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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Buffalo Shrimp Sandwiches with Spicy Avocado Ranch


Buffalo Shrimp and Sauce

  • 1 pound of peeled and deveined raw shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 7 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Spicy Avocado Ranch

  • 1 large avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce (I use Franks)
  • pinch of salt and pepper

For the Sandwiches

  • 1 baguette, toasted
  • lettuce, for layering
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • buffalo sauce, for drizzling
  • spicy avocado ranch, for spreading

In mixing bowl or glass measuring cup combine the melted butter, hot sauce and seasoned salt. Whisk to combine. Place the shrimp in a medium size bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the buffalo sauce and the olive oil. Make sure you coat the shrimp all over. Set aside. Reserve the remaining sauce.
To make the spicy avocado ranch. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy, scraping down the sides occasionally when needed. Taste and season additionally if desired. The avocado ranch can be stored in a seal-tight container for 1-2 days.
Preheat the grill or grill pan over high heat. Grill shrimp about 2 minutes per side or until shrimp turn pink. Remove from the grill and toss the grilled shrimp with a few tablespoons of the remaining sauce. Don't use all the buffalo sauce, you want some to drizzle on the sandwich.
Preheat the broiler with the rack in the upper third position. Halve the baguette and then halve again (you should now have 4 baguettes). Place each baguette directly on the oven rack and broil until toasted and brown around the edges, 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and slice each baguette in half length wise.
Spread the spicy avocado ranch evenly across the bottom of each baguette. Layer on the lettuce, a sprinkle of blue cheese and a drizzle of buffalo sauce. Place the shrimp in an even layer across the bottom of the baguette. If desired drizzle with more spicy avocado ranch, buffalo sauce and another good sprinkle of blue cheese. At thins point you can throw them in the oven under the broiler to melt the cheese for about 1 minute. This is not crucial, but it is good! Place the top half of the baguette on top. And now, Enjoy!

How to Freeze Mango

Freezing mango is very simple.

Cut it out and arrange it on a baking sheet or a 13×9 pan depending on which pan fits in your freezer.
Cover the top and bottom of the pan with plastic wrap.
Let fruit freeze for 24 hours.
Then transfer mango from the pan to a freezer bag and return to the freezer for long term freezing.

Marbled Gingerbread Bundt Cake

Yields - Two bundt cakes, one tin with a 3 cup capacity and the other with a 9 cup capacity (You can use a 14 cup capacity tin, just make sure you bake the cake for longer)

Ingredients for the dark cake batter

  • 280 grams (2 cups) Cake Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking flour
  • 2 teaspoons Ground ginger
  • 113 grams (1 stick) Unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 70 grams (1/2 cup) Light brown muscovado sugar
  • 70 grams (1/2 cup) Dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 3 pieces Stem ginger in syrup, minced
  • 4 Large egg yolks (You’ll need the whites in the light batter)
  • 100ml Molasses
  • 250ml Buttermilk

1. Pre-heat your oven to 170C,350F. Spray your bundt tins evenly with cake release spray then turn the tins upside down onto a paper towel so any residue can drip away. Set to one side.

2. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and the ground ginger, set to one side.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment mix together the butter, light muscovado sugar and the dark muscovado sugar until you have a smooth, creamy, fluffy mixture. Scrape down your bowl with a spatula.

4. Add the egg yolks, molasses and the minced stem ginger and mix together until smooth and slightly lighter in colour. Scrape down your bowl with a spatula.

5. Using the medium speed of your mixer, starting and ending with the flour, add 1/3 of the flour, mixing until the flour just starts to disappear then add 1/2 the buttermilk and keep doing the same until everything has been added. Do not over mix you want your batter to be light and luscious. Scrape down the bowl once more with your spatula to make sure you get every last bit of your batter mixed thoroughly together.

6. Transfer your batter to a medium size bowl and set to one side whilst you make the other batter.

Ingredients for the light batter

  • 350 grams (2 1/2 cups) Cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 113 grams (1 stick) Unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200 grams (1 cup) Vanilla scented caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pure almond extract
  • 250ml Buttermilk
  • 4 Large egg whites

1. In a medium bowl sift together the flour and baking powder, set to one side.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment mix together the butter and the vanilla scented caster sugar until you have a smooth, creamy, fluffy mixture. Scrape down your bowl with a spatula.

3. Add the pure vanilla extract and pure almond extract and mix for 30 seconds.

4. Using the medium speed of your mixer, starting and ending with the flour, add 1/3 of the flour, mixing until the flour just starts to disappear then add 1/2 the buttermilk and keep doing the same until everything has been added. Do not over mix you want your batter to be light and luscious. Scrape down the bowl once more with your spatula to make sure you get every last bit of your batter mixed thoroughly together.

5. Whisk the egg whites until you get stiff peaks then using your spatula gently fold through the batter until they remain no longer visible.

