September 26, 2010

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan

My mom grew up on an asparagus farm and has always had an affinity towards asparagus as a side dish. My dad, on the other hand, has a general rule about not eating any green vegetables. How to please them both? Serve roasted asparagus with an garlic olive oil and parmesan cheese. Pleases even the fussiest pallets and takes your side up a notch. 

  • 1 bunch asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated parmesan 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic, sea salt and pepper together
  • On a baking sheet, lay out the asparagus in a single layer and brush with the olive oil mixture to coat and sprinkle parmesan cheese over top
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until tender, depending on thickness
  • Serve hot

September 24, 2010

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

When we go grocery shopping, T always waltzes through the cookie aisle looking for something for me to make. This week, he was inspired simply by oatmeal raisin cookies -- something I easily found a recipe for and whipped these up to enjoy while we were watching Mad Men on Sunday night. A perfect way to wrap up one of the last weekends of summer. 


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • In a large bowl, cream together butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth 
  • Beat in eggs and vanilla until fluffy
  • In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt
  • Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture
  • Fold in oats and raisins
  • Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets
  • Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden brown
  • Cool on a wire rack

September 22, 2010

Breakfast Burritos

After the success I had with the baked steak burritos, I thought that the burrito possibilities were endless. In a state of panic the other night when it seemed like there was no food in the house, I was able to pull off what looked like a pretty sufficient dinner -- all thanks to some great presentation.

You can really do anything you want with these burritos (which is what makes them so amazing), but I stuck with the classics: bacon, eggs, tomatoes, onions, cheese. This was a breakfast of champions and would be good to make in the morning for active kids walking out the door. 


  • 4 large flour tortillas, warmed
  • 6 eggs
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • salsa and/or sour cream to serve
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • In one frying pan, cook the bacon
  • In another frying pan, cook the eggs, scrambled
  • Open up the four tortillas and spread out over the counter
  • In each, in a line down the middle, place two slices of bacon, a couple of spoonfuls of egg, some tomatoes, some green onions and some cheese
  • Fold the burrito by folding the long side in, tucking in the short ends and rolling over
  • Lay seam side down on a baking sheet (don't be shy to use toothpicks to keep them closed)
  • Serve with salsa and/or sour cream, or wrap in tin foil for easy portability

September 21, 2010

Turkey Cannelloni

In the movie Julie&Julia, they say that it's rude to say "yum" while you're eating, but I couldn't stop saying it when I made this. 

This was easily one of the most delicious things that I have ever made, and something I genuinely would be happy to get in a restaurant. But let's be honest, it's also one of the most complicated. Usually when I look for recipes, I look for simple, simple, simple. But I was craving cannelloni and I was willing to put in the effort for something a little more complex. And boy am I glad I did.

Sure, there are a tonne of ingredients and a crazy amount of directions. Sure, this recipe is a little fiddley -- especially if you make the pasta. (even if you don't make the pasta, fresh pasta is a must). But, this is one dish that is well worth the time and effort to put in. And it's a great dish for company because you can make it advance and then just bake it. A major culinary breakthrough for me!

  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1/3 cup minced carrot
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1.5 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning (I substituted a mix of basil, oregano and thyme)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup millk
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 jar tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 pound fresh pasta sheets

  • Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook over moderate heat until softened.
  • Add the garlic and cook one minute. 
  • Add turkey, stirring occasionally until meat is no longer pink. 
  • Add wine and reduce for one minute. Stir in broth, herbs, bay leaf and salt and pepper.
  • Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover and reduce until almost dry. Discard bay leaf and set mixture aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan set over moderately low heat. Whisk in flour for about two minutes. Whisk in milk, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally for five minutes or until thickened. Stir in parsley and parmesan.
  • Transfer cooled meat mixture to a large bowl, mix in egg yolks and cooled cheese and parsley sauce. Set aside.
  • Combine the tomato sauce and cream. Set aside.
  • Cut the pasta sheets crosswise into 5 inch lengths. Cook in boiling water until al dente -- should only take a couple of minutes with fresh pasta.
  • Spoon some filling down the centre of one noodle and roll the noodle to enclose the filling. Transfer cannelloni seam-side down to a buttered lasagna pan until filling is complete.
  • Cover cannelloni with tomato-cream sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until bubbling. Run under broiler for two minutes until cheese is golden.

