The Sibbald Family Famous Recipes Cookbook includes most of the recipes on this page -- and more!
NOTE: DO NOT ORDER VIA THE ABOVE BLURB LINK -- the price is better through Amazon.com
- A print copy is available on Amazon.com for $36.62 plus shipping. I know. Unless you want one for sentimental reasons or want to go vintage, who's going to pay that much for a 70-page book? But you do have that option. (Incidentally, I earn 85 cents this way. Woo hoo! But I think I have to sell a minimum number, like, oh, 500 copies, before they send me a cheque.) P.S. They have somehow included the wrong thumbnail for the book.
P.P.S. Blurb does not yet have any partnership with Amazon.ca.
- More likely, you will want it as an iBook for iPad, iPhone (good luck reading the fractions!) or iPod. This e-book only costs $1.99. (I earn $1.00 this way. Again, I think I have to sell a lot of them before they send a cheque.)
- For a PDF ($1.00), you have to order directly from me and pay through PayPal. Just click on the "Buy Now" button, below. (Note: the PayPal link may take a couple of seconds to load.)
Does a "food" page really need an introduction? I'm sharing recipes here for several reasons:
1. I love food.
2. I'm putting together a cookbook for my children that compiles a number of our favourite recipes, and I thought I might as well share some of those recipes here with you.
3. One of my retirement objectives is to improve my diet, which, in the crazy days of working full-time was sometimes neglected.
So, bon appétit! I'd love to hear from you if there are any dishes you love (or hate) or recommend adjustments to. (BTW, my OCD is screaming that these posts are in no particular order. If the screaming gets too loud, I may sort them. How do you prefer to find recipes? By course (e.g., appetizer, dessert, salad)? Or alphabetically?)
Lessons Learned the Hard Way: Cooking | By the time I got married (at the ripe old age of 21), I thought I had learned everything I needed to learn about cooking. I know.
Many a ruined meal later, I think it's time I shared some lessons I learned the hard way. Remember: this was in the days before the Internet, not to mention before Pinterest (where I have a whole board dedicated to food.
Simple Things: Hot Chocolate | The other night as I went to prepare my evening hot chocolate (my replacement for the evening wine that I used to drink), I paused as I reached for the "club-sized" container of instant chocolate powder. I didn't need to look at the label to know that there would be all sorts of chemicals in that container.
I remembered that the very first recipe I ever learned was for hot chocolate. Why not take the extra couple of minutes to make it from scratch, I thought. So I did.
Home-fried Potatoes | By popular demand (okay, one person asked!), here is my dad's recipe for home-fried potatoes. It was never written down anywhere, and I have only successfully replicated it after many, many years of mediocre homefries.
These are perfect on a Saturday morning when you have lots of time.
Salade Niçoise | Here is the recipe we use for salade Niçoise. Last time I served this, everyone who tried it asked for the recipe. It is delicious served with crusty slices of baguette or a nutty multi-grain loaf.
Chocolate-zucchini Bread | Are you in the mood for some moist, chocolatey goodness? If so, then get your mixing bowl! There's nothing like spending a little time on Pinterest to whet your culinary appetite! This easy recipe was part of my pre-retirement resolution to eat well. This recipe may not be the best thing for me to be eating, but, as treats go, it is better than store-bought junk food.
It's chock full of vitamins and antioxidants, so it's a win, right? Right? I think so.
Comfort Food: Spaghetti | Can you believe there was a time when Italian food was considered exotic in the United States? It's true. I read it on Mental Floss, or BuzzFeed or Cracked, one of those authoritative sites.
It hardly seems exotic anymore. I consider most Italian dishes to be comfort food and, consequently a regular item on our menu. I especially love to make spaghetti sauce and let it simmer in the house all afternoon. On cold days like we're having right now, it just feels cozy.
Mango Creamsicle Smoothie | I had avoided fresh mangoes for years simply because I couldn't figure out how to cut them. I always ended up with woody bits and felt ripped off. Then I discovered this gizmo. Now, what to do with that gorgeous mango? (One can grow tired of just plain mango slices.) It's smoothie time!
This delicious smoothie really does taste like an orange creamsicle - creamy, sweet and tangy.
Seven-Minute Frosting | On my first child's first birthday, I called my mother in a panic.
I'd bought gifts and balloons, I'd prepared snacks and I'd baked a cake. But I hadn't frosted it because I didn't have the recipe for my mother's famous Seven-Minute Frosting.
Every birthday cake my mother ever made (and with seven children, that was a LOT of cakes!) was frosted with this decadent marshmallow-y frosting. Instead of being fat-based (using butter or shortening), it uses egg whites to support a brown-sugar froth.
Queen Elizabeth Cake | My nephew recently mentioned one of his favourite desserts (as served at a gluten-free bakery in town) called Queen Elizabeth Cake. Having never heard of such a thing, I had to do a little research.
