Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Salmon Burgers with Caesar Slaw

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I have a confession to make. For the last few weeks, I haven't been eating too healthily or exercising. I'd like to blame it on many things going on with me, but that would be too easy. I want to take accountability for slacking and falling off the weight loss wagon. Now that Valentine's, day and Hubby and Mr.B's birthdays have past, I'm getting back on the wagon and returning to a healthier lifestyle. So, when the rest of the family decided on mammoth burgers with fries, I opted to make myself some Salmon Burgers. I remembered that Rachael Ray (LOVE HER) had a few recipes, so I did some online searching a found this one.

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The original recipe is for a bun less burger, atop of a Caesar slaw. I still wanted the bun, so decided to put the slaw and burger onto a bun. This was one of the best salmon burgers I've had so far. I think it may be even better than Rachael Ray's Salmon Cobb Burgers. I loved the flavours she put in with the salmon and that Caesar slaw just brought these burgers to a whole new level. I cheated a bit and used some bottled low fat Caesar dressing, that I jazzed up by adding some whole grain Dijon mustard. Since I didn't have any radicchio (what lettuce is that anyway?) I used some shredded carrot, in it's place. I really liked the sweet carrot with the tangy dressing. I'll definitely be making this one often, and may even try the bun less version too.


Salmon Burgers with Caesar Slaw
Adapted from Rachael Ray- 30 Minute Meals

1 (14-ounce) can Alaskan salmon, drained and flaked
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
Handful parsley leaves, finely chopped
2 lemons, zested and juiced, divided
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs, 3 generous handfuls
Salt and pepper
4 anchovies, finely chopped, optional
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, eyeball it
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Couple handfuls grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano
2 hearts romaine lettuce, shredded
1 head radicchio, shredded

To flaked salmon, add egg whites, parsley, the zest and juice of 1 lemon, 2/3 of the total amount of chopped garlic, the bread crumbs and lots of black pepper and a little salt. Mix together and form 4 large patties or 8 mini patties.

To a salad bowl add the remaining zest and lemon juice, remaining garlic, chopped anchovies, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire. Whisk in about 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil and cheese. Add lots of black pepper, no salt. Add shredded lettuces to the bowl and toss to coat evenly. Now, season the slaw with salt to taste, if necessary.

Preheat 2 tablespoons, of extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, in a nonstick skillet over medium to medium high heat. Cook salmon patties 2 to 3 minutes on each side for mini patties, 4 minutes on each side for large patties.

Serve salmon patties atop Caesar Slaw.

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This post linked to

What Makes you Say Mmmm?
Hearth and Soul
See ya in the Gumbo
Delicious Dishes
Tasty Tuesday
Fit and Fabulous Fridays

Monday, February 27, 2012

Meal Plan Monday Feb 27 & a Giveaway Winner

Happy Monday,

We had a wonderful weekend! We had Mr.B's 7th Birthday party yesterday, at a local bowling alley. We all had a blast and I must say, it was worth the money. All we had to do was show up; no cooking, no cleaning, no worrying about kids running rampant around the house. We bowled, we ate, had cake and opened gifts; all without a care in the world. Seeing the kids have so much fun and getting along so well, was really great.

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This week will be very quiet and low key. My nephew has gone up North for the week, to hang out with friends, for reading week; so it'll just be me and the kids most of the time. I don't even know Hubby's days off yet, so I'm just playing everything by ear. We have tons of leftovers from this weekend, so we'll be working on those for a few days. Here's the plan for the rest of the week

  • Lasagna Roll-ups with garlic bread
  • Pork Slouvaki Skewers, Greek couscous salad and pita chips
  • Black Bean Veggie Bake
  • Pork tenderloin with sweet potato pancakes and honey thyme pepper squash
  • Shrimp Tacos
  • Balsamic glazed Salmon (from last week), with Creamy Parmesan Orzo and Broccoli
  • Leftovers
Head on over to OrgJunkie.com, for more great meal plans!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now for the winner of the Cheerios Heart Month Giveaway. The winner is lucky number

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13!! Congrats to Noella L!!! I will be in contact with you to get your mailing info.

