Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fish anyone?

I really like to eat fish. I'm just scared of cooking it, for Hubby. The reason? I grew up with a Mom, who thought nothing was cooked, until it was dry and terribly well done. Fish included, LOL. So, whenever I do cook fish, I'm always so worried of over cooking it, but then worried of under cooking it, due to not wanting to over cook it. Does that make sense to anyone else but me??

My favorite way to cook fish, is pan frying. It's what I grew up with. Dad would come home with a great catch, clean it and Mom would dust it with seasoned flour and pan fry, for an awesome dinner. Flaky fish, fried golden brown in a crisp crust. It brings back memories, that bring a smile to my heart. This is also Mr.B and Queenie's favorite way to have fish.


Pan Fried Fish

1 lb favorite fish fillets
1/2C flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon pepper or Cajun seasoning
oil for frying

In a large skillet, pour in enough oil to cover the bottom, by an inch. Heat oil, over medium heat, until bubbles form, when the handle of a wooden spoon is inserted, touching the bottom of the pan. In a shallow dish or pie plate, mix flour, salt and seasoning of choice. Dust both sides of fillets with flour, shaking off excess. Fry in hot oil, for about 3-5 minutes on each side, or until a nice golden brown on each side. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate, to drain excess oil and serve.


I also wanted to try a Baked Lemon Sole recipe I had found, so I used half my fish for this recipe. It turned out really well. The fish was moist and I really enjoyed the tangy lemon, in contrast with the salty, nutty breadcrumbs and Parmesan. I did substitute butter for the oil and reduced both the butter and lemon juice by half.


Adapted from Cooks.com

1 lb. sole fillets
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp. dry bread crumbs
3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. paprika

In a small bowl combine vegetable oil and lemon juice with whisk; pour into 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish.Rinse fillets in cold water, pat dry, add to baking dish and turn fillets over to coat with oil-lemon juice mixture.

Sprinkle fillets evenly with dry bread crumbs, then with grated Parmesan cheese. Dust with paprika. Bake at 350 degrees 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. May also be done in microwave on high for about 3-4 minutes. Serves 4.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Meal Plan Monday~ June 28

Happy Monday!! Today is Mr.B's last day of Junior Kindergarten!! He is super excited about his class party today and the start of summer vacation, tomorrow. We will be sticking close to home this summer, but plan on visiting my family and getting some good fishing in. This week should be quiet, but we will be heading up North for the weekend. Last weeks menu changed quite a bit, with an unexpected surgery consult, so I'm carrying some meals over. So here is the menu, in no particular order, for Mon-Fri.


  • Salmon salad sandwiches, spinach dip with tortilla chips, carrot and celery sticks
  • homemade pizza with a salad
  • Lemon baked Sole with homemade fries and fresh peas
  • Maple Bourbon BBQ chicken (new recipe) with foil packet potatoes and veggies
  • Breakfast- waffles with Strawberry sauce and fruit salad

Head on over to OrgJunkie to find a bunch of other meal plans for the week.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Homemade Strawberry Sauce

Yesterday, we had planned to attend a Strawberry Festival near by. I knew that it would be the only chance I had, to pick fresh strawberries this year. And with my Mom here, it couldn't be more perfect, since I'd have help keeping an eye on the kids, while we picked. Well, we woke up to rain and decided to go regardless. We had a lot of fun!! Mom and I got some face paintings, since the kids refused to get theirs done first, LOL. After face painting, we decided to jump on the tractor pulled wagon and head over to the strawberry field. Despite getting our bottoms wet, the rain eventually stopped and we ended up picking 10 litres of strawberries. Queenie did really well and picked half a basket with me. She really loved picking the "Big one"s. Mr.B was more interested in running up and down the rows and had to be reminded to not squish any of the berries. The picking went fast, since the berries were big and plentiful.


When we got home, I decided to try my hand at making strawberry jam. The instructions were very confusing, since it said to purchase 4 litres of berries, but only use 4 cups, to 7 cups of sugar. Being a stubborn person, I decided to use 6 cups of berries and ended up with strawberry syrup, LOL. I should have added extra pectin, for the extra berries, but I am not disappointed with my mistake. The sauce is very delicious and will go nicely on ice cream, this summer. It'll also be great on waffles, pancakes and even angel food cake, for quick shortcakes. I plan on buying more canning jars, to make actual jam, following the directions to a 'T' this time.


