Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Jarlsberg Spicy Chicken Bacon Burger

Thank goodness for Jarlsberg cheese. They quite often run recipe contests and I am so happy they do. It inspires Sue and I to think outside the box for ways to use their delicious cheese. This year they ran "The Jarlsberg Burger Recipe Contest" (Link HERE) and Sue and I both came up with our own creations. I'm sharing Sue's today - everyone went completely crazy for hers. I'll share mine next time - it wasn't quite the hit hers was but it's still pretty fancy schmancy (if I do say so myself!). 
Sue used Jarlsberg cheese twice in her recipe and.... I will give her credit.... she knocked it out of the park with this one: soft brioche bun, a layer of spicy apple chutney, lettuce, a Jarlsberg cheese crisp, crunchy fried chicken, more Jarlsberg cheese (melty this time), crispy bacon, and a bit more spicy apple chutney. 
Drooling yet? 
This is one burger you are going to want to try.... more than once...

Jarlsberg Chicken Burger

Spicy Apple Chutney
3 medium onions
2 Tbsp oil
3 medium apples, peeled and cored
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
pinch cinnamon
1 tsp mustard
2 - 3 Tbsp Sriracha (or to taste)

Jarslberg Cheese, shredded

Fried boneless chicken pieces, cooked
Jarlsberg cheese, sliced
bacon, cooked
brioche buns

Prepare the chutney - Caramelize the onions in the oil. Deglaze the pan with 2 tablespoons of the cider vinegar and pour the onions and the deglazing liquid into a large pot.
Add the apples, and sugar, and the rest of the cider vinegar. Bring them to a rolling boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer the mixture, uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
Add the lemon juice, curry powder, salt, cinnamon, mustard, and Sriracha. Raise the heat slightly and continue cooking and stirring at a high simmer for another 5 minutes.
Let the mixture cool before putting in an airtight container. The mixture should be kept refrigerated and is best eaten cold. Will last for a couple of weeks refrigerated.
Prepare the Jarlsberg crisps - Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (NOT foil!). Place little mounds (about 2 - 3 Tbsp) of shredded Jarlsberg several inches apart on the parchment paper. they will spread so don't place them to close together. Cook in preheated 350 oven until golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool before removing. Set aside. (Can be made ahead and stored in fridge until needed.)
Just before assembling your burger - place fried chicken pieces into a hot oven and top with slices of Jarlsberg cheese. Heat until cheese is melted. 
Assemble burger: Place the bottom of your brioche bun on a serving plate. Top with a generous amount of the spicy apple chutney.

Top with a a piece of lettuce and a Jarlsberg cheese crisp.

Top with the fried chicken and melty cheese.

Now add the crispy, cooked bacon.
Spread a little more of the spicy apple chutney onto the inside of the top bun...

Admire your handiwork...

And then jump right in there.

So good!
The Jarlsberg cheese adds a wonderful nuttiness to the flavor... and the spicy apple chutney pairs so well with the chicken and bacon. All those flavors! All those textures! 
A burger lovers dream come true. For real though.
We haven't heard you won the contest yet but will be sure to update when we do. Sue definitely deserves to be in the running with this recipe. 

Don't tell Sue but I think she may have beat me out in the creativity dept. When I post my recipe I will add a link so you can click over and check out mine. I went a completely different way. 
Her addition of a Jarlsberg crisp AND the melted Jarlsberg was genius.... not to mention the spicy apple chutney. Maybe a bit of a pain to get everything ready but you can make most of it up ahead of time and TOTALLY worth the effort. 
NOTE - when adding the Sriracha use as much as you like. Less if you are a bit of a wimp (like me), more if you want to bring the heat. 

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Key Lime Pie

Okay. Two questions: 1) Who out there knew that key lime pie was super easy to make? 
and 2) Why didn't you tell me?
It's like 5 ingredients and takes 2 seconds to make. It's probably a good thing I didn't know about this early. I would've eaten a lot more key lime pie. 
Sue happened to give me a bag of key limes to use up so I decided to read up on key lime pies. Good thing I did! This is going in the regular pie rotation for sure. I'm going to try it with regular limes too - just because I can't get key limes in the town where I live (yay small town living!). I'm thinking it will work well with lemons too - just to switch up my regular lemon meringue pie a little. Let us know in the comments below if you've made it with regular limes or lemons - we'd love to hear how it went. 

Key Lime Pie

2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup key lime juice
zest of a "regular" lime
4 egg yolks

dough for 9 inch pie crust

whipped cream
lime zest

Preheat oven to 350. Roll the pie dough out and place in 9 inch pan. Par-bake for about 10 - 12 minutes (until ever so slightly browning on the edges). Remove from heat and set aside while you make filling. 

