Sunday, July 25, 2010

Baked Beans

I made these for the first time this summer when we went camping with Andre's family.  This is a time consuming recipe, but very worth it as I do not really like canned baked beans nor did Andre's brother, but both of us really enjoyed these.  I made this one day ahead of time. 

You will need:
  • 1 pound dried pinto beans (about 2 cups)
  • 8 - 10 cups water
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 8 oz of Maple smoked bacon, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup Agave syrup or 1 cup honey or 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 disposable aluminum cooking pan (I used one measured 8 x 10 x 2 1/2)
  1. Pick over dried beans and remove any stones or broken beans.
  2. Rinse beans.
  3. Soak beans by placing in a 9x13 glass casserole dish and covering with two inches of boiling water. Let soak for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the beans have doubled in size.
  4. Drain beans and combine with 8 -10 cups water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the beans are almost tender, about 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 300 - 350F (300F if you live close to sea level. In Calgary, I needed to increase the temperature to 350F and increase the cooking time).
  6. Drain beans, reserving the cooking liquid. Combine the beans in a 5 - 6 quart casserole dish with the onions, bacon, garlic.
  7. Stir into the cooking liquid the Agave/honey/syrup, ginger, mustard, salt and pepper.
  8. Pour the liquid over the beans. Cover and bake until the beans are tender about 2 1/2 hours (longer if you live at a higher altitude.
  9. Once cooked serve immediately or transfer to the refrigerator and leave overnight.
  10. I transferred to disposable aluminum pan to take camping and put it over the campfire and reheated the beans. Very tasty.

Building a Better S'more

Seeing as camping season is upon us, here is my super easy S'mores recipe.  I prepare these before we go camping and then after supper when we are all sitting by the fire; throw them on the grill and eat the sticky goodness without all the mess. 

You will need:
  • Parchment paper
  • Foil
  • Best quality Milk Chocolate, I used Lindt (don't use dark chocolate as it does not melt correctly)
  • Graham crackers
  • Large marshmallows (I used Wal-Mart store brand this time, which I found nicer than the brand name ones I usually used)

1. Cut parchment paper into 6 x 6 inch squares.

2. Cut foil into 6 x 6 inch squares

3. Place 1 Graham cracker on a parchment square.

 4. Place chocolate square on graham cracker.

5. Place marshmallow on chocolate.

6. Place second graham cracker on top of marshmallow.

7. Wrap parchment paper around s'more and tuck ends into side of s'more (this will allow the heat to distribute evenly on the top and bottom of the cracker allowing the marshmallow and chocolate to melt).

8. Wrap again in foil.  Again tucking the ends into the side. 

9. Repeat as necessary until you have as many s'mores as you want. 

10. I just put these on the campfire grill and let cook about 5 minutes each side depending on the temperature of the fire.  Make sure the flames are about 8 - 10 inches from the bottom of the grill. Push on the packages with the backside of a pair of long tongs, when they are squishy they are done.

Lemon Chicken Couscous Salad

Lemon Chicken Couscous Salad

1 ½ cups Water
1 cup uncooked Whole Wheat Couscous

3 medium/small Zucchini
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
3 Stalks Celery, chopped
1 Tomato, chopped
¼ cup fresh Parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh Cilantro, chopped
3 Tbs. Lemon Juice
2 Tbs. fresh Dill weed, chopped or 2 tsp dried
1 Tbs. Extra-virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper, to taste
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)
Cooked Chicken

I usually try and have several meals worth of cooked chicken in my fridge.  I marinate the chicken for about 15-30 minutes in lemon juice, olive oil, and dried basil and oregano. Then grill it on the bbq.

Make couscous according to package directions. Feel free to add extra veggies or change it up. Combine all ingredients and enjoy.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Potato Salad

2 lbs. Red or Waxy Potatoes, whole

½ cup Crumbled Bacon

5 Green onions, chopped

1 cup Celery, chopped

3  Dill Pickles, chopped

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

¾ to 1 cup mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes in a large pot with enough salted water to cover the potatoes, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, 20 - 25 minutes. Drain, and cut into bite-sized pieces.  

Mix together the mayo and vinegar.  In a large bowl, toss the still warm potatoes with this dressing and add the bacon, onions, celery, pickles, parsley and season with salt and pepper.  

