Creamy Garlic Herb Mushroom Spaghetti Recipe

Creamy Garlic Herb Mushroom Spaghetti Recipe

Rating: 41


  • 8 ounces whole wheat pasta (spaghetti, linguine, etc.)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 16 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons flour (or whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de provence
  • 1½ cups milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • additional ¼ cup water, broth, milk or cream (optional)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley (more to taste)


  1. Pasta: Cook the pasta according to package directions. Set aside and toss with a little oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Mushrooms: Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat. Add one clove of the garlic and saute for a minute until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5-10 minutes, until golden brown and softened. Set aside.
  3. Sauce: Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan and melt again over medium high heat. Add the garlic and saute for a minute until fragrant. Add the flour and herbes de provence. Stir fry for a minute to cook out the flour taste. Add the milk slowly, whisking to incorporate. Let the mixture simmer until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Assemble: Toss the sauce, pasta, and mushrooms together. Add the olive oil and water as needed to keep the sauce from getting too thick. Stir in the parsley just before serving.


Jordon hates spaghetti.  He likes pasta and meat but doesn’t always like them together (although if he is served it, he likes it, it is a psychological thing for him from eating too much of it as a kid).  So when I do serve spaghetti, I like to do it differently.  Here is one he loves.

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Hiking the Narrows Trail in Prince Albert National Park

On the Sunday before Victoria Day, Jordon, Mark, Oliver, and I hiked the 3 kilometre Narrows Trail in Prince Albert National Park.

The start and end of the trail features these steps.

The Narrows Trail in Prince Albert National Park

Jordon, Oliver, and Mark at the start of the trail.

The start of the Narrows Trail in Prince Albert National Park

Mark is ready to go

Mark and Oliver at the start of The Narrows Trail in Prince Albert National Park

Oliver had just fallen but was okay.

Oliver on The Narrows Trail

Jordon and Mark on the trail.

Jordon Cooper and Mark Cooper walking The Narrows Trail

Mark showing off his new sunglasses that we bought for him as an early birthday gift.

Mark Cooper on The Narrows Trail in Prince Albert National Park

Oliver checking out Waskesiu Lake.

Oliver Cooper exploring the Narrows Trail at Prince Albert National Park

Lake Waskesiu from The Narrows Trail

Jordon and Mark explore the trail.

Jordon Cooper and Mark Cooper hike the Narrows Trail in Prince Albert National Park

Down by the boardwalk on The Narrows Trail in Prince Albert National Park

Two ducks swimming near the shore.  Well not that near, I was using an M.Zuiko 75-300mm lens which means that I was shooting at a 600mm equivalence.

Ducks on Waskesiu Lake in Prince Albert National Park

Here is Oliver exploring the dark underbelly of The Narrows Trail.

Oliver exploring the dark underside of The Narrow Trail in Prince Albert National Park

Tree on The Narrows Trail in Prince Albert National Park

Jordon and Oliver hiking The Narrows Trail

Waskesiu Lake

Waskesiu Lake

If you ever have a chance to explore some of Prince Albert National Park’s trails, make sure you do.  It was my first hike like this and I had a blast.  We explored the Waskesiu River Trail later that day and of course are heading back up to hike to Grey Owl’s Cabin later this summer.

Life on the home front

I haven’t posted a lot lately but here is the latest in what is new on the home front.

