Mac & Cheese Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 package (8 ounces) elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups cream-style cottage cheese (or small curd)
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Paprika, to garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
  2. Cook macaroni “al dente” according to package directions. Drain with cold water.
  3. In a bowl, combine cottage cheese, cheese, sour cream, egg, and salt. Fold in macaroni.
  4. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with coconut oil.
  5. Spoon mixture into casserole dish and sprinkle with extra cheese and paprika.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes.

Philly Cheeseburgers with Onions, Peppers, and Provolone Recipe

I got this recipe from Weber Grills and have enjoyed it all summer. 

Of course the way to make this way easier is to pick up some excellent pre-made hamburgers from Safeway/Sobeys or your local grocer which saves you from having to make as much and makes it quicker to make and get out the door.

Philly Cheeseburgers with Onions, Peppers, and Provolone Recipe

Philly Cheeseburgers with Onions, Peppers, and Provolone Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1½ pounds ground chuck (80% lean)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves, divided
  • 1¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut crosswise into thin slices and separated into rings
  • 2 bell peppers, any color, cut into thin strips
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 hamburger buns, split
  • 4 slices provolone cheese, each about 1 ounce

Directions

  1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat (400° to 500°F) and preheat a perforated grill pan over direct heat for about 10 minutes.
  2. Mix the ground chuck, 1 tablespoon of the oregano, 1 teaspoon of the salt, 1 teaspoon of the pepper, and the garlic, and then gently form four patties of equal size, each about ¾ inch thick. With your thumb or the back of a spoon, make a shallow indentation about 1 inch wide in the center of the patties to prevent them from forming a dome as they cook. Refrigerate the patties until ready to grill.
  3. Combine the onion, bell peppers, 2 tablespoons oil, the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt, the remaining ½ teaspoon pepper, and the crushed red pepper flakes and toss to coat. Spread the vegetables in a single layer on the grill pan and grill over direct medium-high heat, with the lid closed, until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the grill pan and vegetables from the grill and transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
  4. Brush the cut side of the buns with oil. Grill the patties over direct medium-high heat, with the lid closed, until cooked to medium doneness (160°F), 8 to 10 minutes, turning once. During the last 30 seconds to 1 minute of grilling time, place a slice of cheese on top of each patty to melt, and toast the buns, cut side down, over direct heat.
  5. Build each cheeseburger on a bun with a patty and onions and peppers. Serve warm.
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Creamed Peas on Toast Recipe

This is an old Cooper/Jenner family favorite.  According to Jordon, his grandfather used to make this on special occasions as back during the Great Depression, it was a family favorite and delicacy.   Jordon’s mom used to make around Christmas time and we have as well. It’s actually a dessert and from what I read, Jordon’s family isn’t the only one that saw it as that.  Many people have written about how this was a treat for their families growing up and they would have it after the family dinner was done.  We do the same thing to keep the tradition alive.

It’s easy to make, takes good and brings back good memories for Jordon having it with his family.

Creamed Peas on Toast Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 can green peas
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • buttered toast
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

  1. On stove in small pot melt butter and add flour slowly to thicken it.
  2. When it is almost like a paste add the milk and stir.
  3. Continue stirring on low heat until the mixture thickens.
  4. Add the drained can of peas and stir for a few more minutes.
  5. Pour hot mixture over a buttered slice of toasted bread, add salt & pepper to taste.
  6. Use a knife and fork to slice and eat your meal and enjoy.
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Fort Carlton Provincial Park (and a campfire bannock recipe)

Jordon and I took Mark and Oliver to Fort Carlton Provincial Park today.  It is also a National Historic Site today.  There are some hiking trails around there and of course the replica of the Hudson’s Bay Company trading fort that used to be there.  It was rebuilt in 1967 as part of Canada’s centennial celebrations.  It is also the place where Treaty Six was signed.

Fort Carlton Provincial Park

As kids most of Saskatoon seemed to go out there as part of a school field trip in Grade 5 or 6.  For some reason Mark’s classes never went out there which is weird considering it’s place in Canadian history and the emphasis that every single Social Studies teacher placed on teaching him about Louis Riel.

After a quick lunch on the way out of town at Costco, we drove out to Duck Lake and hung a left.  Eventually we got to the North Saskatchewan River Valley and Fort Carlton Provincial Park.  We had thought of going to both Batoche National Historic Site and Fort Carlton as part of the same trip but we are doing Batoche as part of a project we are doing later this fall.  Also Jordon wants to take the kids to the sites of all of the  battles of the Northwest Rebellion which mean more time on the eastern part of the river.

We got into the park at about 12:55 p.m. and I paid for our entrance.  The staff at the main centre told me that there would be tea and bannock served from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  As we walked out there, a wonderful staff member named Serina had the first batch of bannock ready to be cooked over the fire and a large pot of Saskatoon Berry tea warming up in a kettle.

