Great Recipes!

We like cooking and we like eating - who doesn't?  We sometimes get people asking for a recipe after we have had them over for supper or cooked something for a party.  So instead of always trying to remember to get them the recipe... they can be found here.  Most of what you will see here are our own or family recipes, but some have been unabashedly stolen from others - and I'll give them full credit where I know where they came from.

One helpful hint.  Much as you might prefer browsing through cookbooks, there are better ways to keep track of recipes than bookmarks in books and dog eared index cards.  We have converted our recipes to electronic format in cookbook software.  It works great for us, so let me suggest you check it out; it's called Now You're Cooking.  If you are using Now You're Cooking as your recipe software, you'll be able to just highlight and paste these recipes into your own cookbooks - and amounts are given in decimal instead of fractions to allow recipe scaling in this program.

And now, let's check out some recipes (BTW... no French or haute cuisine here...).  We'll keep adding them as people keep asking for new ones... Click on the recipe name to view the directions; use your browser's "back" button to return, or simply use the scroll bar to return to the top.

NOTE:  Since we first put this page up, Les has been diagnosed with Celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that affects the digestive tract.  So a lot of our recipes have been or are in the process of being modified to eliminate all sources of gluten.  One day, perhaps we'll put gluten free variations up here as well.




Jäger's Griffon Hotpot

German, sausage, soup, supper

2.25 lbs. potatoes; peeled and diced
5 leeks; diced
3 tbsp. butter
1 large onion; coarsely chopped
1 bunch marjoram
3 cups chicken stock
1 bottle kokanee beer
12 sausages, bratwurst and chorizo; diced
10 cloves garlic
basil; to taste

This is a real ribsticker chowder/stew; the spicy taste comes from the sausage. Fast to whip together after a long day hunting. Serve with steaming hot sourdough bread, big slabs of butter, and frosted mugs of ice cold beer. This is not Jenny Craig style food...

Peel and dice potatoes to about sugarcube size. Discard the green parts of the leeks; cut the white parts across about the same size as the potatoes.

In a suitably sized pot combine the stock, beer, potatoes, leeks, butter, garlic, and marjoram. Don't use that "lite" crap beer, but you can use an extra cup of stock instead of beer if you like. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes.

Cut the sausages into pieces about the size of the potatoes. Don't buy greasy crap sausage in supermarkets that's mostly fat; in Cranbrook you get fine quality sausage at Rick's Fine Meats. Weisswurst and other types of firm sausage can be used, but this is a German style dish. Add the sausage pieces to the pot and simmer gently for another 20 minutes.

Serve and let others salt/pepper to their own taste.

Note that times are approximate, depending on how finely you dice your ingredients and how hot you simmer them. Cook the spuds too long and they'll get mush, don't give them enough time and the sausage will not have cooked long enough to impart its' flavours to the hotpot. As a rule of thumb, I dice everything in a dish like this small enough so that two or three pieces of what might be in the pot can end up on your spoon. You should also use the marjoram and basil to your taste, not mine. Remember, you can always put more in, but you can't take it out afterwards. I have found I can add spices/herbs as close as five minutes to the end of cooking and still get excellent results.

Yield: makes two servings

Devil Dog Ribs

barbecue, pork, spicy, supper

6 lbs. ribs
1 onion
10 cloves
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. marjoram
1 tsp. oregano

1 cup brown sugar
.5 cup dark navy rum
.25 cup soya sauce
.25 cup ketchup
1 tbsp. worcestershire
3 tbsp. hickory smoke barbecue sauce
.5 tsp. habanaro sauce
.5 cup cocktail sauce
1 tsp. dry mustard
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp. chili paste
1 teaspoon hot red pepper

This is one of The Girl With The Curls recipes.  Les started out with two of my rib recipes, kind of put them together because they both looked good and she couldn't choose, and then added her own fine touch.  It's a winner...  The name is in memory of our Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Holly Dolly (Oct 1996 - May 2007).  She was a beautiful girl and a real princess, but an unrepentent sinner when it came to food.  Whenever Les made these, you couldn't drag the devil dog (as she was called while misbehaving) out of the kitchen with a logging chain.

Cut spare ribs into serving pieces, trim excess fat, cover with salted water, and add onion and herbs. Bring to a boil and cook until ribs are tender - about 50 minutes.  Drain and place in a shallow pan.

