Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Baking Blitz

I don't have much time for Christmas baking this year (one of my favourite activities). So we decided that this morning would be my only baking time. SO I stuck to simple, fast and easy recipes this year and did it in 3 hours.

Peanut Butter Blossoms (previously blogged)

Oreo Pops
Thought these were a great idea, but make sure you get the double stuffed Oreos, or they won't work (I didn't, and ended up having to combine 2 Oreos for each, so didn't make too many of them)

-Double Stuffed Oreos
-White Chocolate Chips (or Melts)
-sprinkles, or crushed candy canes
-lollipop sticks

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave. Power level 50%, for 1 minute, then for 30 secs at a time until melted (stirring between each).
Put Oreos on stick, dip in melted chocolate, and dip in sprinkles (or just sprinkle them on top). Lay on wax paper until dried (put in fridge if you want them to harden faster)

Simple and easy treat!

Since I didn't buy double stuffed Oreos, I quickly decided to just dip the cookies:

White Chocolate Dipped Oreos

Same as oreo pops, but skip the stick. Dip halfway in melted white chocolate, and then dip in sprinkles, and lay on wax paper to harden (I put the wax paper on a plate and put in the fridge). Delicious, festive and super easy!

Candy Cane Rice Krispie Squares

-1/4 cup margarine
-1 pkg of marshmallows
-1 tsp vanilla
-6 cups Rice Krispies
-1/4-1/2 cup of crushed candy canes

Melt margarine in a pot on the stove. Add marshmallows and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat, add vanilla, Rice Krispies and candy canes. Stir until mixed, and dump into a greased 9x9 pan. Using a greased spatula, press down on the top to flatten. Let cool, slice and serve.

These are super yummy. I was on a "add crushed candy canes to everything" kick a few years ago, and created this yummy variation! Scrumptious, and always devoured!

Saltine Toffee
-Saltine Crackers

-1 cup butter

-2 cups brown sugar

-2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Line cookie tray (jelly roll type... with edges) with tin foil, and spray with non-stick spray

Lay the bottom of the tray with saltine crackers... closely together, as few gaps as possible.

Melt butter and sugar together over medium heat on the stovetop.

When mixture comes to a rolling boil let boil for 2 minutes, stirring.

Pour mixture over crackers.

Bake in oven for 10 minutes (it will bubble up all nicely)

Remove from oven... let stand for 2 minutes.. then sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Spread the chocolate evenly over the top as they melt.

Sprinkle peanuts, or crushed up saltines on the top.

Put pan in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Break it up and enjoy!

as well as Peppermint Nanaimo Bars (which I'll photograph and blog tomorrow).

I couldn't have done it without help:

She's a good helper! She dipped cookies in chocolate and sprinkles, crushed up saltine crackers, laid out saltine crackers, rolled the pb blossoms in sugar and placed them on the pan, as well as "kissed" the cookies when they came out of the oven. Plus a variety of other little tasks.

Julia helped too... kinda. At least she was in the kitchen with us:
Photo on 2011-10-17 at 17.43 #4

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Peppermint Patty Brownies

I had this recipe on my previous blog... with no indication of where I got it from. This was a favourite, and I haven't made them in FOREVER! I was reminded about them tonight, when I saw peppermint patties at someone's house. I think I'm overdo in making this recipe again. There are a few people that want this recipe, so I'm posting now, and will make them this week (well, actually the first week of December) and take pictures to post here.

Peppermint Patty Brownies

1 1/2 cups margarine
3 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
24 small peppermint patties

Mix butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs till well blended. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Blend well.
Reserve 2 cups of batter, set aside. Grease 13x9x2 inch pan. Spread remaining batter in prepared pan. Arrange peppermint patties in a single layer over batter about 1/2 inch apart. Spread reserved 2 cups batter over patties. Bake 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50-55 minutes till brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Egg McMuffins

Here is a recipe I found on Pinterest, when looking for freezer meals. Egg McMuffins, but WAY healthier than the real thing.

First off, my husband is not big on breakfast... he rarely takes the time to eat it, except occasionally when we have company. We made about 18 of these the first time round, and he took them to work for the freezer there. They are a great mid morning breakfast for him, and I think all his coworkers are jealous (so much so he said he thinks I should make larger batches, and he'll collect a couple dollars from anyone who wants them at work).

Homemade Freezer Egg McMuffins
canadian bacon (or ham)
cheddar cheese
english muffins

Spray a muffin tin, and crack the eggs into the tin. Place in the oven at 350F for 15-20 minutes.

Toast the english muffins (either in the toaster, or on a pan in the oven with the eggs), grate the cheese and lay everything out while the eggs are baking.

Then it's simply assembly... stack the egg, ham and a sprinkling of cheese on each english muffin, top and wrap in plastic wrap. I then place them in ziplock bags for the freezer.

When you want to make them to eat, put them in the oven (toaster oven) for 25 minutes at 350F.

IF you want to eat them right away, they only need to go in the oven for 5-10 minutes.

You can reheat in the microwave, but they get kinda soggy.

Here's some photos of our stack (have made them twice now, 18 the first time, and 24 the second time).



I'm trying to put items in my freezer as often as possible. With the newest addition to the family, I find often I'm scrambling to make dinner around 5 pm.

