Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno and Cheese Stuffed Meatballs ~The Kitchen Witch~ Appetizer Recipes

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about Christmas this year! Where Big V and I were completely on our own last year in the winter cabin in Ucluelet, this year my son and his friends are coming from the big city to join us for good food, hot tubbing, beach walks, bonfires, board games, hiking, and lots of laughter.

Given that, I am all about zero stress so I plan to make ahead and freeze a whole bunch of amazing appetizers, snacks, (Christmas dinner thanks to my Make Ahead Christmas Dinner Planner), and today's AMAZING recipe for meatballs from Big V!

 Trust me when I tell you, these stuffed little gems of amazingness are even better in person! Meatballs are stuffed with a creamy cheese mixture and then wrapped in bacon, slathered in  barbecue sauce and baked.

The end result is so DAMN GOOD I am going to hold a grudge if you don't try this one yourself!






















Visit the printable recipe here: Meatballs

Or join Big V and I in the Kitchen Witch cottage and cook along with us - makig sure to remember that we can't help but get a little wacky when discussing Big V's balls!

Happy holidays everyone!




Ingredients

  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 package Laughing Cow jalapeno flavored cheese, unwrapped (or 1/2 cup cream cheese)
  • 1 tbsp finely diced jalapeno pepper
  • 1 cup shredded sharp or extra old cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 36 strips pre-cooked bacon 
  • Barbecue sauce
Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, using a fork, mash the Laughing Cow cheese until soft. Stir in the diced jalapeno and the shredded cheddar cheese.
  2. Using clean damp hands, roll into small balls about 1/8 of an ince in diameter. Once rolled, place in the freezer for about 10 minutes to harden.
  3. In a large bowl mix the ground beef with the garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Roll into meatballs, about 2 inches in diameter and then using your finger make an indentation in the center of each. Place one of the hardened cheese balls into the indentation and wrap the ground beef around to cover, rolling again. Gently brown in batches of six in a pan over medium heat in 2 tbsp of hot vegetable oil. Turn and move them continuously until browned on all sides and then let rest on a rack while you make the next batch.
  5. Wrap each meatball in a slice of pre-cooked bacon, affix the bacon with a toothpick or skewer, and then brush all over with barbecue sauce. Cool and place in freezer bags for holiday entertaining or bake immediately.
  6. If baking right away, do so on a tinfoil covered sheet treated with cooking spray in a 350 oven for 20 minutes. If frozen, let thaw on the counter and then bake using the same directions.


Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Make Ahead Christmas Dinner Planner - The Kitchen Witch ~ Make Ahead Recipes for Christmas Dinner

The following is my annual Christmas Dinner Planner for roast turkey. I have put it together after years of trial and error.

The end result being the following dinner: Crispy, creamy cranberry brie phyllo triangles, succulent roast turkey with easy and savoury pan gravy, fluffy buttery mashed potatoes, old fashioned stuffing with cranberries and toasted almonds, turnip and apple puree, sweet potato casserole, roasted Brussels sprouts, bean and mushroom medley, hot, buttery buns right from the oven, and a warm cake with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream for dessert.

I can honestly say I follow these directions included in this blog - step by step - each and every time I cook a turkey dinner and they have never led me astray. The recipes are guaranteed to provide your friends and family with an absolutely delicious Christmas dinner. At the same time, because much of the meal is made ahead, the cook will be able to enjoy the day instead of being stuck in a messy kitchen.

I hope this planner is helpful to you.

Please let me know what you think.
xoxo

Merry Christmas!
The Kitchen Witch

If you're just stopping by and want my printable planner and recipes without the whole blog. Click here for the PRINTABLE PLANNER.

Planning and timing your food preparation in advance will result in delicious food and a relaxed cook.

With all of the prep done ahead of time - including setting the table, getting cranberry sauce into bowls, laying out serving spoons etc. all you will have to do on the big day is follow your schedule.
Starting with links that will take you to all the make aheads:



Cranberry Brie Bundles














Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes (can be made two days in advance, cover tightly and refrigerate)


















Green Bean and Mushroom Medley (the vegetables are par boiled in advance and sauteed five minutes before they go to the table )

Sweet Potato Casserole (can be made two days in advance, cover tightly and refrigerate)

Apple Turnip Mash (Some years I choose to make this side instead of sweet potatoes. I actually prefer it but my son is a die hard sweet potato casserole fan - can be made two days in advance, cover tightly and refrigerate)


















My recipe for Sausage and Apple Stuffing can also be made in advance - and I have to tell you, it is one of the most popular recipes on this website. It does my heart proud to know cooks all over the world use my stuffing recipe and love it. I know you will too!

Apple Sausage Stuffing


















Our Christmas dessert is one of old fashioned those tried and true recipes that take few ingredients, very little effort, and turns out AMAZING every single time!
















Hot Caramel Cake or Pudding Chomeur, (can be made a day ahead, cover tightly and refrigerate)

For something a little fancier but equally delicious, how about trying my Pear Upside Down Cake with Maple Mascarpone Cream! 




***
Christmas is all about old fashioned memories. I like to use my vintage corning ware casserole dishes both to store and serve.



Make aheads give the cook time to enjoy friends and family!

    The next day, you will begin by prepping and stuffing your turkey.

    Below is a cooking chart to let you know how long you will be roasting.

