Company’s Coming! 10 No-Bake Dessert Ideas for Busy Home Cooks

When I first started having dinner parties for friends as a young adult, I really wanted everything to be homemade.  After all, that’s what my Mom always did, so why wouldn’t I do that too?  I always made a plan for the dinner ahead of time, writing down what I was going to make and always starting the prep with dishes that took the longest to make.  That was usually the dessert.  So, I would take a few hours early in the morning or the night before the dinner to make one of Mom’s famous desserts or to make a new recipe I found.  Once the dessert was done, I’d start on the rest of the meal prep.  It was many hours of cooking and preparing and it was always well received, so I enjoyed doing it.

As years went on and life got more complicated, there was a need to make some changes.  I still wanted to be a great host and offer my guests an excellent meal, but I needed to streamline things to make it sustainable.  All these years and hundreds of dinners later, I have developed systems that are different from those early years, and certainly just as good!  (It helps that my husband is an eager and capable sous chef!) . I should mention that I’d rather eat savory food than sweets, but I know that most people like to end the meal with something sweet, so I am happy to provide that!

I know that there are many wonderful store-bought cakes and desserts available for us these days and I do use those occasionally and try to add my own spin when serving them.  As a diner myself, I get a bit overwhelmed when I’m served a giant piece of cake on a plate.  I much prefer smaller bites of things to choose from, which makes me think that there are probably other people who feel this way too.  So here are a few suggestions I have for no-bake desserts that can satisfy the sweet tooth and avoid overwhelming the meal.

  1. Always have some gourmet chocolates on hand (preferably individually wrapped so you can put them in a lovely bowl on the table)
  2. Have some small, gourmet cookies on hand.  Served on a plate beside the bowl of chocolates, they can be a satisfying, last minute dessert when people pop inIMG-1951
  3. Keep some frozen mini eclairs or cream puffs on hand.  Serve them on a plate with berries and drizzle them with caramel or chocolate sauce for a visually pleasing and satisfyingly sweet end to the meal
  4. Hollow the core out of apples (one per person).  Fill and drizzle them with a mixture of raisins, nuts, brown sugar, and melted butter.  (Add a little rum, if you like!)  Bake for about an hour and serve warm, with or without whipped cream on the side.  (Yes, I realize I said this post was “no bake” – however, I consider this no-bake because there is no measuring of ingredients and cleaning of extra bowls – just throw it in the oven).
  5. Remember, yogurt and berries can be a dessert.  I put this one together on a day when we were in a vacation rental and had limited availability of ingredients and kitchenware.   So, I used what was on hand… non-fat Greek yogurt, honey, cinnamon, and berries.  I used the nicest glasses that were in the kitchen and used them to serve individual portions.  As a bonus, this is also a gluten-free dessert! Next time, I would add a fancy cookie to this (gluten-free if needed!)
  6. If you have a favourite cake recipe, bake it in a small loaf pan baking tin and then you can ice and freeze the individual loaves to slice later.  Serve the slices on a beautiful platter and have guests help themselves to as much or as little as they like.  I did this with my Mom’s carrot cake recipe and it was a big hit.  You can also serve a fruit and nut platter with this.  In these times, so many people are trying to eat healthier and limit sugar, so giving them an option to have just a few bites of something sweet can satisfy the craving and be very much appreciated.
  7. Sliced bananas with brown sugar and orange liqueur sauce on pound cake.  Make the sauce ahead by melting butter and brown sugar, then add a few slices of your favourite liqueur.  Set aside to heat up just before serving.  Add sliced bananas and serve on a slice of pound cake or scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt. (Gluten free without the cake)
  8. Canned (or fresh) peach halves, served with yogurt flavoured with honey and cinnamon, nuts and caramel drizzle in the space where the pit would be.  (I got this idea from The Canadian Living Rush Hour Cookbook many years ago).  It’s a light and fresh tasting sweet treat – also gluten-free
  9. No Bake Ice Cream Cake is a summer favourite in my house.  Only 3 ingredients and it looks so fancy.  You can make it ahead – big or small – and keep it in the freezer for whenever you need it.  Go to recipes and scroll down to get the instructions
  10. Grilled peaches served with frozen yogurt are great in the summer.  You can grill the peaches before the guests arrive and set aside for later.  Serve at room temperature or heat them in the oven for a few minutes.  Add some frozen vanilla yogurt, and a few mint leaves and you have a sweet, fancy plate that didn’t require hours of baking and clean up.  If you’ve got some chocolate or caramel sauce, give it a little drizzle.  This is another gluten-free treat.

