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Maple Cider Marinated Chicken Kabobs with Apple & Sausage Rice Pilaf

| posted Friday, Oct 24th, 2014


4 fresh boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
1 small fresh zucchini, sliced I half, then into ½ inch half circles
3/4 cups fresh cherry tomatoes
1 cup whole fresh button mushrooms
1 whole fresh Granny smith apple, peeled, quartered and sliced ½ inch thick lengthwise

1/2 cup Maple syrup
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp fresh lime juice
Zest from 1 fresh lime

Rice Pilaf:
6 fresh breakfast sausage links, chopped into ¼ inch circles
1 cup finely chopped dried/dehydrated apple
1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
1 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
1-2 cups dry instant brown rice (to make 4 servings)
Chicken stock or vegetable stock (amount according to package directions on rice )
1/2 cup pine nuts

1.Make the marinade: In a small bowl, combine all marinade ingredients, stir well and set aside
2.Make the kabobs: Put chicken and veggies onto skewer as follows: (though it doesn’t have to exact- you can vary): zucchini, mushroom,1- 2 pieces of chicken, tomato, apple, 1-2 pieces of chicken , then repeat until skewer is full leaving about a ½ inch on each end. Do this for all 4 skewers.
3.Put kabobs into extra-large ziplock bag and pour marinade over meat. Lay flat in fridge. Marinate in the fridge for 6-8 hours in fridge turning periodically.
4.Preheat outdoor grill to 400 degrees F (or indoor grill to med-high) and spray with non-stick spray or olive oil. Covered, cook on grill for 5- 10 minutes on each side until no longer pink.
5.Make the rice pilaf: Cook rice according to package directions, but use chicken stock or vegetable stock in place of water.
6.Cook sausage in a frying pan on stove top over medium heat until no longer pink and set aside. Cool and chop into 1/4 inch circles.
7.Heat a frying pan on medium high heat. Add 1 tsp of olive oil and the pine nuts. Toast nuts for a minute or so by stirring, then add sage and spinach. Continue to stir until spinach is soft and pine nuts are fragrant. Remove the mixture and stir into rice.
8. Stir in chopped dried apples and sausage into the rice mixture.
9.Lay a bed of the rice pilaf on a plate and top a cooked kabob and garnish with fresh sage and a wedge of lime, if desired. Enjoy!
Serves: 4

Desiree’s Hearty Minestrone Soup

| posted Friday, Oct 24th, 2014

This soup is one of the only soups I would actually eat right away after making. Most soups I like to slowly simmer for the day or let sit overnight to let the flavor deepen. This soup however is ready as soon as the veggies are sauteed and the pasta is cooked.


1 cup of diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
1 cup of diced onion
Pinch of dried Thyme
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

3 of you favorite smoky farmers sausages sliced
2 cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup of cooked lentils
1 can of cannellini beans
1 L of beef stock
2 bay leaves

– Always start soups with the trifecta of any and all good soups. Celery, onion and carrot, and make sure the carrot tastes like a carrot, don’t use those watery stumpy things. Season with salt and pepper, a pinch of dried thyme and saute over a medium pan with a good lug of olive oil.

– In a separate saucepan for the lentils, you just rinse them and bring them to a boil from cold water then simmer for 15 minutes, drain and toss them into the soup, easy. That 15 minutes is perfect for the soup to start getting yummy.

– Now back to the soup

– Use whatever sausage you like or in my case I used the Bavarian Smokies that have been drying out in my fridge. I cut up three.

-When the veggies are translucent add the sausage and continue to cook down for 10 minutes or so, caramelizing well.

-Add 2 540 mL cans of cooked diced tomatoes, I suggest using one can of regular and one can of some new flavors of tomatoes. I found fire roasted tomatoes at Co-Op they are delicious and have nice charred pieces that make the sauce look rustic mmmm mmm.

– Pop in the bay leaves

-Add 1 540 ml can of drained and rinses cannellini beans

-Add 2L of beef stock and 2 bay leaves

-1 cup of small pasta shells or macaroni, boil gently until cooked, about 5-7 minutes, remove the bay leaves and serve!

Easy pancakes

Chatelaine | posted Monday, Oct 20th, 2014

Easy pancakes



  • Whisk milk with melted butter and egg in a medium bowl. Stir in all-purpose baking mix until smooth. Cook in batches, flipping halfway through, until golden, 2 to 3 min.

Dirty Mac ‘N’ Cheese

BT Calgary | posted Thursday, Oct 16th, 2014


·         Kosher salt

·         1 (16-ounce) package macaroni (cellentani or other curly noodle)

·         1/4 pound bacon, diced

·         1 medium onion, diced

·         5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more to butter baking dish

·         6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

·         1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

·         2 1/2 cups whole milk

·         2 cups heavy cream

·         1 sprig fresh thyme

·         1 bay leaf

·         1/2 teaspoon salt

·         1 1/2 cups grated fontina

·         1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

·         3/4 cup grated Gruyere

·         3/4 cup grated white Cheddar (Australian)

·         3/4 cup grated Parmesan

·         3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

·         1/4 cup bread crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, saute the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Saute the onion in the bacon drippings until soft. Add the 5 tablespoons butter to the onion mixture and melt the butter stirring with a wooden spoon.
  3. Using a whisk, add the flour, and stir constantly until well mixed with the fat making a roux. Whisk in the mustard. Gradually add the milk and cream whisking constantly.
  4. Add the thyme, bay leaf, and salt. Let come to a simmer and stir frequently for 15 minutes.
  5. Strain the hot milk mixture into a metal bowl and discard the solids. Working quickly, mix in 1 cup fontina, blue cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyere, 1/2 cup white Cheddar, 1/2 cup Parmesan, the reserved bacon, and parsley. Continue to stir until all cheese is melted.
  6. Add the cooked noodles to the cheese mixture to coat. Add the noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish. Mix the remaining cheese and bread crumbs together and sprinkle on top of the noodles. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown.

