About Chatty Kathy

Living in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in BC, we have an abundance of fresh food to cook with, and believe me, I do! We have 5 daughters, 3 grand daughters, and lots of honorary daughters ...I love cooking for family and friends and they all keep me busy in the kitchen. Here is hoping that this blog will allow my entire family to access those recipes they ask for, and maybe even enjoy a few travel photos!

Roasted Marinated Sweet Red Peppers

It’s true, going through all the steps to grill and prepare these peppers does take a little bit of time.  Pick a sunny day and the sweet smell of them grilling will be enough payback.  Do enough for a dinner side dish also!  In the middle of winter when you open a jar you will immediately be transported back to that summer day.  I love using these in so many different appetizers, slivered in a salad or pasta or just served with a grilled steak.

Red pepper 4

These sweet peppers are an amazing way of capturing the tastes and smells of summer in a jar.

4 pounds firm, fresh and cleaned red bell peppers

Lightly oil peppers and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill until charred in spots and softened.  Put in bowl, cover tightly and allow to sit for 15 minutes until you can easily slip the skins off.   If you don’t have a barbecue you can also do this over an open flame or in your oven with the broiler unit.

Red pepper 1

MARINADE

  • 1 cup bottled lemon juice
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, quartered
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Bring all marinade ingredients to boil in a saucepan.

Red pepper marinade 2

In most cases I would suggest squeezing fresh lemon juice, but in this instance the consistency and acidic content of bottled lemon juice is what you need.

If you want to use these within a few weeks, just fill the jars with peppers and pour the boiling marinade over.

Red pepper 3

Seal and keep in the fridge.

SEALING AND PRESERVING

Scald jars in boiling water and heat canning lids and sealers in boiling water.  Fill jars with peppers, immediately fill to within 1/2 inch of the top.  Quickly close the jars with lids and sealers and boil in canner for 15 minutes.

 

 

Banana Apple Orange Loaf

You know how it goes when the fruit on your kitchen counter starts talking to you when you walk past ……. “Hey Kathy, whatcha gonna do with me”??  That happened this week with a couple bananas looking spotty and a few Mac apples.  Add in a little fresh orange juice and you’ve got a fruit salad in a loaf.

Banana apple orange loaf 1

Chunks of carmelized apple and a bit of orange juice make this the most moist loaf ever.

  • 1 stick (+ 2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature)
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 apples: peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed  to equal 1 cup
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • raw sugar

In a large skillet, melt 2 tbsp butter with the brown sugar.  Add the apples and cook over moderately high heat stirring until tender and golden, about 4-6 minutes.  Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp vanilla and transfer apples to a plate to cool off.

Banana apple orange loaf 5

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9 x 5 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan.  I also like to line it with parchment paper.  In medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, nutmeg and the remaining 1/2 tsp cinnamon.

Banana apple orange loaf 6

In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the remaining stick of butter with the sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time and mix until smooth.  Add mashed banana, orange juice and the remaining 1 tsp of vanilla and beat until smooth.  Add dry ingredients, and beat on low speed just until combined.  Gently fold in the apples.

banana apple orange loaf 4

banana apple orange loaf 2

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.  Sprinkle raw sugar over the top.  Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  (cover loosely with foil if the loaf starts to brown too quickly).

banana apple orange loaf

The raw sugar sprinkled over top creates this crunchy, crackly crust.

Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a rack to cool completely.

 

 

 

Tonkatsu Sauce

Who knew tonkatsu sauce was so easy to make?  We were lucky enough to get some Japanese chow mein from the Japanese bazaar, and it seemed a perfect time to cook up a pork cutlet with tonkatsu sauce.

Pork cutlet with Tonkatsu

Japanese chow mein is such a treat, I love the way it tastes crunchy with the lightest of seasonings.  It goes so well with many dishes.  Tonight we served it alongside the pork cutlet with tonkatsu and bok choy with peppers and lemon tahini sauce.

  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp hot chili oil

Whisk together and adjust to your liking.  Traditionalists will use 1 tsp sugar instead of the chili oil but we really like the additional bite of heat.

