Alyssa & Rory’s Cajun Nachos & Guacamole

Cajun NachosFor those that have been following us awhile, they might remember how snobby I was about nachos in our first post at The Whistling Walrus. Part of the reason is because most places just don’t do a very good job with nachos – not enough cheese, too soggy, etc. But the other part of the reason for my high standard is because of this nacho recipe.

When I first started hanging out with my friend Alyssa, we bonded over our love of nachos, and quickly started arranging times to make them together. After a few times making them, we ended up with this recipe, which has since been fed to many other friends with huge success. I’m now posting it to the world in the hopes that all of you will enjoy them too!

I’m also including Alyssa’s tomato-less guacamole in this post, since we always serve them together. It’s one of my favorite guac recipes, so give it a try!

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Nana’s Peanut Butter Cookies – Valentine’s Day Edition!

Peanut Butter CookiesWhen I first suggested to Rory that we do a Valentine’s-themed post, he scoffed. However, he soon came back with a fantastic idea for heart-shaped Valentine’s Peanut Butter Cookies, and I’m not complaining!

I first had these cookies during Christmas in Maine. Rory’s Mom had made a double batch and I was responsible for the quick death of at least half of them, and since then I’ve been dying to make them myself.

I love the sweet-but-salty combination of chewy cookie with melt-in-your-mouth chocolate peanut butter cups. I’d recommend serving still hot from the oven with a dollop of ice cream.

For my friends across the pond who may not be able to find mini peanut cups, I think this recipe would work equally well with Rolos or Munchies.

Recipe makes 36.

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Mushroom Bourguignon

Smitten Kitchen CookbookI think it’s about time we put something up for the vegetarians. We haven’t actually posted a vegetarian main dish yet, so today is the day!

For Christmas, Nicole got me the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. I’ve been using the website for recipes for years now, so I was very excited to now own Deb’s book. It’s only been just over a month since christmas and we’ve already made three dishes from it (all of which were excellent – you’ll likely see many posted here).

So, this week’s post is our first from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook – a Mushroom Bourguignon (that’s bor-gin-yawn). The dish is usually beef-based (often called Beef Burgundy, as the dish originates from the Burgundy region of France), but this particular dish substitutes the beef for a giant helping of cremini mushrooms (did you know that cremini, white button, and portobello mushrooms are all the same mushrooms? They’ve just been left to grow different lengths in time). The dish is fantastic and, while a bit labor-intensive in prep work, is well worth the work. Continue reading

Clare’s Pretzel Bread

Pretzel BunsAwhile back, my friend Clare (the same who does some of the graphics on this site!) introduced me to some pretzel buns she had been making. I had eaten similar pretzels while at a bar in Heidelberg, Germany and could never forget them. The soft, warm, and just a bit salty pretzel went perfect with beer and left me quite disappointed when I couldn’t get them at bars in Hamilton. When I had the pretzel buns Clare had baked, I was brought back to that little pub in Germany. Here is Clare’s recipe.

As a side note, this recipe is mostly just for the pretzel dough. We’ve made small buns with them, but you can also make a single loaf or even proper pretzels! Continue reading

Dysarts Pumpkin Chip Muffins (Cookies)

Pumpkin Chip MuffinsWhy choose between muffins and cookies when you can combine both? These pumpkin hybrids are a favourite of mine, and couldn’t be easier to make.

I know it’s not exactly pumpkin season, but I’ve only had a chance to make them again recently. And anyway, they do contain spices, so they’re appropriate for the holiday season.

This is our second post on a recipe from the Dysart’s cookbook, and probably not the last. This particular recipe is actually for cookies, but I generally bake them in muffin tins and so I’ve listed it as both. These muffins/cookies come out soft, a bit spongy and 100% delicious. You need to try these! Continue reading

Apple Crumble

Apple CrumbleI think the world is split between summer people and winter people, and I am definitely a Winter Girl.

Part of the reason I get excited as the days get shorter is because I get to start making all my cold-weather-favourites again. There’s nothing like steaming plates of Irish Stew and Shepard’s Pie to warm the soul as the snow falls outside.

One of my absolute favourite deserts of all time has to be Apple Crumble. Simple but delicious, there’s just something about the spiced apple, delicious carmelisation and crispy topping that really satisfies the tastebuds.

The recipe below is an amalgamation of dozens I’ve come across over the years, including my Mom’s. I’ve finally found a balance between a dense topping and thick apple sauce that I’m happy to share with the world. It’s delightfully simple,  so give it a try! Continue reading

Cheesy Sausage Pasta Bake

Cheesy Sausage Pasta BakeAs you’ll all find out as our blog goes on, we really love a lot of the recipes over at Smittenkitchen.com. The recipes aren’t too tough and the food is usually super delicious.

This week’s cheesy pasta recipe is one that we’ve tried a couple of times now and is definitely one of our favourites. It was also the first time Rory made a bechamel sauce! Read on to check it out. Continue reading