Sunday, December 16, 2012

Chocolate Egg Nog!!

So this is my Sundays with Joy post this week! It's not very Christmas-y here, it was +8 today and rainy. Here's hoping for some snow before Christmas.

This week's recipe was Joy's Perfect Hot Chocolate. I made it last week for the kids and it didn't last long enough for pictures, but hey what's new... seems to happen a lot around here. So I decided to change it up this time and made Chocolate Egg Nog.

I know my mug is not very festive, but it is my favourite mug and I have had it since I was at least 8. I used to get really upset if someone else used it. My cousin Blair had a different Disney mug and was the same way with her's.

The mug fits in my theme of favourite things because Christmas is my favourite time of the year.

Chocolate Egg Nog

2 cups Egg Nog (I prefer light)
.5 cup milk
1 tbsp White Chocolate chips
2.5 tbsp Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

Heat Egg Nog and milk in a pan until warm.

Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl or mug. Microwave on Power 5 for 1 min. Stir until melted.

Stir chocolate into Egg Nog.

Enjoy! I like mine with Mini Marshmallows.

If you would like to find Joy Original recipe Check out her Cookbook Joy the Baker Cookbook

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sundays with Joy: Gingerbread with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

The beginning of December and in my house that means I can start decorating!!!! I live with a scrooge that will not let me put out decorations before December 1st. What better way to start the season than with Gingerbread!!! This was a nice treat to enjoy as we decorated the house and got into the Christmas Spirit. It was really moist and the pomegranate were a nice finishing touch. 

This recipe is adapted from Joy the Baker's Orange Gingerbread with Cream Cheese Frosting! This recipe is in her book and on her blog here.

My adaption happened by accident I forgot the orange zest in the gingerbread, but felt it needed to be present in the finished dessert, so I added it to my frosting and it turned out amazing. 

I definitely reccommend you make this Gingerbread!!! Go make it now!!! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Manicotti

Had a busy but productive weekend. Friday night the girls went to see Breaking Dawn Pt 2, I passed, despite their begging, as I have not read the books are watched any of the movies. But  I was able to get some cleaning and errands done. Saturday we went to Medieval Times for my work Christmas Party! It's always a blast, I never get sick of going. I think I have been 4 or 5 times now. Saturday night we had a Rockband Party! and stayed up until 2:00am playing. Sunday we were up early for church, then I had to drive downtown Toronto to drop on of my girls off at the Bus station as she was home for a visit. I almost got stuck downtown on my way home, by the Santa Clause Parade. Glad I didn't cause I was tired after only 5 hours of sleep. 

The Wii U came out Sunday and if you know me and my bf at all then this should not be a surprise. So needless to say the rest of Sunday was spent playing with that and finishing up other chores. I wanted an easy supper and I had made a batch of Buffalo Ranch Chicken on Saturday.  My bf suggested making Buffalo Chicken Manicotti! He likes to brainstorm new ideas and then have me experiment with it in the kitchen.

So experiment I did! I have never made manicotti before ever, but really it's only stuffed pasta. So I figured it wouldn't be too bad.  These turned out delicious! There was no left overs!

Buffalo Chicken Manicotti

1 box manicotti shells
1 tub light ricotta cheese
2 cups Shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
2 eggs

1/2 cup light ranch dressing
1/4-1/2 cup Buffalo Wing Sauce (I use president's choice) **If using Frank's use less and taste, it is a lot               

Boil shells as per instructions on the box. When done, rinse in cold water, so easier to handle.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

While pasta is boiling combine Chicken, ricotta cheese, 1/2 the  Mozzarella and eggs and mix well.

cover bottom of dish with a thin layer of the sauce. Fill Pasta with Chicken mixture. Place in a single layer in baking dish. pour remaining sauce over the top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake for 20-25 min until hot and bubbly. If you want the top browned turn the broiler on for a couple minutes at the end of cooking time.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sundays with Joy: Sweet Potato Pie

It's good to be back in the swing of things and posting again. It seems that life gets busy and I put the blog on the back burner! I've still been cooking and baking, well not so much of the later as I am trying to eat healthier and the kids are all cooking one night a week each. So that's been nice. 

