Double Kimchi

We borrowed a cookbook from the library and fell in love with it. Matt Basile’s “Street Food Diaries” is creative, daring, spicy, and Canadian. We have never eaten kimchi in our lives and this book made us want to own a jar of kimchi. Matt obligingly has a kimchi recipe, so we started with that. Recipe number 3 of our challenge. 

Cut up a napa cabbage. Put a pot of salted water on and bring to a boil. Let cool for ten minutes and add the cabbage. Leave for 30-60 minutes and drain. 

While the cabbage is soaking, blend 2 apples, 2 pears, 6 cloves garlic, fresh ginger, a bunch green onions and 2 lemons, minus the peel. We used lemon juice. Turn that out and add 2 cans chipotle peppers, 2 cups vinegar, 1 cup sriracha sauce, oil, fish sauce and cilantro. Blend to a paste. We majorly adjusted this part as we figured Matt must have an asbestos mouth! Just try and get a bit of all the different flavours in the sauce. Mix with the apple paste and stir in the cabbage. Put it in jars and refrigerate. In 24 hours you will have kimchi!


We wanted to make Matt’s Kimchi stew, so that is recipe number 4  of our new challenge. It is close to a cabbage soup recipe but using kimchi and adding more heat. Matt’s recipe uses celery, carrot, onion, leek, Roma tomatoes, tomato juice, water and kimchi. We used half cabbage, half Kimchi and adjusted the other ingredients to match the vegetables we had on hand. Cook for an hour. 


That looks pretty good, right, but we’re not done. Cook your favourite rice. Fry an egg per person. Put some rice in a bowl. Add the kimchi stew. Place a fried egg on top and chopped green onion. 


Wow, wow, wow! This was amazing! Becky doesn’t normally like spicy food but she loved this. We have never eaten anything like this before but we are so glad we tried it. We are also glad we made the kimchi and have found other ways of using it. Result….


…empty jar 🙂

We will be making more of Matt’s wonderful recipes as they look so yummy. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Cheryl and Becky 

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Leek and Gruyere Rosti

This is another Gordon Ramsay recipe from “Home Cooking”. You parboil a pound of potatoes. Cool and grate. Meanwhile shred a leek and sautĂ© until soft. Add the potato, 2 ounces grated Gruyere, seasoning and mix. 


Fry in butter and oil for 10 minutes, pushing the mixture into a flat pancake shape. 


Put a plate on top and flip everything over. Add some more oil to the pan and slide the Rosti back in to cook the other side. Cook for another 10 minutes.  Serve with fried egg. 


As usual, we changed the recipe a bit. I was distracted by some problem and the potatoes ended up fully cooked. I didn’t have time for them to cool so I threw them in cold water. The photo in the book shows the Rosti in a cast iron pan so that’s what I used. Not a good idea. A non-stick frying pan would probably work better or don’t flip the thing over but pop it under the grill/broiler. 

It was quite a bit of work, used a lot of pans, and didn’t look the most appetizing; however, it passed the taste test. Delish. I think we would make smaller Rosti next time and prepare the potatoes the day before. 


We had ours with chipotle ketchup. Yum! This was a good supper for a cold night. 




The days are still cool, but Spring has finally arrived…

Cheryl and Becky 

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Spicy Lentil Soup

We have a lot of cookbooks that we hardly ever use. We get in a rut and use the same recipes over and over again. This challenge is about breaking those habits and trying new recipes and new ingredients. This is our first recipe and it’s from Gordon Ramsay’s “Home Cooking” book. Click on the link for the recipe. 

First you fry some chopped onion and garlic. 


Then you add the spices. 

Then some tomato paste, but we used pasta sauce. Then add 1 1/2 cups of red lentils and 4 cups of chicken stock. We use a vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for half an hour. 


Process half of the soup in a blender and return it to the pot. Serve with yogurt or sour cream and some chopped fresh herbs sprinkled on top. We used chives. 


This was really tasty and an easy recipe. It wasn’t spicy hot, it was just delicious. We both had seconds. It was perfect for the cold wet day. 


We make a lot of soups during the winter, so we will definitely be making this again. 

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend. 

Cheryl and Becky 

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Slow Start To the Year

We have taken a break from the blog since returning to Ontario at the beginning of March. We have been focused on a couple of problems; one of which has been resolved but the others have not. We are both fine but it has been a difficult time. We had a team meeting this morning and we have decided on a new challenge for the next year. 

