Category Archives: Illustrated Cookbook

Pie with wine is a good way to end any day

Last Saturday was a good day. The test kitchen welcomed three OneRoastChicken subscribers for a very successful cooking class. We made (and ate) lots of yummy food: Roast chicken with a spice rub, tinfoil carrots, homemade chicken broth, vegetable corn chowder, trout with fruit salsa, and Dutch apple pie. The house smelled amazing for hours, even with the apple pie boiling over into the sparkling clean oven.

All the food set out … apples for pie far left in blue bowl, pineapple for salsa, celery in a big pot for chicken stock, carrots to be baked in tinfoil, and at the very far right cans of creamed corn for the vegetable soup

As Jessica and Jennifer and Suzanne peeled apples, measured spices, stirred and baked, we chatted about the dinners you can get away with when you’re single and young (microwave popcorn, entire bags of kettle chips, toast and peanut butter, crackers and cheese). But now as everyone’s getting older, lives have shifted, and old patterns of eating just don’t work anymore. You can no longer get by on a chocolate bar for breakfast. People get married, have kids, need to stop eating take out, need to pack lunches. If you’re me, you discover that having a captive audience (husband) who’ll eat just about anything (André will), means that I’m more likely to experiment, make new things, be brave, try a new recipe, to make falafels at home even though they involve deep frying in a pot of boiling oil (scary).

Yesterday, while we were making soup, we talked about how to use up leftover fresh lasagne sheets (why not cut them into strips and boil like fettuccini?), how to use up leftover lime (beer, lemonade, cranberry juice), and about how I feel no guilt asking the produce guy at the grocery store to take apart this lovely tray of jalapeno peppers wrapped in cellophane and just wrap up one single pepper for me, no thanks, I don’t need six, I just need one. It cost 46¢.

The “student chickens” – as André calls all subscribers “your chickens” – well, the student chickens had lots of ideas for new classes and new cookbooks. How about a November cooking class where we work though a dinner party, from start to finish – a nice appetizer, Caesar salad, garlic bread, lasagne, chocolate cake – complete with how to get the timing right, grocery list, planning. One student chicken says that even though she’s often invited out to her friends’ places for dinner, she doesn’t feel confident enough to invite people back to her place. “And that’s bad karma,” she says.

When I suggested having a December cooking class where we did a whole bunch of Christmas baking (easy shortbreads, light fruit cake, cranberry chocolate bars, spicy ginger snaps) – everyone thought that was a great idea, especially if they got to take all the baking home at the end of the class. Sure, why not.

As it was, all three student chickens left with many plastic containers of leftover soup, chicken, fish with salsa, and pie. Did I mention the pie? I had shared some with them when we had our shared meal, but I finished off the rest once they had gone home, and André and I opened more wine. I was tired but very happy. And pie with wine is a good way to end any day 🙂


As always, I’d love to hear your feedback.
You can always reach me at shelley@oneroastchicken.com.
Thanks and bon appetit!

Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu, Owner & Head Chef
www.oneroastchicken.com

PS/ The next cooking class

The next Roast Chicken and Apple Pie cooking class is coming up next weekend, Saturday, November 10th, from 1 pm to 6 pm. The class will take place in Montreal, in the fully equipped One Roast Chicken test kitchen. To register, visit here. It’s not very often that you get the chance to take part in a small cooking class like this one with *only 3 students* and lots of one-on-one instruction.

I also received a few questions, which I would like to answer now:

Q. Is this a demonstration class or a participation class?

A. I believe in hands-on training. This will NOT be a demonstration class where you just watch me cook and you stand around for hours. No way! Sure, you’ll watch me a bit, but then you’ll leap in there and you’ll be prepping and cooking and chopping and baking and EATING.

