Monday, May 11, 2009

Closed Kitchen

To my faithful followers, I'm sorry to say that I will be taking an indefinite leave from Furry Kitchen. I just don't have enough time to take photos and sit down to write blog entries for you, though I wish I did.
Feel free to check back occasionally in case I find more time.

Thanks for staying with me over the past few months.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Clementine Cake

We had a bunch of clementines in the fridge that needed to get used up, so I went searching around for a recipe that would help empty out the fridge. I found a recipe that was originally for an orange cake, so I took that and substituted the clementines. I also made some clementine juice just by juicing them by hand. Deliciously sweet!

Clementine Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
grated zest of 12 clementines
3 eggs
1/4 cup clementine juice (you can substitute orange juice)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
  • Combine the flour and baking powder and set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then add the zest and combine.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth.
  • Alternating, add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the juice, ending with the flour mixture. Stir until fully combined then pour into loaf pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. With about 15-20 minutes remaining, check to ensure that the top doesn't burn. If it is getting dark, lightly cover it with foil.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Anna Olson's Tea Loaf

I was on a search for a recipe that I could whip up quickly and toss into the oven without much effort. I came across Anna Olson's recipe for a tea loaf that sounded like it fit the bill perfectly. Here's my version of the recipe which adds a bit more spice to the loaf.

2 cups hot brewed earl grey tea
1 cup raisins
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup butter

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Pour hot tea over raisins and set aside to soak.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and spices. Cut in butter until blended thoroughly.
  • Pour in tea and raisins and stir to mix until smooth.
  • Pour mixture into a greased and floured 9x5-inch loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove loaf from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.

I didn't make the glaze that Anna did, but it might be good. I thought the loaf was okay, but still needed more flavor. Next time, I will try it with a different tea, maybe use cranberries instead of raisins and add some orange zest. That might make it a bit more exciting.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Quick, Yummy Sandwich!

Sometimes, all you need is a good sandwich. It's quick and easy, and if you add the right stuff, it's delicious!

1 multigrain baguette
cheese (we used marble cheddar, but smoked gouda would be perfect!)
1 cooked chicken breast (ours was marinated in spicy bbq sauce and baked in the oven)
1 avocado

Slice the baguette in half so that you can put the filling inside. Cut it into servings. Slice up the cheese and lay it on both sides of the baguette. Put in the oven on 350 degrees F for 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is bubbly.
While the cheese is melting, slice up the chicken breast (if it's leftovers, then you can reheat it quickly in the microwave) and the avocado.
Remove the cheesy baguette from the oven and top with chicken and avocado. Serve it up with some chips or veggie sticks.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Soft, Chewy Ginger Cookies

I love ginger cookies, both hard like gingersnaps or gingerbread men and soft like these chewy cookies. They're quick and easy to whip up and this recipe is foolproof!

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons white sugar (for rolling cookies)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, blend flour, baking soda and spices together and set aside.
  • In another bowl, cream together butter and 1/2 cup of sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg until well mixed. Then add the molasses and mix to combine.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.
  • Using rounded teaspoonfuls (or not quite full tablespoons), form dough into balls the size of walnuts and roll them in the extra 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet, approximately two inches apart and lightly flatten.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cat Day

We know that things have been particularly tough on the cats lately, so we spent a few hours one day spoiling them rotten. They got some tuna and the water from the can. They got snuggled and petted. They got to climb on a bunch of stuff that they thought was super cool. Then, they got to play for over an hour straight! Stick toys, kitty strings, stuffed mice, stuffed fish. You name it, they got it!

Suffice to say, not much cooking has been going on lately. Although, I did whip up a pizza rather quickly. Well, as quickly as homemade dough can be made, anyway. But by the shape of the pizza, I think you can guess how quickly it was done. I like to call this the amoeba pizza :)

Well, at least the cats enjoyed eating the few pieces of cheese they got as a treat!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Apple Cake

We had some apples that needed to be used up, plus we wanted to make the house smell really nice, so I decided to bake an apple cake.

