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, September 25, 2014

Frozen Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker

The other day I was going out to see some friends for a late breakfast/early lunch and knew from past experience that by the time I got home I wouldn't want to start cooking supper. We tend to linger  : )  

I didn't even have anything defrosted before I left the house. I simply grabbed a frozen chicken out of the freezer, ran it under cold water just to get the little diaper thingy off the bottom of it, put it in the slow cooker with some stuff for flavour and hoped for the best.


2  1/2 lb frozen chicken
1 whole chili pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (whatever one you like)
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice

Put the chicken in the slow cooker, add the chili pepper and bay leaves. Brush with the BBQ sauce, then add the water and lemon juice to the bottom of the pot.

While I was getting ready to go out I set the temperature on high planning on leaving it there for 1 hour, then turning down to low before heading out.  I forgot to turn it down so by the time I got home 5 hours later (told you we like to linger) it was well cooked and almost all the liquid had cooked away.  Next time I would plan on checking it after 4 hours, but even after 5 hours the chicken was still very juicy. 
Going to have to experiment with cooking on low to see how long it would take from frozen.  My guess would be 1 hour on high and 6-8 hours on low.  That was my original plan.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Italian Sausage, Rice and Peas

Here's what you need for this quick, busy-night supper:

4 cups cooked rice
3 cups frozen peas
fresh ground pepper

1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 green pepper, sliced
1 tomato, cubed with seeds removed

5 hot Italian sausages, sliced diagonally

Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onion and pepper until translucent.  Remove to a plate.  Add more oil to the pan and cook the sausages.  When sausages are cooked toss in the vegetables.

In the meantime mix cooked rice and peas in a large baking dish.  Grind some fresh pepper over top.

Then place the meat and vegetables on top.

Cover and bake in a 350F oven for 20 minutes.

Chocolate Chip and Toffee Cookies

  • The toffee bits melt in places and give this cookie a butterscotchy flavour.

  • 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 and 1/3 cups flour 
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (oats that have been blended)

Cream together the butter and both sugars, then add the eggs and vanilla extract.

Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl then add it about 1/3 of the mix at a time to the creamed mixture until just blended.  Don't over mix.

Fold in:

1 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup skor toffee bits
1/4 cup almond slivers

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place scoops of cookie dough on the sheets and press down gently with the back of a spoon.

I used a small scoop and made about 5 dozen two-bite cookies. You can see below where the toffee melted, yum!

Bake at 350F for 12 minutes. 

Garlicky Roasted Broccoli

A simple side dish.  Love the garlic.

All you need is:

1 head broccoli
6 garlic cloves
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp lemon pepper
 1/4 cup olive oil

Take the broccoli and and cut into flowerets.  Chop the garlic. Toss together with the olive oil. 
Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle with chili powder and lemon pepper.

Roast in a 425F oven for  10 mins, toss, then return to the oven for 5 minutes more.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Garden Fresh Tomato Soup in a Slow Cooker

This soup is sooooo fresh tasting.  Those canned tomato soups shouldn't even call themselves tomato soup!


18 - 20 tomatoes, blanched  and peeled
2 yellow onions chopped
4 carrots thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsps brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh basil (divided, add half at beginning of cooking and half when soup is removed from heat)
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 cups chicken broth

To blanch the tomatoes simply drop them (gently) into a pot of boiling water.  Remove when the skins wrinkle a bit, 30-60 seconds and place them in a bowl of cold water.  Peel and chop them.

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and set on low for 6 hours or until vegetables (especially the carrots) are soft.

Purée using a food processor or immersion hand blender.
This soup can easily be frozen too.

You might also like:

Cooked Tomato Salsa


Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers


Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers

Coming to the end of tomato season and you have all those tomatoes, right? This all-in-one meal is a great way to use them.

9 tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 small eggplant, peeled
1 carrot
1 tsp fresh chopped mint
1 tsp fresh chopped basil
1 clove garlic
1 onion
1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup couscous
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
olive oil
3 potatoes

First take the eggplant, peel and slice it, sprinkle with some salt and place between paper towels with something weighted on top. This will make it less bitter. Leave 20 minutes then wipe off the salt.

Meanwhile, cut tops off  6 tomatoes, scoop out the pulp, chop and put it in a large bowl. Cut pepper in half and slice a bit off the sides so that the sides are even.

Chop the sliced piece and add to the tomato pulp.  Add grated carrot, chopped eggplant, mint, basil, salt and pepper.

In a frying pan heat olive oil and lightly brown chopped onion and minced garlic.  Remove and add to vegetable bowl. In same pan brown the ground beef just until pink is gone. Spoon out any grease, then add the beef to the veggie mixture.  

Put 1/4 cup couscous in a bowl, add 1/4 cup boiling water and after 5 minutes fluff. Add to mixture.

Use a slotted spoon to spoon out filling to stuff tomatoes and peppers.  Put the tops back on the tomatoes. (It's not necessary, but it looks cute.)  Reserve the juice. 

Now scoop out the pulp from the remaining 3 tomatoes, chop and add to the reserved juice.  

Stuff these 3 tomatoes with the remaining filling.  Place the tomatoes and peppers in a baking dish (I used 2 smaller ones because my large ones weren't available) and pour in the reserved juice and pulp.

Cut potatoes as you would for roast potatoes or oven fries, toss with olive oil and place them between the tomatoes and peppers.

Bake at 400F  for 45 minutes.
Hope you like them.

