Wednesday, 26 November 2014

One of Madisen's favorite dishes

Curried chick peas

2 tbsp butter
1 small onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp corriander
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 large can of chick peas
2 tbsp chopped parsley

in a skillet pan melt butter add onions
saute for 8 mins, add garlic,ginger and all spices
mix well let cook 1 minute
Add chick peas and liquid from the can into the skillet
stir and let cook another few minutes or until liquid reduces by half.

This is great cold or hot and the flavor improves after 24 hours.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Tempura battered deep fried butternut squash chips

I had a butternut squash that had a very long neck on it so I peeled it and sliced it into thin chips.
I thought what can I do with this and I thought of the zucchini chips I made in the summer that the kids gobbled up so I gave these a try.

Using my onion ring/fish batter listed on my blog
I lightly salted the slices battered them and then fried them.
OMG so good and a good alternative to fries or onion rings

vanilla,oatmeal,banana cupcakes Another mommy cheat

Sometimes time gets away from me and I have to put a snack out for after school so I throw together these cupcakes and the kids love them.

1 white cake mix
1 banana mashed
1/4 cup oats

In a large mixing bowl put cake mix,1/4 cup oil,2 eggs,mashed banana, 1/4 cup oats and 2 eggs
mix together add 1/2 cup of water and mix together.
I add the water slowly because I don't want the batter too loose.
spoon into lined muffin tins and top with a few chocolate chips.

Easy and delicious

Quick Easy and a few more mommy cheats

Chicken and Tortellini Soup

3 chicken breasts chopped up 1/2 inch cubes
1 small onion chopped small
2 carrots sliced thin
1 small zucchini sliced thin
2 cups of fresh spinach or 3 cubes of frozen ( they come in a bag of cubes about the size of ice cubes,perfect for soup and cheap)
1 package of chicken/bacon filled tortellini or cheese filled
1 1 litre of chicken stock
1 cup of water
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic

in pot put oil,onion,chicken,garlic,salt,pepper
cook for 10 mins on medium heat
add veggies cook for 8 mins and then add stock and water
add basil,oregano,
cook until veggies are soft
Add tortellini 5 mins before serving.

Super Easy, Super good

Honey crusted chicken another kid favorite

18-20 mins  350 degrees  makes 6 servings

4 chicken breasts cut in half or 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tbsp of honey
2 tbsp orange juice
1/4 tsp fresh grated ginger
pinch pepper,salt
pinch cayenne
3/4 cup crusted cornflakes  (turns into about 1/3-1/2 cup)

mix together honey,salt,pepper,cayenne,ginger,orange juice
dredge the chicken in the mixture and then into the crushed cornflakes.
Bake for 18-20 minutes

Wheelie pasta with cheddar cheese and ham hidden veggies too

So some of my recipes have certain little cheats because I am a busy mom.
This recipe has a cheat or two...............

2 1/2 cups of pasta  (to make it fun I use the kind that looks like a wheel)
1 can of campbell's cheddar cheese soup
1 can of milk (use the cheddar cheese soup can)
1 carrot grated
1 small zucchini peeled and grated
1 rib celery chopped small
1 ham steak cut into small cubes
1 cup shredded cheese

cook off pasta ( leave a slight bite to it because it will be baked for 20 mins)
drain pasta and place back in pot
stir in grated veggies and celery, ham
In your pasta pot add can of soup,milk and 1/2 the shredded cheese
mix together well
Pour into a greased casserole dish
sprinkle with remaining cheese and cake for 20 mins at 350

What a crazy Monday morning........................

A super easy kid friendly meal
Every kid likes chicken fingers, these look the same but are healthy and delicious

Sole fingers

Instead of horrible pre package fish fingers give these simple fish fingers a try!

1 cup bread crumbs (I use seasoned panko crumbs) presidents choice black label to be exact
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
4 thawed sole fillets   ( frozen fish section at super store $6) CUT INTO STRIPS
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter

combine bread crumbs and parmesan cheese together mix well
dry off sole and then coat with bread crumb cheese mix
heat up a skillet pan and place half the oil and butter in the pan  medium heat
You need the other half of butter and oil for second batch of fingers

Fry on side 1 for 5 mins and flip and fry for another 3 minutes. both sides should be light brown and crispy.

Serve with oven baked sweet potato fries.

cut 2 sweet potatoes into small strips 1/4 inch thick and toss in a bowl with olive oil,salt,pepper and a dash of Italian seasoning. bake at 375 for 15 mins and then turn over for another 10-12 mins.
I always line my cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Vanilla fridge sugar cookies

350 degrees  5 dozen round cookies  10-12 mins

21/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter (room temp)
3/4 sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

decorate with coloured sugar,crushed candied canes,chocolate chips. a great snow day baking idea

stir flour.baking powder,salt together

in a large bowl  cream butter,sugar together
add egg and vanilla and cream together
gradually add flour mixture.

make into a ball and cut in half
2 large sheets of plastic wrap and roll up the dough into logs
refrigerate for 2 hours

remove plastic wrap and cut into 1/4 inch rounds.
place on a lined cookie sheet, decorate with coloured sugar or candies ( if icing or using c.chips) wait until baked.

bake for 12 mins or lightly golden brown.

You can also colour the dough with gel food colour and make swirled coloured dough.
(which is what we are doing on Friday at daycare)

Chocolate pecan shortbread bars

36 bars     350 degrees  9x13 pan  45 mins baking time

2 cups flour plus 1/2 cup
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 cup cubed unsalted butter (cold)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 eggs
2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup chopped pecan pieces  36 whole pecans
1 cup shredded fine coconut
1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips

grease 9x13 pan pre heat oven

stir together 2 cup flour and icing sugar with mixer
Add cold butter blend until a sand like texture
press into the greased pan and bake for 20-25 mins until just golden brown around edges

stir together 1/2 cup flour,baking powder, and salt
whisk eggs, brown sugar and vanilla together and combine with flour mix
stir until just combined
add in coconut, 3/4 of bag chocolate chips and pecan pieces
stir until all combined

pour over baked crust and bake for 20 mins  place 1 whole pecan piece in rows so that each bar gets 1
melt remaining chocolate chips in microwave and drizzle over cooked bars.
cool for 3 hours and slice into 36 bars

Christmas baking and party recipes

I am going to start putting great easy Christmas goodies and party treats on my blog this week.

I was away from my blog for 3 weeks and it seems like forever.
I would like to thank everyone who visits my site and checks out my recipes. :)

Until we cook together again.................

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Greek inspired burgers or sliders

1 lb of ground beef
1 lb of ground lamb or pork
2 tsp greek seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper

mix together well, form into 6 oz burgers or 4 oz burgers for a appetiser party
grill for 5 mins each side for 4 oz size
grill for 7 mins each side for 6 oz size

garnish with 1 tbsp of tzatziki sauce, thin slice red onion and fresh spinach on a bun.

Tzatziki sauce recipe located in my blog.

Just a little different from the average burger

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

12 servings   350 degrees    25-30 mins   cool time 8 hours

1 egg
1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp cocoa
3 tbsp flour
2 tsp instant espresso
1/2 tsp salt
a pinch ground black pepper
3/4 cup plus 3 tbsp cream
2 tsp vanilla
4 oz dark chocolate chips
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tarter
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup icing sugar
3 tsp butter  room temp

12 muffin tins  greased well

beat 1 egg in small bowl    set aside
In a sauce pan combine brown sugar 1/2 cup cocoa,flour, espresso, salt,pepper,
gradually whisk in 3/4 cup of cream and vanilla   cook over low heat until espresso and sugar are completely dissolved.
remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips stir until melted
stir 1/2 of the chocolate mixture into the beaten egg and then add back into the rest of the chocolate mixture.
beat 3 egg whites and cream of tarter in a large bowl until soft peaks form
gradually mix in white sugar while still beating with mixer.
stir in 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the cooled chocolate mixture and gently fold together.
add chocolate mixture into the remaining egg white fixture and fold together.

Divide mixture into the 12 muffin tins place muffin tin in a warm water bath and place in the oven
bake 25-30 or until the tops are firm. DO NOT POKE WITH TOOTHPICK. the centers will still be soft. you want them to be.
leave in the tins for up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.

stir icing sugar,margarine,remaining cocoa,and cream and blend until spreadable.
loosen cupcakes from the tin, place on plate and frost cupcakes.
Its alot of work but they are so worth it.  great after any dinner.

Chocolate peanut butter fudge

8x8 pan

2 tsp coconut oil     grease 8x8 pan
8 ounces unsweetend chocolate
1 cup natural peanut butter
4 ounces cream cheese  room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped unsalted peanuts

melt chocolate over a pot of boiling water
combine peanut butter,cream cheese sugar,vanilla,salt  cream together
add peanut butter mixture into warm melted chocolate, stir in chopped peanuts

pour mixture into 8x8 pan and place into fridge.
let set for 3 hours and cut into bite size squares

great for christmas trays

Banana Oatmeal Choc.chip Cookies

350 degrees  18 mins

2 mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1 1/4 cup flour
2 cup oats
1 tsp b.soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips

combine bananas,b.sugar,butter,vanilla,egg together   Mix well
add flour,oats stir well  add chocolate chips

Drop heaping tbsp of batter onto greased cookie sheet  leave 1 inch between the batter

bake 18 mins

great heathy cookie

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Renovations. UGH....

