Mini Frozen Key Lime Cheesecakes

Adapted from an Epicurious Recipe by Katherine Sacks
Mini Frozen Key Lime Cheesecakes

Mini Frozen Key Lime Cheesecakes

Makes approx. 24 mini muffin pans and 20 mini dessert cups

 

Mise En Place

  • 5 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated lime zest, divided
  • ⅓ cup fresh lime juice or key lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup chilled heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 package of Whip It® stabilizer or 1 Tablespoon of Non-Fat Skim milk powder

 

Special Equipment

Mini 12-cup muffin pans and/or 20 mini dessert/wine glasses

Mini Frozen Key Lime Cheesecakes

Melt butter and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat or in a microwave-safe bowl. Place cracker crumbs into a small bowl and drizzle in butter-honey mixture over top graham cracker crumbs stir in until well combined; set aside.

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat cream cheese in a large bowl until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add condensed milk and beat until smooth. Add lime juice and lemon juice and beat to combine. Beat in 2 Tbsp. lime zest.

Using a whisk or electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip cream in another medium bowl to very soft peaks. Sprinkle powdered sugar over cream and Whip It® and continue to whip until it holds stiff peaks. Gently fold ½ of the whipped cream into the lime mixture; cover remaining cream and chill.

Line mini muffin pans with paper liners. Pour key lime mixture into a pastry bag or plastic bag with the corner snipped off and pipe batter evenly into tins. Top each with approx. 1 ½ Tbsp. cracker crumb mixture, breaking up crumbs to completely cover, then press down gently to adhere. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until set, at least 3 hours.

Remove pies from molds, turn upside down, and remove paper liners. Spread or pipe reserved cream over pies and sprinkle the tops with evenly with the remaining key lime zest.

Please note that the desserts in this form thaw very quickly.

So for a recent “Nuit Blanche” outdoor dinner party, I made the dessert in the mini plastic wine glasses picture below. I layered the ingredients in the wine glasses and froze. In the glasses, the dessert did not thaw as quickly and was very elegant to pass around at the party. It was a HUGE hit and I would definitely make again.

Mini Frozen Key Lime Cheesecake in Dessert Cup

Mini Frozen Key Lime Cheesecake in Dessert Cup

Mini Frozen Key Lime Cheesecakes

Mini Frozen Key Lime Cheesecakes

Tip: Do Ahead the Mini Cheesecakes (without topping) can be made 2 weeks ahead; cover and freeze.

 

Instagram picture from Nuit Blanche of Mini Frozen Key Lime Cheesecakes

Elegant Dessert for Summer Dinner Party

 

Thanks to my friend and fabulous photographer @lanakanis for always being there with tips and tricks for my pictures.

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My Best Gravy for Thanksgiving Dinner

A Happy Thanksgiving to my American followers.

I hope that you are having an amazing day, watched the Macy’s Day parade and ready for football with family and friends while your feast is roasting and simmering away on the stove.

This is the last post for My Best Gravy for Thanksgiving Dinner will be the best compliment to all the past recipes I have posted for your Thanksgiving feast.

Check them all out here by clicking links below:

My Best Stuffing for Thanksgiving Dinner

My Best Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner

and the most popular My Best Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving Dinner

My Best Gravy for Thanksgiving Dinner

Serves 6-8
Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Mise En Place

Turkey Stock

Turkey Necks and Vegetables for Stock

Turkey Necks and Vegetables for Stock

  • Neck from your turkey
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2-3 stalks celery
  • parsley stems
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4-6 cups cold water

Combine neck bone, onion, garlic cloves, carrots, parsley stems, bay leaves and celery stalks and 4-6 cups cold water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat; skim off impurities then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 1 hour. Pass mixture through a fine sieve. Reserve stock for making gravy.

Remove the turkey from the oven, and place on a cutting board with rimmed cookie sheet underneath to catch any juices. Cover with aluminum foil and allow resting for at least 30 minutes up to an hour.

Remove the roasted vegetables from the bottom of the pan.

* A trick that I use for a flavourful and thick gravy is to use roasted vegetables. I pass them through a fine-meshed strainer or you could place in a blender with a little of your stock. This puree will be added to the gravy after the roux is formed.

Or if you choose not to use; discard the vegetables.

Making the Gravy

Mise En Place

  • Turkey drippings from your roasting pan
  • pureed vegetables from your roasting pan *
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups starchy potato water from making your mashed potatoes **
  • 1 cup white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • freshly chopped sage

Place roasting pan on stove across two burners.

