Cook French Onion Soup that is as good as the Keg’s

I fell in love with the Keg’s french onion soup many years ago.  I happened to try this recipe that was in my Mom’s ancient Good Housekeeping Cookbook.  It was amazing!!!  I managed to find the same book with a few touch ups (all the recipes were the same but additional information on spices and menu items) from one of those book distributors that drop off books in offices and takes order.  I LOVE this cookbook.  I just found the original version like my Mom’s in a thrift store the other day and was thinking.  I should buy it and give it away to one of my followers….still debating this.  Let me know if you are interested and I will see if I can still get my hands of the book.  Some of the best soup recipes I’ve tried are in this book!!!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.  It is so simple and easy to cook.

So here goes… French Onion Soup!

I replace swiss cheese with mozaralla in this recipe (I make this recipe so often I even know the page number – 130 – off by heart)


1/4 cup butter
3 large onions sliced (about 4 cups)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups of water
1/2 cup red cooking wine
2 – 10 1/2 ounce cans of beef broth (basically your standard sized can of broth works (284 ml)
1 long french loaf
1 small package of bari mozzarella


  1. In a 4 quart saucepan over medium heat, in hot butter, cook onions and sugar for 10 minutes
  2. Stir in flour until well blended with the onions and the pan juices
  3. Add water, wine and un-diluted beef broth, heat until boiling.  Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 10 minutes
  4. Cut four 1 inch thick slices of bread from loaf.
  5. Ladle soup into 4 – 12 ounce oven safe bowls and place once slice of bread on the surface of soup in each bowl
  6. Lay a slice (2 – 3 mm thick) of mozzarella on top of the bread in each bowl
  7. Place bowls on a cookie sheet or bread pan and bake at 425 degrees in oven 10 minutes or until cheese melts (I do this in my toaster over…takes less energy and time)
  8. EAT!!!!

Cinnamon Buns – Just Like Grandma Lees

I found while looking for a cinnamon roll recipe I could make in a food processor.

Being a short cut kind of person (Type A – No wasted time) I don’t mess around with all the kneading and stuff (I used to use my food processor, but have even simplified things more by making the dough in my breadmaker on the dough setting – just make sure the yeast and the salt don’t come into contact and you are good to go.

For those of you who used to work with me in Pitt Meadows (the days of the takeout order from Grandma Lees) these cinnamon buns are as good if not better just due to the sheer fluffiness of them when baked and hot out of the oven.  They come the closest I’ve ever had to light as cotton candy.  This is courtesy of Laura Jeffries.   I do not use her Frosting though.  I have an alternate cream cheese version that is heavenly and included at the end of the recipe.


  • 2 packages yeast, (1/2-ounce or 2 scant tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup milk (warmed)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 cups flour


Dissolve 2 packages of yeast in 1/2 cup of hot water (test on wrist to make sure water is not too hot) and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let sit.

Melt the 1/2 cup of butter and combine with 3/4 cups of warm milk (can be warmed on stove or in microwave, test on wrist to make sure milk is not too hot). Using an electric mixer with a dough hook or a food processor with dough blade, mix dissolved yeast and butter/milk mixture on low. Slowly add 1/2 cup of sugar, then 1 egg. Add salt and 2 cups of flour on low, blend until smooth. Slowly add 1/2 cup at a time, the other 2 to 2 1/2 cups of flour.

Put dough onto floured counter top. Knead dough until it doesn’t stick to your hands (don’t over kneed or add too much flour).

Place in a greased bowl. Cover with damp cloth and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it doubles in size. (Tip, let it rise in oven where the air and temperature is consistent).

Remove from bowl and place on a floured counter. Roll out in a 12 by 24-inch (approximately) rectangle, not too thin. Spread 1/2 cup butter over dough, sprinkle with 1 1/4 cups of brown sugar (evenly), sprinkle with 1/4 cup of granular sugar (evenly), and sprinkle 2 tablespoons (or as much as you desire) of cinnamon (evenly).
Roll dough into a log. Cut into thumb-width slices or 1 1/2-inch widths.

Place in round or foil pan. Put back in oven to rise to desired height. Remove from oven after they have risen.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Only bake on one rack, center of oven (4 pans fit nicely). Set timer for 15 minutes, then watch for desired brown-ness. Remove from oven – let cool.

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Cajun Jambalaya – courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

I’ve tried this recipe and love it. I make it quite often. It has a subtle spiciness that builds as you finish your serving. It is hot…but not immediately….its grows as you go. What I really like is the seasoning is its own stand alone Creole seasoning. The recipe makes far more than what is called for in the Jambalaya which makes it readily available to use in other creations. Enjoy!