I have been cooking everyday but don't seem to have the time to get my recipes on my site.
I can't wait til we are finished.

More recipes to come in the next few days even if I have to lock myself in a room to do it.

Remember healthy meals only take a few minutes extra to prep and cook over horrible boxed food.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Leftover broccoli and cheese sauce

This is what the cheddar cheese broccoli lazy lasagna looks like baked.
I portioned some of it out for my husband to take to work.

Thanksgiving leftovers

I have been busy this morning cleaning out the leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner.
I made a turkey stew which we can eat as a stew or maybe turkey Sheppard's pie. What every I feel like the day I pull it out of the freezer. We never eat turkey for more than 2 days so I always make some yummy stuff that we can pull out and heat up later on.

I also used up the broccoli and cheese sauce by making a broccoli cheddar lazy lasagna.
1 onion
1 clove garlic
1 tsp Italian seasoning
4 mushrooms
1 small zucchini grated
1/2 bunch spinach chopped
3 crowns broccoli chopped
1/2 shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup chicken stock.
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Saute onion,garlic, mushrooms together
Add shredded zucchini, spinach
Broccoli. Cooked and raw
Saute for 10 mins
Add left over cheese sauce
Mix together  add chicken stock
Cook pasta. (My box of lasagna noodles was half broken so I broke up the rest)
Only cook pasta half way.
Drain and add broccoli mixture. Mix well.
Put in an oven safe casserole dish
Sprinkle with bread crumbs and shredded cheddar cheese.
Bake at 350 for 20 mins.
I will freeze mine before I bake it.
Yum yum.
Kids are getting tons of veggies and won't care because it tastes so good

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Pecan Pie Everyone's favorite

400 degrees for 8 minutes
340 degrees for 40 minutes

Use my pastry recipe listed in my blog

2 tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp spiced rum
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 corn syrup
2 cups pecans divide into 1 1/2 cup and 1/2 cup(for decorating the top)

In a bowl whisk soft butter, eggs together
add in brown sugar,vanilla,spiced rum
whisk together well
add in corn syrup
mix well

Bake pie shell for 5 mins at 350 degrees
add 1 handful of pecans to the bottom of the crust  from 1/12 cup
add the remaining of the 1/12 cup pecans to the sugar mixture
stir well
Add to the pie shell
now take the 1/2 and lay them around the top of the pie.
place on a cookie sheet in case it spills over.

I put a tent of foil over my pie for the 8 minutes at 400 degrees
turn oven down to 340 degrees for 40 minutes
I leave the tent on for the first 20 minutes of the cooking time.

The pie should have a firm giggle when it is done.
Let sit for 30 - 45 minutes to set before cutting

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Ratatouille Bake one of Madi's favorites

350 degrees  20-25 minutes

1 small eggplant peeled cubed
1 medium zucchini peeled cubed
1 small onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 1/2 cup mushrooms sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp salt,pepper
2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 cup shredded cheese
1 cup seasoned panko crumbs

peel eggplant, cut into small cubes
saute in olive oil and garlic,onions,mushrooms cook for 5-7 mins until onions are soft
add zucchini,carrot,cook for 5 mins
Add tomatoes, spices mix well
Place mixture into a oven safe, sprinkle with cheese and panko
bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown

Yogurt Biscuits

425 degrees   15 minutes    makes 16-20 biscuits

2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup shortening   I like to use coconut oil
1 1/4 cup balkan greek yogurt  (use flavoured if you like and add a few berries) I use the honey one

put all dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix
cut in the shortening and cut until crumbly
Stir in the yogurt until forms a ball
turn out onto a floured surface and gently knead for 1 minute
gently roll out to 1/2 inch thick, cut into biscuits either with a 2 inch biscuit cutter or into squares

Bake on the centre rack for 12-15 minutes

coconut rice I use this for my oxtail and curry dishes

1 tbsp butter
1 small onion finely chopped
1/2 tsp curry powder
3/4 cup long grain rice
14 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt and pepper

melt butter in large sauce pan add onions,curry powder
saute for 5 minutes or until onions are soft
Stir in rice
Shake the can of coconut milk well to mix it well
Add to the rice and stir and cover.
bring to a boil and reduce heat to low
cook for 15-20 minutes or until coconut milk is all absorbed by the rice.
add salt and pepper

Pressure cooker curry chicken or use the crock pot

If you have a pressure cooker this recipe will take 25 minutes start to finish, If you are using you crock pot you can let it cook all day on low.

2 tbsp butter
2 large onions
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tbsp fresh ginger finely chopped
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin and coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne  adjust to taste I add 1 tsp
1 can diced tomatoes including juice
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
6 pieces of chicken thawed boneless/skinless I use 3 thighs 3 breasts
1/2 cup sour cream

melt butter, add onions,garlic,ginger,cumin,coriander
saute for 5 mins on medium low stir often
stir in tomatoes,juice,stock
add chicken stir mixture
lock on lid, turn heat to medium high until it starts to steam lower temp to medium
Cook for 10 minutes
Remove from heat and let stand for 3-5 minutes
release lid
remove the chicken and put pot back on stove bring to a boil for 3-5 minutes to thicken sauce.
remove from heat, stir in sour cream
cube up the chicken and place back in the sauce.
serve over rice with my mango/pineapple salsa.

So quick,so easy

If you are cooking in the crock pot,
Saute onions,ginger,garlic cubed up chicken and cook for 5 minutes
De-glaze pan with 1/2 chicken stock add to crock pot with the onion chicken mixture.
Stir in tomatoes and cumin,coriander remaining chicken stock.

cook on low for 2-3 hrs. If I am doing this in the crock pot I add large cubed potatoes,carrots and a can of chick peas and an extra 1/2 cup stock.
That way it is a curry stew and nothing extra needs to be made.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Bacon wrapped and ready to roast

From the brine to the table. I love turkey

With Thanksgiving around the corner................

Brine for the turkey    (See pictures on the next post)

depending on the size of your bird I use a cooler because I normally cook a 15-20 lb bird

2 days before you cook your bird make this awesome brine and soak your turkey in it. You can use this if you are cooking a chicken.

6 cups boiling water
2 bags of ice
1 cinnamon stick
3 tbsp cracked pepper
1 1/2 cup salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 sprigs fresh sage,thyme,parsley
2 onions
2 carrots      all just rough chopped
2 celery ribs
2 tbsp poultry seasoning
1 star anise

dissolve sugar and salt in the boiling water. pour into cooler
add all spices and herbs
add raw veggies.
mix well making sure sugar and salt is dissolved.
add 2 bags of ice  Stir around
add turkey.  I put a plate and a brick on my turkey to keep in submerged.
I add 6-10 cups of cold water after ice melts so the turkey is completely covered.
I put freezer packs into freezer bags inside the cooler to keep the cooler cold. store in a cool place.

On the day you are going to cook your turkey take it out of the brine and rinse it.
I stuff my turkey with a traditional stuffing (but add bacon fat)
place my turkey in a roaster sprinkle it with poultry seasoning and wrap it in bacon.

start the roasting off at 400 degrees for 25 mins and reduce the heat to 325. remember 20 mins per pound. uncover the last 20 mins for a nice crispy,golden skin

I stopped and bought pork shanks

2 frozen pork shanks in my cast iron casserole dish  made the best shredded pork and veggies.Served over rice

2 pork shanks,  brown the fat on the outside about 5 mins per side to help render the fat plus tons of flavour
3 carrots
3 celery ribs
1 large onion
1 zucchini
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp course salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp of cinnamon,cloves,cayenne
1 cup apple juice
2 cup water

lay veggies on the bottom of roaster or casserole dish
place shanks on the top
de glaze your skillet with apple juice add to roaster plus water
cover and slow cook 5 hours at 280 degrees or slow cooker for 6-8 hours

take out bones,fat skim all grease from casserole
shred any large pieces and make a little extra sauce with
5 tbsp ketchup, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar,1 tbsp brown sugar,2 tbsp juice from pan.2 tsp cornstarch.
put cornstarch in bowl, add ketchup mix well add other ingredients and stir into meat and stock
bring to a boil and stir until thick reduce heat.

serve over a bed of rice

Broccoli Cheese Soup

1/2 cup butter
1 onion chopped
1 16 oz frozen broccoli
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup cubed cheddar
1 tsp garlic minced  (I use roasted as I always have it in my fridge)
2/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup water
1/2 cup fresh broccoli florets

in a stock pot melt butter add onions cook until soft
Stir in both broccoli and pour in chicken stock
Reduce heat to low stir in cheese,garlic stir til cheese is melted
add milk stir well
In a bowl put cornstarch and stir in water
Stir into soup, turn heat to medium low
stir until soup thickens.
reduce heat

garnish with shredded cheese

chocolate peanut butter pudding cake

I love chocolate and peanut butter together, it can be cookies,cake,cheesecake,cupcakes they are all my favorite.

