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, May 31, 2016

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Tired of the same old pizza?

2 cups rotisserie chicken, chopped
1/4 cup fresh pineapple tidbits
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/3 - 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
2-3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 -3 cups shredded mozzarella or cheddar
2 cloves garlic, minced
Black pepper
Fresh coriander
1 lb pizza dough

Cook bacon and take the pan off the heat then remove bacon to a plate. Add the minced garlic to the pan with the 1 tbsp olive oil, stir and set aside.

Once the pizza dough has risen, punch it down then press onto a 14" pizza pan.

Here's the link to the recipe I used:

Brush the bacon fat, olive oil and garlic onto the dough and then spoon on the BBQ sauce. I used this Orchard BBQ Sauce recipe which added layers of flavour to the pizza.

Sprinkle half the cheese on, then top with chicken and onion. Add the rest of the cheese, the pineapple and bacon. Finish with a few grinds of pepper. 

Pop it in a 500 F oven for 11 minutes.

Add a few sprigs of fresh coriander and grab a slice!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Orchard BBQ Sauce

Whip this stuff up for a zingy, spicy sauce you can put on just about anything you want to slather it on!

You'll need:

1 small orange and zest, about 1/2 cup chopped
1 apple chopped, 1 cup
2 tbsps tomato paste
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp molasses
1/2 tsp liquid hickory smoke flavour (optional)

2 tbsps worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps sugar
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
as many grinds of black pepper as you like

Toss the chopped orange and apple in a food processor and pulse until it looks like this

then put everything in a pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 10-15 minutes until sauce begins to thicken.

If you want your sauce smoother, whirl it with an immersion blender.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Microwave Lemon Curd

This curd is so easy to make using the microwave. You can whip it up in no time flat.

1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Zest of 2 lemons (or 1 lemon, 1 orange)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Using a large microwaveable bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and zest together. 

Whisk juice and melted butter together, then add it to the eggs, sugar and zest.

Microwave on HI for 3-5 minutes, stirring after each minute.
This is how it looked after 3 minutes.

When ready the curd should coat the back of a spoon. That's how you'll know it's done. Mine took the full 5 minutes to cook. Time varies depending on your microwave. 

You could press the curd through a sieve to have a smoother finished product, but I like a little pulp and the zest in my curd. I think it's especially pretty with the orange zest too.

Sterilize jars by pouring boiling water into them. Don't forget to put a piece of cutlery in each jar before the boiling water so as not to crack the jars. Fill and seal. Cool and refrigerate.

Use on toast or to fill tart cups.
Here's another way to have it....
served for brunch in easy Puff Pancakes.
Here's the link

Puff Pancakes

When you want to show off a little but you do not want to try hard to do it  : )

1/3 cup milk
2 eggs
1/3 cup flour
pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp orange or lemon zest (optional)
1 tbsp + 1 tsp butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Melt butter and set aside.

Add the remaining ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Add a little of the melted butter, swirl, then add the rest of it to the batter.

Grease 8 muffins cups (I used Baker's Joy, I love this stuff!)
Pour in the batter. Doesn't look like much eh?

Bake for 15 minutes until golden and puffed. Almost done!

Serve right out of the oven with your favourite toppings.

You could serve these for breakfast, brunch or even as a dessert.

This time I cooked up some chopped apples with a little sugar and water, plated it with caramel ice cream topping and a dusting of icing sugar.

Or you could try some tangy lemon curd
Here's the link

What toppings will you try?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Top Sirloin Korean Stir Fry

So if you have leftover beef from yesterday's Marinated Top Sirloin Steak found here:

Then you are on your way to another easy supper.

Just slice up the rest of the steak and set aside.

In a deep skillet heat up a couple tablespoons of olive oil and sauté some sliced onion, red pepper and minced garlic, until the veggies are tender crisp.

Add a few handfuls of frozen (and thawed) carrots, yellow and green beans. Add the steak and toss it all together with some Korean BBQ sauce. 

Heat through a voilĂ ! 

This supper literally took 10 minutes to get it to the table. 
How 'bout that?!

My Mojito Garden Sign

Just a little patch of mint, little mojitos in training, so I thought a sign would add some whimsy to this spot in the garden.

I looked for a piece of wood to make the sign with, then realized I had a sign that says "Trick or Treat" on it. Won't need that until October so why not use the back side of it. Double duty. When you look for a piece of wood, look for soft wood.
I found a font I liked, and for some reason couldn't print it, so decided to softly just trace it off the screen.
Because my piece of wood is a soft wood I was able to trace over the lettering, pressing enough to imprint the wood.
It worked very well except for where the knot is but I managed alright. Add any little images you like. I found a couple of mint leaves.
Now skip the painting, just use permanent markers!
Filling in the lettering was so easy, anyone could do it.
And because there's no paint to dry you can spray a clear exterior Varathane right over your masterpiece!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Marinated Top Sirloin Steak

It does not have to be complicated.
A piece of meat, some salad dressing and a little time.