Q. What recipes will we be making?

A. Together, we are going to be busy cooking for the entire 5 hours. You’re going to make a Spicy Roast Chicken (called Grant’s Chicken) with tinfoil baked carrots with thyme. After that, we’re going to make chicken broth from scratch. And because I get so many emails asking me about cooking fish (like, “how do you know when it’s ready?”), you’re also going to make Trout with Fruit Salsa. Next you’re going to make a lovely Corn Chowder with red and green pepper. And finally, for dessert, how about Dutch Apple Pie with two kinds of seasonal apples and a sweet crunchy topping.

I enjoyed [the class] a lot! It gave me the confidence to try it on my own. Now that I know what [the pie] would look like, it ain’t complicated to make and is delicious … I’ll be sure to make 1 of the recipes 1 day this week. I admit, the minute I got home, even though I was full, I had to take another bite of the pie. — Jennifer

Q. What is included in the course registration fee?

A. Everything is included. Your registration fee of $169 CDN includes everything you’ll need for the class. There are no supplies for you to buy. No groceries for you to bring. You don’t have to bring anything! You just have to show up with smile on your face, ready to learn … and we’re going to have a great time.

Here’s what’s included:

— Included: Five hours of instruction in a small group limited to 3 people.

— Included: All of the fabulous fresh ingredients and groceries that you’ll need to cook all afternoon.

— Included: Tasting and enjoying all the food that you’ve just learned to make.

Q. If I don’t get into this November 10th class, when is the next one?

A. I haven’t scheduled the classes for the new year yet, as I’m waiting to see what my travel schedule will be (I’m trying to book space for cooking classes in British Columbia for January); but probably this Roast Chicken / Apple Pie class won’t be offered again in Montreal until February 2008 at the earliest.

Q. How can I register?

You can go here and fill out a simple registration form, then you’ll be whisked away to Paypal so you can pay 🙂

PPS/ If you’re unable to attend this class, you might be interested in the illustrated cooking lessons available in “Successful Home Cooking.” Valerie from Washington calls it her Home Cooking School.

Eat more fish!

Fish is good for you. It’s low in fat, high in Omega-3, and a good source of protein.

OK, if it’s so fabulous, then why don’t we eat it more often?

You’re probably saying … “I don’t like fish.” Well, I have a recipe that might surprise you. Most people like fresh pineapple. And there’s something about tangy fruit salsa served with baked fish that is hard to resist.

Are you thinking … “every time I try to cook fish it never works out.”

Maybe you don’t have a reliable recipe that makes delicious, moist fish time after time … I’ve got the answer for you, and it’s much easier than you think 🙂

Start with two medium sized fillets. These ones are from the regular grocery store. You can also buy your fish from a fish shop, or poissonnerie.

I’m using trout, but you could use salmon…

Line a baking dish with tin foil.

Remove the fish from the package and place directly on the foil. Don’t bother trying to remove the fish skin now, as it comes off easier once cooked.

To make the fruit salsa, you’ll need tiny pieces of pineapple, and fresh mango …
… mixed together with a very little bit of chopped jalapeno and some finely chopped red onion.
To make the dressing, you need some fresh lime juice, honey, spices, and some olive oil.
Pour the dressing over the fruit salsa, and stir to combine the flavours.
Bake the fish while you’re making rice and asparagus. This dinner is ready to eat in about 28 minutes.

Price per serving $3.45 for the fish and salsa; $4.11 with the rice and asparagus.

These 7 images are just a sampling of the 15 photos that make up the step-by-step illustrated lesson for Trout with Fruit Salsa (Recipe 1.8) . The complete recipe lesson is available in Successful Home Cooking. My goal? To help you become a successful at-home cook. To order your copy of the 122-page full-colour book, click here.

If you have any questions about fish or anything else, just send me a note. You can always reach me at Shelley@OneRoastChicken.com.

All best wishes, and bon appetit!

Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu,

Owner & Head Chef

www.oneroastchicken.com


Sherri writes …

“I have been cooking for over 40 years, and I probably have over 400 cookbooks, but I’ve never seen anything like Successful Home Cooking. I made your Chicken Tandoori recipe and I followed the lesson exactly, and it was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before! I might have lots of cookbooks, but they’re all the same. I am much more likely to make one of your recipes because I know you’ve tried it, and that you recommend it, and that I will learn something new, and best of all – that I will be successful.” – Sherri from Halifax, Nova Scotia


Apple Pie for 1 or 2

When I was a single girl, I never made a full-sized apple pie. Because who would eat it all? (Or worse, what if I ate it all myself?) If you’ve never made apple pie before, making a baby pie is a good way to get started. Here are some photos to get you inspired to make a tiny baby pie which is suitable for two if you must share, or for one if you’re hungry.

When is the last time you made apple pie?

Cut a frozen 9″ pie crust in half and save the rest for later.
Put the half you’re using in a zipper bag and leave it on the counter to defrost.
Roll out the pie crust to be just a bit bigger than your pie tin.
Place dough in the pan.
Now it’s time to prepare the apples, two different kinds for maximum squishy-ness and taste.
You slice the two apples, approximatley the same thickeness throughout.
Toss with flour, sugar, and some spices to make it taste very yummy.
Put the apples in the crust and fold up the edges.
Prepare the crumble topping (butter, flour, sugar) and don’t overmix — keep a few large lumps.
Presto, you’re nearly done. Put it in the oven on a smal sheet of tinfoil in case it overflows…
This is a half-serving, which is still a respectable portion if you are forced to share…

These pictures are just a sampling of the complete illustrated lesson for Apple Pie for One (Recipe 1.11) . The complete recipe lesson is available in Successful Home Cooking. My goal? To help you become a successful at-home cook. To order your copy of the 122-page full-colour book, click here.

If you have any questions about pie or anything else, just send me a note. You can always reach me at Shelley@OneRoastChicken.com.

All best wishes, and bon appetit!

Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu, Owner & Head Chef
www.oneroastchicken.com



Homemade strawberry jam

Yesterday morning we drove to a farm just outside Montreal to pick fresh strawberries. Making strawberry jam once a year is part of my beginning-of-summer routine. If you’ve never tasted fresh jam before, there’s nothing like it. And if you’ve never made jam before, I have a few pictures to inspire you to try 🙂

Head off to your nearest U-pick strawberry farm.(Or you can buy your berries at the grocery store or farmer’s market.)
Pick at least 4 quarts (4 litres) to make two batches of jam.We picked one basket for jam, and a second basket for eating.
Try not to get carried away!
There are always more berries hiding… you can’t take them all home.
Jam is really easy, you just need a big pot, some Certo (pectin), and some sugar. Add rhubarb if you’d like to make a tangy strawberry-rhubarb jam.
Get your glass jars out of storage (or buy a new box).I like these 2-cup jars, not too big, not too small.
Wash the jars and the lids in hot soapy water.
After you’ve washed your jars, put about 1″ of water in each, put on a tray, and stick in a warm oven to sterilize while you prepare the berries.
Rinse berries, remove the green stems, and put a few in a big bowl.Crush in small batches with a potato masher, or a pastry blender.
Measure out the crushed berries. My recipe needed 4.5 cups of squished berries.
Make sure your pot is big enough for the jam to double in size while it is boiling. It’s like a scene from a movie!
When the jam is cooling, skim the foam off the top with a metal spoon.
If you have a funnel, it makes getting the jam into the jars just a little bit easier.
After you’ve put the lids on, turn the jars upside-down for 15 minutes (set your timer). This prevents the fruit from quickly settling to the bottom of the jar.
Now that you’re finished, you just need to decide who you’re going to give them to as gifts…

The recipe I use for strawberry jam and for strawberry-rhubarb jam is from the inside of the Certo (pectin) package. I’ll tell you one thing about making homemade jam, once you get started, it’s hard to stop! There are recipes for blueberry jam, crabapple jelly, and orange marmalade…

If you have any jammy questions, just send me a note. You can always reach me at Shelley@OneRoastChicken.com.

All best wishes, and bon appetit!

Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu, Owner & Head Chef
www.oneroastchicken.com


“I love the pictures! I made the roast chicken and had a friend over for dinner, and it was totally successful and delicious!” (T. Williamson, Georgia)

“Successful Home Cooking” is selling like cold lemonade on a hot day! OneRoastChicken’s new publication, “Successful Home Cooking” is now available. Not just another cookbook, these are cooking lessons in full-colour delivered right to your kitchen. All recipes include pages of colour photography and step-by-step instructions.

And to keep you on budget, every recipe includes the price per serving. How about Apple Pie for One for $1.23 per serving? Or Lasagne $2.44 each?

Order your copy of “Successful Home Cooking” now…

It comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee. Your friends are going to say “WOW, did you make this?”

Banana bread for the homeless

 

hen I first moved to Montreal four years ago, I was searching for a local community shelter where I could do some volunteer work. All of my Montreal contacts said the same thing: “Chez Doris.” It’s a daytime drop-in place, to get off the street and get inside, located in downtown Montreal. I went for a tour and was impressed with the sunny inside spaces, the sewing room, the ‘shop’ where visitors can pick out clothes, kitchenware, and bedding. A nurse is periodically onsite to answer questions and check on regulars. The day I was there, a group of women sat around a giant old TV set, all of them knitting.

After I made my first cash donation, a newsletter came in the mail. It was around Christmas, and there was a section in the newsletter listing non-perishable gifts we could drop off: deodorant, toothpaste, socks, winter coats. Then my eye skipped to “baked goods and desserts.”

Really. Did they want donations of food?

I called Chez Doris and spoke with a lovely bilingual receptionist, who assured me that yes, in fact, they did want food. I still wasn’t convinced. “Are you sure you wouldn’t rather have money?” I asked.

“Our kitchen is very busy,” she said. “We provide breakfast and lunch to over 70 women every day. The cooks don’t have time to make a lot of desserts. If you want to donate something, please bring enough for 50-70 people to share.”

Gulp.

I was single then, and new to the city, and happy for a project. I dedicated several Friday nights to making banana bread for Chez Doris. They’re easy to make, with only 6 ingredients, and are easy to package in plastic wrap and then tinfoil before I pop them in the freezer. Once I have 3 or 4 loaves, I pack them in the car and deliver them downtown.

The greeting I receive when I show up at the door with a bag of baking is always the same: “Great! We’ll use these this afternoon for prizes in Bingo… We’ll eat these today. These will certainly be appreciated.”

When I started dating André, I continued the routine of making banana bread whenever there were 3 dead bananas in the kitchen. And he learned to ask (in a tiny voice) if I was making them for ‘us’ or for les sans-abri (the homeless). He didn’t want to eat more than his share, but his eyes were always wide when I told him I was baking them for us.

OK. So here’s why I’m telling you this story 🙂 I wanted to find some way to tie in the work that I was doing for Chez Doris with One Roast Chicken. So when I launched the illustrated cooking lessons “Successful Home Cooking,” I decided that for every print book sold, I’d make a banana bread for Chez Doris. Imagine the look on their face now when I arrive with my bags…

 

Now I know I’m making you hungry, and you’re saying “where I get my hands on one of these banana breads?” For the next 6 days only, if you purchase a print copy of “Successful Home Cooking” I will send you — free of charge — a bonus illustrated lesson for my banana bread, so you can make your very own! It’s simple with only 6 ingredients, and adapts very well to muffins — which can be frozen for single servings. It’s cheap to make (3 dead bananas, small bit of margarine, flour, baking soda, 2 eggs). And the illustrated lesson will be yours FREE if you purchase your copy of “Successful Home Cooking” in the next 6 days.

One last thing.

I got an email from Stacie on Wednesday: “I homeschool my 2 sons, and they LOVE to watch cooking shows, so, naturally I am trying to teach them to cook. Your book is fantastic in that it is illustrated all along the way, so they can double check what they are doing while they are progressing through the preparation. I would love to have your new book, but it’s just not in my budget.”

How could I resist? Her kids NEED to learn to cook, to measure, to read, to follow-along.

