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Mom’s Belgian BACON STUFFED Waffles

Waffles vs. pancakes… pancakes vs. Waffles. If this question came up 5 years ago I would have said pancakes.  Easily!  For sure pancakes. Even if someone would have asked me a year or 6 months ago… Pancakes for the win!  And then my whole world changed!

I was visiting my fam back home this spring.  I had just spent the day hanging with my little sister while she worked at The Dragonfly Cafe.  (I shouldn’t say I spent it ‘visiting’ because it really was spent drinking far too many of the best iced coffees and eating the most scrumptious, seriously to-die-for, Panini.  I walked back to my parents place, back to my second favorite kitchen, MOMS’s, and it was a busy place.  Waffle iron steaming away. The house smelled so good sausage and vanilla and oh wow just heavenly.  (I was no longer full from previously mentioned ‘to-die-for panini)

Niece and Neph., we’re there and if I remember right,  Dad was drooling, he loves breakfasts, especially for dinner.  I think Niece was pouting at the table, a typical dinner time predicament for her.  Cutest pout ever though; and Mom was helping Nephew operate the coolest waffle iron I’d ever seen.  It’s like a real waffle iron. Like the ones that u flip.  Flipping waffles half way through cooking… perfection!  The bottom side really gets the best golden look and crispy shell, so flipping them gives them that even golden crisp on BOTH sides!  Very cool!

I think I said I wasn’t hungry, but mom gave me a plate and said “too bad” so I dove in head first!  “Oh sweet baby jesus!”  I was not expecting this!  What was I eating?!?!?  This waffle, and may I mention that I eat them plain.  No syrup, peanut butter, honey, jam or even butter for that matter and don’t u dare ask me about that…. ughhh, Nutella. Never in my life will I eat that stuff. Hahaha. I just can’t even fathom it. I mean, no offence, Hubby acts like its gold so there s big jar in this house, but I won’t go near it.  Plain waffles…..

So this amazing flavour that was rocking every tastebud in my mouth was nothing but straight up pure oral pleasure. LOL.

If anything ever was….  this was!

The perfect combination of a crispy outer shell and fluffy interior.  They were so wonderfully sweet yet savory all at the same time and they didn’t even have any bacon stuffed inside.  Mmmm a little vanilla, salt, some butter….  Just too easy and I can’t tell you enough how good the flavour is.  I will never ever buy a store bought product again or Betty Crocker or any kind of mix again.

I love this recipe so much I might frame it and hang it right here on a newly finished wall.  With a big ole hammer and nail.  Nah…. Hubby would lose his shit!   He’s spend so much time making these old walls as perfect as he can.  Haha. If I dare bring out a hammer I’m likely to lose my whole arm all together.

First time I had bacon stuffed waffles was at Hash House A Go Go in Las Vegas.  It comes with sage fried chicken and syrup on top speared with a steak knife LOL. If u haven’t gone….. GO!

I just made these a couple weeks ago as well.  They were the first breakfast in the “Cooking With Hay” Kitchen.  I even served Hubs as he sat on a bar stool at the island.  As long as everyone follows the rules no one will get hurt.  He stays on his side of the island, and I stay on mine.  All will be good.😊

I have been cooking my bacon in the oven for over a year now.  Best way ever. Stays flat and no splatter or greasy mess to deal with.  Preheat your oven to 375 and you’ll need a timer set on 15 minutes once u place the pan in the oven.

Line a baking sheet with foi and place your uncooked bacon. It’s going to shrink up. You can line em up and fit quite a few on a sheet obviously.  I just make sure they don’t touch.

Now start that 15 minute timer.

When the timer goes off they may not be quite done. They may need a minute more or a few more.   Keep in mind they will continue to cook a tiny bit more after u take them out of the oven.

Remove from the oven and lay them on a paper towel to soak up some of that excess grease.  Beautiful bacon!

For the waffle batter mix up the dry ingredients in a bowl.

In a large glass microwaveable bowl melt the butter. Few seconds at a time.


Add in the eggs the milk and the vanilla.

Whisk that up real good. Work it good.

🎵Look at that flick of the wrist…  LOL🎵

I then added the dry mixture to the wet mixture and gently whisked it until it was just smooth. Don’t over mix the batter.  Once it comes together just mix it until and lumps of flour are gone and the batter is smooth.

I like to let my batter rest for a few minutes.  Makes for a super good fluffy waffle.

I have a Cuisinart Griller. It’s like a panini press, a Griller and a waffle maker with all the plates that it uses. It’s fantastic. It was the only thing on my Christmas wish list a few years ago and Santa…. Aka Mom, came through for me!  It goes to work for me about twice a week!

Preheat it, follow your waffle makers instructions.   And spray it with cooking spray so the waffles don’t stick.

Chop up that super fabulous, oh-so-sexy, crispy, crunchy, heavenly BACON!!!

Mmmmmm I love BACON!  Can u smell it wafting in the air?  Taste it’s salty bite on your tongue?  Hahaha. Sorry just playing. I know u want some bacon too!

This is what they look like from the top, once they are all done.

All the bacon peeking out and waving to us saying “EAT ME”

What do you put on your waffles?  Hubbster usually smothers them in crunchy peanut butter and then drowns them in syrup.

Like I mentioned before. My waffle iron doesn’t flip so the bottom side has that perfect golden waffle appearance you would expect, however no bacon can be seen…. that’s just BORING.

