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!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Beef and Black Bean Tortilla Stack

This dish is deceiving.  Looks like it would only serve one person with one big healthy appetite.  But it serves 4 quite well with a side of veggies or salad.

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups salsa
2  1/2 cups grated cheese, cheddar or mozza or both
2 tbsps. taco seasoning
squirt or 2 of sriracha sauce
6 small tortillas

Brown beef, add chopped onions.  Spoon out any accumulated grease.  Sprinkle taco seasoning and add sriracha. Remove from heat.
Add beans, 1 cup cheese, 1/2 cup salsa to the meat.
Put a ladleful of salsa on bottom of a baking dish.

Start stacking with a tortilla.  Roughly divide the meat mixture in the pan by 5.  Layer 1 portion on top of tortilla. Reserve 1 cup salsa for the end.  With remaining 1/2 cup salsa, spoon a little over each addition of meat.  Divide 1 cup cheese by 5 and add 1 portion to top of meat.

Continue stacking, ending with a tortilla topped with the remaining 1 cup of salsa and about 1/2 cup cheese. 
Ready for the oven.

Bake in a 375F oven for 25-30 minutes.  Broil a couple of minutes to brown if you like.  Let stand 10 minutes.
Is that the bomb or what?

Goes well served with sour cream.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Daikon Lo Bok Pickle

Make this in the morning and you can serve it by suppertime.

1 daikon (Chinese winter radish), 1/4" slices
5 radishes, sliced
1/2 green pepper, cut in strips
1 tsp salt

1 tbsp. rice or white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp black pepper
a few drops - 1/4 tsp sesame seed oil (optional)
Sprinkle salt over vegetables and mix together.
Let sit for about 30 minutes until 1 tbsp. of liquid is released.
Rinse and drain to remove as much salt as possible. Pat dry with a paper towel.
In a small bowl mix together vinegar, pepper and sesame oil and toss with the vegetables.
Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours, giving it a shake or a stir occasionally.
Serve cold.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

No-Flour Chocolate Chip Brownie

You can have dessert without feeling too guilty.

1 cup canned white kidney beans
1/2 cup oats
2 tbsps. flax (optional)
2 tbsps. coconut oil
2 tbsps. applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 baking soda
1/4 salt
1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Blend everything (except the chocolate chips) in a food processor.

Fold chips in by hand and pour into a buttered 5 inch springform pan.

Sprinkle some more chocolate chips on top and bake at 350F for 35 minutes.

Cool before removing ring and cut into wedges.

Some other recipes made with beans:



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sweet Mincemeat Tarts

1 jar sweet mincemeat 
1 short crust recipe

You can use Cross and Blackwell sweet mincemeat which is probably the best there is or you can make your own. It's a close second  : )

Here's how:


Roll out your pie crust and cut out circles to fit a little larger than your tart pan.  Use a cookie cutter or try various glasses from your cupboard, like I did, until you find the right size.
Fit the pastry into the mold and flute the edges.
Fill about 2/3 full with mincemeat.  Use a cookie cutter shape you like to cut out the tops and sit them on top.
My husband likes hand pies better than tarts so here is my attempt at them.  I never get the amount of filling right and it oozes out.  See here, it's already running out even before baking....grrrr.
I won't show you the finished product, too messy.
Once you have the tarts made, brush them with milk or egg white and sprinkle with sugar.
They're ready for the oven.
Bake at 450F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350F for another 10 minutes.
They are Santa's favourite when he stops by our house!
And a little variation is to make them like dumplings. 
Cut a circle, put a spoonful of mincemeat in the middle and bring the two sides up, crimping at the top. Pierce with a fork.

Sweet and Spicy Pork Roast

If you want to have a roast for dinner but know you won't have time to cook it, like us running out to our daughter's late afternoon basketball games, this roast can be made a day or two before.
I think it's actually better than on the first day.

1.287 kg (about 2 1/2 lb) boneless pork loin roast
2 tbsps. olive oil
2 tbsps. maraschino cherry liquid (or honey)
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 - 1 tsp chili powder (depends on how spicy you like it)
1 tsp paprika

1-2 tsp cornstarch

Mix liquids together and pour over meat.

Mix spices and sprinkle on top.  This can stay in the fridge a few hours so the flavours have time to really get into the pork.

When ready to roast, heat the oven to 450F and put the meat in uncovered for 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350F, spoon pan juices over top, and cook 30 minutes.

Spoon juices again and cover pan roasting for a further 40 minutes. Rest meat before slicing. Heat the pan with all the dark bits and whisk in 1-2 tsp cornstarch to thicken.  Salt and pepper to taste and you'll have a dark and flavourful demi-glaze. You can add wine if you need more liquid, but I didn't find it was necessary.

So like I said, if you can cook this the day before needed, refrigerate it, then slice cold, you will have really nice pieces of meat. Just heat and serve.  

Monday, November 24, 2014

Yogurt Potato Puffs

When you have some mashed potato leftovers turn it into this with your next meal.
I got a 3 thumbs up for this one!
Or prepare mashed (you can even double it) to make ahead for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

1 cup mashed potatoes
2 tbsps. Greek yogurt
1/2 cup shredded old cheddar
1 egg
2 tbsps. parmesan
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper (but remember you probably had salt and pepper in your mashed, so taste first)
parsley to garnish

Mix all ingredients and spoon into sprayed or buttered muffin tins.

