Yum

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Healthy Eating Habits Start from the Ground Up~ Homemade Yogurt Pops and a Giveaway

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Living in Canada, we never had to rely on our schools to feed our children. It is the parent's responsibility to send the kids to school with a full belly and to send them nutritious food for the school day. While I am thankful that I haven't had to rely on the school lunch program to feed Mr.B, I am saddened by what I am seeing in other countries, who do have lunch programs. In the U.S, 28 million children rely on the school lunch program. As a result, we are now faced with a National Childhood Obesity Crisis. In the U.S. and around the world, children as young as 6 yrs old are faced with adult diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity. 38 % of children have high cholesterol and 30% of them are overweight. Due to our ignorance in school lunch programs, our children have been given a lower life expectancy than us, their parents. Scary isn't it?


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I was recently approached to view and share a short film with all of you. LUNCH: What are Kids Munching On? focuses on the epidemic that we are now facing everywhere in the world. This documentary shines a light on school lunch programs, teaches parents the importance of instilling healthy habits in kids from an early age and highlights the value if gardening, local farms  and fresh produce. Our children are being fed unhealthy foods in school and in turn are being taught that this kind of diet is acceptable. Did you know that most schools aren't even equipped to serve a proper meal to children. Proper kitchens are being eliminated and we are relying on processed foods that can easily be mass produced to feed our children. I don't know about you, but that is not OK with me.  Us, as parents need to be involved and we should be insuring that our children get the best food for their bodies. This video is chock full of really valuable information. Go here to check out the trailer and to buy a copy, to watch for yourself. Maybe once you've watched it, you could pass it along to one of your favorite teachers, at your child's school. You could also enter to win a free copy of this informative 26 minute video, by leaving me a comment as to "how you plan to keep your kids eating healthy this summer". Contest will run from May 29- June 4th and is open to U.S residents only.

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of the documentary to review.  However, this is a subject I’m passionate about and I was not required to give a positive review.  All commentary is my own.

May25009


Now with summer holidays so close by and the hot weather upon us, many of us are dreaming of ways to keep cool. My focus this summer is to keep my kids eating healthy. It's easy to be persuaded by all the adds, that we should buy ice cream, popsicles and sugary drinks; but just think of how many empty calories are in those foods. I myself am a sucker for a nice big cone of Tiger Tail ice cream, but if I were to have one every time I got hot, or was outside enjoying the nice weather..... well, let's not go there, LOL. So, I'd like to share a few ideas on how I plan to keep the kids eating healthy, so they can have the right energy this summer.

  • Serve up a platter of nice cold fruit, while the kids are playing outside. Nothing is better than a snack break, when you're playing hard. The key here is color- red raspberries, strawberries or watermelon, blueberries or blackberries, pineapple, kiwi, red or green garpes. Make it even more fun and turn them into kabobs! What kid can resist food on a stick? Even if it is healthy fruit.
  • Make fun ice cubes for your water. Place berries, small pieces of lemon and lime, or a piece of mint into each ice cube tray. Fill with water and freeze. As the ice cubes melt in your drink, it flavours the water and gives you a nice little snack at the end.
  • Grilled veggie kabobs. Once again, food on a stick..... how fun is that? Use a variety of colourful veggies, sure to entice even the pickiest eater.
  • Grow food yourself, or go to a local farm/Farmer's Market to pick some out. Let the kids touch and smell the fruits and veggies while at the market. Let them help plant the seeds and water the plants. They will be more likely to eat these foods, because they've been so hands on with the growing, or choosing of them.

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The kids and I recently thought up a healthy nutritious alternative to ice cream and popsicles. We decided to make some yogurt pops, full of fresh fruit. Let me tell you, these turned out great. Slightly sweet, tart and refreshing. Perfect for those hot days, by the pool.

Homemade Yogurt Pops

2- 6oz containers of low fat peach yogurt
2 Tbs milk
1 Tbs honey
1/4 C fresh raspberries, washed

In a bowl, combine peach yogurt, milk and honey; stir well to combine completely. Chop and/or crush raspberries with a fork, leaving some pieces whole. Stir crushed berries into yogurt mixture. Pour equal amounts of yogurt into popsicle molds and insert sticks. Freeze over night, until completely frozen. To remove, dip molds into warm water for a few second.

Makes 4 medium/small pops


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This post linked to

See Ya in the Gumbo
Delicious Dishes
Hearth and Soul
Tasty Tuesday

Monday, May 28, 2012

VH Grill toThrill Giveaway

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Boy it's hot out there today.... so you know what that means? That's right, BBQ season has begun. I love to grill, but by the month of June, I'm racking my brain to think of new recipes to make on the grill. Not that I don't like our go to BBQ recipes, I just like variety, trying something new.

