Thursday, January 27, 2011

Easy Good Eats

Oatmeal w/ Cranberries & Almonds
The best way to start off any day is breakfast. It gives you the energy you need until it's mid morning snack time. Having a toddler makes it easier to stick to a healthy eating plan but it certainly comes down to healthy choices. This morning we enjoyed a hot bowl of oatmeal made with Organic quick oats, with cinnamon, nutmeg, dried cranberries, flax seed, and almonds. 

Whole Wheat Spoon Rolls
Lunch time brought on something new for me to try and that was making bread! I tried out a recipe for spoon rolls from Food blogs are like free cookbooks and it's fun being a part of this foodie network. 

To go along with the rolls I put together a quick homemade chicken noodle soup. Again, I'm not big on wasting food so I was able to use up the last of the rostiered chicken. I added 5 cups of water and brought it to a boil then added frozen peas and corn with the whole wheat egg noodles. Then brought it down to a simmer and added 3 tablespoons of my Epicure chicken broth seasonings along with the chicken.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Szechwan Steak Stirfry
For dinner I made a steak stirfry with VH Szechwan sauce. Buying stir fried bagged veggies already done up makes stirfry making a breeze. Another day of good eats with the family!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Full Menu

Mini Cheese Quiche

It's been nice having my hubby on days off for the next couple of weeks. It gives me a chance to really get creative in the kitchen. I got up this morning and wondered what to make us for breakfast and the first thing that comes to mind is bacon and eggs. The best site that I like to check out for the best egg recipes is I decided to make us mini quiches in a muffin tin. Since my hubby is not a fan of the 'green' I made his just with cheese and the others had sliced up mushrooms and spinach. I took 5 eggs and beat them, added some dried herbs, then poured some egg mixture into 4 of the muffins spots. Then added the mushrooms and spinach and cheese to it. Turn your oven to 350 degrees for about 25 minutes and you have mini quiches! Make sure you spray the pan so they don't stick!

Rostiered chickens are the best. They're inexpensive, tasty, seasoned, and all ready cooked for you. I picked one up yesterday and took off all the remaining meat to use for lunch the next day. We made chicken caesar wraps with leftover bacon from breakfast, spinach, and a bit of shredded cheese.  

Chicken Caesar Wrap

We actually had a meatless dinner tonight which is very rare! We enjoyed some Olivieri spinach and cheese pasta with their tomato and herb pasta sauce. Normally these are super expensive to buy but it was a treat to find them for half the price on sale! These pastas make for a relaxing supper. 

Olivieri Spinach & Cheese Pasta

The Winner is...

Somer Bergman! 
Winner of the Epicure Selections 1st Giveaway
as selected by Custom Random Numbers

Thank you everyone for entering the draw and Following me on this food adventure! 
Keep your eye out for another great giveaway in the near future! 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Baked Haddock Alfredo

It is as it looks. A piece of haddock 'shaked' in a ranch crusted Parmesan coating on top of whole wheat egg noodles in a Alfredo sauce with mushrooms on a bed of spinach. 

Rich & Chewy

You don't need to spend a lot of money to get 'rich' and chewy brownies, just take a look in your pantry and I'm sure you'll come up with the ingredients! This recipe for Blonde Brownies came up from the facebook group and it looked really easy. I had to do some substitutions: used whole wheat flour, added a tablespoon and a half of cocoa to give it a chocolate batter, used a chocolate milk bar instead of chocolate chips since I didn't have any, didn't use any nuts, and added Skor toffee pieces to the top. These brownies were rich in chocolate as they were chewy and scrumptious!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Black Angus Chili

This isn't just your usual bowl of chili because it's made with Black Angus beef! This is the 'cream of the crop' when it comes to beef. I was fortunate to get my hands on some from my parent's friends that raise this type of cattle. There is virtually no fat in this meat and it doesn't leave you with that heavy feeling afterwards. This was quite the treat for us and a bowl of chili is the perfect comfort food on a winter's night.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Epicure Selections Giveaway!

My mom had an Epicure party back in the fall and got her hands on some really awesome spices, dips, and entertaining dishes. I got some neat things for Christmas and I love adding some extra spices and flavor to all my dishes. It's kind of like adding a secret ingredient! So, for my first blog giveaway it's only fit to give away something to add to your meals. Check out Epicure's website for more on their products and recipes!

To get in on the giveaway all you need to do is FOLLOW this blog and leave your EMAIL in the comment box below in this post so I can connect with you if you are a winner! This giveaway will start today and end with announcing a winner on January 26th. Thanks for following and get your friends in on the draw too!