I love this quick and easy dessert:    8x8 cake pan at 350 degrees 25-30 mins

3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup milk
1 egg beaten
3 tbsp peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup boiling water

In a large bowl whisk together flour,sugar,baking powder,
In a separate bowl whisk together milk,egg,peanut butter
whisk wet into dry

pour into 8 x 8 pan
whisk brown sugar,cocoa and boiling water together until smooth
pour over mixture

Bake at 350 for 25-30 mins
let cool for 10 mins before serving

It's been very hectic at our house........

With 3 renovations going on at once I have not had 5 mins to be on my blog. I keep thinking oh I really need to put that recipe on or I should put a few pictures up but there has been no time.
This morning I have a nice quiet house so here are a few recipes I have been using while my house has been so hectic.

Crock Pot Chicken Stew

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs cubed
1 small onion minced
1 celery rib small slices
2 carrots thin sliced
1 clove garlic minced
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp of corn starch
4 cup chicken stock
3 potatoes small cubes
1 cup frozen veggies
1 can creamed soup  (I use what ever I have in the cupboard)

In a skillet saute onions, add chicken and cook for 3-4 mins on either side
add 1 cup of chicken stock to get all the good bits from the bottom of the skillet.
add to crock pot
add carrots,celery,frozen veggies,potatoes,garlic,poultry seasoning
mix cornstarch with remaining stock and cream soup
pour over mixture
Mix well
cover and cook on low for 4 hours or 2 hours on high.
I serve with fresh bakery buns or biscuits if I have time

you can prep the night before and set your crock pot the next morning. You will have an awesome meal for your busy family

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Fall squash soup

1 acorn squash
1 butternut squash
1 sweet potato
1 large onion
2 ribs celery
2 carrots
1 clove garlic
4 cups stock    vegetable or chicken
1 cup milk or cream
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 tbsp olive oil

cut the squash in half and remove seeds
cut sweet potato in half
peel onion and quarter it
leave garlic in skin
peel carrots and cut in half
cut celery in half
place all veggies on a large cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil
sprinkle with cinnamon,nutmeg,cloves,salt and pepper

Roast for 35-40 mins  at 350 degree oven

remove squash and potato and garlic from skin and place in a blender with carrot,celery,onion
add 1/2 cup cream and blend you may have to do this in 2 parts. (1/2 cup cream each time)
add to warm stock in a soup pot
mix together, warm through


I like to top this with my sweet and spicy toasted pine nuts

Hearty mushroom and lentil soup

1 onion chopped
4 cup mushrooms (I leave a cup of buttons whole for texture)
2 tbsp butter
4 cup stock (I used chicken but you can use veggie)
1 cup cream
1 tsp corn starch
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 grated carrot
1/2  cup red lentils (rinsed)

Heat butter in pan
Add onions and mushrooms
Fry for 10-15 mins
Add grated carrot,salt,pepper,Italian seasoning
Stir together
Add stock. Bring to a boil
Reduce heat to a simmer for 20 mins
Stir cornstarch and cream together
Add to pot.
Stir for a minute or two on low heat.


Sunday, 14 September 2014

Triple chocolate cookies

Bake 10-12 mins    350 degrees    makes 48 cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cup  flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chunks

beat together sugar,butter,brown sugar,vanilla
add eggs and mix
Add dry ingredients
stir together and then add chocolate chunks,chips
stir until all ingredients are just combined.

Drop by spoonful onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets

Creamy Carrot Soup

Remember to keep all veggies around the same size so it cooks evenly

1 tbsp olive oil
6 carrots peeled and chopped
1 rib of celery chopped
1 onion peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
2 parsnips peeled and chopped
1/2 sweet potato peeled and chopped
1 potato peeled and chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic minced
1 tsp thyme, rosemary
1/4 tsp cayenne   optional
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 cup of milk or half/half cream

heat oil in soup pot
add onions,garlic   cook on medium heat for 8 mins
add carrots,celery,potato,sweet potato
add all spices
stir and cook 10 mins
add chicken stock  cook for 20-25 mins  until all veggies are soft
Remove bay leaf
Put veggies and half the stock in a blender and puree
place back into soup pot
bring to a soft boil and then remove from heat
stir in milk or cream
warm on low heat  DO NOT BOIL

serve with fresh salsa or creamy goat cheese

Friday, 12 September 2014

Hungarian Bean soup Great soup for a cold day

1 1/2 cup dried beans   I use white beans but you can use any dried bean
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions chopped
2 cloves garlic  minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 tsp Hungarian paprika
1 bay leaf
1 zucchini grated
2 carrots chopped
2 rib celery
3/4 tsp  salt.
3/4 tsp pepper
5 cups vegetable stock
4 cup water
1/2 tsp red chili flake   optional
1/2 lb chopped bacon    You can leave it out if you are making a vegetarian dish

soak beans in 4 1/2 cup water over night and drain
in soup pot put oil and bacon in and fry for 8-10 mins  (remove from pot)
add onions and cook until onions turn clear
add carrots,celery,garlic,zucchini
cook for 6 mins, add tomato paste
Add beans, bay leaf, water,stock,bacon
Bring to a boil and reduce heat
Simmer for 1 hr.


This soup freezes great

Toasted Oat Granola Bars

350 degree  20-25 minutes

3 cup large flake oats
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried raisins
1/2 cup dried mixed fruit
1/2 cup sunflower seeds  unsalted
1/2 cup hemp heart seed
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup liquid honey
1/4 cup corn syrup    ( I just use honey)  1/2 cup
1/2 tsp vanilla

in a large non stick skillet  add coconut and hemp heart seed and lightly toast. about 4 minutes
stir dried fruits,seeds and toasted seeds and coconut, oats in a bowl

in the skillet bring butter,honey,brown sugar to a simmer for 2 minutes  stirring constantly.
remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
let cool for 1 minute
Pour over the oat,fruit,seed mixture  and stir

pour into a parchment lined cake pan, press together
Bake for 20-25 mins
let cool and cut into bars.

No Nuts so safe for school

Carrot Oatmeal Muffins

375 degree   20 minutes

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 carrot grated
1/4 cup veg oil   ( I use coconut oil)
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup chopped nuts or mix of raisins/nuts   I like sunflower seeds and dried cranberries

in a large bowl whisk dry ingredients together

in a smaller separate bowl whisk egg,oil,milk,vanilla

pour wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients, add carrot and nuts
Stir together until mixture is just moistened.
Spoon into lined muffin tins

Bake  and enjoy

You can replace the carrot with grated apple or zucchini. or add all 3 and reduce the milk by 1/4 cup.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Canned Salsa

12 cup  peeled chopped tomatoes
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups green pepper
2 cups red pepper
2 jalepenos seeded and minced

1/4 cup pickling salt

put tomatoes,onions,celery into a roaster sprinkle with salt and let stand covered for 12 hours.

drain and put in stock pot with
2 cans tomato paste
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp corriander
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp mustard seed
3/4 cup sugar
2 3/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
add red,green and jalepeno peppers
cook for 1 hour stirring often.
bring to a soft boil for 5 minutes and pour into sterilized jars and seal

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding great dessert on a cold day plus optional flavours

8x10 casserole dish  350 degrees   45 mins

2 cups milk   ( I use 1 cup half and half,1 cup milk)
2 cups stale cubed bread   ( I buy day old bread at the bakery)
1/4 cup butter

2 eggs  beaten
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips 
1 tsp cocoa powder

in a saucepan heat up milk (DO NOT BOIL) remove for heat
add butter, add vanilla, sugar, cocoa powder stir until sugar is dissolved
stir in bread
add in beaten eggs
pour into casserole dish
stir in 1/4 cup choc.chips and then sprinkle the rest over the top

cover with foil for 35 min
uncover and continue baking 10 more mins.

serve warm with ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

Another fantastic variation is 
Stir 1/2 cup pumpkin pie filling and 1/2 tsp cinnamon,nutmeg  (instead of the chocolate chips and cocoa).  Into your warm milk,egg,sugar mixture.
Tastes like a pumpkin pie without all the work.
So freaking good.

Apple Oat Squares Another fall favorite

9x13 pan   350 degrees  25-30 mins

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
3/4 rolled oats

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup sour cream
1 cup peeled sliced apples
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

melt butter and stir in flour and oats
press into 9x13 pan bake 5-8 mins

combine sour cream and sweetened milk together
pour over crust
arrange apple slices over filling mixture
sprinkle with cinnamon/nutmeg and nuts

Bake for remaining time 20-25 mins

cut into bars

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or cooled in the kids lunches.

