I love putting weird stuff in scrambled eggs

Today’s concoction; leftover broccoli and rice

Here’s what I did;
I made my little fry pan sorta medium hot, then added a little bloop of bacon fat. Let it melt and get hot. Put 2 eggs and a smidge of yogurt in a bowl and beat it all up. Throw it on the bacon fat and stir it around a bit.
Threw my leftover broccoli and rice, stirred it some more. When the eggs were just about set, I tossed some cream cheese into the pan, gave it one good last stir, then on a plate.
This is fantastic.

How I cooked my broccoli the other night;
Hot pan + olive oil
3 smallish or medium stalks of broccoli cut into bite sized pieces
Toss around for a while, add a couple of cloves of crushed garlic and a smattering of red pepper flakes. Throw on some salt and some black pepper if you want. Keep tossing it around, but every now and then let it sit-it’s really good if you have some blackened bits on the edges of the broccoli flowers.

I know some of you really hate it when I do this non-recipe recipe thing, but I’d really like to encourage you to be fearless. This kind of food doesn’t cost the world and the more you experiment the more you will know what works.
Just Cook It!

Nanaimo Bars

I’m a foodie in general. I notice and know things about food and cooking that most people don’t. If you’ve been following my blog, you probably are not surprised by this tidbit. Unlike many foodies I like to think of myself as very gracious. I may notice that you used a cake mix but I won’t rat you out. Not only that, I’ll enjoy it-some cake mixes are tasty.
I am a complete snob when it comes to a few things. Nanaimo Bars are one of those things. Purchased from a grocery store? no thanks. Cappuccino flavoured? um, no. Mint flavoured? ew. Crumbly base? really? cuz it’s so easy to avoid…

So when I started messing with my Nanaimo Bar recipe no one was more surprised than me. It all started when I made the base and realized that I didn’t have graham cracker crumbs. I found some gingersnaps in the depths of my freezer and some Nilla wafers in my cupboard, I probably used about half of each, threw them in a bread bag and bashed them around with my rolling pin until they were fine crumbs.

The Base:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs
1 cup medium unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans (the original calls for walnuts, but pecans are good too)

Line a square pan with plastic wrap.
Cook the butter, sugar, cocoa and vanilla in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Add egg and heat just until the mixture starts to get thick. Remove from heat and add the crumbs, coconut and nuts. Press into the plastic lined pan. Cover with more plastic and put in the fridge until it’s cool and firm. Hard really.

I figured I was already in this far, so I messed with the base. I always make a little more filling than the recipe calls for, but this time I replaced some of the butter with plain yogurt.

The Filling:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup plain yogurt
5 Tbsp custard powder
3 Tbsp milk (maybe with the yogurt you don’t need milk at all, then you could get away with less icing sugar-I’ll omit the milk next time I make this)
1 tsp vanilla
5 cups icing sugar (or so)

So go ahead and cream the butter, yogurt and custard powder together until smooth and creamy. Toss in the milk and vanilla. Keep beating, adding the icing sugar a little at a time until you have a fairly stiff icing. You want the bar to be able to hold it’s shape when you cut it. Toss it back in the fridge and chill until firm. Freezing will also help set the chocolate layer, so feel free to freeze it at this point.

4 oz of semi sweet chocolate
1 1/2 tsp butter
Melt together in the top of a double boiler, stirring constantly until it’s smooth and melted. Spread over the filling and let the chocolate set.

Cut it into little pieces because most people think it’s too rich and too sweet to have a big piece.

Oatmeal Jam Jams

Your aunt/grandma/mom/friend probably makes something similar and probably calls them something else, but these are the real deal. My Nana made them, my mom made them and now I make them. I have no children, so I’m expecting you to make them.

You can see that the recipe assumes you already know how to make cookies. In exchange for carrying on my family recipe I will provide better directions. You’re welcome.

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
Beat the butter and brown sugar until creamed and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, then beat until well combined.
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Add the dry ingredients, then mix until well combined.

Roll into little balls and dent with finger. Fill dent with jam. Bake at 350F for about 10 or 15 minutes.

I used jam that I bought at a groovy little farmers market in BC while I was staying at my friends “cabin”

Whipped Shortbread

2 cup butter
1 cup icing sugar
3 cups flour
1 cup corn starch
decorations (candied cherries or sprinkles)

Using a heavy duty mixer, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Stir together dry ingredients and slowly add to the butter while beating. With shortbread there are no wet ingredients so there’s no fear of over mixing. Still, beat until it’s all blended. Roll dough into little balls, dip into the sprinkles or decorate with cherries and place on baking sheet.
Bake at 300F for 20 minutes or so. The cookie should be set and barely golden on the bottom.

Pumpkin Cookies

I used to make this recipe for 100 cookies when I volunteered as a cook for homeless people. It’s easy, spicy, healthy and delicious.

24 cookies

1/2 c. margarine
1 c. sugar
2 egg

3 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. salt

1 c. pumpkin puree
2/3 c. raisins
1 c. chopped walnuts

Cream margarine and sugar. Add egg and beat until well blended.
Sift flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Add raisins and nuts.
Add dry ingredients to first mixture alternately with pumpkin. Mix thoroughly. Drop by teaspoons on a well-greased baking sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes @ 350 F or until done.

Indian Lentils

My friend gave me this recipe and I have never once followed it precisely, but it tastes great every time.
1/2 c. lentils
3 c. water
1-2 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
dash ajama seeds
2 cloves
1-2 hot peppers, slit
1 onion
1 small tomato, blended
1/4 tsp ginger
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed hot peppers
1 1/2 tsp sugar

Wash lentils then cook in the water and salt until tender and soft. You could a can of lentils instead if you want.
Heat oil, add the ingredients in the order listed, stirring as you go. You’ll want to let the onions cook before you add the rest of the ingredients. Add the lentils and cook for about 7 or 10 minutes

Garnish with;
1 tbsp cilantro leaves
2 tbsp lemon juice

Serve hot with rice.

Chocolate Espresso Shortbread

2 cups butter (please do not use margarine for shortbread, I beg you)
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup coffee, ground
1/4 tsp salt

Beat butter until creamy. Add sugar gradually and keep beating until light and fluffy-about 5 minutes. Sift together dry ingredients, add to the creamed mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated.

Separate into 4 balls, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least a few hours, but if you put it in Tupperware the dough will last for weeks. The flavour of the coffee increases after a few days.

Bring dough to room temperature and roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out into shapes and bake in a preheated 325F oven for about 20-25 minutes.
Dip in dark and/or white chocolate.

This is my usual Christmas season hostess gift wrapped in a pretty box or cellophane.