adding some more cherry flavor without being overwhelming. The recipe calls for one tablespoon of maraschino liqueur, and I used about ¾ of a tablespoon of the syrup.
   The recipe also calls for agave nectar, a natural sweetener. I found this at a health food store.
   Although the final product is definitely worth the effort, making each cocktail time-consuming.
   For one cocktail, you need to pit 12 cherries in a cocktail shaker, mash them with a muddler or wooden spoon, and then add tequila, fresh lime juice, agave nectar and the maraschino liqueur.
   Then you add ice, shake, and strain the cocktail into another glass with fresh ice (I strained the liquid through a fine small mesh strainer, rather than the strainer on the cocktail shaker).
   As I made one cocktail, I kind of felt like Doc Brown in Back to the Future Part III when, stuck in the old West, he builds a huge complicated contraption to make just one small ice cube.
   The moral to the story is: if you plan on serving this cocktail for more than just two, you may want to recruit someone for margarita-making duty.
   There will be a demand!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Two sensational summer salads

I tried a couple of salad recipes recently that immediately became staples of my summer cooking arsenal.
   The first is Creamy Dill Cucumber Salad from a recent issue of Cook’s Illustrated magazine.
   Although I couldn’t find the exactly the same recipe online, I found a slightly different version of it on a website, (Click here for the recipe.) If you tweak a few things, and I’ll tell you how, you’ll have exactly the same recipe I made.
   I was first attracted to this recipe because it called for extensively draining the liquid from the cucumbers before the salad is made. My husband hates cucumber salads that are swimming in excess water.
The technique used, putting a zipper-lock bag full of water on top of the cucumbers and an onion to push out the liquid, works like a charm.
   The resulting salad was not watery – it was just delicious, family-friendly and a perfect side for burgers, hot dogs or steaks.
   The cider vinegar called for in the recipe, by the way, may also be labelled apple cider vinegar at the supermarket.
   Here’s how to tweak the recipe on so it will be exactly like the one I made:

   The recipe calls for ½ of a medium red onion.
   The recipe I made called for ½ of a medium onion – I used a yellow onion.

   The recipe does not explicitly have directions to toss and drain the onion with the cucumber.
   The recipe I made says to toss the cucumbers, onion and salt together in a strainer or colander.

   The recipe calls for one tablespoon of salt to be tossed with the cucumbers and onion.
   The recipe I made calls for 1 ½ tsps. of salt to be tossed with the cucumbers and onion.

The second recipe, Heirloom Tomato and Mint Salad, is a fantastic way to showcase fresh tomatoes.
   I couldn’t find the recipe, or a comparable one, on the Internet.
   The only place I know for sure you’ll find it in all of its delicious glory is in the cookbook Food Network Kitchens Favorite Recipes.
   This is a book that gets used a lot around our place, as it has some terrific recipes for miso soup and noodle dishes.
   This recipe calls for cutting up heirloom tomatoes (I use regular tomatoes if I can’t find heirloom), arranging the pieces on a platter and then scattering sliced shallot, sea salt and pepper on the pieces.
   After being left for about five minutes, the tomatoes are sprinkled with fresh mint and then drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and champagne or white wine vinegar.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hibiscus and Ginger Iced Tea - a glorious summer refresher

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I'm sitting outside to write about a terrific drink that my husband I enjoyed with supper just this evening.
   It’s Hibiscus and Ginger Iced Tea (click here for the recipe on the Martha Stewart Living website), and it’s been a summer staple ever since I first made it four years ago.
   It’s a real treat – refreshing and not too sweet, with a light taste I’d compare to raspberries.
   It’s quite family-friendly, too. Perhaps children about the age of 10 or under might not immediately take to it, but everyone else will!
   The drink is easy to make, it’s just tracking down the hibiscus tea bags to get started that might be a little tricky.
   Here in Canada, I found rosehip and hibiscus tea bags at Superstore, and they work perfectly.
   The recipe says it serves eight. Not quite! It makes two generous servings -- if you want to make more, you'll have to double it.
   Although the recipe doesn’t specify to refrigerate before serving, I strongly recommend it. You’ll want to serve this drink ice cold.
   This is another recipe for which I successfully substituted an equal amount of Splenda for sugar.
   To make the iced tea, water, ginger and sugar (or for me, Splenda), are brought to a boil and removed from heat. The tea bags are added and left to steep for 15 minutes.
   The tea is then poured through a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl in an ice-water bath, and left to cool (I let it cool for about 45 minutes to an hour.)
   Fresh lemon juice is stirred in. Refrigerate.
   The recipe says to serve over crushed ice, but that’s a fancy touch; regular ol’ ice cubes will work just fine.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Muffuletta Hot Dogs - has a great name, and a great taste