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VH Sauces offers a variety of sauces that can be used on the BBQ.  From sauces to dips to marinades, VH has all the sauces you need for a backyard BBQ. VH Sauces offer a variety of international flavours that add excitement to anybackyard BBQ. Meals prepared with VH Sauces are quick and easy to prepare but are sure to be favourites at the dinner table.  And don't forget PAM Grilling. It is a great way to help you keep the flavour but cut the fat. For more BBQ meal ideas using VH, your readers can visit  www.facebook.com/vh, www.VHsauces.com or pick up a copy of Canadian Living’s Summer Entertaining issue. The magazine is available at Loblaws, Safeway, Sobey’s, Metro, Shopper’s Drug Mart, Walmart and Federated Co-op stores countrywide.

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The generous people at VH and PAM cooking spray are giving my readers a chance to get in on the excitement by offering you the opportunity to win a $50 Loblaws Gift Card. All you have to do to enter is:

 Tell me “What’s your favourite marinade recipe to use with chicken on the grill?” Make sure to include your email address, you I can contact you if you win.

The giveaway will run from May 28th to June 23th and is open to Canadian residents only. Please be advised that while readers may enter across multiple blogs, they can only win one prize.

 “Disclosure – I am participating in the VH Grill to Thrill Blog Tour by Mom Central Canada on behalf of VH. I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.”


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Maple Strawberry-Rhubarb Muffins

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 Last weekend, the kids and I took our first trip of the year, to the Farmer's Market. Though there wasn't much produce yet, I did enjoy being able to get some fresh rhubarb and asparagus. I brought a rhubarb root, from my parent's house last summer, and I'm pretty sure it will not be producing much of anything this year. It usually needs about a year, to just establish it's roots. So, when Queenie say the big stalks of tart rhubarb, she asked if we could get some. Growing up, we use to eat rhubarb, dipped in sugar. As I grew older, I seemed to enjoy it more with a sprinkle of salt. It totally amazes me that Queenie will happily munch of rhubarb, as is. She loves the tartness and she makes the cutest faces, as she's eating it.

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I had some strawberries in the fridge that were screaming at me to use them up. That's right, every time I'd open the door I would see the sorry berries and would imagine them screaming to be rescued from their misery. I really hate how quickly berries go bad lately. I can buy some and maybe 2 days later, I have to toss half of them. And I don't wash them until right before I use them, so I have no clue what is going on. Our fridge is cool enough.... maybe too cool? Who knows..... Since it was overcast and cool, I decided to make up a batch of muffins. I usually make a rhubarb cake with a brown sugar cinnamon topping, so I knew I wanted something similar on top of these muffins. These are super awesome. Tender, with bursts of bright strawberry and tart rhubarb. The kids loved them too and we ate them all in a matter of days, LOL.

Maple Strawberry-Rhubarb Muffins
printable version

2 C Flour
1 C whole wheat flour
2/3 C brown sugar, packed
1/4 C maple syrup
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C butter, melted
1 egg
1 C buttermilk
1 1/4 C  rhubarb, chopped
3/4 C strawberries, chopped

TOPPING
1/2 C brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray insides of muffin tins with non stick spray; set aside.

Combine dry ingredients into a bowl. Toss in strawberries and rhubarb, to coat; set aside. In a seperate bowl combine the maple syrup, melted butter, egg and buttermilk; whisk until well combined. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until just combined.  


Pour batter into prepared muffin tins. In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients. Sprinkle topping equally over batter in each tin. Bake for 25-30, until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs
 attached.

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 This post linked to

Weekend Potluck
Sweets for a Saturday
Bake with Bizzy

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pretzel Sandwich Buns

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Well, it's grilling season again and I'm all about the bun. Sure many people think about what to put on the bun, but I think about whether the bun will complete the burger, or if it'll fall flat. Most of the time, I'm in a rush and buy burger buns at the store, but this past weekend was a long weekend and I wanted a bun that would make everyone say WOW. My go to source for rolls and buns is the King Arthur Flour website. It has a gazillion recipes and all the ones I've tried, have been spectacular. The whole time I was working with this dough, I was amazed at how soft, smooth and supple it was. I knew right then and there, these buns would be phenomenal.

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Were they ever!!! Everyone jumped on them even before I had a chance to take a photo of them. Plus how do you explain to a back yard of hungry people, that they can't eat, until you've taken a picture of the food?? I quietly assembled my chicken sandwich and snuck away to a quiet corner, where I quickly took photos of my plate. Thankfully by the time everyone had eaten their fill, there was one lonely bun left. At last, I could take a photo of it, LOL. These buns were slightly tough and crunchy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside; just like a soft pretzel. Everyone raved at how delicious they were and how they enjoyed them better than those traditional store burger buns. The soda water really helped them get nice and dark and the way they look is quite impressive. I've found yet another phenomenal roll recipe, to bring our BBQs to a higher level!