This weeks Sundays with Joy recipe is Sweet Potato Pie with No Roll Crust! I was curious about this because I have never had sweet potato pie before and was also excited to try Joy the Baker's No Roll Pie Crust!

Well this pie was awesome! Everyone enjoyed it. I really liked the crust, mind you I enjoy making pie crust and don't think I have ever bought a store bought one. This was a nice break from the traditional and it tastes delicious. The texture is very much like pumpkin. I substituted the white sugar for Splenda and used low fat cream cheese.

I would definitely recommend everyone try this.  You can find this recipe on Joy's Blog or in Joy the Baker Cookbook.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake with Bananas and Chocolate Whipped Cream Icing

Last Weeks Sundays with Joy recipe was Peanut Butter Birthday Cake. I didn't have anyone's birthday to celebrate but who really needs a reason to make a cake. Well we did a have a reason actually it is my foster son's 2nd year anniversary in my home. What better way to celebrate than with cake!

As most of you know by now I am trying to lose weight and get my blood pressure down. So I have been making substitutions in many recipes to make them a little healthier.

Here is my take on Joy's Peanut Butter Birthday Cake. You can find the original recipe in her cookbook Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake 

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
6 tbsp non fat greek yogurt
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8" (or 9") cake pans. Set Aside

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set ASide

In the bowl for an electric mixer, combine greek yogurt, apple sauce, peanut butter and brown sugar, until mixed well.

Add one egg at a time and beat for 1 minute between each egg. Add vanilla.

Add 1/2 flour and mix until combined, scrape down the sides of the bowl. 

Add all the buttermilk slowly while beating on medium speed. 

Add the rest of the flour and mix until combined.

Fold in chocolate chips.

Divide cake batter evenly between the cake pans and tap each on the counter to settle the batter.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before icing.

Chocolate Whipped Cream Icing

2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted (or more if desired)
1/4 cup coco powder, sifted
1 tsp vanilla

Pour cream into electric mixer bowl. Beat on medium high until cream begins to thicken. Add vanilla, icing sugar and coco powder. Beat until light and fluffy.

To assemble the cake

Place one cake on the platter. Spoon 1/2-3/4 cup of icing onto cake and smooth out over later. Slice banana and place in layer on top of icing. Place 2nd layer on top. Cover cake with remaining icing.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sundays with Joy - Avocado Pound Cake

I made lunch for over 15 of my coworkers earlier this week. I decided that it would be a good time to catch up on some of my Sundays with Joy recipes. I decided to try the Avocado Pound Cake, because it was the most recommended by the ladies in the group. I also made Pumpkin Black and White cookies and mini pumpkin pies. For lunch I made pulled pork, for the non pork eater I made Buffalo Chicken and the vegetarian got Sweet Potato White Bean Burgers. 

There is not much to say about the Avocado Pound Cake except that it is AWESOME!! Moist and flavorful  a little crunchy on the outside and I didn't have problems with mine falling in the middle (some others noted this issue). Next time I would make my usual substitutions of using 1/2 greek yogurt for butter, apple sauce for sugar( I would prob use 1/2 apple sauce as it may be too moist with the amount of sugar used) and using whole wheat flour.

I did not make any changes to her recipe! So those of you who want to try it will have to check out Joy the Baker Cookbook or Joy the Baker's blog! as it is on there as well.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sweet Potato Cakies!

So it is Sunday and that means it is time for my Sundays with Joy post! This weeks recipe was Sweet Potato Cookies!

This week was a rough one with a friend/coworker passing away and work was busy also. I have did not do any cooking or baking this week until Saturday, which is unusual for me. I was glad when I had the time to get back in there. My cousin Blair came over on Saturday morning to visit with her daughter Madilyn. I did not judge my timing well and was still baking when she arrived, not that this has ever stopped me before. The smell from the oven was amazing!  Blair had 4 or 5 while over and I sent her home with a bag of them for later. When eating them she called them "Cakies" Cake + Cookies. So that is what I am calling them. My kids also really enjoyed them. I had to put some away so I could have some later.

So as mentioned in last weeks post, I am trying to alter recipes to make them healthier, as I work towards a healthy lifestyle and losing weight. This is my adaption of Joy the Baker's Sweet Potato Cookies. You can find the original recipe is her cookbook Joy the Baker Cookbook.

