Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2020

Texas Cheeseburger Sliders

These juicy sliders are packed full of Tex Mex flavours. When we lived in Houston (about 18 yrs ago), I quickly realized that Mexican food had a definite place in that state. I loved being able to find a taco stand, and buy some authentic Mexican food. Our favorites were Tamales and anytime we would drive by a certain corner store that happened to double as a Mexican take out, we would grab some to take home. I found this recipe through Better Homes and Gardens, and I can see why they call them Texas Cheeseburgers. They have great Mexican flavors running through them. I decided to turn this recipe into sliders, since my daughter and I are not big beef eaters. I did switch up some of the flavours, by subbing some green chiles for poblano. I didn't want these to be too hot for the kids. These were super tender and juicy. I loved the spicy chiles and hot sauce, paired with the subtle creamy Jack cheese. I decided to serve these on homemade scones, but they would also b

Warm Beet Salad with Green Beans & Bacon

Tender beets are topped with warm green beans, bacon and a wonderful warm vinaigrette. Ah summer. Being a high school cafeteria manager, I get summers off. It's a nice break from the hectic days I work. Since I'm off, I've been able to watch daytime TV. I had been watching a cooking show hosted by a French Canadian Chef Ricardo Larrivee, which was focusing on beets. Now, I've pretty much only eaten beets, pickled and it wasn't until a few years ago that I tried oven roasted beets. The flavour of cooked beets themselves isn't something I'm too fond of, but add some sort of sweet and sour dressing and I'm all over it. So, when I saw Ricardo making this fantastic  beet salad , that also contained green beans and bacon, I wanted to make it ASAP. I found some gorgeous orange/yellow beets at the farmers market, along with purple beets and green beans. Knowing I am the only one to like beets, I was happy to have this salad all to myself. It was a fan

Beginners Guide to Meal Planning: 6 Time Saving and Money Saving Tips

(image credit: Getty images) It's 5 pm and I'm exhausted from a busy day in the cafeteria. Weary I stand in front of the open fridge debating whether the brownies on the counter would be an acceptable dinner. Sound familiar? With so many pressures of everyday life, it's easy to take the easy way out and reach for your cellphone to order take out. It gets delivered right to your door! But like many others, our income took a huge hit with the recent pandemic. As income decreased, our eating increase. What else are we suppose to do stuck at home? I've always been a fan of meal planning, but when I stopped blogging 5 yrs ago, the meal planning also stopped. I was no longer sharing with you guys, and exhausted from returning to work after 14 years of being a stay at home wife and mother. The result? I fell into the take out, "let's go out" rut. It's a delicious rut to be in, but not great for your health, or your wallet! So today I wanted to shar

Blackberry Frozen Sweet Tea

This frozen drink mixes subtle flavours of sweet tea, with fresh berries. When summer rolls around, one of our staple drinks is homemade sweet tea. I often find myself making a pitcher a day. Though I love a good glass of fresh brewed iced tea with a squeeze of lemon and lime, I thought it would be fun to turn this into a fancier drink that would impress guest, who come for cookouts. This drink can be made, with or without liquor and is just as good either way. We're not big drinkers, so I like the fact that I can still enjoy these on week days, while I'm home with the kids. You can make a big batch of blackberry puree and keep it in your fridge for about a week. There is just a hint of tea flavour, with the bright slightly tart flavour of the blackberries. Depending on how tart your berries are, you may want to increase the sweetness of the puree. Refreshing! Frozen Blackberry Sweet Tea printable version  1/2 C blackberries 2 Tbs honey 2 C fresh b

Bacon-Mozzarella Accordion Garlic Bread

 A fresh baguette is stuffed with bacon, cheese and garlic butter, for an addictive appetizer. When we used to go out to eat, if it is on the menu, we would order a bruschetta type accordion bread. I thought I could make an awesome garlic bread, using the same concept, but adding ingredients that we totally love. We often like to top leftover garlic bread with mozzarella cheese, to make it seem new again, so I wanted to incorporate that between the garlicky slices or baguette. And we all know how AWESOME bacon is right?? This is a super simple, yet deliciously impressive appetizer. I'm sure your guests would all Oooh and Ahhh over the ooey gooey bread with bacon. They would be totally CRAZY if they didn't!! The kids really loved this too. The inside was soft and garlicky, full of cheese, bacon and nice fresh green onion. The outside was crispy and buttery. Bacon-Mozzarella Accordion Garlic Bread printable version  1 demi baguette 1/3 C butter mel

