AEBB09

Coffee Quantity for a Crowd – for Percolator

Coffee Quantity for a CrowdSo you’re having a party? How much coffee quantity in a can to buy for a crowd of 100, 50, 25? or more/less.

Keep in mind, most coffee gets stronger as it sits

We have found organic coffee does the best, as it doesn’t get as bitter

If you want it to taste like the upscale shops, use 18% cream (instead of 10%)

This is the coffee quantity guide we use:

 

Coffee Quantity – Measurements:
Using 100 cups (portions) percolator
Water Level Strong Coffee Mild Coffee
100 cups 10 cups 7 1/2 cups
80 cups 8 cups 6 cups
60 cups 6 cups 4 1/2 cups
40 cups 4 cups 3 cups
do not make less than 40 cups or more than 100 cups (portions) at any one time
Using 55 cups (portions) percolator
Water Level Strong Coffee Mild Coffee
55 cups 6 cups 4 cups
45 cups 5 cups 3 1/2 cups
35 cups 3 3/4 cups 2 3/4 cups
25 cups 2 2/3 cups 2 cups
do not make less than 25 cups or more than 55 cups (portions) at any one time

Easy Easy Chicken (Turkey) Tetrizini

If you like East Side Mario’s version, you’ll probably like this:

Perfect recipe for any chicken or turkey leftovers …

as it makes a brand new meal!

Easy Easy Chicken Tetrizini

For 2 people:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced (or to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ t onion powder
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 regular mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • ⅛ – ¼ cup parmesan cheese and / or ½ cup marble cheese
  • pepper (approx ⅛ teaspoon)
  • parsley
  • 1 cup seasoned cooked chicken (or turkey) warmed up, and cut in small chunks (can use pre-cooked rotisserie chicken as well, instructions below)

For 4-5 people

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoon flour
  • 2 cup milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ t onion powder
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 3-4 regular mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese and / or 1 cup marble cheese
  • pepper (approx ¼ teaspoon)
  • parsley
  • 2 cups seasoned cooked chicken (or turkey) warmed up, and cut in small chunks

Directions:

  1. Cook noodles to specification on package (fresh pasta is quicker – only boils about 2 min). Really, the only way to test if the noodles are done is to taste a little piece of one. The other methods I have found for testing, have been inconsistent. Drain. Put back in pot it was cooked in, set aside away from heat, put the lid on)
  2. While you’re initially waiting for the spaghetti…
  3. Put butter in sauce pan on medium heat, add garlic, let sauté till it starts to smell real nice, about 5 min, add flour, to make paste in pan, then, quickly add milk & stir. Add salt (it makes it thicken), onion powder, mushrooms, couple drops worchestershire sauce (not too much, you want to keep the sauce a light colour) Moderately stir, keep the heat where it is, till it starts to thicken.
  4. Add sauce to noodles, add chicken & cheeses. Sprinkle with a little pepper, Stir.
  5. Sprinkle with parsley (so we don’t wilt our neighbours)

Voila!

Serve with fresh steamed broccoli fleurettes, caesar salad and garlic bread… Dinner is served!

Quick Substitutions & Additional Notes

  • If you don’t have any cooked chicken (white or dark) on hand (or in the freezer) you can use fresh chicken breast, cut in 1” or so cubes, and put in a fry pan with about 1” water, and some seasoning salt. Put the lid on, and it should be done at about the same time the pasta is (8 min or so, till it’s not pink anymore) drain. About 1 big breast for 2 people, and 2 big breasts (won’t our husband like this!) for 4-5 people.
  • In a pinch, you can substitute fresh garlic for dried minced garlic. (1 teaspoon dried minced for the 2 person recipe, and 2 teaspoons dried minced garlic for 4-5 person recipe)
  • If you don’t have marble cheese, or mushrooms, just go without that time, after all, the family must eat something tonight for dinner!
  • If you hate slicing (like me) you can use a hard boiled egg slicer for slicing mushrooms (or strawberries! On another recipe or for garnish)
  • If you like the restaurant look, don’t add the parmesan cheese, save it for the top, put a single serving in an oven safe dish, and put it under the broiler just till it goes golden brown…you MUST keep an eye on it though!
  • Fresh pasta is quicker, and can be frozen – only takes about 2 minutes from fresh to boil and about 6 minutes from frozen. Taste is light years different than dried noodles.

alternate spelling: chicken tetrazzini recipe

A05FEF

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Recipes

Pumpkin Pie RecipeThis is my mom’s Pumpkin Pie Filling recipe.

She’s used the same one for as long as I can remember. I’m sure she’s tried others, but always came back to this simple, easy and definitely flavourful one. My dad, being the ultimate connoisseur of pumpkin pie (once cutting the whole pie in 4 and himself and each son-in-law having a quarter a piece) likes this one the best.

My sister Evelyn has been honored the roll of master pie maker – perfecting the pastry (which we will provide the recipe for). Each of our family members (currently counting 25) has a specialty – which we will hopefully provide all of their techniques in the posts to come.

The extra filling makes a wonderful custard type dessert – to do the low calorie option (sans la pastry)

Pumpkin Pie Recipe:

  • 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups Pumpkin – canned OR fresh pumpkin cooked, pureed & cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups light cream
  • 1 tablespoon flour (stops filling from getting watery on top once baked)

1 @ 9″ unbaked pie shell (or see pastry below)

  1. Mix together brown sugar & spices. Stir in remaining filling ingredients and beat until smooth.
  2. Pour into unbaked pie shell.
  3. Bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 20 min.
  4. Reduce temperature to 350° and continue baking for 25 min or until a knife inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean.

Pumpkin in Custard Cups:

This filling can also be poured into custard cups and cooked for 25 min at 350°F (for 3″ shallow custard cups), in smaller containers, it may be finished cooking quicker – and cooking time may vary between oven brands.

Flaky Pastry Recipe:

  • 6 cups pastry flour (or 5 1/2 cups all purpose flour)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2teaspoons (upto 1 tablespoon) sugar
  • 1 lb lard (non-hydrogenated) or butter – cool (not room temp)
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • cold water (see instructions)
  1. Mix together flour and salt
  2. Cut in lard with pastry blender, food processor on pulse or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse oatmeal
  3. In a 1 cup measuring cup – combine vinegar and egg. Add enough water to fill it up to 1 cup.
  4. Gradually stir liquid into lard mixture. Add only enough liquid to make dough cling together
  5. Gather into a ball and divide into 6 portions. If desired, wrap unused portions and refrigerate or freeze.
  6. For best & most flaky results, let dough sit (rest) in fridge for 30 minutes – if you have the time
  7. Roll out each portion on lightly floured surface. If dough is sticking, chill longer.
  8. Transfer dough to pie plate. Trim and flute (ruffle) edges and bake acording to your pie recipe.
  9. Yield: 3 @ 9″ double crist pies or 6 pie shells
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Kitchen & Dining

spelt-oatmeal-pecan-cookies-recipe

Honey Oatmeal Pecan Spelt Cookies

Working late this week, we needed a chewy pick-me-up… and since dad likes oatmeal cookies as well, and was on the mend, there’s two great reasons to create a new cookie! Plus a ‘nod to our Florida friends, one of whom, this is her favourite cookie, from what I understand, the realization set in after they were in the oven. I think they use a mix though. We use organic ingredients where available, and local as well. Our last turkey dinner was a 17km dinner! My nephew Ian raised the turkey naturally, potatoes and carrots less than an hour old out of the garden, hard to beat that. Honey for the cookies is from dad’s beehives. I used to say my dad had hives, but it got misconstrued, and didn’t sound very appetizing, most people don’t know what an apiarist is, boxkeeper sounds like something at the supermarket, so beehives it is. See that picture… still warm from the oven, quite literally, the scent of cinnamon and cookie goodness still in the air.

