Smokies In The Airfryer

Smokies use to be just a Manitoba thing, now I guess they’re a Canadian thing. For the rest of the world they’re a smoked dinner sausage. Dinner sausages are just big sausages which for a sausage lover is a good thing. I grew up eating sausages and still think the make a great meal, my wife not so much. Sausages with mashed potatoes and sausage gravy I think is a perfect supper. Smokies are a different thing and the gravy doesn’t happen.

Smokies I always have bbqed, or had stuck on a stick over a camp fire. Our daughter mentioned she had cooked wieners in her airfryer and it worked great. When we were grocery shopping today they had samples of smokies ( it great to have the samples in grocery stores back ) they had on sale. Since it had been about a year since we last had smokies we bought some. I was going to bbq them but decided to try the airfryer, glad I did. The airfryer actually worked better than the bbq.

It’s a simple way to cook them, 6 minutes in the preheated 200c airfryer and there done. It’s faster than bbqing them they cook a way more evenly than the bbq. Guess from now on smokies won’t just be a summer thing.

Yes, I know I should of taken a picture, they were just smokies so I didn’t even think about a picture.

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A New Use For Plum Sauce

Yes, I forgot to take a picture. My wife asked me half way through supper if I had taken a picture. Guess my mind was on other things, like the great rib steak I have in the freezer.

If you have ever had egg rolls or spring rolls you know what plum sauce is. You always get those little plastic packets of it wether it is in the restaurant or is delivered. It is perfect for egg rolls or spring rolls but it has others uses. We buy it in jars at Sobeys because it is a great dipping sauce for chicken strips or nuggets, I have also used it with shrimp. The other evening I found another use.

I was told I was bbqing chicken breasts for supper, definitely not my favourite thing to bbq. I looked in the fridge for something I could use to at least make it something I wouldn’t mind eating. Since the chicken breasts were frozen I wouldn’t have time to marinate them once they thawed out. Had some bbq sauce and then I saw the plum sauce. My mind said use it as a bbq sauce, which I did.

It worked great and was actually simple. I turned the breasts about every minute and kept brushing them with the plum sauce. Worked out that each side got coated 4 times. It caramelized nicely and they looked great.

Best part was they actually tasted very very good. If I am honest they were the best chicken breasts I have bbqed. I know my wife liked them because she said you need to make this again. I made 1 extra for her lunch the next day. She cut it up and made a wrap out of it. I didn’t even have to ask the next day when she got home from our daughter’s. She told me when she got in the door, the wrap was great. Next time I am told I am bbqing chicken breasts I’ll take a picture and post it.

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Creamy Honey Mustard Garlic Salad Dressing

I rarely buy salad dressing, making it is extremely easy. For us the best part of making it is each salad we have can have a different dressing. I always have 5 or 6 different kinds of vinegar in the pantry and my spice drawer has about 50 different spices. Some dressings I have tried I have never made a second time, they were terrible. Other I make often and one my wife asks for all the time.

Honey mustard salad dressing is simple and just tastes great, and is my wife’s favourite. Since I like to play with things I modified it a little. I may be a bit of a lazy cook with somethings, I just call it efficient cooking. It started years ago with ceasar salad dressing, I use to make it from scratch. The whole nine yards of making it right down to coddling the egg. It took years before I realized the start of making it is making mayonnaise. My brain said why coddle the egg and fuss with making the mayonnaise when I can buy great mayonnaise in the store. Now when a recipe calls for mayonnaise in the dressing I go to the fridge.

Since I wanted a creamy dressing last night and my wife wanted her favourite I decided to combine the two. Modifying things a little isn’t something you should be afraid of, sometimes it doesn’t work but most times it does. This modification worked extremely well, my wife asked me to make it again tonight.

This is enough for one large salad for two people, just increase as needed. Normally I use a small glass jar but they were all in the dishwasher so I used a small plastic container with a screw on lid. Any small container that you can seal tightly will work.

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 teaspoons honey

3 teaspoons mayonnaise

3 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon mustard

1 clove garlic minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Put everything in a small container, seal and shake extremely well. Let stand on the counter for at least 2 hours to let the flavours blend.

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Mothers are very special people and should be shown it every day not just one day a year. I hope all the mothers have a great day.


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Pickled Red Onions

This is something I don’t make as often as I should. Pickled red onions are a simple thing to make and are perfect with a lot of things. They go extremely well with steak, pork chops, hamburgers and especially hotdogs.

