Yum

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Taco Style Enchiladas & a Giveaway



When I started blogging almost 5 yrs ago, I never thought I would become friends with so many creative and awesome people. The blogging community has surprised me, with their friendliness, support and caring for one another. I love browsing blogs, leaving comments and seeing what everyone has been up to, in their kitchen. My new Simple Supper Tuesday linky party, helps me see more of what everyone has been working on and lets me find new foodies to keep in touch with. This week, Chris from FoodThoughtsOfaChefWannabe linked up a recipe that caught my eye. I think she's found out my love for Mexican food, since last week she linked up her Enchilada Casserole (which received the most views, by the way!). I quickly went to visit her site and her Easy Beef Enchilada recipe and immediately decided to make it for dinner. Thankfully Mr.B had chosen tacos for dinner, so while the kids had their tacos, Hubby and I had these amazing enchiladas.




I loved that these were half taco and half enchilada. Hubby absolutely LOVES when I make enchiladas, so he was excited to try these. I used my homemade sauce (I'll include it at the end of Chris' recipe) and had to use flour tortillas, since our local grocer didn't carry corn tortillas. The only store I remember seeing them was across town and the weather wasn't nice enough for the drive. Regardless, these were super yummy. I loved the taco beef in the soft cheesy tortilla shells. It's a great twist on plain ole enchiladas and I want to THANK Chris for linking the recipe up this week!!

Taco Style Enchiladas
Adapted from FoodThoughtsOfaChefWannabe

 For 12-15 Enchiladas you will need:
2 lbs ground beef
1/2 onion diced fine (do a little bit of extra if you want to top your enchiladas with raw diced onion)
2 cans of  RED enchilada sauce
6 inch corn tortillas
1 pkg taco seasoning
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Brown hamburger and onion together. Mix the taco seasoning packet into 1 cup of water, then pour over the browned hamburger. 
Heat your corn tortillas in the oven or in the microwave, you need them very warm (almost hot) to make them pliable enough. 
On a cookie sheet, lay down a shell, cover half of it in your hamburger mixture and fold in half.  Repeat this until all of your hamburger is used.  Arrange on a cookie sheet or in a baking pan.  Cover with red enchilada sauce and cheese.  Bake for 10-15 minutes.  Remove and serve!



Red Enchilada sauce

1 14.5 oz can of tomato sauce
1 tsp chicken bouillon granules
2-3 tsp chili powder
pinch cayenne pepper powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder

Mix all ingredients well, in a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.


This post linked to
Wednesday Extravaganza, What's Cookin' Wednesday, Somewhat Simple linky party, The HomeAcre Hop, Thursday Favorite Things, Full Plate Thursday, Tasty Thursday



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


Now onto the giveaway. Valentine's Day is in 14 days, so I wanted to share one of my MOST favourite things with my readers. I fell in love with Buttery Bites Caramels and Heather, from Starbright Farms, almost 3 yrs ago in a recipe contest. I got to meet Heather and try her AMAZING caramels at a Gala for the contest and instantly fell in love. These caramels are made with all natural ingredients. You won't find any trace of chemicals of preservatives in them. Since then, Heather has added items such as peanut brittle and different flavours of caramels to her product line. These are truly addictive and you possibly will NOT be able to eat just one!!





Today, just in time for Valentine's Day, I would like to give one of you the chance to win a wonderful gift bag full of Buttery Bites and other delicious confections from Starbright Farms. Included in the bag will be

  • a package of Vanilla Buttery Bites
  • 100g slab of vanilla Buttery Bites, with a recipe for Caramel Popcorn
  • 100g Peanut Brittle
  • Buttery Bites & Salted Pecan and Walnut log
  • Coconut Caramel log
  • samples of Honey Cream, Hot Pepper, Flax Seed and Chocolate Buttery Bites Caramels
All you need to do to enter is leave me a comment, telling me which special person you would give this gift bag to, for Valentine's Day.

***Contest is open to Canadian and U.S residents and will end on Feb 3rd at 11:59pm. The winner will be chosen by Randon Number Generator and the winner will have 24 hrs to contact me with their mailing info. ****
CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!! CONGRATULATIONS TO  JAIME F!!!





Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Simple Supper Tuesday #2- Crock Pot Vegetable Soup



Welcome to week two of Simple Supper Tuesday. I am so happy that my first week was a total success! With almost 30 entries, I think it was a great launch to a fun linky party!

