Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Curry Won Tons with Up-A-Notch Plum Sauce

I have been busy in the kitchen since returning home from work! I made these little gems for a dinner party this past weekend, and boy, were they a hit! I have to say, they are pretty tasty! If you'd like to give it a go, check out the recipe and let me know what you think!

Curry Won Tons

1 package of Won Ton wrappers
Vegetable oil for frying or a deep fryer
Corn starch

3 cups of savoy cabbage, shredded
2 cups carrot, shredded
1/2 bag bean sprouts, washed and drained
1 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated/minced
2 garlic cloves, grated/minced
2 Tbsp Kikkoman soy sauce, more to taste if needed
1 Tbsp Curry powder

Heat a large fry pan or wok over medium high heat. Add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil.

Stir fry the cabbage and carrot about 2 minutes. Add bean sprouts, water chestnuts, ginger, garlic and curry powder. Toss to combine and continue to cook another 4-5 minutes. Add soy sauce. Toss.

Add about 1/4 cup of water to the pan, cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook another 2 minutes.



Remove lid, toss, taste. If you require more salt, add more soy sauce.

Remove from heat.

Place colander over bowl, and place filling into colander. Let sit to drain and cool.

Prepare countertop area with wax paper, a damp cloth and a small bowl with cornstarch and water.

Prepare your deep fryer. If using a pot, carefully heat oil using a themother, to 350. Be sure not to add more than half a pot full of oil.

Spread out won ton wrappers on wax paper. Cover the remaining wrappers with damp cloth while you work with the others.

pPlace about 1 rounded tablespoon of filling in the middle of each wrappers. Using your finger tip, rub the cornstarch mixture around the edges as 'glue'.

Fold into triangle and press firmly to seal, pressing out the filling to remove air pockets.

Once you have all formed, place on tray and start to fry in batches of 4 to 6, at a time.

Flip after a minute, and cook till golden. This shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes.

Remove with a spider spoon and drain on pan lined with paper towels and cooling rack.




Up-A-Notch Plum Sauce

1 bottle of VH Plum Sauce
2 Tbsp Rice vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated/minced
1 clove garlic, grated/minced
1 tsp red chilies

Whisk together in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Serve with your Won Tons.




Sunday, January 7, 2018

Black Bean and Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers

Hello!
As we welcome 2018, Mother Nature is busy whipping up winds and chilling cold. I am out at work and have been for the last 9 days now. It is a long haul this month, as it will be 17 days away from my cozy home. Thankfully, I am blessed with a wonderful crew of awesome shipmates. Makes things so much easier.
I love being able to use the ingredients on hand at work to come up with something a little different. Here we use a set menu and are given recipes. Sometimes tough to deal with, I try to do my best with it. I have a beautiful vegetarian co-worker this shift and am having fun with making her meals that suit her needs. It is also nice that others are embracing those foods as well.
I took a bean salad and incorporated it into a 'Bean and Rice Stuffed Pepper' and boy, was it a success! I am probably not the first one to make this, but I am happy I stirred this up and gave it a try!
This is a mix of a couple of recipes, and how you could do this at home for two.



Black Bean and Corn Stuffed Bell Peppers

2 large Bell Peppers, colour of your choice (My favorite is red!)
1/2 cup frozen corn niblets, thawed
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1 to 2 cups cooked rice (leftover rice pilaf or steamed rice works well)
1 Tbsp finely diced red onion
1 Tbsp finely diced bell pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped tomato
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
Line a baking pan or pie plate with foil. Spray with cooking spray.
Wash bell peppers and cut in half, vertically
Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl. (This can be done up to a day ahead)
Divide filling between the 4 pepper halves.
Place into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until peppers are slightly browned charred.
*Ifyou would like to add cheese to this, I would recommend topping with a little feta or maybe even mozzarella.*
Serve as a meal or as a side dish!

:)
Give it a try and let me know how you like!

Happy Cooking!
Natasha

Side Note: It won't let me upload the photo...I will try another time.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Mile High Biscuits!