Thanks so much to all who took the time to enter!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Kitchen Sink Cookies

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I often wonder if I'm the only one in the world, that seems to crave sweets. Especially when I'm trying to cut them out of my diet and become more conscious of the foods I fuel my body with. That's when I turn into a sugar addict, needing a hit. Most days there isn't a waking moment when I'm not thinking about cookies, cupcakes, muffins. Being a passionate baker doesn't help matters either. Baking relaxes me, eases the stress of my day and centers me back to myself. Great right?? Not when you're trying to drop a few pounds and eat more healthily. I mean all the best, most decadent and sinful desserts are loaded with butter and sugar. That's why they're SO GOOD!! It's been celebration central here, in the Jamieson household; with Super Bowl, Valentine's Day, Mr.B and Hubby's Birthdays. So, this whole month has been peppered with delicious indulgent foods. From wings to cheesecake, it has made an appearance in this house. Not very good for someone whole loves all things sweet. I will admit, I did indulge a few times, but not as much as I would have a few months ago. One cupcake is now enough, rather than one a day for 3 days. With all these sweets before me, I wanted something sweet that I wouldn't feel bad about eating and that would satisfy my sweet tooth as well as a big piece of chocolate cake.

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Years ago, when we lived in the U.S. I remember seeing Ellie Kreiger on the Food Network Channel. Her show was about healthy eating and since I wasn't in that frame of mind back then, I rarely (if ever) watched her show. I must have been meant to see her show, since today it is where I got this amazing cookie recipe. Most 'healthy' desserts I've tried in the past, have been less than great. They've been dense, dry and just plain boring. I was really doubtful of this one, since Ellie uses only whole wheat flour. I've never had luck using only whole wheat flour. I almost subbed in half white flour and half whole wheat, then changed my mind, telling myself to try it, before knocking it. I must say, these cookies are AWESOME. Even Hubby, who is the last person on earth to eat a 'healthy' dessert, thought these were great. He said they tasted like apple cinnamon oatmeal. I totally agree, but better. There's that nice rich dark chocolate in there and some sweet but tart cranberries and apricots. The kids even loved these, which hasn't been the case with previous 'healthy' cookies. So, if you're looking for something great, that won't leave you feeling guilty, give these a try!

Kitchen Sink Cookies
Adapted from Ellie Krieger and Food Network
printable version
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted walnuts
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, cut into chunks
  • Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.


Combine butter, oil and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on high speed, stopping occasionally to scrape down bowl, until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add applesauce, egg white and vanilla and mix to combine. Add flour, oatmeal, salt and cinnamon and mix just until just combined.
Add cherries, apricots, walnuts and chocolate and mix to combine.


Spray 1 baking sheet with cooking spray. Using 1 tablespoon cookie dough at a time, roll into balls and place 2-inches apart on baking sheet. Press cookies down with the palm of your hand to flatten slightly, as cookies will not spread as much as cookies with more butter. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until lightly browned but still soft. Remove from oven and cool on racks.

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This post linked to

Baking with Bizzy
Fit and Fabulous Fridays
Sweets for a Saturday
Weekend Potluck
Sweet Indulgences Sunday
Church Supper

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Pancakes with Peanut Butter Nutella Sauce

Happy Pancake Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday!

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Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of Lent, for Catholics. Lent is the 40 days preceding Easter, which Catholics usually restrict guilty pleasures and try to eat simpler and leaner. So, since pancakes are made with sugar, fat, flour, eggs, which is traditionally restricted during lent; they have become to popular way to start off Lent. Since Lent is about giving up indulgences, I figured I'd give you all a pancake that would be worthy of Pancake Tuesday.

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I recently made chocolate chip pretzel bars, which I LOVED, so I decided to incorporate those flavours into pancakes. I really loved the salty and sweet combo in these pancakes. Pancakes are VERY popular in this house, so it's nice to sometimes mix it up a bit. I wanted a peanut butter sauce, but didn't want it too salty, so I rounded it out with a bit of Nutella. These were awesome, fluffy, chocolaty with nice crunchy pretzel bits through out.

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Pancakes with Peanut Butter Nutella Sauce
printable version

1 egg
3 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs canola oil
1/4 tsp salt
2 C flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2- 3/4 C milk
1/2 C semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 C pretzels, broken into small bits

For Sauce:

1/4 C creamy peanut butter
2 Tbs Nutella

Preheat griddle pan over med low heat.

In a bowl, beat the egg with sugar, oil and salt; until well combined. Add in flour, baking powder and 1/2 C milk. Stir well, trying to get all lumps out and adding more milk, if too thick. Fold in chocolate chips and pretzels.

