Monday, December 14, 2015

Secret Recipe Club: Sheet Pan Herb Roasted Chicken Dinner

Last week was Group A's reveal for the Secret Recipe Club.  I made Pumpkin Pecan Scones.  They were delicious.  Then Camilla, who I've worked with on other blogger events, was looking for someone to help out an orphan for Group B.  I thought it would be fun, seeing as my mom was coming for the weekend, and I was sure I could come up with a crock pot meal that I could serve after a day of Christmas shopping.
Camilla gave me the blog Cooking Mimi, and I was off!
Mischa has lots of everyday recipes that all look delicious.  She even has a crock pot category on her blog!  But there was nothing that tickled my fancy.  It hasn't been cold enough to be thinking chicken and dumplings (soon!), and I like my sloppy joe recipe.
But her last looked intriguing.  And exactly like a Sunday roast lunch.  I've been seeing sheet pan dinners on Pinterest, and like Mischa, I finally decided I needed to try one.  So for lunch after church on Sunday, we had this.
I present to you now Cooking Mimi's Sheet Pan Herb Roasted Chicken Dinner:

Monday, December 7, 2015

#SRC: Pumpkin Pecan Cream Scones

It's time for another episode of the Secret Recipe Club!  In fact, it's time for the last 2015 edition of the SRC.  I've so enjoyed spending the last 2 years delving into other blogs and making wonderful creations from other people's impressive recipe indexes.
This month's entry is no different.  I was assigned Mother Would Know, a wonderful blog written by Laura.  She dispenses the wisdom that you could get from phoning your mom while cooking (something I sometimes do) with none of the nagging (something I probably appreciate).  I stuck with what I know (carbs) when finding recipes to try.  While I was drawn to Chocolate Cranberry Streusel Muffins and Western Omlette Muffins, I opted for something that would use up things in my fridge:  namely heavy cream and pumpkin puree.
I present to you now Mother Would Know's Pumpkin Pecan Cream Scones:

Monday, November 30, 2015

#SRCHolidayTreats: Turtle Bark

You would think that I would learn.
I am a procrastinator by nature, and that's why this post is a little...odd.  It's time for the Secret Recipe Club Bonus Reveal Day:  Holiday Treats.  With a fifth Monday in November, the entire Club has come together to celebrate the season by making treats for the holiday season from each other's blogs. Fun, right?
I was given the assignment of perusing Michaela's blog at An Affair from the Heart.  I spent a long time looking at cookies and squares, trying to decide what would be best.  I mean, there were so many good looking options!  I considered Peanut Butter Kiss cookies, and Chocolate Mint Candy Cookies, before deciding to challenge myself and make candy.
Every year for Christmas, I make a goody bag for my support staff of things like pickles, fudge, and nuts and bolts.  I figure that even if you don't like those items, someone will show up over the season who will enjoy the treat...or you can regift as a quick hostess gift.  When I saw Michaela's recipe for Turtle Bark, I thought that sounded like a delightful addition to the bag!
I present to you now An Affair from the Heart's Turtle Bark:

Thursday, November 26, 2015

#BookClubCookbookCC: Mini Leek and Bacon Pies

I missed last month for the Book Club Cookbook Cooking Crew.  Things were crazy and I couldn't find the book.  I was thrilled this month when Erin of the Spiffy Cookie invited us to have a piece of treacle tart and read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone:

I know it's Sorcerer's Stone in the US, but this is Canada, and this is the British edition.
I devoured read all the books when they first came out, but that was a long time ago.  So I sat down and read this one again.  Now, I want to read the series again, and I really don't have time for that!
What I enjoyed most in the rereadin were the little references that I skimmed the first time, not fully comprehending.  It's kind of like rewatching Star Wars, knowing what is to come.
I was originally planning to do something with Butterbeer, but it doesn't make an appearance in book one.  I then considered doing something with Dumbledore's favourite muggle sweet, sherbet lemon.  But those are lemon drops, and that didn't strike my fancy as much as the potential ice cream.
I then happened upon this recipe on Instagram, and while it's not a direct tie-in to the book, it's definitely got a British bend.  It's also surprising when you start looking how many references there are to bacon...and this has it in spades.  While not a pasty, it is a bit of an homage.  Canadian Living recommends these cold with HP sauce, but J and I would tell you they're amazing hot as a side with soup.
I present to you now from Canadian Living Mini Leek and Bacon Pies:

