Cooking Classes


Chipotle Crockpot Chicken


Spicy Crockpot Chicken With Chipotle Marmalade Sauce

I used one of my wonderful Hutterite chickens.  I cut it into pieces leaving the legs and thighs with the bone in and skin on and the breasts both boneless and skinless.  Cut into serving size pieces.  Reserve the bones for chicken stock.  After cooking, I removed the skin from the thighs and legs.

I also had tried making my own chipotles in adobo sauce from a recipe on Mangio da Sola.  They worked great.  I also had my own clementine marmalade and chopped it a little finer.  You can make a lot of substitutions with this recipe and it will turn out great.

What I like about this recipe is that you do not have to pre-brown the chicken pieces.  That saves a bit of kitchen cleanup.

  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1/3 cup sweet clementine marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Dash pepper
  • Dash salt
  • 1 chicken, cut into serving size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
Combine the chipotle with adobo sauce, marmalade, chili powder, garlic powder, vinegar, honey, chicken broth, and oil. Wash chicken and pat dry; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken pieces in the slow cooker; pour marmalade mixer over all. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 7 hours, or until chicken is cooked through.  Do not overcook.
In the last hour of the cooking, combine the cornstarch with cold water until smooth; stir into the sauce and continue cooking. Serve the chicken with steamed rice and vegetables of your choice.
Serves 4.


Winter Again

We were spoiled for a couple of weeks there with weather just around freezing.  It was beautiful.  But old man winter has returned with a vengeance and today it is -16C.  Since I am not cooking at the moment, I thought I would share this list for a winter driving kit.  It is a huge list but considering where you might be driving, most of these items would be useful, if not necessary.

AMA Winter Driving Kit
▶   shovel
▶   tow cable
▶   traction aids
▶   jumper cables
▶   window ice scraper
▶   antifreeze
▶   firewood (kindling and starter)
▶   snacks
▶   distress sign
▶   cell phone
▶   flares
▶   flashlight and batteries
▶   first aid kit
▶   survival candle
▶   matches
▶   blankets
▶   extra footwear
▶   hat and mitts

I have a long way to go to complete my kit but it will be my summer project this year to collect as many of these things together as I can.  Safe driving!

Canadian trivia - this building is a hockey rink  with an attached curling rink in a village.  It is no longer in use because the costs to maintain it are too high.  This is a common sight in villages and small towns on the prairies.


Drive in the Country #7

I have one more light fixture sitting at my sister's house in Regina.  And I need to apply for a new passport.  So after waiting for good weather, I decided to set out this weekend for a quick trip to the Queen City.

No trip into Regina is complete without a drive down Albert Street.  I love the bridge.  I have always love the wonderful hand crafted spindles.  And then to see the Parliament Building is always emotional for me.  I cannot visit without driving past.

We had a great home dinner.  Smoked pork chops, stuffed pork tenderloin, whipped potatoes camouflaging carrots and an Oreo cake.  It was a great family dinner with my sister, her husband, step daughter, son and daugher-in-law, and grand son.

After a rather quick interview at the passport office and an even faster visit to Fanny's Fabrics looking for drapery fabric, Pete and I had Tim's breakfast.

The drive back to Swift Current was more true winter driving.  The roads were slick and vehicles in the ditch along the way.  Even though my eyes were on the road, it was lovely to see the winter landscape.

I love the yellows of harvested grain fields covered in snow.  I love the blues and whites in the sky.  There are pinks in the sky at all times of the day.  Sometimes there is bright sunlight and other times it is dull.  The wind blown snow forms beautiful waves along the highway that seem like a surfers paradise.  The folds of snow reveal all shades of white and blue.  It is truly amazing.

Today I was fortunate to see some wild life.  The one lone coyote was in a field.  It made me wonder how he will find tonights supper.  And on the other side of the road were some deer grazing in the snow covered field.


Haskap Crumble Squares

These are some squares I made back in the summer.  I have been holding back, but I think I should share!  Haskaps are also known as Blue Honeysuckle and have been brought in from Russian.  The soil conditions and climate in Saskatchewan seem to be ideal. They can be picked in June, which is way earlier than any other fruit.

