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, May 25, 2017

Cheesy BBQ Hasselback Potatoes

Start these potatoes off in the microwave and finish off on the barbecue.

Slice potatoes using this trick so you don't cut right through to the bottom...chopsticks. 

We made 12 slices in each.
For 3 potatoes microwave 6-8 minutes then gently fan out the slices and brush with melted butter, about 1/4 cup. Sprinkle with garlic powder and paprika.

Wrap with foil and BBQ on high heat 30-40 minutes.

Remove from BBQ, carefully unwrap and place slices of your favourite cheese in between each slice of potato. This is strong cheddar. Give them a sprinkle of salt, re-seal the foil and return to the BBQ for 5 minutes.

Then enjoy the cheesy goodness!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Easy Burrito Bowls

Simple to make, healthy and customizable. And bonus...you can make the rice and beef ahead of time. Just re-heat when you want to eat, slice up your favourite veggie toppers and go! A great weekday meal.

1  3/4 lb ground beef
1  1/2 cups diced onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup salsa
3 tbsps taco seasoning 
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp lime zest
1 tsp lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
hot pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup kernel corn

rice pilaf

lime sour cream 

You can use store bought salsa and taco seasoning or try my Cooked Tomato Salsa and Homemade Taco Seasoning. Links to the recipes at the end of this post. You'll also find a link to my No Fail Rice Pilaf.

For this dish I made rice pilaf but replaced half the broth with tomato juice and seasoned it with some cumin and garlic. You can use any rice you like for the base of your burrito bowl. Just prepare it and set aside.

Next brown the beef, onion and garlic in a large skillet. Remove excess fat.

Add salsa, taco seasoning, cumin, lime zest, lime juice, salt and pepper (and hot pepper flakes if using). Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes. Add the corn and heat through 5-10 minutes.

Add a good helping of rice to the bottom of your bowl along with a serving of the meat mixture. Now customize with whatever veggies you like. The only thing missing on mine was black beans : ( 

Serve as is or add a little Lime Sour Cream:

1/4 cup sour cream
3 tbsps mayo
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp honey

If you want to make ahead just refrigerate the cooked rice and meat and re-heat at mealtime. 

And here are those recipes I mentioned above.




Monday, May 22, 2017

Itty Bitty Energy Balls

When you need a little pick-me-up, but you don't want to grab that bag of cookies....

1  1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 cup hemp protein powder
2 tbsp ground flaxseed

1 cup chopped dates
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla

In a food processor whirl together the oats, walnuts, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, hemp and flaxseed until walnuts are chopped finely. Place in a large bowl.

Again in the food processor, chop the dates, carrots and vanilla together, then add the cranberries and coconut. Process until you get a nice stickyish consistency.

Add the date mixture to the dry and combine well. You may need to get in there with your hands.

Roll into 1" balls like this.

(Ok...that was the pretty picture, rolling the balls looks more like this!)

When you're all done rolling you should have about 42 itty bitty energy balls ready to be placed in a covered container and refrigerated. Best part, no baking required!

And ready to grab on the go!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fruit and Corn Salsa

Tropical yumminess right there!

1/4 cup niblet corn
1/2 cup cubed honeydew melon
1/2 cup cubed papaya
1/2 cup cubed pineapple
1/2 cup cubed watermelon
pinch or 2 hot pepper flakes
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp lemon or lime juice
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
chopped coriander or parsley to taste 

Once you have all the fruit cubed just mix the dressing up, chill and serve.

I like it with fish. Seen here with my Barbecued Salmon in Pineapple Bark and Mushroom Rice Quinoa Pilaf.

If you want to keep that tropical vibe going here are the links to those recipes:



Mushroom Rice Quinoa Pilaf

Thought I could hide the mushrooms from someone who doesn't like them by chopping them up really small. She found them and picked them out anyways. But if you like mushrooms, slice don't chop : )

1  1/4 cup jasmine rice
1/4 cup quinoa
3/4 cup chopped or sliced mushrooms
1 heaping tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsps coconut oil
3 cups chicken broth
2 tsps hemp protein powder (optional)
pumpkin seeds

Soak rice and quinoa in warm water for 15 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a fry pan and sauté garlic and mushrooms until lightly golden. Toss in the rice and quinoa (you may want to add a bit more coconut oil too) Stir to coat.

