Yum

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rosemary Artisan Bread

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This is an old favourite of mine, that Hubby often makes. It's one of his most requested creations, among family; and I really can't blame them. I'm a total bread lover and at first I wasn't a big fan of this one. It was the rosemary. It took me many, many years to appreciate what wonderful flavor this herb can give food. My mom had never cooked with it, so when I first tried it, I felt like I was eating pine needles. Not something that appealed to me at all. But, as I grew older and my palate grew, I came to love the woodsy, almost pungent taste of rosemary; and I find myself using it often.

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Hubby only recently shared this recipe with me. He is very tight lipped about his recipes.... is it a Chef thing, I wonder? Before now, I would have to request him to make this for us; or if lucky he would make a batch when family would come for dinner. The bread is light and chewy, with a nice crisp outer crust. Salt and rosemary adorn the top and when dipped in quality olive oil and black pepper, it lends a wonderful richness. This bread is the perfect start to any Italian meal.


Rosemary Artisan Bread
printable recipe


1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup water
3 tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbs rosemary, crushed

Place all wet ingredients in bread machine first, place dry in next with the yeast on top. Set on dough cycle .
Preheat oven to 370F. Roll into round domes. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle top with sea salt and rosemary. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Best with olive oil and fresh cracked pepper to dip in.

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This post linked to

Make a Food-"e"-Friend Monday
Delicious Dishes
Hearth and Soul
Tasty Tuesday

Monday, August 29, 2011

Meal Plan Monday~ August 29, 2011

Happy Monday!

Boy, what a difference a week makes, in the weather. We've started wearing pants and light jackets at night. A good sign that summer is almost to an end. The good thing is, now we can sleep with the windows open and not have the air conditioning on all the time. It also means I have to find pants that fit, since my waist line seems to keep expanding.....sigh.

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I didn't really stick to my meal plan last week. Partly because I only took the time to do half of my grocery shopping, so meals centered around ingredients I've had on hand. The week seems like it was super busy, but at the same time, I feel like I didn't accomplish much, LOL. So, I will be carrying over a few meals and working from the pantry as much as possible. With the exception of milk, eggs and fresh produce, I am not buying anything else from the store, until next week. Here is the plan
  • Sausage and pepper kabobs with rolls and pasta salad (brought over from last week)
  • Burgers of some sort, with oven fries and ??? (bean salad maybe)
  • Pork chops with bacon wrapped potatoes (new/brought over from last week) with green beans
  • Roast chicken with buttermilk mashed potatoes, glazed carrots and roast cauliflower
  • Chicken stir fry (using leftover chicken)
  • Chickpea Ratatouille with Naan bread
  • leftovers
Head on over to OrgJunkie.com, for more great meal plans!

    Saturday, August 27, 2011

    Peanut Butter and Fudge Brownies

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    Hi, my name is Cindy and I am a dessert-a-holic! Seriously, if there isn't some sort of baked good in the house, I almost panic. Even if I don't eat the dessert (which almost never happens, LOL), I need to know that it is there, in case someone drops by. The need is reinforced by my love for baking. Getting into the kitchen, throwing a bunch of ingredients together and creating something decadent and soul satisfying. It just seems to center me and bring a happiness to my day. Not to mention, the kids love having sweet homemade treats in the house.

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    I've been in the chocolate and peanut butter mood lately. It all started a few weeks ago, when I found some Reese peanut butter cups, from Easter, that Hubby still hasn't eaten. The killer is, that he won't let anyone else eat them either. I've been fantasizing about these darn things for weeks now. So, I decided to try and re create the flavors, in a brownie. I thought a ribbon of peanut butter inside the brownie would be super yummy. Boy was I right! The brownies are tender and chewy, then you have a sinful ribbon of peanut butter cheesecake filling in the center. It truly can not get any better than this. I have to warn you though; these are super rich, so a small piece goes a long way.

