Monday, September 6, 2010

Wor Won-ton Soup

Wor Wonton Soup

1 carrot, sliced
1 celery rib, sliced
3-4 small mushrooms, quartered
5 cups chicken broth
6 shrimp, cooked
2 green onions
1/2 cup broccoli
1 1/2 cups bok choy

Place broth in a large pot: bring to a boil. Add carrots and celery and cook for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, broccoli and bok choy and cook for 2 minutes. Add wontons and cook for 3 minutes. Add green onions and cook for 1 minute.

Additional tips: you can cook the shrimp by adding it at the same time as the mushrooms. To prevent the broth from becoming cloudy cook the won-tons separately.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

I cannot say that this roast was perfect but I really enjoyed it and I loved that I did not have to do anything to the sauce to make it gravy. Great Sunday or lazy day meal.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast
5 1/2 lb Roast
2 Cans of cream of mushroom soup
1 package of Lipton onion soup mix
1 1/4 cup water

In a slow cooker, mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix and water. Place pot roast in slow cooker and coat with soup mixture.

Cook on high for 3-4 hours
Cook on low for 8-9 hours

Recipe from All Recipes

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pork and Chive Pot Stickers

I made these the other night and was impressed how quickly I was able to make almost 100 wontons. We only had a few for dinner and I have the rest in the freezer and plan to make wonton soup sometime next week.

Pork and Chive Pot Stickers
1/4 lb ground pork
1 Tbsp minced chives
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp cornstarch
20 wonton wrappers
1 Tbsp vegetable oil for frying

In a bowl, combine pork, chives, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon water. Place a heaping teaspoon of pork mixture in center of a wonton wrapper. Lightly wet edge of wrapper, fold over, and press to seal. Repeat to form remaining dumplings (makes 20). In two batches, cook dumplings in a large pot of boiling water until cooked through, 4 minutes; transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon. In a large nonstick pan, heat vegetable oil over medium-high. In two batches, cook until browned, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Serve with dipping sauce.

Freeze raw dumplings on a baking sheet, then store in bags, up to 3 months. Cook from frozen.

Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp sesame oil

In a bowl, stir together soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, sugar, and sesame oil.

Helpful Tip: To always have fresh ginger on hand - peel your unused ginger, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the freezer. Then when you need it simply take it out of the freezer and chop (from frozen) the amount you need. I like to have my ginger really fine so I use the very fine side of my cheese grater to give me the amount I need.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back to School Lunches

I don't have kids in school yet but I like to imagine that when I do I would prepare cute lunches with cute notes like the ones on these websites. Some mom's are so creative.

Free back to school printables:

Great lunch time ideas:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Basic Spaghetti Sauce

I feel a little silly posting a recipe for spaghetti sauce, but Jesse loves spaghetti - in fact it is the one dish that he will ask for (I don't get it either) but now that it is Elly's favourite too I have been searching for a recipe that I really like. After reviewing a bunch of the recipe's posted on all I decided to make my own and this is what I came up with.

Basic Spaghetti Sauce

1lb ground beef
1 onion
1/2 bell pepper (color of choice)
4 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 14oz can tomato sauce

In a large pot cook ground beef, drain fat and transfer to another bowl. In the same large pot cook finely diced onions and bell pepper until tender; add garlic and seasoning and cook for another minute. Add cooked ground beef tomato sauce tomatoes and sugar and simmer for 2-3 hours.

Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Loaf

This bread was so moist and delicious with fresh blueberries - I skipped the topping from the original recipe, it was just too bitter for me but if you love lemon you may want to check out the recipe at Sisters Cafe; originally from The Smitten Kitchen.

Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Loaf

1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 1 lemon)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan. Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 (+) minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean. When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Marshmallow Crunch Brownie Bars

I love peanut butter and chocolate, it is my favourite combination so whenever I see any dessert that calls for both I feel like I need to make it and this recipe is no exception. I think that I will use a richer brownie recipe next time but I was in a hurry and just wanted to use one of my old favorites from my mom. But either way these were very yummy.

