Got food on the brain? Check out some simple, tasty recipes and try one tonight.
Eating out. See the dishes I've tried in various cities, including my fav, Kingston!
I was making a new, delicious main pork dish tonight (which turned out great!), so to save time, I picked up my go-to Sweet Kale salad from Costco. But then…. I was in the grocery store and thought, with all this fresh goodness, I can do better than my pre-packaged winter salad – so I did!
Instead I got flavorful ingredients and filled my salad with fresh fruit, toasted pecans, and creamy cheese atop tender greens.
Start by putting your lettuce in a big, pretty bowl then begin layering it up with all the above toppings. The end result is a colorful, delicious and satisfying salad to enjoy with any meal. *Add roasted chicken and make it your main.
This was an excellent dinner that I’ll surely be making again. The ingredients pair together nicely and the tender meat was thoroughly enjoyed by my toothless baby.
My in-laws were here for dinner and while they are not picky, I do like to fancy-it-up. The prep was easy with chunky veg and fruit and everything can be started and finished in the same pan. I served this dish with a summer salad and rice, but roasted potatoes would also be perfect!
Preheat an oven to 400°F.
Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large ovenproof pan over medium-high heat. Sear the pork, turning occasionally, until well browned, 6 to 8 minutes total then transfer to a plate.
Add the onion and pears to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes. Return the pork to the pan and drizzle with the maple syrup and balsamic. Scatter the thyme leaves in the pan. Transfer to the oven and roast 20 minutes.
Transfer the pork to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into slices (~1/2 inch thick). Proudly place your pork medallions, pears and onion wedges on a plate and drizzle with the glaze (from the pan). Enjoy immediately!
I served this with a summer salad I whipped up which was quite delicious. I will blog it down so I remember and make it again.
The original pork recipe is from http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/glazed-pork-tenderloin-with-pear-and-thyme.html
Today I was at the butcher to buy ground beef and saw Apple Sausages (Bob’s Butcher). With tacos in mind for dinner, I quickly rethought my plan to include these delicious looking sausages. I decided to BBQ sausages, saute veg and add them to quinoa. Here we go…
Throw the sausages on the Barbie (4) and in the meantime, cook the quinoa.
While that is cooking, dice and saute in coconut oil:
When the sausages are done, cut them into medallions and add them to the cooked quinoa along with the sauteed veggies (until desired tenderness).
Make a little dressing:
Toss everything together – serve and enjoy!
Before this warm weather hit, we had an all-in-one dinner, dessert and breakfast! This delicious dish was a casserole of cubed french baguette, sausage, nuts and berries. A baguette is best fresh, unless you are turning it into French Toast! I took my fairly stale bread, soaked it in my egg mixture, then spread it out in a pan, added my sliced cooked sausage, studded it with pecans, dotted it with butter, and topped it all off with berries and maple syrup. It was awesome!
It’s best to get your bread soaking first – the longer the better (even overnight in the fridge). Since we wanted to eat asap, our dinner only soaked half an hour or so.
Crack eggs and whisk with milk, vanilla and cinnamon.
Dice the bread and toss in egg mixture to coat. Let the bread absorb the egg as you continue.
Cook your sausages. I cooked mine in the frying pan with a little water. Once cooked, slice into medallions and add to bread/egg mixture.
Grease your baking dish (9×13) and pour in your bread/sausage mixture so it is evenly distributed. Sprinkle pecans throughout and pop in an 350 oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden.
Dish onto a plate and serve with berries and maple syrup…. or ketchup, whichever you’d prefer
I titled it cake because I think it would make a nice cake, but I made up cupcakes since they are so easy to grab and go. AND, my silicon muffin liners are very easy to use with no greasing required – ever! I whipped this up after 9pm because I hadn’t baked anything yet today and I had extra quinoa I’d been thinking about since dinner. With a baby in bed and a hubby out at a meeting, I could not sit still. I LOVE chocolate everything and knew I could use my quinoa in a fast and satisfying dessert..
