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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pate au Saumon~ Salmon Pie

I really don't know where this recipe originated from. I've searched and searched and it just seems to have been created out of thin air. This is a dish I grew up eating. A true French Canadian dish. Odd, comforting and delicious, LOL.

When I mention it to people, they all make that face. You know the one..... the "oh that sounds interesting, but you'd never catch me eating it" face. The skeptical face scrunch, that makes you question your own sanity.

Well, call me crazy, but I love this pie. And so do most people who taste it. Hubby gave me the skeptical face scrunch, when I first mentioned this pie to him, years ago. Now, this is the man who will eat raw fish, animal glands and organs, and he had the audacity to think I was weird for eating fish mixed with mashed potatoes. Well, after tasting the pie, it has also become one of his favorites. Though he never requests it for dinner, he never complains if I make it and is quite happy to have a 2nd helping as an after dinner snack.

I'm not a big salmon fan, but this dish isn't very fishy at all. The mashed potatoes tames the fishy taste and turns everything into creamy goodness. Most French Canadians love to eat this with ketchup, but I've also seen it served with a hard boiled egg sauce (now I'm making the face scrunch, LOL).



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Pate au Saumon (Salmon Pie)

1 large can (10 oz) salmon, bones removed and reserving liquid
1/4 C water
cornstarch
5-6 C mashed potatoes
1 double crust pie shell

In a small sauce pot, bring the salmon, reserved liquid and water to a boil, breaking up salmon, into flakes. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbs cornstarch with 2 Tbs cold water. Remove salmon from heat, stir in cornstarch mixture and return to heat. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Once thickened, add slamon mixture to mashed potatoes, stirring to combine thoroughly. Pile mixture into pie shell and place top crust. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. Serve hot.



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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels

Good morning!! It's been super busy here lately, but with our recent visitors out the door, I can sit and announce the winner of the Wilton Pro Melting Pot. As you know you had a chance to win by leaving a comment here and also over at Tidy Mom's blog. The winner is Joanna from Mommy in Suburbia, who commented on Tidy Mom! Congrats Joanna and Thanks to all who left a comment and became a follower, both here and on Facebook!

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Now onto the pinwheels. I received this recipe in an email from Pillsbury, last week. I had originally bought my crescent rolls to make a cream cheese wreath, for breakfast on Christmas day, but the kids aren't exactly crazy about it. So, I decided to make these instead, knowing I also had 2 grown men to satisfy.

Somehow cheese and bacon makes the world better, for men, LOL.

I must say that these were darn tasty. I did change most of them up though, since Ranch isn't a popular flavor with Hubby and my nephew. So I subbed in some Caesar dressing and a sprinkle of Parmesan, before adding the cheese and bacon. Oh-so-good!!! I did make half a can of crescents with the Ranch, just to see how it tasted. Though it wasn't bad, it wasn't as good as the Caesar pinwheels. Just goes to show how versatile this recipe really is.



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Bacon-Cheddar Pinwheels
Adapted from Pillsbury.com

1can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2tablespoons ranch dressing
1/4cup cooked real bacon pieces or 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1/2cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
1/4cup chopped green onions (4 medium)

Heat oven to 350°F. Unroll dough and separate into 2 long rectangles; press each into 12x4-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal.Spread dressing over each rectangle to edges. Sprinkle each with bacon, cheese and onions.Starting with 1 short side, roll up each rectangle; press edge to seal. With serrated knife, cut each roll into 8 slices; place cut side down on ungreased cookie sheet.Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.




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Monday, December 27, 2010

Meal Plan Monday~ Dec 27

Merry Christmas!! We had such a great Christmas, just our little family. At first I was bummed that we were spending Christmas home alone, but the kid's excitement eventually won me over. Surprisingly, they slept in Christmas day. They were both happy with everything Santa brought, but I think their favorites so far are the Zhu Zhu pets. They are so stinkin' cute!!

This week will be somewhat hectic. We are celebrating Christmas with some of Hubby's family today. His Mom, sister and uncle are coming for dinner and to spend the night. So, more gift opening and pigging out, LOL. Wednesday is my birthday and I'm hoping to go to my favorite Chinese Buffet for dinner (now that I can finally eat Chinese again). Thursday one of my BFFs is coming over for dinner and we plan to take the kids sledding. So, I'm hoping the week goes by quickly, with all our excitement.



