Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Messy, Mouthwatering Drippy Beef Buns

This messy, drippy beefy sandwich is great on any rainy, cold day...or any other day for that matter.

We've had lots of beef dips before but never with peperoncini peppers until today - you can thank Ree Drummond for that! If anyone in your house doesn't like the peppers (they are quite mild) they are easy to pull out.

Based on a recipe from Pioneer Woman.


2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 lb blade pot roast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
2 cups beef stock
1-1/2 cups water
1 tbsp ground rosemary
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced or crushed
1 375 ml jar of pickled peperoncini peppers (12 ounces)
dash of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
2 drops liquid smoke (optional)

2 medium onions, diced
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt

8 crusty buns


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F or 150 degrees C.
  2. Season the roast by sprinkling salt and pepper evenly over it.
  3. Add the butter and oil, over high heat, to a medium sized dutch oven or oven proof pot.
  4. When the pot is very hot (almost smoking), seer the beef on all sides. You want a beautifully brown, caramelized colour on all sides.
  5. Once seared, remove beef from pot and remove left over oil/butter. You don't have to clean the pot, just get rid of the extra fat.
  6. Add back the beef, beef broth, water, rosemary and garlic.
  7. Remove the stems, if desired, from the peppers (I usually just pull them off) and add them and all the juice from the bottle into the pot.
  8. If desired, add a dash of Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke.
  9. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat.
  10. Turn off heat, cover and place in the oven for 3-1/2 to 4 hours. To test: The beef should easily pull apart with a fork when done.
  11. You can remove the beef to another bowl to pull apart or shred the beef (if your roast was held together by string - remove it!) with two forks or just keep it in the cooking liquid.
  12. Heat saute pan over medium heat and add butter.
  13. Add onions and salt.
  14. Saute until golden brown, approximately 10 minutes.
  15. Slice buns (you may want to take out some of the bread so you have room for more meat!) and pile with meat and onions. Add some extra beef cooking liquid to make a moist, drippy, beautiful mess of a sandwich!

If you want to make this the day ahead of time, complete step #10. Take out the peppers, cool and refrigerate overnight (beef and peppers separately). The next day, use a spoon to remove the layer of fat that congeals on top and discard it. Add the peppers back into the pan and reheat on stove top over medium heat. Go to step #11.

You can also toast your buns before loading them with meat - this is a good tip if your buns are really soft.


Fresh rosemary.
Ground rosemary.
Spicy but not super hot.
Mouthwatering, right?
Practically falls apart.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Why cauliflower is hotter than Jennifer Lawrence - Spicy Cauliflower Couscous Recipe
Have you noticed that cauliflower is hotter than Jennifer Lawrence these days? They are constantly being splashed across the news - Jennifer and cauliflower - but honestly, I've see more cauliflower lately than JLaw. Why? Why? Why?

The price! Everyone is talking about the price of cauliflower. Last week a head of the white coniferous was selling for $7.99 - for one piddly head!

Thankfully, a secret stash of the vegetable must have been unearthed as the price came down quite a bit at my local vegetable market - two heads for $4! Even though they aren't my favorite veggie,  I grabbed four! I just had to figure out what to do with the cabbage cousin. I thought given their status of late, I had to do something more than serve them raw with ranch dip or steam them until they were limp.

This recipe has a tonne of flavour, and not a lot of calories. It reminds me of couscous without the all the carbs and calories. Did you know an entire head of cauliflower (5 inches wide) has less than 150 calories???

I added a little bit of oil to saute the onions, peppers and carrots but that's it. Spices are key in this recipe. I've listed what I use but if you hate cumin - don't add it! Add more (or less) chili powder. Kick up the curry, if that is what you like. Be generous in what you add - build up your favorite flavours.

You can add other veggies, if you like. Or add beans, meat, prawns or parmesan cheese! The choice is yours.

Here's hoping cauliflower's lower price is here to stay because I'd love to keep this dish on the menu at our house!

Now excuse me, I have to go watch "Joy" - JLaw rules.

One of my new favorite ways to eat this as a quick dinner is to slice open a pita, spread hummus on one side and then add a scoop of spicy cauliflower (warm or cold). Roll it up and eat! You could use a lettuce leaf if you want more crunch and fewer carbs.


