Saturday, January 25, 2014

Meatball soup

20-30 mini meatballs (about a cereal bowl full) precooked
1 can of diced tomatoes
4 stalks of celery chopped
2 carrots diced
1 large onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1/2 L of *vegetable cocktail (or tomato juice)
1/2 L of water
1L of soup boullion (I used some I had in the freezer)
2 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp minced garlic

Put all items in a large crock pot stir and let simmer for 5-6 hours on high with lid on.

500g  of rings, penne or spiral pasta cooked

Add pasta to sauce and stir well.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.

Serve with fresh bread, and salad.

"Bon Appetit!"

*vegetable cocktail will add an unexpected sweet flavour

Monday, January 20, 2014

Chicken Enchilada Pasta Casserole

Enchilada Sauce
As I could not find this premade, I followed this easy recipe.

In a pan heat:

1/4 cup of oil
2 tbsp flour
1/4 cup chili powder (I used Pam's homemade blend on this site)

Stir constantly until it is thick (a rue). Reduce heat to medium.


1 1/2 cups of water
8oz can of tomato sauce
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder (I used flakes)

salt to taste.

Cook mixture, stirring often over medium heat for 10 minutes. Set aside.

Prepare a 9x12 rectangular baking pan.
**As I use a pampered chef pan I do not have to grease
but if using a cake pan or corning ware, grease and set aside.

2 large peppers (red and green) cut up into the size you prefer
1 large onion cut up into the size you prefer
2 tbsp oil

1 fresh jalepeno (optional) seeded and chopped
2 cups of diced cooked chicken

3 tbsp taco seasoning
1 can refried beans
2 10oz cans enchilada sauce (or the amount in recipe above)

1 cup green onion chopped
2 cups shredded cheese (four cheese blend if available)
1 cup sour cream

2 cups crushed doritos
4-6 cups of your favourite pasta (cooked al dente)
NOTE: if you use oversize shells you can stuff the meat mixture in them which would make great appetizers at a party.

**In cooking, al dente describes pasta and (less commonly) rice or beans that have been cooked so as to be firm but not hard.

  • In a large skillet heat oil and sautee the peppers and onion. 
  • Add chicken and jalepeno and heat thoroughly.
  • Stir in taco seasoning, refried beans and 1/2 of the enchilada sauce.
  • Turn off heat.
  • Mix in 1/2 of the green onions and 1/2 of the shredded cheese and the sour cream.
  • In baking dish, pour about 1 cup of the reserved enchilada sauce on the bottom. 
  • Layer 1/2 the cooked pasta, 1/2 the meat and vegetable mix and repeat.
  • Bake for 30 minutes covered.
  • Uncover and drizzle with any leftover sauce and the rest of the cheese.
  • Bake again until cheese is melted.
  • Remove from oven and top with crushed chips and the other 1/2 of the green onions.
Serve with sour cream and guacamole.

This casserole is massive. It will feed 8-10 people! Smells amazing. Good pick Judy.

"Bon Appetit!"

dry pasta measurements

pasta: measuring chart

Use the chart below to determine how much dry pasta to start with and to see the final volume of the cooked pasta.
Note: Chart below based on four servings (2 oz. each) for a total of 8 oz.
long pastasuncookedcooked
Bucatini8 oz.4 1/2 cups
Cappellini8 oz.3 3/4 cups
Fettuccine8 oz.4 cups
Linguine8 oz.3 3/4 cups
Pappardelle8 oz.4 cups
Spaghetti8 oz.3 1/2 cups
Spaghettini8 oz.3 1/2 cups
Tagliatelle8 oz.4 cups
Vermicelli8 oz.3 1/2 cups

short pastasuncookedcooked
Cavatelli8 oz.4 cups
Farfalle8 oz.4 1/3 cups
Fusilli8 oz.4 1/2 cups
Macaroni8 oz.4 cups
Medium Shells8 oz.3 2/3 cups
Orecchiette8 oz.3 1/3 cups
Orzo8 oz.3 1/2 cups
Penne8 oz.4 cups
Rigatoni8 oz.4 1/4 cups
Rotelle8 oz.3 1/2 cups
Ziti8 oz.5 cups

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Banana Bread in the breadmaker

The recipe actually calls for the bread to cook IN the bread maker. My experience with my bread maker is I end up with VERY heavy and dense bread.

So I chose to mix as a dough and bake in the oven.

In a bread maker:

1 cup milk
2 ripe bananas chopped
3 cups of flour (2 1/2 cups white and 1/2 cup brown)
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon
3 tbsp margarine (or butter)
1 1/2 tsp fast acting yeast
nuts are optional

*****one of my 2 loaves will have 3/4 cup peanut butter added to it.

I set it on mix dough as I said earlier my bread machine bakes very dense bread.

