Community Cooking

Welcome to the Connect Community Kitchen. We're a community kitchen located in the basement of South Huron Hospital in Exeter, Ontario, Canada.

Monday, November 27, 2006 from August BBQ!

Good Eats

Asian Cucumber Salad
Chicken Skewers
Arborio Rice Salad
Shrimp & Noodle Salad

Good Tunes

Great Company!

Friday, November 24, 2006

A kitchen full of ladies...

On Monday November 20, 5 members met to choose the recipes we would cook this month. We decided to cook the following recipes: Pad Thai, Andy's Fairfield Granola, Chicken Breast with Curried Apple Stuffing, Four Cheese Manicotti, & Italian Wedding Soup. This month the cost was $10 for a healthy portion of each fare. We also welcomed 4 new ladies to the kitchen, Anne, Susan, Marley & Tara! Which meant that this month, we had a kitchen full of ladies!

On Thursday November 23, nine ladies got together and got straight to work, divide & conquer style. Under the direction of our fearless leader Randi, we set up stations, divided into 4 groups and started chopping, mixing, dicing, etc. We must have busted our butts, because we started at 6:00pm and were pretty much done by 9:00pm, clean-up and all! It's incredible what can be accomplished when you all work together! The following are the recipes we used. Any substitutions we made are in red.

Pad Thai

This is one of the most famous stir-fry dishes ever, and Thailand's most well-known noodle dish. It's fairly high in sodium due to the flavor-adding fish sauce and soy sauce, but lower than you'll find at most restaurants.

6 3/4 cups water, divided
1/2 pound uncooked rice sticks (rice-flour noodles) or vermicelli we used rice stick
2 tablespoons oil, divided
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup Thai fish sauce after reading the reviews of this recipe Randi suggested we use 1/2 the amount of fish sauce and add some ketchup as the recipe tended to be very salty
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 pound skinned, boned chicken breast, cut into 1-inch strips we substituted extra firm tofu diced for cost & added protein
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup (1-inch) sliced green onions
2 teaspoons paprika
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro we omitted the cilantro as members normally freeze their serving, and cilantro looses its flavour when frozen
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
6 lime wedges
we also added Thai Chile Sauce & some hot sauce to taste

Place 6 cups water in a stir-fry pan or wok; bring to a boil. Add noodles; cook 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain well. Place cooked noodles in a large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon oil; toss well. Set aside.
Combine 3/4 cup water, soy sauce, fish sauce, and brown sugar; set aside.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a stir-fry pan or wok over medium heat. Add eggs; stir-fry 1 minute. Add eggs to noodle mixture. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and garlic; stir-fry 5 minutes. Add to noodle mixture. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in pan. Add shrimp, onions, and paprika; stir-fry 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture and noodle mixture to pan; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; toss with sprouts and cilantro. Sprinkle with peanuts. Serve with lime wedges. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup noodle mixture and 1 lime wedge)

Andy's Fairfield Granola
From Nigella Lawson
This is one of Robin's favs, served with yogurt, with milk or by itself by the handfuls for a snack.

4 1/2 Cups rolled oats
1 cup/4 oz sunflower seeds
3/4 Cup apple compote or apple sauce we used apple sauce
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup brown rice syrup or rice malt syrup or failing that, golden syrup as per Randi we used Lyles' Golden Syrup, not to be confused with corn syrup (tee hee)
1/4 Cup clover honey or other honey
3/4 Cup light brown sugar
2 Cups whole natural almonds
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 cups raisins we substituted Craisins & some dried apricot


Mix everything except the raisins together very well in a large mixing bowl. I use a couple of curved, rigid spatula; normally. I'd be happy to use my hands, but here it just leaves you covered with everything.
Spread this mixture out on two baking sheets and bake in a 300-325 F oven, turning over about halfway through baking and re-distributing the granola evenly during the baking process. The object is to get it evenly golden without toasting too much in one place. This should take anywhere from about 40 minutes. Once it's baked, allow to cook and mix together with the raisins. Store airtight. Makes approx. 10 cups.

Chicken Breast with Curried Apple Stuffing


2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped celery

1 3/4 Cups chopped peeled granny smith apple (about 3/4 pound)

1 3/4 teaspoon curry powder, divided

1/4 golden raisins

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 can low-salt chicken broth, divided

4 skinned, boned chicken breast halves

3/4 cup apple juice

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon water

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add apple and 1 teaspoon curry powder; sauté 3 minutes or until apple is tender. Stir in raisins, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, and 1/3 cup broth; cook 4 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Spoon apple mixture into a small bowl; set aside.