    8 to 12 pounds -- 2 3/4 to 3 hours
    12 to 14 pounds -- 3 to 3 3/4 hours
    14 to 18 pounds -- 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours
    18 to 20 pounds -- 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours
    20 to 24 pounds -- 4 1/2 to 5 hours

    Stuffed Hours8 to 12 pounds -- 3-3 1/2 hours
    12 to 14 pounds -- 3 1/2 - 4 hours
    14 to 18 pounds -- 4-4 1/2 hours
    18 to 20 pounds --4 1/2 - 4 3/4 hours
    20 to 24 pounds --4 3/4 - 5 1/4

    If in doubt, use use a meat thermometer (available at most grocery stores and kitchen shops) to determine the correct degree of doneness. Turkey is done when meat in the thigh reaches 180°F or (meat in the breast in finished at 170°F).

    Setting the Table
    Because I'm an anal retentive neurotic, the setting of my holiday table in advance has become a bit of an obsession.

    No matter, though.

    Any good host will tell you that once the table is set, you have created the mood, and mood, after all, sets the tone for all else to come.

    As an experienced host, I know that the most seemless of dinner parties are always that way because of careful planning...

     The PLAN- this plan is based on a dinner start for 6:15 pm, after cocktails at 5:00.

    10:00 am - Begin the dinner rolls cover the dough, set aside in a warm place for the first rising. Your dough will sit on your warm stove top and simply do it's thing all day. You will let this dough rise three times - which just means it grows about twice it's normal size - kind of like me after eating this dinner. You will simply put your fist into the middle of the dough to take the air out and then let it rise again.

    11:00 am - Remove the giblets from the turkey and cover with 2 cups of chicken stock, 1 stalk celery, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1/4 cup fresh poultry herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme) and 4 cloves of garlic. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour. Strain and set the broth aside to use for the gravy later.

    Prep the turkey - Rinse the turkey and then dry it really good inside and out. Next, mix a half cup of softened butter with 1//4 cup of chopped fresh poultry herbs. Add a tbsp of cranberry sauce and 1 tbsp of orange zest. Roll in plastic wrap kind of like a cigar, refrigerate until firm and then cut into discs. Using your hands, place the discs under the skin of the turkey all over and massage to soften. Salt the cavity liberally and then stuff with the dressing you made the day before. Sprinkle the turkey with liberal amounts of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Put breast side up onto a roasting rack in your roaster and cover with lid or tin foil.

    12:00 pm - Turkey goes into oven at 325. Cover and baste every hour If there are a lot of pan juices, remove them as you go and set aside for your gravy.

    1:00 pm - Remove all of the side dishes you prepared earlier from fridge and set on counter.

    3:00 pm - Prep Brussels Sprouts (follow this link to the recipe) set aside until ready to roast.
    3:30 pm - Remove Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes and the other sides from fridge and set on counter.

    3:30 pm - Remove turkey from oven. Using your baster, remove all excess pan juices and set aside to use for gravy. Remove cover from turkey and return it to the oven to really brown up for the last half hour of roasting.

    3:50 pm - form the dough you made for the rolls in the morning into buns. It will have risen three times by now. Cover and set aside to rise again.

    4:00 pm - Turkey comes out of oven. Put on platter, cover with tin foil, leave to rest. (Don't worry, it won't get cold).

















    4:05 - Put pan drippings into a fat seperator. if you have one - it's an easy way to remove excess fat from your gravy.

    Leave about 1/4 cup in the bottom of your roaster pan.

    4:10 - Add 6 tbsp flour to the pan drippings to make a roux, getting as much flavor off the bottom of the pan as you can. Add the de-fatted pan juices, one tbsp cranberry sauce, and the broth you made earlier with the giblets. (add less if you have lots of pan juices) While that heats up, scrape all the good brown stuff off the sides and bottom of the pan. Get every last bit of flavour off that sucker!
    Whisk, whisk whisk! Bring to a boil and thicken with more flour if needed. (If adding more flour shake it up with more chicken stock or extra giblet broth so there are no lumps)

    When it's a nice consistency, transfer to a sauce pan and keep on low until ready to eat.
    Pop your cranberry brie phyllo triangles into the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 400.

    4:20 - Reduce oven to 350, Wash your roasting pan and put it away. No more mess, no more mashing, no hot steamy kitchen, gravy's done.

    4:30 - Put potatoes into a 350 oven.

    4:35 - Relax, put out some appetizers. We always have the cranberry brie triangles and a nice prawn ring with cocktail sauce.

    4:50 - Put turnip mash, and sweet potato casserole into the oven alongside the potatoes give potatoes a stir while adding a little warm whole milk or cream at their halfway point. This will give them a nice creamy consistency)

    5:25 - Remove veggies from oven (making sure they're heated all the way through), cover with foil and a t-towel, leave to rest on the warm stove top (don't worry, these won't get cold either)

    5:30 - Increase oven heat to 400. Put brussel sprouts in to roast.

    5:35 - Carve the turkey

    5:55 - Put your buns in the oven (I always wanted to say that) They just go in alongside the brussel sprouts. Both buns and Brussels will take another 15 minutes.

    6:05 - Saute the bean and mushroom medley.

    6:10 - Pull your buns and Brussels out of the oven, uncover everything else, stick a ladle in the gravy, and serve. (We usually just do it buffet style as that seems easiest)

    6:15 - Toast the cook and Merry Christmas!



    Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given--when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes."~ Joan Winmill Brown, American author and editor.

    ***

    Author:

    Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

    Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

    Facebook Twitter YouTube

    Friday, December 12, 2014

    French Canadian Tourtieres Recipe ~The Kitchen Witch ~ Christmas Meat Pies

    It was Christmas Eve 1989.

