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!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Simple Lemon Lime Garlic Shrimp Pasta

Easy but elegant. I like that.

3/4 - 1  1b medium shrimp, shelled (I used size 36/45)
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
zest of 1 lemon
1 lemon thinly sliced
1 lime thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dry oregano
1 tsp dry basil
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 - 1  lb spaghettini
olive oil 

Line a baking sheet with foil and preheat the oven to 350F.
Rinse and drain shrimp in a colander.

Cut squares of butter onto the sheet and melt in oven 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile start cooking your pasta. Arrange sliced lemons and limes on the melted butter.  Next top with shrimp and 1/2 the seasonings and all of the garlic.
Put them in the oven for 5-7 minutes.
Turn them over and sprinkle the rest of the seasonings and pop back in the oven for no more than about 3 minutes.
Remove the cooked lemon and lime slices. Drain pasta.  Toss the shrimp and pan juices with the pasta along with the lemon zest and a few tbsps of olive oil.
See, pretty snazzy eh?

Serves 4

Easy Basil and Garlic Peas

So easy, yet so tasty.

Take a can of peas, drain them and put them in a frying pan. Add a couple of tbsps olive oil and a pat or two of butter. A good bit of salt, garlic powder and dried basil, heat and serve. That's it.

Chicken Stirfry

Pressed for time?  Have your meat cut and marinating. Slice up your veggies ahead of time, prepare the sauce too, and this recipe, when you need it, literally takes minutes to cook.

1 lb boneless chicken breast, cut in strips
1 tbsp rice or white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp sesame seed oil


1/4 cup soya sauce
1/8 cup worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp (spicy) ketchup
1 tsp sriracha hot sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp hot pepper flakes

1 cup chicken broth
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, cut in strips
1 package ramen noodles, seasonings discarded
sprinkle garlic powder
Vegetable oil
1 inch fresh ginger

Mix the rice vinegar and sesame oil together and stir in the chicken to coat and marinade. Refrigerate a few hours. 
Have all your vegetables shredded and chopped, ready to go.

Heat a couple of tbsps of vegetable oil in a wok. Add the ginger, cook lightly 1 minute. Sprinkle garlic powder on chicken and add to the wok. Cook a few minutes until just lightly browned and cooked through. Dump the vegetables in all at once
and stir in the sauce. Heat through and pour the chicken broth in. Cover and cook 2-4 minutes. While waiting cook the ramen noodles. 
Once the noodles are cooked, drain and add to the wok. 

And if you'd like the egg roll recipe, check this out:

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Italian Scotch Eggs

These little beauties were on my plate for supper on pancake day. But I would definitely eat them for breakfast too. You could even serve them as an appetizer. Why not? The fennel seed, parmesan and oregano in both the meat and breading is what makes these Scotch eggs Italian.

5 hard boiled eggs
1 lb trio (equal parts ground veal, beef and pork
   or make your own mix)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tsps hot pepper sauce
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1  1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp rubbed fennel seed

3 tbsps flour
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 tbsps parmesan cheese
2 tsps oregano

3 tbsps vegetable oil

Bring eggs to a boil then simmer 10 minutes. Drain with cold water then cover with cold water in the pot and set aside.

Mix together the ground meat, (this is what I used)
garlic, hot sauce, worcestershire,  paprika,oregano, salt, pepper and fennel seed. Squish together to make sure the flavours are well blended.  Divide into 5 equal parts. The original recipe made 4 scotch eggs but I found using 5 eggs there was plenty of meat around each egg.
Take a ball of meat and make a depression in it. Place the egg and form the meat around it, squeezing gently as you go so as to get any air pockets out and making sure the meat sticks to the egg. Seal together well.
When all the eggs are covered with the meat mixture you can begin the breading. Roll in flour, then dip in beaten egg. Finally roll in the bread crumb mixture (crumbs, parmesan and oregano) and set on a parchment lined baking sheet. 
Heat oil in a frying pan and brown your eggs on all sides. Return to baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 15 minutes.
Serve warm with a mini scoop of parmesan cream cheese:
Cream together:
1 heaping tbsp cream cheese
1 tbsp mayo
1 tbsp finely chopped sundried tomatoes
1 tbsp parmesan
The pancakes I served the Scotch Eggs with were Corn and Bacon Pancake. You'll find the recipe here:

I adapted this scotch egg recipe 

where they have much more beautiful pictures of this dish than mine.

Corn and Bacon Pancakes

I made these savory pancakes last year on pancake day.
I won't wait that long to have them again. 

6 slices bacon
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3 tbsps finely chopped green pepper
1 cup flour
1 tbsp dried chives
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1 cup niblets corn
2/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 tbsp vegetable oil
about 2 tbsps water to thin the batter

Brown bacon in frying pan then lay on a paper towel to drain. Remove most of the bacon grease from the pan then add the onion and green pepper. Lightly brown. Chop the bacon up and toss together with the fried onion and green pepper. Keep aside a couple tbsps  of this mixture for garnish.
Mix the flour, chives, baking powder, cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper together. Add the cheese, corn, milk, egg and oil. Fold in the bacon mixture. The batter is lumpy and kind of gross looking.
You may want to add a couple tbsps of water here.  It's up to you depending on how thick or thin you like your pancake batter.
Heat oil in a frying pan and pour batter in.
Cook on each side about 2 minutes until golden.
Serve with syrup garnished with reserved bacon mixture.