Add pumpkin seeds to taste along with hemp protein powder for a little nutty taste. Pour in the broth and heat through, then cover and bake in a 350 F oven for 15-20 minutes.

Once all the liquid has been absorbed your mushroom rice quinoa pilaf is ready!

Garnish with more pumpkin seeds and serve.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Watermelon Ice Cream

Just 3 ingredients and no ice cream churn needed!

6 cups cubed and frozen watermelon
1 can sweetened condensed milk (300 ml or 10 oz)
2 tbsps lemon or lime juice

Makes 7-8 cups

I had this watermelon that was probably a little past it's prime. Taste was there but it was getting a bit soft. No one wanted to eat it, soooo........ I froze it.

I started by defrosting this big slab of frozen watermelon for about 15 minutes until I could break it apart.

Because I don't have a big heavy-duty blender I used my food processor and blended in small batches. First blending some of the watermelon with some of the condensed milk and the juice.

Then blending watermelon alone and mixing it all together with any remaining condensed milk.

If you want a smoother consistency then blend it all together, but I wanted some bits of watermelon in mine.

Pour into a freezer-friendly container with lid and freeze until firm.

Then defrost 15-20 minutes, scoop and serve

Original recipe from: https://macthelm.blogspot.ca/2016/05/no-churn-watermelon-sherbet.html

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Zesty Yogurt Dip with Fruit Platter

This was a lot of fun to arrange. I started with a bunch of my favourite fruits...pineapple, mango, papaya, kiwi, oranges, berries and melons.

Then I mixed up this dip:

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1  1/2 tbsps honey
1/4 tsp lime zest
1 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsps cream cheese

Makes 3/4 cup

In a small food processor add some of the yogurt with the cream cheese and process until smooth. Then gradually add the rest of the yogurt and remaining ingredients.

I cut the top off the pineapple for interest on the platter and used the bottom as a bowl for the cherries. Half the cantalope became the container for the grapes and I kept the peel on some of the fruit, like pineapple, orange, kiwi, watermelon, for texture and visual interest. But also being practical, the peel makes the fruit easier to handle. I peeled the kiwi 2/3 around leaving the peel attached.

And aren't the honeydew hearts a cute feature!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Such a lovely meal with so little work. In my humble opinion...restaurant quality.

6 chicken thighs, bone-in
2 tbsps olive oil
14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
3 tbsps tomato paste
2 tbsps paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch hot pepper flakes
1 large onion, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes
2 small carrots, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1  1/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup red wine
8 oz spaghetti

Serves 4-6

Mix the drained diced tomatoes and tomato paste together and spread evenly over bottom of slow cooker. Top with sliced onions.

Salt and pepper the chicken thighs then in a skillet lightly brown both sides in olive oil. Sit the thighs on top of the sliced onions in the slow cooker.

Add broth and wine to the skillet to deglaze, then stir in the seasonings.

Pour or ladle this mixture over the chicken

and add the carrots, cherry tomatoes and garlic.

Cover and slow cook on low for 6 hours.

When the time is almost up cook spaghetti and drain. Remove chicken to platter. Toss the spaghetti in the sauce then plate with the chicken.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the chicken thighs didn't fall apart in the slow cooker, but the meat fell right away from the bone when eating it. Perfect!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

One Pot Tomato Linguini

One pot and about 15 minutes is all you need. 

1/3 cup lightly packed, sliced sundried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsps butter
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
8 oz linguini
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup parmesan
a handful or two of cherry tomatoes, halved

In a large pot melt the butter on medium heat and add minced garlic. Cook 1-2 minutes until just slightly golden.

Break the linguini in half by wrapping it in a dish towel before snapping in the middle. Otherwise you'll have pieces of linguini flying all over the place!

Add broth, milk, sundried tomatoes, linguini and black pepper to the pot. Make sure the linguini is covered by the liquid. The reason for breaking it in half.

Bring everything to a boil, stir once, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 10-12 minutes stirring halfway through.

Remove the lid and stir in the cherry tomato halves. Simmer to thicken a couple of minutes.

Serve with parmesan cheese and more black pepper.

From https://www.budgetbytes.com/2015/11/one-pot-creamy-sun-dried-tomato-pasta/