    Peanut Butter and Fudge Brownies
    printable version


    1 1/3 C sugar
    1 C margarine, or butter, softened
    4 eggs
    2 tsp vanilla
    1 1/2 C flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    3/4 C cocoa
    1 C peanut butter chips
    3/4 C smooth peanut butter
    1/3 C cream cheese, softened
    1/3 C sugar
    3Tbs flour
    1 tsp vanilla
    2 eggs

    Frosting and Glaze
    3 Tbs butter
    3 oz unsweetened chocolate
    2 C powdered sugar
    3/4 tsp vanilla
    4-5 Tbs milk
    1/3 C powdered sugar
    2 Tbs peanut butter
    1-2 Tbs milk

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan. In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter, until light and fluffy. Add 4 eggs, 1 at a time; beating well after each addition. Add 2 tsp vanilla and mix well. In a small bowl combine 1 1/2 C flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder; mix well. Add to wet mixture and mix until well blended. Stir in peanut butter chips and set aside.

    In another bowl, beat the peanut butter and cream cheese, until well combined. Add 2 eggs, 1/3 C sugar, 3 Tbs flour and 1 tsp vanilla; mixing until well combined. Set aside.

    Spread half of the brownie mixture in the bottom of prepared pan. Spread peanut butter mixture evenly, over brownie mixture. Top with remaining brownie batter and bake for 40-50 minutes. The top should spring back, when lightly touched and brownies will begin to pull away from the sides. Cool completely.

    In a medium sized sauce pan, melt butter and chocolate, until smooth. Remove from heat and add in powdered sugar, vanilla and enough milk, until desired spreading consistency is reached. Frost cooled brownies.

    In a small bowl, mix 1/3 C powdered sugar, 2 Tbs peanut butter and 1-2 Tbs milk; until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over frosting. Cut brownies into 36 bars.

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    This post linked to

    Baking with Bizzy
    Fat Camp Friday
    Friday Favorites
    Fresh Food Friday
    Sweets for a Saturday

    Thursday, August 25, 2011

    Sausage and Pepper Stuffed Portobellos

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    While the kids were visiting my parents, earlier this month, I decided to make a special dinner for me and Hubby. One of Hubby's favorite appetizers are stuffed mushrooms. Since we had some extra Portobello mushrooms, leftover from our Ultimate sandwich, I figured stuffed mushrooms would be the perfect start to our dinner date. What I like about stuffed mushrooms is that they are so versatile. You can stuff them with just about anything; crab, cheese, vegetables. I went with one of Hubby's other favorites; sausage and peppers.

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    The mushrooms were wonderful. Tender, meaty, with nice spicy sausage and savory peppers. Cheese and fresh bread crumbs helped bind the wonderful filling. Hubby practically inhaled these, and mentioned 3 times that they were very good, LOL. I thought they were pretty yummy too, so made a few modifications and submitted them in the Real Women of Philly Canada, recipe contest. I guess they weren't good enough, since I was passed by, once again.... So, today I am going to share the original recipe with you!


    Sausage and Pepper Stuffed Portobellos
    printable version

    8 medium portobello mushroom caps
    4 tbsp. of olive oil, divided
    4 hot Italian Sausages, casings removed
    1/2 small onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/3 cup(s) of roasted red pepper, finely chopped
    1/2 cup(s) of Sharp Cheddar, shredded
    1/2 cup(s) of seasoned breadcrumbs

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.With a slightly damp cloth, wipe the mushrooms clean and gently scrape gills from inside; removing any stems. Set aside.
      
    In a skillet,heat 2 Tbs oil over medium heat.Add onions, red pepper and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add sausage meat and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook with onion, pepper and garlic, until cooked through, about 7-10 minutes. Place mixture into a bowl cool slightly; 5 minutes.
      
    While sausage cools, toast bread crumbs, with the remaining olive oil, in a hot skillet; until fragrant. Remove from heat.
      
    Mix the Cheddar into the sausage mixture.Spoon equal amounts of sausage mixture, into each mushroom cap.Generously sprinkle with bread crumbs and place in oven for 10-15 minutes; until mushrooms are tender and Cheddar has melted.

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    This post linked to

    Made it on Monday
    Full Plate Thursday
    Turning the Table Thursday
    Foodie Friday

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    Chicken Club Pasta Salad

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    With the weather getting colder, I thought I should hurry up and share all of the wonderful summer-y recipes I made this year. I found this super pasta salad recipe over at the Cooking for your Family forum, on Baby Center. As I've mentioned before, I am one of the group owners of the forum and it is a really great place to get recipes and meal ideas. One of the features of the group is a weekly ingredient thread; where many recipes using a certain recipe can be found. I think this is one of my favorite threads, since it makes it easy to find a bunch of recipes using a certain ingredient, in one place.