2/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 cups apples, peeled, cored and diced (I used Granny Smith apples)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease and lightly flour a 9x13-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper so that the cake comes out easily.
  • Cream together butter and the white and brown sugars.
  • Add the eggs and beat well. Then add the vanilla and mix to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.
  • Once the flour is fully mixed in, fold in the apples by hand. The batter will not fully cover all of the apple pieces.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and allow to cool fully on a wire rack.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Superbowl Snacks

With the Superbowl coming up, I thought I'd share a dip with you that I made the other day just by looking through my herbs and spices and thinking about what would be different from our usual dip. This is what I came up with and it's perfect for dipping veggies or chips and it only takes 3 minutes to put it all together!

3 tablespoons sour cream (I use fat free)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I use light)
1 tablespoon fresh dill (I only had dried dill so I used about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (you can use lemon juice or even a cider vinegar)

  • Stir all ingredients together in a bowl and serve!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tuna Casserole

Tuna casserole is a great comfort food if done right. Here's a recipe that I created on my own that gets gobbled up around here. The kitties help munch on a few pieces of tuna, too!

1/2 bag of pasta (I use scoobidoo noodles, but you can use penne or macaroni)
1 can of your favorite creamy soup (or use 1 whole recipe of creamy soup substitute - recipe follows)
1/4 cup diced onions
2 cans tuna, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 cup shredded cheese
cayenne pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
black pepper to taste

  • Boil the pasta for a few minutes less than the package requires. (It will continue cooking in the oven).
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • If using creamy soup substitute, prepare the recipe.
  • Add the cayenne pepper, garlic powder and black pepper to the creamy soup substitute or the can of creamy soup.
  • Stir the cheese into the creamy soup mixture.
  • Add the flaked tuna and the can of corn to the mixture and stir well to combine.
  • Stir in the pasta and pour into a 9x13-inch casserole dish. You can sprinkle additional grated cheese on top if you like.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

Creamy Soup Substitute

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
10 ounces milk (or you can use 5 ounces milk and 5 ounces chicken stock)
OPTIONAL: you can add chopped celery or onions for flavor

  • Heat butter and oil in a pot, then add flour and salt, stirring to form a roux.
  • If desired, add the celery or onions and cook for about a minute.
  • Add the milk and stir until thickened.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Moist and Tender Ribs

My mother-in-law emailed me today with a delicious new recipe for ribs. It's a twist on the old faithful that we make in the family, but the ribs come out even more tender and the meat just falls off the bone and melts in your mouth.

1 rack pork side ribs
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon adobo sauce

1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chili powder

  • Put the ribs into a pot and cover it with hot water. Add 1 tablespoon of garlic and 1 tablespoon of chili powder. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and allow the ribs to simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Mix all other ingredients in a bowl to make the barbeque sauce.
  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Once the ribs have simmered, remove them from the pot and place on a large piece of aluminum foil. Cover both sides of the ribs with the barbeque sauce and wrap it fully in the foil.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 1.5 hours.
We had ours with whole wheat baguette and herbed butter. Yum!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Garfield's Favorite Food

The weather has turned cold and windy and snowy so I've been making good, hearty dishes that will keep us warm. Today's post is lacking a photo of the finished product since I was pressed for time and couldn't get a piece out without making a mess everywhere. But there are photos of Garfield's favorite food being made. I'll also note that I used boxed lasagna noodles this time, but I usually make it from my own homemade pasta.

1 pound ground turkey
1 pound spicy sausage meat
1/2 medium-sized onion, diced
1 can (28 fl oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can (5.5 fl oz) tomato paste
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

6 strips of lasagna noodles
1 ball of mozzarella cheese, finely sliced or grated

  • If using boxed noodles, boil water and pour it over the noodles to soften. If using fresh pasta, skip this step.
  • In a skillet, cook the ground turkey, sausage meat and onions together over medium heat. Once the meat has browned, drain off the excess liquid.
  • Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and basil and mix in well. Allow it to simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • To assemble lasagna, cover the bottom of a casserole dish with a very thin layer of sauce to prevent the noodles from sticking. Then place 3 strips of the pasta on top of the sauce.

