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, February 24, 2017

Gluten Free Pistachio Avocado Blondies

If you have a tummy sensitive to gluten but still have a sweet tooth...

1 small avocado (1/3 cup mashed)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup butter or marg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/3 cup roughly chopped pistachios

Mash avocado and lemon juice together.
Cream butter and sugar together then add to the avocado/lemon juice. Mix in the egg and vanilla.

Next mix the ground almonds, salt and rice flour together and incorporate into the mix.

Chop the pistachios roughly like this

and fold into the batter.

Line an 8 X 8" baking pan with parchment paper and pour the batter in.

Bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes.

Cool in pan then lift out with the parchment and cut into squares.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Sautéed Garlic Asparagus

You know spring is around the corner when tender young asparagus spears start popping up in the produce section of your grocery store!

When they are thick woody ones snapping the ends off usually means losing 2 or 3 inches off the stalk. I barely lost an inch off these ones!

1 lb asparagus
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper 

Once you wash and trim the asparagus, cut them in half.
In a large skillet heat olive oil and add minced garlic. Toss until fragrant, probably less than 1 minute then add the asparagus. Sauté 5 minutes and add salt and pepper to taste.

And if you'd like to try the Potato Stacks pictured, here's the link to the recipe

Potato Stacks

These stacks remind me of Hasselback potatoes but without the "hassle" of cutting the potatoes and trying to keep them joined at the bottom. 

Just use a mandolin slicer and slice away!

3 large russet potatoes
3 tbsps olive oil
3 tbsps melted butter
2 tsp dried rosemary
salt and pepper

So like I said, slice the potatoes thinly.  Out of 3 large potatoes I made 7 serving stacks of potatoes.

Toss the slices in a bag with oil and butter.  You may have to get your hands in there to separate the slices and get everything coated nicely. Add rosemary, salt and pepper to taste.

Stack the potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with the rest of the oil and butter left in the bag.

Bake at 375 F for 45-55 minutes until the edges are golden and a skewer pierces easily through the middle of the stack.

Serve with a little parmesan

And here's the recipe link for those Sautéed Garlic Asparagus

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Heart Bark

While there are no exact measurements to making this bark I can tell you that I used approximately 8 ounces of white chocolate for the base and another 3-4 ounces of semi sweet chocolate for the swirl. You can also use coloured candy melts, but not chocolate chips. They are made to stay like chips when baked in a cookie so they won't melt properly for bark.

Melt white chocolate in a double boiler. Once it is melted pour onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread.

Melt the smaller amount of semi-sweet chocolate. I just poppped this amount in the microwave. Heat on high for 20 seconds intervals, stirring each time until almost melted, then remove from microwave. The heat of the chocolate will melt the rest. This will ensure that your chocolate doesn't seize.

Drizzle the chocolate over the white chocolate and give it a swirl. 

Sit conversation hearts and candy-coated chocolates gently in the bark. Add sprinkles or whatever your little "heart" desires!

Set in the fridge 20-30 minutes, then break up. (Oops, not a good choice of words on Valentine's Day! Hope yours is happy)

Got the idea for this bark from

Monday, February 13, 2017

Pineapple Coconut Overnight Breakfast

Heart healthy oats and flaxseed make this breakfast perfect any day. But especially on Valentine's Day 💖

1/2 cup oats
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/4 tsp honey
3 tbsps coconut
1 yogurt cup (vanilla, coconut, or pina colada flavour)
1/3 cup milk
fresh pineapple (approx 1/2 cup)

Mix everything together then start layering with fresh chunks of pineapple!

Happy Heart Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Italian Sausage with Rice Noodles

Or how to change up some leftovers in the fridge from Chinese New Year!

