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.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Never Fail Cream of Cauliflower Soup

I love cream of cauliflower soup and have spent years trying one recipe after another. Last year I hit on one from a little cookbook called "Company's Coming Greatest Hits: Soups & Salads"

Usually I end up changing recipes a lot, but this one is so perfect as is that I don't do anything different except add Fine Herbes and use a Knorr Swisse Chicken Bouillon Cube instead of powder.

1 cup water (I learned the hard way to NOT use the vegetable water you saved from cooking vegetables)
2 1/2 cups chopped cauliflower
1 chopped onion (about 1/2 cup)
1 Knorr Swisse Chicken Bouillon Cube
Salt & Pepper to taste

1 cup milk
1 tsp Parsley flakes (I substitute Fine Herbes)

Combine water, cauliflower, onion, bouillon cube and salt and pepper in saucepan. Stir, cover and bring to boil. Simmer for about 12 minutes until tender. Do not drain.

Stir in milk and parsley or fine herbes. Pour into blender and process until smooth. It's ready to eat!

I add grated cheese sometimes and make country biscuits to go with it for a super healthy and yummy lunch.

This makes about 3 cups.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chicken & Biscuits

I love this dish. It's a super easy but yummy Chicken Pot Pie without the pastry, topped with biscuits. What makes it easy is that you use pre-made biscuits that you simply put on top of the Chicken Pot Pie before baking.

You will need the following:

2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks as if making stew
1 onion, rough chopped, not too small
4 carrots, peeled and chopped as if for stew
1 cup water
1 chicken bouillon cube (I use Knorr-Swisse)
1 container of Pillsbury Country Biscuits
salt, pepper, cumin, fine herbes
margarine or Canola oil

Put the chopped carrots into 1 cup of water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer carrots for 10 minutes. While they are simmering, start the onion and chicken.

Using a fry pan, heat 1 heaping TBSP of margarine or Canola oil . Saute chopped onion, raw chicken cubes and 1 Tbps Cumin, 1 tsp fine herbes and salt and pepper to taste for about 5-8 minutes.  Remove from the hot oil/margarine and place in casserole dish. I use a round 2Qt size dish. Set aside. Do not throw out the hot margarine/oil!

Remove cooked carrots from the water (Don't throw the water out!!) and add carrots to the chicken - onion mixture in the casserole dish.

Now make a white sauce using the hot margarine/oil and the saved carrot water. Don't worry if your sauce goes lumpy, you can strain it through a seive and you will have a nice smooth white gravy.

When your white sauce is done, add it to the casserole dish. Mix and now place the uncooked biscuits on top.

Bake uncovered in a 350' oven for 20-30 minutes.

White Sauce the Easy Ollie Way

White sauce is easy to make if you follow a few simple steps and you need to stir constantly.

For 1 cup of sauce you need 1 cup of liquid (milk or vegetable water or whatever your recipe calls for)
You also need 1 TBSP of margarine and an equal amount of white flour.

Take a teflon saute pan or fry pan (deep) and bring margarine to a bubbling state. Do NOT let it burn or go brown! Turn the heat down to medium and add an equal amount of flour. Mix to make paste type lumps. This creates what is called a ROUX.

SLOWLY begin to add your liquid to your ROUX, stirring constantly. Add a wee bit at a time and stir so that the ROUX stays smooth. If you add too much liquid too fast, the ROUX goes lumpy.

Keep stirring and adding liquid until you have a nice thick creamy sauce. Don't let it bubble too fast, that means your heat is too high.

Depending what you are making, you may want to add herbes or other items such as cheese.

There are a few tips to salvage a white sauce that isn't going well.... if it's too thin, you can add white veloutine (a powder for thickening sauces. Don't use the brown or you'll have a brown sauce!)

If your sauce is lumpy, just strain it through a fine strainer/sieve and you will have a nice smooth sauce.

The only thing you can't salvage is if you burn the margarine. So be careful to not have your heat too high.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Salsa Meatloaf with Cheese

Salsa Cheese Meatloaf
I'm not fond of Tomato Sauce or Ketchup in meatloaf. In fact I'm not really fond of meatloaf!

So I created this meatloaf recipe that I absolutely love! I started with a meatloaf recipe from Canadian Living Cookbook but changed it quite a bit. (Definitely got rid of the tomato sauce and other ingredients I don't care for like green peppers.

Here's my recipe. Trust me, it's yummy! In a bowl beat 1 egg with a fork. Add 1/c cup dry bread crumbs. I like to use Italian style crumbs for this dish. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add 1/2 tsp Fine Herbes.

Chop 1 onion (or more if you like onions!), 1/2 yellow pepper, 1/2 red pepper (I also switch it up by replacing the peppers with finely chopped carrots -- mmm good) and saute in small amount hot oil for 3-5 minutes. Let cool slightly

Take 1/2 cup salsa. I use mild but you can use any hotness you like. I use chunky Salsa but you could use smooth to disguise the fact that it's salsa if you have kids or a hubby who don't like salsa. Yes it's all about tricking your hubby and kids to eat what you make! Add the salsa to the egg-breadcrumb mixture.

Now add the sauteed vegetables. Add 1 lb of ground turkey. Yes I prefer turkey to ground beef or ground chicken but it's your choice.

Mix everything well - get your hands dirty! Now pack it all into an 8x4inch loaf pan.

Pour another 1/2 cup of the salsa overtop and spread it to cover.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of grated cheese on top. I use double cheddar - mild and medium because I'm allergic to stronger cheeses but you can use whatever kind you like!

Bake uncovered in 350' oven for 60-75 minutes. Drain well after cooking. I put tinfoil over the top, leave a tiny gap and carefully pour the hot fat out.

This is the red-yellow pepper meatloaf version. I serve mine with baked potatoes with sour cream and butter (or yam fries), and garlic brussel sprouts.

Salsa Meatloaf with Sweet Potato Fries and Brusell Sprouts
This meatloaf is delicious cold the next day in a sandwich spread with Dijon mustard.

UPDATE Oct. 2012: I've revised this recipe and now I cover the meatloaf with tinfoil while baking. I also double the amount of cheese on top.