Cream together in mixer:

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup lard (makes it crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside)

1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or other mild tasting oil)

beat well… then add:

1 1/2 cups cane sugar (or 1 cup white, 1/2 cup brown sugar)

beat well… then add:

2 tablespoons liquid honey

2 large eggs

beat well again.

 

In separate bowl combine:

2 cups light OR white spelt flour (whole spelt will be a much denser cookie)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

add to wet sugar butter mix… then add:

2 1/4 cups quick oats (not instant)

2 tablespoons (or more) pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon real rum or more (or 1 teaspoon clubhouse rum – grocery store baking isle)

1 cup chopped pecans (gave it a whirl or two in the mini food processor)

 

Scoop out using 2 tablespoons size scoop (each cookie is 2 tablespoons of dough) – Looks like an ice cream scoop but slightly smaller.

We put 6 to a sheet approx 2 1/2 inches apart on parchment

Flatten each cookie with the palm of your hand

(wet your hand under water first, and shake off the excess, then flatten cookies – as dough won’t stick to your hand when it’s damp)

Bake at 375°F for approx  6-8 minutes – keep watching them as each oven temp varies

remove from oven slide parchment onto the racks let cool for 2 min, then transfer to alternate wire racks off the parchment using a flat lifter to continue cooling.

Makes approx 24 gourmet sized cookies.

Variations:

Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips & 1/2 cup skor bits

Note: may use butter instead of lard making the total butter count to 1 cup

AEBB09

Chewy Chocolate Chip Spelt Cookies

spelt-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipeI made these on Friday, and was going to take some to a function – after the hubby ate four of them, he confiscated them such that they would not leave the building! Normally I would put up a fuss, but it’s too hard to deprive a grown man of his new favourite cookies especially with so many foods he’s allergic to… so often the family members watch everything get cooked and out the door it goes and they don’t get to have any… so here’s to making some for the family! (at home base)

Chewy Chocolate Chip Spelt Cookies

Cream together in mixer:

1 cup butter (or 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup lard)

1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or other mild tasting oil)

1 1/2 cups cane sugar (or 1 cup white, 1/2 cup brown sugar)

2 tablespoons liquid honey

2 large eggs

In separate bowl combine:

3 cups light OR white spelt flour (whole spelt will be a much denser cookie)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

add to the wet mix

then add:

2 tablespoons (or more) pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon clubhouse rum extract (grocery store brand) or 1 tablespoon real rum

1 cup coconut (or substitute with quick oats)

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet pure chocolate chips

Scoop out using 2 tablespoons size scoop (each cookie is 2 tablespoons of dough) – Looks like an ice cream scoop but slightly smaller.

We put 6 to a sheet approx 2 1/2 inches apart on parchment

Flatten each cookie with the palm of your hand

(wet your hand under water first, and shake off the excess, then flatten cookies – as dough won’t stick to your hand when it’s damp)

Bake at 375°F for approx  10 minutes – keep watching them as each oven temp varies

remove from oven slide parchment onto the racks let cool for 2 min, then transfer to alternate wire racks off the parchment using a flat lifter to continue cooling.

Makes approx 24 gourmet sized cookies.

Scrumptious Gourmet Cookie Variations:

  • For raisin cookies, simply substitute the chocolate chips for Thompson raisins + 1 teaspoon cinnamon  + 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.
  • For double chocolate cookies add 1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder.
  • For triple chocolate cookies add 1/2 1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder AND 1 cup white chocolate chips.
  • For ultimate cookies add 1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder  AND 1 cup white chocolate chips and 1/2 cup peanut butter or skor chips.
canada science and technology museum

Review: Canada Science and Technology Museum

canada science and technology museum

After much optimism – it was an utter disappointment (especially after a 4 hour drive). Maybe it was cool in the 80’s but it seemed like that was the last time it was updated. We felt it was a waste of money, and if you wanted to know any of that stuff, it’s available for free on the internet anyways.

Admission $12 ea per adult, Parking $6 (we allotted 3 hrs but were “done” in 1hr)

Bottom Line: Skip it

Canada Science and Technology Museum , Ottawa Ontario Canada

 

VH Orange Ginger Sauce

Review: VH Orange Ginger Sauce (& Recipe)

Review: Review: VH Orange Ginger Sauce (stir fry sauce)

5VH Orange Ginger Sauce Minute Dinner – two pots, incredible results – Hubby gave it a 10/10 if that says anything – Faster than takeout

It’s one of those days of doing errands a quick grocery shop, and getting home when dinner was supposed to have been at the table already… LOL … I’m sure you’ve had one of those days too…

My husband’s family is a lover of all things ginger, so I thought this might be nice on something… I didn’t know what just yet

Looking in the fridge I found a 1/2 can of Costco Canned Chicken (1/2 can is the size of 1 reg canned chicken breast), knowing there was minute rice in the cupboard – voila!

Orange Ginger Sauce Chicken & Rice Recipe:

For Two People: (or 1/2 the recipe for 1 Person)

  1. Put 2 cups of water in the small pot to boil (pot#1) for the minute rice (follow minute rice instructions on package)
  2. Dump the drained chicken in a cast iron sauce pot (pot#2) or thick bottomed pot.
  3. Pour 3 or 4 tablespoons of VH Orange Ginger Sauce over-top of the chicken and let it caramelize (and stirred occasionally on medium high, while not breaking up the chicken chunks)
  4. Put 2 cups minute rice in the boiling water, and turn the heat down (as per minute rice instructions – can use brown minute rice – takes longer about 10 min to cook)
  5. stir chicken gently until the 5 min rice was done. costco canned chicken recipes
  6. Let the rice sit for an additional 5 min, after cooking, to steam with the heat off.
  7. Pour the ginger orange chicken overtop.
  8. Serve it out of the pot! LOL.

Fab-u-lous!

It’s very gingery, so if you’re not a ginger fan, dial it back a bunch. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did, thus a very, very pleasant surprise.

If you’re not a canned chicken fan (thus why I thought I wouldn’t like it) – the ginger miraculously removes the canned chicken taste.

(With a food sensitivities hubby – takeout is not always a viable option)

Costco Canned Chicken Breast is about 1/2 the price and about twice the size of Canned Chicken Breast in the Regular Grocery Store, with no weird spices or additives.

Would this be even better with basmati or jasmine rice? Yes. Absolutely! When you’ve got the extra time to spare.

" No, this trick won't work...How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? "- Albert Einstein

gluten-free-macaroni-red-white-quinoa | photo: gogoquinoa.com

Pleasantly Surprised! Gogo Quinoa Red & White Macaroni (Gluten Free Noodles GF)

Pleasantly Surprised!

We tried these noodles because of the gluten free properties (in our personal opinion) of quinoa and rice, even picky eaters wouldn’t be able to tell by taste, texture was nice.

Could substitute for pasta in any “cooked pasta” recipe where the noodles are boiled first – they do take a little longer to cook at 13-15min.

Would buy again!

A273DD

Quinoa Recipe Curry

Gluten free, dairy free, egg free … big on flavour!
Quinoa is a pseudo grain, so technically it’s grain-free too … quinoa has lots of protein!

(a complete protein with lots of amino acids for you body builders who know what that means, it’s your new best friend.)