I just had to try this recipe, from the June 2010 issue of Bon Appetit, because of its fantastic name.
   Luckily, the final product lived up to its fantastic label, and was also an absolute snap to prepare.
   I’ve officially added Muffuletta Hot Dogs (click here for a copy of the recipe) to my summer heavy-rotation recipe list – it’s going to be made often!
   Muffuletta Hot Dogs, it seems, are a take on Muffuletta sandwiches, which originated in New Orleans at the turn of the 20th century.
   Doing a little Internet research on the topic, I found traditional Muffuletta sandwiches have provolone cheese, salami and ham, and are topped with an olive mixture.
   This hot dog recipe keeps the provolone, but all-beef hot dogs take the place of salami and ham.
   The highlight of the hot dog recipe is its delicious, zesty topping, the key ingredient of which is peperoncini, a type of pepper.
   This recipe calls for the jarred pickled variety of peperoncini, which I found in the same section of the supermarket where relishes and other pickled peppers are kept.
   For the recipe, the peperoncini and some of its brine is combined with red onion and dried oregano and is left to stand for 30 minutes. It’s then drained.
   Meanwhile, sliced provolone cheese is placed on the inside of hot dog buns, and the buns are put on the grill to let the cheese melt. The hot dogs are cooked and put in the buns.
   The hot dogs are topped with the peperoncini and onion mixture, sliced roasted red peppers from the jar and black olive tapenade.
   I was unable to find black olive tapenade,but found green olive and used it instead, and the hot dogs still tasted right (delicious, actually!). However, I suspect the tapenade could be skipped and the final product would be just fine.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

An incredible no-machine ice cream - to be made under certain conditions

This is going to be a mixed-up blog post.
   I’m going to recommend a recipe, but only under certain conditions.
   It’s No-Machine Chocolate-Banana Ice Cream (click here to see the recipe on the LA Weekly website) , created by professional pastry chef David Lebovitz.
   Don’t get me wrong – for the right “target market,” this is an amazing ice cream. My husband absolutely loved it and encouraged me to write about it.

   Make this ice cream if:
   - You want to make ice cream, without a machine, that looks and feels like the finest store-bought variety.
  - The people to whom you serve it like strong tastes, as this smacks of Irish cream liqueur and dark rum, which are needed in ridiculously huge amounts for the ice cream to freeze properly.
   - The people to whom you serve it could eat liqueur chocolates without wincing or enjoy Irish cream liqueurs, such as Bailey’s, straight up.

   Don’t make this ice cream if:
   The only people to whom you'll serve it are picky eaters or people who prefer bland tastes. They will not like this ice cream one bit. And, with all the booze, I would never serve this ice cream to children. This is a dessert for grown-ups.

   So, with that in mind, here’s a quick rundown on how to make it. It’s really a very easy recipe for the finely-textured product you get without a machine.
   Bittersweet or semisweet chocolate is melted with whole or low-fat milk (I used two per cent) in a bowl over simmering water.
   Irish cream liqueur (I used Bailey’s), sliced bananas, dark rum and the melted chocolate are pureed in a food processor. Don’t be tempted to cut back on the called-for one cup plus two tablespoons of liqueur or the three tablespoons of dark rum, or the ice cream won’t freeze to its proper texture.
   The mixture is poured in a shallow plastic container, and is then frozen eight hours or overnight (I opted for overnight.)
   Serve to the right audience and enjoy!
No-Machine Chocolate-Banana Ice Cream is also in David Lebovitz's new cookbook, Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes. It is available for purchase at or through the links below.

Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes at
Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes at

Monday, June 21, 2010

Great Grilled Lemon-Oregano Chicken Drumsticks

On Sunday night, my husband and I made Grilled Lemon-Oregano Chicken Drumsticks (click here for the recipe on the Bon Appetit website), and I was reminded what a fantastic little recipe it is.
   We made it for the first time last summer, as it was from the August 2009 issue of Bon Appetit.
   Who can argue with juicy grilled drumsticks, lightly flavoured with salt, fresh oregano and lemon?
   And it’s so easy and family-friendly. I could see the recipe easily doubling and tripling for a larger crowd.
   You can start marinating the drumsticks well in advance of grilling, too – the recipe calls to marinate the chicken for 30 minutes or up to two days!
   Drumsticks are marinated in a mixture of lemon juice, fresh oregano, pressed garlic, olive oil, kosher salt and lemon peel, then grilled for about 30 minutes until golden brown on all sides.
   Serve and watch people smack their lips!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hulk Smash . . . raspberries!

I think he would for a glass of this refreshing summer cocktail.
   I made Raspberry Smash (click here for the recipe at the Bon Appetit website) the first time on Saturday night, and let me tell you, it will be made again.
   The people who would like this drink are the cocktail crowd -- those that order a vodka martini when they're out on the town. It's the perfect sipper for them while the steaks are on the grill.
   The flavour of the raspberries melded perfectly with the vodka, yet wasn’t too sweet.
   And it was really easy and fun to make. However, the recipe is for two cocktails, so if you were planning on making more, you might want to assign someone to the task. I made one for myself one evening, and it seemed to work even better than two at a time.
   Lime wedges, fresh raspberries, vodka and sugar (I substituted Splenda) are smashed in a cocktail shaker using a muddler or a wooden spoon handle.
   Ice is added and the concoction is shaken for 10 seconds.
   It’s poured into glasses then topped with champagne. Although the recipe doesn't say so, I gave the cocktails a quick stir.
   I also let the ice melt for about a minute before serving.
   There’s no need to strain the raspberry mixture from the cocktail shaker, as it settles to the bottom as the cocktail is sipped.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The best burger I've ever made

Psst . . . here's a brillantly delicious secret: Ray's Cafe Salmon Burger with Basil Mayonnaise (click here for a copy of the recipe).
   It’s the best burger I’ve ever made, and I’ve tried several recipes.
   Although it’s in the casual food realm, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to make it for a backyard party full of foodies.    It’ll impress them, and all your non-foodie guests, too!
   This recipe is a favourite in my family.
   It’s so, so easy to make.
   One thing: The basil mayonnaise, meant to be served on the burger, (no ketchup or relish here) is absolutely key to this recipe’s success.
   I would dare say you shouldn’t bother making these burgers if you can’t make the topping due to a glitch such as the unavailability of fresh basil (but you should be able to find it this time of year at the supermarket.)
   However, I have made the mayo without the called-for capers, and it still worked fine. Fresh basil is really the key.
   I also highly recommend putting fresh lettuce on the burger.
   For the recipe, sautéed onions are mixed with salmon fillets that have been ground up in the food processor (it calls for wild salmon in the recipe, but the regular grocery-store variety will do fine).    Lemon pepper, granulated garlic, and kosher salt and pepper are added and the mixture chilled for an hour.
   The mixture is divided into patties and grilled, then served with the basil mayo.
   The mayo is a combination of mayonnaise (of course!), capers, fresh basil, lemon juice, kosher salt and Tabasco sauce, which is mixed with a hand blender until smooth (I’m betting a regular blender would work just fine.)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Terrific Tunnel of Fudge Cake

My husband’s birthday was on Wednesday, and the cake I chose to make for him is one of his all-time favourites: Tunnel of Fudge Cake.
   He took it to his workplace the next day, and it was a hit with his co-workers.
   The Tunnel of Fudge Cake recipe I use is from Cook’s Country magazine, and I found it reprinted on the website (click here for the recipe).
   This cake is a definite crowd-pleaser. You’ll never go wrong making this for a family. It’s substantial, too, with 12 to 14 servings, and is thus ideal for a get-together.
   It’s called Tunnel of Fudge cake because a gooey, softer centre remains inside even after it’s baked.
   The cake first appeared on the scene in 1966, when a woman from Houston, Texas, won second prize for it at the 17th Pillsbury Bake-off Contest. It called for Pillsbury’s flour and fudge frosting mix, which is no longer available.
   The Cook’s Country version of the cake is easy to make, but there’s hours worth of cooling time involved. If you’re making this as dessert for dinner, make sure to start in the morning.
   The rich glaze that’s put on top of the cake makes a lot. I find I use about three-quarters of it, and that’s after globbing on quite a bit on every bit of available cake surface.
   This recipe calls for Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Fry’s Cocoa, found in nearly every supermarket aisle in Canada, is Dutch-processed.
   The cake is a combination of bittersweet chocolate, cocoa, flour, walnuts or pecans, confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar), granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter.
   The glaze is comprised of heavy cream, light corn syrup, bittersweet chocolate and vanilla.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My flirtation with fleur de sel

