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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chili Corn Dog Casserole

Chili Corn Dog Casserole- www.hunwhatsfordinner.com


Boy is it cold! For a week and a half, the kids haven't been going out for recess, due to the frigid temperatures. Today is suppose to warm up but I, along with most people experiencing these temperatures, are so ready for Spring. When it's cold outside, it makes me crave hearty comforting foods. The other night I mentioned to Hubby that I was craving some chili and that I thought I would make it again, to see if maybe the kids would eat it now. Hubby mentioned that he was craving corn dogs, which gave me an idea about combining the two. I mean, what goes better with chili, than corn bread?

So, I decided to mix some chopped hot dogs, into my cornbread batter, like with corn dog muffins. For the chili, a wanted it nice and thick, so it wouldn't make the corn dog crust soggy. The smell of this cooking was amazing! I loved the contrast of the sweet buttery cornbread, with the smoky salty hot dogs and spicy chili. The kids really loved this, which surprised me because chili has never been something they liked to eat. Hubby and I enjoyed this too and I must say, just like regular chili, it was better the next day. It reheats wonderfully and topped with sour cream, cheese and green chiles, it's an amazing meal, perfect for a cold winter night.

Chili Corn Dog Casserole- www.hunwhatsfordinner.com



Chili Corn Dog Casserole
printable version

1 lb lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 1/2 tsp chipotle pepper powder
1 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
2 C tomato juice (or 1- 14oz can diced tomatoes)
1- 14oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Corn Dog Crust
1 C yellow cornmeal
1/2 C flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2- 3/4 C buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly whisked
5 Tbs butter, melted, cooled slightly
4 hot dogs, chopped

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium high heat. Once no longer pink, add in the onion, garlic and red pepper. Season with chipotle pepper powder, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent. Add in tomato juice and beans and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until reduced and thick. Pour chili into a 9x9 inch casserole dish and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl combine the corn meal, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add in the egg, buttermilk and melted butter and stir until well combined. Stir in the chopped hot dogs. Spread mixture evenly over chili in the casserole dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes; until corn bread is set in the centre. Let rest 10 minutes, before serving.



This post is linked to these AWESOME linky parties

Wonderfully Creative Wednesday
What's Cookin' Wednesday
Thursday Favorite Things
Full Plate Thursday
Bloom Designs Linky Party
Lovely Ladies Linky
Create it Thursday
Share the Love Sunday

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Conversation Heart Blondies with Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting

Valentine's Day Conversation Heart Blondies- www.hunwhatsfordinner.com


Valentine's Day has never really been an exciting holiday for me. Growing up, I was labelled a nerd, so it wasn't until my later years, that I actually had someone to celebrate it with. Even now, it still feel like a regular day to me, because I make it a point to show Hubby and the kids that I love them every single day; not just one special day a year. Sure I might get flowers, or chocolates, but that doesn't mean as much as knowing everyday that I am loved by the most wonderful man in the world. Even if we aren't gung ho about the holiday, it doesn't stop me for getting excited when I see all the Valentine's candies. Which was the case, this past weekend.

I stopped by our local bulk store, to get a few baking supplies and couldn't help myself from walking through the Valentine's Day isle. Kisses, truffles, jelly beans and cinnamon hearts were all staring me right in the face. But when I reached the conversation heart bin, I just had to get a couple scoopfuls. I just love these colourful little hearts, with funny and sometimes inappropriate sayings. I knew I wanted to make a Valentine's dessert with them, but I wasn't sure what yet. First I thought of making brownies and just placing these on top, once frosted, but I wanted to be more creative. So I decided to go with blondies. I knew the colourful hearts would looks great in the light chewy blondies.

These blondies are so much fun! I love the different colours peeking through the blond chewy brownie. The hearts actually soften a bit, once baked in the brownies, so they aren't difficult to eat. I went with a cherry flavoured frosting for the top, which goes perfectly with the blondie flavours. The kids LOVED these, saying they were so beautiful and delicious.

Valentine's Day Conversation Heart Blondies- www.hunwhatsfordinner.com



Conversation Heart Blondies with Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting
printable version

1/2 C (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 C conversation hearts, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 inch baking dish with parchment paper and butter the parchment.