Fort Carlton Provincial Park

Oliver and I decided to cook up the bannock while Jordon and Mark went for a walk around the outside of the fort.  They came back just as the bannock was being done, having been repelled in their attempt to breach the walls and enter the fort.

Oliver and Wendy cooking bannock over a fire at Fort Carlton Provincial Park

Serina was the staff member who made the bannock mix up for us about 8 others.  If case you are wondering how to make bannock over and open fire, here it is.

Campfire Bannock Recipe

Campfire Bannock Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 teaspoons of sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons of lard/butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of water

Directions

  1. Mix dry ingredients together and then add lard and butter.  Mix well.
  2. Use about a quarter cup of bannock mix and use a spoon to wind it around a wooden stick to roast over the coals of the fire until golden brown on the outside.

Notes

Once cooked, serve with your favorite jam.

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Wendy and Oliver cooking bannock over a fire at Fort Carlton Provincial Park

She used about a quarter cup of bannock mix and used a spoon to wind it around a wooden stick to then roast over the coals of the fire.  After we had cooked the bannock there was some blueberry jam to spread over it.

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So while we were all cooking our bannock and enjoying some Saskatoon Berry tea, she told us some great stories of a couple from Japan who had come to visit the Fort.  They asked her if they could roll in the grass as they weren’t allowed to do that in Japan and they had a great time.  She also said that people from all over the world come to Fort Carlton and tell her where they are from.  Then they ask her and she goes, “Just up the hill”.

After tea and bannock, we went inside the stockade and were given tours of all of the open buildings.

Fort Carlton Provincial Park near Duck Lake, SaskatchewanFort Carlton Provincial Park near Duck Lake, SaskatchewanFort Carlton Provincial Park near Duck Lake, SaskatchewanFort Carlton Provincial Park near Duck Lake, SaskatchewanFort Carlton Provincial Park near Duck Lake, Saskatchewan

Oliver then lead up the stairs and along the top of the Fort.  We took the tour of the last building and as we went upstairs, Jordon disappeared.  So as we went to find him, the boys called him, “Aunt Beth” who was Jordon’s great aunt and was known for wandering off while in a mall all of the time.  It was always Jordon’s job to keep track of her.  He didn’t appreciate the comparison but the boys did.

Fort Carlton Provincial Park near Duck Lake, SaskatchewanFort Carlton Provincial Park near Duck Lake, SaskatchewanFort Carlton Provincial Park near Duck Lake, SaskatchewanFort Carlton Provincial Park near Duck Lake, Saskatchewan

From there we walked from the stockade to the river.  With all of the rain in Alberta, the North Saskatchewan was flowing fast and was expected to rise greatly.  As we were walking, I couldn’t help to notice the bear scat all over the pathway.  We eventually ran into a “You are in Bear Country” sign but we had gotten the idea already.

Fort Carlton Provincial Park near Duck Lake, Saskatchewan

Fort Carlton Provincial Park near Duck Lake, Saskatchewan

It took us about an hour to cook bannock, drink some tea, get the tour and then walk the 1/2 kilometer trail to the North Saskatchewan River and back.  We also explored the camp group which was empty but nice.  I wouldn’t mind exploring it some weekend next summer.

Colonel Sanders’ 11 Herbs and Spices

Is this the Colonel’s secret 11 Herbs and Spices?  The Chicago Tribune may have stumbled upon the recipe

Is this the Colonel’s secret 11 Herbs and Spices?

With the help of the local tourism office, I arrange to meet a man named Joe Ledington. The 67-year-old retired teacher has spent his entire life in Appalachia. He still lives in the house in which he grew up, just north of the city limits of Corbin, a town of about 7,300. He agrees to meet me to share a few yarns about the Colonel. You see, the guy he called “H.D.” and “Old Man Sanders” was his uncle. Ledington says he used to do chores in the modest cafe as a young boy, making a quarter a day to sweep and clean up.

I enter the dark-paneled restaurant lit by naked fluorescent tubes and find Ledington leafing through a photo album. His wife, Jill, sits quietly at the next table, munching chicken from a familiar red-and-white box.

Ledington and I shake hands, and I tell him about the assignment that brought me to this part of southeast Kentucky. Before I can even open my notebook, he draws my attention to the photo album overstuffed with pictures, newspaper clippings and various family documents.

“This was Aunt Claudia’s album,” he says, referring to his father’s sister, Claudia Ledington, who became Harland Sanders’ second wife when they wed in the late ’40s. Claudia worked as a waitress in the cafe and was instrumental in launching what would become a multibillion-dollar fast-food chain boasting nearly 20,000 KFC restaurants in more than 125 countries.

The album, with its nondescript cover and clear cellophane sheets, looks like the kind I used to buy for a buck at Walgreens. Ledington turns the pages, occasionally stopping to point out certain pictures, like the one of him posing with his famous uncle and others taken at the opening of a KFC in some faraway land. Sanders was always sporting one of his iconic white suits. Ledington says he had a closet full of them.