Marshmallow Crunch Brownie Bars

Brownie Base Ingredients:
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
4 Tbsp cocoa

For the topping:
1 (10 1.2 ounce) bag of mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter 1½ cups Rice Krispies cereal

In a bowl sift together your flour, salt and cocoa. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Then add your eggs one at a time scrapping down sides of the bowl as needed. Add vanilla. Add flour mixture all at once and mix until just incorporated. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the corner of of the pan comes out with moist crumbs. Remove the brownies from the oven and immediately sprinkle the marshmallows over them. Return the pan to the oven for 3 more minutes. Meanwhile, place the milk chocolate chips, peanut butter, and tablespoon of butter in a medium saucepan. Melt over low heat, stirring constantly, until completely melted (this can also be done in a microwave). Remove from heat, add the Rice Krispies and mix well. Allow to cool for 3 minutes. Spread the mixture evenly over the marshmallow layer. Refrigerate until chilled before cutting.

Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Red Lentil Stew or Baby's Dal

This is from Elly’s baby cook book Cooking For Baby in the 9-11 month section. I love that it is a great source of fiber and still something that I enjoy to eat. It is not Jesse’s favorite so it is usually something that Elly and I eat for lunch. The original recipe only called for 1/3 cup lentils and 2 cups broth but I really like the lentils and I enjoy it being a bit thicker (the consistency reminds me of split pea soup).

Red Lentil Stew or Baby's Dal
Makes about 3 cups
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

2/3 cup red lentils
12 baby carrots
3 small red potatoes
2 Tbsp green onions, chopped
2-3 cups chicken stock
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper

Pick over lentils, discarding misshapen ones. Rinse and drain. Finely chop carrots and potatoes. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all ingredients. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes and check to make sure stoke is not all absorbed. This is when you may want to add the third cup of stock, depending on desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

Recipe Card Maker

I found this really cute website that allows you to create and print your own recipe cards for free. Check it out!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

I made this dip for a dinner that I was attending tonight from a recipe that I found on the Sisters Cafe Blog it was yummy and something I will definitely make again. Next time I think it would be really yummy with some finely diced red onion.
1 can (15oz) black beans rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small garlic clove
1 tsp kosher salt
pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
1 avocado, diced
1 small red pepper (yellow or orange would work as well)
2 medium tomatoes, diced
4 green onions (tops and all) finely chopped
1 jalapeƱo, seeded and minced (optional)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

In a small container (with lid) combine the lime juice, olive oil, garlic and seasonings. Cover and shake until well combined.

In a medium bowl combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the dressing. Serve immediately with taco chips or eat on its own as a side. Serves 3-4 main course servings or 6-8 side dish servings.

Easy Taco Salad

I feel a little silly for posting this but I really enjoy finding new simple ideas for dinner on nights that I just don't really want to do anything but relax.

I have no recipe to post with this - just a picture. I make ground beef with Taco seasoning (sometimes I cook onion and peppers with it) and serve it with lettuce, taco chips (I usually melt some grated cheese just before serving), and some guacamole (1 avocado, 1 finely diced tomato, 1 Tbsp finely minced onion, lemon juice, 1 tsp mayonnaise, 1 tsp sour cream, salt and pepper to taste).

I usually like mine with ranch dressing or salsa and sour cream but you can have it with any dressing you like.

Sugar Cookie Bars

Sugar Cookie Bars
Yield: about 4 dozen bars

For the cookie bars:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda

For the frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
5 tbsp. milk
Food coloring (optional)

To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Grease a 13 x 18″ rimmed baking sheet
(mine was 12 x 17″). Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until light and smooth, about 2 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla and almond extract. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Stir together with a fork to blend. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and beat on low speed just until incorporated.

Transfer the cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet and press into an even layer (I use a rolling pin to help me with this part). Bake 10-15 minutes, until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Blend in the vanilla, salt, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Mix in the milk. Tint as desired with food coloring. Spread over the cookie in the pan, cut into bars and serve. (If you don't like a lot of frosting you may want to make only half a suggested amount).

