Yum

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Blueberry Yogurt Banana Bread

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Ever grab a yogurt, out of the fridge, only to find the best before date was 2 days ago? That's what happened to me, last weekend. I still had 3 uneaten yogurts, that were past date. Since they were only 2 days past date, I decided to use them in some baking. Like Hubby says " it's a suggested date, it doesn't mean it goes bad, exactly on that date". Now for yogurts, I don't mind using them in baking, if they are only a few days past date; more than that I toss. Why take the chance?

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Since my freezer is getting pretty full of bananas, I decided a banana bread would be a great way to use up the yogurts. By adding yogurt to the batter, you can reduce the amount of fat/oil, you use. It's a nice flavorful way to cut fat and still get a nice moist banana bread. The results were great! The bread was tender and had a slight tang, from the yogurt. Nutmeg adds a nice warm taste to this beautiful dessert. Nothing beats blueberry banana bread in my book..... unless it's chocolate banana bread, LOL.

Blueberry Yogurt Banana Loaf
printable version

    2 or 3 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
    1/4 cup honey
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup blueberry yogurt
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 egg
    1 1/2 cups flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
    1 C fresh blueberries (frozen are fine, but do not thaw)
    1 ripe banana, sliced, to bake on top of bread as a garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 4-inch X 8-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mash bananas. Add the honey, vanilla, sugar, yogurt, egg and oil. Mix to combine. Sift flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg into another bowl. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the banana mixture until just combined.Fold in blueberries.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Line banana slices on top of the batter (overlapping). Bake 45 to 60 minutes, until golden and tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Flip onto a wire rack and cool completely.

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This post linked

Friday Favorites
Sweets for a Saturday
Recipe Swap Sunday

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Double Chocolate Toffee Marshmallow Ice Cream

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Many, many years ago, my parents bought me an ice cream machine, for my birthday. I think I've used it a total of 5 times, since then. Now that I've found a passion for cooking and creating, I decided to try my hand at home made ice cream. And, I am so glad I did. Not only can I make flavor combinations that I love, I can also ensure that the best ingredients are used and that this is real ice cream. It can't get any better than that!

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When deciding the flavor I wanted to make, I thought of everything I love. Rocky Road brownies came to mind, so I went with a chocolate ice cream, with chocolate chips, toffee bits and marshmallow cream. HEAVEN!! The ice cream was wonderfully creamy, with crunchy bits of chocolate and toffee and sweet ribbons of marshmallow running through it. The kids totally went crazy for this and have been asking to help make another batch of it soon. This is truly a decadent summer treat!

Double Chocolate Toffee Marshmallow Ice Cream
printable version


1 cups sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups half and half
2 ounces 70% cocoa chocolate, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup marshmallow creme
1 C mini semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C toffee bits

In a  saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt; gradually add half and half.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened -about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the melted chocolate.  Blend a small amount of the hot mixture into beaten eggs; return all to pan.  Cook 1 minute on medium heat; do not boil.  Remove from heat and cool.  Add cream; chill thoroughly.  Churn freeze until the mixture thickens, adding the chocolate chips and toffee bits during the last 5 minutes of churning. Fold in marshmallow creme at last moment before freezing. Freeze for 2 hrs, before serving. Top with shaved chocolate and toffee bits.


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This post linked to

Full Plate Thursday
Turning the Table Thursday
Fat Camp Friday
Foodie Friday

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sticky Glazed Grilled Chicken with Cucumber Salad

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I seem to have a love hate relationship with Summer. I love the warm weather, going to the beach, camping, all the fresh fruits and veggies; but I am always worried about getting bored with summer foods. Grilling burgers, hot dogs, chicken; I love it, but don't want to get bored. That's why I get so excited about new BBQ recipes. I can still beat the heat and use the grill, without eating the same thing over and over again. And when a recipe includes a side, well that's a sure home run!

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What attracted me to this recipe was the use of ingredients, that I always have in my pantry. The original recipe called for chicken thighs, but all I had was legs with backs attached. They grilled up wonderfully. I marinated the legs for 2 hrs, since I felt 10 minutes wouldn't impart enough flavour. While basting the chicken during the last part of the cooking time, I felt as though the marinade should be thicker, since it was running off the chicken. However, the results were superb. The skin crisped a little and became sticky and sweetly savory. I had never made an Asian inspired cucumber salad and instantly fell in love with this one. A tart sweet dressing coated the fresh cucumber. To add an extra bite and some color, I added a few thinly sliced radishes. Both paired perfectly and made this a complete meal.

