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, October 29, 2016

Roasted Potatoes with Bergamot

Bergamot the flower, not the citrus fruit.

2 cubes duck fat and/or olive oil
5 or 6 potatoes, quartered
dash of balsamic vinegar
onion powder
salt and pepper
a sprinkling of bergamot (bee balm) petals

Two cubes of duck fat refers to the duck fat ice cubes I keep in the freezer.  Each cube is about 1 - 1  1/2 tbsps of duck fat that I saved from the last duck I cooked. Once defrosted, I mixed the duck fat with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar and the seasonings.
Toss with the potatoes and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle more paprika and distribute the bergamot petals over top.

Roast in a 425 F oven for 45 minutes and enjoy the subtle taste of the bergamot.

Sweet Snap Peas with Garlic

Because they are ready in a snap 

1 lb sweet snap peas
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
olive oil
a little parsley if you like

Trim the peas and remove the strings.

Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet.
Add the peas and cook 2 - 3 minutes.

Toss in the minced garlic, salt and pepper (and parsley) and cook 1-2 minutes longer and SNAP....they're ready!

Herbed Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Gravy

For a special dinner you can't go wrong with beef tenderloin.

2-3 lb beef tenderloin

1/4 cup softened butter
1 tsp each...parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
1/2 tsp each...salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef broth
1  1/2 tsps cornstarch
1 tsp tomato paste
salt and pepper

Combine butter, salt, pepper, minced garlic with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. (You totally sang that in your head right?)

Using a sharp knife remove any of the silvery film tissue that might still be on the beef. Now spread the herb butter all over.

Roast in a 450 F oven for 30-40 minutes for medium rare or an internal temperature of 130 F

Remove the beef to a platter and rest 10 minutes before slicing.

In that time add onion to the pan and brown, then de-glaze with wine and broth. Mix cornstarch with 1 tbsps of water and whisk into the pan. Add the tomato paste and salt and pepper to taste. 

And don't forget leftovers the next day!

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Heaven, 'nuff said.

When the kids were younger we always made these to take away on camping trips. Now we make them whenever the mood hits.

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
Saltine or graham crackers

Bring butter and brown sugar to a boil in a saucepan. 
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place crackers in a single layer. Pour butter/brown sugar mixture over crackers and bake in a 350 F oven for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. I had a few white chocolate melting disks here too. Cover loosely with a sheet of foil for about 5 minutes or until chips are warm.

Then gently spread the chocolate and place the cookie sheet in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.

Remove from freezer and break into bite-sized pieces.

Store in refrigerator ( if they get there!)

Putting on the Ritz Lobster Mac and Cheese

The cheesy rich sauce and the lobster takes this mac and cheese to a whole new level.

1/2 lb medium shell pasta
6 tbsps butter, divided in 3
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb cooked lobster meat or lobster flavoured pollock
1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
1 tsp parsley
1  1/2 cups crushed cheesy Ritz crackers
2 tbsps flour
2 cups milk
1  1/4 cups shredded three cheese blend
1 cup creamy ricotta
1/4 cup parmesan
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Cook pasta to al dente, drain.  Toss with a little olive oil and set aside.

Heat 2 tbsps butter in a skillet. Add lobster, garlic, red pepper and parsley and toss together 30-60 seconds then remove to a dish.

Add 2 tbsps butter to the same skillet and toss with crushed Ritz to coat, very gently browning. Remove from heat.

In a large pot melt the last 2 tbsps of butter, add the flour then whisk in the milk.  Bring to a gentle boil and cook 2-3 minutes until thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in the cheeses and seasonings.  Stir in the drained pasta.

Spray a baking dish.  You could use one large one, but I opted for 2 - 4" and 1 - 6" rounds. Spray them with cooking oil.

Mix 3/4 of the lobster into the mac and transfer to dishes. Sprinkle remaining lobster on top with the Ritz crumbs.

Bake at 350 F for 20-30 minutes.
You might not ever want to go back to regular mac and cheese!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

One Pot Lemon Chicken Legs

Since I have all those lemons (re: last blog post) this recipe seemed like a good idea.

zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
5 chicken legs, split into legs and drumsticks
1 tbsp dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup brown rice
1 small onion, diced
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp oregano 
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cooked diced carrot (optional)

Mix zest, lemon juice, 1 tbsp oregano, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and olive oil together in a ziplok bag. Add the chicken legs and marinate 2-3 hours.

