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Monday, January 31, 2011

Meal Plan Monday~ Jan 31

Wow, where has the month of January gone?? Time seems to be going by, faster, every year. We have a busy month ahead of us, with Hubby's, Mr.B's and my Mom's birthdays. Of course we can't forget Valentine's Day. I wonder if Hubby will work it this year. Being in the restaurant business, many 'holidays' go by without Hubby at home.

I hope you all had a great weekend. Ours was quiet and went by way too fast. Especially with me helping Hubby with his latest cake order.(Pictures of this and other of Hubby's cake can be found on my FB page) The result was phenomenal, as usual; and he walked out of the party with 4 more orders. I see this his dream slowly taking off and am both excited and scared at the same time, LOL.


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This week will be quiet, with Mr.B at school Monday and Wednesday. Hubby is off at the end of the week and we've made plans to takle making some Asian dumplings together. Most people are surprised how well we work in the kitchen together (most of the time, LOL). So here's our menu for the week


  • Comfort Casserole, with carrot/ruttabaga mash and steamed broccoli
  • Vegetarian Chili with pumpkin cornbread (new recipes)
  • Pork and Shrimp Dumplings (new recipe) with vegetable Lo Mein
  • Rotissery Style chicken, mashed potatoes and butternut squash
  • Hot dogs, Mac'n'Cheese and peas
  • Tacos with all the fixins and bacon pepper squash

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

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Whole Wheat Penne with Cauliflower

My good friend Brenda, from Brenda's Canadian Kitchen, has been posting several recipes from Rachael Ray's new Look & Cook cookbook. The recipes that Brenda has posted all looked and sounded delicious, so I knew I had to get my hands on RR's cookbook, LOL. Rachael is one of my favorite cooks, that has come out of Food Network.

Well, I finally bought the cookbook last weekend and spent all Saturday and Sunday looking through it and marking the recipes that caught my eye. I had all the ingredients for this one, so I made it for dinner this week. I have to say that there hasn't been a Rachael Ray recipe that has disappointed me yet. This one was no exception.


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The pasta was coated with a creamy cheesy sauce, studded with salty bites of bacon (I subbed in thick cut bacon, for the pancetta) and crispy bites of cauliflower. I really love the combination of rosemary and nutmeg with the cauliflower and bacon. It added a nice home-y warmth to the dish. I sadly did not use whole wheat pasta, since Hubby and the kids are not ready to take that step to healthy eating yet :o(. But, I'm also proud to say that Mr.B ate cauliflower for the first time ever! I've made dishes with cauliflower before, but it was always rebuffed, with the claim that it was Icky. He ate 4 whole pieces, which is a small victory in my book. Queenie, my now picky almost 3 yr old, snubbed this dinner as she does most meals that pass before her. She did eat a few noodles, in addition to her salad, so I can't complain.


Quick, easy and tasty. This is sure to become a regular dish in our house. I love that it can be meatless too and is budget friendly if you do go the meatless route.

Whole Wheat Penne and Cauliflower
Adapted from Rachael Ray Look & Cook

1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1/4 pound pancetta, finely chopped (optional)
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 onion, finely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
3 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
Freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain.While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta, if using, and cook until the fat renders, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cauliflower, onion, garlic and rosemary; season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Add the stock and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the pasta and cheese and toss. Garnish with sprigs of fresh rosemary.

Cindy's notes: I used thick cut bacon, rather than pancetta. I also used dried rosemary (1 tsp) and dried nutmeg ( a few good shakes). I omitted the wine, since I don't care for the flavor and used only chicken stock.



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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Banana Chocolate French Toast

I'm always happy when I get to sneak chocolate into something and call it breakfast. Especially since I've started watching what I eat, in hopes of de-fluffing myself. When I saw Ricardo make this the other day, on his Food Network Canada show Ricardo and Friends, I knew we'd soon be having this for breakfast. With Queenie waking up dry, a few days in a row, I thought this would be a great celebratory breakfast.

And what a breakfast it was. Nice golden, tender French toast, dripping with a warm chocolate sauce, topped with sweet bananas. I was intrigued with the fact that brown sugar was used in this recipe. I do use sugar in my French toast recipe, but it is white sugar.


