Guacamole with Charred Corn and Tomatoes

I have spent most of my life avoiding guacamole as much as possible. Prior to me preparing dishes on my own, every guacamole I had found was loaded with cilantro. I hate cilantro. I’m one of those people who will argue that cilantro tastes like soap. Now, I’m not sure if you’ve ever had a mouthful of soap, but if you did, you would understand why guacamole was avoided. A few years ago, I discovered dried cilantro. I took a chance and tried it in the guacamole I was preparing. And, guess what!? It didn’t taste like soap! It was so good, in fact, I made it again for this blog. I called it Guacamole for Cilantro Haters just so that my readers knew where I stood on the issue! So, there we were. I had found a way to make guacamole that both the cilantro hater and the cilantro lover could agree on. I thought that was it, but there was so much more to guacamole that I had yet to discover. GUACAMOLE – WHAT A WEIRD NAME FOR AVOCADO SAUCE! Guacamole has been around for since the sixteenth century. Can you believe that? Apparently, the Aztec’s were the first to…

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Tomato Tortellini Soup

As a food blogger, I sometimes feel guilty about using prepared food items. I think I should be preparing things from scratch. But, I remind myself that Lord Byron’s Kitchen is all about recipes that can be made easily by anyone. There’s no shame in buying frozen tortellini, but if you’d like to make your own pasta, you can do that too! I’m reminded of a conversation I had with McKenna a few months back about school lunches. I’ve always struggled with what to send with her. She’s a picky eater when it comes to school lunches. So, I asked her to give me some ideas; tell me what her friends bring. She proceeds to tell me that one of her friends asked her why she brought a sandwich so often when her dad was practically a chef. Well, thanks for the partial compliment! But, I’m sure this friend wasn’t aware of the fact that I ask McKenna every single day what she wants for lunch. Her response is always the same – I don’t know. Well, kid, if you don’t know at your age what it is you want, you’re getting a sandwich! The thing is, I’m not a…

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Almond and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

Okay, dear Reader, I don’t officially have a top ten list of pesto recipes. Not one that I carry around with me in my wallet. And, certainly, not one that I’m going to admit to at this particular time.  But, if I did, then this pesto would be on that list, and most likely, very close to the top. This is one of those pasta dishes that make you feel better about yourself and make you happy to be alive.  Am I the only one that can feel such powerful emotions from eating good food?  If I’m not alone, please come forward.  We can start a club! COOKING AND BAKING IS PERSONAL! I’ve shared this with John.e before, but I’m not sure I’ve talked about it at Lord Byron’s Kitchen.  My recipes – my creations – are extremely personal.  I try my best to not take negativity to heart. But, it’s really hard to hear the words, “I didn’t like it.”  Everyone has their own personal tastes, but when it comes to sharing food you’ve prepared, it’s very personal. When someone loves to cook and bake, and likes to share it with the world, yet that same person is an introvert…

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Chocolate-Mayonnaise Bundt Cake

Mayonnaise in a cake? Yes, Dear Reader, you read that correctly.  Your eyes did not deceive you.  This cake is most certainly made with mayonnaise, and as weird as it seems, it’s absolute perfection!  This cake gives you the best of both worlds. Not only is the cake light and fluffy on the outside, but the center is very moist and fudge-like. I like to think of this cake as a chocolate lava cake without the lava! Does that make sense? The first time I made this cake was in 2016. That was when this cake first appeared on the blog. Today, I’m updating the photographs and re-publishing this recipe, because this cake is just too delicious to be forgotten about! MAYONNAISE AS A BAKING INGREDIENT Believe it or not, mayonnaise is a very common ingredient in baking. And, if you think about it, why shouldn’t it be? Mayonnaise is made with common ingredients used in baking anyway. Let’s take a closer look. Mayonnaise has three main ingredients. They are oil, egg yolks, and lemon juice. (The lemon juice is sometimes substituted for vinegar.) Almost every baking recipe, whether it be a cake or a cookie, has eggs and some…

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Jalapeno Corn Muffins

Not all recipes can be found by searching online or leafing through a cookbook or magazine. The best recipes are those that have been passed down from generation to generation. Or better yet, the recipes that your friends make and share with you! That’s exactly how I was introduced to this corn muffin recipe. CAN I TELL YOU A STORY? We have these amazing friends whom we never get to see as much as I’d like. That’s the thing about being an adult, isn’t it? There’s just never enough time to hang out with friends and have a good time. It seems that we only see Gloria and Micheal two or three times a year. But each and every time, I enjoy it more than I did the last time we all sat down together! I met Gloria first. She has been a friend of John.e’s for a long time, but I first met her in 2013. She was spending the weekend at their cottage alone and invited us to visit. I was so nervous to meet her, because John.e had told me so much about her, including the fact that she is a psychotherapist. You know how we all…

