Author: Alexis Beaini

Slow Cooked Vegetable Bolognaise

You know those bloggers who meal prep entire MONTHS in advance?

I have a topsy-turvy love-hate relationship with them. One the one hand I would love to have a giant chest freezer full of meals ready to just pop in the oven and move on with my life. On the other hand, I would have to set aside entire weekends just to meal prep and stay ahead of the curve. Ehhhh not really my idea of relaxing or recharging on a weekend.

But I do really want all my meals completed in advance and ready to go for the busy weekdays.

The struggle is real folks.

So, for now, I’ll give up on my dream regarding meals pre-planned months in advance and instead focus on sanity-saving recipes.

Like this magic Slow Cooked Bolognaise recipe.

Make one giant batch of sauce and you will have dinner for the night, leftovers for lunch tomorrow, and enough to have a batch ready to thaw in the freezer if need be.

This recipe is also incredible for utilising those dying bits of produce in the bottom of your fridge. I encourage you to add everything that will go bad within the next 3 day to this recipe. Leftover spinach in the fridge? Chuck it in. Limp Celery? Chuck it in. Languishing red pepper? Chuck it in.

Trust me. This is magic sauce.

It all starts with a bunch of veggies and bacon. I highly recommend you chop all of the veggies the night before. And if you happen to have a food processor with a slicing disc, I would just use that.  Because #lazyrecipe

First things first, start frying up the bacon. I love my cast iron, but you can certainly use anything reasonable as a substitute.

Then throw in all of the onions with the bacon and let those get a good caramelization going. I know caramelizing onions can be a pain, but it is a really important flavor-step. If you are short on time, just skip this one step. The sauce won’t be life changing good, but it will still be plenty of awesome.

Now add the caramelized onion and bacon mixture to the crockpot. Dump in all the other ingredients EXCEPT for the baking soda. Baking Soda is to be added when the sauce is complete.

Oh and if you happen to have a Quince and Dotti. Secure the cats from the crockpot at all times.

That’s it. Once the slow cooked bolognaise is finished. Toss ½ with pasta sauce. Put the other ½ in the freezer for your next emergency meal. Boom!

Or you can use this bolognaise to make a kick-ass lasagna. Nom-nom-nom 🙂



Slow Cooked Bolognaise

Course Main Course, Slow Cooker
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 Individual Servings


  • 4 Strips of Bacon
  • 2 Large Onions Diced
  • 4 Large Carrots Diced
  • 6 Stalks of Celery Diced
  • Optional: Any additional veggies you prefer (I always use Mushrooms)
  • 4-6 Cloves 4-6 Cloves of Garlic I use 6, but I like it really garlic-y
  • 4 Tablespoons Tomato Paste About one of those tiny cans. You know the one
  • 4 Small (500gram) Cans Diced Tomatoes
  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth Beef will also work if you prefer
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • Bay Leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Sage
  • 2 teaspoons Basil
  • Salt to Taste
  • Optional: ¼ Teaspoon of Baking Soda


  1. Cut Bacon into small Pieces. Over medium heat gently cook the bacon, rendering as much fat off of the Bacon as possible.
  2. Add the onions on top of the now rendered bacon. Cook slowly until thoroughly caramelized (Approximately 30 minutes).

  3. Move the bacon/onion mixture to your favorite crockpot. Add all of the other ingredients EXCEPT for the baking soda.

  4. **If prepping for the day before. Take the ceramic insert out of the crockpot, cover, and place in the fridge for overnight.

  5. Cook the bolognaise on low for 8-12 hours.

  6. Taste the sauce. If it is too sharp add the baking soda ¼ of a teaspoon at a time. It will bubble do not be afraid! Add salt to taste.

  7. **If you prefer a smoother sauce, use an immersion blender and blend to desired texture.

  8. SERVE!

Recipe Notes

Extra sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Caramel Latte Brownies

Bringing a dish to a potluck can often be a stressful event. Especially if have to accommodate for gluten intolerance and don’t want to buy a whole lot of special ingredients. These gluten-free caramel latte brownies are a fantastic option. They are dead simple and can be catered to a variety of dietary restrictions. These brownies are infused with coffee, swirled with caramel and then finally topped with a coffee meringue. These Caramel Latte Brownies are gluten free, nut free and 100% made from scratch including the caramel and coffee meringue. They are also completely customizable to your taste.  

If you prefer a salted caramel, stir in a teaspoon of salt when the caramel is finished cooking. Prefer an alcohol-free dessert???? Skip the Tia Maria and replace it with a shot of strong espresso. Egg free can also be done. Simply skip the meringue and replace the eggs in the batter with flax eggs.

