My Lemon Thyme Fish

The photo isn't much to look at but this simple piece of fish was absolutely delicious.

I used Basa, but any white fish will do. I did one piece per person.

Whole Lemons
Lemon Pepper
Fresh Thyme
Garlic, Thinly Sliced

Pre-heat the oven to 400F/200C. Lay each piece of fish on individual sheets of tin foil. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice onto each piece of fish, sprinkle with lemon pepper, garlic slices and plenty of fresh thyme. Top with lemon slices. Wrap up. Put in oven for about 15/20 minutes ... or until cooked through.

Homemade Ketchup


This does not taste like Heinz ... not one bit. But, Jono, who is EIGHT, says it tastes better. Rory and I thought it tasted like a chutney. I took a few recipes I found on line and mashed them into this one recipe that I will share with you today. Simple process. Great outcome. But ... don't expect Heinz. Expect better ...

1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, whole smashed
6 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup palm sugar, grated
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup vinegar
10 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
1 tsp salt

Throw all ingredients into a pot. Cover, medium heat, simmer 45 minutes. Throw in blender and blend until smooth. Strain if you are worried about fennel/star anise bits. I wasn't worried. This will thicken more in the fridge.

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - 26 April 2010

Menu Plan Monday is hosted by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie

I'd pretty much finished planning the menu for this week when Rory mentioned that he thought we might should have some crock pot meals this week ... just because we're so busy. Great idea ! So, I started over. Now, we have three crock pot meals for this week. I want to try some new ones but I decided to just go with ones I know that we haven't had in a while ...


Crock Pot Baked Potato Soup
hopefully with home made bacon !!

We're going to try Andrea's
Crock Pot Red Wine Stew

40 Clove Garlic Chicken - in the Crock Pot

Rory has been dying to try one of these Cheese and Burger Society Burgers ...
We're going to try #15 - The Boss
If you haven't visited this website before ~ you should ~ and have your speakers on.

It's Thyme for Eggs Benedict !!

Today I learned how to make eggs benedict !
I love learning something new ... especially when it has to do with cooking ... and even better when a real person is teaching me how to do it !! Today ... my teacher was our friend Craig. You may remember him introducing me to my first poached egg a couple of weeks ago. Actually, I've since been told by my Mom that I have in fact had poached eggs before ... when I was a kid. I do not remember ... she did not do them with hollandaise sauce though ... not more than once anyway. Mom ... you may like to give it another go using this recipe ... and maybe with Jilly who reckons she's never had a poached egg either ... and so I'm deducing she's never had eggs benedict either.
Now ... I didn't make these today. I just watched. Except for a little tiny bit of stirring once the hollandaise sauce was cooked ... I'm a good helper ! :) I'm totally going from memory here ... we might have a chance of me getting the recipe down right because it was earlier today and I was paying close attention ... let's see how I go.
For the sauce ...
egg yolks
lemon juice
fresh thyme
salt and pepper
cream, optional
For the eggs ...
For serving ...

bread, toasted
butter, spread on toast
And now how to cook it ...
Fill a fry pan with water and put it on to boil. You don't want a rolling boil ... just a gentle bubbling boil ... it looked to me just a little above a simmer. When it's ready to go, add the vinegar. As you pour it in, you'll see it spread along the bottom of the fry pan ... when it gets to the edges, stop pouring.
As the same time, you should be melting your butter. He used equal parts butter and egg yolks. Sorry, if you want measurements ! I don't have 'em ... But, I think it was about 5 yolks and then butter that looked to be about the same amount ... Got that ?? Good !
You want to melt your butter in a bowl ... over a pot of hot water. Not too hot though because you're going to be adding the egg yolks and you don't want them to scramble. I imagine this just takes doing a few times to know when it's right ... When your butter is melted, slowly add the egg yolks and stir constantly. If they are starting to scramble, take it off the heat. This didn't happen today so I don't know what you'd do with it then ... change your breakfast plans ?
Keep stirring while the sauce thickens. Add a few squirts of lemon juice. Keep stirring. When it's thickish you can take it off the heat. But keep stirring (this is where I started being 'helpful') because it will keep cooking til the bowl cools down. Add your thyme and salt and pepper. And a bit of cream if you like.
You should have already started poaching your eggs by now. I'm not sure on the timing ... I'm actually posting this recipe so I'll know where to find it when I finally MAKE these myself ! But ... aim to have the sauce and the eggs finished at the same time. To poach the eggs ... you've already added the vinegar now you need to add the eggs. Crack the egg and slowly let it start to fall in the pan, don't let the whole thing go in just yet, you want that first bit to start cooking a little bit, then gently let the rest of it fall in. Cook to your desired doneness. Rory likes his yolks a bit runnier than I do but I'm getting more adventurous as far as runny yolk is concerned.
To eat ... toast. butter. ham. egg. sauce. fork. mouth. yum.

