What food is so ubiquitously Canadian?  Yes, maple syrup and butter tarts are up there.  But I mean a food that, if you aren’t a true world-cuisine gourmet or have been to Canada, you have absolutely no idea about?

A food that (and I’ve eaten it there) is served at movie theaters.

A food that is a bone of contention (mostly about the cheese).

A food that takes lackluster fries and makes them something worthwhile to eat.

A food that makes me wonder:  potatoes and gravy are the ultimate combination, and we love our gravy in the South.  So, why don’t we have fries and gravy down here?

A food that inspires its own restaurants and is served at most restaurants in Canada that sell fries.

(Although I’m looking forward to chip stand fries shortly.  I would prefer my Canadian chip stand fries unadorned–no ketchup, no gravy, no vinegar–because they are crisp perfection!)

A food that has inspired a multitude of variations (but, let’s be honest those who have enjoyed it before, the original is best).


To those unaware of what it is, I give you leave to google.  Clicking the “restaurants” link before will send you to a bevy of variations.

Poutine is simply fries, gravy, and cheese curds.

Josh insists they must be white cheese curds, the kind that squeak in your teeth.  If you absolutely cannot find cheese curd, mozzarella string cheese is a substitute.  I’m not going to say a good substitute or an acceptable one.  It’s a substitute.

I realize I skirted heresy by even suggesting that.

Recently, our Kroger store (big big heart of love there) started carrying cheese curds…white cheese curds.  We served that poutine with the diablo burgers.

So, here’s what I did.  P.S.  If you don’t have cheese curd and don’t want to risk being a heretic, you can have fries and gravy.  Fries and gravy are pretty awesome!


French fries, fried crisp (we usually bake them; I know, heresy)

prepared gravy (It’s ok to use packet gravy.  In Canada, there are gravy packets simply for poutine.)

white (or orange, if you must) cheese curds (or cubed mozza–eek!)

Layer hot fries on a plate.  Sprinkle with a desired amount of cheese curd.  Cover all of the cheese curd and fries with gravy.  You want the cheese curd to begin melting.  Serve with a fork.

What is your favorite Canadian food?

Tip Tuesday: How a Component of a Recipe Can be Used for Other Things

Tip Tuesday

My sister has taught me many things throughout my life.  For the purposes of this blog, we will focus on all that she has ever taught me about food.  Even then this was a copious amount of things.

Her first official “paycheck” job in high school was at a now-defunct local hamburger chain, Short Stop.  While at Short Stop, she learned many, many things.  The one that I am most grateful for is learning how to make one of their most unusual burgers:  the Diablo Burger.

The Diablo Burger uses cheese singles, mayonnaise, a patty, and a yummy melange that is the purpose of this article:  onions and bell peppers sauteed in onions and seasoned with Creole seasoning (referred to down here as “Tony’s” or Tony Chachere seasoning).

My sister uses that same pepper-onion mixture (that I call Diablo veggies) when she has a hot dog bar when we visit.  This mixture is AWESOME on hot dogs!  I have a feeling it would be awesome on pretty much anything (grilled chicken or steak) including ice cream.  Okay, maybe not on ice cream, but having visited the Tabasco factory and tasted the raspberry chipotle ice cream, it might be good on the ice cream.

So, how is it made?  The amounts are purely up to you, so it’s more of a process than anything.

Diablo Burgers

Adapted from Short Stop Restaurant by my sister

Diablo Burger

For each serving:

one hamburger patty, seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked on a griddle or in a skillet

one hamburger bun


cheese single

“Diablo veggies” (see below

I tend to mayo both sides of the bun (not necessarily a very thick coat, unless that is your thing, chicken wing).  I then place the cheese single on the bottom mayo’d bun.  Top the cheese single with a patty (still hot hopefully) and then the Diablo veggies.  I think more is more on the Diablo veggies, as you can tell from the picture above.  Top with the other bun and consume with fries or chips.

Diablo Veggies

A 1:1 ratio of onion (large) to bell pepper (equally large)

butter or margarine (eyeball it…usually around 1-2 tablespoons)

Creole seasoning, to taste (as mentioned above, we tend to use Tony’s)

Render the onion and bell pepper into strips.  Melt butter or margarine in a skillet over medium heat until melted and just starting to bubble.  Add the bell peppers and cook until soft and showing color.  Stir in Tony’s to taste.  And I mean, to taste.  You don’t want to make this too spicy for any spice phobes in your house.

Use in any variety of recipes.  (If you try it on ice cream and it’s awesome, please let me know!).

What is your favorite recipe component that you like to reuse?

Meal Plan Monday: The Spring Break Edition

Meal Plan Monday

Good morning, Pinteresting Blogosphere!  It’s been an interesting couple of weeks.  I am hard at work on a side writing project (more info to come on that later–hopefully!), and IT IS SPRING BREAK!

It was great not to wake up at 5:30 (although I my internal alarm clock woke me at 6).

This week I’m trying a mix of old and new.  For my subscribers who get e-mails when I post, you know the joy (hopefully) of finding recipes that you would like to try.

Such happened to me when I recently received an e-mail update from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures.   There was a recipe that totally intrigued me!  Now, I’ve tried a few taco/Mexican casseroles in my day, but this one looked really promising.  I will let you know Wednesday how it turns out (or when I get around to that post).  It’s a taco salad casserole.  Everything is all cooked and yummy, and then you sprinkle shredded lettuce on top (or, as Muffin calls lettuce, salad).

And when am I serving it?  Taco Tuesday, of course!

Also on the menu this week was a variation of my Great-Aunt Gene’s, Oriental Chicken Wings (I used chicken thighs).  I consider this truly a family heirloom recipe.  Yes, I mean the Great-Aunt Gene who made the “pina colada cake.”  I think next time I will make the chicken with the pina colada cake.  That would be a true tribute in her honor.

So, here is the menu plan for the week (including Easter weekend):

Saturday:  Oriental Chicken (Thighs), rice, corn

Sunday:  Easter Dinner:  My responsibility was the Honey Mustard Glazed Pork Loin with Cranberries.  My mom made her macaroni and cheese, baked sweet potatoes, and steamed broccoli (as well as cake mix brownies with chocolate cream cheese frosting).  I know I haven’t posted the pork loin recipe yet, but, trust me, grasshopper, it’s coming (and will be totally worth it)!

Monday:  Easter leftovers (I made us each a plate from the leftovers and left the rest of the roast with my mom.)

Tuesday:  Taco Salad Casserole (Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures), Spanish rice (think the Mahatma rice blend), chips, salsa

Wednesday:  Pizza Meatball Subs, chips

Thursday:  Creamy Swiss Chicken Bake, rice, green veg

Friday:  pizza and corn

Saturday:  Caramelized Pepper Chicken (Just a Taste), rice, egg roll

Sunday:  Another Lazy Day Sunday Casserole (Kayotic Kitchen), fruit

What’s on your meal plan for the week?

We Plan Wednesday: What to Make from My Two New Cooking Maggerzines

We Plan Wednesday

Yup.  My cooking magazine obsession has expanded by two.


Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications:  Slow Cooking and Taste of Home Special Collectors Edition Church Potluck are they.  The very first thing I do when I receive cooking magazines is to go through and make a list of the recipes I want to try.  That is what I will share with you today.  Some of these will probably find their way to this blog shortly.

BHG Slow Cooker

Big Batch Granola

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Slow-Roasted Spring Veggies with Herbed Aioli

