Buttermilk Dill Ranch Pasta Salad

I’m all about pasta salads. I can eat pasta salad every day. There’s just a few caveats. First and foremost, they have to be delicious. Texture is an absolute must. And, they have to be easy to make, inexpensive, and they must be still just as tasty the next day! The best thing about past salads is that they can be made ahead of time. You can easily adapt them to your liking too, because they’re very forgiving. And, it seems that everyone loves them! That’s probably why they are such a popular side dish at many restaurants, and certainly at every summer picnic or backyard bbq! IS THIS A COLESLAW OR A PASTA SALAD? You’ve got a keen eye, Dear Reader. Indeed this dish has the makings of a coleslaw, but it also has everything you need to make a delicious pasta salad. I’ve seen a coleslaw pasta salad circulating online for the past year or two. I tried the recipe once. And, we loved it. I just thought I could do better. I’m not being conceited! Really! I just firmly believe that a simple recipe is great, but you can always improve upon it. How did I improve on the original? I made a homemade dressing for starters. And I added dill to the dressing – lots and lots of dill! The original has carrot and cabbage. My version has jalapenos, red and yellow bell peppers, green onions, corn, and even chopped hard boiled egg! These are all simple ingredients, but they’re fresh and there’s a lot of them. They all work together to create a very delicious pasta salad. THAT’S A LOT OF CHOPPING! Yes, it really is. But, I love it. I find chopping vegetables to be very pleasing and theraputic. Not everyone agrees with me, so you can certainly take shortcuts. You can eliminate the need to chop carrots and cabbage. Purchase a bag of pre-chopped coleslaw mix at the grocery store. The 14 ounce package will give you pretty much the same amounts as if you were to cut whole veggies. Just dump in the entire contents of the bag! In some grocery stores, you can find pre-chopped carrots and peppers too. They can usually be found in the cooler section of the produce department. If you want to speed things up, you can opt for that route as well. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of…

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Sweet Jalapeno Pork

It seems that I cannot get enough of jalapenos lately. I’ve been experimenting with them a lot. If you’re a Lord Byron’s Kitchen fan, you might have noticed that I have been posting jalapeno inspired recipes lately. I swear, I’m almost over it! What happens to me quite often. I will find a new ingredient and I’ll run with it until I grow tired of it. I’m doing it with jalapenos now, but I’ve done it before with shallots, butternut squash, and even Brussels sprouts! But, I think jalapenos have been winning in terms of recipe popularity. It seems that everyone loves jalapenos! Once you’ve finished with this recipe, I encourage you to consider my 3 Cheese Jalapeno Poppers, these Jalapeno Corn Muffins, and also, my Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad. If you’ve never grilled jalapenos before, you must try it! FRYING JALAPENOS In this recipe, the pork and the sliced jalapenos are tossed in the same batter and fried in the same manner. I sliced the jalapenos about 1/4 inch thick and left the seeds in. As you know, Dear Reader, it’s the seeds that make the jalapenos spicy. If you remove them, the jalapeno is mild and sweet. Because I wanted the spiciness, I left the seeds in. If you want to remove the seeds, I would suggest you prepare your jalapenos differently. Rather than slice them, cut the jalapeno lengthwise. Remove the seeds with the back of a spoon. And then you can cut the jalapeno into chunks. Don’t be tempted to dice the jalapenos. If you do, they will be hard to fish out of the frying oil! Also, because the jalapenos have moisture content, they will not be crispy when fried. So, don’t think you’ve done something wrong. The batter will crisp up, but the jalapeno itself will be soft. THE BEST CUTS OF PORK FOR THIS RECIPE When using pork, there are three cuts that are very popular. The first is pork tenderloin, the second is pork butt, and the third is pork shoulder. You can use either for this recipe, but I used pork butt. If you decide to use pork loin, keep in mind that it’s a leaner cut and can easily be overcooked and tough. Pork butt, because of the marbling and fat content, will most always be the safest choice. Pork shoulder will promise the same result. Just an FYI, pork butt is sometimes called Boston butt. Likewise, pork shoulder…

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Chicken and Asparagus Teriyaki