Bake 400F for 25 - 30 minutes.
They should come away from the sides, but if not just run a knife around to loosen.  If you like, serve them with sour cream.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sour Cream Corn Bread

I usually find corn bread crumbly, but this one isn't. Probably because of the sifting.
And it's quite moist too.

3/4 cup corn meal
1 cup flour
2  1/2 tbsps sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt

2 tbsps butter, melted
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 egg, beaten
4 tbsps milk

Sift the dry ingredients together. I know, sifting seems like a pain in the butt, but it does make a difference in your finished product incorporating air around all the granules like the corn meal. It can also catch little bits of debris that might be in the flour and you don't want in your baking. I see a little crumb right there ...

Mix together the melted butter, sour cream, yogurt (I actually used honey yogurt), and milk.
Mix both the dry and wet ingredients together and pour into a parchment lined loaf pan.  It should look like this.

Bake at 425F for 30 minutes.  Cool in pan 10 minutes then turn out and peel off the paper.
Oh my!

Cool completely on a wire rack covered with a tea towel before slicing.

Adapted from http://crackinggoodegg.blogspot.sg/

Snow Peas

Just a simple side dish.

1  1/2 tsp butter
1 garlic, minced
1/2 lb snow peas
1 carrot, shredded
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 cup water

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

Heat a skillet and melt butter.  Add garlic, snow peas, carrot, lemon zest and seasonings.  Add water and sauté 2 minutes.

Toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Shown here served over spinach leaves.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Asian-Inspired Pineapple Pork Chops

I had this nice fresh ripe pineapple sitting on the counter. But you could also use canned pineapple.  Reserve the juice from the can and you won't have to use orange juice like I did here. (It's what I had in the fridge. Of course you could buy pineapple juice)

9 boneless pork loin center cut chops
1 fresh pineapple, sliced (or canned pineapple)
1 red pepper
1 large onion, sliced
6 green onions, sliced

1/2 cup soya sauce
1/2 cup pineapple juice (or orange)
1/4 tsp thyme
2 tsp fresh minced ginger
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsps brown sugar or honey
1 tbsp olive oil

Find a pan that will fit your chops in a single layer, about a 9 X 13 size or there about.  Spray with cooking oil and layer sliced onion across the bottom of the pan.  Lay the pork on top. Mix the sauce ingredients together and spoon half of it over the meat. 
(Note: brown sugar makes a darker sweeter sauce, see later)
Next layer pineapple, red pepper and green onions
and pour over the balance of the sauce.
Cover with foil and refrigerate a few hours.  
Bake covered at 350 F for 45-60 minutes.
Uncover and raise the temperature to 400 F for another 15-20 minutes, spooning juices from the pan over everything.
If you want a nice brown finish, broil 5 or so minutes.
It was too dark in my kitchen by the time I finished so this pic is not great. Sorry  : (
Serve with fried rice.

This is how it looked using brown sugar instead of honey. Also I used canned pineapple with pineapple juice this time.
I decided to change the cooking method a little as well.
Covered with foil at 350 F for 2 hours, then increase heat to 425 F and uncover for 30 minutes.
I took 1 tbsp cornstarch, mixed it with a little cold water, then ladled in some of the sauce into a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil to thicken and add back to the pan for a dark glaze.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tandoori Chicken and Potatoes

I guess you can tell, if you have seen some of my previous posts, that I like to have my meat and potatoes cooked in the same pot.  You can prepare ahead of time and just pop it in the oven when you're ready.


4 chicken legs, split
juice of 1/2 lemon
2  1/2 - 3 tbsps tandoori BBQ marinade

4 or 5 potatoes
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tsp vinegar (I used rice)
1 tsp garlic powder

Remove the skin from your chicken legs and cut in half. Squeeze the lemon juice over them.  Put the tandoori in a bag, a tbsp at a time, and shake 1 or 2 pieces of chicken in the bag to coat.  Add tandoori to the bag as needed to coat all the pieces.

Spray a baking dish and place the coated chicken in, leaving space in between. I used 2 dishes so as to have space for chicken and potatoes.

Quarter potatoes and toss in a bag with oil, vinegar and garlic powder.  Place in between the chicken legs.

Bake at 400F for 45 minutes.
Toss some wilted spinach with butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper and your meal is ready to go.

Nutella Quinoa Breakfast Cookies

We had warm quinoa with apple for breakfast and had some leftover, so I decided to use it in a cookie recipe.

1  1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup nutella
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract

1  1/4 cup cooked quinoa (with 1/2 shredded apple)
1/2 cup coconut
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix the four dry ingredients together, set aside
Cream the next seven ingredients together.  Add the dry to the wet in increments, combine well. Lastly add the quinoa, coconut and chocolate chips.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and drop heaping tablespoons of batter at least 1 inch apart.
Bake at 375F for 12-15 minutes. Makes 30

Great for breakfast or anytime.

Adapted from http://lovesfoodlovestoeat.blogspot.ca