Sticky Glazed Grilled Chicken with Cucumber Salad
Adapted from Canadian Family magazine
printable recipe

1/4 cup (50 mL) liquid honey
2 tbsp (25 mL) lime juice
2 tbsp (25 mL) sodium-reduced tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil
2  cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) grated fresh ginger
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tbsp (15 mL) toasted sesame seeds
Cucumber Salad:
1/3 cup (75 mL) rice vinegar
2 tsp (10 mL) liquid honey
1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
1/4 tsp (1 mL) hot pepper flakes
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced diagonally
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Preparation:

In large bowl, combine honey, lime juice, tamari sauce, sesame oil, garlic and ginger; remove 3 tbsp and set aside. Add chicken to bowl, turning to coat; marinate for 10 minutes.

Cucumber Salad: Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, sesame oil, hot pepper flakes and salt. Add cucumber and mix until coated; set aside in refrigerator.

Place chicken on greased grill over medium heat; close lid and grill, turning once and brushing with reserved marinade in final 2 minutes, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, about 10 minutes.

Stir green onions into salad. Sprinkle sesame seeds over salad and chicken.


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This post linked to

Make a Food-"e"-Friend Monday
Delicious Dishes
Hearth and Soul
Tasty Tuesday
These Chicks Cooked
What's Cooking Wednesday

Monday, July 25, 2011

Meal Plan Monday~ July 25, 2011

Happy Monday!

Boy what a week we've had! Last week was spent trying to find creative ways to beat the heat and to find things to do inside, where it was nice and cool. We hit record breaking temperatures, of 52 degrees Celsius (125 degrees F) with the nasty humidity. Our poor air conditioning has been working over time. One highlight of the week was the newspaper article, for which I had been interviewed, was in Thursday's paper. The reporter did such a great job! It feels surreal reading about myself, in the paper and on line. Click HERE to check it out.

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This week should be quiet. Which is great, since it will give me time to test some sandwiches, for Black & Decker's Ultimate Sandwich Contest. Look for my entry post soon!!Hubby is off Tuesday and Thursday, but we haven't made any plans. Unless something comes up, we will just enjoy spending time with the kids, out back in the kiddie pool. I hope to convince Hubby to go to the drive in, Thursday night, to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II. I am feeling uninspired with this heat, so hopefully trying out some new recipes will help get me back in the swing of things. Here's the plan for the week.

  • Sausage and pepper kabobs(new recipe), on rolls and a salad
  • Spaghetti and meatballs (crock pot) with grilled zucchini/yellow squash
  • Fancy Fish Burgers (new recipe) with homemade slaw
  • Pierogies with a salad and melon slices
  • Chicken Club Sliders (new recipe) with potato salad
  • Burgers, dogs and corn on the cob, grilled pineapple for dessert
  • leftovers
Don't forget to drop by Orgjunkie.com, to check out tons of other great meal plans for this week!

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    Bacon Wrapped Egg Sandwiches

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    It's the weekend and you know what that means! Time to make that special breakfast for the family. This sandwich would be perfect for breakfast, lunch and even dinner; which was the case, when the kids were away. Having to cook for one can get a bit boring. I mean, it's a bit depressing to eat alone, isn't it. Well, when the kids were away, a few weeks back, I took that time to get creative in the kitchen. Having seen this recipe in an issue of Rachael Ray's Magazine, I knew it would be the perfect one person meal.

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    I was super intrigued by the wrapping of the bacon, around the sandwich. Could it really be done? Yes it can. Being a bacon fan, I used twice the amount of bacon. If you're going to wrap something in bacon, then wrap it in BACON, LOL. I also jazzed up my eggs a bit with some fresh chives and topped them with some Jack cheese. The sandwich was a combination of salty, crunchy outside and a soft savory inside. Pretty darn tasty. I think I may toast the inside of the bread, next time, since I found it did get a tad soggy. When Hubby found out I made these without him, he pouted a while. Until I promised to make them again, for him too, LOL.

