Daring Cooks – February 2012 – The Pattie!

 The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness! We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties!

Audax adapted a number of popular recipes to come up with the challenge patty recipes and Lisa has chosen to share two recipes – California Turkey Burger adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, and French Onion Salisbury Steak adapted from Cuisine at Home magazine.

So, this months cooking challenge is the Pattie!  Pause now, if you listen carefully you can hear my husband screaming and cheering for this.  Daring cooks, Audax and lis, he is giving this a standing ovation!  Ever the meat fan, the burger fan, I can hear his enthusiasm, and in his eyes I can see stacks and piles of homemade burgers, full of bacon and cheese and other endless combinations of heart stopping ingredients.   What have I gotten myself in to?

I must admit though, after seeing some of the  variations and knowing that I definitely could use patty preparation practice (thats almost a tongue twister), I was thrilled to attempt a variation that not only has ZUCCHINI in it, but it will finally give me an excuse to have prosciutto in the house!  So here we go,  Patty making a la Darrrrrrrring.

Zucchini, prosciutto & cheese fritters

Servings: makes about 8-10 two inch (five cm) fritters
Recipe can be doubled
adapted from http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/08/zucchini-fritters/
  • 2 medium sized Zucchini’s
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup grated cheese (A sharp cheddar was recommended)
  • 5 slices prosciutto, cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup all-purpose (plain) flour plus ½ teaspoon baking powder, sifted together
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chilli paste
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly cracked
  • 2 tbsp oil, for frying

Grate your zucchini in to a bowl, add the salt and set aside for 10 minutes atleast

pan fry your Prosciutto, when thats done, back to the zucchini. Squeeze drain it thru a cloth or towel. You'll get a lot of liquid. Discard the liquid

add all your ingredients together, leave the egg til last. Remember to lightly beat it. Then preheat the oil in your pan

Scoop some batter in to the hot pan, I used an ice cream scoop. Flatten them down. If they're too thick, they won't cook properly. Fry for 3-4 minutes, 3 was on the dot for me, and flip. Fry other side for 2-3 minutes

I pat dryed them with some clean paper towel after frying. I hate oil puddles on my plates. Then serve! Well recieved

So this challenge surprisingly went off without a hitch.  Not a single issue, not a cooking problem, nothing.  This was my first time trying prosciutto (I know, the horror) and to be honest cooking it made the room smell like dog food a little, but it tasted really good.  Like very salty bacon.

I think my next attempt will be more adventurous! Maybe i’ll succumb to my husbands demands and make some form of stuffed burger patty,  OR, I could always spite him by making the turkey karbonatky.


Cherry Tomato and Pesto Tarts

holy yum!

This is delicious! I’m eating it right now actually.  I can’t believe how good it tastes, which is amazing because I don’t really like tomatoes.  It actually tastes better than any pizza I’ve had lately.   What I love most about this is that it take literally a minute to assemble, so its perfect for mothers or working people who need to throw something fast and nutritious together on a limited time frame.  You just basically defrost some puff pastrys (or make your own, whatever you want). Put down a layer of pesto on the pastry, the slice some cherry tomatoes in half and lay them flat side down on the pesto.  Sprinkle with fresh rosemary, oregano, Parmesan cheese, and a bit of extra virgin olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes at 400F.     Try it out!

Roasted Tomatoes


  • 12 plum tomatoes, halved
  • 8 slices of pancetta or 4 slices of bacon, optional
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • penne pasta or other type
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Cut the bacon with a pair of kitchen scissors (its easier than cutting raw bacon!) and toss it with the garlic, tomatoes, olive oil and onions in a casserole dish or glass dish.  Preheat the oven and bake them until the tomatoes shrivel up a bit, the onions and garlic cooks down and the bacon is done (around an hour).  It smells fantastic! eat it as is, or mash it up and put it over penne or some larger slotted or fluted pasta so it holds everything nicely.

We absolutely loved it! so fragrant and fresh!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

So for dinner I finally made that sweet potato gnocchi and it is very delicious.  It is a little time consuming to make and the dough is very sticky so a good army of flour is needed for the rolling.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi!


