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.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Poached Egg Avocado Bake

Recently I've seen several references to baking an egg inside an avocado half. Since I'm on a big avocado kick right now, I decided to try it for myself.

The first time I made this, I took a whole egg and separated the yolk from the white. Why? Because I noticed that the avocado hole was not going to be big enough for the whole egg. Separating the yolk and whites allowed me to put the yolk in first then carefully pour the white in until it reached the top of the avocado hole.

The problem was there was hardly any white in it! I would have had to scoop the avocado out even deeper and I didn't want to do that.
I baked it anyway at 350' for about 20 to 25 minutes and it was really yummy. I served it with my homemade watermelon relish as a side and put it on toast. And I added a little bit of cheddar cheese. Scrumptious!

1 beaten egg
The second time I made this I decided to beat the whole egg lightly - as I would do for scrambled eggs or an omelet. Then I divided that one beaten egg into two avocado halves and it worked beautifully.  Next I crumbled some feta cheese on top and baked it in a 350' oven. This time it needed almost 30 minutes to fully cook.

Egg poured into avocado halves
I scooped it all out and dumped it on toast topped with my homemade sweet chili sauce. I preferred this version over the first but both were yummy.

I would love to add more goodies (like a bit of sweet red pepper) to the avocado hole but if I did, it would displace the egg too much. So I'll think about how I might accomplish that. I do plan on adding a teaspoon of ground flaxseed to the beaten egg mixture next time - that will provide more fibre and a bit of a nutty flavour

Feta Cheese Added and Ready to Bake
Ready to Eat!
Eat it out of the avocado
or my fav - scoop out and put on toast

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Honey Yogurt Raisin Bran Muffins

Honey Yogurt Bran Muffins
These bran muffins are really scrumptious. And they came about by accident. Well, really they came about because I wasn't organized! I didn't have a lot of the ingredients I needed so I had to be creative and substitute. I'm glad I did!

They are full of Greek yogurt with honey, sour cream, avocado and applesauce. And more honey. And brown sugar. Seriously. But they aren't overly sweet, they just have a nice pleasant taste.

Here's what you need to make 24 large muffins:

1 cup of Greek Yogurt with Honey
1 cup of Sour Cream
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup of brown sugar, not packed
2 eggs
1/3 cup of applesauce. I use homemade so there is no extra sugar
1 large avocado peeled and mashed 
1/3 cup of Canola Oil (approximate) What you do is put 1/3 cup applesauce in a measuring cup and add the mashed avocado. Then pour in your oil until the liquid reaches the 1 cup mark
2 cups bran. Buy the kind that says it is for making muffins
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 Tbsp. liquid honey
1 cup raisins (or blueberries)

You'll notice in the picture that there is no honey, flour or sour cream showing. I forgot to put the flour in the picture but there's no honey or sour cream in it because I didn't know I was going to add them until I started making the batter! That's right. I didn't have enough Greek yogurt so I added a cup of sour cream. And I added honey at the end because the batter was too dry. A serendipity moment...

Here's what to do. You're going to need 3 bowls, one should be fairly big.
Put the mashed avocado and applesauce in a one cup measuring cup, then add the oil until the one cup mark is reached.
Egg mixture after beating
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, brown sugar, mashed avocado, applesauce, honey and oil. When it is well mixed, stir in the bran and vanilla.

In a second smaller bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt.
Yogurt and Sour Cream Mixture
In a third small bowl, put the Greek yogurt, sour cream and baking soda. The mixture will go kind of foamy so you don't want to let it sit too long.
Mixing it all together
Now take turns adding the flour mixture then the yogurt mixture to the egg-sugar mixture and stir well.

If the batter is too dry, add some more oil or applesauce.

Now coat the raisins in flour by putting them  in a small dish of flour, giving them a good shake then toss them into a strainer to shake the excess flour off. This prevents the raisins from clumping together when you add them to the muffin mixture.

You can add them now and stir everything together.

Using paper muffin liners, line 2 dozen large muffin cups and drop the batter into each with a large spoon.

Bake at 350' for 25-30 minutes. Mine in the photo below cooked about 5 minutes too long but they were still amazingly delicious!

Honey Yogurt Bran Muffins

Friday, April 19, 2013

Yummy Slow Cooker Leg of Lamb

 This is the only photo I have of a delicious leg of lamb I cooked in my slow-cooker a few days ago. I lost all the other photos!

So I don't have pictures of the preparation but it's super easy and I know you won't have any problem following along.

First I bought a New Zealand frozen Leg of Lamb. We could not get fresh lamb where I live.

