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, July 31, 2014

Potato Wedgies

Been making these for years.  You can change the seasonings according to your taste.

They can even be made in a covered BBQ at home or on a camping trip.  Just have them prepared for cooking and store in an airtight ziplock bag in the cooler until ready to cook. First camping day is the best before potatoes start to change colour.

4 unpeeled potatoes
1-2 tsps cider (white, balsamic or malt) vinegar
a few drops of hot pepper sauce (optional)
sprinkle salt
sprinkle garlic powder (and/or oregano, paprika, pepper)
a few tbsps olive oil

Cut potatoes in wedges.  Toss with all ingredients in a plastic bag or waxed cereal bag.  You can prepare to this point an hour or two early but cooking right away is ideal.
When ready to cook arrange in a single layer on a lightly oiled baking pan.
Bake in a 450F oven for 25 - 30 minutes.


Arrange in a corningware pan.  Microwave uncovered on high for 10 minutes.  Stir at 1/2 the time.  Then bake in a 400F oven for 15 - 20 minutes.

Healthier than fries !

Rust Remover - Natural VS Chemical

So I needed to get rid of some rust on a "stainless steel" ?!?! shower shelf.

I looked up natural ways to do it and came up with a few. The most promising looked like a lemon cut in half with salt or vinegar.
This is what I started with..............gross!
I started scrubbing with my salt covered lemon.  
It seemed to take a little rust off, but not much.
Then I tried an old toothbrush soaked in vinegar.
That's better.  Look at all that splatter !
But I'm not going to lie.  I had to finish off with a soapy scouring pad and window cleaner.
It still took a lot of elbow grease, but I think the chemical method worked better.
Sorry environment : ( 

Apple Roses Strudel

This is a very pretty strudel.  Don't be intimidated, it's easy to make.

You'll need:

3-4 apples (Fuji, Granny Smith, Pink lady, all good choices)
ginger ale
puff pastry
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp white sugar
honey to drizzle
icing sugar to dust

Slice apples and leave them in a bowl of ginger ale for a few minutes to prevent them from browning. Then drain and pat dry.

Cut a 1 inch strip of puff pastry and slightly overlap apple slice halves.  Roll up to form roses.  Have a sheet of puff pastry laid out on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush it with melted butter.  Place the roses on top.  Make as many or as few as you like, then cover the rest of the puff pastry sheet (leaving a border of puff showing) with apple slices, overlapping as you go.

Brush with melted butter, sprinkle top with lemon zest, cinnamon, brown and white sugar.
Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.

Drizzle with honey, cool and dust with icing sugar.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"Eat Your Colors" Summer Slaw

Take advantage of the summer's bounty with this colorful vegetable slaw!

Julienne cut:

1 yellow zucchini
1 green pepper
2 carrots
7-8 radishes

I had small radishes, but if yours are larger, 2 or 3 might do.


5-6 cooked broccoli flowerets
1 spear fresh pineapple, sliced (reserving juice when cutting whole pineapple)

For the dressing mix:

2 tbsps reserved pineapple juice
zest and juice of 1 lemon
6 fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp honey
1/8 tsp salt

Toss dressing ingredients together with veggies about an hour before serving.
Isn't it beautiful ? 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Rustic Bread from Pizza Dough

This rustic bread is made from my pizza dough recipe which you can find here..


Once the dough has risen for 40 minutes, punch it down and let rest 2 more minutes.

Flour your hands, pick up the dough and form it into a round or oblong loaf.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a 425F oven for 25 - 30 minutes.

Cool 5 - 10 minutes before slicing and slathering it with butter.

This recipe makes 1 loaf, but you can double it and add some ground flax seed when making the dough like I did here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mussels in Garlic Butter

Before cooking your mussels, rinse them in cold water.  If any are opened this should cause them to close.  If you find one that is still opened give it a little tap. If it still doesn't close, throw that one away.

3 lbs fresh scrubbed mussels
2/3 cup butter
3/4 cup finely chopped shallots or green onions
6 large garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsps chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon peel
reserved liquid or white wine

Place mussels in a large Dutch oven or wok with cover.  Add about 1/4 cup of water.  You might add some green onions to the water too. Cover and cook on high heat until mussels open, giving the pan a shake a few times.  Cook about 5-10 minutes. 
Drain and reserve liquid.  Transfer mussels to bowl, discard any that did not open during cooking. Tent bowl with foil.

Melt butter in same pan and over medium high heat add shallots and garlic. Sauté until tender, about 3 minutes.  Add parsley, lemon juice and lemon peel with reserved liquid or white wine. Bring to a boil.

Season to taste with pepper.
Drizzle garlic butter over mussels.

