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!



Thursday, June 22, 2017

Whole Orange and Honey Cake

When I eat more than one piece of this orange-y cake my excuse will be "I'm getting my vitamin C!"




1 whole orange, quartered
Flesh of 1 orange, quartered
3/4 cup soft butter
3 eggs
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1  3/4 cup flour
2  1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)

Wash the oranges and brush with a vegetable brush. Cut one orange into quarters. Zest the other orange then peel it. Toss out the peel and quarter the flesh.  Remove any seeds and place both oranges in a food processor. Keep the zest aside.

The kitchen has a wonderful citrusy smell right now!

Process the oranges until there are no chunks of peel left. Something like this middle picture.



Pour the processed oranges into a mixer bowl and add butter and eggs. Mix well then add the remaining ingredients.

Grease a bundt pan and sprinkle the orange zest in the bottom. Pour in the batter.

Bake in a 325 F oven for 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan before turning out onto a rack.



Now some might want to drizzle icing over the top but I enjoyed how this cake was not too sweet just as is.





Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Homemade Frozen Pizza

This is stupid easy!  Wish I had tried it years ago...


Use your favourite pizza dough, either homemade or store bought and par bake your pizza crust.

Place the dough on parchment paper, forming with your fingers.  When your oven temperature reaches 450 F slide it and the parchment onto a pizza stone or baking pan.

Bake for 5 minutes, or just until the top is dry looking.


Fully cool on rack. Remove the parchment when you can.
You can freeze it naked or topped. I chose naked ; 0

Place the pizza on a baking pan and freeze for 2-3 hours, then remove from freezer, wrap with plastic wrap and foil. 

I labeled mine, but I mean anyone can see it's a pizza right?


When you are ready to use your pizza unwrap it, spread the foil out and throw away the plastic wrap.  You'll use the foil to sit your pizza on. Top it with your favourites if you haven't already, and bake in a 525 F oven for 8-10 minutes. 


Check the middle...if it seems a little squishy give it a few more minutes.


Can't wait to try this par-baked pizza crust on a camping trip! There might even be a post about it !!


Monday, June 19, 2017

Peach and Strawberry Salad

Refreshingly light salad...no oil


1  1/2 cups chopped strawberries
1/2 cup chopped yellow pepper
1 cup chopped, unpeeled peach
2 tbsps finely chopped onion
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
chopped basil leaves
3 or 4 grinds of pink Himalayan salt


Prepare the fruits and veggies and when ready to serve simply toss with zest and juice. Add basil leaves and top with a little sprinkle of salt.


Goes well with chicken or fish


Serves 2-3


Friday, June 16, 2017

Baked Pita Quesadilla

When you don't have tortillas in the house but still crave quesadilla...

3 medium pitas, cut in quarters but not split
1  lb ground beef
small onion, diced
some shredded carrot
1 1/2 cups salsa
2 cups shredded cheese
1/2 cup kidney beans 



Break up and brown the ground beef and onion in a large skillet.

Remove any excess fat. Remove from heat and add 1 cup cheese, 1/2 cup salsa, shredded carrot and beans.
Spread 1/2 cup salsa on the bottom of a 8 X 8" baking dish and divide the meat evenly between the quartered pitas. I cut them in quarters before assembly which made assembly a little slower than if the pitas were whole. But pre-quartering did make for nice neat serving pieces.

Top with remaining salsa and cheese

Bake, covered, at 375 F for 20 minutes. Then uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Serves 3-4






Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sriracha and Lime Salmon with Strawberry and Greens Salad

Hot days call for a light supper.


Salmon:

Juice and zest of 1/2 lime
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp sriracha
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
4 salmon fillets
1 tbsp fresh lemon thyme

Strawberry and Greens Salad:

A few handfuls of spinach, kale etc.
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
1/4 English cucumber, diced
5 0r 6 strawberries, sliced
some fresh chopped basil

2 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
pinch sugar
1/4 tsp honey
Pink Himalayan salt to taste

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place salmon.
Combine lime juice and zest, maple syrup, sriracha and salt and pour over the fillets.


Bake at 425F for 15 minutes...the fish should nicely flake.


While the fish bakes prepare the salad and mix the dressing ingredients together.



Sprinkle salmon with lemon thyme leaves, toss salad with dressing and serve.

Adapted from:
http://www.thepulpkitchen.com/sriracha-lime-salmon-asian-stir-fried-spinach
(Gwyneth Paltrow)

Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole

To quote Saturday Night Live - Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger..........(Fries)!



1 lb lean ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp relish
1 tbsp ketchup
1  1/2 - 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups frozen french fries

Brown beef and onion in a skillet just until no pink remains in the meat.

Add onion powder, mustard, relish and ketchup and combine well.




Spray an 8 X 8" baking dish with cooking oil and fill with the meat mixture. Top with shredded cheddar. 
NOTE: If you want a deeper serving of meat use a smaller baking dish. You will also use less fries on top.



Place the frozen fries on top, as close together as possible, in a single layer. (If you want to make this dish ahead of time just put the meat and cheese casserole in the fridge until cooking time, then top with fries)




Bake at 450F for 20-25 minutes or until the fries are golden.



