Monthly Archives: October 2011

Week #7 – BLT Pasta

Chef Jonathan’s Part:

My new word for this week is “MELD”. Not sure if it’s actually a word, or not……but I like it! I find that, especially in this recipe, if you just let the ingredients mix together, exchanging flavours, and creating new ones, that it really enhances the dish. I really liked this recipe, but I found it was more of a Primavera pasta dish than what I was expecting. I also used 1 cup of cream instead of 1/3 cup, because I love sauce with my pasta! My only critique was the grape tomatoes, not a huge fan of cooked grape tomatoes, they squirt everywhere, and it’s just a mess. Next time, I would likely use a standard heirloom tomato, do a concasse, and then add to the pasta prior to serving!

Karen’s Part:

BLT Pasta this week!  Who doesn’t like a good BLT?  Include some yummy penne and you’ve got a winner on your hands!  This is how I felt when I made this week’s recipe.

I followed the recipe as directed and found it quite easy to make.  My only suggestion would be to make sure the grape tomatoes are cooked down and not still plump when finishing the cooking process.  Other than that, no complaints, no issues and just wonderful compliments on the meal!

This recipe was taken from the insert of the Food Network Magazine “50 Things to Make with Bacon.” (#18)  How can you go wrong?


BLT Pasta Cook 8 slices bacon; drain and chop. Cook 1 chopped red onion, 3 sliced garlic cloves, some red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt in 3 tablespoons drippings. Add 5 cups grape tomatoes; cook 12 minutes. Add 1/3 cup cream; cook 2 minutes. Toss with 12 ounces cooked penne, 4 cups arugula, the bacon, some basil and a splash of pasta water. Top with parmesan.

“50 Things to Make With Bacon : Recipes and Cooking : Food Network.” Food Network – Easy Recipes, Healthy Eating Ideas and Chef Recipe Videos. Web. September 2011.


Week 6 – Cornbread Two-Ways : He Made, She Made – Elliott style!

Chef Jonathan’s Part:

Going into this week’s blog, I was very excited! I have always loved to make cornbread, but it was always from the box (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But I’ve been wanting to try making it from scratch. So, when we came across this “Cornbread Two-Ways” showcasing the Creme Fraiche and the Strawberry Jam versions, I was thrilled! I’m sure that most of you, like myself either won’t have access to, or won’t want to buy Creme Fraiche. Fortunately, you can make your own! Just take 1 cup Whipping Cream, and 1/2 cup Sour Cream, and blend well. Then set in a container set at room temperature for 24 hours. Then refrigerate for at least 8 hours before using in either this, or another recipe. Simple, right? I found this recipe quite simple, and was very pleased with the result. It’s a very dense cornbread, and you could also make muffins out of them if you prefer. This would go well with Chili, or Stew. Enjoy!

Karen’s Post:

I also love cornbread! I have generally made it from a box (See above statement 🙂 )  I have recently tried making it from scratch but haven’t been that thrilled.  I went along with Jonathan’s idea for this week; I made the recipe that used the strawberry jam.

The recipe was very easy to make.  I did leave out the whole milk (3.5% in Canadian terms) as I’m too cheap to buy 1 litre of whole  milk and 1 litre of buttermilk. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly.  I didn’t have a cast iron pan, either, so my Wolfgang Puck stainless steal frying pan worked quite well in the oven.

The jam turned out too runny but the juice soaked into the bread very nicely. I served both warm and it was quite yummy! It’s sweeter than most cornbread recipes so it could easily be a dessert with the jam.  I’ll make this, again.  You should try it, too!

This was taken from the Food Network Magazine, September 2011.

Forgione, Mark. “Cornbread With Creme Fraiche Recipe : Marc Forgione : Food Network.” Food Network – Easy Recipes, Healthy Eating Ideas and Chef Recipe Videos. Sept. 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2011.
Guarnaschelli, Alex. “Skillet Cornbread With Strawberry Jam Recipe : Alexandra Guarnaschelli : Food Network.” Food Network – Easy Recipes, Healthy Eating Ideas and Chef Recipe Videos. Sept. 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2011.