Bring pan juices to a simmer over medium-high. Cook, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon until smooth and the liquid starts to thicken.

Using these drippings make the roux in the roasting pan with equal amounts of flour to fats in the pan.

Cook, stirring, until blended, about 1 minute.

Add passed or pureed roasted vegetables now if using.

Time to switch to a whisk and gradually add in hot turkey stock, and the reserved starchy potato water ** Just like reserving 1-2 cups of salty pasta cooking water for pasta dishes, I think that there is a little flavour and starchiness in potato water, if you don’t have just leave out.

Add white wine if using, or beer, cider or bourbon are good alternatives.

Whisking continuously.

It is about 4 ounces of roux to a quart of liquid

Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until gravy thickens and no longer tastes floury, about 5 minutes.

I always pass gravy through a fine sieve to confirm that there are no huge lumps of flour or vegetables that were missed; season with salt and pepper. Add finely chopped sage and keep warm.

If adding rustic or woody stem herbs such as thyme or rosemary; add at the beginning. If adding delicate herbs such as parsley or sage at the end.

I think that if you follow that above steps of My Best Gravy for Thanksgiving Dinner you will be pleased with the results.

Tip: A coffee thermos makes a great vessel for keeping gravy warm.

 

 

 

Solutions for the typical problems when making gravy.

Lumpy Gravy

Strain it again through a fine-mesh strainer. Or use an electric appliance such as blender, or with a stick blender, until smooth.

Bland Gravy

A little more salt. If that doesn’t work, add Worcestershire sauce.

Gravy that is Too Thick

Whisk in boxed chicken broth until you’ve reached the right consistency, then taste and re-season the gravy again as needed.

Gravy that is Too Thin

Make a cornstarch slurry which equal parts cornstarch and COLD water. (1 tbsp. of cornstarch to 1 tbsp. of cold water to start) Whisk in a little the slurry and bring to a simmer. I have also used Robin Hood Easy Blend flour to thicken my gravy.

Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Thanksgiving DInner 2017

Thanksgiving Plate for 2017

Best Thanksgiving Turkey 2014

My Best Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner

American Thanksgiving is in 4 days!

If you haven’t Thaw your turkey! Start thawing it in the refrigerator on a rimmed cookie sheet ASAP.

FYI A completely frozen turkey needs 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey (weight). A thawed turkey sitting around for an extra day or two in the refrigerator is much better than having to deal with a frozen turkey on Thanksgiving day.

Here is a checklist of your Turkey roasting equipment inventory you will need before Thanksgiving:

  • A roasting pan and a V-shaped roasting rack

I purchase 2 disposable roasting aluminium pans; doubled up for strength (because who wants to wash more dishes or those huge roasting pans)

UPDATE: Review for Circulon® Roaster Pan Review and Giveaway 

I highly recommend purchasing this roaster!

If you don’t have a roasting rack, chopped extra mirepoix or you can make your own by simply scrunching up a long piece of aluminium foil into a figure 8.

  • A working meat thermometer I invested in The iGrill
  • A baster or brush, preferably silicone
  • Butcher’s string (cotton based food-grade approved) or Architec Stretch Hot Cooking Bands 2
  • Cheesecloth, double thickness and size of the turkey’s breast
  • Cooking Spray
  • A carving set or electric knife, my husband’s new friend
  • And a working oven 😉

This is the third post in My Best Thanksgiving Recipes, Tips and Tricks.

Check out My Best Stuffing for Thanksgiving Dinner and My Best Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving Dinner 

The Best Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner

Preheat Oven 450F Serves 6-8
Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Mise En Place

PC Young Turkey -frozen

PC Young Turkey-frozen

  • 1 16-18 lb. whole turkey, defrosted and at room temperature
  • My Best Stuffing for Thanksgiving Dinner prepared and at room temperature
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, cleaned and chopped
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 box reduced-sodium chicken or turkey stock

Calculating your turkey’s cooking time. With my method of roasting a turkey, cooking time averages 20 minutes per pound for a stuffed turkey.

How to calculate cooking time: i.e. 16 lb. turkey X 20 min. per lb. = 320 min. divide by 60 min. in an hour = approx. 5 hours

After you do the math, add some additional prep time 15 min. and that the turkey should rest at least 30 minutes before carving. The total turkey time has worked out for the above example 5 hours & 45 min.

So, if you want to have dinner at 6pm, aim to have the turkey out of the oven at 5pm and work backwards from there. This is the time the turkey needs to go in the oven.

