Tag Archives: cooking

What’s for dinner Wednesday

The big question as the cook of the family is “what is for dinner?”  Tonight I had to have an early dinner because we are going to an art show (Hi Faith!) so it had to be quick-ish. But delish, always.

Shaw’s Get Inspired Recipe Cards to the rescue! Tonight will be Skillet Baked Spaghetti . You can find the recipe here: CLICK FOR RECIPE

First, I gathered my ingredients.


I cooked the ground beef and sausage out of it’s casing until browned.

ground beef and sausage cooking

I drained the meat, added garlic (lots of garlic)

chopped garlic

I also added some red pepper flakes and oregano. When the garlic was smelling wonderful  I added 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes. (I doubled the recipe. We have a lot of hungry people eating here) And 3 1/2 cups of water.
Then in goes the spaghetti, broken up into smaller pieces. It looks a bit like a porcupine with the noodles all spiky.

Spaghetti goes in to cook!

About 12 minutes later, it looked delicious!
I then added about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of cream, a bit of shredded Italian cheese mix and then put the rest of the cheese on the top.  Into the oven it went.

Honestly, if I had to do it again, and I may have to it was that good, I won’t bother with the cheese on the top. It was not needed and won’t be missed.

Dinner is served!

It was absolutely delicious, easy and filling. A nice hot dinner to greet the fam. It is not trying to be health food, something we won’t dine on every evening but a taste bud delight to have tonight.

Bon Appétit

What’s for dinner at your house?


Filed under Sandy's Cooking

Autumn’s golden light is back

This time of year is just energizing for me. Our weather is stunningly wonderful today, I hope yours is too.

On Friday, I took a picture of the tree in our yard because I was enjoying the gold color so much. I did not post it because the photo did not register the gold like my eyes did. Saturday brought a wind and rainstorm to our area and Sunday, the tree is almost bare.

Linda Leafless

On the left, the tree on Friday. Same tree on right, Sunday

What a difference a day makes. Or two. ( I came very close to naming that photo, Linda Leafless, but I thought perhaps that was too obscure.)

Life is swimming along, busy and yet not. Going for walks, cooking dinners, mountains of everylasting laundry, knitting when Mitchell isn’t looking, reading (I just finished reading the Diary of a wimpy Kid series! I love these books so much! I laughed out loud numerous times (lol, if you will) I have gotten a couple of people at work to read them. I think that although they are meant to be a young adult book, an adult will appreciate the humor more) , watching movies (I watched The Boy in the Striped Pajamas today and I am still stunned about it!) (My yearly viewing of Hocus Pocus is next) And of course, working, which honestly just gets in the way of all the fun stuff.

So I ask you this:

  1. Have you seen any good movies lately?
  2. What are you reading?
  3. How is your golden light?

Pork chops are in the brine, butternut squash is ready to be roasted, apples are ready to be…sauced and dinner is served at 6. 🙂


Filed under life

Eating with family

Family traditions are wrapped up in food, aren’t they? Most holidays have a food association with them. In most families anyway.

“it wouldn’t be Christmas/Thanksgiving/Easter/my birthday without [fill in the blank with your favorite food]”.

My family is French. Acadian, actually. My relatives hail from Moncton, New Brunswick.

In a quick email conversation with Li, we had a discussion about poutines. To most of the world, poutines are french fries with cheese curds, smothered in gravy. To me (and I guess a smaller portion of Canada), poutines are a potato ball stuffed with pork and boiled. Sounds appealing, right? Depends on your upbringing I suppose because I can find a dozen people right this minute who will be drooling in 10 seconds flat at the word “poutines”. (We always said it as a plural) (and “OUR” pronunciation of it is POO=TZINS)

So, anyway, I promised I would write out my families recipe for Li but being a blogger (YES! I still am a blogger) I thought I’d squeak an entry out of it.

Poutines were made only for special occasions. They are very labor intensive but just the aroma of one sets my mouth to watering.  Using google as my guide, it is known on the internets as Poutine râpée, which is not what we called it at all. In fact, rapee is a different dish altogether. Rapee is a casserole while poutines are the round ball.

So, I share my family recipe here. I have never personally made them but am planning to this Christmas. This will my present to my family. (MY family, my husband and kids will not eat them. I’ve somehow failed as a mom!! 🙂


As a rule, it takes 1 pound of potatoes for 1 poutine. This recipe is for 30 poutines. Believe me, if you (Read: I) are going to make them, may as well go for it and make them for everyone! They freeze well, but Acadian relatives and friends will gobble them up now.