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    This pasta salad is so yummy! Creamy, tangy and salty; 3 of my favorite tastes, LOL. The addition of the smoky bacon and creamy avocado, just make this pasta salad special. The flavors all work superbly together and I like the addition of the tangy Italian dressing. Perfect as a side, or even for lunch; this pasta salad is sure to be a hit with everyone who eats it!

    Chicken Club Pasta Salad
    Submitted by Sandy

    printable version

    8 oz corkscrew or spiral pasta
    1/4 cup mayonnaise
    3/4 cup Italian dressing
    2 cups chopped cooked rotisserie chicken
    1 cup cubed Muenster or Monterey Jack cheese
    12 strips crisp-cooked bacon, crumbled
    1 avocado, cubed
    1 cup each chopped celery and green bell pepper
    8 oz cherry tomatoes, cut in half

    Cook and drain the pasta according to the package directions and rinse it with cold water. In a large bowl, pour a small a mount of the Italian dressing into the mayonnaise and whisk to incorporate, then whisk in the remaining dressing. Stir in the pasta and the remaining ingredients.

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    This post linked to

    Make a Food-"e"-Friend Monday
    Delicious Dishes
    Hearth and Soul
    Tasty Tuesday
    These Chicks Cooked
    Presto Pasta Nights- Round up

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    Meal Plan Monday~ August 22, 2011

    Happy Monday!

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    I hope everyone had a great weekend. I wanted to share the wonderful prize I finally received from Kraft and the Real Women of Philadelphia; for winning the Rising Star Award. I, along with 2 other RWOP members, was sent this wonderful gift baskets filled with Kraft products and a $500 gift card; for the Bay, Zellers or Home Outfitters. I am anxious to go to Home Outfitter, to look for a set of everyday dishes, since ours have seen better days. And neat serving dishes for my blog photos, would also be wonderful. Hubby and I have decided to save half of the gift card, to use towards the kids Christmas gifts. We always seem to be short money, that time of year, so it will help tremendously. Thanks again to Kraft Canada, Real Women of Philadelphia Canada and Eqal, for the wonderful prize!

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    Well, our house guest has returned home, so Hubby and my nephew are anxious to have more meals containing meat. I loved having Hubby's cousin here, since she was vegetarian. I didn't miss meat the whole time she was here and enjoyed eating meat free quite a bit. If I knew I wouldn't have to make 2 different meals every night, I'd become vegetarian in a heart beat, LOL. So here is our menu for the week; I hope the boys enjoy it.

    • Bahn-Mi sliders (new recipe) with cucumber salad
    • Rosemary Vanilla Chicken (new recipe) with orzo and some sort of veg (still trying to figure this one out, LOL)
    • Sausage and Pepper Kabobs (new recipe) with rolls and pasta salad
    • Grilled steaks with bacon wrapped potatoes (new recipe) and Caprese salad
    • Artichoke Dip Grilled Cheese (new recipe) with bruschetta
    • Burgers with foil packet potatoes and vegetables
    • Leftovers
    Make sure to drop by http://OrgJunkie.com, to check out other great meal plans for the week!

      Thursday, August 18, 2011

      Asian Slaw

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      I'm always looking for side dishes to go with Asian dishes. Recently I made some fish burgers and wanted something with similar flavors, for our side dish. I thought sweet peanut butter would pair nicely with cabbage, so I went into the kitchen to work on the dressing for a great slaw. After tweaking a bit here, adding a bit there, I think I came up with a pretty darn good Asian Slaw.

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      The sweet and sour flavors of the dressing go well with the pungent cabbage and spicy radishes. I love using radishes in Asian dishes, since they add spiciness, but they're flavor is very tame. This was sweet, savory, spicy and tart all in one. Perfect for any Asian inspired meal. If you don't have seasoned rice vinegar, just add a few tsp of sugar to the dressing. Don't be afraid to tweak it to your own taste, that's all part of being in the kitchen!

