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!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Secret Ingredient Steak Fajitas

Believe it or not....pineapple juice. It helps with the marinating process and gives the meat just a little sweetness.

1/4 cup lime juice
2 tbsps pineapple juice
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
2 tsps chili powder
a squirt of srirracha
Himalayan salt and ground black pepper to taste

1 lb inside round steak, cut in strips
olive oil
1 onion
1 red pepper
3-4 mushrooms
341 ml can kernel corn
4 soft tortillas

Start by mixing up the marinade ingredients and pour into a plastic bag. Add the steak strips and refrigerate 5-6 hours.

Slice the vegetables. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet and toss in the steak. Cook until pink is almost gone then add the veggies. Stir and cook until tender-crisp.

Place tortillas out on the counter and lay steak and veggies down the middle of each. Fold sides over and carefully lift into the previously used skillet. Brown lightly on each side and serve with your favourite rice. Here with a plain brown rice and sundried tomatoes.

Serves 4 (or 2 extremely hungry people)

Another good side choice would be this Bar-B-Barn Style Spanish Rice


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Fruity Bulgar Chop Salad

If you are a salad lover you have got to check this out!

1/2 cup bulgar
1/2 cup boiling water

2-3 cups chopped spinach
2-3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 pear, cubed
3/4 cup English cucumber, cubed
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup whole pecans
2/3 cup fresh blackberries

8 oz vegetable oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp onion powder

Put the bulgar in a bowl and pour boiling water over it. Stir then let sit for 30-40 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Chill in the fridge until ready to use.

Combine all the fruits and veggies in a large bowl and stir in the bulgar.

Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a jar.
When ready to serve, give the jar a shake and pour some on. Give your salad a good toss. If there is dressing left over refrigerate it for a later use. 

Enjoy it as your main dish or as a side to chicken or pork.

Raspberry Filled Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Lemony muffins with a pop of raspberry.

2 cups flour
3 tbsps poppyseeds
1 - 1  1/2 tbsps lemon zest (2 lemons)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsps vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp almond extract
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (vanilla, lemon or berry)
3 tbsps fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup raspberry jam

Mix the first 6 ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix the vegetable oil, egg, almond extract, sugar, yogurt, lemon juice and milk together.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix just until combined. 

Line a muffin tin with papers and drop a big heaping tablespoon of batter in each. Dollop about 2 tsps of jam in each and spoon on the remaining batter.

Bake at 350 F for 17-20 minutes. 
Cool no more than 10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely as any jam oozing out will stick to your pan.
Put your feet up and enjoy one with a cup of tea.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Beef Stroganoff from Leftovers

Got leftovers?

This dish is a make-over made almost entirely from leftovers.
And you don't need sour cream or canned soup to make it.

3/4 lb cooked roast beef, cut in strips
3/4 lb cooked linguini
a few cooked pieces of broccoli 
1 onion, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsps butter or marg
2 tbsps flour
1/4 tsp salt
1  1/4 - 1  1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup cream cheese (regular or cheddar flavour)
pepper to taste

Get a large pan and brown the sliced onion in olive oil, then toss in the roast beef and broccoli. Cover to keep warm.

In a small saucepan melt the butter and add the flour and salt. Whisk in the milk and cook until thickened. Start with 1 1/4 cup milk, only adding the extra 1/4 cup if you want your sauce thinner. Stir in chunks of cream cheese and warm until melted. Sprinkle pepper to taste.

Pour the sauce into the roast beef and stir together.

Reheat the linguini in the microwave and toss with a little butter. Put some on each plate and top with warm and creamy beef stroganoff.

Serves 2

Honey Roast Pork

Why wait until Sunday to have a roast?  

2 - 2  1/2 lb boneless pork loin roast
3 tbsps honey
2 tsps balsamic vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
a few whole cloves
pinch or 2 of rosemary

Score any fat and poke the roast with whole cloves.

Mix honey, balsamic and garlic powder together and spread over the roast. Sprinkle with rosemary.

Refrigerate minimum 4 hours or overnight.

Roast, uncovered at 350 F for 1 - 1  1/2 hours. Let rest 10 minutes.

If you want roast potatoes, toss cut potatoes in olive oil and add to the roasting pan for about 1 hour.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

With a beautiful weather forecast for the weekend how about this fresh salad plate. Take it outside and enjoy the sunshine!


200 g cooked chicken, sliced
1  1/2 cups fusilli pasta
1 cup edamane beans
a handful of spinach, chopped
1 romaine lettuce heart, torn
your favourite caesar dressing

Plus various additions like:
sliced black olive
chopped red pepper
parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta, drain and cool.
Toss everything together just before serving.
I swear there IS pasta in the dish, but in each picture you can only see a couple of pieces! 

This will serve 2-3 people.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Laundry Jug Scoop

Need a large scoop for your dog food, cat litter or salt for that icy driveway? Use any large sized jug like laundry soap, softener or even a milk jug. While the milk jug might be easier to cut it might not be as sturdy as a laundry jug. It would be alright for scooping up something light.

