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!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Deep Dish Pizza Pie

OK, this is the mother of all pizzas.

First prepare the crust.

Dough ingredients:
  • 1  1/2 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 cup water, lukewarm
  • 2 tsps sugar 
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

To start the dough put the water (you can use tap water as long as it isn't hotter than 100F) in your mixing bowl.  Stir in the sugar, then sprinkle the yeast on top. Leave it to activate 15 minutes.

While waiting for the yeast turn your oven on at it's lowest temperature.  It doesn't even have to reach that temperature and you can turn it off again. You'll be putting your dough in the warm oven later. And take the top rack out, you'll be putting your pizza in on the bottom rack.

Add the salt to 1 cup of bread flour and mix into the water. Mix well, then add the all purpose flour. Add a little more flour, it might look a bit raggy.  Turn out on floured counter and knead to incorporate all. 

Put a tbsp or 2 of olive oil in a glass or metal bowl and toss the dough ball to cover.  Dampen a clean dish towel and place over top of bowl. Put the bowl in the warm (turned OFF) oven. Let rise 40 minutes.

While waiting for the dough to rise, slice onion and pepper and lightly brown in a pan with a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Add the minced garlic and oregano. (You could totally add some mushrooms here too).

Take one cup of pizza sauce and mix it with the cooked vegetables.

Punch down dough, rest 2 minutes. 

Spray a 9 inch springform pan and press the dough onto the pan and up the sides.  
Once you have the dough in place, fill with the vegetable/sauce mixture. Spread the remaining 1/2 cup of sauce over top and toss in the spinach.
Next layer 1  1/2 cups shredded cheese, the pepperoni and the remainder of the cheese. Sprinkle with parmesan.

1 medium onion, sliced
1 sweet pepper 
1-2 tbsps olive oil
1-2 minced garlic buds
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1  1/2 cups pizza sauce
handful of spinach
3 cups mozzarella
sliced pepperoni
parmesan cheese

Bake at 425F for 30 minutes.

Stand 10 minutes and run a knife around the edge before removing the ring.

Isn't this beautiful?

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Yum Yum Cake

This is a snack cake that in the original recipe was mixed right in the baking pan.  I prefer to mix it up in a bowl.  Works either way.

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 - 8 oz can fruit cocktail (undrained)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
cream cheese frosting

Combine all ingredients (except frosting), mix well.

Pour into ungreased 8-inch square cake pan.

Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes. Check center, toothpick should come out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 - 3 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Blend together. Cool cake about 10 minutes and frost while still slightly warm. This is one of the moistest cakes you'll ever make.  Even after a week (if you still have some left) it's just as moist as the first day.

Serves 9

Strawberry Mint Tarts

Try this little twist on a strawberry tart.
Fresh mint is coming up in the garden and it's strawberry time.

12 pie tart shells
1 box vanilla pudding
3-4 drops peppermint extract
mint jelly
mint leaves to garnish

Either buy some ready-made tart shells or make them yourself and let cool.  I had some already baked and ready to go in the freezer.

Prepare the vanilla pudding and set aside.  You could use instant or the cooked variety.  Once made, whisk in the peppermint extract. If you use the cooked pudding, let it cool slightly then pour into shells.

When it's set slice strawberries and arrange on top.

Next microwave a couple of tablespoons of the jelly.

I like the one where you can see the chopped mint in it. Brush the tops of the tarts with melted jelly and garnish with a mint leaf.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Easy Focaccia Pizza Buns

Forget about those little English muffin pizzas.  Take a big old focaccia triangle bun, slice it in half and top away!
I wasn't sure about using these buns.  Thought they might be too crusty and hard after heating them up.

But they were perfect.

Make them with whatever pizza toppings you like and put them under the broiler for 3 minutes.
Should have used parchment paper on the pan  : ( 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Cauliflower au Gratin

Another standby from my old notebook.

1 medium sized cauliflower
1  1/2 cups b├ęchamel (white sauce recipe below)
2 tbsps melted butter
4 tbsps bread crumbs
4 tbsps parmesan

Soak cauliflower in salted water until ready to cook. Cook in boiling salt water 15-20 minutes, until tender.  Drain thoroughly and put in a casserole dish which has been prepared with cooking spray.  

Prepare the sauce. 
Melt 2 tbsps butter or marg in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in 2 tbsps flour, salt and pepper to taste. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Whisk in 1 cup milk. Cook and stir until thickened.

