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!

Friday, December 30, 2016

VH Chicken Wings

After all that Christmas cooking I bet you are looking for something easy to make. These chicken wings are so yummy and seriously the easiest thing to make ever! 
Unfortunately, VH sauce is only available in Canada, but maybe another garlic rib sauce would do the trick.
Or pick some VH sauce up next time you're in Canada ; )

12 chicken wings
1 - 341 ml bottle Strong Garlic VH Rib Sauce

That's all the ingredients you need !!

Just brown the wings in a deep skillet 5-10 minutes.
Pour the whole bottle of sauce in

and simmer, uncovered, for 35 minutes.

Bring the heat up again for 3-5 minutes to thicken the sauce and presto! you've got sticky wings!

Pistachio Walnut Crescents

I made these for the first time this Christmas. Even with no sifting required these cookies have a wonderful texture.

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
1  1/2 cups flour
1 cup butter, softened
2  1/2 cups icing sugar, divided
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract

Finely chop the walnuts and pistachios together to measure 1 cup in total. I use my coffee bean grinder for the job.

Cream the butter in a mixer, then add flour, nuts, 1/2 cup icing sugar, salt and the extracts. Blend well and chill 20-30 minutes.

Form into crescents and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 F for 12-15 minutes.

While still warm toss cookies in the remaining icing sugar.

Cool on racks, then dust with more icing sugar to serve.
I think I'll go have one now!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cannoli Cookies

If you want a dessert that is not too sweet...

1 cup ricotta
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
30 giant lady finger biscuits, halved
3/4 cup white chocolate melting discs
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pistachio nuts

The original recipe called for vanilla wafer cookies, but I searched high and low for them with no luck.  I eventually settled on the lady finger biscuits. I halved them and they worked out fine.

Mix ricotta, icing sugar, sugar and vanilla together and spread a scant teaspoon on one half of each cookie.

Sandwich them together.

Then melt the white chocolate discs in a double boiler or microwave.  I microwaved them on medium for 30 seconds, stirred, then another 30 seconds. If you have a few lumps left just stir them in, they should melt. You don't want to make the chocolate too hot or it will clump. Now start dipping the cut end of the cookies in the white chocolate and sprinkle chocolate chips or pistachios on top or on the whole dipped end.

I opted for the tops...pretty cute eh?

Adapted from:

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Cabbage Pork Noodles

What with Christmas and such I had no time to post this, but a couple of weeks back I made Classic Cabbage Rolls and in that post I said you could use the remaining cabbage for another recipe.
This is it...

1/2 lb ground pork
8 oz linguini
2 medium carrots, julienned
5 cups cabbage, shredded
2 celery stalks, julienned
3 green onions, sliced
2 tbsps sesame seeds
1 tsp sesame seed oil
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbsps soya sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
a few drops sriracha sauce

In a large skillet or wok heat sesame seed oil and vegetable oil and cook the ground pork, breaking it up, until no pink remains.

Mix the soya, minced garlic, ginger, salt, pepper and sriracha together and pour over the meat. Add the carrots, cabbage, celery and the white slices of green onion and cook 4-6 minutes.

Put the sesame seeds in a small pan and gently warm to toast. Set aside.

Cook linguini and drain. Toss with a few drops of sesame oil and add to the pork and veggies.

Combine well and serve topped with sliced green onion, toasted sesame seeds and extra soya sauce on the table.

Serves 4

Classic Cabbage Rolls


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Pork and Bacon Sausage Rolls

Bacon! What else is there to say?
I mean I love sausage rolls anyways, but bacon makes them just that much more lovable. 

1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
4-5 slices of bacon, finely chopped (while partially frozen is easier)
2 tsps fennel seed, rubbed
1  lb ground pork
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 egg
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
A few grinds of pepper

2 1/2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg beaten, for egg wash

Sauté garlic, onion, celery and bacon in olive oil but do not brown the bacon.

Rub the fennel seeds between your fingers to release their fragrance then stir into the warm bacon mixture. Remove from heat to cool.

Add the rest of the ingredients up to and including the pepper. You may want to get in there with your hands to combine well.

Lay a sheet of puff pastry out keeping the parchment it is rolled with underneath. Form filling into a log and place on long edge of pastry. Roll up with the help of the parchment.

Brush beaten egg along edge and seal. Place seal side down on parchment lined sheet and chill 30-60 minutes.

