Tag Archives: sauce

Happy Mother’s Day (2017) … Fudgy Chocolate Cake

In many households, dads barbecue to save mom from having to cook on this, their special day. Which you might think is a very considerate thing to do.

My question is … who does the dishes and cleanup, let alone did the shopping, for what gets bbq’d?


I DON’T think so. 馃檪

For all the mothers (step-mothers, foster mothers, grandmothers etc) out there, I hope you had a great day surrounded by your loved ones. Who show their appreciation to you for all you do, year round.

I made a fudgy chocolate cake yesterday which many mothers would appreciate. Instead of a cake however, I made a dozen cupcakes and two mini cakes that would serve two people. They were frosted very simply with a ganache (whipping cream and chocolate) and there’s a pretty strawberry sauce to go with it.

Strawberry Sauce – makes about a cup of sauce

3 tbsp water
2 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 cup thinly sliced strawberries
3 tbsp granulated sugar
a squeeze of lemon juice (it’ll liven up the flavour of the sauce)

Stir together the water and cornstarch in a small bowl until combined.

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, stir together the cornstarch mixture, sliced strawberries, lemon juice and sugar.

Bring mixture to a simmer, whisking frequently and cook for a minute or two. Cool for 5 minutes.

Puree in a food processor.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl.

I bbq’d a sirloin steak, a large pork chop, several pork souvlaki skewers for the rest of the week and some pineapple rings. The steak was served with a baked potato (cooked in the microwave and finished on the bbq), sauteed white mushrooms and a simple salad.

Cupcakes and frosting


Swedish Cinnamon Star Bread and Blue Cheese (Stilton) Burgers with Blue Cheese Sauce

I’ve been seeing these star breads on various blogs for ages, but they were always filled with Nutella. And, Nutella is pricey. So, I went with a cinnamon, sugar and softened butter filling instead. I used the recipe found here. The technique is quite simple but the presentation is impressive. I’m not totally happy with the dough so I’m going to keep looking for a recipe that I like better.

Technique Pictures

Burgers … fast, inexpensive and tasty even when you don’t grill them.

I neglected to freeze the rest of a recent extra lean ground beef purchase, because I was planning on making chili as well as the ‘pasta e fagioli’ that I posted a while ago. Of course, something came up and then I ran across the last of the Stilton blue cheese from my Christmas dinner. After a fast google search I decided to make stuffed burgers using an Emeril Lagasse recipe I found. And then I forgot to put in the essence the recipe called for so I ended up with fairly boring burgers. Though I DID add a couple of tablespoons of caramelized onions to the meat along with some salt and pepper.

The stuffed burgers called for making 4 quarter pounder patties and then pairing them up with the cheese sandwiched between. The result was 2 HUGE stuffed burgers.

The second pound of meat was divided into 8 patties and I made 4 much smaller stuffed burgers which just fit into a couple of pretzel buns from the city market.

Instead of the fancy sauce/dressing that Emeril made, I went for fast and easy … ketchup and mustard.

Amazing what you’ll do when you’re hungry and want to eat as soon as possible.

I still had some Stilton left so I made a very simple blue cheese sauce/dip with it … Stilton, whipping cream and grated Parmesan cheese.

It was great over one of the large burgers which I served with rice and a salad. And even better as a dip for onion rings.

And here’s a freezer clear-out meal I came up with.

Chicken drumsticks marinated in vindaloo paste/yogurt and served with a side of chickpea curry over couscous.

Dessert ended up being the last of the panna cotta with raspberry coulis and no-churn blueberry ice cream.

Quick and Easy Hot Fudge Sauce

The recipe for this quick and easy hot fudge sauce was requested by someone who reads my blog. It was paired with a salted caramel sauce that I posted some time ago, drizzled over ice cream, and served with warm apple-raisin egg rolls.

Hot fudge and salted caramel sauces

Hot Fudge Sauce – makes ~1 cup

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1/4 cup light cream (20% butter fat, or substitute 2 tbsp whipping cream + 2 tbsp homogenized milk)
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted

Over medium heat, heat together all the ingredients but the cocoa until the butter and sugar have melted.

Add cocoa, stirring continuously and cooking for 2 minutes until sauce becomes smooth and thickens.

Serve over ice cream or dessert of your choice.

Can be kept in the fridge for 1 week or frozen. (I’ve kept it for more than a month in the fridge without any problems.)

Basic Cheese Sauce: One Dish Ham and Pea Mac and Cheese Bake

My cooking strategy for the past few years has focussed on the 3 R’s – Reuse, Recycle and Repurpose. I try my best not to waste food that I’ve bought though fresh leafy herbs and vegetables are still my great failing.

A basic cheese sauce is the start of many a great meal, snack or veggie side dish. Start with a bechamel sauce. After that, you have a world of possibilities.

This cheese sauce started with 1 1/2 cups of pepper jack, 1 cup of old cheddar, a couple of slices of American cheese and a few tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese.

I took one of these containers and turned it into a main dish for 3 people.

Basic Cheese Sauce – makes 2-2 1/4 cups of cheese sauce

2 tbsp butter, salted or unsalted
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 – 2 cups milk
3 cups or more grated cheese
salt, if needed
ground black pepper or a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and as it starts to bubble a bit, stir in the flour until it’s all been blended into the butter. Whisk in the milk, about a half a cup at a time. Keep stirring and bring to a boil.

When the sauce has thickened sufficiently, in a few minutes, take the saucepan off the heat and stir in grated cheese a handful at a time. When all the cheese has melted, taste for seasoning. You may have to add a bit of salt but generally that’s not the case. Some ground black pepper and or nutmeg may also be added.

Cheese Sauce Variations:

Mexican cheese sauce (Monterey or pepper jack, white or yellow Cheddar cheeses and some salsa) – nacho dip or Nacho grande
Italian cheese sauce (Mozzarella, Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, Provolone) – meat or veggie lasagna, over pasta
Swiss cheese sauce (Gruyere) – veggie dip ie cauliflower or broccoli, Philly cheese steak

One-Dish Ham and Pea Mac and Cheese Bake Pictorial Recipe

I used one of these containers (half of the cheese sauce made previously), 1 cup of thawed peas, 4 oz (~1 cup) diced cooked ham and another tbsp or so of Parmesan cheese over the top before it was put under the broiler for a couple of minutes. I cooked 1/2 a pound (200 gm) of elbow macaroni and the result was enough for 3 servings.

Combine and pour into a buttered baking dish.

Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese on top and place under the broiler until browned and bubbly.

Add a salad, and a soup, and a cookie or two and you’re all set