Whisk together condensed milk, key lime juice, lime zest, and egg yolks. Pour evenly into par-baked crust. Bake at 350 until pie is set - about 20 or so minutes. (Can vary depending on oven - mine took almost 40 minutes to "set". Start checking at 20 minutes. (I put my pie on a cookie sheet but this is not necessary. This can add to the cooking time as well, FYI.)

Remove pie from oven and let cool completely. 

Decorate with shipped cream and a little lime zest, if desired. Maybe a little slice of lime too, to fancy things up....

Chill until ready to serve. 

One of the prettier pies out there, no?

So creamy and light. Perfect for summer! 

Sooooooo easy!
The only tricky part for me was the baking. Most recipes I looked up said 15 - 20  minutes. I found mine took about double that before it looked set up in the middle. I was afraid I had overcooked it but it seemed to be okay. It was still nice and smooth and creamy and sliced really well. 
If you try this recipe please let me know how your cooking time was. I'm curious if it is just my oven or if most people have to cook it for the longer time. :)

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Blackberry Pie

I've never made a blackberry pie. I've made a Blackberry Meringue Pie (Link HERE) which was amazingly different and delicious, but not a good, old fashioned, blackberry pie. 
My niece, Sue's daughter, Kenzie brought up a whooooole bunch of blackberries so I knew this was my opportunity to make one. Also... I have a lot of blackberries.... anyone have any fabulous blackberry recipes they'd be willing to share? :)
This pie, like most pies, is a bit time consuming because you have to make a crust and a filling and then bake it. You can use a store bought crust if you want to cheat a little. I use our Never Fail Pie Crust (link HERE) because it's super-de-duper flaky and *jazz hands*. In the end, this pie is totally worth any time it's going to take you. Seriously. So good. 

Old Fashioned Blackberry Pie

Crust for double pie crust (Our Recipe HERE) 

6 cups blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
zest of one lemon
1 tsp vanilla

For Brushing on Crust
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk (or cream)

Preheat oven to 400.
Prepare crust as per instructions. You need enough crust for a double 9 inch pie. Roll out the bottom crust and place in pie pan. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, gently stir together the blackberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, and vanilla until well combined. Spoon into bottom crust. 

Roll out the other crust and place on top. Pinch around the edges to seal, cutting off any extra dough.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Using a pastry or basting brush, brush the egg mixture over the top crust. Cut a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape. 
NOTE - place on a cookie sheet or pizza pan as pie will boil over a little and you don't want that in your oven! 

Place in preheated 400 degree oven. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Turn heat down to 350 and continue to bake until pie is golden and filling is bubbly - about 40 - 50 minutes. 

Let cool on a wire rack to room temperature. 

If you try and slice it while warm it will ooze out. It will still taste fabulous but will not stay together very well. Let it cool and then chill it for a few hours for best results. In the photos here I cut it at room temp, without chilling it. It stayed together but still was a bit oozy. 

Of course, vanilla ice cream is a must...

Close up? Let's do it.

*cue angels singing*

I think pies always look so pretty. Something about that flaky, golden crust just seems so artsy. 
Art you can eat.... I'm on board that train. 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Easy Garlic Rosemary Lamb Chops

I started out looking for a marinade for the lamb chops I got from the grocery store, planning on making them up in advance and doing something fancy. As we all know... plans often change! I ended up getting sidetracked with something else and by the time I got back to the lamb chops it was already dinner time. I decided to just do a sort-of rub with a few ingredients and pan fry them. Best decision ever! From start to finish in about 20 minutes and the flavor was amazing! 
The next time you are cooking lamb chops and want to go the quick-and-easy-but-still-amazing route.... give these a try! 

Easy Garlic Rosemary Lamb Chops

salt & pepper
4 lamb chops
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp + 3 Tbsp oil
juice from one large lemon
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp dried parsley

Salt and pepper your lamb chops on both sides. Place on a plate and set aside.
In a small bowl combine minced garlic and dried rosemary and the 1/4 tsp of oil. Mix well. 

Divide mixture in half. Spread half of the mixture evenly on the tops of the lamb chops. Reserve the second half of the mixture. 

Heat the remaining 3 Tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add pork chops, garlic side up, to the pan. Cook for 3 - 4 minutes and then flip over.
Spread the remaining garlic mixture onto the cooked side of the lamb chops.

Cook an additional 3 - 4 minutes, until desired level of doneness is reached. (Use a meat thermometer for best results) When they are done, remove from the pan and place on plates. 
Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice, water, and parsley to the pan to deglaze it. Make sure to stir up all the brown bits! 

Divide this in 4 and spoon on top of each of the lamb chops. 