Sweet Potato Cakies (makes 46 cookies)
Nutrition information: 1 cakie:  58 calories, 1.3g fat, 10.6g carbs, .8g fiber, 4.4g sugar, 1.7g protein.

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup mashed sweet potato
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt ( I used Oikos 2%)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Pre Heat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

In a large bowl, whisk together Flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking power and baking soda.

In medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sweet potato, sugar, apple sauce, yogurt and vanilla until combined.

Dump wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined.

Fold in Chocolate chips.

Scoop dough onto baking sheets, I use 1 tbsp ice cream scoop.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Roasted Cashews

Good Evening Folks! This week has been a roller coaster, had a visit to my doctor's office to get my blood pressure checked by the nurse... which turned into an appointment with the doctor and having to wear a blood pressure monitor for 24 hours... my arm is still sore. So needless to say... need to change my lifestyle and eating habits. So I have been counting calories and exercising every day and hope to make these regular things. So I will be posting nutrition information with most of my recipes as it can be time consuming, so if I share it will save other time.

Getting on to what today's post is all about! Sundays with Joy! As you may recall from other Sunday posts a group of us are cooking our way through Joy the Baker Cookbook! This weeks recipe is Honey Mustard 
Roasted Cashews. I made 2 batches; the ones on the left are Honey Mustard and the ones on the right are Vanilla Chai

Honey Mustard Roasted Cashews

2.5 cups roasted and salted cashews
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dried mustard

Vanilla Chai Roasted Cashews

2.5 cups roasted unsalted cashews
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a medium bowl combine; honey and seasonings, stir to combine. Toss in cashews and stir to coat. 
Spread cashews onto baking sheet making sure they are in a single layer. 
Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice. Keep a close eye on them as they can burn quickly.
Remove and let cool! Then Enjoy!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cranberry Rhubarb Apple Crisp

I have to start off by saying it has been one crazy week and I wasn't even sure I would get to this weeks Sundays with Joy recipe this week. But I managed to squeeze it in and boy am I ever glad a did.
This week is Joy's recipe for Man Bait Apple Crisp. Apple Crisp is my most favourite dessert! Ask my man! Whenever we go out for dinner I always have a hard time resisting Apple Crisp on a dessert menu to try something else.

A while ago I went through my freezers and made a list of everything in them, so I can start using it up.  I have a lot of fruit in them. So I decided to add some Cranberries and Rhubarb to my Apple Crisp! Only one word needed: Delicious.

Cranberry Rhubarb Apple Crisp

6 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 cups rhubarb, chopped
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup sugar (or more if desired)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves

2 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cups oats
3/4 cup butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.

Combine apples, cranberries and rhubarb in a medium bowl, sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and cloves and mix well. Place in the baking dish.

In the same bowl, combine Flour, brown sugar, oats and cinnamon and mix well. Add butter and mix with hands until incorporated.

Set aside 1 cup of topping. spread the rest over the fruit and toss to combine. Sprinkle the reserved topping over the top.

Bake for 55-60 minutes until golden and bubbly.

If you would like to purchase Joy's book Joy the Baker: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes.
You can join us here if you would like to bake along with us.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Lemon Lime Poppy Seed Pancakes with Lemon Maple Syrup

I got up early one morning last week and decided to make the bf some pancakes. Unfortunately my kids don't eat breakfast despite my rantings about how important it is to eat in the morning so their brains are ready to learn... Anyways... The bf loves lemon poppy seed cake and I happened to see a post about it on Pinterest, so I thought I would experiment. They turned out great! The have a nice tang and just a hint of sweet. We ate these a few mornings in a row as I made a large batch. These also got eaten as a snack, cold (also very delicious)

Lemon Lime Poppy Seed Pancakes
2 cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sugar (or applesauce)
pinch salt
2 tbsp poppy seeds
zest of one lemon
zest of one lime
2 tbsp lemon/lime juice
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tbsp melted butter, cooled

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, poppy seeds and zest. Whisk to combine.

In a small bowl or large measuring cup combine lemon.lime juice, buttermilk, eggs and butter. Stir until well mixed.

Add wet mix to dry and stir until just combined.

