Where did the Chicken go?

What a Monday night!  Can I just say that Monday's, back at work, want to make me figure out how I can cook, photograph and share every single night of the week.  Oy.

Tonight was.....  let's just say, all burnt up.  Mr. D and Keifer were wanting to try out the Rotisserie thingamajig on the bbq only to discover that the only way to successfully keep the chicken from charring, is to watch it, watch it closely.

Ya, it was a black mess after a mere 10 minutes.

Ok, hungry, 6:15pm, dinner on table, hopefully by 7:00pm.


1 large steak (crappy cut or other)
Drizzle with Olive Oil
3 TBLS of Spicy Southwestern Herb Blend

Grill at high temp Herb side down for 5 minutes, another 5 minutes on the other side, then rest for 5 minutes --that's for a cut that is about 1 inch thick.

Once rested and the juices of the meat have all come together, slice to Fajita size bites, cross way to the grain of the meat to get the most tender pieces.

Serve atop Spaghetti Noodles with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil from the Garden.

We ate it before pics could be taken but YUM!

The pic above was taken in my kitchen, before the bird went up in smoke.  Nice Sunflowers eh?  Mr. D  must be channeling our trip to France a few years ago.  We cycled through the South.

Dinner was a light and spicy meal, full of flavor and love.

Deirdre &Keifer


Spaghetti Tuesday!

I have no idea what it is about Tuesday but ever since I was a kid, it's always meant Spaghetti.  My Irish immigrant parents were 6 out of 7 days focused on some kind of meat with potatoes so, when Tuesday's came along, I was in heaven.  This is an old recipe that my mother taught me, she had Italian routes and it has been our family favorite ever since.

The Meatballs:

1/2 pound Ground Beef
1/2 pound Ground Pork
1 Egg
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Sherry (Osborne is my fav)
1/2 Tbsp of Kitchen Stories Italian Herb Blend
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp Cracked Black Pepper

Wash Hands
Mix it all up with your hand/hands (best tools ever)
Shape Meatballs into preferred size
Sear on all sided, a Medium High heat is good enough
You'll finish cooking these in the sauce so don't worry about them being under cooked

The Sauce:

1/2 pound Ground Beef
2 Cups Chopped Celery
1 Cup Chopped Onion
2 Tbsp of Classico Herb Blend Mix
1 16 oz can of Diced Tomatoes
1 6 oz can of  Tomato Paste

To Do:

Nothing wrong with starting the sauce first, let it cook on simmer for as long as you like!  Here's where you begin though.

In a large skillet (I really only started using a skillet a few weeks ago and honestly, I love it.  Previous to that for the last gazillion years, it was a pot but when you only have an hour to cook a home made meal, this thing reduces like nothing else).

So, in a large skillet, on high heat, brown meat to half way cooked.  Add chopped celery, onion and garlic.  Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently (Spaghetti is so gross burnt) until the meat is cooked through and the celery has some bend to it (opacity too).  Don't worry about crunchiness, it'll all soften up once we pour in the liquids.

During a really nice sizzle in the pan, pour in the Diced Tomatoes.  Stir, Stir, Stir, Get it up to a boil then reduce to a slow simmer for half a day ------OK, 1/2 an hour for you pressed loved ones.

Feel it out at this point.  This is not a science but more of a preference.  My husband loves a soupy sauce, while my son and I prefer a firmer one.  Gauge how your family feels about their sauce and then...

Slowly add the Tomato Paste.  A little at a time while you stir at a Medium Heat to your desired yummy lumpiness.

Throw in those Meatballs!  Cover and simmer for as long as you can wait or have.  This sauce is just as delicious in 30 minutes as it is in a day.

Eat Well, Feel Great!

Deirdre & Keifer


Corn on the Cob with Little Burgundy Grey Salt Blend

What is summer without the grill and more importantly, what is summer without 
Corn on the Cob!  We have always done the pot boiling method 
but this summer,  we discovered yet another reason to use 

This is a super simple recipe that you can "almost" forget 
about once they are on the grill (be careful that the heat is not too extreme for an extended / unattended time as this will lead to a burn / carmelization 
of the corn, on one side - not palate worthy, trust me). 
Cooking your Corn on the Cob this way infuses it with fresh herbal sweetness and salty flavors, something that you will never get from the boil method.