Fleur de sel. Doesn’t that sound lovely?
   It tastes lovely too – now it’s my salt of choice for tomatoes, cucumbers, eggs, perogies and pasta.
   And to think that even just a couple of years ago I had never even heard of this delectable ingredient. It’s hand-harvested sea salt (Click here for the Wikipedia article about it).
   The recipe that turned me on to it is Soft Scrambled Eggs with Fresh Ricotta and Chives (click here for the recipe on the Bon Appetit website), a delicious dish that my husband and I make again and again for breakfast.
   It’s fine, easy fare that makes a lovely breakfast for two, or for family or guests if doubled and tripled.
   The recipe calls for fleur de sel or coarse kosher salt, but after I read a few reviews of the dish at by other home cooks, it became clear that fleur de sel was what I needed to add to make this recipe truly successful.
   I couldn’t find it at first and so used kosher salt in the eggs recipe.
   But I kept up my search, and one day was thrilled to find fleur de sel in a supermarket.
   I’ve since seen it several major supermarket chains, in the baking aisle along with the salt.
   It was worth the search, as it certainly raised the eggs recipe to a new level of deliciousness, and is fantastic on any other food that’s salted for enhancement.

Monday, June 14, 2010

My idiocy leads to a better recipe

It’s a good thing I didn’t have to do one of those home ec projects in high school where you carried an egg around for a week pretending it was a baby, because my poor egg-child would have been dead in five minutes.
   The proof of this was in a recent baking session. I discovered the recipe I was working on called for room-temperature eggs, and the eggs were still in the fridge. Wanting to speed the process along, I put one egg in each of the two pockets of my jeans.
   Not smart – one brush against a chair at the table and one of the eggs cracked, sending its icy cold insides into the pocket. Yuck.
   As you can see, I’m perfectly capable of cooking idiocy.
   But sometimes idiocy can lead to lovely things.
   In fact, it actually improved a recipe I found in the pages of Martha Stewart Living called Herb Pita Crisps (click here for the recipe on the Martha Stewart website), a remarkably easy and incredibly delicious snack or appetizer. (It’s what I chose to serve as the appetizer at my parents’ retirement party for about 30 people last summer.)
   The recipe calls for pita breads to be split, spread with butter, sprinkled with fresh chives and salt and pepper, cut into quarters and baked in the oven for about 15 minutes.
   The first couple of times I made it, I used white pita bread. The results were great and I kept making the recipe.
   But once when I was at the grocery store, I accidentally grabbed whole wheat pita breads instead of white.
   I lamented my stupidity upon my arrival at home, but decided to give the whole wheat pitas a whirl.
   To my delight, the chips tasted better and were more crispy. And they took less time in the oven to bake to this delicious state – seven minutes.
   This is how I advise you make the recipe if you try it -- whole wheat pitas with seven minutes in the oven.
   There’s another change I make to this recipe. Instead of using 3.5-inch round pita breads as called for in the recipe, as these are hard to find, I use six-inch round ones and cut them into wedges.
   And serve these chips right out of the oven. There will be some eager eaters waiting.
   Maybe my idiocy will lead to more happy cooking accidents.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I made a raspberry sorbet,
the kind you find in an icy treats store