I thought this way of cooking eggs was BRILLIANT! If I ever have to make a big batch of eggs for company, etc, I will be doing this. We also used this method for making our eggs for eggs benedict one day too. Just make sure you spray the muffin tins, or they stick.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Caramel Rice Krispie Squares


This recipe I had for the first time at Easter, at a wedding. A friend made these for the dessert bar at the wedding, and somehow we ended up bringing an entire tray of them home after the wedding.

I almost didn't get a chance to photograph these, as they went that fast! First we sampled them, then sampled some more... then I cut most of them up to send to my husband's office (cause I know I wouldn't be able to resist them sitting in the kitchen). There was 2 left, and I ate one and this one was intended for my 3 year old... I only remembered to photograph hers before she ate it.

Caramel Rice Krispie Squares

Make 1 batch of rice krispie squares:

-bag of marshmallows
-1/4 cup butter

Melt in large pot
-1 tsp vanilla
-6 cups rice krispies (I use about 5.5 cups, makes them a little more gooey)

Press into large pan.

2-3 bags of caramels
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butter

Melt in small pot, pour over first layer of rice krispies.

Make a 2nd batch of the above rice krispies and press into pan on top of caramel. Let them set up.

So yummy, and gooey :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Menu Plan - October 17-23

Last week I had a meal plan, and never posted. We didn't try anything new, or too terribly exciting. I did make a dozen egg mcmuffin sandwiches* for the freezer this evening, while my husband made eggs benedict for dinner. It was very good, but I think we're going to do just a few tweeks before we share that recipe.

This week we are having:

Monday: Chicken Shepherd's Pie
Tuesday: Tacos
Wednesday: Matzo Ball Soup*
Thursday: Crockpot Chicken Taco Chili*
Friday: Stirfry and rice
Saturday: Creamy Potato Soup*( (will make 3 batches, 2 to freeze)
Sunday: Muffins and fruit salad

I am also on snack for the preschool on Thursday. I'm thinking we might do muffins and celery stick with cheez whiz. Kinda at a loss at what to bring.

On the side this week... I plan to do some baking too. I have a zucchini just waiting to be used, as well as some pumpkin puree. I also have a big heap of apples to work with.

Goodies to make:
Chocolate Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins*
Pumpkin Apple Muffins*
Pumpkin Gingersnaps*
Caramel Rice Krispie Squares*
Apple Butter*

Also hoping to make a batch of buns.... or at least one loaf of bread in the bread machine.

I can only hope to stick to all these plans for the week... but here's hoping.

*will share recipes

Monday, October 3, 2011


This is a favourite in our house. We often have waffles for dinner on a Sunday, and it's my go to breakfast when we have overnight company.



3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (I use less)
1/2 tsp of your favourite spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, I use Epicure's Gingerbread Spice)
2 beaten eggs
1.5 cups milk
1/4 cup melted butter

Mix dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients together and add to the dry ingredients, beating until just smooth. Pour into waffle iron. Makes 3 - 9" waffles or 6 - 7" waffles.

I usually double this recipe, as you can freeze the waffles, or grab as a snack cool later. The spice is my own addition to the original recipe, as is splitting the flour between white and whole wheat. I've tried all whole wheat, but find it's tastier with a blend.

We almost always serve with berries and syrup over top.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Kitchen Tip

I saw this on one of the blogs in my feed, and thought to myself, "Brilliant! Why didn't I think of that".

When you are to cover a dish with tin foil, just place a cookie sheet upside down on top. Save wastage of aluminum foil, and its just faster to plop that overtop than digging in the drawer for foil, tearing it, wrapping it, etc.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot

I stumbled on this blog post within days of buying a couple whole chickens on sale:

First, for those that know me, you know I pretty much only cook boneless, skinless meats.. usually from frozen... so it was a big step to buy the chickens in the first place, but this looked way too easy.

The blogpost above is just simple instructions... (here's a direct link to the post: She also offers suggestions on seasonings and recipes for the left overs.

P1010086 (Forgot to take picture til I had already started serving it up)


Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker

Place the cleaned chicken breast side up in the crockpot. Cook on high for 6-8 hours.

I added some Mrs Dash for seasoning and just a little bit of salt. I also added 2.5 cups of water so that I could make some broth at the same time for soup.

It was an easy way to cook a chicken.. I thought it was nice and moist and pretty good.

One issue I had with this was the meat just falls off the bone (which is good), making it impossible to get the chicken out of the crockpot for serving. I ended up just pulling chunks off while it remained in the crockpot.

This method is super easy, so very likely I'll do it again once in a while.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Baked Butter Chicken

I ADORE butter chicken, but it's a rare treat, only about 2 times a year we go out for butter chicken at the local restaurant. It's just too calorie rich of a dish for me to splurge on it too often.

I came across this recipe in a What's Cooking magazine (Fall 2011), and immediately ripped it out and put it on my fridge. Today we finally tried it.

Not the loveliest of photos... it's a good thing I don't plate things in a restaurant ;).

Baked Butter Chicken

1/2 cup Miracle Whip Dressing
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 Tbsp Catalina Dressing
1 tsp garam masala (I used tandoori masala)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
8 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (2lbs)
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro (I omitted)

Heat oven to 350 F. Mix first 6 ingredients until well blended. Pour over chicken in 13 x 9 baking dish. Turn chicken to coat evenly. Cover and bake for 40 minutes, or until chicken is done. Serve the chicken with sauce overtop and a sprinkling of cilantro.