Sweet Corn on the Cob
Kitchen Stories Little Burgundy Grey Salt Blend
Pepper (optional)
Kitchen Foil Wrap

Husk corn
Place in medium sized sheets of foil, diagonally
Add a few pats of butter
Sprinkle with Little Burgundy Grey Salt Blend
Add Pepper (if desired)
Wrap up foil to seal by bringing all edges together, with the fold on top

While the grill is heating up, place your Corn on the Cob Wraps on the top level of the grill, or the parameter of a grill without that top shelf.

Grill about 15 minutes with your favorite grilling foods and, you are done!



5 5 5

Not just for steaks!  It was BURGERS tonight!

Each of us, in our family, have very different views on how we prefer our burgers either cooked, or served.   Between lactose intolerance to perfect naturalistic tendencies, we had to make this work.
This dinner was based on two elements,  Teriyaki Sauce and Ultimate Steak Blend.
The differences came in the American Cheese for one, and the Avocado, minus the cheese for the other.  
Me, I'm cool either way but that Avocado sounded pretty good!

For a family of 4
1 pound of 85% ground beef
2 TBSP of Ultimate Steak Blend
1/4 cup Teriyaki Sauce
1/4 cup Breadcrumbs of choice

The gross part

All of this goes into a bowl of choice and, washing your hands will be important here.

Mix, with your hand, one hand, typically the right hand, all ingredients.
Shape into 4 Burgers (using both hands)
Since you are using higher fat content meat, feel free to make those burgers 
a little bigger then you expect to see on the bun 'cause they will shrink in the pan.

If your house temp is in the 70's you can let these rest on a plate or tray while your grill or pan is heating up, 
If you are in a climate that is above that, get those burgers back in the fridge till your cooker is ready.
You really don't want to get sick.

My Rule Of Thumb for cooking Beef

5 5 5 

5 minutes on one side, 5 on the other side and 5 resting minutes.

Serve with you fave condiments and sides.

you decide

Eat Well, Feel Great
with Love
Deirdre & Keifer

Grilled Chicken Recipe

This year proved an early start to the Grilling Season, that's for sure. 
And when we discovered Organic Chicken available at our local warehouse store, 
there was no question what our first dinner on that big steel box was going to be.

This has to be one of our family's most favorite recipes because, it's not really
a recipe but more of a easy simple meal - quick and simple.

Serves a family of 4

Organic Chicken tends to be on the lean and small side so I use 2 packages for our family.  If you can't find the Organic version, 1 package of your regular brand should do it.

2 packages of Organic Chicken Breasts or 1 package of your regular brand
Kitchen Stories Lemon Pepper Blend
Olive Oil
Salt to taste 
(or no salt at all, this is a Salt Free product full of flavor!)


Trim Chicken Pieces of fat and slice into two pieces per breast.
Place a piece of the chicken in a Ziplock bag, inside of breast up and, using a flat sided mallet or rolling pin, pound the chicken down to 
approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch, repeat for each piece.
Place flattened pieces on a plate or tray and drizzle with Olive Oil liberally
Sprinkle each piece with Lemon Pepper Blend, let stand while your grill or pan heats up.

This chicken recipe calls for a good sear so make sure your grill or pan are 
heated through to at least 400.

Sear, Lemon Pepper Blend side down for 5 minutes, turn and sear flip side another 5 minutes and repeat for another 5 minutes on each side, total 20 minutes.

I serve with fresh greens from the garden with a fresh and light Italian Herb Salad Dressing and Bruschetta but this dish would do just as well with rice or potatoes.

Eat Well, Feel Great!
with love
Deirdre & Keifer


While not all from the garden... Half of it is!

It's been awhile, I know, I said it during the my last post as well.  This time though, it is the ultimate return with a sweet little twist  -- a new kitchen garden for one, bigger, better and, a more lovely and familial environ  Just saying.