Remove from fridge and slice. I made 1" cuts so my rolls are actually rounds, but you can make your rolls bigger.
Stand on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush with egg.

Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Remove to a paper towel to drain.

Serve warm with mustard.

Or chill and freeze for later use. From frozen just stand on a baking sheet and pop in a 350 F oven for 12-14 minutes.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Classic Cabbage Rolls

Classic, but with a few different seasonings that make this cabbage roll recipe stand out !

1 head of cabbage
1 lb ground pork
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup finely shredded carrot
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
2 cups short grain rice (like calrose)
2 tbsps smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsps salt
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp celery seed
3 - 3 1/2 cups tomato sauce

Score around the stem of the cabbage and submerge it in a soup pot of boiling water.

After 3 or 4 minutes it can be removed to peel a few leaves off. Return to the water a few minutes again, you may want to score the stem again too. Continue until you have removed 14 large leaves. Keep the rest of the cabbage for another use. 

Rinse rice in a colander with cold water than cook as per package directions leaving a little bite to it. Chill in the fridge. Mix together the pork, onion, carrot, garlic, eggs and seasonings. Add the rice once cooled. 

Cut a point out of the leaves at the stem to help lay the leaf flat. Fill with meat mixture and roll up. Start by rolling the long side up, then tuck in the two sides and finish rolling up. Secure with toothpicks. 

Spread 3/4 cup tomato sauce on the bottom of a 13 X 9" baking dish and sit the rolls in seam side down without overlapping. Once all the rolls are in, spoon the remaining sauce over the top.

Cover with foil and bake at 400 F for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Makes 14 cabbage rolls

And with that remaining cabbage why not try...
Cabbage Pork Noodles

Monday, December 12, 2016

Slow Cooker Chicken Dinner

If you are going to be outside shovelling snow today you will work up an appetite.
You might want to get this started first.

2  1/2 lb whole chicken
2 tbsps olive oil
2 stalks celery
3 carrots
4-5 potatoes, quartered
3 minced garlic cloves
celery leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Cut celery and carrots in thirds and layer on the bottom of a slow cooker that has been sprayed with cooking oil. You can add a couple more but this allowed the heat to get underneath the chicken. It kind of reminds me of when you build a campfire and you stack the wood so that air can circulate between.

Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken and lightly brown it in a skillet with olive oil. Then sit it on top of the celery and carrots. Place the quartered potatoes around it and sprinkle with salt, pepper, minced garlic and chopped celery leaves.

Slow cook on high 3-4 hours. Check veggies. If they're a not quite fork tender, give them a little more time.

Finished shovelling? Now aren't you glad you made supper already? 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Cheese Tortellini with Beef and Tomatoes

Baby it's cold outside!

8 ripe tomatoes
1 lb ground beef
1 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 tbsps minced garlic
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 cups chicken broth
3/4 lb cheese tortellini

Start by peeling the tomatoes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and carefully spoon the whole tomatoes in. Boil for 1 minute then remove them directly to a cold water bath. Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle the skins should easily slide off. Just cut out the stem area. Chop the tomatoes and set aside.

In a soup pot brown the ground beef, breaking it up as you go. Remove to a plate and drain off the grease.

Add olive oil to the pot, heat to medium and add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic.  Cook until lightly browned.

Return the beef to the pot and add tomatoes, tomato paste, broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cook until veggies are tender, around 5 minutes or so.

In the meantime cook your tortellini as per package directions and drain. 

Gently stir them into the pot.

Serve with a little more parsley and if you like...parmesan too.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Pepper Chicken Thighs

Why do so many pan roasted chicken thigh recipes have the chicken ending up in the oven? Isn't that oven roasted? 
Anyways, here's my PAN roasted thighs. No oven involved.

1-2 tbsps olive oil
6 chicken thighs, bone-in
1 onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup broth (chicken, veg or beef)
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp garlic powder

In a skillet with deep sides, heat olive oil to medium and lightly brown the chicken thighs. Remove to a plate. Add the onion and red pepper to the pan and cook until slightly softened.

Add tomato paste and broth. Sit the chicken back in the pan, nestled into the veggies, and season with chili powder, paprika, celery seed and garlic powder.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes. Remove the lid and cook an additional 20 or so minutes until cooked through.

Note: I finally got around to posting this recipe. I actually made it in October....hence the pumpkin shaped carrots : )