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - 19 April 2010

Menu Plan Monday is hosted by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie

I never came back and posted last week because I never planned any more meals last week ! Total disaster ! I hate it when I do that. It was a crazy week though. I'm actually quite glad it's the weekend !!

I am soooooooo excited that I've found a recipe that works within our specifications of unprocessed to make ...

wait for it ...

are you ready ?

can you guess ??


I'm going to start the week long process today ...

Pizza - I think I'll do funky lime.
And I'm going to experiment further with a Camembert cheese and caper one.
And I just walked out into the kitchen and saw an eggplant that I
picked out of our garden this week ... that puppy is going on
a pizza tonight !! Also ... going to try Tribeca Yummy
Mummy's winter vegetable tomato sauce

as the base for this experiment !

I'll also make the bread dough for tomorrow ...

Chicken Strips and Honey Mustard
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
No Knead Overnight Parmesan and Thyme Rolls

Pan Seared Salmon with Sauteed Spinach and Creme Fraiche
Homemade Creme Fraiche

This pasta looks so yummy !
Chicken Asparagus Penne Pasta Salad

Black Bean Breakfast Burritos
with homemade whole wheat flour tortillas

Fish en Papillote
Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli

I'm leaving this meal open...................
Rory told me I should go out and buy a pasta maker.
I'm going to have a look today when I go grocery shopping.
If I end up buying one, it will be pasta for sure on Friday night !!!

Anyone got a great homemade pasta recipe they want to recommend ??

Sweets To Try ...
Raw Coconut Choco-Balls

Pacific Northwest Grilled Fish Sandwich

  1. 4 fillets of fish (halibut, salmon, tilapia are popular around here...but any fish you like will work)
  2. 1 crusty French Baguette (cut into four and sliced)
  3. 1 sweet onion, sliced
  4. 1 tomato, sliced
  5. 1 lemon, sliced
  6. 2 garlic cloves, cut in half
  7. Few sprigs of fresh dill
  8. Butter 

  • Rinse fish fillets and set aside. Once dry sprinkle with garlic salt.

  • Place butter, dill and garlic in cast iron skillet and set on bar-b-que. Allow to melt. 
         Once HOT place fish fillets in skillet. Place a slice of lemon on top of each.
         Mmm, this is smelling delicious.

  • Cook fish 3-4  minutes on each side on high flame.

  • Meanwhile, melt butter in pan on stove and sautee sliced onion.  
  • Butter bread and grill bread on bar-b-que.
  • Place fish, onion, and tomato on bread
  • Enjoy! 
 Inspired by

It's all in the blossom end (Spicy Garlic Dill Pickles!)

So last summer I attempted to pickle...asparagus, okra, baby onions and of course dill pickles...They were SO DELICIOUS I can hardly stand to wait for the cucumbers to grow this year so I can have a go at it again!

