The Birth of Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy

 Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy came to be out of two separate events in my life. My youngest son loved to cook with me. At an early age he declared he wanted to open a restaurant when he was older, called "Tyler's Yummy in Your Tummy" He never did open that restaurant but I loved the name and decided to use it for my Blog on Cooking and Recipes.

 "Ollie" replaced the name "Tyler" in the title simply because that same son suggested the nickname Ollie when my first grandchild was born. My middle name is Olive after my Grandmother, and I became Grandma Ollie to my grandchildren. And thus Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy was born!

 This blog will be a collection of recipes - family, my own, and any others I can find in my collection. I've been cooking for almost 50 years - having started as a pre-teen. In Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy I'll share my favourite recipes, tips and techniques with you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Helena's Dumplings

My husband loves dumplings. He would eat them with anything but I generally only make them with my Slow Cooker Stew (see recipe). My mother-in-law gave me this recipe and I love it.

Helena's Dumplings

1 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder, heaped
1 tsp. white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix dry ingredients in a medium size bowl.

Pour in 1/2 cup milk. I use 2% for extra creaminess, you can use whatever you like! Mix with a fork until there are no dry bits anywhere. Take a large spoon and drop spoonfuls of the mixture on top of gently bubbling stew (or whatever you are adding the dumplings to). Don't let the dumplings touch each other. Cover and steam them for a good 15 minutes. Resist the urge to peek or you will ruin the dumplings!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ollie's Slow Cooker Stew

Here's the thing about stew. I hate tough meat. I hate chewy meat. If I'm eating red meat (something I seldom do), I want it to melt in my mouth with tenderness. I don't want to work hard at anything I'm about to ingest. So, I don't use stewing beef. I don't care how long it's simmered, to me it is tough meat. I use Top Sirloin and cut it myself into the size cubes I like. You might think some of the ingredients I use a little odd, but try it, you might like it!

Take 1 lb Top Sirloin and cut into chunks. The size of chunks is a personal preference! Toss them into your slow cooker and sprinkle on about 1/4 cup white flour. Now add 1 can of consomme and stir. Start your slow cooker on medium while you get the rest of the stew goodies ready.

Add 1/2 cup wine to the slow cooker. I use white wine which most people think is "wrong" but I prefer it to red. You can use whatever you want!

Now we are going to add a few different items, and I don't measure these so can only give you guestimates. Put in several squeezes of HP Sauce, Bold. I'm guessing it's about 1/2 cup. You want enough to give your stew a "bite" but not so much it is overpowering. Shake in several shakes of Lea & Perrin's Worcestershire Sauce. Again, you want enough for some zing in your stew. Okay we have the bite and zing, on to the rest.

You will want to season the stew next. I use about 4 tsp of Fine Herbes (McCormick's) plus salt and pepper to taste. I put the following vegetables in my stew but you can use any vegetables you like.

* Carrots, thick chunked. I use about 5-6 medium size
* Parsnips, about half the size of the carrots. I use about 3 medium size parsnips. Try to buy them rather thin rather than the thick ones you often see in the store. If you have to buy the thick ones, be sure you cut the core out as it can be woody and just not the best part of the parsnip to eat.
* Onions, thick chunked or sliced, whichever you prefer. Don't chop them too small or they will cook too fast and go mushy. I use 1-2
* Potatoes. I use Yukon Gold, thick chunked. I don't like a lot of potato in my stew so I only use about 4 medium size ones. You can use more if you like more!
* 2 stalks of Celery cut in slices

These vegetables can be added about an hour after the meat has been started. Set your slow cooker on medium for about 6 hours. About a half hour before the stew is done, I like to add a few frozen niblets corn (3/4 cup). Then I make Helena's Dumplings (see recipe), add them to the top and let everything simmer in the slow cooker for another 30-45 minutes. Dumplings are tricky to make in the slow cooker so you do have to keep checking to see if they are cooked through.

I sometimes serve this with buttered rolls although you really don't have to since the dumplings and potatoes are a very filling carbohydrate.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Diana's Trifle

I love Trifle. It's a rich English dessert and is absolutely yummy when made correctly. You can not take shortcuts with Trifle! No cheating allowed - no instant puddings, no Cool Whip or Canned Whip Cream. Please! If you are going to make Trifle, take your time and enjoy the experience.

This Trifle Recipe is a mixture of my former English sister-in-law Diana's recipe, and mine. I use Ladyfingers, Diana uses Swiss Jelly Roll (kind of cheating?)


Take a Swiss Roll & Jam. Slice it and put in the bottom of a huge glass bowl, also up the sides until the bottom and sides are covered. I use a beautiful antique crystal punch bowl given to me by my mother-in-law. The dish you use to make the Trifle in is important as half the enjoyment of Trifle is in the display before it is eaten.