Or it’s a good way to surprise your house guests…”Good Morning, here’s a boring waffle” LOL  And then wait for their mouth to drop once they bite inside. The smell of bacon cooking before hand and none appearing on their plate, may make them think you’re bit of selfish.   They’ll get over it once they take a bite though😋


Mom’s Belgian BACON STUFFED Waffles
Makes 4 Belgian Style Waffles
INGREDIENTS
♥ 1 3/4 CUPS FLOUR
♥ 1 T. BAKING POWDER
♥ 1/2 TSP. SALT
♥ 1 3/4 CUPS MILK
♥ 2 LARGE EGGS
♥ 1/2 CUP MELTED BUTTER
♥ 1 TSP. VANILLA

DIRECTIONS
Preheat waffle iron.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
In a microwave glass bowl melt the butter, beat in the eggs, milk and vanilla.
Combine the wet and dry mixtures and stir until just combined.
Let it sit for a few minutes to develop
Pour the waffle batter into the iron and add the bacon pieces as you like.
Close the lid and be patient.
Mine take almost 10 minutes to cook. I’m going to play with my settings a bit.
Enjoy with your fav waffle condiments



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GARLICKY SAUCED PAN~SEARED CHICKEN

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GARLICKY SAUCED PAN~SEARED CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS
♥ 4 T. OLIVE OIL
♥ 1 LARGE PACK OF CHICKEN THIGHS
♥ ½ TSP. SALT
♥ ½ TSP. PEPPER
♥ 2 CUPS SLICED FRESH MUSHROOMS
♥ 1 T. CHILI PEPPER FLAKES
♥ 1½ FISTS OF GARLIC
♥ 2½ CUPS SAUVIGNON BLANC WHITE WINE
♥ ¼ CUP MILK
♥ 2 T. BUTTER
♥ ¼ CUP FRESH CHOPPED PARSLEY
♥ 2 SPRIGS FRESH ROSEMARY

DIRECTIONS
PREHEAT OVEN TO 375°F

HEAT THE OIL IN A DEEP DISH PAN ON YOUR STOVE TOP. (OR LARGE DUTCH OVEN OR CAST IRON POT) CAST IRON WORKS BEST I THINK AND THE DEEPER THE BETTER, YOUR APPLIANCE WILL THANK YOU LATER. SPLASHY GREASE BLAH.

SEASON THE CHICKEN THIGHS WITH SALT AND PEPPER AND PLACE CHICKEN IN THE PAN. SEAR THESE BAD BOYS UP UNTIL GOLDEN AND THE JUICES JUST RUN CLEAR. THEY WILL COOK MORE IN THE SAUCE.

REMOVE THE SEARED CHICKEN FROM THE PAN AND SET ASIDE.

SEPARATE THE GARLIC CLOVES AND PEEL THEM. ADD THE MUSHROOMS, PEPPER FLAKES AND GARLIC CLOVES TO THE CHICKEN PAN AND IT’S LEFTOVER LIQUIDS.

SAUTE UNTIL TENDER AND GOLDEN, BUT MAKE CERTAIN NOT TO BURN THE GARLIC. TILL JUST GOLDEN. GARLIC GOES QUITE BITTER WHEN OVERCOOKED.

ADD THE WINE, MILK, BUTTER AND STIR IN THE PARSLEY.

GENTLY ADD THE CHICKEN BACK TO THE PAN.

ADD THE ROSEMARY SPRIGS AND COVER.

PLACE IN PREHEATED OVEN. BAKE FOR 20-30 MINUTES. TURNING THE CHICKEN OVER HALF WAY THROUGH.

REMOVE FROM OVEN WHEN THE SAUCE STARTS TO REDUCE AND THICKEN UP.

I TRANSFERRED ALL OF THIS TO A HOT FRYING PAN FOR APPEARANCE PURPOSES FOR THIS BLOG BUT YOU CAN CERTAINLY FINISH IT UP IN THE OVEN IF YOU CHOOSE. LESS MESS. HOWEVER IF THE SAUCE IS TOO DRY YOU MAY WANT TO ADD MORE WINE AND LET IT SIMMER A BIT LONGER. THIS WAS DEFINITELY EASIER TO DO ON THE STOVE TOP.

SPOON THE GARLICKY SAUCE OVER THE CHICKEN AND SPRINKLE WITH A LITTLE MORE FRESH PARSLEY AND CHILI PEPPER FLAKES.

SERVED SEARING HOT OVER LINGUINE NOODLES.



I am needing a large tripod and to get my amazing Canon Rebel T3i camera up and running to do these blog photos now that the “Cooking With Hay” Kitchen is nearing completion!

At the time of making this dish I had cabinets, counters and some lighting in. Oh and the backsplash tile was added but had just been grouted. No appliances, no running water, just a much more appealing place for a food blog photo set.

Regardless, it’s all a vast improvement from the basement temp. kitchen, 2×4 studding and insulation backdrops seen in previous blog photos.

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Is ‘garlicky’ even a word ? ? ?

The recipe I was using called for white wine… I have drank wine in the past but by any means, don’t consider myself a wine drinker.

However… GalPal is!

She came to my rescue with some suggestions after I let her know my ingredients and what I was making.

Monkey Bay Sauvigon Blanc from New Zealand was the perfect wine, as this dish was phenomenal. Not too sweet, not to dry. I’m not even going to bother experimenting with other wines.

The bottle… as GalPal mentioned, coordinated nicely with the ingredients needed to make this dish. Thanks for the help Amber!! Guess I should make this for you now hey?!

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This pepper tho! Gift from Mother-In-Law and I’ve become quite addicted to it. I use it on my sunny side up eggs in the morning to grilled salmon and everything in between. It’s made just a few hours from my house in Keremeos BC. It’s pepper, onions garlic and herbs and is a great change-up to the regular black pepper or fresh ground peppercorns.

Season the chicken thighs with a little salt and sprinkle of pepper. There is enough flavour coming in the garlic and wine and parsley that not much seasonings are needed on the chicken.

