Kate's Cuisine

May 24 2017

Beet and Arugula Salad

Beet and Arugula Salad

It was the long weekend this past weekend. It was Victoria Day and Brent had yesterday off too, so although it’s Wednesday I feel as though I’m just getting back into the swing of things for the week. But, point being, it was the long weekend this past weekend. And I feel as though I ate my way through it.

There were burgers, both beef and chicken, there were Club sandwiches piled high, and there was pulled pork and poutine. All of this, plus assorted chips and other snacks, scattered over the course of four days. We ate and and ate, and then ate some more. Now it’s Wednesday already and it’s time to get back on track. And it all starts now, with lunchtime.

What’s needed is something light, something healthy, and something that doesn’t skimp on the delicious. Something that I whipped up last week for lunch too, a quick Beet and Arugula Salad.

  • 3 beets, cooked and thinly sliced $0.75
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced $0.47
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar $0.01
  • 1 teaspoon salt $0.01
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil $0.11
  • 4 cups fresh arugula $1.25
  • 1/2 cup roasted and salted cashews $0.62
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese $0.72
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar $0.33
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder $0.26
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder $0.33
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard $0.03
  • 1 teaspoon sugar $0.01
  • 1 teaspoon salt $0.01
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper $0.01
  • 1/2 cup olive oil $0.91

Total cost $5.83
Cost per serving $1.94

1.) Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the onion slices in a small bowl along with 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Lay the beets on a baking sheet and sprinkle onions on top. This step is really just to soften the onions and bring out some of their sweetness while just kissing the beets with heat. When oven is hot place beets and onions in and bake for about 10 minutes.

2.) Place arugula on a large platter. When slightly cooked, add the beets and the onion slices. Sprinkle cashews and feta cheese over top of the salad.

3.) In a measuring cup or mason jar, combine the white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Whisk well to incorporate and then slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup olive oil to incorporate and emulsify. Tate and adjust seasoning if necessary and then drizzle over the beet and arugula salad.

4.) Serve and enjoy!

May 16 2017

Butterscotch Pie

Butterscotch Pie

Can you believe I have not posted a dessert recipe on this site in 4 months? Okay, there were some Easter goodies last month, but no actual dessert since that pretty cool tie-dye cake back in January. So, I thought it was time to remedy that and post something sweet and delicious!

To be honest however, that wasn’t the reason for making this Butterscotch Pie. In 45 days we’ll be moving and I’m trying to empty my cupboards as much as possible before we do. Having some butterscotch chips on hand, I thought they’d work perfectly in the pie. So I diligently gathered all the ingredients only to find out that, when making butterscotch pie, you don’t use chips. You actually make the butterscotch, which is kind of fun, but didn’t fulfill the reason for the pie in the first place. I guess that means I have to come up with another way to use the chips, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Ingredients for the pie filling:

  • 2 1/4 cups milk $0.63
  • 1 cup heavy cream $1.53
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter $0.78
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed $0.25
  • 3 egg yolks $0.24
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch $0.37
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt $0.01
  • 2 tablespoons Scotch whisky $0.99
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract $0.33

Ingredients for the meringue topping:

  • 2 egg whites $0.12
  • Pinch salt $0.01
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar $0.16
  • 1 pie crust, baked blind    $1.44

Total cost $5.86
Cost per serving $0.73


1.) Start by preparing the pie filling. In a large saucepan, combine the milk and cream, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Immediately turn off the heat and set aside.

2.) In a large, heavy skillet melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the brown sugar, raise the heat to medium-high and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly to caramelize the mixture.

3.) Whisking constantly, gradually add the butter/brown sugar mixture to the hot cream/milk mixture. The caramelized mixture may seem as though it’s seizing as first. Just keep whisking, making sure the whisk stays in the hot mixture. It will loosen up and incorporate after a few minutes.

4.) Put the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Whisk in about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture. Whisk in the cornstarch and salt until dissolved. Whisk the cornstarch mixture back into the hot milk mixture in the saucepan. Add the scotch and whisk in.

5.) Whisking constantly, cook over medium-high heat until thick and just boiling. Turn off the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Pour into the pre-baked pie shell and chill, uncovered, at least 2 hours or overnight.

6.) Close to baking time, make the meringue topping. Whip egg whites and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft peaks form. Continue beating and gradually add powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.

7.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread meringue on top of the cooled pie and bake for 5 minutes, until the meringue is lightly browned. Remove from oven and let chill for about 10 minutes before placing in the fridge and chilling completely until ready to serve.

8.) Serve and enjoy!

May 14 2017

Estonian Red Salad

Estonian Red Salad

Happy Mother’s Day to all the outstanding mothers out there working hard every single day for their families!

This recipe didn’t come from my mother, but rather her mother, my dear grandma! I grew up on this salad and while I’m sure it has some very official Estonian name, in my house we came to know it as simply Red Salad. And we ate it. A lot. We loved it so much and were always excited when the big bowl of Red Salad would make its way onto the table. My brother and I have had bona fide fights over who gets the last of the red salad. It’s that good, worth fighting over.