Cook in a non stick pan over medium heat, until tops bubble. Flip and cook 1 min more.

Serve with Lemon Maple Syrup

Lemon Maple Syrup
4 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp lemon juice (or more to suit your taste)

Combine together and mix well.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sundays with Joy - Chili Cheese Fries

So we have another Sundays with Joy post for you today! This week's recipe was Chili Cheese Fries. When I think of Chili Cheese Fries, I think of crispy fries topped with hearty chili and melted cheese on top. This is not that type of Chili Cheese Fries. This recipe looked really good and I was really intrigued by the addition of Worchestershire sauce! So I stuck with the original recipe. You can find it in Joy the Baker Cookbook

I enjoyed these fries, but I think next time I make them I would change the spices up a bit but definitely keep the Worchestershire sauce and probably add a little more. I doubled the recipe but wish I had made even more :)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Chicken, Black Bean and Corn Chili

I enjoy a good hearty bowl of stew or chili! Everything is in one bowl, no worrying about getting enough veggies or what to serve on the side. I either serve rice or garlic bread with it. I use ground beef a lot but I also often use ground turkey or chicken. I have been using shredded chicken a lot lately and thought I would try it. Well... what can I say I gave some chili to my friends and had some at home. My one friend has been bugging asking me all week for the recipe, so Amber this is for you! The other friend well she left her's at Amber's so she doesn't know what she is missing. And my kids... well there was none left. So I guess that means it was a hit. 

Chicken, Black Bean and Corn Chili

4-5 chicken breasts
3 cans of tomato sauce ( I like one with garlic and cheese)
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups frozen corn
2 onions diced
6 celery stalks diced
2 peppers (red, orange or yellow) diced
4 cloves garlic minced
Chili Seasoning (recipe below) or 2 packets of chili seasoning

Boil chicken with vegetable seasoning until cooked. Let cool slightly and shred (I put my in my stand mixer for 30-60 seconds).
In a large pot saute onions, celery and peppers over medium low heat until soft 6-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add corn, black beans, tomato sauce and chili seasoning. Simmer low for 1 hour, Stirring often.

Chili Seasoning

4 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 -1 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tbsp cumin
3 tsp seasoning salt
4 tsp pepper
1 tsp basil
2 tbsp brown sugar

Combine everything in a bowl and mix well.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Passion Tea Limeade

Let's start today off by saying; I kind of have a tea obsession, ask my bf Nick. I have a huge cupboard full of tea, which I have to mention was specifically bought to house my tea. Whenever I am out and about and I see a new tea I don't have I get kinda excited. I especially love little tea shops like David's Tea and Teaopia. Which I am sad to say Teaopia is my favourite and they were bought out. However, in saying that, it means that everything is on sale!!! I got a really pretty tea pot for super cheap and lots and lots of tea at 75% off.

One of the things I like the most of Iced Teas. Nick and I like to experiment with different tea and juice mixes. One of my favourite tea drinks in the Passion Tea Lemonade from Starbucks. It is just so good. I always get a Venti and it lasts all of 5 minutes :(. Oh and I also should mention I love limes so much more than lemons. So i decided to try to make it at home and this is what we came up with.

Passion Tea Limeade
2 bags Tazo Passion Tea
2 cups boiling water
2 tbsp sugar
1 can frozen limeade
3 cups cold water

Place tea bags and sugar in boiling water and let steep for 10 minutes. In the meantime mix limeade and water in a big pitcher. Once tea is steeped squeeze out bag and discard. Pour tea into pitcher and mix well.
Refrigerate until cold. If you just cannot wait for that then grab a big glass full of ice and pour over.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Chili Cheese Dog Casserole

The kids start school tomorrow! Woo hoo! I cannot wait to have some quiet time during the day to do whatever I want; sit on my NEW couch and read, or do some creating in the kitchen without interruptions among other things, but those are my top two.

See since the kids have been home all summer, even though they have their own rec room in the basement they have monopolized the tv room on the main floor, all day every day, someone is in there. And they get upset when Nick or I want to watch something or play a video game or even better yet just sit and read.

I also know with the start of school, also brings swimming lessons, football, music lessons and lots of running around. So I share this quick and easy meal with you for those crazy on the run days.