Spray griddle pan with cooking spray, or rub with a paper towel dipped in canola oil. Pour ladlefuls of batter and cook until bubbles start to form on the surface and edges begin to set; about 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook for 3 minutes more; until golden brown.

While pancakes are cooking, in a small bowl, heat peanut butter in the microwave for 30-40 seconds. Add in Nutella and stir until smooth. Drizzle over hot cooked pancakes.

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This post linked to

See ya in the Gumbo
Tasty Tuesday
Things that Make you Say: Mmmm
Delicious Dishes

Monday, February 20, 2012

Meal Plan Monday~ Feb 20th, 2012

Happy Family Day Canadians! And Happy Presidents Day to our American neighbours!!

But, most importantly HAPPY 7th BIRTHDAY Mr. B!!!!

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That's right, my baby boy is now 7 yrs old! I'm telling you, each year goes by faster and faster. Since Hubby is working today, we celebrated with pizza and Perry the Platypus cupcakes, last night. Mr.B's bowling party will be this Sunday, with some of his school friends and some of the in laws. Even though this past weekend was special, it was also peppered with stress and worry. Mr.B came home on Friday with hives. I suspect the new yogurt TUBES to be the culprit. The kids begged for the robot TUBES, which came in blueberry-lemon flavour and camu camu- vanilla. I suspect the camu camu is the culprit. We spent a good part of Sunday morning at the clinic, only to be told to let the hives run their course, keep administering Benedryl and calamine lotion for itch. JOY.....not!

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So, it's a holiday today and the rest of the week will be the same ole, same ole. I still need to finish grocery shopping, but I have a pretty good idea of what I'll be serving for dinner this week. I'm hoping my girlfriend can join us for dinner one night this week. So, here is the plan

  • Vegetable lasagna with garlic bread
  • Pork Slouvaki with Greek salad
  • Roast Chicken with roast potatoes ( white and sweet potatoes) and broccoli
  • Balsamic Glazed Salmon with couscous (brought over from last week)
  • Creamy Pistachio and Mango Chutney Pork Tenderloin (new recipe) with skinny au gratin potatoes
  • eating out, after bowling
  • leftovers
Don't forget to head over to OrgJunkie.com, to check out more yummy meal plans for the week!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chicken Stroganoff

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Ever have one of those days, where you're starving, but you just don't know what you want to make for dinner? This use to happen to me often, before the kids came around and I spent many a night alone at home (with Hubby at work). Back in the day I wouldn't have been guilty about having cereal for dinner. Heck, I've even been known to break out the Haggen Daaz for dinner, a few times. But now that I'm a mother and would like to raise healthy children, I can't really do that anymore. I want to instill good eating in my children, so that when they do move out on their own, they'll prefer to whip up a quick dinner, rather than break out the popcorn. Meal planning has helped me out greatly, but there are some nights when I look at the meals I had planned, and don't feel like making them. Or, weeks when I'm just too sick or exhausted to even want to sit down and think of meals for the week. This is when a well stocked pantry and fridge come in handy.

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There it was, 3pm and I was leaving to pick Mr.B up from school. There was a little voice in the back of my head nagging me, because I had yet to decide what to make for dinner. I usually make sure I decide in the morning, that way I can thaw meat and not have that nagging feeling all day. While walking to school, I was taking a mental inventory of what I had in the fridge, pantry and freezer. I knew I had a some mushrooms and spinach that I definitely needed to use, before I had to toss them. So I immediately thought Stroganoff! Since we didn't have been in the freezer I went with chicken. Not your typical Stroganoff, I tried to lighten this up a bit, by using some fat free Greek yogurt, rather than sour cream. It worked wonderfully, we ate like kings (and without complaint too!) 

Chicken Stroganoff

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped into bite size pieces
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs butter
1 C sliced mushrooms
1 small shallot, chopped
salt and pepper
 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme, stripped and chopped
2 C fresh spinach, chopped
2 Tbs flour
2 C low sodium chicken stock
1 C fat free plain Greek yogurt
1/2 lb penne pasta

Bring a large pot of water, to a boil. Salt liberally and add in penne. Reduce heat and cook to package directions.

