Thursday, October 30, 2014

Vegan Gravy

Even though I'm not a vegan (or even vegetarian for that matter) I really enjoyed this recipe, and so did my meat and potatoes loving husband (in fact, he thought it went really well with his steak!). The fact is, I love trying different recipes, and whether it's vegan, gluten free, etc. it's still food, and something I love experimenting with!  So vegan and carnivores unite - this recipe is perfect for the both of you. ;)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Birthday Cake Popcorn Balls and Jollytime's 100th Birthday

It's not everyday you have the chance to celebrate someone's 100th birthday with them!  Today I'm celebrating the birthday of one of my favourite popcorn companies - Jollytime!  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Frozen Hot Chocolate #CoolerWithAlmondBreeze

I adore hot chocolate in the wintertime... while it's not quite wintertime yet, winter it's definitely in the air.  The leaves have fallen from the trees, the air is crisp and cool, and my shorts and tank tops have long been replaced with cozy sweaters and long pants.

During this in-between kind of season, I go back and forth between craving summer smoothies, and wanting a warm and cozy winter beverage.  Rather than choose between the two I decided to go with the best of both worlds and made this frozen hot chocolate instead!

- 12 Blue Diamond Chocolate Almond Breeze ice cubes (see below)
- 2/3 cup Blue Diamond Chocolate Almond Breeze
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- your favourite whipped topping (I like this recipe)
- 1 square dark chocolate


Pour Blue Diamond Chocolate Almond Breeze into an ice cube tray and freeze for 4-6 hours.  Once frozen, remove ice cube tray from freezer and let rest on counter for 2-3 minutes to loosen.  

Blend chocolate ice cubes, almond milk, and cocoa powder together until smooth. Adjust almond milk as necessary to obtain desired constancy (I like my smoothies pretty thick). 

Top with whipped topping and shaved chocolate (I used a vegetable peeler against the edge of the chocolate to get a nice curl). 

This post is brought to you by Almond Breeze. I received monetary compensation in addition to the products pictured in this post.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own and I wouldn't share a  product with you if it wasn't something I truly loved. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cranberry Apple Butter

I adore fruit butters.  Fruit butter is kind of like jam, only with a much more intense flavour.  The reason the flavour is so intense?  Fruit butter is cooked down for several hours (sometimes even overnight!) in order to achieve it's thick, condensed fruit flavour. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Homemade Turkey Stock

The day after a big turkey dinner (or chicken dinner for that matter) my hubby and I always like to make homemade turkey stock.  It's fairly easy to make, and is a great way to use up leftovers. The night of the feast we carve the bird, putting aside the turkey carcass for the next day.  You can use the turkey stock right away and make homemade turkey soup, or you can refrigerate or freeze it for later.  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cream of Mushroom Soup

This recipe appeared in my local newspaper "The Hinton Voice" for my October column.  I write a monthly cooking column which is also titled "Cooking With Jax".  

[I hate mushrooms.  Or at least, I thought I did.  Ever since I was a little girl I’ve despised mushrooms in every way, shape, or form… that is except, cream of mushroom soup.  Now don’t get me wrong, I could never eat it on it’s own, just simply as soup.  I’ve always tolerated it in other recipes, like scalloped potatoes, beef stroganoff, or in a casserole.  It always had to be hidden by other things though, and never served on it’s own.  

A friend once told me that eating a mushroom was like chewing on an ear.  I have to say that’s the best description I’ve ever heard by far.  It’s not the flavour of the mushroom that I despise; it’s the rubbery, slippery, texture that always gets to me instead.  In fact, I came thisclose to aborting this recipe after feeling the slimy texture of the mushrooms while I was washing them!  I know what you’re thinking – why would I share a recipe featuring an ingredient that I hate?  Because dear readers, this is the recipe that changed the way I felt about mushrooms forever.

I’m not certain if it was the gorgeous looking portabella mushrooms staring at me from the grocery stores shelves, or the recent mushroom foraging class I took with a friend (you can never have too much zombie preparedness survival knowledge) but either way once I had it in my head that I wanted to try making mushroom soup, it was happening.  At the very least, I would use it to make stroganoff (that’s how I sold it to myself anyway).  I’m just as surprised as you are that the soup didn’t quite make it that far!  One taste to make sure the flavours were on track, and I was hooked.  I finished an entire bowl to myself and went back for seconds. If a self-proclaimed mushroom hater like me can love this soup, this recipe has got to be a keeper!]  

Recipe makes 4 servings

- 2 tbsp butter, divided
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 Portobello mushrooms 
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 tbsp flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream


In a medium saucepan preheated over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp butter.  Sauté onions for 1-2 minutes, then add chopped mushrooms. 

Stir in garlic, salt and pepper, and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are cooked and onions are slightly translucent. Add chicken broth, and bring mixture to a boil.

Meanwhile, in small saucepan set to medium heat, melt remaining butter (1 tbsp), then add flour.  Cook for 30 seconds or so, and then add milk 1 cup at a time.  Whisk constantly until milk comes to a boil, then stir it intp to the mushroom/chicken broth mixture.   

Finally, stir in heavy cream.

Optional: serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of fresh parsley to garnish.

Nutritional Info (per serving)

Calories – 250   Fat – 15    Carbs – 14     Protein - 8   Fibre – 2

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