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, June 30, 2017

Whole Orange Chocolate Mini Cakes

Easier than falling off a log... I've never fallen off a log but I imagine it's pretty easy. So are these...

1 whole orange
1 chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
2/3 cup water

Start by pulverizing the orange in a food processor.  Place unpeeled quarters in the processor and chop or purée until consistency that you like. I ended up with 3/4 cup.

Add the orange purée to the cake mix in a large mixer bowl along with the ingredients called for in the cake mix.  I added 3 eggs and 1/2 cup oil. My Betty Crocker mix called for 1 1/4 cups water, so I used 3/4 cup orange purée as part of the water but decided instead of the the remaining 1/2 cup I would add 2/3 cup water as orange purée was more solid than water.  It worked out very well.

Pour the batter into cupcake or mini loaf paper lined pans and bake at 325 F for 25-30 minutes.

These cakes are very moist and don't even need frosting.  You could dust them with icing sugar for appearance sake.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Roasted Chickpea Salad

Still looking at ways to add resistant starch to the diet...

1 tbsp coconut oil
19 oz can chickpeas, drained
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground pink Himalayan salt
Pepper to taste
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar

1 cup diced cucumber
1 cup diced tomato
1/2 cup shredded carrot
2 tsps fresh chopped mint
2 tsp fresh chopped parsley
2/3 cup diced or crumbled feta

1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsps olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat coconut oil in a skillet and add drained chickpeas, cumin, salt and pepper.  Roast on medium high 5-7 minutes. Or longer if you want a crispier chickpea. Toss with red wine vinegar and set aside to cool.

Combine cucumber, tomato, carrot, mint, parsley and feta. Mix lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix with the vegetables. Add the chickpeas and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Adapted from: http://www.sonima.com/food/cucumber-tomato-salad/

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Another Mojito Recipe

Refreshing mojito for 2

8 oz tonic water
3 oz vodka
2 tbsps sugar
2 tbsps water
14 freshly picked mint leaves
1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp lime zest

Start by dissolving the sugar and water in a saucepan, then set aside to cool.

Muddle the mint leaves then add the vodka. Strain out the mint leaves. Mix the minty vodka with the sugar water, lime juice and zest.

Add ice to a couple of tall glasses pour in the mojito mix and top with tonic water.

Bottoms up 🍹

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sweet Chili Rice Salad

I just read an article about Resistant Starch. Never heard of it before but found out that it's very good for your gut, stimulating good bacteria in there. Which is good for you! Especially if you suffer from IBS, but even if you don't.

Resistant Starch can be found in cooked and cooled potatoes, legumes and rice. So thought I'd give rice salad a try.

2 cups "cooked and cooled" jasmine rice
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp finely chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped yellow pepper
2 basil leaves, finely chopped
salt and pepper
2 tbsps sweet chili sauce (for chicken)
a few fresh lemon thyme leaves

Once I cooked and cooled my rice I added lemon zest, juice, onion, yellow pepper and basil. I didn't want any oil or mayo, just keeping it nice and light.

But when I looked at it I thought it needed a little bit of red in it.  Looked in my fridge....hmmmm, I wonder if sweet chili sauce will work? Wow! What a good idea! It gave the salad a nice little POP!

Had it yesterday as a side to our Sriracha and Lime Salmon and will be packing the leftovers for lunch.

Here's the link to the salmon recipe:

Monday, June 26, 2017

Homemade Fudgesicles

Awesomely fudgey!

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsps corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups milk

Whisk together the cocoa and sugar in a saucepan.

Over low heat add corn syrup, vanilla and milk and continue whisking until everything is smooth and blended.  It will not need to be heated too much, low heat just helps to dissolve the cocoa and sugar.

Pour into popsicle molds, add the stick and freeze.

Once frozen run under a little water to unmold and

take a bite!

Original recipe from:

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Whole Orange and Honey Cake

When I eat more than one piece of this orange-y cake my excuse will be "I'm getting my vitamin C!"

1 whole orange, quartered
Flesh of 1 orange, quartered
3/4 cup soft butter
3 eggs
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1  3/4 cup flour
2  1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)

Wash the oranges and brush with a vegetable brush. Cut one orange into quarters. Zest the other orange then peel it. Toss out the peel and quarter the flesh.  Remove any seeds and place both oranges in a food processor. Keep the zest aside.

The kitchen has a wonderful citrusy smell right now!

Process the oranges until there are no chunks of peel left. Something like this middle picture.

Pour the processed oranges into a mixer bowl and add butter and eggs. Mix well then add the remaining ingredients.

Grease a bundt pan and sprinkle the orange zest in the bottom. Pour in the batter.

Bake in a 325 F oven for 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan before turning out onto a rack.

Now some might want to drizzle icing over the top but I enjoyed how this cake was not too sweet just as is.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Homemade Frozen Pizza

This is stupid easy!  Wish I had tried it years ago...

Use your favourite pizza dough, either homemade or store bought and par bake your pizza crust.

Place the dough on parchment paper, forming with your fingers.  When your oven temperature reaches 450 F slide it and the parchment onto a pizza stone or baking pan.

Bake for 5 minutes, or just until the top is dry looking.

Fully cool on rack. Remove the parchment when you can.
You can freeze it naked or topped. I chose naked ; 0

Place the pizza on a baking pan and freeze for 2-3 hours, then remove from freezer, wrap with plastic wrap and foil. 

I labeled mine, but I mean anyone can see it's a pizza right?

