Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tomato Basil sauce


  • 6 medium tomatoes. (try to get the reddest ones, or vine tomatoes if your budget will allow – they are fuller in flavour. If you can't get fresh tomatoes, 1 tin of chopped tomatoes works)
  • 2 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 2 medium onions
  • 6-7 medium-sized mushroom (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • half-dozen fresh basil leaves (try to get a pot of growing fresh basil, always handy to add a fresh flavor to your meals)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
    salt & pepper


  1. Boil the kettle (full)
  2. Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut a cross through the tomato skin at their bases.
  3. Place tomatoes in a deep bowl and pour the boiling water over the tomatoes until they are all submerged. Leave until the skins start to peel away.
  4. Drain the hot water from the tomatoes and peel the skin away. The skin should come off easily. If not, pop in the microwave for 30 seconds or add some more boiling water. Cut the tomatoes length ways and remove the white pith and the top where the stalk would have been. Chop the tomatoes into 1cm pieces.
  5. Chop onions roughly to 1/2 cm pieces. Crush garlic cloves
  6. Clean and chop mushroom into quarters or smaller.
  7. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the mushrooms if you are using them. Cook them until they turn brown. Add the chopped onions and stir  on a low heat. Cook until the onions turn translucent in color. Be
    careful not to let them go brown as this will make the sauce taste bitter.
  8. Once the onions have changed to translucent, add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, and tomato puree. Add the hot water. Give it a stir so everything is combined well.
  9. Add the sugar, twist of salt & pepper and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes on a low heat.
  10. The sauce should have reduced and thickened a little. If you want the sauce to be thicker, simmer for a bit longer. If the sauce is too thick, add some more hot water.
  11. Once ready, turn the heat off and tear a few basil leaves up and mix into the sauce. Taste again incase it needs more salt & pepper.

The sauce can then be transferred into a bowl to cool down, and once cool, it will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days, or you can freeze it in portions. Store the cooled down sauce into those ziplock type bags and put in the freezer as they take up less space. When you want to reheat the sauce, just before serving, add a few fresh basil leaves and you will be surprised at how fresh the sauce
will smell and taste!

Cheesy Garlic Potatoes

  • 9 cups of cubed potatoes, skin on or off to suit product
  • 10 pieces bacon, fried crisp and chopped roughly
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely diced garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 cup sour cream
  • green onions (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil
  1. Cook the bacon, roughly chop and set aside.
  2. Thinly slice green onion if using to garnish and set aside.
  3. Heat skillet on medium and add a thin layer of oil to cover the bottom of a skillet.
  4. Pour potatoes into the skillet, add chopped garlic and lightly salt and pepper.
  5. Cook potatoes covered, stirring occasionally every 3-4 minutes for 15 minutes.
  6. After fifteen minutes add half the roughly chopped bacon and 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Stir.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheddar cheese over the top of the potatoes, replace lid and cook another 5-10 minutes without stirring until the cheese has melted.
  8. Remove skillet from heat.
  9. When serving add a dollop of sour cream to each serving, sprinkle some chopped bacon and green onion

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Parmesan Pork Chops


4  boneless pork chops, 1/2" thick
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 c       parmesan cheese
1 c       italian bread crumbs
1 tsp     black pepper
1 tsp     garlic powder


Combine the last 4 ingredients in a pie pan or plate.
Rub the pork chops with olive oil and then dip (coat) each one in the cheese mixture.
Press the mixture over the pork chops to make sure they are well covered in it.
Line a pan with tin foil and spray with cooking spray.
Place the pork chops on the pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

I'd think some "Italian Seasoning" would work here too.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Oriental Ramen Broccoli Cole Slaw

What to do with those $0.25 cent ramen cups.


2 (3 ounce) packages beef-flavor ramen noodles
2 (8 1/2 ounce) packages broccoli coleslaw mix
1 cup toasted slivered almonds
1 cup sunflower seed
1/2 bunch green onion, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
1/3 cup white vinegar


1. Before opening noodles, crush into 1 inch pieces. Open packages and set aside flavor packets.
2. Place noodles in bottom of large serving bowl. Top noodles with broccoli slaw, then sprinkle with almonds and sunflower kernels, and green onions.
3. In a separate bowl combine sugar, oil, vinegar, and flavor packets from noodles. Pour over slaw, cover and chill up to 24 hours.
4. Toss before serving 

I'd lose the sunflower seeds and sub in say, pecans.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Hasselback Potatoes with Parmesan and Roasted Garlic

Similar to this recipe

Also the Crash Hot potatoes:

Also for variation this is another one to consider for seasoning ideas:

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 Servings


6 to 7 large red potatoes
5 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


Brush bottom and sides of a baking dish or cast iron skillet with olive oil.
Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice potatoes crosswise into desired thickness. Arrange potato slices vertically and loosely in prepared dish or skillet.
Sprinkle garlic and Italian seasoning on top of potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dot potatoes with butter. Cover skillet or dish with foil and bake in a 375 F oven for about 1 hour or until potatoes are tender. Remove foil, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until crisp.


I sliced my potatoes at about 1/4 inch thick as I like my potatoes "meaty". The thinner the slice, the crispier the potatoes get.