If our youngest is at the table, you'll have to fight her for them! This pic was taken more than 10 years ago and she still talks about this....her first time having mussels.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pineapple BBQ Chicken Quesadilla

Here's another easy lunch or light supper.
Serves 2

4 tortillas
2 cooked chicken thighs
2 tbsps BBQ sauce
1 onion, thinly sliced, caramelized
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp margarine
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 large mushroom, finely chopped
2 spears grilled fresh pineapple, sliced
1 cup shredded jalapeno havarti

Grill fresh pineapple spears on the BBQ until browned and set aside.
Slice your onion thinly and fry in oil or margarine for about 5 minutes.  Then add 1 tsp sugar and 
1 tsp balsamic vinegar and continue cooking another 5-10 minutes until soft and golden. Use a frying pan that is large enough to spread the onion out.  If the pan is too small the onion will tend to be more boiled than fried and caramelized.

If you plan ahead you can have the pineapple, onion and chicken previously cooked.  It makes throwing this recipe together super easy.
Lay 2 tortillas out and top with sliced or chopped cooked BBQ chicken.  This is the chicken and sauce recipe I used. But you could use store-bought BBQ chicken and bottled BBQ sauce.


Over the chicken top with caramelized onion, chopped mushroom, sliced pineapple and BBQ sauce.
Pile on the shredded cheese and cover with tortilla.
Heat margarine in a frying pan and cook tortilla on both sides, heating until the cheese melts.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs

Anytime you are having a BBQ and can prepare your meat ahead of time, do it!  Spend that extra time with the people you love.

6-8 chicken thighs (bone-in)
1 cup chicken broth
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, chopped
salt to taste

Add to slow cooker, from frozen  2  1/2 - 3 hours on high, 
or from fresh 1  1/2 - 2 hours .  If using frozen thighs, separate them as soon as possible and submerge in the liquid.

1/2 cup spicy ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsps soya sauce
2 tbsps red wine vinegar
2 tbsps hoisin sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger

Add to saucepan and cook about 10 minutes to thicken.  

Take the cooked chicken from the slow cooker and discard the liquid.  Remove the skin. It should slip right off. I know it looks gross, but don't worry, it gets better.

Top each thigh with a spoonful of sauce while warm. See....better already.

Now you can refrigerate these little guys until you are ready to BBQ.

Divide the remaining sauce in 2 bowls.  One to glaze the meat on the BBQ and one to serve at the table.  Just grill and glaze a few minutes on each side to warm through.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Skor Trifle

Ok, so my oldest daughter made this today.  And at the last minute I decided to record it for posterity.  Sorry no photos of the work in progress.  But you've gotta make this !!

1 large container of Cool Whip (not whipped cream)
prepared chocolate pudding (cooked, instant or even pudding cups)
chocolate cake, cubed
skor bits

Layer cake, pudding, Cool Whip, skor bits. Repeat. 

I have no first hand knowledge of this, but apparently it's great for breakfast  : )

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Grad Cap Cookie

If you are hosting a grad party in the future you'll want to make these.
Get all your ingredients together.

A bag of two-bite brownies
Chocolate-covered graham cookies
Smarties or M & M's
Shoestring licorice
Chocolate icing (homemade or store bought)
Put a dab of icing on your brownie and place the cookie on top.  Have the licorice cut in pieces the length of a tassel and snip the end. Put another dab of icing on top of the cookie and place the licorice and M & M on that.

Once the icing is set they are ready to serve.

Potato Halves on the BBQ

These potatoes can be prepared ahead of time so when your meat is finished on the BBQ and resting, just toss these on to grill them up. 

Take 4 potatoes (russet are good) and microwave until almost done.

When cool enough to handle cut the potatoes in half.
Melt together 1 tbsp butter with 1 tbsp olive oil.

Brush both the cut side and the skin side of each potato half with the melted butter/oil mix then sprinkle with some flavours you like.  I used garlic powder, paprika and oregano. Chili or onion powder works too.  If you like your potatoes hot, try a few drops of hot sauce in the butter/oil mix.

Grill about 8 minutes per side and serve. (Thanks to my cousin Stephen for this recipe)

Creamy Coleslaw Dressing

Mix this dressing together and shred red and green cabbage and a carrot.  Wait a minute, who has time for that in the summer?  Pick up a bag of coleslaw mix and toss this dressing in.

1/2 cup mayo
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
2 tbsps lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Chill and serve.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Caprese Appetizer

Here's another way to serve Caprese.  And again I'm using a watermelon.  Just take the butt end of the watermelon, cut out the fruit to use in this fruit kebab presentation,


Turn the end over so the green side is up.  Skewer mozzarella or bocconcini balls with fresh cherry tomatoes and basil leaves.