Ledington continues to leaf through the family scrapbook, pausing here and there to share a memory or an anecdote about his uncle. At the back of the album is an official-looking document, its pages stapled together: the last will and testament of his Aunt Claudia, he tells me. She died on New Year’s Eve 1996 at age 94.

“I can show you what every family member got,” he says, poring over the papers. “This was my dad, Robert Ledington. He was the first one. He got $209,888.”

But what I’m really interested in is the handwritten note on the back of the document. At the top of the page, in blue ink, it reads, “11 Spices — Mix With 2 Cups White Fl.” That’s followed by an enumerated list of herbs and spices. Eleven herbs and spices. And the measurements for each.

Colonel Sanders’ 11 Herbs and Spices

Is this the legendary recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken. Many think so.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 Ts salt
  • 1/2 Ts thyme
  • 1/2 Ts basil
  • 1/3 Ts oregano
  • 1 Ts celery salt
  • 1 Ts black pepper
  • 1 Ts dried mustard
  • 4 Ts paprika
  • 2 Ts garlic salt
  • 1 Ts ground ginger
  • 3 Ts white pepper

Directions

  1. 11 spices — Mix with 2 cups white flour
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Sandwich Iron Taco Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 – oz. package taco seasoning mix
  • 12 5-inch tortillas
  • 1 c. shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • Garnish: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa and sour cream

Directions

  1. Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned. Drain; stir in taco seasoning according to package directions. Spray the inside of a pie iron with non-stick spray; place tortilla on one side. Add about 1/4 cup of beef on tortilla; sprinkle with cheese and onion.
  2. Arrange a second tortilla over filling; close pie iron. Cook over medium-hot coals until tortilla is crispy and filling is heated through, about 10 minutes. Remove from pie iron; garnish as desired. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

The Weekend

For a quiet weekend, it sure was busy.

  • We went out for drinks at O’Shea’s Irish Pub with Pat Lorje and her husband Tom.  It’s always a fun time.  For those of you who wonder what gets talked about, it’s a bunch of “Donald Trump did what?  I stop paying attention to CNN for and hour and he did what?”  I don’t know who the cooks are at O’Shea’s but they were only going through the motions Friday night.  Maybe I am asking too much but I want good food at a local pub and O’Shea’s has never seemed to understand that.
  • Then on Sunday we got up early and drove to Prince Albert National Park and the village of Waskesiu with Oliver.  We did some shopping, went for a bit of a swim in the lake, had pizza at Pete’s Terrance and then drove out to the Narrows Campground.  We are planning to spend Thanksgiving Weekend out there this year.  We have been to Paighton Beach (see last Thanksgiving’s post) but had never been to the campground.  We check out some spots and then drove back into town where we got Oliver an ice cream cone the size of his head.
  • We got back into the city in time to head back to O’Shea’s for a drink with some friends.

For Thanksgiving, we will bring up Mark and Oliver’s three season tent and also bring up a summer four person tent.  We will have lots of blankets, our warm sleeping bags, and stuff for warm food.  With warm clothes, hot chocolate, and a dog to cuddle with, we will be fine for two nights.  Now to train Marley to cuddle with me rather than Jordon when she is cold.   The entire park is so quiet that time of year and I am really looking forward to spending that time together.

Day trip to Waskesiu

Realizing we are running out of summer weekends, we decided to head to Waskesiu today.  Mark had to work so we took Oliver and spent the day wandering around the town.Oliver at Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkDowntown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkDowntown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkDowntown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkDowntown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkDowntown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkDowntown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkDowntown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkDowntown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkDowntown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkThis is just after Oliver splashed me and I ran him down in the water.  In his attempt to get away, he fell in and got himself soaked.Downtown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkJust a friendly arm wrestling match as we check out some of Parks Canada famed red chairs.Downtown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National Park

We did a bit of shopping.  Got some ice cream and then headed up the Narrows Road to check out the Marina and the Narrows Campground which I had never gone in.  We picked out a couple of good spots for when we go up there for Thanksgiving and camp for the long weekend as a family.

Sex in a Pan Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup margarine, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. To Make Crust: In a medium bowl, mix together margarine, pecans and graham cracker crumbs. Pat into a 9×13 inch baking pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned; allow to cool completely.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and confectioners sugar until smooth. Fold in 1 cup of the whipped topping. Spoon mixture into graham cracker crust.
  4. Prepare chocolate and vanilla puddings with milk as per package directions. Allow pudding to set before pouring on top of the cream cheese layer. Spread remaining 3 cups of whipped topping over pudding layer; swirl melted chocolate throughout whipped topping.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour. For leftover pie, keep frozen in a tightly covered container. When ready to eat, just cut off a piece and allow to thaw; keep rest frozen.