Preheat olive oil and butter in a large skillet, over medium heat. Once butter starts to bubble, add in onion and mushrooms; cook until onions are translucent. Add in spinach and chicken, season with salt, pepper and thyme, and cook for 5 minutes; until chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle chicken and vegetables with flour, tossing to coat; cook for 3 minutes. Slowly add in chicken stock, stirring to ensure no lumps. Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in Greek yogurt. Taste for seasonings and adjust to taste. Drain pasta and pour it into the chicken mixture. Toss to coat and serve.



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This post linked to

These Chicks Cooked
Full Plate Thursday
Foodie Friday
Friday Favorites
Fit and Fabulous Friday

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Baked Potato and Corn Chowder with Bacon

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Last week, everyone was sick and Hubby had to get extensive dental work, so we pretty much lived on soup, LOL. That was fine with me though, since I love soup. There's just something about a nice warm bowl of goodness, perfect for dipping just about anything. Maybe my love of soup comes from growing up. Being Catholic, we didn't eat meat, on Fridays during lent. So, Mom was always making soup. Now some of the soups I do remember from our Lenten Friday dinners, send chills down my spine; and thankfully they didn't ruin my love for a good bowl of soup.

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Some of the reasons I love soup, is that they are so easy to make. You can take the simplest ingredients and transform them into an amazing soup. Which is what I did with this chowder. Chowder is just like a thicker version of soup. Not quite stew, since there's more liquid, but like a thick soup. This chowder is so simple, you could have it on your table in just under 30 minutes.

Baked Potato and Corn Chowder with Bacon
printable version

3 tbs olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 large carrot, finely shredded
3 Tbs flour
5 C chicken stock
7 large baked potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
1 can cream corn
1/2 C fat free sour cream
1 C low fat milk
a few shakes of hot sauce
6 slices bacon, chopped
shredded Cheddar, for topping (if desired)

In a dutch oven, or heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in onion, carrots and bay leaf and cook until onions are translucent; about 5 minutes. Sprinkle vegetables with flour, stirring to coat; cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock, stirring to ensure no lumps form. Add 2/3 of the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove bay leaf and using an immersion blender, puree the potatoes into the soup, until smooth. Add in the cream corn, remaining potatoes, sour cream, milk, hot sauce and bacon. Cook to heat through. Serve with a sprinkle of Cheddar if desired.

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This post linked to

Hearth and Soul
Delicious Dishes
Tasty Tuesday
Things That Make you Say: Mmmm
See ya in the Gumbo
Church Supper

Monday, February 13, 2012

Meal Plan Monday~ Feb. 13, 2012

Good morning and Happy Monday!!

Boy, what a stressful week, last week. I've been having computer issues and Hubby has been trying to fix them, with no luck. I was stressing, since his laptop doesn't have an SD port and I didn't know how I would get my pictures off my camera card, to write blog posts. We've figured it out though and Hubby is being nice enough to let me use his laptop, when needed, LOL. The kids both have a cold and I think I'm catching it. Hopefully some extra vitamins, echinacea tea and exercise will keep it away.

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I didn't meal plan last week, because we were all under the weather. With the kids sick, they hardly eat, so I stuck to things I knew they liked. We ate a lot of soups, grilled cheese and hot dogs, LOL. Now that they are starting to feel better, I'm back at planning. This week won't be too extravagant. I'm trying to use what I have on hand, since we are due to shop until Friday. Here is what I have planned, in no particular order

  • Creamy Lemon Pepper Turkey Breast over rice (new recipe)
  • Countryside Chicken (new recipe)
  • Hamburgers with sweet potato fries
  • Balsamic Glazed Salmon (new recipe) with couscous
  • Salmon Patties with roast potatoes and a salad
  • Black Bean Veggie Bake
  • leftovers
Head on over to OrgJunkie.com, for tons of other great meal plans.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Red Velvet Waffles with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Sauce

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With Valentine's day just around the corner, I've been busy in the kitchen creating some fun love day eats. The kids aren't as excited about Valentine's day as other holidays, so I try to make things fun, by making some fun treats and themed foods, for them to eat. Waffles are always a hit in this house, so I thought red waffles would be a fun way to get the kids into the "love Day" mood. You could basically turn anything into a red velvet version. All it takes is cocoa powder and red food colouring. Making it taste good is a whole different story, LOL.