It had wonderful flavour! It did lack the creamy richness, so I don't think it could fully replace going to our favourite Indian restaurant, but it was delicious in it's own way. We will be making this again! Conveniently, it takes about the same amount of time to cook as the rice. The photos with cilantro in the magazine look so much nicer, but both my husband and I dislike cilantro, and think it overpowers the flavour in most dishes.

The kids didn't give me a chance to try my naan bread recipe out this time... but I still plan to do that in the near future. Maybe for the Tikka Masala recipe I've been eyeing up.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cream Cheese Crock Pot Chicken

I saw this recipe on Pinterest, and knew it was perfect for me. First, I always forget to take my meats out to thaw, second, chicken and balack beans are 2 of my favorite ingredients in a dish. The simple dump it in and turn it on instructions are also great for me these days... no chopping, or any other prepping.

Cream Cheese Crock Pot Chicken
4 frozen chicken breasts
brick of cream cheese
can of black beans, drained
can of corn, drained
can of diced tomatoes w/ green chilis (mine was diced tomatoes with red peppers)

Put chicken in bottom of pot, and dump everything else on top!
Cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring every 2 hours or so. I shredded my chicken at 6 hours, and let it stay on warm until dinnertime. (Doesn't look that appetizing in the pot.... must say)


Great served with rice! We enjoyed this recipe, i ended up adding about 3/4 cup of salsa to give it a bit more flavour (could potentially replace the diced tomatoes with the equivalent in salsa next time), and it was yummy.

With the leftovers, I mixed in a bit of cheeze whiz and more salsa and we dipped multigrain tortilla chips in it. Then with another batch of the left overs we put it in our grilled cheese sandwiches, like a panini (I think this was my favourite way of all 3 to eat it!)


Monday, September 26, 2011

Broccoli Salad


Broccoli Salad

1 head of broccoli, chopped to bite size pieces
2-3 green onions, chopped
couple handfuls of craisins
handful sunflower seeds

1 cup mayonnaise (I use miracle whip)
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Combine all the ingredients, mix up dressing separately, pour over broccoli mixture and mix all together. Refrigerate for a couple hours before serving.

Love this salad in the summer. I never measure the ingredients and it's very flexible on additions. I know some people that use grapes instead of craisins, others that add bacon pieces, and even others that add peppers. This just reflects how I make it, and the things I like in it. I've added cauliflower and celery on occaision as well on occasion. Always a big seller at BBQ's and potlucks.

Meal Plan Sept 26 - Oct 2

Here is my meal plan for this week.... 2 new recipes, and a couple older ones that I plan to share. Hoping I can stay on track. Kids are both snotty today, so I suspect that I won't have some pre-school time to do prep, but hopefully I can still get it done. I might rearrange a bit, as right now the weather on Friday is supposed to be hot, so I might not want soup that day.

Monday - Spaghetti, meat sauce, peas
Tuesday - Baked butter chicken**, rice, naan bread
Wednesday - Whole chicken**, potatoes, veggies
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Matzo Ball Soup*
Saturday - Pork chops, potatoes, salad
Sunday - Waffles and fruit

*recipe from my collection that I will share
**new recipe to try, and share

Will be sharing as we make them hopefully as well. I do have a few other recipes to share in the mean time.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Barbecue Spareribs - Crockpot

This is another recipe that I do in bulk (3 or 4x) and freeze. It's from the book Don't Panic - Dinner's in the Freezer (LOVE this book)


5 lbs beef or pork spare ribs
1.5 cups ketchup
1.5 cups water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup pineapple

Brown the spareribs in a skillet. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Place ribs in a freezer bag and after sauce has cooled, pour over ribs in bag. Freeze.

When you want to cook them for that day, you can either dump the whole bag (thawed first) in your slow cooker on low for 7-8 hours, or you can bake it in the oven in a large dish, covered, at 350 degrees for 1.5-2 hours.

These ribs are delicious. I've never been a rib person, but these are pretty darn good! We serve them with rice, or with potatoes, and veggies. Toddler approves them as well!

I generally buy ribs when I see them on a really good sale or marked down, and whip these up for the freezer, since it's quick, easy and with stuff I have on hand most of the time. I am LOVING freezer cooking, so you'll probably be seeing a lot more of it on here. Tonnes of new freezer recipes I've found on Pinterest as well!

I think we're finally starting to settle into our "new" normal since baby's arrival, and I think I could maintain a meal plan again, so I plan to do one up for the month of October, and hopefully get back into blogging.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


This recipe is one my mom made for us when we visited one time, and my husband LOVED it. He loves most german food, but this was a winner.



4 sandwich steaks, 6 oz each
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp pepper
4 slices of bacon
2 dill pickles, cut length-wise
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups beef broth
4 peppercorns
1 bay leaf

Lay steaks flat, spread each with mustard and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place a strip of bacon on each one. Place pickle and onion at one end, and roll up jelly roll style, securing with a toothpick.

Brown well in butter drippings and then place in baking dish and pour beef broth, peppercorns and bay leaf in as well. Cover and bake at 350 F for 1.5 - 2 hours, or until tender.

Remove rolls from pan, remove toothpicks, place on heated tray/plate, thicken sauce with cornstarch for gravy.