    I had been living in Montreal Quebec for a couple of years working as a police officer - which for those who know me, was the classic example of a square peg trying to fit into a round hole - and had just recently gone on sabbatical in order to return to school.

    For that reason, 1989 had not been a great year and Christmas wasn't looking much better. I was due to fly out of Montreal late Christmas eve to visit friends and family in my hometown of Winnipeg Manitoba, but wasn't looking forward to the questions I knew would be coming about why I had chosen to leave the police force. To make matters worse, it was going to be a long and lonely evening waiting for my 10:00 pm departure.

    A good friend had offered to drive me to the airport a few days before, and I was grateful, at least, to have some company. But that afternoon she called and threw a wrench in my plans - something had come up and she was going to have to take me to the airport in the afternoon. I offered to call a cab but she was insistent that she would drive and that we could grab a drink in the airport lounge.

    She picked me up at my apartment at about 2:00 pm, and then asked if I would mind stopping for a quick hello at her mom's house to say Merry Christmas. I had always liked her family, so I readily agreed. What followed puts a lump in my throat to this day.

    In most French Canadian families Christmas eve, not day, is a big deal and celebrations that begin in the late evening often go all night long. But this Christmas Eve my friend's mom - who was appropriately named Noella, decided to begin a little early - just for me - so that I could enjoy a traditional French Canadian celebration with their family.

    When I walked into their warmly decorated home, candles twinkled brightly, and I was greeted not only by a table literally bending to accommodate all of the food, but by the welcoming voices of people sincerely glad to see me. The moment became a highlight - one of those memories you return to on days when the sky is not as blue...

    ***

    We laughed and we drank and we ate.

    Coquilles St Jaques, Arugula Salad, and Noella's ultimate recipe for tourtieres.















    These delightfully spiced meat pies have become a mainstay, now, in my own Christmas celebrations. Such is the beauty of the connections we make through food, friends, and hospitality. Somewhere in this world is a beautiful woman named Noella; she lives her life with no idea the impact one Christmas eve had on a lonely young person just trying to make her way. Because of that, I live with the constant desire to pass it on.

    Merry Christmas!

    Please enjoy my easy to follow recipe video and cook along with me!





    Tourtieres
    For printable recipe click HERE


    Ingredients
    • 2 pounds lean ground organic pork
    • 2 pounds lean ground beef
    • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
    • 2 large pears, cored and diced
    • 3 minced garlic cloves
    • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoons allspice
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 4 cups beef stock
    • 4 cups of mashed potatoes or 1, 114 gram  package powdered roasted garlic mashed potatoes (I use Idahoan brand)
    • pastry for 4 x 2 crust, 9" pies
    Recipe will make four large pies.

    Directions
    1. Brown meat in a large dutch oven or frying pan. Drain off excess fat and place back in the dutch oven or large sauce pan.
    2. Add onions, pear, spices, salt, pepper, and enough beef stock to cover mixture. Mix well.
    3. Place over high heat and bring to a boil then reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes, stirring frequently until liquid just about gone..
    4. Add mashed potatoes to meat mixture blending well.
    5. Remove mixture from heat and let cool completely before filling the pies.
    6. On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry into 1/4-inch thickness. Fit into 9-inch pie plate. Spoon in filling. Top with remaining pastry.
    7. To make-ahead: overwrap in heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks; thaw in refrigerator. When ready to bake, brush with egg white. Cut steam vents in top. Bake in bottom third of 400°F (200°C) oven until hot and golden brown, about 50 minutes.
    Serve warm with apple sauce on the side.

    Apple Sauce Ingredients
    • 4 apples - peeled, cored and chopped
    • 3/4 cup water
    • 1/4 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    Directions
      1. In a saucepan, combine apples, water, sugar, and cinnamon. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are soft. Allow to cool, then mash with a fork or potato masher.

    ***

    Author:

    Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.


    Facebook Twitter YouTube

    Saturday, December 6, 2014

    Catalan Chicken ~The Kitchen Witch~ Smothered Chicken with Bacon and Apricots

     As the holidays approach I love to entertain - and my favourite type of entertaining has always been the dinner party. I like to invite 6-8 guests and serve rustic family style meals around our large island table. By keeping it super casual the atmosphere is always relaxed and festive - lending itself to great story telling, board games, and lots of laughter!

    One of the dishes I often serve at my holiday dinner parties is Catalan Chicken - a recipe I adapted from my catering days working for a chef who came from Spain.


     The chicken is sauteed to a golden brown, smothered in a bacon and brandy infused apricot pan sauce, and braised for another hour until tender. Serve on a platter sprinkled with toasted almonds and big bowls of rice or couscous on the side. And don't forget the Apricot Pan Sauce! This recipe makes lots of it. I put it into a nice jug and let my guests pour on as much as they want.

    Learn how to cook this with me in the Kitchen Witch cottage or scroll down for the recipe!




