Cooking With Sin 2014 Calendar – July

Posted on: July 1st, 2014 by Carla Johnson No Comments

Each month in 2014, I am sharing a calendar page that includes a CWS recipe. Here is July’s!

Click to open up the large version of the calendar page, then right click and save or copy it for yourself. Print it off for your fridge, share it with a friend, post it at your office… etc.

I just ask, if you use it in a document, please use the entire image, so Cooking With Sin gets the credit. Thank you. It is yours to enjoy!

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin Calendar 2014

Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin

Check out the story with the original recipe

“Super Bowl” Planked Twinkies.

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

“Happy Canada Day!” Red & White Nachos

Posted on: July 1st, 2014 by Carla Johnson No Comments

“How is it that everyone on this train has so much alcohol?”
“We always head to Canada at the beginning of the season,” she says taking her seat again. “Their laws are much more civilized. Cheers.” ― Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants

Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin

Today is Canada Day! July 1st marks the 147th birthday of my country and we celebrate loud & proud! While we remain a relatively young country, we are a deeply patriotic nation. Don’t let the politeness fool you! Polite “waters run deep.” We need to behave ourselves to endure long cold winters, but we sure know how to bust out when the sun warms things up.

Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin

My daughter, a “few” years ago, on Canada Day.

In light of our cold winter climate, my daughter pointed out today that we are really lucky our national birthday is in the summer. She’s smart! (For those readers who think we live in igloos and have snow year-round, you would be well-informed to know I am sitting outside in my red t-shirt and white shorts. The temperature has cooled down to 27°C or 81°F.) Today is a day of fireworks, parades, music and lots of revelry. Mostly, it involves lots of eating and, of course, drinking.

Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin paper plate plates napkin napkins

To celebrate this great day, I made Red & White Nachos for my family and they were awesome. Usually I just cheat and warm the nachos in the microwave, but this time I decided to do it right and warmed them in the oven. Not only were the nacho chips red and white, but so was the meat. I topped it with white chicken meat and red pepperellos. Of course, I made sure the mound had cheese layered throughout. Mmm… it was Canadian goodness. :)

Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin


“Happy Canada Day!” Red & White Nachos

Red & white nacho chipsCarla Johnson author Cooking With Sin
Canola oil
Garlic cloves, minced
Chicken breast meat, cooked & chopped
Pepperellos or pepperettes, chopped into thin slices
Green onions, chopped
Tequila or whisky
Monterey Jack cheese with  Jalapeño, shredded
Marble cheddar cheese, shredded
Red & green  jalapeños, sliced (optional)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

2. In a large pan, sauté garlic in the oil along with a sprinkle of tequila (or a Canadian whisky). Add the meat and white part of the green onions to stir to warm them up. Sprinkle a spoon of salsa followed by a few handfuls of cheese and warm until the cheese melts.

3. Spread the bottom of a pan (I used my round pizza pan) with a layer of nacho chips and top with the warmed meat and a few more handfuls of shredded cheese. Top with another layer of nacho chips, meat and more shredded cheese.

Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin

Ready for the oven

4. Heat the beautiful mound in the oven for 10 minutes (approx.) then top with the green part of the onions and jalapeños. Serve with more red & white – salsa & sour cream!

Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin

Yup! All done!

Carla Johnson author Cooking With Sin

Oh Canada!

Did you know our Canadian flag is only 49 years old? In 1965 it was inaugurated after spending a year with politicians debating the many submissions that came in from across the country. See Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson’s design that started the debate along with several others, some of which were …ahem… unique.  “Awesome Canadian Flag Designs that Got Cut.

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

“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

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 CarlaJohnson.ca.

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

“Packs a Punch” Cupcakes

Posted on: January 14th, 2012 by Carla Johnson No Comments
whisky whiskey

Cooking With Sin

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
- Anais Nin

by Alana Cholewa

Val and I met in the fall of 2000. We had just started university and lived in the same residence building. Val, God bless her, is the loudest person I know. She is short and Italian, and packs a punch if she feels the need to hollar. In all fairness, I must admit that I heard her long before I saw her: In a building that housed over one thousand first year students, that was quite the accomplishment!

While I became familiar with her during Orientation Week, I was actually introduced to her a few weeks later. While some people can find ample volume off-putting, I have always appreciated and respected Val’s ability to just put it all out there.

Over a decade later, our friendship is still holding strong. We picture ourselves growing old with each other — two grannies on a porch with extra large wine glasses. This recipe for cupcakes is much like our friendship, rich with colour and flavour. The icing, sweetness on top, isn’t as sweet and innocent as it appears. Gotta watch for this blonde and brunette friendship – it, too, packs a punch!

Packs a Punch” Cupcakes

Step #1: Bake the Cupcakes

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
2 cups flour, all purpose
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup stout
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sour cream with a mixer.

3. In another large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3. Simmer the stout and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.

4. Add the stout mixture to the egg mixture and beat until blended.

5. Add the whisked dry ingredients and mix slowly until all ingredients are just combined.

6. Filling muffin or cupcake tins 2/3 full. Bake for 16 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

7. Make sure to completely cool the cupcakes on a rack.

Step #2: Fill Cupcakes with Ganache

Whiskey Ganache

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate squares
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons whiskey

1. Chop the chocolate squares into fine pieces and put them in a heatproof bowl.

2. Heat the cream until it simmers lightly then pour it over the chocolate pieces. Let stand for one minute until the chocolate melts then stir until the mixture is smooth.

3. Add the butter and whiskey and stir or whip with a beater until it is combined and smooth. Cool slightly, but still soft enough to pipe.

4. Scoop out the middle of each cupcake with a melon baller, or apple corer. Pipe the ganache into the middle of each cooled cupcake and fill to the top.

Step #3: Top with Icing

Irish Cream Frosting

2 cups confections sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperatue
4 tablespoons Irish Cream

1. With an electric mixer, whip the butter and powdered sugar, slowly adding the Irish cream until the icing is smooth and creamy.

2. If the mixture thins out, add more powdered sugar until thick again. If more liquid is needed, add more Irish Cream or milk.

3. Spread a generous amount of icing on each ganache-filled cupcake.

4. Enjoy packing a punch with this treat!

This recipe was inspired by – http://www.sweetspot.ca/SweetHome/recipes/32765/test_kitchen_guinness_cupcakes_with_irish_cream_frosting/

Please join us on Facebook! Click on this “Like” image.

Cooking With Sin

Cooking With Sin - Facebook LIKE Page