I hope these ideas help you create a delicious treat at the end of your meal with little fuss and preparation.  As always, drop me a note to let me know how you like these ideas and please share any that you have that work for you.

Happy cooking, friends!

As Promised…Mom’s Pea Soup Recipe

If you’ve read the last post, I promised to share my Mom’s recipe for pea soup.  It takes a little time, but is well worth the effort!  Here it is:

Pea Soup

  • Servings: 8 to 10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

fullsizeoutput_695

Don’t be put off by the cooking time…this is passive cooking time so you won’t be working the whole time, just monitoring the pot!  You can make the ham broth one day and finish the soup the next day if time is an issue. This soup is a delicious way to make use of your leftover ham and get all the goodness and nutrients out of that ham bone from your baked ham family dinner.

Ingredients

  • 450 to 600 grams of whole yellow peas or split yellow peas
  • Ham bone
  • Diced ham (pulled from the bone of your baked ham)
  • 6 to 8 litres cold water
  • 1 cooking onion (optional)
  • 2 large carrots (optional)
  • 1 large celery stalk with leaves (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 10 whole peppercorns (optional)

Directions

  1. Soak peas overnight in cold water
  2. Place ham bone in a large stock pot and fill with cold water (about 6 to 8 litres)
  3. Optional:  add cooking onion, one carrot, celery stalk, bay leaf, peppercorns to pot
  4. Simmer 1 ½ to 2 hours
  5. Remove ham bone (and all items from step 3, if using).  Let broth cool and place in fridge overnight
  6. Remove broth from fridge and skim off and discard any fat that has formed on the top
  7. Heat broth.  Drain peas and add to the hot broth.  Cook for about 1 hour or until peas have softened and broken down slightly
  8. Dice one large carrot in small pieces and add to soup in the last 15 minutes of cooking, along with diced ham

 

Tips:  This should be a fairly thick soup, (like a potage) but if you find the soup is too thick for your liking, add a little water or broth to reach your desired consistency

 

recipe by: everydayhomegourmet.blog/  

Baked Ham – A Low-Fuss Dinner Roast That Gives Busy Home Cooks Delicious Leftovers Throughout The Week!

Baked Ham was a meal we frequently had on Sundays at my Irish grandparents’ house.  It was always delicious and served with Nanny’s tasty creamy coleslaw. (Although I typically prefer coleslaw with oil and vinegar, my Nanny’s creamy coleslaw was a delicious treat!)  My Mom also made baked ham for us from time to time and she baked it with a mustard / brown sugar glaze and pineapple slices attached. As kids, we all sure loved those pineapple slices!!

For me, (and probably for lots of people), food definitely generates memories, feelings and notions of family history.  As I wrote in a previous post, when I started to do my own cooking, I concentrated on making dishes that my mother and grandmothers did not make.  So baked ham was not something I made. However, as my grandmothers left this world and I later moved hours away from the family, I was not close enough to benefit from Mom’s home cooking on a regular basis, so I’d try a few of Mom’s classics.  Cooking them for only two people was not always satisfying, so I left the baked ham out for many years – and it was certainly not a dish that was ‘en vogue’ for young home cooks at the time.

This past New Year’s Day, I was looking for a less fussy option for an intimate family dinner that would be hearty, comforting and would not keep me tied to the kitchen.  So, I decided to resurrect the baked ham idea. Friends had talked about spiral ham for years. I had never done one, so I thought it was a good time to try it. The spiral ham made me fall in love with baked ham all over again!  I did the ham with Mom’s signature pineapple slices and served it with parboiled potatoes that I finished up by roasting in the oven, along with sauteed Brussels sprouts and carrots. It was a big hit and we had tons of leftovers, which made it an economical meal.  And, it was certainly a time saver because it gave us other dinners through the week, and was added to breakfasts and also generated a delicious pea soup! Baked ham is a low-fuss dinner to make because it’s already cooked and just needs to be reheated – no need for a meat thermometer and no concerns about cooking it to the correct doneness!

You can cook and prepare the Brussels Sprouts ahead of time and simply reheat them a few minutes before dinner is served.  Prepare the potatoes and ham following the instructions below and place both dishes in the oven about 45 minutes before you plan to serve dinner.