Carrot Cake My daughter Kenzie's way

350 degree  35-45 mins

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter or oil
3 eggs
2 cups grated carrot
2 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

cream oil/butter and sugar
Beat in eggs
add vanilla
add baking powder,soda,cinnamon,nutmeg
cream together
add flour mix well
add carrots
mix well
I line my pan with parchment paper

option 1/2 cup chopped nuts/raisins

pour batter into pan
bake 35-45 mins

cream cheese frosting

4 oz soft cream cheese
1/4 cup butter  room temp
2 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp milk or cream if needed

cream the cheese
add butter
add icing sugar and vanilla
 chill until ready to frost the cake or cupcakes

Beet soup with harvest and fall in the air................................

2 cups beef stock
2 cups boiling water
1/2 lb of smoked pork  ( bacon or hot italian sausage)
1 tbsp salt
4 cubed peeled potatoes
1 cup chopped onions
2 carrots peeled and grated
1/2 cabbage shredded
3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
8 medium beets peeled and shredded
1 can tomatoes  or 2 cups crushed fresh without skin

add meat into a soup pot and fry with onions for 6-8 mins
add potatoes,beets,tomatoes,cabbage,carrots

mix well, add water,stock,salt,dill

simmer for 1 hr.
I put this soup in large quart jars and seal, you may also put in freezer bags once it is cooked and cooled.

Cinnamon cookies

350  for 8-12 mins    until lightly golden brown

2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 beaten eggs

cream butter and sugar together
add cinnamon,salt,vanilla,baking powder
stir together
add eggs  cream together
add flour mix well

I drop this dough on to a cookie sheet with a tsp but you can also put it in wax paper and roll it up and refrigerate. once chilled  you can slice and bake

Another great baked bean recipe

large oven crock

1 1/2 cup white beans  soaked over night in cold water drain
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 lb bacon chopped   ( I partially cook in a fry pan first)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
2 tbsp molasses
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup ketchup
1 1/2 cup tomato juice

Bring beans to a boil in enough water to cover them for 15 mins. Drain
put beans, bacon,onions,mustard,salt,ketchup molasses,brown sugar and mix well
add tomato juice and mix well
Bake at 300 degrees for 2 hrs. add 1/2 of hot water if too dry or beans are not completely covered.

I put in bags in the freezer once cooked and cooled.
1 use a medium freezer bag, perfect size for my family.
You will never buy can Brown Beans again.

Chili sauce

8 cup ripe tomatoes chopped and skinned
2 cups chopped onion
6 cup chopped celery
2 green peppers seeded chopped
2 red peppers seeded and chopped
1/2 cup pickling salt
2 cups vinegar
2 tbsp mustard seed
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups sugar
1 cup water

put tomato,celery,onion,peppers in a roaster and sprinkle with pickling salt

let stand and drain after 8 hrs
combine vegetables, vinegar,sugar,water,cayenne,mustard seed together in a stock pot and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20 mins
bring to an easy boil and put in hot,sterilized jars. seal

Beet relish

8 cups diced cooked beets
2 hot peppers  seeded and minced
1 cup chopped onion
4 tsp salt
1/2 cup prepared horseradish
4 cup vinegar
1 1/4 cup sugar

combine all ingredients in a soup pot.
Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 mins
Pour into clean,sterilized jars and seal
For best results let sit for 10 days before use.
I store all my canning in a dark cool but never cold place

Chow Chow spicy green tomato relish

25 medium green tomatoes  take off core spot  cubed
2 cup chopped onion
2 jalepenos  minced seeded
1/3 cup pickling salt
3 cups vinegar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tbsp pickling seasoning

sprinkle salt over tomatoes,onions.
Let stand 2 hrs.
in a large canning pot put sugar,vinegars,seasoning on low heat until sugar is dissolved.
add drained tomato,onion mix and jalepenos
bring to a boil for 5 mins reduce heat and let simmer for 20 mins.

heat jars and rings in a roaster of boiling water.

Bring chow chow to an easy boil and fill jars.

wait 7 days before using. ,make sure your jars seal. I turn each jar upside down for a 30 count and then turn right side up. I have never had a jar not seal.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Busy canning..…..

Chow chow. (Spicy green tomato relish)
Apple sauce
Sweet and spicy pickles
12 large bags of apples (peeled cord froze)
8 large apple pies
6 small apple pies

Recipes to follow on Monday and Tuesday

Monday, 1 September 2014

Chicken in the pressure cooker

Not sure if it will be a soup or stew yet ..
2 tbsp coconut oil in the pressure cooker
3 chicken thighs bone in
2 carrots
2 celery ribs
1/2 bunch kale
5 mushrooms sliced
1 medium zucchini chopped
1/2 head cauliflower chopped
1/2 jalapeƱo chopped
1/2 onion chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 can black beans drained rinsed
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp sage
2 tbsp dark soya sauce
4 cups water
Put onions,garlic chicken into bottom of cooker. In hot oil
Mix around cook 3 mins
Add all veggies,spices
Cook for 10 mins. Stir every few mins
Turn the heat up for 1 minute
Add water. Cover and lick down the lid.
Bring to a boil reduce heat
Cook 1 1/2 hours
Break down chicken
Remove bones
Add 3 handful spinach just before serving.
Serve over rice,noodles or mashed cauliflower.
Eat by its self as a hearty soup.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Well we are home... Pork chop casserole

We are home from camping and I dreamt about cooking a lot of the time.It was great taking the motorhome because I had 3 options for cooking. Convection oven,the BBQ (charcoal and propane as well as the camp fire).
It rained the first 24 hrs so I made my grandma's pork chop casserole.

8 chops seasoned with salt pepper
6 potatoes sliced
1 small onion
3 carrots peeled and slices
6 mushrooms sliced
2 can mushroom soup

Brown the chops place in a casserole dish
Brown the mushrooms and onions in same pan after the meat
Layer between meat and potatoes
I alternate the carrots and potatoes.
Put soup in frying pan to deglaze and pour over potatoes.
Cover and bake for 35-40 mins at 350

Another great meal you can prep ahead of time.
I have done it in the crock pot too.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

making a few things for the week ahead of time

So because we are going camping I am going to pre make some of our favorites up so that all I have to do is finish them before our meals.

POTATO SALAD  chop and boil the potatoes, boil the eggs, chopp 2 green onions
cool potatoes and eggs  unpeeled. I put everything in 1 bowl.
then when we are ready to eat I peel and chop the eggs, add salt and pepper and mayo.

PASTA SALAD  basically the same way, boil and cool the pasta put in a bowl, layer the veggies on top
cucumber,tomato,red onion (soaked and drained in 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar 1 tbsp water 1/2 tsp sugar)
celery,shredded carrot
In a separate jar  1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup favorite vinegar ( I use cider) 2 tbsp honey,salt pepper, 1/2 orange juiced, 3 leaves fresh basil chopped.
shake and pour dressing over salad 30 mins before serving    enjoy

If its cool out I am going to make up a chicken noodle soup too

1 onion chopped
2 chicken breasts chopped  fried
7 cups chicken stock
3 carrots shredded
3 ribs celery chopped
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 cup shredded zucchini
pinch salt pepper
2 cups of elbow macaroni cooked  drained drizzle with oil  KEEP SEPARATE

fry the onions till clear add the chicken sprinkle on seasoning cook for 10 mins
add veggies
de-glaze pan with 1/2 cup chicken stock stir and cook 15 mins
cool add the rest of the stock put in a non leaking bowl

you can heat it as you need it and add the noodles.  great way to warm you up and fill your belly.
my kids love it.

Bannock Dogs

1 cup flour
a pinch salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp butter
12 cup milk

hot dogs

combine the flour,salt,baking powder in a bowl add the butter and salt  mix together.
add the milk slowly as you mix.
stir until a stiff dough forms
with floured hands knead dough for 1 minute.

separate dough into 4-6 pieces depending on hot dog size.
dry off hot dog with paper towel and wrap dough around the hot dog. spear the hot dog with a fire fork and roast.

so good for a camp fire night.

Hobo pies

camp fire sandwich roasters.

bread  we use sandwich loaf because the slices are square.
filling:  some of our favorites are
pizza sauce shredded cheese and pepperoni
chocolate chips/peanut butter
spreadable cream cheese/pie filling

butter the outside of the bread
place in roaster 1 slice per side.
add filling
clamp together
toast over the fire.

so much fun for the kids to make their own lunch or supper.

A few great recipes for taking to the cabin or camping


1 can black beans  drain and rinse
2 cobs steamed fresh corn on the cob. Remove from cob  or 1 can drained
1 medium tomato chopped
1/2  small red onion chopped small
1 red pepper seeded chopped
1 avocado peeled chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese  crumbled
1 carrot grated


1/2 clove roasted garlic
1 jalapeno minced  seeded
1 lime juiced
4 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp corriander
2 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped

combine all ingredients and pour dressing over. chill and enjoy

Zucchini Bread                      325 degrees  45 mins

3 eggs
1 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup combined pecans/chocolate chip

combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly  pour into 2 greased loaf pans

Friday, 22 August 2014

Off camping for a week

I will continue my blog in a week, my family and I are off camping for a week and I am looking forward to being UNPLUGGED for 7 days.

