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Pad Thai

Thailand’s most well-known noodle dish 

Pad Thai
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Ingredients
  1. 8 oz. (250 g) wide rice stick noodles
  2. 1/2 cup chicken broth
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1/4 cup fish sauce
  5. 3 Tbsp. lime juice
  6. 2 Tbsp. ketchup
  7. 1/4 tsp. hot pepper flakes
  8. 4 oz. (125 g) boneless pork or chicken breasts
  9. 6 oz. (170 g) firm tofu
  10. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  11. 1 egg, beaten
  12. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  13. 8 oz. (250 g) large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  14. 1 red pepper, diced
  15. 2 cups bean sprouts
  16. 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  17. 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  18. 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, soak noodles in warm water for 15 minutes, drain and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk chicken broth, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, ketchup and hot pepper flakes; set aside. Cut pork or chicken across grain into 1/4″ strips. Cut tofu into 1/2″ cubes; set aside. In wok or large frying pan, heat 1 tsp. oil over medium heat. Cook egg, stirring occasionally until scrambled and set. Transfer to a large plate. Wipe wok, add 1 Tbsp. oil, increase heat to medium-high and stir-fry garlic, shrimp and pork or chicken until shrimp are bright pink. Add to egg. Heat rest of oil; stir in tofu and red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tofu begins to brown. Stir in noodles for 1 minute or until they start to soften. Pour in sauce; stir-fry until noodles are tender. Return egg mixture to pan; add bean sprouts, cilantro and half the green onions. Stir until heated through. Remove to warm serving platter. Garnish with peanuts and remaining green onions. Serves 4.
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Take my advice – I’m not using it.
 

Cajun Bread Pudding

Enjoy this luscious Louisiana inspired dessert

 

Cajun Bread Pudding
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Ingredients
  1. Pudding
  2. 1/3 cup butter, melted
  3. 16 cups french bread cubes, day old, lightly packed
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  6. 2 Tbsp. vanilla
  7. 1 tsp. nutmeg
  8. 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  9. 3 cups milk
  10. 3/4 cup golden raisins
  11. 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
Rum Sauce
  1. 1 cup butter
  2. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  3. 2 eggs, beaten until frothy
  4. 1/4 – 1/2 cup dark rum
Soft Cream
  1. 2 cups whipping cream
  2. 1/3 cup icing sugar
  3. 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  4. 2 Tbsp. brandy
  5. 2 Tbsp. Frangelico liqueur
  6. 1/4 cup sour cream
Instructions
  1. To Make Pudding: Pour a small amount of melted butter in a 9″ x 13″ pan; swirl to cover bottom and sides. Place bread cubes in pan. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Add vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, milk and remaining butter. Beat on low to combine. Stir in raisins and pecans; pour over bread. Allow bread to absorb liquid, 30-45 minutes. Press bread down often to cover all cubes. Preheat oven to 350 F.. Bake until crusty and golden brown, 45-60 minutes. Cool and slice into squares.
  2. To make sauce: Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Cook in double boiler for 20 minutes, whisking often. In a bowl, whisk 2 Tbsp. butter-sugar mixture into beaten eggs, then whisk in 2 Tbsp. more. Whisk egg mixture into butter mixture. Cook and whisk over simmering water for 4-5 minutes. Cool slightly. Whisk in rum. (By now, you’re probably all whisked out – taste the sauce – you’ll know it was worth it!)
  3. To make soft cream: Beat ingredients until soft peaks form, 3-4 minutes. Do not overbeat. Cover and refrigerate until served.
  4. To serve: On individual plates, drizzle a spoonful of warm rum sauce, top with a square of pudding and then add a large dollop of soft cream. Serves 12-14
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Beef and Barley Soup

“Oh the weather outside is frightful” but this soup is so delightful

Beef and Barley Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 lbs (750 g) beef round steak, trimmed and cut into 1/2″ cubes
  2. 3/4 tsp. salt
  3. 1/2 tsp. pepper
  4. 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
  5. 2 cups finely chopped onion
  6. 1 cup diced carrots
  7. 1/2 cup chopped celery
  8. 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
  9. 1 tsp. minced garlic
  10. 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  11. 2 cups beef broth
  12. 2 cups chicken broth
  13. 2 cups water
  14. 1/2 cup pearl or pot barley
  15. 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Place 1 Tbsp. oil in Dutch oven and brown beef until no longer pink. Set aside. Heat remaining oil in same pot and add onion, carrots and celery. Cook and stir until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, garlic and thyme, cook 5 minutes more. Add beef and chicken broths with water, barley and beef; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until beef is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add more water if necessary. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving. Serves 8.
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My idea of cleaning the house is sweeping the room with a glance.