Apologies to Prince for that headline, but I'm sure he'd like this Red Wine-Raspberry Sorbet (click here for the recipe at the Bon Appetit website). My husband sure liked it!
   This sorbet recipe was created by professional pastry chef David Lebovitz and can also be found in his new cookbook, Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes.
   In the introduction to the recipe in the cookbook, Lebovitz writes that this red wine-raspberry sorbet is his all-time favourite.
   This must really be saying something, because there are no less than 14 sorbet recipes in his new cookbook, including sangria, chocolate-tangerine, Meyer Lemon, watermelon-sake and cherry.
   I can see why it's his favourite (it's my favourite too now, by the way) -- it's a sorbet for wine lovers, with the taste of red wine mingling with the fresh berries in every spoonful. There's a bit of pucker here too, like you would get with a red wine or berry.
   It's a simple yet elegant dessert, perfect for ending a small dinner party (or a weeknight dinner!)
   It's also the most "professional" sorbet I've made yet, with a perfect texture and lovely colour -- it looked exactly like it did in the cookbook photo!
   And here's the kicker -- it's extremely easy to make. However, it requires the use of an ice-cream maker.
   I successfully substituted Splenda for the sugar called for in this recipe.
   Sugar (or Splenda), water and a bottle of red wine (I used a merlot) are brought to a boil, then the raspberries are added. This is left to steep for an hour.
   The mixture is then poured through a sieve into a bowl, and the raspberries left behind. Using a spatula, berries are mashed through the sieve into the liquid, conveniently leaving the seeds behind. The mixture is refrigerated until cold (I left it in the fridge overnight.)
   It's then processed in an ice-cream maker.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Quick! Get this shrimp on the barbie!

Spicy Grilled Shrimp (click here for the recipe on the Bon Appetit website)  has become an extended family favourite, and we make it several times each summer.
   It's no-fail, and great for a weeknight or even a backyard party.
   Did I mention it's super easy, too?
   One important point: If you can't get fresh basil, don't bother making this. It's that key to the final product!
   This recipe is a simple matter: Mix olive oil, basil, crushed garlic cloves, white wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper in a bowl to make the marinade.
   Thread shrimp onto skewers, put in a baking dish, cover with marinade and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
   Grill the shrimp, serve, and watch 'em be gobbled up.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Leave the booze out of this lemonade? Not by the hair on my ginny-gin-gin

OK, that was bad, but this drink recipe is really good.
   Thyme Lemonade (click here for the recipe at the Everyday Food website) is a fabulous summer drink from from the June 2008 issue of Everyday Food.
   The recipe says the gin is optional, but I highly recommend adding it. It takes the drink to a whole new level of deliciousness.
   Anyone freaked out by the idea of herbing up a lemonade with thyme, usually found in meat dishes and soups, need not worry. With the lemon, it's a refresher.
   This is one of the recipes in I successfully substituted an equal amount of Splenda for sugar.
   Sugar (in my case, Splenda), fresh thyme and water are brought to a boil to make a simple syrup. This is stirred into lemon juice, water and gin.
   Refrigerate, then serve.

Scrumdillyicious Halibut Fish Sticks with Dill-Caper Tartar Sauce

Halibut Fish Sticks with Dill-Caper Tartar Sauce (click here for the recipe at the Bon Appetit website) from the June 2010 issue of Bon Appetit was a fabulous and quick weeknight dish.
   The sauce, comprised of mayonnaise, fresh dill, capers, chives, chopped pickles and pickle juice, is a salty delight.
   The halibut is prepared by cutting fillets into strips, coating them with egg then panko (these are Japanese breadcrumbs; many large supermarkets have this in their bakery or Asian cooking section), and cooking in a bit of olive oil.
   Enjoy with the sauce, although you can't really dip the sticks whole; you'll need to cut them and dip them.
   There's a few recipes in this issue of Bon Appetit that I'm looking at to try. You can click on the links to see the recipes.

- Roasted Apricots with Honey Vanilla Creme Fraiche
- Muffuletta Hot Dogs
Raspberry Smash (a luscious-looking vodka and champagne cocktail using fresh raspberries)
- Lime Tart with Blackberries and Blueberries
Leland Palmer (a cocktail using jasmine tea, gine, limoncello, lemon juice and grapefruit juice; name is inspired by a character on Twin Peaks)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Get the backyard party going with Rum Punch with Passion Fruit and Lime