In a bowl whisk together the melted butter and both sugars, until light and fluffy. Whisk in the egg, vanilla and almond extract; until well combined. Add in the flour, mixed with a pinch of salt and stir until almost combined. Stir in crushed conversations hearts.

Spread into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until centre is set. Let cool completely, before frosting.

Frost brownie, cut into 16 pieces and top with additional conversation hearts.

Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 C butter
1/3 of a brick of cream cheese
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp maraschino cherry syrup (for colouring)
1 1/2- 2 C powdered sugar
conversation hearts for garnish

In a bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese; until smooth. Beat in the almond extract and cherry syrup. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar, to desired consistency (I went for a more stiff frosting) and beat for 2 minutes.



Monday, January 27, 2014

Simple Supper Tuesday #49

Welcome back to Simple Supper Tuesday, the party featuring QUICK, EASY recipes, perfect for those busy weeknights. So, please share your crock pot, 30 minutes or 5 ingredient recipes (easy desserts are also welcome)!!


Simple Supper Tuesday Linky Party



Recipe with the MOST CLICKS



Sloppy Cubanos- What's Cooking in the Burbs



Recipe(s) that CAUGHT MY EYE






Easy Suppers for Busy Evenings- The 21st Century Housewife



Weeknight Chicken Parmesan- Will Cook for Shoes




Healthy No-Bake Cookies- The Frugal Farm Wife



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




 photo SimpleSupperTuesday_zps93ff0e49.jpg

The Party Rules
  1. Please link up Crock Pot and/or EASY recipes only (simple desserts are also welcome) 
  2. Please follow our hosts, on social media
  3. Please link back to THIS post on Hun... What's for Dinner? 
  4. Please use link to direct recipe, not to your home page. 
  5. Please visit others and leave comments if a recipe catches your eye 
  6. Any post that DOES NOT contain a recipe or food tutorial, will be deleted

Saturday, January 25, 2014

No Yeast Caramel Cinnamon Rolls

No Yeast Caramel Cinnamon Rolls- www.hunwhatsfordinner.com


This is a recipe I grew up on. I was always excited when my mom would make these and she made them pretty often, since they didn't require yeast, or a rise time. It was a wonderful treat to come home to the smell of cinnamon rolls after school and to even bring one in our lunches, the next day. I didn't really taste a yeast cinnamon roll, until I was a teenager, working in a coffee shop. While I love the super fluffy rolls, slathered with cream cheese frosting; there is something about these no-yeast rolls, fresh out of the oven that just bring me back to my childhood.

This past Christmas, I was able to spend time with my whole family. Both my siblings made it down to my parents house, and my nieces and nephews were able to make it too. I can't remember the last time we have been together, all three of us kids and our families, during the holidays. My sister decided to make my nephew some of these cinnamon rolls, on Christmas Eve morning. They are also one of his favourites, since he grew up very close to my parents and my sister would make these often. So she whipped up a double batch of these rolls and everyone devoured them. As Hubby was eating his second roll, he asked why I had never made these. I think I forgot just how easy these were to make.

The kids really like these, since they aren't as huge as yeast rolls.  I like that they come together in just about 15, or so minutes and that this recipe makes it's own caramel glaze that makes them that much better. These are perfect for a special breakfast, for brunch, in lunch boxes, or just to show someone you care.

No Yeast Caramel Cinnamon Rolls- www.hunwhatsfordinner.com



No Yeast Caramel Cinnamon Rolls
printable version

1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C butter
2 Tbs water
3 C flour
1/3 C sugar 
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4- 1C milk
1/3 C brown sugar 
2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbs butter

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put 1/2 brown sugar, butter and water into a 9x13-inch baking dish and place in the oven to melt the butter. Once butter is melted, stir to combine and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add in milk, starting with 3/4 of a cup; adding more if needed. Stir together to form a soft dough (you don't want to over work the dough, it will make the buns tough).

Turn out to a well floured surface and roll out to a 12x14- inch rectangle.  Spread with 3 Tbs of butter. Sprinkle with 1/3 C brown sugar and and cinnamon, and roll up, starting with the long end of the dough. Cut into 12 slices and place into the baking dish, cut side down. Bake for 22-25 minutes until golden brown and dough is baked through, between buns. Turn out immediately to a platter and scoop any remaining glaze on top of the buns.