    Bacon Wrapped Egg Sandwich
    Courtesy of Everyday with Rachael Ray June/July 2011
    printable version

    2 eggs
    1 tsp. butter
    2 slices sandwich bread
    1 slice bacon

    Softly scramble eggs in butter. Sandwich between bread; wrap with bacon. Cook in skillet over medium on both sides until golden.

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    This post linked to

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Frosty Philly Mocha- A Great Summertime Treat!



    If the weather in your neck of the woods is anything like it is here, you definitely crave something delicious to cool you down and give you a little pick me up, during the day. I was super excited when Jeanine, from Baking Beauties, submitted this recipe to the Real Women of Philadelphia. In Canada, and some of the more Northern States such as NY and PA, we have a huge coffee chain called Tim Horton's. They sell coffee, donuts, bagels, sandwiches...... pretty much anything you'd find in a coffee shop. One of their specialty coffees is called the Ice Cappuccino Supreme. A frosty, slushy, creamy iced coffee, topped with whipped cream and chocolate or caramel drizzle.



    Now I am not a coffee drinker. I've never been able to find a sugar/cream ratio that I like. But, these Ice Caps are a different story. They are amazing, but pricey. So, when I saw Jeanine make these Frosty Philly Mochas, I was super excited. Could I really make my own Ice Caps at home??? You betcha!! These are crazy good. The cream cheese makes them so creamy, without all the fat that cream would give. Using milk instead of cream and adding the Philly, lowers the calories, while still making this creamy and indulgent. The idea of freezing leftover coffee was pure genius and it makes these iced coffees better than you could imagine.

    Frosty Philly Mocha
    Submitted by Jeanine Friesen

    Instead of having a coffee with your dessert, why not make the coffee your dessert. These frozen, creamy coffees are the perfect way to end a summer meal.

        2 cup(s) of frozen coffee cubes
        3 tbsp. of chocolate sauce
        1/3 cup(s) of milk
        2 ounce(s) of spreadable PHILADELPHIA cream cheese, softened
        2 ounce(s) of coffee liqueur
        1/2 cup(s) of whipped cream
        2 tbsp. of chocolate or caramel sauce, for garnish

    Place the frozen coffee cubes, 3 Tbsp chocolate sauce, milk, PHILADELPHIA cream cheese and coffee    liqueur in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy (about 3 minutes).

    Divide mixture between 2 tall cups and top with whipped cream and chocolate or caramel sauce. Sit back, relax, and enjoy immediately.

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    This post linked to

    Full Plate Thursday
    Turning the Tables Thursday
    Foodie Friday
    Fat Camp Friday

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    Meal Plan Monday~ July 18th, 2011

    Happy Monday!

    Let me start by announcing the winner of the Disney Fruit Shapes Cars 2 Giveaway. There was only 10 eligible entries and the random number generator picked comment #6.

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    Congratulations to Soozle, who is a Mater fan! Who could not love that silly truck! I'll be emailing you for details and will get your name to General Mills, so they can send your prize to you ASAP. Thanks to everyone who entered and if you haven't done so yet, enter the General Mills Towels Giveaway; open til August 9th!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    What an interesting weekend I've had. Saturday the kids and I took a trip to the Farmer's Market. We loaded our bag with beets, baby cukes, new red potatoes, garlic scrapes, zucchini and yellow squash. The kids loved seeing all the produce and we even got to see some bees, in a hive like setting, making honey. Pretty neat! Sunday a reporter for the local paper came to interview me about Hun... What's for Dinner? and about my journey with the Real Women of Philly contest and winning the Rising Star award. I was nervous at first, but she was so nice, that I felt at ease immediately.

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    We don't have much planned this week. Mostly staying home and enjoying the kiddie pool. Hubby is off Tuesday and Thursday, but we've yet to make plans. Maybe a trip to the beach??? I know the kids would love that! Here is my plan for the week. I am carrying a few meals over from last week that I didn't get a chance to make.