Last summer I hosted a retirement party for my parents and cooked for 30 people.
   What was the alcoholic drink I chose to make out of the dozens I have tried?
   Rum Punch with Passion Fruit and Lime (click here for the recipe at the Bon Appetit website), a really easy pitcher drink which can easily be doubled, tripled or quadrupled.
   It was a hit at the party, as it always is.
   The recipe calls for frozen passion fruit juice concentrate. I've never been able to find this exact item. As long as you find one that says it has passion fruit juice in it (I use a guava/passion fruit combination), you'll be fine.
   The recipe also calls for making spears out of pineapple to garnish the drink; I've never bothered with this but it probably would be fun to include.
   It's so easy: throw some gold rum, the juice concentrate, water, lime juice and grated, peeled fresh ginger together in a pitcher, mix it up and serve.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The dessert recipe that got me an offer of marriage

Yes, I honestly received an offer of marriage over Chocolate Mint Cream Pie, an incredibly delicious crowd-pleaser dessert from the cookbook 375 Sensational Splenda Recipes by Marlene Koch.
   Alas, since I am already married, I had to turn the fellow down. It's possible he wasn't entirely serious, too.
   I bought this book when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about two years ago.
   It's full of great, reliable recipes that use Splenda as the sweetening ingredient.
   The first step in making the pie is preparing an easy crust. It calls for chocolate graham-cracker crumbs, which I previously was unable to find and so used Oreo cookie crumbs instead.
   Recently, however, I had a brainwave that Teddy Grahams, found in the cookie aisle at the supermarket, would likely come in the chocolate variety, and lo and behold, they do. I grind these up in a food processor.
   The pudding-like filling can be slightly tricky, but only in that you need to make sure it is thick and smooth as the recipe says. It takes some time, so just keep whisking away.
   Both the crust and filling call for Dutch-process cocoa powder. In Canada, Fry's Cocoa powder, found in abundance in the baking aisle of supermarkets, is Dutch-process.
   The topping is comprised of whipped topping, Splenda and mint extract.
   Make the pie and get your own marriage proposal!

375 Sensational Splenda Recipes at

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Cherry Chutney

Hooray, it's cherries season!
   We brought cherries home after a recent supermarket session, and so on Tues., June 1, I decided to try Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Cherry Chutney (click here for the recipe at the Bon Appetit website) from the June 2005 issue of Bon Appetit.
   Wow! This recipe came together quickly, yet had an elegance about it that would make it nice for a small dinner party.
   The only potential problem I can see with this dish is finding cherry preserves -- it's not often seen on supermarket shelves. Looking in a well-stocked speciality or gourmet foods store is the likely solution.
   For me, a Saskatchewan company and a local store came to the rescue.
   I found Prairie Cherry Spread, produced by Over the Hill Orchards of Lumsden, Sask., at Alternate Root Organics (they also have a Facebook page) in Moose Jaw, Sask.
   The cherry preserves are mixed with balsamic vinegar and allspice, and part of this is set aside for a glaze.
   The rest of the cherry preserves, along with pitted cherries and cayenne pepper, is added to sauted onion and the mixture boiled down until it is thick. This is the chutney of the recipe's title.
   The pork tenderloin, meanwhile, is grilled on the barbecue.
   Although the recipe doesn't specify this, my husband cut the tenderloin into slices. Then we served the chutney overtop.

A side note - This is my tried-and-true method for pitting cherries: Use an icing tip on the tip of your index finger, and push the cherry pits out.

Little round green things (in a delicious dish!)

On Monday, May 31, my husband and I made a delicious and quick weeknight dish, Turkey Scallopini with Capers and Lemon (click here for the recipe at the website)  from the February 2000 issue of the late, great Gourmet magazine.
   This dish calls for capers, little round green things (insert joke here) found in bottles usually found in the condiments section of supermarkets. They taste a little like pickles.
   Although I'd classify this dish as family-friendly, some may not like the capers. Fear not -- they can be brushed off the servings of those who don't like them, and dinner can resume.
   This easy-peasy recipe calls for dredging turkey cutlets (sometimes directly labelled turkey scallopini at the supermarket) in flour and cooking in oil.
   After the turkey is removed, garlic is cooked, and chicken broth added and the mixture boiled down. Lemon juice, capers and parsley are added to this simple sauce. The turkey is put back the pan and cooked for a moment. Voila.
   Be sure to pour the sauce from the pan over the turkey when you've served it. You won't want to leave a drop behind.