Strawberry Sauce

6 C crushed strawberries
7 C sugar
1/4 C lemon juice
1 pouch liquid pectin
1/2 tsp salted butter or margarine (to reduce foaming)

Hull and crush berries, one layer at a time, until you have 6 C of crushed berries. Place berries, sugar lemon juice and butter in a deep stainless steel saucepan. Over high heat, bring mixture to a rolling boil, that cannot be stirred down. Stir in liquid pectin, squeezing all contents from pouch. Boil hard, for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove heat and skim off foam, if necessary. Fill hot sterilized jars, with hot sauce and top with lid, just barely screwing on the ring. Let cool until lids pop, then screw the rings tightly.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cheerios Berry Dessert

I found this recipe on the General Mills website. The picture looked really good and I liked that they used Cheerios in the crust. I figured I'd try it, but change the flavor to berry, so I could use the ingredients I had on hand. I used raspberry Jello and mixed berry yogurt. It was good, but I think the cinnamon in the crust may be turning me off. It's rich and creamy, yet jiggly, which Mr.B loves. Queenie took one bite and decided to pass on desert, LOL. Next time I make this, I'll be trying lemon and omitting the cinnamon, from the crust.


Cheerios* Berry Dessert
Adapted from General Mills website

3 cups (750 mL) CHEERIOS* cereal, finely crushed
1/3 cup (75 mL) butter or margarine, melted
1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
2/3 cup (150 mL) boiling water
1 pkg (85 g) lemon flavoured jelly powder
2 cups (500 mL) lemon or vanilla flavoured yogurt

Heat oven to 350°F (180°C). Stir together cereal, butter, sugar and cinnamon. Reserve 2 tbsp (25 mL). Press remaining cereal mixture into ungreased 8 or 9- inch (20 or 22 cm) square baking pan. Bake 9 minutes. Cool.

In medium bowl, pour boiling water on jelly powder and stir until gelatin is dissolved. For fast chilling, place this bowl inside another larger bowl that has ice and water in it and let sit for 2 to 5 minutes or until chilled. Stir yogurt into gelatin mixture until blended. Pour over baked layer.Sprinkle with reserved cereal mixture. Refrigerate 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until firm. Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.

Tip: Use crushed Cheerios* cereal in any recipe that calls for graham cracker crumbs. Try other combinations of jelly powder and yogurt. For example, lemon jelly powder and lemon or vanilla yogurt.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Meal Plan Monday: June 21

Well, I'm feeling better this week and MIL had to return home, so it's time to get back on track with Meal Planning. This week should be a quiet one and we are slowly gearing up for the start of Summer. Mr.B only has one week of school left and is excited to become a Senior Kindergartener next year. He is off on a zoo field trip today and I'm hoping he enjoys himself. So here is the menu for this week, in no particular order.....


  • Baked Lemon Sole with homemade fries and peas
  • Chicken Stir Fry
  • Peameal Bacon sandwiches with homemade buns and coleslaw
  • Shrimp and Scallops on the grill with homemade coleslaw
  • Maple Bourbon BBQ Chicken (new recipe) with foil packet potatoes and vegetables
  • Breakfast- broccoli cheese omlettes with fresh berries
  • leftovers

Make sure to check out tons of other meal plans, for the week, over at OrgJunkie.com.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Honey Lime Glazed Chicken

Sorry for not posting a meal plan this week. I was afflicted by Queenie's stomach virus, over the weekend, and am now just starting to feel better. So this week I'm just winging it, since MIL is also visiting and is on a restricted diet, due to cancer testing next week.

A few years ago, I received an email from DVO.com. They are the creators of the Cookin' series of software. This email was for a father's day scavenger hunt and the prize was Cookin' with Weber software. Well I was one of the winners and won the software for Hubby. The only problem was that we've never had a grill until now, LOL. So while browsing the software, a few weeks ago, this recipe peeked my interest. Let me tell you, I really love the indirect heat cooking that this recipe recommends. The chicken was so moist and juicy and the outside wasn't all dry and burnt. I really enjoyed the tanginess of the lime, paired with the sweetness of the honey and savoriness of the rosemary. I'm not a big rosemary fan, but let me tell you, it makes this chicken so delicious!! So if you have a grill, give this a try, you won't be disappointed.


Honey Lime Glazed Chicken
Adapted from Weber's Big Book of Grilling

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 chicken breasts

TO MAKE THE MARINADE: In a medium bowl whisk together the marinade ingredients.

Place the chicken breasts in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade, place in a bowl, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, turning occasionally.

Remove the chicken breasts from the bag and discard the marinade. Grill the chicken, bone side down, over Indirect Medium heat until the juices run clear and the meat is no longer pink at the bone, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve warm.

From Weber’s Big Book of Grilling. Copyright © 2001 Weber-Stephen Products Co. All rights reserved. First published by Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco, California.