This post is linked to these AWESOME linky parties

Kitchen Dreaming Friday Link Party
Lovely Ladies Linky
Friday Favorites
Foodie Friends Friday
Freedom Fridays
Weekend Potluck
The Weekend re-Treat
Super Saturday
Shine a Spotlight Saturday
Saturday Show & Tell

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Get Inspired this Chinese New Year #bluedragonmom

My children have always been open to eating foods from different cultures. Though we eat a variety of ethnic foods, we never really discuss the origin or reason behind these foods. So I thought that Chinese New Year, would be a great way to get some Chinese culture into our lives. Chinese New Year is a holiday celebrated on the first day of the year, of the Chinese Calendar. I am sad to see the year of the snake end and the year of the horse begin. My Chinese zodiac animal is the snake, so this past year was perfect for me, LOL.



My family really enjoys going out for Chinese food and when I was chosen to be a Blue Dragon Canada Ambassador, I was beyond excited! I have always wanted to make more Asian inspired dishes at home, but have always been reluctant to. Well, Blue Dragon sent me a nice little box of goodies to get me started. I was so happy to find Spring Roll Wrappers in my package! Mr.B loves fried spring rolls, so I knew I had to make them. These delicious little rolls of cabbage are often eaten during Chinese New Year celebrations, since they resemble bars of gold and are thought to bring prosperity.

Spring Rolls

1 pkg Blue Dragon Spring Roll Wrappers                              
1 medium sized napa cabbage, shredded
1 small to medium carrot, shredded
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
Blue Dragon Sweet and Sour Sauce for dipping.

In a large skillet, heat a few Tbs of vegetable oil, over medium high heat. Add in cabbage, carrot, ginger, and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in soy sauce and cook for an additional minute. Transfer to a strainer, to let any liquids drain out.

Fill a shallow dish with warm water. Take one Blue Dragon spring roll wrapper and submerge it into the water to soften; about 10-15 seconds. Lay on a clean damp dish towel and put one heaping Tbs of cabbage mixture near the bottom of the wrapper. Fold the bottom over the filling and bring both sides into the center. Continue rolling the filling away from you, to the top of the wrapper. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

Heat 2 inches of oil in a skillet with high edges; to 375 degrees F. Gently place spring rolls into hot oil and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes, until wrapper become lightly browned. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain off excess oil and serve with Blue Dragon Sweet and Sour Sauce.

Spring Rolls #bluedragonmom -www.hunwhatsfordinner.com


Another food thought to bring prosperity is pot stickers, or dumplings; since they are shaped like little purses. I decided to make Pork and Shrimp Pot Stickers, since Hubby and I always have them when we enjoy Chinese dinners out. These were super simple to make, using wonton wrappers as the dough.



Pork and Shrimp Pot Stickers

3/4 lb boneless centre cut pork chops, trimmed of fat and cut into chunks
1 1/2 C 61/70 (small) shrimp, de-veined and shells removed
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 green onions, cut into chunks
1 Tbs fresh ginger, grated
1 Tbs sesame oil
pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper
small won ton wrappers
1- 1 1/2 C water
Blue Dragon Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce
soy sauce

Add the pork and shrimp into the bowl of a food processor, along with the ginger, garlic, green onion, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Pulse until meat is well chopped (slightly larger chunks of shrimp are ok).

Separate won ton wrappers. Place a Tbs amount of pork filling into the centre of the won ton wrapper. Wet two edges of the wrapper and fold one corner over to the opposite corner. Press seems together, folding wrapper slightly to create ruffles.

Preheat a heavy bottom skillet (with a lid) over medium heat and add in 2 Tbs of oil. Once oil ripples, place dumplings into pan, in a circular pattern, starting with the outer edge; cook for 2 minutes. Add in 1-1 1/2 C water to the skillet (the water should come to a third of the way up the dumplings) and cover. Cook until water has been absorbed and you can hear the oil sizzling in the bottom of the skillet. Remove from heat and carefully loosen dumplings from bottom of the pan. Invert pot stickers onto a serving plate and serve with soy sauce or Blue Dragon Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce.