Best served with spaetzle. For the meal we photographed, we weren't able to find spaetzle at the store (and we didn't want to make it ourselves that day), so we served it with gnocchi, which works, but not the same. Usually you can get dehydrated spaetzle at the store, for quick german dishes, and it is pretty easy to make at home.. just time consuming.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Corn Chowder

Here is another recipe from Don't Panic, Dinner's in the Freezer. I love these books. Nothing has disappointed in these books yet.

Corn Chowder

Hearty Corn Chowder

1/4 cup butter, melted
6 Tbsp onions, chopped
3/4 cup celery, diced
2 1/2 cups hot water
2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups frozen kernel corn
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp flour
1 quart half and half

Saute the onions and celery in butter until tender. Add water, potatoes, corn, sugar, salt and pepper. Cover and simer until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. IN small bowl, whisk flour into 2 cup of half and half. Stir into soup, then add the remaining half and half. Heat until desired thickness, stirring frequently.

You can freeze this is freezer bags, for future, or enjoy now! Top with grated cheddar cheese and bacon bits.

I think we all really enjoyed this soup, perfect for a cool day, topped with cheese, and green onion (we didn't have bacon in the house, rarely do, in fact). But this was delicious, but I think I'd make a couple substitutions next time.... maybe only use 1/2 quart of half and half, and use skim milk for the remainder to cut the fat. Also might add some carrots to it. I love carrots in soup. :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Meal Plan for the week

Here is what I've determined for our meal plan this week, eating only what we have in the house already, and based on weather for that day:

Monday - leftover turkey dinner
Tuesday - burgers, salad
Wednesday - crockpot ribs, rice and veggies
Thursday - corn chowder
Friday - leftovers
Saturday - Enchilada Casserole, salad
Sunday - leftovers

Lots of leftovers this week... either from this weekend, or from larger meals I'm making this week. Hopefully I can stick to my first meal plan as the mom of 2!


Been greatly enjoying the lettuce and green onions from the garden.... I've got several tomatoes coming, my potatoes are getting big plants on them, and my onion tops are huge! :) Carrots are definitely sprouting too :) My first garden, so I'm very pleased!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cranberry Chicken

Last month I prepped a lot of recipes for the freezer, since baby was on her way. I knew I wouldn't be able to cook as much this month.

This one came from the book Don't Panic - Dinner's in the Freezer. So far the recipes we've tried from this book have been awesome! You can make a single serving of the recipe, multiply it for 3 meals, 6 meals or 9 meals.

Cranberry Chicken

Cranberry Chicken

8 oz Catalina dressing
1 pkg dry onion soup mix
1 can of cranberry sauce
4 boned chicken breasts (I used boneless, skinless)

Mix together everything, except the chicken.... pour in freezer bags, and then add uncooked chicken breasts to the bags. Lay the bags in a flat container once you have them sealed (removing what air you can). This makes them take up less room in the freezer.

When you go to make them, thaw completely. Place chicken with cranberry sauce in greased baking dish, and bake uncovered for 1-1.5 hours on 350F.

My husband was very skeptical of Cranberry Chicken... but we both loved it. It's delicious, and quick with little effort. Would be delicious with stuffing, but it's not overwhelmingly cranberry either. It's just a delicious sauce on a yummy moist chicken breast. Definitely a winner, and will be doing these for the freezer in the future (although I still have another 2 meals of it in there now).

Friday, July 15, 2011

Been a little busy

The last few weeks have been fairly hectic around here... hosting 2 birthday parties, out of town company, prepping for baby to come and just being hot and uncomfortable, didn't lead to much blogging. I do have some major catch up to do though.. and hopefully, I can get a little break here and there to do so.

We finally, 7 days late, welcomed little Julia to our family on July 11th. She is so much like her big sister... Paisley is just completely smitten with her, and is the biggest helper and friend to her. They're so cute together:

My Girls

I haven't taken too many pictures yet, but will get on that right away ;).

Once I get Julia on a somewhat decent routine, we should be able to get things running again. I've got about 6 recipes photographed and ready to blog when I have time. The menu plan went out the window when company arrived on the 28th of June, and we haven't had a chance to do another yet. Company heads out tomorrow though, so I aim to have at least a week's menu plan ready for Monday. It's so hard to grocery shop without one. I feel like we (or someone in the house) has run to the grocery store almost every day for something while we weren't following a menu plan.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


One of the go to meals in our house is Chilli. It's quick, it's easy, and has stuff that we keep in our pantry. Although it's never the same twice...


This is how we serve chilli in our house. Over multigrain tortilla chips, and topped with a sprinkling of cheese. Produces great table manners, as we start eating with the chips with our fingers, like nachos, then as the chips get too soggy (or we run out), we switch to forks.

Growing up, this is how we made chilli:

2 cans of kidney beans
1 can of tomato soup
0.5 cans of corn
ground beef
chilli powder to taste

Since moving out on my own, I now add a can of black beans, and a can of chick peas, as well as the FULL can of corn. I sometimes swap out the tomato soup for the diced tomatoes with red peppers that I usually keep in the pantry. I also, more often than not, use ground turkey instead of beef. When I make it with all of this, it usually makes massive quantities, so I freeze several individual portions for dh to take to work, and we get leftovers the next night.

We love it, but it's different everytime, based on what's in the pantry. I've even used beans in tomato sauce in there before, or pork and beans. Chilli is such a forgiving meal, and every person makes it completely different. That's the beauty of it!

