Random tips and recipes to keep your weeknights going!

1st August 2011


Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait

makes 4 large parfaits or 6 smaller ones

This recipe is flexible - e.g., if you just love the graham cracker “crust” then double the amount and make more.


1 pound of strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar, 
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons 
melted butter
12 ounces of cream cheese, 
room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar,

2 teaspoons Amaretto or favorite liqueur
1 cup heavy cream
mint springs, for garnish

 Assemble Cream Cheese Mixture:

Slice the strawberries into a bowl and sprinkle with one tablespoon of sugar. Toss and set aside.

Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and one tablespoon of sugar.  

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the sour cream, confectioners’ sugar and Amaretto and beat until combined. 

In another bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.  Fold into the cream cheese mixture. 


Assemble Cream Cheese Mixture:

Place about a tablespoon of the graham cracker “crust” in the bottom of your glasses.  Layer some of the cheesecake filling in the glasses, then some of the strawberry topping and sprinkle some more of the graham cracker on top. (Amounts will vary according to how many parfaits you are making, so just adjust accordingly). Repeat layers, top with mint and sprinkle some confectioner’s sugar on top. 

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

A handy note from The Brown: Layer your parfait with anything you like…chocolate, blueberries, caramel—be as creative as you like! Combine items like chocolate and strawberries, etc. 



29th July 2011


Toasted Coconut Flan


  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1 cup toasted coconut, recipe follows, or store bought toasted coconut
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine milk, coconut milk, and coconut cream in a saucepan. Stir, bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 15 minutes until slightly reduced. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Add toasted coconut and infuse for 15 minutes.

To make the caramel: combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium saucepot and cook over high heat, without stirring, until it darkens to amber. Pour the caramel evenly into 6 (4-ounce) ramekins and set aside. Be careful, it hardens fairly quickly like candy! 

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and the yolks. Strain the milk mixture into the eggs and whisk to combine. Fill each ramekin with this mixture, then place ramekin in roasting pan. Create a water bath by filling the roasting pan 1/3 way with hot water, and cook, covered with foil, for 25 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

To unmold the flan: take a paring knife and run it around the sides of the ramekin to loosen the flan. To help it along, you may also place the ramekin in a shallow bowl with warm water until it comes halfway up the sides for a few seconds. Invert a serving plate on top of the ramekin and flip over to unmold. I prefer putting it into a bowl of water to help it come out. 

Garnish with your favorite fruit, whipped cream, mint, etc. You can get creative. Happy eating! 

21st April 2011


Cure the Weeknight Blues with Cheesy Broccoli Chicken & Rice

Cooking time: 40-50 min (Depending on whether your chicken is uncooked or cooked)

Serves: 8-10 servings (easily altered for a larger or smaller group of people)


  • 2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 1.5 lbs. chicken breasts or tenders (I prefer tenders)
  • 16-20 oz. fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of cheddar soup
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sherry 
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1/2 stack (16-20 Ritz crackers, but its a preference thing)
  • 4 oz. butter
  • Lemon juice
  • paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • Knorr’s large bouillon cube
  • Lawry’s seasoning 
  • Oil 


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2 3x9x2-inch casserole tray with aluminium foil if you plan on cooking for a larger or smaller group, change the tray size to accommodate your group!
  2. Cook rice according to package directions.
  3. Boil chicken if uncooked. In a large pot combine enough water to boil chicken with Lawry’s seasoning, and bouillon cube. Boil the chicken until cooked through, drain, and dice or shred based upon preference.
  4. If using fresh broccoli sauté with oil, salt, pepper, paprika, and lemon juice until al dente.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the soups, 2 cups of the cheddar cheese, sherry, one tablespoon Lawry’s seasoning, garlic. Incorporate broccoli, chicken and rice. Transfer the mixture to the casserole tray and top with the remaining cup of cheese. If you have a larger or smaller amount of food, alter the tray size to fit accordingly. 
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, or until bubble. With 5 minutes remaining, crumble the Ritz crackers on top and cut butter into small slices and throw on top.
  7. Bon appetite!