Pork and Shrimp Pot Stickers- www.hunwhatsfordinner.com



The last dish I wanted to make was a lovely stir fry, using a fabulous Honey Teriyaki Stir Fry Sauce, from my goodie box. The kids LOVE Chinese noodles, so I decided to add some to my stir fry. Noodles after all, are said to represent a long life, when slurped up whole, without breaking.

Vegetable Stir Fry with Noodles #bluedradonmom - www.hunwhatsfordinner.com

I hope Blue Dragon and I have inspired you to try one of the many wonderful recipe found on their website, or to even try one of these recipes to bring a little Chinese New Year into your household.

Disclosure: I am part of the Blue Dragon Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinionson this blog are my own. All rights reserved on photographs and written content Hun... What's for Dinner? © 2008 - 2014. 

This post is linked to these awesome Linky Parties

What's Cookin' Wednesday
Wonderfully Creative Wednesdays
Full Plate Thursday
Thursday Favorite Things
Create it Thursday
Bloom Designs Link Party
Lovely Ladies Linky
Get Him Fed

Monday, January 20, 2014

Simple Supper Tuesday #48

Welcome back to Simple Supper Tuesday, the party featuring QUICK, EASY recipes, perfect for those busy weeknights. So, please share your crock pot, 30 minutes or 5 ingredient recipes (easy desserts are also welcome)!!




I am VERY excited to announce my new Co-Hosts for this linky party. I've teamed up with 4 other awesome bloggers, to bring you a bigger party, with more features and fun! Please help me welcome my new Co-Hosts:

Cydnee from Tampa Cake Girl
and of course me


Recipe(s) with the MOST CLICKS




Southern Skillet Corn Bread- Seven Springs Homestead
Southwest Chicken Soup- Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Bacon Ranch Cheese Log- Diddles and Dumplings
Crock Pot Pulled Pork Enchiladas- Moore or Less Cooking Blog




Recipe that CAUGHT MY EYE 






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

 photo SimpleSupperTuesday_zps93ff0e49.jpg 

The Party Rules

1.Please link up Crock Pot and/or 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 
5.Any post that DOES NOT contain a recipe or food tutorial, will be deleted



Asian Shrimp Dip- Crazy Ingredient Challenge


 It's time again for the Crazy Ingredient Challenge. Where some of us bloggers get assigned two ingredients that don't necessarily go together. We need to think outside of the box and come up with fabulous recipes, using both ingredients. This month the ingredients were Peanut Butter and Ketchup. I wasn't able to participate last month, due to being out of town, but this month as soon as I read the ingredients, I thought of Asian food.

Peanut butter is found in some Asian recipes, such as peanut butter noodles, or in spicy peanut dipping sauce. So, I decided to go the Asian route and to pair the ingredients together in a wonderful shrimp dip. After all, an easy way to make shrimp cocktail sauce is to use ketchup, right? I had and idea of what I wanted the dip to be like, but I wasn't sure if I could get the vision in my head, to the bowl. I took every single Asian ingredient we had in the house and decided which flavours would go well with the shrimp, peanut butter and ketchup. The end result is a creamy, slightly sweet and savoury dip, studded with tender cocktail shrimp. The chili sauce adds a nice warm bite at the end, which isn't too overwhelming. This would be a perfect addition to any game day spread.


www.hunwhatsfordinner.com Asian Shrimp Dip




Asian Shrimp Dip
printable version

1 C sour cream
1/4 C ketchup
3 Tbs creamy peanut butter
1 inch fresh ginger, finely grated
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp Asian chili sauce
1/2 tsp Hoisin sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 can cocktail shrimp, drained
2 green onions, chopped (some of the green tops reserved for garnish)
crackers of choice for dipping (I chose potato thins and brown rice Triscuits)

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream and peanut butter; until smooth. Add in the ketchup, rice wine vinegar, chili sauce, Hoisin sauce, soy sauce and garlic powder; whisking until well incoporated. Gently fold in the shrimp, green onion and ginger. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes; to let the flavours develop. Garnish with a few cocktail shrimp and green onion, and serve with crackers of choice.


www.hunwhatsfordinner.com Asian Shrimp Dip

This post is being linked to these awesome linky parties

See Ya in the Gumbo
Munching Mondays
Mix it Up Monday
In & Out of the Kitchen
Talking Tuesday
Hit Me with your Best Shot
Totally Tasty Tuesdays
Time to Sparkle
Create LINK Inspire
Tasty Tuesdays


If you would like to join in on next month's Crazy Ingredient Challenge, simple click the button below to apply!