      Asian Slaw
      printable version

      2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
      1/4 C vegetable oil
      1/2-1 teaspoon toasted (dark) sesame oil
      4 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
      4 cups thinly sliced cabbage (Napa, green, purple, or a combination)
      1/2 cup grated carrots
      1/3 C thinly sliced radish
      1/4 cup toasted, sesame seeds

      In a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, vegetable oil, sesame oil and rice vinegar; until well combined.

      Mix the cabbage, carrots and radishes. Toss with dressing and most of the toasted sesame seeds.

      Refrigerate for 30 minutes, before serving; to let the flavors mingle.

      Sprinkle with remaining sesame seeds, before serving.

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      This post linked to

       Hearth and Soul
      Garden Variety Wednesday
      Full Plate Thursday
      Turning the Table Thursday
      Foodie Friday

      Tuesday, August 16, 2011

      Frozen Peanut Butter Cups

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      One of my favorite parts of summer, is all the yummy cold treats! Ice creams, frozen pies, novelty treats; I just love a nice cool treat to end a wonderful summer meal. I found this recipe in a recent issue of Cooking Pleasures Magazine. As a lifetime member of the Cooking Club of America, I receive this magazine through the mail. I just love to see what new and interesting recipes they'll be featuring in every issue. I've always had so much success with all the recipes I've made from this magazine, so I knew this one would be a winner.

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      And it was!! Super easy to assemble, these came together in a snap. However, I do have some tips to help make these successful. First, make sure you make and press the crust before taking the ice cream out of the freezer. And don't press the cereal mixture in too hard, since it'll set up too hard. Second, I would make the peanut butter filling into more of a disk shape, than a ball. In the photos accompanying the recipe, they had formed the PB center into a ball; the ball was too difficult to break and you ended up with the peanut butter only in the middle of the ice cream. And third, work fast, because the ice cream will melt quickly. The results will be creamy ice cream with a peanut butter center, on top of a chewy sweet PB flavored crust. Awesome!

      Frozen Peanut Butter Cups
      Adapted from Cooking Pleasured Magazine
      printable version

       These ice cream treats are filled with peanutty goodness, from the peanut butter-laced cereal crust to the surprise peanut butter filling and the p.b.-and-chocolate glaze.

      1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, divided
      1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter, divided
      3 cups corn flakes cereal
      3 cups vanilla ice cream
      3 tablespoons salted peanuts, chopped
      1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted
      1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

      1. Spray bottom of 12 muffin cups with cooking spray. Microwave 1/2 cup of the corn syrup in medium microwave-safe bowl 1 minute or until syrup is hot but not bubbling. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the peanut butter. Vigorously stir in cereal to break up flakes. With back of spoon or lightly buttered fingers, press into bottom of muffin cups.

      2. Stir 1/4 cup of the peanut butter and remaining 2 tablespoons corn syrup in small bowl.

      3. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the ice cream in each muffin cup, pressing down with spoon or measuring cup. Place about 1/2 tablespoon of the peanut butter mixture in center of each cup; top each with 2 tablespoons ice cream, smoothing to cover peanut butter. Sprinkle with peanuts. Place in freezer while preparing glaze.

      4. Microwave butter, chocolate chips and remaining 1 tablespoon peanut butter in small microwave-safe bowl 40 to 60 seconds, stirring until melted and smooth. (If necessary, keep heating mixture in 10-second increments until smooth.) Spoon into small resealable plastic bag; snip off small corner.

      5. Drizzle glaze over each peanut butter cup. Freeze 2 hours or overnight, until firm.

      6. Place in refrigerator 5 minutes before serving to soften slightly. Gently run knife around edge of each cup to loosen cereal base.

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      This post linked to

      Make a Food-"e"-Friend Monday
      Made it on Monday
      Delicious Dishes
      Tasty Tuesday
      These Chicks Cooked

      Monday, August 15, 2011

      Meal Plan Monday~ August 15, 2011

      Happy Monday!

