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. :)