 

Lemon Tahini Bok Choy & Peppers

Lemon Tahini Bok Choy & Peppers

This is a vegan recipe!  I know, maybe not that big a deal to some people but I’m sort of a carnivore.  This is so delicious it can be served alongside pretty much any dish you enjoy.  Truthfully, my carnivorous tendencies are changing, albeit slowly.  My mind set is still that I think of what meat or protein I want to cook, then I work the rest of the meal around that.  However …. I’ve noticed that ever so slowly, my meat or protein is shrinking.  Tonight I served this veg dish along with pork cutlet and tonkatsu sauce.  A 3 ounce pork cutlet served both my husband and I, without either of us feeling like anything was missing …. changes are coming and we are right on board.

SAUCE – serves about 4

  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil (plus extra for cooking)
  • 2 tbsp tahini paste
  • 1 lemon, juiced (start with 2 tbsp)
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • bok choy, onion, red pepper
  • toasted sesame seeds for garnish

To make sauce, whisk together all ingredients until smooth, taste and adjust seasonings.  It is hard to correct if you have used to much lemon, so start with 2 tbsp and if you like it “lemony”, add a bit more.

Lemon Tahini Bok Choy

Wash veg thoroughly, (those bok choy have a tendency to hide grit).

Heat fry or sauce pan, add onion, and saute lightly, add bok choy and peppers, drizzle with a bit of extra sesame oil.  Cook for 4-6 minutes, just until crisp tender.

Remove from heat and drizzle sauce over top, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Pumpkin Pie

I will bet you don’t even know how easy it is to make your own pumpkin pie at home!  Try this one out and you may never go back to grocery store pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Pie

This pumpkin pie hit all the notes, tender and creamy, with just the right amount of spice to wake up your taste buds.   I used my flaky pie crust with vinegar and egg to make the crust, but if you’d rather, a frozen pie crust will work well too.  Give yourself that break when you need it …

  • 1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin puree

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired (we like whipped cream).
  3. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

Buttermilk Roast Chicken

Once again the Smitten Kitchen website and cookbooks really knock it out of the park.  This was the best roast chicken ever!  I did marinate overnight as recommended and the chicken was so moist and flavourful, with the crispiest crunchiest skin,

buttermilk chicken

Crispy crunchy skin with bits of sea salt – best ever!

 

2 cups buttermilk
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika, plus some for sprinkling
Lots of freshly ground black pepper
2 -3 pounds chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
Drizzle of olive oil
Flaked or coarse sea salt, to finish

Mix buttermilk and seasonings in ziplock bag, and drop the chicken in, giving it a good massage.  Set in fridge for a minimum of 3 hours, and up to 48 hours – no more or the chicken might get a bit mushy.

buttermilk chicken marinade

Take the chicken out of the marinade, put it into a baking dish, and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkling salt crystals over top.  I’m sure you can see the foil …. not something I would normally do, but it sure made for easy clean up!

Roast at 425 for 30-45 minutes, depending on on the size of the chicken pieces.  Use a thermometer to be sure you have the right temperature, …. 165 degrees for cooked chicken.  The best part is the crunchy bits of skin!

Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Loaf

Still trying to use up zucchini???  Here is a winner, hints of my Mexican Chocolate cake in this loaf, with a bit of cinnamon added to the chocolate and coffee flavours.  If any loaf recipe uses up 2 cups of zucchini it has to be healthy, right??

Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Loaf 2INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder (instant)
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (squeeze all the moisture out)
  • 1 cup good quality chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.  (you don’t have to do this step but I like the way it helps remove the loaf from the pan cleanly)

METHOD

Grate your zucchini and allow it to sit while you do everything else, so important to remove the excess liquid.

Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Loaf

In a large mixing bowl stir the brown sugar into the melted butter and mix until all the sugar has dissolved, then add the eggs one at a time.  It is really important to add the butter before the egg so you don’t cook the egg!  Stir in the vanilla and set aside.

In a separate bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, espresso. Whisk to make sure it is all blended together.

Stir dry ingredients into the brown sugar mixture until just combined.  Gently fold in the zucchini and the chocolate.

Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Loaf 3

 

This makes a VERY thick mixture, but don’t worry, it will be moist and delicious.