      Hope everyone has been having a wonderful summer so far. I know that some of you in the southern States, have returned to school, while the rest of us are anxiously awaiting for it the start. I think Mr. B has had enough summer vacation. He's been moodier lately and saying he's bored. A few more weeks and he will be starting grade 1. Secretly, I'm ready for school to start too. I've depleted my summer fun ideas and I just want to relax and enjoy the sun, which is hard to do with 2 bickering children, who claim they are bored 12 hrs a day. I'm hoping these next few weeks fly by, so we can get back into some sort of routine.

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      You will probably notice that this week's menu features many meatless meals. Hubby's cousin's daughter, who is 14, is staying with us this week; and she is vegetarian. I will surely enjoy having her here, to help me entertain the minions. And I will totally enjoy this meat free week! So here is our mostly meat free menu for the week

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

      Saturday, August 13, 2011

      Lemon Chess Pie

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      Being Canadian, I had never heard of Chess Pie, until recently. One of my girlfriends from Tennessee mentioned this kind of pie, last spring, when she baked some for a school function. I asked her about it and she sent me the recipe. Intrigued by it, i did some research and found that it was similar to pecan pie, minus nuts but with corn meal. One theory is that it was once called 'just pie', but with the British accent it sounded like Chess pie.

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      A few weeks ago, lemons were on sale. I bought 2 -3lb bags for $4. With all these lemons, I was searching for something to use them in. This lemon chess pie came up on my google search. It caught my attention, since I had never heard of a lemon version of this pie. The actual name of this pie is Bill Clinton's Chess Pie, LOL. I really don't care who's recipe it is, it's fabulous. It's like a sweeter version of lemon bars, but in a pie. Actually I thought it was a bit too sweet, so I was squeezing some fresh lemon on top of the slices I ate. Hubby loved this, since he's a total lemon fiend. This is a super easy, yet delicious summer pie.

      Bill Clinton's Lemon Chess Pie
      Adapted from Allrecipes

          1 (9 inch) pie shell
          2 cups white sugar
          1/2 cup butter, softened
          5 eggs, beaten
          1 cup milk
          1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
          1 tablespoon cornmeal
          1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
          3 tablespoons lemon zest

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
      In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar and butter or margarine until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and    milk. Add flour, cornmeal, lemon juice, and lemon rind. Mix until smooth. Pour mixture into pastry shell.
      Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until set in center.

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      This post linked to

      Bake with Bizzy
      Fat Camp Friday
      Friday Favorites
      Fresh Food Friday
      Sweets for a Saturday

      Thursday, August 11, 2011

      Lemon and Cranberry Marmalade

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      This past summer, I've really gotten into canning/preserving. I've made a few jams and of course my all time favorite Pickled Beets. During a recent trip to the library I notice a little booklet about jam and jellies. I picked it up and the first recipe I turned to, was this one. The thought of lemon and cranberries in a marmalade was so intriguing, that I quickly tucked the book under my arm, to take home. After reading through the book, I've bookmarked several other recipes I'd love to try. I'm not sure if I'll get to them this year; if not there is always next year. I'm hoping to assemble enough good recipes, to perhaps make some product and sell it at the Farmer's Market (someday).

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      This marmalade was very easy to make. All you need is lemons, water, sugar and cranberries. Though the recipe suggested leaving the lemon slices as they were, I didn't really want to eat large pieces of lemon. So, I pulsed the lemons in my food processor, a few times. The results are a beautiful pink-ish orange colour, with bits of lemon and cranberries through out. Tart, lemony and slightly sweet; this marmalade goes well with bagels, English muffins and I'm sure could be turned into phenomenal muffins.


      Lemon and Cranberry Marmalade
      Jams & Preserves by Syd Pemberton
      printable version


      450g lemons, halved then thinly sliced (about 2 C)
      boiling water
      5 C sugar
      1 C frozen cranberries (defrosted)

      Place lemons in a large heavy bottomed stainless steel pot. and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Leave to stand over night.

      Drain lemons, reserving the liquid. Remove the pips (seeds) and tie in muslin (cheese cloth). Return the lemons and pips to the preserving pan. Measure the soaking liquid and add fresh water to make about 5 cups. Place over a low heat and slowly bring to a boil. Simmer until tender (about 1 hr). Remove the muslin bag, first squeezing out any juice. Add the sugar and slowly bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Cook for about 30 minutes, until setting point is reached (221-230 degrees F). Stir in the cranberries and cook over a low heat for a further 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into warm sterilized jars and seal.