Pretzel Sandwich Buns
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
printable version

Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder, optional
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup lukewarm water*
  • *Use the greater amount in the winter, the lesser amount in the summer, and somewhere in between in the spring and fall. Your goal is a soft dough.

Topping


  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda

1) To make dough by hand, or with a mixer: Place all of the dough ingredients into a bowl, and beat until well-combined. Knead the dough, by hand or mixer, for about 5 minutes, until it's soft, smooth, and quite slack. Flour the dough, place it in a bag, and allow it to rest for 45 minutes.

2) To make dough with a bread machine: Place all of the dough ingredients into the pan of your bread machine, program the machine for dough or manual, and press Start. Allow the dough to proceed through its kneading cycle (no need to let it rise), then cancel the machine, flour the dough, and give it a rest in a plastic bag, as instructed above.

3) To make dough with a food processor: Place all the dough ingredients except the water in the work bowl of a food processor equipped with the steel blade. Process for 5 seconds. Add the water, and process for 7 to 10 seconds, until the dough starts to clear the sides of the bowl. Process a further 45 seconds. Flour the dough, place it in a bag, and allow it to rest for 45 minutes.

4) While the dough is resting, prepare the topping: Combine the boiling water and baking soda, stirring until the soda is totally (or almost totally) dissolved. Set the mixture aside to cool to lukewarm (or cooler). 

5) Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with vegetable oil spray, or lining it with parchment paper.

6) Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into six equal pieces; each piece will be about 90g, or 3 1/4 ounces. Shape the pieces into rough logs about 6" long. 

7) Allow the logs to rest, lightly covered, for 15 minutes. 

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 8) Roll each piece of dough into a 15" rope, and tie each rope into a square knot. Tuck the ends of the rope into the center of the knot to make a round bun. 
 
9) Pour the baking soda/water into a 9" round cake pan. Place the buns in the pan, spooning the water over their tops; leave them in the water for 2 minutes before placing them on the baking sheet. This baking soda "bath" will give the buns a nice, golden-brown color.

10) Allow the buns to rest, uncovered, for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 450°F. 

11) Bake the buns for 5 minutes. Tent them lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 5 to 8 minutes, or until they're golden brown and feel set on the bottom (when you pull one out of the oven and carefully poke its bottom).

12) Remove the buns from the oven. Brush them with melted butter, if desired; this will give them a soft, buttery crust. Serve immediately; or cool, then wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.

13) When ready to serve, warm the buns gently on your barbecue grill, if desired. Split each bun, and fill with boneless grilled chicken, a hamburger, veggie burger, or your favorite grilled treat.

Yield: 6 buns.
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This post linked to

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

Monday, May 21, 2012

Meal Plan Monday~ May 21st, Victoria Day

Happy Monday!!

It's a holiday here today, in Canada, today. We've been enjoying a gorgeous long weekend, filled with tons of sun and good food. A great highlight to the weekend is this Raspberry Lemon Mile-High Pie, I made for dessert last night. It was such a hit, there is only a tiny sliver left, in the fridge. It helped us beat the heat and was the perfect cold treat for a hot Sunday evening. The kids have been busy staying cool with our new beach ball sprinkler and we are hoping to get to the beach today, before the rain hits. Not the perfect end to our long weekend, but hey....

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Hubby is off today, and he's requested burgers and dogs on the grill. I need to get into the kitchen to whip up a batch of my macaroni salad, so it has time to develop it's flavour. The rest of the week should be nice, so more grilling and warm weather cooking going on here. Here's what I have planned for the week
  • Burgers, dogs and macaroni salad
  • grilled pork tenderloin with grilled asparagus and salad
  • porcupine balls, with brown rice and peas
  • Beef Kabobs with grilled veggies and baked potatoes
  • Chipotle Lime Pulled Pork Sandwiches, with tomato avocado salad
  • Ratatouille with chick peas and  homemade Naan bread
  • leftovers
Head on over to OrgJunkie.com, for more meal plans!!

Raspberry Lemon Mile-High Pie

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Happy Victoria Day Canada!! It's a beautiful, sunny and HOT, long weekend here in Canada and we have been enjoying every minute of it. I've set up the sprinkler, we've been enjoying the outdoors with trips to the Farmer's Market and to the waterfront park, in downtown Barrie. With all this heat we've been looking for ways to stay cool, so I decided a luscious, fresh and tart Raspberry Lemon no bake pie, would be the perfect way to go. Since I didn't want to be cooped up in the house forever baking, I went the semi homemade route and took some help from the store.


This pie is phenomenal. The lemon is tart, the rapsberries add a sweet burst of freshness and the sweet graham crust balances it all out. Everyone went nuts for this pie!! Mr.B had 2 pieces and asked if I could teach him how to make this pie, when he grows up. The men inhaled their servings and I've yet to find out if they had a midnight snack, and finished off the pie, last night. This is best if chilled for several hours, or even over night.