Anyways, mark the jug where you want to cut it. Remember, the spout of the jug will be the base of your scoop. It's kind of like cutting off the bottom and corner of the jug under the handle.

Carefully cut along the line with a utility knife. 
Presto....you've got a scoop!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Allspice and Orange Squares

I took the Best of Bridge Lemon Square recipe and made a couple of changes.


1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/8 tsp allspice

Orange layer:

1 cup sugar
2 tbsps flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
zest of 1 orange
juice of 1 orange, 3-4 tbsps
2 eggs, beaten
pinch of allspice

sprinkling of icing sugar

Combine crust ingredients and gently press into a prepared 9" square pan. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

While the crust is baking prepare the orange layer.
Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl and when the crust comes out of the oven pour the filling in.

Bake at 350F for 2o minutes.

Cool, cut and dust with icing sugar.

Army Potatoes

Awhile ago our friend made these potatoes for us and they were so good, so I asked him if he would share his recipe. Well, he had at one time been a cook in the army and told me he got the recipe then and that if he told me the recipe he'd have to kill me! "Just kidding" he said. And then he shared this recipe. Make it at your own peril.
Just kidding   : )

Mashed potatoes, as much as you need.
Add 1 tbsp Lowney's chicken broth powder for every 6 potatoes.
Mash with cream or milk, butter, oregano and pepper to taste.

No need for salt as it's in the Lowney's.
Prepare a baking dish with cooking spray, spoon the potatoes in, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and top with dabs of butter. This can be made ahead to this point. Just refrigerate until needed.

Pop in the oven at 350 F for 30 minutes.

Broil the top if you like.
And thank the army.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Flourless Chickpea Chocolate Chip Muffins

These may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you are looking for a no-flour muffin this is a moist little bite.

2 cups canned chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 banana, sliced
1 egg yolk
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsps vanilla
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Start by whirring the chickpeas in a food processor.

Then add the remaining ingredients except the chocolate chips. Once it becomes a nice looking batter fold in the chocolate chips. 

Pour into 24 small muffin tins lined with paper. This batter does not rise. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes then enjoy, practically guilt-free.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Sweet Chili and Pineapple Glazed Duck with Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes

Duck is not something our family eats often.
But when we do, it's a treat.  

4-5 lbs whole duck
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne

2/3 cup sweet chili sauce (found in Asian food store)
3 tbsps finely chopped pineapple (fresh or canned)
3 tbsps balsamic vinegar

Rinse duck in cold water and salt the cavity. Toss in the crushed garlic and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Score through the fat on the breast side and pierce other fatty areas with a fork. Mix cumin, paprika and cayenne together and rub over the outside of the bird. Refrigerate a few hours.

Set the duck on the rack of a broiler pan, breast side up to start. Using a broiler pan is essential as alot of fat will drip down into the bottom part of the pan. Put the duck in the oven at 350 F for 1 hour.

Remove from oven and pour out the fat. Save the fat, don't throw it away! You'll see why later.

Turn the duck, breast side down, and return to the oven for 30 minutes. 

Mix chili sauce, pineapple and balsamic together.

Again, remove duck from oven, pour out even more fat, brush or spoon the glaze all over the duck and put it back into the oven, breast side up, for 45 minutes.

Looking good now!

Ok....last time....glaze again, and again breast side up for 30-45 minutes.
Let it rest 15 minutes before carving.

Now, about that duck fat. I was able to save about 1 1/4 cups.

I poured it into an ice cube tray and froze them for later use, like this:

Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes

1  1/2 lbs potatoes, cubed
1/4 cup duck fat
salt to taste

Toss together and roast at 425 F 30 minutes, toss and 30 minutes more.

I read somewhere that duck fat is one of the healthiest animal fats.  Now I'm no expert on that, but I do know what tastes good. And these Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes taste good!

Other uses for duck fat....roasted vegetables, sautéed mushrooms, yorkshire pudding.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Baked Cheesy Sausage Meatballs

A great make-ahead meal.
The most flavourful meatball you'll every have!

For the meatballs:

1 lb ground trio (pork, veal, beef)
375 g sausage meat (I used sweet basil flavour)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup shredded parmesan 
2 eggs
salt to taste

15 small cubes cheese (I used gouda)
3 cups tomato sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Store bought sauce is fine or if you'd like why not give this quick tomato sauce recipe a try? That's what I used for this dish.

Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs together and divide evenly to form 15 balls. Press a cube of cheese into the center of each and close the meat around it to seal.
Set them on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 400F for 20 minutes. Some of the cheese oozed out, but that's alright.
Pour some tomato sauce into a 13 X 9" baking dish and place the meatballs on top. Spoon the rest of the sauce over all

and sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella.
At this point you could cover it with foil and freeze for a later date. Simply defrost in the fridge a day before you want to use it. If that's the case, put it on the counter for about 1 hour to come to room temperature.

Bake, covered, at 350F for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and broil 4-5 minutes.