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, April 30, 2015

Sunflower Rice Salad

If you have some leftover cooked rice this is a great way to change it up.

2 cups cooked rice, chilled
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chopped celery, cucumber and/or sweet pepper
1/4 cup Chia Lemon Salad Dressing (or store bought lemon poppyseed or raspberry dressing)

Here's the link to the dressing recipe

Just toss everything together and chill.  That's it.
Enjoy as a side dish, part of a cold salad plate or all on it's own!

Chia Lemon Salad Dressing

A light dressing you could use on any leafy salad, but it's especially nice in this Sunflower Rice Salad
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsps honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chia seeds
Put everything together in a small jar and shake.

Here's another dressing you might like
Basil Greek Yogurt

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Three-in-One Hamburger Sauce

With spring finally looking like it's here and summer around the corner, you'll be doing more barbecuing.

Can't decide if you want ketchup, mustard or mayo on your burger?  Why not all three! 

Mix equal parts of each to make a tangy topping, using different combinations of flavoured mayos, ketchups and different mustards.
This one is regular mayonnaise,  Chardonnay dijon and hot and spicy ketchup.
The possibilites are endless.
Go on....experiment!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Colourful Salmon en Papillote

Ok, here's a good one.  Lots of colours and salmon, lemony and steamed to perfection in a parchment packet.
3 - 4 oz pieces skinless salmon
1 lemon, thinly sliced
6 basil leaves (more if you like)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup red pepper, slivered
baby spinach leaves (a handful for each piece)
salt and pepper

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsps olive oil

mango slices

Cut pieces of parchment large enough to wrap the salmon up tightly along with all it's toppings.
Pile a handful of spinach in the center of each piece of parchment paper.
Put a couple of slices of lemon and the salmon on top of that. Chop the garlic and sprinkle, along with salt and pepper.
Next comes another slice or two of lemon and the slivered red pepper, along with a couple or three basil leaves too.
Mix the balsamic, lemon juice and olive oil together and drizzle over your creation.
Lay a slice or two of mango on top for a touch of sweetness. 
Now to make your packet.
Bring two sides of the parchment up together and fold tightly. Bring the outer sides together, fold and tuck underneath. 
I used a 4 X 11 inch long loaf pan here.
My three packets fit perfectly snug inside, which is what you want so that they don't undo. 
Place in a 400 F oven for 25 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes then open your little steamy packs of colourful salmon.
The fish should flake easily.
This was so flavourful! You should try it.

Chocolate Covered Raisin Cookies

Whether you like Hershey's Glosettes or Nestlé's Raisinets, you'll love these cookies. Besides those yummy little nuggets you'll also need:

1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar

1  3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chocolate covered raisins

Cream together the butter, egg and vanilla, then add the sugars.

Mix the flour, baking powder and soda together and add to the wet ingredients.

Fold in the chocolate chips and the chocolate covered raisins.

Roll cookie dough in your hands into walnut-sized balls. Place on parchment
or silicone mat lined baking sheet. 
Bake at 375 F for 13 - 15 minutes until lightly browned. Here's a little peak at them in the oven.
(I know, I need to clean the oven.  Who has time?)
If they're touching when you take them out of the oven, simply cut through with a knife or spatula.
Cool 5 minutes then remove to rack.
Makes 24 jumbo cookies
Great with a cup of tea or to dip in hot chocolate.

Chocolate, Banana and Carrot Loaf

This recipe makes one 9 X 5 loaf.

I wanted to make a little one for my Mom so I made 
one 8 X 4 and one 2  1/2 X 5 mini loaf.

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
1 egg

2 ripe bananas
1 medium carrot, grated
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsps cocoa
1/4 cup ground flax (optional)
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Cream together the sugar, butter and egg in a large mixing bowl.  Add bananas (mine really should have been more ripe),  carrot, vanilla and sour cream.