Top with crumbled bacon and fresh chopped parsley. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Indian Salad

I need to put one other recipe on here as it goes really nicely with the Chicken Jalfrezi and Taziki/Raita - I am thinking I should rename the Taziki/Raita to Raziki.  Anyways, as most of you know Andre and I have been eating quite a bit healthier recently.  Although both these recipes are relatively clean we do eat a lot of vegetables (approximately 4 cups each a day!). So here is an additional recipe. 

Indian Salad

1 cucumber
1 onion, red or white
1 carrot
1 tomato
fresh cilantro - Surprise!! It has cilantro
Juice of 1/2 a lemon or to taste

Peel and cut veggies into very thin slices.  Arrange veggies in a bowl or on a serving plate (depending on how fancy you want to be) and sprinkle chopped cilantro, salt and lemon juice. 

Chicken Jalfrezi

Chicken Jalfrezi

This is a Pakistani recipe for a spicy curry that I found on, which I have tweaked and made into a Jen recipe.  My sister Rebekah always requests this when she comes out for a visit; if I am feeling particularly evil I will call her and tell her I am making it. You must try it if you are looking for something with a little bit of a kick. This dish is best served with basmati rice or naan bread and my fake taziki/raita

1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, grated
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1-2 tablespoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt 1 – 2 (14.5 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes, drained, depending on how tomato-y you want it
1 ½ tablespoons ground cumin
1 ½ tablespoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Heat the oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the chicken, and season with turmeric, chili powder and salt. Fry gently, scraping the bottom of the pan frequently and turning the chicken.

Pour in the tomatoes and cover the pan, and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes. Uncover, and simmer for another 10 minutes to let the excess liquid evaporate.

Add the cumin, ground coriander, ginger and cilantro, and simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes. Serve on steamed basmati rice with a side of Jen’s fake Raita.

Jen's Fake Taziki/Raita or Raziki


So this is a recipe that I really love and Andre asks me to make for him so much that I ended up showing him how to make it himself.  It is not quite a traditional taziki or a raita, but some mutant form of the two.  Warning: there is some prep time for this recipe so read thoroughly .

1 Field Cucumber (not long English as LE tend to be quite bitter)
1 container Astro Greek/Balkan Natural Style Yogurt
1 – 2 cloves of Garlic (be very careful with how much you put in I like 1, Andre likes 4, which is so hot it burns going down)
½ tsp. salt (for garlic – see below)
1 tsp. salt (for cucumber – see below)
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1 TBS. Olive Oil
1 tsp. Lemon juice
Black Pepper, to taste

Strain yogurt. What I do is take a metal sieve and line it with cheesecloth (if you don’t have cheesecloth, use a coffee filter) put it into a bowl for the liquid to drain out into and dump container of yogurt into said filter (see picture) let sit overnight in the fridge or for 2 hours on the countertop. You have successfully made what is commonly referred to as Yogurt Cheese, which is a health base to all kinds of dips, sauces, etc.

Once your yogurt has drained, peel and grate your cucumber on a cheese grater. Set it in a strainer over the sink and let drain. As it is draining sprinkle and mix in 1 teaspoon of salt, this causes the water to come out of the cucumber, let drain for about 10 minutes or however long it takes you to do the next step.

Chop or mince garlic and then mash it with ½ teaspoon of salt until it becomes a paste, you can use a mortar and pestle if you have one otherwise just sprinkle the salt in a pile on your cutting board, put the garlic on top of it and squish it with the back of a spoon. The salt helps to grind up the garlic into a fine paste.

Return to your cucumber that is draining in the sink. Run cold water over the cucumber to rinse off the excess salt. Squeeze through paper towels to remove moisture.

Combine yogurt cheese, cucumber, garlic, cilantro, black pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice. Let favours mingle for a couple of hours and enjoy. This is really great with chicken and pork slouvaki.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bison Burger

Bison Burger

1 lb. ground bison
1 Tbs. minced onion
1 Tbs. finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients together and form patties.  Barbeque, top with goat or swiss cheese, tomato, purple onions, lettuce, dill pickles and serve on a whole wheat bun with sweet potato fries.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


So several people have asked me to send them recipes and food ideas. So welcome to my blog with fun little bits of jenisms, recipes, possibly goofy things my hubby says. So first recipe:

Roasted New Potatoes
12 new red skinned potatoes
3 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. onion salt
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/8 tsp. paprika
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 F. Cut potatoes into quarters or half depending on size of potatoes. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Place coated potatoes on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stir and bake for another 20 - 30 minutes until golden brown.