I started this blog so my daughters could find all of our family favourite recipes in one place. It has actually grown into more than just the family favourites but also other recipes we've tried out in our kitchen. I don't like to fill up the post with alot of chatter. Sometimes there's a little story to tell, but usually I like to get right to the point. So this is for them, but hope you find some recipes that you like as well. I'll be sharing a lot of recipes, and along the way you'll find some crafty things and maybe some helpful hints too!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Lightly Glazed Carrots

Carrots are naturally sweet and this light glaze just enhances that.

1  1/2 lbs carrots, sliced
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 - 1 tsp salt (depending on sodium content of the broth)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsps butter
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp thyme
black pepper to taste

In a saucepan bring carrots, broth, salt and brown sugar to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered 5-10 minutes until tender. Remove the carrots from the broth.

In a large skillet add the butter, lemon juice, thyme and pepper and stir in the carrots. Add ladlefuls of broth to the pan to deglaze only adding more broth when the carrots have absorbed what is in the pan, much like making risotto. 

Serve with an extra squeeze of lemon.

Serves 8

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Gin and Tonic Pickles

Alcoholic pickles? O.K.!
Serve as a pickle or as a garnish for your next G and T!

6 mini cucumbers
1 lime
1/2 cup gin
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tsps sugar
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 cup tonic water (or a little more)

Wash cucs and cut into spears. Pack into 2 - 500 ml sterilized jars. Slide a slice of lime down the side. I got carried away with how pretty the lime slices looked in the jar and put more than a slice.  Makes the pickles way too tart!  Stick to 1 slice per jar!

Shake gin, lime juice, sugar and sea salt together and divide and pour evenly over the cucs. Top each jar off with tonic water to fully submerge the cucs.

Cap and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.

Or process for 5 minutes in a hot water bath so you can keep them in your pantry, but the pickles might be a bit limp. 
And nobody likes a limp pickle!

Original recipe:

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Mediterranean Chicken

Easy to prepare, quick to cook and lots of flavour!

2 tbsps olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced or sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1  1/2 cups diced eggplant
zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp capers, with some brine
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 tsp dry oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chicken broth

Heat oil in a skillet and add onion, stirring until just lightly golden. Add chicken, salt, pepper and oregano and cook until chicken is no longer pink.

Add garlic and eggplant for 2-3 minutes.
Finally add the yellow pepper, celery, capers, lemon juice and zest. Simmer uncovered adding the broth in 1/3 cup increments, deglazing as you go for 5-10 minutes.

Serve over rice

Makes 2-3 servings

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Egg-free Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Eating this pudding brings me right back to my Nana's kitchen. She probably made other desserts, but I can still remember this pudding cooling on her counter đź’–

6 tbsps cornstarch
6 tbsps cocoa
3 cups milk
6 tbsps sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsps butter
1  1/2 tsps vanilla

Start warming 2 cups of the milk.

Meanwhile whisk together the cornstarch, cocoa, sugar and salt and stir into the remaining 1 cup of milk.

Reduce heat on 2 cups of milk and stir in the cocoa milk. Continue whisking on simmer for 5-10 minutes until the pudding starts to bubble and thicken.

Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla.

Pour into serving bowls and cover lightly with a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap to prevent the top from forming a skin. Or if you're like me don't cover it, I like the skin!

If you're going to eat it in a couple of hours you can leave it on the counter like Nana did. If not, refrigerate.

Makes 6-8 servings

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pumpkin Carrot Soup

It's October and everything is pumpkin spice something or other but I'm not "falling" for that trend. This is just a soup that has pumpkin in it... and spices  ; )

2 tbsps coconut oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 - 4 cups vegetable broth
3 large carrots, diced
1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
2 cups pumpkin purée
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
(I used about 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper)

Heat oil in a large pot, add onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and toss just until it starts to turn golden then add the broth, carrots and ginger. Cook about 20 minutes or until the carrots are easily pierced with a fork.

Stir in the pumpkin purée, cinnamon, salt and pepper.

Next, blend in batches making sure there are no lumps remaining. I used 3  1/2 cups of broth but if you want your soup alittle thinner add more broth here.

Return to the pot and heat through to serve.

Serves 8-10

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Road Trip Nova Scotia

From LĂ©vis QuĂ©bec, we made our way along the Trans Canada highway. Upon crossing the New Brunswick border the speed limit changed from 100 to 110 km so you know everyone was driving 115-120 km!!! It took a little getting used to!

And just over the New Brunswick border we stopped for lunch at Le/The Pirate. Funny how fast food to us is a hamburger or hot dog, but in the maritimes they're all about the Lobster Roll. This was a good one.

Next we stopped at the Nova Scotia welcome center to pick up a map and browse the souvenirs. Being towards the end of September we didn't realize that we wouldn't find any other souvenir shops opened in the province. Or maybe it was just because we only visited small towns, but it turned out that the welcome center was the only place to pick up souvenirs of Nova Scotia.

A long and winding road across a section of Nova Scotia took us to Berwick, where we were staying with friends. A small friendly town where we tried Jonny's Cookhouse. I had their delicious Haddock Burger and have you every tried Pineapple Crush? Yum!

I was terribly disappointed that we didn't get a chance to try some of their ice creams. I mean look at these flavours! I'd probably still be there trying to decide what to have!