Preparing the Turkey

Preheat your oven 450 F and take the turkey out of the fridge; let the turkey sit out at room temperature while the oven is heating up. Remember to remove extra oven racks and adjust the rack you are using so that turkey has plenty of space to roast.

Place your turkey on a large cookie surface and unwrap your turkey.

Reach into the cavity and take out the neck (it looks like a long curved piece of bone with some meat attached.) Place the neck in a medium size pot with the reserved vegetables from preparing the stuffing. (i.e. parsley stems, celery stalks and carrots) fill the pot with cold water and simmer.

Remove any plastic “thingy” holding the legs together. Discard.

Check inside of the neck cavity look for a little bag with the giblets (the heart, liver, etc.) sometimes you find this inside the main cavity. I just throw it away. Others will use the contents for giblet gravy.

Wash your turkey inside out in the sink with cold water. And dry it completely, both inside and out with paper towels.

Using a liberal amount of kosher salt and some black pepper sprinkle your washed and dried turkey inside and out.

Bend under the wing tips and now it is time to stuff the turkey with My Best Stuffing for Thanksgiving Dinner.

Trussing, or tying up the turkey into a more compact package, make sure that the breast and thighs cook to the right temperature. The white meat won’t overcook while the dark meat is still cooking. Truss using butcher’s twine or just tie the legs or use the silicone elastic bands.

Mise En Place for Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner

Mise En Place for Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner

Spray the disposable roasting pan and V-shaped roasting rack liberally with cooking spray. And place your stuffed turkey on the rack and into the prepared roasting pan with 2 peeled garlic cloves, 1 onion quartered, 2 stalks of celery chopped, 2-3 peeled and chopped carrots to flavour the drippings.

One of my tricks is that I think to make for juicy breast meat, is to start the turkey breast up and roast for about 20 minutes at 450 F until slightly golden in colour. Then flip the turkey to breast side down for another 20 minutes.

Remove the turkey from the oven; flip the turkey back to breast side up. Prepare the 1 cup of melted butter, 1 cup white wine and ½ cup of stock in a glass measuring cup. Dip the cheesecloth in the liquid, saturate and place on turkey’s breast.

The second trick is the cheesecloth protects the breast from getting too brown and dried out.

Add ½ cup of chicken or turkey stock to the roasting pan.

Turn the oven down to 325 F. Place the cheesecloth-covered turkey back in the oven.

Roast and baste.

Baste the turkey including the cheesecloth with the wine, stock and butter mixture. And with some of the delicious juices that are gathering at the bottom of the roasting pan. The cheesecloth will get brown, no worries.

Continue to baste.

Start checking the temperature 30-45 minutes before your calculated time just to be sure since every oven is different. Cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165F.  The temperature of the breast should be around 155F.

Remove turkey from the oven and place on carving board and/or clean-rimmed cookie sheet. Baste the turkey with drippings to help moisten the cheesecloth before trying to remove it from the skin of the turkey. Cover loosely with aluminium foil and rest at least for 30 minutes even up to an hour. Resting any meat such as a turkey or even a roast beef that has been cooking for a long time redistribute the juices themselves back into the meat. Don’t worry; this large piece of meat will not get cold.

While the turkey is resting, is the perfect opportunity to prepare the gravy using the pan drippings, reserved starchy potato water and simmering stock.

My Best Turkey Gravy for Thanksgiving Dinner. Stay Tuned!

Carve the turkey by removing the legs and breasts of the bird. Once the breast meat is cut off the bones, cut into slices. Cut the thigh meat off of the bones.

Thanksgiving Turkey 2014

Thanksgiving Turkey 2014

Thanksgiving Turkey 2017

Roast Turkey 2017

Thanksgiving Turkey 2017

Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner 2017

My Thanksgiving Dinner Plate for 2017

My Best Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving in Canada has been over for weeks. We are already gearing up for Christmas. Yikes!

Thanksgiving in the United States is 21 days away. I will be posting my tips and tricks that I used this past Thanksgiving.

First up, My Best Mashed Potatoes.

My Best Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving Dinner

Serves 6 to 8
Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

Mise en Place

Unpeeled and Unsliced Potatoes

Unpeeled and Unsliced Potatoes

  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes per person, unpeeled, unsliced well-scrubbed*
  • ¼ cup salted butter**
  • 2 ½ cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Chives (optional)
  • Additional pat of butter (optional)

Place your unpeeled, unsliced and well-scrubbed potatoes in a large pot and add cold water to an inch above the potatoes. Season the cold water with 1 tablespoon of salt. Cover and bring to a gentle boil. Using a sharp knife, check doneness, the knife should easily go through the potato at the 30 minute mark, larger potatoes will take about 45 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, place the butter, the half-and-half, the salt and the ground white pepper in a microwavable measuring cup. Heat the mixture in microwave for 3-5 minutes until butter is completely melted or warm through.