    Visit the Printable Recipe here: Catalan Chicken

    Ingredients
    • 2/3 of a cup dried apricots, chopped
    • 1/4 cup brandy 
    • 3 tbsp olive oil 
    • 6 -8 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs 
    • salt and pepper to taste (app 1 tsp each)
    • 1/2 pound sliced bacon cut into 1/4 inch pieces
    • 2 large diced onions
    • 1 whole head of peeled garlic
    • 4 halved sweet Campari tomatoes
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    • 3 thyme sprigs
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 cups chicken stock
    • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
    Directions
    1. Soak 2/3 the dried chopped apricots in brandy for 30 minutes.
    2. In a large oven proof skillet heat the olive oil over medium high, season the chicken with salt and pepper and saute 5 minutes per side until golden brown. Remove the chicken to a plate and drain off the olive oil. 
    3. Add the sliced bacon to the pan and continue to saute over medium heat. 
    4. When it begins to crisp, drain all but one tbsp of fat from the pan and then the diced onions, head of peeled garlic and saute for about another 5 minutes until the onions begin to brown. 
    5. Stir in the dried apricots, campari tomatoes, and white wine. Add the thyme sprigs, bay leaf, chicken stock and the chicken back to the pan. Bring that to the boil, cover, and roast in a preheated 350 oven for one hour. 
    6. Serve with toasted sliced almonds with huge bowls of couscous or rice.  

    Author:

    Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish. 


    Cranberry, Jalapeno, and Bacon Bundles "Howitzers" ~ A Recipe from Big V!

    Last weekend my husband said he had an amazing idea for a Christmas appetizer - and given that my son just let us know he's bringing friends to the cabin with him this year,  we need to get started early!


     And what a way to start! These cheesy little jalapeno and bacon infused bundles are crispy on the outside and bursting with flavour from the first bite. But what makes them perfect for the holidays isn't just the way they taste - they're also perfect because they can made ahead and frozen!

    So come on over to the Kitchen Witch Cottage and cook along with Big V as he makes his Howitzers!!




    Get the Printable Recipe Here: Howitzers

    Ingredients
    • 1-1/4 cups butter, melted
    • 1 package (16 ounces, 18-inches x 14-inches sheet size) frozen phyllo dough, thawed
    • 1/2 cups cranberry jelly
    • 6 pieces bacon, fried until crisp
    • 8 ounces Laughing Cow Cheese triangles cut into four portions.
    • 1/4 cup finely diced jalapeno pepper
    Directions
    1.  Take an individual phyllo sheet and brush it generously with melted butter (Keep remaining phyllo covered with waxed paper to avoid drying out.)
    2. Using a sharp knife measure into three by three inch squares and place the squares butter side down into a 24 count mini muffin tin. Cut each slice of crisped bacon into 4 equal pieces and place one into each phyllo cup. 
    3. Top with a cube of cheese, 1/8 of a tsp of finely diced jalapeno pepper, and a 1/2 tsp of cranberry sauce.
    4. Fold over to form a bundle and brush with more melted butter. 
    5. You can freeze these on the tray at this point and then, once frozen, remove to a freezer bag.
    6. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes if defrosted, or 20 minutes if frozen or until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 24

    Author:

    Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish. 

    Friday, November 21, 2014

    Chipotle Chicken Nachos ~The Kitchen Witch

    I want to put it out there that I run in FABULOUS circles. I mean, how many other 48 year old ex police officers turned crisis workers who sideline as Kitchen Witches and have cried over green onions on a reality TV cooking show, can also say they're friends with a rapper?

    I can.

    I work with a well known local hiphop artist named SirReal who is part of the community ed team I manage. In that light, we're fortunate that he shares his music and inspiring message of hope in many of our workshops for youth. But what does that have to so with Chipotle Chicken Nachos?

    Though I knew Sirreal was an amazing lyricist and musician, I didn't know he also used to be a chef. I found that out last spring when I had his family over to my house for dinner and he did all the cooking! One of the best things he made involved a simple chipotle sauce that I just HAD to have!

    And so on the launch week of his AMAZING new single about the effects of bullying and how we can each stand up and make a difference, I came up with a dish to go with the song: Words Like Weapons. (click the link to listen, share, and download - the song is just great)





















    This easy to make dish is perfect for Game Day and will revolutionize the way you think about nachos!

    Enjoy the recipe, and check out Words Like Weapons

    As always, join me in the Kitchen Witch cottage and cook along!




    Chipotle Chicken Nachos
    Visit the printable recipe here: Chipotle Chicken Nachos

    Ingredients

    • 1, 156 tin chunks of chicken or 1 cup cooked shredded chicken
    • 1, 540 ml tin black beans, well drained
    • 1, 341 tin drained corn
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 1-2 canned chipotles with adobo sauce 
    • 2 cups Kraft Mexicano shredded cheese
    • 2 diced tomatoes
    • 2 diced green onions
    • 1/4 cup diced cilantro
    Directions
    1. Place the sour cream in a blender and then add the chipotle peppers and pulse and blend until smooth.
    2. Add the chicken corn, and black beans to a skillet and add the chipotle sauce. Stir it all together over medium high heat and bring to the boil.
    3. Place your favorite tortilla chips onto a large platter and sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Pour the hot chicken chipotle sauce over all, and then top with diced tomatoes, green onion, and cilantro.
    Author:

    Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish. 

    Sunday, November 16, 2014

    Weekly Meal Planner #3 ~ The Kitchen Witch ~ 7 Days of Quick and Easy Dishes!

    It's that time again! Time for another weekly meal planner - and I have to tell you,  myself and the Man I Married (also known as "Big V" or "The Pool Boy" depending on how far back you go with this blog) have been enjoying it - not to mention the money we're saving.

    It's also been amazing to go back and enjoy tried and true Kitchen Witch recipes. I have to be honest, despite the awards and experience I've had in the food world, sometimes I doubt myself and this process has given me opportunity to say "Damn, I'm good." Ha ha ha! I hope you think so too when you try my easy to make delicious recipes this week!




