Until we cook together again...............

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

cheddar broccoli spread or dip

1 cup cooked broccoli florets steamed
1 can white beans  I use cannelini beans  drained and rinsed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 clove garlic minced  I use roasted garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
juice and zest 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

put everything  except cheese in a food processor and blend.
Put in a bowl and mix in cheese.
use as a spread on grilled pita chips or for a great dip for veggies.

My kids take it to school with veggies and crackers

Pear relish great to serve with pork

2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
3 pears peeled cored roughly chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar

in a small skillet heat oil, add onions,ginger,cinnamon,cloves stir cook 5-7 mins just till onions start to turn a light brown
add pears, brown sugar,cider vinegar mix well  cook for 15 mins
until pears have softened.

enjoy over pork chops.

a great pork seasoning mix, to rub onto pork chops before you grill them

2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp corriander
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper


chicken.broccoli,penne bake

so good........

9x13 pan    350 degree oven      bake 25 mins

3 cups broccoli florets     steamed but still with a crunch
2 cups cubed chicken  I use thighs and breasts  cooked
1 can cream of cheddar broccoli soup
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 cups cooked penne pasta
1/2 clove garlic
1 shallot minced

I fry my boneless skinless chicken with 1 tbsp butter,1/2 clove garlic,1 shallot minced set aside
steam broccoli for 3 mins  drain set aside
cook pasta leave slightly under cooked so it doesn't go mushy in the oven. drain

in a bowl mix milk,soup and cheddar cheese together
put chicken,pasta,broccoli in casserole dish and mix together  pinch salt and pepper
pour soup/cheese mixture over top
bake for 25 mins
15 min covered and 10 mins uncovered


Monday, 18 August 2014

Perfect butter cream picture

perfect butter cream icing

My daughter Madisen has really got a love for baking and icing cakes so this afternoon we were

making butter cream frosting.

This is the one that stayed the most stiff and piped the best.

1 cup shortening
4 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp milk
1 tbsp cream of tarter

we used wilton's icing colour, It doesn't make the icing runny

i will post some pictures later tonight

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Lots of zucchini from the garden

So today I went to check on the garden and I found 6 medium sized zucchini so my next question to myself was what to do with them......

3 grated zucchini
2 grated carrots
2 celery ribs chopped
3 potatoes chopped small
1 clove garlic
1 leek
1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
1 tbsp fresh lemongrass chopped
2 tbsp yellow curry powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp turmeric
1 can coconut milk
2 cup veg stock
1 tbsp coconut oil

I grated the zucchini and sprinkled in the curry powder,cayenne,tumeric,garlic
Let sit while I chopped my potatoes, leeks,carrots.
Added leeks to a hot soup pot with the lemongrass let cook 3 mins 1 tbsp coconut oil.
Added all my veggies and let cook for about 15 mins
Brought to a boil and added coconut milk and veg stock.
Let simmer.

A vegetarian curry soup.


making my list and checking it twice

With canning season just around the corner I am making my list of what we ate the most of last year and what we didn't care for.

So far I know I need to make 4 batches of mama Spurway's canned salsa, canned tomatillo salsa,
mustard pickles, dill pickles,sweet pickle mix, maybe some canned roasted red peppers, pickled jalapenos, canned tomato sauce.
if I can get enough raspberries and strawberries with out the kids eating them all I will do some jam as well.

Lots of things to do but with the garden slow ripening because summer didn't come until mid July it looks like I will be working like crazy for a short time to complete it all.

I will add some more great canning recipes in a day or two.

Until we cook again.............

Borscht soup with or without meat

With it almost time to harvest the garden I thought of a fall favorite soup.
There are so many variations of this soup. vegetarian leave out the sausage add 1/4 cup more beet,carrot.

1 tbsp oil
6 spicy sausage links. remove from casing crumble up
3 medium beets peeled,shredded
3 carrots peeled shredded
3 potatoes peeled cubed
1 cup onion minced
1 can tomato paste
3/4 cup water
1/4 head cabbage shredded
1 large can diced tomato or 1 quart homemade stew tomato
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp vinegar
4 cups water
sour cream,parsley for garnish

In a large skillet put oil and crumble sausage cook until no longer pink. remove from pan
add onions,garlic cook until onions are clear add tomato paste and 3/4 cup water stir well

In a large soup pot add 4 cup water salt and bring to a boil add 1 tbsp vinegar and sugar
add beets cook 10 mins
add carrots cook 5 mins
add cabbage cook 5 mins
add potatoes, onion mixture,sausage,diced tomatoes
let simmer until potatoes and cabbage is tender.
salt and pepper to taste
garnish with sour cream

I like to add baby spinach,beet greens to my soup. about a cup of each.
you can replace the sausage with pork spare ribs

Beef barley soup a family favorite

1 tbsp oil
1 lb cubed beef  (stew beef,steak)
1 cup chopped onion
3 carrots peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks chopped
2 cloves garlic  I use roasted if I have it
2 sprigs thyme or 2 tsp dried
3 bay leaves
1 cup cubed potato small
8 cup beef broth
1 cup pot barley
1/2 cup red wine
pinch salt,pepper
in a large skillet add oil,onion,garlic  cook 5 mins
add beef cubes brown

add beef,onion garlic, veggies, thyme,bay leaves,barley to crock pot
de glaze skillet with red wine bring to a boil add beef stock stir well
add hot stock to crock pot, salt,pepper and stir well

cook on low for 6-8 hours while you are at work
or on high for 4 hours.
you can prep the day before and store in the fridge and turn it on before going to work.

enjoy with biscuits or fresh bread
quick,easy and good for you.

Chicken curry soup with coconut and lime

2 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp chopped shallots
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp lemongrass   remember use the bottom 4 inches not the hard dried outer stalks
2 tbsp peeled minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp yellow curry powder  (thai)
1  tsp hot chili paste or hot sauce
1 cup coconut milk
6 cups chicken stock
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp sugar
2 cup snow or snap peas string removed
2 cups sweet potato peeled cubed
6 chicken thighs boneless,skinless  sliced or cubed
1 pkg dried rice vermicelli noodles   I cook separate and add to bowl before the broth of soup

1/4 cup red onion thinly sliced
1/4 cilantro chopped
lime wedges

In a large pot on med heat add oil,lemongrass,ginger,shallots cook 5 mins
add curry powder,hot sauce, coconut milk (just the milk not the thick cream)
cook 15-20 mins
add fish sauce and sugar cook 5 mins
remove from heat put in a bowl
in the same pot put coconut oil and chicken pieces fry for 10 mins
add chicken stock bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer
add spice broth,sweet potato  cover let simmer

just before you are ready to serve bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook vermicelli noodles  ( these do not take long  3-4 mins.  toss them with a bit of butter to help prevent sticking.

I put my drained noodles in the bowl,snow peas, cilantro,red onion then I put chicken and potato broth over the top.
garnish with a lime wedge.

you can blanch your snow peas but my family likes them raw.


Friday, 15 August 2014

a great heat buster Just for adults

Cherry Vodka Granita

1 bag frozen sweet cherries
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 lemon zest
1/2 cup vodka

blend in the blender and store in the freezer until ready to enjoy


1 cup orange juice
1 cup cranberry juice
3 oz triple sec
1/4 cup champagne for each cup of juice

mix orange juice with 1 1/2 oz triple sec, 1/4 cup champagne. mix and freeze
mix cranberry juice,1 1/2 oz triple sec 1/4 cup champagne  mix and freeze

I then take each mixture out and blend it with 8 ice cubes made with each type of juice.
layer in a wine or margarita glass
add a few oz of champagne.
so good for brunch on the deck.

I decided to make the kids a few treats

No baking today because its a scorcher outside.

Every kid loves rice krispie squares so I thought I would change them up.

1 bag mini marshmallows
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup peanut butter
4 cups rice krispies
4 cups chocolate rice krispies walmart has their own version
1 small bag of m&m minis

melt butter,p.butter, add marshmallows melt  in a large pot
add krispies and stir
stir in m&ms
press into a 9x13 pan

or stir in a 1 cup of your favorite trail mix or 1/2 cup dried fruit

homemade granola bars

super easy, so good, replace the peanut butter with a pea butter to make them school safe if there are nut allergies.

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
3 tbsp coconut oil  or butter
1 cup oats
1 cup mixture dried fruit,nuts,seeds  make sure they are unsalted

my families favorite is sunflower seeds,dried cherries,chocolate chips

in a sauce pan heat up and melt peanut butter,honey,oil

remove from heat and pour over oats
mix well, when cool stir in chocolate chip mixture.
its important to make sure the oat mix is cool or the chocolate chips will melt.

press into a 8x8 pan and chill for 2 hours before slicing into bars.
another quick pan is press them into greased muffin tins.