Here’s what I did to create this delicious and low-fuss dinner:

 

 

 

Potatoes:

 

  1. Peel potatoes and parboil them for about 10 minutes until slightly fork tender.  You can leave the skin on if you prefer
  2. Drain and place them in a baking dish.  Coat with ⅛ to ¼ cup pineapple juice, a splash of olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper
  3. Place in oven with the ham for 30 to 40 minutes.  (I like doing this to crisp up the outside of the potatoes, as opposed to simply boiled potatoes)

 

fullsizeoutput_4b5Ham:

  1. Make a paste of Dijon mustard and brown sugar and coat the top and sides of the ham with it
  2. Attach canned pineapple slices all over the ham with toothpicks
  3. Pour the pineapple juice from the can into the bottom of the roasting pan
  4. Place the ham on a rack in the roaster and heat at 325 degrees until hot (likely 30 to 45 minutes depending on size) 
  5. Reserve the sauce at the bottom of the roaster and serve in a gravy boat

 

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts and Carrots

d2X%9v2uS36AHp2bVrJ9Nw

  1. Wash Brussels sprouts and remove ends with a knife.  Slice Brussels sprouts lengthwise. Wash and scrub large carrots and slice into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Heat about 3 tbsp olive oil in a pan.  Toss in Brussels sprouts and carrots and stir to coat
  3. Add a little salt and pepper
  4. Cook on medium heat until Brussels sprouts are bright green and fork tender (usually not more than 8 minutes).  If the pan is drying up, add a splash of water rather than olive oil to continue cooking. You can also cover with a lid in the last few minutes to speed up cooking time.  **Suggestion: If you are not eating them right away, undercook them slightly and they will finish cooking as you reheat them.
  5. Reheat when ready to serve

 

Ideas for Leftover Ham

You can always have the same meal again in a few nights, but here are a few other things you can do with the ham:

  • Sandwiches for lunch (of course!) – the spiral ham is already nicely sliced so just bag up those slices and freeze in individual portions for easy sandwiches throughout the week
  • Chop the ham and any leftover potatoes, Brussels sprouts and carrots.  Create a frittata by adding 6 eggs, scrambled to the chopped ham and cook in a medium heat pan on both sides.  You may also transfer to the oven to evenly cook the middle. Serve with a salad for a quick and delicious weeknight meal
  • Add the chopped ham to your scrambled eggs for what is known in our family as a “ham quickie”….a blast from our past!
  • Add the chopped ham to your weekend omelette
  • Make a ham, onion and vegetable quiche.  (Asparagus would be a great addition at this time of year!).  Maybe try a cauliflower crust to make it gluten-free.  Serve with a salad and enjoy it for lunch or dinner
  • Save the hambone and make delicious pea soup.  Look for that recipe in an upcoming blog!

So, if you want a homey dinner without a big fuss, give this all a try and you may fall in love again with baked ham as I have recently!

Enjoy, and feel free to drop me a note to share your tips or let me know how you liked mine!

Happy Cooking friends, and Happy Easter!

Make Classic French Onion Soup at Home

If memory serves me correctly, I started cooking somewhere between 18 and 20 years old – definitely much later than the ‘Top Chef Kids’ we see today!  I was going to college and university and still living at home with my parents and younger siblings. (Going away to school was not a popular thing to do at that time where I lived since it was a major city with a number of high-quality universities close by.  In fact, from what I know, it is still very similar today).

As a tween and teen, I was interested in what my Mom was doing in the kitchen and always wanted to help.  My Mom was not keen to have us help in the kitchen. She used to say “go play”. When we asked her why she always said we’ll have plenty of years to cook when we are grown.  My Mom is a great cook and always made wonderful meals and desserts. We had lots of variety and ate nutritious, delicious, homecooked meals just about every day. At the same time, I later understood that a part of her found cooking tedious and wanted to get it done as efficiently as possible.  Teaching your young children to cook alongside you is definitely not efficient, as many of you know! Fortunately, when I did start to cook, my Mom was available and eager to answer questions on how she did things. I’m lucky to still have her as a resource today – and as years went on, she now sometimes calls me to ask me cooking questions or advice.  I take that as a real compliment!