    The only thing I don't have for you this time around is a grocery list - this because my life is little on the nutty side and I'm pressed for time. But if you've been following along, the standard Kitchen Witch spices and ingredients will continue this week. Many of the things you have already purchased will apply!

    So let's start on Meatless Monday with an incredible recipe using store bought Butternut Squash Ravioli bathed in a homemade Porcini Mushroom Sauce (I know!)

    Visit the recipe here: Butternut Squash Ravioli with Porcini Mushroom Sauce

























    On Tuesday we're having one of my all time favorite chicken dishes to bring a hint of summer to this time of year: Caribbean Style Jerk Chicken

    Serve with my recipe for Pineapple Rice and you are in for a treat!

    Wednesday is all about easy, old fashioned comfort and I promise you, your entire family is going to LOVE my Creamed Tuna in Toast Cups!



















    On Thursday I'm going to prove once and for all why real men love quiche with another meatless dish for Swiss Chard and Gruyere Quiche -and if you don't have time to make pie crust you should still have an extra Pillsbury one kicking around from the first week's planner - if not there are many excellent pre-made pie crusts on the market to make your life easier!

    Friday is all about a brand new pub style recipe I'm SUPER excited about for Chipotle Chicken Nachos!  Watch for the video later this week, and for now check out the printable recipe:

    Chipotle Chicken Nachos

     We round out the week with a couple of Kitchen Witch reader favourite recipes.

    On Saturday, why not put a big pot of my trademark Hamburger soup on to simmer and bubble?

    And then finish off the week with Sunday Dinner!

    My Baked Pork Chops with Apple Onion Pan Sauce and Roasted Autumn Vegetables is da bomb diggity - and you just have to try it!!! 




























    Until next time everyone, remember, when you cook with the Kitchen Witch you make everyday delicious!

    Author:

    Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

    Meatloaf Wellington ~The Kitchen Witch ~ Mealtoaf Wrapped in Puff Pastry

    When I was growing up my mom made meatloaf for dinner once or twice a month - usually on a Monday - and I'd get a meatloaf sandwich in my lunch the next day. Back then meatloaf was always served the same way: with mashed potatoes, frozen mixed vegetables, and some kind of pan gravy my mom would throw together with Cream of Mushroom Soup.

    I grew up loving that dinner and as an adult nothing says winter comfort more than a meatloaf. But that doesn't mean I have to prepare it the same way every single time like my mom did because the beauty of meat loaf is how versatile it is.

    Keeping that in mind, today's dish was created in the style of a traditional beef wellington with a duxelles filling, golden puff pastry, and mushroom gravy.




















    Better still, this show stopper of a dish is economical and easy to make.

    Join me today in the Kitchen Witch Cottage and cook along with me!





    Meatloaf Wellington
    Visit the printable recipe here: Meatloaf Wellington

    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Bake Time: 80 minutes
    Serves: 6

    Ingredients
    • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 diced onion
    • 16 button mushrooms that have been washed roughly chopped
    •  2 cloves minced garlic
    • 1 tsp. powdered beef stock
    • 1/2 cup beer
    • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
    • 2 lbs. extra lean ground beef1 tbsp. granulated garlic
    • 1 tsp. black pepper
    • 1 tbsp. HP or A1 Sauce
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
    • 1 box frozen puff pastry, thawed
    • 1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp. water (for the egg wash)
    For the Gravy
    • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
    • 2 tbsp. butter
    • 2 tbsp. flour
    • 2 cups beef stock

    1. Saute the onion and mushrooms in the extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat until the mushrooms begin to lose their water and you get lots of good golden brown flavour going in the bottom of the pan.
    2. Add the minced garlic and powdered beef stock and stir to incorporate.
    3. Deglaze the pan beer and stir well getting all the flavour off the bottom of the pan. Add the fresh thyme, black pepper, and sea salt and set aside to cool slightly.
    4. Add the granulated garlic, black pepper, HP or A1 Sauce, egg, and panko breadcrumbs to the ground beef. Mix well.
    5. Place half the meat mixture into the bottom of a loaf pan sprayed with oil. Flatten it out evenly and cover with the mushroom mixture. Place the remaining ground beef mixture over all, spread evenly and flatten and bake in a 350 oven for 50 minutes.
    6. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it cool slightly - in the meantime, let the puff pastry warm up a bit on the counter - it should be well thawed - and then roll it into a large rectangle.
    7. Place the cooled meatloaf top side down onto the center of the puff pastry and fold like a present. Use the egg wash to seal
    8. You can also have fun with it by cutting out shapes and placing them onto the top. Brush the egg wash over all, increase the heat in the oven to 400 and bake on a baking tray for another 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
    9. Let rest five minutes while you make your gravy.
    10. Saute the mushrooms in a non stick pan that's been treated with cooking spray. Saute until the mushrooms are golden and have begun to release their water.
    11. Add the butter and let melt.
    12. Add the flour to form a roux and continue to cook and stir for a minute.
    13. Add 2 cups of beef stock, bring to the boil, and whisk until thickened. Cut the meatloaf into slices serve drizzled with the mushroom gravy.

    Author:

    Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

    Sunday, November 9, 2014

    Weekly Meal Planner ~The Kitchen Witch~ Lentil Stew, Shrimp Flautas, Asian Pulled Pork Sliders, Chicken Stuffed with Quinoa, Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy and more!

    This week's meal plan features another round of Kitchen Witch classic recipes; beginning Monday with Lentil Stew and ending the week with my all time favourite recipe for Meatloaf (with mashed potatoes and home made mushroom gravy, thank you very much!)





















