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!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Rotisserie Chicken Salad Sandwich

Leftover chicken from last night's supper becomes tomorrow's yummy lunch.

1 cup chopped rotisserie chicken
2 tbsps chopped celery
1 finely chopped radish
2 tbsps dried cranberries
1/4 tsp celery seed
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsps mayo

Just mix everything together. I left the cranberries whole but you might like them chopped.

Makes enough for 2 or 3 sandwiches.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Meatfree Pumpkin Feta Pasta

It's pumpkin season which means you can get a good sized pumpkin and make this nutritious reasonably priced meatfree meal and not break the bank.

1  lb penne
1  1/2 cups diced plus 12-14 slices pumpkin
1  3/4 cups tomato sauce
3 tbsps olive oil
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2/3 cup diced feta
1/4 cup cream cheese
salt, pepper and nutmeg
1 egg
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups canned tomatoes
2 tbsps fresh chopped basil
1 tsp fresh chopped mint
1  1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Cut several thin slices of pumpkin about 1/4 inch thickness or less. Have the water boiling in a large pot for the pasta but before putting the pasta in blanche the pumpkin slices, cooking for 3 minutes. Remove the pumpkin to a bowl of cold water.

Return the water to boil and add the penne cooking as per package directions. 

In a skillet heat 3 tbsps of olive oil and add onions and garlic. Cook until barely browned. Set aside.

In a pot cook the diced pumpkin in the tomato sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste along with 3 shakes of nutmeg. Roughly mash the pumpkin in the sauce and add 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 cups of canned tomatoes, along with the onions and garlic. Stir in the freshly chopped basil.

Toss with the drained, cooked pasta.

In a small bowl mash the cubed feta with the cream cheese. Add the beaten egg, salt and pepper to taste along with another couple shakes of nutmeg.

Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with cooking spray and layer 1/2 the pasta. Lay the pumpkin slices on top

and top that with the feta mixture. Sprinkle with the fresh chopped mint.

Layer on the remaining penne and sprinkle on the shredded cheddar.

Tent with foil and bake in a 400 F oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking an additional 30 minutes.

Remove and let rest 20 minutes before cutting.
Here's a little side view.
Serves 6-8

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Chia Carrot Muffins

Start your day off right with these muffins full of good stuff to help you power through your day.

You'll need:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsps cinnamon
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup dried cranberries
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups shredded apples
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (plus more for tops)
1/4 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup orange juice
3 eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp minced ginger
(I cheated and used this which I only ever used in Asian stir-fry before today...good idea though!)

Mix the first 7 ingredients together in a large bowl, then add the next six.
In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients together then combine with the dry. Don't over mix.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full, sprinkle a few sunflower seeds on top and bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes.
I made 20 medium sized muffins.
Actually it was 21. I ate this one  : )

Friday, September 25, 2015

Meatball Sub

When you have leftover meatballs all you need is:

Italian panini buns
Tomato sauce
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Shredded Mozzarella

Sorry, no quantities for this recipe, it all depends on how many meatballs you have and how many subs you want to make.  I was only making 2 here so I started with 8 Italian meatballs.

Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. The buns will stand up nicely in it.

Heat the meatballs in your favourite tomato sauce.
While that is simmering, heat a frying pan and add a tablespoon or 2 of olive oil and butter. Fry up some sliced onions and de-glaze the pan with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Split the buns, but not all the way through.  Fill with meatballs, fried onions and tomato sauce.

Top with some shredded mozzarella and sprinkle some parmesan on too if you like.

Bake them in the oven at 400 F until cheese is melted and the bun is warm and crispy.
A salad on the side finishes this quick meal off right.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies with Salted Sunflower Seeds

This is not your run of the mill PB cookie. Not even close.
They are beautifully moist, but not cookie-doughy. 

1 cup peanut butter (I used creamy but chunky would work)
2 tbsps cocoa powder
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2/3 cup oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup finely shredded coconut
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup salted sunflower seeds

In a large mixer bowl combine the peanut butter, cocoa, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs.

Mix together the oats and baking soda, then add it to the PB mixture. 

Now fold in the coconut and chocolate chips. Roll the cookie dough into balls.
These were about 1 1/2 " balls.  Put the sunflower seeds in a shallow dish and tap the top of the ball into them.

Place on a lined baking sheet and press down lightly to make sure the sunflower seeds aren't going anywhere.

I made 29 cookies.

Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes

Look at all that good stuff in there!
Perfect with a tall glass of cold milk!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Moroccan Meatballs

I always thought you needed an egg to hold everything together in a meatball. But I tried this and it worked. No egg and no bread crumbs either.  Just beef and onion and lots of flavour!

1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 cup shredded onion
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsps paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of cayenne
1-2 tbsps dried parsley
1 tbsp fresh chopped mint

Mix everything together in a large bowl and roll into balls.  I made 18 heaping tablespoon-sized balls. I made them ahead of time and refrigerated them a few hours so there was time for all the flavours to blend together. Add some olive oil to a skillet and lightly brown the balls.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and pop them in a 350 F oven for 10 - 15 minutes.

Serve over rice with your favourite tomato sauce and garnish with some fresh mint leaves and crumbled feta.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Soft Oatmeal Cookies

I usually like a crispy cookie. (Some would say hard cookies) but these soft oatmeal cookies have such a nice texture without being cakey. 

2 cups rolled oats
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

3 tbsps 10% cream
2 cups icing sugar

Pulse the rolled oats in a food processor until it looks like this. Not completely pulverized, leave some texture.
Add the dry ingredients to the oats and set aside.

In a mixer bowl beat the butter, then add the sugars. Next add eggs one at a time and finally add the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients in 2 or 3 additions until combined.
Take heaping tablespoonfuls and roll into balls.  They roll easily and don't stick to your hands!
Place onto a lined baking sheet.  I did not flatten them, so leave about 2 inches between.

Bake at 350 F for 10 - 12 minutes.

Once the cookies are cooled on a rack, then whisk the icing sugar with 2 tbsps of cream. Add the other tbsp of cream if you want a thinner glaze.
Dip the cookies in the glaze, letting some of the excess run off, and let set before storing in an airtight container.

Grab a couple of these with a glass of milk!

Adapted from:  http://www.savingdessert.com/2014/08/old-fashioned-iced-oatmeal-cookies/

Friday, September 18, 2015

Lemony Apple Zucchini Loaf

This was supposed to be a zucchini loaf, but when I went out to the garden for a zucchini all I found was one little tiny one. So I decided to add apple to make up the difference that I was missing. Because apple is sweeter than zucchini I cut the original amount of sugar back, which is a good thing right?

It's super moist too!

1/2 cup zucchini, shredded with peel
1/2 cup apple, shredded with peel
2 eggs
1  1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsps lemon juice
1/8 tsp lemon zest
2 cups cake flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp milk
1/8 tsp zest

Shred both the apple and zucchini and set aside.

Mix flour, salt and baking powder together and set aside.

In a large bowl beat the eggs. Next add oil and sugar. 
Add the lemon juice to the milk, then add to the bowl along with the zest. Fold in the apple and zucchini.

Add the dry ingredients in 2 or 3 increments to the wet until well combined.

Pour batter into a greased and floured 9 X 5 loaf pan and bake at 350F for 45 - 50 minutes.

Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Combine the glaze ingredients and pour over loaf while it is still warm. (Not too warm as it'll run right off).

Enjoy for breakfast, brunch, snack, dessert or really anytime. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Sweet Chili Chicken Breasts

Here's another recipe using pineapple bark. The chicken picks up the sweetness from it and you can flip your chicken breast without worrying about it getting stuck to your pan or grill.  I used a perforated pizza pan to hold all the chicken which worked very well.  There was really no need for the lettuce leaves under the pineapple bark.  In fact, that is the only thing that did stick to the pan. Grrr!

4 boneless chicken breasts
pineapple bark
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp fennel seed
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt to tast
1-2 tbsps lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
sweet chili sauce

Start by making sure the chicken breasts are all about the same thickness.  I used a metal-ended wooden mallet with the chicken in a waxed cereal bag.  You could also use the bottom of a jar to pound the thicker parts of the breasts.

Lay the pineapple bark directly on the grill or use a pan like I did here. Mix the olive oil and lemon juice together and brush onto the chicken. Next, combine the spices and press into the meat.

Barbecue on medium high for 10 minutes then flip the chicken and continue for another 10-15 minutes.
Finish by brushing on liberal amounts of sweet chili sauce. 
Serve with rice and salad.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Roasted Greek Potatoes

Goes without saying that these potatoes are best served alongside souflaki, but they are equally as good with many lamb, chicken and pork dishes. Creamy soft inside and just a little crispy on the edges.