I assure you. This dish packs a savory garlic KA-POW with a mix of fragrant herbs. Absolutely delish my gosh!

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My mom is a wonderful cook, and I’ve used many of her recipes to get me into cooking. She got me this gorgeous glazed cast iron KitchenAid dish and this is what I used to pan~sear my chicken thighs. Keeps even heat and kept the splatter in the dish rather than on my stove-top.

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I used this dish on the stove top to brown the chicken and saute the mushrooms, chili pepper flakes and the garlic. It also has a lid to cover so this same dish was what I used to baked it up into the perfect saucy chicken while in the oven. From Canadian Tire and I definitely recommend one for your cooking adventures also.

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After transferring the chicken, there was a fair amount of liquids, chicken grease and juices, left in the bottom of the pan. I removed most of it and left just a small amount in the bottom to saute the mushrooms and garlic in. Your choice.

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Now on the bottom of this dish was a dark golden layer from the chicken juices etc. searing up. Don’t be alarmed… I was thinking to myself… Oh shit, did I ruin this whole thing? Is everything now going to stick and burn?

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But the mushrooms and garlic seemed to soften it up and cook together and created such a rich flavourful sauce.

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I couldn’t have been more pleased. It is really a good day when things work out for me, haha. I’m sure you’d feel the same. Yay for good cooking. Go me Go. Feel free to do a little booty shakin touchdown dance when things like this happen. It’s all about the simple things in life am I right My Lovelies?! LOL

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Adding wine to things like this also acts as a de-glazer for your well cooked pans. Don’t waste that seared liquid. That’s your concentrated flavour right there. Just the same as the bottom of your roaster from your roasts and hams make the best gravies and soup broths.

In this case it’s our deglazer and the base for this sauce. I am not a wino so I will admit that I have always been apprehensive about dishes that are made with wine. If someone made this for me and I ate the whole thing… I don’t think I would have even known it was made with wine. I’m serious! So so so so so so good!

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**NOTE: Milk is added for volume. This will help create that thicker fuller sauce to coat the chicken. If you wanted a more concentrated demi-glaze like sauce, you can omit the milk completely. As mentioned in the recipe, you may need to add more wine if you find the sauce to dry when you turn over the chicken half way through cooking.**

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Time for the fun! Let’s bring it all together. Gently add the chicken back in once you’ve mixed in the wine, milk, butter and parsley.

Nestle it down in that fragrant garlic bath. Time for these thighs to tantalize.

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Cover it with a tight-fitting lid and place it in a preheated oven and bake it up so the sauce can thicken up.

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Don’t forget to check it half way through and flip that chicken over. Keep it saucy!

It will look soupy at first. As it continues to cook the sauce will get darker and richer in colour and of course flavour.

Be patient and wait for it. It will look ‘blah’ before it looks ‘ta da’

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There it is! TA DA!!!

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As mentioned in my recipe, I then transferred my contents of my kitchen aid glazed cast iron dutch oven to a pan for appearance purposes for this blog. LOL

Got to love dirty dishes! LMAO

This pan is worthy of a few photos though. Another splendid purchase from Canadian Tire. I think I’ve gotten every single one of my pans from Canadian Tire over my years. They always have good deals on cookware FYI. Watch the flyers. This is a Heritage Rock Forged Non Stick Pan. It’s got a big capital ‘H’ on the stunning stainless steel handle. My name, being Haley… thus…H-Town bitches…. hahah. Nah my Mommy has one and I used it while at my parents place this spring and of course I fell in love. It having a big ole ‘H’ on it for ‘Cooking With Hay’ is just an added perk. I love this pan so much that I don’t really use any other pans besides The H Rock, this KitchenAid glazed dutch oven or my cast iron dutch oven and griller.

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This will be a regular meal cooked in my kitchen. Please give it a try guys! Feedback is always appreciated. As is your SHARES and LIKES on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc…. Sharing is Caring and it would really help expand my page! Love you all! Thanks for your support.

There you have it. Garlicky Sauced Pan~Seared Chicken ♥

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STRAWBERRY JALAPENO SPINACH SALAD with a very special dressing too!

We can’t always explain why we are the way that we are.  We can’t usually find reasons to explain our behavior…. Some  days are good, some are not as good and some are just not good.  It happens.  Well, at least it does to me.  When I get like that it’s no ones problem but my own so I have to find a soloution.  To the kitchen we go….

Something new, summery, and delicious, found it’s way into my menu tonight.  For years I’ve enjoyed my Mommy’s awesome Spinach Salad.  I’ve made it many times and I’ve blogged it here before.  I needed some fresh basil and feta for another dish so I was racing to the grocery store for probably my 3rd trip this week (my organization skills blow chunks)  I walk in and all the fruit was glorious AND….. on sale!  Strawberries were calling my name as were the glorious BC cherries.  KIWIS!! oh and 3 bananas and seriously, these are the largest grapes I’ve seen in my life!!  How lucky to live in such a great place with so much healthy crisp produce. Woooo Hooooo.  Who wants to come visit me??  I’ll feed you!

juicy giant grapes. I am not a lion!!! Big right!

juicy giant grapes. I am not a lion!!! Big right!

With a cart full of fruit and the rest of the stuff I needed, homeward bound.  I’ve always wanted to add strawberries to a spinach salad but never had the push to do it.  Well its go time now and I’m super excited.  Then the flavour profile I’ve been desiring came to me!  Oh but wait.  I don’t have what I need and I just got back!!!  In a grocery store, I am easily distracted.  Always sure to forget something or things, so I make lists… and even then I fail.  I’m not going back…. so after begging Hubby to go once, twice, 4 or 5 times.. pouted around for a bit…. he put down his tools and ran to the market to get me some Jalapenos.