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You'd think with all these celebrations and guests I'd be in the cooking mood, but I had a rather difficult time making my menu this week. I think I'm burnt out.... I hope it won't last long. Thank goodness Hubby is cooking tonight!



  • Monday- a very eclectic menu of turkey, bacon/sage stuffing, lobster/shrimp Alfredo pasta, Cheeseburger soup, ribs and tomato mozzarella salad
  • Tuesday- most likely leftovers from Monday
  • Wednesday- I'm hoping Chinese Buffet, if not I'm requesting Chicken and Dumplings
  • Thursday- Pasta Fagioli Soup with homemade bread
  • Friday- Turkey Spaghetti with a salad
  • Saturday- bacon, eggs, toast and fruit
  • Sunday- Salmon Patties , oven roast potatoes and corn on the cob

Don't forget to pop over to OrgJunkie.com, for other great weekly meal plans.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sweet Potato Fries with Horseradish Mayonaise

My nephew introduced me to this recipe. He loves yam (for some reason we say yam, here in Canada), or sweet potato fries. Since he is now living with us and I've been wanting to eat healthier, I decided to give them a try. I'm not very big on sweet potatoes.....


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I have to say that these are really good. Since making them the first time, I think we've had them 3-4 times. I love the spice paired with the sweet tender potato. I over heard Hubby saying they serve their sweet potato fries, with spicy mayonnaise, at work. So, I thought why not mix horseradish with mayonnaise. It worked perfectly. It cuts the sweetness just a touch, by adding a bit of tartness. Depending on your heat preference, you can play around with the amount of horseradish you add in.

Sweet and Spicy Yam Fries

2 C yams/sweet potatoes, cut into fries
2 Tbs maple syrup
4 tsp olive oil
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine ingredients and arrange on a baking sheet, lined with tin foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on thickness of fries, flipping ever five minutes.

Horseradish Mayonnaise

1/4 C Miracle Whip
1-2 tsp prepared horseradish

Combine together in a small bowl. Serve with fries for dipping or spread on roast beef sandwiches.



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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tomato and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini

Let's take a break from all the sweets and have something savory for a change....

Hubby made this the other night, after I saw a similar recipe, in a grocery magazine. I'm always trying to find new ways to serve zucchini, since the kids aren't very fond of it sauteed with garlic. They somewhat enjoyed this one. They did eat the filling, but left the zucchini boats there, LOL. I really enjoyed the contrast of soft somewhat sweet filling, with the slightly crunchy zucchini. These looked super elegant, but really were a breeze to whip together (well for Hubby anyway).




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Tomato and Cheese Stuffed

2 zucchini, each about 8 inches long
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano (1/2 tsp dry)
1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme (1/4 tsp dry)
1/3 C grated Old Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trim ends and cut zucchini in half, lengthwise. Using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out seeds to make a trench. Chop seeds and pulp. Place zucchini halves on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and sprinkle with garlic powder; set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet set on med-high. Add onion and saute until translucent. Stir in chopped zucchini, tomato, salt and pepper. Cook a few minutes then add the fresh herbs. (if using dry herbs, add with zucchini).

Spoon mixture evenly into zucchini halves and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake 20 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and brown around the edges.




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Monday, December 20, 2010

Meal Plan Monday~ Dec 20th

Happy week before Christmas!! Are you ready?? I'm not, LOL. I have a bit more shopping to do today, then it's wrapping time. Hubby and I have always been last minute shoppers and wrappers.....

I also have a bit more baking to do. I'm hoping to be able to make all that has been requested. I'm so excited, since I think Christmas is my favorite food holiday. All the yummy treats and sweets..... hopefully my waistline doesn't rebel, LOL.


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This week's menu will be nothing extravagant.... I'm sticking to quick meals, so I can focus on baking and prepping for Saturday. We will be having a small Christmas, just us (Hubby, Mr.B, Queenie, my nephew and me). The next week, Hubby's family will be arriving for a Family dinner. So here's what's for eats this week (in no particular order)


Head on over to OrgJunkie.com, for other great meal plans, for the week.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Candy Cane Cookies

Yes, yet ANOTHER Christmas cookie. What can I say, it's only days away and we love Holidays sweets in this house. Hubby has mentioned his Mom making candy cane cookies, when he was growing up, so I wanted to bring back a childhood memory for him.