This post is linked to Cookbook Sundays over at Brenda's Canadian Kitchen.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Potluck Sunday~ Fun No Bake Bars

I received this recipe in a DVO.com news letter. The picture looked really yummy, so I saved the recipe. I just got around to buying M&Ms, so I figured I better make these, before the kids and I ate them all. These were super simple to make and taste so good. They are totally not good for you, but taste YUMMY, LOL. The recipe made such a big batch, that I gave some to our neighbours, who said the kids went crazy for them. Crunchy cereal, chewy peanut buttery coating and chocolate bits throughout. What could be better. I also love these since you don't need to use the oven, so they are a perfect summer treat!!


Fun No Bake Bars
Adapted from DVO.com

4 cups Cherrios
4 cups Rice Crispies
2 cups M&M's
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups chunky peanut butter
1 teaspoon mexican vanilla

In a large bowl, combine first 3 ingredients; set aside. In a saucepan, bring corn syrup, peanut butter and sugar to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Pour over cereal mixture and stir to coat. Spread into a greased 15 x 10 x 1 in baking pan. Cool and cut into squares.


Don't forget to head over to Mommy's Kitchen, to check out other great recipes, for Potluck Sunday!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jalapeno Jelly

This title is a bit deceiving, since this is really Red Pepper Jelly. I first came across this recipe, around Christmas time last year, on Cooking for your Family. I was very excited about it, but never got around to making it. When red peppers were on sale a week ago, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to try my hand at making some. Let me tell you, this is so easy, it's ridiculous!! And it tastes soooooooo good, LOL. I don't think I'll ever buy red pepper jelly, ever again. My favorite way to eat this, is poured over cream cheese, with crackers. The salty cream cheese paired with the sweet and slightly hot jelly is out of this world. I made a double batch, since I was planning on sharing with my Mom, some friends and to give one to Mr.B's teacher, as an end of school thank you gift.


Jalapeno Jelly
Submitted by Toby

1 cup chopped red bell pepper (I used one whole pepper)
1/2 cup chopped jalapeno pepper (I used two or three - about 1 cup)
5 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 (6 fluid ounce) container liquid pectin

Remove stems, veins and most of the seeds of the bell and jalapeno peppers. Mince peppers in a food processor. In a 5-quart pot over high heat, combine bell peppers, jalapenos, sugar and vinegar. Bring to a rolling boil; boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Stirring constantly, add the pectin and let mixture continue to cool for 2 minutes more. Now stir for 1 minute. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and top with sterilized lids. Secure lids with bands and allow jars to cool slowly, creating a vacuum seal.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Crock Pot Chicken Lickin' Good Chops

This was one of the recipes in the Cooking for your Family board favorites of 2005. With the warmer weather, I've been looking for more crock pot recipes, so I don't have to use the oven and warm up the house. I thought I'd give this one a try. I was a bit disappointed with the results. I'm not sure if it's something I did, or just the recipe itself, but the top ended up as a big dry, rubbery crust of Cream of Chicken soup. I liked the idea of browning the chops first, but the breading just turned into a soggy mess and fell off, as I was taking the chops out of the crock pot. On the bright side, the chops were super tender and the sauce tasted really good. Queenie really liked the chops and almost ate a whole one to herself. Mr.B didn't complain about dinner, so that was a bonus. I'll be trying these again, without the breading and with boneless chops ( I had used bone in chops, so that may be one of the reasons the recipe failed for me??).


Crockpot Chicken-Lickin' Good Pork Chops
Submitted by Julia aka BeanSproutNLemon

6-8 lean pork chops, 1 inch thick
1/2 c. flour
1 Tbsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. oil
1 10-oz can chicken rice soup or cream of chicken soup (diluted w/ 1/3 c. water)

Mix dry ingredients. Dredge pork chops in mixture. Brown in oil in large skillet. Place browned pork chops in crockpot. Add can of soup. Cover and cook 6-8 hours

Monday, June 7, 2010

Meal Plan Monday: June 7

It's been a trying couple of days, with Queenie sick. We aren't sure what is up with her..... Thursday we went to a Medieval Festival and by that night, she refused dinner, had a slight fever and was super snuggly. Her fever rose Friday, but not enough to warrant any Tylenol. She hasn't really eaten anything in 4 days, so hopefully I can get her in, to see the Dr today, since Mr.B and I have an appt. So, I'm pretty glad this week will be a quiet one, with Mr.B in school for 3 days. Our good friend is coming for dinner, on Thursday, so I'm excited about that one! Nothing too spectacular this week. I'm trying to use what's in the freezer and pantry. Oh, and keep an eye out for an awesome Red Pepper Jelly recipe this week!!


