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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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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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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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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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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Traditional Newfoundland Cold Plates

Oh, my Dear Reader, looking at these photographs evokes such feelings of comfort and nostalgia for me. Cold Plates were served in our home every single Sunday night without fail. In fact, they were also served at Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years! It was very common in our home to have a “traditional” Thanksgiving dinner consisting of turkey, stuffing, gravy, and a variety of vegetables such as potatoes, cabbage, turnip, carrot, etc. All of those vegetables were cooked in the same pot along with cured salt beet and a pudding or two. That meal was usually referred to as “cooked dinner,” “hot dinner,” or sometimes, just “cook.” It’s most commonly known as Jiggs Dinner outside of Newfoundland, but in our home, it meant a simplified variation of the meal. If someone said Jiggs Dinner, it meant that the meal would not have any roasted turkey, chicken, or beef – just the cured salt beef – and there would also be no gravy. It’s confusing, but we all knew what mom meant when she said one or the other. But this post is not about that meal, it’s about Cold Plates! What I’m trying to say is that we would eat large on special…

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Classic Homemade Tartar Sauce

Would you believe that I never tasted tartar sauce until I was a young adult? Nope! Contrary to what one might think, tartar sauce was not something I can ever remember being on the table when I was a kid. I grew up in a mainly fishing town in Newfoundland. Fish was everywhere! And, my family was no stranger to it at all. My dad worked in a fish processing plant for many, many years. And, my mom would prepare all types of fish for meals. I’m not going to say that I loved eating all of that fish. In fact, I can remember many times sitting at the table and being yelled at, because I wouldn’t eat what was set before me. Unlike most kids today, we didn’t get options at mealtime. Oftentimes, fresh fish wasn’t on the menu, which was always my preference. My mom would prepare fish that I hated. Any fish that was salted, smoked, or dried was disgusting. There were only two exceptions – dried capelin and dried squid! If fresh fish was being served, I was all in! My mom used to make the absolute best deep fried battered cod. Pan fried salmon with…

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Sweet and Smoky Baked Beans

There’s one person that comes to mind every time I eat beans. It’s my sister. I have never met anyone in my life that hates beans as much as she does. I don’t even think she will allow her husband to bring them in the house! That’s a serious distaste, Dear Reader. It’s clear that she hasn’t tasted my homemade Sweet and Smoky Baked Beans – right!? I know I have hit the mark with a recipe when both John.e and McKenna tell me how good it tastes. In fact, John.e couldn’t get enough of these beans. I prepared the beans you see in the photographs using my Instant Pot. Yes, I finally broke down and got one. I’m not a huge fan of kitchen appliances. I trust my baking and cooking to my oven and stovetop. I rarely use any other cooking appliance. But Instant Pot recipes are everywhere! They wore me down and now that I’ve used one a few times, I can’t imagine what I did without it. It’s certainly going to make weeknight dinners a whole lot faster. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, don’t worry. You can prepare these baked beans in the oven…

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Oven-Baked Carrot Fries

The strangest thing happened when I was eating these. They are so delicious!  But, there’s a problem with that, Dear Reader. You see, I don’t like sweet potato fries.  Or do I?  Now, I’m left with the task of trying sweet potato fries again to see if I do in fact like them.  It could be, at least this is what I’m trying to convince myself of, that I do like them, but maybe I’m not a fan of that dip they are usually served with.  Either way, the next time the opportunity presents itself, I’ll give them another try. I have cooked with sweet potato before and I’ve liked it. I can’t say that I loved it. To be honest, I think it’s more a mind of matter kind of thing. Sweet. Potatoes. I’m not a fan of sweet things. Give me salty!!!! It could be that I can’t quite get past potatoes being sweet. Who knows!? Why Carrot Fries? Now, back to these Oven Baked Carrot Fries.  There’s just something super satisfying about these fries.  The nutritional content of carrots is much better than potatoes, so there’s certainly less guilt factor when eating these.  But, put all of…

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Parmesan and Pine Nut Couscous