My two weeks off are coming to an end. Today is my last day at home and I have again, been busy in my kitchen. Doing what I love to do, of course. Making goodies for the people I love.

I was given a cook book from my massage therapist a while back. She was cleaning out her book shelf and thought I'd like a few more books to add to my collection! She knows how much I love them.

This one is The Great Nova Scotia Recipe Cookbook
My favorite recipe from the book is this Biscuit recipe. It is small, so you only get 6 or 7 nice size biscuits. Y
ou may want to double it if you're looking for a bigger batch, or you could make them smaller.


Ingredients:

2 cups a.p. flour + more for board
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup milk

Method:

Preheat oven to 425F.

Line small cookie sheet with parchment.

Sift all dry ingredients together in a medium size bowl.

Cut shortening in with pastry blender, or with your hands.

Stir in milk with a fork to form a ball of dough. It will be fairly soft and wet.

Turn out onto floured board/counter top and work into nice 1 - 1 1/2 inch thick disc. Add more flour if needed.

Using a 3" round cutter, dusted in flour, cut out 6 to 7 biscuits. 

Brush a little milk over tops of biscuits and place in preheated oven.

Bake for 14-16 minutes until golden brown.

Serve up with butter, jam, molasses or with your favorite stew!


I hope you enjoy this recipe and give it a try yourself!!

Happy Cooking

Tasha :) 




Thursday, November 2, 2017

Cranberry Apple Bread Pudding


Fall is the most beautiful of seasons. The colours of the trees, especially here in beautiful Cape Breton Island, are breath taking. With fall comes foods that warm the soul. 

The last Sunday of October, I was joined by eleven great ladies and one awesome lad, to enjoy some wonderful Autumn foods. For dessert we made Cranberry Apple Bread Pudding. Nova Scotia Cortland apples and fresh cranberry's picked by myself and my darling three and half year old grand daughter! Pure joy! Mixed with some day old Italian bread, local free-range eggs and a few more ingredients, this combination of fruit and berry, was magical! Garnished with yogurt laced whipped cream, it was just what we needed to end off the fantastic meal.

I hope you try the recipe and enjoy it as much as I do!

Happy Cooking,

Natasha

Cranberry Apple Bread Pudding Cups                 Yield 12

Ingredients
3 large eggs
1 ¼ cups 2% milk
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
4 cups ½ inch cubed day old Italian bread
½ cup finely diced apple
½ cup fresh, washed cranberries

1.     Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 12-muffin tin. Set aside.
2.     In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, sugars, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.
3.     Stir in cubed bread, apples and cranberries.
4.     Let sit about 10-15 minutes.
5.     Divide mixture among 12-muffin tin. Place in preheated oven and back 20-30 minutes or until a knife in the center comes out clean.
6.     Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of cups and carefully slide them out onto dessert plates. Serve warm.
** This can also be made in a 9 x 9 pan and baked for 40-50 minutes *

Yogurt Cream Sauce                 
Ingredients
1 cup heavy cream
1 ½ Tbsp. sugar
¾ cup full fat plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla

1.     Whip the heavy cream with sugar until stiff peaks form.
2.     Fold in Yogurt and vanilla.

3.     Serve over warm bread pudding and garnish with few dashes of cinnamon





Sunday, October 29, 2017

Tasha's Tasty Table

I have to apologize! It has been MONTHS since I have posted. Summer was wonderful. Spent half the months working and half the months enjoying the weather, friends, family, and traveling!

Fall is in full swing now and I am back at Tasha's Tasty Table. I have done a little baking and testing the waters for Christmas baking! I will be taking orders for a few different kinds of goodies, which will be freezer friendly, and hope to have them ready for pick up by the 27th of November. I may also do some for pick up on the 19th of December. I will see how it goes! If you are in the St Peters/Richmond County Area, and are interested, feel free to drop me an email at natasha.johnson29@outlook.com

:)

Today, Tasha's Tasty Table is hosting another Cook with the Chef event! On the menu today is a Potato Leek Soup, Sausage Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with mustard sauce, Garlic Mashed Potato, Beet and Spinach Saute, Fresh Thyme Carrots, and a Cranberry and Apple Bread Pudding!!!

