Browsing: Entrees

Squashed Potatoes


Have I mentioned that I’m crazy about potatoes-jk?  I know that I talk about how much I love my carbs all the time.  Because I indulge in consuming my starchy friends so often, I am conscious about enjoying them as simply prepared as possible because we all know that it is not the poor potato’s fault but all the butter, sour cream and even cream cheese that we like to slab on them.  The following recipe is a low fat option and even better-the fat is olive oil; said to be a “good” fat. 

Boil smallish potatoes in plenty of salted water until you can pierce them almost all the way through with a fork.  Drain (you may want to retain the potato water for soup stock).  Liberally dollop olive oil onto a baking sheet and arrange potatoes without the edges touching. 

Take a potato masher and gently press down on each potato so that they are squashed but still in tact.


Drizzle with more olive oil and your favourite herb (we loved rosemary on spuds).  Sprinkle with course salt and freshly ground pepper.  Bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

and voila!

Kath’s quote:  “Pray for peace and grace and spiritual food,
For wisdom and guidance, for all these are good,
but don’t forget the potatoes.”-
John Tyler Pettee

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Tortellini Chicken Soup


This is my eldest daughter’s favourite soup and my youngest daughter’s least favourite one.  Its hard being a Mom sometimes.

Even though I and Sister #2 & 3 all make this, I don’t think that a recipe has ever been written down.  You can use left over chicken or turkey if you like.  I find that chicken thighs are a better choice than chicken breasts because there is still a trace of chicken fat on the thighs and the secret to good chicken soup is the chicken fat.  

4 boneless thighs (I know there are 8 in the photo-I was making a double batch), cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces

6 small or 4 large carrots, chopped

2 small yellow onions, chopped

2 large ribs celery or 6 celery hearts (I leave the leaves on), chopped

1 small pkg. chopped spinach

10 c chicken stock

1-2  t basil

1-2 t Montreal steak spice (you heard me right)

cheese tortellini, quantity according to taste (I say this because some people like their soup to be brothy and others more stewie), pre-cooked according to package directions

Place all veggies into a soup pot and saute until they sweat.  Add chicken, spices & chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender.  Add pre-cooked tortellini.  Ladle into large bowls and garnish with a sprinkle or shavings of Parmesan cheese. 


Kath’s quote: “Poultry is like meat, except when you cook it rare. Then it’s like bird-flavored Jello.”-P. J. O’Rourke

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Greek Spin on Classic Macaroni and Cheese


I have not posted a recipe to share in a very long time.  The truth is that I have not been home to prepare a meal in a very long time.  I have been to four fund-raising events involving food in the past four days.  I have another one tomorrow…..  Do you see how Manitobans love to celebrate life with food?  

You likely know that I am a lover of comfort food and especially carbs-being the bearer of affectionate nicknames such as “Potato-loving Polak” and “The Carb Queen”.  I find it interesting that the culinary world is recently embracing my obsessions with “souped up” poutine dishes and macaroni and cheese offerings. 

I still contend that my “Gourmet Mac and Cheese” listed under recipes is the best I’ve found, but for a delicious variation-you might want to try this:

4 c elbow macaroni (I used ziti)

3 T olive oil

1 onion, chopped (I used a purple onion for colour)

1 red pepper (I used yellow), cut into strips

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 small bag of spinach, chopped (I used frozen) 

salt to taste

3 T flour

3 c milk

pepper to taste

1/8 t nutmeg

2 c grated dill Havarti (I used mozzarella and garnished with 1 t oregano)

1 c crumbled feta

Kalamata olives, pitted and halved, quantity to taste

1/2 c bread crumbs

Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.  While pasta is cooking soften veggies in 1 T of the olive oil in a skillet.  Add fresh or defrosted spinach after 5 mins.  Heat until spinach has wilted and then set aside in a bowl.  Wipe skillet clean and return to stove over med. heat.  Swirl in 2 T olive oil.  When hot, whisk in the flour.  Continue to whisk while adding the s & p and nutmeg.  Continue until flour is a light golden colour.  Slowly add the milk while continuing to stir and bring to a low boil.  When it has slightly thickened add the grated Havarti and then feta.  The feta will get melty but stay in chunks.  Combine all prepared ingredients in a casserole dish and top with bread crumbs.  Bring back up to temperature in the oven and then add 5 mins. under the broiler until the crumbs are brown.

I ran out of time for the last stage and so I added the veggies to the sauce and then tossed with the pasta.  I crumbled a little more feta and sprinkled the 1 t of oregano on top (instead of the bread crumbs) to serve.  Deelish!