Cut a horizontal slit through the thicket portion of each breast half to form a pocket. Stuff about 1/4 cup apple mixture into each pocket. we used toothpicks to help keep the chicken together

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sauté 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from skillet, set aside

Add 3/4 teaspoon curry powder, remaining broth, apple juice, and garlic to skillet. Bring to a boil; cook 5 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup.

Combine cornstarch and water; stir well; Add to broth mixture in skillet; stir with a whisk. Bring to a boil, cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return chicken to skillet; cover and simmer 2 minutes or until heated. Serve sauce with chicken.

Yield. 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and 1/4 cup sauce)

Four Cheese Manicotti

12 uncooked manicotti
vegetable cooking spray
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 carton nonfat ricotta cheese
1 package garden vegetable flavoured light cream cheese, softened
4 ounces light cream cheese, softened
1/3 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and sqeezed dry
1 jar reduced-fat, reduced sodium tomato & herb pasta sauce
oregano sprigs (optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt & fat; set aside.
Coat a small nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside
Combine 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, next 5 ingredients, in a bowl; bet at medium speed of a mixer until smooth. Again, we don't have an electric mixer, so Robin & Joeanne acted as one! Stir in onion mixture and spinach.
Spoon mozzarella cheese mixture into cooked manicotti (about 1/3 cup per shell) Randi suggested we adapt a Ziploc bag to use like a icing bag. Robin & Joeanne actually had several races to see who could fill their Manicotti first...congrats to Joeanne who won hands down everytime!!!

Divide 1 cup sauce evenly between 6 individual casserole dishes coated with cooking spray. Arrange 2 stuffed manicotti in each dish. Pour remaining sauce over each serving. Place dishes on a baking sheet. Cover each dish with foil, and bake at 350F for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses; bake, uncovered, an additional 5 minutes. Garnish with oregano, if desired.

Italian Wedding Soup
From Splendid Soup

1 recipe Italian mini meatballs

Italian Mini Meatballs
Makes about 30 walnut size meatballs

Stir Together:
1/4 cup unseasoned fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley our grocery store was out so we substituted curly
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
pinch nutmeg
1/2 ground chuck we substituted Hayter's ground turkey, half dark, half breast
Stir all ingredients together (except the ground chuck) in a large mixing bowl.
Add the chuck and mix thoroughly. From meatballs using a small scoop or melon baller and place on a parchment lined baking sheet; chill until ready to use.

Sweat in 2 tablespoons olive oil:
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup ham diced we omitted the ham
1 tablespoon garlic minced

Deglaze with; stir in and simmer:
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf

Drop in; add:
prepared meatballs.
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

whisk together; add:
2 eggs
Hot soup broth

Garnish with:
shredded parmesan

Assemble meatballs and set aside. Sweat vegetables, ham and garlic in oil in a large pot, covered, over medium heat until soft, 10 minutes. Deglaze with wine; reduce until nearly evaporated. Stire in broth and seasonings, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes. Drop meatballs into simmering soup and cook gently until they float, 3-4 minutes. Add beans, spinach, and parsley and cook just until the spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Whisk eggs with some of the hot broth, them revoe the soup fromt he heat; stir in egg mixture. Garnish with parmesan.

Instructions for Members:
1. Eat Pad Thai on Friday (tomorrow). Microwave until heated through (3-5 minutes). Add bean sprouts and enjoy.
2. Place frozen manicotti directly in the oven with the lid off. Cook for 25 minutes at 350F.
3. Make rice to go with your chicken. Defrost chicken, once defrosted microwave for 3-4 minutes.
4. Eat granola with yogurt, milk or just by the handful.
5. Defrost the soup and heat in microwave.

Special thanks to our sponsors Hansen's Independent Grocer & Hayter's Turkey Products. We appreciate your generous support!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

November Kitchen Dates

The Connect Community Kitchen
will meet on
Monday November 20th @ 6:00pm for planning
Thursday November 23rd @ 6:00pm for cooking.


On Monday October 23, 4 members met to plan for cooking on Thursday. We decided to try our hand at a Southwestern Breakfast Casserole, Lemon Chicken & Wild Rice Soup, Spinach Calzone, Chicken, Artichoke & Broccoli Casserole as well as the ever-festive Pumpkin-Orange Spice Loaf. The cost for this month's fare was $7.

On Thursday October 26 seven members came together and whipped up the following recipes:

Southwestern Breakfast Casserole
From Cooking Light

You can assemble this entire dish up to a week ahead. Bake the corn muffin mix ahead; store in an airtight container in the freezer for a couple of days. Assemble the casserole according to directions; cover and freeze. A day in advance, take it out of the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator (about 24 hours). Uncover and let stand 30 minutes at room temperature before cooking; bake as directed.