K so maybe you know your peppers, and you’ve looked at the pics from this post and you know those are not jalapenos in my photos.  Well the little market up the street didn’t have good looking jalapenos…. they were old and wrinkled and worthy mind you but for photos… nope.    Serranos are a great sub for jalapenos but 3 times hotter FYI….

Serrano Chili Peppers are the thinner of the 2, where as a Jalapeno Pepper is the girthy one. *wink wink*

Ladies, I mean chefs…. pick your preference… haha

The idea in my head comes to life and I’m very pleased with how it turned out.  Photos by me, House Of Haley Photography

Here is my Strawberry Jalapeno Spinach Salad with a very special dressing.  Strawberry Jalapeno Balsamic Red Wine Vinegar Dressing.  Try saying that after a few glass of wine… or bottles for some of you.  Hey, I don’t judge, you do you, its cool!

I’m pretty sure I could have come up with a much more simple name but when I’m looking for a recipe or when i’m wanting to make something it frustrates me having to read through a recipe to try and figure out the flavour profile from it.  The title says it all!

And here is the dressing.  Almost as cute as Strawberry Shortcake LOL.   Seriously made him go to the store for the pepper for this shot.  Let me add in another “LOL”  OMG i’m howling, I’m sorry if that’s not as funny to any of you as it is to me!  Thanks Hubs
STRAWBERRY JALAPENO BALSAMIC RED WINE VINEGAR DRESSING

♥ 2 CLOVES GARLIC
♥ 1 C. RED WINE VINEGAR
♥ 2 T. JALAPENO WHITE BALSAMIC VINEGAR
♥ ½ C. OLIVE OIL
♥ 1 TSP. SALT
♥ 1 TSP. SUGAR
♥ 1 TSP. GRAINY MUSTARD
♥ ½ TSP. GROUND BLACK PEPPER
♥ 1 WHOLE STRAWBERRY

Combine and blend/pulse for just a few seconds till the garlic is no longer whole and vinegars and oil have blended. DO NOT OVER DO IT. Trust me….. Just for a few seconds.

The Jalapeno White Balsamic Vinegar was a Christmas gift from Sister In-Law and it’s a great addition to many meals.  I use it mostly when I do any type of roasted potatoes.  With the right seasonings, its a great way to brighten up the flavours.

vinegar

I certainly don’t expect you to have this Jalapeno White Balsamic Vinegar, nor do I expect you to go out and buy some.  Althought, it’s totally recommended for your pantry fo sho!  This one is from Evoolution out of Edmonton, Alberta, CA.

Let’s get to it shall we!

Words can’t explain what it’s like to cook upstairs…. renos are coming along… thats all i can say.   So cool!  Look at the way that natural daylight casts across all that divine good-for-you food up there.  haha  It’s the simple things in life.

dressingI’m a hardcore #clasher Clash of Clans junkie… game always on… always creepin.  LOL

Again I’m using my new immersion hand blender and the mixing vessel it came with to make this.  You can use a blender but you’ll end up with most of it on the sides.  Use a battery operated whisk or just chop up the strawberry and garlic before you make the dressing, put it all in a jar and shake the crap out of it.

I peeled 2 cloves of fresh garlic.  Its hard for me to use such a little amount, but 2 cloves is just right.

Add in the vinegar’s and then the oil.  If you find after it’s all done that it’s too thick… add in some more vinegar and whisk it up.  If you over blend this you’ll end up with a strawberry like mayonnaise.

Next add in the S+P, sugar and mustard.  The mustard is crucial to the flavour of this dressing.  I’ve used mustard powder before but I find French’s Bold & Spicy Deli Mustard to be the perfect one.  I’m actually addicted to this mustard.  So so so good I could eat it with a spoon.

Now blend.  I’m going to be straight up honest here… I bombed this the first time, hence my warnings…. DO NOT OVER BLEND hahaha.  Pulse a few times, The strawberry is obviously going to thicken it up quite a bit.  I’ve increased the amounts of vinegar to hopefully compensate.  This is why I say recipe blogging is tricky.  So as always, make it your own.  Do what you feel is right and adjust to your liking.  We are all different.

STRAWBERRY JALAPENO SPINACH SALAD

♥ 1 BAG BABY SPINACH, FRESH AND WASHED
♥ HARD BOILED EGGS, COOLED AND SLICED (1 PER PERSON)
♥ MUSHROOMS, FRESH AND SLICED
♥ STRAWBERRIES, SLICED AND SLICED
♥ BACON, COOKED AND CRUMBLED
♥ 2 T. GREEN ONIONS, FINELY CHOPPED
♥ 2 TSP. JALAPENO OR SERRANO PEPPER, FRESH AND DICED

Make this salad up just before you’re ready to eat. Plate it per person rather than in a large salad bowl. I find that the ingredients are at such different weights that you don’t get a proper serving. Person 1 will get all spinach and egg, while the last person gets all the bacon onion and pepper. LOL Just my opinion.

This is where you get to do your fancy…. BE FANCY Plate it up per person, make it pretty, show you care. Then you can give yourself those extra slices of strawberries and bacon. Haha shhhhhhhh….

Use about a handful of spinach leaves per person. Layer in individual salad bowls or plates and drizzle with a little of our Strawberry Jalapeno Dressing from up above.

It was delicious to eat.  Looks pretty cool too.  Each bite held a yummy little mouthful.

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Blackened Fish Tacos with Chipotle Cilantro Dressing (salmon or cod or whichever fish you want)

Finally, this post is done. I still consider myself a beginner food blogger even though this blog has recently had it’s 3rd anniversary. Blogging recipes takes work. Writing an accurate recipe takes work. It’s work but it’s work I enjoy. I just wish I could do nothing but cook, take pics, and blog… Haha True story.