Making Ginger beef for tomorrow

I have 4 top sirloin marinating steaks in the freezer so I decided that I would marinate them today for supper tomorrow.

Ginger Beef and Broccoli is a family favorite but I am going to put a twist on it because its been so hot this week.

4 steaks in a large ziplock bag

in a bowl combine:

2 tsp coconut oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 shallot minced
1/4 cup soy sauce  I use low sodium
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp of fresh red chili
1 tsp chopped cilantro

mix together well and pour into ziplock bag.

I will leave this in the fridge until 2 hours before I cook supper tomorrow. leave steaks in the bag at room temp until you are ready to grill them.

I am going to serve them sliced with a couscous/quinoa salad
In the salad I am going to put snap peas,broccoli,grape tomatoes,red onion, cucumber.
drizzled with a lime,oil,chili dressing.  I have a few quinoa/couscous salads already posted.

Baked beans another great dish for the crock pot

1 tsp oil
1 small onion chopped
1/2 cup molasses
1 can tomato paste
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 cups navy beans    soak over night in cold water
3 cups chicken or veggie stock
2 slices bacon chopped into small pieces  OPTIONAL

add all ingredients to your crock pot except beans. Mix well
Add soaked,drained beans to the liquid in the crock pot
cook on high 4 hrs  or low 6-7 hrs.
If mixture is getting to thick during cooking and beans are not tender add more stock 1/2 cup at a time.

I make a big batch and freeze it in smaller meal portions.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

guacamole Madisen's favorite dip

2 ripe avocados  peeled and pitted
2 tbsp lime juice  fresh
1 tsp chopped jalapeno
1 tsp salt
1 tomato diced small
2 tbsp cilantro minced

mash avocado
add salt, jalapenos,lime juice,mix well
add cilantro, tomatoes, stir

serve with grilled pita chips or fresh veggies

Drunken cherry cheesecake cupcakes

1 1/2 bricks of cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

I bought chocolate chip cookies but they were to big for the foil cupcake wrappers so I ground them up and add 2 tbsp melted butter and made a crust in the bottom of each foil wrapper.
Bake for 5-7 mins.

Cream the cream cheese,
Add the sugar cream together
Add eggs and vanilla
Cream together

Pour batter into each foil wrapper 3/4 full
Bake at 325 for 15-18 mins.

Drunken cherry sauce
A can of cherry pie filling
1 1/2 oz Drambuie
1/2 tsp gelatin
2 tbsp sugar.

Place filling in a sauce pan on med low heat
Add Drambuie, sugar, bring to a slow boil
Put gelatin in a small boil with 2 tbsp of cold water.
Remove cherries from heat and stir in gelatin.

Spoon filling onto cooked cheesecake cupcakes and refrigerate for 8-12 hours.
You can top with whipped cream just before serving.

A nice birthday dessert.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Lemon ginger chicken thighs and breasts

Another family favorite
I always use bone in meat, take the skin off


1 lemon juiced
1 zest lemon
1 tbsp fresh ginger chopped
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp olive oil

mix all the ingredients together and pour over chicken. let marinade for 60 mins

4 thighs,4 chicken breasts in a large ziploc bag

You can bake the chicken in the oven or cook it on the bbq
I also make a sauce to go over the top when bbqing to bast the chicken

1/2 juice lemon
1 tsp ginger
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil
 mix well and baste chicken as it is cooking.

when you need something a little different...................

Veggie Burgers made with chick peas

3 1/2 cups chick peas  drain and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
2 eggs
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp fresh garlic
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs

In your food processor add all of your ingredients except panko bread crumbs and chop until chick peas are broken down.

place mixture into a boil and stir in bread crumbs

form burgers and fry in 2 tbsp of olive oil or grapeseed oil

fry 2-3 minutes each side

enjoy on top of a fresh garden salad or on a bun with fresh tomato,lettuce and a spicy salsa.

peanut butter cookies

Supper easy and delicious

325 degree oven    10-12 minutes

2 cups peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 flour
1 egg

cream sugar and egg together
add peanut butter cream together
add flour

form into balls and press down with a fork


Last night's supper

well it was very warm in Manitoba last night so i decided to use the deep fryer on the deck and do something a little bit different for the kids.

deep fried zucchini chips dipped in a light and fluffy batter.
onion rings dipped in the same batter
Asian sticky chicken.

I am bringing in 3 zucchinis from the garden everyday so I sliced them into disks and sprinkled them with salt and pepper.
made my batter 1/2 corn starch,1/2 cup flour pinch  of salt,pepper,cayenne 1/4 cup lemon lime soda stir well.
dip the disks in the batter and add 6-8 into the deep fryer, drain on some paper towel place in the oven to keep warm.
kids gobbled them up.
I sliced up 1 large onion and put a little milk 1/4 cup, salt,pepper on them and let them sit for 30 mins.
dipped the rings in batter and fried them up.

Chicken marinade

1 inch piece fresh ginger chopped
1 glove garlic  chopped
1/2 tsp ground chinese 5 spice
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp light soy sauce
3 tbsp sweet chili thai sauce
juice 1/2 lime.
mix well
pour over chicken let sit in the fridge for 1 hour.
place in a bbq safe pan and bake in the bbq at 350 for 30 mins.

I used chicken thighs for last nights dinner.

there were NO leftovers, kids really liked the chips and rings. I know deep frying isn't healthy but it sure was a nice treat.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The easiest Tomato soup ever

6 ripe large tomatoes  or 2 large cans of tomatoes
1 onion copped sauteed in a tbsp of butter until soft and clear
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp sugar or honey
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup cream
1/2 tsp cayenne optional

place all ingredients in a blender and blend for 1-2 minutes until smooth
put in a pot on medium heat and heat through
add cream and stir  do not bring to a boil.
allow to heat through on medium low heat

Quinoa salad

1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 clove roasted garlic chopped  mix with olive oil and lemon juice
1/2 cup red pepper chopped
1/2 cup grape tomatoes sliced in half
1/4 cup red onion finely chopped
1/4 cup raw mushrooms chopped
1/4 cup cucumber diced
1/4 cup sweet and spicy pine nuts
salt pepper
1 juice from a lemon
2 tbsp olive oil

soak quinoa for 15-20 mins  drain
add quinoa and water and bring to a boil, cover and let simmer about 15 until almost all the water has been absorbed
let sit with lid on for 5 mins after you remove from heat
fluff and place in a bowl,add oil and lemon juice, garlic mixture
allow to cool
add veggies
stir together
sprinkle with pine nuts before serving
add fresh herbs if you like

French Onion soup

one of my favorite soups, It one of those soups that is so good on a cold day.

4 sweet vadalias onions chopped finely
1/4 cup butter
2 cups good red wine
3 cup low sodium beef stock
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
a spice bundle of fresh thyme,parsley,bay leaf

a loaf of extra crusty bread
1 cup Gruyere cheese

in a large soup pot heat up butter and add onions,salt,pepper allow onions to cook down for 20 mins. stir and cook until onions are a warm Carmel colour
add red wine, spice bundle allow to cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally
add apple cider vinegar and beef stock
let simmer for 2 hours  or transfer to a crock pot and put on low.

serve with a slice of bread on top layer with cheese and broil until cheese has melted.

When you visit my blog..........

Thanks so much for checking out my recipes and following me on my journey as I auditioned for "Masterchef Canada"
I invite you to add yourself to my following list when you visit.I have been amazed at how quickly I reached 500, then 1000 and now 1500 views,
please feel free to leave comments or questions on the recipes as you try them.

until we cook together again...........

Monday, 11 August 2014

Pineapple chicken with brocolli

5 boneless skinless chicken breast into chunks or thin strips
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup of fresh pineapple plus 1/2 cup juice
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp fresh ginger
2 tsp garlic minced
2 heads broccoli chopped into bite size
1 red pepper chopped
salt pepper
1 tbsp cornstarch

large skillet
heat oil add chicken
cook until chicken browns about 6-8 mins
in a bowl
add pineapple,juice,soy sauce,honey ginger,garlic whisk
add to chicken
add peppers
bring to a boil add cornstarch ( mix with 1 tbsp water)
cook 5 minutes
add broccoli
cook another 5-7 minutes

serve over rice or rice noodles.

Well it just arrived!

I am not going to be the next MasterChef Canada this year but I did make top 5 for the prairies and invited to try again next year.
I am going to continue blogging and writing my "busy mom's cookbook". Thank you to all who follow my blog and believe in me.
Big hugs until we cook together again.

Chicken Burgers

A great alternative to the traditional burger.

