Sunday, 29 June 2014

Well today is the day I let 30 people try my dishes and help me choose which one t take to my Masterchef Canada audition on Wednesday in Winnipeg.
The day didn't start off that great with the power being out but being a busy mom I made a back up plan just in case.
2 dishes need to be served hot so I figured if anything they could be heated on my gas stove and taken to the location. (its only a block away)
So my menu for tonight is the following:
Dish 1: Mango,Avocado salad with baby greens and tequila lime chicken. drizzled with a ginger citrus dressing.
Dish 2: Butternut squash soup made with ham stock garnished with sour cream and fresh corn salsa
Dish 3: Bison flank steak with summer salad served on a slider with saskatoon dressing
Dish 4: Oxtail and rice & peas with a side of pineapple salsa
Dish 5 Tiramisu cheesecake with coffee flavoured whip cream

To drink I am offering a red and white sangria.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

A very busy day ahead

Check out A busy mom's (@abusymomscook):

Friday, 27 June 2014

2 days before my tasting.....

So I was still cooking at 3 am, I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to serving others food. I want everything to be perfect.
Last thing I want to hear on Monday around town is that I don't have what it takes to be a MasterChef or that my food sucks.
Trying to make my grocery list and I am a scatter brain. So again I will write each dish out and everything that goes in it.
One day closer to my dream......

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Butternut squash soup

For my cousin Janet, here is the butternut squash soup recipe.
This recipe came about because we had a ham bone and made some stock with it. No peas in the house that day but I had a butternut squash so I roasted it up instead,

 1-2 butternut squash cleaned
drizzle with olive oil
fresh nutmeg  (use a rasp) you only need a sprinkle on each half

Bake for about 30 mins in a 350 degree oven until soft

let cool for 30 mins scoop into a soup pot
add 4 cups of stock mix together
I put it in the blender to make smooth (put back in the soup pot)
add 1 1/2 cups of chopped up ham into soup pot

add salt pepper to taste.
we add a little cayenne to ours

fresh salsa

2 fresh tomatoes  chopped
1 mango chopped
1 avocado cubed
1 green onion chopped or 1/8 c of red onion chopped
1/2 jalapeno minced
small amount of cilantro chopped fine
juice from 1 lime

put all together in 1 bowl and mix  put in the fridge

I add a tbsp of sour cream in the center of the bowl of soup and add salsa on top.


Butternut squash soup with fresh salsa

Saskatoon pie

Tiramisu cheesecake

  So today I finally wrote down my 5 dishes that I am serving Sunday night. For those who don't know Shelley came up with a great way for me to choose the perfect dish for my audition on Wednesday next week.
  I am having very mixed feelings over this whole thing, I love to cook, I love to share good food with friends and family but I don't know if I have the chops to compete against great cooks. Never mind being away from my family and friends for 6 weeks.
I have a cooking dream and that is to start my own little catering company called "busy mom's catering"
It will be great food for families on the go. frozen meals, soups and muffins etc. without the additives that big companies put into their boxed food.  Crazy I know!!!

Parmesan pepper lemon basil biscuits

                    Parmesan Pepper Lemon Basil Biscuits

425 degree oven   parchment lined baking sheet
middle rack in the oven

2 cups of all purpose flour  (I use cake and pastry flour)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp cracked pepper  ( I use 4 peppercorn mix)
1/2 tsp saly
6 tbsp cold butter
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup milk
2 leaves fresh basil cupped up finely

makes 8 biscuits

whisk the flour,sugar,baking powder, lemon zest, basil,salt together
cut butter into small pieces and rub through the flour. add cheese, mix through.
add milk, mix completely into a loose dough.

turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. 
fold dough into thirds (like a business letter) and lightly pat into a 8x5 rectangle about 3/4 inch thick.
use a cutter or cut into squares

bake until light brown about 15 mins


Never fail banana chocolate chip muffins

My never fail banana chocolate chip muffin recipe.

350 degrees  14-18 minutes

3 ripe bananas
1/2 butter  ( I use coconut oil)
2 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
a pinch of baking soda
3/4 cup of brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup choc.chips
I mash up the banana and then cream in the butter and sugar.
add eggs, vanilla and mix together
I then sprinkle my baking powder and soda over the wet mixture, mix well and then add the flour and choc.chips

alternatives I cut back on the flour and add a 1/4 combination of flax,chai and hemp seeds. some days I add peanut butter instead of the butter, I add about 2 tbsps of coconut oil to the peanut butter.

That version is a chunky monkey muffin.


My trial recipes while preparing for my Masterchef Canada audition

Another day and a few recipes picked out for the day. I am over loading my brain with simple everyday recipes to cover all my bases as my audition day grows near.

I have 5 dishes picked out and I am letting members of the community help me pick just the right dish for my audition. On Sunday night I am having a tasting at a local cafe and letting 30 people critique my food and from there my final dish will be chosen.

Today I attempt homemade lady finger cookies for my Tiramisu cheesecake, Parmesan,pepper,lemon biscuits and pie pastry.
As a busy mom I don't do alot of from scratch baking except for my banana choc.chip muffins which I add zucchini,carrot,eggplant, chai seeds, flax seeds hemp heart seeds into depending on the day. I try and get as many good things into a small package. I have found that the pickiest child will eat anything with chocolate chips and or icing.

I have my Jamaican oxtail marinading as well as my tequila lime chicken.
I will posts those recipes today.
I put LOVE into every dish I make and by LOVE I mean, I love my friends and family and I love to cook so I try and give them great tasting, healthy meals all the time.

Tequila lime marinade
this makes enough for:
16 skin on, bone in chicken thighs or 10 chicken breasts.
I always use skin on, bone in chicken.

1/2 cup of tequila
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove of chopped garlic
1 shallot chopped
2 sprigs of thyme ( I use lemon thyme)
zest from 1 lime
juice from 1 lime
1 tbsp of honey
marinade the meat for up to 12 hrs.  I cook on a charcoal grill with an applewood chip package on the bottom grate. low and slow.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014


This blog was created by my eldest daughter Rachel-Ann, to help me keep track of all my recipes as well as track my adventure of being selected to interview for Masterchef Canada.

a mini intro written by Rachel-Ann

      My mom has always been a good cook. she always took something so basic as lunch and made it into an adventure for your taste buds as well as your stomach. With 4 kids, me being super picky. she had to find ways to keep everything healthy but also get us to enjoy eating. Eventually it went as far as her experimenting with cooking. Trying something new or something she seen. some of my favorite memories are of us watching the food channel at night. The next day getting home from school and she had made something fantastic with all her new ideas.

Please enjoy all her finds and creations!