Remove chicken from bag, but reserve marinade.
Brown the chicken in a couple tbsps olive oil then remove to a plate.  Drain any fat.

Brown onion in oil.  Also a few lemon slices if you like.

Add the reserved marinade, chicken broth, water, 1 tbsp oregano, 1/2 tsp salt and scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.

Heat to boiling and add the rice and cooked carrot if you have it. If you don't have cooked carrot, you can add shredded carrot. Sit the chicken on top. Add the lemon slices if you want more zing, but some might find that too tart. Or keep them aside to garnish. Reduce heat and cover.  

Bake in a 350 F oven for 35 minutes.

Remove lid and cook an additional 10 minutes.

Dinner is served

Lemons and Limes

I just had to share this idea.
I was at the store and saw these lemons and limes in the bin for fast sale. At first I past them by because the bags were too big to use before they'd go bad. There were about 20 lemons and 25 limes in a bag. And each bag was only 99 cents!!

I couldn't leave them.  So I brought them home and washed them, then zested and juiced them all.
I froze the juice in ice cube trays and the zest in ziplok baggies.  A little elbow grease and I'm ready for any recipe that calls for juice or zest of lemons or limes!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Chocolate and Green Tomato Bread

Did you know that you can use shredded green tomatoes in baked goods just as you would zucchini? And it has more vitamin C.

3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
3/4 cup chocolate chips

2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1  1/2 cups shredded green tomato

Start by shredding the green tomatoes and leave them in a colander for 30 minutes. Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl up to and including the chocolate chips.

In a larger bowl mix the eggs, oil, sugars and vanilla together then fold in the green tomato.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir just until combined. Pour into  prepared 9 X 5" loaf pan.

Bake at 350 F for 55-60 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.

And any extra shredded green tomato can be frozen and used later.

A bagged enough for more Chocolate and Green Tomato Bread!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups

So now that you have your pumpkin puréed (I hope you have, but if not you can use canned pumpkin purée, but not pie filling) you can make these awesome little pumpkin cheesecakes.

Makes 16 minis

1/4 cup Oreo baking crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 tsps sugar
1  1/2 tsps melted butter or marg

1 - 250g pkg cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup pumpkin purée
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 egg

Line two-bite sized muffin tin with papers and mix Oreo crumbs, walnuts, sugar and melted marg together. Spoon into the bottom of each cup and press down. I found a pill bottle worked very well here.

Bake in a 325 F oven for 5 minutes and cool.

Cream the cream cheese, pumpkin purée, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and egg together.

Fill 16 cups and bake, again at 325 F for 15 minutes.

Chill 2 hours
Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon sugar.

Check this out for puréed pumpkin

Pumpkin cheesecake cups adapted from the Butterball recipe.

Pumpkin Purée

I see so many pumpkins at the side of the road after Thanksgiving and Halloween and it is such a waste. There are lots of things to do with them from soup to cookies to cheesecake.

And they're easy to cook. Just pierce the whole pumpkin (if it has been carved you don't have to pierce it, obvs) Place it on a baking sheet in a 375 F oven for 45 or more minutes depending on the size of your pumpkin. You'll know it's done when you can pierce it easily.

Let it cool, then cut the top off, take the seeds out and cut the pumpkin into easy to manage wedges. The peel should come off easily.

Put a few chunks at a time into the food processor and purée.

Ziplock 1 cup measurements of the purée and freeze.

If you search "Pumpkin" on the blog here you'll find several recipes you can use this puréed pumpkin in.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Lemon Pudding Cheesecake Pie

Sometimes the oldies are the goodies. This vintage Jello pudding recipe is one of the them.  

8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups milk
1 - 4 serving package lemon instant pudding

1 - 8" pie crust

Prepare the pie crust.  If using pastry, bake and cool. 
You can also use a graham crust which is probably the favourite crust for cheesecakes.

I used this Saltine Cracker Pie Crust 

With the whisk attachment blend the cream cheese with 1/2 cup of milk, then add the remaining milk and the instant pudding mix.

Once well blended pour into the pie shell and chill a few hours.

Garnish with whipped cream and coloured sugar. (Just add a drop or 2 of food colouring to 1-2 tbsps of granulated sugar)