Blend remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Heat on medium heat until well blended. Pour over meat, and let marinate for at least an hour before barbequing. Grill on the barbeque, basting frequently, until brown and glazed - about 40 minutes. Cook on very low heat- they can easily turn into carbon due to the BBQ flame and all the booze and sugar in the marinade/basting sauce.  If you see flame and smoke shooting out from the cover of your barbeque... you're probably too late.

Yield: 5 servings

Rick's Spicy Beer Chuck & Cluck

chicken, fish/seafood, soup/stew, spicy, supper

.5 lb prawns; peeled, deveined
.5 lb chicken breast (boneless); diced
1 teaspoon basil; crushed
.5 teaspoon cumin
.5 teaspoon salt
.5 teaspoon cayenne
.5 teaspoon red pepper; crushed
.5 teaspoon thyme; crushed
.5 teaspoon oregano; crushed
.125 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
1.5 teaspoon garlic; minced
.3 cup cucumber; diced
.25 cup beer
1 cornstarch

We usually use big prawns, scallops and cucumber - but shrimp, abalone or whatever else you can get from the chuck should be fine as well. Crab would be okay - although you'd probably just add the cooked crab chunks with little cooking time. You could also use this to steam mussels and clams, in which case you'd double the rest of the ingredients to have a greater amount of liquid. Cucumbers are good, eggplant would probably be okay as well. I think brocolli and stuff like that wouldn't quite "go". Similarly, I imagine wine would work well too - but I think that beer is best to go with this. In fact, you could just use various kinds of seafood for a seafood medley (I do that more often than not); the character of this recipe is in the spicy sauce you end up with. Anyway, the resulting sauce would be good with most seafood, but the following directions are for prawns.  BTW, the chicken is in this recipe simply because our budget can't afford using nothing but the high priced seafood stuff in the amounts we make this dish in.

Clean and devein prawns under cold running water; set aside to drain. Combine all dry seasonings and herbs and place in a wok over high heat with the butter, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. When the margarine is melted, add the prawns and chicken. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring evenly.

Add the beer and vegetable, cover, and cook for one more minute. Toward the end of the cooking period add just enough cornstarch, arrowroot, or whatever to thicken liquid into a light "sauce" that clings to the seafood and chicken. Don't overdo it or the sauce will become a heavy thick gravy that overpowers the delicate taste of the seafood. You can also try thickening the sauce separately and allow each person to pour as little or as much as they want over their food. Remove from heat and serve with garlic bread or sourdough rolls.  And cold beer, of course...

Yield: 2 servings

Bentley's Hot Salsa

condiments, Mexican, sauces/dips, Tex-Mex

4 cans  (10 oz) Thrifty Maid peeled and diced tomatoes
2 cans (10 oz) Rotel  Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies (hard to find where we live in Canada)
.5 medium onion; chopped
4 jalapeno peppers
5 individual jalapeño peppers, Clemente Jacques or La Costeña brand; canned pickled jalapeño peppers
4 cloves garlic (of course, you can always use more...)
1 bunch cilantro; to taste
.25 cup juice from canned jalepeños
.5 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. pepper
2 tsp. chili powder
3 tbsp. cumin
3 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. cayenne
2 tsp. Lowry's seasoning salt; (optional... your call)
.5 lime; juiced
.125 cup oil

This recipe is courtesy of Georgette Bentley, a transplanted Texas gal who moved up to Canada because her lifelong dream was to be a lumber grader working for Tembec (just kidding Georgie).  Georgette passed it on to us as one of her sister's recipes.  Aside from being a great friend, Georgie introduced us to some wonderful Tex-Mex ingredients and recipes that we have included in our everyday table fare.  This salsa can be thrown together in minutes and goes great with everything.

Get a gallon jar ready...

Drain and reserve the juice from the canned diced tomatoes; put into the jar with the Rotel tomatoes undrained. Dice the onions to the size you like and add to the jar with the tomatoes.

Remove the stems from the fresh jalapenos, put in processor with the canned jalapenoes, and peeled garlic cloves. Wash the cilantro and strip away the lower heavy part of the stems. Add to the processor with the reserved jalapeno juice and a little of the tomato juice. Process it to the desired stage of liquification. You may find it works better to do the cilantro separately with most of the tomato juice. Add to the jar with the remaining tomato juice.

Add the seasonings to the jar on top of everything else and stir well. Add the vinegar, lime juice, and vegetable oil. Stir well again.


Yield: don't worry, it won't last long enough to go bad...