Toffee Cranberry Crisps

If you’re a chewy cookie fan, fire up the oven – you’re going to enjoy these

Toffee Cranberry Crisps
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter
  2. 3/4 cup sugar
  3. 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 tsp. vanilla
  6. 2 cups flour
  7. 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  8. 1 tsp. baking soda
  9. 1/4 tsp. salt
  10. 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
  11. 1 cup toffee bits (check the baking section of your supermarket)
Instructions
  1. Cream together butter and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Mix in cranberries and toffee bits. Place teaspoonfuls of dough 2″ apart on greased cookie sheets. Don’t make them too large – they spead! Bake at 350 F. for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 5 dozen.
  2. Book Reference – The Rest of the Best – Vol. 2 (Page: 263)
Instructions
  1. Cream together butter and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Mix in cranberries and toffee bits. Place teaspoonfuls of dough 2″ apart on greased cookie sheets. Don’t make them too large – they spead! Bake at 350 F. for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 5 dozen.
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Eat a live toad in the morning and nothing will happen to you for the rest of the day.

Plum Upside Down Cakes with Mascarpone Cream

Simply fabulous

Plum Upside Down Cakes with Mascarpone Cream
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  3. 6 medium-sized ripe, firm red plums, pitted and thinly sliced
  4. 1/2 cup milk
  5. 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  6. 1 1/2 cups flour
  7. 1 tsp. baking powder
  8. 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  9. 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  10. 1/4 tsp. salt
  11. 1/2 cup butter
  12. 1 cup sugar
  13. grated zest of 1 orange
  14. 2 large eggs
  15. 2 tsp. vanilla
Mascarpone Cream
  1. 1 cup whipping cream
  2. 6 Tbsp. Mascarpone Cheese (Italian cream cheese)
  3. 2 tsp. sugar
  4. 1/4 tsp. vanilla
Instructions
  1. To make cakes: Butter 8, 8 oz. (250 ml) ramekins. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter with brown sugar, whisking until smooth and combined. Immediately pour into buttered ramekins, dividing evenly. Arrange a layer of plum slices in each ramekin, over-lapping slightly. In a small bowl, combine milk and lemon juice (don’t worry – it curdles). In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Using a mixer, cream butter with sugar and orange zest. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk mixture, mixing just to combine. Divide batter among ramekins. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until cakes are firm to the touch and juices are bubbling, 35 – 40 minutes. Cool on a rack. Before serving, heat oven to 350 F. Set ramekins on a baking sheet and heat until just warmed, about 5 minutes. Run a small knife around the inside edge of each ramekin and invert onto a plate. Top with a dollop of Mascarpone cream. Serves 8.
  2. To make Mascarpone Cream: Beat all ingredients in a small bowl until peaks form.
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Money isn’t everything – but it certainly keeps the children in touch.

Island Pork Tenderloin Salad

The superb flavor of jerk pork – the perfect dinner for a summer’s day and while this recipe looks involved, it’s not

Island Pork Tenderloin Salad
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Ingredients
Pork rub
  1. 2 tsp. salt
  2. 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  3. 1 tsp. ground cumin
  4. 1 tsp. chili powder
  5. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  6. 2 – 3 pork tenderloins (21/2-3lb. total)
  7. 2 tbsp. olive oil
Glaze
  1. 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  2. 2 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
  3. 1 Tbsp. tabasco
Vinaigrette
  1. 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  2. 1 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
  3. 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  4. 1 tsp. curry powder
  5. 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  6. 1/2 cup olive oil
Salad
  1. 3 navel oranges, peeled, white pith removed
  2. 6 cups baby spinach, trimmed
  3. 4 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage
  4. 1 red pepper, cut in thin strips
  5. 1/2 cup golden raisins
  6. 2 firm-ripe avocados, peeled and cut diagonally into thin slices
Salad
  1. 3 navel oranges, peeled, white pith removed
  2. 6 cups baby spinach, trimmed
  3. 4 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage
  4. 1 red pepper, cut in thin strips
  5. 1/2 cup golden raisins
  6. 2 firm-ripe avocados, peeled and cut diagonally into thin slices
Instructions
  1. To Prepare Pork: Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and cinnamon. Coat pork with spices. Heat oil in ovenproof frying pan over moderately high heat; brown pork, turning often. Leave in pan. To Make Glaze: Combine ingredients and pat onto tops of tenderloins. Roast in middle of oven for about 20 minutes. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. To Make Vinaigrette: Whisk together juices, mustard, curry powder and pepper. Add oil in a stream, whisking thoroughly. For the Salad: Cut oranges crosswise into thin slices. Toss spinach, cabbage, peppers and raisins in a large bowl with 1/2 cup vinaigrette. To Assemble Salad: cut pork at a 45 degree angle into 1/2″ slices. Line a large platter with dressed salad. Arrange sliced pork, oranges, and avocado in rows on top. Drizzle some vinaigrette over avocado and oranges. Pour juices from frying pan over pork.
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Retirement: Twice as much husband and half as much money.