Pour a generous 1/2 cup of very good Sherry over the Swiss Roll.

Make red jello (I use Raspberry flavour) using 1/2 cup less water than called for. Before it sets completely but when it is cool, pour it over the Swiss Roll.

Decide what fruit you will use in your Trifle. Please, no canned fruit! I use raspberries but you can use strawberries if you like. There are some lovely frozen fruits available now so you can make your Trifle even in the middle of winter.

Place the fresh or frozen fruit over the red jellow. When the red jello is set, make green jello (lime flavour) being sure to use about 1/2 cup less water than called for. When the green jello is cool, but not set, pour it over the fresh fruit and red jello in your bowl.

When the green jello is completely set, make your custard. Diana swears that Bird's Custard is the only one you must use; I prefer Horne's Custard. Make about 2 cups of custard following the directions on the box or canister of custard powder. You want the custard to be quite thick. When it is cool but not completely set, pour it over the jello. When the custard is completely set, make whip cream using a medium-size carton of whipping cream. Add a little bit of fine sugar to the whip cream if you like it a bit sweeter.

Spread the whipped cream on top of your bowl and then decorate with shaved chocolate.

This is such a beautiful dessert, you won't want to dish it up to your guests!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kak's Beef Barley Soup

My husband's grandmother taught me how to make delicious soups. Here is her recipe for Beef Barley Soup, slightly modified by me to suit our tastes.

Beef-Barley Soup

Use 6 cups of Beef or Vegetable Stock which has had the fat removed (see my recipe). Place in a large pot on top of stove or in slow cooker.

Add the following ingredients:

* Thin bits of leftover beef. If you made your stock with beef bones that had some meat still on them, you can strain and shred and save the meat for this soup. I don't use much meat in mine, in fact I almost always leave it out and turn this into a nice vegetable soup.
* 2 Onions, finely chopped or in thin slices.
* 2 carrots, french cut
* 1 stalk of celery, small chunks
* 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped very fine, then smushed. (that's my word for mashing and making something mushy)
* 1 Tbsp Fine Herbes
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 2 Knorr-Swiss Beef Cubes
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* Rinsed barley, about 1/2 cup
* Any other vegetables that suit your fancy, remembering to adjust their size for cooking times (there's nothing worse than mushy vegeys!) or to put them in the pot at different times so as to not overcook. Sometimes I toss in leftover green beans (but added much later to the pot so they don't go mushy) or even a very small amount of brussel sprouts. They're a strong flavour so be careful if adding them

Less is more in this soup. It will look like you haven't got enough vegetables but trust me - you do.

If cooking on top of stove, bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for about 2 hours. If using slow cooker set to medium and cook for about 5 hours.

You can serve this soup with mozzarella cheese grated in thin strands on top, or grated parmesan cheese, and a nice dinner roll or country style biscuit

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ollie's Beef or Vegetable Soup Stock

Over the years I've figured out how to make pretty decent stock for soup. Here's my method:

1. Save all water from boiled vegetables. Freeze in a container until needed for your stock.

2. Put about 6 - 8 cups of vegetable water in a large pot.

3. Add the following ingredients -

  • 2 large stalks of celery, cut into halves. Throw in the celery leaves too!
  • 1 large carrot, washed and peeled, cut in half
  • 2 onions cut into quarters
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp fine herbes
  • fresh parsley if you have it
  • 2 Knorr-Swiss beef cubes

4. Bring to boil then simmer (covered) for about 2 hours. Strain and reserve to make Beef or Vegetable soup.

You can also toss in a few beef bones for extra flavouring. If you have leftover meat that has the bone in, you can toss that in, as the meat will fall off the bone during simmering. Then you can cut the meat into strips for a Beef Barley Soup (see my recipe)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ollie's Turkey Lasagne

I'm not much of a red meat eater so I generally use ground turkey in any recipe calling for ground beef. You can also use ground chicken but I like turkey as it has a slightly stronger flavour.

Here's a recipe I created using various other lasagne recipes and trial and error. It's generally a pretty big hit at family functions.

Oh, I guess I forgot to mention that I rarely use a recipe to make my specialities. I've been making them for so long I don't measure or have a list of ingredients. I just do it! So when my step-daughter requested the recipe, I had to actually make the lasagne, stopping to write down what I was doing and how much I was using of each ingredient. I hope you enjoy!

This goes well with a nice Caesar Salad and Garlic Bread.