Pronounced Keen-wah (Related to the beet & spinach family)

We cook the quinoa in the rice cooker – just like you would rice

Great as a side dish, or add in more protein (chick peas or meat) to make it a whole meal-in-a-bowl

Good hot, warm or cold – excellent for summer bbq picnics, potlucks, etc.

Curried Rice Recipe (Quinoa Salad):curried-quinoa-recipe

2 cups uncooked quinoa ( + 1 Tbsp butter or marg – we use Earth Balance Sticks – we cook ours in the rice cooker -same as rice)

1 cup cooked peas (or frozen & toss in the rice water) or drained canned chick peas (garbanzo beans)

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup toasted Almonds for Veggie

1/2 cup red onion finely diced (or Spanish/vidalia… even green onion in a pinch)

 

Meat option: 1 cup cooked meat – chicken or beef or can of salad shrimp (or cooked crab)

 

Dressing:

1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or salad oil ie: canola, sunflower, safflower, something light)

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (we use Bragg’s)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon curry powder (a friend makes ours mmm … thanks Rick! can double if you like more)

1 teaspoon salt (we use pink Andes mountain salt – more minerals than sodium)

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar (we use cane sugar)

1/4 cup toasted almonds – toss in on top last

Rinse quinoa (if not pre-rinsed it will have a bitter flavour)

Boil water for quinoa in deep pot – once boiling toss in butter and quinoa – stir – toss frozen peas on top (if 5 min or 20min rice… if longer, add peas in last 15 min of cooking time) … turn down to simmer… and cook as package directs (20 – 25 min total once rice is added – we like it fluffy) **If using red quinoa then cooking time is 35-40min

While waiting for quinoa…

Combine dressing ingredients (except for almonds)  – once completed, add meat to dressing to let marinade.

Chop celery and onion – set aside.

Toast almonds and set aside.

Once quinoa is fully steamed – drain (if needed) and add celery, onions – stir. Add dressing & meat – stir. Pour into serving bowl – top with toasted almonds.

(or scoop out of pot onto plates and top with toasted almonds)

Serves 6-8.

Great on a hot summers day when no one wants to turn on the oven.

AEBB09

Spelt Bread Recipe for Bread Machine

Spelt Bread Recipe for Bread Machine

spelt bread in bread machine pail recipeIn 2hrs 46min we get beautiful loaves that rise above the top of the pan!

1 cup lukewarm water (be exact)

1 egg – room temperature

1 tablespoon yeast -sprinkle over water (SAF brand, or Fleishman’s “Rapid Rise Bread Machine” Yeast – VERY important)

2 tablespoons cane sugar (or brown sugar)

1 tablespoon molasses (we use wholesome sweetener’s brand)

2 tablespoons honey

4 cups white spelt flour (light spelt flour; whole spelt maybe substituted upto 1 cup or so)spelt bread recipe

1/4 cup quick oats

3 tablespoons becel margarine or butter

2 teaspoons sea salt

 

Put ingredients in bread machine pan in order listed.

Use the “light crust” 2lb  basic white cycle (& rapid cycle if avail)

Spelt doesn’t like to be over beaten or over baked.

 

  • Most of our ingredients are organic, my dad is a beekeeper, we use his honey…
  • the spelt we get from a local farmer just north of Toronto millsmills.ca bagged or bulk is avail too (so are spelt berries/kernels).
  • Whole spelt will most likely not rise as high. I would suggest a mix. The amount of protein in the batch of flour itself will also be a factor in how high the bread will rise as well.
  • Organic oats are also fairly local oakmanorfarms.ca – London Ontario way.

 

A05FEF

Salad

Salad

As a family favourite, we know when we say salad, this is what we mean.

The ingredients speak for themselves. A bit sweet, a bit salty. This is hubby’s fav salad. Everyone else so far has really enjoyed it as well. Even the nieces and nephews.

Just as nice with or without the chicken, as the nuts provide enough protein to help us feel full.

If you were looking to make this yourself, don’t live in Canada, or it’s past 11pm and Swiss Chalet is closed here’s a similar recipe:

Salad Recipe:

  • Kraft Creamy Balsamic (dairy free) or Renee’s Balsamic Vinaigretterenees balsamic dressing vinaigrette
  • Excellent mixed greens with baby romaine, baby spinach, beet leaves etc.
  • Goat Cheese (or a really mild feta)
  • red onion sliced in thin strips
  • goji berries – dried
  • cashews pieces- roasted
  • peanuts – roasted
  • toasted sunflower seeds
  • raisins
  • craisins (dried cranberries)
  • pepitoes (pumkin seeds, shell removed)kraft creamy balsamic
  • toasted slivered almonds
  • optional: pre-cooked chicken or turkey strips ie; Lilydale or hot rotisserie chicken from the grocery store

Now I think you could luck out and get a trail mix with all those nuts and raisins in it… simpler than buying one of everything

If preferred, a balsamic dressing can be made out of good quality balsamic vinegar 3 Tablespoons, extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup,  garlic 1 -2cloves  and a pinch of salt. Some prefer a pinch of dried mustard or dijon, and a dash of pepper.

0DBCE9

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bars Recipe

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Recipe BarsThis Chocolate with Peanut Butter Squares Recipe is another family favourite… devoured at family functions… 3 batches last Sunday alone!

Super easy to make, no fussing, just throw a few ingredients in a pot, stir and then mix. Kids and hubbies like to help make this one.

 

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bars Recipe:

 

For 8×8 pan: (we double it for a 9×13 pan)

1 cup brown sugar (or organic cane sugar ie Camino)

1/2 cup corn syrup (organic corn syrup is now avail via Wholesome Sweeteners)

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla (or more)

1/2 teaspoon clubhouse rum (or more) (optional)

2 cups Crisp Rice Cereal (or Rice Krispies)

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (Wal-mart Great Value brand is dairy-free) (if everyone can have milk, milk chocolate chips taste yummy as well)

Have a big heat resistant bowl ready.

Our Method:

  1. Pour rice krispies into the big bowl. (you will need this ready, when needed)
  2. In a sauce pot, dissolve the sugar, syrup and peanut butter on the stove, slowly on med heat, until dissolved (until sugar crystals are not crunchy anymore)  – Keep stirring by a qualified stir-er!!! or it will caramelize on the bottom and burn, do not leave pot unattended. Then add vanilla and rum. Stir.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Pour the hot mixture over the rice krispies in the big heat resistant bowl. Quickly “fold” (stir gently in an upward motion) the entire mixture.
  5. Pat into a greased 8×8 broil-safe pan.
  6. Pour chocolate chips evenly over surface.
  7. Broil just until chocolate chips are glossy. Remove from oven immediately. (this means the chocolate is soft enough to spread)
  8. With a table knife gently smooth out chocolate like icing a cake, be careful of the hot sides of the pan.
  9. Cool.
  10. Cut into small cubes.
  11. Enjoy!

 

Coffee Culture

Review: Coffee Culture Tuscan Salad

Tuscan Salad at Coffee Culture YUM…

Coffee Culture Tuscan Salad

Coffee Culture

on a bed of lovely mixed greens, craisins, tomatoes, cucumber, some kind of caramelized pecans, swapped out the bleu cheese for feta and added chicken… balsamic dressing is amazing. delish. My new fav there.

Looking… See More — at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Coffee-Culture-Bradford/114998235199886

Swiss Chalet West Coast Salad

Review | Swiss Chalet West Coast Salad

Review: Swiss Chalet West Coast Salad

Was freakin awesome! At least mine was…

Fresh mixed lettuce greens (I think I saw beet tops in there too), red onion strips, and mandarin orange slice tossed in Renee’s Balsamic Vinaigrette. Topped with a medley of dried fruits, mixed nuts, Feta cheese and a sliced breast of our famous Rotisserie Chicken, glazed in a Spring Herb Dressing.