The Pie & Parfait

It's great to take a classic like Shepherd's Pie and make it your own. I actually put mashed up sweet potato on the bottom, hamburger mixed up with some beef gravy and corn, and garlic mashed potatoes to top it off! It turned out really good. What would you do to make this classic to make it your own?

For dessert, we had some strawberry yogurt parfaits with chocolate ice cream sauce topped with fresh strawberry sauce.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Try 'Healthy Choice'

When I have a busy day with the boys and can't seem to squeeze in time to prepare my lunch, I grab one of these Healthy Choice Gourmet Steamers from the freezer. They are awesome tasting and a whole lot better for you then some of those other frozen entrees. It's great to have something on hand that is quick and at the same time healthy so try one of these 12 varieties soon, you won't be disappointed. Get a free box of Orville popcorn with the purchase of 2 Steamers on or on Facebook.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fish & Chips

Ever get a craving for greasy fish and chips? How about making your restaurant favorite right in your own home with less grease! Get your oven turned on to 400 degrees for your 'chips'. Take a few white potatoes (remove or keep the skins on your choice) and cut them up into wedges and lay them out on a baking sheet. Toss them with some olive oil and your choice of seasonings and some parmesan cheese. They're going to take about 40 mins to bake so make sure you turn them over at the 20 minute mark.

For your fish you can really use any white fish you want (sole, cod, haddock etc.). Tonight we had haddock fillets. I dipped them into some egg and then into some Italian bread crumbs (or use any kind of Shake N' Bake) and tossed them into a non-stick greased frying pan. I could have baked them in the oven but I really wanted that crispy coating on the outside so I fried mine in some olive oil.

This was a delicious meal and it really did feel like it came from a restaurant and not just from my kitchen. It's great when you can recreate some of your favorite foods and make them your own.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Be a FOLLOWER and you could win a prize!

If you are a fan of this blog and make frequent enough pitstops here... then make sure you click on the Follow icon under Follow Me in the Kitchen to the right of the page. In a couple of weeks this blog will be doing a giveaway (prize and dates of the giveaway to be announced shortly). Who doesn't like FREE STUFF? Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I do! So pay it forward... tell a friend and be sure to follow up soon! Thanks for hangin' out and takin' a peek!


Tornado Tacos

I had this idea come to me just before preparing supper. I took a large whole wheat tortilla wrap and cut it in half then formed it into a bowl into a cooking sprayed muffin tin. I did a few and then threw them into the oven at 400 degrees until then they kept their bowl shape (5 minutes or so). Meanwhile I had browned up my beef, added some taco seasonings then some corn, mushrooms, red kidney beans, and pasta sauce and made it into a quick chili. I used half an avocado leftover from lunch and added some lemon juice to make a guacamole. Added all of this to the the taco bowls with a dollop of guacamole and some shredded cheese and they became what I like to call 'Tornado Tacos!' My little guy and I had this for supper tonight and it was quite the treat! It's fun inventing new meals... what will you come up with?

The Hookup

Morning Glory muffins with Fibre 1 

A muffin and coffee just go hand in hand. These Morning Glory muffins are packed full of energy that will carry you throughout your morning. They take a little time to mix up but the benefits are really worth it. I had bought a box of Fibre 1 cereal that I was eating for breakfast but found this recipe from the website that called for Fibre 1. Eating this cereal straight up can be like chewing on a bundle of hay so to find a recipe that includes it works well for me! Match it up with a coffee and your morning will be a glorious one!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The soup, the biscuit, and the crepe

So after carving that amazing turkey I pulled out a big pot, filled it up half way with water, and dropped in the whole carcass. It boiled down for a few hours and created an amazing turkey broth which would then turn into a wonderful turkey soup for the next day! I pulled off all the remaining meat to use for the soup and discarded everything else. Today I reboiled the broth with the remaining turkey, veggies, and some whole wheat eggs noodles. It's all up to you what you want to use for seasonings. I did some dried thyme, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, and chicken stock.

Soup is such a comfort food and a nice, fresh, hot out of the oven biscuit is the best combination. I did a search on All Recipes and found this great one for Cheddar Thyme Biscuits. I used whole wheat flour and dried thyme. They turned out great and paired perfectly with the soup.