Now, recently I've heard of people serving chilli with rice. That's completely foreign to me. Never would have thought to do that.. but I guess that's how MOST people eat it. Maybe we'll try that one day... but I like my chips for now ;)

Friday, June 17, 2011

You may have noticed

This month we're having a hard time sticking to the meal plan. With 2.5 weeks left to go in the pregnancy, I haven't been in a cooking mood much, plus we've been so busy trying to tie up loose ends, finish our yard, etc, we just don't have much energy. I keep updating my meal plan with the changes we've made. Anything we've crossed out that I said I would share the recipe, I still plan to do, but might have to hold out til after the baby arrives.

It's been tempting to go back to our regular, quick recipes that we used to eat a lot. Eating out has been more tempting too. We used our daughter's birthday as an excuse to eat out this week, plus we ate out for lunch on Sunday. I'm just so tired and behind on things around the house, I haven't been motivated. I am hoping to try to stick to the meal plan the rest of the month... but you'll have to excuse me if the entire meal plan ends up striked out! Let's hope not though.

I also need to start doing more gluten free, my daughter's eczema has been flaring up, and cutting gluten and dairy really improves that. Normally we have a reduced gluten diet, more rice than pasta, not much bread, but since blogging, I've noticed I've increased those a little bit, and well, her skin is showing it (playing in her water table, and wearing sunscreen hasn't helped either).

So I may be swapping out some portions of recipes for gluten free alternatives, but for the most part it should stay the same. I do want to try more gluten free baking though.

Broccoli-Cheese and Chicken Pasta

This recipe was good.. but incredibly colourless. I had to add some carrot shavings just to add some colour. We did serve it with a salad though, but usually I don't plate salad with dinner.

This recipe is from 200 Slow Cooker Creations.


Broccoli-Cheese and Chicken Pasta

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cans broccoli cheese soup, condensed
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup dried minced onion
1/2 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper
cooked angel hair pasta

Place chicken in a greased 4.5 - 6 quart slow cooker. Combine all the remaining ingredients, except pasta and pour over the chicken. COver and cook on high heat for 1 hour and then reduce to low heat and cook for 5-6 hours. Serve over hot cooked pasta.

Now I admit.... I was a little preoccupied that day, and ended up doing the entire meal over stovetop... so I didn't actually use this crockpot recipe. I baked the chicken in the oven (I actually halved the recipe as well). Cut the chicken into cubes, and heated up the sauce (used fresh minced onions instead) and chicken together, and poured over the pasta. The recipe was good.. but so colourless. Colourless meals bother me.... Next time I would cook up some broccoli chunks into the sauce as well, for sure.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fruit Crisp

A favourite dessert growing up was crisp. In our house, the most common was berries and rhubarb, or apple. YUM!! We always had rhubarb in the garden, or in the freezer, so it was easy. I must say... I miss having rhubarb on hand (and only really clued in that you could buy it at the grocery store the other day.... guess I'm so used to having it on hand).

This week we made my mom's crisp recipe, but we did a strawberry apple crisp. Upon getting the recipe from my mom, I found out it was actually another relative's recipe.


Fuit Crisp

Fruit of choice
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash salt
1/4 butter or marg.

Cut up your fruit of choice and lay in the bottom of a baking tray (9x9 or 9x13).

Mix up the topping and sprinkle over top. You'll need to double for the 9x13 pan.

Bake at 350 until it gets bubbly, topping is golden brown (30-40 minutes).

I love adding more spices, often will add more cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves, depending on what the fruit is.

Some favourite fruits used were, peach, strawberry rhubarb, apple, and mixed berry.

Best served warm with vanilla ice cream! We used cookies and cream ice cream this time around, since we were out of vanilla.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Spinach Lasagna

This recipe is my mom's. The lasagna I grew up on. I never knew about meat lasagna til I had it at Bible Camp one year. So yummy!


Spinach Lasagna

10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach
1 lb lasagna noodles
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
3 Tbsp oil
6 oz. can tomato paste
2 (1lb) cans of tomatoes
1 Tbsp oregano flakes
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh parsley (or 1 Tbsp dry)
500 mL container cottage cheese
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg

Cook spinach as per package directions; drain. Cooke lasagna noodles as per package directions. Drain; rinse with cold water. Saute onion and pepper in oil for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and tomatoes to onions; break up larger tomato pieces. Add seasonings and simmer 30 minutes. Add cheese and egg to chopped spinach; mix well.

Cover bottom of 9 x 13 baking dish with 1/3 of tomato sauce. Cover with 1/3 of noodles, half of spinach mixture and half of mozzarella. Spread 1/3 more tomato sauce and repeat layers as before. Top with noodles and remaining tomato sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes.

It's a very tasty dish. I love it. I did encounter a problem with the cheeses, since it said to mix them in with the spinach.. but then says to sprinkle between layers and on top, and none was reserved for that. I solved that by just adding more cheese, but it's good to note that beforehand, so you can reserve a little, although the extra cheese was yummy, and didn't seem to add too much cheesiness.

I think this was the first time I've made this recipe myself, but enjoyed it lots at home as a kid. I think some tweaks I might do next time, is instead of tomatoes, I'd use the spicy red pepper diced tomatoes I buy for a couple other recipes. I think they would add just a touch of spice to the recipe, making it even extra yummy. The recipe doesn't need tweaks, but that's something I might try next time.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

This recipe just called to me when I saw it on Pinterest. Maybe it's the crazy sweet tooth I've gotten in the last month of pregnancy... but I knew my husband would love this combo as well.