This is one of those recipes that I threw together for myself one night and loved it. Sometimes, I swear, I put more thought into what I’m going to prepare for John.e than I do myself. Being that he’s a vegetarian, it requires more thought and more planning. One particular night I had dinner all planned. But I forgot about what I was going to have. I had chicken and asparagus in the fridge. There was also a jar of my homemade 10 Minute Teriyaki Sauce. That’s pretty much all I needed to make this delicious stir fry. Let’s talk a little bit about the ingredients, and then I’ll tell you all about my homemade teriyaki sauce. You should have a jar of it in your fridge at all times. It’s so versatile! CHICKEN BREASTS AND OTHER CONSIDERATIONS Our fridge is never without boneless and skinless chicken breasts. Yes, I know they can be quite boring. But, they’re also quite fast to cook. Chicken breasts have a bad reputation for being dry. But, that’s only because they were not prepared properly. Chicken breast meat is very lean, healthy, and high in protien. That leanness is exactly why the cook up very fast. Because they cook fast, they’re also very easy to over cook. Nothing is worse than over cooked chicken breasts. That’s why they get dry! The secret is to preheat and to cook over a very hot heat. When baking chicken breasts, I season them and place them on a baking sheet. I preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Chicken goes in for exactly 25 minutes. If they’re really big, I leave them in for 30. But, never longer than that! If I’m frying them, the pan is really hot. I toss them in and move them around. And, I never overcrowd the pan, because they will not brown fast enough, which means I have to cook them longer to get the desired look. You can use chicken thighs for this recipe. They’re great with this! I used chicken breast only because it’s what I had and they’re leaner and healthier. CHOOSING THE RIGHT ASPARAGUS For this dish, you want asparagus that is not too thick and not too thin. Thick asparagus will take longer to cook in order to get rid of the woodiness. Too thin and it’s going to overcooked and limp. This is exactly how I choose the right asparagus. I…

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Tomato Tortellini Soup

As a food blogger, I sometimes feel guilty about using prepared food items. I think I should be preparing things from scratch. But, I remind myself that Lord Byron’s Kitchen is all about recipes that can be made easily by anyone. There’s no shame in buying frozen tortellini, but if you’d like to make your own pasta, you can do that too! I’m reminded of a conversation I had with McKenna a few months back about school lunches. I’ve always struggled with what to send with her. She’s a picky eater when it comes to school lunches. So, I asked her to give me some ideas; tell me what her friends bring. She proceeds to tell me that one of her friends asked her why she brought a sandwich so often when her dad was practically a chef. Well, thanks for the partial compliment! But, I’m sure this friend wasn’t aware of the fact that I ask McKenna every single day what she wants for lunch. Her response is always the same – I don’t know. Well, kid, if you don’t know at your age what it is you want, you’re getting a sandwich! The thing is, I’m not a chef. I’m just a guy who loves to cook and bake. My sister and I got an apartment together when I was 18. I’ve been cooking and baking since then, and I’ve practiced and practiced some more until I became good at it. But, no matter how much I might enjoy rolling pasta dough, not everyone does. Knowing that the majority of my readers are not trained chefs either, makes my decision to use frozen tortellini that much easier and warranted. TORTELLINI DO; TORTELLINI DON’T If you decide to use fresh, homemade tortellini, I’ll assume that your cooking skills/knowledge are to the point where you don’t need any help. But, if you’re using store-bought, frozen tortellini, let me walk you through it. When using frozen tortellini, you must keep it frozen. And, you must use it in its frozen state. Do not thaw it first! I know that’s such a contradictory of what normally happens when cooking, but in this case, it’s gospel. If you thaw it first, I guarantee you it will become rather mushy or fall apart completely. I used three cheese tortellini, because I knew John.e would be eating most of this soup. I had to keep it vegetarian. You…

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Tofu and Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry

I was never a fan of tofu. But living with a vegetarian certainly changed that. The tofu I was used to eating came from a random take-out Chinese dish. It was bland and I thought it to be slimy. How was I to know that I would one day enjoy eating and cooking with tofu? If you’re much like me and tend to screw up your nose at something before you try it, then I get you! You’ve often heard it said that we eat with our eyes first, right? Well, based on that, would anyone ever eat tofu? It’s certainly not appealing to look at! I’m going to share with you a few things I learned about tofu over the past few years. Maybe you’ll change your mind about tofu and give it another try. Maybe you already love it and don’t need convincing. Either way, when all is said and done, this is my Tofu and Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry recipe. And, I think you’ll really enjoy it. The Truth about Tofu To start with, there are different levels of texture (softness versus firmness) in tofu. From least firm to most firm, the most common types of tofu are silken, soft, medium, firm, extra firm, and super firm. All tofu is basically the same, but the firmer the tofu, the more water content has been pressed out of it. Since I am not a vegetarian and grew up eating meat, I prefer firmer tofu. It has a meatier texture which I tend to favor. Softer tofu is best when used in soups, like the popular Chinese version of hot and sour soup. I’ve learned that the firmer the tofu, the longer it takes to heat all the way through. So, firmer tofu is best for baking or frying, while softer tofu is best for quick recipes. Here’s a cool fact. The firmer the tofu, the more fat and protein the tofu has. Remember that if you’re on a high-protein diet. Probably the most important thing I’ve learned about tofu is that it is very adaptable. You can use tofu in almost every way possible. I’ll talk about some of those next. I should also mention that tofu is extremely cheap in comparison to meat. The Magic of Tofu Unless you’ve been living off the grid, you must know that cauliflower can be transformed into just about anything you can imagine. I’ve…

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Old Fashioned 3 Ingredient Limeade
Old Fashioned 3 Ingredient Limeade

Old Fashioned 3 Ingredient Limeade

I’m an equal opportunity type of guy when it comes to lemons and limes. I like both of them equally, but not interchangeably. For example, I like lime juice in my Diet Coke and on the barbecue, but not a lemon. And, I like lemon in a cake, or with fish.Ingredient Limeade But when it comes to a cold, refreshing summer drink, I don’t think I could choose between the two. That’s why I decided to make both Limeade and Lemonade. I’ll get to posting the recipe for Lemonade soon, but for today, it’s all about the lime! Is this Really a Recipe? Why, yes it is! It takes a little bit of tweaking to get the acid and sugar levels just right. I’ve done the work for you here so you don’t need to worry about a thing! Besides, even though there are only 3 ingredients, you still need to whisk and stir and slice and squeeze. It’s a recipe! The most important thing to remember when making this Limeade is that you will need to ensure that the sugar has been completely dissolved. If you have ever prepared a simple syrup before, then you’re already a pro! But, for those of us who have not, I’ll provide you with all of the details. What is a Simple Syrup? A simple syrup is a mixture of equal parts water and sugar. The water and sugar are added to a sauce pan and whisked together over heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Completely! That’s very important! Ingredient Limeade Whenever I make a simple syrup, which is something you’ll need to do in this Old Fashioned 3 Ingredient Limeade recipe, I never leave the saucepan unattended. Obviously, if you let the water and sugar mixture come to a boil, it’s going to bubble up and make a mess. But, if you keep the temperature of the burner low, you’ll eliminate that risk. I never leave the saucepan unattended, because as soon as the sugar is dissolved, it’s done! Ingredient Limeade Depending on the coarseness of your sugar, that could take anywhere from 3-5 minutes. Just continuously stir with a whisk until you cannot see any visible granules of sugar in the saucepan. It’s that easy! What’s Next? Patience, Dear Reader! That’s exactly what’s next. The simple syrup has to cool down before we can use it. I pour it from the saucepan and into a pitcher.…