1 lb potatoes
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsps lemon juice
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 - 2 tsp dried oregano

Peel potatoes. If you have new potatoes just scrub them and cut into 1  1/2" pieces. Prepare an 11 X 7" baking dish with cooking spray.  In a large bowl combine water, olive oil, lemon juice and chicken bouillon powder (instead of using salt). Add the potatoes and stir to coat. Pour into prepared dish and bake, covered with foil, at 400 F for 40 minutes.
Uncover and add the garlic and oregano. Increase oven temperature to 425 F and roast another 20 minutes. Stir, then broil a couple of minutes if you want to brown and crisp them.
Serve hot or at room temperature. If you have any leftovers just zap them in the microwave the next day. I always sneak a couple more while putting them away in a container.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Apple Caramel Crumb Pie

I'm using this cookie-like crust again because it's so easy to work with. And because I don't like making pastry. And....because it's really good!

1/2 cup butter or marg
3 tbsps sugar
1 cup flour

1/2 tbsp ground flax (optional)

5 apples, sliced
5 tbsps brown sugar
4 tbsps flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
generous drizzle of caramel ice cream topping
1 tbsp butter

Crumb Top:
1/4 cup marg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
pinch cinnamon
2 tbsps shredded coconut

Blend the crust ingredients together and press into a greased 8" pie pan. (So easy!)
Bake at 375 F for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the filling. Slice the apples and toss with brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Drizzle the caramel on top of the apples and drop bits of cold butter all over.
Could've used even more caramel.  Oh well, next time.

Combine the crumb topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of the apples.  Press lightly.

Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350 F and continue baking 30 minutes more.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Pineapple Tomato Salsa

Zingy! That's how I'd describe this one. 

1 cup fresh pineapple, diced (4 spears)
1/2 cup watermelon, diced
1/4 cup cucumber, diced
1 cup tomato, diced (I used 2 plum and 3 orange cherry tomatoes)

1 tsp finely chopped fresh mint
1 tsp finely chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsps lime juice
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1/8 - 1/4 tsp hot chili flakes

Prepare the fruits and vegetables.

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing and toss together.

Chill 2 - 3 hours.
Great on fish or chicken.

Try it with tortilla chips too!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Breakfast Sausage Quesadilla

Breakfast for 2 !

3 breakfast sausages, sliced
2-3 tbsps chopped onion
1-2 tbsps celery and it's leaves
2 eggs
worcestershire sauce
salt, pepper and paprika to taste
1 tbsp butter
2  6-inch tortillas
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Brown the sliced sausage and onions in a frying pan adding the celery once the onions become translucent. Add a splash of worcestershire to de-glaze the pan then remove to a bowl.

In the same pan add butter, scrambled eggs beaten with another splash or two of worcestershire, salt, pepper and paprika.

Lay a tortilla in a clean frying pan on medium high heat and spoon the cooked scramble eggs on top. Add the meat and veggie mix, sprinkle the cheese over the meat

and top with the other tortilla.

Heat 2 minutes, then carefully flip over and cook another 1-2 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Serve alongside some tomatoes or sliced fruit. 
Breakfast is served!

Red Wine Strawberry Raspberry Pie

This pie has a rich shortbread-like crust with a deep red berry filling enhanced in flavour and colour by the red wine.
(Now I've got UB40's "Red, Red Wine" playing in my head!)

1/2 cup butter or marg
3 tbsps sugar
1 cup flour

2  1/4 cups strawberries
2 cups sugar
1  1/2 cups water
1/2 cup red wine (I used cabernet sauvignon)
85g box raspberry jello

This is how I checked the amount of strawberries I'd need. Could probably have used a few more, but this was ok. Raspberries would have been good here and there too.

I cut the larger ones in half, but kept the small ones whole. Once cut they measured 2  1/4 cups.

For the crust combine the butter, sugar and flour and press into a greased 8" pie plate.
Bake at 375 F for 10 minutes. Cool.

For the filling mix the sugar, water and red wine together in a saucepan. If you don't want to use wine just use 2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to  boil. At first it will look a bit cloudy but once it comes to a boil and thickens it looks better. Then add the jello powder. Now that really punches the colour up!

Stir together a couple of minutes then remove from heat. Cool in refrigerator about 30 minutes.
Remove from fridge, fold in the berries and pour into pie shell. 

Back to the fridge it goes to set for several hours.

This is a pretty sweet pie so a small piece will satisfy. 

Adapted from http://www.lemontreedwelling.com