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!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Dad's Sunday Morning Breakfast Potatoes

All week we rush around grabbing muffins, granola bars, maybe a bowl of cereal, or even in desperation, leftover pizza! But on Sunday morning it's nice to sit down and enjoy a good breakfast. Especially when you can have someone else make it for you ; )

For these potatoes you'll need:

diced potatoes
salt and pepper
garlic powder
olive oil

Dice potatoes, the amount is up to you depending on how many you are serving. Toss them in a deep pan, we use a wok-style frying pan, with oil, salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder. Add a few extra tablespoons of oil to the pan and cover with a lid.

Stir regularly for 20-30 minutes cooking on low to medium low until browned.

I don't know if anywhere else does this, but in Quebec we serve baked beans on the side for a hearty breakfast. If you'd like to make them here's the link 


Happy Sunday morning!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Cranberry Chocolate Muffins

Warm muffins for breakfast.....hmm hmm good!

1/2 cup butter or marg
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup yogurt
2 tbsps buttermilk (milk or cream)
2 tsps vanilla

1  1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 tbsp flax (optional)
1 tbsp chia (optional)

1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1  1/4 cups dried cranberries
a few white chocolate melting wafers to drizzle

In a large mixer bowl cream the butter and sugars together. Add eggs, yogurt, buttermilk and vanilla.  (I used cranberry raspberry crumble flavoured yogurt. Go with whatever flavour you like or even plain)

In a separate bowl combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and if using, flax and chia. Add these dry ingredients to the mixer bowl beating just until combined.

Fold in both chocolate chips and dried cranberries. I like the dried better than fresh because they're sweet. Fresh cranberries while juicy are also kind of bitter.

Using a medium sized ice cream scoop fill muffins papers 2/3 full. Top with some extra cranberries and chips, then bake at 425 F for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F and continue baking 15-18 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean, except for the melted chocolate ; )

I made 12 medium sized muffins and 8 small. For the smaller ones I baked at 425 for 5 minutes but reduced the 350 time to 8-10 minutes.

Once cooled, melt the white chocolate melting wafers in the microwave, 10 - 20 seconds at a time, until almost melted then stir to smooth. Spoon into a small plastic bag and snip a small corner off. Then drizzle away!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Full of Greens Spaghetti with Mascarpone Sauce

Light and creamy and a great way to get your greens!

450 g spaghetti
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups mixed greens, packed
salt and pepper
1 cup mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup toasted pecans
1 cup 10% cream
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp lemon zest

Gently toast the pecans and minced garlic in olive oil and butter, not letting the garlic get brown.

Stir lemon juice and zest into mascarpone and add to the pecans and garlic on low heat. Stir well as it will melt almost right away, then add the cream and parmesan.

Roughly chop the greens and incorporate into the sauce. Heat through on medium low heat and add salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with more toasted pecans, parmesan and I like a few more grinds of black pepper too.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Easy Roller Blind Makeover

Are you tired of blinds that look like this?

Then take them down! It's just embarrassing!

All you need is a pair of scissors, a strip of material and a sewing machine (or you could sew it by hand I suppose, but it would take a little more time. This job took less than an hour.)

Cut the fringe and that whole piece of blind right off up to behind the wooden pull bar.

Have a piece of material about 2-3 inches wider than your blind. It should be long enough to fold a hem over on both sides and envelope that wooden pull bar at the bottom of the blind. Fold the corners in at the sides and pin it to the shade.

I did one side and then the other, but if you're really good you could get away with one pass. 

As you can see I had to use a chair to hold the blind up while sewing to balance the weight of the roller.
And that's it. Told you it was easy : )

Monday, January 18, 2016

Lemony Greek Pork Tenderloin

I wanted to get the most out of my lemon so I decided to make this roast pork hasselback style with slices of lemon for ultimate flavour.

1  1/2 lb boneless pork tenderloin
1/2 cup Lemon Greek yogurt
1 tbsp minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp salt
1  1/2 tsps dried oregano
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsps olive oil
1 lemon, zested and sliced

Mix yogurt, garlic, onion, salt, oregano, lemon juice, zest and olive oil together.