* 2 pkgs ground turkey, sauteed and drained (Keep the fat)
* 4-6 large mushrooms (1 c?) chunked
* 1/2-1 c. celery (2 stalks) small slices, sautee with the onions
* 1-2 onions chunked or sliced, your choice. Saute in the reserved fat until translucent
* Cottage Cheese - 1 big tub + smaller one (you can use 2 big ones if you like lots)
* Ricotta Cheese - 1/2 the amount of Cottage cheese
* Grated cheese - 1 pkg (200 grams) of pre grated cheddar cheese
* Grated cheese - 2 pkgs of the pre grated 3 cheese (mozzarella, cheddar+ colby) (about 3-4 cups)
* Oven ready lasagne, 1- 2 pkgs

* 2 cans diced tomatoes (seasoned with herbs if you can find them)
* Sauteed meat
* Sauteed onions
* Sauteed Celery
* Mushrooms
* 1 TBSP Demerara sugar (or Sugar in the Raw but not plain white)
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 1-2 TBSP Fines Herbes (I like McCormick's Gourmet Fine Herbes)
* 2 garlic cloves minced (I use large cloves)
* 1/4-1/2 cup white wine

Mix together on stove top, bring to boil, simmer gently with lid off for 10-15 min. Use a lasagne pan. I use the disposable tin foil ones, this makes 2 to 3 pans. Layer in each pan. Remember you have to divide the totals by 2 or 3 depending how many pans you're making. I make this using 2 pans, and divide everything in half so it has thick layers, the way we like it.

Now put in one scoop of sauce to wet the bottom, followed by the folling layers:

* Lasagne noodles
* Cottage cheese
* Ricotta Cheese
* Meat Tomato sauce
* grated cheese

Repeat layers starting with the lasagne noodles. Do as many layers as you like. I end with grated cheese on top, lots, so that it is covered. After each meat-tomato layer I put in, I often add a bit more Fine Herbes on top

Cook in oven, not covered, for 30-35 min til cheese on top melts. Let this sit for a day if possible before serving and eating. as it melds the flavours and cuts better after 24 hours.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Kak's Cukes

My husband's grandmother taught me how to make this dish. It's wonderful served at Thanksgiving or Christmas as it adds a lovely spot of colour to the table. It also tastes great!

2 English cucumbers, sliced thin and covered with salt. Let sit in a bowl overnight in fridge.

The next morning, run the sliced salted cucumbers under cold water as you squeeze the moisture out of them.

This is a crucial step in the process as you want to get rid of the rather bitter juice from the cucumber (the salt draws it out) but you also want to get rid of the excess moisture from the water. Don't use all your pumped up muscles to do this, just wring gently or you will have nothing more than shredded ripped bits of cucumber.

Put the rinsed and wrung-out cukes in your serving bowl. I use an antique glass dish from the set you can see in the photo. For those who, like me, love antiques, these bowls are Depression Glass Mixing Bowls in green.

I have several different sizes and they make gorgeous serving dishes at Christmas. I also have several in clear glass for such items as Cranberry Sauce which looks much prettier in white or clear. But I digress! Back to Kak's Cukes.

Wash and chop 2 green onions (or as many as you need to make 1 cup) and sprinkle on top of cucumber.

Now you are ready to make the liquid which is poured over top of the cukes and green onions. Take 2 Tbps white sugar and 3 Tbps white vinegar and combine. You have to start tasting this mixture. It must be sweet to the taste before you take the next step! If it is too vinegary, add a tad more sugar. Too sweet? Add more vinegar. Be careful and add in tiny bits, a smidgeon at a time until it is just right to your taste.

Now add 1 small carton of whipping cream to the sugar-vinegar mixture. Stir then pour over the cucumber-onion mixture. Add black pepper to taste, stir and leave overnight in fridge.

It is ready to serve the next day as a wonderful side dish for your fancy Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Bonnie's Roasted Garlic Soup

Vampires Beware! My sister in law Bonnie makes this wicked Garlic Soup. It sounds dreadful - so much garlic - but it's wonderful.

Roasted Garlic Soup with Herbed Croutons

2 heads garlic, left whole and unpeeled
4 1/2 cups Chicken stock, reduced
2 Tbps. butter
1 Tbsp fresh dill weed, chopped
3 slices whole wheat bread cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 c. dry white wine
salt to taste
1/2 c. grated provolone cheese

Preheat oven to 350' Cut tops off garlic heads so that the top of most of the cloves are visible. Place upright in shallow 8-cup casserole dish. Pour 1/2 cup of stock over bulbs and bake for 1 hour. let bulbs cool then squeeze garlic puree out

Melt butter in large fry pan. Stir in dill, add bread cubes and toss for 5 minutes. Set aside when crisp

In saucepan combine 4 cups of stock, the garlic puree, wine and salt. Boil. Pour hot soup into soup bowls. Add croutons and cheese. Broil for 3 minutes. Serves 4.

This is wonderful served with a salad and rolls. I swear it cures a cold.