  • 12 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
  • 4 ounces chicken, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning, recipe follows
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 3/4 cup rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 5 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced
  • Salt and pepper


In a bowl combine shrimp, chicken and Creole seasoning, and work in seasoning well. In a large saucepan heat oil over high heat with onion, pepper and celery, 3 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauces. Stir in rice and slowly add broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook until rice absorbs liquid and becomes tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. When rice is just tender add shrimp and chicken mixture and sausage. Cook until meat is done, about 10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning.

Per Serving: by RewardsArcade” href=””>Calories: 402; Fat: 16g (Saturated Fat: 4 grams); Protein: 24g; Carbohydrates: 38g; Sugar: 4g; Fiber 0g; Cholesterol: 97mg; Sodium: 800mg

Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

T-Fal Actifry. It’s actively used in my kitchen. Makes fries with one tablespoon of oil!!!

I can’t stop using my T-Fal  Actifry.  After getting this as a gift from my husband who tends to drive the health movement in our house (his

T-Fal Actifry
T-Fal Actifry getting ready to make hashbrowns

late night snack is Greek Salad!!) I threw out my deep fryer.  We made our first batch of french fries with it and they were admittedly good.  The do taste slightly different than deep fried french fries because they are not saturated with oil.  They have a nice flavor and get just enough crisp to them.

Now the biggest reason I like this kitchen appliance is it versatility.  It comes with a magnificent cook book filled with all in one meals that are super tasty and convenient to make.  I love being able to throw the ingredients into the actifry…set the timer, walk away and come back to have a complete meal.  It is easy to clean and the convection cooking and rotating arm cooks meals perfectly.  It is endorsed by the Canadian Diabetes Association.

The recipe book is fantastic.  It was well thought out and the recipes tested.  They are tender, flavorful and I just love this machine.

See the Actifry in action cooking up my weekend morning hashbrowns: Actifry Video

Some of the recipes we have tried include:

Madagascan Beef Tenderloin (garlic, ginger, tenderloin beef, tomatoes, baby potatoes all cook up in 40 minutes)

Spicy Thai Chicken Curry (ginger, chili pepper, green pepper, zucchini, coconut milk, corn starch, curry paste, cilantro done in 18 minutes)

Baby New Potatos with Garlic, Tomato and Shrimp (recipe name pretty much covers it, ready to eat in 31 minutes)

French Fries (25 minutes)

Sweet Potato Fries (30 minutes)

Hash browns (20 minutes)

Fresh Chicken Wings ( NO ADDED OIL – 35 minutes)

The only drawback we found is we bought the introductory version which cooks 2lbs maximum at a time.  Had we known how much we were going to use and love it we would have bought the family version that cooks 3lbs at a time.  This does not pose as much of a problem when making a side dish, but when making a stir fry as a main course the portions can be a bit small.  Although so are our kids right now, but the capacity will need to grow as they do.

Many outlets carry the Actifry (Sears, London Drugs, Walmart).  The cheapest I have seen the 2lb version on sale for has been at Sears (albeit I had to get a raincheck and they never did get any in stock<– insert frown here)

We ended up getting ours at Walmart, but better deals can be sourced online and usually at anytime (not waiting for the next sale)

Here is one option:
Buy 2lb T-Fal Actifry Online

Chipotle Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Salsa Verde

Okay make sure you have your blender ready because this recipe smells SO much like authentic mexico you are gonna want a margarita in your hand when you are done!

I found this recipe online and tried it….it is now a staple especially in the hot weather because it is so clean and crisp and requires very little cooking.



1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chipotle or blended chili powder (I recommend chipotle)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (I cheated and used what I had on hand – pickling salt…but cut it in half)
1 pound of medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
tortillas or hard tacos (I use the ones that stand up on their own…the shrimp fit in the better)
fresh cilantro

Avocado Salsa:

1 small onion, quartered
1 jalapeno, quartered (seeds optional)


1 garlic clove, smashed
4 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed and coarsely chopped (these are those green tomato like veggies that are covered with a skin that resembles chinese lanterns – found in the produce section)
1 large avocado, peeled seeded and cut into small chunks
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves (coarsely chopped)


Put the onion, jalapeno, and garlic in a food processor and finely chop. Add the tomatillos, avocado, and salt and pulse until chopped but still chunky. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cilantro.

Heat a stovetop or outdoor grill to medium-high. Mix the olive oil, chipotle or chili powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Grill the shrimp until translucent, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side.

Grill tortillas, until slightly charred and pliable, about 20 seconds per side. (Alternatively, wrap in a damp paper towel and heat in a microwave.) Spoon sauce on the tortilla, then top with about 2 or 3 shrimp and a sprig of cilantro. Serve 2 tacos per person, with a lime wedge on the side OR more if they love them like we do!!! Yum Yum