I traced the pin I saw on Pinterest back through a few different linking of this recipe, to what I think is getting closer to the original posting of it (I see it links back even further... now).


I found it posted by Two Tiny Kitchens You definitely need to click over there and check out her site. Yum!! Plus her picture of her pretzel bites is MILES better than mine. Of course, I have an almost 3 yr old rolling my balls and squishing them between pretzels for me... and well.. the chocolate dipping job wasn't as nice either... But they taste the same ;).

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp softened butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar (maybe more)
3/4 cup brown sugar (maybe more)
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine peanut butter and softened butter in a large bowl. Add the sugars and mix well.

This makes up your dough. If you can easily roll balls without it sticking to your hand, go ahead and roll teaspoon size balls. If it is still sticky, add some more powdered and brown sugar to make it less sticky. (I ended up putting in more)

Roll into teaspoon size balls and sandwich them between two whole pretzels and place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. When finished all the dough, put these "sandwiches" in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Put chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave in short intervals, stirring to make sure heating is fairly even. Dip each "sandwich" halfway in the melted chocolate, and place back on cookie sheet. When all are complete, but them back in the freezer for a bit. After they've hardened, you can store them in a container in the fridge until served.

A definite winner in our house. My daughter loved how much she got to help with these, and no raw eggs to keep her from licking everything clean afterwards. I can just imagine the calorie count in these though, so they will be a very rare treat ;).

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

This recipe is from 200 Slow Cooker Creations


It's a new one for us, and was super easy.

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (8 ounce) can of crushed pineapple
1 (16 ounce) bottle of barbecue sauce
Hot cooked rice

Place chicken in greased 3.5 - 5 quart slow cooker. Combine the pineapple and bbq sauce and then pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Consensus in our house is that it was quite tasty, and should enter our regular rotation. It was super easy (just dump it in the crockpot and walk away).

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Supreme Green Spaghetti

This is one of our favourite vegetarian recipes. I don't make it very often, but every once in a while we make it up. It's a quick and easy recipe, great for the end of a busy day... only about 15 min from start to finish.


Supreme Green Spaghetti

16 oz uncooked spaghetti
1 pound frozen chopped spinach
1/2 cup skim milk
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
salt to taste
pine nuts
grated parmesan cheese

Prepare the pasta according to the package directions; drain. Meanwhile, microwave the frozen spinach to thaw and cook, about 4 minutes on high power. Transfer to a blender and add the milk, garlic, butter, and salt. Puree. Pour the sauce over the hot pasta. Toss and sprinkle with pine nuts and cheese.

This recipe was passed on to me by my cousin. She's a vegetarian and served it for us one time when we visited. It's delicious....

So good some elect to not to use a fork....

Finger lickin' good.....

June Meal Plan

Here is my meal plan for June. With baby potentially coming near the end of the month, it's easy dishes as we get closer (with the exception of Rouladin, which I'm hoping my hubby will tackle, but thinking we'll have company who would appreciate it around then).

This meal plan is definitely going to be pretty fluid throughout the month, and I expect that I'll be doing a lot of rearranging.

1 - Green Spaghetti*
2 - Eating out - Sushi
3 - Frittata, Fruit On The Road - sandwiches or wraps
4 - Steak, Baked Brocolli and Cheddar Potatoes**, Salad Hot dogs and veggies (worked outside all day)
5 - Waffles, Fruit
6 - Leftovers
7 - Hawaiian BBQ Chicken**, Salad
8 - Spinach Lasagna, Salad Super easy bean burritos (was out ALL day)
9 - Beef Stirfry, Rice Spinach Lasagna*, Salad
10 - Chicken and Quinoa Supper** Leftovers
11 - Turkey Burgers*, Curry Potato Salad* Treated to dinner out
12 - Pizza Muffins and Fruit Salad
13 - Broccoli, Cheese and Chicken Pasta**, Salad
14 - Cauliflower and Potato Curry**, naan bread Grilled Chicken over Salad (wasn't feeling like anything heavy)
15 - Baked Chicken, stuffing (Stovetop), veggies Dinner out for birthday
16 - Chili, Tortilla chips
17 - Leftovers
18 - Pork Chops, pasta salad (going to try a new recipe... not sure which yet)
19 - Muffins, fruit
20 -Southwest Chicken Pasta Salad**
21 - Stew*, buns
22 - Leftovers
23 - Easy Lasagna**, Salad
24 - Bean and Cheese Quesidillas
25 - Hot dogs, broccoli salad*
26 - Crepes
27 - Chicken Rice Casserole*, Salad
28 - Salmon, baby potatoes, salad
29 - Pizza
30 - Rouladin, haven't decided on sides yet

Do you meal plan? Do you do it weekly? bi-weekly? Monthly?

I've decided this month instead of just changing the meal plan as we go through the month (rearranging), I'll do strike through editing, so you can see just how fluid our meal plans can be. Certain easy meals are easily axed, but those that I bought specific groceries usually get rearranged. :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Disasters do happen

This was a recipe I wanted to share with you.... it's the most delicious carrot cake ever!!!

But of course I HAD to try it in the bundt cake pan this time... and of course.. this is how it came out:


I'm thinking I'll do round 2 of it in a couple weeks, and hope to get some decent photos... then I'll share the recipe! :)

Putting these swollen feet to bed! Goodnight!