30 pounds of potatoes

2 pounds ground pork

1 pound salt pork

Peel and cut the potatoes then divide them into thirds. Cook 1/3  boiling water for 20 minutes until soft.  Mash these.

Grate the remaining potatoes to a watery pulp. (This is not the big holes on a grater, it is the smallest holes. I am trying to figure out an electric way to do this. Grating that many potatoes on those small holes gets old fast. Not to mention the bruised knuckles. Any ideas?) .

Place the pulp in a pillowcase or wrap in kitchen towels. Squeeze out as much water as you can.

Mix the pulp with the mashed potatoes, in equal amounts

Mix salt pork and ground pork together

Fill one cup wtih potato mixture, then form round ball like a snowball. Press a hole into the ball with your thumb and stuff about a tablespoon of pork filling inside, sealing the hole when done.

Cut cheesecloth into 10 inch squares. Wrap each poutine in cheesecloth, knotting the corners.

Cook in boiling water for 2 hours.

I love to eat mine with a sprinkling of sugar, my mother eats her with applesauce, others just with salt and pepper.


15 pounds of potatoes

3 pounds ground pork

1 pound salt pork

3 eggs

1 sleeve crushed saltines

1 tsp baking powder

Grate potatoes to a pulp but do not squeeze the water out this time.

Mix all ingredients together well.

Place 1 tablespoon shortening in bottom of pan (big roasting pan or 2 lasagna type pans). Heat in oven until melted. Pour mixture into hot pan

Bake in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour then turn oven to 350 adn continue baking for 1 hour 15 minutes for a total baking time of 2 hours. Top will be dark, golden brown when done.

There you have it. Owning a potato farm would be ideal!

Have you eaten poutines before? Would you eat them? Would you, could you, in a house? With a mouse? In a box?

What are your family food traditions?

P.S. Remember! No one ever claimed this is health food. That is why it is special occasion food. I, personally have not had poutines in years now. It’s time to fix that!


Filed under life, Sandy's Cooking

CSI (Cats, shoes and iris)

I don't pee on the floor anymore! Mom says that is progress

I don't pee on the floor anymore! Mom says that is progress


I still chase Myron. But I'm quite the love bug, or so Mom says!

I still chase Myron. But I'm quite the love bug, or so Mom says!



New shoes:

Comfy, cute and perfect for summer!

Comfy, cute and perfect for summer!

And Iris, blooming in my yard!

A good year to be an iris

A good year to be an iris


And cupcake talk to boot!
I decided to make Martha Stewart’s Strawberry cupcakes with strawberry buttercream icing. Notice the picture at the link. The cupcakes were a small disaster. Not a huge disaster, but one that went on a different path than I expected. They were not very pretty and not very cupcakey. But more like a cake with fruit. Delicious in their own right. But not a cupcake in the traditional sense.

The buttercream frosting? I am telling you that it was so beautiful and so delicious it would make you weep. I kid you not. It was the best frosting I had ever made.  A bit labor intensive but worth it. And then? I put the strawberries in the mixing bowl. Holy frosting, Batman! I have never seen something change texture so fast as that. It went from a masterpiece to something that needed to go as quickly as possible to the trash can, curdled and awful looking. I shut the mixer off and gazed, disbelieving into the bowl. Disgusted, I left it there for a little while. I went back a while later and tried to whip it more.
No dice. It was beyond saving. I guess it was just the healthy eating gods trying to convince me that frosting is evil. Check mate, then.

I may write to Martha and seek her advice on that one. (I wonder if she’d answer me?)

But more importantly? I have stewed enough about my lack of cake making skills that I am now thinking of enrolling in the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts Techniques of Baking series.

Take that, frosting!


Filed under flowers, kitties, life, random, Sandy's Cooking, stuff

Making dough

You know how it is in the internets, how you find something interesting and you click here and you click there, soon you are far away from your original starting place and couldn’t find it again if you tried?
That’s how it was with sourdough starter. I don’t know how it happened. But it did.
I found reference to Nancy Silverton’s Breads from La Brea Bakery and an interesting 2 weeks sourdough starter method involving grapes.
I mulled it over for a couple of weeks, ordered the book, read it cover to cover and decided I was IN.
I am on Day 4 so far, keeping a bit of a flickr documentary. If you are at all interested in the process, check it out. If not, well, come over for bread in 2 weeks! 🙂
The process is fascinating me and well, frankly, the family are getting tired of hearing about it.
You’d think I did not have a life or something!


Filed under Making bread, Sandy's Cooking