The reason I add salt to the butter/cream mixture so it dissolves and can be evenly distributed into the mashed potatoes. Heating the butter/cream mixture is an old restaurant trick to prevent a ‘gluey’ mess of mashed potatoes, hot liquids to hot. Just like making gravy for avoiding a lumpy gravy. 😉

Reserve 1-2 cups of potato water for gravy. Drain the potatoes.

I don’t peel or slice my potatoes before cooking them. Unpeeled and unsliced potatoes will absorb less water while being boiled. Taking the peels off after cooking is quicker and easier. This is another trick to avoid a gluey, watery mash and helps to absorb the dairy. And why do that extra step! 😉

UPDATE: I started off with an inexpensive ricer from IKEA, which is no longer available. This is the version available now Potato press – IKEA  I’m presently using this version Potato ricer white – KUHN RIKON SWITZERLAND which I found at a great price at WINNERS/Homesense in Canada (TJMAXX/Homegoods in US)

Rice the potatoes while they are still hot into a stainless steel mixing bowl. I recommend using a potato ricer, or food mill, place the unpeeled potato into the ricer and use those biceps and push the potato through. Then open up the ricer and presto there is the potato skin only. Remove skin and place another potato in the ricer. Sometimes larger potatoes will have to be sliced to fit in the ricer.

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Add the freshly grated nutmeg to the butter and cream mixture. Add the hot butter, and half-and-half mixture to the hot potatoes gently stirring with a spatula to incorporate. The potatoes will seem soupy at first but will gradually absorb the liquid and turn into a creamy mixture.

Taste your potatoes and add up to another teaspoon of salt if needed.

Make a Bain-marie with a pot and the stainless steel bowl. Place the pot on the back of the stove over gently simmering water to keep warm while making gravy and craving turkey.

Mashed Potatoes in Stainless Steel Bowl for Bain-Marie

Mashed Potatoes in Stainless Steel Bowl for Bain-Marie

Keep warm in bain-marie until dinner. I serve my thanksgiving dinner from the kitchen to cut down on dishes later. But you can certainly spoon the mashed potatoes into your serving dish and top with optional finely chopped chives and additional gloss of butter.

* As with the size of turkey to roast, I calculate the amount of potatoes to cook by how much each person will eat and how much leftovers I would like. I count on each person eating approx. 1 lb. of turkey and 2 potatoes each.

** I only purchase salted butter, and knowing this I cut down the additional salt I add to my dishes or recipes. If you are using unsalted butter, please taste and adjust accordingly. Really you should always being tasting as you cook.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner

Additional Tips:

Mashed potatoes is part of Thanksgiving dinner you can make in advance of serving. The best way to reheat mashed potatoes that have been refrigerated is to place them in a low oven, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes. Mashed potatoes that have reheated are drier and the cream and butter components might separate. Heat up some more half-and-half or milk to bring them back to their creaminess.

Using a stand mixer or hand-held beaters, is an alternative method to achieve mashed potatoes. I personally wouldn’t recommend these methods. I find that this over-mixes the potatoes. And you have taken all these measures to avoid gluey potatoes. So just be very careful!

If you like a little tanginess in your mashed potatoes substitute some or all of the half-and-half with cream cheese, sour cream and yogurt.

Curry Chicken Lasagna with Lentils

Curry Chicken Lasagna with Lentils

Serves 8-10

Mise En Place

Roasted Vegetable Layer

  • 2 cups Roasted Vegetables, suggested ½ head cauliflower, 2 sweet potatoes and 4 carrots
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Seasoned Brown Lentils Layer

  • 2 cups brown lentils
  • 1 tsp. Cardamom pods
  • 2 Stars Anise
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • Cheesecloth, butchers twine or mesh tea steeper

Chicken Thigh and Curry Spice Blend for Marinade

  • 1 tsp. Tea Masala (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom and black pepper)
  • 1 tbsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Coriander (ground)
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 2 tbsp. Turmeric
  • 1 tsp. Paprika (smoked mild)
  • 2 tbsp. Parsley Flakes
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1lb. Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Large Ziploc® Resealable bag