Put the leg of lamb in your fridge and let it defrost. It will take about 2 days.

Then you are ready to start cooking.

Take the defrosted leg of lamb and put it in a slow-cooker. I added approximately 1 to 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, a smidgeon of Virgin Olive Oil (about 1 1/2 Tbsp.), 1/2 a lemon squeezed, 2 tsp. of oregano, and 1 tsp. of crushed dried rosemary from my herb garden. I also tossed cut the 1/2 lemon in slices and threw them in as well. Then I let it cook on LOW for 8 hours.

This is the meat I cut off the bone AFTER hubs and I had one full meal out of it. It was delicious with a nice mild lemony flavour, very tender and quite lovely.
It's kind of gross but this is what you are left with when you cut all that tender meat off the bone. Our 14 pot-belly pigs loved that leg bone! We feed them all our leftovers.

Speaking of leftovers, I was at a loss as to how to use our meat leftovers up, since I don't care for lamb leftover as a meal with vegetables. So I took 1/3 of the meat you see here and made lamb-lentil soup. I'll put the recipe for that up ASAP.

The next day I made delicious lamb-tzatziki sandwiches! Hubs pronounced them "absolutely delicious" which is high praise.

Leftover Lamb-Tzatziki Sandwiches

Leftover Lamb-Tzatziki Sandwiches Today I used up some of the delicious slow-coooker leg of lamb I made a few days ago. I decided to make sandwiches and this is how they turned out. Seriously they were amazing!

Here is what you need to create these:

Tzatkiki (either homemade or buy from your local grocery store)
Feta Cheese
Soft buns. I bought a new kind and they were perfect. I didn't want Kaisers or Hamburger buns and these were perfect
Olives. I used black olives but my husband asked for green olives.
Leftover lamb, shredded or thin slices

 These are the soft buns I used.
It's your choice how much meat to put on each sandwich but this is the amount I used for my husband. Then I took a chunk of feta cheese (which I crumbled before adding to the sandwich)

Spread both halves of the bun with a generous amount of Tzatkiki. 

Next add the meat  - as much as you want
Now the feta cheese. Mmmmmmm
Then add tomatoes and lettuce. I put my olives on the side but you could slice them and add them to the sandwich. There's no lettuce in this photo because I didn't have any. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Zucchini Bread Revisted - A Healthier Version

Zucchini Bread Revisted - A Healthier Version
Zucchini bread is one of our favourites. Since hubs and I are on a health kick, I decided to take my tried and true recipe for zucchini bread and make it healthier.

Basically I replaced the oil with mashed avocado! That's right. Avocado is considered a "good fat" since it is a monounsaturated fat.

I try to eat an avocado every day but hubs only likes them made into guacamole so I like to bake with them or cook them as part of supper as I do in my Chicken-Avocado Rollups.

I forgot to put the eggs in the picture
I never bake just one loaf or make just enough supper for one night. If I'm going to make a mess, I'm going to make it worth my while! So when I bake this bread I quadruple (4x) the recipe. It makes 4 small loaves or 3 regular sized. And best of all 1 avocado equals about 1/2 cup so if you quadruple the recipe you can use 2 avocados.

For one loaf you need:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar (I need to experiment with sugar substitutes to make this bread even healthier)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 beaten egg
1 cup shredded, unpeeled zucchini (I use my food processor but you can do this with a cheese grater)
1/4 cup cooking oil --> REPLACE this with equivalent mashed avocado. You could also use applesauce instead but make it homemade so that there is no sugar in it.
1/4 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel (rinse the lemon first in cold water)
Dry Ingredients

Grease an 8x4x2 inch loaf pan. Set it aside

Take a medium mixing bowl and stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder and nutmeg. Make a little hole in the center. Set this aside
Wet ingredients

Take a second medium mixing bowl and add beaten egg (beat it with a fork first), shredded zucchini, cooking oil and lemon peel. Add this mixture quickly to the dry and stir it til it is moistened. The batter must be lumpy but mixed! No dry clumps. DON'T USE AN ELECTRIC BEATER as this makes the bread very tough. If the batter is too thick add about 1/4 Tablespoon of applesauce or oil

Add wet to dry ingredients
Pour batter into your greased loaf pan and bake in 350' oven for 55 to 60 minutes. You can tell if it is cooked by inserting a knife into the middle of the loaf. If the batter sticks to it, the loaf is not cooked through. If the knife comes away clean, the bread is ready.
Ready for the oven

Cool the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove the bread and cool it on the rack. Wrap it and store overnight before slicing and eating. Wrap it well in tin foil then place in a ziplock bag and freeze if you want. This bread freezes well.
Zucchini Bread Revisted - A Healthier Version
Fresh from the oven

Monday, April 8, 2013

Chicken-Avocado RollUps

Chicken-Avocado RollUps
Another recipe tried and loved! The original idea for this dish came from Closet Cooking but of course I changed it to suit hubs and myself.