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Oven-Baked Carrot Fries

The strangest thing happened when I was eating these. They are so delicious!  But, there’s a problem with that, Dear Reader. You see, I don’t like sweet potato fries.  Or do I?  Now, I’m left with the task of trying sweet potato fries again to see if I do in fact like them.  It could be, at least this is what I’m trying to convince myself of, that I do like them, but maybe I’m not a fan of that dip they are usually served with.  Either way, the next time the opportunity presents itself, I’ll give them another try. I have cooked with sweet potato before and I’ve liked it. I can’t say that I loved it. To be honest, I think it’s more a mind of matter kind of thing. Sweet. Potatoes. I’m not a fan of sweet things. Give me salty!!!! It could be that I can’t quite get past potatoes being sweet. Who knows!? Why Carrot Fries? Now, back to these Oven Baked Carrot Fries.  There’s just something super satisfying about these fries.  The nutritional content of carrots is much better than potatoes, so there’s certainly less guilt factor when eating these.  But, put all of that health-nut stuff aside, I love the idea of having something different as a side dish.  The same old potato, rice, or salad can become rather boring very quickly.  And, trust me, Dear Reader, there is nothing boring about these carrot fries! Carrots are naturally sweet, but when you bake them, they further release their natural sugars and the sweet carrot flavour intensifies.  They transform into something that’s soft on the inside with a chewy skin. And then there’s those charred end bits! Yum! Fries need Ketchup, right? I’m going to go with a straight-up hard no for that! Yes, potato fries without ketchup is unfathomable, but carrot fries do not pair well with ketchup at all. If you are a dipper and you need a dip for these fries, I would suggest something like a garlic aioli or my Garlic and Herb Dip. The sweetness in ketchup completely throws off the earthiness in a simple baked carrot. It’s best to stick to sauces or dips that would compliment the sweetness rather than intensify it. I have a Creamy Whipped Feta that would be absolutely perfect with these fries! Conclusion The plain and simple truth is that these carrots don’t need any dip or sauce. They are just…

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Roasted Whole Turkey

When it comes to roasting a whole turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas, there are many people who are greatly intimidated by it. But, I assure you, Dear Reader, it’s as easy as pie! Maybe I should have chosen a different simile, because I cannot make pie at all! Well, it’s not that I can’t make a pie, I just really struggle with making a pie crust from scratch. If you search for turkey recipes on the internet, you’ll find a million of them. It seems that they all come with a different list of ingredients, but you really don’t need to fuss with it. Simple, basic, and home style is the best way to go! Nobody likes dry turkey meat! There are two things you must remember when roasting a turkey if you want to keep the meat moist and seasoned, yet not under-cooked! Those two things are tenting and basting. Tenting is the process by which you cover the turkey with aluminum foil. It’s really that simple. It locks in the moisture, preventing it from escaping and evaporating. It also prevents the turkey from getting too browned or even burning. You won’t need to tent the turkey the entire time. I like to roast the turkey in an open pan until I’m satisfied with the colour of the baked skin. Once I have the turkey browned, I will tent it until it has finished cooking all the way through. Basting is the process by which you use the juices in the bottom of the pan to moisten or wet the turkey while it’s cooking. Basting will help with the browning of the skin as well as re-introduce moisture back into the meat. Can I stuff the turkey? The simple answer is yes. If you have a favourite stuffing recipe that you want to use, you can omit the onions from the recipe below and stuff the turkey before you begin the cooking process. It is very important that you keep in mind that adding stuffing to the turkey will extend the cooking time. For my 20 pound turkey to be completely cooked, it took 5 hours. If I were to add stuffing, I would guess at least another 45-60 minutes. You should test your turkey with a meat thermometer before declaring it ready to eat. Insert the thermometer into the center of the breast meat. The temperature should be between 165 and 170 degrees…

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Jumbo No-Knead Dinner Rolls

Sometimes, you need to break out the flour and the yeast and make these Jumbo No Knead Dinner Rolls. Because sometimes the store-bought type just won’t do! My Love of Bread is Ingrained! I grew up in a home where homemade bread and homemade dinner rolls were constant. We were a family of five and like most Newfoundland families, bread was served daily. In fact, on some days, it would have been served with every meal. Back in those days – no, I’m not that old! – store-bought bread wasn’t readily available. If memory serves me correctly, you were able to buy the plain, white Wonder bread, but that was it. My mom bought that bread sometimes, but it was only used to make sandwiches. White Bread Memories She would buy a loaf every Friday morning when she did her grocery shopping. We lived in a small town, so my siblings and I were able to come home from school for lunch. Every Friday’s lunch was a ham and cheese sandwich with a can of Cott Cola or if we were really lucky, a lime Pop Shoppe Soda! Great memories! Anyway, I digress. The point here is that my mom always made bread and dinner rolls. She never purchased bread for regular consumption, like for toast or to be served with soup or anything like that. That was always homemade! And if the bread wasn’t white, it was this Molasses Sweet Bread. She would make bread at least twice a week. Each time she made it, she would prepare enough dough to get four or five large loaves. So, you can tell just how much bread we ate and why it was considered a staple. I don’t think that was excessive though. It was normal for most Newfoundland families. Some Mains Dishes need Bread! I posted the recipe for Sweet and Smoky Baked Beans yesterday. When I mentioned that sometimes an occasion calls for breaking out the flour, this was such an occasion. The dinner rolls you see in these photos were enjoyed with those baked beans! These are Same-Day Dinner Rolls! Unlike store-bought dinner rolls, these Jumbo No Knead Dinner Rolls are meant to be eaten the same day you make them. Store bought rolls will last for a few days in a bread box. But, these will not and should be eaten while they are still warm and fresh out of the oven. I’ve left…