Been talking about these a lot, I know, I apologize for the redundancy. Finally got all the components together….

You’re going to need to check out my last 2 posts!

Click this photo to get this recipe!

Click on the photo to the left to get this yummy Chipotle Cilantro Dressing recipe for these Blackened Fish Tacos that we’re about to make.

Click this photo to get this recipe!

Click this photo to see the ingredients needed to make the Blackened Seasoning that will crispify (is that a word?)the fish to a nice golden crunch on the outside and give it a deep savory flavour.



BLACKENED FISH TACOS
♥ 2 BAGS COLESLAW
♥ 1½ C. CORN KERNELS
♥ SALT + PEPPER
♥ FLOUR TORTILLAS
♥ 1 BIG SALMON FILET or 4 LARGE COD FILETS
♥ HIGH SMOKE POINT OIL FOR FRYING (i used Canola Oil)
1 BATCH OF BLACKENED SEASONING
1 BATCH OF CHIPOTLE CILANTRO DRESSING
♥ AVOCADO, FRESH, CHOPPED
♥ CILANTRO + LIME FOR GARNISH

Saute the coleslaw and corn with salt and pepper until just tender.
Set aside, but keep warm.
Heat oven to low temp and slowly warm the tortillas. I like em just before they get toasted.
Cut salmon or fish into large pieces suitable for frying.
Heat oil, just above medium, not too hot or the fish won’t cook thoroughly and not too cold or the fish will soak up to much oil and become soggy.
Fry till dark and golden on each side.
If you’re using salmon you may have to do the ends too. Use tongs. They work best.
When they are done gently remove from hot oil onto a papertowel lined dish to remove excess oil.
Let cool for about 5 minutes and break into good chunks.

THE ASSEMBLY
Warmed Tortilla
Sauteed slaw and corn
Blackened fish
Drizzle with some Chipotle Cilantro Dressing
Top with chopped fresh avocado, cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice


Place the Blackened Seasoning in a shallow flat bottom container of some sort so you can press the fish into it.  Coating every inch of it.  The better it’s coated the better the crisp.

You don’t want to over cook the cabbage, or it will lose all it’s structure.  You want to saute it till it just starts to wilt.  Keeping it warm will also allow it to keep cooking so with the pan on medium heat, just keep an eye on it.
This is the cod I used last night.  Seasoned all over every surface of fish with the Blackened Seasoning.

Fried in some oil till golden and delicious. I use a large cast iron flat bottom deep dish for frying. Allows maximum room for the fish to fry properly without over crowding the pan.   The heavy duty cast iron can withstand the high temperatures and will maintain it’s heat better when you drop in the fish.

I fried the fish in 2 batches to ensure it cooked evenly and properly. Or you can use a deep fryer but I’ve only used one once and I didn’t like it…. it was too small for what I needed and I don’t want a big greasy appliance kicking around here. I fry as little as possible.
Frying foods took a lot of practice for me over the years.  So many times chicken or potatoes or whatever it was I was cooking, was either undercooked or well well well done. Practice makes perfect.

Frying can be very unhealthy if done incorrectly.  When done the right way you are using the least amount of oil to get that desired crunch and crispiness.

✰ Oil thats too hot will scortch the food on the outside while leaving it raw inside. ✰

✰ Oil that isn’t hot enough won’t seal the food as it should when you drop it in. ✰

(Rather it will sit and soak up the oil.  This results in that drippy soggy mess we’ve gagged on one too many times.

The first time I made these I used some fresh plump salmon and they were to die for! This time around i used cod. I preferred the salmon over any white fish but both were really good.


BLACKENED SALMON TACOS

Here are some pics from the salmon ones I made last week!  These ones were my favourite!

Since the photos were taken down in my temporary basement dungeon kitchen they aren’t of the greatest quality.  We can only go up from here my friends ☺

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❤️ Thanks for visiting, if you liked this blog please click LIKE below. If you want to follow my blog please scroll to the bottom, click the FOLLOW button and enter in your email address.
Love Haleykins❤️
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Blackened Seasoning

Hi guys, I posted some pics of the Blackened Salmon and Blackened Fish Tacos to my Cooking With Hay Facebook page, and the requests came in for the recipe. As well as the request for me as your personal chef. Thank you for that! It actually is much easier to make the food than to blog the recipe… just in case you were curious. LOL so much time spent running a photoshoot and a kitchen at the same time. I love it tho and anxious to spend more time doing it. The balance between stoning the front of the fireplace and installing bathroom sinks… or blogging…. its a tough one….

I’m quite pleased with the photos from recent photoshoots. I’m working partially upstairs while I can get the good natural daylight and partially still down in the dungeon, errr, I mean, basement. Natural daylight makes for much more appetizing food pics. Less shadows and more true to life colouring of these meals. After all, we taste with our eyes and our noses before the food even hits our tongue or tummies.



I’ve laid out all the ingredients that I used to make the Blackened Seasoning, on this fancy bamboo KitchenAid cutting board that Hubby came home with for me! *SMILES* This is the seasoning for the Blackened Salmon Tacos and Blackened Fish Tacos that I’ve been mentioning. (Blog posts to follow guys!)

I pulled this from a website a while back, I haven’t altered anything except that I use whole wheat flour instead of white flour. It actually just adds to the crispy factor we’re going for here! Yummy


Don’t confuse T (tablespoon) for TSP (teaspoon)!!
Oh come on, like you haven’t done that before.

The original image said 2 T. Chili Powder… LOL its got to be 2 TSP. Teaspoons
I made the same error when I first made Butter Chicken. That was a hot hot hot meal. Great tho. Just a real kicker that’s for sure.

