“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/

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Cooking With Sin

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*Sin*cere Season’s Greetings!

Posted on: December 23rd, 2011 by Carla Johnson No Comments

Wishing You and Yours a Peace-Filled Holiday.

May Goodwill and Blessings Fill Each of Your Days!

~ Carla


To help you celebrate, here is a collection of links to several great recipes I hope you and your loved ones will enjoy.

Instead of store-bought egg nog, try one of these:

Pretending to be Tipsy” German Eierlikor
Wedding Pudding” Dutch Advokaat
Hand Made” Egg Nog

Easy Apps:

We Are Family” Rye Bread ‘n Brie & Fondue
Goddess Supper” Potted Cheese

Saucy Sauces:

Comfort & Joy” Cranberry Sauce
Father & Son” Bourbon Sautéed Mushrooms
“A Little Leftover” Wine Jelly

One-of-a-Kind Salads:

Pork Ninjas” Salad Dressing
Poverty Line” Potato Salad
Stuck on Reduction” Watermelon Salad

*Sin*-ful Side Dishes:

Comfort of Home” Sherry Potatoes
Proud Mary” Fried Green Tomatoes

Distinctive Desserts:

Pumpkin Pie in the Great Outdoors
Thank You” Chocolate Cupcake Bombs
Fight Night” Kahlua Cookie Cake
Milk & Cookies for the “Real” Santa

The-Morning-After Breakfasts:

Sisterhood” Maple Rum Crepes
Working Past Midnight” French Toast

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”
- Hamilton W. Mabie

“Thank you” Chocolate Cupcake Bombs

Posted on: July 10th, 2011 by Carla Johnson No Comments
Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” ~ Author unknown (commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin)

“Always carry a flagon of whisky in case of snakebite, and furthermore, always carry a small snake.” ~ W. C. Fields

“Irish cream in my coffee this morning. Life is good.” ~ Author unknown

Today I looked at my Cooking With Sin stats and realized that we will probably reach 100,000 visitors this summer! That is 100,000 real people who will have clicked onto these pages since I started it in 2009! That’s pretty cool! :lol:

As of this moment 92,989 people have visited and last month alone we had 9,955 visitors, so it’s looking really good!

When we reach 100,000 I will yell a primal “Ye-ahhhhhhh” just like The Who in the theme of CSI Miami. And let me stand up and say I, for one, miss Horatio’s one-liner as he put on his sunglasses at the start of each show.

Speaking of CSI, it’s one of my favourite series of shows and it doesn’t hold back on showing any gore or drama. Blood, guts, guns, bombs, explosions, dead bodies, body parts… the works. It’s all there with an odd “educational” element to the dialogue. Our tastes as a culture have certainly changed from the days of its predeceasor Quincy ME – a favourite from my younger days! – where Jack Klugman’s Quincy described everything, but little was shown.

This recipe comes with a very special THANK YOU from me to each of you for making this project SO worth doing. I recommend making mini cupcakes so you get the taste of all 3 part of the cupcake in each bite.

*NOTE: If you’re looking for a real bomb recipe, fuggeddaboudit. Make these cupcakes instead. The name comes from a shooter called a Bomb. Ya, maybe not the best name, but here are 3 – count ‘em 3 – types of alcohol! Stout in the cake, whisky in the ganache and Irish cream in the icing. You’re gonna love them! Besides, I heard that British spy hackers are replacing online bomb recipes with cupcake recipes, so it’s all the rage! :cool:

My cupcakes ended up kinda messy looking :oops:, but they were amazingly deeeeeeeeelish!

“THANK YOU” Chocolate Cupcake Bombs

Makes 50 mini cupcakes

The Cupcakes

1/2 cup dark stout beer
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line cupcake pan with baking cups.

2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.

3.Bring stout and butter to a simmer over medium heat. Take it off the heat and add the cocoa powder and whisk the mixture until it is smooth. Let it cool a little.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sour cream. Add the stout mixture and continue beating until it is combined.

4. With the mixer on slow speed add the flour mix and beat briefly. Continue folding batter with a spatula until the batter is combined.

5. Fill the liners 2/3 full with the batter and bake for 14 minutes.

6.Test with a toothpick in the center of a cupcake to make sure it comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool.

The Ganache

3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (3 1/2 squares) orchips
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons whisky
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and put into a heatproof or microwavable bowl.

2. Heat the cream on the stove until it is simmering. Pour it over the chocolate pieces. Let it sit for about a minute to let the chocolate melt then stir until smooth. If the chocolate is not yet melted, heat carefully in a microwave on medium/low for approximately 20 seconds.

3. While it is still warm stir in the butter and whisky until smooth.

4. Using a small cookie cutter, an apple-corer or a melon baller, cut out the centre of the each cooled cupcake about 2/3 of the way down.

5. Fill each cupcake hole with the ganache using a piping bag. I used a zipper bag with a hole snipped in one of the corners. You may want to let it cool before you squeeze the bag.

The Icing

1 1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
3 tablespoons Irish cream liquor

1. Put the icing sugar and butter in a mixing bowl. As you start to beat, slowly drizzle in the Irish cream.

2. Whip until it is combined and smooth. You may need more or less Irish cream depending on your preference. If the icing is too thin, add a bit more icing sugar and beat.

3. Spread the cupcakes and decorate as you wish.

If you are familiar with other recipes here on Cooking With Sin, you might recognize that the cupcake batter recipe is very similar to the “A Suitcase and a Dream” Chocolate Stout Cake recipe. I’m sure it would work as well. It’s at


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