Slice lemons thinly and insert into cuts made into the tenderloin at about 1 - 1  1/2" intervals.

Slather all over with the marinade, place in a plastic bag, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Roast, uncovered, in a 425 F oven for 35-45 minutes.
Let rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.

The reviews were excellent at our table!

Onion Blossom

This recipe that comes with the Onion Blossom Maker makes 3-4 onion blossoms, but don't worry if you don't have this gadget you can still make an onion blossom.

1  1/3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup flat beer (add a pinch of salt to make it flat)

2 egg whites

Dry mix:
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
pinch pepper
pinch cayenne

Mix together the batter ingredients, except the egg whites, and refrigerate for 3 hours. After 3 hours beat the egg whites and fold them into the batter.

Peel onion leaving the root end intact to hold the blossom together. Slice in this handy onion blossom maker (or cut thin wedges in you onion, but don't cut right through the bottom. Wooden spoons or chopsticks on the counter on each side of your onion could be used as a stopper.)

Simmer the onion in a pot of water for 1 minute then submerge in ice water. Remove and shake out the excess water.

Sprinkle the dry mix all over and in between the petals.

Dip into the batter and try to get everything covered. Sprinkle more dry mix.

Deep fry 375 F for 2 minutes, flip over carefully and fry another 2-3 minutes.

Even though it tastes good this doesn't look as pretty as the one pictured on the box, so I tried another one.

I sprinkled a little flour, instead of the dry mix, all over the onion.Then thinned the batter with some more beer or you could use water. I dipped the onion in the batter and tried drizzling it in between all the petals.

Back to the oil.... then drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet on a rack. 
Needless to say, this is going to be a work in progress : (

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Homemade Dog Bed

Full disclosure. I can't sew to save my life. But a couple of straight lines on the machine and some hand stitching is all you need to make this dog bed.

You could start with new material and make it like a giant cushion cover similar to these.


But for this bed for Karma I recycled an old hammock whose ropes had started to fray. The canvas was still like new though. 

You could also use old curtains with tabs as long as the material is sturdy enough for a dog's bed. (This isn't Karma. It was Chanelle keeping an eye on my husband.
You'll meet Karma later in this post)

I folded the material in half and found some old pillows around the house that would fit well.
I read somewhere that dental floss makes a great thread for heavy work so I gave it a try here using it to stitch the pillows together. I overlapped them by a few inches. 
Now with the wrong side out sew the 2 sides together at each side just a little longer than the pillows you want to put inside. Leave about 4 inches not sewn at the tab end and leave the tab end opened.
Fold 1 tab end in to almost the size of the pillows and sew it down like this. I hope these instructions are making sense.
Now turn the work right side out and put the giant pillow inside.
I used a few lengths of cloth ribbon to make ties. I just sewed them onto the pillow at several intervals and tied the tabs together, making the cover easy to take off and wash every now and then.
And this is Karma our 2 year old boxer/shar pei mix baby. She's our rescue furbaby and she is very lovable.
She's learned a lot in the month that she has been with us, but clearly chewing is still a bit of a problem.
Oh well, almost good as new!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Spiralized Potato Latkes

You could always use shredded potatoes, but since I got a spiralizer for Christmas I thought I'd give that a try.

2 cups spiralized potatoes (about 4 medium potatoes)
1 tbsp dried chives
1/4 cup flour
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp lemon zest
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
vegetable oil for frying

Mix potatoes, chives, flour, eggs, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper together. Have your frying pan and vegetable oil on medium low heat. As you can see I didn't use alot of oil.

Carefully pour about 1/3 cup of potato mixture into the pan for each latke, pressing down lightly. Fry 1-2 minutes.
Flip and fry another 2 minutes until golden brown.

Remove to a rack on a paper towel lined baking sheet or serve right away with sour cream or applesauce.
Or try some Pulled Pork on top of your latkes.  
Don't knock it 'til you try it!
Here's the link to Pulled Pork