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30 Minute Ginger Beef

This particular beef recipe has been one of the most popular recipes here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen since it was originally published in early 2017. No matter how popular though, there were many readers who struggled to get it just right. Today, I’m updated the recipe with new photos and better cooking instructions. I’m hoping that this will help you to achieve the best possible 30 Minute Ginger Beef at home. No more takeout orders needed! THE BEST CUTS OF BEEF FOR THIS RECIPE Before John.e and I started living together, I used to make Ginger Beef nearly once a week. It was such a great weeknight meal – easy to prepare and is very forgiving of cheaper cuts of beef.  If you ever have one of those days at the grocery store when you’re craving steak, but the price is outrageous or the cuts are just not worth it, grab some cheaper steak and you’ll easily satisfy your beef cravings. Personally, I think skirt steak of flank steak work best for this recipe. Both of these cuts are often used interchangeably, because they are both tough cuts of beef. But, sliced thinly against the grain, they are tender and delicious. If…

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

We love peanut butter cookies! There’s just something really comforting about sinking your teeth into a soft, homemade peanut butter cookie, isn’t there? I have a few recipes at Lord Byron’s Kitchen for cookies that use peanut butter, and this one is a variation on one of those. When it comes to cookies, I tend to lean more toward a chewier cookie experience rather than a crispy cookie. I love cookies like ginger snaps too, but the chewier the cookie, the more delicious it is! Adding the raisins certainly helps to achieve a chewier cookie! LIGHT VS DARK RAISINS – WHICH WILL YOU USE IN YOUR PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES? My mom used to refer to raisins in two basic terms – light and dark. But, there’s more to raisins than just the color difference. Not only are different grapes used in the making of raisins, but there are different processes that can be applied too. In most baking recipes, you’ll see just the word raisins. The most common raisins that can be found in North America and either light in color or dark in color. Sometimes, they might be called Golden Raisins or Sultana Raisins. Brown raisins are sun-dried by laying them out…

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Tofu and Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry

I was never a fan of tofu. But living with a vegetarian certainly changed that. The tofu I was used to eating came from a random take-out Chinese dish. It was bland and I thought it to be slimy. How was I to know that I would one day enjoy eating and cooking with tofu? If you’re much like me and tend to screw up your nose at something before you try it, then I get you! You’ve often heard it said that we eat with our eyes first, right? Well, based on that, would anyone ever eat tofu? It’s certainly not appealing to look at! I’m going to share with you a few things I learned about tofu over the past few years. Maybe you’ll change your mind about tofu and give it another try. Maybe you already love it and don’t need convincing. Either way, when all is said and done, this is my Tofu and Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry recipe. And, I think you’ll really enjoy it. The Truth about Tofu To start with, there are different levels of texture (softness versus firmness) in tofu. From least firm to most firm, the most common types of…

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Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins
Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

In our home, we love muffins. But, there’s a great muffin divide that breaks up the synergy in the house. You see, Dear Reader, while John.e and I love to eat muffins loaded with fruit, McKenna does not. She likes just plain chocolate chip muffins. Every once in a while, I’ll make a batch for her, but I always use my banana muffin base and I always add rolled oats. That way, even though she’s eating chocolate, she’s still getting the added benefit of eating something that’s good for her. You can add nuts too, if you like. But, like I said, these muffins were for McKenna and nothing beats chocolate chip for her! MILK, SEMI-SWEET, OR DARK CHOCOLATE? Any of the three will do perfectly fine! I tend to always use semi-sweet chocolate when baking. And, I save the milk chocolate for truffles or drizzle or snacking! I very rarely use dark chocolate, because I’m not a fan of it. Even though McKenna and John's .e prefer it, I still don’t use it much at all. As you can see from the photographs, I used mini chocolate chips. You can use regular chocolate chips. I only used the mini because it’s…

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Brown Butter Pasta with Spinach and Goat Cheese

This recipe was born out of the need to use up some spinach that was nearing the end of its shelf life. We are spending time at our house and since the closest grocery store is more than 30 minutes away, we stock up. We had two bags of spinach which were too expensive out in the boonies to go to waste. I looked through my fridge and I saw that I had two packages of goat cheese. We have this rather large wooden “bowl” on the counter where we keep garlic and tomatoes, etc. I had lots of fresh garlic. Our home is never without pasta. And, it is never – I mean never! – without butter! That was pretty much it. I threw it together and it was delicious. The photographs in the post were the result of those two bags of spinach. No recipe testing needed. It turned out perfectly the first time! HOW TO BROWN BUTTER Brown butter is one of the most underrated ingredients. It’s the most simple thing in the world to do. Seriously, if you can boil water, you can make brown butter. And, you only need one ingredient – butter! When you brown butter,…