Ma's Shortbread Cookies

Christmas, cookies

1 lb. butter
1 cup icing sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
.5 cup corn starch

My Mom makes the world's best shortbread cookies, hands down, no questions asked.  These do indeed melt in your mouth, and they can quickly make you a charter member of the Men Without Waists Club if you don't control yourself.  I think the recipe originally came from my Gramma, Dora Sparks, and she probably got it from her Scottish mom.

Put butter and icing sugar in a bowl and beat for AT LEAST HALF AN HOUR.  Don't cheat on the time... it should be light and creamy when you're done.

Sift the flour and corn starch together.  Add flour/corn starch; don't beat, knead until it starts to crack - it should be slightly creamy, not lumpy. Use a cookie press or whatever you wish to form the cookies; bake the cookies at 350 F. for about 11 minutes. Keep an eye on them; they burn very easily.  Cookies are done when golden brown around the edges.


Version for folks out there with Celiac disease who can't have flour/gluten:

Shortbread for Celiac Disease:      350 degrees - 12 minutes.

Beat 1/2 pound butter with 1/2 cup Icing Sugar till light and creamy.

Add after sifting together:

1 cup Potato starch
1 cup Sweet White Rice Flour.

Beat vigorously till creamy and put through cookie press onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake till edges of cookies are golden brown.

Contributor: Minnie Lowe

Yield: 1 cookie tin

Steamed Mussels In Wine

appetizers, fish/seafood, snackies, soup/stew

2 lbs. mussels
1 cup water
1 medium onion
.25 cup butter
.25 cup white wine
6 cloves garlic
black pepper

A wonderfully messy way to eat fresh mussels (would probably work with clams as well... never tried it).

Scrub the 'beard' off all shells and throw out any that appear dead. Grate the onion and garlic into mush in a wok, add the butter and gently saute until golden but not brown. Add wine and water and bring to a boil. Add the mussels, cover, and steam until the shells pop open.

Serve in large bowls with pepper and sourdough rolls on the side with lots of napkins - this is a dirty business (the rolls are for mopping up the juice... the napkins are for mopping up the mess).

Yield: makes two servings

Les's Ring O' Fire Curry

Indian, spicy, supper

1 tsp. chili pepper
1 tsp. ground tumeric
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
2 tsp. grainy mustard
2 tsp. mustard powder
2 tbsp. water
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 clove garlic; finely chopped
2 tbsp. fresh ginger; finely chopped
1 cans (10 oz.) Rotel  Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies (hard to find where we live in Canada)
.5 bell red pepper
3 cup spinach; chopped
1 bag mixed seafood (about .4 Kg)
2 cup shrimp
1/2 onion; finely chopped
4 tbsp. fresh coriander/italian parsley; finely chopped

Combine dry spices, mustard and two tablespoons water. Mix to a paste. Heat oil and gently saute garlic, ginger and onion. When lightly browned, add spice paste and cook for 15 seconds. Add tomatoes and red pepper. Cook for 1 minute and add 1 cup or so of water. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add shrimp and seafood. Stir and cook for a few minutes until cooked. If needed separate stock from solids and reduce. Add a tablespoon or so of cornstarch as needed. Combine again , add spinach and 1/2 of fresh coriander/italian parsley. Add coconut milk or heavy cream, simmer for a second and serve. Serve over brown rice and garnish with the remainder of fresh coriander.

Yield: makes two servings

Imitation Fresgo Inn Cheesecake

cheesecake, desserts

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
.25 cup sugar
.25 cup margarine; melted
1 envelope gelatin; unflavoured
.25 cup cold water
.5 lb. cream cheese
.5 cup sugar
1 dash salt
.75 cup milk
.25 cup lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream; whipped

Once upon a time there was a restaurant named the Fresgo Inn on Davie Street in Vancouver, back in the 70's and 80's when Davie Street had every imaginable sight you could imagine once night fell.  The Fresgo Inn was noted for massive amounts of food that spilled off the sides of plates; in particular I remember the fish and chips, the mushroom burger, and the cheesecake.  It was really a unique place: about two in the morning, the police, hookers, and druggies declared a truce and politely lined up together with the rest of the late night herd to stuff their faces.  We used to leave our patrol area fairly regularly to sneak into Vancouver and eat at Fresgo's.

Fast forward to 1993, peacemaking in the former Yugoslavia.  Hunkered in the bunker one day, I wrote to Fresgo's to tell them how much the troops from the Vancouver area missed their cheesecake.  Lo and behold, this is the recipe they sent back - not the "real" recipe, but what they said was as close as we would be likely to be able to reproduce over in Yugo.  Pretty darned good...