Makes 10 - 4" pancakes
I served them alongside Italian Scotch Eggs.  Get the recipe here:
Pancake recipe adapted from: 


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Roasted Parsnips

This was an experiment that I must say went quite well. Everyone here says "ew...parsnips!"
But after trying these they were singing a different tune.

I took my regular Potato Wedgie recipe

and added a couple of peeled parsnips to it, cut in quarters lengthways.

I just tossed them with the potatoes in balsamic vinegar, olive oil and hot pepper oil.  Sprinkled with garlic powder, salt and paprika.
In the oven they went, alongside the potatoes, at 450 F for about 30 minutes.
Try them....you won't believe how SWEET they are!
And if you're interested in the mushrooms pictured here, this is the recipe


Monday, February 16, 2015

Cream Puffs

Don't be intimidated by these.  They are more simple to make than you would think.


1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
4 large eggs

First place the bowl and beaters that you'll be using later to whip the cream in the fridge until ready to use.

Heat water to boiling in a small saucepan. Add butter and bring back to boil. Add flour all at once and stir until it comes away from the sides of the pot. It will look like sticky mashed potatoes.

Remove from heat and add eggs, one at a time, beating with mixer until smooth. 
Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls, swirling the dough to a peak, onto a parchment lined baking sheet a few inches apart.
As you can see here they puff up quite a bit, hence the name "Puffs" :  ) 

Bake at 425 F for 20 mins. Reduce heat to 325 F for another 15-20 mins. Beauty...
Remove from oven and slice a cap off the top with a sharp knife, trying to use the natural indentations.
Remove the soft dough from the inside and discard. Let dry completely on rack.

2 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup icing sugar
3 tbsps meringue powder
1/2 tsp vanilla

Take your chilled bowl and beaters out of the fridge and whip the cream.  Once thickening add the remaining ingredients and whip until really nice and thick.  Fill your cream puffs.
Top with:

1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 tsp butter

Microwave the chocolate chips and butter 10-15 seconds at a time and stir until melted.
Dip the caps in chocolate
and place on top of the cream puffs.
I had enough cream to fill 12 puffs and will be filling the remaining 3 with ice cream soon....yum!
Makes 15 

Original recipe from Five Roses Cookbook

If you have leftover puffs, freeze them.  When you want them defrost in fridge. I filled mine with chocolate ice cream and topped it with caramel sauce and walnuts.
The possibilities are endless.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Little Valentine Cakes

This post isn't about the cake as much as the presentation.
Make up any little cake you like in a small loaf size.
Then put 2 muffin papers underneath with pattern facing outwards on each.
Use a dab of icing to hold a chocolate on top
or spread some icing and dip your cake in coloured sugar.
Wrap them up and give them to the people you love.
Happy Valentine's Day

Friday, February 13, 2015

Scalloped Potatoes like Mother used to make

Years ago when we were newly married we took a trip to the maritime provinces. While in P.E.I. we had a lobster dinner. The side dish was scalloped potatoes. My husband told the server they were so good....just like Mother used to make.  Well that, for some reason, didn't go over too well with me.

Here's how I make them.

6 medium potatoes
1 onion

Peel potatoes and the onion and slice thinly.
Butter a 9 inch casserole and layer onions and potatoes, alternating as you go.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Cook 1 minute. Add milk and keep whisking while cooking for 1 more minute,until smooth. Add salt, pepper and a sprinkle of paprika.
Pour sauce over potatoes and top with grated cheese.

You could also grate some cold butter over top as well, about 2 tbsps. Finish with a generous sprinkling of paprika.

Bake at 375 F for 1 hour until potatoes are tender and golden.

These scalloped potatoes are so good. Just like my kids' Mother used to make  ; )
And still does.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My Macaroni and Cheese

454 g (16 oz) box penne pasta

olive oil
1 onion
1 celery stalk (optional)
1/2 green or red pepper
2 slices ham or salami

28 oz can tomatoes (diced or whole and mashed)
1/4 cup 10% cream
1 tsp oregano
black pepper to taste

1  -  1  1/2 cups shredded mozzarella or cheddar

While you are cooking the penne, heat some olive oil in a frying pan.  Add chopped onion (I had some red onion here too), red pepper and celery if using it. Lightly fry. When  just golden toss in chopped ham or salami and turn off the heat. 
Mash the whole tomatoes
and mix with cream and oregano.
Add the fried stuff and the cooked pasta.  Mix well.
Put the mixture into an oiled 2 quart baking dish, top with cheeses and bake uncovered in a 350F oven for 30 minutes.
Cool 5 minutes.
Serves 4

Strawberry and Coconut Chia Pudding

This is my first experience with chia seeds.
Can you believe that this will turn into pudding?

1/2 cup chia seeds (no need to rinse)
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp coconut or almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup shredded coconut
5 or 6 well chopped strawberries plus extra to garnish

Whisk together the milk, honey, extracts, coconut and strawberries. And then the chia seeds.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, to help prevent a skin forming, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
After 2 hours stir the pudding. If a skin has formed just break it up and stir together. Pour pudding into serving bowls, cover with plastic wrap again and refrigerate for 2 more hours.
And presto it's pudding!
I admit it, I shamelessly used my love for the Mighty Montreal Canadiens to draw your attention to this recipe : )
They pack a powerful punch just like chia seeds!
(Thanks for the apron ladies...you know who you are)