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Tuscan Potato Bean Soup

If you’ve been reading the parables here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen for any length of time, it will come as no surprise to you that I’m publishing another soup recipe. Why? Because we all love soup! I’m a fan of soup that I can prepare ahead of time and reheat later without compromising the taste or texture, and certainly not the integrity of the ingredients. What I mean by that is not overcooking the ingredients during the reheating process. Tuscan Potato Bean Soup has a lot of ingredients, but they are generic and most of them will probably already be waiting for you in your pantry or crisper. Let’s get started! Lord Byron, did you say this soup can be prepared ahead of time? I guess I did hint at that, didn’t I? You can certainly prepare this soup ahead in two ways. First, you can wash and chop all of the veggies and store them in small containers with tight-fitting lids or in resealable sandwich bags. Just place them in the fridge until you’re ready to make the soup. Don’t do that with the potatoes. If you peel and chop the potatoes ahead of time, rinse them under cold water…

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Old Fashioned 3 Ingredient Limeade

I’m an equal opportunity type of guy when it comes to lemons and limes. I like both of them equally, but not interchangeably. For example, I like lime juice in my Diet Coke and on the barbecue, but not a lemon. And, I like lemon in a cake, or with fish. But when it comes to a cold, refreshing summer drink, I don’t think I could choose between the two. That’s why I decided to make both Limeade and Lemonade. I’ll get to posting the recipe for Lemonade soon, but for today, it’s all about the lime! Is this Really a Recipe? Why, yes it is! It takes a little bit of tweaking to get the acid and sugar levels just right. I’ve done the work for you here so you don’t need to worry about a thing! Besides, even though there are only 3 ingredients, you still need to whisk and stir and slice and squeeze. It’s a recipe! The most important thing to remember when making this Limeade is that you will need to ensure that the sugar has been completely dissolved. If you have ever prepared a simple syrup before, then you’re already a pro! But, for those of us…

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Coffee Chocolate Truffles

Many, many years ago, I watched an episode of the Barefoot Contessa. It was an episode where Ina Garten described how coffee enhanced the flavour or chocolate. I tried it and she was right! We’ve all had coffee flavoured chocolate before, but have you had chocolate flavoured with coffee? Yes, there is a difference! When you flavour chocolate with coffee, you don’t taste the coffee. The coffee is meant to enhance the flavour of the chocolate itself. If you add things like coffee extract to these Coffee Chocolate Truffles, you would be in essence changing the flavour of the chocolate. The chocolate would have a coffee-like smell and taste. But, if you add coffee or espresso granules, you won’t be adding coffee flavour to the chocolate, but helping the chocolate taste more chocolaty. Am I just confusing you with all of this coffee versus chocolate talk? Let’s just forget about it and talk about these delicious treats! Let’s talk Substitutes! Here’s what I did. I added both coffee extract and instant coffee granules to my recipe. Not only did I want to enhance the chocolate flavor, but I also wanted the chocolate to have a hint of coffee flavor. You…

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Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

Oh, pea soup!  How I adore thee!?  The fact that you’re a Vegetarian Split Pea Soup is even better, because I can finally put to rest the notion that Split Pea Soup isn’t good soup at all without bacon or ham.  To all of you bacon and ham lovers, I just have one thing to say: whatever!  This vegetarian version of your beloved split pea soup will have you thinking otherwise; trust me! I am proof of that! Before you start sending me hate mail, rest assured that I would never turn down ham or bacon – never!  But, when making a pot of soup in our home, nary a meat product must come in contact with it for fear that the two vegetarians I live with might hatch a vicious plan to convert me to vegetarianism.  Or worse, refuse to wash the dishes!  (Yep, I cook; they clean!) You can add Dough Boys too! (Non-Newfoundlander’s call them dumplings.) Whenever I think of Split Pea Soup, my mom’s soup comes to mind.  She, mind you, used to make it with ham and there would always be dumplings floating in the pot.  I was never a fan of dumplings in any…

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Trix Cereal Treats

I wish I had the creative genius to come up with this recipe all on my own. It’s quite simple, really; we are basically substituting the traditional Rice Krispies cereal with Trix! I saw this recipe online and I had to make it. A big shout out to Cravings of a Lunatic for the inspiration! Trix cereal is not something that I’ve ever eaten before until now. That might have something to do with the fact that I’m in my forties! Or, it might be because Trix cereal is hard to find here in Canada. If your local grocer doesn’t stock Trix cereal, there’s no need to fret, Dear Reader. I was able to order them from Amazon for less than four dollars! I wasn’t able to find the balls though. At the time, I could only find fruity shapes, but it worked perfectly! Now, if we are all being honest with ourselves here, we will all admit that we like to indulge in some of the same snacks that kids like to eat. I could eat an entire pan of Rice Krispy Squares! You would find me buckled over with stomach pain later, but who thinks of that when shoving food in our…

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