    As always, links to each recipe blog can be accessed below. There is a printable recipe option on each blog and most come with step by step videos so you can cook along with me. I've also put together a printable shopping list with all of the items you will need to put together 7 days worth of amazing meals!

    Visit the printable shopping list here:  Meal Planner 2

    Monday: Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Stew
    Tuesday: Spaghetti with Chorizo Sausage
    Wednesday: Oven Baked Shrimp Flautas
    Thursday: Salmon Chowder
    Friday: Asian Pulled Pork Sandwiches
    Saturday: Roasted Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, and Feta
    Sunday: The Best Damn Meatloaf Ever

    Happy cooking everyone! Be sure to let me know if you try and or all of this week's recipes!

    ~Your friendly neighborhood Kitchen Witch

    Author:

    Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2014

    Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner Planner, Timeline, and Easy Recipes

    Thanksgiving dinner can be a daunting task - and whether you've been the chief cook for many years. or are just starting out - cooking turkey dinner doesn't have to leave you exhausted and frazzled. What I've found, though, is that most home cooks aren't aware of the restaurant secrets chefs use for making meals like Thanksgiving easier. 

    And the first secret home cooks don't always know is that many restaurant dishes are prepared, or are partially prepared, ahead of time. Although we operate under the illusion fresh is always best, any chef will tell you, side dishes like mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and carrots, can be prepared ahead of time and re-heated.

    That said, this Thanksgiving planner will give you restaurant worthy recipes for your sides (and turkey) along with instructions for roasting, re-heating, and timing an impeccable Thanksgiving dinner worthy of the best restaurant (or your grandmother's table).

     Today's Thanksgiving Dinner menu consists of: Herb Butter Oven Roasted Turkey, Buttery Homemade Dinner Rolls, Apple and Sausage Stuffing, Cranberry Infused Pan Gravy, Horseradish Mashed Potatoes, Lemon Dill Carrots, Apple Turnip Mash, Crispy Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and Pumpkin Cheesecake for dessert.

    And though the menu may sound complicated, I'm going to walk you through my chef secret planner for putting this 5 star meal together effortlessly, starting with the sides, and that amazing Pumpkin Cheesecake - which can all be prepared a day or two ahead.

    The recipes for each side dish (and the dessert) along with all of the storage and re-heating instructions can be accessed by clicking the links below.

    Following the recipes, is a planner with cooking and prepping times for getting everything on the table without losing your mind :-)

    A printable version of planner can be found here for easy use: Make Ahead Thanksgiving: 

    Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

     Lemon Dill Carrots

    Apple Turnip Mash

    Sausage and Apple Stuffing

    Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake


















    ***
    Thanksgiving and Christmas are all about old fashioned memories. I like to use my vintage corning ware casserole dishes both to store and serve.


    Make aheads give the cook time to enjoy friends and family!
      Thanksgiving Day

      Now that you have most of your side dishes and desserts taken care of, your full attention on the big day will be on making the most succulent flavorful turkey ever along with gravy people will want to bottle and drink.

      To get things started, though, you will want to know ahead of time how long your turkey will take to roast.

      Below is a cooking chart to help you out.

      Un-stuffed Turkey

      8 to 12 pounds -- 2 3/4 to 3 hours
      12 to 14 pounds -- 3 to 3 3/4 hours
      14 to 18 pounds -- 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours
      18 to 20 pounds -- 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours
      20 to 24 pounds -- 4 1/2 to 5 hours

      Stuffed Turkey

      8 to 12 pounds -- 3-3 1/2 hours
      12 to 14 pounds -- 3 1/2 - 4 hours
      14 to 18 pounds -- 4-4 1/2 hours
      18 to 20 pounds --4 1/2 - 4 3/4 hours
      20 to 24 pounds --4 3/4 - 5 1/4

      If in doubt, use use a meat thermometer (available at most grocery stores and kitchen shops) to determine the correct degree of doneness. Turkey is done when meat in the thigh reaches 180°F or (meat in the breast in finished at 170°F).

      Once you know how long your turkey will be in the oven, you can plan the rest of your day accordingly.

      Setting the Table

      Because I'm an anal retentive neurotic, (people what?) the setting of my holiday table in advance has become a bit of an obsession.

      No matter, though.

      Because any good host will tell you that once the table is set, you have created the mood, and mood, after all, sets the tone for all else to come.



      Pictured above is my 2013 table setting.

      I offset the brilliant colors in my Italian pottery Thanksgiving plates with a rustic black table cloth.



      And added a little whimsy with my favorite salt and pepper shakers from the 60's: Owls with googly eyes.



      As an experienced host, I know that the most seamless of dinner parties are always that way because the mood has been set, the host is calm - and that, my friends - is the result of careful planning...

      So here's the plan. Your side dishes and dessert are done, your table is set, you know how long your turkey needs to roast - so now what I have for you is the step by step plan I use every single year to create my legendary Thanksgiving dinner. It's based on a 15-17 pound turkey so if yours is bigger or smaller, just adjust the timeline based on the guide I provided above.

      The PLAN


      10:00 am - Begin the recipe for your buttery dinner rolls (link here: dinner rolls ) When the dough is ready according to the recipe, cover and set aside in a warm place for the first rising. Your dough will sit on your warm stove top and simply do it's thing all day. You will let this dough rise three times - which just means it grows about twice it's normal size - kind of like me after eating this dinner. You will simply put your fist into the middle of the dough to take the air out and then let it rise again.