I actually gave my meat to the hubby and had a single fish stick with it, from a fellow diner’s fish n chip order. :)

I’m not typically an “entree salad” type of order-er, however I was pleasantly surprised at this. Not to mention it came in something the size of a serving bowl!

 

If you were looking to make this yourself, don’t live in Canada, or it’s past 11pm and Swiss Chalet is closed here’s a similar recipe:

West Coast Salad Recipe – Swiss Chalet inspired:renees balsamic dressing vinaigrette

  • Renee’s Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Excellent mixed greens with baby romaine, baby spinach, beet leaves etc.
  • Goat Cheese (or a really mild feta)
  • mandarin orange slices, fresh (canned will work in a pinch)
  • red onion sliced in thin strips
  • cashews
  • peanuts
  • toasted sunflower seeds
  • rasins
  • craisins (dried cranberries)
  • pepitoes (pumkin seeds, shell removed)
  • pre-cooked chicken – or hot rotisserie chicken from the grocery store

Now I think you could luck out and get a trail mix with all those nuts and raisins in it… simpler than buying one of everything

 

Corn Pasta San Zenone Prairie Harvest

Gluten Free Pasta Reviews

Corn Pasta San Zenone Prairie HarvestCorn Pasta is an excellent direct pasta substitute that can be used for any recipe that calls for spaghetti, elbow noodles, penne, spiral etc – and the least detectable taste change. We like San Zenone (Prairie Harvest) and Arrowhead mills. This is our favourite by far.

Kamut is good as well, it’ll go mushy if over cooked, so keep an eye on it, and there will be a bit of a taste change

Rye noodles are also a possibility, but they have a very robust flavour.

Gnocchi is made from potatoes and potato flour (there is also a spelt version), and only take 3 mins to cook! They taste like fresh pasta does, and cooks the same way, but is found in the dry pasta isle of the grocery store. If you like dumplings, you’ll love gnocchi. Can use white alfredo type sauces or red sauce, throw in any kind of meat, vegetables (we’ve even used finely dices sweet potatoes). Even an oil & garlic sauce with a dash of poultry seasoning is yummy.

Curly Fry Recipe Baked | How to Make Curly Fries

Curly Fry Recipe | How to Make Curly Fries

 How to Make Curly Fries: I was being lazy one evening, and mostly busy, thus didn’t feel particularly like peeling potatoes. As I’m washing them, I look up and spot my sturdy hand cranked apple peeler/corer/slicer on the wall… hmmm… what the heck… so I plop one of those suckers on and voila! Curly fry heavenliness!

We didn’t want all the fat of deep frying (or the mess), therefore, we baked them, just like we do our wedge fries.

This is our recipe…

Curly Fry Recipe: (Baked)apple peeler hand cranked suction

Wash 1 potato per person

Preheat oven to 425°F

Place on peeler/corer/slicer – and use the hand crank as directed on the machine.

After each potato sliced, spray with cooking spray, gently getting in-between all the little rings. (Lift it up like a Slinky(tm)  & spray)

Proceed with next potato.. repeat as necesaryCurly Fry

Place on a heavy baking sheet or stoneware each potato – layed  out so that air can circulate around each one (easier than it sounds)

If thrify – slice the potato “cores” in half, spray, and bake along side the curls.

Season with paprika based seasoning salt ie: Prud’homme’s or Lawry’s (we make our own inhouse)

Bake for 30-45 min – depending on oven… until cooked (not raw) and crispy.

Remove from oven

If unseasoned – sprinkle with sea salt or mountain salt.

Enjoy!

Wed stay with the oven in the same room, as it’s such a high temperature cooking.

We bought the apple peeler/corer/slicer at our local Home Hardware (Hi Jim!).

We haven’t tried this with sweet potatoes yet, but that will be our next adventure!

FE664E

Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

I’ve always found roasted vegetables to have the most flavour. Here is an easy roasted cauliflower recipe, that brings the wow factor to the table.

Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

1 excellent quality cauliflower

3 – 4 cloves garlic

High temperature cooking oil (we use grapeseed oil by Orphee)

Paprika based seasoning spice – ie Prudhomme’s or Lawry’s (we make our own in-house with many herbs & spices)

 

  1. Preaheat oven to 425°F
  2. Steam head of cauliflower intact in big pot for 4-5 min with some water
  3. Gently remove cauliflower and place in an oven safe roasting pan or stoneware
  4. Pour approx 3-4 tablespoons oil over the head of the cauliflower
  5. Sprinkle paprika based seasoning salt (chef spice) over the head of the cauliflower
  6. In a separate small oven safe ramekin place garlic with about 2-3 tablespoons oil
  7. Place both dishes in the oven – middle rack
  8. If the garlic is done early (which it may be) remove ramekin approx 1/2 way through.
  9. Cook for approx 35-45 min depending on oven
  10. Remove from oven
  11. Place cauliflower in serving dish (may want to pre-warm serving dish)
  12. Pour garlic & oil over the top of the cauliflower
  13. Serve… Cut like a pie, in wedges

Yeild: Approx 6-8 depending on the size of the cauliflower

We like to stay in the kitchen while it’s cooking, because it’s such a hot temperature.

 

Variations:

Could probably be roasted on the bbq after the steaming stage in a cast iron pan.

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Nachos Recipe | Easy Restaurant Quality

This is a super easy nachos recipe, with restaurant quality melted cheese stacked high, ground beef, fresh tomatoes and green onion… mmm… this is how we do it…

Easy Nachos RecipeNachos Recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup ground beef browned with paprika based seasoning like Lawry’s, add any hot sauce at this point if that’s a preference (we make our own inhouse)

1 to 2 cups shredded marble cheese (cheddar & mozzarella mixed – depends on how cheesy one likes it, see dairy free below)

1 fresh tomato diced (may want to season with herb salt)

2 green onions washed and sliced thin – green ends too if they’re nice and fresh

1/2 large bag tostitoes chips (nacho chips)- plain or lime or multigrain (the organic yellow corn have the most flavour)


Make sure the beef is browned and seasoned, tomatoes are diced and green onions sliced before proceeding.

Select a large platter (or 4 individual plates) that is microwave safe and that will fit (can do this under the broiler with oven-safe cookie sheet-must STAY with it though, can’t walk away)

Microwave Method:

Place chips single layer, but tight together on the platter

Sprinkle cheese overtop to one’s liking and microwave for 30 – 45+ seconds – just until cheese melts but chips don’t burn

Remove platter from microwave and immediately top with cooked ground beef (if one wants another nacho layer, repeat these above steps)

Quickly add the diced tomatoes and green onions before the cheese “sets”. This will hold the toppings in place while eating.

Enjoy!

Options:

  • We pre-brown our ground beef, then cool & place in resealable bags – flatten it out so that it can be used in sections. This way, nachos are always available for an easy dinner or snack.
  • BBQ chicken is also nice, can use leftovers from a rotisserie chicken at the store or even holiday turkey leftovers
  • Dairy Free – use rice mozzarella style cheese as it melts nicely – but use sparingly. We’ve used the one by Galaxy Nutritional Foods “Italian Flavour”.
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Mini Cheesecake Recipe | Easy and Very Elegant | Can Make Ahead

This super easy make ahead mini cheesecake recipe takes all the “fuddling” out of the crust – as it’s sprinkled on top, since we’re making them upside down! A silicone mini muffin pan is needed. Can be done in a regular mini muffin tin, but they’re trickier to pop out.

