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One-Pan Chicken with Herbs + Garlic

Oh man, I have totally neglected this blog for the last couple of weeks! I’ve been so busy at work, and we haven’t been making a ton of new recipes. There are a couple that I haven’t posted yet including this one.

Here’s another recipe from the long weekend. Chicken thighs were on sale so I used a family pack of those instead of a whole chicken, used baby potatoes, and finally some dried herbs instead of fresh. OMG it was so good! The rendered chicken fat and the oil combined with the wine and broth to make a glorious sauce in the bottom of the pan, plus the chicken skin stayed super crispy and delicious! The potatoes soaked up all the flavors and were perfectly tender. This recipe is so simple that it’s perfect for any night of the week. This one is going into regular rotation once the weather cools down again. Very comforting.


One-Pan Chicken in White Wine with Herbs and Garlic

Feeds 4 people

  • 1 large free-range chicken cut into 8 pieces
  • 700gm new potatoes, cleaned
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine or juice
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup finely chopped herbs (rosemary, parsley, thyme and sage)
  • 3T olive oil
  •  salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • sliced lemon (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200°C and place the chicken pieces and potatoes (and lemons if you are using) in a large deep sided roasting pan. Mix the wine or juice, stock, mustard, garlic and herbs and pour over the chicken. Drizzle over the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Roast uncovered for an hour, or until cooked through.



Mother’s Day Goodies

Not much is going on over here except I’ve been recovering from the head cold of doom! I missed two days of work and ended up in the E.R. because my body didn’t like my meds 😦 Needless to say, I haven’t been cooking much. But I was feeling halfway decent on the weekend. The little Miss had a play date on Saturday and Sunday I spent in my night gown, cooking up a storm. Breakfast was a mishmash of two recipes I’ve made previously – those amazing Cheddar Garlic Biscuits and the Boursin Cheese Sauce I made a while back. Sooo goood! For lunch my guy BBQ’d some pork tenderloin, and in the afternoon I made Cinnabon Cake. For dinner I made slow cooker Honey Garlic Chicken. It was pretty good but lacking a little depth. I think Steve and I are developing a taste for spice, so next time we might add a bit of warmth to the dish, plus a touch more garlic. I’ll post the recipe once it’s perfected. 🙂

cheddar garlic breakfast sandwiches

Hoisin Pork and Noodles

I had saved this recipe from Pinch of Yum months ago and finally got around to making it. My guy Steve is lactose intolerant and has a sensitivity to black pepper so we’ve been making a lot of Asian inspired dishes lately as they don’t contain dairy. I substituted a few shakes of powdered ginger for the fresh and used 1/4 tsp of sambal oelek chili sauce instead of hot peppers. I find that in most recipes it adds just enough of a zing to make things interesting. And I only marinaded the meat for about 20 minutes. Perhaps I didn’t pour of enough of the marinade as it started to burn in the pan so the second batch of meat I cooked along with the leftover marinade. I made a slurry with about a spoonful each of chicken broth and flour and added another 3/4 cup of broth to make a sauce. It was really yummy! I would definitely make this again.

hoisin pork

( Hoisin pork – I forgot to add peanuts on top before taking the pic )

Hoisin Pork with Rice Noodles

prep time:  15 mins cook time:  15 mins total time:  30 mins
serves: 6
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3.5 tablespoons sesame oil or canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 dash fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar + a squeeze of lime if you have it
  • 5 cloves finely minced garlic
  • 1 piece fresh grated ginger (1-2 tablespoons)
  • 1 minced hot pepper (i.e. jalapeno, chili pepper, etc)
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter (optional)
  • 1½ lbs. pork cut into thin strips (mine was called “pork stroganoff”)
  • 9 oz. rice noodles
  • grated carrots, chopped scallions, chopped peanuts, cilantro
  1. Whisk all the sauce ingredients together (soy sauce, water, oil, honey, sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, peppers, hoisin, and peanut butter). You could also puree the sauce in a food processor to get the garlic, peppers, and ginger smooth.
  2. Marinate the pork in the sauce overnight or for at least a few hours. I did mine overnight and then some, about 15 hours.
  3. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat and stir-fry the pork until browned on the outside. I found that there wasn’t a whole lot of extra sauce after marinating, but I discarded the little bit that was left.
  4. Cook your rice noodles according to package directions. Keep a little bit of liquid with the noodles to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Top with pork, carrots, scallions, peanuts, cilantro, and extra sauce of choice (more hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sweet chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, etc). This is definitely a build-your-own kind of thing – just throw whatever you like in there with the noodles.
If you are a sauce person, make extra sauce and set it aside just for tossing with the finished dish. The noodles tend to soak up all the sauce and can get dry without a little something extra.

