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!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Layered Vegetable and Beef Bake

You can prepare this ahead of time and when you finally get home from your busy day just sit back, put your feet up and have a nice glass of wine while it bakes in the oven.

Sit back and put your feet up?  Well I can dream can't I  : )

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cups tomato sauce, divided
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 or 2 tomatoes, sliced
a few onion slices
handful of basil leaves (I used some nasturtium leaves too)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 - 1/2 cup shredded cheese, whatever kind you like

Brown beef and chopped onion in a frying pan, spooning out any excess fat. Add 1  1/2 cups of the tomato sauce and stir together.

Spray an 8 X 11 inch baking dish and spread the meat mixture on the bottom.

Next layer the sliced vegetables, overlapping as you go, on top of the beef. I wanted my veggies to have a little snap left in them when cooked so the slices were about 1/4 inch thick. Slice them thinly if you want them to be soft.

Top with chopped basil (and/or nasturtium) leaves and the minced garlic.

Spoon the remaining 1  1/2 cups tomato sauce on top, then cover with your favourite shredded cheese.  Sprinkle some parmesan and thyme on top. Cover with foil.

Bake in a 375 F oven for 45-50 minutes.
Uncover for last 10 minutes.

Well, I don't know if you had time to put your feet up, but at least there's only one casserole dish to wash!

Roasted Beets with White and Sweet Potatoes

Roasting brings out the sweetness in the beets and sweet potatoes. Some people who don't usually like them just might change their minds. (You know who you are)

1 small sweet potato
3 medium white potatoes
1 medium beet
2 tbsps olive oil
a dash or two of balsamic vinegar
onion powder

Wash and peel the veggies, leave the skin on if you're using new potatoes. Cut the sweet potatoes and beets in about 1 inch pieces. Cut the white potatoes a little bigger as they will cook faster.
Toss the potatoes in a bag along with the olive oil and balsamic. Add paprika, onion powder and salt to taste.

Spread out on a lined baking sheet and bake at 400 F for 45 minutes.

Serve sprinkled with a little parsley.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Garlic and Parmesan Green Beans

Got a nice haul of green beans from the garden this week.
Here's a recipe that'll have them wanting to eat more veggies!
Because anything with garlic and parmesan, am I right?

8 oz fresh green beans
2 tsp minced garlic
1 egg
2 tbsps olive oil
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Trim beans and slice any that are a little bigger than the others. Mix together garlic, egg, olive oil and onion powder. Pour into a saved wax cereal bag (or plastic bag) and toss in the green beans.

Roll around to coat then distribute evenly onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Sprinkle the parmesan on top.

Bake in a 425°F oven for 12-15 minutes. Yum!

Adapted from

Thursday, August 20, 2015

BBQ'd Onions with Honey

Onions done on the barbecue this way are great as a side to steak or pork.
And are equally good on top of a juicy burger.

For each individual onion you'll need these ingredients. There are no measurements, it's just a matter of taste.

A drizzle each of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey.
And a sprinkle of oregano, salt and pepper.

Peel the onion and cut 1 inch off the top.
Cut into 8 wedges to within 1/2 inch of root end. Gently pull wedges apart.
Take a piece of foil and brush some oil on it.  Sit your onion in the middle and drizzle the oil and balsamic on brushing into the wedges as much as possible. Next give it a little honey and sprinkle on the oregano, salt and pepper.

Gather up the sides of the foil and twist to secure.
Barbecue for 50-60 minutes depending on the size of your onion.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Israeli Couscous Salad

This is the first time I ever used Israeli, or pearl couscous.
Generally we think of couscous as the light fluffy Lebanese variety, but I like this one. After 8 minutes of cooking it still had a little bite, like any other al dente pasta. Yep, it's pasta!

2/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup Israeli couscous
1 cup shredded zucchini, yellow or green with peel on
kernels from 2 cobs of corn (approx 1  1/2 cups)
1/4 cup red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1 tbsp fresh chopped mint (optional)
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan then add the couscous.  Simmer 8 - 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the shredded zucchini. Isn't the texture great?
Once cooled, stir in the corn, red pepper and black beans.

Mix the dressing ingredients and toss together with the couscous and vegetables. Serve on a bed of lettuce and top with shredded cheese.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Beef Goulash

2 tbsps olive oil
1 onion, sliced

1 tbsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb beef bourguignon, cubed
1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsps tomato paste
1/3 cup water
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Heat a large skillet with 2 tbsps olive oil.  Add the onion slices and cook until they start to soften. Remove to a plate.

In a bag (I like to use saved wax cereal bags) toss the beef in the paprika, salt and pepper to coat.

Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the skillet and brown beef on all sides. Return the onions to the pan.

Mix tomato paste, water, garlic, salt and balsamic and stir into the beef and onions.  Add the bay leaf.

Heat to a boil then reduce, cover and simmer on low for
1  1/2  -  2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf.

And if you're interested, here's the link to that Veggie Salad Stack you see in the background.

Veggie Salad Stack with Strawberry Balsamic Reduction

Elegant but easy.  You can cook the veggies ahead of time and even assemble the stack a good hour before serving. Just wait until you are about to bring it to the table before adding the balsamic reduction.

