Thursday, November 12, 2015

Black Bean Soup

On a cold fall or winter's day there's nothing quite like a nice hot bowl of soup to warm and fill you up.
I remember as a child I'd be outside ice skating at our local rink, and knew that when I returned home for lunch or dinner my grandmother would always have a pot of soup waiting on the stove. Soup to me is pure comfort and satisfaction.
I am not a vegetarian but at least once a week I like to have a meatless meal. Black Bean Soup is one of my favorites to serve. It is not only delicious but very healthy as well. Please note that I've used chicken broth in this soup. To make it an authentic vegetarian soup simply change the chicken broth to vegetable broth.
This cream soup can be served alone for lunch, dinner or as side dish. Quite often I will serve it with homemade quesadillas. You can use various topping such as: chopped green onions, a dollop of sour cream, grated cheese, or tortilla chips.
The following recipe will serve 5-6 people, and can be on your table from start to finish in approximately one hour.

Cook Time

Prep Time:
Total Time:


  • 1 TBS. of canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups of chopped onion
  • 2 ribs of celery chopped
  • 1 large carrot diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 Tsp. of oregano
  • 1 Tsp. of cumin
  • Pinch of fine sea salt or table salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 box of chicken broth or 900 ml
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 4 -5 cups of black beans that have been soaked overnight
  • Chopped green onions for garnish *optional


  1. Prepare the onions, celery, carrot and garlic cloves.
  2. In a large soup pot or dutch oven heat the the canola oil.
  3. To the pot add the prepared vegetables along with all of the spices.
  4. Cook and stir until the vegetables are soft.
  5. To the pot add and stir in the chicken broth and water.
  6. Next add the black beans and bring everything to a boil.
  7. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and let the soup cook for 30-45 minutes or until the beans are tender.
  8. In batches you are now going to puree the soup. I used my blender for this.
  9. Add the soup back into the pot, heat, and then serve when ready.
  10. Top with green onions, sour cream, grated cheese, or tortilla chips.
  11. ENJOY!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Shrimp Bisque

Shrimp Bisque for That Special Dinner

If you're looking for a special entrée to go with a seafood meal and don't mind a little extra effort in the kitchen, please follow along and I'll show you how you can make a delicious shrimp bisque in your kitchen.
I must say that even though this bisque or soup does take a little bit of extra time to prepare than your average soup, it is well worth it in the end. It is not something I'd make all the time but for special anniversary dinners, Valentine's Day dinners, when you want to impress someone special, or are perhaps having the boss and his wife over for dinner this bisque will knock their socks off. The perfect entrée for an intimate dinner party for four or more people.

Making This Bisque

When I make this recipe I do it in several stages starting out with peeling the raw shrimp. I then chop all the veggies and prepare the bisque. Once everything has been pureed and chilled I heat the bisque adding the whipping cream and lemon juice before serving.
Remove the shell and tails off each defrosted shrimp setting aside the shells. Cover and refrigerate the shrimp while preparing the bisque.

  • Cook time: 1 hour 30 min.
  • Ready in: 1 hour 30 min.
  • Yields: 6-10


  • 1 pound of frozen shrimp thawed
  • 4 Tbs. of butter divided
  • 2 ribs of celery chopped fine
  • 1 large carrot chopped fine
  • 1 small onion chopped fine
  • 2 Tsp. of dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup of clam juice
  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 Tbs. of tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp. pf cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup of table or whipping cream
  • 2 Tbs. of lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs. of fresh chopped chives
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Finely chop the celery, carrot and onion.
  2. In a Dutch oven or stock pot heat and melt 3 of the 4 tablespoons of butter.
  3. Add the chopped veggies along with the thyme and cook until the veggies are soft.
  4. Next add the shrimp shells and tails cooking for a few minutes until the shells are pink.
  5. To the pot add the clam juice, water, and stir bringing everything to a boil.
  6. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let cook for 25-30 minutes covered.
  7. Over a large bowl using a strainer, strain the broth into the bowl.
  8. Add the broth back into the pot and whisk in the cayenne pepper and tomato paste.
  9. In a small frying pan melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and quickly cook the shrimp until they are pink.
  10. Add half of the liquid broth along with 1/2 of the cooked shrimp to a blender. Puree and place into a clean bowl.
  11. Do the same with the remaining broth and shrimp.
  12. At this point you can cool off the bisque and refrigerate until you are just about ready to serve.
  13. The final and next step doesn't take very long. In a pot heat the bisque, stir in the lemon juice and whipping cream until heated through.
  14. Serve and top with the chopped chives.
  15. Serve with salt and pepper to taste. ENJOY!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Potato Beef Soup or Stew