My mom and I looked around for a recipe but finally decided to just do what was easiest (and sounded good). So here is our recipe:
  • 8-10 pounds of pickling cucumbers (all that means is little baby cucumbers that have a nice firm skin)
  • 4 cups apple cider vinegar (you can use white as well)
  • 12 cups of water
  • 2/3 cups pickling salt
  • At least 16 cloves of garlic (lots more if you like)
  • 10 sprigs of fresh dill weed (again more if you like)
  • 10 heads of fresh dill weed
  • 20 hot peppers. Any kind you find at the Farmer's Market...I can not remember what kind we used...we just picked ones that looked good. They ended up being really spicy! (You can omit these if you just want garlic dill pickles with out the bite.)
  • 8-10 one quart canning jars and lids. (sterilized)
  • A bit of Alum (we forgot this for the first few jars...the last few got it)

Throw all the cucumbers into sink. Wash with cold water. Then let them sit in ICE COLD WATER as you cut the blossom end off of each cucumber.

Peel garlic and onions (if you plan on pickling onions too. at the last minute we decided to try a few)

In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and the pickling salt. Bring the brine to a rapid boil.

Throw a couple garlic cloves and hot peppers into the bottom of each jar. One or two heads of dill as well.

Fill up with cucumbers. Don't skimp. Then add at least one more garlic clove, perhaps another hot pepper and a sprig of dill.

Fill jars with hot brine. Be careful to not burn yourself!

(If you want to use Alum here is where you would throw a pinch in to each jar and mix. It supposedly helps keep the pickles firm. We didn't notice a difference in the ones that didn't get any...but maybe because we couldn't wait that long to eat them!)

Seal jars. Make sure you have wiped down the jar's rims with a dish rag.

Place sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Process quart jars for 15 minutes.

A lot of recipes say to wait around 8 weeks before eating...we marked our calendars but could hardly wait a week before trying our first jar.

They were delicious! In fact the longer we waited the spicier they got! So it just depends on what you like.

And as I said, we also made a few jars of asparagus, onions and okra using the same dill pickle brine. They tasted great!

Oeufs Poches


you are my

friend on facebook

this won't be news to you

but ...

yesterday i ate

my first ever poached egg

i love eggs ~ i hate runny yolk ~ always have ~

but yesterday the part of me that loves trying new things was

stronger than my life long hatred of runny yolks

so i tried it and get this ~ i liked it

runny yolk and all


this is not the poached egg i ate.

the one i ate was not what one would call pretty.

this one is better ... but i took the photo on my cell phone

(and then made it look like an oil painting to try and hide the poor shot ~ didn't work !)

this is the egg that rory ate ~ after craig the poached egg chef ~ had a couple practice runs.


i'm sure it won't surprise any of you

that since i've discovered i like eggs this way

i'm going to have to learn how to make them myself !!

and i'm going to have a go at hollandaise sauce

it's a good thing i recently bought myself

" mastering the art of french cooking "

i just had to


watching julie and julia

(and after finding the boxed set on sale at target !)


i also bought the movie

i don't usually buy movies ~ i'm happy watching

something once and then never seeing it again ~ but over the easter

weekend i went to rent this to watch with my sister in law and decided i'd better

just buy it as it's one i already know i'll watch again and again


speaking of the easter weekend, i meant to tell you all about how we went staying unprocessed. for the most part we did ok. we had decided in advance that we'd make a few exceptions. we were celebrating my birthday and we had loads of family at our place for many days and couldn't expect everyone to eat like us.

(some highly processed foods we enjoyed for my birthday dinner !)

but we didn't do too bad. it's interesting though. rory and i both got really sore stomachs one night after eating a few pieces of raisin toast. we think it was the white flour just sitting in our guts. gross. not the raisin toast. we loved every bite of that. the tummy ache wasn't worth it to me to do again though. i didn't have one piece of chocolate. but that's no temptation for me. the pavolova on the other hand ~ i had it two days in a row. the second day i got a headache. one that i had to go to bed to get rid of ! weird eh ? i find it so interesting to see what happens when we eat these things that we haven't been eating~ it makes me wonder what happens in our bodies when we eat them regularly.