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Dill Pickle Ranch Pasta

I think there are only two classes of dill pickle people in the world. We have those that love them and then there are those that hate them. There is no middle ground. In our home, dill pickles are treated with the utmost respect. I love them, but both John.e and McKenna LOVE them! If we were asked to name a new Greek God, his name would be something stupid like Pickleonia. I’m not an extremely creative person when it comes to words, so I’ll leave the name-calling to John, since he’s so good at it! I’ll stick to my four C’s – cats, cooking, crocheting, and now cross stitch too! Okay – enough! Back to the Dill Pickle Ranch Pasta. The first time I tried the dill and ranch flavour combination was when I made my Dill Pickle Ranch Chex Mix. That was 4 years ago. Looking at that post now, I realize that I desperately need to update the photos! They’re like bacon and eggs. Or ham and cheese. Chocolate and peanut butter. Toast and jam. Salt and pepper. Tom and Jerry. Ice cream and sprinkles. You get my point! They just work together so well and create an explosion of flavour. What type of dill pickle is best? Well, Dear Reader, the best type of dill pickle for this Dill Pickle Ranch Pasta recipe is quite simply the dill pickle that you personally buy each time you buy pickles. I find some dills too salty, but if that’s the type you like, buy those. Some dills are too dilly, but if that floats your boat, get those kinds! For us, there’s only one brand of dills that we buy and have never bought any other brand for the past 7 years. They’re the Bick’s Polskie Ogorki. They have just the right amount of dill-salt-garlic ratio and they’re always crunchy. Dressing a pasta salad: Here are two things you should remember about making a pasta dish. If you plan to eat the pasta while it’s hot, a regular amount of sauce or dressing will do. If find that a 2:1 ratio works best. For example, if I cook a 450 gram box of spaghetti noodles for the three of us, it measures out to just slightly over 2 cups of noodles each. I will top those 2 cups of noodles with 1 cup of sauce. It’s the perfect ratio every time. If, however, you plan…

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Toasted Cashew and Brussels Sprouts Coleslaw

This non-traditional coleslaw consists of uncooked shaved Brussels sprouts that have been tossed with toasted cashews in a homemade tangy and zesty sauce. I know I have said this about some other vegetables too, but I think Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables. That is clearly evident with the number of times Brussels sprouts have been used in recipes here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen! How about you? Do you love them or do you hate them? In our home, I love them, McKenna hates them, and John.e seems to tolerate them. I don’t mind though, because that just means there’s more for me! I wasn’t always a lover of Brussels sprouts. That was because my first introduction to them was very unpleasant. I’m not sure how it happened, but they were from a packet found in the frozen section at the grocery store. I learned really quickly that fresh was the way to go! Let’s break down this recipe and talk a bit about how to prepare it. Just so you know, you can prepare this recipe in advance. Just be sure to prepare the sauce and add it to the salad just before serving. Otherwise, the sprouts lose their freshness and tend to wilt. How to Prepare Fresh Brussels Sprouts No matter how fresh or how clean the sprouts look, I will always clean them. This is how I do so. First, I use a paring knife to trim off the bottom of the sprout. Don’t take off too much. The stem is edible as well. Next, I peel off maybe two or three outer leaves and discard them. Then, I plunge the whole sprout into cold water and give them a good swishing around by hand to get any dirt or grime out of them. Before cooking them, I will be sure to dry them really well. If you leave the water on them, especially if you plan to roast them, the water will steam the sprouts and might prevent a nice char. For the coleslaw, you will need to shave or thinly slice the sprouts. Start by cutting the sprouts in half lengthwise. Next, lay the cut side down and thinly slice until you get to the very bottom. Add to a bowl and continue to slice until all of your Brussels sprouts are prepared. Alternatively, once you slice the Brussels sprouts in half, you can shred them in your…

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Breakfast Sausage and Egg Taquitos

Great for guests or a quiet Saturday morning breakfast with your family. All of the prep can be done ahead of time too! This sausage and egg-filled taquitos are perfectly spicy and cheesy! Okay, lets get one thing out of the way before we begin talking about the glorious deliciousness that is this Breakfast Sausage and Egg Taquito. What the H, E, double hockey sticks is a taquito? Truthfully, the first time I heard of a taquito was on one of my trips to the southern states. They’re not too popular here in Canada – or at least not in my neighbourhood – but, I have seen them pop up on a fast food menu once or twice in the past couple of years. I think I was in Texas the first time I saw them. I was traveling with a few other individuals and one of them ordered tacquitos from one of the fast food stands at the mall food court. (I was very young at the time and nervous about trying new food, so I ordered KFC.) Anyway, she comes back to the table with these crispy rolled tortillas filled with beef, cheese, jalapenos, etc. She dipped them in generous amounts of sour cream and salsa, and I knew right then and there that the KFC wasn’t going to satisfy me. I had to know what they were. A taquito, which loosely translated is Spanish for small taco, is a popular Mexican dish that usually consists of a small rolled-up tortilla with filling such as shredded beef or chicken, and cheese. The filled tortilla is then fried until crispy. (I baked my version because I wanted to keep the calorie count and fat content as low as possible. That gives me extra wiggle room for more sour cream! See how my mind works? Taquitos are often served with condiments such as sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole. The only reason there’s no guacamole in the photos you see in this post is that I didn’t realize we were out of guac until I had the taquitos plated and ready for their close up! Otherwise, there’s no doubt that guacamole would have been piled high into a dipping bowl like the sour cream and salsa as well! You can make taquitos with beef or chicken like I had previously mentioned. You can also use pork or even beans if you want to make…

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Banana Walnut Loaf

This is probably my favourite sweet treat.  It’s one of those recipes that I don’t prepare too often, because I can’t seem to control myself. I will just eat and eat until the loaf is gone. I’ve always loved banana bread, but I prefer to stick to a simpler version.  There are so many versions of banana bread out there. In fact, I have a one made with yogurt, pecans, and chocolate. It’s my Banana Yogurt Chocolate Pecan Loaf and you should take a look at that one if you’re more inclined to like a chocolaty version. Banana bread is fine on its own, but I personally feel that banana bread without nuts is like winter without snow, or a pen without ink, a book without words, or a wallet without money.  It’s awkward, lonely, and completely depressing (ok, I’m probably referring mostly to the empty wallet, but you get the idea!)  That’s why, Dear Reader, I always include nuts in my banana bread, no matter if I’m baking this very easy version, or a more complex version.  Nuts and bananas are a perfect pairing. Another little secret to really good banana bread is cinnamon. Just this past Saturday, we went to visit my dad in Kitchener. When we arrived at his home, my sister was there. My dad made coffee and served the banana bread. My sister was asking what was different about my Banana Walnut Loaf. At first, I didn’t know what she meant, because cinnamon in banana bread is not foreign to me. When I listed the ingredients and got to cinnamon, she said, “Yes, that’s it!” I can’t tell you how much of a difference just a little bit of cinnamon makes. Don’t worry, Dear Reader, it does not take away from the banana flavour. And, you can still taste the nuttiness of the walnuts too. Cinnamon simply enhances the banana bread – just like coffee granules enhances chocolate! You won’t believe how easy this banana loaf is to make.  Even the most challenged baker will be able to follow this recipe and yield a perfectly gorgeous loaf.  This particular loaf tends to bake a little longer than other banana loaf recipes.  And, this loaf is a little dryer, not as moist or dense as other loaves.  This works perfectly for me, because I cannot even fathom the notion of eating banana loaf without a smear of butter on it!  And,…

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Dutch Oven Artisan Crusty Bread

