Spaghetti with Meatballs

Ben started biking to work again having been driving to work for the past three months. He did not say it but I think he’s doing it because of the price of gas these days. Gosh! It is $1.16 per litre today. To think that just a couple of months ago, anything over $1 were considered outrageous.

Anyway, knowing that he would want to carbo-load with his biking and all, I thought I make good old meatball spaghetti. Arkensen and Nanzaro loves that too. I like to add lots of chopped onions and garlic and with liberal sprinkle of Parmesan.

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I learned to make spaghetti only when we got to Canada and did it my way. So, I am not very sure if this is the “normal” way spaghetti was made. Let me know if I am doing differently from the way you make it — I would most certainly want to learn from you.

Ingredients

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Oh yeah, I like to use Mrs Dash for seasoning. It’s much more healthier using Mrs Dash compared to salt. If you have never tried it, you should check it out. It goes so well with so many types of dishes that you’ll be amazed. Here are the ingredients:

  • Frozen Meatballs: I had that box in my fridge for 3 months now. Good to use that today and free up some space in the ice box. I only used half the box … still …
  • Mrs Dash for seasoning
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Spaghettini: I used spaghettini instead of spaghetti; I like the thinner version in spaghettini,
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Parmesan Cheese

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Garlic Studded Prime Rib Premium Oven Roast

I stumbled on a good deal the other day at Save-On-Foods. The Prime Ribs were on special — just $18 for the three pounds of prime ribs. I recall the last time we bought it, it was something like almost $30.

With oven roasts, preparation is really simple and the dinner cooks unattended. Although I made this only for the family this time, premium oven roasts are wonderful for the special occasions and for those times you want to impress.

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To add flavour I insert garlic slivers all over the roasts.

Ingredients

When choosing the perfect prime rib, make sure that it is cut from the ribs and then tied back on. The bones will add flavour during cooking and they can be easily removed for carving. Here are the ingredients

  • Prime Rib
  • Garlic
  • Lea and Perrins Worchestershire sauce
  • Dried Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

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Garlic Bread

This is a favourite breakfast of Ben’s. He’s a light eater as far as breakfasts goes and this Garlic Bread is just right. I use the baguette because it is hard and crusty — perfect when toasted. The garlic spread, Parmesan and cheese gives it the extra kick.

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Ingredients

  • baguette
  • garlic spread
  • Parmesan cheese
  • shredded cheese

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Decadent Cheesecake Brownies

The second recipe which Minoo shared with the cooking club is a decadent cheesecake brownies. These rich and creamy brownies have less than half the fat of regular cheesecake brownies.

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Ingredients

For the cheesecake topping:

  • 1 8oz pkg light cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon flour

For the brownie base:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup stick margarine or butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder, dissolved in 1 teaspoon water

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Lubria Polo (Persian Green Bean Rice)

In this week’s cooking club at Gilmore Park Church, we had Minoo to sharing with us two recipes. Minoo is the coordinator for the entire Richmond’s Community Kitchens. There are six community kitchens in all Richmond. She is also the group leader for 4 cooking clubs.

By the way, I’m attending 2 cooking clubs, i.e. the South Arm Community Centre cooking club and the Gilmore Park Church cooking club. I look forward going to the club meetings every week — I get learn cooking techniques and best of all made some good friends.

Here is the first recipe, the Persian Rice with green bean.

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Ingredients

  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 300-500g ground beef
  • 2 cups green beans, cut, 1 cm
  • 1/2 teaspoons saffron
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 5 1/2oz can of tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Tomato Soup

During our weekly Cooking Club, we take turns showing two dishes. Earlier last week, it was Andreas turn. I have blogged about the Beef and Noodle dish earlier. This one is about her other dish which she called simply Tomato Soup.

This soup goes well with some crusty bread or crackers.

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Ingredients

  • 1 or 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2-3 lbs tomatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)
  • 2 carrots, cut into coins
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

Since everyone at home like Vietnamese Noodle so much, I thought I should try to make it at home. Last month, I went scouring for the ingredients to make the beef broth and found them in a Vietnamese grocery store along Kingsway (near Main). The Beef Flavoured Pho Soup Base costs $8.99 and is used to make 20 bowls of soup!

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The soup base had been sitting in the shelf for a long time because according to the cooking instructions, it takes over 2 hrs to make. Along with that, I was mulling over how is the family going to finish off 20 bowls of Pho soup. Anyway, I finally gotten down to making it over the long Easter weekend. I must say it was more successful than I anticipated. The soup was better than any we have tasted in Vietnamese Restaurants … well, according to everyone in my family anyway. We have chunkier meat which we felt tastes better than the thin sliced beef we were served in restaurants.

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You know what is the bad thing about this? We have been eating this for three consecutive meals (yesterday’s lunch and dinner and today’s lunch!) and we have quite a bit left! 🙂 I am certainly going to make it again but I will think of how I am going to give away some to friends.

Here are some interesting facts about Pho on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pho

Ingredients

  • 3 – 4 lbs of beef flank (or brisket)
  • 1 lb beef tendon — since I could not buy them, I got the marinated/cooked ones from T&T
  • 1 bulb onion
  • 2 piecese of ginger

I also bought 1/2 lb of beef tripe since Norm and Marc likes them. I also bought 1/2 lb of beef balls.

Please note, you need to have a 2 gallon pot to make the Pho soup.

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Coffee Cake with Chocolate Frosting

You know, I have never tried making cakes with icing on it. I enjoyed looking at nice birthday cakes at bakeries and am always amazed on how creative people are in making them. So, I think I better start simple and especially so when I have a birthday boy at home recently who has always clamored for a “birthday cake with icing”. I made a Coffee Cake with Chocolate Frosting.

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Some months back, I bought a book called “1000 Chocolate Baking and Dessert Recipes — from Around the World” for just $24.99. I like recipe books that has lots of pictures and have been flipping through them and bookmarking some of the pages. This is my first attempt, sort of my first of 1000 chocolate cakes/dessert! 🙂

This Coffee Cake is intensely flavoured and is complemented with delicious chocolate frosting, sans decoration. Since I did not have an icing spatula and other stuff for decorating, I made it real simple. I think I will get myself these stuff one of these days and start making nicer looking ones.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • Scant 1 cup golden superfine sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups self-rising flour, sifted
  • Scant 1/2 cup strong black coffee
  • 1 can of creamy chocolate frosting

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