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!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Wine Cork Christmas Tree Placemarkers/Decorations

I know this is too early to think about Christmas, but if you want to make these you'll have to start drinking wine now!

You'll need:

7 wine corks per tree
glue gun
clear nailpolish
gold cord or string
glue stick
straight pins

So start by making the name tags using clipart and printing out small stars with the names of your guests on each. Then cut them out.  Cut out the same size star in gold or silver paper for the back.  Now glue front and back onto a straight pin with a ball on top.

Now take those wine corks that you've been saving and paint one end with clear nailpolish.  While wet dip in glitter.  You may want to leave some of the red wine corks alone as I did or put glitter on them all. I was so excited about making these that I forgot to take pictures as I went along : (
Now glue the bottom three together, then two together. Before you glue the top one on if you want to use this as a tree decoration, cut a length of cord and put it around the cork then glue.   Cut one cork in half for the base. Glue it to the bottom.  You may need to shave it down some or add another piece of cork behind it for balance.
Take your name tag pin and stick it in the top. I think it looks pretty cute on the table, don't you?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Cheesy Romanoff Chicken Pasta

OK so this is what you'll need:

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
3 boneless chicken breasts, cut in strips
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
4 minced garlic cloves
2-3 tbsp tomato paste
2 oz vodka
Handful of halved cherry tomatoes
1 - 1  1/2 cups coffee cream 
1  1/2 cups grated cheese (your choice)
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 lb pasta
Reserved pasta water

Start by lightly browning the onion and chicken strips in butter and oil.  Then add garlic.

When garlic has started to brown add tomato paste.  Toss together then add the vodka and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
While making the chicken you can start cooking the pasta and reserve a ladle or 2 of pasta water.

At this point you can toss in the cherry tomatoes making sure the pan is on medium heat.  Now stir in the 10% coffee cream. Here you may want to add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water. Add cheese just until melted. Here I used some gouda and oka, but swiss or cheddar would be good too.

If you find it too thick, add a little more cream.  Don't add too much reserved pasta water as your sauce will be, well, watery.
Plate the pasta and top with chicken and sauce.
Sprinkle with the fresh parsley.

Serves 3-4

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Keeping White Wine Chilled

If you are having a party and want to keep your boxed white wine from getting warm, simply open the box and slip in a freezer pack or two.  Tape the box up and you've got chilled white wine.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Storing Onions (& Potatoes)

Saw this on the internet last fall and tried it and it really works. Take an old pair of pantyhose and tie onions in them, knotted between each one. Hang them in a cool place like the garage and they'll keep for months.  These have been "hanging around"  for 5 months now.  Just remember, when you want an onion, snip below the next knot.

Next fall when stuff is really cheap, I'm going to try potatoes.

I wonder what other vegetables you could do this with?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

"Phony" Milles Feuilles

Need a dessert for a crowd? Stanley Cup playoffs, Grey Cup party, Super Bowl?   Can't go wrong with this one.
(Nutella variation at the end of this recipe)

1 box graham crackers
2 boxes (6 serving size each) pudding (cooked or instant)
2 cups icing sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp milk
few chocolate chips

Line a 9 X 13 pan, or 2 - 8 X 8 pans with graham crackers. I used 8 X 8 pans here so hubby could take one and we could have one at home : )  You can cut the crackers with a sawing motion to fit the pan. Prepare your pudding, any flavour you like.  I like chocolate and vanilla. 

Once your pans are lined pour in the first pudding (divided in half if using 8 X 8).  Put another layer of crackers on top of the pudding, then pour in the second layer of pudding and cover again with crackers.
Prepare icing mixing sugar, vanilla and milk together. I made a thin glaze but you could put a thicker icing on if you like. Spread on top.  Melt a few chocolate chips (about 10) then mix in a little icing sugar and milk.  Put this in a snack sized ziplok bag and snip a small corner in the bag.  Pipe lines of chocolate over the white icing.  Then drag a toothpick through the chocolate lines to make the milles feuilles pattern. (In this last image I made a mistake and only went one way with the toothpick.  You should go up and down to get the right pattern).  

Like this:

Chill overnight for best results.

Nutella variation:
Spread nutella on top of the bottom graham cracker.  For this one I used only 1 vanilla pudding mix and folded in a couple of tablespoons cocoa nibs, using one 8 X 8" pan.