Mix together the dry ingredients. Flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa. (Flax too if you are using it)

Add the dry ingredients into the banana mixture. Combine well. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Spray the loaf pan (or pans) and pour the batter in.
Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes for mini loaf
                                50 minutes for the 8 X 4 pan
                                50-60 minutes for 9 X 5 pan.
A toothpick should come out clean upon testing.
Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan to a rack to cool completely. Look how moist it is!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Frozen Raspberry Yogurt Bites

I've seen this done before with blueberries but never with raspberries, so I thought I'd try it.

Take a raspberry, use the point of a knife to dab a bit of Greek honey-flavoured yogurt in the middle, then stick a chocolate chip in too.
Oh, and look!!  I had a manicure !!
Dip the berry in some more yogurt
and place on a non stick surface.
Freeze 1 hour. 
After that you can put them in a ziplock bag and keep them in the freezer for a cool quick snack.
I only made a few.  Should've made more : (

Greek French Onion Italian Chicken/Turkey Scallopini

Ok, now that I have your attention, here's the real name. 

Simple Scallopini

1/4 cup French onion Greek yogurt spreadable dip
1/2 lb turkey or chicken scallopini
1/4 - 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
parmesan cheese

Spread the French onion Greek yogurt on both sides of each scallopini. This is a pretty thick dip. I used President's Choice from Loblaws.
(This is much less messy than the usual recipes involving dredging in flour, dipping in egg and then bread crumbs) 
Put Italian crumbs on a plate (1/4 cup at a time in case you don't need it all) and press both sides of scallopini into it. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Put in oven at 400 F for 10 minutes.
Flip over and cook another 5 - 10 minutes longer depending on the thickness of your meat.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Chocolate Chip and Sunflower Bran Muffins

Switch it up a little from the regular old bran muffin.

1 cup all bran cereal
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup molasses

1 cup flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup chocolate chips (plus extra for tops)
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds (plus extra for tops)

In a large mixing bowl soak the bran in the milk and molasses.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cinnamon and combine with the bran mixture alternating with the egg and vegetable oil.

Fold in the chocolate chips and sunflower seeds. 
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and top with more chocolate chips (can't have too many eh?) and sunflower seeds.
Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes
Makes 12 muffins.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Whole Orange, Raisin and Bran Muffins

This is so cool because you use the whole orange!
And the raisins make these muffins just sweet enough.

1 cup all bran cereal
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup molasses

1 cup flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
zest of 1 orange (reserved)
1 orange, UNpeeled
3/4 cup raisins

In a large bowl soak the bran cereal in milk and molasses. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and nutmeg together. Add to bran mixture.
Incorporate the egg and vegetable oil.
Zest the orange and set the zest aside.
Cut the whole unpeeled orange into large chunks and add to food processor. Pulse, but leave it a little chunky.  You don't want it completely puréed. See the little pieces of peel there!
Add this orange and the raisins to the batter.

Fill muffin cups and sprinkle the reserved zest on top.
Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes.  Check with a toothpick, it should come out clean.
Makes 12 delicious muffins

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Light Seafood and Pasta Stirfry

Yesterday was the 17th anniversary of our daughter's adoption.
We always acknowledge it as a special day and make a meal with her favourite foods,
spaghetti and seafood.
Happy Adoption Day!

12 oz spaghetti
1/4 cup reserved pasta water
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz raw mussel meat
1-2 tbsps red pepper, thinly chopped
4 oz defrosted frozen green and yellow beans
2 tbsps lemon juice
6 oz cooked shrimp
a few spinach leaves, chopped (10 or so)
1/4 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
handful of arugula
fresh basil leaves
shaved cheese (I had cheddar, but parmesan would be better)
grated parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti, reserve 1/4 cup pasta water, then drain and toss with a little olive oil. Set aside.
Using a very large skillet or wok-style frying pan heat olive oil and butter and lightly brown the minced garlic. Add mussel meat, red pepper and beans.  Cook 2-3 minutes and remove from heat. Stir in the lemon juice, shrimp, spinach, thyme, salt and pepper.
Return to heat and mix in the spaghetti, easily done using 2 large spoons.
Plate and garnish with arugula, basil and shaved cheese.
Serve with lots of grated parmesan cheese.
Serves 4