In a food processor, whiz the quinoa. Add milk, eggs, oil, vanilla and vinegar (optional – I added it for tang and to work the soda). Process until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk the dry ingredients – sugar, cocoa, baking powder, soda and salt. Add the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Try this batter – it is good!
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes (or until toothpick is mostly clean).
This amount made 7 cupcakes (plus my fill of leftover batter). Double this recipe and make 2 round 8″ pans.
I found the original recipe on Pinterest, but since I cannot follow a recipe exact, I’ve modified it and cannot wait for my buzzer for I can try them out! Enjoy some for yourself =)
The other day my friend served muffins at a play date and they were so good I asked for the recipe right away. She wanted them to be more moist so I made a few modifications. The results are so tasty I needed to get the muffins out of sight so they would last for through the week. Bonus, it is maple syrup season and these are a delicious way to incorporate one of Canada’s staples =)
Here is what you need:
To make the topping, combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
For the muffins, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt).
In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients (egg, maple syrup, yogurt and oil). Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until just combined (don’t overmix – it will result in a tough muffin). Fold in the berries and spoon into muffin liners (as always, I use silicon which do Not require greasing, and the muffins pop out in tact EVERY time).
Original recipe from http://www.canadianliving.com/food/baking_and_desserts/maple_blueberry_muffins.php
I was inspired to make this because… Last week I brought home the Chicago Mix popcorn (sweet and salty) from Costco but told my husband he could not open it until company comes (really, it is a very big bag)!
So, I thought I’d make some for us Tonight!! I had two bags of popcorn nearing their expiry date. If I had more popcorn, I probably would have doubled the recipe. This popcorn is very easy to eat!
Here is what you need:
Pop your popcorn and set aside. In a med sauce pan melt butter then stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil and let it simmer (bubbling), untouched for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla.
Dump half the pop corn in a huge bowl (I used a big pot) and pour half the caramel on top giving it a good toss. Add the remaining popcorn and drizzle the rest of your caramel mixture over it and stir until everything is coated. Yum Yum!!
If you’d like – Add Chocolate!! Chocolate makes it Better but more messy!
I laid it out on 2 baking sheets and simply melted chocolate chips with 1 tbs of coconut oil and drizzled on top, then I sprinkled it with kosher salt. *Note: my husband came home in the process and one cookie sheet was consumed right away, prior to chocolate! This popcorn was still awesome without the chocolate.
Modified from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/caramel-popcorn/
The recipe was created because I have a sick husband and a giant leftover steak. I knew I wanted to make something hot and healthy to get him on the mend. I though quinoa would be filling and I had an extra parsnip so here’s what I did….
In a medium pot I melted the butter and sauteed the onion then added the garlic and parsnip.
I added 1 can of beef broth plus two packets of beef bouillon and 3 cups of water (or you could just use 4 cups of beef broth).
Add beef and spices to your taste
Bring soup to a simmer and add 3/4 cups quinoa. Cover and simmer 15 mins. Uncover and keep heated on low until ready to serve.
Today I had lunch with my mom and baby Lou at one of my favorite spots. I had an interesting and very delicious Dill Pickle soup. Before heading out, I got a dessert bar they called a Holly Bar. It was fresh out of the oven, looked awesome and tasted great. However, at $4.25 for a square, I thought I should be making this myself! I must say, that my bar was even better. Are you craving chocolate with a crunch and toffee flavor? Try this!
I should warn that I whipped this up free hand – no measuring, however below I will provide guestamates as a guideline
As always, improvise with what you have on hand
Line a baking pan (mine is 9 x 11) with parchment paper and heat oven to 350.
Combine graham crumbs and butter and press into bottom of pan
Sprinkle coconut evenly over base
Sprinkle mini chips and toffee pieces over coconut
Poor/drizzle condensed milk over the goodies until almost everything is thinly coated
Sprinkle milk choc chips and pecan pieces overtop
Bake at 350 for 20-25 mins
Cool, cut and consume
I am pretty pumped about this soup I made last week! Really, you should try it. The day was cold. I had no dinner plan and my meat selection was limited to bacon so I made this with what I had on hand. I made a big batch and got to share it with my mom and sister. Although this soup would stay good for a few days, it did not last that long around here. We liked it so much I made a second big pot this week.