With the cold weather, I find myself making more soups and I love variety when it comes to meals. I've amassed quite a soup collection here on my blog and was surprised to see that I hadn't ever posted a vegetable soup. I love veggie soups! I like to call them, bottom of the crisper soups. I always tend to make them when I have a little bit of this and leftover that to use up. This time I added chickpeas for protein and because I'm nuts for chickpeas. I'd eat them every night if I could, LOL. Paired with a great loaf of fresh bread, this soup is a perfect way to warm up on a cold winter night.



Crock Pot Vegetable Soup
printable version

1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 C celery, sliced
1 C carrot, sliced
3/4 C green pepper, diced
1 C green beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 C broccoli florets
1- 16oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
salt and pepper to taste
1 14.4 oz can chick peas, drained and rinsed
6 C water
squeeze of honey (optional)

In your crockpot, mix the water, crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano salt and pepper. Add in remaining ingredients and cook on LOW for 6-8 hrs. Before serving taste for seasonings, adding salt and pepper if needed. Stir in a generous squeeze of honey if the soup is too acidic, due to the crushed tomatoes.



This post linked to

See Ya in the Gumbo, Manic Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Hearth and Soul, Delicious Dishes, In and Out of the Kitchen 




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Party Rules

  1. Please link up Crock Pot and EASY recipes only (simple desserts are also welcome)
  2. Please link back to THIS post on Hun... What's for Dinner?
  3. Please use link to direct recipe, not to your home page.
  4. Please visit others and leave comments if a recipe catches your eye

Last week's recipe with the most clicks


Friday, January 25, 2013

Chocolate Covered Cherries



My Mom use to make these for us, at Christmas. She hasn't in a while though, because it's a lot of work, for 1 person. I'm not sure where she got the recipe from. It's just one of those recipes she got from a friend of a friend. Though they are time intensive, they are super impressive. The first few cherries are always the biggest, since you're getting the feel of how much cherry paste to put around the actual cherry.




I had a jar of cocktail cherries in the fridge and I wanted to try making these myself. I did make them over 11 yrs ago, but they didn't turn out so nice, LOL. I really liked using the cocktail cherries; the stem helped out greatly when dipping them into the melted chocolate. Plus I think they look oh so cute! Imagine surprising that special person in your life, with a box of these for Valentine's day!!

Chocolate Covered Cherries
printable version

1-2 jars cocktail cherries (with stems)
1/2 C butter, softened
1 tsp almond extract
1 can sweetened condensed milk
6-7 C powdered sugar (enough to make a stiff dough)
5 drops red food coloring (if desired)
1-2 C semi sweet chocolate candy melts
1/2 C pink chocolate candy melts

Drain one jar of cherries, in a fine mesh strainer, until ready to use.

In a bowl, mix the butter, sweetened condensed milk, red food color and almond extract, until smooth. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until a non sticky dough forms. Cover one cherry with a thin layer of dough and place on a parchment liked baking tray. Repeat with remaining cherries, until dough is completely used up (using second jar of cherries, if needed). Place in freezer for at least 4 hrs, to over night.

Melt 1 C of the semi sweet chocolate candy melts in a glass measuring cup; in the microwave, stirring after every 30 seconds. Holding the stem of each cherry, dip into the melted chocolate. Using a small fork, support the bottom of the cherry, and gently shake off excess chocolate. Return to the parchment lined baking tray and repeat with remaining cherries; melting more chocolate melts as needed. Return chocolate coated cherries to the freezer to set.

While chocolate sets, melt pink candy melts and place into a zip top bag. Cut a very small hole in one end and drizzle the pink chocolate over set chocolate covered cherries. Return to freezer, to set the pink chocolate. Serve at room temperature.




This post linked to

Talkin' About Thursday
Foodie Friends Friday
Friday Favorites
Weekend Potluck
Gallery of Favorites
Inspired Weekends
Saturday Show & Tell
Fresh Juniper BlogHop 
Saturday Spotlight 
Sweet Confessions Sunday 
Church Supper 
Ladies Night Cocktail Party

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Loaded Baked Potato Soup




It's been mighty cold, here in Ontario, the last few days. So cold that the kids have been staying in for recess and our furnace has been on pretty much non stop. We are doing everything to stay warm, but this cold is so bone chilling, it's hard. When blankets and fuzzy socks aren't enough, I turn to soup. It warms you up from the inside and makes you actually enjoy the weather outside, LOL. Potato soup has always been one of the kids favourite soups, so when I had some leftover baked potatoes in the fridge, I thought I'd turn them into a comforting soup, to banish the chill.