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The kids went gaga for this. Especially the chocolate covered bananas. I think they wouldn't have even cared if there was no French toast, LOL. I used some Hershey Kisses, for the chocolate sauce and it was awesome! I'm sure it can be used for so much more than just this recipe. It would be really good over some profitta rolls, or even ice cream. I used some Ancient Grain bread for these, trying to keep it a bit on the healthier side. It was a great indulgent treat, to celebrate my little girl growing up, just a little more.

Banana Chocolate French ToastCourtesy of : Ricardo Larrivée (Food Network Canada)

Yield :4 servings

6 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 cup 15% or 35% cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups milk
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-6 slices firm white sandwich bread (preferably day-old) or brioche
1/4 cup salted butter
2 bananas, sliced

In a saucepan, heat the first three ingredients over low heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate melts. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Thoroughly soak the bread in the mixture, about 3 minutes per side.

In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt half the butter until it foams. Fry half the bread until golden, 4 to 5 minutes a side. Keep warm. Repeat with the remaining butter and bread.


Top each piece of French toast with banana slices and drizzle with warm (not hot) chocolate sauce.


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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hearty Tomato Sausage and Bean Soup

Beans happen to be one of my favorite foods. The creaminess that can be seasoned in a variety of ways. My Mom often made baked beans, when I was growing up. It wasn't until I moved out on my own, that I've ventured out and tried different kinds, made in different ways. As a result, I can never turn down a bowl of soup, that has beans in it. I guess combining two of my great food loves, gets me every time. So when I saw this soup, on the cover of Canadian Living Magazine, I knew the magazine was coming home with me and that the soup would soon grace our table.

Once I read the recipe and saw that it contained sausage, I was a little disappointed. I don't like sausage. I'll eat the occasional breakfast link, here or there, but that's about it. I find them too gristle-y and don't enjoy eating them. But, I was willing to put my dislike of sausage aside and make this soup.

I didn't have to eat the sausage right?? Just make sure my bowl was sausage free. More for the next guy, whom I'm sure wouldn't complain.

Well, Hubby ended up making this soup. It was shortly after I had injured my foot/ankle and I had been on my feet all day, so it was pretty painful. You should have heard us in the kitchen.

"You have to make the soup, exactly like the recipe says, OK?"

"What do you mean, exactly like the recipe says? Can't I just make some soup?"

"Well yeah, make soup, but try to follow the recipe. I know it's hard, since your a Chef, but just do it, OK?!"

"What was that green stuff you added? The recipe didn't call for any green herbs." (At that point, I was not so nicely told to exit the kitchen and go rest my foot, LOL)


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It was a really good soup, even with the sausage, LOL. And yes, I did have a few bites of sausage, so I could get the whole experience. The soup was mildly spicy, but it was more of an after taste. I loved the tomato-y broth with the creamy salty beans. This is definitely a great hearty cold weather soup.

Hearty Tomato Sausage and Bean Soup
Adapted from Canadian Living Magazine

4 tsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 each carrot and rib celery, finely chopped
1 hot green chili (optional)
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
2 Italian sausages (8 oz total) casings removed
2 cans whole tomatoes
1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 C each chicken broth and water
1/3 C fresh chopped oregano
1 tsp sugar

In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion, carrot, celery, garlic, chili pepper (if using), salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes.

Increase heat to med-high; add sausages and saute for 5 minutes, breaking them up with a spoon.

Stir in tomatoes, breaking up with a spoon. Add beans, chicken broth, water, oregano and sugar; bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes. Discard hot pepper.


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What's Cooking Wednesday

Monday, January 24, 2011

Meal Plan Monday~ Jan 24 and a Giveaway Winner

Happy Monday!! I hope you had a great weekend. Ours was quiet, since Hubby was working and it was mighty cold. Mr. B has a P. A. day today, so he'll be going back to school on Wednesday. I'm hoping the weather co operates and we can attempt to go sledding, injury free this time, LOL.


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It should be a pretty quiet week ( I don't even know Hubby's work schedule yet!!), so I'm going to be adventurous and will try a few new recipes. The highlight of last week was the Meat and Potato Burgers. So good, make sure to check them out! So, here is what I have planned for the week.


  • Baked pork chops, with bacon cheddar rounds(new recipe) and broccoli
  • Pork and shrimp dumplings with vegetable lo mein(new recipe)
  • Spaghetti and meatballs, with garlic bread, tomatoes and cucumber
  • Rotisserie Style chicken, mashed potatoes and asparagus
  • Penne pasta with cauliflower(new recipe) and a salad
  • Winter warm up soup, with homemade bread
  • leftovers

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

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Now to announce the winner of my 100 Follower Giveaway. Thank you to all my followers, new and old; and to all who participated in the giveaway.

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The lucky winner is comment # 14 Kerismommy!! Congratulations to you and I'll be in contact with you shortly, to get your mailing info.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Meat and Potatoes Burgers

What, meat and potatoes in a burger? That's what I though, when I first read the title of this recipe. It caught my attention and I just had to read what these were. When I saw that they were mashed potato topped burgers, I knew I had to make them. We are super crazy about mashed potatoes in this house. Creamy, salty goodness, LOL. One thing I can say about Rachael Ray, is that she sure knows how to name her recipes!

These were really good. And that's saying a lot, since I really do not like hamburgers. But I tried these and I loved it. The way the potatoes blended with the meat and mustard, was so delicious. I think that's why I liked them so much. It wasn't just a big hunk of meat, slapped between some bread. It had that creamy salty goodness, to diminish the meaty patty. My nephew went nuts for these. He could eat mashed potatoes and burgers everyday, so this was pretty much his dream dinner, LOL. Hubby said they were good, but he prefers straight up hunks of beef, between bread. I guess you just can't change so people. For some reason, I couldn't find any watercrest, so used some arugula that I had in the fridge.



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Meat and Potato Burgers
Adapted From Rachael Ray

2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon butter
A splash of whole milk or half and half
1 egg
A couple of tablespoons snipped chives
Salt and pepper
2 pounds lean ground sirloin
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, eyeball it
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, a generous handful, finely chopped
1 small onion, peeled
2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 poppy seed or plain Kaiser rolls
Dijon mustard
1 bunch watercress, cleaned and trimmed of thick stems

Place the potatoes in a sauce pot and cover by one inch with water. Place it over high heat and bring up to a bubble, add some salt and boil the potatoes until tender, 12 minutes. Turn off heat. Drain and return the potatoes to the pot and let them sit for a minute to dry out. Add the butter and milk or half and half – just a splash. Beat egg and add and mash with potato masher or fork. Add in chives and salt and pepper and continue to mash to fairly smooth consistency. Preheat broiler.

While potatoes are cooking, start on the burgers. In a bowl, combine the sirloin, Worcestershire, parsley and about 2-3 tablespoons of grated onion. Wrap up remainder of the onion and save for another use. Season the meat with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Score the meat with the side of your hand and score 4 equal portions. Form the patties making them about 1 inch thick and press a light indentation in the center of each burger. This dent will prevent the burger from bulging and will promote more even cooking.

Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Once the oil ripples, add the patties and cook on each side for 7-8 minutes for rare to medium rare, 11-12 minutes for medium to medium well doneness, turning once.

While the burgers are working, split the buns and lightly toast under the broiler.

To build your burger, slather the bun bottoms with Dijon mustard, top with watercress, burgers and a pile of mashers on top of burgers. The mashers will be the glue to hold bun tops in place.

4 Servings




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Reminder: There's still time to enter my 100 Followers Giveaway!! The giveaway closes at 10 pm, Sunday Jan 23rd.
**GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED**
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Weekend Wrap Up

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Recipe Swap Sundays

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Sky is Falling Apples!! Wraps

Today, I'd like to share a healthy and delicious snack/lunch idea with you. Mr.B and I found the recipe for these, in his Disney Magic Kitchen cookbook. Since we had all the ingredients, we decided to make it for lunch. Both Queenie and Mr.B were so excited to help. They both took turns mashing the bananas and mixing them with the peanut butter. Then I let them go to town and make their own wrap. I've never seen such excitement and pride on their faces. It was so funny to see them concentrating so hard, while spreading on the banana peanut butter.



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I can't say enough about this cookbook. It's a very great, healthy cookbook for kids. Most recipes use low fat ingredients and focus on using whole grains, fruits and veggies. Plus, it has awesome pictures of different Disney characters, for each recipe, which increases kid appeal. And the recipes (well the ones we've made so far) taste really good. The wraps were great! A slight banana flavor, mixed with the creamy peanut butter, studded with bits of crisp fresh apple. Mr.B inhaled his in no time flat and asked for seconds. Queenie took a different approach, first eating the filling, then the apples and finally the tortilla. Hey whatever works for her, right??



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The Sky is Falling Apples! Wraps
from Disney's Magic Kitchen cookbook

1 small banana
1/3 C crunchy peanut butter
4 7-8 inch whole wheat tortillas
1 C chopped apple

Put the banana in the bowl. Mash with the fork. Add the peanut butter to the mashed banana. Stir to mix completely. Spread peanut butter mixture over tortillas. Sprinkle with apple. Tightly roll up tortillas and use a sharp knife to cut roll in half. Can be kept in refrigerator for up to 24 hrs. Makes 4 servings



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Full Plate Thursday

Tip Day Thursday

Recipe Swap Thursday

Frugal Food Thursday

Friday Favorites

Foodie Friday

Fun with Food Friday

Family Friendly Fridays

Fat Camp Fridays

Friday Potluck

Seasonal Sundays

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baked Parmesan Rice

I created this last week, when I was looking for different ways to make rice. Since I was making Parmesan Shrimp, I thought, why not try some Parmesan rice. After looking through the fridge and pantry; and seeing what I had on hand, I went to work.

This turned out so wonderfully. The nutty gooey Parmesan, dotted through the tender rice. I really loved this, as did the kids and my nephew. Sadly, we ate it all and Hubby wasn't able to try it, but did say it was a good idea. I mean how could anything with Parmesan taste bad, right?? I served my peas to the side, since Hubby and my nephew don't care for them. They'd be equally good mixed right in with the rice and baked all together. Some nice fresh chopped parsley mixed in would be wonderful too. I'm so glad I found a new way to jazz up boring ole rice!


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Baked Parmesan Rice

4 Tbs butter
1/2 an onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2/3 C rice
2 C chicken broth
1/2 C Parmesan
salt and pepper

In a large skillet, heat butter until sizzling. Add onion and garlic and cook until onions soften, about 3 minutes. Add rice and saute until golden brown. Stir in chicken broth, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Transfer to a 2 quart baking dish or casserole. Cover and bake at 350, for 50 minutes, stirring after 30 mintues. (makes 4 servings)


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Don't forget there is still time to enter my 100 Followers Giveaway!!

**GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED**

This post linked to

Delicious Dishes

Tuesdays at the Table

Tuesday Night Supper Club

Tasty Tuesday

Tempt my Tummy Tuesday

What's Cooking Wednesday

Monday, January 17, 2011

Meal Plan Menu~ Jan 17 & a Giveaway!!

**GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED**

Happy Monday. Boy, last week was exhausting! Even with Hubby home and able to help out. We've been trying to cut down on TV time, so it's been trying hearing the kids argue over what to play, how to play and being bored. I still haven't heard from my Dr. about my foot, so I'm guessing it's a soft tissue injury. It is still very bothersome, especially after a long day in the kitchen.


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Since we got our weeks mixed up and missed our bi-weekly grocery shop, our budget is only allowing for fresh produce and milk this week. So, I'll be using doing some freezer and pantry cooking. Here is what I came up with



  • Braised Chicken and Potatoes (brought over from last week)
  • Asian Meatballs(new recipe) with rice and vegetables
  • Tourtière, ragout de pates de cochon( pork hock ragu) with rice potatoes and honey thyme squash
  • Black bean smothered sweet potatoes (new recipe) and salad
  • Oven baked Pork Chops with mashed potatoes and pepper squash
  • Meat and Potato Burgers (new recipe) with steamed broccoli
  • Leftovers

Make sure to head over to OrgJunkie.com, for tons of other great meal plans for the week. Happy Cooking!!

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Now onto the giveaway!! When I first started this blog, it was really just a way to keep track of recipes I had tried and whether or not we enjoyed them. A small part of me was expecting this thing to go off like a rocket and after the first year and so few followers, I was unsure if I even wanted to go on. I decided followers weren't that important, though seeing new ones brings a smile to my face. I told myself that if I ever reached 100 followers, I would have a giveaway. Well, I reached 100 followers last night!! So, here is what I have for one lucky follower, as a way of saying Thank you for deciding my ramblings are worth reading. The prize consists of

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1-10 inch square tempered glass, Vakentine's themed, serving plate
1 Meal Plan Menu pad with magnetic back
1 pack of 20 super cute recipe cards
1 small picnic basket porcelin collectible box

See the cute little picnic basket? Well, it has the cutest little surprise inside.

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A tiny cupcake! Isn't that the cutest??


All you have to do to enter, is leave a comment telling me you follow Hun...What's for Dinner? (Please include an email address, so I can reach youif you win) Super easy! Giveaway will end Sunday Jan 23 at 10 pm. The winner will then be announced Monday morning. Good luck to everyone!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Family Favorite Roast Chicken

This is our favorite way to eat roast chicken. I use this method any time I roast chicken; be it for dinner, for chicken salad, or casseroles. I saw Ina Garten roast her chicken breast on a cooling rack, on an episode of Barefoot Contessa and ever since then, this is how I do it. I find the chicken breasts are so much juicier and not as greasy as just baking them in a dish.

Over the past year, I've been cooking with rosemary more often. When I first tried rosemary, I wasn't a big fan. I really didn't appreciate the woody pungent flavor of it. It reminded me of pine trees and in my mind, you should eat trees, LOL. But lately, I've tried various dishes that include rosemary and have loved them all. Which is how I came about this recipe. I often hear of rosemary chicken, so I thought I'd throw some of our favorite spices together and see what I came up with. The result was perfect. Even my picky children cannot resist this wonderful flavorful chicken. When I'm looking to make something I know they'll eat for sure this is my go to recipe. I also use this recipe on chicken legs, cooking them along with baby red potatoes, so the potatoes can absorb the wonderful chicken flavor.



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Family Favorite Roast Chicken

4-6 chicken breasts (bone in, with skin)
1 Tbs coarse sea salt
1 Tbs rosemary
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
fresh cracked pepper (6 turns of the pepper mill)
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken onto cooling racks, placed into rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle chicken with olive oil. In a small bowl combine salt, rosemary, garlic powder, paprika and pepper. Sprinkle chicken evenly with seasoning blend. Roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 325 degrees and roast for an additional 10-20 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.



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Weekend Wrap-up

Saturday Night Special

Recipe Swap Sundays

Potluck Sunday

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Smokey Parmesan Chicken Strips

I came up with this yummy recipe the other week, while browsing in my cupboard. There sat an opened box of bacon flavored crackers, from the holidays. I thought to myself that they'd taste mighty fine crushed up on some chicken, so I started from there. All I can say it that it tasted really yummy, LOL. I almost wanted to say it had a hint of KFC, in the back ground.... very odd. The chicken was tender with a slight smoky nuttiness. I served our with ranch and ceasar dressing, to dip in.The kids went crazy for them and they each ate almost a whole chicken breast. That's a total keeper in my books!



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Smokey Parmesan Chicken Strips

1 C crushed bacon flavored crackers (such as Bacon Dippers)
1/2 C Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt and pepper
1/2 C flour
1 egg, beaten
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips

In a shallow dish mix together crushed crackers, Parmesan, garlic powder, salt and pepper. In 2 other separate dishes place the flour and beaten egg. Dip chicken strips in flour, shaking off the excess. Then dip strips in egg and finally in cracker/cheese crumbs. Place on a cookie sheet, that has been sprayed with cooking spray and bake at 375 for about 20-30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.



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This post linked to

Full Plate Thursday

Tip Day Thursday

Frugal Food Thursdays

Recipe Swap Thursday

Friday Favorites

Foodie Friday

Fun with Food Friday

Family Friendly Fridays

Fat Camp Friday

Potluck Friday

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pickled Beets

Sept14017


Why is it most things taste better when submerged in vinegar and salt? As is the case with beets. Try as I may to enjoy them in other ways, I just can't. I remember making my mom buy and expensive bottle of raspberry vinegar, to make a beet salad. Well.... I didn't care for it at all. I'm pretty sure my Mom just recently threw out the bottle of raspberry vinegar, LOL.


Sept14017


Every summer, my mom would make these. I can't remember how many times my friends would ask me why my hands were purple-ish red. These were found on the table for any special meal; from Sunday dinners, to holiday meals. I really enjoy the slightly tender beets, with a hint of sweetness coming through the salty sour brine. I'm glad I watched Mom make these so often, since now I know how. The kids recently tasted them and were put off by the brine. Way tangier than pickles, LOL. We like to eat our with a generous sprinkle of salt. YUM!


Pickled Beets

1-2 lbs beets
2 C vinegar
2/3 C brown sugar
3/4 whole cloves (optional)

Wash beets very well but be careful not to break the skin. Leave short stem ends on.
In a saucepan, bring beets to a boil in water. Remove peel. As you peel the beets, slice them, then drop into hot pint canning jars.

Combine sugar with vinegar, in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.Pour boiling hot liquid over beets leaving 1/4-inch head space and adjust 2 piece caps. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Makes 2 -250 ml jars

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Meal Plan Monday~ Jan 10th

Happy Monday! Sorry for not posting my menu for last week. I've been in a cooking rut, so it was a fly by the seat of my pants week. This week I'm Guest Chef over on Cooking for your Family, so I thought I'd set a good example and have a menu set.


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Hubby is off for 3 days in a row, this week. A super rare occurence. So I'm hoping to get one night off from cooking and maybe even a chance to sleep in (fingers crossed). So I'm planning some favorites and trying 2 new recipes this week, in hopes of getting back into the cooking mood.



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

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Chiard



I never really knew where this recipe originated from, or if anyone other than my family ever made it, or something similar. So, before writing this post, I decided to do some investigating. Chiard (pronounced 'shaw') is an old French Canadian dish. It's also called pate a la rapure, by the Acadians. It is slang for 'grub' and 'mess' or 'foul up'. Which really explains the dish, since it doesn't logically make sense; but it sure does taste good. Diced salt pork was once a favorite ingredient, which explains why we make it with bacon. Other recipes call for a mixture of ground meat, onion and salt pork; so I think 'our recipe' is better, LOL. Though I'm sure some onion fried up with the bacon would be really good.

I grew up eating this at least once a week. Back then bacon was less expensive than it is today. And what's cheaper than potatoes and carrots? I never thought it weird, that my family were the only ones I knew that ate Chiard. As I grew older, I thought it was perhaps a recipe my great grandmother, or grandmother had invented. It wasn't until last night, that I found out that similar recipes have been around for a LONG time. I'm not sure when my family decided to start adding dumplings to the dish, but I love them. The way they soak up the bacon fat, once you plate the dish.... YUM!!




Hubby wasn't too sure about this dish when I first made it. He expected, almost demanded, there be some sort of sauce with it. In true French Canadian fashion, I enjoy mine with ketchup. French gravy, as Hubby would say. After eating it a few times, it has now become a family favorite. He gets quite upset if I make some and there is none left, when he gets home from work. The kids love it too and I think it's a rather kid friendly meal. Bacon, potatoes and carrots aren't usually foods kids avoid. I try not to make it too often, since it isn't the most figure friendly of dishes, but when I get the hankering, you can bet Chiard will be on the table.



Chiard
 printable version


1 Lb bacon, cut in half
5-6 very large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
salt and pepper
1/2-1C water

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, cook bacon (all together), until slightly browned. Leave it in the pot, making sure it is in an even layer. Layer the carrots and potatoes over the bacon and season with salt and pepper. Add about 1/2-1C of water; to just about halfway up the carrots and potatoes (you want to steam the potatoes and prevent the bacon from burning, but at the same time, you don't want soup). Simmer, covered, over med low heat until the potatoes and carrots are just tender. Spoon dumplings batter (egg size amounts) over the potatoes. Place lid on the pot and cook for 10-15 minutes longer, until dumplings are cooked through.

Dumplings

1C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C milk (more if needed)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, adding more milk if needed. The batter should be the consistency of very thick muffin batter.



Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Vegetable Lasagna Roll-ups

What a crazy week so far. My parents called late Sunday night, to ask if they could come for a few days. They arrived Monday afternoon and we've been non stop, until just now. They left a few hours ago and I miss them already....



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This is a great twist on lasagna. Even though these probably take the same amount of time as a regular lasagna, there is something about individual rolls that I prefer. I'm also very fond of vegetable lasagna, so use this method as a perfect excuse to make a meat free meal. It's also a great way to use up veggies from your fridge, or a leftover veggie tray from a party. Still hearty, but without all the calories.



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In a large skillet, saute vegetables in oil, until tender crisp. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, half the mozzarella and half the parmesan and egg. Add in the cooked vegetables and stir thouroughly.





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Lay cooked noodles flat and spread with 2 Tbs of filling. Roll up, starting from the narrow end and place in casserole dish. Cover with marinara sauce and remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 375, for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, before serving. (Full recipe to follow)



Vegetable Lasagna Roll-ups

1 8 oz container of light Ricotta
2 C mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 Parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
3 Tbs olive oil
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 small onion, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
8 oz button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
1 roasted red pepper, patted dry and chopped
1 small head of broccoli, chopped
salt and pepper
12 lasagna noodles, cooked to al dente
3 C of your favorite Marinara sauce

In a large skillet, saute mushrooms, onion and garlic, until mushrooms begin to brown. Add in carrot, roasted red pepper, broccoli, salt and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until broccoli becomes tender crisp.

While the vegetables are cooking, boil noodles in salted water until al dente. Drain and let cool. In a large bowl combine ricotta, egg, 1C mozzarella, 1/4C Parmesan, a pinch of salt and pepper. Add in cooked vegetable and stir until well combined.

Lay noodles flat and spread about 2 Tbs of filling onto each noodle. Roll up, starting at the narrow end and place seam side down into a casserole dish. Repeat with all noodles. Top rolls with marinara sauce and sprinkle with remaining cup of mozzarella and 1/4C Parmesan. Bake, covered, in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.



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This post linked to

Delicious Dishes

Tuesdays at the Table

Tasty Tuedays

Tuesday Night Supper Club

Tempt my Tummy Tuesday

What's on your Plate?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Blueberry Buckle Coffee Cake

This was our New Year's Day breakfast. The kids have been talking about blueberries, so I thought I'd surprise them with a special treat for the new year. It being blueberry ensured that they gobbled it up, in no time. I'm sure the wonderful crumb topping didn't hurt either. A nice spongy cake, studded with sweet blueberries and topped with a crunchy sugary crust. YUM-O!!!

This will be the last sweet treat in our house for a while. We are all on sugar overload, from the holidays and my birthday. Christmas chocolates, desserts, chocolate mousse cake and Grand Marnier Cheesecake have all decided to take residence in my behind, and I'm none too happy about it. So, my goal this year is to cut out the sweets and get us back on track.

I wonder how long it will last, LOL.


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Blueberry Buckle Coffee Cake
Adapted from Betty Crocker's All Time Favorites (1972)

2 C flour
3/4 C sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C shortening
3/4 C milk
1 egg
2 C fresh blueberries
Crumb Topping (below)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x9x2-inch baking pan. Blend flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, shortening, milk and eggs; beat one minute. Carefully stir in blueberries.

Spread in pan and sprinkle Crumb Topping on batter. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a wodden pick inserted in center, comes out clean. Serve warm.

Crumb Topping

Mix 1/2 C sugar, 1/3 C flour, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 C soft butter.

Cindy's notes: I used frozen blueberries, which I left in the freezer, until I had to use them in.


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This post linked to

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!! The top 10 recipes of 2010

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Happy New Year Everyone!! Here's to hoping this year is the best one yet! I just wanted to take the time to recap on this years most popular HWFD recipes and a few of my favorites. I'm excited to see what great dishes I can dig up this year.


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A mix of sweet and tangy in a twist on waffles.


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I don't think there is anything more comforting than apple pie. Top it with ice cream, or pair it with a nice aged Cheddar. A hit every time.


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A clever and delicious take on an Italian classic. Sure to wow them all.


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This quick and easy way to prepare butternut makes it so rich and creamy.


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This light tangy sauce jazzes up you everyday chicken.


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A clever twist on an old favorite.



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A healthy version that screams home and holidays.



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A great way to prepare boring ole zucchini.


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A Canadian classic. To nuts and raisins, I'll take these anyway they come, LOL.


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The perfect meal for hungry men. Combines their love for burgers and mac'n'cheese. Don't leave out the garnish, it makes the dish.