6. Now comes the extra fun part. Using two large dessert spoons, one for each batter, add one spoonful of each cake batter, alternating each one as you go. Once one layer of your cake tins have been filled do the same again but placing a different cake batter on top of the previous layer. Fill up your cake tins until all of your batters have been used up. Next get a cake tester and swirl around the batter in any directions that you wish to.

7. Smooth the tops over and bake your smaller bundt cake for 20-25 minutes and the larger one for 30-35 minutes. Leave the tins on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes then transfer your cakes to the wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from Maida Heatter’s Cakes, forward by Nancy Silverton

* Store each bundt cake wrapped in parchment paper in a cake tin with a tight-fitting lid for up to 3 days. Keep in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Ribs

Course: EntréeSkill Level: Easy
A delicious and EASY meal! Dump it in the slow cooker and let it do all the work for you!


  • 2 lbs. boneless beef short ribs
  • 1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
  • 3 Tbsp. pineapple juice
  • 3 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. Chinese 5 Spice powder

1] Spray slow cooker with cooking spray or insert a slow cooker liner.
2] Evenly distribute rib meat inside slow cooker.
3] In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, pineapple juice, minced garlic and Chinese 5 Spice powder and stir until evenly combined. Dump over rib meat.
4] Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Spring Vegetable Lo Mein


Serving Size: 4-6


  • 1 (10 ounce) package dried lo mein noodles
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 small head cabbage, thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 red orange pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/4 pound mushrooms (any variety is fine), stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces (maybe about a cup and a half) snowpeas, trimmed (I never trim mine, but you might want to)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, sliced into bite-size pieces (optional, I made this with the chicken)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews (or peanuts), for sprinkling
  • fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet or wok (you want it big guys), heat the sesame oil over high heat. When the pan is hot add the red pepper, orange pepper, mushrooms, snowpeas and carrots. After about 3 minute add the cabbage . Stir fry for 2-5 minutes longer or until the vegetables have just begun to soften, but have not lost their crunch. This took me about 5 minutes.
  3. While the vegetables cook combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, fish sauce, sambal oelek, ginger and garlic, Whisk to combine and set aside.
  4. When you feel the vegetables are ready add the sauce and stir fry for a 2-3 minutes to cook the garlic and ginger. Add the noodles (and chicken, if using) and toss well. Stir fry for one more minute and then remove from heat. Serve immediately and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and chopped cashews.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Barbecue Bacon Hot Dog


  • 4 all beef hot dogs
  • 8 strips cooked bacon
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (I used a mandolin)
  • 1 cup milk
  • olive oil for frying
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 Tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

Place the hot dogs on the grill and heat on medium heat. While that is going on, make the onion straws. I used a red onion since I love the flavor more then yellow.

In a separate bowl, add the milk. On a plate, add the flour and chili powder. Dip a few of the onions at a time into the milk then dredge it in the flour. Add olive oil to a skillet and fry on medium to high heat a few at a time as to not overcrowd the skillet. When they’re brown, set them on a napkin to absorb the excess grease and repeat until all your onions are cooked.

Your hot dogs should be done by now. I cooked them on my stovetop indoor grill so I can turn them occasionally while I was cooking my onion straws. Now it’s time to assemble!  I put my barbecuse sauce on the bun, added my bacon, then the dog, then the onions and topped with cheese.

Don’t these look amazing! We eat lots of hot dogs during the summer, so I’ve been trying to “shake it up” with my recipes. This barbecue bacon hot dog was wonderful!! All the flavors blended together spell summer to me and I’m sure it will for your family as well. And it came pretty close to the Chili’s burger I love so much. Enjoy!!

Cauliflower 2 Unusual Ways

For the cherry and cauliflower smoothie

  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 pot of Activia 0% cherry yogurt
  • 1 tsp honey 
  • 2 small to medium sized cauliflower florets
  • handful of frozen cherries

For the cauliflower crostini

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus extra
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 baguette
  • parsley to garnish
  • salt and pepper

All right, let's cook:
For the smoothie, begin by pouring the milk into your blender. Next, add the florets, banana, cherries and yogurt. Drizzle over the honey and blitz until smooth and frothy.

For the crostini, boil the cauliflower until tender, should take about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the cauliflower using a slotted spoon and keep the water.

Add the olive oil to the water along with the onion and garlic. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Don't let the garlic and onions burn as it will make the dish taste bitter. Preheat your oven to 180C. (Need a conversion? Click here!)

Put the cauliflower back in the pot and season with salt and pepper and cook for about five minutes, just to bring the flavors together and to reduce some of the water. At this point, you want about 2 inches of water in the pan, drain off any excess, reserving it just in case you need it.

Tumble the contents of the pan into a food processor and pulse to a chunky puree. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If the puree is too thick, drizzle in a bit of the cooking liquid until you reach your desired consistency. Sprinkle with parsley, cover and set aside.

Slice the baguette into medallions or triangles, arrange on a baking tray and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toast the baguette pieces to your preference. Spoon or pipe the puree onto the toast and serve.