These sound intimidating to make, but I pinky promise anyone who can measure ingredients, turn on an oven, and operate a mixer can create these brownies. The caramel is a Dulce de Leche (Sweetened Condensed Milk Caramel) and it thrives on neglect. Take a can of sweetened condensed milk, pop it into a small baking tray, and cover with foil. Pop that tray into a bigger tray, add an inch of water into the larger tray and then bake it in a 250F oven for 2 hours. The most difficult task in this sequence is opening the can.

Now, the meringue isn’t something I would label as difficult. But you do have to be precise about a couple of items. No egg yolk or fat can be within the bowl being used to whip the meringue. Also, I use plain soap and hot water and rewash everything before dumping in the whites.

Use a stand mixer or food processor. Whatever tool you do utilise is irrelevant because the method is the same. Add in all the egg white, run the machine until the eggs are soft peaks. (To test this take a spoon of the eggs and quickly flip your spoon over. Soft peaks should curve over and look like the tip of a soft serve ice cream cone. (see video). Stiff peaks will hold their shape even when moving the spoon around. Check out the video for the texture you are aiming to create.) Once soft peaks are formed, pour in all the other ingredients. Then run the machine until you hit stiff peaks. 

Once complete, pile it on in big fluffy waves on top of the brownies and toast under the broiler. Fluffy lovely goodness. Just like milk froth on a beautiful latte. Easy peasy complicated brownies. An enigma wrapped in a dream.




Caramel Latte Brownie

These brownies are swirled with scratch made caramel and topped with coffee meringue.  100% homemade and simple as 1,2,3

Course Dessert
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 16 Servings


Caramel (Dulce De Leche):

  • 1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt Optional


  • 1 Cup Butter melted
  • 2 Tablespoon Oil
  • Cups of Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Tablespoon Molasses
  • 2 Tablespoon Tia Maria
  • 2 pinch Salt
  • 2 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Cocoa powder
  • 1 Cup Flour

Coffee Meringue:

  • 6 Egg Whites
  • 1 ½ Cup Sugar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon Cornflour
  • 2 Tablespoons Tia Maria


  1. Method:

Dulce de Leche:

  1. Preheat Oven to 250F
  2. Place the entire can of Sweetened Condensed Milk in a small greased baking dish. Cover with foil
  3. Place the baking dish of Sweetened Condensed Milk into a water bath in the preheated oven. (To make a water bath: Use a large baking dish and place the smaller one into the larger one. Fill the larger baking dish with water until it is 1-2" up the side of the smaller dish)
  4. Cook for 2 hours until the sweetened condensed milk is caramel coloured and thickened.
  5. If you would prefer salted caramel add the 1 teaspoon of salt and thoroughly mix


  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C
  2. Combine the melted Butter, Oil, and Sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Add the Eggs, Molasses, Tia Maria, Salt, Vanilla, Cocoa Powder, and Flour into the bowl. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Place the brownie batter into a greased 9x13inch pan. Flatted the mixture out with a spoon.
  5. Drop dollops of caramel every 1-2 inches throughout the brownie batter. Swirl gently into the batter
  6. Bake the brownies for 15 minutes until the brownies spring back when pushed.


  1. Place the egg whites into the bowl of your Food Processor or stand mixer. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks are formed.
  2. Mix the sugar and cornflour into a separate bowl
  3. Slowly add the sugar mixture into the egg whites while the machine is running.
  4. Add in the Tia Maria.
  5. Keep whipping the eggs until stiff peaks are formed. (If using a food processor be sure to check the mixture often as it can happen very quickly)
  6. Preheat your oven's broiler.
  7. Swirl the Meringue over the baked Brownies.
  8. Pop the Brownies under the broiler until lightly toasted. Keep a close eye on it as it will only take 1 or 2 minutes.
  9. ENJOY!

Recipe Notes

This recipe can easily be customized to suit your needs.  

Make it alcohol-free: Replace the Tia Maria in this recipe with espresso.

Make it Egg Free: Skip the meringue and replace the eggs in the brownie batter with a flax egg. 

Make it Dairy Free: Skip the caramel recipe above and replace with your favourite dairy-free caramel.

4 Things I cannot Live without this January

FYI: I do receive a commission for purchases made through links within this post. Please be aware that all opinions are my own.

Hey everyone!

I have had a few weeks off from my day job and I feel so much better for having time to catch up on all of the projects around the house. I’ve organized my office, cleaned the kitchen, prepped some freezer meals, and most of all took some well earned time off.

With this short-lived lifestyle change in mind here are 4 things I can’t live without during my vacation.