I cleaned our bbq today and it is either a coincidence or a habit hotdogs and salad is supper. Hotdogs are what usually happens on the day I clean the bbq. To be honest I would rather have a good hotdog than a hamburger any day. For us european wieners are the perfect thing for a hotdog and the pickled red onions are perfect with them.

This is such a simple thing it seems a bit crazy to even post it, but they are so good and versatile they need to be on my blog. You can make larger quantities because they will last 3-4 days covered in the fridge.

1/4 red onion thinly sliced

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon vinegar

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons sugar

Mix lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Mix until salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Mix the onions in and massage them in the mixture. Refrigerate for 6 hours. Mix every couple of hours. Drain and rinse with cold water, pat dry with paper towels and use.

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Elk Wellington

This time I didn’t screw up and remembered to turn the Wellington over before I baked it. But, as you can see I still split it. It was perfect when I took the roasting pan out of the oven and that is when I should of taken the picture. When I went to lift it out to put it on the cutting board it split. Figured out how to stop that and will try it with the next wellington I make, which will be a pork one.

This is about as far away from a traditional wellington as you can get. Part of that is because I used elk and the other part is because I like having fun with food. The elk tenderloin was part of my birthday present. Yes our goofy family likes to give me unusual food for gifts, which I enjoy getting. It is farm raised elk and is a lot like beef but it isn’t beef. My ideas for this wellington was to use flavours that would compliment the taste of the elk. The normal thing in wellington, mushroom duxelle, didn’t make it in the wellington, but mushrooms did make it in the gravy. Even the pastry wasn’t traditional, my wife makes the best pastry I have had so I used hers. You can use puff pastry but it isn’t necessary, the original wellington recipe just says pastry. This is a recipe for two people just increase as needed.

8 to 10 oz. piece of elk tenderloin


coarse salt

coarse ground pepper

1 cup diced onions

4 cloves minced garlic

1/3 cup chopped parsley

HP sauce

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Roll the tenderloin in the coarse salt and pepper to press it into the meat. Preheat a frying pan on medium high heat, add about a teaspoon of oil. Brown the tenderloin on all sides and both ends. Cook until internal temperature is 110 to 115 f. Remove and let completely cool. In the same pan add the onions and garlic, cook until onions are completely cooked. Remove from heat and let cool completely and then mix in the parsley.

Roll out the pastry and spread the onion mixture evenly over it. Coat the tenderloin with HP sauce and place in the middle of the pastry. Fold the pastry over the tenderloin making sure it is completely covered and sealed. Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 40 minutes, make sure the side you sealed is placed down in the pan. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes, cut into half inch slices and serve with gravy.

My solution for next time to stop the splitting.

Cut strips of pastry 1 inch wide and 1/4 inch thick and wrap completely around the tenderloin log. Two of them should work, you want to wrap the narrow part of the log.

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Our Granddaughters Desert

Our granddaughter Emily decided to make the desert for her thirteenth birthday supper. Her choice for dessert sure wasn’t a cake. Others may think it strange that she made her own desert, I don’t. Your thirteenth birthday is a special time for everyone because now you’re a teenager. Making something you want for desert I think is a great idea, it adds to the specialness of the day.

I think she did a wonderful job and told her how good a job she did, and that I was proud of her. She told me she had fun making it which touched a place in my heart. I told her now she knows why I cook because it’s FUN. The desert is a great desert, a black sesame seed tuile formed into a cup filled with a strawberry whip. All flavours that go well together to make a great desert.

As you can see she is a lot better at making it look pretty than her Grandpa could ever do. I will say it again, your Grandpa is very proud of you Emily.

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Lemon Perch

This is a difficult dish to make, but only because you need to get your hands on the perch. Perch, your not going to find in your local grocery store, you either have to catch it or know someone who is catching it.

I am extremely lucky our neighbor loves to fish and is extremely good at it. As we got to know each other I found out about his love of fishing, which was a passion of mine when I was young. We had a lot of conversations about fishing over the month getting to know each other. During one conversation he asked if we liked fish, my answer was hell yes. One evening he was loading his truck to go fishing the next day and asked if I liked perch. I told him I was liked perch as much as I liked pickerel. He said if they caught any that were the right size he would bring me some.

The next day I noticed he was home but I didn’t get a knock on the door with perch in his hands, figured he hadn’t caught any. I was expecting whole perch that I would have to clean and fillet but I got a surprise. Couple of days later I saw him and he said ” I’ll bring your perch over”. He came over with filleted vacuum packed perch that he had already frozen for me. I couldn’t thank him enough and told him how much I appreciated it. He has been supplying us with fish all winter which has been great. Good neighbors are hard to come by and we have some great ones.