HunngryLittleGirl



Friday, January 17, 2014

One Week, 1 Ham and $35- Easy Ham and Broccoli Pasta

One Week, 1 Ham and $35- Easy Ham and Broccoli Pasta www.hunwhatsfordinner.com


Well, we've managed to eat quite well this week, with our ham and $35. Today is pay day and tomorrow we will be able to do some much needed shopping. We faired quite well, I think mostly because we had a well stocked pantry. I always hear people say, 'buy when it's on sale" and I agree whole heartedly. It helps tremendously when those moments happen and you are left with only dollars until pay day. Wednesday night, the kids requested eggs and toast for dinner. I threw in a can of fruit cocktail we had in the pantry and we called it dinner. Last night Hubby was home for dinner, so I wanted to make something heartier. We had tons of dried pasty in the pantry, so I decided to toss some pasta with some ham and broccoli.

It was a total hit. Queenie inhaled her dinner and she is usually the one we are encouraging to eat dinner. Mr. B gave it one thumb up and one thumb down, saying he would eat it again, but pizza still would be better, LOL. Hubby said it was really good and even ate the leftovers I had set aside in hopes of taking a good photo of it, this afternoon. So, thankfully I had saved a bit of broccoli. I ended up making a smaller portion today at lunch, to I could take some photos for you guys. Sometimes the most delicious meals are those that are the simplest.

I hope you enjoyed coming on my journey this week and I hope that I've given you hope and confidence that you can still eat well, on a small budget. It just takes planning and a good pantry. So, when you do have that extra $10 in your budget, buy more pantry items that are on sale and start building that emergency "what if " pantry, that will make it easier to still eat well, when times are tight.


One Week, 1 Ham and $35- Easy Ham and Broccoli Pasta www.hunwhatsfordinner.com



Easy Ham and Broccoli Pasta
printable version

1 small onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 head of broccoli, rinsed and cut into florets
2 C thick sliced ham, chopped
1 lb dried pasta of choice (the first night I used farfalle)
salt and pepper
1/4 C parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

Cook pasta in generously salted, boiling water; until al dente.

In a large skillet heat the oil, over medium heat. When it starts to ripple, add in the broccoli and toss to coat with the oil; let cook 3 minutes. Add in onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Cook until onion becomes translucent; about 2-3 minutes. Stir in ham and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.

Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain pasta. Pour pasta water into the skillet with the broccoli and ham, stirring to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add in the drained pasta and Parmesan cheese and gently toss to combine and coat with the sauce. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.


This post is being linked to these AWESOME linky parties

Kitchen Dreaming Friday Link Party
Lovely Ladies Link Up
Friday Favorites
Foodie Friends Friday
Freedom Fridays
Super Saturday Show & Tell
Weekend Potluck
Weekend re-Treat
Super Saturday
Saturday Show & Tell
Shine a Spotlight Saturday

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

One Week, 1 Ham and $35- Staples for Low Budget Meals

Our third day of eating ham was probably the kids favourite. Hubby was home from work yesterday, so he treated us to some Indian Fry Bread, which is a family recipe of his. Being Native American Mohawk, hubby knows how to make amazing fry bread. They are light and fluffy and not too greasy. We had our fry bread with ham, which I quickly fried in a non stick skillet. A big bowl of frozen mixed veggies was our side.



Frozen veggies are very low cost and a great way to get your veggies on the table, when trying to cut costs. Sure some would say that canned veggies are a better buy and less expensive, but with a bag of frozen veg, I can have a side for 3-4 meals. They're also great to throw into soups, stews and pasta dishes. The fry bread was made with items we already had in our pantry, which we make sure to always have. I thought it would be helpful to have a list of low cost pantry items. And here is a helpful hint- shop at the dollar store! They have tons of pantry staples for $1. I regularly buy my baking soda, sea salt, dried herbs and spices and some canned goods at the dollar store.

