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!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Fruit and Nut Israeli Couscous

When your daughter says "this is the best thing to hit my mouth!" you know you've got a keeper.

And it's not what comes to mind when you think of pasta salad, but couscous is a tiny pasta.

1/2 cup israeli couscous
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp lemon thyme
1 small apple diced (I used red delicious)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 radishes, finely chopped
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts

2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp grainy mustard
pinch salt
pinch lemon pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Heat a saucepan with olive oil to medium-high. Stir in the dry couscous and lightly toast for 3-4 minutes.  Add the broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 10-12 minutes, then remove from heat and cool.

Once cooled stir in the parsley, lemon thyme, apple, dried cranberries, radishes and peanuts. Lots of sweetness and crunch!

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour into the couscous. Stir well to coat.

Serve chilled or at room temperature. Great to pack for lunch.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Cheesy Pull-Apart Garlic Bread

Cheese and bread...I mean how can you go wrong with that?

Slice a soft baguette-style bread into 3/4 - 1" slices using a chopstick as a stopper to keep from slicing all the way through.

I used a small bread here so only used a small batch of garlic butter...multiply to suit your needs.

1/4 cup butter
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 pinches of oregano
and a little salt

Mix together then spread between each slice and all over the outside of the bread.

Stuff each slice with some shredded mozzarella, about 1/2 cup. And sprinkle a little more oregano on top.

Take a large piece of foil and bring the sides up loosely to the top, sealing the sides and top tightly.

Only 4 or 5 minutes in a hot barbecue then tear the foil opened and pull apart.

Blueberry and Basil Muffins

You don't really taste basil in these muffins, but it gives a what-is-that-taste?? kind of taste.

3/4 cup (wild) blueberries
2-4 tsp finely chopped basil leaves
1/2 tsp lime zest
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
4-5 tbsps honey
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

First set aside 1/4 cup of blueberries. Next toss 1 tsp of flour with the remaining 1/2 cup of berries. This will keep them from sinking in the muffins. Set aside. (These were still some wild blueberries we picked on our camping trip, but you can use the berries you pick up at the market)

Mix together the basil leaves, lime zest, flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 

Whisk together the egg, milk, honey, olive oil and vanilla extract, then mix this into the dry ingredients just until combined.

Fold in the floured blueberries.

Pour batter into paper-lined muffin tins and sprinkle the 1/4 cup of berries on the tops of the muffins.

Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes.

Makes 12 medium muffins...not too sweet and not too cakey.

Another recipe using Algonquin Provincial Park blueberries:

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Fresh Blueberry Pancakes

Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario has bears. And it has wild blueberries. Enough for the bears and campers to share if you don't mind picking while keeping an eye out for the bears.
Obviously they get first pick!

So for our latest camping trip we packed some of our favourite mix..Healthy Pancake Mix but you can use any pancake mix you like.

Make the batter and heat up your griddle. Even with our non-stick pan we still add a little butter. Pour the batter into the hot pan and wait to see bubbles start to break the surface of the batter. Make sure you can loosen the bottom from the pan. Sprinkle blueberries over the top then carefully flip the pancake. Only 1 or 2 more minutes of cooking is needed as it was mostly cooked through before flipping. The heat brings out the flavour in the berries.

Adding blueberries directly to the batter could give you soggy pancakes, but cooking them this way ensures a well cooked pancake full of juicy blueberries!

Serve with maple syrup.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Baked Avocado and Tomato

Another side made with leftovers (I love leftovers!) I am not big on avocados but my avocado lovers liked it ☺

2/3 cup cooked rice
1 avocado
1 tomato
lemon juice
parmesan cheese

1/4 cup mayo
1 tbsp srirracha
1/2 tsp soya sauce
splash of lime juice

Use any leftover cooked rice and season to taste.

I used leftover rice from my Rice with Artichokes

Cut tomato and avocado in half and scoop out the flesh of both leaving enough around the edge to keep the cup solid. Brush the avocado with a little lemon juice to keep it from turning brown.

Chop up the tomato and avocado and add it to your rice then spoon the mixture into the veggie cups.

Sprinkle with parmesan.

Bake at 425 F for 12-15 minutes.

Mix together the mayo, srirracha, soya sauce and lime juice and drizzle over the top. Serve warm.

Rice with Artichokes

Make this to have warm as a side with dinner and have the leftovers cold for lunch the next day.

1 1/4 cups jasmin rice
2 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp chopped sundried tomatoes

14 oz (398 ml) can artichoke hearts
1/4 cup diced red pepper
3/4 cup chopped spinach

1/4 tsp lemon zest
3 tbsps lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp honey
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Rinse and drain the rice in cold water. Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil and add rice and sundried tomatoes. Return to boil, then simmer covered for 15 minutes.

Toss in the artichokes, red pepper and spinach.

Mix lemon zest, juice, olive oil, honey, garlic powder, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly with the rice.

And like I said serve warm or chilled.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Chicken Avocado Wrap

I love having leftover cooked chicken in the fridge. There are so many things to make with it.

Like this...

3 - 6" whole wheat tortilla wraps

1 cup cooked chopped chicken
1/2 avocado, mashed
2 tbsps caesar dressing
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper

lettuce leaves

Combine chicken, avocado, dressing, lemon juice, red pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper. 