When I started to assert myself in Mom’s kitchen and make parts of meals or whole meals, I always made things my Mom didn’t make.  It wasn’t because I was dissatisfied with her cooking, rather, I knew I couldn’t make her meals as well as she did, so I tried out recipes that were new for our family or things we had eaten occasionally in restaurants or at family and friend’s house.  Eventually, my Mom and the rest of the family grew to like the dishes I made and they became part of our rotation….(truthfully, my brother didn’t like anything I made!!! But, he was quite a picky eater as a kid. As an adult, he learned to love many more foods and he is also a very good cook!  I’ve learned a few good recipes from him too!)

One of the first dishes I made was soupe a l’ognion gratinee.  I enjoyed it in restaurants when I occasionally went out with friends and thought I’d like to try it out at home.  (And, now that I’m remembering, Mom did make this a few times in the ’70s…remember those brown onion oven safe onion soup bowls!!)  My first attempt at creating this recipe worked out well and I’ve tweaked it as the years went by to become the version that is listed below.  It’s a pretty easy recipe to make even though there are a few more steps than your average pot of homemade soup. fullsizeoutput_4deBut, it is worth the treat! The only issue for me is that it’s so filling that I always have difficulty deciding what to pair it with…when I started inviting friends for dinner in my early cooking years, I would usually pair it with my homemade Caesar salad.  Of course, all these years later, I realize that more protein is needed, so adding some grilled chicken to that Caesar would be a good option. Go to my June 19, 2018 blog to read the story of an unforgettable homemade Caesar dressing. Click here for the recipe.

Whether you decide to try this onion soup recipe as a meal on its own, or as the starter to a bigger meal, I am sure you will impress your friends and family with this one and make it again and again.  Let me know how it goes!

Happy cooking, friends!

Onion Soup au Gratin

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet Vidalia onion, or 4 to 6 medium cooking onions
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 litre best quality low salt beef stalk (or homemade beef stock)
  • Splash of cognac (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dried or toasted French bread slices, about 1 inch thick
  • Approximately 4 ounces of strong white cheddar or gruyere cheese, sliced
  • 2 heaping tbsp quality parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Thinly slice onions and set aside
  2. Melt butter in pot
  3. Add onions and garlic and saute until onions are translucent and soft
  4. Add wine (and cognac if you are using it) and combine
  5. Next, add beef stock and seasonings
  6. Combine and simmer 20 to 30 minutes
  7. Preheat broiler
  8. Pour hot soup into oven/broiler safe bowls
  9. Cover top with dried or toasted French bread
  10. Cover toast with cheddar or gruyere, sprinkle parmesan on top
  11. Place bowls on baking sheet covered with foil and broil until cheese is melted and slightly browned

Tips:  Serve with a napkin around onion soup bowl handle because bowl will be very hot!

posted by: everydayhomegourmet.blog/  

 

March is Organizing Month – 10 Tips

Once the calendar turns to March, my thoughts turn to the coming of spring and organizing the spots that need attention in our house.  I’m certainly not an expert on this subject, but I know that an organized space brings me peace, calm and helps me be more efficient. I enjoy reading articles and watching shows on organizing to see if I can get some new tips.  What you will read in today’s blog are things I’ve learned or come up with that have helped me be more organized in all areas of my home.

Over the years, I have come to believe that an organized home is not something that you can do once and be done with it.  Our needs, activities and lifestyle change over time, so you need to spend time organizing each week, or each month so that the task is not overwhelming and everything has a place.  What helps me is to pick a little spot every couple of weeks – say one drawer that’s become overstuffed – and deal with that. Larger spaces like closets, garages, basements demand more time, but you can also do those little by little if you don’t have large amounts of time available for organizing. The key is to spend a little time as you are able, and you will reap the rewards.  Remembering that organizing is not a “one and done” kind of task helps me be kind to myself and have realistic expectations that my closets don’t need to look like magazine pages to be organized and well planned.  It’s all a work in progress!

Here are 10 tips that have worked for me:

1. Understand your space and storage preferences:  I like to have things in closed cupboards, and when I open the cupboard I want to be able to easily see what is in there.  In the kitchen cupboards, I use clear storage canisters whenever possible and I label the container or cut off the part of the box that has the cooking instructions and place it in plastic wrap and put it in the container.  The clear container helps me see the quantity we have left of pasta, rice, legumes, etc. without having to take the box out and look into it.  Nothing worse than thinking you’ve got a full box of pasta and realizing just before making dinner that there are only a few strands left!