Pantry

Baking supplies- flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and brown sugar, corn meal
Herbs and Spices- garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, basil, bay leaf, cinnamon and nutmeg
Dried pastas and rice
Dried beans and lentils
Canned goods- tuna fish, salmon, cream soups, tomato soup, canned tomatoes, canned beans (chick peas, black beans)
vegetable oil
Potatoes and onions
pasta sauce

Fridge

Carrots
Celery
Apples
seasonal fruit, when on sale
cheese, when on sale
dressings- ranch, ceasar, blue cheese

With my $35 this week, I purchased two 4-litre bags of milk ($11), 1 carton of eggs ($3.50), broccoli ($.99), a bag of apples ($1.99), 1 box granola bars for lunches ($.1.99), 1 large container vanilla yogurt ($1.99), 3 loaves whole wheat bread (3x $1.99), canola oil ($2.39), ketchup ($4.49)= $34.31 **please remember these are Canadian prices. Prices may vary from country to country, even province to province**

We were lucky that we had many pantry staples already in the house. We stock up on things like canned soups, dressings, tuna fish/salmon, canned tomatoes, canned beans, pasta sauce, sugar etc, when it goes on sale. This has helped us a lot this week.





Dippin' Through January~ Rocky Road Brownie Batter Dip



Do you guys remember the 12 Cakes of December? Where I teamed up with some really awesome bloggers and we each shared one new cake recipe, for 12 days? Well, we had so much fun doing cakes, that we decided to bring you guys a round up of new recipes every month. With the Super Bowl fast approaching, we decided to go with DIPS for the month of January.

Hubby and I are BIG fans of dips. You can bet that any time we go out for lunch, or dinner, we're ordering shrimp and lobster dip, or spinach artichoke dip as an appetizer. Heck, I'd be happy with a bowl of dip and chips/crackers for dinner! There is just something so comforting about dipping into a nice smooth flavourful dip. While most people think of dips as something savoury, I decided to go with a sweet dip.

Hun... What's for Dinner? Rocky Road Brownie Batter Dip. Perfect for Game Day!

I knew I wanted to try making a chocolate dip, but I wanted it to be a little healthier. So, I went with a vanilla Greek yogurt as the base. This dip with SO awesome. My kids dove right in and I loved that they were enjoying the healthy dip-ables that I served with it. The texture is smooth and there is a slight tang to the dip, thanks to the yogurt and cocoa powder. The pecans and marshmallow bits add a nice crunch and texture contrast. If you can not find marshmallow bits, you can use mini marshmallows, which have been cut into thirds, using clean kitchen shears.



Rocky Road Brownie Batter Dip
printable version

1 C vanilla Greek yogurt
1 1/2 Tbs cocoa powder
1 Tbs flour
1/4 C powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 Tbs milk, if too thick
1/4 C pecans, finely chopped
1/4 C vanilla marshmallow bits
red and green apple slices
sliced bananas
graham crackers

In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt, cocoa powder, flour and powdered sugar; until smooth. Whisk in vanilla and almond extract and 1 Tbs of milk, if the dip feels too stiff and thick. Fold in pecans and marshmallow bits and transfer to a pretty bowl. Serve with apple slices, banana slices and graham crackers. When in season, strawberries would also be good with this dip.

Notes: to prevent apples and banana from browning, submerge into a bowl containing 2 cups of water and 3 Tbs lemon juice; and let soak for a few minutes. Remove to a paper towel and pat dry before placing on serving platter.

Hun... What's for Dinner? Rocky Road Brownie Batter Dip. Perfect for Game Day!


Check out how my fellow bloggers are Dippin their way through January!