My version isn’t exactly my grandma’s version (and therefore, not as good). But it’s still pretty darned tasty. In place of the traditional pickled herring, I put in anchovy paste for that umami flavour, and I’m sure I mixed some other things up along the way, too. For instance, I don’t know if my grandma puts fresh dill in it. But I do know she puts it in a lot of other stuff and I happened to have some on hand, so in it went. It still ended up with that brilliant pink/red colour that will make a splash at any table, and it tasted awfully close to what my grandmother makes. It takes me right back to my childhood and on this Mother’s Day, is a tribute to one of the greatest and strongest women I’ve ever known. My grandma.


  • 1/2 pound beets, whole and unpeeled $0.99
  • 1 pound Russet potatoes, whole and unpeeled $0.49
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, plus 1 or 2 for garnish $0.60
  • 2 dill pickles, roughly chopped $0.39
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (or more, depending on how dressed you like your salad) $1.44
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste $0.55
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for boiling water $0.01
  • 1 teaspoon sugar $0.01
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped $0.06

Total cost $4.54
Cost per serving $0.75


1.) Place beets in a large pot with enough salted water to cover them completely, with at least an inch of water over top of them. Bring the water to a boil then lower to a simmer and boil just until the beets are fork-tender.

2.) Place potatoes in a separate large pot of salted water and again, add enough water to cover them with an extra inch of water. Boil until they too, are fork-tender.

3.) When potatoes and beets are both finished boiling, drain and when they are cool enough to handle, the skins should slip off easily. Both need to be chopped. The potatoes should be diced in about a medium dice, but the beets should be chopped a little more finely. Place both in a large bowl.

4.) Chop the eggs (to about the same size as the beets) and add them to the bowl, along with the dill pickles.

5.) In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, anchovy paste, salt, sugar and fresh dill. Stir well to incorporate all ingredients together. Pour over the bowl of potato mixture and stir to combine well.

6.) Quarter the remaining hard-boiled eggs and place on top of the salad as garnish.

7.) Serve and enjoy!

May 08 2017

Rigatoni in a Vodka Sauce

Rigatoni in a creamy vodka sauce and garnished with basil

There’s not a lot that can compete with my love of pasta. I love it in all shapes and forms, and I love trying out new sauces to go with them. The one I tried most recently was pasta in a vodka sauce and OMG, guys. It’s incredible. It only takes a few minutes to whip up (I did it during intermission while the playoffs were on) and it brings in all these new flavours that you may or may not have tried in pasta sauce before.

Of course, it all starts with tomatoes. I chose crushed because I wanted it to be saucy and not just tomato-y, but there are lots of recipes out there that call for whole tomatoes to be crushed slightly with your hands. So you can definitely take it that way if you’d like. Then, in addition with the vodka (that’s not too much,) a bit of cream also goes in to share the spotlight and take a bit of that acid away from the tomatoes.

It’s delightful and just like when you cook with wine, it’s perfectly suitable for kids. The alcohol in the vodka boils off so there’s no need to worry, even if Brent couldn’t help but call it the “get your kids to sleep hack.”


  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta $3.99
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes $1.29
  • 1 tablespoon butter $0.13
  • 1 small onion, minced $0.47
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.01
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes $0.05
  • 1/2 cup vodka $2.39
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream $0.51
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese $1.49
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, roughly chopped $0.75

Total cost $11.08
Cost per serving $2.77


1.) Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. When boiling, add the rigatoni and cook until just before the pasta reaches the al dente stage. I used durum semolina pasta, which takes a bit longer to cook, about 10 minutes. When done cooking, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and then drain.

2.) While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes, just until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another 30 seconds.

3.) Remove the pan from the heat and add the vodka, tomatoes, and salt to taste. Return the pan to the heat and cook for another 7 minutes to boil the alcohol off. Stir in the heavy cream and cook for another 3 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Stir in the Parmesan and basil.

4.) Add the cooked pasta to the pan, along with the reserved cooking water. Toss and taste, adding more salt if necessary. Garnish with more Parmesan and basil, if desired.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

May 05 2017

Tequila Sunrise

Tequila Sunrise

It’s Cinco de Mayo! Every year I get excited about this holiday and use it as an excuse to partake of all kinds of Mexican food and drink. Little bit of trivia for you, while Mexicans do celebrate the day, they don’t actually call it Cinco de Mayo – that’s something reserved for the rest of North America. Instead, they celebrate The Day of the Battle of Puebla or rather, the day that the Mexican Army rose up over the French soldiers that were occupying their land and won that very significant battle. So that’s the history behind it, now on to the celebration!

Anyone that follows my blog knows that margaritas hold a very special place in this house. I make them often and if Brent and I are out celebrating something special, we usually order one (or two, or three.) This year though, I wanted to do something different. I mean, there has to be another drink that highlights tequila but doesn’t require a bunch of ice to be crushed beforehand.

