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, March 31, 2017

Classic Shepherd's Pie Makeover

Nothing crazy in this makeover just turned up the mashed potatoes a bit. And changed creamed corn for kernel corn. Don't want to mess with a classic.

4 medium potatoes
1 heaping tbsp Lowney's chicken broth powder
Milk and butter to mash
Pepper and oregano to taste
1 onion, diced
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups niblets corn
Parmesan cheese

Cut and boil 4 potatoes, then mash with milk (or cream) and butter as usual for mashed potatoes. Next add chicken broth powder, pepper and oregano.

Brown beef and diced onion in a large frying pan with a little salt. (remember the Lowney's in the potatoes has salt)

Once there is no more pink place the meat in a greased 8 x 8 x 2  1/2" baking dish. Pour the corn on top. We like kernels better than traditional creamed corn in shepherd's pie. Less goopy!

Back to the potatoes...spoon them over the corn. Smooth out or run a fork over the top for texture. Use a piping bag if you really want to get fancy : )

Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top.

Bake at 375 F 25-30 minutes, then broil 3-5 minutes.

Just another comfort food favourite

Serves 4

Monday, March 27, 2017

Carrot and Oat Dog Cookies

Mom, from this angle that cookie looks as big as ME!

1/2 cup flour
1/8 cup oats
1/4 tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup peanut butter (no xylitol)
1/4 cup milk (or water)
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsps finely grated carrot

Mix all the ingredients together and put heaping tablespoon sized balls on a parchment lined baking sheet. (Make sure the peanut butter you use does not have xylitol in it. This is a sugar substitute that can be very dangerous for dogs.)

Press down with a fork like a peanut butter cookie and bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes. Store in the fridge. Makes 12


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hamburger Steak with Balsamic Mushrooms and Noodles

Funny story...both my husband and I at different times in our childhood were in hospital and we had the same food experience. Supper came around and the slip on the tray said Salisbury Steak. Oh steak!! But when we lifted the warming cover we discovered, to our dismay, a hamburger steak. Imagine our disappointment. We were young, we didn't know. But we've learned over the years that while Salisbury or hamburger steak is not by any means a ribeye, it can still be very satisfying.

Hamburger Steaks:
1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsps tomato paste
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp dry onion soup mix
1/2 tsp pepper

1 onion, sliced
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsps cornstarch
2 tsp dry onion soup mix
3 cups beef consommé
1 tsp worcestershire sauce

4 oz egg noodles
2 tbsps butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz white mushrooms, thickly sliced
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup 10% cream
1 tbsp dry onion soup mix

Combine the hamburger steak ingredients, blending together with your hands and form 4 steak patties. Heat some olive oil in a skillet and brown the patties on each side about 3 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.

In the same skillet add another tablespoon or 2 of olive oil and add the onions. Gently brown about 2-3 minutes. Combine thyme, cornstarch and soup mix and mix with the onions. Cook 1 minute then slowly add the broth and worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil to thicken.
Return the hamburger steaks to the sauce and keep warm on medium to low heat.

Meanwhile prepare mushrooms and noodles.  Cook noodles as per package directions, drain and toss with a little oil and set aside.

Heat a frying pan with butter and olive oil. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook about 8 minutes.

If it gets dry you may want to add another tablespoon of oil. Combine the balsamic and red wine and add to the pan, scraping off the brown bits.

Remove from heat and quickly stir in the cream and dry onion soup powder. Toss with the noodles.

Serve up the hamburger steak on balsamic mushrooms and noodles and no one will be disappointed.

Serves 4

Friday, March 24, 2017

Strawberry Fudge Pie

This pie is so rich and fudgy with a subtle taste of strawberries.

3/4 cup melted butter
1  1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup puréed strawberries (5-6 fresh or frozen berries)
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs

Your favourite short crust pastry for a 9" pie

Start by whirling the strawberries in a blender until puréed.
Whisk into the melted butter, sugar and flour.

Add the remaining ingredients and pour into a 9" pie shell.

Bake at 350 F for 45-55 minutes or until the middle hardly jiggles anymore.  

Cool before cutting. We served it with neopolitan ice cream (although the chocolate ice cream doesn't show in any of the pictures) Whipped cream would be great too!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Pumpkin Date Poptarts

Freeze individually, then pop in the toaster for a quick warm breakfast snack!

1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin purée
8 dates, chopped
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp EACH cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp chia seeds

Pastry for a 2 crust 8" pie
cinnamon sugar

Combine all the filling ingredients together, heat in a pot and simmer several minutes until the dates are soft and you are able to squish them with the back of your spoon.

Cut out rectangles of pastry (mine were about 4" X 5") and spread a heaping teaspoon of filling on one half, leaving a 1/2" edge. 

