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, June 29, 2016

Taco Stuffed Sausages

When we camp we do not like to spend a lot of time cooking. But we still want to have good meals...no wieners and beans for us! Although we do have beans with our breakfast, but that's another story.

These are fun and tasty!

Take your favourite sausages, we used apple and cheddar here but spicy Italian would be great too. Grill them and then split lengthwise almost all the way through.

Add some crushed corn chips (Fritos), spoon on some salsa, then top with shredded cheese.

Wrap each one individually in foil and place back on the grill.
Or lay them in a frying pan with something to cover keeping the heat in. Warm for a couple of minutes...just long enough to melt the cheese.

Take a peek inside. If the cheese hasn't melted yet wrap them up for a couple more minutes.

Served here with rice and roasted red peppers, green salad and feta.  No boring "camp" meals for us!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

My Mom's Fried Chicken Wings

Ok, this one has a story. 

To start off with, this is a favourite recipe of my mom's. 
Awhile (40 years) ago, I had a summer job out-of-town working in a campground and my mom and I spent the entire summer together there. My dad would come down after working all week to spend the weekend with us.

Well this one time my mom decided to make a batch of fried chicken wings for when Dad arrived. I don't know how she managed to get this all done in a tent trailer but she did. As a young person one is oblivious to this kind of stuff, but as I look back on it now that was quite a feat!

Before my dad arrived two young guys we knew dropped by. Mom innocently asked them if they'd like some chicken. Well, it's a good thing she set a few pieces away for Dad because those guys devoured the pan of chicken! Mom says she had made 100 pieces!!

We're still friends with one of the guys. And well, the other guy......he still loves this chicken ; )

So here it is....

6 lbs chicken wings, split
3 cups Italian bread crumbs
extra dried thyme (optional)
7 eggs
7 tbsps water
4-5 tbsps ketchup
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp cornstarch
vegetable oil for frying

Once I split the chicken wings I had 72 pieces of chicken. (The wing tips went into a pot to make broth)

Mix the flour and cornstarch together in a bag.
In a separate bag mix bread crumbs and extra thyme if using it. I love having extra thyme! You may want to use half the bread crumbs at a time and replenish as needed. Also, have extra bags on hand as they get a little crusty and may need to be replaced.

I mixed 2 eggs, 1 tbsp water and 1 tbsp of ketchup at a time for dipping, mixing more as I needed.

Working with a couple of pieces of chicken at a time, shake to coat in the flour. Next, dip into the egg mixture and finally drop them into the bag of crumbs and give them another little shake. Place the chicken on a parchment lined tray until all are ready.

Have about 2 inches of oil in your fryer or in a pot. The oil temperature should be 350-375F. Carefully place the wings in the hot oil for 2 minutes without overlapping them. Turn them over for another 2 minutes until lightly browned. Remove to the parchment lined baking sheet. Make sure the oil temperature returns to 350F before adding more wings.

Now, when Mom made these at the trailer she fried them for the whole cooking time which would have been about 15 minutes. I prefer to finish the cooking process in the oven.
So once all the wings have been coated and browned, bake in a 375F oven for 30 minutes.

Want to make them ahead of time? No problem.
Let them cool, then cover the pans with foil and put them in the freezer.

The night before you want them place the pan in the fridge overnight and warm to serve.
Oh, and they are also great cold if you want to take them along on a picnic.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Singapore Style Spaghetti Noodles

I know Singapore noodles are usually made with rice vermicelli but I do not always have it in the house. I do however always have spaghetti.

1/2 lb spaghetti noodles
handful of frozen green and yellow beans, defrosted
handful of frozen edamame beans, defrosted
2-3 carrots, julienned
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsps soya sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsps sesame seeds
1  1/2 tsp curry powder
vegetable oil

Start by cooking the spaghetti, then drain and toss with a little oil. Set aside.

Julienne the carrots and cook in the microwave with a little water until tender crisp, about 40-60 seconds.

Mix together the soya sauce, sesame oil and and curry powder.

Heat a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok and add the minced garlic. Stir a few seconds then add the beans, edamame and carrots. Once the veggies are heated through toss in the spaghetti noodles and mix in the sauce to coat. Cook and stir a few minutes until hot.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
It went very well alongside these Baked Coconut Shrimp.
Here's the link to the recipe

Friday, June 17, 2016

Baked Coconut Shrimp

Most coconut shrimp recipes I have seen are deep fried, so I thought I would try them baked.  

3/4 - 1 lb raw deveined shrimp
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
2 eggs, beaten

Mix together the cornstarch, salt and cayenne in a bowl or bag. Have the coconut in another bowl or bag. And beat the eggs in yet another bowl, not bag : )

I used the 70/90 shrimp per lb sized shrimp. Rinse them and pat dry.

Toss the shrimp in the cornstarch mixture, tapping off any excess. Then dip in egg and finally roll in coconut. Place them side by side on a parchment lined baking sheet. 

