“Drive Thru” Rye & Ginger Lamb

Posted on: March 15th, 2014 by Carla Johnson No Comments

“Love makes the world go round? Not at all. Whiskey makes it go round twice as fast.” ~ Compton Mackenzie

Note to my non-Canadian visitors: In the Great White North here, we call our whisky “rye” because it has rye grain added to the mash and a “Rye & Ginger” is a popular drink. My hubby keeps his rye in the freezer. See the video at the end of the post.

Abandonned car wash drive thru lamb cooking with sin Chef Janet Craig

Written by Chef Janet Craig of The Satisfied Soul

It was as mild, sunny afternoon, after cooking at a client’s house, when I passed a “drive thru” car wash and thought I should go in. After chatting to the cash wash guy about cooking – he noticed the uniform – I drove in. Relaxing and reading my notes, I was suddenly jolted alert. Coming right through the water was the wash guy! He jumped out of the curtains in the actual car wash and banged on my truck, shrieking, “You are in “Drive,” Lady!!!” (instead of Neutral)

“Jeez! It said Drive Thru,” I thought.

Now I know why I was going through so fast!! I just thought I was being very efficient! He probably was worried about the Beemer in front of me!


It’s been a long chilly winter, but the maple syrup will be running soon. Here is a great Canadian recipe.

Abandonned car wash drive thru lamb cooking with sin sm

Rye and Ginger Butterflied Leg of Lamb


2 tablespoon (25 ml) Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon (25 ml) Maple syrup
¼ cup (50 ml) rye
½ cup ginger ale
2 teaspoon (10 ml) grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoon (10 ml) ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) cayenne
3 lb (1.5 kg) butter flied lamb leg
Freshly ground pepper to taste


1 tablespoon flour
¼ cup (50 ml) ginger ale
¼ cup (50 ml) rye
2 tablespoon (25 ml) maple syrup
2 tablespoon (25 ml) Dijon Mustard
1 cup (250 ml) chicken or beef stock

1. Combine mustard, maple syrup, rye, ginger ale, ginger, cumin and cayenne in a small bowl. Brush over lamb leg. Season with pepper. Marinate in zip lock bag overnight in refrigerator.

2. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).

3. Place lamb, fat side up, on rack in a roasting pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, basting occasionally or until juices runs slightly pink.

4. Place lamb on a carving board and tent with foil, letting it rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile make sauce.

5. Discard all fat from roasting pan but 1 tablespoon. Stir in flour, then deglaze the pan with the rye, scraping up meat bits. Stir in ginger ale, maple syrup, mustard and stock. Bring to boil, boil 3 to 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon. Season with salt and pepper.

6. To serve, carve into thin slices and drizzle sauce over lamb.

How to Make a Rye & Ginger

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

Happy Birthday Lobster Caesar

Posted on: January 4th, 2014 by Carla Johnson No Comments

Happy Birthday Chef Suman!

Happy Birthday to you!

Chef Suman is an author and CWS contributor who shared his “Golden Apple” Roasted Rabbit recipe. For his birthday today he celebrated with a Rock Lobster Caesar.

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

Photo credit: Chef Suman via Twitter

Go on and make your own. Here’s to you Chef!

Lobster Caesar

1.5 oz. Vodka
6 oz. Clamato Juice
Steak Spice – for the rim and a pinch in the drink
Lobster Tail – on a skewer for garnish
Celery stick – for garnish

Follow Chef Suman and his culinary adventures on Twitter @Chefsuman

Raise your glass and rock on with memories of the ’80′s and the B52′s “Rock Lobster.” :D


“I Love NY” Sangria

Posted on: February 10th, 2013 by Carla Johnson No Comments

Monica and her dad are very close and they have an annual tradition; they make wine together at a local wine makers. It is a special father-daughter venture and each year they choose a new red grape juice to work with. They have made Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet, Cabernet-Sauvignon and several others.

Cooking With Sin Carla Johnson

While she teaches grade 5 students by day, on the holidays Monica might be your tour guide on a bus trip to Montreal or New York. She has been to New York enough times that she has several favourite places. It was at a little Italian restaurant in NYC where she fell in love with their sangria and she set out to make her own version at home in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.

Monica loves to entertain and invite people to her home. When it comes to party hostesses, she is one of the best. She is especially known for her delicious sangria. She has worked hard to find the right mix and at her last party I got a chance to have a few sips of it myself. I just loved it!

I find that sangrias can sometimes have a bit of a dry edge, but Monica’s is a smooth as silk. Her key ingredient cherry brandy. It works wonderfully.

“I Love NY” Sangria

1 750 ml bottle of Monica’s red wine
1/2 cup cherry brandy or cherry whiskey
1/2 cup triple sec
1/2 cup peach schnapps
1/2 cup lemonade
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup Sprite
Frozen berries

1. Mix the liquid ingredients together in a pitcher or punch bowl. Monica pours her sangria into large plastic pop bottles which are nice to pour from and make it easy to store.

2. Monica keeps a bowl of frozen berries nearby to spoon into each cup as it is served.

Note: You want to look for cherry brandy specifically, not Kirsch. Kirsch is a cherry brandy that is made with the whole cherry, including the pit. It works really well in my Flaming Cherries Jubilee, but is too bitter for Sangria.

Toast 2013 with a Canadian Martini!

Posted on: December 30th, 2012 by Carla Johnson No Comments

 Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

“May the New Year bring you courage to break your resolutions early!
My own plan is to swear off every kind of virtue, so that I triumph even when I fall!”
 ~ Aleister Crowley

This quote makes me smile. It reminds me of the old SNL sketch “Lowered Expectations.” If you saw it, back in the day, you can probably still hum the tune. I am hoping 2013 will be a no nonsense year. No blubbering. No boasting. No baloney. Just lots of humour with a reality check.

You may have guessed I’m not a big believer in new year’s resolutions. They are usually doomed to fail for many good reasons. On the other hand I do take time to reflect and ponder at the start of a new year. My thoughts for 2013 are on my personal blog

For Infinity Magazine’s Winter 2012 issue I wrote an article featuring King’s Court Estate Winery in the Niagara Region here in Ontario. Roland Zimmermann, the owner & vintner of King’s Court, and I came up with a great drink you will find absolutely perfect for toasting in the new year. It is a mix of three very spectacular, Canadian ingredients. Enjoy!

King’s Courtini

1 shot King’s Court Estates Vidal Icewine VQA
1 shot Pure Canadian Maple Syrup
2 shots Canadian Whisky

1. Place ingredients in a shaker of ice.
2. Shake and strain into ice-filled martini glasses garnished with something festive.

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

“Rickard’s White” Lemon Chicken

Posted on: June 26th, 2012 by Carla Johnson No Comments

Molsons was really supportive at the Kitchener Food & Drink Show this spring and I am very pleased to share one of their recipes here on Cooking With Sin. Great for the BBQ!

“Rickard’s White” Lemon Chicken

Serves Four ● 3 minutes prep ● 15 minutes cook time


  • 4 chicken breast halves, skinned and boned
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 oz Rickard’s White (to taste)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp of dried oregano
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper


Combine all the ingredients; let them mingle for a while in a glass dish or heavy-duty re-sealable bag. Take chicken breast halves and place in bag. Let marinade at room temperature for 20 minutes. Preheat barbecue on HIGH. Place chicken on the grill, reduce heat to MEDIUM, and cook for 12 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking.

 Carla Johnson "Cooking With Sin"