Kath’s quote: “What I love about cooking is that after a hard day, there is something comforting about the fact that if you melt butter and add flour and then hot stock, it will get thick! It’s a sure thing! It’s a sure thing in a world where nothing is sure; it has a mathematical certainty in a world where those of us who long for some kind of certainty are forced to settle for crossword puzzles.”-Nora Ephron

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Soup Bee


Sister #2 is a very special woman (and not just because she’s my sister).  No she’s not a brain surgeon but her occupation effects the health and well-being of many people, everyday.  She and my precious bro-in-law keep a beautiful home and they are famous for their love and treatment of their beloved pets.  There is often an extra dog being baby-sat, as there was when I arrived at their home last evening.

Sister #2 with our Mom and 1 of Mom’s 5 great grandchildren

My task was to pick up Daughter #1’s favourite soup and here’s what makes Sister#2 so special:  when she batch cooks for her family (because her job causes her to travel), she spreads the love to our extended family or friends and neighbours who could use the gift of time.

I thought that perhaps my daughter’s favourite soup was my brilliant “refridgerator” soup but alas, it was a fragrant concoction of chicken stock, herbs, a hint of curry?, crunchy vegetables and cellophane noodles.  Let me know if you want her recipe.

In the mean time, I can satisfy you with this: her Lentil Stew is absolutely incredible (and this comes from a non-bean lover):

“The important ratio are the lentils and water/stock.  All other ingredients can be improvised.

1 c dried lentils to 2.5 c water (and 1 chicken stock cube)

1 small can tomato paste

1 chopped onion

chopped celebry and shredded carrot to taste

cook for one hour or until lentils are tender

I add a protein, usually ground chicken, beef, sausage, or in the most recent batch-veggie ground round

For the batch I gave you:

I added a can of tomatoes, a box of brown rice and black bean mix, and a rub that I had made for grilled vegetables:

1 T cloves

1 T black peppercorns

1 T ground coriander

1 T cumin

1 t nutmeg

1/2 t cayene pepper

Other batches I have added curry, coconut milk, jarred Indian sauces, cilantro, beans, spinach, imagination.

I serve on rice or pasta (if the later, I add a can of diced tomatoes).  Real cheap to make, taste and freezes well!  Love you.”

If you do not have the time, talent, or inclination to batch cook for loved ones, do not fret.  I got a “door hanger” recently about the “Soup Bee”.  They are a non-profit social enterprise supported by the WBDC (also non-profit).  Their goals is to provide supportive employment opportunities in the downtown core, promote food security and local producers, all while leaving a small carbon foortprint.  They create soup each week for delivery to River Heights, the south end, St. Mary’s Rd, Wolseley and West Broadway.  Visit  for more information or call 218-SOUP (7687).  I think that you should order a batch for your self and another for someone who could use the lovin. 

Kath’s quote:  “Only the pure of heart can make good soup” Beethoven


We are family, I’ve got all my sistas with me!

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Mardi Gras Jumbalaya Recipe


Whether you celebrate Festival, Carnival or Mardi Gras, a big warm pot of jambalaya is an excellent way to feed a throng of people.  My husband whips up a batch when he has guys’ ski weekends out at the cottage. 

I knew that I was going to be busy at supper time all this week and so I made a couple of “big pots” to keep my family satiated.  Jambalaya was one of them.  I am not the aficionado of batch cooking in my family.  That honour lies with Sister #2 who must travel a lot with her job.  The last time that she was away for a week she not only cooked for her family but had portions allocated for my Daughter #1, our Mom and her father-in-law.  Now that’s an walking angel!

The first time we enjoyed the big pot of jambalaya was at our mandatory Sunday dinner with our gang.  Even though the recipe is served with rice I whipped up a batch of cornbread.  Cornbread is so easy that I often ask myself why I don’t make it more ofter to have with salads, soups and stews.

Without further delay….

1 onion, diced

1/2 green bell pepper

1/2 yellow bell pepper

1/2 red bell pepper (cut small strips then cut in half for all bell peppers)

10 small banana peppers (we actually skip these but it is according to your taste)

1 whole garlic clove (diced)

2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes

1 small can tomato sauce

6 small Polish sausages (cut into bite sized pieces) we used Capocollo sausage instead because it was what I had in the fridge)

1 lb. bonelss chicken, cubed (breast and or thighs will do)

1 lb. of ham, cubed (a good use of leftovers)

1 lb. of peeled shrimp (any size will do but they do shrink up a lot when they hit the pot)

2 cans red beans (we skip these-my kids are not bean lovers)

1 can niblet corn-we use frozen

1/2 c veggie oil

Worcestershire sauce to taste (we love this flavour and use enormous glugs)

 1 T parsley flakes

Start with oil heated and add onions, garlic, sausage and chicken. Saute with sauces and spices.  Add all peppers and simmer until the onions and peppers have softened.  Add tomatoes and 1 can of water.  Let it come to a boil, then add beans, corn & parsley.  Bring to a boil again and adjust seasonings-this is where we add more Worcestershire sauce.  When sausage rises to the top, add raw shrimp and ham and simmer for 20 minutes.  Serve over rice.

Kath’s quote: New Orleans food is “delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.” –Mark Twain

Let your love flow

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