Chili Cheese Dog Casserole
10 Jumbo hot dogs
10 Large Tortillas
4-6 cups of chili (I use my Homemade N&A Hearty Chili)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a large baking dish.

Place 1 hot dog with some cheddar cheese on the bottom third each tortilla and roll up. Place in the casserole dish. Cover with chili. Bake 20-35 minutes until hot.

**I like alot of chili with mine so I use a lot. Use more or less depending on how you like it.
***You can also make this with regular hot dogs and small tortillas.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Apple Pie Crostata!

I joined an online group last week called Sundays with Joy. The group is baking their way through Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes. Each week we bake a new recipe and post about our adventures. We can make changes the recipes or make them exactly as it says and post our results on Sundays. I will not be posting the recipes unless I have made significant changes. If you want the recipes you can buy her book at the link above. If you want to know more about this group or to join click here.

So this weeks recipe was Apple Pie Crostatas. I made the recipe exactly as it read except for the addition of cinnamon in my pie crust and caramel on top.

They were fun to make and delicious! Especially with vanilla ice cream!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Buffalo Ranch Chicken

I crave medium buffalo wings all the time. I rarely indulge in them as I know they are not very healthy. However I found this recipe a while back on Pinterest and have been making it for months. The kids love it and ask for it almost every week.The nice thing about this recipe is that is makes enough for 3 meals for my family of 5 big eaters. All 3 of my kids are teenagers. So I usually make a batch and freeze it so we always have some on hand.

The other things I like about this recipe is that the chicken is a base for other recipes that I like to make, like my Buffalo chicken taquitos. But we often serve it simply on some nice toasted hamburgers buns.

Buffalo Ranch Chicken

3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts 
1 bottle buffalo wing sauce (I use president's choice)
1 packet of dry Ranch Mix (found near the salad dressings) 

Place all ingredients into the slow cooker and give a good stir. Cook on high for 5-6 hours until chicken is tender and shreds easily.

Let cool. 

To shred I place the chicken in my Kitchen Aid Stand mixer with the paddle attachment and turn on for 30-60 seconds. Voila! all shredded. or you could do it the slow way and use 2 forks. Totally up to you.!

Enjoy! This recipe is not very spicy once cooked. I often add more buffalo sauce when I serve it to those who like things with a kick.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mini Corn Dog Muffins

Good Evening Folks. I have to apologize for my lack of posts this summer. I have been super busy, but now that school is starting next week, my house is back on a routine. So... that means regular posts!

This summer has been full of road trips to Manitoulin Island to visit the bf's family and to Thunder Bay to visit my family and attend my cousin Tegin's beautiful wedding! Congrats Tegin and Jeff! Also just been busy with the kids and with work. We did lots of cleaning out junk and decluttering as well. 

Part of this routine I speak of consists of my kids helping with dinner at least one night a week each. We are trying to teach some life skills. So tonight we decided to make mini corn dog muffins. The kids try and get my to buy Pogos and such but I do not like processed foods and rarely buy them. So this recipe made them happy. 

I made the salad and directed one of my kids as he did the rest. Super easy to make!

I saw this recipe a while back on Pinterest. This is the original recipe Mini Corn Dog Muffins.

Mini Corn Dog Muffins
Makes 36

1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 regular hot dogs (I prefer Schneider's Red Hots) cut into 3 pieces each

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray mini muffin tins with oil.

In a large bowl combine; butter, eggs, sugar and buttermilk. Mix together well.

In a separate bowl combine; flour, cornmeal, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine.

Add dry mix into the wet and stir until just moist and combined well.

Spoon 1 tbsp of batter into each muffin cup. **I use 1 tbsp ice cream scoop**

place hot dog into the center and bake for 10-12 min until corn bread is golden around the edges.

Can be reheated for a few seconds in the microwave.

Serve with Ketchup and mustard! I have to say these did not last and I am sure if there were more they would all have been eaten as well.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Chocolate Chip Banana Breakfast Cookies

These delicious bites are an awesome way to start the day! They are fairly healthy, soft and chewy and taste just like banana bread!!!

This is another recipe I found at Once a Month Mom. I made a double batch and divided them up and froze them. The kids love them and so do the adults. They do not last long at all.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 med ripe bananas
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups oats
4 tbsp ground flax seed
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. add vanilla and eggs and stir until combined. 