Vietnamese Chicken Bowl

After all that holiday indulging we thought we’d end the weekend on a healthier note with an Asian inspired dish. Both Steve and I love Vietnamese food, especially the noodle bowls, but he has yet to find a restaurant that lives up to his favourite place in Montreal. (Apparently everything really is better in Montreal ;)) We had the idea Sunday night to try making the dish at home. This recipe is from Ricardo Magazine and if you’re already a fan of Asian cuisine you probably have most of the ingredients on hand. The only thing we had trouble finding was lemongrass. I substituted with the zest of the lemon and found the final chicken had a touch too much lemon flavour for my liking so the next time I will add half and see how that turns out. If you plan ahead for the marinade, this recipe is quite quick and easy. Steve actually did the cooking this time and he did an amazing job! I couldn’t stop inhaling this stuff! And it’s satisfying without leaving you feeling bloated and icky. I’m definitely trying this one again.


Vietnamese Style Grilled Chicken Bowl

Nuoc Cham Sauce
5 ml (1 tsp) sambal oelek
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
10 ml (2 tsp) sugar
Juice of 2 limes
60 m l (1/4 cup) fish sauce (nuoc mam)
30 ml (2 tbsp) water

2 stalks lemongrass or grated zest of 1 lemon
15 ml (1 tbsp) peanut or canola oil
5 ml (1 tsp) toasted sesame oil
125 ml (1/2 cup) chicken broth
8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs

200 g (7 oz) rice vermicelli, soaked in boiling water and drained
1/2 iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced
1/2 unpeeled English cucumber, cut into thin strips
125 ml (1/2 cup) toasted salted peanuts, chopped

Nuoc Cham Sauce
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients. Set aside.

Cut the stalks of lemongrass into small pieces and finely chop in a food processor.
Add the peanut oil, sesame oil, broth and half the nuoc cham sauce. Mix thoroughly.
Pour the marinade into a glass dish or sealable plastic bag. Add the chicken. Cover the dish with plastic wrap or seal the bag and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. When in a hurry, marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Preheat the grill, setting the burners to medium-high. Oil the grate.
Grill the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. On a work surface, slice the chicken and set aside.

Divide the noodles, lettuce and cucumber into bowls. Add the chicken and sprinkle with the peanuts. Drizzle with the remaining nuoc-cham sauce.

Deconstructed Porcupine Meatballs

After all that holiday cooking and baking I think it’s nice to have a bit of a a lazy recipe on hand. A couple of weeks ago I was rushed coming home from running errands and didn’t feel like cooking something elaborate. I had some ground beef in the fridge and wanted something quick. I’ve been curious about this recipe for Porcupine Balls that I found in the Company’s Coming “The Essential Guy’s Cookbook” in the “food your kids will actually eat” section! Apparently, it was a popular family meal in the 70’s and 80’s so I decided to give it a shot, but modify it for a busy weeknight. I cooked the rice and meat separately, added some yellow pepper to up the veggie content, then simmered everything in the tomato sauce to create a kind of chili. It wasn’t gourmet but it was very comforting and strangely addictive. I polished off a bowl and a half! I’ll keep this recipe in my back pocket for lazy winter days. 🙂 The original recipe for meatballs is also below.


Deconstructed Porcupine Meatballs


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 – 1 onion)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water, or more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce


Cook your rice according to the package directions.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add meat, onions, salt, celery salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Beat the meat up with a wooden spoon and cook until browned and no longer pink in the middle. (About 15-20 minutes) Drain any excess grease.

Pour the tomato sauce, 1 cup water, and Worcestershire sauce into the skillet with the meat mixture; add cooked rice and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes until the sauce deepens in colour. Stir in water if it becomes too dry. Plate and serve.

Original meatballs recipe:

  1. Mix the ground beef, rice, 1/2 cup water, onion, salt, celery salt, garlic powder, and black pepper in a bowl. Roll the mixture into 12 meatballs.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the meatballs. Cook meatballs, turning occasionally, until evenly browned. Drain and discard any excess grease. Pour the tomato sauce, 1 cup water, and Worcestershire sauce into the skillet; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the meatballs are no longer pink in the center and the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Stir in more water if the sauce becomes too dry.

Genius Recipes – Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

It’s been unusually busy around here again with Christmas shopping and all.  This weekend we got a Frozen themed gingerbread house / ice palace and we rearranged the living room to make a play around for my daughter behind the couch with her little kitchen, table and chairs, and butterfly couch. The tree was moved to the far side of the living room so everything looks neater and cozier now. I figured a fitting comfort food would be these meatballs. Food52 has featured them as a “genius recipe” and suggested Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter (also a “genius recipe”) so I went for it. Sooo happy I did! The sauce is unique and delicious! It’s like the perfect balance of tomato flavour with the sweetness of onion, and the creaminess of butter. I only added half the meatball recipe so if you’re using all of them I’d suggest doubling the sauce. For the meatballs I substituted all pork instead of the veal and it turned out very well. Searing the meatballs in oil creates a crunchy, tasty exterior, and a juicy, tender interior. We ate a few before putting them in the sauce and they’re so addictive! Steve ate so much at dinner he felt ill! lol This one’s going in the All-Star file. 🙂

Notes from Food52: 1. Make your own fresh breadcrumbs (i.e. grind up some stale bread) or, if your crumbs are purchased and quite fine, cut back by half, and don’t use quite as much water. (I only used about 1/2 cup using soft fresh bread for the crumbs) 2. Use local, pastured, not very lean meats if at all possible.