Source: adapted from Annies-eats and The Repressed Pastry Chef

Saturday, August 7, 2010

My new favorite pizza

I am not sure if it is the recipe for the dough or the method of cooking that makes this pizza my new favourite - but either way I am in love with it and will be making this once a week. I will worn you that this is a bit more work then I like to put in for a week day meal and the kitchen was still a disaster a few hours after but since I enjoyed eating it so much I didn't really mind.

You need to have your oven really hot for this (clean oven recommended to limit smoke alarms going off) but this will help make your pizza crust just perfect. For more tips on making your crust just perfect go to: Annies-Eats

Basic Pizza Dough:

½ cup warm water
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
1½ tsp. salt
1¼ cup water, at room temperature
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over the top. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the bread flour and salt, mixing briefly to blend. Measure the room temperature water into the measuring cup with the yeast-water mixture. With the mixer on low speed, pour in the yeast-water mixture as well as the olive oil. Mix until a cohesive dough is formed. Switch to the dough hook. Knead on low speed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 1½-2 hours.

Press down the dough to deflate it. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball. (If freezing the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze at this point.) Cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no longer than 30 minutes.

To bake, preheat the oven and pizza stone to 500˚ F for at least 30 minutes. Transfer the dough to your shaping surface, lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Shape the dough with lightly floured hands. Brush the outer edge lightly with olive oil. Top as desired. Bake until the crust is golden brown, and cheese is bubbling, 8-12 minutes.

Chicken Ranch Pizza:

¼ cup Ranch dressing
¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½-1 grilled chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 white onion finely diced and lightly cooked
1 tomato, seeded and diced
2-3 green onions, chopped
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Spread the Ranch dressing in a thin layer evenly over the unbaked crust. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Top with grilled chicken, tomato, onions and green onions. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar. Once assembled, carefully transfer the parchment round and pizza to the preheated baking stone and return to the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and browned. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Pizza dough and chicken ranch pizza from Annies Eats

Chicken Caesar Pizza

¼ cup Caesar dressing
¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½-1 grilled chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 white onion finely diced and lightly cooked
2 pieces of cooked bacon, cut into bite sized pieces
3-4 mushrooms, sliced and lightly cooked
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Spread the Caesar dressing in a thin layer evenly over the unbaked crust. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Top with grilled chicken, onions, mushrooms and bacon. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar and Parmesan. Once assembled, carefully transfer the parchment round and pizza to the preheated baking stone and return to the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and browned. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My favourite way to cook chicken

I find that I am always making dishes that call for cooked chicken. I used to cut the raw chicken and pan fry it until I was watching Rachel Ray and saw that she boils her chicken breast in water with a bay leaf (or two), salt and pepper for approximately 20 minutes depending on the size of your chicken breasts. I find that the chicken stays moist and I enjoy not having any crispy edges that usually pan frying creates.

Roasted Red Potatoes

This was a great side and a nice twist on boring potatoes.

Roasted Red Potatoes

4 red potatoes (or 8 new potatoes)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese
Various seasonings (I use salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and parsley)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice potatoes into wedges and place in bowl. Toss in olive oil until coated and then add all remaining ingredients and toss until evenly coated. Bake in preheated oven 30-40 minutes or until desired degree of crispness, turning wedges over halfway through baking.

Recipe source: from Brown Eyed Baker originally from Ambers Delectable Delights

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Roasted Salmon with Herbed Yogurt and Oven Baked Rice

I love to make Salmon for dinner - it is so fast and good for you and I always feel like I am made a really nice meal after its all done. My favorite things to serve with this dish is roasted veggies and couscous or oven baked rice (recipe below) but it is also good with mashed or roasted potatoes.