    • Fish and Chips with home made slaw
    • Garlic scrape pesto chicken with whole wheat Farfale and broccoli
    • Burgers with leftover slaw and baked beans
    • Grilled Italian sausages on a bun with tossed salad
    • Egg in a hole with fresh fruit salad
    • homemade pizza with grilled zucchini and yellow squash
    • leftovers
    Head over to Finding Joy in my Kitchen for more great meal plans!

    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    Summer Corn Fettuccine

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    I first saw this recipe on my friend Brenda's blog, Brenda's Canadian Kitchen. It sounded very familiar and asked her if it was a Rachael Ray recipe, from her Look & Cook cookbook. Brenda and I playfully refer to that cookbook as "our" cookbook, since she convinced me to get it and we both love it. I knew this recipe would be a huge hit in our house, since we are crazy for corn.

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    This pasta was wonderful. It was sweet and savory, with a hint of smokiness and heat. Perfect combination in my book. I used fresh corn, off the cob and loved how it was used to make the cream sauce. The dish tasted so fresh, using wonderful fresh ingredients. I love to cook with the freshest ingredients in the summer! I used half regular Fettuccine and half spinach Fettuccine, to add some colour.

    Summer Corn Fettuccine
    Adapted from Rachael Ray Look & Cook
    printable version

    salt
    1 pound fettuccine
    extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
    6 slices smoky bacon, chopped
    6 ears corn on the cob, shucked
    3 shallots, finely chopped
    1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    black pepper
    1 cup half-and-half or cream
    2 T fresh thyme leaves
    1/2 cup chicken stock or dry white wine
    a few dashes of hot sauce or a pinch or two of cayenne pepper
    a couple handfuls of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    1/2 cup chopped fresh sweet basil leaves or 1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon leaves

    Heat a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.  Salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet with a drizzle of olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the bacon to the pan and cook for a few minutes to crisp the bacon and render its fat. Place a small bowl inverted in a large bowl, steady the corn cobs on the smaller bowl, and scrape the kernels off the ears. Add three quarters of the kernels and the liquids to the bacon. Add the shallots and bell pepper to the corn mixture and season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 5-6 minutes.

    Add the remaining corn to the food processor and puree with the cream.

    Stir in the thyme and the stock or wine into the corn mixture in the skillet, reduce for a minute, then stir in the corn-cream mixture. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, to thicken. Add the hot sauce or cayenne pepper and adjust the salt and pepper.

    Drain the pasta, then toss with the sauce, parsley, and a couple handfuls of cheese, about 1/2 cup. Top with basil or tarragon and pass the remaining cheese at the table.
    Serves 4 to 6.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    Shrimp Aglio E Olio

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    Aglio e Olio means Garlic and Oil (one of the simplest and most popular pasta dressings) in Italian.
    Usually served with spaghetti, the sauce is made by lightly sauteeing minced or pressed garlic in olive oil, sometimes with the addition of dried red chilli flakes or chopped fresh chili peppers ( peperoncini). Finely chopped parsley can be added as a garnish, along with pecorino or parmesan cheese.

    Sometimes you need a dish that will wow you, but that you can make in a snap. This is such a dish! I found the recipe in one of my Mom's Family Circle magazines. (We both have subscriptions to different magazines, and exchange the ones we've read, with each other.) I mostly head right for the food section and love to see what new ideas are floating around in them. This was in with 3 other shrimp recipes, called quick fixes for shrimp. It caught my attention because we always have shrimp in the house.

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    This recipe really wowed me. I never thought that something with so few ingredients, could taste this amazing. You had the garlic, that sweetend slightly as it sauteed. Garlic and shrimp are phenomenal together, but then add in that slight bite of heat and the salty pasta. Perfect score!! The only change I made was use spinach Fettuccine.

    Shrimp Aglio E OlioAdapted from Family Circle Magazine
    printable version

    2 Tbs olive oil
    6 cloved garlic, thinly sliced
    1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
    3 Tbs chopped parsley
    1/2 lb linguine
    1/4 C cooking liquid

    Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water, until al dente, reserving 1/4 C cooking liquid. In a large skillet heat oilive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 30 minutes. Stir in shrimp and cook 4 minutes. Season with salt and red pepper flakes. Add the cooked linguine, pasta water and parsley. Toss to coat.
    Serves 4

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    This post linked to

    Hearth and Soul
    Tasty Tuesday
    Delcious Dishes 

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Meal Plan Monday~ July 11, 2011

    Happy Monday!