I found these in an old (1971) Betty Crocker's cookbook. I'm so happy to have such and old (I can say old, since it's older than me, LOL) cookbook. I guard it with my life and love reading it, just to see what types of cuisine was popular back then.

The cookies are very delicious. Making them was literally a pain in the rear, but I adapted my method and kept on going. I'm not quite sure why, but the dough kept crumbling every time I tried to roll it. So after trying to make 4 candy canes the way the recipe stated, I decided to sandwich red dough between 2 pieces of white though and then roll. My candy canes are more psychedelic than they are meant to be, but the kids really didn't care, LOL. Also this whole sprinkle with sugar and crushed candy canes, after removing from oven, was pointless. The candy just fell off. So for the last batch I pulled the cookies out 2 mins early, added the candy and returned them in the oven for 2 minutes. This worked much better.

Regardless all the small hook ups I encountered, seeing the excitement and joy on Mr.B and Queenie's faces was worth all the aggravation, LOL.


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Candy Cane Cookies
Adapted from Betty Crocker's All Time Favorites (1971)

1/2 C butter or margarine,softened
1/2 C shortening
1 C powdered sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 C flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red food color
1/2 C crushed candy canes
1/2 C sugar

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix thoroughly butter, shortening, powdered sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla. Blend in flour and salt. Divide the dough in half and blend food color into one half.

For each candy cane, shape 1 tsp dough from each half into a 4-inch rope. Place ropes side by side and press together lightly; twist. Placed on a greased baking sheet and curve top of each twist to form the handle of the cane.

Bake about 9 minutes or until set and very light brown. Mix candy canes and sugar; sprinkle on the hot cookies and remove from baking sheet.


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This recipe is being entered in EatInEatOut's 3rd Annual Christmas in July Cookie Contest


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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Kris Kringle Cookies

**GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED**

You know Christmas is coming, when most posts flying around blog land are about desserts, LOL. These are some of my favorite cookies. I'm not sure where I got the recipe, but I've been making these ever since I moved out of my parents house.

I really love white chocolate. I know that technically it isn't white chocolate, since it does not contain cocoa butter, but what ever it is, I love it, LOL.

These cookies are a perfect combination of sweet, tangy and savory. The kids tried a few and they were declared the best cookies. Using flavored dried cranberries can easily change the flavor of these cookies. This year I tried strawberry flavored cranberries and the cookies are divine!!




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Kris Kringle Cookies
1 C butter
1 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 C white chocolate chips or chunks
1 C dried cranberries
1 C pecans, chopped

Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix until well blended. Add flour and baking soda; mix well. Stir in chocolate, cranberries and pecans. Drop rounded Tbs of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool 3 minutes, before removing from cookie sheet.




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Now onto the giveaway. I'm so glad to be able to sponsor a giveaway for Holly Bloggy Christmas, over at Simply Sweet Home. If you haven't checked out this week full of Christmas themed linky parties and awesome giveaways, you are truely missing out!!
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This chocolate melting pot is on my Christmas list this year. I really love to make chocolate coated candies and desserts, but always get so frustrated since the chocolate doesn't melt enough, or it seizes, since I'm impatient and crank the heat. The melting pot keeps the chocolate at the perfect temperature, so you don't have to get frustrated while dipping your goodies. This would also be great for parties (instead of a chocolate fountain). Suround it with yummy dippables and you have chocolate fondue. Since I'm so excited about this pot, I decided to purchase it, for one of my lucky readers and those participating in Holly Bloggy Christmas. Giveaway ends Dec 24th and the winner will be announced the week after Christmas.
How to enter:
Leave a comment on my blog - What's your favorite chocolate covered treat? (make sure to leave an email address in [at][dot][com] form, so I can contact you if you win.
Extra entries:
Become a follower of my blog (leave a seperate entry)
Follow Hun..What's for Dinner? on Facebook (leave a seperate entry)
Also Check out tomorrow's Holly Bloggy Link up party over at Tidy Mom, for extra chances to enter this and 2 other giveaways.
Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by me, with the prize purchased by me. Wilton has not compensated me in any way.


This recipe is being entered in EatInEatOut's 3rd Annual Christmas in July Cookie Contest


This post linked to

Holly Bloggy Christmas Recipe Party
Tip Day Thursday

Recipe Swap Thursday

Cooking Thursday

12 Days of Christmas Goodies

Foodie Friday

Holly Bloggy Christmas- I'm lovin' it

Friday Potluck

Family Friendly Fridays

Fat Camp Fridays

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lemon Bars

This is another recipe Mom would whip up for Christmas. I don't know how many times my siblings and I snuck down stairs, to eat them right out of the freezer, LOL. They are better thawed, but when you love something so much, who can wait until Christmas Eve??