Roasted Salmon with Herbed Yogurt

1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 side of salmon (3 pounds) or 8 fillets (6 ounces each)

Preheat oven to 450. Combine yogurt, mustard, dill and parsley; season with salt and pepper. Place Salmon skin side sown on a rimed baking sheet. Spread yogurt mixture on salmon. Roast until opaque throughout 15-20 minutes (8 minutes for fillets). Serve warm.

Recipe from Everyday Food

Oven Baked Rice

1 onion finely diced
5 mushrooms sliced (optional)
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1/4 cup butter
1 cup Rice
2 cups chicken broth

Cook onion and mushrooms in olive oil and 1/2 of the butter on medium heat until cooked, add the rice and remaining butter and increase the heat to medium high heat and cook until the rice is toasted. Transfer to a covered baking dish and add broth. Cook for 45minutes or until rice is tender. (if you do not have 45 minutes to allow the rice to bake add the broth to your pot on the stove, cover and turn heat to low. cook for approximately 20 minutes or until rice is tender).

Friday, July 30, 2010

Black Bean Zucchini Pancakes

I know that these may not sound or look like something that you would want to make but I love these - they are great for lunch or a light dinner. And they are from Shape magazine so you can feel good about eating them.

Black Bean Zucchini Pancakes
Prep time: 7 min. Cook time: 8 min.
Serves 4

15 oz canned black beans (rinsed and drained)
2 eggs (use only egg whites if you want to be healthier)
1 tsp chopped roasted garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 zucchini, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup bread crumbs
olive oil for cooking
1/2 cup salsa
2 1/2 Tbsp sour cream

In a medium bowl mash beans, egg, garlic and cumin to a coarse texture. Stir in zucchini and bread crumbs. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Using half of the mixture drop 4 mounds into the pan and flatten to about 3 1/2 inch rounds. Cook for 4 minutes turning after about 2 minutes. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chocolate Drizzled Carmel Popcorn

Chocolate Drizzled Carmel Popcorn


1 cup popcorn kernels, un-popped

1 cup butter

½ cup light corn syrup

2 cups packed light brown sugar

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup milk and white chocolate (do not combine)


Pop popcorn and separate kernels. Preheat the oven to 250° F. Meanwhile, to make the caramel, melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan set over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, mix in the corn syrup, brown sugar and salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Once the mixture reaches a boil, let the mixture continue to boil for 5 more minutes without stirring. Remove the mixture from the heat, stir in the baking soda and vanilla extract. The mixture will bubble up and become frothy. Pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn in the bowl(s) and toss to coat thoroughly. Spread the popcorn evenly onto two large baking sheets lined with parchment paper. (It is okay if there are some clumps of caramel throughout. It will melt and become better spread out while baking.) Bake for 40-50 minutes, removing from the oven to toss/stir every 10 minutes. After 40 minutes, test a cooled piece of popcorn. If it is not completely crispy (i.e. still slightly mushy when you bite it), bake for 10 minutes more.

Remove the baking sheets and cool on a sheet of parchment paper.

Once popcorn is cool, melt white chocolate and milk chocolate in separate bowls. Drizzle melted chocolate over cooled popcorn. Allow chocolate to harden before serving.

Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie Treat/

Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie Treats


6 cups Rice Krispies
1 bag (10.5-oz) miniature marshmallows
¼ cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter
1 cups creamy peanut butter
1 bag (12-oz) miniature peanut butter cups (about 40), quartered
1 cup milk chocolate chips (or 6 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped)

Directions: Butter a 9×13-inch pan and set aside. Measure the cereal into a large mixing bowl and set aside. Melt the marshmallows and butter together in the microwave for 1-3 minutes. Pour the melted marshmallow mixture over the cereal and mix well so the cereal is coated. Pour into the prepared pan and use a buttered piece of wax paper to press evenly into pan. In the microwave, melt the peanut butter until thin, about 1 minute. Gently stir in the quartered peanut butter cups and then pour over the treats. Using the back of a spoon gently spread the peanut butter mixture evenly across the top. Again in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips. Using a spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate across the top. Place the pan in the refrigerator to set before cutting and serving. Store in an airtight container.