Jalapeno Popper Dip- Moore or Less Cooking Blog
Melting Pot Swiss Cheese Dip- Tampa Bay Cake Girl
Rocky Road Brownie Batter Dip- Hun... What's for Dinner?
Prosciutto Artichoke Spinach Dip- Crumbs in my Mustachio
Crab Rangoon Dip with Wonton Chips- Lemony Thyme
BLT Dip- Cooking from a Stay at Home Mom
Apple French Toast Brunch Dip- Baking in a Tornado
Succulent Salmon Dip- The Rowdy Baker
Yum Yum Dipping Sauce- Manila Spoon



This post is linked to these AWESOME linky parties

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

One Week, 1 Ham and $35- Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup

One Week, 1 Ham and $35- Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup- Low cost recipes, for when times are tough. www. hunwhatsfordinner.com


There is no words that can describe the feeling you get, when you are put into a position where you feel like you've failed your children. Especially when you've never been there before. Sure we've had some times where our budget was tight, which meant we couldn't get coffee from our favourite coffee shop that week, or we couldn't go out to dinner that month. But we have never been in this situation before; where our budget has been so tight, that I truly worried about being able to feed my children healthy and wholesome meals. While talking to friends about our current situation, I came to realize that for many this is an everyday, constant struggle. These people do not have the luxury of saying "next pay day, we'll be OK", because when pay day comes around and they take care of their responsibilities, they are back in the same situation they previously were. If our moment of bad luck can help someone who is unfortunate enough to be dealing with this every day, then it makes our struggle a bit less painful. Thank you to my friend Karen, for encouraging me to post about this!

When I have a limited budget to deal with, I try to get the most bang for my buck. Items such as potatoes, carrots and dry beans are very affordable, versatile and are packed with great nutrition. One bag of dried beans can be used for at least 3 meals and costs under $2. Which makes them staples in our house, no matter what our financial situation is. Two of these items, helped transform some of my left over ham, into a fabulous bean soup. I saved the drippings from the ham, the first night, after I had roasted it in the oven. I used these drippings, paired with beef bouillon (feel free to use chicken, all we had was beef), as the liquid in my soup. Onion and carrot was my flavour base, for the tender beans and ham. I let this cook in my crock pot all day, which lead to a wonderfully amazing soup.

By using the drippings and beef bouillon as the liquid base, I only had to use a bit of milk to make this a creamy soup; because I don't know about you guys, but milk is VERY expensive here in Canada ($5.49 for 4 litres). By using a slotted spoon to scoop up some of the cooked beans, and mashing them; it also added a wonderful creamy texture and thickened the soup slightly. Everyone loved the soup and I even had leftovers for lunch the next two days. That's what I love about beans, they taste great anyway you prepare them and you can eat a few meals from one cooked batch.

One Week, 1 Ham and $35- Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup- Low cost recipes, for when times are tough. www. hunwhatsfordinner.com




Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup
printable version

1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C carrots, chopped
2 C dried navy beans (white beans)
1 C roast ham drippings (optional)
1 low sodium beef/chicken bouillon cube
4 C water
2 C cooked ham, chopped
pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper
1 bay leaf
1 C milk

Bring the 4 C of water to a boil, in a large pot. Pour in beans and simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes and set aside.

Place onion, garlic, carrots and ham in a 4 qt crock pot. Pour in beans, along with the water in which you boiled them. In a large bowl, whisk together the ham drippings and chicken bouillon cube. Pour over ingredients in the crock pot. Place in bay leaf and season all with salt and pepper. Cook on low for 6-8hrs; until beans and carrots are tender.

Once beans are tender, using a slotted spoon, remove some of the beans from the crock pot and mash. Return to crock pot and add the milk. Fish out the bay leaf and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until the milk is heated through.


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Monday, January 13, 2014

Simple Supper Tuesday #47

Welcome back to Simple Supper Tuesday, the party featuring QUICK, EASY recipes, perfect for those busy weeknights. So, please share your crock pot, 30 minutes or 5 ingredient recipes (easy desserts are also welcome)!!