Week 5 – Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Jonathan’s Part:

This week’s dessert is such a classic, that we just couldn’t pass on the opportunity to try it this week. This is a recipe that my mom’s used for years, and I just love it! I was a little concerned about the actual “inversion” of the cake, but when the time came, it went off without a hitch. Instead of using a 9-inch cake pan, I  decided to use a 9-inch springform pan. I thought it would be easier to invert the cake, and I was right. I also greased the pan, (which is omitted from the recipe), and that helped as well. The Caramel stuck to the bottom of the pan a little, but it came off with a little persuasion. I was also skeptical with the use of shortening instead of butter, as I’m not a huge fan. But, it served to be a good ingredient in this recipe. All in all, I am very glad to have tried this recipe, and will continue to make it in the future!


Karen’s Part:

Here is my recipe for a perfect fall Sunday:  a nap, a DetroitLions win and pineapple upside down cake.  Seriously, for some reason, that cake is comfort food to me.  That’s why when Jonathan said, “I’d like to try pineapple upside down cake this week,” I didn’t hesitate with a rowdy, “YES!”


So, as this was a repeat recipe for me, I knew what I was doing.  That was nice.  I’m constantly proud of Chef Jonathan for trying new things!  I like this recipe because you’re making your own cake which always comes out fluffy and light.  The sweetness of the pineapple mixed with the subtle sweet charm of the cake is a gathering of delights in your mouth.  No wonder it’s comfort food to me!


I have to mention that this recipe is taken from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that my mom bought me for a bridal shower present 25 years ago.  Of all of the sources available to me now-a-days, I still go back to this cookbook many times. As for the actual making, I didn’t cut the pineapple as I like to put the little maraschino cherries in the centre of each whole piece.  Other than that, I followed the recipe directly.


Here is the recipe! Enjoy!


Granseth, Sandra. “Chapter 5 – Cakes.” Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.Des Moines,IA: Meredith, 1981. 93. Print.



Week 4 – Thanksgiving Squash Soup

Chef Jonathan:

With Canadian Thanksgiving coming up next weekend, we both thought this would be an ideal time to do something festive for fall, and also that that would be relatively convenient to make for Thanksgiving dinner. This recipe calls for a “Pumpkin Bowl” although I decided against that, thinking it would be too time consuming. The prep was the most time consuming for me, especially the peeling of the squash. The butternut squash has two layers of skin. The outer layer, which we can see from looking at it, and an inner layer which is underlying and very thin. Although these skins are both edible, it’s recommended that both are also removed. It may be time consuming, but it will be well worth it in the end. The only thing I changed in this recipe, was the amount of sugar. It calls for 1 teaspoon  of sugar, and I added about 2 tablespoons to the squash once it was in the pot. I always love the contrast between sweet and savoury, and I recommend this to all who don’t traditionally like squash (me being one of them). For the toppings, I made my own croutons and I also added bacon for a more rustic touch. My only criticism with this recipe is that it didn’t thicken up as well as I would have like it to. The one option would be to add more heavy cream (35%), and try to thicken it that way. Enjoy!

Karen:  I was apprehensive to try this recipe as squash is NOT on my “top 10 things i love to eat” list but I wanted to try it because Jonathan suggested it.  I pretty much echo what Jonathan said about this recipe.  The squash was hard to cut but not impossible.  I SHOULD have added more sugar but didn’t and I DID add the 35% cream but wished it had thickened more, as well.  BUT….. it’s tasty, sweet and I actually like it.  I added proscuitto instead of bacon because i’m a food snob 🙂  No, actually, I just wanted to practice saying “proscuitto” to the deli clerk; that’s why i chose it.

So, here’s the recipe.  forget the cute little pumpkin bowls unless you’re feeling like Martha Stewart.  I and Jonathan obviously weren’t 🙂  Enjoy!

“Squash Soup in Pumpkin Bowls Recipe : Food Network Kitchens : Food Network.” Food Network – Easy Recipes, Healthy Eating Ideas and Chef Recipe Videos. Web. 01 Oct. 2011. <;.