2.  Keep a running list on your fridge so you can add items you need as you use them.  This will help you be more organized for grocery shopping and will minimize over buying or forgetting something you really need.  Don’t forget to take the list with you when you go shopping! Recently, my husband and I have been using electronic shared lists on our phones and that works too.  It’s all a matter of preference!

3.  Buy just what you need and can use in a few months.  Sales on staples and non-perishable food items may be attractive, but take a look at what you can reasonably store and use in a few months.  There will be more sales coming!  (And, this is another thing that I learned through experience!!)

4.  Label everything!  I purchased a label maker more than 10 years ago and I use it in all areas of my house.  If you don’t have the budget for a label maker, you can simply use tape and a permanent marker.  It doesn’t have to be ‘magazine worthy’ to be organized! In the kitchen, I label refillable spice bottles, canisters, and even shelves to help everyone put the right glasses in the right spot.  We entertain a lot, so it’s much easier when the family and guests can open a cupboard and know where to find the glass they need.  And, then everyone has a much better shot at putting everything back in the same space that you organized for it!  No more re-sorting!  In the linen closet, I label the shelves to indicate where each type of towel goes (i.e., bath towels, face cloths, hand towels), and also the various sizes of bed sheets. That way all family members and guests can help themselves to whatever they need very easily.

5.  If it’s going in a box for later, label the box with the contents.  Everyone has stuff that they don’t use and want to keep…those things usually end up in boxes in basements or closets or under beds to be dealt with later.  If you label the box with the contents, even those hidden boxes will be organized to some degree, and you’ll spend less time searching for things.

6.  Organize your gift wrapping paper, gift bags, etc. in one spot.  Those wrapping rooms you see in magazines are really cool, but most of us don’t have space for that in our homes.  Instead, try to find a shelf or two where you can put wrapping supplies in bins and label them so the items are easy to find.  Recently, the dollar stores in my area have been carrying many sizes of clear bins with lids that are super affordable and visually appealing. fullsizeoutput_639

Here’s a cool idea I saw in a magazine years ago for organizing spools of ribbon. It’s a paper towel holder!  It’s very easy to use without having to take off each spool.fullsizeoutput_631

7.  Have a spot for everything.  Clutter happens when you don’t know where to put things.  Once you’ve got a space for everything, be sure to put it back in the spot, or you’ll end up with clutter again!  You might want to have a medium sized bin to put things in that don’t yet have a spot and get to it when you have more time.  Don’t make the bin too large or let it get too full, or you may have created another overwhelming spot to take care of later! I say this from experience!

8.  Every couple of months, pick a shelf or two in your kitchen pantry and bathroom cupboards and go through it to get rid of unused or expired items.  If you set the goal of doing a small area once a month or every few months, it won’t become a huge chore.  If you are really pressed for time, try to be sure to do it once a season or once a year! Again, do what you can manage…perfection is not the goal!  Celebrate small wins!

9.  Go through your clothes every season and be realistic about what you are not wearing anymore.  A group of women I met through work last year said that once a year they have a clothing swap get together.  They gather at someone’s house and bring all their gently used clothing and exchange it with each other. I thought that was a wonderful idea for all involved.  Definitely a money saver! Of course, you can also donate to good causes. Many organizations have drop off bins and some will also come to your house.  This year, I am trying a new tip I picked up on a local home show…they recommended turning all your hangers backwards and then put them forward after you’ve worn the piece.  By the end of the season, you should be able to see what was not worn and make a decision to keep or toss!  Hopefully, that will help me!

10.  Organize appliance and electronics manuals in one spot.  As soon as I get a manual from an appliance or piece of electronics, I date it and put it in a plastic sleeve that goes in a binder.  I used to put them in file folders, but I’ve found that the binders are more effective. I label the binders by the room in the house where the equipment lives (i.e. kitchen, living room, basement, outdoor stuff).  Having your manuals handy helps you troubleshoot minor problems with your appliances and gives information on replacement parts. Many manuals are also available online these days, and that’s a great resource too. I have used the online ones as well.  I find the efficiency of having the hard copy of the manual in front of me is a time saver and allows you to see more information at once. Of course, it’s a matter of personal preference! So, do what is easy for you!

I hope you find these tips useful and that they inspire you to tackle a small section in your home that will bring you more peace and efficiency.  Be kind to yourself and celebrate small successes! Let me know how it goes! And, please share any tips you have that work for you. I’m always looking for new ways to be more organized!  Next blog post, I’ll be back to sharing recipes! Stay tuned!