In a medium bowl stir together flours, oats, ground flax, salt and baking soda.

Add flour mix into wet mix and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. 

Spoon onto cookie sheets. I use 1 tbsp cookie scoop. 

Bake 8-10 minutes. 

**Note: These cookies will not flatten when baking they stay puffy.

To Freeze: cool and place into freezer bag or container. Place in freezer.

To Serve: let thaw before serving

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

I have been finding myself so busy lately and always scrambling last minute to pull meals together and they have become a little boring or due to time constraints I was running out and buying dinner. Which by the way I am not a fan of and I was doing it way too much.

So in a journey to solve this dilemma as I will call it. I have been searching the web for inspiration. The biggest inpiration has been Once a Month Mom. With their monthly menus that get prepared at the beginning of the month.

I have been taking different recipes from different month menus and making my own meal plan. This recipe is one I have adapted from the website.

Pizza Puffs

3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup shredded cheese
1 cup pepperoni (cut into small pieces) **can be substituted by your favourite pizza toppings
2 tbsp fresh basil 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin cups

Whisk together flour and baking powder. Whisk in eggs and milk until well combined.
Stir in cheese and pepperoni (or other toppings). Let stand for 10 minutes.

Stir again and divide among 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle 1 tbsp basil on top of the cups. Bake 25 min.

Serve with pizza sauce or  ranch dressing for dipping

**Note: These freeze really well. Just cool, place in freezer bag, label and freeze.

To reheat: place in micro wave for 2 minutes/

Monday, May 28, 2012

Cheezy Mini Meatloafs

I stumbled upon a awesome website this week called Once a Month Mom. They do freezer cooking. I was browsing through May's menu and really liked some of the recipes. The provide grocery lists and recipe cards that customize for the number of people you need to feed. AWESOME!! I didn't want to make the whole thing so I chose a couple recipes to start with. 

This is one of them. it is easy to make and of course it can be frozen for a later date. I often find myself scrambling for time in the evening and for something to make after a busy day.

1 lbs ground beef
3/4 cup bread crumbs
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
6 oz mozzarella cheese cut into 12 pieces

Combine all the ingredients except cheese and mix well. I made mine in silicone baking cups! so easy to clean up after. but regular muffins tins would work as well.

Divide mix evenly among muffin tins. place piece of cheese into each center and cover the top with more meat. 

Bake 350 for 15 minutes.

If freezing Cool and place into freezer bag and freeze.

To serve Place into microwave for 1-2 minutes until hot.

These were not quite cool when I placed them in the bag

Granny's Tourtiere

So it's been a while since I posted it has been a busy month. But I will catch up eventually... I have lots of recipes to post. I need to set some time aside weekly to maintain this blog. I love it, but sometimes sitting down to write posts feels like a chore. 

This is another one of my granny's recipes. I always looked forward to having it when we visited. When I was visiting her in January my cousin was over too and asked my granny to teach us how to make it. 
This is delicious and needs no substitutions or additions.

1 1/2 lbs lean ground pork
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp clove, ground
1/4 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
1 double crust pie dough (I will post my recipe soon)

Combine all ingredients except pie dough in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil; when pork is no longer pink Reduce heat and simmer for 45 min or until tender. Remove bay leaf.

Fill pie shell with meat and top with crust. Pinch edges to seal and make a few slits in the top of the crust. Bake 425 degrees for 15min then reduce to 350 for 15 min longer.

I usually serve this with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Oven Baked Corn Flake Crusted Chicken

The boys asked me what was going to be for dinner tonight and I said something with chicken. They asked me for Fried Chicken, but that's way too unhealthy for me. So I used this recipe instead! It was a hit and no one complained it wasn't "fried".

5 chicken breasts, cut into 3 strips each
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 tbsp seasoning salt
2 tsp frank's red hot
5 cups corn flakes, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
Combine milk and egg in a bowl and mix until blended. Add flour, salt and frank's and mix until everything is incorporated. Place in a shallow dish ( I used cake pan)

Place corn flakes in another shallow dish.

Dip chicken strips in batter and then roll in corn flakes to coat. Place on prepared baking sheet.

