I started this blog so my daughters could find all of our family favourite recipes in one place. It has actually grown into more than just the family favourites but also other recipes we've tried out in our kitchen. I don't like to fill up the post with alot of chatter. Sometimes there's a little story to tell, but usually I like to get right to the point. So this is for them, but hope you find some recipes that you like as well. I'll be sharing a lot of recipes, and along the way you'll find some crafty things and maybe some helpful hints too!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Bailey's Caramel Fudge

This fudge is soooooo creamy !!!

I wanted a Bailey's fudge that had cream in it.  Couldn't find one, so I worked with a few recipes and came up with this.  Fiddled with the creams and added caramel spread just for fun!

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup 35% cream
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup 10% coffee cream
1/4 cup Bailey's Irish Cream Liquor (plus 2 Tbsps. for later)
2 Tbsp. Log Cabin Syrup
2 Tbsp. caramel spread
2 Tbsp. butter

Butter a piece of foil, then line an 8 X 8 pan with it.  (Easier to butter the foil first)
Mix all the ingredients in a pot and cook to boiling.  Use a good sized pot so you don't boil over. Boil until it reaches 238F on a candy thermometer (softball). Remove from heat and cool to 120F.  Do not stir.  You really need to use the candy thermometer, guessing doesn't work.
Add 2 more Tbsp. of Bailey's then beat until it loses the glossy sheen.  I actually took the pot outside (in the winter) to beat it.  It started thickening pretty quickly.
Pour into the 8 X 8 pan to set.

Really......let it set.  Don't be tempted to eat it with a spoon because it will set and make lovely squares. 
Hope you like it.

This is our friend, Bayley.  No relation to Baileys : )

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Souped-Up Skillet Pasta

This was one of the first recipes I ever made when I was a newlywed.  And we made it like this for years.
The other day I wanted to make it, but discovered that I didn't have any ground beef in the freezer.  So I tried it with hot Italian sausage.  This might be better than the original!

Just slice the sausage into chunks and brown.  Follow the rest of the recipe as is.  I used 1 cup of penne rigate this time.

Colorful Swirl Cookies

I found this recipe here:

and it was as easy as they said it would be.  When I got to the part where you had to lift one sheet of dough up and put it on the other, I thought it would be a problem.  But chilling the dough made it stiff enough to just pick it up. Easy peasy.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup unsifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter (cut in chunks)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp of food coloring of your choice(and/or 1/2 tsp of any desired extra extracts)
1 1/2 cup holiday sprinkles

1. In a stand mixer, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugars with paddle on medium until well blended.

2. Add butter in, gradually, and continue mixing. Add in vanilla extract. At this point, your dough will form a ball on your paddle.

3. Remove all your dough and divide into two equal parts. Return one portion back in to the mixer and add the food coloring and any extra extracts. I used Wilton gel food coloring in leaf green and vanilla extract for this batch. You could coordinate your colors and flavors, for example green food coloring matched with a mint extract or yellow with a lemon extract, etc. Also, if you are using liquid food coloring, you will need to add a few tbsp of flour to keep the dough from becoming too wet. Mix until the color is spread out evenly.

4. Roll out each portions of your dough, between two sheets a wax paper until is reaches about 11 x 9 inches and is 1/4 inch thick. Slide both unto a cookie sheet and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

5. When firm, remove the top sheets of wax paper from both. Brush the uncolored vanilla dough lightly with water using a pastry brush. Then flip the colored dough onto the vanilla uncolored dough so they are stacked atop each other and even. Press the edges lightly with your fingertips to seal them together. Using a small pairing knife, trim the edges of the dough to make straight, even lines.

6. Pour out sprinkles onto a large platter and set aside. Be sure your dough is still cold, but flexible. Once it's ready, begin rolling the long side of dough into a swirl, jelly-roll style. Now, don't get nervous if the outer layer of uncolored dough tears a bit. It's no problem, just pinch and pat those tears and voila, then just keep rolling.

7. Now gently lift your dough log onto the sprinkles and roll away. Cover the log completely with your sprinkles. Wrap the colorfully decorated log in plastic wrap twice. Depending on when you want to bake the cookies, either place the wrapped dough into refrigerator for about 3-4 hours or you can put it the freezer and keep it there for up to 2 months. (If freezing, give yourself time for the dough to defrost in the fridge overnight before cutting.)

8. Slice your dough into 1/4-1/8 inch slices and bake on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes until edges are slightly golden. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then move them to a cookie rack to finish cooling.

Roll them up, then roll in sprinkles, slice and bake!
Next time I'm going to add chocolate to a layer.

Here's another tasty swirl cookie

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Salted Caramel Bark

You don't need many ingredients for this recipe.

6 squares of white Baker's chocolate
1 tsp. coconut oil
some chocolate to melt
some salted caramel bits to sprinkle

Melt the white chocolate along with the coconut oil in a double boiler.

Pour into a buttered foil-lined tray.  This was an 8 X 8.
Spread out the melted chocolate.  (Not too thin)  I should have doubled this recipe.
Pop it in the fridge to set.