Potato Beef Soup or Stew
This is a very easy to follow recipe that can be made and on your table in less than an hour depending on whether you serve it as a soup or as a stew over mashed potatoes.
For a stew simply whisk up some corn starch with a bit of water, bring the pot contents to a boil, and stir in the corn starch mixture to thicken the broth. You can also use flour to do this, but I use cornstarch as a personal preference.
This recipe has been in my family for as long as I can remember. I believe it was brought over to Canada by my grandmother who was from the other side of the pond in Paisley Scotland. When I smell this cooking I fondly remember many good times of sitting and waiting for this at my grandmother's dinner table.

  • Prep time: 20 min.
  • Cook time: 40 min.
  • Ready in: 1 hour
  • Yields: 5-6 people


  • 2 pounds of lean ground beef fried and drained
  • Olive, Canola, or vegetable oil
  • 1 large cooking onion chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery chopped
  • 2 -3 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 3 cups of washed potatoes cubed
  • 2 -3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 6 cups of water
  • 6 tsp. of beef instant stock mix
  • 1 Tbs. of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp. of thyme
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 5 good shakes of marjoram
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas and or corn


  1. Fry the ground beef until it is cooked, drain, and set aside.
  2. Prepare the carrots, onion, celery, potatoes and garlic.
  3. In a 6 quart pot or Dutch oven coat the inside of the pot with oil.
  4. On medium to high heat cook the onion along with the celery.
  5. While this is cooking, boil the water to make the beef stock.
  6. Mix the boiling water with the beef stock and add it to the pot once the vegetables have cooked for five minutes.
  7. Add the Worcestershire sauce, marjoram, ground pepper, and thyme.
  8. Next add the carrots, chopped garlic, potatoes, and ground beef.
  9. Bring everything to a boil, cover and simmer for at least half an hour.
  10. About 15 minutes before you're ready to serve add the pea and or corn, and continue to cook until the frozen vegetables are cooked.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Chipotle Chicken Wraps

These chicken wraps are the perfect take along food to a picnic as they're delicious hot or cold.
Easy to make and easy to eat. I bet you can't eat just one.
When hubby and I get into the kitchen to cook most times what comes out is pretty good. I made the wraps while hubby made his Mile High Nachos.
I added guacamole to the wraps but you could easily make them without if you prefer.

    Prep Time: 15 min. Cooking time: 15 min. Ready in 30 min.  Serves 4-6 people


  • 3 pounds of cooked chopped chicken breast
  • 1/4 bottle of chipotle sauce
  • 9 -10 wraps (I used flour tortillas)
  • 10 romaine lettuce leaves
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • shredded old cheddar cheese (optional)
  • guacamole
  • sour cream (optional)


  1. Cut up the chicken breasts either before cooking or after cooking.
  2. In a bowl toss the cooked chicken with 1/4 bottle of Chipotle sauce.
  3. On each wrap place a lettuce leaf, chicken, chopped tomato, shredded cheese, guacamole and sour cream.
  4. Wrap up and set on a plate to be served.
  5. ENJOY!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Applesauce with Raisins Recipe

Applesauce with Raisins

Homemade applesauce is one of my family's favorite condiments served with a roast pork dinner. I personally do not add sugar when making this but you can if you wish to. I find it sweet enough with the natural sugar from the apples and raisins. 

  • 7-8 peeled, cored, and sliced apples of your choice
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • cinnamon 
  1. In a saucepan add the apples, water, and raisins bringing to a boil.  
  2. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon stirring as the apples cook.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium and continue to cook until the apples are soft enough to mash with a spoon or potato masher.
  4. Remove from heat, mash, and serve either warm or cold.
  5. ENJOY!