2 lb ground chicken or turkey
3 tbsp onion finely chopped
2 tbsp terriyaki sauce
1/4 tsp 5 spice
1/2 tsp roasted garlic
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

I mix meat,spices,onion and terriyaki together if too wet add a good sprinkle of panko or bread crumbs
make a patty and coat in panko bread crumbs
grill or fry in frying pan.
If grilling I use my burger basket so they don't fall apart

put on a bun with lettuce,tomato,mayo


White chicken chilli crock pot meal

This is another great crock pot meal..

olive oil
1 cup celery chopped
1 cup onion chopped
1 cup red pepper chopped
1 cup green pepper chopped
1 can diced tomatoes  large can
3 cup chicken stock
1 can 6 bean medley
2 lbs ground chicken  fry lightly before adding I add half of my spices to the meat as I fry it.
2 tsp chili powder
1 clove garlic
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp chopped cilantro
2 tsp lime juice

add  all your ingredients to the crock pot stir well

cook on low for 5-6 hours
cook on high 2-3 hours.

serve with sour cream, grated cheese and pico de gallo

Baked mac and cheese

So when I know we are having some picky kids for the day I will make this mac & cheese.
I don't have a ton of time everyday if we have daycare,sports,dance etc but this dish fills the kids bellies and keeps them happy. I serve it with a side salad or veggies & dip.

bake at 350 for 15 minutes covered  5 minutes uncovered

1 lb bag of elbow macaroni I use 1/2 w.heat and 1/2 white
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups of shredded cheese
1/4 tsp of cayenne
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs  I use the seasoned version from president's choice
1/4 cup of cooked bacon
3 tbsp parmesan cheese
pinch salt and pepper
cook macaroni but don't over cook. leave abit of a bite to it.drain  set aside

in a sauce pan put in butter and melt
add flour,cayenne,salt,pepper  stir together and let your flour cook a minute or two.
add a 1/4 of your milk and stir
add 1/2 cheese and mix, alternating milk and cheese until you have a creamy cheese sauce.
put 1/2 macaroni in a greased 9x13 pan
add 1/2  cheese sauce  mix
add remainder of macaroni
add cheese sauce  mix
sprinkle panko and bacon,parmesan over the top

Well, I haven't received my email yet........ A few more great recipes

This is the week that I should receive my email to say "welcome to Masterchef" but I have this sinking feeling that my adventure has ended this year.
I am proud of myself for trying and making it as far as I did but there is apart of me that still has a little bit of hope.
I made a great dish,I am a great cook, I think I did well on my 3 interviews.......................
So as I hope and pray that I made it here are a few more recipes:

Pineapple watermelon salsa
2 cups finely diced pineapple
2 cups finely diced watermelon
1/2 red onion finely chopped
1/2 lime juiced
1/2 lime zested
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
option: 1/2 jalapeno finely chopped

mix all together and refrigerate for an hour before serving
great on pork,fish or as an appetiser

Pico de gallo

2 tomatoes finely chopped
1/2 serrano pepper finely chopped seeded
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cilantro finely chopped
2 tbsp lime juice
mix together

Tomatillo Salsa
I have a tomatillo plant that has gone crazy so this is one thing to do with them. I am also going to do a spicy canned version.
you need your food processor for this one.
2 cups cilantro
1 serrano pepper
1 clove garlic
1/2 onion red
1 tsp salt
2 cups tomatillo
combine together in food processor and chill


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Well its almost the end of summer

As summer is coming to a close and we get ready for back to school I am busy rotating stock in the pantry and freezer.
Trying to use up all the older stuff so that I can do 2 big shops and get ready for fall.
I really dislike hearing from my kids that there is "NO FOOD", there is lots of food
but it isn't jumping out at them or it isn't pre cooked and ready to eat.
I don't buy or serve a lot of processed crap in my house so I agree we are getting down to the bare bones but on purpose.

I try and have fresh muffins,cookies,squares made daily, There is always 2 kinds of fresh salsa in the fridge but as everyone knows that's not food to most teens.
I also put 2 cold pasta salads together yesterday for a quick and easy snack or part of a meal.

So I guess its time to clean out the fridge and make a Sunday soup, and then go for groceries.

Until we cook together again.................................

A great Sunday soup

1 tbsp olive oil
3 sausages  either hot Italian,mild Italian,chirizo,chicken or turkey  slice into 1/2 pieces
1 zucchini finely chopped
2 rib celery diced
2 carrots chopped
1 clove garlic
5 leaves fresh basil
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 cups spinach or 1 cup chopped frozen
1 can cannelini beans drained and rinsed
8 cups of low salt chicken stock
2 cups cooked farfelle pasta  cook separate  leave separate
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

in a large soup pot heat oil and add sausage
stirring and cooking about 5 minutes
add celery,carrot,garlic,zucchini  cook 5 minutes
add tomatoes and stir to get all the bits off the bottom of pot. That's flavour!
add chicken stock
stir and let simmer for 30-45 minutes

I put pasta in each soup bowl and ladle the hot soup over the top.
We don't like mushy pasta in our house.
Sprinkle with cheese and finely chopped basil.


Sunday morning breakfast

A great quick and easy family breakfast.

Frittata with potato,spinach,mushrooms, feta,sausage
6-8 eggs beaten
3 large potatoes
3 sausages removed from casing
5 mushrooms sliced
1 cup spinach roughly chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese  or 1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/2 medium onion chopped

put your 3 potatoes in the microwave for 8 minutes while you do the first 3 steps. helps get them cooking.
At my house as soon as breakfast meat and onions are cooking everyone is asking when breakfast is going to be ready.
In a large oven safe skillet
fry up onions, sausage and mushrooms. cook until sausage is cooked through. 
take potatoes out of microwave and chop up or slice thinly.
Add potatoes to skillet and cook for 10 minutes mix well add spinach,
cook for about 3 minutes until spinach starts to wilt
Remove all ingredients from the skillet.
beat eggs in a separate bowl add salt and pepper.
pour eggs into skillet let cook for 2-3 minutes and start adding your cooked ingredients to the egg mixture.
finish cooking in the oven 8-10 minutes. 
in the last minute of cooking sprinkle with cheese.
serve with toast and homemade salsa



pork souvlaki and tzatziki on a pita

Well I spent the day driving to and from the International Peace Gardens picking up kids from camp. They were a very happy bunch telling me all about their week and about the food.
My daughter wanted something different because they ate burgers,tacos,chicken and rice so I thought of this recipe.

1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp oregano  fresh or dried
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 lb boneless pork loin
trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups greek yogurt
1 cup peeled grated or cupped seeded cucumber
4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 tsp red chili
3 whole pitas

whisk together, lemon juice,olive oil,oregano,salt,pepper garlic minus 1/2 tsp pour over meat.
let marinate for an hour or so
put 4-6 pieces on each skewer

2 cups greek yogurt,cucumber, garlic,red pepper,1/2 tsp lemon juice,pinch of salt.
chill in fridge

grill meat for 8-10 minutes turning every 2 mins to grill each side

serve on a warm grilled pita with chopped tomato,red onion,tzatziki

Friday, 8 August 2014

Pizza dough

1/4 cup warm water
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp yeast
1 egg
1/4 water
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups flour

1/4 cup warm water, sugar and yeast in a bowl, let rest 5 mins
Mix 1/4 cup water,egg,salt,oil, together and add yeast mixture.
Add flour mix and knead together about 5 mins.
Let rise 25 minutes, punch down, roll out and use!

Pizza buns just out

Just out of the oven!!

Kids are home from camp tomorrow

I decided because I will be on the road for most of the day tomorrow to make up some Pizza Buns.
I used my pizza dough recipe which you can find on my Blog and rolled the dough out just like if you were making cinnamon buns. Load up the dough with all the kids favorite toppings and roll the dough up and cut into slices, place on cookie sheets and let rise for 25 mins. Bake at 375 for 20-25 mins.
My batch makes 2 dozen so I freezer half the batch in individual bags for lunches or snacks.


with the hopes of making it...............

With the hopes of getting "the official email" next week I am doing some mystery box challenges.
If you have never watched the show this means you get a basic pantry and a mystery box of 5-10 things and make a restaurant quality dish out of it.

So I decided school is just around the corner and its time to rotate stock in the cupboards and freezer that for the next week I will have either my kids or husband put a mystery box together and that"s what I will cook for the day.
I will post each day what the mystery box is and what the results of the box was. pictures included.

I would also like to THANK all of those who follow my blog, have tried some of my recipes and have positively supported me on this journey.

couscous salad so simple and it takes 10 mins tops

1 cup couscous
1 1/4 cup water or stock chicken,beef,vegtable

1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup grape tomatoes cut in half
1/4 red onion finely chopped
1/4 cup red and yellow pepper chopped
zest 1/2 lemon
juice 1/2 lemon
4 leaves of fresh basil finely chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey
pinch salt and pepper

bring stock to a full boil and stir in couscous turn heat to low for 3 mins
remove from heat, run a fork through the couscous to flake it apart.
put into a boil and add in add veggies, zest,basil,salt,pepper
in a small bowl mix vinegar,oil,lemon juice and honey together and drizzle over warm couscous
add feta cheese mix and refrigerate.
after it is chilled I sometimes drizzle a little more balsamic and olive oil over it.
Again this is a recipe I have to double or triple because my kids love it.

You can put any kind of raw or cooked veggies in you want, you can change up the flavour profile depending what you are serving it with
for example:
going a little Mexican
chop up an avocado
1 roasted red pepper chopped
red onion
roasted corn
jalapeno pepper finely chopped
drizzle with olive oil

Another day of decisions.............. Crab cakes, couscous salad,tempura veggies ?

Well as my little guys sits and watches cartoons and eats his dry shreddies, I am sitting in front of the laptop with a hot cup of coffee trying to decide what to cook today.
It rained most of the early morning and now looks like it is going to be a gorgeous but hot day again what do I cook today is my thought.
I am thinking pasta salad and crab cakes for supper or maybe a bunch of veggies in tempura batter or a couscous salad and bbq'd meat. The options are endless..............

Crab cakes

because I live on the prairies and in a rural community where fresh isn't readily available I use canned but if you live where you can get good fresh please use it instead.

serves 4-6 and at my house I have to double this if everyone is home.

olive oil
1 med.onion finely minced
2 cloves of garlic finely minced  I use roasted garlic if I have it.
3 cans of crab meat make sure it has 15% or more of claw meat There are 2 sizes of cans, I buy the bigger of the 2.
1 cup of bread crumbs  I use the seasoned panko crumbs by Presidents choice.
1 egg
2 tablespoons goat cheese and if you don't like goat cheese use mayonnaise
juice from 1/2 lemon
zest from 1/4 lemon
1/4 tsp cayenne

in a hot frying pan  medium heat  put your oil, onions,garlic cook til onions are caramelised 5-10 mins
In a large bowl put cooked onions,crabmeat,bread crumbs,egg,goat cheese,lemon juice,zest and cayenne
mix until blended well.
shape the mixture into 6 fat cakes just like you were making a burger. If mixture is a little too loose add a bit more bread crumbs.
place on a plate and chill for about 2 hours.
heat a frying pan on medium heat with a tsp of butter and a tsp of olive oil. fry each side of cake until you get a nice crisp crust. about 3-4 mins on each side.

serve with a chile mayonnaise
1 cup mayo
1/2 a chili pepper finely minced
zest/juice of 1 lime
1 tsp of chilula or your favorite hot sauce
mix together and chill until ready to serve.

Enjoy with a salad or as an appetizer

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Rootbeer pulled pork in the crockpot

3 lb pork shoulder roast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 med onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander
2 bay leaves
1 small can tomato paste
1 can of water  use tomato paste can
1 can rootbeer
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

trim off any large fat pieces, put meat and onions in the crockpot,
mix all other ingredients together in a bowl, pour over the meat.
you can do this the night before and store the crock in the fridge
cook on medium for 5-6 hours or on low for 8 hours
The meat will just pull apart in the sauce.
I thicken my sauce with 3 tbsp cornstarch mix with 1 tbsp water.
I add it to the meat mixture while I make my side dish.
serve this meat on a bun,


Another Potato soup recipe but this is for every busy mom

This is a crock pot recipe because I know that being "super mom" is really hard.
This soup is hearty so you can make a quick salad and biscuits and you will have a great healthy supper.

6 slices of bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 onion finely chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 cup water
5 large potatoes diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dill    optional
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup flour
2 cup half/half cream
1 carrot diced
1 cup shredded cheese

In a frying pan brown your onions, and bacon
put them in your crock pot
add chicken stock,water,potatoes,salt,pepper, into the crock pot, give it a good mix
cook on low for 6-7 hours
put flour in a bowl and mix with the half and half cream once mixed well
add to the cooked soup stir and mix well and cook for 30 mins
you can stir in your cheese just before serving or sprinkle on each bowl.
My daughters call this perogie soup because it tastes like the filling of a perogie.

something else you could add if you want a protein dice up 3 chicken breasts and cook in the onion/bacon frying pan. put in the fridge until you get home from work or your busy family day.
add it to the soup when you stir in the flour cream mixture.

So good.......................................

Lemon zucchini loaf with lemon drizzle

1/2 cup shortening or butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 cup milk
Zest 1 lemon
Juice 1/2 lemon
1/2 grated zucchini finely grated
Add zest and juice of lemon to zucchini
Cream together butter and sugar
Add eggs
Add salt,baking powder
Mix well add flour
Add zucchini and add milk slowly.
Batter should be light, fluffy. You may not need all the milk depending on how moist the Zucchini is.
Add to loaf pan or cupcake tons
Loaf @350 for 55-60 mins
Cupcake @ 350 for 20-24 mins
Drizzle 1/2 cup icing sugar juice from 1 lemon. Put in a sauce pan bring to a boil and stir until it turns to a syrup.
Drizzle in loaf or muffins as soon as they come out if the oven

Home made pasta sauce

1 shallot
1 med onion chopped
1 rib celery
1 carrot chopped or grated
1/2 zucchini grated
1 lb ground beef    you can use ground chicken or turkey
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic chopped
6 mushrooms sliced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil   I use fresh herbs but feel free to use dried
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp of fresh chilies or dried is fine   leave out if you don't like spice
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 can of tomatoes ( large)
1 can of tomato puree or crushed
1/2 a red or yellow or green pepper  chopped
You will see in a lot of my recipes I grate the veggies up and that is because of my 2 picky kids

sauteed the onions.garlic,celery,carrots, mushrooms for 10 mins
add beef and fry it for 10-15 mins
add spices,tomatoes,puree.
add balsamic
let simmer for an hour or so


Well my nerves are....................

I am getting more and more nervous as the day is approaching to find out if I will be going on to the next step of Masterchef Canada. Another 6-9 days before the official emails are set out.
I have a sinking feeling that I didn't make it, not that I am not a good enough cook but that I don't have "the look".

I really need to prove to myself that I am good enough and to make those who have taught me all their recipes and skills proud.

Sitting and contimplating what I am going to cook today.
I need to make some freezer meals for my husband's lunches, he hates to take sandwiches and needs at least 5 meals per trip. I try and have stews,soups,lasagna etc in the freezer for him.

So those are my randon thoughts for the morning as I enjoy my morning coffee.

Until we cook again......................

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Country seed bread

400 degree  for 15 mins
reduce heat to 350 for 30 mins

1 1/4 cup warm water
2 tbsp oil
2 cup flour bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flax seed
1 tbsp poppy seed
2 tbsp chai seed
2 tbsp sunflower seed
2 tbsp hemp heart seed
3 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp quick rise yeast

in a small bowl combine water,honey,oil,salt
in a large bowl combine flours,flax,chai,sunflower,hemp,poppy seeds,yeast
stir in water mixture until a sticky dough is formed.
turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 6-8 mins
you may need a little more flour if dough is still sticky. you want the dough to be a nice smooth dough.
place in a warm greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap  place in a warm but not hot place
dough should double in size
punch down and form into a loaf pan
let rise for 1 hour
bake as per directions at top of page

remove from pan and allow to cool on cooling rack.

chocolate zucchini cake or cupcakes

350 degrees   bundt pan or 18 cupcake pan     55 mins for cake    22-25 mins cupcakes
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cup flour  I use 1 1/2 cup all purpose 1 cup whole wheat
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup half/half cream or milk
2 cup finely grated zucchini
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup of unsalted nuts chopped  if desired. I leave them out so the kids can take these to school.

cream together butter,oil and sugar
add eggs,vanilla  beat well
stir all dry ingredients together and add 1/2 to butter mix
add 1/2 milk mix
add remaining flour mix
add remaining milk mix well

stir in zucchini, chocolate chips and nuts

these are so moist and chocolatey that there is no need for frosting.
I have super picky kids in my daycare so I partially  peel my zucchini because the kid will pull things apart looking for "weird stuff"

chocolate chip cookie squares / Puff wheat squares

the next few recipes are kid favorite recipes and great for their school lunches. great 9 x 13 pans so no need to buy pre packaged snacks.

9x13 greased pan          350 degree   15-20 mins

1 cup butter
1 3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cup flour   I use 1 cup all purpose 1 cup whole wheat
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

cream together butter,sugar
add eggs,soda,powder,vanilla
cream together
add flour mix well
add 1/2 cup chocolate chips stir well

place in greased pan and sprinkle 1/2 cup chocolate chips on the top.
cut into squares once cooled.
you can substitute 1/4 cup of flour with a mix of ground flax,hemp,chai seeds. your kids will never know.


1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
8 cups puffed wheat

combine butter,syrup,brown sugar,cocoa, and vanilla in a sauce pan.
Stir constantly on medium heat.until starts to boil with bubbles all over the surface. remove from heat
Put puff wheat into a large bowl and pour hot syrup over the top and mix well.
pour into greased pan 9x13 and press down   chill for 2 hours.

you can add dry fruit such as cranberries,raisins,chopped up mango as well just remember if you add 1/2 cup of dry fruit remove 1/4 cup of puffed wheat.
a seed mix non salted would be great as well.