Tag Archives: cooking with wine

What to do on a rainy day…… cooooook

A rainy day at home,  what to do… play in the kitchen. Yay. 

We knew we were cooking a ham tonight, we like to boil them, it cuts down on the salt and the flavour in the ham is just so fantastic and moist. The broth that is left over is great for soup. But (points out I started with but) each ham is different, some broths are salty, so you may have to cut it with something else.

Knowing we would have a lot of ham left over, we thought of making a bread that would be amazing to use for sandwiches. I think we did it. 

Aimee has been wanting to try this for a while, to use wine in the bread instead of water… 

So, we did it!

Only half of the water was changed with wine, we were worried the yeast would not grow in the wine if we removed all the water. Alcohol kills yeast. 
Aimee picked a big red. Knowing the bread was going to be savory we decided to make it an onion loaf. So I chopped up two red onions and browned them. I wanted them to be a strong flavour, so a deep browning, not just sauteed.  We added basil and thyme too. We made it a whole wheat with bran added and crusted it with bran. 

how was it? 

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mmmm easy Spaghetti

Tis closing in on the end of the season for our cottage weekends. (insert very sad face here)

So we don’t bring as much food up to the cottage, instead plan on using what is there so we don’t have as much to bring home when we close.

We keep jars of spaghetti sauce there along with pasta. For those times that we have drop ins and what ever meal we had planned would not feed them. Yes I know the jars of sauce are sort of plain… and I heard you gasp.  

but wait… I have more. lol. 

We used one of those jars this past weekend. Knowing we were going to use it.. I had a bag of additions. 

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The perfect Hamburger

ooooooh, that is an ambitious title. 


We are having an “at home” weekend to catch up on things. So we had one of our fun Friday dinners, where we all add things.

Ok, so from the title I gather you have deduced what we cooked… 


They were very yummy too.  eeeeeps that wasn’t what we made though… omg that is big. lol… phone 911

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Creative Dinner Night

Creative Dinner Night, that is what we call it.

When we all contribute, but without any pre-planning. It usually works out, sometimes it is just… blech. lol

So, four roommates working in the kitchen, in case you haven’t been following along, of course I am one of the four. Yes there is a lot of hi-jinx and giggling. Often quite a clean up afterwards too. That is what makes it fun!

So what did we cook tonight? oh gawds.. we have to name it? *checks the rules* nope, no names are required.. hmmm, perhaps we should change that rule.

ok on with the hmmm dinner, that is it.

so if you dare, click and read on, for there is … uhm… more

cooking in layers

Yup, back to food. Well we have to eat don’t we?

Do you live to eat, or eat to live?

A basic question, but it is not as light a question as it appears. Those that live to eat, enjoy food, and take pleasure in it. They tend to do so with other things as well. Life is to be enjoyed, how ever you do it. 

On the weekend I took my Parmesan cheese to the cottage to make my noodles Alfredo, but never following a recipe it ended up probably not being noodles Alfredo. 

First, I didn’t us Alfredo noodles, choosing Penne noodles instead. I like how they fill with the sauce.

now, for my pasta I had red bell peppers, portabella mushrooms, sweet onions (vidalia), chicken breast, garlic, white wine, the pasta, cream and the cheese. We used a table cream, whipping cream is good to, but it is very rich.

a bbq too.

I seasoned the chicken breast and heated the bbq, I also sliced the mushrooms into strips and seasoned them, tossing them in some olive oil, I did the same with the onion.

The red pepper I cut into larger pieces and also seasoned it and tossed it in olive oil.

The garlic I took two bulbs and cut the tips off, put them in foil and drizzled more olive oil on them, then wrapped them tight. I put them on the grill right away along with the peppers.. skin side down.

I sprayed the chicken breast with a veggie spray, to help keep it from sticking and when the grill was hot put them on. If the grill isn’t hot the chicken sticks. blech.

I have a little metal pan that is for the bbq, it has lots of holes in it, it is great for when you bbq smaller things, like meat balls, shrimp or mushrooms and other veggies.. in went the mushrooms.

mmm it was smelling wonderful.

When the peppers are blackened (on the skin side) a bit they come off, and I rinse them off and remove the skin. Cut them into strips and put them aside.

