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!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Upside Down Tomato Pie

Always on the look out to try different tomato recipes at this time of year.

1 tbsp olive oil
a few thin slices of onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
couple drops Angostura bitters (optional)
Small tomato slices and cherry tomato halves
chopped spinach 
chopped sundried tomatoes
sliced black olives
black pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup olive oil

fresh basil and lemon thyme

Slice tomatoes, enough to fill a 10" pan and a few cherry tomatoes to fill in the spaces. Place them on a paper towel and cover with another paper towel to absorb some of the juices. Set aside for about 20 minutes.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a fry pan and lightly brown the sliced onion. I really didn't use much onion...didn't want to overpower the tomatoes in the pie.

Turn off the heat and add 1 minced garlic. Sprinkle the brown sugar, balsamic and Angostura. Stir and set aside.

Oil a 10" pie plate and arrange the tomatoes, fried onions and other toppings.  Here I used a little chopped spinach, a few snips of sundried tomato and some black olives. Finished up with a few grinds of black pepper. I think next time I make this I'll pack in a few more slices of tomato as they do shrink when cooking.

Next prepare the crust. Mix both flours, salt and the 2 minced garlic together in a bowl. Make a well and pour in the boiling water and olive oil. Stir until it comes together. On a dusted board press or roll out to fit the top of your pie (which will be the bottom).  Lift the dough onto the tomatoes and pierce with a fork.

Had to peek underneath : )

Bake at 400 F for 30-35 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes then invert onto a plate. Garnish with basil and lemon thyme.

Adapted from http://www.bite.co.nz/

Chocolate Cake... that's all

Sometimes you just want a chocolate cake.
The mayo in this one is the moistness secret.

1 devil's food cake mix
1 cup mayo
1 cup water
3 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1/4 - 1/3 cup store bought frosting (I know eh?...store bought!)

Spray a bundt cake pan and set aside.

Mix together cake mix, mayo, water, eggs and cinnamon.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Pour into prepared bundt.
Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then remove to a rack.

Microwave the frosting 10-20 seconds until it can be poured. Spoon it over still-slightly-warm cake...

and serve.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Tipsy Teetotaler

Tea with a twist

1 oz Pimms
1 oz vodka
4 mint leaves
splash of maraschino syrup
a few drops of Angostura bitters
lemon iced tea

Start with muddled mint leaves in the bottom of your glass.
Add Pimms, vodka, maraschino syrup and Angostura bitters.

Fill the glass with ice and top with lemon iced tea (whether prepared or homemade)

Garnish with maraschino cherry and lemon
What do you think?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Chicken Fried Rice and Orzo

Good as a side or a main. Who needs take-out?

2 cups uncooked brown rice
1/4 cup orzo
2 small carrots, diced or sliced
1 cup peas, canned or frozen
1 cup frozen broccoli/cauliflower
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsps vegetable oil
2 eggs
salt and pepper
1 cup cooked chicken, diced

1/4 cup soya sauce
1 tsp sesame seed oil
1 tsp ginger powder

Cook the rice and cook the orzo to al dente and cook the carrots. Drain and chill. Scramble the egg with salt and pepper and fry it up, then set aside.
Once  the rice/orzo is chilled, mix all the vegetables in along with the diced chicken.  
Mix the soya sauce, sesame seed oil and ginger together.

Heat vegetable oil in a wok and add the minced garlic. Cook until very light brown. Add the rice/veg mixture. Pour soya mixture over and toss until completely coated. Add the sliced, scramble egg and heat through.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Strawberry Trail Mix Salad

spinach leaves
cranberry trail mix
sesame seeds

Yep, that's right. I used trail mix...dried cranberries, raisins, peanuts, cashews and pumpkin seeds. Worked great!

16 oz vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder

Mix the dressing together and keep it in the fridge in a mason jar. You can drizzle it on any fruity salad.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Slow Cooker Rib-Style Blade Roast

1 lb blade roast
2 onions, sliced
1 cup orange juice
2 tbsps molasses
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp finely chopped banana pepper

1 small apple, shredded with peel
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp each salt, pepper, garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin

1 tbsp cold water
1 tsp cornstarch

Spray bottom of slow cooker crock with cooking oil and layer sliced onions. Nestle the blade roast in on top. Mine was still frozen. Mix orange juice, molasses, worcestershire and banana pepper together and pour over meat. Just about cover with liquid. Add more if you need to.
Cook on high for 3 hours.

For the sauce, combine shredded apple, brown sugar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder and cumin in a saucepan and heat through. Mix water and cornstarch together and whisk into the sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes.

Once meat is cooked remove it to a casserole dish and ladle the onions into the dish as well.
Pour half the sauce over the warm meat and let sit for a minimum of 1 hour.