Because there is yeast in it you have 3 options

1:  let it rise in the machine before moving it into 1 or 2 greased loaf pans and bake
2:  let the machine bake the loaf
3:  divide mixture into 1 or 2 small greased loaf pans and set aside to rise, then bake

Bake at 350 until a toothpick comes out clean.

"Bon Appetit!"

Pasta Fagioli Soup

1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey breast
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled, halved and sliced
2 large stalks celery with leaves, thinly sliced
2 cans (1 pound each) unsalted tomatoes, crushed
 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tap crushed fresh garlic
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 cups beef broth
1 can (1 pound) navy or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
6 ounces elbow macaroni or ziti pasta

Place the ground meat in a 4-quart pot and brown over medium heat, stirring constantly to crumble, until the meat is no longer pink.  Drain off any excess fat.

Add the onion, carrot, celery, tomatoes, seasonings and beef broth to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Add the beans and pasta to the pot, cover and simmer for 7 to 9 minutes or just until the pasta is al dente.  Be careful not to overcook as the pasta will continue to soften as long as it remains in the hot soup.

Makes 12 servings

from Secrets of Fat-Free Cooking by Sandra Woodruff

Bread (known as challah, houska or chalka)

Jewish challah bread is a rich, slightly sweet yeast bread that is typically braided and eaten at the Sabbath evening meal on Friday nights and at ceremonial dinners. 

I just wanted a nice sweet egg bread to go with the tuscan pork dish I made from this site for dinner.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Rising time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes

2 large eggs (+ 1 large egg white later)
5 ounces warm water
2 1/2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups bread flour
1 package active dry yeast (1 1/2 tsp)


Put 2 eggs, water, oil, honey and vanilla into a bowl (I use a bread machine to mix as I over mix) 
Add salt, sugar and flour. 
Make a well in the flour and add yeast. 
Mix until JUST combined, and let rest for 10 min.
Knead more and let rest for 10 more min.

(or Run bread machine on dough setting.)

When done, put bread on lightly floured surface and knead 1 minute. 
Make 3 equal ropes of dough and braid on a parchment-lined baking pan. 
Cover with greased plastic wrap and let it rise for 45 to 75 minutes, or until nearly doubled.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. 

Brush dough with beaten egg white. 

Bake for 25 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 190 degrees. 
Cool completely on a wire rack.

NOTE for best results: Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature (and warmish for water.) I've reduced sugar to 1.5 T and it still turns out great.

"Bon Appetit!"

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Crust Free Pizza (Gluten Free)


This one is a WINNER!!!!

Gluten Free, Low Carb, Diabetic Friendly!!!!!!

For when you absolutely want pizza but not all the carbs!!!!!!!

1 (8 oz) package of full fat cream cheese, room temperature
2 eggs
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup pizza sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
toppings - pepperoni, ham, sausage, mushrooms, peppers
Garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350.

Lightly spay a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. 

With a handheld mixer, mix cream cheese, eggs, pepper, garlic powder and parmesan cheese until combined. Spread into baking dish. 
Bake for 12-15 minutes, our until golden brown. 
Allow crust to cool for 10 minutes.

Spread pizza sauce on crust. 

Top with cheese and toppings. 
Sprinkle pizza with garlic powder. 
*Add toppings as desired
Bake 8-10 minutes, until cheese is melted.

"Bon Appetit!"

French Toast Breakfast Muffins

French Toast Breakfast Muffins. 

These are amazing!! Taste exactly like French toast!!! Made with skim milk and light butter was only 121 calories a muffin if you make 12! 

1/3 c. butter melted 

1/2 c. sugar 1 egg (preferably room temperature) 
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour 
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1/4 tsp. nutmeg 
1/2 c. milk 

Topping (option: cut topping in half*) 
1/2 c. sugar 
1/2 c. butter melted 
1 tsp. cinnamon 

Preheat oven to 350F. 
In a medium-large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. 
Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined, 
but still a bit lumpy. 
Do NOT overmix; overmixing will ruin the texture of the finished muffins. 
Scoop batter into muffin tins that have sprayed with cooking spray. 
Using a large ice cream scoop, I got 8 medium-large muffins out of this batter; I think you could get 10-12 muffins by distributing the batter a little less generously. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they just start to turn a bit golden at the edges. 

For the topping, mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. 
Place melted butter in another small bowl. 
Dip the warm muffins in melted butter (you can dip just the top, but it's even tastier to dip the whole muffin!) Dip/roll the muffin in cinnamon sugar. Any extra topping can be used for dipping, while eating the muffins (oh my). ENJOY, GO CRAZY!

*May have left-over topping

"Bon Appetit!"

