It is almost March break and I can’t believe that I have made it (almost). I’ve actually had three decent nights of sleep in a row and feel like I can take on the world! This also explains why this post is so long today. Sorry 🙂

We were pretty shocked yesterday morning when we got up and saw 13 cm. of snow on the ground. Just the day before there was a LOT of rain and the roof to our house entertained us by dumping huge, swathes of snow onto the ground in big thuds.

We decided to turn this winter lemon into lemonade though and took the babes out in her sled. I thought this would be good for her to get some fresh air as the rain kept us from much the day before. I had no idea how much exercise I would get by pulling the sled up and down the street.

It seemed then that the only thing to do was to have hot chocolate when we came inside. However, I am actually not a big fan of hot chocolate (too sweet) and instead made…

Drinking chocolate!

I’ve adapted this recipe from: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2009/01/belgian-hot-chocolate/. I tend to like bitter chocolate as opposed to sweet so this version makes me very happy. Check-out the link if you would like something sweeter.

1 quart (1l) half-and-half or whole milk
8 ounces (230g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 T. of sugar
dash of chipotle
tiny pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Warm about one-third of the half-and-half or milk, with the chopped chocolates and salt, stirring until the chocolate is melted.

2. Whisk in the remaining half-and-half or milk, heating until the mixture is warmed through. Add the cinnamon.

3. Use a hand-held blender, or a whisk, and mix the hot chocolate until it’s completely smooth. Serve very warm

I had a few successes this weekend with; bacon brioche, chocolate babycakes and honey, pear muffins.

To be honest, I won’t make the bacon brioche again as they just didn’t have the richness of a regular brioche (weird, huh?) but they have encouraged me to start an old fashioned jar of bacon fat in the fridge to be used on other things. The dough was lovely though.

Due to the aforementioned sleep, I even got some prep for the week done; chicken stock, bread dough and a couple of recipes pulled out of my recipe box that haven’t seen the light of day in a while.

My goal this week is to use everything in my very messy fridge. I promised last week to take a photo and here is my picture of shame. I’m working on this now. In my own defense, it looks REALLY bad as I don’t use plastic to store leftovers and other containers are really bulky and…yeah-it looks bad.

Here are some recipes that should make your week easier too.

Grandma Gibson’s Salmon Loaf

Take: 2 cups of salmon (Grandma always used canned but I had some cooked salmon leftover and used that instead), 1/2 cup milk, 2 eggs, 1 tsp. dill and 12 saltines crushed. Mix and bake in a loaf pan until firm.

This is great as a main dinner dish but just as nice in a sandwich. Madison likes to just shove hers in her face with both hands or tuck it into her pants to save for later.

The next dish I am just tickled with as I made it up on the fly and even though I wasn’t hungry (it is tonight’s dinner) I still couldn’t help picking at it. Traditionally, Welsh Rarebit is simply fancy cheese on toast but I’ve made it into a casserole (sort of a savoury bread pudding) and plan to have it with a big salad.

Welsh Rarebit casserole
In a saucepan heat; a bottle of dark beer, 1 tsp. of mustard powder, a shot (or two if you like heat) of hot sauce, 1/2 a chopped, medium onion, 1 tsp. worstershire sauce and 1 tsp of dried sage.

Slowly, a handful at a time add enough shredded cheddar to make a thickened sauce (about the consistency of alfredo sauce). This is likely to be two cups. Beat one egg (in a cup) add a bit of the hot sauce, beat again then add to the pan.

Pour over a casserole that has torn bread layered into it. I used a round casserole that holds approximately five cups. Mix to cover all of the bread and top with more cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until puffy and solid (like bread pudding).

Vegetable Fried Rice
(I cooked the brown rice yesterday and will be able to make this tomorrow night before swimming) in a flash.

I apologise that I don’t have the source for this recipe. I cut it out of a magazine a REALLY long time ago and can only guess from the typeset that it is from “Cooking Light”?

I use this as a way to get rid of cabbage that seems to hide in the back of the fridge. You can use white rice but the brown gives the entire thing a really lovely nuttiness.

In a wok or large, deep skillet, heat 1 1/2 T. of vegetable oil over medium-high heat/ Add 1 medium onion (quartered and sliced), 2 tsp. minced ginger and 2 tsp. of chopped garlic. Stirfry for 3 minutes. Add 8 oz. of shredded cabbage and 2 T. of water. Cover and cook until the cabbage is tender, stirring occassionally. This will likely take 5 minutes. Add in 16 oz of mixed veg (you can use frozen or I just use this recipe to finish anything I have in the crisper and chop them fairly thinly), 4-5 green onions, minced (don’t panic if you don’t have these-just use what you have on-hand). Cook until veg are just tender. Add in 4 cups of cooked brown rice, 1 tsp. of sesame oil, 3 T. of soy sauce (or to taste) and red chilli flakes to taste. Stirfy for 2-3 minutes until the rice is hot.

You can add; chunks of tofu, left over beef, pork, chicken…

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