When I moved in with Hubby, I made these for our first Christmas together. He was immediately hooked and he put up a bit of a protest, when I added these to the goody tray I was taking to his Mom's house, LOL. She fell in love with them as well and the outcome is one of my favorite Christmas memories.

I brought the tray to my Mother in Law's house and everyone oowed and awwed over my home made treats. When we left, to go for dinner at Hubby's cousin's house, MIL quickly hid the remaining lemon bars under the remaining goodies, so we would all think they had been eaten (and she could have them to herself). Well, we forgot to put the tray in the kitchen, so Shadow (Hubby's dog) decided to help herself to a few goodies.

Can you guess what she went for first??

That's right, the lemon bars! When we returned to MIL's house, the goodies were on the floor and Shadow had decided to hide her favorites under the throw pillows, on the sofa. MIL then confessed that she had piled all the other goodies on top of the lemon bars and we all shared a good laugh. Her plan had been foiled by the dog!

Shadow passed away 2 summers ago. So, when I make these, I think of this story and of how much I miss our puppy girl. I know somewhere in heaven she is eating all the lemon bars she wants.

These are really delicious. Slightly sweet, with a nice tart filling. The crust is flaky, the filling gooey. What's not to love???



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Lemon Bars

Crust:
2 C flour
1/2 C powdered sugar
1 C margarine

Filling:
4 eggs
2 C sugar
1/3 C lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 C flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

For Crust: Combine 2 C flour, with powdered sugar. Cut in margarine, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into an 8x13 inch baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until edges begin to brown slightly.

For Filling: Beat eggs with sugar, lemon zest and juice, flour and baking powder, until thoroughly combined.

Once crust has baked for 20-25 minutes, pour filling over crust and return to the oven, for 25 minutes longer, or until filling is set. Remove from oven and sprinkle with additional powdered sugar. Cool completely, before cutting into bars.



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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Meal Plan Monday~ Dec 13

Hello... from under yet another pile of snow. Yes, more snow yesterday, which the kids loved, but I cursed while driving to buy milk. Which I forgot to buy, by the way, since it hadn't written it on the list. So, I vehemently informed Hubby, I was not returning to get it. I love snow, just not driving in it.

This is Mr.B's last week of school, until January 3rd. He told me last night, while I was tucking him in, that he'd rather go to school, then have Christmas holidays. I'm hoping his love for learning continues on with him, as he gets older.


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I had a hard time planning my menu this week. I think I'm just burnt out, with thinking of all the Christmas baking I have to do, what to serve for our little Christmas dinner and what to serve for our big post Christmas, Christmas dinner, with Hubby's family. With a little inspiration from the grocery fliers, this is what I came up with. In no particular order



Don't forget to head over to OrgJunkie.com, for tons of other great meal plans, this week.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tuna Pasta Puttanesca

Before you say anything..... I know, ANOTHER Rachael Ray recipe. What can I say?? So far, I've it home runs with her recipes and this one was quick and used everyday ingredients. I originally planned on making a different RR recipe, but Hubby used up all the Parmesan and (of course) didn't tell me....

I must say that this is probably the best RR recipe I've made, so far. This was really delicious. The sauce was lemony and sweet (due to the tomatoes), but then you had the much needed bursts, of briny saltiness, from the capers. This recipe literally takes the amount of time it takes, for the pasta to cook.

(Did that even make sense, LOL)

Mr.B really liked it, since I made sure to pick the capers out of his serving. Queenie; well, she isn't really into pasta lately.... I had to refrain from having a second helping, because my first one was pretty big. I did omit the olives though, since I didn't have any, and I knew the kids wouldn't care for them. I also only used one generous pinch of red pepper flakes, since the kiddos still aren't fond of overly spicy dishes. All in all, this one is a keeper.