    The Real Women of Philadelphia Gala was so much fun! Not only did I get to meet so many of the terrific ladies I befriended on the website, I got to meet Brenda from Brenda's Canadian Kitchen. She is such an awesome person, so funny and tons of fun. We had a blast and lucked out by being placed at the same table for dinner. She was such a good sport when I refused to let her eat, until I had taken a picture of her plate; since I had already taken a bite out of my appetizer, LOL. Hopefully we will be able to make plans in the near future, to get together in the kitchen!

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    I also met Anna Olson and received an amazing surprise. As we sat down to the most delicious 5 course meal, Miss Anna Olson took the stage to announce the Philly Spirit Awards. There were 3 additional awards, which would be awarded to contestants from the website. Production Queen, for the woman who submitted the most videos. The Socialite, for the woman who was always there to lend a hand, support and cheer on fellow contestants. And, the Rising Star, for the woman who had shown the most growth, throughout the competition.



    As I was enjoying a tasty salad and feeling so happy that the right women were receiving awards, my name was announced as the Rising Star. I was shocked and quickly stood to acknowledge the award. As I sat back down and accepted congratulations for the award, this wonderful video montage of the first season of RWOP (above) played on several screens throughout the room. Already emotional for being acknowledged, this video made the tears flow. As winner of the Rising Star Award, I will be receiving a $500 prize pack from Kraft Canada and Anna Olson. Thank you to Kraft Canada, Philadelphia Cream Cheese Canada, Eqal and Ann Olson, for such a great honor!

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    So, now that the excitement has ended, it is time to resume everyday life. The kids are coming home on Tuesday and I am excited to see theme again. I was starting to get a little bored home alone, LOL. Here is my plan for the week

    • Ole Burgers (new recipe) with pineapple salsa
    • Sticky Glazed Grilled Chicken with cucumber salads (new recipes)
    • Grilled pork chops with grilled purple sweet potatoes
    • Fish and chips with coleslaw
    • Grilled chicken breasts with foil packet potatoes and broccoli
    • Grilled vegetable and chickpea ratatouille with naan bread
    Head on over to OrgJunkie.com, for tons of other great meal plans! Have a great week, everybody!!

    Sunday, July 10, 2011

    Grilled Chicken Tacos

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    I've been really enjoying the kids being away, visiting my parents. Not that I don't miss them, I just think I need a mental break from them, LOL. Meal times are so much easier, without the "I don't like this", " you need to take one bite, before you can decide if you don't like it", "eat 4 more bites and you can be done". These phrases seem to be mandatory with my daughter and dinner time lately. So, I've really enjoyed making foods that I want to eat, without the fear of them not being kid friendly enough, and without the complaints and comments.

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    These tacos were just what I had been craving, for the past few days. With the warm weather, I've been grilling quite a bit, so I knew grilled chicken tacos would be tasty. I highly recommend the indirect heat cooking method. The results are always so moist and delicious; and if you start with a completely hot grill, you will still get those beautiful grill marks, without drying out the meat. The grilled red onion and red pepper, added a nice hint of sweetness to the spicy tacos.

    Grilled Chicken Tacos
    printable version

    4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    1/4 C lime juice
    1 tsp lime zest
    2 Tbs canola oil
    2 cloves garlic minced
    1 tsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    few shakes of hot sauce (as desired)
    1 small red onion, cut into 8 wedges
    1/2 a red pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
    1 Tbs olive oil
    salt and pepper
    Shredded Cheddar cheese
    Salsa
    Sour cream
    Shredded lettuce
    8 whole grain tortillas

    Place chicken in a large zip top bag. In a small bowl combine lime juice and zest, garlic, 2 tbs canola oil, cumin, chili powder and hot sauce. Pour over chicken, in bag, seal it up and squish the marinade around, to coat the chicken. Place into a large bowl and refrigerate 2 hrs. Place onion and red pepper into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Thread pieces alternately onto skewers (if using wood skewers, soak in water 30 mins before grilling).

    Preheat grill, over high heat, for 5 minutes. Place chicken on one side of the grill, extinguishing that side. Cook covered for 15 minutes, flip chicken and continue cooking for 10 minutes more (until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees). Remove from grill, and let rest 5 minutes, before slicing. Slice chicken breasts into thin slices.