1 beet, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 tbsps olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

zucchini slices, 1/2 inch thick
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
sprinkle parmesan cheese

tomato, sliced 1/2 inch thick
few slices goat cheese
nasturtium flowers and leaves to garnish

Strawberry balsamic reduction:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp dijon
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
pinch dried thyme

Toss beet slices in olive oil, salt and pepper and place on lined baking sheet. Toss the zucchini slices with olive oil, pepper and garlic powder and place alongside the beets.

Bake at 400F for 20 minutes, flipping after 10 minutes. When you flip the zucchini sprinkle on the parmesan.

Remove from oven and chill both the beet and zucchini slices.

For the balsamic reduction:
Add the balsamic, honey and dijon to a saucepan, bring to boil then reduce and simmer about 10 minutes or until it coats a spoon.
Remove from heat and stir in the strawberries and thyme.


Put a fresh slice of tomato on the plate followed by a few slices of goat cheese. Add the chilled beet and more cheese followed by the parmesan topped zucchini slice. Drizzle the strawberry balsamic reduction...

and garnish with nasturtium.

Hope you like this one.  It was a lot of fun to make!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Mocha Ice Cream in Sprinkle Cones

Always keep some bananas in the freezer and ready for anything.

2-3 bananas (2 cups of frozen chunks)
1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 + 1/8 cup strong brewed coffee
3 tbsps brown sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
3 tbsps mini chocolate chips (or regular chips chopped)
1 tsp instant coffee granules

ice cream cones
chocolate chips

Process the frozen bananas, yogurt, brewed coffee, brown sugar and cocoa.
It goes from   this...................................to this................in no time.
Fold in the 3 tbsps chocolate chips and the coffee granules.
Freeze 3 hours in a container.

While you're waiting for your ice cream to freeze melt some chocolate chips.  Dip the cones in, then roll them around in the sprinkles. Stand to set.

And wait patiently for the ice cream to freeze!

Once set you can ziplock any leftover cones.

Chicken Breasts Grilled in Pineapple Bark

Last May I made salmon in pineapple bark and promised to try chicken the same way.  I finally got around to it.

3 boneless chicken breasts, split in half
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp honey
1 tbsp soya sauce
1/4 cup orange juice
bark from 2 pineapples
kitchen twine

Start by splitting the breasts lengthwise in half to make two thinner pieces of breast meat.
Mix together the garlic, honey, soya and orange juice and place the chicken in to marinate for 2 hours.
Cut the bark off fresh pineapples.  I had some saved in the freezer : )

After the chicken has marinated place 1 piece between 2 pieces of bark and tie together.  You'll need a piece of string about 18-24 inches long for each bundle. Place the bundles back in the marinade until ready to grill.
Set the BBQ temperature to high.  Remove the bundles from the marinade and grill on indirect heat 15 minutes per side.
Remove to a plate to check for doneness. 
Hope you have one of these handy little testers.

And enjoy...

Serves 6

And here's the link to Barbecued Salmon in Pineapple Bark


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Zucchini Bread

Once zucchinis start growing in your garden, there's no stopping them. You'll be looking for ways to use them up.
I'm here to help.....

3 cups flour
1  1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsps ground flax (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups grated zucchini, with peel
1 cup chopped nuts ( optional)
1 cup raisins (optional)
3 eggs
1 cup oil

In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, flax, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and soda, zucchini, nuts and raisins.

In another bowl beat eggs and oil together.
Add this to the dry ingredients and pour into a greased
9 X 5" loaf pan. Or one 8 X 4" pan and 4 or 5 muffins.

Bake 350°F for about 1  1/2 hours. Just 20 or so minutes for the muffins.

You're welcome : )

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Turkey Veggie Salad Sandwich

This'll make lunch a little more interesting.

6 slices cooked turkey or chicken breast, not deli
1 small radish
a piece of cucumber
2 strips of red pepper
1 tbsp relish
2-3 tbsps mayonnaise
Salt, pepper and onion powder to taste

Chop the turkey and finely chop the veggies.
Mix everything together. Lunch is served.

Montreal Steak Spice Cauliflower Steaks

Montreal steak spice is good on just about any kind of meat, but did you ever try it on veggies?

Slice a cauliflower head into 3 or 4 "steaks" about
3/4 to 1 inch thick.

Brush with garlic and rosemary infused olive oil. Or just plain olive oil.
Give the Montreal steak spice a good shake on each steak. Also salt, pepper and paprika works well if you don't like the steak spice.

Grill on high 5-6 minutes. Flip (carefully) and continue grilling an additional 5 or so minutes.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Snickers Ice Cream Sauce

Simple but yummy

Just take a Snickers bar, cut it in 4 or 5 pieces, put it in a bowl with a little cream and microwave 30-60 seconds.

Thanks to Tescofood for the idea.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Creamy Slow Cooker Rice Pudding

As far as comfort food goes, there's nothing better than a creamy rice pudding. And this one is so easy to make too!

1 cup long grain rice
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
4 cups milk
2 cups 10% cream
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp nutmeg (optional)

Mix everything together in your slow cooker.  Set on high for 3 1/2 hours.
Stir after the 1st hour.

When it's done you may want to stir in more milk or cream for the consistency you like. 
Serve warm or chilled.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Orange, Pineapple and Banana Smoothie

This recipe will make enough for 2 large smoothies.
Don't forget, don't peel the orange.  Throw it in the blender peel and all for extra fiber and nutrients.

1/2 frozen banana sliced
1/2 orange, with peel
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 tsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup pineapple yogurt
1/2 - 1 cup milk (depending on how thick you want it)

Put everything in a blender and process until smooth.