 In the meantime melt a bit of chocolate in a ziplok bag in a bowl of warm water.  Snip the corner of the bag off and drizzle over white chocolate.

Sprinkle salted caramel bits (from Bulk Barn) over top, tap a little to press on and set in fridge before breaking into pieces. Ya, really should have doubled this recipe.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Meat Pie (Tourtière à la Québecoise)

This is an adaptation of the tourtière recipe in my tattered old (read well used and loved) Five Roses cookbook.

1 Double Crust Pastry
1 1b. (total) ground veal, pork and beef
1  medium onion, minced
1/4 cup water
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp savory
1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Prepare pastry and set aside. Combine all ingredients together in a saucepan.  Cook over medium heat just until meat has lost its pink colour, but is still moist, check seasonings.  Cool and place mixture into uncooked pie shell.  Cover with top crust and seal.

Bake in 425F oven for 25 minutes until browned.

Baked tourtière may be frozen.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies (from http://www.simplysogood.com )
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup sour cream
3 cups flour

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat for about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat for another 3 minutes. Sift together baking soda, salt, baking powder and flour. Add alternately with sour cream in three additions. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to use, remove dough from refrigerator and divide into fourths. Roll dough to ¼-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut into desired shapes. The dough is very easy to handle. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until just barely beginning to brown around the edges. 


1 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp. & 1 tsp. water
1/4 tsp vanilla

Mix together, glaze the cookies and let it set well.  You will probably need to make a second batch of glaze to do all these cookie, but wait until you need it, don't double as the glaze will start to harden before you can use it all.
(Please see note at the end)

Then take some food colouring and add to small amounts of the glaze.  If you use liquid colour you will have to add a little more icing sugar.  Put some in a ziplok bag and cut a small hole in the corner.   Decorate to your heart's content.

Here are some dreidel cookies too.

NOTE: Oops!  I think I didn't let the white glaze set well enough before putting the coloured glaze on top.  The cookies looked like this a couple of days after making them   : (  

Christmas Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies that Grandma and Nana made every Christmas. 

 1/2 cup corn starch

 1/2 cup icing sugar
 1 cup flour
 1 cup butter
 Glazed cherries cut in half 

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

Sift together dry ingredients. Blend in room temp butter with pastry knife until soft dough forms. See room temp butter post here if your butter is still cold 

Shape into 1 inch balls. Place on ungreased pan. You can use parchment paper for quicker clean-up, but it's not necessary with these. Press down with fork, add glazed cherries.
Bake at 300F  16 - 18 mins. 

Wouldn't be Christmas without them! I always double the recipe.

You could have a good movie playing in the background while you bake  : ) 

This was the original way we put the cherries on. Did it for years this way.

but this year I saw someone on Pinterest who put the cherries on their cookies like, well duh, a cherry!

And then of course you might have someone who doesn't like cherries.  That's OK.  Flatten the cookies, then dip in sprinkles.  Use a floured straw to press out a hole.  Blow the bit of dough out the end of the straw.  When they come out of the oven just press the straw in the hole again.  
Cute eh?  They look like mini sprinkle doughnuts.


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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chicken Marbella

NOTE:  This recipe has to marinate over night. (I hate getting halfway through a recipe, expecting to have it for supper, only to find out it has to sit for awhile) Also, find half and double recipes at the end of this page.

Got this recipe years ago from another volunteer at the school library.  It's become a family favourite. I use boneless chicken breast, but thighs and legs could be used instead.  Just add 10-15 minutes extra on the cooking time.  Pork tenderloin is ok too.

2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 head garlic, crushed
1/4 cup fresh oregano (2 tsp dried)
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup pitted spanish green olives
1/2 cup capers with some juice
6 bay leaves

1  cup brown sugar
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup italian parsley or cilantro, finely chopped

Add everything up to and including the bay leaves.  You can leave the chicken breasts whole, but I like to cut them into large chunks. Mix well and marinate overnight in a 13 X 9 baking dish.

Pre-heat the oven to 350F

Pour the wine in and then sprinkle the brown sugar over top. 

Bake uncovered about 45 minutes.  Stir it a couple of times. When done, sprinkle with parsley.  This dish is also good cold.

Half recipe

1 lb chicken
1/2 head garlic
1/8 cup oregano
S & P
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup prunes
1/4 cup olives
1/4 cup capers
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup wine
1/8 cup parsley

Double recipe

5 lbs chicken
2 heads garlic
1/2 cup oregano
S & P
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup olive oil
2 cups prunes
1 cup olives
1 cup capers
12 bay leaves
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups wine
1/2 cup parsley


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Guacomole served in a Pumpkin for Halloween (or good anytime of the year without the pumpkin)


OK, I know this looks gross, but it tastes good.  Really!
Just mash the ingredients together and serve with tortilla chips.

5 avocados
juice of one lime
7 oz kernel corn
7 oz salsa
1 tbsp finely chopped onion
1/4-1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4-1/2 tsp sriracha hot sauce
1 tsp coarse salt
1 chopped clove garlic

Happy Halloween!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Witch Hat Cookies

These cookies are so easy to make.  All you need is a package of chocolate striped shortbread cookies, hershey kisses and icing.