Combine crumbs, sugar, and margarine, press into bottom of a 9" springform pan.  Soften gelatin in cold water; stir over low heat until dissolved.  Combine softened cream cheese, sugar, and salt, mixing at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended.  Gradually add milk, lemon juice, and gelatin.  Chill until slightly thickened.  Fold in whipped cream and pour over crust. Chill until firm.

Contributor: The Fresgo Inn, may its' memory live forever...

Rick's Ring Sting Fried Rice

Oriental, spicy, supper

1.5 cups rice
2 eggs
2 dozen medium size white mushrooms
2 cups diced cooked ham
1 dozen green onions
3 tbsp. canola oil
3 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. Mongolian Fire Oil (House of Tsang brand)
1 tbsp. crushed chilis
dark mushroom soy sauce
roasted sesame seeds to taste

Once the rice is cooked, this takes no time at all to make.  In fact, you better have everything ready to go when you start cooking because you won't be able to prepare food fast enough to keep up once started.  This makes a meal in itself (which is how we usually have it), or as a side dish to something else.  These amounts are not written in stone - I measured them out one time so I could write out this recipe, but usually I just cook the whole mess thrown together using the Mk I eyeball..

If possible, cook the rice several hours ahead of time.  I'm not sure why, but it cooks better once it has been cooled in the fridge for a while.  This much rice should result in about three cups of rice after cooking it.  You don't want to cook more than this much rice at one time unless you have a stove capable of kicking out some serious heat - the amount of food in the pan will be more than the stove can keep hot and the mushrooms will give up all their water and the whole mess turn to soup.

Beat the two eggs, pour into a frying pan at low heat, and cook until just barely firm.  While the egg is cooking, chop up the mushrooms and dice the cooked ham.  We use honey garlic or Black Forest smoked hams, they all give a little different taste.  Cut up the white parts of the green onions and save the green tops for later.

Put a large, deep skillet on a burner set to high and pour in the canola and sesame oil.  You can use peanut oil instead, but we don't as Les is allergic to peanuts.  When the oil is smoking hot, throw in the mushrooms and begin to brown them.  As they start to brown, throw in the ham and green onions as well, the crushed chilis, a few splashes of the dark soy sauce, and the Mongolian Fire Oil (or similar hot chili oil).  If your stove isn't hot enough, this is when the soup stage will suddenly set in.

Once the skillet is smoking hot again, throw in the cooked rice, mix the whole mess up, and continue cooking.  While this is going on, diced up the pancake of cooked egg that you cooked to begin with, and chop up a handful of the green onion tops.  Once the everything appears cooked, throw in the cooked egg and green onion tops and cook for another minute.  Remove from the stove and continue to stir until the pan cools enough the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the skillet - or transfer to a bowl and create another dirty dish.  Top with roasted sesame seeds to taste and light soy sauce.

Variations to this dish include using seafood in addition to the ham - we use diced squid tubes.  You can also throw a few liberal splashes of rice cooking wine in at the same time you add the ham, onions, and chilis to the mushrooms.  This recipe is pretty tame on the chilis and chili oil; feel free to increase them to taste.

Yield: makes three full servings.

Heidi's Huckleberry Boy Bait

2 cups flour
1.5 cups sugar
.75 cup butter or margarine
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites, beaten
.75 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 (or more!) cups fresh huckleberries

Our neighbor down in Montana (and all around fun person to be in the company of) Heidi Duncan shared this recipe with us.  I'll remember this recipe because the day I got it Heidi was suffering from a little too much fun from the night before.  We had dropped by to say hi on our evening walk and Heidi cracked a bottle (or maybe two) of wine, and we eventually got home about ten in the evening.  I was surprised the next day that she remembered I had asked for the recipe.  Obviously, she did, and now you can enjoy this as well!  It's a good one!

Other kinds of berries will work as well, but nothing tastes remotely as good as tart mountain huckleberries.

Mix together the flour, sugar and butter with a pastry blender. Reserve one cup of this mixture for topping. Add the remaining ingredients in order given, adding egg whites last. Pour batter into a 9-inch square, greased and floured pan. Bake at 350 approximately 25 minutes before spreading berries over top. Bake 20 more minutes and sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over top. Continue baking 15 minutes longer, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Yield: serves 4-6