When Hubby and I have baked potatoes, we go all out. Cheese, sour cream, butter, chives and bacon; that's my idea of a baked potato. So, I wanted to incorporate those flavours into our soup. I also reduced the fat in here, by using mostly chicken stock, with a bit of milk. With all the yummy add ins and creamy potatoes, it's hard to notice that this is mostly a stock based soup, LOL.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
printable version

1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs butter
1 large leek, chopped and rinsed clean of grit
4 C chicken stock
2 C milk
4 large baked potatoes, peeled and chopped
6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
1 1/2 C shredded sharp Cheddar, divided
1 C sour cream
1/4 C chives, chopped
1 tsp coarse sea salt
fresh ground pepper
chives to garnish

In a large soup pot, heat oil and butter, until butter starts to sizzle. Add in leeks and cook over med-low heat, until they begin to brown slightly. Add in chicken stock and cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add in baked potatoes and cook until heated through, about 10 minutes. At this point, if you like a smooth soup, take and immersion blender and puree potatoes into the stock and cream mixture. If you like a chunkier soup, using a slotted spoon, remove 3/4 of the potatoes and mash; adding them back to the soup, once mashed.

Stir in 1 C of shredded sharp Cheddar, until melted. Stir in sour cream, chives and most of the bacon; reserving a few pieces for garnish. Cook until bacon is warmed through; about 5 minutes. Serve while hot, garnished with additional cheddar, bacon and chives.





This post linked to

What's Cookin' Wednesday
Somewhat Simple Linky Party
Thursday Favorite Things
Full Plate Thursday
HomeAcre Hop 
Tasty Thursdays 
Foodie Friends Friday 
Church Supper

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Crock Pot Bacon Wrapped Sour Cream Chicken and my Very First Linky Party!!



 I am very excited about today. Why? Well, because I've decided to start a weekly linky party here on HunWFD. Since I've been volunteering at school all day on Mondays, I've been on the search for Crock Pot recipes and quick and easy dinner recipes, for Monday dinners. So, I thought a linky party devoted to quick and easy recipes (including Crock Pot recipes) would be a great way to find awesome recipes all in one place!! So, I'd like to welcome you to the first ever Simple Supper Tuesday Linky Party!!




Last night's dinner was a wonderful Bacon Wrapped Sour Cream Chicken, which I served with pasta and broccoli. I found the idea for this when I was searching for Salsa Sour Cream Chicken, for a friend. You can find the original recipe here, but since the kids don't care for cream of mushroom soup, I made my own sauce. The sauce is very reminiscent of Stroganoff, since it contains both sour cream and dill. Creamy, salty, slightly smoky with a hint of dill, this chicken was out of this world!!

Bacon Wrapped Sour Cream Chicken
printable version

5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
10 slices of bacon
1 small shallot
1 C chicken stock
3/4 C sour cream
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp sea salt
fresh ground pepper

In a large skillet, cook slices of bacon until brown, but not crisp (you should still be able to bend the bacon, without it breaking). Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.  Pour off rendered bacon fat, reserving 3 Tbs at the bottom of the pan. Heat over med low heat and add in shallots; cook until translucent. Add in cream and scape up all the yummy bits, from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickend. Stir in Dijon, sour cream, dill, salt and pepper.

Wrapped 2 slices of cooked bacon around each chicken breast and place in a 4 qt crock pot. Pour sour cream sauce over chicken and cook on the LOW setting for 6-8 hrs. Serve with pasta or rice, topped with sauce.


This post linked to

See Ya in the Gumbo Manic Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Delicious Dishes, Hearth & Soul, Wednesday Extravaganza
Slow Cooker Sunday





Party Rules


  1. Please link up Crock Pot and EASY recipes only (simple desserts are also welcome)
  2. Please link back to THIS post on Hun... What's for Dinner?
  3. Please use link to direct recipe, not to your home page.
  4. Please visit others and leave comments if a recipe catches your eye

Sunday, January 20, 2013

What's for Eats? Jan 20, 2013

It's that time again, meal planning time! I have to admit that it's going to be tough the next few weeks. We're trying to pay off our 1st vehicle and had unexpected expenses with our 2nd vehicle. So, I got the bare minimum in groceries this week and I'm going to try and be creative with my pantry items. Would be much easier if the kids weren't in a picky phase, but what can ya do??