  • Jordon’s leg keeps getting better and worse.  The ulcer on the bottom of his foot is getting better.  Originally he was supposed to go to the wound clinic daily several times a week but he would show up there every time with a different bandage on him as he showers at least once a day.  So they started sending him home with stuff and he changes the dressing as he needs to.  Anyways it is healing.
  • The bad part is the ankle and foot remain horribly swollen and painful.  Antibiotics aren’t doing anything although now they are wondering if it is a vascular problem.  So another specialist awaits.
  • After a whole semester of refusing to work hard, Mark has finally figured out how to work consistently hard at school and his grades are greatly improving.  That has been a big deal for all of us.  The one thing that he has never been taught is how to write.  Jordon has taught him this year the Anne Lamottmethod of writing.  A crappy first draft.  Fix the first draft in your second draft.  Then refine the second draft with your final draft.  It has made a big difference for him.
  • My father has advanced cancer.   Our relationship fell apart the night I told him I had been molested growing up.  He went from being caring and loving to despising me that night.  He has later put the blame on me for it happening.  It’s a weird thing to go through.  On one hand he is my father and we used to be close.  On the other hand he has become a mean and abusive person to me as I have become an adult.  He doesn’t know the boys and don’t know him at all.  He doesn’t like Jordon and he doesn’t like me either.  Yet at the same time for much of my life, he was a really good father and friend.   It’s been 17 years since we have had a relationship.  With the things the way they are and have been for years, I decided not to see him whatever the outcome.  It’s like the good person I called ‘Dad’ 17 years ago.  I wish Mark and Oliver could have gotten to know either one of my parents and extended family.  I don’t think that will ever happen. 
  • The doctor says that Jordon can carefully consider going up to Grey Owl’s Cabin in under two weeks.  We are going to evaluate how he feels as we go but I hope we can.  I am out buying the last of what we need (Gorilla Tape to Go, Zip Loc bags for meals and a couple of compression straps for the sleeping bags).  We also decided to take Marley with us on the hike.
  • My garden is in.  With Jordon sidelined for part of the spring, Mark and I have been doing some stuff we should have been doing for year.  One of them was build a second raised flower bed.  I now have two 8 foot by 4 foot gardens which is nothing compared to most of you but I am impressed that I have been able to keep up.  I procrastinated this year and didn’t start tomatoes which made me sad but it’s my own fault.
  • One of our juniper’s died over the winter (a moment of silence please) and Mark and I had to pull it out this weekend.  We pulled and pulled and cut and dug and pulled and finally we gave up.  Then Jordon chided Mark for being a wimp and then Mark got it out.  Let’s blame Mark for this.
  • Don’s Photo has a list of top Father’s Day gift ideas.  I need to get on this.
  • CCM rooftop bag and universal mounting kitI just discovered this rooftop bag by CCMwhich makes summer travelling way easier.  It is $700 for a Thule box and bars while it is $80 for one of these.
  • In two months we will be Calgary and Banff.  I can’t wait.  We already have a week of camping planned for 2016.  That will include an overnight hike to Glacier Lake, climbing Tunnel Mountain, hiking to the Inkpots at Johnston’s Canyon, and hiking to the Six Glacier, and Lake Agnes Tea Houses with the boys.
  • I am on Pinterest.  You can find my boards here.

The Perfect Summer Steak Recipe

Here are some simple instructions and ingredients that will help you create the best steak of 2015.

The Perfect Summer Steak Recipe

The Perfect Summer Steak Recipe


  • 1 tsp. taco seasoning mix
  • 1/2 tsp. Maxwell House Instant Coffee Original Roast
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 beef t-bone steak (1-1/4 lb./565 g), 1 inch thick
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1/4 cup Bull's-Eye Bold Original Barbecue Sauce


  1. Heat greased barbecue to medium-high heat.
  2. Mix taco seasoning, instant coffee and sugar. Brush steak with oil; rub with seasoning mix. Let stand 10 min.
  3. Grill steak 8 min., turning after 4 min. Brush lightly with barbecue sauce; grill 2 to 4 min. or until medium rare doneness (120ºF), turning and brushing occasionally with remaining barbecue sauce.
  4. Transfer steak to cutting board; cover.
  5. Let stand 5 min. before serving
  6. Grill a big juicy steak for four and serve it on a wooden board for sharing. It's like eating at a steak house.
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Garlic & Parmesan Bread Recipe

Garlic & Parmesan Bread Recipe

Rating: 51


  • 1 quality loaf of bread
  • 4 large, cloves of garlic. minced
  • a handful of parsley,
  • chopped1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup or about 2 ounces of finely shredded Parmesan


  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Slice long grooves into the bread, but don't cut all the way through. We want deep crevices for butter.
  3. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Cram the butter into the crevices of the bread. It'll all fit. If it gives you trouble just cram it in harder.
  4. Wrap the loaf up in foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Then unwrap it a bit to expose the top and bake for 5 more minutes so it can get all crusty with cheese and butter.