(this was last years ... i didn't take the camera this year)

i never did get around to posting the rest of this weeks menu ~ mainly because i didn't ever plan it ! we've just been eating easter weekend leftovers, and meals we've previously cooked and froze. the kids and i had fish and chips on the beach with a friend one night and last night we had ~ excuse the drool ~ sashimi at one of our favorite restaurants. we haven't been there since my birthday last year !!


i didn't mean for this to turn into a book

sheesh !

i will finish here

i did try out the new tagine this past week

delish !

photos and recipe coming soon !!

but enough for today !

bye !!

Salmon with An Amazing Salsa


Tonight for dinner we did Salmon Steaks on the BBQ with Grilled Pineapple Salsa, corn on the cob and Pumpkin Lentil Salad. Every single bit of it was DELICIOUS !!!

For the salmon ... usually we buy it with the skin on but it wasn't available this time so we went with no skin. Rory rubbed it with butter and BBQ'd it on the Weber ~ 6 minutes each side. It was beautiful !!

The Pineapple Salsa was so easy ... I did it just the way she said ... except, I didn't add the salt and I chopped the jalapeno and served it on the side for those who wanted it.

1 large pineapple
1/3 of a large red onion, finely diced
juice of 2 small limes
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves


Take the skin off your pineapple, slice into 4 or five big slices. Grill pineapple on a medium hot grill ... about five minutes each side. Be careful not to cook it too long ... You're aiming for caramelized ... not burned.


When your pineapple is done, remove from heat and let cool completely. Dice the pineapple into small pieces, then toss with the remaining ingredients. DONE. So easy. So yummy !


Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - 5 April 2010

Menu Plan Monday is hosted by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie

I'm not doing a two week menu today. We just finished a weekend with lots of extra people in the house ... celebrating Easter and my birthday ! I'm just going to grab a few meals worth ... but I'll post again later in the week !

Salmon Steaks on BBQ
with Grilled Pineapple Salsa ... this looks delectable !
and I'll probably do corn on the cob
we all love it !



Rory's parents gave me this Moroccan Tagine for my birthday (which is tomorrow !)
and I'm so excited to try it out. We are going to try Nigella's recipe for
Lamb and Date Tagine
with cous cous
roasted cauliflower and broccoli

I really have to get to the shops before they close ... so that's all I'm going to do for today ! Like I said, I'll post more during the week ... once I get the rest of the menu planned ! And I hope to have some new recipes up this week too ! I've got plenty of photos !!! LOVIN' my new camera !!

Remind me too ... I want to tell you all about our Easter weekend ... and how the unprocessed eating went ! (or didn't go !)


I, for one, have never been a fan of eggplant. However, I have recently discovered that it isn't half bad if chopped into tiny pieces (so it's well hidden in dishes) or fried. Also, there are several tips to selecting and preparing eggplant that help reduce the bitterness of this vitamin packed veggie.
(It is apparently high in cancer-fighting polyphenols - which are also found in apples)
(Some of the tips came from a recent MSNBC article)

Tip 1: Buy young! Size is not always a good indicator of age. If your thumb leaves an indent that doesn't bounce back the eggplant is too old and will be spongy, tough, and yucky!

Tip 2: Go oval! There is a "belly button" at the blossom end of eggplants. It will either be an oval or a round dimple. Only buy the ovals - the round ones have a tendency to have more seeds and less meat.

Tip 3: Salt! Slice your eggplant and lay each piece out (single layer). We usually lay it on baking cooling racks with a layer of paper towels under them to catch the bitter juice, but I suppose you could lay them out directly on the paper towel if you don't have cooling racks. Salt each piece (I think we use our sea salt grinder) and let them sweat for a half an hour. Then, rinse each piece (we sort of rub the salt off), blot dry, and proceed with your recipe.

Three simple steps that will help you fully enjoy this little veggie! Happy Cooking :-)

(Sorry no pictures...if I find good examples of these, I'll add some at a later date)