Recipe adapted from 

September 20, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

One year ago today, on a perfect Sunday morning, Tim and I got married. It's been an amazing year, and our engagment and then wedding was really the tipping point towards my new-found domesticity. It should be no surprise then that our anniversary presents will benefit our kitchen -- and ultimately, my blog.

The gift for the first anniversary is supposed to be paper; so we bought a brand new camera (what? we'll print the photos!). We bought a Canon Rebel T2i.

It's an awesome DSLR camera that I hope to figure out soon and start posting some awesome photos!

We also got a lovely gift from my parents that will absolutely go to good use in our kitchen: a Cuisinart food processor.

This baby rocks -- last night it chopped my onion, minced my garlic and shredded my parmesan for our anniversary dinner of shrimp alfredo (stay tuned for the recipe!). I already wonder how I lived without it!

And so I guess, with a year under our belts, we are no longer newlyweds. Happy Anniversary, Sweetie!

September 18, 2010

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Fingerling potatoes are small, knobby and thin potatoes that apparently resemble fingers. While normally that kind of description would turn me off, I am glad I forged ahead with these little gems. They'd been sitting in the back of the fridge for a few weeks and in a fit of desperation the day before our weekly grocery shop when nothing else was to be had, I chopped them, poured some vegetable oil on them (we were even out of olive oil!), tossed them in some salt and pepper and roasted them. 

When they came out they had a light crisp outside while having a warm, creamy and sweet inside. They literally burst in your mouth and for some reason, I found that they smelled like an amusement park. A great way to end the summer.


  • About a pound of fingerling potatoes, quartered
  • olive oil to coat
  • salt and pepper
  • Toss the quartered potatoes lightly in olive oil and salt and pepper
  • Pour onto cookie sheet and bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees for about 45 minutes
  • Serve with sour cream

September 16, 2010

Baked Steak Burritos

When we were in San Diego last year on our honeymoon, I had the most amazing steak burrito in this little Mexican restaurant. I think that burrito was the sole reason I so fondly look back at our time in San Diego. That and kayaking with leopard sharks; that was pretty cool. 

But I digress. Back to the burrito. To start, it was massive -- in fact the waiter kindly called it a "gut buster." It was baked to perfection and when I cut into it, mounds of steak and delicious sauce poured out. I rarely remember meals but I have been pining for another steak burrito for months. 

Apparently I loved it so much, I took a picture:

San Diego burrito

I couldn't find a recipe that met what I was looking for so I took a leap of faith and created my own. It wasn't exactly the same, but a pretty good burrito all around. This may join our regular meal rotation!


  • 1/2 pound of stir fry steak strips
  • 1 small red pepper, julienned
  • 1 small yellow pepper, julienned 
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning (more if you like spicier)
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 4 large tortilla shells, warmed
  • salsa, sour cream and/or guacamole to serve


  • In a frying pan, saute the onion and add the beef
  • Once beef is mostly cooked, add the red and yellow peppers, cook for a couple of minutes
  • Add the taco seasoning and water, stir in and let simmer for a few minutes
  • Add cream to make a sauce
  • Spoon mixture evenly over tortillas in a line down the middle of the tortilla and top with shredded cheese
  • Roll tortilla long side first, then tuck in ends and roll
  • Place seam side down on cookie sheet and bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees, for about 20-25 minutes, until tortilla is brown and golden
  • Serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole

September 15, 2010

100 Posts!!!

Ten months ago, I started this blog to keep track of the foods that I was making as I learned my way around the kitchen. This is my 100th post and I can't believe how far I have come. With 100 new recipes under my belt, I think I have upgraded from rookie cook, to junior cook. I still have a long way to go, but I have made some really great strides and some really great food! 

To celebrate, I thought I would do an Oscar-style recap of some great kitchen moments.

Favourite New Dish -- My best investment this year was in Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, because without it, I wouldn't have found this new summer staple: Summer Garden Pasta

Most Improved Technique -- My presentation has certainly come a long way, but is most noticeable in the cupcake icing. This is where I started, and this is where I am now!