A favourite recipe around here. Your family will love it.

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Slow-Cooker Teriyaki Beef and Vegetables Recipe

I don’t often do slow cooker meals in the summer and I don’t know why.  It doesn’t heat up the house and it is done when I am home.

This recipe is fantastic and one that will love.  Just remember to use Basmati rice.

Slow-Cooker Teriyaki Beef and Vegetables Recipe

Slow-Cooker Teriyaki Beef and Vegetables Recipe


  • 1 1/2 lb beef round steak, trimmed of fat, cut into thin bite-size strips
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry or apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can (8 oz) sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 bag (1 lb) frozen broccoli, carrots & cauliflower, thawed*
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked regular long-grain white rice
  • 3 cups water


  1. In 4- to 5-quart slow cooker, mix steak and 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch until evenly coated. Gently stir in soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, ginger and garlic. Top with water chestnuts.
  2. Cover; cook on Low heat setting about 6 hours.
  3. About 30 minutes before serving, in small bowl, blend 1/4 cup water and remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth. Stir into beef mixture. Stir in thawed vegetables.
  4. Increase heat setting to High; cover and cook 25 to 30 minutes longer or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Meanwhile, cook rice in 3 cups water as directed on package. Serve beef mixture over rice.
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Queso Fundido With Chorizo, Jalapeño and Cilantro Recipe


  • 7 ounces dried chorizo, diced small
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • Tortilla chips
  • Lime wedges


  1. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the jalapeño, cilantro, scallions and salt. Add the cheese and toss well.
  3. Heat the broiler. Combine the chorizo and cheese mixture and pour into a shallow baking or gratin dish. Broil until melted and bubbling, about 4 to 5 minutes. Serve with the chips and lime wedges on the side.

Mark is 15

Mark turns 15 today.  For his birthday Jordon got him a stove and fuel canister.  Since he is a teen and therefore occasionally clumsy, we also gave him a Jet Boil stand for his canister and stove.  It makes the base wider and less likely to hurt himself.

Ultralight Backpacking Canister Camp Stove with Piezo Ignition 3.9oz

and a one person mess kit.  If he is going to have a stove, he will want to cook up something.  We tossed in a pot scrubber so he can do his own dishes.  Mark instantly realized what that mean for him and was more than a little sad.

One Person Mess Kit

Those (along with a lighter) were his early gifts as we went to Prince Albert National Park on Sunday for a day of hiking (we hiked the Narrows and Waskesiu River trails before Oliver ran out of gas) and photography.

This morning we got up early and Jordon and I got him an Altec Lansing Soundblade Bluetooth Speaker

Altec Lansing Soundblade Bluetooth SpeakerOliver gave him a set of frisbee golf discs.    They are the same that the boys gave me for Mother’s Day.

Frisbee Disc Golf Set

Since Oliver didn’t have any discs, Jordon bought three Frisbees for a $1 each for him.  This way he can join us when we play.

We also gave him a hacky sack.  Every teen needs a hacky sack to kick around, even if they aren’t really good at it.

Happy Birthday Mark!

Recipes and more recipes

I decided to consolidate some of my web presence today and I imported all 1500 recipes from The Cooking Blog into my own weblog here.   The recipes can be found here and they are searchable and sorted by tag. 

Running the two sites made sense at the time but since then, it has just added a different thing onto my plate.  This way no matter what I do to The Cooking Blog, the recipes will be archived on my site.