Toffee Crunch Ice-Cream Cake

This is an excellent summer dessert

Toffee Crunch Ice-Cream Cake
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/4 cups crushed chocolate wafers
  2. 1/3 cup butter
  3. 2 qts. (2 L.) vanilla (or coffee) ice cream, softened
  4. 4 – 8 oz. skor chocolate bars, crushed
  5. 1 1/4 cups unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Toffee sauce
  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  3. 1/2 cup (125 ml) half & half cream
  4. 1 tsp. vanilla
Instructions
  1. To make cake: Grease a 9″x13″ pan or a 10″ springform pan. Combine wafer crumbs and butter and press into bottom of pan. Place in freezer for 15 minutes. Spread half of the ice cream over crust. Sprinkle with crushed skor bars and press into ice cream layer. Carefully spread remaining ice cream over crumbs. Sprinkle with peanuts and freeze for 2-3 hours. To make sauce: In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in brown sugar and cream. Cook and stir constantly over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat ahd add vanilla. To serve: Remove cake from pan and cut into slices. Pour warm or cold toffee sauce over each serving.
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The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard

Chilled Lemon Souffle

This simple citrus soufflé is a refreshing finale for a big dinner and  serves 6-8.

Chilled Lemon Souffle
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin (1 pkg.) 15mL
  2. 1/4 cup cold water 60mL
  3. 4 eggs, separated
  4. 1 cup sugar 250 mL
  5. 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 125mL
  6. 1 1/2 Tbsp. grated lemon zest 22mL
  7. 1 cup whipping cream 250mL
Instructions
  1. Place gelatin in water and set aside to soften. In a heavy saucepan, over low heat, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in the sugar, lemon juice and zest. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in softened gelatin and cook until dissolved, 1-2 minutes. Pour into large mixing bowl and allow to cool. Whip cream until soft peaks form, do not overbeat. Fold whipped cream into chilled lemon mixture until blended. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into lemon-cream mixture. Spoon mixture into a glass dish and refrigerate until set – about 2 hours.
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Bread and Butter Pudding with Rhubarb Coulis

Bread and Butter Pudding with Rhubarb Coulis
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Ingredients
Custard
  1. 1 cup evaporated milk
  2. 1 cup whipping cream
  3. 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1/2 cup sugar
  6. pinch salt
Pudding
  1. 4 large slices French bread or enough bread to fill 8″x8″ baking dish
  2. butter
  3. cinnamon
Rhubarb Coulis
  1. 2 cups chopped rhubarb (frozen is fine)
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 1/4 cup water
  4. juice of 1/2 lemon
Instructions
  1. To prepare custard, combine evaporated milk, whipping cream and vanilla in saucepan and heat to a boil. Whisk eggs, sugar and salt together and add to boiling milk. Strain through sieve. Butter an 8″x8″ baking dish. Butter bread and cut into 1″ pieces. Fill the dish with bread and generously dust with cinnamon. Pour custard over bread, ensuring all pieces underneath become moist. Soak for 30 minutes. Place dish in pan of hot water 2″ deep. Bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes, or until custard is set and pudding is golden brown.
  2. To make coulis, combine rhubarb, sugar, water and lemon juice in saucepan. Simmer until rhubarb is tender, then puree in blender.
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The amount of sleep required by the average person is about 10 minutes more.

Chilled Minted Spring Pea Soup

Oh, the joys of spring – this is certainly one of them

Chilled Minted Spring Pea Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 3 Tbsp. butter
  2. 1 small onion, chopped
  3. 1 small leek, chopped
  4. 1 celery stalk, chopped
  5. 1 garlic clove, minced
  6. 3 cups petite peas, fresh or frozen
  7. 4 cups chicken stock
  8. 1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped mint
  9. 3/4 cup light cream
  10. salt and pepper to taste
  11. 6 sprigs mint
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in large saucepan. Add onion,leek and celery and saute until softened. Do not brown. Add garlic and gently saute for 2 minutes.
  2. Add peas, chicken stock and mint to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes until peas are tender. In blender, puree soup in small batches. Strain through sieve.
  3. Stir in cream and chill. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in cold soup plates and garnish with mint.
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Stop the violins. Promote whirled peas.