      11:00 am - Remove the giblets from the turkey, place in a medium sauce pan, and cover with 2 cups of chicken stock, 1 stalk celery, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1/4 cup fresh poultry herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme) and 4 cloves of garlic. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour. Strain and set the broth aside to use for the gravy later.

      Prep the turkey - Rinse the turkey and then dry it really good inside and out. Next, mix a half cup of softened butter with 1//4 cup of chopped fresh poultry herbs. Add a tbsp of cranberry sauce and 1 tbsp of orange zest. Roll in plastic wrap kind of like a cigar, refrigerate until firm and then cut into discs. Using your hands, place the discs under the skin of the turkey all over and massage to soften. Salt the cavity liberally and then stuff with the dressing you made the day before. Sprinkle the turkey with liberal amounts of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Put breast side up onto a roasting rack in your roaster and cover with lid or tin foil.

      12:00 pm - Turkey goes into oven at 325. Cover and baste every hour If there are a lot of pan juices, remove them as you go and set aside for your gravy.

      1:00 pm - Remove all of the side dishes you prepared earlier from fridge and set on counter.

      3:00 pm - Prep Brussels Sprouts (follow this link to the recipe) set aside until ready to roast.

      3:30 pm - Remove turkey from oven. Using your baster, remove all excess pan juices and set aside to use for gravy. Remove cover from turkey and return it to the oven to really brown up for the last half hour of roasting.

      3:50 pm - Form the dough you made for the rolls in the morning into buns. It will have risen three times by now. Cover and set aside to rise again.

      4:00 pm - Turkey comes out of oven. Remove the stuffing and put in a bowl covered with tinfoil. Put the turkey on a platter, cover with tin foil, leave to rest. (Don't worry, it won't get cold).

















      4:05 - Put pan drippings into a fat seperator. if you have one - it's an easy way to remove excess fat from your gravy.

      Leave about 1/4 cup in the bottom of your roaster pan.

      4:10 - Add 6 tbsp flour to the pan drippings to make a roux, getting as much flavor off the bottom of the pan as you can. Add the de-fatted pan juices, one tbsp cranberry sauce, and the broth you made earlier with the giblets. (add less if you have lots of pan juices) While that heats up, scrape all the good brown stuff off the sides and bottom of the pan. Get every last bit of flavour off that sucker!
      Whisk, whisk whisk! Bring to a boil and thicken with more flour if needed. (If adding more flour shake it up with more chicken stock or extra gible broth so there are no lumps)

      When it's a nice consistency, transfer to a sauce pan and keep on low until ready to eat.

      4:20 - Preheat oven to 350, Wash your roasting pan and put it away. No more mess, no more mashing, no hot steamy kitchen, gravy's done.

      4:30 - Put potatoes into a 350 oven.

      4:35 - Have another cocktail, relax, put out some appetizers - we always have Cranberry Brie Bundles another awesome make ahead that can be frozen and popped into the oven at the last minute.

      4:50 - Put turnip mash, and sweet potato casserole into the oven alongside the potatoes give potatoes a stir while adding a little warm whole milk or cream at their halfway point. This will give them a nice creamy consistency)

      5:25 - Remove veggies from oven (making sure they're heated all the way through), cover with foil and a t-towel, leave to rest on the warm stove top (don't worry, these won't get cold either)

      5:30 - Increase oven heat to 400. Put Brussels sprouts in to roast.

      5:35 - Carve the turkey

      5:55 - Put your buns in the oven (I always wanted to say that) They just go in alongside the Brussels sprouts. Both buns and Brussels will take another 15 minutes.

      6:05 - Heat the carrots in the microwave on high for app five minutes.

      6:10 - Pull your buns and Brussels out of the oven, uncover everything else, stick a ladle in the gravy, and serve. (We usually just do it buffet style as that seems easiest)

      6:15 - Toast the cook and Happy Thanksgiving






















      And don't forget dessert!!

      Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake


















      "Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy -- because we will always want to have something else or something more."



      ***

      Author:

      Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

      Wild Rice Casserole ~The Kitchen Witch~ Side Dish Recipes

      Last week I shared a recipe I adapted from Chef Michael Smith for roasted chicken with apples and rosemary. Today I'm going to share the side dish I always make to accompany it: Wild Rice Casserole. A dish that's been in my family for years and is a staple at many a celebration.

       Food is funny that way. Certain dishes interweave themselves into occasions so that they become part of the memory. In my life a potluck wouldn't be right without my friend Debbi's broccoli slaw, Christmas eve wouldn't be the same without tourtieres, and roast chicken, pork, or turkey lose some of their lustre without wild rice casserole.

      I also love that it's a Canadian thing - wild rice - considered a delicacy in North America, is largely grown in the Borealis region of Canada and around the great lakes in both Canada and the US. The grains are long and thin and dark brown to black in colour. When soaked and cooked properly, they soften up and have the perfect texture for a creamy casserole like this because the wild rice doesn't get mushy. This also means its an ideal make ahead.

      All that aside, though, I love wild rice casserole simply because it tastes so good. The sweetness of red pepper and sauteed onion is offset by the saltiness of bacon. A crunch of diced celery, the earthiness of golden sauteed mushrooms, and the rich smokiness of toasted almond play off each other as explosions of taste go off in the mouth.

      But the best thing of all for me is the comforting addition of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup - the product that bound all of my grandma's casseroles together over the years. Its familiar simplicity creating a symphony of memory, taste, and delight. This is the kind of dish that looks best in a Corninware casserole alongside steaming bowls of mashed potatoes, and jugs of homemade gravy - tables groaning under the weight of long remembered favourites - and the party goes on.

