Monday, January 26, 2015

You will NEVER make grilled cheese the same again

Grilled Cheese fast and yummy!

I love everything about a grilled cheese sandwich.
Enough that I have many styles and ways to make them!

I own a sandwich maker.
Loved it!
But it is a messy, messy machine
and no real way to clean it properly.

Recently though
I was told a new way to make them
and after many attempts I have decided
I will never make a grilled cheese any other way!

Number 1!
You can make numerous sandwiches
at the same time.
Bake them on low
or you will end up with very crunchy edges.
(as shown)
300 degrees seems to work on my oven.

Number 2!
In all my attempts I have not yet burned one!
AND I have never
had messy burnt cheese to clean up either.
That means you can have a cheesy sandwich
using less cheese.

Number 3!
It works with meat and cheese or just cheese.
We like ours being stuffed with almost everything.
We like onions, peppers or tomatoes!

Number 4!
My family loves them done this way.
It works with kraft cheese slices,
shredded cheese or brick cheese.

  • butter your bread and way you like (our new favourite is with garlic butter)
  • for these sandwiches you do not need to overstuff  with cheese!!
    So add your meat, cheese and or veggies (onions, peppers or tomatoes)
  • place sandwiches on a cookie sheet!
  • put cookie sheet in a 300 degree oven
  • after 5 minutes flip
  • leave for another 5 minutes 

Depending on how crunchy you like  your sandwiches
you can leave them in for 10 minutes on the first side.
You will learn quickly they are so crunchy no matter how you like them.

Serve with a side of chicken noodle soup,
fries or coleslaw
and ketchup/mustard for dipping.

"Bon Appetit!"

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Freezer Coleslaw

1 medium cabbage, chopped and spread on cookie sheet.
1 tbsp salt sprinkled over cabbage.
Let stand one hour.
Squeeze juice out by hand.
Chop up celery, carrot, pepper, etc and add to cabbage.

Mix together 1 cup white vinegar, 2 cups white sugar, 1/4 cup water, 1 tsp celery seed and 1 tsp mustard seed.  Boil one minute.  Let cool.
Pour over cabbage.  

Place in bags and freeze.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Lemon Pepper Acini di Pepe

Lemon Pepper Acini di Pepe

Lemon Pepper <em>Acini di Pepe</em> recipe

This small, round pasta is named for its resemblance to peppercorns, so why not pair it with black pepper, which, along with lemon, adds brightness to the parmesan? 
The pasta is VERY starchy! I ended up rinsing it and it turned out fine.
I believe replacing the recipe with couscous or other smallish pastas will work the same.
  • 2 cups acini di pepe
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup shredded old cheddar (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Cook acini in a large pot of boiling salted water (2 teaspoons salt for 8cups water)
until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta and rinse.
Melt butter in same pot with lemon, pepper and cheese. 
Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water.
Add pasta and stir.

"Bon Appetit!"

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Banana Bread

When Mum and Dad got married, one of the items the guests of the bridal shower were supposed to do was write down their favorite recipe. A Ms. Heidi Turner gave this one to Mum. (Photo after it is out of the oven.)

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 large bananas (We had 5 small ones that NEEDED to go)
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (Like most of our recipes, cut it down to half at 1/8)
nuts (optional)


Cream butter and sugar. Mash bananas and add to mixture. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Add egg and mix. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 350F for 45mins or more. (Today's was done for 60mins).

Peanut Butter Balls coated in Chocolate

I made these last year by a request of a friend who didn't get his yearly amount. Let's just say that people have since been pestering for more. (Photo will be posted after the recent batch)

-4 cups icing sugar
-1.5 cups peanut butter
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp maple extract (I've been using rum extract as we don't have the maple)
-1/4 cup butter
-2 cups of chocolate chips (This amount changes depending on how many of the balls get made)

  1. Combine the butter, peanut butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and maple flavoring. Cream well and knead well. Form the dough into 1 inch balls and set onto cookie sheet with wax paper. (I put them in the freezer for 24 hours to help keep formation.)
  2. Melt the chocolate chips over low heat or in the microwave. To ensure the chocolate doesn't harden too soon on you, do it 1 cup at a time. Dip into melted chocolate chips before placing back on the cookie sheet.If you have extra of the peanut butter mix, sprinkle over chocolate.
  3. Refrigerate or place in freezer overnight (or at least for about 15 minutes).

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

Mum got the recipe from a co-worker's wife. It was delicious and Dad even went back for seconds. We had this with instant rice and a broccoli salad from Metro.

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts We used 3 this time round but could definitely go for 4.
Salt and pepper to taste
1½ cup cornstarch
3 eggs, beaten
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons ketchup
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt

1.      Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.
2.      In separate bowls, place cornstarch and slightly beaten eggs. Dip chicken into cornstarch then coat in egg mixture.
3.      Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken until browned. Place the chicken in a 9 x 13 greased baking dish.
4.      In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic salt. Pour over chicken and bake for 1 hour. I stirred the chicken every 15 minutes so that it coated them in the sauce.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Vegetarian Chili with Tofu

Tofu haters are going to go ew! yuck!  I didn't even try to serve it to Hal, the king of the tofu haters.  And it is his loss.  This chili was lovely and meaty and flavourful.  It also freezes very nicely (without the sour cream).

1 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 dried chili peppers, minced
1 carrots, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1/2 green peppers, finely diced
3 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp brown sugar
260 g firm tofu, finely diced
1 2/3 cup red beans (canned)
1 1/2 cup canned tomatoes (diced)
1/2 cup water approximately
1 pinch salt [optional]
ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp fresh cilantro [optional]
1/3 cup Cheddar cheese, grated

Keep the serving plates in the oven at the lowest setting so they are warm when you serve.