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Making sure there is enough cocoa powder, but not too much is tricky. My first attempt at these, I was a bit heavy handed with the cocoa. I wanted the slight chocolate taste, but it was a bit over powering in my first batch. I scaled back a bit on the second batch and it was perfect. The kids really got a kick out of these. I wish I would have a hear shaped waffle iron, but they were happy just having their cut up waffles shaped into a heart (lucky me). The sauce just makes these waffles. I don't think anything red velvet would be complete without that cream cheese tang. It is smooth and luxurious and makes these waffles look spectacular.

Red Velvet Waffles with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Sauce

4 Tbs butter, melted
3 Tbs sugar
2 1/2 Tbs cocoa powder
2 eggs
2 Tbs red food colour
2 C flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2- 3/4 C milk

For the sauce:

2 Tbs butter
4 oz light cream cheese
1/3 C white chocolate wafers
3 Tbs milk
1/2 tsp clear vanilla extract

Preheat your waffle iron.

In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with the sugar and cocoa. Add in eggs and red food colour; mix until well combined. In a small bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet; also adding 1/2 C of milk. Stir to form a somewhat thick smooth batter, adding more milk if too thick (should be slightly thicker than pancake batter).

Spray preheated waffle plates with non stick spray. Pour batter onto hot plates, making sure to spread and completely cover them. Close lid and cook for 5 minutes.

While waffles are cooking, melt butter in a small skillet. Add the softened cream cheese and milk. Whisk until cream cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. Add in the vanilla and white chocolate; stirring until it is melted and incorporated. Pour sauce over hot waffles and serve.

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This post linked to

Friday Favorites
Foodie Friday
Recipe Round Up~ Gooseberry Patch
Weekend Potluck
Sweets for a Saturday
Sweet Indulgences Sunday

Friday, February 10, 2012

VH Sauces Chinese New Year Giveaway Winner!

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Good morning everyone!

I just wanted to say Thank You to everyone who took the time to enter my giveaway. It was so nice to see so many new faces! I hope to see more of you through comments, or on Twitter and Facebook. There were 85 eligible entries and using a Random Number Generator, the winner is.....

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comment # 70- roswell, who shared the giveaway on FB. Congratulations!!!! I will be emailing you for your mailing information. You will have 48 hrs to reply, or I will pick a new winner. 

Thanks again for all who entered and don't forget that I have another giveaway running until Feb 27th, just for Canadians!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Molasses Banana Loaf

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One of our favourite desserts here, in the Jamieson household, is banana bread. If you go through this blog alone, you will find at least a dozen different banana bread recipes. Which is just a glimpse at how much we enjoy it. A new loaf never lasts longer than a few days. We recently tried the banana flavoured Bear Paws cookies and I really loved the hint of molasses with the sweet banana. Which gave me the desire to incorporate molasses into our banana loaf.

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Not only did it lend a beautiful colour, to the loaf; it also added a nice almost smokey/savory undertone to it. The molasses is almost like an after taste, you don't really know it's there, until you are just about ready to swallow the moist banana bread. Everyone thought it was a great addition to the loaf and it also makes it difficult to notice that there is also some whole wheat flour, snuck into it. I personally would like a bit more molasses flavour, while Hubby said it was just right. A perfect after school snack and the perfect way to use up those ripe bananas, that may be hiding in your freezer.


Molasses Banana Loaf
printable version

1/2 C butter, melted
1/4 C sugar
1/3 C molasses
2 eggs
3 Tbs buttermilk
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/4 C flour
3/4 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Liberally grease a loaf pan and set aside.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the melted butter with the sugar and stir well. Add in the molasses and eggs, stirring until all is well combined. Stir in the buttermilk and banana, mixing well.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir well, with a wire whisk, until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined, being careful not to over mix.

Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes; until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes, before removing loaf to a wired rack.


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This post linked to

Bake with Bizzy
Full Plate Thursday
These Chicks Cooked
Sweet Indulgences Sunday
Church Supper

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Roasted Acorn Squash with Honey and Thyme




It wasn't until recently, that I fell in love with squash. Mom never really made squash growing up and the few times I did have it, it was so bland and mushy, that I really thought that was the way they were suppose to taste. While working with Hubby, he often made squash during Thanksgiving, as one of the side dishes to go with the meal. Everyone kept raving about it, and asking if I had tried Hubby's squash. I reluctantly tried it and fell in love! It wasn't bland at all, he had transformed what I remembered into something so wonderful and full of flavour. Still to this day, it remains one of my favourites that he makes and I request it often.





Last year, I tried a recipe for butternut squash which included honey and thyme and once again I fell in love with the flavour. The combination of sweet and savoury, really paired well, with the squash. So, the other night, I decided to roast some Acorn squash and incorporate honey and thyme. Let me tell you, the sweetness of the caramelized squash, honey and thyme was fabulous. I could have eaten the whole squash to myself, but decided to share. This is so simple to make, but is so delicious. Who wouldn't be impressed?

Roasted Acorn Squash with Honey and Thyme
printable version

1 Acorn squash, cut into 12 pieces
2 Tbs  salted butter, melted
1/4 C honey
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
fresh cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degree.

Cut the acorn squash in half and cut each half into 3 wedges. Cut each wedge in half and set aside.

In a small bowl, melt the butter. Add the honey and stir well. Place squash into a baking dish and drizzle with honey/butter mixture. Sprinkle with thyme and fresh ground pepper, and toss to coat.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, basting with juices occasionally, until squash is tender.




This post linked to

Hearth and Soul
Things that Make you say: Mmmmm
See ya in the Gumbo
Delicious Dishes
Tasty Tuesday
Gooseberry Patch Recipe Round Up

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chocolate, Strawberry and Banana Muffins

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Part of my healthier eating path, involves finding and creating sweet treats, that I could still enjoy, but that are a healthier alternative. Simply swapping out a few ingredients, sweetening with fresh fruit rather than sugar and adding some healthy whole wheat flour can sure make a big difference. If you use great flavours, it won't matter if it's healthy. When I came up with this recipe, I wanted to make something I would enjoy eating, using ingredients that were healthy and would taste great together. Strawberries, Bananas and Chocolate have always been perfect flavour combinations, so I knew they would make an amazing muffin.

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I know you are probably thinking, "how can chocolate be healthy". Yes, not all chocolate is healthy, but good quality dark chocolate, is very healthy. It is good for your heart and keeps your cardiovascular system running well. It can help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Not only does dark chocolate taste good, it stimulates endorphin production, which leaves you feeling great and it also contains serotonin, which acts like an anti depressant. Eaten in moderation, dark chocolate has great health benefits, so don't feel guilty indulging in a few pieces everyday. You should try to eat 80% dark chocolate or higher. It won't be as sweet as milk chocolate, but it's still as good!!


Chocolate, Strawberry and Banana Muffins
printable version


1/3 C  natural strawberry sweetened apple sauce (no sugar added)
1/4 C honey
1 C dark chocolate 80% or higher, melted
2 egg whites
1 C whole wheat flour
1 C all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 medium bananas, mashed
1 C strawberries, diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I a medium bowl mix together the apple sauce, honey and melted chocolate, until well combined. Whisk in eggs and mix well. In a small bowl, mix the flours, baking powders, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, along with the bananas. Stir until just about combines. Add in strawberries and stir until just combined.

For muffins: Line muffin tins with paper liners and spray them lightly with cooking spray. Using a 1/4 C measure, scoop batter into paper liners. Bake for 15-17 minutes; until a toothpick inserted in the middle, comes out clean.

For mini loaves: Spray bottoms of mini loaf pans with a touch of cooking spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper and lightly spray the bottoms and sides of tins. Using a 1/3 C measure fill tins to half full. Bake for 15-20 minutes; until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

These can be stored in an air tight container for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.

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This post linked to

Fit and Fabulous Friday
Baking with Bizzy
Sweets for a Saturday

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Root Beer Pulled Pork ~ Super Bowl Eats

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I've recently been introduced to Pinterest. At first I wasn't very enthusiastic about it. I didn't really get the concept of pinning, but then I realized that I could pin various recipes (either those I wanted to try, or the ones we love) and know exactly where to find them. And I must confess, it's pretty addictive. Some of the recipes I've found on there are amazing. Since I am watching what I eat, I have to confess that I am not pinning as often as I would like. Why torture myself looking at the ridiculously delicious dessert ideas, when I can't even make them and enjoy them, LOL. I did find this recipe on Pinterest and I was very curious about the use of Root Beer, while cooking the tenderloin. We LOVE root beer, so I knew for sure I'd be making this one.