When all the shrimp have been prepared,

place them in a 400F oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping over halfway through the cooking time.
We like them with seafood sauce served along with Singapore Style Spaghetti Noodles. Check it out

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Oreo No Bake Dessert

A great make ahead dessert for a crowd!

1 pkg regular Oreo cookies
1 cup pretzel twists, plus extra to garnish
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 - 4 oz (113 g) box instant chocolate pudding
2 - 8 oz Cool Whip containers
1 - 8 oz (250 g) cream cheese, softened
1 cup icing sugar
caramel ice cream topping (optional)

Crush the oreos and pretzels using a rolling pin. I find using wax cereal bags for this job works well because they can stand up to more pounding than a plastic ziplock bag.

Melt the butter and mix it in with the crushed stuff. Prepare a 13 X 9 baking dish with cooking spray and press the crust into the dish.

Make the pudding as per package directions and refrigerate.

In a mixer cream the cream cheese until smooth, gradually adding the icing sugar. Fold in 1 - 8 oz container of Cool Whip.

Top the oreo layer with the cream cheese mixture. Spread the chocolate pudding on next. If using caramel topping drizzle it on here.

Finish this beauty off with the remaining Cool Whip and garnish with more crushed oreos and pretzels.

Cover and refrigerate.
What do you think?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Creamy Apple Salad

Perfect alongside grilled pork!
Serves 2-3

1 apple, unpeeled and cut in chunks
1 Boston lettuce
1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced
1 kiwi, sliced
some dried cranberries
pumpkin seeds (I used salted)

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp dry mustard
2 tbsps orange juice
1 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp sugar
pinch of salt and pepper

Have a bowl of cold water large enough to hold your cut apple ready, mixed with 1 tsp salt. Add the cut apple and leave in the salt water for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry. This will help keep the apple from going brown.

Mix the dressing together and toss with all the salad ingredients. Sprinkle more pumpkin seeds.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Texas Brownies

This recipe makes a large pan of cake brownies, great for potlucks or to just keep in the freezer for when you get a craving for chocolate.

I have had this recipe for ages on a Great American Recipes card dated 1973. I did not collect the series, it's the only recipe I have from them. Do you have any other recipes from Great American Recipes?

Use a 17 1/2 - 11" jelly roll pan.

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or marg
1/2 cup shortening 
   (or 1 cup butter in place of butter/shortening)
1 cup strong brewed coffee or water
1/4 cup dark, unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup buttermilk (or milk with 2 tsps vinegar)
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup butter or marg
2 tbsps cocoa
1/4 cup milk
3  1/2 cups unsifted icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla

In a large bowl, combine the flour and sugar.

In a heavy saucepan, combine butter, shortening, coffee and cocoa. Stir and heat to boiling.

Pour boiling mixture over the flour and sugar in the bowl. Add buttermilk, eggs, baking soda and vanilla.

Mix well using a wooden spoon or mixer on high.

Pour into a well buttered or parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes.

While brownies bake prepare the frosting.
In a saucepan combine the butter, cocoa and milk. Heat to boiling while stirring.

Mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Just keep whisking, it'll go from this
to this..

When the brownies come out of the oven, pour the frosting right on. I like using parchment because it holds the frosting in as it runs down the side of the cake.

Cool and cut into squares.

Don't ya just love the crackle of the frosting?

Panzanella Salad

Just a head's up on this one...once the salad is combined with the dressing it needs to sit 1 hour to allow the bread to absorb all the wonderful flavours.

4 cups crusty Italian bread, cut in large cubes
5 tbsps olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large tomato
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
1/2 onion, thinly slices
2 lebanese cucumbers
a handful of spinach
and a bunch of fresh basil leaves, sliced or chopped

For the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp capers
Parmesan, salt and pepper to taste

Start by cutting the bread into chunks. Heat 5 tbsps olive oil in a deep pan like a wok. Add minced garlic and remove from heat. Toss in the bread cubes to coat. Spread on a baking sheet and bake in a 275 F oven for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Prepare the veggies and add them to a large bowl along with the cooled bread.

Mix the dressing and toss it all together. As noted above, leave the panzanella at room temperature for 1 hour before serving along with more parmesan.
And if you want homemade "capers" check this out


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Fruity Baked Camembert

Great as an appetizer or midnight snack

125 g camembert
pear or apple compote
fresh strawberries, chopped
pecans, chopped

I started by using a vegetable peeler on the rind of the camembert for no reason except I'm not crazy about how the rind looks. But that's just me. You can just use it as is.

Sit the cheese in an oven safe baking dish just big enough for it. Top with enough compote to coat. I had this lovely chunky pear compote a friend had made for me. Add some strawberries and pecans. Then drizzle more of the compote (the syrupy part) over all.

Ready for the oven...

Bake at 375 F for 10 minutes and serve with sliced baguette
and a glass of wine ; )