Ricotta Cheese Filling Layer

  • ½ tsp. Black Pepper
  • 150 g Boursin® shallot and chives
  • 475g Ricotta
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh chives, finely chopped

Béchamel Sauce 

  • 3 tbsp. Coconut Flour
  • 3 tbsp. Coconut oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1-398 ml can coconut milk or 3 cups skim milk
  • 225g Mozzarella cheese, grated

Tomato Sauce 

  • 2 cups or 1 jar San Marzano Strained Tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. Coriander, ground
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 2 tsp. Tea Marsala
  • 1 cup chicken stock or water

 

  • ¾ cup hard cheese, grated Parmigiana Reggiano or Grand Padano
  • 225g Mozzarella Cheese, grated
  • 2-360g pkge Fresh Lasagna Sheets
  • Lasagna pan 9 ½ x 14 x 3 inch

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Curry Spice Mixture
Lentils

Place cardamom pods, and star anise in a bouquet garni along with the garlic cloves and thyme sprigs. In a large pot, cook the brown lentils according to package instructions with the bouquet garni. When lentils are cooked, strain. Set aside. Remove cooked garlic cloves to use in the tomato sauce.

Curry Chicken Layer

In a large bowl, add the cubed chicken thighs, curry spice blend and vegetable oil. Wearing latex gloves mixture together until all the chicken is evenly coated. Place in a Ziploc® resealable bag and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.

Chicken Thighs Salt, Pepper, Parsley Flakes, Cumin, Paprika, Tea Marsala, Ground Coriander and TumericIn a large nonstick skillet, place all the contents of the Ziploc® bag on medium heat. Cook the chicken until done approximately 8 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.

In the same skillet, place the 2 cloves of garlic from the cooked lentils, and cumin, tea marsala, ground coriander and toast spices for 2 minutes at low to medium heat. Add the jar of strained San Marzano tomatoes and water or chicken stock. Cook sauce on medium high heat for 10 min.

Ricotta Cheese Layer

In a large bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, salt, pepper and Boursin® cheese with the 2 beaten eggs. Add finely chopped parsley.

Roasting Vegetables

Clean 1 head of cauliflower; peel the sweet potatoes and carrots. Place the sweet potatoes, cauliflower and carrots out in an even layer on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet, toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ground black pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, or until tender and just starting to brown.

Bechamel Sauce

While the vegetables are roasting, make the béchamel sauce. In a medium saucepan, cook the coconut oil over medium heat until it is melted, then add the finely chopped shallots until translucent. Add the coconut flour, and whisk to incorporate. Cook the oil and flour mixture, whisking constantly, for 2-3 minutes, making sure it doesn’t brown. Slowly begin adding the coconut milk, half a cup at a time. The mixture will seize up and thicken quite a bit after the first addition, but don’t worry. Keep whisking and adding slowly until the sauce is thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon. This should take about 10 minutes. When the sauce is cooked, add mozzarella

Once all of the components are ready, it’s time to assemble the dish.

Assemble the Curry Chicken Lasagna

Grease a 9 ½ x 14 x 3 inch loaf pan with cooking spray, then spread a quarter of the tomato sauce in the bottom. Next make one layer of lasagna sheets breaking/cutting them as necessary to fit. Spread a quarter of the béchamel sauce on top of the lasagna sheet. Top the sheet evenly with the roasted vegetable mixture, and place lasagna sheets to cover.

Next add another lasagna sheet on top, then quarter of tomato sauce to cover. Add cooked lentils over the tomato sauce. Press the ingredients down into even layers as you are assembling the lasagna. Add another lasagna sheet, and then add the ricotta cheese filling and sprinkle with quarter of the grated mozzarella cheese. Add another lasagna sheet and add the cooked curry chicken thighs and cover with the tomato sauce. Top with the last layer of pasta, the last quarter of tomato sauce and the last of the mozzarella cheese.

Spray aluminum foil sheet with cooking spray. Cover.

To cook, bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is browned and the lasagna is bubbling. Uncover the lasagna, sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until golden. Serve.

Curry Chicken Lasagna

Watch My Entry on YouTube for

Circulon® Double Non-Stick Roaster

Circulon® Roaster Pan Review and Giveaway

Roasting pans have been my nemesis in the past so when Ethan from Food Bloggers of Canada approached me to review a Circulon® Roaster was a little leery.

WHY was I leery? Early on in my 20-year marriage, I received a hand-me-down midnight blue enamel-roasting pan. You know THAT pan! And the experience was horrible. From the uneven cooking, foreign burnt bits and the clean up. No matter how much I washed this roasting pan, it just never seemed to be cleaned.