(sorry about the pictures. my camera is still broken, so I'm using my cell phone, which doesn't work well in our bad kitchen lighting, LOL)




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Tuna Pasta Puttanesca
Adapted from Rachael Ray's Just in Time cookbook

Salt
1 pound penne pasta
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 cans Italian tuna in oil or water , drained well (5-6 ounces each)
6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
A generous handful of black olives (Gaeta, kalamata or oil-cured), pitted and chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1/3 cup white vermouth or 1/2 cup dry white wine (eyeball it)
1 can whole or diced tomatoes, such as San Marzano (28 ounces)
A generous handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Fresh ground black pepper
Crusty bread

PreparationPlace a large pot of water over high heat and bring up to a boil. Salt the water and cook penne to al dente.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet with three turns of the pan EVOO over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cook a minute or two, then add tuna and break it up with your spoon. Add olives and capers, cook a minute or two more, then add vermouth or white wine; stir and cook down a minute.

If using whole tomatoes, place a colander over a bowl, crush up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, then add the tomatoes and their juice to pan. Otherwise, stir in diced tomatoes and juice. Add the parsley, lemon zest and black pepper, then simmer the sauce a couple of minutes more.

Add a couple of ladles of starchy pasta-cooking water to the sauce. Drain the pasta, add to the skillet and toss to coat. Serve with some nice crusty bread.




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Saturday Night Special

Cookbook Sundays

Recipe Swap Sundays

Potluck Sunday

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Butter Tarts

I finally started my Christmas baking, over the weekend. These are the only desserts I've made so far. My days just keep getting shorter and shorter. And with Hubby in the kitchen, completing cake orders, it's a little hard to get any baking done. Sunday, however, I managed to sneak into the kitchen, while Hubby was at work, Queenie was napping and Mr.B was playing in his room.

Butter tarts. Little tarts full of sweet gooey filling and raisins. YUM!! My Mom makes these every year for Christmas. I knew Hubby and MIL were crazy about them, so I decided to make some, myself. They look like they would take a lot of work, but they really are simple to make. To make them even simpler, you could buy pre made tart shells; but I decided to make everything from scratch. I unfortunately had to have one, since it fell apart, as I was taking it our of the mold.

(awww, shucks! I love when that happens, LOL)

I was too impatient and forgot I had to let them cool completely, before even thinking of taking them out. So remember, use pre made shell if you want, it's no sin and cool completely, or they'll just break and ooze and you'll have to eat them all right then and there.



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Butter Tarts

pie dough (enough for 18 shells) or pre made shells
1/3 C raisins
1/4 C butter, softened
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1 C light corn syrup
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

In a small bowl, cover raisins with boiling water. Soak until plump and drain. Set aside.

If using pie dough, roll it out to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut 2 times bigger, than muffin tin holes. Gently push into tins, crimping excess dough together. Set aside.

Cream butter with the brown sugar. Add in corn syrup, eggs, salt and vanilla. Beat until well incorporated and glossy.

Sprinkle a few raisins (10 or so) into each tart shell. Fill each shell, half full, with filling and bake at 375 degree for 15-18 minutes (tops should be a dark golden brown). Makes 12-18 large tarts, or 12 large and 12 mini tarts



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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Baked Parmesan Shrimp

I've never really been a real shrimp fan until now. I did like the battered shrimp, found at the Chinese buffet, but really didn't like the texture of it any other way. When shrimp was on sale a few months ago, Hubby went crazy and bought 4 bags. His intent was to use it in Pad Tai, but after making it once, the shrimp never made a second appearance. So, when I did a freezer inventory and saw the 3 bags of shrimp sitting in there, I wanted to use them up.

Hubby mentioned this one, last month, when I was looking for meal ideas, for my weekly menu. OK, baked shrimp Parmesan..... um, how exactly do you make that?? After pestering him a few days, he finally wrote the recipe down for me and I gave it a try.

Another reason I never eat shrimp, is that I'm terrified of over cooking it!

I must say that Hubby is a genius! These were amazing. The salty nuttiness of the bread crumbs and cheese, went superbly with the sweet shrimp. And....

I didn't over cook them!

Even the kids loved them and each had about 5 of them. This is definitely something I'll be making again and again, when ever we have shrimp on hand.



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Baked Parmesan Shrimp

1 lb of medium size shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 C seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 C Parmesan cheese
1 egg

In a bowl, beat egg with a touch of water. Set aside. Mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan in a shallow dish. Take shrimp, one at a time, and dredge in cheese mixture, then in egg, and once again in cheese mixture. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining shrimp. Bake in a 350 degree oven, for 15-20 minutes, until nice and golden brown.