Pour the sauce over the cauliflower. 

Mix together the melted butter, bread crumbs and parmesan. 

Sprinkle and pat over sauce.

Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes.
Cut into wedges and serve.
A variation would be to cook cauliflower flowerets, spread them in your pan and cover with sauce to bake.  Taste good either way.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Easiest Apple Cake in the World

I've seen this one all over the place and finally tried it.  If you need a dessert for a gang in a hurry, this is it!

All you need is:

1-430g box (approx. 15 oz) angel food cake
1 - 19-22 oz can apple pie filling
Really, that's it !!

Dump the cake mix in a bowl and mix with the pie filling. It'll foam up so use a large bowl.  Spread the cake batter in a 13 X 9 inch pan. Do NOT grease!
Bake at 350 F for 35-45 minutes.
Wow, isn't it a beauty?  When you serve it sprinkle icing sugar over top (shake it through a strainer). I think this is my new favourite cake.  Can't wait to try it using different pie fillings.

Nov. 2014 - update:

My friend told me she had tried the apple cake and it didn't work.  I was really surprised and told her I'd look into what the problem could be.

So I came home from our lunch together and made this cake.

I tried using raspberry pie filling this time and the taste was fantastic!
But it didn't rise like the apple cake had.  Hmm...what's THAT about??

First off, the expiry date on the cake box was good.

Then I thought maybe the time of year would affect how the cake had risen.  I had only made it in the summer before as opposed to fall/winter.
But upon further investigation I discovered that you NEVER grease the baking dish when making angel food cake!!
I believe the mystery is solved  : )

"Bar-B-Barn" Ribs

I started the ribs like this. Take 2  1/2 lbs of pork ribs, cut in pieces 3-4 ribs each to fit in slow cooker.  Mix 1 cup or orange (or pineapple) juice and 2 tbsps. molasses and pour over the meat.  Add enough water to almost cover.
Slow cook on high 3  1/2 - 4 hours.  You don't want the meat to be falling right off the bone.

I saw this on the internet somewhere. It's supposed to have been printed in the Montreal Gazette in 1990 as the "Real" Bar-B-Barn rib sauce. Other recipes claim there is cola in the sauce.

1 cup applesauce
2 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp EACH salt, pepper, garlic powder, cinnamon
(if you like them hot add 1 tsp chili powder)

Take the ribs out of the slow cooker, put them in a casserole dish, and while still warm, pour the sauce on.  (Keep some for basting and dipping later)

Let them sit for at least an hour to absorb the taste. 
Then heat up the B-B-Q and grill 'em up and baste 5-10 minutes. 
Serve with extra sauce.

You might want to serve your ribs with Bar-B-Barn Style Spanish Rice.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Yin-Yang Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Gotta be honest here.  These were a little messy to make.  But well worth it.

Ingredients for chocolate side

1  1/2 cups baking mix (Bisquick)
3/4 cup margarine
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg

Ingredients for the peanut butter side

1  1/2 cups baking mix (Bisquick)
1  1/4 cups crunchy peanut butter
3/4 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
This Pampered Chef measuring cup is great for stuff like PB.
In separate bowls, mix the ingredients for the 2 cookie doughs, starting with the margarine for chocolate side and peanut butter for pb side, cream in the sugar.  Then add the other ingredients. The cocoa was a bit difficult to blend, but it finally worked in.

You might need to use your hands to blend well. And chilling the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes will help with handling.

Take a small scoop of each dough and flatten together.
I tried stacking them like this and rolling in my hand, but that just made a mess.

Just take two parts and press them together, then flatten with a fork or the flat side of a spatula.
Put them on a parchment lined baking sheet, a couple of inches apart, and bake at 375 F for 10 minutes.
Get a glass of milk ready.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Italian Sausage Topping for Meat Lovers Pizza

This recipe is for the meat lover who wants more oomph in their pizza.

Take 1 lb of ground pork and add:

1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 - 1 tsp black pepper
3  1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp rubbed fennel seed
1/4 - 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Blend well into the meat.  Keep in fridge to let the flavours mature a few hours before using.

Crumble it over top of your pizza before putting it in the oven at 500 F for 11 minutes.

(Thanks Dianna)
                 Before                                                                After

For this one I used 2 different kinds of pepperoni, some sliced ham, black olives, red pepper, mushrooms, mozzarella, sausage and parmesan.

You'll find the recipe for the pizza dough here

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