Mix up some coloured icing and put it in a ziplok bag.  You won't be using much icing so it's not worth using an icing bag and then having to wash it.

Pipe a ring of icing around the bottom of the kiss.  Stick it to the chocolate side of the cookie and press a little.  The icing will squeeze out to form the ribbon.

Now just make a figure eight and two tails and you've got your bow on the witch's hat.

What did I tell you, easy eh?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The BEST Turkey Stuffing (with cooking directions for roast turkey)

This stuffing recipe has been in my family for years!  My Mom and Nana made it all the time, but it came out like sawdust the first time I made it, kind of soupy the second time.  I finally got it just right! They never had to measure the water, but I couldn't get it right without exact amounts.  As you can see here I added the 1 cup notation for water.

Make sure your turkey is completely thawed out.

Defrost turkey in fridge.
8-12 lb = 2-3 days / Serves 8-12
12-14 lb = 3-3 1/2 days / Serves 12-14
14-18 lb = 3 1/2-4 1/2 days / Serves 14-18
18-20 lb = 4 1/2-5 days/ Serves 18-20
If you are having more than 20 people, go out : )

Get all your stuffing ingredients out.

Mix together bread crumbs, savory, salt, pepper and onions.
 Fresh rosemary too, if you have it.

Add butter, then hot, previously boiled, water.

It's got to stick together like this.
Remember you'll be adding an egg to it after it cools.

Gotta have some good music playing while you're cooking!

Stuff your bird and roast at 325F

8-12 lb = 3-3 1/2 hrs
12-14 1b = 3 1/2-4 hrs
14-18 lb = 4-4 1/2 hrs
18-20 lb = 4-5 hrs

When cooked the leg joint should move freely and juices run clear.
Let turkey rest (you don't get that luxury!) 30-40 minutes  before carving. Remove all stuffing to a serving bowl.  You shouldn't leave any in the bird. Enjoy!

Oh and don't forget the Hot Turkey Sandwiches the next day!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Hot Pickled Peppers

This is what you'll need:

A bushel or more of sweet peppers, all colours

Different assorted hot peppers, 3-5 pint boxes (jalapeños, habañeros, chili, etc)

1-2 strings of garlic, depends on how garlicky you like it

One bag of pickling salt

Large container of white vinegar

Large container canola oil (olive oil gets solid in the fridge)

Pair of latex gloves (so people will talk to you after cutting the garlic, and you'll be able to touch things without a burning sensation after cutting the hot peppers)

Large tupperware container kept specifically for this job, or several large mixing bowls that you won't need for a few weeks.

Pickling jars, lids, rings

To start:
Clean and chop sweet peppers
Chop hot peppers in small pieces. Leave some whole, it looks good in the jar
Roughly chop the garlic

Place one layer of mixed cut peppers and garlic on the bottom of container. Cover with pickling salt, then place another layer of mixed peppers and garlic, another layer of salt continue until you have used all your peppers and cover last layer with salt.

Cover and let sit for 1 week


Rinse off all the salt from the peppers and garlic.
Place everything back into the container, then cover completely with white vinegar

Cover and let sit for another week

Now you are ready for the last step

Drain the mixture, removing all the vinegar, no need to rinse.
You need to have all the jars sterilized.
Place the peppers in the jars, push the peppers down to get most of the air out.
Pour the canola oil slowly into the jars, put a knife down the side to release air bubbles.
Seal with lids.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cooked Tomato Salsa

Cooked Tomato Salsa

3 lbs. chopped & peeled round tomatoes

1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced sweet green pepper
2 tbsp. minced jalapeño, banana or chili pepper
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
1  1/2 tsp. pickling salt
1/2 tsp. each ground cumin and dried oregano

In a Dutch oven or large heavy saucepan, combine all ingredients.  If you can chop the hot peppers with your hand in a ziplok bag you won't be stuck with hot pepper oil on your hands for hours afterwards.  (I had a pair of latex gloves specifically for this job, but couldn't find them).  This is a neat trick....after chopping garlic, rub your hands on stainless steel, like the faucet, and then wash with soap and water.  This really works to get rid of the smell on your hands, don't know why, but it does.  To peel tomatoes, simply put them in boiling water for 1 minute, then right into cold water.  The skin will peel right off (mostly)

Don't forget to compost.

Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered for 15-20 minutes or to desired thickness, stirring frequently.

May be stored in covered jars in fridge for up to 1 week. These pictures show 7 recipes worth of salsa so I had to preserve it.

After sterilizing jars and lids, ladle salsa into hot canning jars, filling to 1/2 inch below rim.  Wipe rims and place metal canning lids on jars.  Apply bands to fingertip tight.  Place jars in canner (large, deep pot) of boiling water, covered by one inch.  Cover canner, return to boil.  Process 20 minutes. Remove and let cool 24 hours.  Check seals.  If some have not popped down, keep these in fridge or redo process with new lids.

Yield: about 4 cups

Get out the tortilla chips !

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Garden Fresh Tomato Soup in a Slow Cooker


Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers