Saturday, May 21, 2011


No, it isn't my stripper name.

It isn't even an alternate persona at all.

It is a sandwich!

An oddly named one at that... people don't generally want to eat anything with "muff" in the name... not in public at least.

The Muffaletta sandwich originated in New Orleans. It is a round loaf of bread loaded with meats, cheese, and topped off with an olive salad mixture.

A Jar of this happened to find its way into my possession, and I thought it sounded like a a great lunch idea.

I got a small round loaf from Maltese, added a layer of lettuce (to keep the bread from getting soggy,) tomato, red onion, ham, salami with proscuitto, provolone and at last the olive salad!

This seems to be traditionally served on a loaf of bread a bit hollower than this, so I carved a little bread out to make a nice little niche for the olive salad.

I cut into it, and from the side it looked almost like layers of rock. It is very colorful, and even more importantly, it is very delicious.

Though, I must point out the obvious and mention that if you do not like olives, you will hate this sandwich. Unless of course you love olives, then you will likely love eating it.

Farmers Market

Heirloom tomatoes.




Local Beef.


This morning Felix and I got up bright and early to head out the the Thunder Bay Country Market.

We bought lots of delicious food.

Felix even got to sample a delicious pig shaped cookie.

And of course had to come home and make ourselves a nice little snack from the delicious things we bought!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Who the heck puts spicy pancetta in biscotti!?!

I'm pretty sure you know the answer to that.

I decided to make a batch of biscotti this evening. I actually made 2 different kinds. I chose the flavours based on what are often thought of as being manly, or girly foods.


White Chocolate chips, dried cranberries, lemon zest, cinnamon and pink Himalayan salt.


Spicy Pancetta, Smoked Salt, and Dark Chocolate (we have no whiskey, or else that would have gone in too!)


There are few things in life more spectacular than good barbeque. Tender and juicy, smoky flavours mingling with the sweet spiciness of a good sauce. Falling effortlessly off of the bone.

Thats right Ladies and Gentlemen. I am in love with BBQ. Head over heels.

The day began just as many others before it. We got up WAY too early for a Saturday, courtesy of the children, and I made us some breakfast. Eggs and Sausage.

At 9:30 breakfast was eaten and the dishes were done.

I turned to Nathan and said. "Ok, time to start cooking."

Cooking what." He replied


I don't know if he believed me, but I am certain he is no longer shocked my any of my culinary eccentricities.

I fired up the grill, and by 10am the brisket and a whole lot of ribs were on their way to awesometown.

200 degrees over indirect heat, with a plate of woodchips for some smoky flavor.

I admit I was apprehensive cooking this way with a gas BBQ, and not using charcoal, but it worked out well enough!

After 3 hours, I covered the ribs with foil, and started putting bbq sauce on the Brisket. Checking on them every hour or so.

By Dinner at 6, we had a delectable feast of brisket, ribs, baked potatoes, and cornbread.

Gotta Love weekends!


Friday night pizza, what could be better!

The only problem that is I am at work and cannot make dough... Hmm what to do? Call my hubby and ask him to make it.

So, Nathans pulls out my trusty recipe book. It is impossibly small and the pages are falling out, but it is a treasure trove. To me at least!

The recipe we use is as follows

3 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup of warm H2O
2 t yeast
2 t sugar (we used to use honey, but since we have small kids, we stopped)
Olive Oil

Put the yeast in the water, and add the sweetener. Wait 5 minutes.

add the yeast and the salt to 1/2 of the flour gradually adding more flour until it is the desired consistency. Elastic, but not gooey or too sticky. Knead for 5 minutes.

Put in a bowl, coat with olive oil and let it rest. When it had doubled, punch it down, let it rise again and then it is time to cook!

Now, to make truly spectacular pizza, you need a few essentials. A pizza stone and a pizza paddle.

Put the stone in the oven to heat up before you put the pizza in, and the paddle is to put in and take out the pie. Just sprinkle some corn meal on the paddle and the dough will be all slidey, and slide right on to the stone.

We used to skip this step, thinking that it didn't really matter, but it really is important to put the pizza on a very hot surface! My sis-in-law has one of these paddles, and after I tried it, I was hooked! In t bay you can get one at the Kitchen Nook!

Put the corn meal on the paddle, then the flattened dough, add sauce and voila!

Nice work on the dough, Nathan! I was very Impressed. Especially considering you live with a kitchen hog!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Making Cheese at Home!

Making cheese at home might seem unneccesary, and a little too ambitious, but not only is it easy, it can be quite economical! Here is how to make delicious Mozzarella!

Here is what you need!

1 gallon of whole/homo milk
1 1/2t citric acid
1/4 tablet of rennet

Dissolve the citric acid in 1 cup of cold water, set aside.

Disolve the rennet in 1/4 cup of cold water, set aside.

Pour the gallon of milk into a large pot.