Best Suprise Food -- easily the peanut butter and oatmeal sandwich cookies. I still dream about these ones.

Best Breakfast Dish -- I had never cooked with buttermilk before I tried these Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes, but now it's a staple in my fridge

Most Impressive Dessert -- easily the triple chocolate mousse cake. It's not only visually impressive, but it's sinfully delicious.

Most Popular Blog Post -- dulce de leche brownies. This shouldn't surprise me, but it's clear I'm not the only one with a sweet tooth!
Thanks for visiting my blog and feel free to drop any recipe ideas you may have or something you think I should try!

Lindsay (aka Suzy Homemaker)

September 13, 2010

Taco Seasoning

For years I bought those Old El Paso packets of taco seasoning. The last time I looked at it, I read the package. Unless you're interested in following this recipe, do not read the package. 

I searched for an easy substitute and not surprisingly, I was not disappointed. What was even better was that I had every one of these spices in my spice cabinet! I love a recipe that requires no extra shopping!


  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • In a small bowl, mix all spices together 
  • Store in an air tight container

September 11, 2010

Dulce de Leche Brownies

I had some more Dulce de Leche left in the fridge and was looking for something to make with it when I stumbled on Dave Lebovitz' recipe for Dulce de Leche brownies. (who coincidentally created these for the same reason)

With nearly two chocolate bars in these brownies, they are dense and chocolatey. Three days later they were still incredibly moist. The DLD takes them over the top in sweetness though and trust me when I say these are best served with nothing but a big, tall glass of milk. 

  • 8 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
  • 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup Dulce de Leche
  • optional: 1 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease an 8-inch square pan with butter.
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the chocolate pieces and stir constantly over very low heat until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the sugar, vanilla, then the flour. Mix in the nuts, if using.
  • Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan and drop half of the Dulce de Leche, evenly spaced, over the brownie batter, then drag a knife through to swirl it slightly. Spread the remaining brownie batter over, then drop spoonfuls of the remaining Dulce de Leche in dollops over the top of the brownie batter. Use a knife to swirl the Dulce de Leche slightly. (don't do too much swirling as you want some globs of it all over)
  • Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. The brownies are done when the center feels slightly firm. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

September 9, 2010

Poppyseed Dressing

The summer is coming to an end so I have been craving the last bit of fresh summer goodness. I usually make this salad dressing for a traditional spinach and strawberry salad, but I used the mixed lettuce I had on hand, some last summer berries, goat cheese and walnuts. Refreshing and light -- exactly what I was looking for.

  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. minced onion
  • Combine dressing ingredients and mix well
  • Serve over your favourite salad

September 7, 2010

Dulce de Leche Peach Tart

Peach season is almost over here in Ontario, so I thought I would take one last kick at a peach dessert. As soon as I found this recipe, I made some dulce de leche so I could try this one out. The flavour of the tart was amazing, but my peaches were so juicy that the presentation was lacking -- a lot. While it is much easier to blanch the peaches, I highly recommend peeling them with a potato peeler. This will keep your peaches in tact, but you may also want to let them sit in a colander for awhile to get rid of the extra juices. There is no thickener in the filling, so no matter how long you leave it, it will not firm up -- trust me.

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dulce de leche
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5-6 large ripe peaches, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp dulce de leche
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • To make the crust: Cream butter and sugar for a minute or two until well mixed, but still stiff.
  • Sift together flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. Add to the butter mixture and briefly mix with your hands until crumbly and moist enough to hold together when pressed.
  • Press into an 8 or 9 inch tart pan, making sure all sides are even and strong.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes or just until the sides of the crust start to brown. Remove and let cool.
  • To make the filling: In a mixer or food processor add the butter, brown sugar, dulce de leche, egg yolk, vanilla and salt. Mix until light colored and smooth.
  • Spread the filling into the crust.
  • Put the peach slices in a colander to drain excess juices for a minute or two. (Trust me on this, you don't want super juicy peaches or the tart will be runny)
  • Place the peach slices on top of the tart, overlapping each other so that they are very close together. Make circles of peach slices until the entire tart is covered. 
  • Brush 2 tbsp of dulce de leche evenly over the peaches. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. sugar.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until peaches are caramel colored and the tart is heated through. Remove and let cool.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature

September 6, 2010

Dulce de Leche

Dulce de leche is the most common name for milk caramel in Spanish. I just call it delicious. It translates into "sweet of milk" and is really similar to a thick caramel sauce. It is common in South America and Central American countries and is used primarily as a spread for toast or a filling for pastries. I used in it in a couple of great desserts I'll share later this week.