Bake 25-30 minutes until chicken is cooked and no longer pink.

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

My cousin Blair always makes this salad when we have family get togethers in the summer. I didn't think to ask her until last year how to make it. It is soo easy to put together and a bonus, my teens love it! Which surprises me cause they hate broccoli and cauliflower and will occasionally eat with with cheez whiz. This will be on the menu more often.

1 head broccoli
1 head cauliflower
1/2 red onion
8 strips of bacon, cooked until crispy
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

3/4 cup light mayo
1/4 vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into tiny pieces (cut along the outside of the head). For both you do not want the stem pieces ( I don't waste them, I have and use them later for soups). Diced the red onion small.
Cut the bacon into little pieces and cook until crispy. Drain on paper towel.

Combine ingredients in a large bowl and add cheese. Toss all together.

Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.

This salad is best when left for at least an hour, but overnight is ideal. The flavours have time to mingle with each other.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mocha Chocolate Chip Muffins

This evening I was feeling like I should make something for lunches this week. I came across a recipe for Hot Cocoa muffins and decided to change it up a bit and put some espresso in them. I am sure these will not last long and I will have to make something else in a couple days. That is with hiding them and dishing them out as I please. If I left them out, they'd be gone by tomorrow.

1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup hot cocoa mix 
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp instant espresso powder
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a large bowl combine, flour, sugar, hot cocoa mix, baking powder, salt and espresso powder. Set aside

In another bowl whisk together eggs, vanilla, milk and butter. 

Add wet mix to dry and stir until just combined.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Divide into 12 lined muffin tins.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

N&A's Hearty Chili

My boyfriend and I really like to make chili and we both like to make it differently. We combined our recipes and now have a new favourite!! There is everything packed into the pot, sometimes we make it spicy and other times not, depending who is joining us for dinner. 

That is Maple Corn Bread in the background. The recipe for that will be up shortly. It is delicious on it's own but also really good with the chili.

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
2 onions, diced
2 bell peppers, diced (Any will do, we like to use red and orange as N doesn't like green pepper)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cans beans (we use red kidney beans, white kidney beans and navy beans)
1 can green lentils
1 can baked beans
1 can "Manwich"
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 - 3 tbsp chili powder

Cook ground beef in a pan and drain fat.
In a big stock pot over medium heat, cook onions for 5 minutes. Add pepper and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add ground beef and chili powder stir to combine. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Bring to a boil and turn to low. Cover and simmer for 45min-1 hour. The longer is cooks the better it gets.

Serve with cheddar cheese and corn bread!

Cheddar Cauliflower Soup!!

I bought some cauliflower last weekend with the intention of making a few different dishes this week; which include this Cheddar Cauliflower Soup, roasted Cauliflower and Curry. I got around to 2 of the dishes. The Curry will have to make it to the menu this week. 

I love cauliflower soup and if I go to a restaurant and they have it on the menu I have to have it. I have been wanting to make some at home for a long time and finally got down to it today! It was the perfect day for it as well, chilly and cloudy. 

1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flower
2 cups vegetable stock (I used homemade but store bought it fine as well)
3 cups milk
1 head cauliflower, core removed and chopped
2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

heat medium size pot over medium low heat. Add butter and onions, cook until translucent (5 min or so).
Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add Flour, stir well and cook until golden in colour. Add vegetable stock, water and cauliflower. Bring to boil and cook 10-15 minutes until cauliflower is tender. Turn off heat and then add cheese. Stir until melted.

Serve with extra cheese if desired.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Berry Breakfast Bars

I stumbled across this delicious breakfast and as you all may know I love breakfast foods. I love that this can be made the night before, as I do not have time in the mornings to make anything. I like my sleep and will not get up early! Early being before 7:45. I adapted this recipe from Dancing Veggies.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 cup cold butter
2 tbsp cold water
1 tsp salt

1/2 cup apple sauce (I only had strawberry kiwi flavour on hand)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
3 cups berries (I used strawberries, blueberries and raspberries)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Add flour, sugar, brown sugar, cold butter, and salt into a mixing bowl. Mix until dough begins to form. Add cold water enough just until dough is moist.

Press half the dough into the bottom of 9x13 pan. Bake 10 minutes and then let cool 10 minutes.