Spread a single layer of corn on a roasting pan and bake at 400 for 15 mins or until browned. Set aside
If using raw bacon, cook it, dice it and set aside but save 2-3 tbs bacon fat in bottom of pot. (If using precooked like me, simply dice the bacon and use 2-3 tbs butter in pot).
Saute the onion & red pep until onion are translucent then stir in flour and cooke for 3 mins.
Add in the chicken broth, potatoes, mushrooms and corn and simmer until soup starts to thicken. Add milk, cream and spices and continue to simmer until it tastes just right =)
Turns out, I LOVE blondies. After I made them for the first time recenlty, I wondered – why haven’t I made these before. the answer came really quickly. It is because they are not chocolate. Instead, I normally make brownie. However, after I made these chewy, sweet and delicious treats (which chocolate and pecans), I quickly added them to my regular rotation.
It’s a snowy winter and I’m on maternity leave. I never thought it would happen, but I’ve stated watching some day time TV – mostly cooking shows. “Cooking with Stefano” is where I got this gem =)
I made my own minor adjustments to suit me. This includes making everything in one large pot on the stove. You could end up with chocolate chunks throughout, but I added mine a little early so that the chocolate melted and marbled throughout – I recommend.
Grease your 8×12 pan and heat your oven to 350.
In your pot over med heat, add:
Stir this until its all melted together then remove from heat
Instead of using a separate bowl, I just set a sieve (fine mesh strainer) over my pot to add my dry ingredients. You could also whisk your dry ingredients in a separate bowl first then add them to the wet if you prefer. Mix until just combined
Scrape batter into prepared baking pan and spread evenly. Bake 20 mins or until tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool, cut and enjoy.
It is a hot-cocoa-kind-of-day. The snow is heavy, the skies are grey and the air is frigid. It looks beautiful outside, but this evening we will enjoy the winter wonderland through the window from our cozy couch by the fire. The perfect addition to our conversation and cooing baby is a large mug of decadent hot cocoa.
Here is how I whipped up a batch:
In a medium pot, add and whisk together:
Now that you have a paste, turn on the burner to med heat and add:
Whisk this all together until hot. Pour into mugs, snuggle up and enjoy. Garnish this with a good conversation and smiles =)
Note: making the paste first allows everything to be incorporated without lumps of cocoa. A good way to measure the amount of milk you need is to poor the milk in your mug first, then add it to the pot.
The first time I made this was last week and it was a home run with my husband. It is real hearty food, delish and quick to prepare. The recipe below is what I used for 2 ppl (with leftovers in mind), but you can easily double this recipe for more people. You can also use whichever potatoes you have on hand and feel free to add other root vegetables to the base.
In your big baking dish add the “bed” of veg and toss them in a generous amount of olive oil and salt & pepper:
In a bowl, toss together:
Place the contents of the bowl over your veg base. Bake for 40 mins (or until chicken is cooked through and veg are tender). Yum Yum =)
My recipe is adapted from a cooking show – check it out here http://www.cbc.ca/inthekitchen/2014/01/sticky-orange-chicken.html
My sister gave me this idea and I made it to great reviews…. from only one person, my husband. But, I am confident that if we shared it with others, they would like it too! This is a fun twist on tacos without using every topping bowl in the house.
Preheat oven to 350 and get out a round baking tray
Add and brown:
In the meantime, spread:
Place one tortilla with cream cheese up on your baking sheet (a pizza pan works well). Spread 1/4 beef mixture over tortilla and repeat - tortialla, beef, tortilla beef. On the last tortilla, place cream cheese down (so it doesn’t burn in oven). Spread the remaining beef mixture on tortilla and top with grated cheese. At this point, add your extra veg – chopped tomato, salsa etc. I drizzled with hot sauce.