Rao’s Meatballs

Makes 28 meatballs

  • pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • large eggs
  • cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • Kosher or sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • cups fresh bread crumbs
  • cups lukewarm water
  • cup good quality olive oil, for cooking
  • Your favorite marinara sauce (we like Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter, also on Food52)
  1. Combine beef, veal, and pork in a large bowl. Add the eggs, cheese, parsley, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Using your hands, blend ingredients together. Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. Slowly add water, 1 cup at a time, until the mixture is quite moist. Shape into 2 1/2 to 3-inch balls.
  2. Heat oil in a large sauté pan. When oil is very hot but not smoking, fry meatballs in batches. When the bottom half of the meatball is very brown and slightly crisp, turn and cook top half. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.
  3. Lower cooked meatballs into simmering marinara sauce and cook for 15 minutes. Serve alone or with pasta.


Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

Serves 6, enough to sauce 1 to 1 1/2 pounds pasta

For the Sauce

  • pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes, prepared as described below, or 28-ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes cut up, with their juice
  • tablespoons butter
  • medium onion, peeled and cut in half
  • Salt to taste
  1. Put either the prepared fresh tomatoes or the canned in a saucepan, add the butter, onion, and salt, and cook uncovered at a very slow, but steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until it is thickened to your liking and the fat floats free from the tomato.
  2. Stir from time to time, mashing up any large pieces of tomato with the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Taste and correct for salt. Before tossing with pasta, you may remove the onion (as Hazan recommended) and save for another use, but many opt to leave it in. Serve with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese for the table.

For detailed instructions on preparing fresh tomatoes, visit


Ultimate Lasagna

Canadian Living Magazine has a new cookbook out called “Canadian Living: The Ultimate Cookbook” and I’m so tempted to buy it because it’s geared towards Canadians of course and includes some classics like Nanaimo bars and butter tarts. It has more Asian inspired recipes rather than Mexican which are more common in cookbooks from the States. I love Mexican and Tex-Mex but the ingredients are harder to find and I’m so intimidated by trying to buy fresh peppers. I’m just so clueless and I’m not a fan of spicy food. Anyway, instead of making an impulse buy I collected some of the recipes from the cookbook that are available online in order to try them beforehand. If they’re great then I can justify buying the whole book. I had a craving for lasagna so Steve was nice enough to make it while I took Miss M. on her very first play date. The play date and the lasagna both went very well! It takes a lot of work to make a lasagna from scratch but everything came together simply and it was very yummy! I would definitely make this again.

I think the next recipe we’ll try is Kung Pao Chicken (cooled down a bit). 🙂


Ultimate Lasagna

Prep time 45 minutes Total time 3 hours Portion size 12 servings

12 lasagna noodles
1 tub (475 g) extra-smooth ricotta cheese
1 cup (250 mL) grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh basil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper
4-1/2 cups (1.125 L) shredded mozzarella cheese
Tomato Meat Sauce:
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
2 onions, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (each 156 mL) tomato paste
675 g lean ground beef
2 cans (each 796 mL) diced tomatoes
1 cup (250 mL) red or white wine
2 bay leaves
2 tsp (10 mL) dried oregano
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
3/4 tsp (4 mL) pepper

Tomato Meat Sauce: In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat; cook onions, celery, carrot and garlic, stirring occasionally,until softened, about 5 minutes.Stir in tomato paste. Add beef; cook,breaking up with spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes,wine, bay leaves, oregano, salt and pepper; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves.
Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 3 days.

Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles for 2 minutes less than package directions for al dente. Drain; lay noodles, without touching, in single layer on tea towel. Stir together ricotta, Parmesan cheese, egg, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the meat sauce. In 13- x 9-inch (3 L) baking dish, spread one-third of the remaining meat sauce. Arrange 3 noodles over top; sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella cheese. Top with half of the remaining meat sauce, 3 noodles, ricotta mixture, 3 noodles, remaining meat sauce, then 3 noodles. Top with reserved meat sauce, then remaining mozzarella cheese.

Make-ahead: Cover with plasticwrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Unwrap before baking.
Cover with foil. Bake in 375F (190 C) oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until cheese is golden, about 15 minutes. Loosely cover with foil; let stand for 30 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information per serving: about cal 551, pro 35g, total fat 30g sat. fat 16g, carb 36g, dietary fibre 5g, sugar 10g, chol 92mg, sodium 1,065mg, potassium 868mg, %RDI: calcium 47, iron 36, vit A 36, vit C 43, folate 33

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