Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pineapple Rice Pudding

Pineapple Rice Pudding w/ toasted coconut
Don't you just love it when you find a recipe and you have all the ingredients you need in your cupboard? My sister dropped off her Crock Pot Slowcooker recipe book and I was able to browse through and found this recipe for Pineapple Rice Pudding. It sounded divine so I had to try! I used brown jasmine rice instead of the arborio rice that it called for. Also found the actual recipe online so here it is and try it in your slow cooker for a nice warm dessert today!
COOK TIME 3 to 4 hours
PREP TIME 10 minutes
YIELD Makes about 8 (1 cup) servings
1can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1can (13-1/2 ounces) coconut milk
1can (12 ounces) nonfat evaporated milk
3/4cup uncooked arborio rice
2eggs, lightly beaten
1/4cup sugar
1/4cup packed light brown sugar
1/2teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4teaspoon salt
Whipped topping

Toasted coconut for garnish* (optional)
*To toast coconut, spread evenly on ungreased baking sheet. Toast in preheated 350°F oven 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until light golden brown.
  1. Place pineapple with juice, coconut milk, evaporated milk, rice, eggs, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt into slow cooker; mix well. Cover; cook on HIGH 3 to 4 hours or until thickened and rice is tender.
  2. Stir until blended. Serve warm or chilled with whipped topping. Garnish with coconut, if desired.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mexican Christmas Dinner

Chili in Spinach Tortilla
Cream cheese taco dip

Tonight my sister Holly and her husband Jordan came over for dinner and then took out my oldest boy Leeland (almost 17 months old) to the Santa Clause Parade. I wanted to make something fun and easy to prepare before they went. It was definetly the perfect day to have chili... the snow was falling really lightly all day and was so pretty. A friend of mine suggested to me on Facebook after seeing my Spicy Taco Salad to use red and green tortilla shells as the bowls for Christmas so that is what I did! Thank you Shannon! I bought the green tortilla (which are made out of spinach) and formed them into a bowl and stuck them in the oven to harden up. I also made a taco dip (cream cheese, salsa, shredded cheese) as an appetizer. Earlier in the morning I made some chocolate cupcakes to decorate later on for a quick dessert. I love how the red and green theme of Christmas came out in the Mexican food. It was a great meal... and of course with great company. Leeland had a blast with his Auntie and Uncle at the parade and I'm happy he was able to experience it.

Oy, Spinach...

Honey Mustard Chicken
So I know it's important to eat your greens and I've become a big fan of spinach in the past year. I'm trying to be creative when making a salad with it. Have some fun with your spinach!
Lemon Herbed Salmon

Giving Back!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
It's that time of year again... yes Christmas. But for some people it is not a glamorous time of year but sometimes a sad one and a hard one to get through. Last year I had the privilege of serving some of the homeless and less fortunate in the uptown Saint John area with an organization called Outflow. Our team was responsible for doing 2 full meals a month. It was a challenge but very rewarding. This year I am not able to attend but have offered to do desserts. I've been taking an afternoon and baking up some cookies and squares and then putting them in the freezer so they are all ready to go if they are needed. I love doing Christmas baking but I find when it's done too early it gets eaten up and we don't really need the added pounds right now! So challenge yourself  this season to find a way to give back and help someone out. It'll be something I will certainly be instilling in my children that we need to help others in a time when we have so much. Happy baking and lets make poverty history!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Impress your Guests

Molten Dark Chocolate Cake
Want to make a dessert that will have everyone saying, "Where can I get the recipe to make this!" You can find lots of recipes for Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes all over the internet but the one to try out is inside the box of Baker's Premium Dark Chocolate 70% squares. You can watch a video of how to make one on the Kraft website as well as get the recipe. They are a lot of fun to make and you can even make up the batter ahead of time and put it in the ramekins and leave in the fridge for up to 24 hrs. Challenge yourself, you won't regret it!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Easy Tortellini

Olivier Tortellini
I like meals that are delicious but also easy to make especially when you're keeping two little ones occupied. When my hubby is working a 12 hour day shift, it can be hard to get supper on the table for when he gets home but today he was home early and it was all ready when he came through the door so we were able to all eat together. I think it's important as a family to eat together at the table with no distractions and we do everytime the opportunity is there.

Tonight's menu was Olivier Tortellini stuffed with sausage and provolone cheese with Prego pasta sauce and a side of french green beans.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Spoiling the Family

I really enjoy entertaining and putting on some great food with great company. I also think a great way to give back to family is cooking up a nice meal but it's really the least I could do for my family.

We started our meal with a Creamy Pumpkin Soup which I tweaked just a little. I found it to be a little bland tasting so I kicked it up a notch with some Italian seasonings, dried red chili peppers and a little chili powder for a bit of heat but not too much. Omitted the onion but used onion powder. It's the kind of soup that you just have to keep taste testing until you got it where you want it. It did taste awesome and I'm glad to have tried it out because it was a huge hit and perfect way to start off the meal. There was also a side dish of pita bread and tzatiki sauce.
Creamy Pumpkin Soup

I picked up some souvlaki  marinated thick pork chops at Costco and paired it up with garlic mashed potatoes (used red potatoes and left the skins on), green beans (boiled for 5 mins. then tossed in cold water then added to the wok) which were stir fried with shredded carrots and button mushrooms.

Souvlaki Pork with garlic mashed potatoes 

For dessert I had made brownies with chocolate icing earlier in the day and it was the best way to end a great meal. Doing big meals like this may seem like a hassle with having little ones around but it really can be easy as long as you have everything planned out ahead of time. I love spoiling my family and it's a great way to give back and say "thank you"!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Feelin' Sloppy?