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Coconut Ginger Rice (Gluten Free)


2 1/2 cups (625 mL) reduced-sodium chicken broth
2/3 cup (150 mL) reduced-fat (lite) coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
1 tbsp (15 mL) grated ginger-root
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 1/3 cup (325 mL) uncooked regular long-grain rice
1 tsp (5 mL) grated lime peel
3 medium green onions, chopped (about 3 tbsp/45 mL)
3 tbsp (45 mL) flaked coconut, toasted
Lime slice

Heat broth, coconut milk, ginger-root and salt to boiling in 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in rice. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed; remove from heat.
Add lime peel and onions. Fluff rice, lime peel and onions lightly with fork to mix. Garnish with coconut and lime slices.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Homemade Chili Powder

One of the things 
I made for my friends 
at Christmas was homemade chili powder. I haven't used it yet but it sure does smell good.

1 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp garlic powder

Mix everything together and store in a glass jar.

Veggie and cheese Tray Casserole

Its that time of year when you open your fridge and find remnants of cheese and veggie trays! No dip, no cucumbers just the stuff everyone left. What do you do, most of us stick it back in the fridge and find it ready for the garbage 1 week later and throw it out.

I just found a recipe that could change that.

Pull out the crockpot,
and lightly coat with non stick cooking spray.


1-10oz can of cream of ___?___ soup OR 1-10oz can of gravy
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese ( gruyere, swiss or old cheddar or whatever happens to be left)
1 cup milk
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp black pepper
5-6 cups of cubed red skin new potatoes (we used white - red would have been prettier)

This sauce turns out rather yummy!
**Note: we used the can of turkey gravy and old cheddar

This is the moment when I looked to the veggie tray!

Dice up and add any RAW celery, onions, carrots, parsnips, turnip, beans. 
Anything that needs time to cook like potatoes. We used carrots and cauliflower.

Cover and cook for 6-7 hours on low

Stir in: 

3 cups of cubed/chopped cooked chicken (we used 2 breasts) or leftover turkey

Dice up and add and broccolli, cauliflower, peas or cooked leftover veggies 
(we used some broccolli and brussel sprouts)

Stir well and leave to simmer on low for another 30 minutes
or until all veggies are cooked to your desired taste.

Sprinkle with 1/4 cup fresh basil (optional)

Serve with thick bread.

This was so yummy and easy. All leftover veggies, gone!

(Note 1 cup of potatoes = 1 person)

"Bon Appetit!"

So Judy and I found this yummy but a bit bland for our taste. So upon reheating the leftovers we added curry and enough milk to make a creamy stew, and its is all gone now!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Maple Almonds

I will say these are DELICIOUS and I am usually not a fan of maple taste.

1 packet Maple Cheesecake Bake Mix from Sunset Gourmet
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 cups whole, natural almonds
1 egg white
2 Tbsp water

Combine Maple Cheesecake Bake Mix and cinnamon.  Add egg white and vanilla, stir in almonds.  Spray crock-pot and pour almond mixture in.  Cook on low for 3 hours, covered, stirring every 20 minutes.  After 3 hours add water, stir and cover; continue stirring every 20 minutes.  Cook for 45 more minutes.  Line a baking sheet and scoop almonds onto it; unclump the almonds, let cool and serve. 

Broccoli & Cauliflower

Mum has been using this
recipe for years and has
been enjoyable
each time we've had it.


20oz (600g) frozen broccoli cuts
20oz (600g) frozen cauliflower
8oz (250g) cheddar cheese
1 can of Cream of Celery soup
2 tsp Horseradish

2.5oz (70g) canned fried onions


Lightly grease a 2quart casserole dish. Cook the broccoli and cauliflower according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water. Place them in the casserole. Cube the cheese if it is in a block. We made it a little easier and shredded the amount needed.

Conventional Method
- In a sauce pan heat the soup over medium heat. Add the cheese. Stir until it has melted completely. Stir in the horseradish. Stir the sauce into the vegetables until they are completely coated.
- Bake the uncovered casserole in a preheated oven at 350F for 20 mins. Sprinkle on the topping. Bake for 5mins. When it comes to the topping, we generally just sprinkle it on. A container is 76g and while the recipe calls for 70g, we find even that can be a bit much. It all depends on how much crunch you want.

Microwave Method
-In a large bowl microwave the cheese and soup on high for 5mins until the cheese is completely melted. Stir often. Stir in the horseradish. Stir the sauce into the vegetables until they are completely coated.
-Cover the casserole with wax paper. Microwave on high for 8mins. Stir once. Sprinkle on the topping. Microwave uncovered on high for 2mins.

We tend to mix the two methods sometimes, depending on how much space we have and what else we are cooking.

Carrots Au Gratin

Don't know how long we've had this recipe, but it is always a delicious addition to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.


3 cups cooked sliced carrots, drained
1 10 1/2oz can condensed cream of celery soup
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 Tbsp melted butter


Combine carrots, soup and cheese in a 1quart casserole dish. Combine bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle atop the carrot mixture. Bake at 350 for 20-25mins or till heated through and crumbs are browned.