After many frustrating experiences…it was donated to someone else to love or hate! 😜

In My Best Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner post I swear by the disposable aluminum roasting pans that will only set you back a few dollars. Easy clean up…recycling bin.

This is a great opportunity for readers and myself (hint: giveaway) and it would be foolish to pass it up. Circulon®, is a global leader and innovator in the hard anodized non-stick cookware segment since 1985. This is made possible by Circulon’s Total nonstick system, a patented hi-low circular groove technology that enhances non-stick durability. The system promotes a healthy lifestyle by delivering high performance food release without the need to cook with oils and fats.

I was given the choice between two different roasting pans. Both were non-stick. One included a roasting rack and the other was bright red and two pans. I decided to review the Circulon® Double Non-Stick Red Roaster.

A large package arrived but it was super light for the size. I was worried that the roasting pans would be “cheap”. DEAD WRONG!

It is beautifully constructed with sturdy handles, non-stick with these interesting ridges built into the bottom of each pan. One pan is deeper than the other and the ridges are different configurations in each pan.

This unique cooking surface protects three layers of top quality DuPont Autograph® non-stick by reducing surface abrasion from cooking utensils, guaranteeing long-lasting nonstick that won’t scratch, stain or chip. Roaster pan is induction cooktop suitable, oven and dishwasher safe, and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Look at how PRETTY it is!

Circulon® Double Non-Stick Roaster

FEATURES
  • Total Non-Stick System
  • Carbon Steel Construction
  • Oven Safe to 450°F/230°C
  • Lid Doubles as a Second Roaster
  • PFOA, Lead and Cadmium Free
  • Red Exterior Finish
  • 18 in. (45 cm)

Since the pan arrived so close to Thanksgiving, I decided to jump feet first and use the deeper Circulon® roaster pan for our turkey dinner. Risky! I also decided not to use a roasting rack because the ridges in the bottom of the pan are for that and who wants another thing to wash after a long day of cooking. I placed my mirepoix for my gravy in the bottom of the pan and the bird on top.

Results were amazing. It definitely reduced my cooking time, as the constant heat from a “real” pan was much better than my alternative choice of an aluminum pan.

The best part was that all the brown bits, drippings and turkey goodness that were in the bottom of this amazing pan. And the non-stick coating was truly non-stick. Although it is not recommended, I did place the roasting pan at a medium-low setting on my gas burners and made my gravy. Clean up was a breeze.

The Circulon® Roaster pan has been in full use in my kitchen. Here are some pictures of the recent dinners using the shallower Circulon® Roaster.

Stuffed Chicken breast with Roasted Potatoes and Shallots.
Chicken Paprikash with Red Peppers and Mini Potatoes.
Meat and Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers.
Roasted Beef Bones for Beef Stock.
 Beef Bones in Circulon® Roaster

Roasted Beef Bones for Beef Stock in Circulon® Roaster

PROS

  • Two Pans in different depths
  • Non-Stick coated pan
  • Ridged Bottom
  • Strong Well Constructed Pan with Sturdy Handles
  • Great Deep Size for Roasting a Large Bird or Beef
  • Easy Clean Up

CONS

  • Size is very large which is great for a large bird or roast, it would be great if Circulon® develop a smaller roaster for little birds 😉Hint hint
  • Not recommended for open flame

Would I recommend the Circulon® Double Non-Stick Roaster pan? Definitely YES!

Circulon Double Non-Stick Roaster Pan is available at Canadian Tire Stores and the double roaster is $169.99 but it is 70% off this week. BONUS! It would be the perfect purchase for your festive Christmas dinner to cook your roast or turkey.

Disclosure: This blog post is sponsored by Circulon®. I was compensated with the product. All opinions and experiences are my own.

A Circulon® Skillet GIVEAWAY!

My first giveaway on my blog WooHoo!

This giveaway is open to all legal residents of Canada who have reached the age of majority at the time of the contest in the province or territory in which they reside (void where prohibited) No purchase necessary to enter. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received.

Giveaway will run from Thursday December 3, 2015 at 12:01am to Thursday December 17, 2015 at 12:01am. Winner will be contacted via email and his/her name will be displayed on the Rafflecopter widget. Your email address will only be used to contact you if you win.

Please read the full terms and conditions in Rafflecopter widget. Entry in this giveaway constitutes your acceptance of these rules. Thanks to Circulon® for sponsoring the skillet prize for this giveaway!

A Circulon Skillet giveaway is now closed!