Raspberry Lemon Mile-high Pie
printable version

1 pre-made graham cookie crust
1 pkg lemon pie filling (one that must be cooked)
2 egg yolks
1/3 C cold water
2 C boiling water
1 Tbs butter
6 oz fresh raspberries
2 C (500 ml) whipping cream
a splash of vanilla
1/4 C powdered sugar

In a small sauce pot, combine the egg yolks, pie filling mix and cold water; whisk until well combined. Stir in boiling water and cook over Med-High heat, until mixture thickens; cooking an additional 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in butter; until incorporated. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature.
Tip: Place bowl on an ice pack and stir every 10 minutes, for a quicker cool down.

In your mixer bowl, pour the cream. Using the whisk attachment, beat cream, on high speed, until it reaches soft peaks. Add in vanilla and slowly add in the powdered sugar, scrapping sides to ensure all is well mixed; beat to stiff peaks. Refrigerate until pie filling is cooled.

To assemble: Spread half of the cooled pie filling into the graham pie shell and spread evenly. Top with raspberries (keeping a few for garnish) and set aside. Fold half of the whipped cream into the remaining pie filling. Spread over raspberries in pie shell.

Place remaining whipped cream into a pipping bag, fitted with a star tip (I used a #30 Wilton tip). Pipe a decorative pattern around the outside edge of the pie and make additional designs in center, if desired. Garnish center of pie with additional berries and refrigerate for at least 1 hrs, to overnight.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

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This weekend is a long weekend, here in Canada. So we've been trying to make it as special as we can. Yesterday was spent at the Farmer's Market, then we came home and set up the kids new sprinkler. They enjoyed beating the heat that way, while I enjoyed browsing through food magazines, sipping on iced tea and snacking on cold water melon. We stayed up late, in hopes of seeing a few fireworks in the neighbourhood. The combination sun and staying up late, resulted in a great sleep in this morning. That does not happen very often, so I thought I'd treat the kids to a fun and yummy breakfast.

May20006


 I saw the idea for these waffles on Pinterest. Even though I am currently very upset with the ever popular Pinterest for deeming my site as containing spam, and preventing people from Pinning my recipes...... I couldn't get these waffles out of my head. I mean how simple are they? Buy cinnamon rolls, turn them into waffles. I wonder if these would work out with homemade cinnamon rolls. I rarely make homemade, since they take such a long time, LOL. The kids really loved these and we quickly plowed through the 8 waffles that were made. It's a good thing DH was still sleeping, because we would have went hungry. If you are making these for more than 3 people, I suggest using 2 pkgs of cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

1 pkg cinnamon rolls with frosting
non stick cooking spray (I used canola oil spray)

Preheat your waffle iron. Spray grates generously with oil/cooking spray. Place one cinnamon roll onto each preheated grate and close waffle iron. Cook for about 3 minutes, depending on what temperature your waffle iron works at; mine only has one heat setting so they were done in about 2 1/2 - 3 minutes. Remove from waffle iron. Place frosting in a pipping bag, or zip top bag (with a small hole snipped from one corner) and drizzle waffles with frosting.

May20005


This post linked to

Sweets for Saturday
Weekly Round-up
Super Saturday Party
Weekend Potluck
Church Supper

Friday, May 18, 2012

Rosemary Thyme Chicken and Potatoes

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Although I like cooking, there are some nights where I have a million things to do and little time to stand in front of the stove and cook. These nights I turn to casserole type dishes, ones where you throw them into the oven and they cook themselves. No stirring, sauteing, thickening involved. This is the case with this recipe. I start the chicken, while I peel the potatoes, then throw the seasoned potatoes in there and top with the somewhat cooked chicken. Since potatoes usually cook faster than chicken, I like this method of preparing this meal. The end result is perfectly cooked chicken and tender potatoes.

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Hubby use to make the most wonderful Rosemary Chicken, at the restaurant where he worked, when we first met. It was one of the most popular dishes requested for catered parties and while I wasn't a big rosemary fan in those days, I did like his chicken. Hmmm, maybe I just liked the chicken because I thought Hubby was hot..... LOL. So this is a take on that chicken that I remember from so long ago. Though it isn't exactly the same, it has a lot of the similar flavours. The rosemary, the garlic, the paprika. The kids really love their chicken seasoned this way and the drippings flavour the potatoes beautifully. These are the best photos I could get, because let's face it; chicken legs are not very photogenic!!

Rosemary Thyme Chicken and Potatoes

6-8 chicken legs
1 tsp season salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried rosemary, slightly ground
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbs coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
2 Tbs butter, cut into small pieces
8-10 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in half long ways

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix the spices and stir to combine. Place chicken legs in a oven safe dish and sprinkle with 3/4 of the spice mixture. Sprinkle with butter and bake while you peel the potatoes.