Serve immediately. 
Using the lemon juice to deglaze the pan adds a fabulous hint of lemon to the garlic and rosemary flavors that I am now convinced is what heaven tastes like. 
How easy was that, right? No marinating, no muss, no fuss and you end up with delicious lamb chops that are guaranteed to impress your guests!
This is a pretty forgiving recipe, FYI, you can also easily double the recipe for more chops or half it for less.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Canada Day Donuts (Maple and Canadian Beer Donuts)

I've recently gone back to work after a long break. I made these donuts for Canada Day but because I am back to being crazy busy I have not got around to posting them until now! 
It's okay though, these are the perfect donut to make to celebrate any Holiday - Canadian or not. I used Whistler Brewing Company Pale Ale to make these but you can use any brand of Canadian beer you like. I wouldn't sub anything else for the beer - it helps the donuts texture as well as the flavor and without it they just won't be the same. 
You can click here to see our Kilkenny Glazed Donuts we made for St. Patrick's Day! We used that recipe and switched up some ingredients to create a Canadian version!

Canada Day Donuts (Maple and Canadian Beer Doughnuts)

Ingredients for our Kilkenny Glazed Donuts
Additional to above:
Maple syrup
maple extract
1 1/2 cups Canadian Beer 
1 bag Christie Maple Leaf Cookies 

Once again, I'm going to send you over to our post about Kilkenny Glazed Donuts (HERE). You make them the exact same way EXCEPT you are going to use 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup maple syrup instead of the 1/2 cup sugar. ALSO use 1 tsp maple extract instead of vanilla and Canadian beer instead of the Irish beer. 

Follow the instructions in the link provided above and you will get beautiful puffy donuts!

Frying is the scary part so be very careful around the hot oil!
When they are all made and you are ready to glaze then prep your Maple Leaf Cookies. Remove as many cookies halves as you have donuts - these are going to sit on the donut.
Scrape the filling from the cookies into the bowl with the glaze.
Crush up the remaining cookies fairly small.

 Whisk the glaze until smooth. Dip a donut top into the glaze, lightly shake off any excess, and then set the glaze side down into the crushed cookies. Press gently and then flip over. Press a Maple Leaf cookie half on top. (If it doesn't stick then use a little glaze as "glue".)

Let sit to set a bit.
Maple Leaf Cookies are so good - it's like you're getting 2 treats in one with this!

I got about 32 palm-of-your-hand sized donuts using this recipe so it makes a fair amount. I always figure if you're going to go through all the trouble of making donuts you might as well get a few! You can freeze these bad boys if they don't all disappear right away. 

Hints of maple and Canadian beer make this a true Canadian treat perfect for Canada Day or celebrating all summer long! 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

2nd Birthday Cake (Number Two Cake)

Our little great-niece turned two last month so we wanted to make her a special cake. We had to be able to travel with it so we couldn't really do a layered cake for fear it would fall over on the trip. 
This number two cake is fairly simple to shape and travels very well. You can easily decorate with your favorite fruits... we used saskatoons, raspberries, a mandarin orange, and strawberries. Make sure to pat your fruit dry before putting it on the cake so it doesn't bleed into the frosting.

2nd Birthday Cake (Number Two Cake)

recipe for chocolate cake (can use a mix if desired)

4 cups whipping cream
2 pkg vanilla instant pudding

Fruit for decorating

Prepare cake as per recipe instructions. Bake the cake in one 9 inch round pan and one 9 inch square pan. Let cool. 
Using an approximately 2 1/2 inch round cutter, cut out the center of the round cake. Cut 1/4 of the round cake and turn the piece to the right. Cut a piece of the square cake to fit along the bottom of the circle pieces. (See photo for clarification!) I cut an extra little piece just to make the base of the two a little longer. This is not always necessary - use your best judgment. 
You will have a little more than 1/2 of the square cake leftover for another use. 

Prepare frosting - place 2 cups of the whipped cream and 1 pkg of the vanilla pudding in a large bowl. Whip with beaters until stiff enough to spread. Spread over the cake to cover. 
When you run out - simply whip the remaining 2 cups of whipping cream and box of vanilla pudding. Continue to spread or pipe on the frosting however you like. 

Let chill for about an hour or two before adding fruit.

I sliced the strawberries fairly thin so I could add them to the sides. If you cut them thicker they may fall off because they are too heavy. 

Chocolate, whipped cream frosting, and fruit make for a perfectly presentable birthday cake for all ages. Our little munchkin loved picking off the fruit to eat almost as much as eating the cake itself. 

I know... I know... the photo is sideways. For the life of me I cannot figure out how to rotate it. I've tried, trust me. 
Anyways.... a number cake is a fabulous way to celebrate a birthday or anniversary! And you can never go wrong with fruit!