BLACKENED SEASONING

♥ 2 T. FLOUR (I use whole wheat)
♥ 2 TSP. CHILI POWDER
♥ 1 TSP. PAPRIKA
♥ 1 TSP. BROWN SUGAR
♥ ½ TSP. ONION POWDER
♥ ½ TSP. GRANULATED GARLIC
♥ ½ TSP. CUMIN
♥ ½ TSP. CAYENNE
♥ ½ TSP. SALT
♥ ½ TSP. PEPPER

Mix together well. Store in an air tight container.


↓ This made enough to do a big slab of salmon or 4 large cod fillets. If you’re doing more you may want to double this recipe. Or to save you some prep time on the next go around, make up a big batch now.

↑ I made one batch of this seasoning and mixed it in this shallow plastic container. All ready to go so I can just lay the piece of fish or meat or whatever it is that you’re going to use, onto the seasoning.
This works great for everything, even prawns and scallops. Try it out and I hope you like it.  I’ve made it 3 times this July.  Cuz it’s that good.  LOL yum!


Blog Post with recipe and pics COMING SOON!

Blog Post with recipe and pics COMING SOON!

Blog Post with recipe and pics COMING SOON!

Blog Post with recipe and pics COMING SOON!

Blog Post with recipe and pics COMING SOON!

Blog Post with recipe and pics COMING SOON!




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CHIPOTLE CILANTRO DRESSING or dip

Hi Guys, How is summer???  EEEEEK I’m super excited.  As many of you know my house is still under reno’s and just recently got my new Caesarstone counter-tops installed.  I’m ecstatic!  They are flawless and beautiful and exactly what i’ve wanted for oh so long now.  Now my foodblog pics have a higher quality look to them.  I’m so pleased.  Time to fine tune my Canon Rebel T3i camera and get to work!

Last week I made some Blackened Salmon Tacos.  There are no words for this easy recipe and there was also no room…. no room to eat as much as I could have, that’s for sure!  Wow, great way to enjoy some tender flaky juicy fish this summer. The recipe for the Blackening Seasoning will be my next blog post.  This is the dressing that I always make and it was great on the fish tacos.

Hope you like!


CHIPOTLE CILANTRO DRESSING OR DIP

♥ 1½ C FAT FREE SOUR CREAM
♥ 1 T LIGHT MAYO
♥ 1 T MILK
♥ 1 T CHIPOTLE PUREE
♥ 1 TSP CUMIN
♥ ½ TSP CRUSHED BEE POLLEN
♥ HANDFUL FRESH CILANTRO
♥ JUICE OF ONE LIME

Blend together using an Immersion/Hand Blender or a Food Processor.
Chill in the fridge until its time to serve.


↑ I love me some chipotle! I buy chipotle peppers in small cans in adobo sauce and puree them with a hand blender or food processor. Chipotles pack a punch let me tell ya. The heat from these peppers is potent and smoky and is great for everything.
**If you don’t do heat. Use a very small amount, like 1-2 teaspoons of pureed chipotle for this recipe instead of the requested amount.**

↑ If you don’t have canned chipotles in adobo sauce then you can certainly use a dry powder version, there are many out there. I have these 2 in my pantry. Remember that the longer the dressing sets for the more the flavour is enhanced, and therefore making it much much much hotter the longer it sits.

↑ My Immersion Blender came with this cool mixing vessel. What I love about this machine compared to a hand mixer or hand beater is that it will stand up inside the vessel and not topple over. Flat bottom makes it easy to leave it standing and use both hands to if you need to pause to get an ingredient or whatever. Anything to help keep the counters less messy.

↑ Bee Pollen is one of Mother Natures little goodies. I add a little to every salad dressing I make. You can add it to anything though; soups, sauces, whatever you like. The flavour is like a flower. Its got a floral taste when it hits your tongue. It comes in the natural foods section of your grocery store and looks like little gold nuggets. I grind them down with a mortar and pestle. I have a small one that I use for spices and such. Another inexpensive way to make your kitchen/cooking life a little easier.

Here’s some info on Bee Pollen I picked up from http://www.mercola.com

What Is Pollen?
Pollen is the male seed of flowers. It is required for the fertilization of the plant. The tiny particles consist of 50/1,000-millimeter corpuscles, formed at the free end of the stamen in the heart of the blossom. Every variety of flower in the universe puts forth a dusting of pollen. Many orchard fruits and agricultural food crops do, too.

Bee pollen is the food of the young bee and it is approximately 40% protein. It is considered one of nature’s most completely nourishing foods. It contains nearly all nutrients required by humans. About half of its protein is in the form of free amino acids that are ready to be used directly by the body. Such highly assimilable protein can contribute significantly to one’s protein needs.

To view the full article, please click here.

↑ Place all the ingredients into the mixing vessel and blend away. Lift the machine up and down to get it good and blended. Oh so easy I want to blend everything in sight.

photo 9

↑ ❤ Immersion Hand Blender! ❤ NEW TOY! LOL ❤

↑ COMING UP NEXT → Blackened Fish Tacos, using this dressing!
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GRILLED CHICKEN SPINACH SALAD with RED WINE VINEGAR DRESSING

My mommy has always made a spinach salad and it is THE BEST! When we have it, we can’t get enough of it. It has bacon in it and when you get a bite it literally is a tongue tantalizer. Normally we will have this with a steak and potato but how can I make this fabulous little tongue pleaser more of a meal. So it’s easy. Make a salad with lots of fresh spinach, green onions and mushrooms, some grated hard boiled egg and then…… grilled bbq’d chicken chopped on top. Heck yes! Let’s do it up. A big plate full of this goodness!