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This week, is a 4 day week, for the kids at school. Friday is a PA day and Hubby is also off, so we are all very excited about that, LOL. I'm volunteering all day Monday and half a day Wed, in the kids classes. Other than that, it'll be a nice quiet week. Here is my plan for the week

  • Bacon Wrapped Sour Cream Chicken with rice and peas
  • Baked ham with scalloped potatoes and green beans
  • Pasta Fagioli Soup with bread sticks
  • Fried ham, Indian Fry bread and salad
  • Sweet and Sour Chicken with rice and broccoli
  • leftovers (2 nights)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail~ SRS

HungryLittleGirl


What's the SRS you ask? It's a recipe swap where bloggers get assigned a different blog each month, from which we need to pick a recipe to make. I'm a little behind this month, since I suspect that the email containing my blog assignment went to my JUNK folder. So, I was a little surprised to find out today, that our posts are due tomorrow, LOL.


Hun... What's for Dinner? Roasted Shrimp Cocktail- a super simple appetizer, perfect for the holiday season



I was assigned Who Needs a Cape. I am familiar with this blog through Facebook, but I didn't know that it belongs to a group of 11 fabulous Moms, who post about their families, ideas and lesson's they have learned through their journey in life. As I was browsing their blog today, I was met with tons of  mouthwatering recipes, DIY projects, tips and stories about the lady's families. One recipe that quickly caught my eye was the Roasted Shrimp Cocktail. It was perfect for my two picky little monsters and I would enjoy it to. Plus is was super simple, which is exactly what I needed tonight; I'm exhausted!!!



Hun... What's for Dinner? Roasted Shrimp Cocktail- a super simple appetizer, perfect for the holiday season



The shrimp cooked up in no time, in the oven, yet were so sweet and delicious. I really enjoyed the cocktail sauce, it was spot on to what we'd get at the restaurant; and now I'm super psyched that I have a homemade cocktail sauce to refer to, rather than buying it premade!! The kids LOVED the shrimp, which I served with buttered noodles and peas. It was simple, it was delicious and we LOVED it. Thanks Bevin and all you SUPER MOMS over at Who Needs a Cape!!!

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail
adapted from Who Needs a Cape

"This is a simple appetizer to make and is a new twist on the old chilled shrimp cocktails.  Feel free to adjust the horseradish and lemon to suit your own tastes!"
For the shrimp:
  • 2 pounds uncooked shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • squeeze of lemon
For the sauce:
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons horseradish
  • 3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400℉. Prepare the shrimp and put them on a sheet pan with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread them in 1 layer. Roast for 8 to10 minutes. Set aside to cool.  Just before serving give a squeeze of lemon over the shrimp. For the sauce, combine the chili sauce, ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Serve as a dip with the shrimp.



This post linked to
 
Church Supper 

Coconut Banana Muffins

Coconut Banana Muffins photo coconutbananamuffins_zpsb434dfe9.jpg



You may be seeing a lot of banana recipes, coming up on my blog. I was cleaning out the fridge/freezer and found about a dozen frozen bananas, that I throw in there (skin and all) when they become to ripe to eat. I prefer my bananas on the green side, while the kids aren't fond of bananas that have a lot of brown spots on them. Which makes our banana eating time frame, quite small from the time we bring them home from the store. So yesterday, I threw a Let's Go Bananas party on my Facebook page and so many people shared great looking recipes. This morning, since I was up so early, I decided to bake a few recipes, with my bananas. I chose one recipe from my FB party and decided to create a second recipe for muffins (to throw into the kids lunches, next week). I'll be sharing the second half of my baking venture, next Saturday.




 

For Christmas, I had bought 5 bags of coconut to bake with. I ended up using 2, so I wondered if I could pair bananas with coconut. Both are tropical fruit, so why not! These muffins are awesome!! You get all the yumminess of banana muffins, with a slight sweet hint of coconut flavour. To increase the coconut flavour, I used coconut oil as the fat in this recipe. Just one note here- **make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. If not, your melted coconut oil will harden again**. I also used some flax seed as a binder, in this recipe, rather than eggs, since I only had a few eggs left and the kids wanted eggs for breakfast.