Thanks to all the participants

The winner of the Circulon® Skillet is….

CONGRATS TO

Darlene D. from My Little House of Treasures 

I hope that you enjoy your new Skillet from Circulon® !

Moroccan Roasted Vegetable and Pork Tenderloin Stew

If you are a regular subscriber to the 5 o’clock rush, you will know that my recipes or daily dinners are made up on the fly around the witching hour of 4pm. This Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Stew is no exception. On the Sunday night, I roasted 2 pork tenderloins with 2 different spice blends to be made into a recipe for our upcoming busy week. Not knowing what I would use them for, one tenderloin was coated with a Harissa spice blend that has red chilli flakes, garlic, cumin, caraway, coriander and spearmint. And the other tenderloin was coated with Greek or “souvlaki” style spices.

On the Monday, fall had arrived in southern Ontario and a warm home cooked comfort dinner for the crisp weather outside was in order. This is where the spicy pork tenderloin evolved into a delicious and super easy Moroccan stew.

Roasting all the vegetables in the oven separating before incorporating them into the stew will develop a rich flavourful stew. And covering the sheet pans with aluminum foil will help eliminate the dishes. 😉

For our dinner I served the Moroccan Roasted Vegetable and Pork Tenderloin Stew over organic quinoa and steamed spinach. It was a hit with the famjam even my 13 yr. old son who is extremely picky. I also sent some leftovers to a friend for her workday lunch and it received raves reviews.

Follow my Instagram @the5oclockrush to see my daily dinners photos.

Moroccan Roasted Vegetable and Pork Tenderloin Stew

Moroccan Roasted Vegetable And Pork Tenderloin Stew

Moroccan Roasted Vegetable And Pork Tenderloin Stew

Serves 5-6

Mise En Place

  • 1 pork tenderloin, cleaned
  • PC™Harissa Moroccan Spice Blend
  • Olive oil
Roasted Vegetables
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 carrots, peeled, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 red pepper, seeded, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cubanelle pepper, seeded, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 honeycrisp apple, peeled, cored and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • Cooking spray or olive oil or coconut oil*
  • Salt and pepper
Roux and Stew base
  • 5 tbsp. flour or coconut flour**
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 7 cups of water
  • 2 Knorr® vegetable stock concentrates
  • 1-14oz can PC™Black label peeled yellow tomatoes
  • ¾ cup PC Memories® of Dad’s Grill***
  • 3 tbsp. grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. paprika
Roasting Pork Tenderloin

Cover a 3 sheet pans with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray or coconut oil.

Place cleaned pork tenderloin on the first of 3 prepared sheet pans, rub with olive oil and coat generously with PC™Harissa spice blend.

Place in a 400℉ oven for approximately 35-40min until cooked and firm to the touch.

Set aside.

Roasted Vegetables

Place the peeled and cubed sweet potatoes and carrots on the second prepared sheet pan. Uniform cubes will help the vegetables cook at the same time on the same sheet pan. Don’t overcrowd the sheet pan. The purpose is to roast the vegetables; not steam them. On the last of the 3 prepared sheet pans add the cleaned red and cubanelle peppers and apple pieces. Coat vegetables with your oil of choice*. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place the garlic cloves on a small piece of aluminum foil with a little coconut oil and fold closed and place in oven.

Place the pans with the vegetables in the oven to roast for approximately 35-40 min; give them one or two stirs throughout. To check doneness you are looking a nice caramelized and crispy outside, and a just-cooked-through inside.The sheet pan with the peppers will roast in less time approximately 15-20 min. than the sweet potato and carrot sheet pan.

Making the Roux and Stew Base

While the vegetables are roasting, make the roux, in a large heavy bottom pot. Melt the coconut oil. Whisk in the flour or coconut flour if using. Cook the roux at medium high until the mixture is a golden to deep brown approximately 10-12 min. Stir the flour and coconut oil continuously. Flavour and colour of the roux will determine the richness of the stew.

Reduce to low heat. Slowly while whisking to prevent lumps add water to the pot. Add in the Knorr® vegetable stock concentrate. Whisk until the concentrate is dissolved. Add in the peeled yellow tomatoes, mustard, and PC Memories of® Dad’s Grill. Smash and chopped the roasted garlic cloves and add to stew pot.

Add turmeric, salt and paprika. Switch to spoon and stir; cook for 5-7 minutes on medium heat.

Cube the pork tenderloin into bite size pieces. Add to the stew pot.