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      This post linked to


      What's Cooking Wednesday
      Recipe Swap Wednesday
      Full Plate Thursday
      Turning the Table Thursday
      Foodie Friday

      Monday, August 8, 2011

      Meal Plan Monday~ August 8th, 2011

      Happy Monday!

      I hope all of you had a great weekend. Mine was full of excitement, let me tell you. First I threw out my back was stuck laying on the bed for several minutes, before Hubby and the kids heard me crying out in agony. Thankfully Hubby had some pain medication leftover from oral surgery. Thanks to that, I was able to somewhat function on Saturday. After resting, light stretching, a hot bath and a good night sleep; I felt much better Sunday. Which was good, because I needed to help Hubby with his latest cake order. He rocked it, as usual; thanks to his trusty assistant, LOL.

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      We have planned on visiting Hubby's Mom, this week, so I will only be planning for 5-6 days. I'm not sure yet if we will be spending the night in Buffalo, or not, so I'll leave night number six as take out, LOL. So, here is the plan

      • Homemade pizza, using leftover spaghetti sauce from Sunday, and a salad
      • grilled whole chicken with veggie kabobs
      • dinner with Mother in law
      • take out
      • Philly Jalapeno wraps, roast chicken in green Philly underwear and Cheesy Mexican Tators (RWOP Book Club dinner)
      • pancakes with bacon and fresh fruit
      • Leftovers
      Head on over to OrgJunkie.com, for more meal plans!

          Saturday, August 6, 2011

          Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast Sticks

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          I recently took Rachael Ray's YUM-O cookbook, out of the library. With the kids gone, last week, I had plenty of time to read cookbooks. One of my favorite things to do! Since Rachael is always talking about this cookbook on her show, I decided to take a peak at it. This cookbook is suppose to be full of kid friendly healthy recipes, but I must say, there aren't many that my kids would like, LOL. Even thought these recipes are full of lean meats and veggies, many of them are spicy. My children do not go for any amount of heat in there food, so many recipes wouldn't be well received in this house. Her breakfast recipes were awesome though. Bagels, eggs, french toast. These are all things my kids would love. That's why when I decided to make this twist on french toast, the kids were super excited. It mixed two of the things my kids love most; french toast and peanut butter and jelly. How could you go wrong with this one? It was really delicious! I loved the sweetness of the peanut butter, with the savoriness of the french toast. I thought the jelly would make these sweet enough, so we skipped the maple syrup. Even without the syrup, the kids quickly gobbled these up!

          Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast Sticks
          Adapted from Rachael Ray YUM-O! Cookbook
          printable version

          ½ cup peanut butter
          8 slices sandwich bread
          ½ cup jelly (any flavor)
          5 large eggs
          1/3 cup milk
          2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
          4 tablespoons butter
          ½ cup maple syrup, warmed

          Spread the peanut butter on 4 bread slices and the jelly on the other 4 slices, and combine to make 4 sammies.

          In a wide, medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla.

          In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. When the butter is almost melted, dunk two of the sammies into the french toast batter and let the excess drip off. Place in the pan and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes for each side. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 sammies. Let cool slightly and cut into sticks; serve with the warm maple syrup.

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          This post linked to

          Friday Favorites
          Fat Camp Friday
          Foodie Friday
          Saturdays with Rachael Ray
          Sweets for a Saturday
          Cookbook Sunday

          Thursday, August 4, 2011

          Garlic Scapes Pesto Chicken

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          All my trips to the Farm Market this summer, have one thing in common. I kept seeing these intriguing curly green things, called garlic scapes. The first time I saw them I though, "what the heck are these"? Then I did some research on line and found out that they are the flower of the garlic plant. They have a mild garlic-y onion flavor and can be used in place of scallion, in many recipes.

          During my latest trip to the Farm Market, I started talking to a vendor, who was selling scapes, about how he likes to use them. He mentioned that his favorite way to cook with scapes is to make pesto. This sounded so delicious, that I bought some scapes to make this pesto, for pesto chicken. Making this pesto is so simple; just use your favorite pesto recipe, using scapes instead of basil. Voila, you have a wonderful mildly garlic and onion flavored pesto.