Cheese Enchiladas

Spicy authentic enchilada sauce is the star in this cheese filled indulgent meal.  We never ate Mexican food growing up. There only spices my dad likes is pretty much salt and pepper.  So anything that required more spices than that never made it to our table . When I moved to Houston with my ex husband, I got to experience authentic Mexican food and I instantly fell in love. Not being a fan of ground beef, I gravitated toward cheese enchiladas, or chicken enchiladas.  I've been in the cheesy spicy kinda mood lately. So I decided to make a dish I hadn't made in years, Cheese Enchiladas. I have to say I could live on cheese enchiladas, for the rest of my life, LOL. The sauce is so simple to make and is bursting with Mexican flavors. AND who can resist melty cheese? A match made in heaven! Enchilada Sauce 2 Tbs oil (I used an avocado/coconut blend) 1/4 C flour  3 Tbs chili powder 1 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp dehydrated onion pinch cayenne pepper powder 1/4 tsp oregano 1/4 tsp garlic powde

Chiard

An interesting combination of potatoes, carrots and bacon, make up this delicious French Canadian dish.   I never really knew where this recipe originated from, or if anyone other than my family ever made it, or something similar. So, before writing this post, I decided to do some investigating.  Chiard  (pronounced 'shaw')  is an old French Canadian dish. It's also called  pate a la rapure , by the Acadians. It is slang for 'grub' and 'mess' or 'foul up'. Which really explains the dish, since it doesn't logically make sense; but it sure does taste good. Diced salt pork was once a favorite ingredient, which explains why we make it with bacon. Other recipes call for a mixture of ground meat, onion and salt pork; so I think 'our recipe' is better, LOL. Though I'm sure some onion fried up with the bacon would be really good. I grew up eating this at least once a week. Back then bacon was less expensive than it is today. And what's ch

Eggplant Rollatini

 Creamy ricotta filling is rolled in thin sliced eggplant, for a delicious low carb meal. Ever since I can remember, I've loved Italian food. Growing up we never really had it, since dad is not a fan of onion and he detests garlic. Sp when I moved away from home,  I was able to start eating Italian dishes more often.  Today hubs is from Italian descent, so there is plenty of pasta, onions and garlic to go round. I loved that this was a low carb meatless meal, since I try to make meatless dinners, at least once or twice a week. It's great on the food budget! We decided to grow eggplant in our garden this year. I wasn't too sure how the kiddos would like this recipe. While they both like lasagna, I was sure that once they found out it was eggplant, they would refuse to eat it. I was partly right. My daughter was leery about the sauce,  while my son polished off 2 of these suckers, lol. I love that this meal contained no meat, but was filling and so delicious! The e

Crock Pot Sausage, Spinach and Potato Soup

 Sausage, spinach and Creamer potatoes are slow cooked all day, to create a creamy and hearty soup. Brrr, has it sure has cooled down the last few days. This spring has been a roller coaster ride of nice weather and cold weather. We will have a day with record breaking highs, then within 24 hrs we are down to below zero (that's zero celsius). Needless to say, it's been difficult deciding what to cook lately, LOL. One thing I can always count on, is having to use the crock pot, at least once a week. Since the weather has turned cool again, I took the opportunity to make some soup. Now I am a total sucker for a good potato soup. There is just something about a creamy and hearty potato soup, that hits the spot on a crisp day. We had recently purchased delicious Italian sausages from a school fundraiser and I thought they would make a wonderfully flavourful potato soup. I love using baby potatoes in soups, because the skin is so thin that you don't have to peel them.