Bake at 350
Okay, I’ve been away for a while. I’ve been totally busy with play groups and being a new mom! I also have been baking whenever possible, but my internet time has taken a beating.
Just now I made a delicious dessert. I whipped it up within minutes and then had to crop my photo so you cannot see how much I immediately ate while it was still hot.
Here it is – easy peasy. Make it now, but have a husband or friend over in the very new future so you don’t eat the entire pan yourself.
Preheat oven to 350 and fill a cookie sheet with one a single layer of:
In a saucepan, bring to a boil:
let this boil for 3 minutes – stir often. Make sure to keep an eye since it could boil over. Pour butter/sugar sauce over the crackers and pop in the oven for about 7 minutes. Remove from oven.
Sprinkle evenly with:
let the chips sit for 2 minutes, then spread evenly with spatula
Here is where I lightly sprinkled the entire tray with course salt and toffee pieces. I promptly started eating it, but really you should let it cool completely (in the fridge if there is room). Break into pieces and share with your friends =)
I’ve made this salad twice in one week to serve with friends and family. It is packed with flavour and colour and is so tasty. It has a sweet tang and the ingredients seem to combine together just right. Just when I think I’m done, I find my fork back in the bowl for just one more bite.
Start with a bed of mixed greens (could use baby spinach as well) and top with the fruit, nuts and cheese. The amount of each will depend on how large you want your salad to be. Play around it until you’ve found the amounts that are just right for you!
Here are my approximate measures:
The dressing is a key component to any salad. It turns out I had the perfect dressing on hand, but I’m sure there are a variety of sweet berry dressings that would be delicious on this loaded salad. I used Stonewall Kitchen – Cranberry Ginger Dressing.
Yum Yum Yum is a good way to sum up this dessert. It takes a little time to prepare, but it is worth it! This dessert deserved to be double and that is exactly what I did – even at that, it will be gone too soon.
The ingredients are simple but the taste is gooey goodness!
The recipe below is ALREADY doubled. First you need to find a decent show, start a good convo or better yet, find a helper and unwrap caramels. I tried to find them unwrapped in bulk, but no luck. However, my husband unwrap the goods while I got the other ingredients together. Preheat the oven to 350 then begin the baking.
In a pot, melt and stir together:
While you’re working on that (melting takes a while), in a big bowl combine:
Pack half this down in your baking pan 9×13 and bake for 10 mins. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips evenly.
I like a lot of chocolate so I used an extra half a bag. I used a spatula to spread the melting chocolate . Pour the caramel sauce over the chocolate then crumble/plunk down the remaining oat mixture evenly over top.
Bake the entire thing for 15 minutes or until golden. Don’t get too eager for a taste test, the caramel takes a long time to cool – lesson learned! Store at room temperature so you get the gooey effect when its served. Cut into squares and enjoy…with ice cream =)
*original recipe from pinterest
This is a recipe I whip up a couple times a week. You can always find a stock of these little treats in our freezer. They are perfect for a quick chocolate fix of melt-in-your-mouth richness. Warning, have one and wait 10 mins. I’ve devoured several within minutes and ended up with a sore tummy.
on the stove melt together:
pour into mini muffin cups (I love silicone) and cool to let harden – can do so in the fridge, or keep a stock in the freezer
Well, I wish I had measured my ingredients so I could give you an accurate play by play of this recipe, by truthfully, it is very forgiving so a dash here or there will only make it more personally yours!
I started by washing then slicing my eggplant into (about) 1/2 inch disks. I generously sprinkled them with salt and left to tend to other things. The salt extracts the water so when I finally got back to the eggplant – over an hour later, I patted them dry with a cloth.
I made a paste/batter for the eggplant then tossed them in Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Paste (measurements are approximate – go with your gut). In a bowl, combine:
coat each slice of egg plant in the paste and transfer into another bowl with bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet (I lined mine with tin foil for easy cleaning) and bake on 350 for about 30 minutes (or until the breadcrumbs are toasty). No need to flip.
These are great on their own, but I particular enjoyed them this morning when I topped them with a slice of cheddar, tomato and a friend egg – yum!