My full time job took on quite the twist.  I was everywhere and nowhere, easily.  Most people love the idea of travel on the work dime but honestly, I've just never been there.  Crap hotels (mostly in these past couple of years), 10 to 12 hours of remote work per day, dinners with.... while all you want to do is order room service... and then, my Dad passed away, at a weird time and then, 6 months later, my best friend in the whole wide world (since I was 5) got married in my home town, my Dad's memorial wasn't held until late August and then, September happened.  Vienna, Oh Vienna with your crazy food and awesome flea market!  November, wow, a new studio and then December, back home with my Mom and family, I am so not ready to give up my Christmas in Montreal.  Oh no, no yet.

January came and I had my mid year review.  In six months, I went from EXCEEDS to NEEDS ATTENTION Stuff, lovely stuff and then bad stuff, sad stuff, interfering with my work.  Jeez, so sorry I can't control my life, my special life.  

So, welcome back to KITCHENSTORIES on ETSY!


Well, Hello Again!

I'm back....

Wow, where have I been for the last 6 months? I can tell you a few things... one, the kitchen reno project has been to hell and back and I am utterly amazed that I am still married. The kitchen is THE most important part of my world and we ended up with a contractor that "ahem" doesn't deal with women. Now there's a whole long story associated with this guy but since I'm not one to throw folks under the bus, I'll spare you the details and give you a bit of an electric shock instead. This contractor has been in my husband's family for like forever and trust me, he looks like it too and so it began as a no brainer to use him. Little did the family or he know that he would be up against ME! I won girls... I won the battle of his old fart's sexist attitude. I know how to sling a tape measure. I know how to design a functional environment too and anyone who truly knows me, "I ain't all up in the clouds with lofty design ideas" they will attest. So the project has been stalled since January. It took a call on a Saturday night with a glass of red vino in my hand to get this arse up off his... arse and finish the job! Just finish the friggin' job! I'm happy to report that he reported and two weeks in we are 80% done. The island counter top arrived last Friday morning and now it's all about install now and tile work --both, he has promised, will be finished by the 16th of July.

Final pics to follow!!!


We Both Won!

In Mid January, I was asked by The Bright Side Project blog to host a give-away. This isn't just any blog, I had 206 answers to the simple question of: What is your go-to meal for friends, family, lover?

Holly's answer was my fave! She eluded to a recipe that I knew would make my taste buds go wild and I was right! I made this recipe last night for my favorite guy and it was proclaimed "The Most Delicious!"

Thanks Holly!!! It's so good I have to share... Oh! but first, Holly is an Etsy Seller too which endeared me even further! Check out her lovely shop that features Hand Painted Pottery, Baby & Family Gifts, Personalized Note Cards & more! Holly Slay

Italian Sausage & Spinach Stuffed Shells with Tomato & Bechamel Sauce

For the tomato sauce:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 med. onion, chopped
2 large cans Italian plum or stewed tomatoes (cut the tomatoes up a little bit)
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
pinch freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Soften onions in olive oil. Add remaining ingredients, simmer 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

For the béchamel sauce
2 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch ground nutmeg & pepper
Melt butter in sauce pan, adding flour and stir to blend. Add milk, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring until you reach desired thickness.

For the meat filling
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 10-ounce package frozen, chopped spinach, cooked & drained
1 pound sausage
5 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons cream
2 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Sauté onion in olive oil until soft. Add spinach, cook until all moisture is gone. Transfer to bowl. In same skillet, brown sausage. Drain and add to the spinach mixture. Add remaining ingredients.

To assemble
Cook, according to package, one box large pasta shells. Spread thin layer of tomato sauce in large baking dish. Place meat filling in pasta, arranging in baking dish seam side down. Spread remaining tomato sauce over shells, then béchamel sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan. Bake at 375 degrees until bubbly and beginning to brown on top (about 20 minutes). Enjoy!!


The Bright Side Project - FREE GIVEAWAY!

The oh so fabulous blog
"The Bright Side Project" is featuring Kitchen Stories today
with an chance to win a $35 gift certificate
to use on anything in my shop!!!
How exciting is that?
Head on over and check it out!