  1. RealPlans – Everything you could possibly want in a meal planning program. Highlights include a shopping list that allows you to add notes about your favourite products, shows what recipes utilize which ingredients to make finding substitutes easy as pie, oh and a drag and drop planner. Now, they do not offer a free trial period, but the annual costs works out to ~2$ a week. So I think it is well worth the cost even you only end up using the shopping list.
  2. Food Processor – I purchased my food processor last year from a Breville Outlet Store. I knew I wanted a food processor for shredding, slicing and of course processing for things like hummus and toum (Lebanese Garlic Sauce). You know normal stuff. This beast has quickly become my favourite tool and is well worth the sacrifice of counter space. If you are planning on increasing the number of vegetables in your diet I highly recommend picking this up. The ability to French fry a pound of sweet potatoes in under 5 minutes is an absolute lifesaver.
  3. Podcasts –
    • Adventure Zone- 3 Dorky Brothers fumble their way through a Dungeons and Dragon’s Campaign. Did I mention they love stupidly good jokes and ridiculous tricks to get out of the most benign scenarios? Because the story is f-ing hilarious.
    • The Black Tapes – Hair-raising docu-drama that will have you thinking about it weeks later.
  4. Knitting – I have been knitting since I was 8 years old. Although I have always gone through ebbs and flows with my knitting. Sometimes knitting 2-3 projects a month and then other times going months without touch yarn. For the past year, I have been knitting a lot. I find it a perfect way to actually take a deep breath and stop thinking about everything else. Right now I am working on a beekeepers quilt exclusively. I started this quilt two years ago and have only been knitting a puff or two between projects. I have officially exceeded the 100 puff mark and have gotten a spot of motivation for this quilt. My new year’s resolution is to knit 1 puff a day for all of 2018, mostly because that will be 365 puffs and I will be done with this quilt.

In addition, I have almost finished The Adventure Zone, do you have any podcast suggestions for when I have completed it?

Hope you guys had a wonderful holiday season and are ready to push forward into 2018!


Easiest Roast Chicken. Ever

Life gets busy at times. Especially when trying to eat healthy. Enter Roast Chicken on Sunday and have lunches all ready for the entire week ahead.

The most difficult part would be spatchcocking the chicken. Spatchcocking means cutting the spine out of the bird and flattening it. (This video is great to follow: )If you aren’t up for spatchcocking the bird yourself ask your butcher. I have also seen them already spatchcocked in the deli section of the big supermarkets.

Really the only way to screw this recipe up is to not cook the chicken through all the way. Heavily salting the chicken for an hour to overnight makes a type of dry brine. This ensures the chicken is insanely moist even when a touch overcooked.

If you don’t trust yourself to check my touch, get a meat thermometer. It will get rid of any and all shades of doubt. Check the thickest part of the thigh and make sure it hits 170F. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes under a tent of foil and bada-bing perfect chicken. (perfect opportunity to make a gravy).

Oh and if you are one of those prep in advance types. Follow the recipe until it says to let the chicken sit for an hour to overnight. Then place the chicken in a large freezer bag and frozen flat. When ready to use, thaw the chicken in the fridge the night before, chuck it in the oven and finish the rest of dinner.


Date Night Chicken

This Roast Chicken is the best and easiest roast chicken ever. Make it for Sunday Dinner, to impress a date or as any ole weeknight meal.

Course chicken, Main Course
Cuisine paleo, traditional
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 Servings


  • 2 Tablespoon of Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of Pepper
  • 1 Whole Chicken I usually get a 1.7Kilo bird and that is enough for the 2 of us with left overs for lunches the next day


Prep the Chicken

  1. Spatchcock the Bird

  2. Mix together your salt and pepper. Thoroughly cover all crevices and side of the bird

    ***If freezing the chicken, this is when you should do so. When you are ready to cook, let the chicken thaw overnight in the fridge. Then follow the instructions on cooking the chicken.

  3. Loosely cover and let chill out in the fridge for at least an hour. You can also prep this the night before and cook the next day.

Cook the Chicken

  1. Preheat oven to 200C

  2. After a rest in the fridge, take the chicken out and pat dry with some paper towels.

  3. Take your favourite stove to oven pan, and heat it over high heat. I use my well-seasoned cast iron skillet. The skillet should be searing hot

  4. Lay the chicken down, breast side up. The chicken should be sizzling quite heavily in the pan. Put the chicken in the oven for 20 Minutes

  5. Take Chicken out and flip. Place chicken back in the oven for 20 minutes

  6. Take the chicken out flip the bird. (Chicken should be breast side up now). Place back in oven for 10 minutes

  7. Take the chicken out for the final time and check the temperature. If thigh has reached 170F, cover with a tent of foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. If not, place back in the oven for 5-minute increments until completed.

Recipe Notes

I use this tutorial for spatchcocking the chicken: 

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