    While chicken rests, grill veggies over medium heat, until they begin to char slightly around the edges and soften nicely. Remove from skewers and roughly chop.

    To assemble the tacos, take a few slices of chicken and place on 1 tortilla. Top as desired with cheese, salsa, grilled vegetables, lettuce and sour cream.

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    This post linked to

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    Super Burgers

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    I am super excited today. Tonight I will be attending the Real Women of Philadelphia awards dinner. Even though I did not make the finals, I wanted to go support some of my new friends that did and meet some of the other wonderful contestants that I have become so close with. What makes tonight even more special is that I will be meeting two fellow bloggers, whom I just adore! Lyndsay aka the Kitchen Witch won a spot as a finalist in the entree category. I am so excited to meet her and all my fingers are crossed, so that she wins! Then there is my friend and Toronto neighbour Brenda, from Brenda's Canadian Kitchen. I stumbled upon her blog about a year ago and we've been blogging buddies since then. We also both take part in the Life Made Delicious program, so we are sort of partners in crime, LOL. I'm excited to meet Brenda, who was given a ticket, for announcing the contest and holding a giveaway on her blog.

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    Since the even will be hosted by Canadian Chef Anna Olson, I decided to make one of her recipes, to celebrate (hopefully) meeting her and the rest of my Philly sisters. This recipe doesn't include Philadelphia Cream Cheese, since it is from Anna's Food Network Canada show, Fresh with Anna Olson. I just love how personable she is on her show and she really was a lovely and fun host over at the RWOP site.

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    Now some of you are probably thinking; I thought she said she doesn't like burgers. Well, I don't, or shall I say, I didn't. Trying all these new burger recipes is slowly converting me into a burger fan. I think I need some extra flavor in my burger, to enjoy it. Which is exactly what was in these burgers. They were so full of flavor, due to the onion, garlic, oregano, sundried tomato and smoky cheese. The combination of ingredients was perfect. You had savory beef with bits of sweetness and a smoky cheesy center. Phenomenal! Even Hubby enjoyed them, which was proven true when he had a 3rd burger later on last night, LOL. The only change I made to the recipe is use a combination of smoked Cheddar and smoked Mozzarella. YUM!!

    Super Burgers
    Courtesy of Anna Olson
    printable version

    2 pounds lean ground beef
    1/2 pound ground pork
    1/2 cup breadcrumbs
    1 large egg
    1/2 cup minced onion
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
    2 tablespoons finely chopped sundried tomato
    1 tablespoon salt
    2 cups grated smoked cheddar
    8 Poppyseed egg buns
    1. Blend all ingredients together, except cheddar. Divide mixture into 8 and shape into balls. Press a finger into a ball and press ¼ cup of cheddar into hole. Close opening (so cheese is in the centre) and flatten into a patty. Chill until ready to cook.
    2. Grill or pan-fry burgers until cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side. Serve burgers on egg buns and dress as desired.

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    This post linked to

    What's Cooking Wednesday
    Made it on Monday
    Friday Favorites
    Fun with Food Friday
    Fat Camp Friday

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Blueberry Rhubarb Jam

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    Since I came home from my parent's house with a ton of rhubarb, I decided to make some jam. My first intention was to simply make rhubarb jam, but I wasn't able to find I recipe I liked. Then, I stumbled upon this recipe and thought the combination of sweet blueberries and tart rhubarb would be perfect. I love that this jam does not need to be processed. I don't have the proper equipment to process canning, so it intimidates me a little. I love these recipes where you simply pour the product into a hot sterilized jar, place a lid on and you are done. I just love hearing the pop of the lids sealing themselves!

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    To try this jam, I decided to use it to top some pancakes. Jam/jelly on pancakes is one of the family's favorite ways to top pancakes. Let me tell you, this jam did not disappoint. It was nice and sweet, with a slight tart lemon undertone. The rhubarb melted into the jam and you are left with an abundance of plump blueberries. This jam would be great on biscuits, scones, bagels; just about anything, LOL.