  • Then cover the pasta with half of the meat sauce.

  • Cover the meat sauce with the cheese slices or grated cheese.
  • Then cover the cheese layer with another layer of pasta followed by meat sauce and topped with cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until cheese has melted and the lasagna is bubbly.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stuffed Pork Rib Roast

Ever get tired of eating the same kind of food over and over and over again? That's how we've been feeling lately since we've been having to eat meals that are quick and easy to prepare. We finally had a bit of time on our side and thought we'd try something a little different. We browsed the shelves at the grocery store and finally decided that we would make our own recipe. We chose to make a pork roast, marinated and stuffed with delicious flavors and roasted to perfection. Here's the recipe that we created together:

1 2-pound pork rib roast

3/4 cup white wine (you can use red if you prefer it)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons peri peri rub (you can use any spicy rub that you have on hand)

1/2 pound spicy sausage meat
2 tablespoons diced onion
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped (you can substitute 1 teaspoon dried sage)
1/2 Granny Smith apple, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
(In retrospect, it would've been good to add a slice or two of bread to the stuffing. Just chop it up finely and toss it in.)

Here's Riley making sure that I have the right ingredients for the marinade.

These are the ingredients for the stuffing.

  • In a large plastic zipper bag (like Ziploc), pour the wine, olive oil and spice rub in and swish it around to combine. Then put the pork roast in and massage it to help the marinade penetrate. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight if you can, turning once or twice to ensure that it is evenly marinaded.
  • In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients for the stuffing. If you don't add the bread, it will look like the picture below, but I highly recommend adding the bread otherwise you'll end up with a big clump of meat inside the roast. It still tastes good, but the texture isn't quite right for a stuffing.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • With a sharp, pointed knife, carefully make an incision in the centre of the roast to make a pocket to fit the stuffing.
  • Insert the stuffing into the pork roast, packing it tightly. Place the pork on top of a rack inside a roasting pan. Cook in the preheated oven for approximately 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature is 160 degrees F.
  • When the roast is cooked, remove it from the oven and cover with foil for 10 to 15 minutes. This will make the meat even juicier. Then slice and serve with roasted vegetables, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes or a salad!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Spicy Hummus

I really enjoy eating dips, but I didn't want to make another one with sour cream and mayonnaise so I decided to make a hummus. Here's my version with a little kick to it since I like everything spicy!

**Sorry, for some reason, blogspot decided to do weird things to my photos, so the lemon got cut out of this photo. 

1 can chick peas
1 roasted red pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons sesame oil (add 1 first, if it's not enough, add another)
1 chipotle pepper (I used 3 because I like it spicy)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 to 1/2 cup water (only if needed to get food processor or blender to whip everything together smoothly)

  • Toss everything into a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Serve with bread, pitas, veggies or chips.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Orange Blueberry Muffins

Now that we're a few days into 2009, it means that we need to get back into the swing of things. For us, that means going back to work, thinking about what we can pack for breakfast and lunch and what we can put together quickly for dinner. Muffins have always been a great solution for a breakfast that you can pack up and eat at the office, but I haven't yet been able to find a recipe that I like. Instead of searching, I decided to try my own creation: Orange Blueberry Muffins.

4 tablespoons butter, melted
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
zest of 1 orange
juice of 1 orange
2/3 cup sour cream (I use fat free)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl or a mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Then add the eggs, orange zest and orange juice. Blend until well mixed, then add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix in thoroughly.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg together. Then fold it in to the wet mixture until just combined. Then stir in the blueberries. Do not overmix.
  • Pour into a greased muffin tray or a tray lined with paper muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 20 - 22 minutes. Makes 12 standard sized muffins.

**Result: A really light, fluffy and tasty muffin. It has a nice, crispy outside and a very soft inside. There's just enough orange flavour that balances nicely with the blueberries. This is a winner! In the future, I'll modify the recipe to make different kinds of muffins like lemon cranberry, apple cinnamon or even carrot muffins.