Committee Salad

We all worked on it and we all love it

Committee Salad
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Ingredients
Dressing
  1. 1/2 cup oil 125ml
  2. 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar 45ml
  3. 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice 15ml
  4. 2 tsp. sugar 10ml
  5. 1/2 tsp. salt 2ml
  6. 1/2 tsp. dry mustard 2ml
  7. 1 garlic clove, crushed
Salad
  1. 2 Tbsp. butter 30ml
  2. 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, shelled 125ml
  3. 1/2 cup slivered almonds 125ml
  4. 1 head leaf lettuce
  5. 2 green onions, finely chopped
  6. 2 mandarin oranges, peeled or
  7. 1-10 oz.can mandarin oranges, drained
  8. 284ml
  9. 1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
Instructions
  1. Combine dressing ingredients in a jar, shake to blend. Heat butter in frying pan and saute’ sunflower seeds and almonds until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside to cool. Prepare remaining ingredients. Add cooled seeds and almonds. Toss with dressing just before serving serves 8 to 10
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Show me a nervous cat and I’ll show you a litter box filled with quicksand.

Pasta with Tomato Salsa and Feta

Serves 6. This is the perfect quick dinner for after work.

Pasta with Tomato Salsa and Feta
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Ingredients
  1. 6 fresh tomatoes
  2. 1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, shave into ribbons
  3. 2 cups torn fresh spinach
  4. 1 garlic clove, minced
  5. 1/3 cup olive oil
  6. 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  7. freshly ground pepper to taste
  8. 1 lb. (500g) penne
  9. 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  10. 3 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
  11. 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Cut an “X” through skin at bottom of each tomato. Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds. Plunge in cold water and peel off skin with sharp knife. Cut in half and remove seeds. Coarsely chop and set aside in a bowl.
  2. Add Parmesan, spinach, garlic, oil, basil and pepper to tomatoes.
  3. Cook penne in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and toss with tomato mixture. Top with feta and pine nuts and sprinkle with parsley.
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Important stuff my kids have taught me: If you’re gonna draw on the wall, do it behind the couch.

Chocolate Roll with Two Sauces

Chocolate Roll with Two Sauces
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Ingredients
Roll
  1. 5 eggs
  2. 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar 2 mL
  3. 1 cup sugar (divided) 250 mL
  4. 1/4 cup flour 60 mL
  5. 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder 45 mL
  6. 1 tsp. vanilla 5 mL
  7. 2 cups whipping cream, whipped 500 mL
  8. icing sugar
Foamy Butter Sauce
  1. 1/2 cup butter 125 mL
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1 cup icing sugar 250 mL
Fudge Sauce
  1. 1 Tbsp. butter 15 mL
  2. 1 square unsweetened chocolate 30 g
  3. 1/3 cup boiling water 75 mL
  4. 1 cup sugar 250 mL
  5. 2 Tbsp. corn syrup 30 mL
  6. 1/2 tsp. vanilla 2 mL
Instructions
  1. Roll: Separate the eggs. Beat whites with cream of tartar until stiff. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar. Set aside. Sift together remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar, flour and cocoa powder. Beat yolks until thick. Fold flour mixture into yolks and add vanilla. This will be very stiff. Carefully fold yolk mixture into beaten whites. Preheat oven to 325 F (160 deg.C). Line a 10″ x 15″ (25 x 38 cm) edged cookie sheet with waxed paper, leaving an overlapping edge. Grease and flour paper. Spread batter evenly on paper. Bake for 20 minutes. Place on a rack and cool for 5 minutes. Place a clean tea towel on counter, generously sprinkle with icing sugar and turn cake onto towel. Carefully peel waxed paper off the top. Cut off any dried edges. Roll up cake and towel together, beginning at short end. Cool completely – no more than a half an hour. Unwrap roll and spread whipped cream over surface. Roll up cake again but this time – leave out the towel! Sprinkle with icing sugar. Serve with fudge sauce or foamy butter sauce.
  2. Serves 8.
Foamy Butter Sauce
  1. Combine all ingredients in top of double boiler. Cook, stirring, until it forms a smooth sauce. Serve warm over chocolate roll.
Fudge Sauce
  1. Melt butter and chocolate in medium saucepan. Add boiling water and bring to a boil. Add sugar and syrup. Bring to boil again and stir for 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Serve just warm over chocolate roll.
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Pomegranate and Feta Salad

Take this fabulous salad to your next potluck – but bring an extra copy of the recipe (or better yet – a book!) Break the pomegranate apart and pop the seeds out by hand but be sure to ear an apron – the juice stains!

Pomegranate and Feta Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 1 head romaine lettuce, washed and torn
  2. 1 bunch spinach, stems removed, washed and torn
  3. seeds of 1 pomegranate (use dried cranberries if pomegranates are not available)
  4. 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  5. 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Dressing
  1. 1/3 cup olive oil
  2. 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  3. 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  4. 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  5. 1/2 tsp. oregano
  6. salt and freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Toss lettuce and spinach together in a large salad bowl. Add pomagranate seeds, pine nuts and feta.
  2. Whisk dressing ingredients together and store in refrigerator. Toss with salad ingredients just before serving.
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If it’s true that we are here to help each other, then what exactly are the OTHERS here for?