Recipe(s) with the MOST CLICKS



Bacon Cheese Pull-Aparts- Mom! What's for Dinner?
Snicker Bar Chunks Cheesecake- This Silly Girl's Life
Twice Baked Potato Casserole- Love Bakes Good Cakes



Recipe that CAUGHT MY EYE




Tomato, Pea, Avocado, Bean Salad- The Scent of Oranges




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The Party Rules

1.Please link up Crock Pot and/or 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
5.Any post that DOES NOT contain a recipe or food tutorial, will be deleted

Sunday, January 12, 2014

One week, 1 Ham and $35

Why is it, that when things seem their brightest, a big ol' pile of crap gets loaded on to you? This was our case, about 4 weeks ago. We had just finished the major part of our Christmas shopping and were SO proud of ourselves for not going over board and breaking the bank. January would not be the month where we would be trying to play catch up with our credit cards and we were going to start saving for our return trip to Nova Scotia and Campbell's Cove camp ground. Then a few days later, a father at school, stopped me to tell me that he thought something was seriously wrong with the back driver side wheel on our car. So, home I went to tell Hubby about it and he took in it to get checked out. Things weren't as serious as we thought, but we did end up paying a fair bit of money for new snow tires and an alignment. OK, no sweat; we were still OK.

One Week, 1 Ham and $35. How to still feed your family healthy and nutricious meals, when times are tough. www.hunwhatsfordinner.com


The New Year came in with a bang! Once again we had issues with the car and ended up paying a pretty penny to get things repaired. Having to spend so much, right after paying rent for the month hurt us badly. Thank goodness for grocery stores with points cards. We were able to redeem our points last week, for items needed for school lunches. This week we aren't so lucky. I have $35 in my wallet that I can spend on groceries for 1 week. Thankfully we have a pretty well stocked pantry and we had a HUGE ham in the freezer. So, this week I'll be showing you how I fed my family delicious and healthy meals with 1 ham, $35 and what I can find in our pantry.

Tonight I am starting by slow roasting the whole ham and serving it with mashed potatoes and frozen mixed veggies. I will then portion the remaining ham, to use for the rest of the week. I will be posting any new recipes and keeping you updated as the week goes by.

I hope this series helps others who a struggling to keep their heads above water in today's economy. I am a prime example that even with a spouse with a stable reliable job, in the blink of an eye you could be left struggling to keep from going hungry.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Healthier Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies have just the right amount of sweetness, are tender and chewy, with a nice nutty crunch.

Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal Cookies


It seems like once January 1st hits, everyone is scrambling to become more healthy. Even I get sucked into the New Year, healthy new start dance. BUT most years come Valentine's my good intentions go down the drain, thanks to the Valentine's chocolates Hubby insists on buying me. After 14 yrs, you'd think the man would know I have NO will power when it comes to chocolate. Zero, nadda, nyet! It's actually pretty sad and something I've been trying to resolve for years. The fact that I love baking so much doesn't help either. I mean knowing I can go into the kitchen and crank out cookies in about 30 minutes, does not help my sugar addiction. So, every January I try to find a balance, a way to have my cookie and eat it too.

Now a days with so many sugar alternatives, and great whole wheat flours, it's easy to make your favourites a bit healthier. I however, do not do artificial sweeteners, or alternative sweeteners such as stevia. For one sweeteners like sucralose can not be broken down in our bodies, therefore are expelled and recycled into our drinking water. My Mom tried baking with Stevia and I just don't like the coating it leaves on my tongue, or the after taste it leaves in my mouth. Now if you like these alternative sweeteners, I am not saying you are in the wrong. It's all about personal preference and I for one just can't do it. If you can, kuddos to you. So I try to go with more natural sweeteners, which have been around for a LONG time. Like honey. I love to bake with honey and when I can, I do. Pecans and dried cranberries are both packed with heart healthy fats. Plus, my kids LOVE them, so I knew they'd go for these yummy cookies!

Cranberry Pecan Cookies



Healthier Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal Cookies
printable version

4 Tbs butter, softened
1/4 cup creamed honey
2 Tbs brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C white whole wheat flour
3/4 C rolled oats
2 Tbs ground flax seed
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C pecans, chopped
1/4 C dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl cream the butter, honey and brown sugar, until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract. In a second bowl combine the flour, oats, ground flax, baking soda and salt. Pour into butter mixture and mix until just combined. Add cranberries and pecan (reserving a few nuts to sprinkle on top) and mix well.

Using a medium cookie scoop, place dough onto cookie sheets and sprinkle with remaining nuts. Bake for 8-11 minutes, until cookies begin to brown around the edges. For crisper cookies, cook one minute longer; watching to ensure they don't burn.


This recipe is being entered in EatInEatOut's 3 Annual Christmas in July Cookie Contest


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