I look forward to sharing this with 11 beautiful woman and 1 cool cat gentleman! My wonderful mother in law has offered to once again, assist me. I am looking forward to a nice afternoon! I will share recipes and photos tomorrow!

This menu is fall inspired and all vegetables are grown locally. Mostly, from my dear father in laws garden! The eggs for the bread pudding, also local! They are just beautiful. The garlic, also local! Donated by one of my guests, Nathan Sampson. I look forward to sharing these fabulous ingredients. Nothing compares to fresh vegetables and fresh free range eggs.

The autumn colours are just beautiful today! The blue sky and chilly breeze is perfect. My favorite time of year!

Okay...that's it for now! I'm off to set up for this after noon's event!

Keep smiling and enjoy the food!

Natasha

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Chia Seed and Quinoa Granola Bars

It's a grey and gloomy spring day. Much the same as yesterday. I've been home from work for a week now and we've had 2 nice days. I just really need the sunshine. I bet you feel the same way.

I felt like baking something these last few days. I've made pancakes and banana muffins with my granddaughter over the last week but felt the need for something a little healthier. My pantry is a little less than beautiful right now as I'm low on just about everything. I managed to scrounge up some odds and ends and came up with this granola bar recipe. Of course, you can add whatever nuts or seeds you'd like, but keep the ratios around the same to come out with the proper texture!



1/4 cup Chia Seeds
1/4 cup dry Quinoa
1 1/2 cups Oats
1/4 cup toasted Coconut Chips
1/2 cup Pistachios, roughly chopped
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Honey

In a large bowl, place all dry ingredients.






In a small pot, melt peanut butter and honey together until smooth.

Let cool slightly.
Pour into bowl with dry and mix well. 

**If your wet is too warm it will melt your chocolate...which is fine...but if you don't want that to happen, make sure it's cool**

Line a 8X8 pan with wax paper. Pour mixture into pan. 

Place another sheet of wax paper on top and press down mixture evenly. Remove wax paper on top. Carefully lift the paper out of the pan with the bars and place on cooling rack for 30 minutes or until cool and set. 

Cut into bars and place in air tight container in refrigerator for up to 1 week! (But we all know they won't last that long!)


They turned out really good. I know they aren't THAT healthy...but I'm sure you could change up the peanut butter for something else. I'm just happy to have a decent snack that doesn't come from a box!

Let me know what you think!

Happy Cooking!

...Oh look! I think the sun is trying to shine!!!!!!!!!!!! Yippie!!!!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Korean Pork Chops

Last weekend we enjoyed a night out with 10 others at a supper club. The chef's appetizer were these amazing Korean Pork Ribs. Two single ribs served with some Asian Slaw. It was so so good. It left us wishing he'd bring us seconds....maybe even thirds! I got to thinking and researching and thought I'd try and replicate his flavors into a marinade for some pork loin chops. Here is what I came up with.


For the Marinade:

1/4 cup soya sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp siracha sauce *more or less depending on your tolerance for heat*
1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp sesame oil 
1/4 cup water

Whisk together and pour over 6 nice pork chops. I used thick loin chops I cut myself out of a 2 lb pork loin.

Refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 400F. Line pan with foil and place a rack on the pan. 
Remove chops from marinade and place on rack.  
Pour remaining marinade in small pot (If yo prefer, make another batch of the marinade.)
Simmer on low till thick. Bake pork chops for 10 minutes. Flip. Glaze with thickened marinade. 

Bake for another 6 to 8 minutes. Flip and glaze. Bake for another 3 minutes. Check for internal temp of between 155F and 165F. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. 
I served these with steamed rice and a stir fry of bok choy, mushrooms, onions and carrots!  

I really enjoyed the flavor and they were very juicy. It's important not to over cook these pork chops. Pork tends to try out fairly quick. 




I love to eat out. Other Chefs inspire me! Sometimes I am disappointed but this was my second dinner at this supper club and it was absolutely perfect! I can't wait to go back!
Until I do, I'll just make my own amazing food!

Happy Cooking!