Browsing: Appetizers

Superbowl Fixings: Teriyaki Beef Skewers


One might think that when you are requested to “bring something along to share during the game”, you would pick up a bag of chips or whip up some nachos.  But oh no, the guys at our house spent the afternoon making kabobs and beef sliders (more on that dish tomorrow). 

I could hear D rustling around in the freezer downstairs but was still suprized when I saw six gorgeous New York steaks thawing in the sink.  At one time D was the Food Manager at the Garry St. Keg Steakhouse and Bar, so the recipe for teriyaki sauce which was made from scratch, once a week, was firmly ingrained in his brain.  So too was the memory of the aroma of garlic, ginger and soya sauce which greeted me at the door when I returned from brunch out with my Mom and sisters.

The sauce was put together early in the afternoon so that the steaks could marinate for a couple of hours.  This ensures not only great flavour but that desired tenderness.  In truth, when you are using a steak cut like a New York, the tenderness is pretty much guaranteed.

In D’s Keg days, the meat morsels would have been skewed with white onion and green pepper but D added red and orange peppers, purple onion and huge cubes of fresh pineapple for good measure.

D fired up the barbie and got out his “good” tongs to turn them over the flame before they left for the game.  I enjoyed mine with a quiet glass of Merlot as I watched the Superbowl solo and got caught up on some writing.  The sweetness of the pineapple and the brown sugar of the marinade was the perfect offset to the saltiness of the soya sauce and the tartness of the veggies.  The beef itself was perfectly cooked-medium rare inside with a crispness on the surface where the natural sugars had met the flame.

I don’t know if it was these skewers that boosted our son’s energy and enthusiasm, when he ran down the middle of his quiet street in celebration when his Giants won!

For less expensive beef cuts that are perfect for marinating, check out  I am dreaming of a food bloggers scholarship to Eat, Write, Retreat as I write this…

Kath’s quote: “Beef is the soul of cooking.”Marie-Antoine Carême (1784-1833)

Pizza Fondu Revisited-Perfect for the Grey Cup


I was searching for recipes to fix for Sunday’s Grey Cup Game and my own blog entry came up!  I wrote this when the Olympics were on and we were all eating suppers in front of the TV.  I recommend making some crunchy bread from scratch for the dipping.

Pizza Fondu

This is a very simple and delicious comfort food to enjoy while watching a movie.  Serve with a side salad and a nice bottle of red wine.  Totally to die for.

 1 lb. Lean ground beef and/or Italian sausage

1 small onion

10 oz cheddar cheese (shredded/cubed)

1 ½ tsp garlic powder

1 tsp. oregano

1 ½ tsp fennel seed or Italian seasoning

Fresh cracked pepper

20 oz can of Meat or Spaghetti sauce

10 oz. mozzarella cheese (shredded/grated)

1 French baguette cut into 1” bite-size pieces.


Sauté the beef/sausage and onion until cooked and drain.  Now transfer to an electric fondue pot.  Add all seasonings, cheddar and sauce and stir well.  Turn onto medium to heat everything up and melt the cheddar cheese.  Once it’s all nicely warm and blended, add the mozza cheese and continue stirring occasionally until all bubbly and melty.  Stick your bread cubes onto fondue fork, dip, twirl and enjoy.

Kath’s quote:  “Do not move back and forth on your chair. Doing so gives the impression of constantly breaking, or trying to break, wind.”-Desiderius Erasmus (1466? – 1536)

Thanks again Wal.

Pizza Bianco


I am fascinated by the variety of pizzas in the world.  Indeed, referring to pizza is like referring to a sandwich.  I suppose the variations are endless.  Here’s an excerpt from my favourite food read from over the summer:  “Keeping the Feast” by Paula Butturini.

She writes: “And every Easter Sunday, a totally different sort of pizza, one meant to break the long Lenten fast, appeared on our breakfast table.  It had a double crust like a calzone, but it was flatter and wider, shaped like a foot-long strudel.  My grandmother called it “pizza gain”, and Anglicized version of pizza chine (KEE-nah), which in itself is dialect for pizza ripena, filled pizza.  “Pizza gain” was stuffed with many of the foods that we could not eat during the forty-day Lenten fast: proscuitto crudo, dried sausage slices, fresh runny cheese, and hard grated cheese all mixed together with endless fresh eggs from cousin Josephine’s farm.  We would cut into them on Easter morning and on every subsequent morning until they were gone, a treat so rich that two slim slices would make a meal.  I loved the Russell Stover’s pecan-studded caramel egg that my grandmother arranged to have appear in my Easter basket every year, but I would have traded that egg away in a heartbeat for a whole “pizza gain” of my own.”

We are fond of a pizza variety that doesn’t really taste like pizza at all.  I call it Pizza Bianca because it is made with entirely white ingredients:  Alfredo sauce, chicken, roasted garlic, grated mozzarella and crumbled feta cheese.  I assemble these things on top of a homemade pizza crust, not really caring how thinly I’ve rolled out the dough. 


It makes a great “stand around in the kitchen while eating your supper” dish.  I made it this past weekend when we called upon the Daughter #3 (daughter-in-law)’s folks to help with a painting project at the new house.  In fact, they virtually handled the entire project by themsleves.  As my dear Dad used to say “many hands make light work”.

Kath’s quote: “My idea of feng shui is to have them arrange the pepperoni in a circle on my pizza.”-Unknown

Scalloped Oyster Casserole


D works in the food-service industry and every once in a while he comes home with a purchase from a sale when “dead stock” items are sold to staff members when they have not been successfully sold to customers.  Now because I am the daughter of an Agrologist who specialized in livestock, the term “dead stock” is taking some time to get my head around.  But in the mean time, cooking up some of these items are stretching my culinary skills-and that is a good thing.