I’m adding to my collection of side dishes here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen. It was a goal that I set for myself for this year. It’s one of the things I struggle with the most. How many times do I ask myself the same question over and over again: “What can I make to go with this?” Based on feedback from many of you, Dear Readers, it seems to be a very common question among most of us home cooks. It’s easy to prepare chicken, fish, pork, beef, etc. But, what do we serve with it? My goal is to increase my side dishes section in hopes that I’ll make your side dish dilemma less of a challenge and more of a joy. I’ve already published a few couscous recipes, but this particular recipe had to be posted. It’s pretty much as easy as boiling water! My Basic Rule when Cooking with few Ingredients: I live by this rule in the kitchen, and I think you should too. If I’m preparing a recipe that uses very few ingredients, I want those ingredients to be the best I can find and/or afford. And, in this particular recipe, there are two ingredients…

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Egg and Sausage Breakfast Rolls

Egg and Sausage Breakfast Rolls are so much fun to make. That could be just me, of course, because I love to bake and cook, and I love to eat even more! Which, of course, is why Egg and Sausage Breakfast Rolls are not only fun to make, but fun to eat as well! These gorgeous rolls are packed with all kinds of delicious ingredients. There’s ground sausage, which is one of my favourite things in the world. It’s worth mentioning that if you want to make these rolls vegetarian, you can easily substitute the ground sausage with vegetarian sausage crumbles. You can easily find vegetarian sausage in the frozen foods section at Walmart. In addition to sausage, there’s also eggs, onion, red bell peppers, and cheese. Doesn’t that sound amazing? At first, I wasn’t going to add the red bell peppers, but I thought the rolls needed a bit more flavour. I think the red pepper and the green onions really added an extra punch and also a brightness in terms of colour. When it comes to the type of bread you use, you do have some options. I choose these elongated crusty bread rolls, because I knew that…

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Roasted Whole Turkey

When it comes to roasting a whole turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas, there are many people who are greatly intimidated by it. But, I assure you, Dear Reader, it’s as easy as pie! Maybe I should have chosen a different simile, because I cannot make pie at all! Well, it’s not that I can’t make a pie, I just really struggle with making a pie crust from scratch. If you search for turkey recipes on the internet, you’ll find a million of them. It seems that they all come with a different list of ingredients, but you really don’t need to fuss with it. Simple, basic, and home style is the best way to go! Nobody likes dry turkey meat! There are two things you must remember when roasting a turkey if you want to keep the meat moist and seasoned, yet not under-cooked! Those two things are tenting and basting. Tenting is the process by which you cover the turkey with aluminum foil. It’s really that simple. It locks in the moisture, preventing it from escaping and evaporating. It also prevents the turkey from getting too browned or even burning. You won’t need to tent the turkey the entire time. I…

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Tuna Pizza with Lemon and Dill

Tuna Pizza with Lemon and Dill is the ultimate “thinking-outside-the-box” type of recipe. Well, I guess in this case, it’s thinking-outside-the-can! This is a great way to use inexpensive canned tuna and turn it into a great meal that everyone will love! I was inspired to make this pizza when I saw a version of it posted by a fellow food blogger – Beth over at Binky’s Culinary Carnival. It looked so delicious, I just had to try it! This past year or so, John.e has been eating fish, so I’m always trying to think of new ways to cook with fish. If it were up to me, I’d have beer battered fried cod every night! But, at the risk of growing tired of fish, I tend to only prepare it twice a month. We love the ease of canned tuna and canned salmon. It’s so inexpensive, everyone seems to like it, and it can help make a wonderful meal! For a canned salmon idea, check out my Salmon and Asparagus Pasta Salad recipe. Of course I have what I often refer to as real salmon too. Not that canned salmon isn’t real! I could as easily call it fresh salmon, but it…

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Jumbo No-Knead Dinner Rolls

Sometimes, you need to break out the flour and the yeast and make these Jumbo No Knead Dinner Rolls. Because sometimes the store-bought type just won’t do! My Love of Bread is Ingrained! I grew up in a home where homemade bread and homemade dinner rolls were constant. We were a family of five and like most Newfoundland families, bread was served daily. In fact, on some days, it would have been served with every meal. Back in those days – no, I’m not that old! – store-bought bread wasn’t readily available. If memory serves me correctly, you were able to buy the plain, white Wonder bread, but that was it. My mom bought that bread sometimes, but it was only used to make sandwiches. White Bread Memories She would buy a loaf every Friday morning when she did her grocery shopping. We lived in a small town, so my siblings and I were able to come home from school for lunch. Every Friday’s lunch was a ham and cheese sandwich with a can of Cott Cola or if we were really lucky, a lime Pop Shoppe Soda! Great memories! Anyway, I digress. The point here is that my mom always…

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