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GRILLED CHICKEN SPINACH SALAD with RED WINE VINEGAR DRESSING

Here’s what you’ll NEED:
Lots of fresh baby spinach
Lots of sliced fresh mushrooms
Lots of chopped green onions
6 cooked eggs, hard yolks (see below)
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp.pepper
1/2 PRE MADE HOMEMADE GARLIC BALLS
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dijon mustard or mustard powder

Here’s what you’re GONNA DO:
To make the best hard boiled eggs that are cooked to absolute perfection follow these simple steps:
1. place eggs in the bottom of a pot
2. add cold water, fill to be 1-2″ above the eggs
3. bring water to a rapid boil
4. once boiling, remove from heat and cover with a lid
5. set a timer for 20 minutes
6. after 20 minutes add ice cold water to stop the cooking process
7. drain water
8. with eggs still in the bottom, gently shake back and forth to slightly crack the egg shells
9. under cold water the shells will come right off.
Easy peasy!

For the chicken part:
Pound out your chicken breasts in a big ziploc freezer bag. I use a wooden rolling pin! LOL You don’t want to demolish them… just break down the structure of those bad boys and flatten them out a bit. This will allow them to cook much faster and be a tender bite instead of a big mouthful and hope it’s fully cooked bite…
I gently massage them with a little big of olive oil just so they stay moist on the grill. I seasoned them with a small bit of sea salt, seasoning salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic, and oregano, because I love oregano.
Preheat your bbq, I’m going to say med-high but you need to know your bbq, you need to watch your food when you’re bbqing. Practice makes perfect! When they turn that white cooked colour flip them, about 10 minutes the first side and about 5 or so minutes on the second. Ensure they are cooked through and grilled up nicely Oh on the bbq! Oh on the grill Yo! haha I love bbq’d food!

–In a large salad bowl add in spinach, green onions, mushrooms
— you can slice the cooked eggs or you can use a cheese grater. I was so hungry, I opted for the grater, and also it makes the egg go further. Slicing the eggs makes for a much nicer presentation. Add to the salad bowl.
–mix it up and serve onto salad plates
–chop up a grilled chicken breast and then gentle swipe it ontop of the salad off of the cutting board.
–repeat for all servings
–serve with the red wine vinegar dressing

Oh the dressing!!! I make this in a jar. It’s easy to add in all the ingredients and shake it up. Because it’s oil and vinegar it will seperate obviously, just shake it up before serving it and keep it in the fridge. Add to the jar the last 7 ingredients. Shake it up. Taste it and adjust it to your liking!

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So like I said up there at the top, my Mom used to make Spinach salad for us all the time, the same as this but with bacon and no chicken. Gosh I love that version, and I will still make this version, when I feel like being a bad girl. 😉

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GARLIC & CHILI PEPPER HUMMUS

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GARLIC & CHILI PEPPER HUMMUS
1 CAN CHICK PEAS, rinsed and drained
1/4 CUP TAHINI
2 TBSP. LEMON JUICE
1 1/2 PRE MADE HOMEMADE GARLIC BALLS
2 TBSP. OLIVE OIL
WATER

I mix everything together in my food processor, except the olive oil. I once read that olive oil in a food process or more specifically, a blender, can turn the oil bitter and also cloud the bowl of the food processor. Well I love my food processor so I don’t take the chance. Once everything is smooth and creamy I transfer it to a mixing bowl and stir in the olive oil. Then if it’s thick, I add water until its’s the proper consistency.
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Of course, you can use as much or as little, garlic, as you want.
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Chopped up the remaining fresh veggies that I had in the crisper drawer to go with.
Actually, switch that around, I made the hummus so I had something to go with the veggies. As much as I love my breads, pita, naan, mmmmm naan…. this was a refreshing option.
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Kinda well needed after a not so healthy weekend. Ugh….
I wasn’t going to blog this one as I’m pretty sure most of you make hummus often, however, it just looked so nice and yummy, especially on the new surface prop Hubby made me! This is a classic dish and always a favorite. I do have some other Hummus recipes to show you. Some that are completely the opposite of classic. Hope you come back to visit. Stay tuned!
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QUINOA STUFFED BELL PEPPERS

Have any of you made these before? I’ve seen them around for a few years now I think, but I had yet to try them. Or try quinoa for that matter. I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not or how to cook it so that I would like it. I came across this on one of my boards and immediately decided it was time. If you are a big quinoa fan please leave me a comment below this blog post or comment on the facebook post please. Turns out I do really like it and want to find more ways to make it.
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QUINOA STUFFED BELL PEPPERS
20 minutes to cook the quinoa
30 minutes to bake the stuffed peppers
Makes 6
Done in less than an hour! OH Yeah!

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
3 CUPS QUINOA, cooked
1 SMALL CAN DICED GREEN CHILIES
1 CUP CORN
1 CAN BLACK BEANS, drained and rinsed
1/2 CUP FINE DICED TOMATOES, remove the seeds,
1/2 CUP MONTERAY JACK CHEESE, grated
1/4 CUP LIGHT FETA CHEESE, crumbled
3 TBSP. FRESH CILANTRO, chopped
1 TSP. CUMIN
1 TSP. GARLIC POWDER
1/2 TSP. ONION POWDER
1/2 TSP. CHILI POWDER, or more to taste
GROUND SEA SALT to taste
GROUND FRESH PEPPER to taste

6 BELL PEPPERS, tops cut, stemmed and seeded

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Place parchment paper on the bottom of a shallow baking dish.
2. Mix all the ingredients gently in a big bowl, except for the peppers obviously.
3. Spoon the filling into the pepper bowls. Tap them on the counter to get everything to the bottom.
4. Gently stuff.
5. Place them in the parchment lined baking dish.
6. Bake for about 40 minutes. I baked mine with the “tops” on but as you can see in the pics, they wrinkled. Bake them without the tops until the filling is hot inside.
7. Eat em up right away!