Friday night the Berwick Lions Club put on a groovy evening of music and dance with Replay the Sixties Invasion!

We were a little slow getting going the next morning, but finally made the 20 minute drive to the Fundy shore and the little fishing village of Harbourville. More on their lobsters to come!

Later in the week we went to Wolfville where they were holding the Deep Roots music festival with down home music to enjoy throughout the town.

Time for a little nosh at Troy restaurant. My husband tried another micro brew... Sea Level. I had the Pimm's cocktail, a MUCH better choice in my opinion  ; )  Cheers!

The weather was unbelievable as we sat out on the terrace enjoying this wonderful lunch, the name of which I unfortunately can't recall. But LOOK at this mediterranean masterpiece!

On the last day of our stay our hosts suggested a visit to Luckett Vineyards. A serene setting where you might imagine yourself in Italy...except for the London phonebox! Visitors to Luckett's can use the phonebox to call toll-free anywhere in North America.  Pretty cool!

Here my husband and I shared an antipasto platter that was out of this world! With, of course, a glass of Luckett wine!

But there's nothing like home cooking right? On our final night our gracious hosts prepared a lovely lobster dinner (remember Harbourville? Ya, can't get much fresher than that!)

We sat outside on the deck around the pool enjoying good food and good company, marveling at the weather and looking up at all the stars in the sky. No light pollution here!

On the road again, we passed through Stewiacke Nova Scotia. This is their claim to fame.

Back in New Brunswick at Grand Falls we expected to see, well...GRAND falls!  Apparently they're closed sometimes and this was one of those times! Oh well, the gorge was still pretty spectacular.

We did find this quaint restaurant, Le Grand Saut right in the middle of town, short main street you can't miss it. A light supper of Greek salad with grilled shrimp was right up my alley.

Back in Lévis Québec for the final leg of our trip home and like I said before, fast food to us is a hamburger or hot dog!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Old Quebec City in a Day

Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac dominates the skyline of Quebec City. There are taller, more modern buildings in the city but the "castle" stands out apart from all the rest.

When roaming around old town you can usually spot it from just about anywhere. If you don't see it, just walk down the the street, turn a corner and look up. There it is! We used it to get our bearings while exploring, although the town is quite simple to navigate.

Old Quebec City has two sections, upper and lower town. We were lucky enough to find a parking spot on the street just outside the entrance to the ferry. From there we started our exploration of lower town. The large parking lot down by the water would have been our second choice if we hadn't found street parking.

The city is built on a steep cliff so lower town is at the bottom (duh) and upper town...well you get it right? The cobblestone roads made comfortable shoes a must!

As we walked up the first street we saw the entrance to the Funiculaire, a very handy thing to know about if you want to get to upper town. There are many staircases you can use to access upper town, but we saved those for the trip down.

The first thing I noticed, besides the historic and quaint buildings and narrow roadways, was the fact that there are several well-marked public washrooms. You don't have to go into a restaurant and order a drink just to use their facilities. That kind of defeats the purpose of having to go!

And there is something beautiful to see around every corner. Like these colourful balls hanging over the restaurant terraces.

Or this amazing mural....it looks like you could just walk right through it! Or a luxury cruise ship peeking between to old stone buildings.

We stopped in at Spag and Tini for lunch and a little refreshment. Their pizza just hit the spot! (Oops forgot to take a pic of the pizza but trust me, it was good!)

After lunch we decided to take the funiculaire, or cliff railway up the hill. The lower town entrance is housed in Maison Louis Jolliet  which was built in 1683 and the funiculaire itself was originally built in 1879. The ride only lasted a minute or two but the $3.00 cost was well worth it in energy saved and for the panoramic view!

When we reached the top we were on Dufferin Terrace right in front of Chateau Frontenac, a wide wooden boardwalk that extends around the hotel and along the edge of upper town allowing for fantastic views of Lower Town and the St Lawrence River below. We were surprised to see so many cruise ships in port with tourists from all over the world.

Walking around upper town we saw more colourful shops, vendors and bistros...

and the Quebec City hall.

Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral is in upper town as well, is open to the public and should not be missed.

Back in lower town we couldn't pass Queues de Castor (Beaver Tails) without going in for a snack! 

Beaver bites or little mini beaver tails (fried dough), topped with ice cream kept us going until supper.

Then we hopped in the car and drove about 15 minutes north of old town to Le Dauphin hotel. (No we weren't staying at Chateau Frontenac!) What a great find! The room was very spacious with beautiful wood flooring. No smelly carpets here! The artwork inside depicted Quebec history and culture which I found charming. And the heated pool was actually heated!

We chose Le Cochon Dingue restaurant for supper. We had seen one location in Old Quebec earlier in the day but this one was near our hotel. With many craft breweries in the area my husband decided to try Le Trou du Diable's MacTavish in Memoriam pale ale. It was quite different...spicy and a bit tropical.

I had lemon and caper chicken cutlets and my husband had le steak frites. Both were excellent and my picture does not do my chicken justice. It was a warm night in mid-September out on the terrace, but not conducive for great picture-taking : )

The next morning we enjoyed an expansive breakfast, included in our hotel stay, then took the ferry from old Quebec over to LĂ©vis on the south shore to continue our trip to Nova Scotia.