Our Bake Off Challenge was such a positive experience that we wanted to find something else in a similar vein. We learnt so much, had great fun, and best of all, we got to eat the results. It was a year well spent and we would recommend trying your own baking challenge. Anyway, our new challenge will be (drum roll) “Making A New Recipe Every Week For A Year”. There will be salads, soups, sides, mains and desserts. We will start on the weekend. Until then, enjoy the sunsets from Arizona. 


Happy Easter!

Cheryl and Becky 

Posted in Arizona, Baking, Canada, cooking, Family, Food, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Valentines Day Cupcakes 

We found an interesting chocolate cake recipe in a new book that Becky bought called “Sheet Pan Suppers”. It also has some desserts including one for a sheet cake “the size of Texas”. We modified it to make 10 cupcakes. Heat 1/4 pound butter, 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup cocoa powder in a saucepan over medium heat until bubbling and combined. Leave to cool. 


Mix 1 cup all-purpose flour, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda and we added 1/4 tsp baking powder. Add 1 egg and 1/2 cup sour cream to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Add to the dry ingredients and combine completely. Pour into prepared baking tins and bake at 350F for 20-23 minutes.  Cool on wire racks. 


For the icing mix 1 heaped tbsp peanut butter, 1 heaped tbsp butter, 1 heaped tbsp cocoa powder and 1 cup icing sugar. Add milk by spoonfuls until you have a smooth consistency. Add salt if needed. This iced 7 cupcakes. 


These were really good! The cake is light and moist, the icing sweet and salty. I think we would make these again. You can also make it as a sheet or bar cake. It would probably fit a 8″ or 9″ square tin. We left out several ingredients because we didn’t have them, but we think the cupcakes turned out just fine. 

Happy Valentines Day!

Cheryl and Becky 

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Southern Shortbread 

We managed to complete a Bake Off challenge recipe this week. Becky wanted to bake biscuits so we decided to make shortbread with a southern twist. This recipe is based on an Epicurious recipe I found online. I think it’s fairly standard. 

Mix 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl. Rub in 1/2 cup of chilled butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. At this point we stirred in 1/4 cup chopped pecans, which were not in the recipe. Bring it altogether to make a dough. Flatten into a 9″ round pan. We had a square tin so it didn’t quite fit. It also was a bit messy so I put it in the fridge for 10 minutes. That really helped. When you have it shaped, prick all over with a fork. Bake at 300F for about 30 minutes or until lightly golden. The recipe said 45 minutes. Ours was maybe 35 minutes. Cut into shapes with a sharp knife and sprinkle with sugar. Let it cool in the baking tin. 


I love shortbread and this was pretty darn good. It was nice and crunchy and we both liked the addition of pecans. Shortbread keeps really well in the freezer so you can always make some extra for another time. 

On the same day we went to Tempe Town Lake to watch the sunset. 



So beautiful! One of the many reasons we love Arizona. It was a good day 🙂

Happy baking!

Cheryl and Becky 

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California Pizza Kitchen 

This post is in two parts. First was our amazing dinner at California Pizza Kitchen in Tempe. For starters Becky ordered the dumplings. 


Delicious! Then she ordered the crunchy Mac and Cheese. 


I ordered the Spicy Chipotle Chicken Pizza with Lime Coriander Crema. 


There’s so much flavour! We love the food here, and the amazing service, so we were excited to see they have produced a cookbook. Naturally, we had to buy it. Pizza, cookbook and crema to go.


The second part of the post is baking a pizza from the book. I won’t reproduce the recipe here, but the dough is a little different from other pizza dough recipes. The topping was supposed to be pepperoni, mushroom and sausage. I had made some pasta sauce earlier in the week with sausage, mushroom and red peppers. I just spread that on instead and then grated cheddar and gruyere cheese on top. It cooked in 10 minutes. 



This was so good! The dough is soft and light, no hard pieces of crust. It puffed up considerably in the oven, so I would make it thinner next time. As for the all-in-one topping, it turned out rather well. I might start keeping some pasta sauce aside to use on pizza  in a hurry. 

We will be making this again and are looking forward to making lots of the recipes in the book. It’s not just pizza, there’s salads and some great desserts too. 

We are off traveling for a few days, so till next time…Happy baking!

Cheryl and Becky 

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