Easy Mini Cheesecake Recipe – Cherry with Rumball Crust:

Filling:

3  8 oz pkgs cream cheese (softened at room temp)- we were pleasantly surprised with Lactantia and PC’s cream cheese, even Wal-mart’s was good (Great Value).

Mini Cheesecake Recipe

3/4 cup cane sugar (or white)

3 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 tablespoon clubhouse rum

Crust:

1 cup (heaping) crushed oreo crumbs (chocolate wafer crumbs, can use gluten free graham crumbs too)

2 tablespoons melted butter (or oil)

1 tablespoon corn syrup

1 tablespoon clubhouse rum (grocery store)

In small mixing bowl, combine above ingredients – stir well (we use a fork)

Topping:

1 Can cherry pie filling (for topping)

Combine cream cheese until well blended,  sugar mixing at medium speed on electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, ensuring each is well mixed before adding the next. Blend in sour cream, vanilla, and rum.

Grease the sides of the silicone mini muffin cups pan (I use cooking spray) place 1 Tablespoon of cherry topping into the bottom of the mini pan, add approx 3 tablespoons filling – enough so that it comes up to just below the ridge of the muffin cup – and sprinkle crust over filling. Basically we’re making them upside-down and popping them out later, thus, when they’re right side up, it’s 3 tiered.

Bake at 325°F for 12-15 min (if using convection, check earlier).  Let Cool, then Freeze.

When frozen, pop out and place in plastic freezer container. Once ready to eat, remove from freezer let stand at room temp approx 15 min. If uneaten (ya right) chill any remaining in the refrigerator.

Yield: 24 mini servings

Gr-Attiutude Adjuster – Nick’s Story

Nick Vujici  | AttitudeGr’attitude Adjuster :)

How to be grateful and happy in life.

Here’s an example of a guy against all odds who’s outlook on life is unsurpassed:

 

 

Nick’s site: attitudeisaltitude.com

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Rice Pudding | Dairy Free, Gluten Free Desserts, Vegan Pudding

Old Fashioned Rice Pudding Recipe made Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free without sacrificing taste:

1/2 cup raw short grained white rice (can use organic basmati, but it will take longer to cook)Rice Pudding Recipe

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 cups unsweetened almond milk (vanilla variety good too)

1/2 cup light cane sugar – granular kind like camino’s – not the brown sugar kind (can use white sugar)

2 tablespoons earth balance buttery sticks (or other non-dairy margarine)

vanilla (approx 1 teaspoon)

rum – clubhouse (grocery store, approx 1/2 teaspoon)

sprinkle cinnamon on top

pinch of nutmeg – optional

Method:

Pour Milk into a 9 x 13 pan

sprinkle rice, then sugar, then salt evenly overtop

sprinkle with cinnamon & nutmeg

Bake @300°F (300 degrees Fahrenheit) for 1 1/2 hours

 

Variations:

  1. add 1/4 cup thompson raisins (or sultana’s)
  2. add 1/4 cup chopped dates
  3. add 1/4 cup currants
  4. add 1/4 cup craisins (especially if using basmati rice)
  5. add 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized/candied ginger

 

Products:

Earth Balance Margarine Buttery Sticks Vegan

Earth Balance Margarine Buttery Sticks | source earthbalancenatural.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Diamond Almond Milk Original Unsweetened

Blue Diamond Almond Milk Original Unsweetened | Source bluediamond.com

Camino Golden Cane Sugar

Camino Golden Cane Sugar | source lasiembra.com (camino's site)

 

 

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Baked Pasta – Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free

Easy Baked Pasta – Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free

This is one of my spouse’s favourite – he’s a “selective” eater by nature, and adding WF, GF, DF, to the mix while tasting like “normal” food has been quite the adventure. Thank GOD for corn noodles… even the most discriminating like them.

This easy cheese baked pasta dish is very versatile, and can be made using the regular recipe for 6 – or doubled, tripled, quadrupled, etc as necessary. We make ahead and freeze in 1 portion containers, this way there’s always “something to eat” in the house!

Easy Baked Pasta Dish Recipe:Easy Baked Pasta Recipe
12 oz rotini pasta corn noodles pkg – (approx 340g – roughly 2-3 cups uncooked-we use Prairie Harvest San Zenone’s penne, or fucilli /rotini)
1 lb ground beef (Veg – see option below)
2 large onions diced or sliced
2 garlic cloves pressed
2 cups zucchini coarsely chopped (or grated, can use spinach or kale)
1 jar garlicky pasta sauce of your choice (approx 750g or 3 cups of your own homemade)
1 Tablespoon fresh basil (must be fresh – this is the key to the whole thing)
1/2 cup fresh dairy-free parmesan cheese grated
2 cups shredded rice cheese ~ Italian style -we use from Galaxy Nutritional foods (or marble cheese or mozzarella or goat mozzarella)

Boil the water for the pasta
Add the pasta & cook el-dente (not too much -you want it a little under done)

In the meantime…while waiting for the water to boil…

In a deep sauce pot:
Saute- onions & garlic, place in separate bowl
brown the beef – drain off any fat if necessary, once browned add the garlic,onions, zucchini, pasta sauce, basil, and stir on med heat till bubbling and hot – then turn off the heat.

In a separate bowl – mix the cheeses (the Parmesan will help the mozzarella spread farther as it won’t stick together as much)

Method:
In a bakeware pan (9×9) layer:
1/3 of the sauce mix
then 1/2 the pasta
then 1/3 of the cheese
repeat

Bake at 375 for 45 min (or bake 1 hr if from refrigerator – put cold pasta in a cold oven and let them heat up together – start timing once the oven gets up to temperature) Tent the foil while cooking – and remove for last 10 min to get brown

It’s the Parmesan helps this to get nice and golden brown.

Can make ahead and put in refrig until needed. Can be frozen and reheated like a frozen lasagna.

We served it with carrot salad, cole slaw, fresh buns and a beautiful garden salad with red cabbage in it for colour.

PS: For the party we put 3 batches worth in each tin turkey tray – it took a little longer to cook at 1 1/2 hrs or so.

For Vegetarian/Vegan option – omit the beef – add 1 to 2 cups sautéed  mushrooms to taste, or use Yves ground beef substitute.


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Pear Crisp Recipe (gluten free option too)

We’ve all heard of apple crisp, but pear pie being my favourite of the pear recipes, pear crisp is just as good and easier than pear tarts – although these could be placed in tart tins, cooked, cooled & frozen for another day…

Pear Crisp Recipe:

  • 1/3 cup melted organic butter (or very very soft will do – we use Alliston Creamery’s from Alliston, Ontario, or Earth Balance Sticks)
  • 2/3 cup organic oats (from Oak Manor in London area, Ontario)
  • 1 cup organic brown sugar (we used the organic brown cane sugar by Camino– gives it a caramel apple flavour; can use cane sugar though)
  • 1/3 cup organic spelt flour (Ian’s the one they grow at the farm – gives it a nice nutty flavour, or oat flour, or for gluten free – quinoa flour)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons clubhouse rum (grocery store)
  • Good dash of cinnamon (we use Frontier’s organic korintje cinnamon – the kind your grampa had as a kid)
  • Good dash fresh ground nutmeg
  • Pinch salt

Mix together with a fork.

Pour over peeled sliced very ripe pears, enough to generously cover in about 2 layers a 8×8 deep pan – approx 6 – 9 pears (from the pears grown on our property)

Bake at 375°F  20-30 min – until crisp is, well… crispy – if your pears are very ripe, if not, you may need longer.

