Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Blessed. And meet Guest Chef Beth - you'll like her.


I am feeling fully content right now. I am in my usual summer evening 'perch' - one dog is at my side sniffing the evening breezes, one pup is out in the yard chewing on a favourite bone, the cat is drinking out of the bird bath (his favourite source of water, thankfully the birds don't use it). Dinner has been made, dishes done. I even had time to make a cheesecake tonight - pretty sure it was the easiest cheesecake ever (recipe will be included shortly). Content: I have been feeling this way for quite some time. Although I have had days where I just would have preferred to have stayed in bed and slept or curl up and spend a day in front of the tv - I haven't - which in the end is a good thing.

I have family who I love and who loves me. I have a lovely group of true friends who I am grateful to have in my life and honoured to be in theirs. I have things to look forward to. I have things to plan. I have a good career that has given me ample opportunities. I have great neighbours who help me feel comfortable in my home. I have a home - a lovely, warm home. I have my pets - who I adore and are so fun. I have Call Display :). I have a beautiful garden. I have an incredible partner - the love of my life - he makes me laugh, he is my love. I have.

I am not sure what has  prompted me to declare this - but I think that it's important to take stock from time to time - and remember how wonderful your life is. I am pretty sure that things can't always be perfect - but what is perfect? Isn't perfect what we make it to be? Life is grand - I'm blessed. What do you feel blessed about? I love knowing and hearing what makes people happy, what they are grateful for. I think that it reminds us what else we have in our lives that maybe we forget. It's good to be reminded. 

As promised, it's time to meet our Guest Chef - Beth.

I have known Beth for 8 1/2 years. We work together and have developed a good friendship over the years. She is one of the people that can really make me laugh. I mean, LAUGH. The kind that I usually run off and as I am running off I can hear her saying 'Oh - she's going to wet them!!!'. She is a great friend - and Chris, I and the pups love having her over for visits. She has been to many a party at our place - and is always so much fun. She is considerate, honest, a confidant, smart and all around a good person. I am so grateful to have her as a friend.

Beth also loves to cook. She is a good cook - I think that we have similar cooking styles - in the sense that we are not afraid to adapt a recipe. Beth has provided me with some delicious recipes - and since it is prime grilling season, I have included her BBQ Sauce recipe. I can't wait to try this.

BBQ Sauce Beth Style

This makes about 5 cups.

1 cup ketchup
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup cooking molasses
2 teaspoons hickory-flavored liquid smoke
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

In a large pot over medium heat, mix together the ketchup, tomato sauce, brown sugar, wine vinegar, molasses, liquid smoke and butter. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, celery seed, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to low (not minimum - probably three out of ten), and simmer for 20-30 minutes. For thicker sauce, simmer longer, and for thinner, less time is needed. Sauce can also be thinned using a bit of water if necessary.


Beth answered some of my favourite questions:

1. What is your favourite meal to eat? To cook?  to eat: my mother's lasagna. To cook: these days, anything in the slow cooker. Man I love that bitch. Also, anything with my spicy peanut sauce.
2. If you could have dinner with anyone - anyone at all - who would it be?
 Joss Whedon.
3. What is your most memorable meal?
 when I was 9 my parents dragged me to a Greek restaurant (they had to bribe me with promises of a bellydancer). I was sure I would HATE Greek food, and by the end of the night was eating lamb and squid.
4. Lemons or limes?
 Lemons. I like the slightly more unusual, sweet flavour of limes, but you can't go wrong with lemon in basically anything. I want a lemon-bar recipe that isn't too sweet.

5. Favourite kitchen utensil or appliance? sloowwwwww cooooookkkkeeeerrrrrr

I have received some good recipes so far. I will post them throughout the week. Stay tuned. And the good thing - not all of the recipes are food - I have deelish bevvie to post.

Anyways friends. I am blessed that I have this venue to communicate and to write about what I love and to share my recipes. 




Beth said...

Love it! :)

The bbq sauce really is so good.

Beth said...

Love it! :)

The bbq sauce really is so good.