New Potato Chicken Soup

Basic Meatballs

Chicken-Chorizo Meatballs

Ham Balls

Turkey-Pork Meatballs

Italian Meatballs

Beef-Pork Meatballs

Swedish Meatball Pasta Pot

Spicy Meatball Subs

Cuban Arroz

Cocktail Meatballs

Bear-Mustard Sauce

Soy Glaze

Rosemary-Fig Sauce

Sweet Mustard Glaze

Cherry Cola Glaze

Pineapple-Jalapeno Sauce

Mongolian Beef

Chinese Congee with Chicken

Szechwan Chicken/Chicken Fried Rice

Mu Shu Chicken

Chilaquiles Verdes

Pork Tacos

Shredded Chicken Tacos

Jalapeno Corn Bread

Pecan Pie

Butterscotch Fondue

BBQ Chicken Mac ‘N’ Cheese

All-American Sloppy Joes

Cheddar-Bacon Monkey Bread

Caramel-Stuffed Monkey Bread

Apple-Spiked Monkey Bread

Easy Pork Posole

Creamy Chicken Alfredo

Saucy Italian Chicken

Broccoli and Cheese Risotto

Orange Chicken Salad

Turkey Orzo Salad With Dried Cherries

Iceberg Wedge Salad

Spring German Potato Salad

Creamy Chicken Stew

Chocolate Marshmallow Cake

Lemon-Poppy Seed Cake

TOH Church Potluck

Reuben Rounds

Italian Meatball Buns

Loaded Baked Potato Dip

Loaded Pulled Pork Cups

Citrus Punch

Buffalo Wing Bites

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Sparkling White Grape Punch

Ravioli Appetizer Pops

Chicken Tater Bake

Chicken and Cheese Noodle Bake

Supreme Pizza Casserole

Broccoli Mac & Cheese Bake

Classic Turkey Tetrazzini

Potluck Fried Chicken

Onion Beef au Jus

Game Time Stromboli

Best Spaghetti and Meatballs

Burrito Pie

Sweet & Spicy Peanuts

Pepperoni Extreme Dip

Buffalo Wing Dip

Chicken Sliders with Sesame Slaw

Savory Sausage Stuffing

Giant Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich

Freezer Slaw

Bacon Cheddar Potato Croquettes


Broccoli-Cheddar Tassies

Ice Cream Cookie Dessert

Taco Shepherd’s Pie

Sherbet-Filled Angel Food Cake

Easy Cake Mix Bars

Chai Tea Sandwich Cookies

Garlic Herb Mini Quiches

Sage Turkey Sausage Patties

Sausage Egg Bake

Get Up and Go Granola

Pineapple and Cream Cheese Bread Pudding

Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Donuts

Fiesta Corn Salad

Blue Cheese Bread Pudding

Lime-Honey Fruit Salad

Meat Lover’s Bread Salad

Tamale Cakes

Confetti Corn Bread

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

Blueberry Brunch Loaf

Rustic Garden Herb Biscuits

Lemon-Filled Coconut Cake

Peanut Butter Pudding Dessert

Cream Filled Cupcakes

Cant Leave Alone Bars

Coconut Chocolate Cake

What new recipes are you planning on trying?

Meal Plan Monday: And What We Ate Last Week

Meal Plan Monday

Last week was unusual in that we followed the meal plan (pretty much).  I was so proud of myself for that.  I was not too proud for not getting the meal plan published and posted on here.  So, I thought I would share with you what happened (meal plan wise).

Saturday:  Cheese strata (recipe forthcoming)

Sunday:  dinner out (Asian buffet)

Monday:  Whataburger opened!  (Monterey Melt!  Onion Rings!  Root Beer!)

Tuesday:  Baked potato soup topped with green onion, bacon crumbles, and shredded cheese (semi-homemade using Campbell’s chunky soup)

Wednesday:  Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken from Favorite Family Recipes (post coming soon)

Thursday:  hot dogs and chips

Friday:  mini pizzas, corn

Saturday:  Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef (Six Sisters’ Stuff), rice, eggrolls

Sunday:  Honey Mustard Glazed Cranberry Pork Loin Roast, Stove Top stuffing, peas

And this next week:

Saturday:  Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef (see above)

Sunday:  pork loin (see above)

Monday:  Sweet Tea Fried Chicken (Growing Up Gabel), rice, green veg

Tuesday:  quesadillas (chicken), beans, rice

Wednesday:  Mexican Hash Brown Casserole (Smashed Peas and Carrots)

Thursday:  leftovers or hot dogs

Friday:  pizza at Sam’s

Saturday:   Caramelized Black Pepper Chicken (Just a Taste), fried rice

Sunday:  Another Lazy Day Sunday Casserole (Kayotic Kitchen)

What’s on your meal plan for this week?


Cent-Saving Saturday: Back in the Swing of Things

Cent Saving Saturday

Yes.  I know.  Things been busy.  Not an excuse, I know.  Plus, some things have happened that shake my confidence in people.  One thing, however, does remain the same:  our sales cycles start on Wednesdays.  The consistency there is to be much lauded.

The sales this week are pretty fair.


strawberries, 1 pound 99 cents

Kroger cheese 2.99/pound

Private Selection bacon $2.99/pound

Kroger canned tomatoes or beans 2/$1

asparagus, $1.99/pound

Oscar Mayer Lunchables (small) 10/$10

Coca-Cola, Pepsi, 7-Up, or Dr. Pepper 2L bottles $1 each when you buy multiples of 5

Ritz Crackers $1.75 wyb 5

Kraft Mayo $2.49 wyb 5


Capri Sun $1.99 wyb 5

Jello gelatin or pudding snacks 99 cents wyb 5

Hershey’s, Mars, or Nestle’s singles candy bars 49 cents wyb 5

Super 1 Foods

boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.47/pound

What are the great deals where you’re at this week?