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!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bacon Caesar Pasta Salad

My caesar salad lover loved this one!
Great as a side dish.  Add some grilled chicken and you've got a tasty main.

4 cups cooked small pasta
3/4 cup prepared caesar dressing of your choice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup parmesan

2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
4 or 5 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 tbsps chopped onion
20 baby spinach leaves, chopped
a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

Once the pasta is cooked and chilled then mix the caesar dressing, vinegar, worcestershire and parmesan together and add to the pasta.
Stir in the remaining ingredients and chill until ready to serve.
As a side it serves 8

Raspberry Cream Cheese Cookies

This is a light, cakey cookie with the sweet taste of berries in every bite.

1/4 cup cream cheese, plain or berry (berry is better)
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsps white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

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

3/4 cup raspberries, quartered if large

Have both the cream cheese and butter at room temperature and beat with both sugars.

Add egg and vanilla.

Mix together the flour, soda and salt then add it, half at a time, to the wet ingredients.

Fold in the raspberries.

Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto silicone or parchment lined baking sheet.

Next I put the baking sheet in the freezer for 5 or 10 minutes so the cookies could set as it is a soft dough. I didn't want to wait by refrigerating the dough for an hour. It worked and I saved time so I'm happy : )

Bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes
Makes 18 cookies

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Braised Whole Duck Mirepoix

Mirepoix....my new word.  I have used chopped veggies as a base for flavour many times, just didn't know what it was called until now.  So here's my Braised Whole Duck Mirepoix that I made last week for Father's Day. It was a real hit !


1 - 3 lb duck


2 tbsps olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 garlic buds, chopped
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups chicken stock

Bouquet garni (sort of) :

1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp saffron
1/2 lime
cheesecloth and string

1 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp celery seed

Start by dicing the vegetables for the mirepoix and set aside. It traditionally uses celery, but I chose to use celery seed later in the recipe instead. 

Cut a square of cheesecloth or use a coffee filter and add the ingredients for the bouquet garni.  I know it's not the usual ingredients for a bouquet garni, but the other name I thought of sounded funny....little pouch of flavour. Anyways, tie it all up with string and set aside.

Let's go.  Heat the olive oil in a pan, medium heat, and lightly brown the duck on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate.

To the same pan add the mirepoix, raise the heat to medium high, and brown 5 minutes.

Add the red wine (I used cabernet sauvignon) and the balsamic.  Scrape the brown bits off the pan and simmer until reduced to a syrup, another 5 minutes or so.
Add the chicken stock and place the duck on top. Turn it over to coat, leave it breast-side up and sprinkle with ginger and celery seed. Tuck the bouquet garni in the pan, cover and simmer 1  1/2 hours.

Remove the duck to a roasting pan. I know...not very pretty.

Strain the juices and reduce in a saucepan.

This will take 20 minutes.
Brush the duck with the reduction and roast in a 400F oven for 10 minutes.  Cool 5-10 minutes before slicing into this beautiful dark duck.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Coconut Chicken Burger

A winner at our house, the taste is amazing!

The only drawback is that these burgers were not barbecued. Wasn't sure if they would stick to the grill and make a mess, so "chickened" out and cooked them inside.
If someone tries it, please let me know in comments how it works out.

For the patties:
1 lb ground chicken
1 egg
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup finely chopped celery (optional)

For the coating:
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup fine semolina
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

coconut or vegetable oil

Mix the first 10 ingredients together, wet your hands and form into patties. 

Mix the coating ingredients together in a bowl and drop patties, one at a time, into coating.  Coat both sides then place them on a plate and refrigerate a few hours. 

Heat oil in frying pan and brown 2-3 minutes per side.

Put on a parchment lined baking sheet

and place in a 375 F oven 5 minutes. 
Then top as desired. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Tropical Rehydrating Slushie

Keep some fruit cut up in the freezer and you'll always be ready to make a slushie. 

Put these ingredients in a blender and process until thick and smooth.