When you are ready to use your pizza unwrap it, spread the foil out and throw away the plastic wrap.  You'll use the foil to sit your pizza on. Top it with your favourites if you haven't already, and bake in a 525 F oven for 8-10 minutes. 

Check the middle...if it seems a little squishy give it a few more minutes.

Can't wait to try this par-baked pizza crust on a camping trip! There might even be a post about it !!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Peach and Strawberry Salad

Refreshingly light salad...no oil

1  1/2 cups chopped strawberries
1/2 cup chopped yellow pepper
1 cup chopped, unpeeled peach
2 tbsps finely chopped onion
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
chopped basil leaves
3 or 4 grinds of pink Himalayan salt

Prepare the fruits and veggies and when ready to serve simply toss with zest and juice. Add basil leaves and top with a little sprinkle of salt.

Goes well with chicken or fish

Serves 2-3

Friday, June 16, 2017

Baked Pita Quesadilla

When you don't have tortillas in the house but still crave quesadilla...

3 medium pitas, cut in quarters but not split
1  lb ground beef
small onion, diced
some shredded carrot
1 1/2 cups salsa
2 cups shredded cheese
1/2 cup kidney beans 

Break up and brown the ground beef and onion in a large skillet.

Remove any excess fat. Remove from heat and add 1 cup cheese, 1/2 cup salsa, shredded carrot and beans.
Spread 1/2 cup salsa on the bottom of a 8 X 8" baking dish and divide the meat evenly between the quartered pitas. I cut them in quarters before assembly which made assembly a little slower than if the pitas were whole. But pre-quartering did make for nice neat serving pieces.

Top with remaining salsa and cheese

Bake, covered, at 375 F for 20 minutes. Then uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Serves 3-4

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sriracha and Lime Salmon with Strawberry and Greens Salad

Hot days call for a light supper.


Juice and zest of 1/2 lime
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp sriracha
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
4 salmon fillets
1 tbsp fresh lemon thyme

Strawberry and Greens Salad:

A few handfuls of spinach, kale etc.
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
1/4 English cucumber, diced
5 0r 6 strawberries, sliced
some fresh chopped basil

2 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
pinch sugar
1/4 tsp honey
Pink Himalayan salt to taste

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place salmon.
Combine lime juice and zest, maple syrup, sriracha and salt and pour over the fillets.

Bake at 425F for 15 minutes...the fish should nicely flake.

While the fish bakes prepare the salad and mix the dressing ingredients together.

Sprinkle salmon with lemon thyme leaves, toss salad with dressing and serve.

Adapted from:
(Gwyneth Paltrow)

Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole

To quote Saturday Night Live - Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger..........(Fries)!

1 lb lean ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp relish
1 tbsp ketchup
1  1/2 - 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups frozen french fries

Brown beef and onion in a skillet just until no pink remains in the meat.

Add onion powder, mustard, relish and ketchup and combine well.

Spray an 8 X 8" baking dish with cooking oil and fill with the meat mixture. Top with shredded cheddar. 
NOTE: If you want a deeper serving of meat use a smaller baking dish. You will also use less fries on top.

Place the frozen fries on top, as close together as possible, in a single layer. (If you want to make this dish ahead of time just put the meat and cheese casserole in the fridge until cooking time, then top with fries)

Bake at 450F for 20-25 minutes or until the fries are golden.

Serves 2-3

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Chocolate Chocolate Overload

But honestly can you ever have too much chocolate?
I think not.

Chocolate cake:

1 - 2 layer chocolate cake mix that gets a makeover.

Add an extra egg than what's called for in the mix.
Replace the oil required with melted butter and replace water with 10% cream. Then add 2 tsps vanilla extract.

For 2 - 8" rounds bake at 325 F for 35 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan then completely cool on rack. (Baking at 325 F rather that 350 F gives you a flatter topped cake.)

Chocolate Mousse Filling:

1 cup 35% whipping cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 squares (2 oz) semi-sweet chocolate
1 - 4 serving size box instant chocolate pudding
1/2 cup cold water

Whip the cream and keep in fridge until needed.

Melt chocolate in microwave about 20-30 seconds, then cool on counter.

Once cooled add the condensed milk, then the pudding mix and water. Beat 1-2 minutes and chill 30 minutes.

Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture and refrigerate 1 hour.

Rich Chocolate Frosting:
(like a ganache)

1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
3 tbsps cream cheese
1 tsp honey
1  1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

Melt the chocolate chips in microwave 20-30 seconds at a time just until you can stir them, then set aside to cool completely.

Whisk together the yogurt, cream cheese and honey. When the chocolate chips are cooled combine with the yogurt mix. If this gets too stiff for spreading on the cake just micro on high 20 seconds and stir.

Start by splitting the cake layers in half. I like to use a piece of thread, wrap it around the cake bringing the two ends together, cross them over each other and gently squeeze. The thread will come right through the cake.

Use 1 1/4 cups of mousse between each layer of cake spreading to about 1/4" from the edge. Spread the remaining mousse on the top of the cake.

As I said earlier, if the frosting is a bit stiff just microwave a few seconds then frost the sides of the cake.

There really are 4 cake layers and 3 mousse layers with a 4th layer of mousse on top here but for some reason (bad photography!) it doesn't look like it.

I sprinkled chocolate cookie crumbs along the edge to camouflage where the frosting meets the mousse.

Now chill until about 1 hour before serving.
Slice and serve. It is very rich so small pieces could serve 10-12 people.

So, what do you think..... enough chocolate?

Perfect for our double birthday!