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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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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9 EASIEST HERBS TO GROW INDOORS

All of these herbs are perfect to grow in your kitchen, or anywhere where your herbs will receive some indirect sunlight. Then, once grown, they'll be the perfect accompaniment to savory dishes. In no time, you'll become a gourmet cook with home-grown herbs that'll take your dishes to the next level! Keep reading to find out about the 9 easiest herbs to grow indoors! 9 EASIEST HERBS TO GROW INDOORS Growing herbs indoors is actually a lot easier than you'd think. You don't need a green thumb, you just need to follow directions. Herbs, like potted plants, need regular watering and adequate sunlight to grow. Additionally, they also need pots with good drainage holes as well as the correct soil for each herb variety. Follow the instructions for each herb, as each plant has a different need! #1. PARSLEY parsley Growing parsley from seed can take a little bit of time, but once the seedlings grow in, which can take about 2 weeks, parsley is pretty low maintenance. For best results, soak parsley seeds overnight before planting in soil and space each seed about 6 inches apart. Water regularly and place in a sunny spot, such as a south-facing window.…

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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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DIY Green House

It’s a quick solution that is proving extremely effective so far. What you’ll need: 10 x 25’ Plastic sheeting24 medium binder clips4 large binder clipsStaple gun & staplesWinter watering system of choice The steps: Remove the pre-existing fencing.Clean the bed, incorporate compost, and install a new watering system (if using).Unfold the plastic and stretch from the first crossbar, leaving 1 foot overhanging in the front. Stretch all the way across to the last crossbar and drape along the backside.Cut the plastic along the bottom of the backside, ensuring you leave enough material to secure at the bottom.Adjust the plastic along each long side, causing the bottom of the plastic to just meet the lip of the garden bed.Using large clips, temporarily secure plastic at the front in place by clipping around the PVC and plastic.Beginning with the middle section, secure the plastic to the lip of the garden bed with staples. Continue this to the last section, leaving the front two sections unsecured, and repeat on the opposite side in the same sections.On the back, cut a slit in the center from the bottom and up to 2 foot from the top.Push one section of this backside plastic inside. Stretch,…

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DIY Raised Garden Bed Design: The Watering System

Today is the start of a 3 part series. So, you’ll need to return for all the details on building the hoop fencing and setting up a similar watering system. These beds began as a general idea; they became an evolving project. For our designs, we knew we needed pest control to keep out rabbits, and the occasional curious dog. We also had some general considerations. Did we need shade cover, what type of watering system would be best, how much space did we really need? A month after beginning this project, we have our answers. Below you will find everything you need to build this sunken bed and you can return next Tuesday for all the fencing details. Materials 6- 4’ 10” beams6- 10’ 10” beams3’ x 25’ feet chicken wire ($19.77) Measure your beams. We repurposed beams we found in the yard and worked with 4’ and 10’ beams that were 4 inches thick.Dig your bed. Based on beam measurements, dig a hole to fit your structure. I dug a 11 x 5 foot hole that was 8 inches deep.Lay the beams. Lay the beams beginning with one of the longer sides. Lay the beams so they interlock in each corner. Line the beds. To prevent rodents from breaking into…

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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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Kitchen Sink Cookies

The expression “everything but the kitchen sink” refers to taking or using just about everything you can. For example, if one were going on a short vacation, but over packed, one might say, “they took everything but the kitchen sink.” It basically means not much was left behind. (I’m looking at you, Margaret!) Margaret is one of my best friends and we both work together. I remember one time we both were taking a flight to Vancouver for a conference. She showed up at the airport with an updo, wearing a ball gown, and toting three very large suitcases. We were only going to be in Vancouver for 5 days. She took everything but the kitchen sink! What do these Cookies have to do with a Kitchen Sink? Sometimes, when I bake or cook for my little family, and not with the intention of posting the recipe to the blog, I tend to take some liberties. A kitchen sink cookie recipe is a perfect example of when that happens. People who know me might remember hearing me saying something like, “Tonight we are having a clean out the fridge dinner.” This is when I place dinner on the table which…

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How To Grow Ginger In Pots

Ginger is one of the most powerful аnd beneficiаl root plаnts you cаn buy, but whаt if you could hаve аn endless supply grown right аt home? Ginger cаn be expensive to purchаse, аnd thаt’s why growing your own is highly recommended. Not only thаt, but growing  ensures thаt there аre no pesticides or other hаrmful ingredients. Todаy we’ll show you how to grow  in pots аnd get а truly endless supply! HOW TO GROW GINGER IN POTS OR CONTАINERS STEP 1: SOАKMost ginger roots thаt аre sold in stores аre coаted with а growth inhibitor which prevent them from sprouting. To get rid of thаt, simply soаk your ginger root in wаter for 24 hours. STEP 2: LOOK FOR GROWTH BUDS Аfter hаving soаked them for 24 hours, tаke them out of the wаter аnd look for growth buds. The sprout will grow on the indentаtion of the surfаce of the root. It doesn’t hаve аny buds, simply leаve it neаr а windowsill until buds stаrt sprouting. This mаy tаke а few dаys. STEP 3: CHOOSE А POT OR CONTАINERGinger roots grow horizontаlly, so we suggest а wide contаiner. Mаke is sure the contаiner is wider thаn deep, аnd…

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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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