Add roasted vegetables. Cook the stew for approximately 20 min. on a medium low heat to blend flavours. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

All the components are cook so you are incorporating the components into the stew for flavour. It will get even better the next day.

The longer the stew is cooked the more the vegetables will break down in the sauce.

Moroccan Roasted Vegetable And Pork Tenderloin Stew

Moroccan Roasted Vegetable And Pork Tenderloin Stew

Tips

Removing the pork tenderloin and adding more vegetables could easily transform this stew into a vegetarian version. Roasted cauliflower, mini potatoes and/or butternut squash would all be good additions to bump up the amount of vegetables. Also adding canned beans is a great option.

It would also good with other meats such as chicken thighs.

*Coconut oil adds great flavour

**Coconut flour is a great alternative for those with gluten allergies. I did not make my version with coconut flour, so I cannot determine the cooking time for this alternative at time of post.

***Sometimes when I’m making dinner or recipes, I scourging in the fridge looking to use up leftovers or condiments. A lot of “bottom of the jar” is incorporated into my recipes. That is why the PC Memories of Dad’s Grill and grainy mustard are used in this recipe. I did “measure” the ingredients so the recipe could be recreated in your kitchen. The Dad’s Grill is an apple based BBQ sauce and you could swap in an unsweetened applesauce or BBQ sauce. And a Dijon or yellow mustard could also work but not necessary as 3 tbsp. in a big pot of stew will not be huge factor.

Reese®Peanut Butter Chocolate Puffs Treats #DoYouSpoon

Reese® Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread, Marshmallows and Reese® Puffs Cereal

Reese® Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread, Marshmallows and Reese® Puffs Cereal

There are flavour and food combinations that resonate with everyone. Milk and chocolate sandwich cookies, bacon and eggs and to me especially Peanut Butter and Chocolate! I remember as a child enjoying a scoop or two of Peanut Butter and Chocolate ice cream from that 31 flavours ice cream shop. ;P

Well now available in Canada is Reese® Spread Peanut Butter Chocolate.

Food Bloggers of Canada member opportunity has made it possible for me as well as other great Food Bloggers to participate in developing a recipe using this new spread. After much brainstorming, my kids thought that making a cereal treat would be the most fun and would be perfect for a Halloween party snack or lunch box treat.

I made the Reese® Spread Cereal Treats using my son’s favourite cereal General Mills® Reese®Puffs cereal and pressed the mixture into my Chicago Metallic™ Lasagna Trio Pan for long loaf size shape slices and also used a mini muffin tin to form golf ball-sized sphere treats.

For more ideas Visit REESE Canada for more recipe ideas and Reese Canada Facebook page

Follow my Instagram @the5oclockrush to see my daily dinners photos.

Reese®Peanut Butter and Chocolate Puff Treats #DoYouSpoon

Reese® Peanut Butter and Chocolate Puffs Cereal Treats #DoYouSpoon

Reese® Peanut Butter and Chocolate Puffs Cereal Treats #DoYouSpoon

Reese® Puffs Cereal, Reese® Spreads and Mini Marshmallows

Reese® Puffs Cereal, Reese® Spreads and Mini Marshmallows

Mise En Place

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 cups Miniature Marshmallows
  • ½ cup Reese® Spread peanut butter chocolate
  • 6 cups General Mills® Reese® Puffs cereal
  • ¼ cup Reese® mini pieces baking chips (if desired)

MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS:

In microwave-safe bowl heat butter on HIGH for 15-20 seconds, remove from microwave, and then add Reese® peanut butter chocolate spread, stir until combined. Add marshmallows to the butter peanut butter chocolate spread mixture on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Microwave cooking times may vary.

Melted Marshmallows with Reese® Peanut Butter and Chocolate Spread

Melted Marshmallows with Reese® Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread

Working quickly add General Mills® Reese® Puffs cereal. Stir until well coated.

Sprinkle Reese® mini pieces into a lightly coated with cooking spray 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan or loaf pan. Using buttered spatula evenly press mixture into the prepared pan. Cool. Cut into 1-inch slices. Or form the mixture into golf ball-size spheres and gently roll in Reese® mini pieces. Best if served the same day.

Reese® Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cereal Treats #DoYouSpoon

Reese® Peanut Butter Chocolate Puffs Treats #DoYouSpoon

For best results, use fresh marshmallows.

Store no more than two days at room temperature in airtight container. To freeze, place in layers separated by wax paper in airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 weeks. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Disclosure: This blog post is sponsored by Hershey’s Canada. I was compensated monetarily and with product. All opinions and experiences are my own.