Prepare the vegetables: Chop the onion, mince the garlic and chili pepper, finely dice the carrots, celery, and bell pepper.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic about 2 min until the onion is translucent, with occasional stirring, paying attention not to let them burn. Add the carrots, celery, and bell pepper, then cook 4-5 min, with occasional stirring. Add the minced chili pepper, cumin and brown sugar, then cook 1 min, with stirring. Finely dice the tofu then add it to the mixture, then cook until golden-brown, about 8-10 min.
Drain the beans, rinse them and drain again. Add them to the pan, mix well, add the diced tomatoes and enough water to provide a moist environment. Cover and cook over low heat an additional 10 min, until the carrots are tender.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro leaves, grated cheddar and serve.  I served this dish with quinoa.

Homemade Granola

Preparation 10 min / Cooking 35 min
150 calories per serving [See all nutrition info]
Cooking dish: 30x38 cm

vegetable oil spray, or butter , for the baking sheet
8 cups rolled oats
2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
1 3/4 cup hazelnuts, shelled, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Lightly oil or butter a large baking sheet (about 30 x 38 cm).
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the oil, honey, and maple syrup into a small bowl, then warm it up about 30 seconds in a microwave oven. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients then toss well. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake in the middle of the oven for about 30 to 40 min or until golden brown and crispy. Stir every 10 min to brown evenly and avoid burning the mixture.
Let the granola cool down: It will become crispier and dry as it cools. Make sure to break up any large clumps of granola while the mixture is still warm. Once it has completely cooled, transfer it to an airtight container or plastic bag.
The granola will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator; up to 3 months in the freezer.

Makes 12 cups (36 servings)

This recipe can be found at

Chicken Goulash

2 onions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tomatoes, deseeded and diced
1 yellow or red sweet peppers, cut into match-like strips
2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into 3 cm cubes
4 tsp butter, unsalted
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
4 tsp paprika
2 1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 cup chicken broth, or more
1 pinch salt [optional]
ground pepper to taste
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 1/2 tbsp sour cream [optional]

Prepare the vegetables : thinly slice the onions, chop the garlic, deseed and dice the tomatoes, and cut the peppers into match-like strips. Cut the chicken into 3 cm cubes.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Sauté the meat until it is well browned on all sides, about 8-10 min, then transfer the cubes to a plate.
Lower the heat to low, add the onions, and cook, stirring occasionally until they are well cooked, about 15 min. Return the meat to the pot, add the paprika and cumin, then cook 1 min with stirring. Add the chopped garlic, tomatoes, and peppers, then pour in the broth. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
Cook, covered, over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened, about 30 min, adding some broth if needed to keep a moist environment.
Peel the potatoes, cut them into cubes, then add them to the pot and cook an additional 30 min.Adjust the seasoning.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream (optional).

Makes 4 servings.

This recipe is from

Baked Sausage with Vegetables

I cooked this dish for supper tonight and it was DELICIOUS!!!!!

6 small potatoes, whole or halved
1 red onion, cut into 2 cm pieces
1 yellow or red sweet pepper, seeded, then cut into 2 cm squares
3 Italian sausages, cut into 2 cm pieces
2 tsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Generously oil an oven-proof dish.  Prepare the vegetables and cut them into uniform pieces.  Put the pieces in the dish then coat them thoroughly with the oil.  Add the sausage and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Roast in the middle of the oven until the potatoes are fork-tender and golden-coloured, about 30-35 minutes.  Stir once halfway through the roasting time.

Makes 2 servings.

This recipe is from

Friday, January 9, 2015

Easy banana bread

Chocolate Banana Bread

1 chocolate cake mix
3-4 bananaa
3 eggs
1/3 cup veg oil

Mix all together and bake at 350 for to 35 to 40 min or until toothpick comes out clean.  Bryan and I loved this want to try with a yellow mix.

I tried with great success with a marble cake mix!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Spiced Apricot Pork Roaster

I had a roast.

I am in the mood to cook.

I am ready to try new recipes in 2015.

1 pork roast (mine was still partly frozen)

*) Place roast in a deep large casserole dish (I use my pampered chef lasagna dish) 
or small roasting pan

1-2 cups  rhutabaga cubed (turnip)
*** I always cube my turnip small to ensure it cooks right through!
1-2 cups  carrots (diced, cubed, mini, shredded or chopped)
2-3 cups  potato (diced, cubed or sliced)
1 onion (pureed, diced, or sliced)

*) place this mix of veggies around the roast in the casserole dish. 
(Corn, parsnips, frozen peas and celeriac could be added if your family likes them)

2 tbsp of onion/garlic flakes

*) sprinkle these flakes on the veggies. 

2 cups of broth (chicken, beef or vegetable)

*) pour over veggies

1/4 jar of apricot jam or orange marmalade
1/2 cup of pepper diced (we used yellow but any kind of pepper will work - spicy, red, green)
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp black pepper

*) In a mixing bowl, add these four ingredients and stir well and pour over just the meat.

*) now cover the casserole dish with its lid or with tinfoil.

*) bake at 300 for 3-4 hours.


This was fantastic. 
ALTHOUGH, the meat did not get much of the flavour. 
I would do this as JUST a veggie casserole!!!!! 
The flavours went right through the veggie mix and the carrots were sweeter, the potato received the most citrus flavour, and the turnip took on a peppery flavour.