Just as I thought, there is. And it’s one of the prettiest drinks I’ve ever made.


  • 3 ounces (6 parts) orange juice $0.38
  • 1 1/2 ounces (3 parts) tequila $0.84
  • 1/2 ounce (1 part) grenadine $0.01

Total cost for 1 tequila sunrise $1.23


1.) Place orange juice and tequila in a cocktail shake and give it a good shake. Pour over ice into a tall glass.

2.) Add the grenadine to the glass. Do not stir. It will sink to the bottom and give the illusion of that sunrise for which the cocktail got its name.

3.) Serve and enjoy!

May 03 2017

Proper Beer-Battered Fish

Deep Fried Beer Battered Fish

So, before making this recipe, it had been nearly 10 years since I made fish and chips at home. That’s right. 10 years. Why? Because the last time I made it, it turned out to be a big bland awful mess. The beer batter stuck to the fryer basket, fell off when I tried to take the fish out, and just didn’t end up tasting like anything at all. I vowed to just leave it to the professionals in restaurants and chip trucks.

But, then I went back to working in a restaurant and learned how to make proper beer batter. I made it repeatedly, I used it to fry fish repeatedly, and it never ever stuck to the fryer basket. It wasn’t bland. In fact, it might be the best fish and chips I’ve ever had. So, summoning up all the courage I had, this past Good Friday I decided to give it a go and try to make fish and chips at home once again.

As you can see from the picture, the only place the batter stuck was onto the fish, and we all sat down to a beautiful fish and chips dinner to kick off Easter weekend.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 cup $0.28
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder $0.03
  • 1 teaspoon salt $0.01
  • 1 bottle dark beer (I used Guinness) $1.75
  • Juice of 1 lemon $0.30
  • 4 haddock fillets $6.86
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Total cost $9.23
Cost per serving $2.31


1.) Place 1 cup of flour on a plate and set aside. Fill a Dutch oven or other heavy pot halfway with vegetable oil. Turn heat to medium-high and let it preheat to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit while preparing beer batter.

2.) In a large bowl combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Add the beer and lemon juice and whisk to incorporate all ingredients.

3.) When ready to start frying, place haddock fillets, one by one, into the plate of flour. Turn to ensure that the entire piece of fish is coated. Shake off excess flour and dip the fish into the beer batter. Remove from the batter and allow excess to drip off.

4.) Slowly place the fish into the hot oil, moving the end piece in the oil a bit as you do. This will prevent it from falling to the bottom of the pot and sticking. Fry for 2 minutes on one side then flip and fry for another 1 – 2 minutes, just until the fish is entirely cooked through. Drain excess oil by laying the fillet on paper towels. Repeat with remaining haddock fillets.

5.) Garnish with lemon slices and tartar sauce.

6.) Serve and enjoy!

Apr 30 2017

Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwiches

Pimento Grilled Cheese

The month of April really came in like a lamb and went out like a lion at our house. It began with a wonderful family vacation to Quebec City, and ended with me in bed pneumonia-ridden and suffering from several antibiotic side effects. That sickness almost made me miss Grilled Cheese Month altogether, but here we are. It’s the last day of the month, I’m healthy, and I have a delicious grilled cheese sandwich recipe that I made pre-sickness and have just been waiting to share with you.

The cheese in this sandwich isn’t your typical cheese. It’s pimento cheese, which I believe you can get in handy little jars if you live in one of the Southern states, but I’ve never seen it on my grocery store shelves. The good news is, it’s super easy to make.

If you’re going to pile it into grilled cheese sandwiches like I did after whipping it together, do yourself a favour and leave it to just about 1/4 cup. I used about twice as much and ended up with a sandwich that, while delicious, could’t be picked up and eaten but needed a knife and fork. Not terrible, but definitely not something you can eat on the go either. However you choose to eat it, this is one sandwich that’s sure to have you looking differently at grilled cheese.


  • 1/2 cup pimentos, roughly chopped $1.99
  • 2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, grated $2.50
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise $0.72
  • Pinch of salt $0.01
  • Pinch of black pepper $0.01
  • 8 slices white bread $1.12
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature $1.07

Total cost $7.42
Cost per sandwich $1.85


1.) Place the pimentos, Cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix to combine well.

2.) Heat a pan over medium heat. Butter one slice of bread an place it butter-side down in the preheated pan. Spoon on 1/4 cup of the pimento cheese and spread it across the bread. Butter another piece of bread and place it, butter-side up, on the pimento cheese.

3.) Fry the sandwich on one side for 3 – 4 minutes, until it’s golden brown on that side. Flip and fry for another 3 – 4 minutes, until that side is also golden brown and the cheese inside is melted. Repeat with remaining pieces of bread, making 4 grilled cheese sandwiches in total.

4.) As sandwiches are finished, remove from pan and place on a cutting board or other work surface. Allow to rest for just a minute or so before cutting in half.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

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