Braised Short Rib

BT Calgary | posted Thursday, Oct 16th, 2014


· 4 English cut beef short ribs, trimmed (roughly 8 ounces each)

· Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

· 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

· 1 bottle full bodied red wine, such as Cabernet

· 4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock

· 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Pat ribs dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper on all sides.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ribs and brown on all sides. Transfer the ribs to a plate, then add the garlic and stir until softened but not brown, about 1 minute. Carefully pour in the wine, bring to a boil and cook until reduced to about 1 cup. Add the ribs and any juices they have released back to the pot along with the stock.
  4. Reduce the heat and bring to a simmer, then cover the pot and transfer it to the oven, to braise, until the meat easily falls off the bone, about 3 hours.
  5. Transfer the ribs to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Strain the braising liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a saucepan set over medium-high heat.
  6. Simmer the liquid, skimming fat as necessary, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.
  8. Taste for seasoning and adjust, if necessary. Transfer the ribs and sauce to a serving dish and serve

Roast Vegetable Salad | Charred Lemon Vinaigrette

BT Calgary | posted Tuesday, Oct 14th, 2014


  • Baby tri color carrots
  • Leeks
  • Bell peppers
  • Shallots
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Baby patty pan squash
  • Zucchini
  • Charred lemon vinaigrette
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 Cup canola oil
  • Sugar to taste


Vinaigrette: Cut lemons in half and place in pan on medium to low heat. Lemons will start to steam and then caramelize. Remove from pan once golden brown and let cool. Using a hand squeeze juicer, squeeze juice into a bowl. Using a whisk, mix in sugar and slowly add canola oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Consider adding Korean chili flake if you prefer spice.

  1. Blanch all vegetables in salted boiling water until el dente (3-4 minutes for green vegetables, 5-6 for root vegetables). Remove from boiling water and immerse in an ice bath until cold. Remove from ice bath and pat dry.
  2. Heat oil (good quality canola oil so the flavor of the oil does not interfere with the flavor of the vegetable) in a pan. Vegetables have different sugar contents so be sure to keep them separate and sauté them separately as well. For green vegetables, sauté until light caramelizing occurs (light brown color). For all other vegetables, sauté until golden brown.
  3. Once sautéed, let cool at room temperature. Toss with parsley, baby basil, micro celery, salt and pepper.
  4. Spread lemon vinaigrette across the bottom of the plate using as much or as little as you like. Arrange vegetables over top of the vinaigrette and garnish with micro herbs (parsley, basil)

Courtesy Black Pig

Sardine Squirrels Dog Treats

BT Calgary | posted Thursday, Oct 9th, 2014

Making a delicious treat for your family includes your pets too! This simple dough made with pureed sardines can be cut into any shape you like – but if you can find a squirrel cookie cutter, all the better. Chickpea flour can be found at most health food stores; if you like, substitute more whole wheat, oat or barley flour.

Makes about 1½ dozen treats. Store extras in the fridge, or freeze.


  • 1 can sardines, undrained
  • ½ cup (125 mL) chickpea flour
  • ½ cup (125 mL) whole wheat, oat or barley flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 large egg


  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the sardines, flours and egg until the dough comes together and forms a ball. (If it’s too wet and sticky, add more flour until it does.)
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll or pat the dough out about ¼-inch thick and cut into any shape you like.
  4. Place on a parchment-lined sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, until pale golden and firm.
  5. If you like, turn the oven off and leave them inside to harden as they cool.



Courtesy Julie Van Rosendaal, dinnerwithjulie.com


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Peanut Butter Doggie Biscotti

BT Calgary | posted Thursday, Oct 9th, 2014

Even your pets need a little change up in their menus every once in awhile! This treat: In addition to protein and fibre, peanuts and peanut butter also contain biotin, which is important for the metabolism of nutrients and maintenance of skin, fur, and nails. And it’s tasty, too.

Makes about 2 dozen biscotti. Store in a covered container.


  • 3 cups (750 mL) whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup (125 mL) wheat germ or oat bran
  • 1 tsp. (5 mL) baking powder
  • 1 cup (250 mL) water
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) skim milk powder (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) honey
  • ¾ cup (185 mL) peanut butter
  • ½ cup (125 mL) chopped peanuts (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, wheat germ and baking powder. In a medium bowl, stir together the water, egg, powdered milk (if using), oil and honey. Add to the flour mixture along with the peanut butter and peanuts (if using) and stir until the dough comes together.
  3. Shape the dough into a log that’s about a foot long, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten until it’s 4-6 inches wide. If you like, brush the top with a little beaten egg to give it a shiny finish.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes, until firm. Reduce the oven temperature to 250˚F. Cool the log and cut it on a slight diagonal into ½-inch thick slices using a sharp, serrated knife. Place the biscotti upright on the baking sheet, keeping them spaced about a half inch apart, and put them back into the oven for another hour.

Courtesy Julie Van Rosedaal, dinnerwithjulie.com

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