Veggie and Meat Fondue delivers a low prep and delicious dinner!

The last weekend of the holiday season is here.  Kids will be back to school on Monday and pretty much all operations return to regular schedules.  Perhaps you have one last weekend of hosting a dinner and are looking for something a little lighter than you have been eating over these past two weeks.  Why not try a fondue? I don’t do fondues often, but when I do, I’m reminded of how easy they are to prepare and how different and fun they are to enjoy. Guests can cook their own food at their own pace and enjoy the feeling of controlling how much they eat.  It’s naturally gluten-free for those guests who require that type of meal.  And, after this season of eating, you and your guests might find this a refreshing change.

Our parents introduced us to fondue in the 70’s.  It was quite a trend then (especially in Montreal where my family grew up) and I think my Mom was interested in it because it seemed like easier prep and she was always looking for fresh ideas to get us to eat a variety of foods.  She did chunks of chicken and beef cooked in peanut oil, served with rice and salad. We always had some dipping sauce for the meat. We liked it a lot, although my Dad was a bit impatient with it and always wanted multiple forks to use so he didn’t have to wait as long to eat!!  We used to tease him about that!

In the 80’s, our parents introduced us to Chinese Fondue.  This is one where you have paper thin slices of beef that you roll onto your fondue fork and cook in a delicious broth.  You also cook vegetables in this broth. We grew to love this version because it seemed less stressful than cooking with the hot oil and also you got to incorporate lots of veggies in the dinner.  We still served it with rice and salad and dipping sauces. Cooked shrimp that are warmed up in the broth can also be added. Once you are done with all the cooking, the broth will have great flavour.  So, crack a fresh egg in it and whisk it up and then you can serve little bowls of egg drop soup at the end of the meal. It’s so tasty, but don’t forget to let everyone know you are doing this so they save some room to enjoy it!

When I was in university, friends were also into this dinner.  It was a great dinner to serve because it wasn’t all that expensive and you didn’t need any cooking skills!  One of the things that can happen is that the items fall off your fork and into the broth. No worries, there’s a tool for that!  Keep one of these small basket tools handy and you’ll rescue the items quickly and easily. Most kitchen stores would have them.unnamed

 

(Or if you are like one of my university friends, turn it into a game and if you lose what’s on your fork, you have to drink the contents of your glass!!  He thought that was funny back in the 80’s, but of course, only a handful of people were that adventurous!!)

 

 

Truthfully, I’ve always wondered whether this fondue is really Chinese, or was just a marketing thing back then.  So, when my husband and I decided that’s what we’d do for New Year’s Eve this year, I took to the internet to see if Chinese Fondue was a real thing…I looked it up and found that it is also referred to as Chinese Hot Pot cooking.  In Montreal, this meat is readily available in grocery stores in the frozen section and at the butcher counter. We try to bring some home when we visit family because it’s not readily available at our grocery stores where we live. You can get it, but need to ask the butcher to pre-order it.  That’s because they freeze it slightly to get it sliced very thinly. And, because it’s a specialty item, it’s more expensive than I’m used to paying in Montreal. So, for our New Year’s Eve fondue this year, we substituted stir-fry strips and it worked well too.

Here’s what you need to do to put together the fondue dinner:

  1. Heat up about 2 litres of good quality chicken broth on the stove.  Transfer to your fondue pot and light the flame beneath your pot. (You can make your own broth or use best quality low salt broth available at your grocery store).  Follow directions and cautions on your fondue pot for using fuel correctly
  2. Cut vegetables in large enough pieces to stay on the fondue fork.  I use mushrooms, peppers, and broccoli. (Cauliflower and Brussel sprouts would also work)
  3. Arrange meat and vegetables on a platter.  (I also add large cooked shrimp that can be heated up in the pot). Budget about a half pound of meat per person and 3 or 4 shrimp each, depending on the size of shrimp.  (Some will eat less, and some more but these amounts will ensure you don’t run short!)
  4. Serve with dipping sauces:  Two favourites are two parts steak or BBQ sauce with 1 part mayonnaise and a teaspoon of honey, and cocktail sauce if you are having shrimp.  Be creative with your sauces and make up your own recipe…we also like Asian sesame, ginger or peanut sauces…use spicy sauces if you like it hot
  5. Prepare your favourite rice and salad to serve with the meal, and perhaps some fresh bread (regular or gluten-free)
  6. At the end of the meal, crack an egg in the pot.  Whisk for 1 minute and serve small bowls of deliciously flavoured soup, thanks to all the meat and veggie cooking!