310 ml can coconut water
1 cup frozen cubed watermelon
3-4 frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen cubed mango
and 1-2 tsps of honey if you like it a little sweeter

And rum would totally work in this slushie if you were so inclined ; ) 

Spinach and Parmesan Hasselback Potatoes

Crispy on the outside and soft in the middle.

5 potatoes
1 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsps olive oil
spinach leaves
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp coarse sea salt

Scrub the potatoes clean, then lay a wooden spoon beside them and slice thinly almost all the way down. The spoon will be your stopper.

Mix butter and olive oil together and brush the potatoes with it.  You want to try and get in between the slices and all over the tops.
Tuck spinach in here and there, sprinkle with parmesan, rosemary and salt.
Place your potatoes in a baking dish and bake, uncovered, in a 425 F oven for 30 minutes.
Take them out, spread 1/4 - 1/2 tsp butter on  each one and back into the oven for an additional 25-30 minutes. 
I can't explain how good these are.
You'll just have to try them.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Chocolate Nutella Mug Cake

My husband really wanted chocolate cake last night.  He said just make one of those mug cakes.  So here it is.....my first mug cake.  (Little did he know, but there's a big chocolate cake waiting for him today for Father's Day!)

Spray a 12 oz microwave safe mug with cooking spray and set aside. I made 3 mug cakes using various sized mugs.  12 oz seemed to be the best.

Mix together:
1/4 cup flour
2 tbsps cocoa
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tbsps sugar
1/8 tsp salt

Whisk in:
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp milk
2 tbsps vegetable oil

Pour into prepared mug and drop 1 tbsp Nutella in. No need to push it down it will drop into batter during baking.

Put your mug in the microwave on high for 70 seconds. And put it on a paper towel just in case it overflows.  Mine didn't, but better safe than sorry.

Presto! Chocolate cake! With a nice gooey, saucy nutella surprise inside.

Original recipe from TableforTwoblog.com

Friday, June 19, 2015

Make Your Own Strawberry Electrolyte Replacement Drink

Whether you've been working out or just working out in the garden you need hydration. Blend these ingredients together and keep chilled in the fridge.  

And if you are going through chemo treatment and have been told to drink lots of water, but you don't like drinking water, then try this just to change things up.

Pour over lots of ice and relax.   

1 - 310 ml can coconut water
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
1/2 cup sparkling berry-flavoured water (or just plain water)
pinch sea salt
1 tsp lime juice
2 tsps honey
1/2 cup orange juice

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Strawberry Rhubarb Scones with Cream Cheese Drizzle

Needed a little pick-me-up for breakfast today.
Rhubarb picked fresh from the garden along with some strawberries.
This hit the spot.

2  1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsps ground flax (optional)

1/2 cup very cold butter

1 egg
3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup chopped strawberries
1/4 cup chopped rhubarb (if you don't use rhubarb just add more strawberries)

Egg wash:
1 egg
1 tsp milk
sugar to sprinkle

Cream Cheese drizzle:
3 tbsps strawberry cream cheese
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1  1/4 cups icing sugar

Mix the dry ingredients together then cut the butter into it to form a coarse meal.

Add the egg and milk and stir until just moistened.  It will be a little crumbly.  Stir in the fruit and bring it together using your hands.  Form an 8 inch circle on a floured surface.  Cut into 8 wedges and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Mix egg and milk and brush the egg wash over the scones, then sprinkle with a pinch of sugar each.

Bake in a 400 F oven for 15 minutes.  Cool 10. Here they are fresh out of the oven.

While your scones are cooling mix up the drizzle. Once cooled spoon it over top.

It makes exactly the amount you need, none leftover. Well except for the tablespoon I ate to test it. 
And the tablespoon I ate at the end so there wouldn't be any leftovers ; )

Monday, June 15, 2015

Pina Colada Macaroons

Make these with a mini ice cream scoop for a
bite-sized gluten-free treat.

