" I truly think it is best to be a robin lightly dressed concocting soup inside my nest" ~Maurice Sendak


This is one of those dishes that looks intimidating and labor intensive but really isn't.
I adapted this recipe that is in one of my Jamie Oliver cookbooks.
I thought I had everything to make it exactly as written but I was missing a couple of key ingredients ( like Guinness, mushrooms and raw cubed beef), so I just decided to use some leftover steak I had on hand and create my own version as I had already thawed the pastry.

I still plan on making the original however everyone thought my version turned out really good.

Deep Dish Beef Pie

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • 1 pound of cooked cubed beef steak or roast
  • 1 tbsp of rosemary
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bottle of dark beer
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup of shredded old cheddar cheese
  • 1 pkg of puff pastry thawed
  • 1 beaten egg

Heat oven to 375F

In a deep dutch oven heat the olive oil and add the onion, carrot, garlic and celery.
Cook until slightly softened.
Add the beef, butter and seasonings and mix well .
Add the beer , stir in the flour and bring to a simmer.
Cover and place in the oven for 1 hour or until sauce is dark and thickened.
Remove and stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Let cool slightly.
Meanwhile divide the puff pastry into two pieces, one third and two thirds. roll out the pastry on a floured surface to make a bottom and top for the buttered casserole dish you are using for the pie.

Line the dish with the larger of the pastry so that the sides hang over the edge.
Pour in the stew and top with remaining cheese.
Place the other piece of pastry on top and fold over the hanging pastry on top twisting slightly.
Cut a crisscross design with a sharp knife and brush the top with the beaten egg.
Bake for 45 minutes until top is golden and puffy.

Wine Suggestion: Shiraz or dark beer


Hibernation Time

in a matter of a few days we have gone from having no snow to nearly two feet.

Well this
is Canada, known for its harsh long winters.
Time to hunker down inside and soothe our souls with good comfort food.

I recently had this dish at a local restaurant over the holidays and loved it so much that I decided to recreate it at home . I felt the restaurant's version needed a bit of a boost of seasoning and more bacon.
Cooked chicken breast slices can be purchased in the deli section of most grocery stores or at Costco where I get mine.
This dish is very quick to put together making it either a great weeknight dish or for weekend entertaining.

Enjoy digging in to this comforting dish after you dig yourself out of the snow!

Smokey Bacon & Chicken Peppercorn Rigatoni

  • 1/2 a package of Rigatoni
  • 6 slices of bacon diced
  • 1 pound of warm sliced grilled boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • Roughly 1 cup each of  milk and cream
  • salt to taste
Cook the pasta according package directions.
Meanwhile in a heavy wide saucepan fry the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon to plate. Drain off the bacon fat and heat the oil.
Add the flour whisking until smooth .
Add the milk or cream whisking until the cream sauce is to your desired consistency.
Add the oregano, peppercorns, garlic and salt mixing well.
Drain the cooked pasta and toss in a large bowl with the bacon and cream sauce.
Serve onto pasta bowls and top with the chicken and grated Parmesan cheese.

Wine Suggestion: Merlot