Once potatoes are peeled, remove chicken from oven and transfer chicken from baking dish to a plate. Place potatoes in baking dish, turning to coat with melted butter and drippings. Season potatoes with remaining spice mixture and place chicken legs on top of potatoes. Return to the oven and cook until both potatoes and chicken are cooked through; approx 30 minutes.



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This post linked to

Bake with Bizzy
What's Cookin' Thursday
Full Plate Thursday
Friday Favorites
Foodie Friday

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sweet Salmon Bake

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Growing up, we always had access to fresh fish. My dad was an avid fisherman and could be found on the lake often throughout the year. He would bring home his catch and we would gorge ourselves silly. Though he brought home a selection of fresh water fish, I was more partial to the lighter tasting white fish. Anytime Dad would bring home trout or salmon, the only way I could eat it, was slathered in ketchup. Now that I was older, I decided it was time to put the ketchup away and to get a more sophisticated palate. The only problem was, I still wasn't fond salmon. The taste was too overwhelming for me and I really couldn't stand it. Then one day I saw my friend Lyndsay, the Kitchen Witch, make this amazing looking glazed salmon, on her Charmed cooking show.

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The thought of masking the pungent flavour of the salmon with sweet maple syrup, salty soy sauce and spicy wasabi had me wanting desperately to try this recipe. So, I went ahead and bought some salmon and made her recipe. I can not say enough how much I LOVE this recipe. It tames that fishy taste, while adding amazing Asian inspired flavours. The whole family went nuts over this fish and it has become our family favourite. Anytime I can get some salmon at a reasonable price, you can bet this salmon will be on our table for dinner.

Sweet Salmon Bake
Adapted from The Kitchen Witch

Ingredients
* 1/4 cup maple syrup
* 2 tablespoons soy sauce
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1 tsp Wasabi paste
* 1 large salmon filet

Directions
1. In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, and Wasabi paste.
2. Place salmon in a resealable plastic bag and marinate in the refrigerator 30 minutes to an hour.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
4. Wrap fish and marinade in foil and bake 15- 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork.
5. Serve drizzled with the additional marinade.

Cindy's notes: I like to pour the marinade from the cooked fish into a small sauce pan and simmer until reduce to a thick syrup like glaze. I then bush it on the salmon, before serving, sprinkled with chopped green onion or snow peas.

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 This post linked to

Delicious Dishes
Tasty Tuesday
See ya in the Gumbo
What Makes you say Mmmm?
Hearth and Soul

Dishwashing Tips with Finish and a Giveaway

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This month as part of the #FinishRevolution team, we were asked to take part in a webinar about Finish Dishwasher Detergent. The webinar gave us an inside look at why Finish is so awesome and works so well.  I just wanted to share a few things I learned with you, so you can see why Finish is so much better than other dish washing detergents.

1. Many things can affect your dishwashers performance, such as the chemistry of your dish washing detergent. Finish Quantum is the only dish washing detergent that contains both enzymes and bleach. Other brands or types for detergents only have one, or the other. Enzymes break down proteins like egg, oatmeal, mac n cheese. The bleach is what eliminates soil and stains from things like coffee and/or tea. It oxidates the water, which makes these stains more removable.

2. Water temperature is also important to make sure these enzymes and bleach do their work properly. Enzymes work best at 122 degrees, where Bleach works best at 140 degrees. To make sure you get the best results from Finish Quantum, you should keep your hot water tank set to at least 120 degrees.

3. Now, I have to say that I am guilty of this.... storing my dishwasher detergent under the kitchen sink. Have you ever bought a box of dish washing powder, only to have it turn into one big clump, under your sink? That's because it is one of the dampest places in your house. That dampness activates the cleaner in your detergent and in turn, it can't do it's job properly when placed in the dishwasher.

4. I have one last question to ask. Do you clean your dishwasher? You're probably like me, you're thinking it cleans dishes, and if they are clean, why would I have to clean my dishwasher?!? Well, sometimes food particles get stuck in your dishwasher, due to hard water build-up and lime build-up. These food particles can turn into bacteria, which is pretty gross.  A good way to get rid of these deposits and bacteria is to use Finish Dishwasher Cleaner, at leas once a month.

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So, I'm hoping what I've shared with you helps you understand why so many people are excited about Finish Dish washing Detergent and I hope it helps you get the best performance out of Finish Quantum and your dishwasher. Just to show you how awesome Finish Quantum is, Finish has generously offered to send one lucky reader 2 packages of their Finish Quantum Dishwasher Detergent. How awesome is that??? Just use Rafflecopter below to enter. Contest open to Canadian Residents only and will run until May 29, 2012.