  • 2 (8 ounce) sweet potatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour


Cook the sweet potatoes until they’re mashable, once they are and cooled mash em up and add the rest of the ingredients.  It will be VERY sticky, add the flour bit by bit not all at once. It will create a soft dough.  Flour up yer cutting board and put your playdoh skills to use rolling it out like a snake.  At this point you should have prepared a large pot of boiling salty water.  Cut up your snake in to may little snake pieces and toss it in the pot a few roll outs at a time as to not overcrowd the pot.  Once they’re floating take them out.  When I took them out I let them sit in a strainer for a sec to get the water off them and then bowled them.  Eat it with whatever sauce or butter meets your fancy, I ate them plain.


Buffalo Chicken Fingers!

I saw this recipe and it looked fast and intriguing. I love spicy.  I say that boldly, because I honestly mean that I like SPICY, not HOT.  Hot is tasteless and burning.  I like my heat in my food to be pure flavourful spices.  Tonights dinner is based on that recipe! With adjustments and changes to fit my taste.

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into finger-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon medium chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • splash of Jan’s Spicy Sauce (substitute for your favorite sauce)

Seperate whites and yolks, we'll only be needing whites in this place!

mix the flour and 1/2 the rest of the spices in a baggie, and mix the rest of the spices/breadcrumbs on a plate

splash the hot sauce in the egg whites and whisk away with water slightly so it doesn't glob

flour in baggie, egg, bread, pan. Preheat to 400, 8 mins each side

eat eat eat!! Crunchy, yummy, spicy, delicious.

Ground beef quiche

tonights dinner!

It’s rough.  I love to cook, but on a limited budget, and on limited time its often that I prepare something in the morning and then just fridge it until its time to pop it in the oven.  This saves me a lot of time, with two small children, time is of the essence. Its relatively the same with people who work a lot.  When you come home from  eight or nine hours at the office cooking dinner might be the last thing you want to do.   So its good to have an arsenal of recipes that can be refrigerated or frozen until cooking time.  I was looking for some ground beef recipes this morning because it can get very boring eating the same types of meat the same way all the time.  When we think of ground beef in this house it always ends up with ‘meat sauce for spaghetti’  or ‘taco’s’.    So when I saw this Quiche recipe I was intrigued.  We don’t make a lot of quiches, or dinners requiring eggs, but since we had all the ingredients necessary I figured i’d give it a go.  I’m especially intrigued by this being a quiche that involves ground beef.  I’ve only made quiche once before, to rave reviews.   So we’ll see how this tastes.


  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pastry shell (I made my own pie crust)

Mix up yer pie crust while cooking the ground beef with the onion

drain and season the beef, try not to let sticky fingers thief yer cheese

whisk eggs with mayo and milk and pour in to beef

pie crust that bitch! then bake at 350 for 35 mins or until knife in center comes out clean

hope this turns out well!

day 16? 15? 16? I think 16. Jan 5th 2010


I  know, its not even eleven a.m. where I am right now but I found myself with a little spare time on my hands so I decided on dinner.  My husband requested pork chops.  So the first thing I thought of was attempting stuffed pork chops.  Upon realizing we haven’t gotten paid yet and so I have no apples for a stuffing worthy of pork chops I remembered we have a crock pot that I’ve only used once, for something already pre-compiled.  So I did some look ups, and I found a recipe that looked, and at initial taste-check tastes, great!  So voila, an early picture of the day!

The slow cooker marinade!

So, I am not actually sure how this is going to end up tasting, but heres what you do incase it turns out marvellous.

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup Chicken broth

1 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp garlic powder

2 cloves minced garlic

1tbsp poultry seasoning

1 tsp dried oregano (you need more if going fresh)

1 tsp dried basil

salt/pepper to taste

I threw in a little bit of dried thyme aswell, and used a spicy almost jerk chicken seasoning to make it less salt more party time.   After this you dump it in to a slow cooker, slit up your pork chops like emo kids, and cook on high for 4 hrs.

I’ll update with the finished product, i’ve never tried doing this before so i’m hopeful.  I love to experiment in the kitchen, people who know me well know this. I just don’t have the chance to do it much.  After a long day of diaper changers and cleaning I don’t exactly want to sit in the kitchen and end up doing dishes by the boatfull. We don’t have a dishwasher, well we do, and her name is Me.  Well, to be exact, the dishwashers name is Bill.  Hah. take that domesticated womanry.