I dont want to dry out the mushrooms, just to caramelizes them a bit, so I don’t brown them, just cook until tender, I tossed the onion in then, I don’t want them to brown, just turn translucent. Then they all come off and are put aside for later. You don’t need a lot of pepper and mushrooms and onions, the sauce is the star, they are just to make it better.

Don’t over cook the chicken, It dries out fast. So watch it carefully. I use a temperature probe and when it hits 160 it comes off and I wrap it in foil, it will cook more in the foil and not dry out.

By then the garlic is probably roasted too. Squeeze a bulb to see if it is soft. They don’t take that long.

off goes the bbq and into the cottage. woo hoo, everyone was getting hungry now, all those smells.

The pasta is boiling now, It is handy to have an Amiee lying around, you should get one. *nods lots*

She also had a cream sauce simmering and the cheese was melting in it, she added some white wine but not an oaked one. She used a Pinot Grigio, I knew this because that is what we were drinking at the time.. *grins* 

How much cream, and how much cheese? *shrugs* we don’t measure. The cheese is strong, so you don’t need gobs of it, so add some, maybe a half a cup ( it really depends on how many you are cooking for) and taste it after it melts in, you can keep adding some, but it may become too rich if you add too much. The same with the wine, in a cheese sauce, perhaps 1/2 a cup and be sure to simmer it so the alcohol cooks off.

I chopped up the red peppers, now without the skins and roasted tender, and the garlic, which is also roasted. The roasting changes the garlic a lot, it becomes richer, sweeter or less bitter and not overpowering. The peppers roasted really pop with flavour.

They get tossed into the sauce to allow their flavour to meld with the sauce.

Then the onion and mushrooms go in.

Now you can cook everything together, like a stew, and it is great, but cooking them like this and adding them at different times layers the flavours, you can taste each one. 

presto, it is done

You can toss the pasta into the sauce and mix it, or serve them separately  and let everyone choose how much of each they want. The chicken breast is sliced into thin strips, and placed on top. I like to sprinkle parsley on it, not just because it looks nice, but I really like parsley. Also I sprinkle on paprika. I don’t like to cook paprika as it cooks very fast and will become bitter, but on top when serving, it is great.

I am getting hungry again. drat.


I would tell you what Aimee made for desert… but drooling on the keyboard is bad. Perhaps tomorrow.

still hot out, so you need another crock recipe

Scalloped Potatoes 

yup, so easy in the crock pot.

peel your potatoes, slice them thin, try to be sure they are the same thickness and put them in the crock.

Chop up an onion and mix it with the potatoes. Celery if you want, and mushrooms if you want.

ok, now you want to know how much, sorry I never measure or follow recipes. lol.. that makes it hard for you I know.

so how many potatoes? I have no idea, are you cooking for a small army or yourself? Don’t make too much of this as I find frozen potatoes are not nice. So you will  need to eat all that you cook in the next couple of days.

So use enough potatoes for the number of people you are going to feed, I am sure you can figure that out, perhaps one large potato for each person?

maybe 1/2 an onion for each 4 potatoes you add.

some garlic is nice too, but it is best if you add it after a couple hours of cooking so the flavour shows more. Garlic becomes bitter if you cook it too much.

Now, make a white sauce, enough to cover your potatoes completely. … oh oh..  you don’t make white sauce.. ok, cheat and put in a tin of cream of mushroom soup. add maybe a 1/4 of a tin of milk to thin it. If you used a lot of potatoes, you will need another tin. Cream of celery works great too.

1/4 to 1/2 cup of white wine is good, stir it in. Don’t make the white sauce too thin with the wine.

Now if you have some ham left over from a roast, it is fantastic in the potatoes. chop it  up and add it. the smoky flavour really works here. Some will use bacon, but trim off most of the fat.

thyme, salt and pepper, basil and the lid.

Turn the crock  on low and wait until the potatoes are tender, it will take a few hours. maybe 4 or 5.

after three hours add some chopped garlic. (maybe two cloves/segments)


When it is cooked, the potatoes will be very tender.. add some chopped parsley, turn off the crock and leave the lid on, you can keep it warm that way and serve it when everyone is drooling from the smell.