    Blueberry-Rhubarb Jam
    Adapted from the Rhubarb Compendium
    printable version

    8 c Blueberries
    4 c Rhubarb, chopped in 1 inch pieces
    1 ts Lemon rind, grated
    2 tb Lemon juice
    1 c Water
    4 c Granulated sugar

    In a large heavy saucepan, combine blueberries, rhubarb, lemon rind and juice and water. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, reduce heat and simmer, very gently, for 10 minutes. Stir in sugar; increase heat to high and boil vigorously until jam reaches setting point. (218 - 220F or 103 - 104C), 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, skim off foam and stir for 3 - 5 minutes to suspend fruit evenly throughout jam. Fill sterilized jars and seal. Makes about 4 pint jars or 8 - half pint jars.

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    This post linked to


    Monday, July 4, 2011

    Meal Plan Monday~ july 4, 2011

    Happy 4th of July, to all my American readers!!! May your day be full of sun, fun, friends and family!!

    I'm felling a little odd this week. The kids are visiting my parents for a week or so, and I am feeling a little lost. It's so funny that I was praying for a sanity break, time to myself alone; and now that they are gone, I feel lost. I'm sure they are enjoying themselves though and I am taking this kid free time to do some deep cleaning around the house. I wonder if they'll notice any missing toys??

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    So, since we are childless this week, the menu will consist of all new dishes, that they probably would not be too fond of, LOL. Since I will be spending the night in Toronto on Wed, and attending the Real Women of Philadelphia award dinner, I have only planned for 6 nights of meals. The men (Hubby and my nephew) will be on their own for Wednesday night!

    • Bacon wrapped eggs sandwiches (new recipe) with fresh fruit salad
    • Shrimp Alio E Olio (new recipe) with bread sticks
    • Super Burgers (new recipe) with Pasta Salad
    • Grilled chicken tacos (new recipe)
    • Honey-Molasses Chicken Drumsticks (new recipe) with potato skins and a salad
    • RWOP Award Dinner!!
    • Leftovers
    Head over to OrgJunkie.com, for more great meal plans!!

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    Rhubarb Cake

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    We had a great Canada Day, this year. Since Hubby was going to be off, we packed up late Thursday afternoon and headed 4 hrs North, to my parent's house. The kids were super excited and even more excited to learn they would be staying with Memere and Pepere, for a week or so. I have such great memories of staying with my god parents during the summer, when I was growing up. I hope the kids remember these fun times with my parents. We had fun going 4 wheeling, having water fights and just enjoying being together. Of course we had steaks, potatoes and veggies on the grill, with some red and white icecream to finish the meal. Perfect Canada Day, in my books!

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    My parents are lucky to have rhubarb growing in their back yard. I absolutely loved it as a child. Snacking on the sour rhubarb and dipping it into a cup of sugar. I let Mr.B try it and he thought it was way too sour. Surprisingly Queenie loved it and ate a whole piece without any sugar. while we were there, I remembered a cake recipe that my Mom had once made, using rhubarb, so I quickly pulled out all her cookbooks and searched for it. Luckily I found it and decided to make it, last night, since I was home alone. I love going into the kitchen, when I'm home alone, it's a great way to pass the time and it relaxes me, without me getting bored, LOL.

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    This cake is so simple to make and tastes great. The bitterness of the rhubarb is well balanced with the brown sugar and cinnamon. It's a nice and fluffy cake and pairs well with whipped cream. I convinced my parents to dig up a rhubarb root for me, and I planted a small patch of rhubarb in our back yard. I'm excited to be able to have this ingredient on hand, next summer, to get creative with.

    Rhubarb Cake
    Home Cooking in Verner Cookbook
    printable version

    1/2 C margarine
    1 C sugar
    2 eggs
    2 C flour
    1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 C sour millk (1 TBS vinegar with milk)
    3 C rhubarb, chopped
    1/2 C brown sugar
    1 tsp cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    In a glass measuring cup add one Tbs vinegar or lemon juice. Fill remainder with milk, to equal one cup. Set aside. Cream margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add in eggs and mix well. Combine the flour with the baking powder and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the to the margarine mixture and add sour milk. Mix until well combined and add in rhubarb.

    Pour cake batter into a greased 9X13 cake pan. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over top of cake batter and using a knife, swirl it into the batter. Bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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