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          Garlic Scrapes Pesto
          printable version

          1/3 c pine nuts
          3/4 c olive oil
          1/2 c grated Parmesan
          1/2 t salt
          black pepper to taste
          1 c garlic scapes, top flowery part removed, cut into ¼-inch slices

          Place scapes and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until integrated and the mixture is slightly thick, but loose.

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          Not quite knowing if I'd love the taste of this pesto, I decided to use it to make Pesto Chicken. I didn't want the pesto to over power the pasta and figured that it would pair nicely with chicken. The results were astounding! The chicken had a subtle garlic flavor, which pushed it to new heights. I think it has become my favorite way to cook chicken breast; that's how good it was, LOL.

          Garlic Scapes Pesto Chicken
          printable version

          4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
          1/2 C garlic scapes pesto
          fresh ground pepper

          Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and season with pepper. Spread 2 Tbs of pesto onto each chicken breast, to cover top. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees. Let rest 10 minutes, before serving.

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          This post linked to


          Hunk of Meat Monday
          Made it on Monday
          These Chicks Cooked
          Turning the Table Thursday
          Full Plate Thursday

          Tuesday, August 2, 2011

          Deli Style Hard Rolls

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          With burger season upon us, I've been making rolls/buns almost once a week. I wanted to switch it up a bit from my regular roll recipe, so decided to browse King Arthur Flour's website. I was looking for some sort of seasame seed bun, like you'd get in a bakery. Hard on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside. With many recipes to choose from, I went with this one. Sanwiches, grilled chicken and burgers always taste better, with a nice fresh homemade roll/bun, to serve them in!

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          This recipe did not disappoint. I threw everything in the bread machine and let it do it's magic. Once risen, I formed the balls, dipped in water and seasame seeds; ready for rise number two. The smell of these baking was intoxicating! That make your knees weak, smell of baking bread, paired with the nuttiness of the seasame seeds toasting; it's enough to drive even the biggest carb free-er mad, LOL.

          Deli Style Hard Rolls
          Adapted from King Arthur Flour
          printable version

          2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
          1/3 cup Hi-maize Natural Fiber
          1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
          1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder or sugar
          1 teaspoon salt
          1 large egg white
          2 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegetable oil
          3/4 cup lukewarm wate
          2 to 3 tablespoons sesame seeds or poppy seeds, or artisan bread topping

          1) To make the dough: Mix and knead the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a smooth dough.

          2) Cover the dough and let it rise until it's noticeably puffy, about 1 hour.

          3) Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into 6 pieces (about 3 1/4 ounces each). Shape into balls.

          4) Dip the top half of each roll into water, then into the seeds.

          5) Place the rolls into the cups of a lightly greased hamburger roll pan, or onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Press gently to flatten.

          6) Cover the rolls and let them rise until puffy, 30 to 40 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 400°F.

          7) Bake the rolls until they're a deep golden brown, 22 to 26 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.

          8) If desired, just before serving, reheat the rolls in a 375°F oven for 5 minutes or so, to crisp.

          Yield: 6 hard rolls.

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          This post linked to

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

          Monday, August 1, 2011

          Black and Decker Ultimate Sandwich Contest: Roast Beef on Rosemary Artisan Bread

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          When I was chosen to participate in Black and Decker's Ultimate Sandwich Contest, I quickly started brainstorming about that perfect sandwich. I knew I wanted something fabulous, that would appeal to many people. Roast beef immediately came to mind; now I just had to figure out how to make this the best roast beef sandwich ever.

          I think that the bread used for a sandwich, is as important as what goes inside it. So, I decided to turn a family favorite appetizer, into the bread for my creation. Rosemary Artisan bread paired perfectly with the salty beef and Parmesan. Roasted portobello mushrooms intensified the meaty flavor of the sandwich, while the roast red pepper added a nice sweetly savory layer. To round out the flavors, I decided to go with an avocado horseradish mayonnaise and nice green spinach. This truly is the best roast beef sandwich I've ever tasted. It can't get anymore ultimate, in my books.