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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Meal Plan Monday~ Dec 6

Happy Monday!! Well, we seem to have gotten all winter's snow in one day. I swear, it snowed about 2 feet of snow, yesterday. The kids loved it, but me not so much, since I had to clear the driveway, so Hubby would be able to pull in. I knew our snow free month of November was nothing but bad news, LOL.

There's quite a bit going on this week. It's my nephew's 22nd birthday today. He has requested a chocolate orange cake, so Hubby and I will be working on that. Then, Hubby has another cake order due Thursday, for a double birthday; and it's a long school week too. So, we'll be busy little bees..... hopefully I can get some more Christmas baking done as well. So, here is our menu for the week, pretty good considering I'm using freezer, pantry and fridge items.



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Head on over to OrgJunkie.com, for tons of other great meal plans, for the week.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Gingerbread Cake

I'm obsessed with recipes..... I mean when I see a recipe, I have to read it. It doesn't matter if it's in a magazine, the news paper, or on a coupon clipper page. Which is exactly where I found this recipe. On a Splenda coupon insert. Now knowing that you can interchange sugar and Splenda equally, I decided to make a more 'real' version of this cake. I don't like any type of artificial sweetener, even Splenda, which is suppose to be made from sugar. I'm from the ' use the real stuff, but in moderation' school of thought. I figure, if I eat a well balanced, healthy diet, a bit of sugar here and there won't hurt.

I also made this for dinner guests, so I wanted a real decadent dessert. I kept the rest of the recipe as written, full of whole wheat flour and unsweetened apple sauce. This smelled so good, as it was baking. There's something about the smell of gingerbread that screams Holidays. The combination of ginger, cinnamon and cloves, remind me of the holidays, when I was growing up.

The cake turned out beautifully. Moist, with just the right amount of spice. I also made a brown sugar glaze for the top, so I decided to cut the sugar to 1C. Everyone went crazy for the cake, especially the kids. Now, I'm tempted to try making gingerbread cookies with them, for Christmas.


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Gingerbread Cake
Adapted from Splenda coupon insert

2 C unsweetened apple sauce
3/4 C molasses
1/3 C vegetable oil
3 eggs
3 C flour
1 1/3 C Splenda, granulated
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spry bundt pan with butter flavored cooking spray. Set aside. Pour apple sauce, molasses and vegetable oil into a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Add dry ingredients to the applesauce mixture. Stir well. Pour cake batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack approximately 20 minutes. Invert cake onto serving plate. Serve warm or cool.

Cindy's notes: I subbed white sugar for the Splenda. Since I was topping the cake with a glaze, I reduced the amount of sugar to 1 C.

Brown Sugar Glaze

3 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
dash of ground clove
1 C powdered sugar
1-2 Tbs milk

In a bowl, mix the brown sugar with the butter, vanilla and cloves. Stir in powdered sugar and 1 Tbs milk. Stir with a whisk to ensure no lumps. If too thick, add up to 1 Tbs more of milk, until frosting is loose, but not too runny.



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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Spinach Tortellini Soup

There's nothing more soul soothing than a hot bowl of soup. I'd have to say that this is one of my favorites. Anytime we go to Tim Horton's (Canadian Coffee Shop) and I see this soup, I buy a bowl. I've never really found a recipe that I liked, as much as Tim's version (which is sadly probably made from a packet, LOL). I found this recipe in a Taste of Home magazine, which I bought a few months ago.

I must say that I am shamelessly becoming a food mag addict....

The soup was wonderful. I'm actually getting really hungry, just thinking about it. I really enjoyed the addition of potatoes; it made the soup a bit heartier. I wasn't sure if the kids would enjoy it, but with a sprinkle of Parmesan before serving, it was gobbled up with enthusiasm. As was the rest of the pot, since I had to be disappointed by finding the empty pot in the sink, in the morning.



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Spinach Tortellini Soup
Adapted from Taste of Home magazine

3 small red potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 celery rib, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
2 quarts water
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 packages (9 ounces each) refrigerated cheese tortellini

In a Dutch oven, combine the potatoes, carrots, celery, onion,
bouillon and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer
for 10 minutes.

Stir in the chicken, spinach, parsley, garlic powder, oregano and
pepper and salt; return to a boil. Add tortellini; cook, uncovered,
for 7-9 minutes or until tortellini is tender.

Yield: 10 servings
(3-3/4 quarts).



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