Last week D came home with a case of frozen oysters on the half shell.  We love oysters and were excited to give them a try but these in their “raw” state did not live up to ones that we have had at Fat Tuesday parties or our visit to New Orleans.  How could they?  The poor little guys were miles away from their natural habitat and our main complaint was their saltiness.  Well they are salt water creatures, for heaven’s sake, it wasn’t their fault. 

So last night I thawed about three dozen and then removed them from their shells.  Even though my recipe suggested that I reserve the oyster juice, I intentionally discarded it and gave the oysters a quick shower in warm water as well.

Then I followed this recipe and ta da, success.

Scalloped Oyster Casserole

1 lb. freshly shucked oysters

1 c cream (I used 1% milk with good success)

1/2 c butter, melted

1/2 t worchestershire sauce (I doubled this as we LOVE worchestershire)

1/4 t salt (I eliminated)

dash of pepper

2 1/2 c crunched soda biscuits (I used Italian bread crumbs to further reduce the sodium)

2 T butter, cut into slivers for topping (I eliminated, thinking that 1/2 c was quite enough)

Generously butter a glass 7 x 11 baking dish (metal will not produce the crusty brown bottom).  Melt butter & add worcherstershire, salt and pepper.  Place a layer of crumbs in bottom of dish, then layer 1/2 the oysters, pour 1/2 of the melted butter mixture over the oysters (stir butter just before or seasonings will have settled).  Repeat the layers one more time.  Dot with cold butter.  Pour cream (or milk) over top and bake uncovered immediately at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until top is browned and crunchy.

Kath’s quote: “As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.”-Ernest Hemingway



My children are very innovative gift givers and they know that I treasure experiences more than things.  This year for Mother’s Day, my youngest gave me a Mother/Daughter Cooking class.  I eagerly anticipated our samosa making adventure which she booked through the City of Winnipeg Leisure Guide.

Unfortunately, I did not know in advance that I would require special permission to take photos during the class and so all I have are the end results.  The photos would have been fun because all 11 of us took turns rolling out, shaping, filling and browning 2 varieties of samosas along with the preparation of Tamarind Chutney.  Some of us were more proficient at this process than others-but they all turned out delicious in the end.

I can’t wait to make these for a special event.  Like perogies or Chinese dumplings there are many steps and a considerable time commitment, not something you would just whip up for a snack. 

Here are the recipes that we used:

Potato with Pea filling

4-5 large potatoes

4 T oil

1 t cumin seeds

2 t salt

1 t red chili powder

1 t roasted cumin powder

1 T fresh ginger (grated) or powder

2 handfuls of frozen green peas

1/2 c lukewarm water

Half boil potatoes, strain & let cool.  When cooled, dice into small pieces.  Heat the 4 T of oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Add the cumin seeds & fry until they are lightly browned.  Remove from heat; add ginger to fried cumin , mixing well.  Place the pan back on medium heat, add potatoes & other ingredients, mix well, then add water, cover & let cook for approximately 20 minutes,  When vegetables are soft add the roasted cumin powder, mix well, remove from heat & let cool (make sure all the water is evaporated). 

Meat with Mixed Vegetable filling

400 grams ground meat, we used chicken

2 c mixed vegetables

1/2 thinly sliced onion

1 small thinly sliced tomato

2 T cooking oil

1 T grated ginger

1/2 t garlic powder

1 1/2 t chili powder

1 1/2 t salt

1 t cumin powder

1/2 c water

1 t roasted cumin


Heat oil in frying pan on high heat.  Add onion and chili powder,  Reduce to medium heat when onions are limp, add tomato and stir fry.  Add ground meat; mix very well with onion and tomato.  When water has evaporated, let cool on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.  Make sure all water has evaporated sand meat is fully cooked.  Add roasted cumin powder and mix well.  Set aside mixture to cool.

The Dough

3 c flour

1/2 c cooking oil

1 t salt

1 cup warm water (added 1 T at a time if mixture is too dry)

Mix oil & salt in flour.  Slowly add water to the flour, knead well to make dough.  When this is ready, form into 12 balls.  Using a little flour on a cutting board or clean level counter top, roll it out to thin round circles.  Cut circles in half.  Take one half in your hand, close the edges together of the cut side with a little water.  You should now have a cone in your hand.  Put 1 T of the filling inside the cone.  Using a little water close the open edges tightly.  Continue the same process with the rest.  Heat the oil in a deep fryer on high heat.  Once the oil is heated reduce to medium heat and place 4-5 samosas in the oil.  Fry on medium heat until golden brown.  Drain oil.  Makes 24 pieces.


Tamarind Chutney

1/2 c tamarind concentrate

1 c sugar

1 t salt

1/4 c cooking oil

1 t chili powder

1 c water

1 t roasted cumin powder

Mix all the ingredients (except for the cumin powder) together in a saucepan on medium heat.  Bring to a boil stirring constantly.  Once a thick consistency has been reached the sauce is finished.  Remove from the heat & add 1 t roasted cumin powder.  Let cook & serve with samosas.  You can store the sauce in a jar in your fridge for a few months. 

Kath’s quote: “Playwrights are like men who have been dining for a month in an Indian restaurant. After eating curry night after night, they deny the existence of asparagus.“-Peter Ustinov

 Thank you Boo-love you forever.




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