Pear Pie: make just as you would apple pie, pull back the cinnamon to 1/2 and add 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg & 1 teaspoon clubhouse rum.

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Review: Van’s Gluten Free Waffles – Original (Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free)

We were pleasantly surprised at how light & fluffy Van’s frozen gluten free waffles were; and once we read the label, we’ve found they’re egg free too (which means our niece can have them)!

We’ve always made fresh waffles, but for frozen, these were really good, dare we even say better than “regular” frozen waffles! And the “self serve” nature of these make it very simple for breakfast time – or anytime.

Vans Gluten Free Waffles - Egg Free - Wheat FreeVan's Gluten Free Waffles, Egg Free, Wheat Free - ingredients list

Van’s Natural Foods – More info at: www.vansfoods.com

In Canada we bought them through a large distributor of organic & natural foods Ontario Natural Food CO-OP located near Toronto. They’re catalogue has thousands of items – as long as you or 3 or 4 others can get an order of $500 together, they’ll deliver, shipping is a reasonable 2%, orders over $1000 are free shipping. Website: onfc.ca  – buying club contact: Kate.

 

 

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Zucchini Recipes – Zucchini Bread – Chocolate (like cake)

Chocolate Zucchini Bread – This is one way to get the kiddies to eat their vegetables and being non the wiser!

I remember reading in one of the Schmecks cookbooks (by Edna Staebler wonderful Mennonite recipes!)* that there was no crime in the little community that she visited, only in August when people break into the cars only to fill it with zucchini (to get rid of the extra) LOL… where I come from too, that’s pretty much how it was… only it was Baptist around those parts.

This is one of the firsts in the Zucchini Recipes line. I made this when we had a baseball bat sized zucchini. It was fresh picked and the rind was still soft – therefore we didn’t bother to peel it, however, if peeled and finely shredded, no one could tell it was in this recipe.

This Zucchini Bread Recipe reminds me of the wonderful mayonnaise chocolate cake, that was so incredibly moist, and delicious…

Recipe can easily be doubled and cooked in two 9×13 pans

Zucchini Bread – Chocolate (like cake):Zucchini Bread Recipe Like Chocolate Cake

1 3/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup soft margarine or butter (we used earth balance sticks)

1/2 cup oil (we used grapeseed)

2 eggs

2 tablespoons vanilla

1 teaspoon Clubhouse rum (grocery store)

1/2 cup sour milk or sour cream (or mayo for dairy free option, Spectrum is a good option)

2 cups finely shredded zucchini

2 1/2 cups flour (we used light spelt flour, but all purpose will do fine)

4 tablespoons cocoa powder – good quality (we used *Camino’s Cocoa – fabulous!)

1 teaspoon baking soda (we used Frontier soda – natural)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Blend margarine and sugar, add eggs one at a time, then oil, vanilla and rum.

In separate bowl mix together all the dry ingredients – flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon (if using).

Add to wet mix, alternating flour, and sour milk. Gently stir in zucchini. Do not over-stir. (stir until just mixed)

Pour into greased 9×13 pan.

optional – sprinkle with 1/2 cup chocolate chips before baking (or can ice later when cool – good without icing too)

Bake at 325°F for 40-50 min (check at the 40 minute mark). Toothpick inserted for testing purposes should come out clean. (do not leave the toothpick in while baking)

Let cool.

Great for picnics – uses up leftover zucchini in a family friendly way.

Icing Options:

-dusting with icing sugar (through a sieve)

-nutella or other hazelnut spread

-buttercream (can sprinkle with sweetened or toasted coconut)

-classic chocolate

Other options:

-Can also be made in a loaf pan

-as cupcakes

-mini cupcakes – which look awesome when iced with butter-cream frosting and dipped in coconut! Great for cocktail parties, or finger food events.

 

Make this with mayo yet instead of sour milk/cream – for a wheat free & dairy free option.

 

*Camino is a Canadian brand of organic and fair trade food products. Camino est une marque canadienne de produits alimentaires bios et équitables.

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Easy Cheesecake Recipe – Chocolate Chip with Rumball Crust

This super easy cheesecake recipe is a favourite of my sister’s – and most requested of all the cheesecakes she made!

I’ve tweaked it to add a rumball flair to the crust. You’ll need a spring-form pan, otherwise it will be too difficult to serve. For squares option see notes at bottom.

Easy Cheesecake Recipe – Chocolate Chip with Rumball Crust:Easy Cheesecake Recipe | Chocolate Chip with Rumball Crust

Crust:

1 cup (heaping) crushed oreo crumbs (chocolate wafer crumbs)

2 tablespoons melted butter (or oil)

1 tablespoon corn syrup

1 tablespoon clubhouse rum (grocery store)

In small mixing bowl, combine above ingredients – stir well (we use a fork), and press onto 9″ sprinform pan. Bake at 350°F 10 min (check earlier if using convection oven)

Filling:

3  8 oz pkgs cream cheese (softened at room temp)- we were pleasantly surprised with Lactantia and PC’s cream cheese

3/4 cup cane sugar (or white)

1/4 cup flour (we use light spelt)

3 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 tablespoon clubhouse rum

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (can use mini if you can find them)

Combine cream cheese until well blended,  sugar, then add flour… mixing at medium speed on electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, ensuring each is well mixed before adding the next. Blend in sour cream, vanilla, and rum. Stir in chocolate pieces; grease the sides of the spring-form pan (i use cooking spray) and pour filling over crust.

Bake at 325°F for 55 min (if using convection, check earlier). Loosen cake from rim of pan – by scraping with a knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cheesecake; cool before removing rim of pan. Chill.

Yield: easily 10 to 12 servings

 

Variations:

Chocolate Orange Version – substitute Cointreau or orange liqueur (or Grand Marnier)  in place of vanilla, add 1/2 tablespoon very fine orange zest

Turtle Version – Drizzle regular version (once cooled) with caramel sauce and chopped pecans

Squares – pat crust on bottom of 9×13-inch baking pan, bake at 325°F for 10 min, grease sides (we use cooking spray) pour filling over crust, bake in 325°F oven until center is just set, about 45 minutes. Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 2 hours. Chill.

Cheesecake Cupcakes – Combine rounded tablespoon of crumb mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup – bake at 325°F for 5 min. Pour filling over crust and bake an additional 25 min at 325°F. Let cool. Chill. Top with garnish of your choice just before serving.

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Credit Card Calculator

Calculate how long it will take to pay off your credit card -or- Calculate what your payment would need to be to reach your payoff goal.

CLICK HERE to add your own amounts

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Budget Calculator – Easy

Budget Calculator – Easy just fill in weekly/monthly amounts and it calculates automatically for the year – auto calculates pie chart too

CLICK HERE to add your own amounts

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Coconut Cream Pie Recipe – Easy

If you think of Gilligan’s Island, and dessert, this is exactly what comes to mind.

Somehow these ingredients always seem to be on hand. Perfect recipe when unexpected company drops by. We prefer the shortbread/cookie dough style crust as graham cracker crust seems to overpower the delicate flavours.

I love pretty well everything coconut – this is our coconut cream pie recipe:

Coconut Cream Pie Recipe Serves 6

Pie Shell:

1 cup flour (all purpose or light spelt)

1/2 cup butter or butter substitute

1/4 cup icing sugar

Blend well – pat into the bottom and sides of a 9″ pan (very thinly)

Bake at 350°F for 10-15min – don’t let get too brown – should be light like shortbread.