**Disclosure: I am part of the Finish Blogger Program by Mom Central. I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group.  The opinions on this blog are my own.**




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 14, 2012

Meal Plan Monday~ May 14, 2012

Happy Monday!!

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I hope all the mom's out there had a great Mother's Day. Mine was super awesome. I was spoiled beyond belief and enjoyed just hanging out with Hubby and the kids. Mr.B brought home a potted flower and card, for me, from school and inside it said " I love you so much Mommy. You smell like sweet apple pie". It makes me smile so much, every time I think of it, LOL.

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This week should be nice and quiet. Hubby is off today (Yay!!!) and Thursday one of our BFFs is coming for dinner. With the warmer weather, I'm going to start cooking lighter, using more veggies and cutting those starches. Here is what I have planned this week.

  • Spaghetti and Meatballs with garlic toast and salad
  • BBQ ribs and shrimp with potato salad and veggie kabobs
  • Chipotle Lime Pulled Pork Sandwiches, with tomato avocado salad
  • Waffles and fresh berries
  • Homemade pizza with veggies and dip
  • grilled chicken legs with dill foil packet potatoes and green beans
  • Leftovers
Head on over to OrgJunkie.com, for more great meal plans!!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!!

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 Today is a day to celebrate US, all the wonderful hard working, caring MOMS out there. To all of you I would like to say Happy Mother's Day and I hope you have a fantastic day, surrounded by those you love. If you are still looking for something sweet and special to end your meal tonight, I have just the thing.



With the warm weather I like to try a make more no bake desserts. That way I don't heat up my house, but can still enjoy a sweet treat on a special occasion. This Chocolate Coconut Toffee No Bake Cheesecake Dessert would be the perfect way to treat your mom (or yourself) today.

Chocolate Coconut Toffee No Bake Cheesecake Dessert
printable version

1 C whipping cream
1 Tbs coconut flavored rum
1/4 C powdered sugar
1 1/2 pkgs of cream cheese
1 C coconut milk
3/4 C dark chocolate
1/2 C powdered sugar
1/2 C toffee bits (I used SKOR)
1 C chocolate cookie crumbs
1/4 C white sugar
2 Tbs butter, melted
toasted coconut, or toffee bits for garnish
extra whipped cream, for garnish

In your mixers bowl, with whisk attachment, whisk whipping cream to soft peak. Add in coconut rum and 1/4C powdered sugar and whisk to stiff peaks. Refrigerate, for later use.

Over med low heat, melt the chocolate into the coconut milk, in a small sauce pot.

In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and white sugar, mixing until well combined. Add in butter and mix until butter has coated all cookie crumbs and mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whip the cream cheese. Add in the chocolate coconut milk and beat until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar and toffee bits; beating to combine.

To assemble: Place a small amount of the cookie crumbs into a serving dish. Cover with a layer of cheesecake mixture. Repeat layers one more time, top with additional whipped cream and garnish with toffee bits, toasted coconut, or both.



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This post linked to

Church Supper
Sweets for a Saturday
Death by Chocolate Linky Party

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Old Fashion Apple Cinnamon Poor Man's Pudding (Pouding Chomeur aux Pommes)

Happy Saturday everyone! Just wanted to let you all know that I am also guest posting today over at Everyday Mom Meals. Go on over and check it out!! 


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I have and inkling that the last of the cold weather is behind us, so I took the opportunity of a cool day this week, to bake up one of my favourite desserts, but with a twist. Poor Man's Pudding Cake originated on Quebec and being French Canadian, I grew up eating it. Usually all it is, is a cake baked a top of a ooey gooey syrup. My Mom has mentioned several times how she's been adding apples and cinnamon to her Pouding Chomeur lately, so I decided to give it a whirl I love this recipe because it uses ingredients found in anyone's pantry and it doesn't require eggs.


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Anytime I make something with apples, I like to add in a touch of vanilla. The combination of the warm cinnamon with the sultry vanilla, makes my knees week. The smell is intoxicating and makes me want to devour the dessert, all by myself, LOL. This version turned out spectacularly. The apples are tender and sweet, with a nice syrup to drizzle over the moist cake. With a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it is desert Nirvana!!!

Old Fashion Apple Cinnamon Poor Man's Pudding Cake
(Pouding Chomeur aux Pommes)
printable version

6 apples, peeled and chopped, I used Granny Smith
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C maple syrup
2 Tbs butter
1 1/2 C hot water
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves

For batter:
1/3 C butter, melted
3/4 C sugar
1 C milk
2 C flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 9x9 inch square baking dish, place the apples; set aside.

In a bowl combine the melted butter, sugar, vanilla and milk, stir well to combine. Add in the flour, baking powder and salt; mix thoroughly to achieve a slightly thick but smooth batter. Pour batter onto apples, in baking dish, and spread out as evenly as possible.

