Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

South West black been salad July 19, 2012

Filed under: Commentary,Recipes — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:15 am
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Really fresh, and something different!

Big can (14 oz) of rinsed black beans,

big can (14 oz)  of Niblets corn (I read frozen peaches and cream corn is okay as well)

one each finely diced tomato and red pepper

Tennis ball sized red onion, diced and sprinkled with 1-2 tbsp granulated sugar to weep, then set in microwave for a minute (this takes the burn out of the onion so it stays down)

1/2 c  lime juice

finely chopped fresh cilantro (half a bunch- maybe 1/4 cup worth?)

Let sit a bit for flavours to meld.  May serve with taco chips to scoop.  You could also put it into a taco bowl, or serve on lettuce.


healthy onion rings November 10, 2011

Filed under: Commentary,Recipes — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:40 pm
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I have been asked for my onion ring recipe. I love onion rings. A&W’s are my favorite, but the fat quantity is too excessive for me to enjoy this treat more than once or twice a year.

I did not make up this recipe, but it is really wonderful, so I will provide the link to the original website. These are crisp and tasty, as well as very easy to make.

You can find the recipe HERE.  They’re called “Simply the Best Onion Rings” and they really are fantastic.  I didn’t bother making mine as rings- just sliced them.  It was simple.  Give them a try!


apple cinnamon scones October 15, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:30 pm
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To be honest, these might not technically be scones, because of the whole rolling thing, but the dough is a basic biscuit dough like one uses for scones, so that’s what I’m calling this creation I came up with this evening.

The crust is very flaky and flavourful.  I cannot make pie crust to save my life, but no one will complain if I make this instead!

Pre-heat oven to 400F.  Serves 8, or two with left-overs!  ;-P


Dice one tart cooking apple (I used an Ambrosia) into approx 1/4″ cubes (or you could grate it instead), toss with 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp Demarara or brown sugar, 1 tbsp melted butter.

In another bowl, mix 2 c flour, 1 tbsp white sugar, 1.5 tsp baking power, 1 tsp salt. Cut in 1/4 c butter with pastry blender. Add in 1 c milk.  Mix well.

Turn out onto counter, Roll into a 12″ square. Spread apple filling onto dough, leaving 1′ border. Roll up. Squish down, keeping filling in! So it’s about 1″ high. Cut into 2 scones, each about 4″ X 6″.

Bake for 25 mins 400 F.

Melt 1 tbsp of butter. Brush scones with butter, sprinkle with a thin coating of icing sugar and cinnamon. Replace in the oven and bake for 4-5 more minutes.

To serve, slice each scone into 4 slices and serve with whipped cream or ice cream along the side.

SOOOOO yummy!


smokey asparagus May 16, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:05 am
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We live in an area that gets great asparagus this time of year, so we’re regularly dropping in to the local produce places and stocking up five pounds at a time.  As a result, we tend to look for inventive ways to serve up this tasty treat.  This evening I came up with a winner, so I’m sharing it with you!  To serve two.

2 smokies (smoked sausages about 3 cm in diameter and 15 cm long)  I microwaved mine 2 mins to thaw them.

500 grams/1 lb of asparagus.  (snapped and washed).

1 tbsp fancy European mustard- I used a coarse Dutch mustard.

1 tbsp of granulated sugar.

In a large pan with a lid, steam asparagus with the lid on for 4 mins, while you slice the smokie into long strips (In half lengthways, then slicing each half into thirds lengthways).   When the asparagus is bright green, toss in the sliced smokie pieces and remove the lid to let any remaining moisture escape.  Mix a tbsp of mustard and the sugar with a tbsp of water, sprinkle over the asparagus and smokies, toss gently to cover.  Turn off the heat and top with a lid while you make a salad, cook other veggies, or whatever.  (2 or 3 mins).  Serve!

The juices and fat from the smokie and the mustard provide a really nice counterpoint to the asparagus and the colour contrast is also quite attractive.  Very yummy!


French onion soup April 16, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:46 am
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When we were in France recently, we noticed onion soup on the menu of a small cafe for 20 Euros a bowl.  At that price, it’s not an appetizer! (I hope). I didn’t buy any in France, though it’s probably my favourite soup, and one wants to embrace all the tourist clichés!

However, after two weeks at home I was ready for a bowl  and made some tonight for dinner. I made a couple alterations to my normal way of doing it, and the result was the best onion soup I’ve ever made, so I’m recording exactly what I did for both my benefit, and for yours as well! This has a great mix of salt/sweet in it (and it cost about $2 to make, saving about 39 Euros). 😉

For 2.
Finely slice 2 medium onions.
In 2 tbsp of garlic butter (or plain butter with a clove of crushed garlic) gently saute the onions until starting to brown. Stir in two packets of Knorr OXO Beef bouillion sachets. Add 1.5 c of water, 1/8 c (30 ml) red wine, 2 tsp of soya sauce. Simmer for 20-30 mins.
To serve, sprinkle with cheese- parmesan is the easy choice, but swiss, emmental, gruyere are also options. You could add croutons before cheese if you like and if you use fresh cheese, broil or bake to melt the cheese before serving.


Curried Cauliflower soup March 26, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:23 am
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By popular demand by the staff of Carlin Middle, for whom I prepared this soup last Staff luncheon.

In 1 cup of chicken broth, simmer a large head of cauliflower for 20-25 mins.

Saute a large diced onion until clear. 

Mash the cauliflower, stir in the onion.  Add one can Cream of Chicken condensed soup, 1 tbsp curry powder, 1 tbsp Garam Masala powder, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tbsp marjoram,1/2 tsp of tarragon, one diced red pepper, 1 cup of water.  Simmer for awhile.  Add 2 cups skimmed milk mixed with 2 tbsp potato flour to thicken. Simmer Add grated cheddar if you are so inclined when you serve. (It tends to end up burnt on the bottom if added earlier).  Mmmm.  Yummy.  Serves a dozen teachers at lunch time, when combined with nice rye bread, coleslaw, and dessert provided by other potluck team members!


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