You might also like:

 Cooked Tomato Salsa


Garden Fresh Tomato Soup in a Slow Cooker


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cinnamon Glazed Apple Crisp Pizza

You know I love pizza, so there had to be a dessert one coming.  Well, this is it.

Ingredients for the dough:

1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp yeast

1 cup flour
1 tbsp oats
1/2 tsp salt

Put the lukewarm water in the bottom of your mixing bowl, add sugar and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let it activate for 15 minutes.

Add the flour, oats and salt, mixing well for about 5 minutes. Cover with a damp cloth and rise in warm place 1  1/2  - 2 hours.

Punch down and wait 2 minutes.
With oiled hands, start forming a ball, then a circle and press onto a parchment lined 10 inch pizza pan.  It doesn't have to go to the edge.

Top with 2 Granny Smith apples, sliced about 1/8 of an inch thick.

Mix together:

1 tbsp. flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsps oats
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt

and sprinkle over top.

Bake at 500F for 10 minutes

Once cooled for several minutes, mix together the glaze ingredients

3/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp cinnamon
1 - 2 tbsps milk or cream

Drizzle over top of pizza
And dig in !

But this is still my favourite pizza


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Beef and Pork Sausage Meatballs

After cooking these meatballs, cool, flash freeze them, then bag them and keep them in the freezer so you can use what you need when you need it.  


1 cup stale bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1  lb extra lean ground beef
8 pork and beef breakfast sausages, casing removed
3 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 egg
2 tbsps dried parsley
2 tbsps parmesan cheese
1 tsp crushed fennel seeds
1/2 - 1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp sage
1 tsp garlic powder

Pour the milk over the bread crumbs in a bowl to moisten them.  Add the rest of the ingredients and combine well. Using extra lean ground beef is the way to go as the sausage meat has enough fat in it for flavour.
Form into balls.  Here they are...ready for the oven.
Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
Makes 24 meatballs

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Meatballs with Sweet Pepper Sauce

Here's another family favourite.

Meatball Ingredients:

1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tbsps. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried mixed herbs (oregano, basil, sage)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsps. oil

Combine the bread crumbs and milk in a bowl, stand 5 minutes.  Combine bread crumb mixture, minced onion, herbs and egg in bowl, mix well.

Take heaping tbsps. full of meat mixture and shape into balls. Refrigerate to set while preparing pepper sauce.

Sweet Pepper Sauce Ingredients:

1 tbsp. oil
1 small onion, diced
2 peppers, diced (green, red or yellow)
2 stalks celery diced (optional)
1 tsp paprika
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tsp beef stock powder or beef bouillon concentrate (Bovril)
1 cup water
3-4 basil leaves (optional)

Heat oil in a saucepan.  Add onion, peppers and celery. Cook until onion is translucent.  Stir in paprika, tomato paste, beef stock and water. Heat and stir until well combined.

In a 4 cup capacity dutch oven, or other pan that can go from stovetop to oven, heat oil and add meatballs.  Cook, shaking pan occasionally until meatballs are lightly browned.  Top with sweet pepper sauce.

Bake, covered, in a 375F oven for 30 -35 minutes.
Serve over rice.

Makes enough for 4
Not suitable to freeze

Refreshing Watermelon Mint Sorbet

If you've had a big meal then this is just the light and refreshing dessert you need to finish up.


3  1/2 cups cubed watermelon, fresh or frozen, puréed to make 2  1/2 cups 

2 tsps. finely chopped mint leaves (more if you like it minty)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (3 lemons, zested)
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup white corn syrup

Purée the watermelon in a food processor.  Set aside.

Before juicing the lemons, finely grate the peel. Any that you have leftover from this recipe you can put in a ziplok in the freezer for another use. My old little juicer was my Mom's but it still does the trick.

In a saucepan heat together mint, lemon juice and zest, sugar and corn syrup until sugar is dissolved.

Mix watermelon and liquid together, pour into a container and freeze a few hours or overnight.

After it has been in the freezer, break it up and place it back in the food processor and purée again until smooth.  
Refreeze in a container.
Now you are ready to scoop and serve!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Raspberry, Rhubarb and Hot Chili Jam

If you like sweet heat, then this is the jam for you.  It probably wouldn't be good on your morning toast, but on a cracker with some brie or cream cheese.....well, you'll just have to try it yourself.

1  1/2 cups raspberries
1/2 cup rhubarb, chopped
1 hot chili pepper, very finely chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1  1/2 tsp lemon juice

My rhubarb was very young so I just cut it into 1 inch pieces, but if you have more mature rhubarb you might want to chop it more than that.
I used the rhubarb leaf to hold on to the chili pepper while chopping it.  Worked fine for keeping the hot stuff off my hands.

If you like your jam a little hotter leave more pepper seeds in the mix.
Dump all the ingredients in a saucepan.  Oh and put a dish in the freezer for testing the jam later.  Bring to a boil and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes.  When it looks like it's thickening take the dish out of the freezer and put a spoonful of jam on it.

If you tilt the dish and the jam runs too quickly, then boil for a few more minutes.  Test until you like the consistency.
This recipe just made one small jar so you can keep it in the fridge.  But if you want to keep it on the shelf put your jam in a sterilized jar and process in a hot water bath for 10-15 minutes.  Check seals in 24 hours.  If they are not good,  just keep the jam in your fridge.

You might also like:

Cantalope Jam


Pineapple Basil Jam


Grape Jam