 

And for dessert???  Chocolate fondue, of course!  (That may be a future post!)

Preparation and clean-up are a breeze for this meal, so relax and enjoy!  And, if you’ve got leftovers, just turn it into a stir-fry for the next day!  Drop me a note to let me know how you enjoyed it!

 

Must-try Breakfast Casserole

Happy last day of 2018, and happy first anniversary to this blog!  I began everydayhomegourmet in mid-December of 2017 because I have a passion for creating and sharing good food.  My goal is to make great food that is simple to prepare as well as healthy and tasty. Creating this site and it’s accompanying Instagram account has been a retirement project for me that incorporates my passion for cooking and my interest in taking photos with the need to keep challenging myself to learn new things and feed my need for creativity.  I have been cooking since my late teens and have always loved taking photos. I received my first camera on my 10th birthday. My cooking and photo skills have definitely improved over these many years and hopefully will continue to get better for years to come! I am still learning!

Although I have used technology in my work for many years, the whole blogging and social media world are quite new to me and I was keen to take a dip into that world and see where it took me.  Learning the technical side of creating this site has taken more time than I anticipated and it is definitely still a work in progress! My goal was to post once a week and as I started learning the ins and outs of creating the posts and recipes I was surprised by how much time it took.  But, as my husband says, “Anything worthwhile degenerates into hard work”. So, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the desire to create something of quality will take hard work, learning and focus! I will continue to work on that in 2019 and hope to always be able to bring quality content and a great reading experience to those of you who read and follow this blog.

As I reflect on this year I am reminded of many things.  Among them, that New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day have always been fun events in our family and we continue the gathering, hosting, and sharing of love, fun, and food.  So, here is a recipe for a great brunch dish that my Mom has been making for over 30 years. It’s easy to prepare and is always a hit. My Mom received this recipe from a friend and has been making it for Christmas morning ever since.  

IMG-3875I have made it a number of times for Christmas brunches and even cottage get-togethers with friends in the summer. It is a versatile dish and definitely open to interpretation. The nice thing about it is that you prepare it the night before and then bake it in the morning.  It also reheats well, so you could bake it a day ahead and reheat it when you want to serve it. If you’ve got overnight guests for New Year’s Eve, or you simply want to have something to throw in the oven as you enjoy your coffee the morning after a night out, give this a try!  Enjoy!

Christmas Morning Time Saver

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This may look like more ingredients and more steps than my usual recipes, but if you remember that you are basically making a ham and cheese sandwich with an egg mixture poured over, it will seem simpler than it looks!  The picture shows white bread, but I have used whole wheat bread many times and I prefer it because it keeps you full longer! Serve with fruit.

Ingredients

  • 16 to 18 slices of whole wheat bread, crusts removed
  • 8 thin slices of lean cooked ham
  • 6 to 8 slices of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • ½ to 1 tsp dry mustard
  • ½ tsp ground pepper (black or white)
  • 1 to 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce
  • about ¼ cup minced onion
  • about ¼ cup finely chopped green pepper
  • Cornflakes or Special K
  • ¼ pound butter

Directions

  1. Layer a 9×13 inch buttered glass baking dish with bread.  Cover dish entirely. Place ham and cheese over bread and top with another layer of bread, as if making a sandwich
  2. In a bowl, beat eggs.  Add milk and beat briefly to combine
  3. Add pepper, Worcestershire, Tabasco, onion, and pepper and stir to combine
  4. Pour mixture evenly over the sandwiches.  Cover and let stand in refrigerator overnight
  5. In the morning, melt butter and pour over top.  Cover entire dish with the cornflakes
  6. Bake uncovered for 1 hour in a preheated 350-degree oven.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving
  7. Drizzle with maple syrup (optional)
  8. Serve with fruit

 

Tips:  When I’m pressed for time, or just making this for hubby and me, I do not cut the crusts off.  It doesn’t look as neat, but I find the heartiness of the crusts satisfying and more filling.

Variations:  use whole wheat or white bread; use Swiss cheese, or your favourite cheese; omit ham for a vegetarian version

 

posted by: everydayhomegourmet.blog/