Coconut Banana Muffins
printable version

1 1/4 C flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C shredded or flaked sweetened coconut
2  very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 C dark brown sugar
1/3 C coconut oil, melted
1/3 C buttermilk (room temperature)
1 TBS ground flax seed
2 Tbs water
1 tsp. vanilla
additional coconut for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 375°F and line muffin cups with paper liners.

In a bowl, stir together the flours, baking powder, salt and 1/2 of coconut. In separate bowl whisk together the ground flax with 2 Tbs water. Let sit a few minutes to thicken. Whisk in the bananas, sugar, buttermilk, melted coconut oil and vanilla; add to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined .

Divide batter among lined muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining coconut. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and coconut begins to turn golden, about 25 minutes. Makes 12-14 medium muffins.

Cindy's notes: If you do not have coconut oil, or ground flax, feel free to replace those items with 1/3 C butter/vegetable oil and 1 egg.





This post linked to

Friday Favorites
Foodie Friends Friday
Weekend Potluck
Sweets for Saturday
Gallery of Favorites
Saturday Show and Tell
Church Supper

Thursday, January 17, 2013

5-Cheese Italian Sausage Lasagna Rolls

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If you've been following me on Facebook, you know that I'm having trouble with some picky children. So far this week, we've had no complaints for dinner, which makes me extremely happy. There was a point last week, where I was about ready to throw in the towel, on this whole cooking thing. The kids were never happy with the meals I was making, even if they were meals they had eaten and enjoyed before. The result was one grumpy Mommy, who wasn't enjoying her time in the kitchen. This week, I let the kids pick dinner for one night, each. Which resulted in no complaining and a wonderful dinner time. Last night, was my night to choose our dinner. I wasn't worried, because we had leftovers I knew the kids would love, in the fridge. So, I basically planned dinner for Hubby and I, planning on leftovers for the kids. Worked out wonderfully!

 
5-Cheese Italian Sausage Lasagna Rolls



We have a few boxes of lasagna noodles in the pantry, so I decided on lasagna rolls. I found some 5-Cheese Italian Sausages at half price (since they were close to the Best if Used By date), so I decided to incoporate them into the lasagna rolls. The results was a lovely uber cheesy roll of lasagna, that made both Hubby and I swoon. We enjoyed the slight hints of fennel, that would burst through, when we would take a bit that contained sausage. All of us were content with our dinner and not one complaint was muttered. Well, except for Hubby, who complained that I hadn't made more, LOL.

5-Cheese Italian Sausage Lasagna Rolls
printable version

6 5-Cheese Italian Sausage Links (I used Johnsonville)
1/2 an onion, minced
1/2 green pepper, minced
8 oz part skim ricotta
1egg
2 C shredded part skim Mozzarella, divided
3/4 C shredded Parmesan, divided
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
generous pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper
4 sundried tomatoes, minced
8 lasagna noodles
1 jar of favourite pasta sauce (we like Bravo)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Preheat a large non stick skillet over medium heat . Remove sausage from cassings and add to hot skillet; breaking it up into small pieces. Once the sausage is browned, add in the onion and green pepper and cook until onion is translucent; about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, to cool.

While the sausage is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water up to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add in the lasagna noodles and cook until al dente; about 8-11 minutes. Drain and lay on a clean surface.

In a bowl, combine the ricotta with an egg, 1 C Mozzarella cheese, 1/2 C Parmesan Cheese, sundried tomatoes, garlic powder, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Spread cheese mixture evenly onto each lasagna noodle. Evenly top the cheese with the sausage mixture. Starting with a narrow end of the noodle, roll up the noodle, into a roll; repeat with remaining noodles.

Place 1/2 C of pasta sauce in bottom of an oven safe baking dish. Place the lasagna rolls on top of sauce and top with a generous amount of remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cup of Mozzarella, 1/4 C Parmesan and any remaining sausage. Cover and bake for 45 minutes; uncover and bake for 15 minutes, until top is browned and bubbly. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.

5-Cheese Italian Sausage Lasagna Rolls


This post linked to

Wednesday Extravaganza
What's Cookin' Wednesday
Recipe Box
Somewhat Simple Link Party
Full Plate Thursday
Thursday Favorite Things
Foodie Friends Friday
Weekend Potluck
Church Supper

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Extra Blueberry Pancakes

Extra Blueberry Pancakes



Being a food blogger, you take A LOT of pictures of food. If you go out to eat, you can spot a true foodie, trying to find the best lighting at his/her table to take a picture of their meal. Now I myself have never done the 'take a pic of my restaurant dinner' thing, but that's probably only because I don't have a cell phone (yes I know, I need to get with IT). Sometimes the creating, plating and photography of food comes naturally and we loose track of what we've made and photographed. Which is the case with these pancakes. I had made and photographed these pancakes for a Twitter contest (which I lost BTW) and my girlfriend reminded me of the contest, this past weekend.



Extra Blueberry Pancakes




I really love the photos I took of these pancakes, so I decided to share them with you. The pancakes themselves were very delicious. Even more so with my addition of coconut oil, instead of regular oil. I love the wonderful coconut flavour it imparts. I know the recipe call for 2 TBS of baking powder, it's not a typo. With the oats in the batter, you need that amount to yield a nice fluffy pancake. These pancakes are full of delicious bursts of blueberries and hearty enough, to get you through till lunch time.

Extra Blueberry Pancakes
adapted from Fast Flavours by Chef Micheal Smith
printable version
  • 1 cup Flour, whole wheat
  • 1 cup Flour, white
  • 1 cup Rolled Oats
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 cups, frozen Blueberries
  • 2 large Egg
  • 2 cups Milk, 1% fat
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar, brown
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the skillet over medium high heat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the list of dry ingredients, up to the blueberries. Add blueberries to dry ingredients.
  3. Crack eggs and all other ingredients into a second bowl. Whisk together and pour into dry bowl. Mix to combine.
  4. Add a thin-film of vegetable oil to pan and drop in pancake batter. Turn once small bubbles become holes.
 Cindy's notes: I subbed in 1/4 C of melted coconut oil, in for the veg oil and used 2% milk.



This post linked to

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Roasted Garlic Bread & a Cookbook Review

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Now that the holidays are over, I have time to browse the cookbooks that I've been sent, and to review them. Most of you know that I am a cookbook junkie. I LOVE cookbooks and have well over 100 of them in our basement. I love picking through them, reading them from cover to cover, inserting sticky notes on the pages that catch my interest. 300 best Canadian Bread Machine Recipes, has so many post it tabs in it, it was hard to decide which recipe to try first.



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I decided to go with the Roasted Garlic Bread, since I recently had the most amazing Roasted Garlic foccacia and I could just imagine how this would taste. While reading the recipe, I misread 4 cloves of roasted garlic, and went ahead and roasted 4 heads of garlic. Smart hunh? Since the recipe stated to use 4-6 cloves or garlic, I decided to double it and use a whole head. As I watched the garlic being kneaded into the dough, I decided that 1 head would not be enough and I added a second head. Boy am I glad I did, because the bread was PHENOMENAL! I loved the savory sweetness of the roast garlic in the tender bread. We ate 3/4 of the loaf with dinner and I happily ate the remainder for lunch the next day; toasted and slathered with butter. This was truly bread nirvana and even the kids have requested that I make it again!

 Excerpted from 300 best Canadian Bread Machine recipes by Donna Washburn & Heather Butt © 2010 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved: Recipe not to be reprinted without formal permission from publisher.

Roasted Garlic Bread
adapted from 300 best Canadian Bread Machine Recipes

1 1/2 C water
1/4 C skim milk powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbs liquid honey
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves roasted garlic (I used 2 heads)
3 3/4 C all purpose or bread flour
3/4 tsp bread machine or instant yeast

Measure ingredients into baking pan, in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Insert pan into the oven chamber. Select SWEET CYCLE.



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This post linked to

See Ya in the Gumbo
Hearth and Soul
Tasty Tuesday
Delicious Dishes 
Wednesday Extravaganza 
Foodie Friend Friday

Sunday, January 6, 2013

What's for Eats, this Week~ January 6th

Betcha you're surprised to see a meal plan from me, aren't ya? With the holidays I felt so over whelmed with everything I had to do, that meal planning may have put me over the edge I was standing so close to. Now that the year is over, and a new one has begun, things have slowed down and I can focus on meal planning once more. Something that I am trying this New Year, is to cut our food budget, by at least $50. That may not happen, with the rising food costs, but I will try none the less.