Combine applesauce, brown sugar and flour in a bowl. Toss in berries and stir gently. Spread over baked crust. Crumble remaining dough over the top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes.

Outrageous Chocolate Cookies

So there is a pot luck at work... I could not decide what to make and wanted something quick. I came across these delicious cookies on PheMOMenon blog and knew that was it! The cookie dough is like a cake batter and is delicious!! They are also good once baked! I adapted this recipe to include a variety of different chocolate.

6oz semi sweet chocolate chips
2 oz white chocolate chips
2 oz milk chocolate chips
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place 4oz of semi sweet chocolate chips and butter in a pyrex measuring cup. Microwave on 1/2 power for 60 seconds. Stir until melted.

Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl beat eggs, brown sugar and vanilla on high until light and fluffy.

Add melted chocolate and mix until fully incorporated

Add flour and mix just until combined.

Fold in remaining chocolate chips.

Bake 12-14 min until shiny and craked

Monday, April 16, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

This recipe is one of my ultimate comfort foods. It started from a recipe I once saw on the back of a can of Campbell's Cream of Potato Soup and has been changed over the years. This makes a big batch, always thinking there will be left overs, but there never is.

3 cans condensed cream soup (I like to use Cheddar Cheese, Chicken and Celery)
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
3 cups chicken, cooked and diced
4 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups frozen veggies, thawed (I like peas, corn, carrots and green beans)
1 can Pillsbury country biscuits
1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine soup, milk, pepper, thyme, garlic in a casserole dish.
Add chicken, potatoes and veggies. Stir well to combine.


Bake 35-40 minutes until bubbly.
Lay biscuits in a single layer on top and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for another 15-20 minutes until biscuits are golden brown.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Skillet Peanut Butter Brownies

This was another find on the Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day this week. I enjoy finding recipes to make in my cast iron pan. Amy from A Little Nosh chose this recipe from Amanda at Amanda's Cookin' whose blog I have been following for a while. I am sure this will not last long, but will be a nice treat to enjoy while it lasts.

Peanut Butter Layer
3/4 cup light cream cheese
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 sugar
2 eggs 
1/2 tsp vanilla

Cream together cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar and mix for 2 minutes. Ad eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat well. Set aside.

Brownie Layer
3/4 cup butter
3 oz baker's unsweetened chocolate
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease skillet lightly. 
Place butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave at medium power for 1 minute. Stir and microwave for another minute and stir again. Continue until all chocolate is melted. Stir in brown sugar and white sugar until fully combined. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, flour and salt and stir to combine. Set aside 1 cup of batter. 

Pour remaining batter into skillet. Spread Peanut butter mixture over top. Dollop reserved brownie batter on top and swirl with knife. Bake for 1 hour. Check after 45 minutes. It is done when a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

Maple Brown Sugar Bacon Stuffed Waffles

Again I found something new to make for a weekend breakfast. The kids always ask me the night before if I know what I am going to make. I usually keep it a surprise as I often change my mind last minute. I spotted this recipe while looking through this weeks reveals on The Secret Recipe Club. Which I check every Monday. I almost contemplated making these for dinner this week. Thanks to Crystal at Mrs Happy Homemaker for posting this recipe and to Veronica from Veronica's Cornucopia who came up with this recipe.

This recipe has been adapted.

Maple Brown Sugar Bacon
10 strips of bacon
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup maple syrup

Cover a baking sheet with foil. Place rack on sheet and lay bacon on rack. 
Sprinkle bacon with brown sugar and maple syrup. Bake in upper 1/3 of oven for 10-15 min at 375 degrees (i used thick bacon so took 20 minutes). Remove from oven and transfer onto a cutting board (not paper towel it will stick). You can either chop the bacon or just cut the slices in half (which is what I did).

Waffle Batter
3 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup veg oil
1/3 cup plain yogurt
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups milk(or butter milk)

Preheat waffle maker.
Combine flour, baking powder, making soda and salt in a small bowl. 
In a large bowl combine brown sugar, vegetable oil, yogurt, eggs, vanilla and milk. Stir to combine. 
Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Pour batter into waffle maker and lay bacon strips on top. 
Cook waffles as per Waffle Maker instructions.

Serve with maple syrup.