I have been experimenting with them and have come up with a few really good recipes.  This is one.  Please check here for the recipe for haskap jam to be used in this recipe.  A rich raspberry jam would also work if you do not have access to hasksaps.

Haskap Crumble Squares

1 ½ c unbleached flour
1 ½ c rolled oats
¾ c chopped almonds
1 c brown sugar
1 t baking powder
½ t cinnamon
¼ t salt
1 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 - 1 1/2 cups haskap jam

Preheat oven to 375F.  Grease a 9”x9” baking pan.

In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients except almonds.  Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.  Set aside 1 cup of the mixture for topping.

Press the crumble on the bottom of the baking pan.  Evenly spread the jam over the crumble.  A thin layer is all you need.  The berries are amazingly intense and a little goes a long way.  Sprinkle with the chopped almonds and then the reserved crumb mixture.  Pat down gently.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until golden.  Cool completely before cutting into squares.


Winter on the Prairies

I know we are all having weird weather this winter and there are some very bad storms.  I have been shovelling snow for almost an hour a day for the past week.  Please stop snowing soon!
Snow on my strawberry patch.


Update on My Reno

I know I have not given many pictures lately, but they have been downright boring.  Everything has been going very well.  These pictures look rather dull but until I get my appliances and furniture back in, it won't be exciting.

Haskap Jam

Okay, so I have been holding out on you.  I made this last July but I was not sure if this post would be interesting.  Especially since most of you will have no access to haskaps aka  Blue Honeysuckle.  Haskaps are relatively new to the Canadian prairies and are very well suited to our climate.  This is also known as the edible Blue Honeysuckle.  The season is early,  June to be exact.  I had never heard of this berry until I started visiting my favourite U-Pick, Treasure Valley Markets near Cadillac, Saskatchewan.

These berries are originally from Russia.  The University of Saskatchewan is studying the adaptability of this berry to our area.  The soil conditions and climate are ideal.

And yes, in Cadillac, the streets are named after models of cars!  Isn't that wild!

Linda of Treasure Valley Markets gave me a bag of frozen haskaps and challenged me to come up with a few recipes.  I had great success.  I made four different recipes and quickly went back for more.

But I have now been adapting my first tries and starting over.  I made haskap jam without pectin.  Last time I made a tiny batch and used liquid pectin.  It seems that haskaps have a lot of natural pectin and I had no problem getting this jam to set up.  In fact, I think I boiled it a little too long and have a very firm jam.  Remember the recipe for jams and jellies?  Fruit, sugar, pectin and acid.  I have not tried this without lemon juice, but there may be enough acid in the haskaps to make a good jam.

This jam is so intensely flavoured that a little goes a long way.  In fact, I prefer to use it in a recipe rather than on toast.

Haskap Jam

2 cups frozen haskaps
2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Mix the haskaps with the sugar and bring to a boil.  Add the lemon juice.  Continue to boil until it has reached the jam stage.  Skim off any scum that forms.  Test your jam on a plate that has been chilled in the freezer.  Put a half teaspoon of jam on the cold plate and let it cool down for awhile.  If the mixture does not run when you tip the plate, it is thick enough.

So I know that you are scratching your collective heads and thinking, what the heck is a haskap?  What does it taste like?  They are an odd shaped berry and look almost like a lima bean.  They are very tart and must have sugar added.  But once cooked and sweetened, my gosh, they are the most flavourful and amazing berry I have ever tasted.  The common descriptor is to say they are a raspberry, blackberry, saskatoon and blueberry rolled into one.  In my sense of taste, they are a very intense raspberry/blackberry.  I would use it like I would use a raspberry.


Driving Through the Canadian Rocky Mountains in Winter

I have been having a discussion with myself if I was going to write this post.  It is a very personal journey through the Rocky Mountains and I was not sure if anyone else would be interested.  But since I am not  cooking while I am still under renovation, and I am having withdrawal symptoms from blogging, I thought 'Why not?'  The picture above is Banff, Alberta.

My drive is actually from Mile 83, British Columbia to Swift Current, Saskatchewan.  While I did not stop to take any pictures, I have found some that depict the areas.  It was winter and a long drive and was not easy to stop for photo ops.