Our menu in no particular order:

  • Maple Dijon Pork Tenderloin (new recipe) with roast potatoes and Maple-Glazed carrots (new recipe)
  • Prime rib with Potato salad and Tomato Mozzarella salad
  • Porcupine Balls with rice and peas
  • BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with baked beans (canned)
  • Grilled Chicken salads
  • Pork Stir Fry (using leftover tenderloin)
  • Leftovers

Don't forget to head over to OrgJunkie, to check out tons of other great meal plans, for the week!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Strawberry Cake

I saw this recipe in one of Paula Deen's magazines, at my doctor's office. I quickly wrote down the recipe, because the picture looked to die for. I've been thinking about this cake since then and finally decided to make it yesterday. Mr.B and I had some for dessert, after Queenie went to bed. She refused to eat all her dinner, so no dessert for her (even though she isn't feeling well these days). Let me tell you, this cake is heavenly. I really love the flavor the Jello powder imparts to it. The color is just amazing and makes me think summer. I didn't make the cream cheese frosting to accompany it, since we didn't have cream cheese and I wanted something lighter. I simply frosted it with whipped cream, put strawberries in the middle and garnished with some chocolate covered strawberries. Mr.B had 2 pieces and I had to stop myself from having a second piece as well. A really easy, but impressive tasting and looking cake. Once again Paula comes through with a keeper!!


Strawberry Cake
Courtesy of Paula Deen May/June 2008 magazine

1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water

Strawberry cream cheese frosting:

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
7 cups confectioners’ sugar
Freshly sliced strawberries, for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

For the frosting:In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree and the strawberry extract. (The rest of the puree is leftover but can be used in smoothies or on ice cream for a delicious treat.) Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth. Spread frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.


Friday, June 4, 2010

A Healthier Pancake

Pancakes..... light fluffy little rounds of goodness. Drenched in butter and syrup. Yummy, Yummy, pancakes. That is how the kids and I feel about them. We love them and as a result eat them 3-4 times a week. Well, all those pancakes can make someone fluffy too, so I've decided to try a healthier version of our favorite breakfast. Guess what??!! The kids didn't even notice that I healthied them up. They still gobble them up, like no body's business. And I don't feel so guilty about having pancakes so often. Still fluffy, but with added protein, fibre and Omega 3 fatty acids. Mr.B loves his with peanut butter and honey, while Queenie likes hers with some all fruit spread (thinned out with a touch of water). Yummmm, pancakes......


Healthier Pancakes

1 egg*
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbs oil
1 C flour
1/2C whole wheat flour
2 Tbs ground flax meal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2-3/4C milk

Preheat skillet or griddle to med low heat. In a bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, salt and oil, until light yellow. Add flours and flax meal, and start to combine with egg mixture. Pour in 1/2C of milk and mix until well combined, adding enough milk to make a medium thick batter ( a few lumps are OK). Spray griddle with cooking spray and drop batter by laddle fuls, flipping when bubbles start to form on top of pancakes. Cook until golden brown on second side (1-2 minutes). Serve with your favorite toppings.

*you can omit the egg, by mixing the 2 Tbs of ground flax, with 4 tbs of water and letting it sit for a minute or two, and increasing the oil to 4 Tbs.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bronco Burgers

I saw this recipe, while reading the latest issue of the Kraft magazine. I thought it was a nice twist on a regular burger, so thought we should try it. With Hubby low carbing it, he is eating a lot of meat, so I'm trying to find new recipes, so he doesn't get bored. This was perfect for him, since he could omit the bun, but still have the yummy grilled vegetables. The burgers were melt in your mouth tender. I really loved the smokiness of the BBQ sauce, with the sweetness of the grilled onions and red peppers. Hubby really enjoyed these and said that the veggies are what makes this recipe so great. I used Bulls Eye BBQ sauce, since that's what we usually buy.


Bronco Burgers
Adapted from Kraft What's Cooking Magazine

makes 4 servings

1 lb. (450 g) extra-lean ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp Kraft Original BarBQ Sauce, divided
1 red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
4 onion slices, 1/2 inch thick
4 Kraft Singles Process Cheese Product Slices
4 hamburger buns
1/4 cup Miracle Whip Dressing
4 lettuce leaves

HEAT barbecue to medium-high heat. MIX meat, egg and 2 Tbsp. barbecue sauce; shape into 4 patties. GRILL patties, peppers and onions 5 min. on each side or until burgers are done (160ºF) and vegetables are softened and lightly charred, brushing burgers and vegetables occasionally with remaining barbecue sauce. Top burgers with Singles; grill 1 to 2 min. or until melted. Meanwhile, place buns, cut-sides down, on barbecue; grill until toasted. SPREAD buns with dressing; fill with lettuce, burgers and vegetables.