1 tbsp oil
2 small heads of cauliflower, cut up in small to medium sized pieces
1 small onion, diced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
2 medium carrots. diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped as small as possible
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
3/4 tsp chili pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp sumac
1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped


  1. Working in batches, pulse the cauliflower 8- 10 times until the consistency of couscous or rice - you don't want mush!
  2. Place the cauliflower in a large bowl and mix in all of the spices.
  3. Place a large saute pan over medium high heat.
  4. Add the oil.
  5. Once hot, add the onions, pepper and carrots. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add the chopped garlic cloves and the cauliflower.
  7. Saute for another 5 minutes until heated through.
  8. Sprinkle with parsley.
  9. Serve.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Review of Terra Coffee and Tea
Perfect way to start your day or get through a long afternoon!

Terra Coffee

When Terra Coffee asked if they could send me a sample of there coffee and tea, I was excited - coffee is one thing I just couldn't live without and my kids love herbal teas! I was even more excited when I opened the box - it was chock full of coffee, teas, and cocoa and hot chocolate. Over the past month, we've had a great time brewing and drinking all of the products.

There are so many great things to say about the company and its products.

The Company

Let's start with the company - Terra Coffee. It's Canadian! Based in Montreal, Terra Coffee roasts it's coffee beans to their own exact standards. In fact, over their 30 year history, they have created their own roasting method known as Torréfaction Artisanale Granito (T.A.G). It ensures that their beans are never be under or over-roasted and that the beans' "sugars have been fully caramelized in order to create the most body as well as deliver rich flavour notes."

I also love, love , love that they believe in giving back and being socially responsible to the communities and farmers where they buy their beans through the Humaniterra Foundation.


Terra coffee have a variety of blends and single source coffees available. You can buy them online by the bean or ground. Over the past month we've enjoyed Terra's Gran Riserva - Cuba Caracolillo and Terra Classica - Le Montreal.

Gran Riserva is part of their exclusive estate, single origin coffees selected by their own Master Roaster. Cuba Caracolillo is described as "highly intense aroma with a delicate sweetness and unmistakable hint of chocolate." We found it to be our go to morning coffee - it's rich and full bodied - a perfect way to start a busy day.

We also enjoyed Le Montreal - a blend of beans from South America, Asia and Indonesia that are roasted in small batches. I prefer this blend in the afternoon - it's a bit earthy and still rich - a perfect pick me up to ensure you get through those long afternoon meetings!

The tea samples were abundant and included:
  • Bursting Berries from their Spa Collection
  • Vanilla and Pear White Tea
  • Lemon Citrus Green Tea
  • Moroccan Mint
  • Masala Chai
Their Ariel line of teas is huge and available in loose leaf and biodegradable pyramid-shaped tea bags. A portion of their tea sales also go to charity.

Our favorite by far was Bursting Berries from the Spa collection which is caffeine free an dmade from herbs, spices and fruits. Bursting Berries is a fruit infusion of dried elderberries, raspberries and other mountain berries. This tea is so fruity, fresh and sweet - no bitter notes at all.  We had it hot and made another batch cold. It's now the kids favorite tea! I foresee us making this as an iced tea throughout the summer months.
Bursting Berries from the Spa Collection

We weren't big fans of the vanilla pear tea but a friend loved it so we sent it home with her. I think that's the great thing about this line of teas - there is something for everyone.
Vanilla and Pear White Tea - something for everyone.

Hot Chocolate and Cocoa

This brings us to the cocoa and hot chocolate. The hot chocolate is rich and chocolaty - perfect on a cold wintry day - especially when topped with a hand full of marshmallows.

This dutch processed cocoa is 100% organic, dark, and rich. Do you know what the difference is between dutch processed and natural cocoa? Dutch process cocoa is bathed in a potassium carbonate solution to neutral cocoa acidity. Dutch process cocoa usually has a pH level of 7 (same as water) vs natural processed cocoa that has a pH level of 5 or 6. Natural cocoa has a sharper flavour. Due to the neutrality of the dutch processed cocoa, it doesn't react to alkaline leaveners like baking soda. As a result baking powder is m ore common in recipes using this type of cocoa.

I've used the cocoa in my favorite brownie recipe with lovely results - deep, dark, fudgy.

If, like me, you live no where near Montreal don't despair - they deliver! If you sign up for their newsletter you will receive 25% off your first order.

*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Cardamom Vanilla Tea

So simple, so good.

A former work colleague of mine would occasionally bring a cup of this delicious tea into work for me. Her husband makes her a cup every morning!

Makes 2 cups of tea.


1.5 cups water
1 cup milk
2 black tea bags
2-3 cardamom pods
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 vanilla bean pod


  1. Add all ingredients to a small sauce pan.
  2. Simmer for 20 – 30 mins. 
  3. Remove tea bags and pods.
  4. You can also add a little bit of fresh ginger if desired. Enjoy!