Mile 83 is near to 100 Mile House in the interior of British Columbia.  It is a blend of mountains, ranches, lakes and meadows.  The summers are not that warm and gardening is a definite challenge.  My father and his wife enjoy the hummingbirds every summer.  In the winter the chickadees are always there.  Otherwise, there are lots of ravens, owls, hawks, foxes, bears and game animals such as deer and moose.  It is a very out of the way place to live.  It is very much country life.

My father is almost 85 years old and still enjoys doing everything that he can.  They also spend their vacations in Africa.

Along that road from Mile 83 to Kamloops it changes from more lush mountain to very dry mountain terrain.  I am reminded  of the time that my sister and father walked off the road to look at some ramshackled old cabin only to find a rattle snake.

The farms irrigate.  Ginseng is grown along with many typical vegetables and even a vineyard.

You pass through the western mountain town of Cache Creek.  It is so adorable in a rustic way.

Kamloops is a hub.  It has all the shopping a country person needs.  It has colleges and all.

The drive from Kamloops west wends through rough countryside.  It is lush and productive land again and with some irrigation.  There are towns with specialities like cheese and ice creams, fruits and vegetables and a lavender farm.

The road winds along the edge of the Kootenay Lake.  You pass through Three Valley Gap.  Although touristy, and I have never stopped there, it adds to the intrigue.   I love the whole rustic hotel complex by the water.  There are hot springs along the way.

You gradually find yourself climbing through the mountains and arrive at Rogers Pass and then Kicking Horse Pass.  Rogers Pass has a nice stopping place.  There is a hotel, restaurant, service station and trinket shop.  I always stop there for a rest.  It is the summit as driving through the mountains.

There are a half dozen or so snow sheds to drive through.

Kicking Horse Pass, in my humble opinion, is more scenic.  You drive over the river and the canyon, around mountains and there are lots of switchbacks.  It is lovely in all seasons.

Craigellachie is an historic stopping place.  That is where the Last Spike was driven on the trans Canada railway in 1885.  It is a very simple roadside stop but as a Canadian, it was a part of my grade school history that stuck in my head.

I love the ancient cedars and hemlock groves.  There are boardwalks built so there will be no impact on the environment.  The trees are hundreds of years old and absolutely huge.  I love the air in the forest.  It is so fresh.  I love the streams.  And the solitude.  You can truly feel connected to nature even on this tourist stop.

Revelstoke is another favourite rest stop.  I have only once stayed overnight.  It is so quiet and really in the mountains.  Golden is the next stop.  We always gas up there.  Today they are building a lot of ski runs and resorts at Golden.  However, my absolute stop is Field.  It is a gem of a stop with mountains all around.  The river passes right by the town and braids  shallow but wide along the highway.

At this point you pass by the ever popular and famous Emerald Lake.  It is a must-see if ever in this part of the country any season.  Actually you don't view it.  You get a room and stay.

After Field is Lake Louise.  There is nothing to see from the highway.  But I love the area!  It is my favourite ski hill.  I is small and intimate.  The Chateau Lake Louise overlooks the lake.  It is one of those lovely old Canadian Pacific Hotels with lots of charm and character.  Every winter there is a world class ice carving competition.

Next will be Sunshine Village ski resort, Castle Mountain, Red Earth Creek for hiking and cross country skiing and....Three Second Peak!  I lived and skiied in the area for years before anyone told me about Three Second Peak.  You can only see this Matterhorn-ish mountain for three seconds from the highway.  I always try to catch the glimpse when I am on the road.

This pretty much sums up the trip through the mountains.  Banff is world famous and what can a person say in a blog about this jewel of the Rockies.  It is exquisite.

Continuing on to Calgary you pass by Mount Yamnuska, which I have climbed!  There is a little lake called Lac des Arc that is wind swept clean of snow and used to be a favourite spot for ice boating.  I have not seen them there recently.

The landscape abruptly changes into ranch land and gently rolling foothills into Calgary.

To continue past Calgary takes you into the Canadian Prairies.  There are the prehistoric hunting grounds of Dinosaur Provincial Park.

We pass by the general landscape of Grasslands National Park and the sand dunes in Saskatchewan.  This is where antelope roam.

And finally I am home!  Swift Current is a little city on the Canadian prairies.  It is winter and the driving was white knuckle.  But I arrived home safely.  Until next time...