      It continues in the here and now as I share these memories and recipes with you. In some small way, my grandmother, those tables, the people, and the magic live on everytime somebody new tries a recipe and decides to make it a part of their family tradition, celebration, or memory.

      So please enjoy this wonderful recipe and pop by the Kitchen Witch cottage for a glass of wine and a visit. I'll show you step by step, just how easy this is to make.




      Happy cooking everyone!

      Wild Rice Casserole
      Visit the printable recipe here: Wild Rice Casserole

      Ingredients
      • 1 cup wild rice
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 1/2 pound bacon, diced
      • 2 medium white onions, chopped
      • 3 stalks celery, diced
      • 1 red or green pepper, seeded and diced
      • 10 sliced mushrooms
      • 1 can consomme
      • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
      • 1 tin Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
      • 1/4 tsp black pepper
      Directions
      1. Rinse the wild rice under cold water. Bring it to a boil in three cups of salted water for 7 minutes and remove from heat. Let it soak covered for one hour to soften the grain. 
      2. After an hour, drain the water and pour in one can of consomme. Bring to a boil and then return to low. Cover and let steam and seep for 30 minutes. 
      3. Saute the bacon over medium high heat about 3 minutes until it begins to cook. Add the onion, celery, red or green pepper and sliced mushrooms. Cook until the bacon is crispy and the vegetables are tender. 
      4. Drain in a colander lined with paper towel and then mix well with the cooked rice. Add the almonds, soup and pepper and bake in a pre-heated 350 oven for 30 minutes. This can also be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature and heat at 350 for 30 minutes as above.
      Please enjoy, and if you get a chance, check out my brand new Kitchen Witch weekly Meal Planner featuring 7 days of tried and true easy kitchen Witch dinner recipes and a grocery list to get you through the busiest weeks!

      xo

      Your favourite Kitchen Witch

      Author :

      Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

      Sunday, November 2, 2014

      Weekly Meal Planner ~The Kitchen Witch~ Comfort Classics and Easy Dishes

      In an effort to save money and get myself organized, I decided to start a new feature on The Kitchen Witch: A Weekly Meal Planner! It will be published Sundays and will have links to seven tried and true Kitchen Witch favourite recipes - one for each day of the week. Each of the recipes will serve between 4-6 people, making the planner perfect for busy families on the go.

      Lemon Walnut Spaghetti, Mandarin Brats, Chicken and Chorizo Ragu, Easy Salmon Quiche
       I've tailored the weeks so that quick and easy recipes are featured during busy weekdays - and left a more time intensive "showstopper" recipe for Sunday dinner. I've also balanced out each week with at least one vegetarian dish, and a fish dish.

      Each meal planner comes with a printable, itemized grocery list.

      Visit the Grocery List Here: November 3-9 Grocery List

      So let's get started with Monday's delectable meal (and one of my all time weeknight favourites!)

      Monday - Cheesy Chillighetti


















      Ground beef, chili beans, tomatoes, and taco seasoning are mixed with macaroni and baked with cheese to make a comforting, cold weather dish sure to become a family favourite!

      Tuesday - Easy Salmon and Spinach Quiche (as pictured)

      This dish is packed with flavour but takes little time to put together. It's also a great way to get your family eating healthy items like salmon and spinach. Serve with a tossed salad and unwind with a little white wine and you've got a great reason to celebrate!

      Wednesday - Mandarin Brats (as pictured)

      This sweet and savoury dish has the slightest hint of curry and is reminiscent of the sweet and sour spareribs my mom made when I was growing up. With a prep time of only 5 minutes - yes, you read that right, this incredible dish packs a scrumptious punch without taking up any of your valuable #HumpDay time!

      Thursday - Spaghetti with Lemon and Walnuts (as pictured)

      People, if this dish were a person, I would marry it. Seriously. It's clean mostly vegan flavours are completely uncomplicated. Brightened by the VAVOOM of fresh lemons and then balanced out by the earthy stability of roasted walnuts, this is another Kitchen Witch classic I know you'll come back to again and again!

      Friday- Lo Mein Style Chinese Omelet with Ramen

      This is another ridiculously easy Kitchen Witch classic that you have to taste to believe! I used the same flavour profiles in this showstopper Foodie Friday dish that I used on the Food Network show Recipe to Riches. To make this you might have to get a few items for your Asian pantry from the grocery list - but do so! We're going to be cooking all kinds of amazing Asian inspired dishes in the weeks and months to come!

      Saturday - Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons



















      All I can say about this one is OMFG - sorry for swearing but, seriously, this one if Just. That. Fabulous. Pop in a movie, light the fire, maybe a candle or two, and hunker down with your family to enjoy this incredibly bright and fresh tasting soup with crunchy grilled cheese croutons! You can thank me later ;-)

      Sunday - Chicken and Chorizo Ragu over Mozzarella Mashed Potatoes.



















      This one makes me all verklempt.

      Talk amongst yourselves while I get myself together...




















      If I were to pick Top 10 Kitchen Witch dinners of all time for fall and winter, this one would be right up there with the best of them! In fact, I'd even consider having an affair with its sweet, spicy, Spanish glory!(Don't tell the spaghetti)

      So happy eating and meal planning. Let me know if you try any or all of these recipes. I have all the ingredients and will be enjoying each magical dish as the week unfolds!

      xo

      Your favourite Kitchen Witch

      Author:

      Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.