What I found was a recipe for a dark, moist, low-fat cake based on dates. The history of the cake is obscure and interesting. Here's what Patricia Treble at Maclean's has to say about it:
The story I've always been told about the dessert is that it was created for [Queen Elizabeth II's] coronation in 1953, when there was still rationing in Britain. So they needed to make a cake that took little sugar, just one egg and no butter. Others say it was made for the 1937 coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother). Regardless, it is a staple in church bake sales and farmers’ markets. It’s relatively low in fat and has a lovely dark flavour.Dinner in a Hurry: Linguine alle vongole | For me, the hardest thing about planning dinner every night is the question: what to make. I look in the fridge and -- ugh! Nothing inspires me. Many, many years ago, I solved that problem by purchasing a six-week set of menu cards called "More Time Cooks." The boxed set came complete with grocery lists and promised that meals would be on the table within 30 minutes of starting preparing the meal. We still include a few recipes from that set in our rotation on a regular basis. One of those is Linguine (or whatever pasta is on hand) alle vongole. (Vongole means clams.)
Spinach-Stuffed Chicken with Feta | Spanakopita is one of my favourite foods - that Greek combination of spinach and tangy feta in a phyllo pastry is soooooo good. Twigged by that dish (and a recipe title I saw somewhere in passing, but which I didn't "pin" or bookmark), I decided to prepare spanakopita-inspired chicken breasts.
Chicken-Broccoli Braid | A fancy presentation -- and so delicious. I served it with a simple green salad, and it fed five adults, with leftovers. (Emily has already claimed dibs on one "slice" for breakfast.)
Experimenting with Quinoa: Sally Lunn Bread with Quinoa | I bought some quinoa because it seemed like a good idea. Then I didn't know what the heck to do with it. I thought that, like hemp hearts, you could just toss it on or into anything. It's a seed, right?
Lemon Chicken with Roasted Cauliflower | I shared this picture of a Greek-influenced recipe (it includes lemon, chicken, and black olives) way back in February, but forgot to share the recipe! So here it is.
How to Chop Onions and Celery | I've recently learned the term mirepoix - I can't recall where. It refers to the medley of celery, onions, and carrots that form the first step of many stews and soups. If you have a food processor, you probably just put them all through that, but ours has been broken for five months now, with parts on indefinite back-order, so I'm re-learning some skills and thought I'd share them with you. Just in case you end up in my situation. Or, you know, camping or at the cottage.
Layered Meat Loaf | Meat loaf gets a bad rap. I mean, sure it's really high in fat and kind of has an odd texture . . . but it can also be really tasty. And with this recipe it also holds a hidden surprise and uses up some of your leftovers, which makes it even better.
Potato Salad -- in a Hurry | Potato salad is one of my favourite summer foods, but I almost always forget to boil the potatoes well ahead of time. (My middle name should be "Last Minute.") I had always thought that meant I would only have potato salad on weekends, but then I found a short cut! Here's my simple recipe and my trick for speeding things up.
Broccoli Goodness: Classic Broccoli Salad | I haven't posted a recipe in quite while, so I figure it's about time. And why not start with something that combines healthy and unhealthy foods in the most appealing way? This recipe includes lots of nuts and seeds (good fats) and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower (vitamins, fiber, and disease-fighting phytochemicals), but then throws in bacon and mayonnaise. But if you're someone like me (or have children like me) who like a little sweetness to bribe them into eating their veggies, then this recipe is for you.
Bouchées aux noix or Nutty Nibbles | When we lived in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, we had a lovely neighbour named Odette who shared a few recipes with me. By far the most popular one was the recipe for these treats, which she called Bouchées aux noix, which roughly translates to Nutty Nibbles.
These bars may be the least healthy treats I've ever shared with you, but they are absolutely delicious.
Golden-Glazed Chicken | This is an easy, delicious, savory-sweet recipe that was given to me by my sister-in-law Mary Ann when I babysat my nieces one weekend. She made sure to leave a recipe that a newlywed with no parenting experience could pull together with minimal effort.
It was a winner and has become a family favourite.
Cinnamon Roll Crescent | This is a delicious way of using up leftover biscuit or pie dough. Roll it out, slather it with butter, sugar, and cinnamon -- then eat up!
Pea Soup | I will never be able to say "pea soup" without hearing the crickets (surely they aren't cockroaches!) from Rescuers Down Under. Despite that, it is one of our favourite recipes.
It's salty, slightly sweet comfort food, and it's easy to make. So I've included it in our cookbook.
Tuna Casserole | A really easy, last-minute meal (provided you don't decide to simultaneously prepare a week's worth of dog food. That would be craaaazy!
Comfort Food: Irish Stew and Dumplings | Stew is one of those classic "peasant" foods that make me feel like I'm sitting in front of a crackling fire with a wool shawl wrapped around me and a mug full of wine. Ideally, there would be a baby asleep on my lap, and a dog snoring lightly at my feet.
On the day I saw my first fluffily floating flakes of snow in Ottawa this year, I pulled out my biggest pot and started an Irish stew simmering in the kitchen. Then I added dollops of dumplings, and we all sat down to a hearty meal.
Quiche à Odette: The Easiest Quiche You Will Ever Make | Last year, for pi day, I decided to make genuine quiche -- from scratch. We didn't eat until close to 8:00 p.m. (Dinner at our house is usually around 6.) It was delicious, but definitely not worth the time and effort, especially when compared with this super-easy, crustless option.
Odette was our neighbour in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, and she shared many things with me: parenting tips, creativity, inspiration, and recipes. This easy quiche forgoes a crust and simply tosses a little flour right in with the egg mixture. You can make it as simple or fancy as you wish. I do typically double the recipe to make two pies at once because I serve 1/4 of the pie as a single portion.