In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, hot water, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Stir to combine and melt the butter. Slowly pour syrup mixture over the batter in the baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, until toothpick inserted deep into the center comes out with a few crumbs.

To serve spoon out the cake and serve cake side down, to reveal the apples. Pour additional syrup on top and a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired.

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This post linked to

Bake with Bizzy
Weekend Potluck
Super Saturday Party! 
Weekly Round-up
Sweets for a Saturday

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Orange Strawberry Streusel Muffins

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Every Sunday, I can usually be found in the kitchen making muffins. I like to bake up a batch of muffins and have them handy as snacks, or for Mr.B's lunch box during the week. My go to recipe is usually contains bananas, but now and then I like to switch it up. Once again my friend Susan from Mom's Recipe Collection posted the most delicious looking muffins, last week. I knew right away I wanted to make them and jotted down the recipe. Well, Sunday morning rolled around and as I was making breakfast, I discovered that my strawberries were getting ready to turn. Not wanting to waste them, I decided to add them to Susan's muffin recipe, rather than cranberries.


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These muffins smelled wonderful before they were even in the oven. The nice bright burst of citrus, paired with the cinnamon-y sweetness of the topping was making my tummy rumble. They are nice and moist and I love the extra bit of sweetness from the brown sugar and the savory crunchiness from the toasted nuts. The kids and Hubby all loved these too and I am a little embarrased to say that we have almost eaten the whole batch; and it's only Tuesday, LOL. I'm including a video of me making the muffins, if you'd like a peek into my kitchen.



Orange-Strawberry Streusel Muffins
 Adapted from Susan Harder and Mom's Recipe Collection
printable version
2 c flour
1/3 c sugar (may add a bit more if you want a sweeter muffin)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 lrg egg
1/4 c veg oil
3/4 c milk
1/4c orange juice
1/2 tsp grated orange peel
1 c fresh strawberries, chopped

topping:
1/4 c slivered almonds
1/4 c brown sugar ,packed
1/2 tsp cinnamon

In a bowl whisk dry ingredients. Toss in berries to coat. In separate bowl, mix rest of ingredients.. Gently and throughly mix dry ingredients into wet. Put into muffin tins 3/4 full. Mix topping and sprinkle over batter. Bake at 375* till browned or they are domed and toothpick comes out clean.


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This post linked to

See ya in the Gumbo
Hearth and Soul
What Makes you Say: Mmmmm?
Delicious Dishes
Tasty Tuesday

2000 FB 'LIKES' Giveaway

Good morning everyone!!

I am super excited today, because yesterday was a milestone day for Hun...WFD on Facebook. Yesterday, my page reached 2000 FB 'LIKES'!! I am excited and overwhelmed at the same time. The caring, kind words, encouragement and friendships I have found in the Facebook community, is more than anything I could have imagined, when I decided to take my blog to Facebook.

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Many new bloggers often ask me how I got this far. All I can say is that it is a slow process. I didn't start my blog with ideas of grandeur and fame, I started it because I loved cooking, and I wanted to keep track of recipes I had made and enjoyed. But I must admit, don't we all have that little desire to be famous?? Even though I am not a star, I feel blessed to be able to reach out to so many of you, through social media. I love reading about your lives, what you like to cook and if you've tried one of my recipes and if it was successful.

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So, as a THANK YOU, to everyone who has helped me reach my latest milestone, I am hosting a giveaway. What I have chosen to give away is something that I enjoy- a cookbook. I can often be found curled up in a chair reading cookbooks, like novels. So, I thought I would share one of my favourite things with you. I also love Taste of Home and am a subscriber to their magazine. I recently bought some of their cookbooks and thought that one of these cookbooks would be a perfect gift, to one of my loyal Hun...WFD friends. The winner of this giveaway will receive a copy of Taste of Home's Contest Winning Annual Recipes 2011 edition. This cookbook is filled with deliciously creative contest winning recipes and wonderful mouthwatering photos. To enter, simple use the Rafflecopter below

Disclaimer: This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Taste of Home. I have purchased this product on my own and am happy to give it to the lucky winner.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Paradise Sunrise Smoothies

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Although I am a morning person, I find that since having kids, I long to sleep in just that tiny bit more, in the morning. This longing is a little counter productive, when it comes to our week day routine. Mr.B and Queenie, need a good hour, to eat, get dressed and ready for the day, so I need to be up at least 30 minutes, before they are. Even with all that time, I feel rushed when it comes to getting myself something to eat. So, I often turn to smoothies, since I can throw them into a travel mug and bring them along with me.

May4033

 My new favourite smoothie combination, is full of tropical fruit, Greek yogurt and ground flax seed. I add the ground flax for added protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. Flax is also great for intestinal health and is said to help reduce the chances of certain types of breast cancers. I add a touch of honey, for a bit of added sweetness and enjoy. The best part is the kids also love smoothies, so they are getting a whole lot of nutrients, without even knowing it!!