2 cups finely shredded coconut
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp rum or rum extract
4 tbsps chopped candied pineapple (plus more to garnish)
1/4 tsp lime zest

Whip the sugar and egg whites together then mix in the coconut.

If you want plain old macaroons stop here.  But if you're going for the pina colada ones add the rest of the ingredients.

Use a small ice cream scoop and mound it onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
We made half the recipe plain and half pina colada. Place a couple pieces of candied pineapple on top of the pina colada ones. Here's a shot of the plain ones.

Bake at 325 F for 15-17 mins.
And here are the pina colada ones.
Ta dah!

Springtime Asparagus Quiche with Rice Crust

Springtime means it's time for asparagus.  And what better time for this asparagus quiche than on World Meat Free Day!


1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic minced
12 asparagus spears
1/4 red pepper, sliced
1/4 yellow pepper, sliced

10-12 baby spinach leaves
1 tbsps sliced black olives

4 eggs
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Rice Crust:

3 cups cooked and cooled rice
1/4 cup ground flax
2 eggs
1/4 cup parmesan
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dry basil

To prepare the crust, mix cooled rice with flax then add 2 beaten eggs. Stir in the parmesan, garlic powder and basil.
Spray a 9 inch pie plate with cooking oil and press the rice mixture into and up the sides of the pan.

Bake in a 350 F oven for 15 minutes. Cool.

Prepare the filling while crust cools. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and saute onion and garlic lightly. Lower heat to medium and add asparagus and peppers. Cook until asparagus is bright green, 4-5 minutes. Set aside.

Beat 4 eggs in a large bowl then add shredded cheese, milk,  yogurt, salt and pepper.

To assemble, pour the egg mixture into the crust. Distribute the sauteed veggies and add sliced olives and torn spinach leaves on top. Look at the edge of this crust!!

Place on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven at 400 F for 40 minutes.
Cool on rack for 10 minutes before serving.

And I just couldn't resist a couple shots of that crust!
I know I'm going on about the crust (which was fantastic!) but the quiche was yummy too!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookies 4 Ways

Mix up one batch of cookie dough and make 4 different kinds of chocolate chip cookies.  I was so concerned with recording the different methods of baking that I didn't think to count how many cookies I made until after we had taste tested a bunch of them. Oops!
But it was about 3-4 dozen good sized cookies.

3  1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
1  1/2 tsps baking powder
1  1/4 tsps baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1  1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1  1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 tsps vanilla
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg

1  1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup shredded coconut
coarse sea salt for dipping ( don't skip this )

Mix the dry ingredients together and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugars together, then add vanilla, egg yolks and egg.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, then fold in the chocolate chips, walnuts and coconut.

Line baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.

So here's where we get to the 4 ways. Divide the cookie dough and put half in the fridge covered in plastic wrap to chill, about 1  1/2 hrs.

Now divide the unchilled dough in half again.

Method 1
Roll into 1  1/2 tbsp sized balls, dip tops in sea salt (this really does give the cookies an extra something!) and place 2" apart on cookie sheet.

Press down gently. Bake at 350 F for 10-12 mins. 
This way makes a nice crisp cookie. My personal favourite.
Method 2
With the other half roll into 1  1/2 tbsp sized balls, salt and place on cookie sheet.

Don't flatten this time and bake only 10 mins.
This makes a soft, doughy cookie.

Method 3
Take the other half of the dough out of the fridge and divide in half. Take a half, roll into balls, dip in salt and place on cookie sheet.

Do not flatten. This time bake at 400 F for 9 mins.
Ok, this one was runner-up to my favourite.  Crisp on the outside and soft inside.

Method 4
With the last half roll, dip and place on sheet. Press down center with your thumb

and bake at 375 F for 11 mins.
Sort of like method 1 but not as pretty and a little softer.

Now that you've tried the different baking times and temps the next time you make this recipe you can make a whole batch of the one you like the best.
Method 1:
Method 2:
Method 3:
Method 4:
Which one do you like the best?