You need:
2 large chicken breasts
1 cup of chicken broth
1 tsp of coriander
1 tsp of cardamon
1 tsp. of cumin
4-5 small avocados
1 lime
1 cup sweet chili sauce
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

First I poached two large chicken breasts in my slow cooker for about 5 hours. I added 1 cup of chicken broth, 1 tsp of coriander, 1 tsp of cardamon and 1 tsp. of cumin to the broth.  Then I let them cook on HIGH for about 3 hours then down to LOW for the last 2 hours.

When the breasts began to fall apart, I removed them and pulled them apart with two forks. You could chop them into small chunks but I wanted these to be more mushed together than chicken salad.

Next I cut up 4-5 small avocados and diced them into small pieces. Don't be too fussy here, you can mash and rough chop them. Put the avocados in with the chicken in a small bowl and add the juice from  1/2 to 3/4 of a squeezed lime.

Add a bit of salt and pepper and about 1/4 cup grated cheese. I used mild cheddar. I then added my homemade sweet chili sauce. I didn't measure it, I just kept adding until the mixture was a nice consistency that held together. My best estimate for the chili sauce is about 1/4 cup or a little more.

Lay out 8 or 9 small tortillas. I used both whole wheat and white because that is what I had in the fridge. Divide the chicken-avocado filling fairly evenly into the middle of each tortilla and roll them up.

Put about 1/2 cup of the chili sauce in the bottom of a baking dish (a lasagne sized dish will work), then place each rollup on top of the sauce. Spread about another 1/2 cup of the chili sauce on top, then about 1 cup of grated cheese and cover tightly with foil.

Bake in 350' oven for 30 minutes. I would have served ours with a dollop of  Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream if I'd had some on hand. Hubs loved them! We had ours with a Caesar Salad topped with my homemade croutons.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Beer Braised Short Ribs

Beer Braised Short Ribs
A search online found this recipe for beer-braised short ribs. As usual I tweaked the original to suit my tastes.  The original recipe called for thyme but I added Fine Herbes which is a mixture of dried parsley, chives, tarragon, and chervil. It also used cornstarch to thicken the liquid but I prefer to use Veloutine.

Here's what you need:

   * 4 pounds bone-in short ribs, trimmed of fat (or leave the fat on if you are okay with that but you will have a rather fatty gravy unless you strain it)
   * salt and pepper to taste
   * 1 tablespoon olive oil
   * 1-2 medium-size onions, chopped
   * 1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
   * 1 1/4 cups dark beer. I used Rickard's Dark beer
   * 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  * 1 teaspoon dried Fine Herbes
   * 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or use fresh if you have it - even better)
   * 2 cups baby carrots
   * 8 ounces white mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
   * 2 tablespoons or more of Brown Veloutine for thickening the gravy
   * 2 tablespoons brown mustard - your choice of spicy, hot, Dijon, Grainy or any other kind. Please don't use French's yellow mustard!


Brown the ribs
Sprinkle salt and pepper on the ribs then sear them lightly on all sides in a tablespoon of Olive Oil. Set heat to medium. It works best to do this in two batches. When browned, remove from oil and place in crockpot

Add chopped onion to hot oil and saute until onions are translucent but not brown. Stir in one can or bottle of dark beer, one tablespoon of brown sugar and one teaspoon of Fine Herbes. Bring to a boil, stir and then pour over the short ribs in the crockpot.

Cook on LOW for 5 hours then add the carrots, mushrooms, Veloutine and mustard. Stir and cook for 2 more hours. You may have to increase the setting to HIGH for the last hour or so.  Add more seasonings if needed. That's right, you have to dip into this yummy gravy and taste it!

Saute the onions
Add Beer and Beef Broth to the sauteed onions

When the carrots are cooked, you can thicken the gravy using as much Veloutine as needed. Unlike cornstarch it will not leave a taste no matter how much you add.

 The bones will fall off the meat so be sure you remove them before serving this. We fed them to our pot-belly pigs but I wanted to use them for beef broth.

The original recipe called for serving the short ribs over egg noodles but I decided that I wanted mashed potatoes to soak up that yummy gravy. Why waste it!!

Add a green vegetable such as garlic brussel sprouts and you've got a delicious and nutritious meal.