Super easy sloppy joes! All you need is some lean ground beef, small can of tomato paste, Club House sloppy joe package seasoning and add some water to thicken it up (directions are on the back of the package). Pictured is a fresh whole grain bun from Costco topped with shredded cheese.
Sloppy Joe

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Simple & Easy Chicken Fettucini

Chicken Fettucini with Penne Pasta
Make a great restaurant meal in the time it takes you to cook up the pasta. Slice up chicken breasts and add them to your pan (or wok) with some chicken broth, minced garlic, and some pepper. Add some seasonings of your choice (pizza seasoning works great). Boil up your pasta of choice and in a smaller pot make your sauce. To make things easy just use a package Alfredo mix (it will also cut down all the fat too of a regular Alfredo sauce). When your chicken is done remove it from the pan (or wok) and add your mushrooms (or other veggies if you prefer) with the remaining juices left over (add some chicken broth if it dried up). Add a side salad and you can say, "Badda Boo Badda Bing!"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hamburger Pot Pie

Hamburger Pot Pie
Pot pies are one of those great recipes that you can just throw together when you have all the ingredients. I had a lot of ideas running around in my head as to what to create with my lean ground beef. But the best was a nice pot pie that would be all ready to go right at supper time and I wouldn't have to slave in the kitchen since it can be all made ahead. This recipe is easy and great if you have veggies in your fridge to use up. Here's what I did:

Took out frozen dough to let unthaw.
Browned up the beef then added 2 packets of brown gravy (and 2 cups of water) to the mix. Let simmer.
Defrosted 2 cups of frozen mixed veggies by putting them in some hot water to soften up then added to mix.
Peeled and cubed up 2 potatoes then boiled them, drain water, then add to mix.
Let the mixture simmer.
Add the mixture to a glass pie plate then top with the pie crust (don't forget to poke holes through it to let the steam out).
Turn oven to 350 degrees and bake for 40-50 mins (or as directed on the pie crust box).

Nothing is more pleasing then to watch my little guy eat this right up! I don't even think he noticed all the peas he was eating because the flavor was so good!

Mixture simmering


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Top 5 Healthy Foods to put on your plate"

These are the top 5 healthy foods to put on your plate as per Healthy Choice Canada.

1.    Whole grains
Why: They’re a bundle of goodness because they offer the nutrition of all three parts of the grain:
-       the bran (for fibre);
-       the endosperm (for carbohydrates and some protein); and
-       the germ (for vitamins, minerals and healthy fats).[1]
How: Swap brown rice for white rice in your favourite recipes. Look for foods made with barley. Experiment with different whole grains like quinoa and buckwheat.  

2.    Broccoli
Why: This brilliant green gem contains disease-fighting antioxidants. Just half a cup of cooked broccoli contains almost 75% of your daily quota for vitamin C too.[2]
How: For maximum nutrition, eat broccoli lightly steamed or stir-fried.

3.    Sweet potatoes
Why: A beta-carotene all-star and an important source of potassium.[3]
How: Try them baked or boiled. Add just a drizzle of non hydrogenated margarine to enhance the absorption of beta-carotene.

4.    Beans
Why: A healthy, low fat meat alternative that’s filled with fibre.
How: Add a handful of chickpeas to a salad. Make a lentil soup, bean burgers, or a big pot of chilli for supper.  

5.    Salmon
Why: My top pick for omega-3 fats and one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D.[4]
How: Bake it, broil it, or buy it in a can.

Making a meal out of a salad

Bbq'd steak spinach salad
 Salads don't need to stay as a side when you can design them in such a way that they turn out to be your whole meal on a plate. Start by picking your greens and then your toppings. Add a hearty protein and you've got a great meal. Not to mention super healthy! I created a spinach salad with bbq'd medium/well done slices of steak with drizzled balsamic dressing. Looks like it came from an expensive restaurant and it only took 15 mins. Have fun creating and experimenting with all kinds of variations of salads.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Baked Rosti Potatoes

Baked Rosti Potatoes & Garlic Pork Steak
I get pretty excited when my Kraft Canada Magazine arrives in the mail. Actually I get pretty excited when anything arrives in the mail in my name and a lot of other free goodies have lately. Usually I'll try one or two recipes in the magazines just to try out something different. Came across a recipe for baked rosti potatoes and thought I'd pair that up with our garlic pork steaks (already pre-marinated from the Supertore in the package). The pork was bbq'd and tasted amazing but the potatoes I was not a fan of too much but hubby seemed to like them. He is a total meat and potatoes guy so it doesn't take much to please him. They just tasted really bland to me and could have used some more seasonings. I didn't use the small onion it called for since we don't like onions or the texture of them so I added onion powder as a substitute. So in my opinion they were a bit of a letdown. Even the ratings that other people gave this recipe on the KraftCanada website said it was bland and gave it a low score. See recipe:

Tapioca Pudding
For dessert, my hubby mentioned if I'd make him some tapioca pudding this week and I finally got around to it. It's just the ClubHouse box brand that was used. I don't know what he likes so much about it but I sprinkled some nutmeg and added some walnuts to mine. Psst... it's also gluten free!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Get warm and cozy!

The evenings are hitting the minus zero mark which means time for hot drinks, getting cozy by the fire, and watching your favorite tv shows or movies. So grab your favorite mug, hot drink, and get cozy!
Raspberry Hot Chocolate