Sunday, May 29, 2011


We've done some swapping around of meals this last week. Mostly because I've been forgetful and forgotten to take my meat out of the freezer. But I did score some awesome deals on meat this week for next month! Nothing like good priced groceries to make me giddy :)

Looks like this month is going to be mostly beef and vegetarian, but beef will make my husband happy!

Nesting has officially began, and I did an overhaul of my pantry and freezer and took inventory, so it's looking like I can do June's meal plan without actually having to buy TOO many groceries. I also have plans to do a day of freezer cooking with a few friends at the beginning of the month, to help stock up on meals for post baby.

June's meal plan will probably be more labour intensive at the beginning of the month (but still not crazy), and then super easy meals towards the end of the month.

The meal plan is starting to come together. A few recipes from last month getting shifted forward, a few recipe requests from friends, and meals based on the meat deals I scored. :) Bring on June!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cake

From Fix It and Forget It: Kids Cookbook


I've gotten a few kids cookbooks lately, as my daughter ALWAYS wants to help. This one looks like a really good one.

It has also been a rainy week around here... so we've been cooped up. So more baking than normal. :)

Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cake

1 cup all-purpose BAKING mix
2 cup sugar, divided
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, plus 1/3 cup divided
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 2/3 cups hot water

Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray.
In a medium0sized mixing bowl, mix together baking mix, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 Tbsp cocoa powder, milk and vanilla. Spoon the batter into your slow cooker and spread out evenly.
In a small mixing bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa and the hot water together. Carefully pour this mixture over the batter. Do no stir.
Cover your slow cooker. Cook the cake on high for 2-3 hours.
After 2 hours, check with a toothpick. If it looks wet, the cake needs to keep cooking, if it has crumbs on it... it's time to eat.
Test every 15 min if it does need to cook longer.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Mmmm

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The cookbooks we used the MOST growing up, weren't big commercial ones.... they were the books made from the collecting recipes from either churches or schools. My mom was a teacher, and my parents moved a fair bit before I was born, so we had a great collection of school and church cookbooks. You know that people select their favourite tried and true recipes, so you're going to get a fantastic collection of recipes.

I lucked out with this cookbook, since my parents had bought one for my Grandma at the time, and so it is one of my keepsakes from my Grandma's kitchen now. I think in the future, and cookbooks that we get to be a part of, I will buy 3 (well maybe 5, for the grandma's too). That way when my girls move out, they have a copy to keep too.


This recipe is from the book from my elementary school. My name is even next to a few of them. Good old Golden Horn! It's definitely a unique school. Didn't really realize at the time all the advantages to going to that school, but it was awesome.

This one was from one of my classmates.


Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Cream butter, add sugar, beating until smooth. Add egg and vanilla; mix. Add dry ingredients; mix well. Drop by teaspoonful on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 F for 8-10 min or until done. Cool.

We put both semi-sweet and white chocolate chips in this batch, since that's what we had on hand.

I barely got my photo taken, before they started disappearing.





Monday, May 16, 2011

Sesame Ginger Chicken

I found this recipe in my The Girl Can't Cook book. This is a recent purchase, and I'm loving it so far. I'm not much of a cook (part of the reason for this blog), and this book gives easy meals that are impressive.


Sesame Ginger Chicken

1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/2 cup liquid honey
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 dried red chili pepper, crushed
2 lbs (1 kg) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
chopped cilantro for garnish

In a microwave-proof bowl, warm all ingredients (excluding chicken). Stir to combine well, and set aside to cool.

In a resealable plastic bag, combine the chicken pieces and the marinade and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a pan with foil or parchment paper. Place chicken in a single layer on the pan, drizzle the marinade and bake for 45 minutes, basting a couple times with the pan juices.

Remove the chicken from the pan, and tent with foil to keep warm. Pour the cooking juices into a small saucepan and boil over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the sauce is reduced to a thick glaze.

To serve, slice the chicken breasts and fan on individual plates, then drizzle with some of the sauce over top. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro to garnish.

We served this dish with stir fry veggies, and udon noodles (my husband loves udon noodles, but we've never made them at home before, so this was a treat for him).

This recipe was delicious. My husband and I agreed. A few complimentary tweaks we thought of for next time, is a sprinkling of sesame seeds to garnish (we omitted the cilantro, as neither of us like it much), and perhaps a touch more soy sauce in the mix. He also suggested I sauce the noodles as well. This recipe will join in our regular meal plans though. Quick, easy and yummy.


You may notice some trends in my meal planning.

I schedule our meals based on our day to day life, and our traditions. Although we keep it flexible, my general planning is as follows:

Mondays - crockpot, or 20 min or less meal (This is my errands day, and we are on the go most of the day)

Tuesdays - more labour intensive meals (We are generally home all day, or just out in the morning)

Wednesday - light meals (my husband plays hockey these evenings, and has requested lighter meals)

Thursday - crockpot or quick meal (potentially an errand day.. or we plan playdates on Thursday afternoons)

Friday - Whatever I want to squeeze in. Sometimes I'm lazy, but usually it's something we just wanted to eat and I couldn't fit it in on another night.

Saturday - BBQ night. My husband bbqs and I prepare a salad... gives me an excuse to try new salad recipes, but if it's a busy day, it's generally just a green tossed salad, or cut up veggies.