(if using a glass pie plate, reduce heat by 25°F)

Let cool completely – or filling will not set

Filling:

¼ cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups milk (or made up milk powder)

1 egg, well beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon clubhouse rum (grocery store rum)

2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

2 cups already whipped cream (or 1 can)

Blend sugar, cornstarch and salt in glass bowl.  Add milk and cook or microwave for 5 -7 min on high.  Stir every 2 min – till thick and clear-if it’s left in longer intervals it will not set.  Add a small amount of pudding to egg (to bring egg up to temperature of the pudding) then add to pudding. Microwave 1min @ 50% power (or take off heat). Add vanilla, rum & stir.  Add coconut & stir. Pour over still cooked and cooled pie shell. Filling will thicken more as it cools.

Once pie is completely cooled – top with generous amounts of whipped cream – just like you find in an old fashioned diner – and refrigerate. (cover with saran sprayed with cooking spray on the inside – so that the whipped cream doesn’t stick to the whipping cream)

Variations:

If you like bananas, place bananas in the bottom of the pre-cooked pie shell and pour pudding overtop. (or peaches) fresh raspberries on top make a nice garnish.

Note: the egg only adds flavour, it is not needed for thickening, therefore if you don’t have an egg, or choose not to eat eggs, the recipe will be fine without it. I have made it many times without the egg when necessary.

If you bought a pre-cooked pie shell – don’t re-warm it, just pour the hot filling over it, let the whole thing cool and then add the whipped cream on top.

 

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Teriyaki Beef with Roasted Vegetables Recipe

I created this recipe after loving the Beef in a Teriyaki Fajita but wasn’t in the mood for rice or assembling anything.

We get so many raves over this recipe, and it smells amazing when the guests are walking in the door.

If you know how to properly use BBQ pans, this is EXCELLENT done on the BBQ esp. with the smoke flavour.

Only dirties up two pans! This is what we do…

Teryiaki Beef with Roasted Vegetables Recipe:roasted vegetable recipe with fast fry sirloin strips

For Four – Five people

Ingredients

3 -4 potatoes

2 large carrots

1 large parsnip

2 large onions

3 cloves garlic

grapeseed oil

Teriyaki

1  Sirloin Tip Steak – sliced 1/8 in thin slices OR 1 -2 pkgs fast fry/fajita steak strips

Cube vegetables: potatoes smaller cubes, carrots large cube (as they cook faster), super thick onion slices, turnip optional,  3 garlic cloves sliced.

Preheat oven to 425°F

Find a pan with sides that will fit all the items in a single layer(very important)

If you own any stoneware, this is an excellent time to use it, as it tastes best, and easier to mange not to get overcooked.

  1. Pour all ingredients into the pan, drizzle with grapeseed or safflower oil (high heat oil) Stir.
  2. Place into oven. Cook until fork tender. Stirring twice or 3x’s. Approx 30min – the larger the cube, the longer to cook.

We keep our focus on it! As it’s oil at high heat, even if just a drizzle, we pay attention.

When veggies are done, pull out of oven and set on cutting board.

Heat a cast iron fry pan (or other fry pan) to medium high – adding 2-3 Tablespoons oil

put in 1/2 the meat and immediately add a splash of  Teriyaki (1 Tablespoon or more)

QUICKLY stir meat – DO NOT let it overcook or it will be chewy – cook until med rare –

Scoop out of pan, onto cutting board, replenish liquids if needed, and repeat.

Cut the meat into 1/4 inch pieces

Add the meat to the veggies & and stir.

Serve hot.

Recipe can be expanded to serve more people.

 

 

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Crabby Joe’s Review

Crabby Joes ReviewCrabby Joe’s Review: It was decent, the ambiance was sports bar like but for $25 per person +Tax & Tip, and a pre-prepared non-fresh taste plus nothing gluten free & dairy for the hubby (other than salad or steak, or other things that weren’t of interest) it wasn’t anything to go back for. Cashew Chicken Stir Fry is probably the best on the menu. Sorry, not for us, value + taste formula not there (price too high for the low taste factor). Our bill was for 4 Adults, and all had the same to say. Wish we could say something better.

In Summary: We’d rather go to Swiss Chalet.

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Sweet Chili Recipe – Easy

Super Easy Sweet Chili recipe is based off the Sloppy Joe Recipe…

Betcha didn’t know… interesting bit of trivia: Who invented the Sloppy Joe?

Benjamin Franklin. Originally called the Sloppy Ben, however, over the years it became known as the Sloppy Joe, the blue collar sandwich. (Hey, both Donald Trump and Billionaire  Warren Buffet both love cheeseburgers!)


Sloppy Joes:Sweet Chili Recipe

1 lb ground beef

small onion chopped

1 bottle pasta sauce

1 can tomato soup

Cook Ground beef with onions, and drain off fat.  Pour in pasta sauce and tomato soup.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes.  Serve over buns.

Sweet Chili:

Essentially the same recipe as above.

Add 1 can mixed beans (drain & rinse beans in cold water) &

1 can tomato baked beans (Amys brand are great!).

Serve with corn chips, grated cheese.  Can add 1 tsp of cinnamon, or hot sauce to taste!

Fresh Potato Oven Fries:

4-6 large potatoes – cut into wedges

Oil to coat -barely enough oil – we coat them with oil by putting a few tablespoons in the bottom of a resealable bag & shaking. The pour them out onto a cookie sheet or large stoneware bar pan with sides.

We bake them at 400°F for 30-40 minutes until ready.

Then sprinkle with salt to taste!

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Curried Rice Recipe – Chicken Beef Shrimp or Veggie – Your Pick

I forgot how good and light this easy curried rice recipe was. I didn’t have my recipe on hand, so I called my mom – who had had some pulled beef already cooked and cooled … This is great to use leftover chicken or beef in (even canned white chicken in a pinch -drained) – be sure to marinate the meat in the dressing until needed … great hot or cold (perfect for buffets or picnics – we prefer hot) see below…

Curried Rice Recipe (Rice Salad):

1 1/2 cups uncooked rice ( + 1 Tbsp butter or marg – we use Earth Balance Sticks)

1 cup cooked peas (or frozen & toss in the rice water)

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup cooked meat – chicken or beef or can of salad shrimp OR 1 cup toasted Almonds for Veggie

1/2 cup red onion finely diced (or Spanish/vidalia… even green onion in a pinch)

Dressing:

1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or salad oil ie: canola, sunflower, safflower, something light)

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (we use Bragg’s)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon curry powder (a friend makes ours mmm … thanks Rick! can double if you like more)

1 teaspoon salt (we use pink Andes mountain salt – more minerals than sodium)

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar (we use cane sugar)

1/4 cup toasted almonds – toss in on top last

Boil water for rice in deep pot – once boiling toss in butter and rice – stir – toss frozen peas on top (if 5 min or 20min rice… if longer, add peas in last 15 min of cooking time) … turn down to simmer… and cook as package directs (ie: 20 min for uncle bens, 5 min for 5 min rice, 55 min for long grain brown etc.) …

While waiting for rice…

Combine dressing ingredients (except for almonds)  – add meat to dressing to let marinade.

Chop celery and onion – set aside.

Toast almonds and set aside.

Once rice is fully steamed – drain (if needed) and add celery, onions – stir. Add dressing & meat – stir. Pour into serving bowl – top with toasted almonds.

(or scoop out of pot onto plates and top with toasted almonds)

Serves 6-8.

Great on a hot summers day when no one wants to turn on the oven.