1 onion, sliced
3 spicy Italian sausages, sliced
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/4 lb rice noodles
2 cup coleslaw mix (or cabbage)
a handful of arugula
1 - 28 oz can diced tomatoes

So like I said, I had some leftovers from Chinese dishes I'd made over the holiday. Water chestnuts, rice noodles and coleslaw mix. And I didn't want another asian dish so I made this. Wasn't sure how this Asian/Italian fusion was going to turn out but was pleasantly surprised!

Brown sliced sausages and onions in a large frying pan. Add chestnuts and coleslaw mix and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add arugula, diced tomatoes and prepared noodles. No reason to season...the sausage gives the dish all the flavour it needs.

Combine and heat through.

Ready to serve....and everyone loved it!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Baked Nian Gao

Nian Gao means "higher year", a good wish for Chinese New Year. This recipe is non-traditional as a proper New Year's cake is steamed not baked. But I thought the baked version would be easier for my first attempt.

1 heaping tbsp shredded coconut
2 large eggs
1/2 lb white rice flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsps melted butter
1/2 tsp coconut or vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt 
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped dates

Butter an 8 X 8" baking pan.

Toast the coconut in a frying pan and set aside.

In a large mixer bowl whisk eggs, milk and sugars together, then add the milk, melted butter and extract. Finally add the rice flour and salt and whisk for 2 minutes.

Pour into the prepared pan 

and sprinkle with coconut and chopped dates. 

Place pan on the middle rack in a 350 F oven for 45-50 minutes, until the edges are browned and the middle bubbles up a little.

Let cool 1 hour, run a knife under hot water and dry, then cut your Nian Gao into squares.

Look at that golden edge! 

And the creamy top!

Let's just admire that crusty golden edge again...

Original recipe from Chowhound - Baked Chinese New Year Cake

Easy Butter Pecan Banana Carrot Muffins

A little like a cupcake but the oats makes it a little more muffinie (or muffiny? Is this even a word? You know what I mean)

Sometimes it's ok to cheat and start with a cake mix.
Instead of the usual 24 cupcakes the mix would make, this recipe makes 16 medium muffins.

1 - 432g butter pecan cake mix
3 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
1/2 cup oats

Mix bananas, carrot and eggs in mixer bowl, then add the oats and cake mix and beat until smooth.

Scoop into prepared muffin tins.

Bake at 350F for 18-20 minutes. A cake tester should come out clean.

1 tbsp cream cheese
1/4 tsp vanilla
pinch nutmeg
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/4 tsp milk

Blend the cream cheese, vanilla and nutmeg together and add the icing sugar. Add the milk to the consistency you like.

Drizzle on top of almost cooled muffins.

I wonder what other cake mixes and combinations could be used to make muffins? 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Pizza Bolognese

February 9th is Pizza Day, did you know that? We have pizza day in our house more often than just one day (probably way too often) but couldn't let this day go by without posting a pizza.

I had some leftover Bolognese sauce and thought I'd try this out.

I started with my favourite pizza dough...here's the link

Then I topped it with 1 1/2 cups Bolognese and 320g shredded pizza cheese, a blend of mozzarella, cheddar and provolone.

Oh and here's the bolognese recipe link too

On to the pizza stone in a 500 F oven for 11 minutes and...
it's pizza time!

Classic Bolognese Sauce

It has three kinds of meat along with a bunch of veggies. It is a meal in itself. But add the pasta and "Mamma Mia !" you'll be looking for seconds!

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp bacon fat
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1  1/2 - 2 lbs ground beef/pork/veal mix
2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
2 cups beef broth
3 tbsps tomato paste
1 - 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp sage
2 tsps oregano
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp sugar

Heat olive oil in a large skillet and cook the onion, celery, carrot, green pepper and garlic until softened. Remove from pan.

Add the meat to the skillet and cook, breaking it up, until there is no more pink and just slightly browned. Remove any excess grease.

Return the veggies to the pan and add the remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and keep partially covered. Simmer 2-4 hours.

After that time remove the cover and cook on medium-high for 25-30 minutes.

Serve on you favourite pasta. 

You might also like it on pizza bolognese