          As part of the contest, I was sent a Black and Decker Convection Countertop Oven. This toaster oven is perfect for making the Ultimate Sandwich. You can bake, broil, toast all with the turn of a dial. It is a quick economical way to cook up some of your favorite foods. Warm air circulates inside the oven, which results in faster and even cooking. It comes with a baking pan and removable crumb tray, for easy clean up. It's perfect for summer, since you can still roast, bake or toast, without heating up the whole house.To show the versatility of the oven, I decided to bake my rosemary bread in it, roast my mushrooms and red pepper and finally toast the sandwich, for crisp perfection. This oven would definitely make anyone's life easier! ( Available at Wal-Mart Canada, in August 2011)

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          Roast Beef on Rosemary Artisan Bread

          1 large rosemary roll
          250 g roast beef
          1/2 avocado
          3 Tbs mayonnaise
          1 tsp HOT prepared horseradish
          1 C fresh spinach leaves
          4 medium portobello mushrooms
          1/2 small red pepper, seeds and ribs removed
          olive oil
          Fresh Parmesan shavings
          3 pimento stuffed

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          For the
          Rosemary Artisan Bread


          1 1/2 tsp Fleischmann's active dry yeast
          1 cup water
          3 tbs olive oil
          1/4 tsp sugar
          2 1/2 cups flour
          1 1/2 tsp salt
          1/4 tsp Italian Seasoning
          1/4 tsp black pepper
          1 tbs rosemary

          Place all wet ingredients in bread machine first, followed by dry ingredients and ending with the yeast. Set to dough cycle. Form 1/3 of the dough into an oblong sandwich roll shape. Brush with olive oil, cover with a damp towel and let rise for 30 minutes.Preheat Black and Decker Counter top Convection oven to 370 degrees. Sprinkle top with sea salt and rosemary. Bake for about 20-25 minutes.

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          For the
          Sandwich


          Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees. Scrape gills from portobello mushrooms. Place on roasting plate and drizzle with olive oil.  Place red pepper on roasting plate, flesh side down, along with mushrooms and drizzle with olive oil, as well. Season both with sea salt and roast for 20 minutes.Place red pepper in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, for 5 minutes. Remove skin from red pepper and slice into thin strips. Cut portobellos in half, lengthwise. Set pepper and mushrooms aside.

          In a small bowl, mash 1/2 an avocado with 1/4C of mayonnaise and 1 tsp hot horseradish. Set aside.

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          Slice rosemary bread in half lengthwise and drizzle with olive oil. Place in toaster oven, under the broiler, until tops are slightly browned. Slather each side of the bread with some of the avocado horseradish mayonnaise. Top the bottom slice of the bread with roast beef, then sprinkle with shaved Parmesan. Top roast beef and Parmesan with spinach leaves, followed by portobello mushroom halves and red pepper strips. Place top of bun and secure with long toothpicks. Cut into thirds and garnish each toothpick with a pimento stuffed olive.

          Disclosure:   I created this post as part of the Black & Decker Ultimate Sandwich contest as part of a Mom Central Canada program.  I received a Convection Countertop Oven Courtesy of Applica Canada Corporation, exclusive licensee of Black & Decker Home.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

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          Meal Plan Monday~ Aug 1, 2011

          Happy Monday!

          It's a Holiday Monday here in Canada, so many Canadians are enjoying a long weekend. Unfortunately Hubby has to work, so I'm flying solo again today. The kids should be home sometime on Thursday, from their impromptu trip to my parent's house. It was nice to get another break, but I seem to miss them terribly this time around. This week will be spent deep cleaning, since the kids will be gone. The carpet needs a good cleaning, so I'll take the time to do that, before they return.

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          So, this week will include a few dishes that the kids aren't very fond of. I think that is my favorite part of being home without the kids. I get to cook foods that hubby and I love, but the children aren't too keen on. So, here is what we have in store this week


          • Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Shells, with a salad
          • Banh Mi Sliders, with Asian slaw (new recipes)
          • Chili with Honey Corn Bread (new recipe)
          • Chili burgers and dogs, with sweet potato fries
          • Spaghetti and Meatballs, with garlic bread
          • Grilled Pork Chops, with foil packet potatoes and vegetables
          • Leftovers
          Head over to OrgJunkie.com for more meal plans for the week!