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Showing posts from September, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake and Indian Summer

After an unusually cold summer, we are  currently experiencing an Indian Summer. This is what it looks like where I live. It is absolutely gorgeous weather!  I spent the afternoon walking around, taking lots of pictures.  They didn't quite turn out as well  as I had hoped, I am going to blame the camera, but it is more likely the photographer.

I love Autumn. It truly is my favourite time of year. I love summer as much as the next guy, but there is just something special about Autumn. The leaves changing colour, the crisp air, cozy sweaters, pumpkins, sitting around a fireplace, Halloween,  and apples, of course.

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake                    

2 medium apples, peeled and sliced thinly
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg  plus milk to make 1 cup
1/2 cup vegetable oil


1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp cold butter
2 Tbsp. Flour

Saute the apples in a pan with a little butter and cinnamon, until golden brown and …

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

A few days ago, we had some good friends over for dinner. I had originally planned on making some kind of stuffed chicken breast kind of thing, but I saw these beautiful short ribs at the market and decided to go in a different direction. Wow! I am glad I did. They turned out so  tender and flavourful. I cooked them the day before I served  them, because this kind of dish always gets better on the second day, and  it is a lot easier to skim the accumulated fat off the top after it has cooled down.

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

Short ribs, about 4 lbs, dry with a paper towel, season all sides well with salt and pepper
vegetable oil
2 onions
2 ribs celery
2 carrots
4 tomatoes, peeled and seeded or 1 small can of tomatoes
1 whole head of garlic, separated and peeled
 a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dry mustard
2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
Red wine, about 3/4 of the bottle
2 cups of beef stock
salt and pepper to taste

Pulse the carr…

Minestrone- Eating healthy never tasted so good.

This soup is so comforting and delicious, you won't even notice that you are eating healthy. Slow-cooked for hours, the vegetables almost seem to  melt away. There is nothing better than a home-made soup on a cold winter day. It's  like you are  giving your belly a little hug.


olive oil for sauteing vegetables
1 onion, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 small cabbage, finely chopped
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
7-8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
pinch of dried thyme and basil
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 tsp. hot sauce
3 Tbsp. uncooked pearl barley
1 15 oz. can chick peas, drained
fresh spinach, stems removed, and chopped
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp pepper
pesto or grated Parmesan, optional

( This makes a HUGE  pot of soup, recipe can easily be cut in half or freeze left-over soup)

In a very large pot, heat olive oil over moderate heat. Add onions, carrots , celery. Saute until tender. Add cabbage, bell peppe…

Las Vegas: Firefly* Tapas Kitchen and Lounge

I am a huge fan of tapas...I love the small portions of bite-sized finger foods, so you can sample many different things. I had done a bit of research before leaving for Vegas and  read about Firefly* Tapas Kitchen and Lounge. It had received a lot of excellent reviews, and it is apparently hugely popular with the locals, so I knew that we had to try this place .At the time I didn't realize that there are actually two locations, the one we went to is a couple of miles off the strip,  the other is  at the end of Fremont Street, where we had been a couple of times during our stay. Had we known that, we could have saved  ourselves  about $ 20 in cab fare.

I would have to say the over-all experience was mostly very good,  We shared a pitcher of white Sangria ( only $13, as we were there for happy hour) There was a large variety of tapas on the menu, everything really sounded delicious. We had the ham and cheese croquettes,  the pork empanada, the shrimp tempura, and the filet mignon…

Las Vegas: Le Burger Brasserie

Just got back from one of my favorite places.... VEGAS!

 On our  first night we decided to head over to Le Burger Brasserie for dinner, as I had heard many good things about the place. It was all true  If you are looking for a really great burger and cheap drinks, this is the place. You have your choice of beef, salmon, turkey, chicken, lamb or vegetarian burgers, as well as different buns to choose from.
 I had a Parisian burger with brie, caramelized onions and bacon on a Parmesan cheese bun. The Parmesan cheese bun was nice and fresh, the burger was perfectly cooked and juicy, I really love the flavour of the caramelized onions and the brie, although I realized later that something was  missing .......they forgot the BACON!  Cory's burger was a bleu  cheese, avocado and bacon burger on a caramelized onion bun. I would have to say that these were some seriously good burgers.

We also shared an onion ring tower, as the burgers aren't served with any sides.. As you all probabl…

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Almonds

The Brussels Sprout never gets any love. You might think you don't like them, but I'll bet this recipe will change your mind.

about 1 1/2 cups Brussels sprouts
2 slices of bacon, cut into 1/4 inch strips
pinch of sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
handful of whole almonds , toast almonds in a preheated 350f oven for 10 minutes
salt and pepper to taste

Peel off tough outer layers of sprouts.Cut off hard core at the bottom. Slice very thinly into coins. Some will stay intact and some will fall apart. In a large pan, saute bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, leaving the bacon drippings in the pan.Add garlic and cook for one minute. Add sliced sprouts to pan, add a pinch of sugar and  season with salt and pepper. Add 1-2 tsp. water to pan. Cover and cook over moderate heat until sprouts are tender, about 5 minutes. Add  bacon and roughly chopped almonds to  pan. If desired a tbsp of cider vinegar can be added to this.

Be a lover not a hater.

Tags: Brussels Spr…