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This week, I've had to be creative, since I haven't shopped BIG in a few months, so our supplies were low. I bought only what we really needed, mostly things on sale and am planning around that. I did luck out and find whole turkeys at $.99/lb, so I bought a 10lb turkey. We missed out on turkey over the Holidays, so now we get our turkey and I can use leftovers for AT LEAST 3 more meals! Here is the plan for this week

  • Baked Beans (crockpot) with fresh bread
  • Roast turkey, mashed potatoes, pepper squash
  • Sweet and Sour Turkey Balls with oven fries and mixed veggies
  • Turkey Spaghetti with garlic bread and salad
  • Turkey and Rice Soup with biscuits
  • Pizza with salad
  • Leftovers

Friday, January 4, 2013

Vanilla & Chocolate Oreo Cake- Happy Birthday to ME!

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I recently celebrated my 35th Birthday, on Dec. 29th. Well, actually we were all (except for Mr.B) afflicted with a horrendous stomach bug, and did not celebrate until a few days ago. The last time I was too ill to celebrate my birthday, was about 14 yrs ago, when I also had the flu. It really isn't fun feeling so horribly, on a day meant to celebrate you. But we made the best of the day, with plenty of ginger ale and soda crackers, and made plans to celebrate on Hubby's next day off. Having a birthday smack dab in the middle of Christmas and New Years, isn't always ideal. That happens to be some of the busiest times in the restaurant industry; which means Hubby is swamped at work. So, for years now, I've been settling for store bought cakes, or simple cake mix in a pan with frosting as my birthday cakes. Though I appreciate that the kids and Hubby would remember that I LOVE chocolate cake, I wanted a fancy and special cake for my birthday this year. I resolved that I would have to make my own, if I wanted it to happen.


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I had read a recipe in my Complete Cake Mix Magic cookbook, for a Chocolate and Vanilla Layered Cake with a chocolate whipped cream type of frosting. That was similar to what I wanted, so took that idea and made it my own. Using my simple white cake recipe and the frosting recipe from the book, I set off to make my cake. I added Oreos, because well..... EVERYTHING tastes better when Oreos are involved, LOL. The cake is sensational! Moist with layers of whipped cream, Oreo crumbs and chocolate mousse like frosting. Sinful and exactly what I was aiming for.

Vanilla and Chocolate Oreo Cake
printable version

1 1/2 C sugar
1 C butter
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 1/4 tsp baking powder
3 C flour
1 C milk
1/3 C cocoa powder
1/4 C Nutella
2 C heavy cream
1 pkg instant chocolate pudding
1 C milk
3 Tbs powdered sugar
15 Oreo cookies, crushed
8 Oreo cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2- 8 inch round cake pans and coat them with sugar (to keep from sticking). In a medium bowl, cream sugar and butter. Beat the eggs in, 1 at a time, then add the vanilla. Combine the flour and baking soda and add to the creamed mixture. Mix well. Stir in the milk, until the batter is smooth. Pour half the batter  into 1 of the greased cake pans. In the remaining batter, whisk the cocoa and Nutella. Pour chocolate batter into remaining cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes; until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. The cake should spring back when slightly touched. Let cool 15 minutes, before removing cakes from pans, onto a cooling rack. Cool completely.

For Chocolate Mousse Frosting: Using a mixer, beat 1C of heavy cream to stiff peaks and refrigerate until use. In a clean bowl, whisk the chocolate pudding powder with 1 C milk, until thick; let set 5 minutes. Gently fold whipped cream, into chocolate pudding. Refrigerate until use.

In a clean mixer bowl, whip up the remaining heavy cream, to soft peaks. Slowly add the vanilla and powdered sugar and whip to stiff peaks. While cream is whipping, place 15 Oreos in a large zip top bag. Using a rolling pin, crush into crumbs and set aside.

To assemble: Cut each cake in half, horizontally. Place a vanilla half, cut side up, onto a cake plate and frost with half of the whipped cream. Sprinkle with Oreo crumbs and top with a half of chocolate cake; also cut side up. Top chocolate layer with 1/3 of chocolate mousse frosting and sprinkle with Oreo crumbs. Repeat with remaining vanilla cake and whipped cream; topping with Oreo crumbs. Top with remaining chocolate cake (cut side up) and frost entire cake with remaining chocolate mousse frosting.