1 (8 1/2-ounce) package corn muffin mix
3 cups (1/2-inch) cubed white bread
8 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage ( we used Hayter's Original turkey sausage)
1 cup chopped onion
2 1/2 cups fat-free milk (we used a little less milk as per cooking light reviews)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained (we used salsa instead)
1 (8-ounce) carton egg substitute
Cooking spray
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack or mild cheddar cheese, divided

Prepare corn muffin mix according to package directions; cool. Crumble muffins into a large bowl; stir in bread. Set aside.
Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage and onion in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain.

Combine milk, cumin, pepper, tomatoes, and egg substitute; stir with a whisk until well-blended. Add sausage mixture; stir well. Stir into bread mixture. Spoon half of bread mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with 1/2 cup cheese. Spoon remaining bread mixture over cheese. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Bake casserole at 350° for 20 minutes or until set. Top with 1/2 cup cheese, and bake an additional 20 minutes or until set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: 8 servings

Lemon Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

1/2 Cup Butter
1 small onion diced
2 ribs of celery, diced fine
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 red bell pepper, diced into 1/4 " pieces
1/4 Cup flour
1 Cup water
6 cups Chicken Stock
1/2 lb. chicken meat, diced into 1/2" pieces
1/4 1b. wild rice blend, cooked
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 Cup milk
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

In medium pan, slowly melt butter over low heat until hot. Add onion and sauté until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add celery and continue cooking until tender. Add thyme and red pepper, mix well and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add flour, mix well, and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Place water in soup pot. Add chicken stock and sautéed vegetable mixture. Add chicken, wild rice, lemon juice, and milk. Bring to a boil, and continue cooking until soup is thickened. Sprinkle in chopped parsley, mix well. Remove from heat.

Serve hot.

Spinach Calzone
From Cooking Light

We came up with this recipe while trying to find a use for leftover ingredients from a spinach lasagna. We like this dish because it's easy to make, tastes great, and packs in a lot of calcium. Served with a salad, it's a satisfying meal.


3/4 cup 1% low-fat cottage cheese objec
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream object
1/4 cup (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese object
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1 (7-ounce) bottle roasted red bell peppers, drained and chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust
Cooking spray
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese object
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups bottled fat-free Italian herb pasta sauce (such as Muir Glen)


Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine first 4 ingredients; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until well-blended. Stir in spinach, bell peppers, garlic powder, and black pepper.

Unroll pizza crust onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; pat into a 14 x 10-inch rectangle. Spread spinach mixture over half of the crust, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle mozzarella and cheddar over spinach mixture. Fold dough over filling; press edges together to seal.

Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until browned. Cool on a wire rack 5 minutes. Heat pasta sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cut calzone into 6 squares, and top with sauce.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 square and 1/4 cup sauce)

Chicken, Artichoke, & Broccoli Casserole
From the Big Book of Casseroles

Layers of tender chicken breasts, artichokes, and crisp broccoli meld together in a flavourful cheese sauce. This casserole takes time to prepare, but once the casserole is made, your dinner party will be a success.


4 cups of broccoli florets

4 tablespoons of butter or margarine

12 onces mushrooms, sliced

4 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 1/2 cups Rich Chicken Stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

4 cooked chicken breast halves (about 2 lbs), cut into bite size pieces

1 can (14 onces) quartered artichoke hearts, drained

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top


Add some water to a pan fitted with a steamer rack over medium heat. Place broccoli on rack and steam, covered, over gently boiling water until tender-crisp, about 6 minutes. Drain under cold water and set aside on a large plate.

Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add flour and blen. Add stock, mustard, and seasonings and whisk until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add cheese and stir until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a 4 quart casserole dish place half the chicken, top with half the vegetables and repeat layers once more. Pour sauce over all. Cover and bake until bubbly, about 40 minutes. Sir and top with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, until cheese melts, 5 to 10 minutes longer.

Pumpkin-Orange Spice Loaf

From Cooking Light

Pumpkin is rich in both beta carotene and vitamin C, while whole-wheat flour adds an extra dose of fiber. Wrap the loaf in plastic wrap, cinch the top with festive ribbon, and place decorative stickers around the top and sides. The bread can also be baked in miniature loaf pans for 45 minutes and wrapped as smaller individual gifts.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup fat-free milk

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup butter or stick margarine, softened object

1 tablespoon grated orange rind

1 large egg

Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and the next 6 ingredients (flours through cloves) in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine the sugar and remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a bowl, and stir with a whisk. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist. Pour batter into an 8-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

A big thank you to Hansen's Independent Grocer & Hayter's Turkey Products for their generous continued support!

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