Quinoa is usually found in the same section of the grocery store that the rice is found in.
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1 cup of uncooked quinoa will equal 3 cups after it’s cooked
For every 1 cup of uncooked quinoa use 1.5 cups water or chicken broth
Rinse and drain quinoa in a fine mesh strainer
Bring liquid to a boil, and add in the quinoa, give it a stir and then reduce the heat to a med-low temp. Put the lid on it and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
Put the lid back on it and remove it from the heat. Set it aside for 5 minutes.
Fluff it up with fork
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I recruited Hubby to help me out with the next 3 shots. It gets awfully challenging trying to hold that massive camera and operate a sharp knife. Here you want to cut the top portion of the peppers off to create the ‘tops’
Use a sharp knife and slice down the edge of the ribs of the pepper following down towards the base of the pepper but not cutting through!!
Pop out the seed pack in the middle and knock out any seeds.
Using that handy melon baller {I like it better than a spoon because it has sharper edges} scrape out the remaining bits of the ribs until you have some nice little pepper bowls!
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They are super cute. I think I can find other reasons to use this type of ‘vessel’ for dips and sides in the future.
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Ok mix up all those ingredient, minus the peppers, in a nice big mixing bowl. Toss it all together gently.
I think this is the first time I’m using feta cheese in something other than a greek meal. I find this highly intersting and can’t wait to see what it tastes like.
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Once you have the filling all together you can simply put it in a casserole dish with a lid on it and just bake it that way if you don’t want to go through the effort of the pepper. I think the next time I will omit the pepper bowl if it’s just Hubby and I, and maybe leave the quirky presentation to when I’m preparing it for guests. It’s just alot of pepper for us. I like my peppers much more tender. Too the point of fully softened mush. Mmmmmm nummy yummy
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Here’s where you get to fill the pepper bowls up with that yum yum quinoa filling. I sprayed my baking dish as I ran out of parchment paper at christmas time and never replaced it. This caused my filled pepper bowls to slide around. I’m thinking the parchment would keep them in place better. Scoop and stuff the peppers and put them in the lined dish. The original recipe that I saw did not seem to bake the peppers with the “tops” on. I did and the “tops” came out quite wrinkled. I think for a better presentation, I would bake them without the “tops” and then just pop them on after you take them out of the oven. I also added a few shreds of the monteray cheese to the top of the filling before baking. gives them a nice finished look. Then I meant to sprinkle them with fresh chopped cilantro but I forgot and had already taken the pictures…. LOL #foodbloggerproblems haha.
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I baked these in a preheated 350 F oven for about 40 minutes. Check them at 30 minutes. You want the filling to be hot throughout. I think they look cute with the wrinkled tops, but not that cute, oh well. They were absolutely scrumptious! Even Hubby liked them.
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I served these with butterflied, grilled chicken breast. Seasoned them with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic and a slight sprinkle of chili powder, with a side of a homemade chipotle dip {fat free sour cream, a wee bit of light mayo and as much chipotle puree as you can handle}
Yay for the second bbq this year! I just love the flavour that a bbq or grill can bring to the food and to the table 😉
Now I know it’s not a Green Egg bbq or anything like that or a nice old fashioned one but it does the job. It may actually need to be replaced this year. We’ve been saying this for the last 2 years so we’ll see.
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And since I’m suffering from severe post vacay depression….. I’ve posted a small collection of pics from House Of Haley Photography, from our time in Mexico a few weeks ago. You can find them at the bottom of this post.

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CRISP CUCUMBER SALSA

As promised yesterday, here is another super delicious recipe involving…. a cuke!
I saw this and it looked like a neat thing to try seeing as tho I just made a traditional salsa a few days ago. I already had all the ingredients needed in the fridge and I just love when that works out. Now, when I say, “this just may be the very best salsa in the world!” well, this is one of those times that you need to believe me! But you don’t have too. Give me just a few more minutes to tell you how to make it, then you give it a try and you be the judge. Seriously, if you like to cook or make stuff in the kitchen, heck ya you’re going to love it. If you’ve never made anything, then this is a perfect way to start. Regardless, please just try it.

Hubby had barely walked in the door yesterday and I had put it in front of him. He couldn’t stop eating it and he’s really not a big salsa guy. “Yes, success!”
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HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO NEED:
2 CUPS CUCUMBER, PEELED, DESEEDED, FINE DICED
1/2 CUP ROMA TOMATOES, FINE DICED
1/4 CUP RED ONION, FINE DICED
1 JALAPENO PEPPER, DESEEDED, MINCED
4-1/2 TSP. MINCED CILANTRO
1/2 A SMALL PRE MADE HOMEMADE GARLIC BALL {or 1 clove minced garlic}
1/4 CUP FAT FREE SOUR CREAM
1-1/2 TSP. LEMON JUICE
1-1/2 TSP. LIME JUICE
1/4 TSP. CUMIN
1/4 TSP. SEASONING SALT
ORGANIC GLUTEN-FREE TORTILLA CHIPS, NO SALT

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HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO DO:
In a mixing bowl add the cucumber, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and garlic.
In a seperate bowl combine the sour cream, lemon and lime juice, cumin and seasoning salt.
Add the sour cream mixture to the veggie mixture and gently toss to combine.
Enjoy with organic gluten-free tortilla chips.
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Last but not least, low sodium YO! The is mostly cucumber rather than tomatoes like a traditional salsa. Sure there’s seasoning salt in it but there is salt in traditional salsa also so this is definitely a win win.
Can’t wait for summer bbq’s with this one.

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