Paradise Sunrise Smoothies
printable version

1 mango, cut into cubes
4 large strawberries, cut in half
1 large ripe banana
1/2 C Greek yogurt
1/3 C orange juice, or milk
1 Tbs ground flax
1-2 Tbs honey (depending on the sweetness of your fruit)

Throw all ingredients in a blender, and blend on HI speed, until smooth; about 3 minutes. Pour into glasses, garnish with additional strawberries and enjoy.

Makes 2 servings

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This post linked to

Fit and Fabulous Friday
Weekend Potluck
Feed Your Soul
Weekly Round-up

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Maple Bacon Waffles

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What is it about breakfast, that makes it so delicious? On the nights when I don't feel like cooking, I tend to turn to breakfast for dinner. It's quick, easy and sooooo delicious. Last week we all had a nasty cold and the last thing I felt like doing was to stand in the kitchen, making dinner. So, we ate breakfast for dinner, quite often, LOL. Waffles is one of the kids favourite breakfast for dinner items, so I decided to try and change them up a bit. I wanted to add in some bacon, but wanted the waffles heartier as well, so I decided to add in a bit of cornmeal. To add a nice sweetness to the waffles, I added in some yummy maple syrup.

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These waffles were amazing!! They were even delicious the next day, cold, out of the fridge. They were fluffy, yet hearty, with a nice salty-sweet and smokey flavour. The kids loved the little bits of bacon running throughout and thought it was pretty neat that I had put the bacon IN the waffles, rather than serve it on the side. Dusted with some powdered sugar and served with additional maple syrup, these waffles are an awesome twist on a breakfast classic.

Maple Bacon Waffles
printable version

6 slices of bacon
1/2 C cornmeal
1 1/2 C  flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup Maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C melted butter
1 1/2 C Buttermilk
Cooking Spray

Preheat your waffle iron.

Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Chop the bacon, into thin strips and add to the hot skillet. Cook until crisp, remove and drain on a paper towel.

In a bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together your egg yolks and syrup; until very well combined, light and foamy. Add in the vanilla, melted butter and buttermilk; continue whisking. Add the wet ingredients into your flour/cornmeal mixture and stir everything together. Gently fold in the cooked bacon pieces.

Spray your preheated waffle iron with cooking spray. Pour some of the batter onto the waffle plates, close and cook for 4-5 minutes, until golden brown. Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar and additional maple syrup.


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This post linked to

Full Plate Thursday
What's Cookin Thursday
Church Supper
Foodie Friday
Friday Favorites
Food on Friday

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Easy Orange Chicken

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I love chicken! It's one of my favourite proteins to eat and prepare. Hubby and my nephew on the other hand, love beef. And often mention that I do not cook with enough of it. To keep the boys interested in chicken, I like to keep them on their toes and to make a variety of chicken dishes. But I have to say, I too, often get bored of the recipes in my repertoire. Thankfully I belong to an awesome Facebook group called Mom's Recipe Collection. You should go and request to join, since it's a really awesome group!! Susan, the co owner of the board, is really great in the kitchen and has a photo album full of mouth watering chicken dishes.  While browsing them the other night, this one caught my eye. It seemed so simple and boasted great citrus flavour. The kids love Chinese Orange Chicken, so I decided to give this one a whirl.


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This chicken is fantastic!! It turned out so tender and it had the perfect combination of sweet and savory. The orange flavour was very present, but not overwhelming, which is the part I loved best. And did I mention it was super easy?? I LOVE dishes like that! I served it over some cooked rice and the kids absolutely gobbled it up. To be honest, I was very sad to find that the leftovers had disappeared over night, LOL. This is definitely going into my chicken rotation, for those nights when I'm craving take out. This, however, is way better!

Orange Chicken
Adapted from Mom's Recipe Collection/ Susan Harder

2 lbs chicken,cut in cubes
1/2 c flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp butter

1 1/2 c water
1/4 c + 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1/3 c rice vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp orange zest
3/4 c br sugar
1/2 tsp finely minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 c water


Heat oven to *350. Melt butter and put into baking pan. Put chicken,flour,garlic powder and pepper in a plastic bag and shake. Put chicken in a single layer in pan and bake for 30 min. In a saucepan combine water,vinegar,soy sauce,juice and rind. Stir over med heat,add sugar,ginger and garlic. Bring to a boil,then add cornstarch mixed with water. Boil to thicken. Pour over chicken and bake another 1/2 hr basting every now and then. Serve over rice and sprinkle with green onion.



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This post linked to

Tasty Tuesday
Delicious Dishes
See ya in the Gumbo
Hearth and Soul
What Makes you say Mmmmm?
Gooseberry Patch Recipe Round-up