So I bought this Kraft Asian Sesame salad dressing. I didn't like it much. (Sorry Kraft). But that's ok. It's great as a marinade!

I poured some all over this great slice of beef, just over 1 lb and about 1" thick, covered the dish and refrigerated for 6 hours.

On the BBQ it went for a few minutes on each side, then I let it rest for 5 minutes, sliced it against the grain and served it alongside this edamame salad. With a little drizzle more of that dressing. Turned out to be much better as a marinade than salad dressing.

The meat was so tender!

Monday, May 23, 2016

BBQ'd Veggies in Foil

Barbecuing season has arrived! 
Here is an easy recipe for your vegetable sidedish.

Take a large piece of foil and oil it generously with olive oil. Then layer whatever veggies you like.

Here I used:
1 onion sliced
2 small carrots, sliced thinly
1/2 broccoli, cooked 40 seconds in microwave
Some diced red pepper

I sprinkled some President's Choice Blue Menu Lemon & Herb on top, but you could also try a Mrs Dash or other spices and herbs. Drizzle with olive oil and add 3-4 tbsps of water, then wrap up the foil to make a nice steaming packet.
Pop it on the BBQ for 45 minutes, the first 15 over direct medium high heat, then finish up the final 30 minutes to the side using indirect heat. At least that's what my grillmaster (hubby) said to do : )

Friday, May 20, 2016

Easy Spilling Tub Container

Anyone can make a spilling container. Sure, you can look for trailing plants and some to give height and try to arrange them in an artistic way that will work in your container.

Sshhh! Don't tell anyone, but this is the secret to having a beautiful spiller. Cheat.

Yes, just find a lovely hanging basket, with trailing plants of course, fill your tipped container about 2/3 full of good soil with compost.
Remove the hanging basket plants from their pot, trying to keep the whole thing intact, and plant it in your container. In my case I used a really old metal wash tub.
Now, just water and wait for your plants to start spilling out of your tub ; 0 

Roasted Carrots, Fennel and Turnip

These aromatic veggies are roasted in the oven, but they are calling for a beautiful weekend. Might have to toss some on the barbeque.

1/2 small turnip, cut like fries
1/2 fennel, sliced
2 carrots, cut in sticks
1 onion, sliced

Cut all the vegetables and place in a plastic bag.
Mix the following ingredients together and pour in.

1/2 tsp orange zest
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil

Give the bag a little shake to coat everything.
Spread out in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and give a good sprinkling of thyme.

Roast in a 450 F oven for 20 minutes.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Easy Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

An easy and nutritious way to fuel your day.

1/3 cup quinoa
2/3 cup water
1 tbsp chia seeds
Your choice of fruit, nuts and yogurt
Drizzle of honey

Measure out 1/3 cup of quinoa and rinse it well. If you don't have a fine mesh strainer, no problem. Just put a coffee filter in your strainer and rinse away!

Put the rinsed quinoa, chia seeds and 2/3 cup water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer for 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand to room temperature.
(If you find it a little thick, just stir in a little milk)

Spoon quinoa into a bowl and fill with all your favourites. Someone here doesn't like pineapple.

Just a little drizzle of honey and have a good day!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Mix these ingredients together in a jar and keep on hand for your next Taco Tuesday!

1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1  1/2 tsps ground cumin
1/2 tsp himalayan salt
1 tsp black pepper

For each pound of ground beef add 2-3 tbsps of this taco seasoning along with 1/2 cup of water. Simmer away the water and you are ready to build your tacos!

Or spice up whatever you like...chicken, pork, fish.......um, maybe shrimp, sweet potatoes.....Stop me, I'm rambling.

Here's a recipe for baked double decker tacos you might like:


Tropical Pineapple Chicken

We are smack dab in the middle of May and it still feels like the end of March! Just pretend it's a hot summer day while you eat this Tropical Pineapple Chicken. At least it's sunny out.

3 lbs chicken legs (4 legs separated)
2 cups fresh diced pineapple
2 tbsps brown sugar
1 tbsp corn syrup
4 tbsps butter
1/4 cup red pepper, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/4 tsp chili flakes
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp soya sauce
1/4 cup rum or rum cream
2 tsps cornstarch
salt and pepper
2 pinches of nutmeg
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Spray a 13 X 9" baking dish with cooking oil, place the thighs and drumsticks in a single layer and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a saucepan melt butter and add onion, red pepper, brown sugar, corn syrup and chili flakes. Cook 4 or 5 minutes on medium heat. Add pineapple.

Mix the orange juice, rum and soya sauce together. I used rum cream leftover from a trip to Cuba a few years back. I know, it's weird...leftover rum!

Take 2 tbsps of this mixture and whisk in the cornstarch. Set aside. Pour the orange juice, rum and soya sauce into the saucepan and start to warm. Whisk the 2 tbsps with cornstarch into the the pot. Heat until slightly thickened. Add the nutmeg.

Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle the coconut on top.

Bake at 325 F for 60 minutes.

Serve over rice and imagine being somewhere on a beach.