Serves 2-3





Sunday, June 11, 2017

Chocolate Chocolate Overload

But honestly can you ever have too much chocolate?
I think not.



Chocolate cake:

1 - 2 layer chocolate cake mix that gets a makeover.

Add an extra egg than what's called for in the mix.
Replace the oil required with melted butter and replace water with 10% cream. Then add 2 tsps vanilla extract.

For 2 - 8" rounds bake at 325 F for 35 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan then completely cool on rack. (Baking at 325 F rather that 350 F gives you a flatter topped cake.)

Chocolate Mousse Filling:

1 cup 35% whipping cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 squares (2 oz) semi-sweet chocolate
1 - 4 serving size box instant chocolate pudding
1/2 cup cold water

Whip the cream and keep in fridge until needed.

Melt chocolate in microwave about 20-30 seconds, then cool on counter.

Once cooled add the condensed milk, then the pudding mix and water. Beat 1-2 minutes and chill 30 minutes.

Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture and refrigerate 1 hour.

Rich Chocolate Frosting:
(like a ganache)

1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
3 tbsps cream cheese
1 tsp honey
1  1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

Melt the chocolate chips in microwave 20-30 seconds at a time just until you can stir them, then set aside to cool completely.

Whisk together the yogurt, cream cheese and honey. When the chocolate chips are cooled combine with the yogurt mix. If this gets too stiff for spreading on the cake just micro on high 20 seconds and stir.

Start by splitting the cake layers in half. I like to use a piece of thread, wrap it around the cake bringing the two ends together, cross them over each other and gently squeeze. The thread will come right through the cake.



Use 1 1/4 cups of mousse between each layer of cake spreading to about 1/4" from the edge. Spread the remaining mousse on the top of the cake.

As I said earlier, if the frosting is a bit stiff just microwave a few seconds then frost the sides of the cake.

There really are 4 cake layers and 3 mousse layers with a 4th layer of mousse on top here but for some reason (bad photography!) it doesn't look like it.



I sprinkled chocolate cookie crumbs along the edge to camouflage where the frosting meets the mousse.



Now chill until about 1 hour before serving.
Slice and serve. It is very rich so small pieces could serve 10-12 people.



So, what do you think..... enough chocolate?



Perfect for our double birthday!




Thursday, June 8, 2017

Carrot Date Banana Nut Loaf

This is hands down the best loaf you'll ever eat!



You'll need:

1 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup water
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 ripe bananas
1 cup lightly packed shredded carrot
1 cup chopped walnuts
1  1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsps chia seeds
2 tbsps ground flaxseed
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
4 tbsps pumpkin seeds (plus more to garnish)




Boil dates and water together for about 5 minutes, then mash them with the back of a spoon. Stir in the baking soda...it foams up weirdly. That's ok.


Beat butter, sugar and vanilla together then add the egg. Add the bananas, carrot and walnuts along with the date mixture.

Mix the whole wheat flour, graham crumbs, chia, flaxseed, baking powder and nutmeg together. Fold in the pumpkin seeds.


Pour into a parchment lined 9 X 5" loaf pan and top with more pumpkin seeds.


Bake at 355 F for 60 - 75 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.


Cool at least 10 minutes before removing from pan. Peel off the parchment and cool completely on rack covered with a tea towel before slicing.


Here's a close-up...look at all that good stuff! 


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Cauliflower Nuggets

I can't tell you how good these are. You'll just have to make them for yourself!


2-3 cups cauliflower florets
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp water
1 egg
1 tbsp ketchup
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 tsp cornstarch
olive oil spray



Cook the cauliflower florets until tender-crisp 5-6 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

Set up your shaking, dipping and tossing station.

Mix flour, garlic powder and paprika together in one bag.
Then in a bowl mix water, egg and ketchup together.
In another bag mix parmesan, bread crumbs and cornstarch together.

Now you're ready to go. Shake individual florets in the flour mixture, then dip in egg and finally toss in the bread crumb mix.

Set the nuggets on a parchment lined baking sheet and give them a light spray with olive oil.


Bake at 450 F for 5-10 minutes then dig in!


We had ours with blue cheese dressing.


Monday, June 5, 2017

Lazy Rainy Day Casserole

It might be wet and gloomy outside but it smells great inside the house when this is in the oven!


375 g Octoberfest sausages, or your favourite sausage
1  1/2 lbs potatoes, large chunks
2 onions, quartered
3-4 carrots, thick sliced
1/2 red pepper, thick sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsps olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar



Mix olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and chicken broth together and toss with vegetables. Grease a 13 X 9" baking dish and place the veggies in. Loosely cover dish with foil and bake in a 450F oven for 40-45 minutes or until veggies are fork tender.

While they are doing their thing cook the sausages as per package directions. These took 12 minutes to boil, then brown in a frying pan. Cut in half, toss with balsamic and add to the veggies. Return to the oven, uncovered for 15 minutes.


Toss the mixture coating with pan juices and bake a final 10 minutes.


Yummy!