Gluten-Free Banana Blueberry Loaf

This gluten-free banana loaf is low in sugar and a great addition to a clean eating, or healthy gluten-free diet. 3 yrs ago, I started a working in a popular natural food market, here in Ontario. I really loved working there and I learned so much about nutrition and healthy eating. Back then I was not ready to make the commitment to healthy eating. I loved sugar too much. Over the last few months, I started an exercise regime and being more aware of the food choices I was making. I stopped drinking soda, I tried to cut back on sweets, I rarely buy processed foods. It has been a difficult road, but being more conscious of what I am putting into my body is getting easier.  As I said I LOVE sugar and anything sweet. I don't drink coffee, because I would have to put way too much sugar into it, to make it palatable. If the amount of desserts on this blog is any indication, it's safe to say I love my sweets, LOL. So I've started researching how to bake with ingredients that are h

Banana Cream Pie

 I decided to be adventurous, last week and try my hand at making banana cream pie from scratch. Banana cream is my least favorite pie, but I was looking for something different to do with my bananas. I must say that I'm converted and am in love with this pie. I guess the difference, between store bought and homemade, is that homemade tastes so much better. I always thought that store bought tasted too much like fake bananas. I really hate anything banana flavored. It reminds me of taking penicillin, as a child, LOL. But this pie was wonderful. It had a real banana flavor, which wasn't too overpowering. The custard did not taste egg-y at all, so that made it even better. I'm very proud that my custard turned out so well, and I did not end up with vanilla flavored scrambled eggs, LOL. This is rich, creamy and wonderful. I also made a  banana graham crust , since I wanted a more intense banana flavor. I was a bit disappointed with the crust, which came out a tad chewy. The fl

KETO Chicken Meatloaf

 This has to be the BEST Keto meatloaf! It is bursting with flavour and is perfect for anyone wanting to try a Keto diet! Well we are still smack dab in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a high school cafeteria manager, I've been out of work since March. With everything closed for months and now finally starting to slowly reopen, we stayed home quite a bit. That means that we put on a few pounds. As summer started I decided it had sat around enough, and decided to exercise at home and start watching what I ate. It's so easy to stuff myself with chips and junk food while binge watching Netflix. So I stopped buying junk and filled the house with healthy alternatives. Last Summer the health food store I had been working at, rolled out a ton of KETO products and we were asked to make Keto meal options for our hot table. For those of you who aren't familiar with a KETO diet, it is when you eat very low carb, adequate protein and high fat meals. The result is that the body

Peanut Butter and Banana French Toast

 Peanut butter and banana sandwiches are dipped in custard, for a delicious twist on French toast. Every morning hubs and my son usually have peanut butter with toast, or english muffins. Sometimes peanut butter and banana toast makes an appearance. Last weekend I decided to surprise them and pair peanut butter and banana with French toast. The result was awesome! I mean peanut butter and banana sandwiches are good to begin with, but dip it in custard and fry it? HEAVEN! Not to mention a nice sweet drizzle of honey on top. Mr B said it was the best breakfast he's had in a long time. I think I'll take it as a challenge to up my weekend breakfast game, LOL. This makes a special weekend breakfast, or even a quick, easy and healthy dinner. Peanut Butter & Banana French Toast 8 slices of bread 2 medium bananas 1/3 C peanut butter (I used creamy) 2 eggs 1/4 C milk 1/4 tsp cinnamon pinch of salt butter for frying Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Place the slices of bread on a c

Steak and Potato Salad

Grilled Creamer potatoes are tossed with tender juicy steak and greens, in this delicious entree salad. That's why I've totally fallen in love with these  BBQ Ready kits . Since I usually make my own foil packets for potatoes, I love that I can skip a few steps, with these BBQ Ready kits. I am not a steak eater, but decided to treat the family. We love potato salad, but I wanted to create something that could pass as a main dish. Paired with tender juicy steak and greens, this salad is a great and simple weeknight meal. Steak and Potato Salad 1 BBQ Ready Potato Kit  1 (6-7oz) steak (I used cross rib steak) 2 C green leaf lettuce, washed and chopped 1/2 C balsamic vinegar 3 Tbs honey pinch of salt and black pepper 3 Tbs olive oil chopped green onion for garnish Preheat grill. Prepare the potatoes according to package directions. Once cooked, remove from grill to cool slightly. Season steak with desired seasonings (ours came pre seasoned). When potatoes have 20 minutes of cooking