Carefully press Oreo crumbs around outside edge of cake and sprinkle top with any remaining crumbs. Cut a small sliver from 8 Oreo cookies and gently place them onto the top of the cake. Refrigerate until serving, or any remaining cake.




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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Apple and Cornbread Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Apple and Cornbread Stuffed Pork Tenderloin



Happy New Year!! 2013 has started and I am convinced that this year is sure to be an amazing one! The kids and I had a great New Years Eve with my Mother in Law. We headed down to City Hall, where they had ice skating, live music, food vendors, horse drawn sleigh rides and face painting. Though we didn't skate, we did enjoy hot chocolate and everything else they had to offer, while trying to keep warm. It was a great way to close out 2012, even though the kids didn't make it until midnight, LOL.


Apple and Cornbread Stuffed Pork Tenderloin



New Years Day was spent organizing the house and trying to get it back into order, after all our Holiday bustle. The ornaments have been taken off the tree and decorations have been packed up and it's time to return to our normal routines soon. We did celebrate the New Year with a fancy dinner and the kids loved that they had the chance to drink their juice from cocktail glasses. I haven't been able to get to the grocery store yet, so our dinner consisted of what I had on hand. The pork tenderloin was the star and enjoyed by us all. Tender and moist, with a melange of wonderful complex flavours in the stuffing. Slightly sweet and savory, this was a great way to change your average pork tenderloin into something spectacular.

Apple and Cornbread Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
adapted from Pork- Be Inspired
printable version

1 pork tenderloin (about 2 pounds)
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried sage
3 medium apples, peeled, halved, cored and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 1/4 cup homemade chicken stock, OR canned low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup apple juice, OR cider

Cornbread and Apple Stuffing:
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup apples, peeled and diced 1/4-inch
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 1/2 cups homemade cornbread, crumbled and dried OR dried cornbread stuffing mix
1/4 cup apple juice
1/3 C dried cranberries

 For stuffing, heat oil in a heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat; sausage and cook 3 minutes. Add onion, celery, sage and a pinch each of salt and pepper; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are quite soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in diced apple and cook 1 minute. Transfer apple mixture to a large bowl. Stir in cornbread crumbs, dried cranberries, apple juice and egg. The mixture should be moist but not wet. Add more apple juice if the mixture seems dry. Taste for seasoning and set aside.

To butterfly the tenderloin, holding the knife blade flat, so that it’s parallel to the board, make a lengthwise cut into the center of the tenderloin, stopping short of the opposite edge so that the flaps remain attached. Open the tenderloin as you would a book. Cover with plastic wrap. With a meat mallet, rolling pin or heavy pan, pound the meat to the desired thickness.

Remove plastic wrap and spread apple stuffing evenly over the meat, leaving a generous 3/4–inch border. Roll up meat jelly-roll style so that stuffing is in a spiral pattern. Tie rolled roast at 2-inch intervals with butcher’s twine.

 Combine 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and remaining sage and sprinkle over roast. Lay the sliced apples on the bottom of a roasting pan just a bit larger than the roast and set the roast, fat-side up, on the apples. Put roast in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 325 degrees and roast for 30- 45 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the roast with an instant-read thermometer: The roast is done when it reaches 145 degrees. If it is not ready, continue to roast, checking the temperature every 10 minutes. When the roast is done, transfer it to a cutting board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for at least 10 minutes while you make the sauce.


With a slotted spoon, transfer the apples in the roasting pan to a bowl and keep warm. Pour off any fat from the roasting pan, leaving the meat juices on the bottom. Put pan over medium-high heat, add apple juice and deglaze pan. Transfer to a small saucepan and add stock. Increase heat to high and bring liquid to a boil. Simmer, stirring, until reduced by half. Taste for salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm while you carve the pork roast.

Remove twine from the roast and cut it into 1/2-inch thick slices. (If you cut the slices too thin, they will fall apart.) Arrange the pork on a serving platter. Spoon the sliced apples around the meat and pour the sauce over all.

Apple and Cornbread Stuffed Pork Tenderloin


This post linked to

Hearth and Soul
Delicious Dishes
Wednesday Extravaganza
Tasty Thursday 
Full Plate Thursday
Thursday Favorite Things