*Those of you who can buy a milk in a gallon jug are lucky. Here we can only get 2 liter cartons, and bags, equalling almost a gallon. I lack the finesse to open the bags without spilling. Luckily 4 liters is a little over a gallon and I usually end up right on.

Heat your milk to 85 degrees F

Stir in the Citric acid solution

The curds and whey will begin to seperate a bit at this point.

Heat to 100, and then add the rennet- Stir for a few seconds and turn off the heat.

The separation between curds and whey should be very apparent at this time.

The whey will look like a light green transluscent fluid, and the curds a bit like cottage cheese or ricotta.

Scoop out the curds and place in a microwave safe bowl. Remove as much whey as you can.

Microwave for 30 seconds, and pour off the addtional whey. Continue repeating this step until the cheese is 135f degrees and no more whey is coming off of the cheese.

Add your salt, and start to stretch and fold the cheese over on itself. You can also add flavourings at this point. I added some sundried tomatoes, fresh basil and dill to half of the batch.

Shape the cheese into a log and let it cool.

Slice some off, and enjoy. Try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting, you may get a stomachache... and yes, I speak from personal experience.

To store, wrap up and keep in the fridge.

Monday, May 9, 2011


I was just down in Minnesota this weekend for my sisters baby shower (she looks amazing! She will obviously be thrilled that I am posting her pic here.)

The day before the shower, me and Loch took a trip to the science museum! In hindsight this was not a great idea. he was still tired from the drive, and quite crabby.

After the museum, we went to the Red Balloon Book store, where he chose a book for both himself and his little brother. We then went over to Cooks of Crocus Hill, where I procured some bars of Vosges Haut Chocolat, and Loch picked out some kids cooking supplies. This is probably my favorite cooking store in the cities. Obviously, part of that is because it is on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, but they have great cooking supplies from brands like Emile Henry, and Le Creuset. And hard to find chocolates, salt, vinegars, oils and more!

Afterwards, following the advice of my Brother, we went to Punch Neapolitan Pizza, on Grand Ave.

How had I never gone there before! it was magnificent!

Thy cook the pizza in a 900 degree woodstove for 90 seconds. The result is a perfectly chewy crust; hot cheese covering the landscape of san marzano tomatoes and delectable toppings, a fresh tasting sheen of olive oil tops it all off. Lochlan got the Margherita, and I ordered the Siciliana with prosciutto, artichokes, olives and basil. It was legendary.

Lucky for me, I had a crabby kid, so the experience wasn't quite what it could have been. And we had to skip the trip to Grand Ole Creamery.

Have you been there? You should go!

Happy Monday

"What is that? What are you doing.. I have no idea what you even have going on there..."

My husband said this to me as I was cooking my breakfast this morning.

"I'm going to take a picture of it for my Blog." He said, poking fun.

and he did.

Mondays can be so "blah," so sometimes it is nice to take a few minutes to whip up a lovely start to the day :)

Like a poached egg on an english muffin, ham, Thunder Oak Dill gouda, basil and some fresh ground pepper!

Guten Appetit!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Garlic party!


Me and the girls try to go out once a month for a girls night out. This month we decided that we would have a girls night in! That way we could save a few bucks, and try out each others cooking!

The party was at Stacy's house, so she chose the theme: Garlic!

For the first course, I made...

Walleye Corn Cakes! My last post was a test run for this. the recipe is similar, but not quite the same.

Here is the recipe!

I large Walleye/Pickerel Fillet, cooked and roughly chopped
1 cob of corn, cooked and removed from the cob
2 eggs
1/3 cup of milk
1/2 cup flour
1T fresh Dill
1/2 c. Shredded cheese
1 sweet potato cooked.
1 bulb of Garlic, roasted.

Mix it all together.

Heat some olive oil, and pour 1/4c servings into oil, into small fritters. Cook until browned, and flip and cook the other side. Drain on towels.

Stacy made delicious Garlic soup

Giorg Garlic Soup
4 oz butter
1 head garlic (9-10 coves)
3/4 C chopped prosciutto
1/2 C leeks*
1/2 C white onion*
*Leeks/onion chopped in food processor

ADD TO: 32 oz chicken stock

flour to thicken (1/2 cup mixed with wate)
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 large potatoes (diced small)
1 C white wine
salt and pepper to taste

Cook until potatoes are tender. Add 500 ml of heavy cream. Heat and serve.

Excuse the dark photos, the dining room was dark and candlelit!

Lori made gnocchi with garlic sauce.

The recipe can be found here

And a caesar salad.

Jackii made garlic Dessert.

You read that right.

And guess what?

They were delicious.

She took garlic cream cheese, and coated them with chocolate, and then rolled them in graham cracker crumbs. They only tasted the tiniest bit of garlic. They were wonderful!

She found the recipe here

I can't wait to see what we come up with next month!