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Farmhouse Apple Crisp Recipe

Here’s the apple crisp recipe I made at the farm, it’s a combo of mom’s & mine as her recipe was at the farm and I didn’t have mine with me… but remembered a few ingredients…

I probably doubled the recipe but here’s the single…

Farmhouse Apple Crisp Recipe:

  • 1/3 cup melted organic butter (or very very soft will do – we use Alliston Creamery’s from Alliston, Ontario)*
  • 2/3 cup organic oats (from Oak Manor in London area, Ontario)
  • 1 cup organic brown sugar (we used the organic brown cane sugar by Coco Camino– gives it a caramel apple flavour; can use cane sugar though)
  • 1/3 cup organic spelt flour (Ian’s the one they grow at the farm – gives it a nice nutty flavour)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • Good dash of cinnamon
  • Pinch salt

Mix together with a fork.

Pour over peeled sliced apples enough to generously cover in about 2 layers a 8×8 deep pan (from the apples grown at the farm)

Bake at 375°F  40 min

It’s odd, but it usually needs the whole 40 min – but if your oven runs hot,  check it at 35min – always a good idea at any rate.

 

Double the recipe – use a 9×13 deep dish pan  – cooks in the same amount of time.

At home I often add 1 teaspoon clubhouse rum – it warms up the flavour (good in oatmeal cookies too!! & Carrot cake & banana muffins … mmm)

Can use Earth Balance Sticks in place of the butter

This makes great pie topping, instead of making a top crust. Especially wonderful for pear pie… (makes a pear strudel pie!!)

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Cool Veggie Appetizer Recipe – Bridal / Baby Shower / Parties

Easy Appetizer Recipe

Hands down – gorgeous appetizer so incredibly simple – but looks like you’ve slaved all day.

This is our default recipe for all parties that require appetizers, especially bridal and baby showers.

Super Easy Version:

Cool Veggie Appi Recipe / hors d’oeuvres

Ingredients:

  1. On cookie sheet, spray with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper, and roll out the refrigerated crescent dough to make one big flat base. Bake as directed on package. Remove from oven, cool.
  2. Mix together:1 pkg spreadable (whipped) Cream Cheese, 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning and 1 clove minced garlic – mix cream cheese with 1 Tablespoon of mayo to help it mix easier)* (we prefer the dill option below)
  3. Spread over cooled base.
  4. Finely chop topping vegetables –  enough to cover the whole surface with some of each on : cucumbers, broccoli (into bits), red pepper, carrots
  5. Sprinkle veggies on top of cream cheese in the same order. We chop the carrots, but shredding is also an option.
  6. Gently pat down the veggies into the cream cheese with the palms of your hands or by pressing a cutting board on to the surface (so the toppings don’t fall off on the floor when being eaten by guests).
  7. Use pizza cutter to cut into appetizer (two bite) size squares. approx 2 inches square ( approx the length of your thumb – but don’t cut your thumb! )

Voila!  Makes about 12-15 squares

 Substitution:

  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed (green fronds) instead of Italian seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon dry minced onion instead of garlic*
  • yellow peppers instead of broccoli (as shown in picture)

More Advanced Version:

For those who like a less greasy base, and prefer to make their own – here’s two options

1) substitute Bread Machine Crescent Rolls Croissant Recipe for refrigerated crescent rolls (ie: Pillsbury)

or

2) substitute Bread Machine Garlic Bread Pizza Dough Recipe (omit the garlic and Italian seasoning in recipe & use regular cream cheese – not herbed) – recipe coming soon… stay tuned!

 

Most recently we used this at a 40th birthday cocktail party… with rave reviews!

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Review: Presidents Choice PC Baby Brussels Sprouts Frozen

Presidents Choice PC Brussels Sprouts

 

Usually I only buy fresh Brussels Sprouts, however needing a quick side to an evening meal I tossed these into the grocery cart (along with the PC small sweet peas and a bag or two of Asian vegetables), threw them in a pot when I got home and voila they were done, lovely and delicious. Because of their delicate size they cook up in a snap – after trying these, they’re a new favourite.

 

 

 

Presidents Choice PC Small Sweet Peas

 

 

I was pleasantly surprised by these Presidents Choice PC Small Sweet Peas.

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Easy Pot Pie Recipe with Beef or Chicken

Easy Pot Pie Recipe – Beef or Chicken Easy Pot Pie Recipe

This is a great way to use leftovers, that make a completely new meal.

Use up the previous day’s pot roast or roast chicken. Save the gravy.

  1. Cut the pieces of meat into bite size pieces.
  2. Place in the bottom of a casserole pan or individual meat pie tins.
  3. Pour leftover gravy over the meat – just for moistening (only 1 to 2 tablespoons per individual meat pie tin)
  4. Place leftover corn/peas/corn or any mix thereof on top of the meat in a single layer OR frozen peas/corn and/or carrots – shredded raw carrot will also work for this – shred on a box grater.
  5. Spread mashed potatoes on top, enough to hide the other ingredients- these can be leftover mashed potatoes from the previous day, or cook up some potatoes and mash & cool spread on top … if in a pinch can also used instant box potatoes.. mashed & cooled, but be sure to add butter or becel and salt and pepper, so they don’t taste like they came from a box. Can also use biscuit topping – by making up some tea biscuit dough, rolling it out and placing on top Homemade English Tea Biscuit Recipe. Grated cheese on top is nice too.
  6. At this point – making sure all ingredients are cool and not warm or hot – cover. We use tinfoil for the individual pot pies – spray underside with PAM or non-stick cooking spray and label with a black marker right on the tin the contents ie: Beef Pot Roast Pie & either refrigerate, freeze or cook.Pot Pie Recipe
  • From frozen, the individual pot pies take 45-55 min on 350°F
  • From refrigerated, the individual meat pies take 25 – 35min on 350°F
  • At any rate, make sure they are HOT in the center and fully cooked prior to eating.

Why make it more complicated, when it can be easy!

This works for almost any left over meat, including ground beef (shepherds pie) and leg of lamb as well.

These are great for Christmas eve, or even just having in the freezer for a handy meal.

Serve with PC Baby Brussels Sprouts on the side for an easy complete meal (as shown in picture).

You may also like: Ancient Grains Bread Recipe

 

CLASSIC CREAMY CHICKEN POT PIE RECIPE – WITH BISCUIT TOPPING HERE

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Declutter Memorabilia and Stuff

declutter memorabilia and stuffOne of the ways to get organized, be organized and declutter (clearing clutter) is to deal with collectibles and items associated with memories.

I got many remarkable revelations this year, after the unexpected and sudden passing of my health conscious eldest sister at 44; one of which is regarding memorabilia…

While sorting, the message that stood out was, what would she want kept for her children … and what information would they find important when they have the milestones in their lives (turning 18, marriage, babies).

I felt unqualified to make that decision, and decided to keep what reflected her as the beautiful loving awesome person I know… all of her discoveries of herself while attending seminars and coaching; letters from college, photos of friends … anything that, if a stranger went through her memory box one day, by the end they would have felt as if they’ve known her, and those important to her.

My suggestion, to put it out there, would be that you are the best one qualified to narrow it down to your one box, as you know what’s the most important reflection of you.

This includes having office files/papers organized and filed by year, which I worked on for myself – if someone came into my world and had to figure out my system and where I left off could they do it?(good business practice at any rate).

The other request is, the stuff/clutter you-cant-take-with-you… thinking back to my friend’s parents with house & storage facilities full, if you don’t deal with it, somewhere, someone else does!

It’s better if you find qualified homes for it.

A recent quote I came across: “For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.”

From my experience…. hope it helps with perspective…

Sylvia