Lay a lettuce leaf on each wrap and spread the filling. Roll up. 

Leave whole or slice on the diagonal. That was easy!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Boston Cream Pie Trifle

It's funny when your husband tells you about a month before his birthday that he doesn't want a birthday cake, but instead he wants a trifle.  Then when his birthday is approaching he keeps asking you what he's going to have because he can't remember that he wanted trifle!?!?!?

What you'll need:

1 yellow cake mix and the ingredients needed to prepare it.

Pastry Cream Filling:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsps cornstarch
1 tsp salt
3 cups whole milk
9 egg yolks
2 tsps vanilla
1 cup prepared whipped cream

Chocolate Ganache:

1  2/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup whipping cream

Start by preparing your cake as directed on the box. Bake it in a 13 X 9" baking dish at 325 F for 20 minutes. Then cool and cut into cubes. While you wait for the cake to cool prepare the pastry cream.

Separate the yolks in a bowl. Keep the egg whites to make meringue cookies, macaroons, macarons, or what I hope to make soon...pavlova!  But we'll see.

Anyways, in a large saucepan whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt and milk. Stir until mixture starts to thicken, about 7-8 minutes. Looks like this (sorry not a very good pic)

Take 1/2 cup of milk mixture and pour it into the egg yolks while stirring rapidly. Add this back to the saucepan and cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into a bowl and cool completely in refrigerator. Remember to cover the bowl so you don't develop a skin.

Once pastry cream is completely cooled, fold in the whipped cream. Chill

To prepare the ganache heat the whipping cream just until hot. Do not boil. Pour over chocolate chips in a bowl and cover with a plate for about 5 minutes, then stir.

Use a microwave-safe bowl...you may need to zap it if you find it isn't quite smooth enough. After this pic I microwaved it 20 seconds to get rid of the few lumps you see here.

Now you are ready to assemble the trifle.

Start by putting about 1/3 of the cake cubes in the bottom of your trifle bowl. Add 1/3 of the pastry cream, then 1/3 of the chocolate ganache.

Continue adding cake, cream and ganache making sure you end up with enough ganache to cover the top completely.

When my husband saw the trifle he said "Oh ya now I remember!" Good thing he didn't say "why the heck did you make trifle for my birthday?!?!"  Lol !

Adapted from: https://www.chef-in-training.com/2014/07/boston-cream-pie-trifle

Friday, July 7, 2017

Fruity Frozen Pup Pops

It's been a weird summer so far...either cool and windy or swelteringly HOT! Dogs feel the heat just as much, or even more, than we do. Make up a batch of these cool treats and keep them in the freezer for your Fido!

Makes 12 cubes

1 small apple, unpeeled
1/2 avocado
1/2 banana
12 medium dog cookies

Wash and core the apple but don't peel it. Cut it in chunks and place in a food processor. Scoop out the avocado and add along with slices of banana.

Process until smooth-ish then spoon into an ice cube tray.

Stick a cookie (I used Milkbone) in each and freeze.

Once frozen run the bottom of the ice cube tray under cool water a few seconds to release, then store in the freezer in a ziplock freezer bag.

Ready for a sitting-pretty puppy!

Happy 4th birthday Karma!

And you can check out last year's birthday treat here:

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Boneless Portuguese Chicken Thighs

No overpowering heat, just lots of flavour and ready in no time,  This is a small batch but it can be easily doubled or tripled. So you can have it for any old suppertime or make a big batch for company.

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsps red wine vinegar
2 tbsps olive oil
1  1/2 - 2 tbsps minced garlic
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp finely chopped cilantro leaves
1 or 2 basil leaves, chopped
1/4 tsp black pepper

Mix the vinegar and oil together with the seasonings and slather all over the chicken pieces.

Oil the bottom of a baking dish and sit the chicken in without overlapping.

Cover and refrigerate 1 - 24 hours.

Heat the oven to 425 F and bake uncovered for 20 - 25 minutes. Or if you want, BBQ medium high about 25 minutes

Can't wait to make this again!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Cantaloupe Breakfast Jar

It's been awhile since posting a breakfast jar. Do you spell it cantalope or cantaloupe? I usually spell it cantalope but spell check prefers the latter.

Anyways, however you spell it here's all you have to do...


1/2 cup oats
1 serving size cup vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped cantaloupe

Layer the oat mix with the fruit and refrigerate overnight.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Hobo Cheeseburger Dinner

On the BBQ in the backyard or as an all-in-one camping meal, with these foil-packs you'll have dinner all wrapped up!

You'll need:

1 onion, sliced
2 potatoes, sliced
1 carrot, cut in sticks
1 lb ground beef
1 tbsp steak sauce (I used HP pepper steak sauce)
1 tbsp Montreal steak spice
1/2 - 3/4 cup old cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt to taste

Spray 2 good sized pieces of foil with cooking oil and layer onions on top. Place thinly sliced potatoes on top trying not to overlap them and add the carrot sticks. Sprinkle with salt if desired.

In a large bowl add steak sauce, steak spice and cheese to the ground beef and form into 4 small patties. 

Place two patties on top of each onion/potato stack and bring up the foil to seal.

Barbecue at 375 F for 25-30 minutes.

Serves 2 hungry campers!