Friday, March 22, 2013

Crockpot Sausage and Peppers

Dear Jess,

Happy Friday! I feel like I just got rested from our last weekend just in time for this weekend!

As you may have noticed, many of my recipes are as a result of what meat is on sale. This recipe is no different. I have never done sausage in a slow-cooker before, so I thought I would try it out. I will be making this again! It has a very rich flavour, and it makes your house smell like an Italian restaurant! 

Crockpot Sausage and Peppers
adapted from
2 lbs sweet or hot Italian sausages
2 onions, chopped
2-3 red peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
14 oz. can crushed tomatoes, undrained
6oz tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 Tbsp dried Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Layer half of the onions and half of the peppers on the bottom of your crockpot. Add all of your sausage, and then the rest of the onions and peppers.

2. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour into crockpot. Put the lid on, and cook on low for 6 hours.

I served this with mashed potatoes. It would go well with any steamed veggie, and/or rice.

I love you and miss you!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pulled Pork on Homemade 30 Minute Rolls


Mmmmm that last post made me so hungry! It looks yummy!

This meal came about because Pork was way on sale, my husband loves pulled pork, and I needed a slow-cooker meal to be bubbling all day while I was out and about. I simply Googled 'best slow cooker pulled pork' and found this recipe at I made a couple changes to suit our taste, and when I came home... my house smelled like I had been slaving away all day! What a delicious, scent! That being said... I also got home to realize I didn't have any buns. Thanks to Google once more, I found this quick bun recipe at I got home at 4:45, and I was able to pull the pork, make the buns, grate some carrots and apples (for the sandwiches), set the table and clean up my mess all by 5:30! I will be making this meal again!

30 Minute Rolls
adapted from
1 cup plus 2 tbsp warm water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp traditional yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/5 cups white flour

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. In a large bowl, combine water, oil, yeast and sugar. Allow mixture to rest for 15 minutes. (The yeast will bubble a lot!)

3. With a dough hook, mix in salt and eggs* and whole wheat flour until combined. Add white flour 1/2 cup at a time.

4. Shape dough into 12 balls. Place them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and let rest for 10 minutes

5. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes until tops are golden brown.

*If you want to add any seeds (which I definitely will next time!) add at the same time as your salt and eggs.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
adapted from
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 (2lb) pork roast
1 extra large onion, thinly sliced 
1 cup barbeque sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup veggie broth
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
3-5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp chili powder
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme

1. Pour your extra virgin olive oil into the bottom of you slow cooker. Place the pork roast into the slow cooker.

2. Sprinkle sliced onion on top of roast.

3.  Combine remaining ingredients into a bowl and stir well. Pour sauce mixture on top of roast. Cover and cook on High for 5-6 hours, or on low for 7-9 hours.

4. Remove the roast from the slow cooker, and shred the meat using two forks. Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker, and stir the meat into the juices.

As I mentioned before, I grated up some carrots and apple to put on the sandwiches. I added salt, pepper and little cumin to this mixture. So satisfying!

I really hope we can arrange something for Saturday! Let me know your plans when you have them!


Cowbow Pasties AKA 'Man Pies'

Dear Sally,

March Break has started and I cannot tell you how relaxing it is just to have time to tidy, cook and clean! Ede is here for a visit while his owners are away. He is already a favorite with one of our neighbours and he is a great dog to run with. 

I pulled Jamie’s America out of the cupboard last night and decided on a recipe for Cornish Cowboy Pasties. I didn’t really have the ingredients for this so I used what I could find in the fridge and freezer. Jesse really liked them. And I felt they turned out well considering my lack of ingredients. This recipe could easily be modified for vegetarian by adding beans in place of the meat.

Cowboy Pasties AKA ‘Man Pies’
Adapted from Jamie’s America

For the Pastry:
1 cup unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups hot water
4 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg (beaten)

For the Filling:
1 red onion, peeled and diced
2 hot Italian sausages
1 - 8 oz piece of steak or stewing beef, cut into ½ inch chunks
6 sprigs fresh sage
½ tsp. dried rosemary
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 ¼ cups beef broth
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. flour
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
3 potatoes chopped into small chunks


Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring your butter and water to a boil in a large saucepan, then take the pan off the heat. Stir the flour and salt into the mixture bit by bit with a spatula, until you’ve got dough. Tip it onto a floured surface and use your hands to shape into a smooth ball. Put the ball of dough into a floured bowl, dust the top with flour, then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 3o minutes while you make the filling.

Meanwhile, get a large frying pan and fry your chopped onion in a lub of olive oil for 10 minutes or until softened. Add the diced meat and sausage and fry for 5 minutes until brown, then add the rest of the chopped vegetables and herbs. Fry for another 5 minutes, season well with salt and pepper, then pour in the beef stock and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in the flour and simmer on a medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until most of the stock has cooked away and you’re left with nice thick gravy.

Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour, then divide your pantry dough in half and roll each half out until it’s slightly thinner than ¼ inch. Use a cereal bowl (about 6 inched in diameter) to cut 4 circles out of each half, so you end up with 8 circles. Dust the circles with flour, and spoon your filling into the middle of each one. Brush the edges of the pastry with some of the beaten egg, then fold each circle in half over the filling and crimp the edges with your finger and thumb to seal them.

Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper, scatter a handful of cornmeal or polenta over the paper, and place your pasties on top. Brush the pasties all over with more of the beaten egg and sprinkle over a little more cornmeal. Bake in the hot oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden, serve straightaway with a fresh green salad.

Hopefully we will be able to cross paths on Saturday. I'm soooo excited for spring and GARDENING! Jesse and I have some ideas for our garden and I can't wait to see yours. 

Love ya!


Friday, March 8, 2013

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread


Happy March Break!

The sun is out today, and I'm loving it! I know it has been a while since I have posted a recipe... I can only say it's because I have been trying so many new things that I couldn't decide which one to write about first! Also, I was so busy trying the new things... that I couldn't sit down to write about it.

So, here is the first of many new recipes to come:

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread
adapted from
1 cup warm water (100-110 F)
1 Tbsp. organic brown sugar 2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped (or 2 tsp. dried)
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning (or pinch of each ground garlic, dried oregano, and dried basil)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat bread flour + extra for kneading
1 egg, whisked + 1 Tbsp. water, for egg wash
dried rosemary, for sprinkling

1. In a large bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit 10 minutes to proof.

2. Stir in the salt, rosemary, seasonings, olive oil, and whole wheat flour. Add the bread flour and stir until the dough forms a ball. Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to prevent sticking, until smooth.

3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl; cover; and let rise until doubled in size, about1 hour.

4. Punch down the dough and form it into a round loaf. Place it on a cornmeal dusted pizza peel or parchment paper; cover; and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, preheat oven (and pizza stone if you are using one... I just used a round pizza pan) to 400 F. Once the dough has risen, gently brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with dried rosemary.

Bake on preheated stone for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.

Makes 1 round loaf.

This bread is so yummy, and makes your house smell heavenly!

Funny story though... I had to attempt this recipe twice. The first time my yeast was no good, so after an hour, I discovered my dough didn't rise at all! Talk about a bummer! Luckily it was one of those 'mosey-around-the-house' days, so my heart wasn't broken. I had no problem getting some fresh yeast and trying again. I have to say: It was well worth it! I served it with homemade chicken fettuccine Alfredo. Perfect comfort meal.