So I created a 4-payment plan for “Successful Home Cooking.” Now for about $25 you can begin cooking right now, and pay the rest off over the next 4 months.

OK, that’s it. What a long letter! Have a great week. Here’s to warm summer days, to kids cooking, to banana breads, and to the look on the receptionist’s face at Chez Doris when I arrive next weekend with … how many banana breads will I have with me? 5? 10? 30? I’ll keep you posted. I’ll take pictures.

All best wishes, and bon appetit!

Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu,
Owner & Head Chef
www.oneroastchicken.com


Just a quick note about a movie …

Hi there,

I’ve only got time for a quick message, how is your Wednesday going? It’s gigantically hot here in Montreal this afternoon (39°C / 103°F) and we’re waiting for the thunderstorms to start…

Sorry for such a short message, but I wanted to get this off to you RIGHT NOW before the power flickers off, as it always does during a big storm … I’ve put the finishing touches on a lovely movie for the One Roast Chicken site. Do you remember home cooked meals? http://www.oneroastchicken.com/movie.htm

I personally love the picture of the kid eating spaghetti 🙂
http://www.oneroastchicken.com/movie.htm

It takes a few seconds to load, but it’s worth the wait.

All best wishes, and bon appetit!

Shelley

ps/ Stay tuned for this weekend’s cooking letter – it’s all about banana bread!

Easy family dinners

Yes, it’s finished, yeah hooray. The collection of recipes that I’ve been working on for you, for over 6 months, was completed Friday June 8th. And everyone who pre-ordered a copy has already received their volume of “Successful Home Cooking.” Have you received yours?

I thought it was only going to be 95 pages, but it kept growing and growing –– there was so much great stuff to include — that the document grew, and grew to 122 pages long!

It’s been quite an adventure putting this together. With suggestions from all over the globe (chicken tandoori), and readers sending me their wish lists for perfect lasagne, for a great spaghetti sauce recipe, for a fish recipe that is cooked perfectly, for apple pie that is sweet and sour and has a rich crumbly top, and for easy meals that come together with regular grocery store ingredients…

Well, you don’t have to listen to me 🙂

You can read what Dawn wrote:

“Dearest Shelley,

Thank you so much for sending me the pdf version of your book. Was I ever pleased when I came across your site two weeks ago. I immediately signed up for your newsletter and what excellent candor! It is so wonderful to have an email from a real person in my inbox every week.

I agree with you about your last email. I have been pulling my hair out in the kitchen because once I had settled on a free recipe [out of thousands] from the internet, it almost always turned out badly.

All I want are some down-to-earth recipes from somebody who has tried them and say they work.

Yours is the first cookbook I have ever bought — mine have all been passed down — and I don’t find my current recipes very practical because they are for six to eight [my Grandmother had a big family] and I am only cooking for three.

I am the kind of person that usually cooks meals that include all the food groups already [fajitas, stir-fries etc.] because I am panic-stricken about side-dishes. I will panic no more, however, because you have saved me the grief and simply told me what to include as a compliment to the meat dishes.

The book is comprehensive, the recipes interesting, mouth watering, the ingredients are available. To boot, you have included a price list of each recipe.

You have taken all the major kitchen concerns into consideration, yet kept it simple without making me feel stupid. What this cookbook is, really, is a cooking class with enough good solid recipes for me to keep busy for some time. The kitchen is no longer a place to fear, but a place to rejoice. I am all praise, Shelley — my only complaint is not finding you earlier!

With gratitude, Dawn (in Calgary, Alberta)”

 

Check out OneRoastChicken’s new publication, “Successful Home Cooking” which is now available for order. This is not just another cookbook. This is a cooking school in full-colour delivered right to your kitchen. All recipes include pages of colour photography and step-by-step instructions. And to keep you on budget, every recipe includes the price per serving. How about Meatloaf with Spicy Ketchup for $1.32 per serving? Or Chicken Tandoori for $1.81? Order your copy of “Successful Home Cooking” now…

Thanks and bon appetit!

Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu, Owner & Head Chef
www.oneroastchicken.com