For dessert, I made cinnamon crepes with caramelized apples and pecans. The crepes were made earlier in the day so I didn't have to slave in the kitchen at suppertime. In a sauce pan I added 2 tablespoons of butter, 4 sliced up mixed apples, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I cooked the apples down until they were soft then added some pecans. We enjoyed these with some Java Moose Jamacian Butter Rum Fudge coffee. It was amazing.

I made everything from scratch and had a lot of fun in the kitchen today and the meal was enjoyed by all!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tackling a Turkey

I love the movie "Julie & Julia" because today I had the same sorta feelings going into making a turkey just like Julie did about deboning her duck the way Julia Childs did it. I've never had to make my own turkey since it was always done by my mother. I worked at a Greek/Lebanese restaurant in my early 20s and learned a lot about working the cash, taking orders, prep work, cooking meat properly, making salads, dips, pita bread, rice, lasagna, quiche and all kinds of stuffed pita pockets. I loved working in a kitchen environment (even washing the dishes!) and was also responsible for running few of the kitchens and restaurants on my own (the franchise had 5 locations at the time). Don't you ever wonder if way back then you were supposed to be doing something different as a career but fail to see that until now? I don't have any regrets on the choices I've made in my life because I am loving every minute of being a stay at home mom to my boys, because I'm still getting to cook either way! I will, though, be instilling every culinary skill I can upon them so they will grow up knowing how to fend for themselves when it's time for them to leave home.

So, all of this had lead up to tackling a turkey for the first time ever. It turned out really well and was a really fun project! Next... deboning a duck... nah just kidding! I'll leave the deboning to Julia Childs!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Super Easy Crepes!
All Recipes sent out their top 10 recipes for 2010 and #10 is Basic Crepes. These are super easy crepes and it was my first time making them and they turned out as good as the ones we get at Cora's. In fact, I made a chocolate hazelnut spread with bananas and chocolate sauce which is the same one we order at Cora's when we eat there. It's great to be able to make these at home and there are all kinds of different fillings you can put in them too. The only change in the recipe I made was using whole wheat flour. Very excited to make more of these in the future!

Creamed Broccoli Soup
This soup was easy to make and a great way to use up my big Costco bag of broccoli. It's healthy and freezes well too Take a chance on broccoli... you'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Homemade Hummus
Thought I'd try my hand at making hummus. It's a great high in fiber type of dip for veggies, pita bread, and chips. Found an easy recipe and kinda made up my own as I went too because I didn't have any cumin. Just adjust the lemon juice and oil as needed. This was quite a treat for Leeland today as he loves his hummus!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Diner Classic at Home

Hot Chicken Sandwich & Sweet Potato
Reinvent a diner classic of your own! We made hot chicken sandwiches with corn, carrots, and sweet potatoes made with nutmeg and cinnamon for a little twist. It was comfort at its best.

Recycled Chocolate

Toberlone & Chocolate Chip Cookies
I ended up getting quite a bit of chocolate over the holidays but now that the holidays are over and it's back to getting on track... the chocolate must go! I do not like wasting food at all... especially good chocolate! So I decided to make some cookies by adding my big Toblerone bar that I got to make Chocolate Chip Cookies for my hubby's lunch snack. This way he can take them all to work and I can freeze the rest for future lunches or guests.

Of course when they came out of the oven I just had to try one... maybe as a way of saying, "Goodbye sweet Toberlone... we'll meet again someday!"

Hope this can help you too find a way to reuse some of your Christmas chocolate!

(As a side note: These cookies were picked up and taken to an organization called OUTFLOW and used as their dessert to help feed the needy in Saint John.)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

How do you take your Potato?

Today we had a very mild day for it being January and it melted all the snow off the bbq! Perfect for steaks and what goes great with steaks? Potatoes of course. So many options when it comes to doing potatoes but I just kept it simple by baking them. And after they're baked... you stuff them with whatever you want!

To make baked potatoes you'll need:

Baking or white potatoes scrubbed clean then poke all over with a fork to let the steam out as they are cooking (or else you'll end up with a potato explosion in your oven).
Heat your oven to 350 degrees and just place the potatoes directly on the rack for 1.5 hrs.

New Year's Spaghetti Night

My hubby's favorite meal is a big plate of meaty spaghetti so as a treat for New Year's Eve I made it! This also happens to be one of Leeland's favorites too which he is eating for his lunch today. Pasta sauce makes it easy to hide any of the greens your kids may not eat (like broccoli, spinach, even carrots). Make sure you stay clear of white pasta and stick to whole grain or whole wheat pasta for the extra fiber. Experiment with your pasta sauce and make it the healthiest you can for your whole family! Happy New Year everyone...