Sunday - family picnic/movie night. As a general rule, the TV is off from around 10 am (or earlier) til after the munchkin is in bed. So this is the night we let her pick a movie and we have a picnic on the living room floor. I foresee going to the park for some in the summer, but usually it's the living room. You'll notice our menu plan generally alternates between muffins and fruit salad (which was a sunday dinner in my house growing up) or pizza (which is easy to serve and eat on the floor). Our daughter is responsible for spreading out the blanket, setting out the dishes, etc (although she is the table setter every day at the table too). This usually means that we are joined for dinner by quite a few stuffed animals having tea and cookies while we eat. She loves her tea parties. Sometimes she sets up the picnic early in the afternoon and has tea parties all afternoon until dinner time.

I find having this general breakdown makes it easier for me to plan the whole month at once. Days still get swapped around.... whether it's because I was busy on a typical non-busy day, or often, because I forgot to take the meat out of the freezer the night before. It all works out in the end though.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Banana Bread

We like to make dessert on Sundays... it's different every week, and not pre-planned. Usually cookies or something, but we had bananas to use up this week, so we made banana bread (and banana chocolate chip muffins for the freezer).

I don't remember having banana bread much growing up (although, we did have banana chip muffins on sundays often). I never had a banana bread recipe handed down to me, so I've tried many over the years that I've found online, but always been somewhat disappointed with them.

I reached out to some of my friends, and fellow etsy sellers, and the lovely Ann of Magpie Quilts sent me her tried and true recipe.


I've made it several times now.


Here is her recipe:

Banana Bread

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional - I'm not a nut fan, so I left them out)
3 mashed bananas
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp soda

Mix in order given, baked in greased pan at 350 for 45-60 min or until knife comes out clean.

This recipe also makes awesome muffins. I always add chocolate chips to them! :)

The one pictured I added a glaze.... TOTALLY not necessary! I love this bread on it's own, I just had some cream cheese I wanted to use up, so I thought it might compliment the bread (made it very dessert-like with the glaze).

Mini Potatoes with Grainy Mustard and Lemon

We served this with our salmon the other night... and LOVED them! New recipe.


I found this recipe in Everyone Can Cook: Slow Cooker Meals. It's not a slow cooker recipe, but is one of the listed side dishes. Quick and easy to make.

Boiled Mini Potatoes with Grainy Mustard and Lemon

24-30 mini red or white potatoes, washed
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard, or to taste
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, or to taste
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Simply place the potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Gently boil the potatoes until just tender, 10-12 minutes. Drain well and place in a serving bowl. Toss in the remaining ingredients and serve the potatoes hot or at room temperature.

Everyone in our family really enjoyed these. Normally I just put a little butter and dill on mini potatoes, this was a nice change and a super yummy taste. I was, unfortunately, out of green onions though :(.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

California Black Bean Burgers

This recipe is from my Betty Crocker's Cookbook. One I admit has been on my shelf for AGES, and rarely, if ever used. Mine isn't even the "new edition" that is shown in that link.

This recipe looked promising, as we enjoy a lot of vegetarian dishes and love black beans.


California Black Bean Burgers

1 can black beans, undrained
1 can chopped green chilies, undrained
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp chili powder
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
6 hamburger buns
1 Tbsp mayonaise or salad dressing
1 1/4 cup shredded lettuce
3 Tbsp chunky salsa

Place beans in food processor or blender. Cover and process until slightly mashed (I just used my potato masher). Mix beans, chilies, bread crumbs, chili powder and egg. Shape mixture into 6 patties (I made 8 or 9 smaller ones), each about 1/2 inch thick. Coat each patty with cornmeal.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Cook patties in oil 5-10 minutes, turning once, until crisp and thoroughly cooked on both sides.
Spread bottom halves of buns with mayo, top with lettuce patties, salsa and tops of buns.

We were pretty disappointed in the outcome of these burgers... very bland... and mushy centred. The taste was alright... it just needed something... and I can't put my finger on what that is. We served them with romaine lettuce, tomato slices, and mayo, typical burger toppings. My husband put horseradish mayo on his, and the toddler didn't take more than a bite of hers(she's a bean lover even). If I figure out what it needed, I'll try them again, otherwise, I think this recipe is retired.

Our side salad was a pasta salad. I have no recipe.. it's different everytime I make it, since it's based on what's in the fridge. This one was pasta, cubed cheese, celery and green onion.. and the sauce was some random mixture of Miracle Whip, apple cider vinegar, creamy poppy seed dressing, and peppercorn ranch dressing (literally, whatever was in the fridge).

Monday, May 9, 2011

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

This is one of our favorite meatless meals. I grew up on spinach lasagna... my husband, on meat lasagna. He does enjoy these, and my 2 year old devours them (she'll eat 2 rolls sometimes). It's a recipe I discovered when I was on Weight Watchers, and it is by Gina at Skinny Taste. I highly recommend these Spinach Lasagna Rolls. They just seem so much faster and easier than making a full out lasagna too.

Spinach Lasagna Rolls


9 lasagna noodles, cooked (I use 10)
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
15 oz fat free ricotta cheese (I like Polly-o)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
salt and fresh pepper
32 oz tomato sauce
9 tbsp (about 3 oz) part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tbsp mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Makes 9 rolls (I make 10 rolls).

My daughter also thought she should take a picture of her plate as well... already precut:


She's not too bad with the camera.... she would much prefer to use the SLR than the point and shoot that we freely let her use.