Brush edge with milk and fold one side over the other and press with a fork to seal. Pierce a couple of times with a fork. Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet in a 400 F oven for 15 minutes. Ready to eat or cool and freeze.

When you toast them they will brown nicely.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Dark Fudgy Guinness Bread

In keeping with this week's theme of adding Guinness to everything in order to make it Irish...

1  1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda 
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp chili powder (yep I went there!)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown
1 cup Guinness
1 egg
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

White chocolate melting discs to garnish
green food colouring (concentrated paste)

In a large bowl mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and chili powder together.

The original recipe called for 1/4 tsp of pepper but I thought I'd kick it up a notch with chili powder. It doesn't make the bread spicy, but simply gives your mouth a slightly warm feeling. Set the dry ingredients aside.

Beat butter and brown sugar in a large mixer bowl until fluffy, add egg and then beer.  Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then another 1/3. When combined add the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix well.

Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Spray a 9 X 5" loaf pan with cooking oil and pour the batter in.

Bake at 350F for 55-60 minutes. Cake tester should come out clean. Cool 10-15 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Melt a few chocolate wafers in the microwave for 20-30 seconds on high. Stir in a drop or 2 of vegetable oil and drizzle over cooled bread.

If you want add a little green for St Patty's Day!

Slight adaptation from original Bailey's Dark Chocolate Guinness Bread at HomemadeHooplah.com 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Ultimate Guinness Stout Brownies

Ooey gooey goodness in a pan..

1 cup flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1 tbsp instant coffee granules

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup Guinness stout
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

1/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix the flour, cocoa and coffee granules together and set aside.

In a large bowl mix the oil, melted butter, stout, sugar, vanilla and eggs together. Add the flour mixture, combining well.

Grease a 9 X 9" baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Pour in the batter and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Bake in a 350F oven for 40-45 minutes.

Cool completely and cut into squares.

Tilapia with Spicy Peach Salsa

In between the sweets that I love so much I do try to eat healthy. 

2 tilapia fillets
2 or 3 celery stalks
pink Himalayan salt
lemon pepper
2 tsps capers

Serve with store bought salsa or use the link to my Spicy Peach Salsa


Cut a piece of parchment paper large enough to hold the two fillets and to fold up into a packet.  Lay it out on a baking sheet. Cut the celery in about 4" pieces and place fillets on top.

Sprinkle with salt and lemon pepper to taste. Top each fillet with 1 tsp of capers.

Fold the parchment together and tuck ends in so the fish is fully enclosed. Place in a 450 F oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and check that the fish easily flakes with a fork. If not, give it another couple of minutes in the oven.

Spoon on the salsa and enjoy!
Serves 2

Friday, March 10, 2017

Beet Slaw Dressing

So light and summery tasting...because it's -10C with light snow today and I'm wishing it would warm up.

2 tbsps orange juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Mix the dressing ingredients together and toss with about 4 cups of beet slaw.

I found this President's Choice slaw and love it! 
It's got broccoli, carrot, cabbage, golden beets and kale.

Chill and serve

Popcorn Bread

A light white bread with a hint of popcorn. Cool

4 cups popped popcorn
1 tsp salt
1 cup boiling water
1 cup cold milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1  1/2 tbsps yeast
6 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour

Yield: 3 loaves

Take popcorn that has been popped and cooled (you can use leftover popcorn from the night before). Remove the duds.

Put it in the food processor and process until it looks like blown-in styrofoam insulation. Weird but it does.

Add salt to the popcorn and set aside.

Boil 1 cup of water, then add 1 cup of cold milk and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top and give it one swirl of the spoon. Let the yeast become active...it should take 10 minutes. I did this all in a measuring cup figuring it'd be ok. It almost wasn't. Next time I'll just start it in a large bowl.

So once the yeast is active (in a large bowl), add the processed popcorn, eggs and melted butter. Gradually incorporate the flours. I started adding flour in my KitchenAid but found the recipe too big for my mixer.

I continued adding flour and kneading on the counter. It doesn't look like it here but it does come together nicely. Place it in a greased bowl, cover with a tea towel and rise in a warm place until doubled, 45-60 minutes. Punch it down and rest 20 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto the counter and cut into 3 equal parts.

Shape into loaves and place into greased 9 X 5" loaf pans.
Cover and let rise until doubled again 30-45 minutes.

Bake in a 350F oven for 35 minutes until golden.

"Pop" them right out of the pans.

 I sliced one warm with dinner and sliced the other 2 and put them in the freezer for a day when there's no time to bake.

Adapted from http://www.food.com/amp/recipe/popcorn-bread-320976