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This recipe is so simple, it's crazy! All you do is throw your pork tenderloin in the crock pot, pour in some root beer and let it work it's magic. I love crock pot recipes where there isn't a lot of prep, and you can't get easier than this. I did decide to use some of the cooking liquid and reduce it, to impart more of that root beer flavour into our pork. Great idea. These were Da Bomb!!! The pork was so tender, slightly sweet and a bit savoury, thanks to the BBQ sauce. These were so good, Hubby requested I make them for Super Bowl Sunday. Go Patriots!!!

Root Beer Pulled Pork 
via Pinterest
printable version

1- 2 lb pork tenderloin
1- 12 oz can or bottle of Root Beer ( I used A&W)
1 bottle BBQ sauce (I used Guinness Bulls Eye)
fresh rolls or hamburger buns
tomato slices, cheese, lettuce (optional)

In a 6 qt crock pot, place the pork tenderloin and pour root beer over top. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hrs. Remove pork from crock pot, pour 1 C of the cooking liquid into a small sauce pot and discard the remaining liquid. Over medium high heat, bring the cooking liquid to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until it reduces by half. While cooking liquid is reducing, using two forks, shred/pull pork apart. Once cooking liquid has reduced, add the bottle of BBQ sauce and mix well. Pour over shredded pork and mix to coat evenly. Serve on rolls/buns with your choice of toppings.

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This post linked to

Full Plate Thursday
These Chicks Cooked
Friday Favorites
Foodie Friday
Recipe Roundup~ Gooseberry Patch
Weekend Potluck

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Partridge Fingers

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Photo Courtesy of my Mom

Growing up in Northern Ontario Canada, there are 4 things you need to love. Fishing, hunting, hockey and snow. I guess I'm not a true Northern girl, because I only love 2 of the four, LOL. Hunting and fishing have always been some of my favourite activities to do with my family. Growing up Dad spent any available time at the lake and as soon as hunting season opened, you could bet he was in the bush, wearing his orange vest and hat, looking for partridge and rabbit. Some of my favourite memories are of all us kids piling into the back of my Dad's pick up truck (it was legal back then), and going down a random dirt road, looking for the perfect fishing hole. Even though I'm not a big fan of snow, I really enjoy spending a mild day on a frozen lake, waiting for the fish to bite. It's something I'm hoping to introduce my kids to next winter.

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Though I've been hunting several times, I've only ever shot one partridge. It was getting close to dusk and we were heading back to the truck, when we spotted a partridge sleeping in the middle on the dirt road. Dad asked me if I wanted to take a shot and I was so excited and nervous at the same time. I think I was about 14 at the time, so this was a big deal for us Northern gals. Partridge has always been on our table, since I can remember. It has a slight gamey taste, but it is really close to chicken. In fact, my kids think they're eating chicken, anytime we have partridge. If you get the opportunity to try some, I really hope you do.

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Growing up, my Mom would serve the partridge 3 ways. In a stew, baked with beans, or as partridge fingers. I remember the crispy fried tender pieces of meat, coated with corn flakes all to well. Since I have been trying to watch what I eat, I decided that rather than fry them, I would try and bake them. Thinking I had corn flakes in the pantry, I thawed my partridge without a second though. Dinner time rolled around and I got ready to make these suckers and wouldn't you know, the corn flakes I thought were in the pantry, were really frosted flakes!! So I had to improvise and I think I like my version better (no offense Mom). Using the bacon crackers added a nice smokey flavour to the meat and mellowed out the gamey taste. I also added some fresh thyme which added a fresh slightly pungent taste and it really complimented the smokiness of the breading. Everyone enjoyed these tremendously and you can bet it will go in our rotation, anytime Dad decides to share his catch with us!

Partridge Fingers
printable version

4 partridge breasts, cut into  1/2 inch wide tenders
2 Tbs olive oil, to coat the tenders
1/2 C bacon flavoured crackers, finely crushed
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 C BBQ sauce (optional)
3 Tbs honey (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place cooling racks onto 2 rimmed baking sheets.

In a bowl, drizzle tenders with olive oil and toss to coat. Finely crush crackers in a zip top bag and add in thyme to combine. Place 1-2 tenders in the crumbs, and coat evenly with crumb mixture. Place coated tenders onto the baking racks, about 1 inch apart. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, turning the tenders half way through.

In a small bowl combine the BBQ sauce and honey. Serve with partridge fingers, for dipping (if desired).

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This post linked to

Things That Make you Say: Mmmmm
See ya in the Gumbo
Tasty Tuesday
Delicious Dishes