Toad-In-The-Hole Mr.CBB Style

No There Are No Toads In This Dish   Growing up in the UK my mum would make toad in the hole pretty much any day of the week. It’s a simple frugal dish that anyone can make in a flash. If you like Yorkshire pudding with your roast dinner you will love toad in the hole. Basically the bangers (sausages) are supposed to be the toads poking out the Yorkshire pudding when cooked. When you make the toad in a hole it all happens pretty fast but that is because you need the oil in casserole dish to be super hot just like when you make Yorkshire pudding. Perfect toad in the hole recipe I remember my mum always telling us to stay out of the kitchen when she made toad in the hole only because she was worried about the hot oil but on occasion she let me watch and that’s how I learned to make it. I don’t get all fancy with the batter but if you like you can add fresh herbs such as chives or basil to give the dish that onion flavour. You will find many toad in the hole recipes on the internet […]

An organized kitchen: My time, my money, my happiness

By: Katrina A Kitchen Is A Time And Money Saving Tool Having an organized kitchen is a great way to spark enthusiasm to cook in the kitchen but also to create meals that you might not have done if your kitchen was upside down, like mine used to be. In my last post ‘Happiness is everything;  Saving Money, Buying Time’ I talked about my quest to de-clutter my kitchen to spend less time trying to keep it clean and organized so I can spend more quality time with my kids. A bigger kitchen Many times over the last 5 years I wished I had a bigger kitchen, nothing glamorous mainly just a little more counter space. I shared the post with a few of my friends, one being my awesome neighbour. She shared some of her time and kitchen organizing tips with me and we spent a couple of hours tearing my kitchen apart and now I have an organized kitchen. Having an outside point of view really made me realize I don’t need a bigger kitchen, I need to make better use of the space I have and just have less stuff! Make your kitchen make sense Step back and […]

Creamy Blueberry ricotta cheesecake

Quick And Easy Cheesecake With Pizzazz   Blueberries are out in full swing for the season so I just had to create another blueberry recipe this week for all of you, and me (I’m the only one who eats these treats). Last week I brought you the blueberry fluff cake and today I have a light blueberry ricotta cheesecake. The blueberry compote (topping) slathered on top was a simple creation that lends the sweetness this cheesecake needs if you fancy a bit of sugar in the bite. The cheesecake itself is not too sweet as I don’t add lots of sugar but the blueberry topping lends that little bit of sweetness that you crave. I was puttering around doing a refrigerator clean-out when I noticed I had 2 1lb tubs of ricotta cheese in the refrigerator that needed using up and a container of cream cheese that we took from the freezer to use up. I decided that with the blueberries I had in the freezer I would see what masterpiece I could create in the kitchen. Cheesecake cost Cheesecake is not cheap to buy and although this may seem costly it is a fraction of the price of what […]

Men who cook: Do women find them sexy?

Cooking Is Not Just For Women Not all men like to talk sex, politics and sports some men love to cook, including myself. I have yet to set the kitchen on fire (hopefully I never do) but I’m quite confident I won’t overflow the kitchen sink like my wife while cooking dinner. Being able to cook is a skill that is part of life and one that we should all know how to do. We don’t need to be chefs but we should understand the basics so we don’t have to spend money on take-out or rely on others to cook for us. The grocery stores thrive on those who come in and buy their convenience hot and ready to go dinners because they don’t want or know how to cook. The movie “Failure to Launch” ( my wife made me watch it I swear) comes to mind but clearly Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker) the interventionist was thrilled when Tripp (Matthew McConaugehy) decided to cook her a full meal with all the trimmings even though she knew he was a mama’s boy. At 35 he was still living at home and mom was doing all of his laundry, cooking and […]

Saturday Weekend Review #14- Credit Card Surcharges, Would You Pay Them?

  Paying to use our credit card each time we swiped it would certainly make the choice of not using it easy for us. A recent conversation with a local pizzeria owner we frequent shared with us that it does cost him money when customers use a credit card. If we ever order a pizza now we pay in cash because we kinda feel bad about it, but not sure if he meant to make us feel that way or we feel sorry for him. He does make a good pizza for a reasonable price though. Canadian businesses are charged fees from 1.5 to more than 3%  of each purchase put on a MasterCard and Visa credit card. Best of it is, if you are using a premium credit card merchants have to pay more. The transaction charges imposed are per the anti-competitive rules set out by the competition bureau of Canada. Would you not say that this is just part of the cost of doing business?  We have seen signs at shops that say “Cash Only” or “Debit and Credit Card Machine” down in our days but tend to stay away. In Canada merchants can ask the customer to pay a surcharge […]

Mr.CBB’s Crock-Pot Beef Stew

If you have a crock-pot (also known as a slow cooker) and ask yourself what to cook in a crock pot besides beef stew, casseroles and soups you are not alone. There are many other easy recipe creations that you might never have thought of to cook in a crock-pot which even had me amazed. I remember the first time a fan told me that she makes a cake in the crock-pot and I thought she was joking, but she was serious. Essentially, it’s because we don’t associate a crock-pot with sweet treats only savoury meals but if we use our imagination coupled with trial and error we never know what magic we can create in the CBB kitchen. I am always on the hunt for new ideas to create slow cooking recipes to add to our recipe book so the wife and I can enjoy a meal without all the hassle and messy clean-up. If you have never ventured into the world of stew and you want to learn how to cook stew, today is your lucky day. Crock-pot cooking, especially for men who don’t fancy cooking, this is one of the simplest ways to create easy recipes right in […]

Making The Best Of What Is Available: My Grocery Shopping

I have lived in five different countries over the past 10 years such as  France, Guatemala, Spain, the UK and Morocco. While I love to cook, changing country had taught me that you can’t have the same meal plan wherever you live. Grocery shopping is a different experience in every country. In France, cheese is cheap and delicious, while finding cheese other than orange cheddar is a challenge in Guatemala. You would think that living in a cheaper country means that every daily item is cheaper. It is true. But daily items mean what the people who live there eat. In Guatemala that means beans, rice, meat and vegetables. Not cheese. Cheese is a luxury that is not part of the lower and middle class diet. Even milk is a luxury, which is strange because there are so many cows, but I guess the whole refrigerated distribution is complicated. Instead of having cheese for lunch and dinner as I would in France, I eat mozzarella or cheddar cheese once or twice a week, on pizza or omelets. And once in a while, I pay a premium to enjoy a nice goat cheese from a gourmet delicatessen, with a glass of wine. Wine […]

grocery game monthly challenge

The Grocery Game Challenge Feb 11-17 Stock-up When You Can! Pancake Day!

Photo Image: Grant Cochrane/Freedigitalphotos.net This is the second shop in the February Grocery Game Challenge and today is also Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday. I know it’s going to be hard to squeeze down those luscious pancakes dripping with hot maple syrup and butter, but someone has to do it, right? In the UK we call this day Pancake Day and everyone knows what it is. What we call pancakes, at least what I am used to are very thin and not fluffy like the North American pancake yet comparable to what would be a crêpe. Apparently like any baking there is a science behind making the perfect pancake according to some profs at the University of Wolverhampton in the UK. The article has a breakdown of the math behind the perfect pancake which ideally has no lumps, actual and ideal batter consistency, easy to flip, the actual and perfect pan temperature is 377, let the batter stand 30 minutes and finally don’t let the pancake sit after you make it. That is true because there is nothing worse than cold, soggy pancakes. When we make them at home we like them fluffy, little bit of crunch and golden brown, with hot maple syrup and butter […]