You can eat it now or heat the BBQ up and grill the meat 5-10 minutes basting with the remaining sauce.. but keep some sauce to serve at the table.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Family Favourite Apple Cake

Another recipe I've been making for years. Chock full of apples with a crusty top. Perfect with ice cream and caramel topping!

4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
8 apples, sliced

Cut apples and toss with cinnamon. Set aside.

Beat eggs, sugar and oil together until smooth. Add flour and baking powder.

Oil a 13 X 9" baking dish and pour half the batter in. Lay all the apples on top then pour the balance of the batter on top. Don't worry if the apples aren't all covered.

Bake at 350 F for 70-80 minutes.

Now, you could just eat it plain...it's loaded with apples and very good!

But why would you when you can have it a la mode?

Nachos Baked in Foil on the BBQ

Summer's winding down...you might have one more camping trip in mind. This is a quick meal for 2-3 people or you can have it for a campfire snack.

2 cups ground beef
1/4 black beans
1 tbsp taco seasoning

3 cups tortilla chips
2 green onions, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 cups shredded cheese
a few slices of banana pepper (hotter pepper if you are up for that)

Before leaving on your trip cook the ground beef with beans and taco seasoning. Cool and place in a ziplock bag. You can even freeze it.
Slice the green onion, chop the tomatoes and shred the cheese. Baggie those too.

When you are ready to eat, oil a 12 X 8" foil pan. Re-heat the cooked beef in a fry pan.
Spread the tortilla chips in the foil pan, spoon on the beef and top with sliced onions and tomatoes. Add the cheese and banana peppers. Cover with foil

Set on the barbecue on medium heat for 8-10 minutes, just long enough to melt the cheese. Karma thinks it smells pretty good!

If you're heating this on the campfire....you're kinda on your own. I haven't done it like that but as long as you keep it on indirect heat you shouldn't burn the bottom.

Serve with salsa.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Cauliflower Rice Tabbouleh

When you go to the market and find a beautiful cauliflower...

12 oz cauliflower, cut in flowerets
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
1/3 cup finely chopped mint (and/or beebalm leaves)
1 cup chopped English cucumber
3/4 -1 cup tomato, seeds and pulp removed and chopped
1/4 - 1/3 cup finely chopped onion

Use the shredding blade on a food processor or grate the cauliflower on a box grater. Add the rest of the ingredients. If you don't want your tabbouleh too minty you can substitute bee balm leaves for mint, giving it a milder mint flavour.

1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsps olive oil
Salt and lemon pepper to taste (I used approx 1/2 tsp each)

Mix up the dressing and toss with the veggies. Chill all day or even for a few days.

Very healthy dish. I even used it as a hot dog topping with some srirracha mayo. Ok not so healthy there but it was reeeeaallly good!

Adapted this recipe from

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sweet and Sour Leftover Beef

Beef in a quick and tangy sauce, ready in no time.

1 tbsp butter or marg
2 cups cooked beef
some red pepper strips
1 tbsp flour
1 cup pineapple bits, undrained
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup hot water
1 tsp dry mustard
4 tbsps dry onion soup mix

Melt butter in a frying pan. Add beef and red pepper.
Combine the remaining ingredients and add to the beef, mix well.

Simmer 20 minutes and serve over rice.

Serves 6

Bee Balm Shortbread

Here's another recipe using edible flowers.
This time... Red Monarda or Bee Balm. A perennial flower that attracts butterflies, birds and bees.

Pick the flowers in the morning after the dew and rinse them off then let them dry, hang if possible.

You'll need:

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 cups flour
2 tbsps bee balm petals

Cream butter and sugar together.  Normally unsalted butter is used in shortbread, but I prefer salted. Add the flour and mix until dough forms a ball. Incorporate the petals. I tried some chopped and some not. Chopped is probably the better way to go.

Roll dough on a floured board to 1/4" thickness. Cut out and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. I also tried using a cookie stamp. The image stayed pretty well on the baked cookies.

Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes.
The flavour is very mild, sort of minty.
But I love the look of the red petals in the cookies!

This might interest you as well...


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Here's a big batch of old-fashioned, moist cookies!
You'll be looking for a glass of milk to go with them as soon as they come out of the oven!

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsps coconut extract (or vanilla, almond)
1 cup brown sugar

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups oats
1 cup coconut

Cream together the butter, sugars, eggs and extract. Set aside.
Mix the dry ingredients together and add to the butter mixture in 3 additions until combined.
I divided my cookie dough in half and baked one half as is. I topped them with a little extra coconut before popping them in the oven.

To the second half I mixed in 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup white chocolate chips.

Drop by spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets and bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes. Cool.

Here's the Coconut Oatmeal half of the batch...

and here are the one's with added cranberry and white chocolate chips.

You can't go wrong either way  : )