I had been seeing a lot of recipes calling for dulce de leche so I thought instead of buying it, I would try making it. If you have the time, it's worth it to "make" it. It really is the easiest thing. There are a few different ways you can make it, but I followed Dave Lebovitz' recipe and it turned out terrific.

  • one can sweetened condensed milk
  • a few flecks of sea salt

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  • Pour one can of sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk) into a glass pie plate or shallow baking dish. Stir in a few flecks of sea salt.
  • Set the pie plate within a larger pan, such as a roasting pan, and add hot water until it reaches halfway up the side of the pie plate.
  • Cover the pie plate snugly with aluminum foil and bake for 1.5 hours. (Check a few times during baking and add more water to the roasting pan as necessary).
  • Once the Dulce de Leche is nicely browned and caramelized, remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, whisk until smooth.
  • Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Warm gently in a warm water bath or microwave oven before using.

September 4, 2010

Cheese Trays

I love cheese. Give me a brick of cheese, a breadstick and some wine, and I'm in for the night. So I was excited to host a wine and cheese (and jewellery!) party recently for some of my girlfriends where I was able to share some of my favourite cheeses.

Putting together a cheese tray is simple and classy. All you need are some great cheeses, a variety of breads such as these baked pitas, and some sides such as dried meats, olives and grapes. I like to use wooden boards for cheese trays and keep them rustic looking. A simple addition is to put a flag in each cheese to indicate what it is -- this will stop a lot of questions from your guests and can let you focus on filling up their wine glasses!

Here's a rundown of my four favourite cheeses. Feel free to leave a comment about your favourite -- I'm always looking to try new ones.

St. Andres

This is a triple cream and, true to its name, it's decadent. This one is best when it's been sitting out for a little bit and come back to it's true creamy form. You'll want to serve this with delicious but simple crackers because you really want to enjoy its creamy flavour.

Applewood Smoked Cheddar

I love a smokey flavour and this one in particular makes my knees buckle. It's like a traditional cheddar but with this amazing smokey flavour. This is great as part of an antipesto plate with meats like proscuitto and salami (old forest is awesome) and some olives. 

Ossai Irati

I had never tried this one but when I went to the cheese shop, the cheese-guy recommended it. (I really like how he asked what else we were eating and what we were drinking to make a good selection. It's a sheep's milk cheese and it's mild with this tangy afterbite. It also looks neat on a platter because it has an interesting hard, grey rind.


This is a staple in our house and is accessible at most grocery stores now. It's a goat's cheese and comes in three different flavours -- shallot and chive (which is the one I had at the party), fine herbs and peppercorn. Fine herbs is still my favourite. It also comes in a light version -- but don't do it. It's a completely different cheese and more like a cream cheese. The regular is soft and crumbly and melts in your mouth. 

September 2, 2010

Baked Pita Triangles

When I make appetizers, I'm usually looking for something easy that I can mostly prepare in advance so I can focus on the main course. Recently, I picked up one of my favourite dips -- roasted red pepper, which I swear I'm going to learn how to make -- and put it on a tray with vegetables. I still wanted it to look like I put some effort into, so I grabbed a bag of Greek-style pitas and decided to bake them.

The real win for these was the kosher salt because they were unexpectedly salty. Served warm, it looked like I put in a lot of time into these little guys, but they were easy to whip up and, because of their large surface area, perfect for dipping.


  • 4 no-pocket pitas (often called Greek style)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • pepper 


  • Cut pitas into six triangles by cutting whole pita in half, then each half into three triangles
  • Line pitas on a baking sheet
  • Lightly brush olive oil onto one side of each pita and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes
  • Serve warm


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