We’ve been enjoying a lot of homemade soups lately. We tend to like soups and stews quite often when the weather is still cold. And, at this time of year when it’s a little on the gloomy side, soups just make everything feel better. But, in our home, soup without bread is just not happening! We love to have a big slice or two of good, fresh, crusty bread to dunk into the broth. And, that’s just what we did with this Dutch Oven Artisan Crusty Bread! I’m going to assume that since you’re reading this recipe, two things are true. First, you like to bake or cook. Which, in turn, leads me to my second assumption – you are the proud owner of a Dutch oven. How were my guesses? Off the mark or accurate? Dutch Ovens – how important are they? A proper Dutch oven is needed to get this bread just right. I have several to choose from. But, that’s because I have purchased them over the years and not all at once. And, because I cook and bake all the time. Dutch ovens are a huge investment, but they are very much worth it if you use it often enough. For this particular recipe, I used my 4.2 liter round Le Creuset. You can most certainly use a larger pot, but I wouldn’t use anything smaller. You may run into an issue with the bread hitting the sides if you use a smaller pot. (Spellcheck is suggesting that I change liter to liter, but I cannot bring myself to do it! I may be wrong, but I think the United States is the only place where it’s spelled liter. Here in Canada, it’s liter!) You most certainly can use an oval Dutch oven if that’s what you have! And, it does not need to be a Le Creuset brand either! In fact, I have a cheaper version that I often use. It’s a Pioneer Woman brand. I think I paid less than $50 for it! If all you have is cast iron pot with a heavy cast iron lid, then it will work perfectly as well. The key is to keep the heat into the pot, which will ensure that the bread rises and bakes properly. If all else fails, use a good heavy pot with a heavy lid. Bread variations: This is a recipe that I have used time and time…

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Keto Loaded Radishes – With Bacon and Cheese!

Does a side dish loaded with bacon and cheese sound good?! If you miss eating high-carb potatoes, you’ve gotta try pan-frying some radishes! It’s an easy idea I’ve been obsessed with ever since I made breakfast radishes to put in this yummy bacon and egg burritos. It’s so interesting how cooked radishes taste nothing like raw radishes, and pan-frying them is a fantastic way to go! In this radish recipe, we are pan-frying them in a little bacon grease until tender, then topping them with cheddar cheese, bacon, and chives. I love how the radishes get caramelized and the texture and taste are so delish! These would be a great accompaniment for anything on the grill, like steak, chicken, or fish. Hip Recipe Tips:  I’m using a 10 inch cast iron skillet, and love how it does an excellent job of caramelizing the outsides of the radishes for awesome texture.Cook your bacon in the skillet first to make this a simple one-skillet dish! Reserve a tablespoon of the bacon grease in the pan to cook the radishes – because bacon grease is oh so TASTY!I’m using freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese because I love how it melts. You could possibly pick another type of cheese if desired, or the pre-shredded. KETO LOADED RADISHES yield: 4 SERVINGS prep time: 10 MINUTES cook time: 20 MINUTES total time: 30 MINUTES Tender pieces of caramelized radishes pan-fried in a skillet, topped with cheese, bacon, and chives. INGREDIENTS 4 slices bacon1.25 pounds fresh radishes, cut in halves or quarters if large1 teaspoon garlic powder1/2 teaspoon minced onion1/2 teaspoon paprika1/2 teaspoon salt1/8 teaspoon pepper1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese2 tablespoons chopped chivesoptional topping ideas: ranch dressing drizzle or dollop of sour cream DIRECTIONS Add bacon to a skillet on the stove and cook until crisp and brown. Transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel to drain, and then chop into small pieces. Reserve a tablespoon of bacon grease in the pan. 2. Heat skillet with bacon grease to medium/high heat. Add radishes, and season them with garlic powder, minced onion, salt, and pepper. Stir and let saute for about 15-18 minutes until the radishes become caramelized and tender. 3. Reduce heat to low, then add the cheese and bacon over the top.  Place a lid over the skillet for a minute until the cheese melts. Top with chopped chives. 4. Serve radishes warm, and drizzle with a teaspoon of ranch dressing or sour cream as an optional topping. NUTRITIONAL…

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