Blueberry Rhubarb Cake

 Sweet blueberries and tart rhubarb at the star in this easy peasy cake. We've been really been enjoying summer vacation. Sleeping in, lazy days in the sun, time at the cottage, staying up late has all been on our agenda since online learning was done. My Mom and Dad brought me part of their rhubarb plant, years ago. It survived our move in April and I was able to make a few desserts this summer. I could whip up a Rhubarb Cake. This is a recipe my mom has made in the past, however I changed the recipe up a little. Since we had a few egg whites in the fridge, I used them in my cake, rather than a whole egg. I also didn't use as much topping as the original recipe calls for. The result is a moist, somewhat dense cake, studded with tart rhubarb and sweet blueberries. Blueberry Rhubarb Cake 2 C chopped rhubarb 1 C blueberries (fresh or frozen) 1/2 C shortening 1 1/2 C sugar 2 egg whites (or 1 whole large egg) 2 C flour 1 C buttermilk or sour milk Topping 3 Tbs sugar 1/2 tsp cinnamo

Coconut Cream Pie from Scratch

 A silky smooth coconut cream custard is the star in this delicious diner inspired pie. Coconut cream pie always tempts me if it is a dessert option at a restaurant  So when I saw an amazing from scratch version over on  Adventures In All Things Food , I knew I had to try and make it. The kids and I were planning on visiting my parents as soon as school was out for Summer vacation and I knew this pie would be something my Dad would love. When he was a young working man, he would always order coconut cream pie, anytime he'd go out to eat. I really loved the ease of this recipe and if you use a pre made graham crust, this is virtually a no bake recipe. Yes you still have to cook the coconut cream custard, but you do not have to have the oven on, for any extended amount of time. With the warmer weather upon us, this is a perfect dessert in my books.  My Mom was the initial taste tester, while I was making the custard. She helped me determine if we liked the amount of coconut taste, in

Fruity Chicken Salad

 Tender chicken and sweet fruit, are mixed together in this sweet and tangy sandwich filling. A few years ago, my Mother in Law introduced me to grapes in my tuna fish sandwiches. I loved the sweetness in contrast to the pungent onion and tangy mayonnaise. So when making this chicken salad, I decided to throw in grapes and mango, that needed to be used up. I have to say that I really loved the mango with the chicken. It was an extra burst of flavour mingling in there. The kiddos really loved the sweetness. They usually aren't big fans of chicken salad, but were happy to dig into these sandwiches after a long day out in the sun.  Fruity Chicken Salad Sandwiches 2 grilled chicken breasts, chopped 1 rib celery, finely chopped 2 Tbs onion, finely chopped 1/3 C grapes, cut into quarters 1 mango chopped 1/2 C mayonnaise (more if desired) 1/2 tsp season salt fresh ground pepper Green leaf lettuce your favourite sandwich bread In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken, celery, onion, man

Zucchini Casserole

 Zucchini is perfectly cooked in a deliciously creamy sauce, between two layers of crispy stuffing, in this comforting summer casserole. Woooo, is it hot out. Everyone here tells us to quit complaining since winter and snow will be here in no time. I'm not complaining, I'm just making an observation. I LOVE summer! I love spending our days at the cottage getting some sun, canoeing and fishing . I just wish I'd stop burning already, LOL.  Another thing I like about summer is all the fresh vegetables! I love that stores finally carry local produce. I love stopping by farm stands and supporting local farms. I love that we planted our own little garden this year.  I LOVE eating garden fresh veggies and fruit. I was super excited when we finally grew a HUGE zucchini in the garden about a week ago.  A while back I stumbled on this zucchini casserole recipe. I snapped a picture of it, to make at a later date. With our delicious zucchini ready to be eaten,  I took the opportunity t