This is actually a very simply delicious dish to make, once you have the perch. You can use any thin white flakey fish for this. It needs to be a thin fillets because it cooks quickly. Perch fillets aren’t large so adjust quantities depending on size of the fillets.

8 perch fillets

1/3 cup flour

1/3 cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 lemon zested

lemon zest

1 clove garlic minced

1 tablespoon minced parsley

2 tablespoons butter

Preheat a frying pan with the butter on medium heat. Mix flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper together. Coat the perch on both sides with the flour. When the butter starts to brown add the perch. Cook for about 2 minutes and turn over. Sprinkle with the lemon zest and garlic, cook for about 2 minutes. Squeeze the lemon into the pan and turn the perch over to coat both sides and serve.

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The Strange Effect Of A Chinese Buffet

Last night we went out for supper to a local chinese buffet restaurant. It is a restaurant we have been at about every 2 years, but thanks to covid it has been 5 years. My wife and I have always gone out for supper to kind of celebrate our birthdays. We have our family meal but going out for supper is just for us. Covid put that on hold for to long and it was nice to get back to doing it again. This was my pick which usually is wings one year and chinese the next. Sometimes it is to just a chinese restaurant but I prefer the buffet style, get to try a wide variety of things with the buffet.

I have been a people watcher my whole life and going to a restaurant doesn’t change that. I always look around to see what other people are having, and another thing their doing but that I won’t get into. Any kind of buffet restaurant works the same way. There are a large number of different dishes and you can eat as much as you want, with as many trips to the buffet as you like. I think it is the perfect way to try all kinds of new things.

Last night I made 6 trips to the buffet, that may seem a lot but it wasn’t. With a chinese buffet I usually take a little amount of different things with each trip. By doing that I try sometimes 30-40 different things. The last trip is getting a little more of what was the best thing I tried. Sometimes there are only 3 or 4 things on my plate with each trip. This is common with most people at most buffet restaurants except chinese buffets.

Last night as I was eating I watched as others return to their tables. About 40% of the people had their plates piled so high with food it was amazing some wasn’t falling on the floor. The strange thing was most of those people only made one trip to the buffet. Some couldn’t even finish the mound of food they brought to their tables. It is something that I find strange and weird. Given you can make as many trips to the buffet as want why bring a mountain of food to your table. It is almost like their afraid the food is going to run out.

I have been to lots of other buffet restaurant and yes, you might see a few people doing it but not 40%. For some strange reason it seems chinese buffets effect people in a strange way. Still it is my favourite kind of chinese restaurant.

Yes the food was very good.

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Is It Still An Omelette

Over the years I have found people are very fussy about how they like their eggs. Whether they are fried, poached, soft or hard boiled, or scrambled, they are fussy. I am no different, I am extremely fussy about how I cook my eggs. Usually when we have eggs I cook two different style of eggs. My wife always wants her eggs poached and I fry mine. Scrambled eggs she likes fully cooked eggs and I prefer them extremely soft. When it comes to my favourite way to have eggs her answer is always no.

Omelettes are my favourite way to have eggs and I even like them for supper with hash browns and a large salad. Even with an omelette I am extremely fussy. I have had omelettes in a lot of different restaurants from diners to high end ones. All were really good but not how I like my omelettes. Of all the omelettes in different restaurants a high end french restaurant was the one I really didn’t like, but it was still good. Like other things I cook I kind of research it a little and the french style is supposed to be “the proper way to cook an omelette”. I totally disagree with that, the proper way is the way you like it.

My way is a little different because I like it fully cooked on both with kind of brown bits on the outside. When I pour the eggs in the pan I immediately sprinkle it with chopped green onions. When the first side is cooked I flip it over to cook the other side. Until recently I then added the filling to one half and then folded the other half on-top, classic omelette style. My filling has gone from kind of normal to a little crazy, sour kraut being the strangest. As much as I love omelettes there has always been something that bugged me. By the time I finish my omelette it was at room temperature, I like it hot.

Awhile ago I got a very very good non-stick frying pan and it impressed me. I was making an omelette and I noticed how easily it moved in the pan. Being a bit of a goofball I wondered if I could roll it and slide it out of the pan. It worked perfectly and when I ate it I was surprised. The omelette stayed hot until I finished it, no need for rocket science, it was because it was rolled. Now I roll it everytime I have an omelette. I always made a change with the filling, I spread it over the whole omelette rather than just half.

That brings me to the question, is it still and omelette or is it now an egg rollatini? What ever the answer it is still great. Yes I always have either red sauce (ketchup) or brown sauce (HP sauce).

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