Monday, November 23, 2015

Party Time: Raspberry Trifle

The beauty of big family dinners is that they're often potluck.  Or perhaps that's just my extended family.  When you're the host, you provide the hot main, and the visitors provide the rest.  Last Christmas, my mom and I were asked to bring dessert for family Christmas.  My mother often makes a mincemeat pie with a sour cream top layer that people who like mincemeat love, and my aunt makes traditional Christmas pudding every year, so I was left to make something else.  You know, something light and decadent for the end of a large meal.
Enter the December 2006 edition of Everyday Food.  I saw this beautiful trifle and knew that I wanted to make it, but you need an occasion for a dessert that feeds 12 plus.  With frozen raspberries in my freezer, and my sad, sad sour cream pound cake, it was an easy decision to take this for Christmas.  By posting this just before American Thanksgiving, I hope you are inspired for your own feasting over the next few weeks.  This one's delicious.
I present to you now from the December 2006 Everyday Food, Raspberry Trifle:

Friday, November 20, 2015

Son of Magazine Challenge: Apple Crisp

I was reading an article today about being a "mean mom".  Don't ask me why I was reading it, seeing as the closest thing to children that I have is 2 cats who do what they like and a husband who doesn't always listen to me either.  But there I was, reading about how to raise kids by being mean.
One of the things that the article said was to not give in and serve dessert every night so it would be a "treat".

*insert cricket sound here*

I grew up in a house where dessert ended lunch and dinner.  It could be a cookie or fruit, but there was always something.  J and I don't eat dessert every night, but we do often have something in the evening after dinner - perhaps a glass of chocolate milk, or one of the many things I bake up.  It's not an every day thing, but there's often something.
The October 2007 issue of Everyday Food included a dessert article called Sweet, Warm and Cozy:  sumptuous, soul-soothing treats that go straight from oven to table.  Of the 4, I wanted to make 3 of them. I bought a new, appropriate shallow dish and have already made 2.  The next one is coming soon.
Might I suggest a return to ending your meal with something sweet?  I'd also suggest returning to slow meals together with laughter, conversation and a distinct lack of mobile phones, but I don't want to be all crazy-like.
Let's start with desert.
I present to you now from the October 2007 issue of Everyday Food, Apple Crisp:

Monday, November 16, 2015

Son of Magazine Challenge: Cheesy Hash Brown Bake

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned in the past that the only thing my husband makes when I'm here is chili.  He likes to start with the Wick Fowler 2 Alarm Chili Kit and "makes it [his] own" by having me chop an onion to toss in along with a drained can of kidney beans.  It's really good, and thankfully makes enough for a couple of meals plus lunch for me for a couple of days.
The last time, however, I asked J if we could make this with the leftovers of the chili, and we actually ate this the next 2 days for lunch.  It's that good.  Trust me.
So if you're looking for something to do with the leftover chili from your last tailgate, and want a new twist on something delicious, might I suggest this?  It won't be the last time we try it around here.
From the March 2007 issue of Everyday Food, I present to you now Cheesy Hasbrown Bake:

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Son of Magazine Challenge: November Planning

It's only halfway through the month, and I'm finally getting around to posting what I'm planning to make from the November 2007 issue of Everyday Food.  It's of course the Thanksgiving issue, which is a month too late for those of us north of the 49th parallel, but there were lots of interesting looking things, and I've already made one, so that's good.
Here's what I thought might make it onto our plates in the month of November:

  • Buttermilk Biscuits
  • Honey-Soy Glazed Chicken
  • Spinach and Cheese Puff
  • Green Bean, Watercress and Crispy Shallot Salad
  • Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
  • Cornbread and Beef Skillet Pie
  • Cheese tortellini with Broccoli, Tomatoes and Garlic
Sounds doable, right?  Let's see what happens!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Oh, Paris...

My heart aches tonight.

I don't usually post on a Friday night.  I like to queue things up and leave it to post on its own during the week.  Tonight is different though.
I made a new dessert for dinner tonight as a part of the Magazine Challenge and thought about posting it later.  But as we've watched the unfolding news about the attacks in Paris, I don't want to wait and post this later.  It's not that this is a hugely important thing, but the flavour made me think of France and right now that's bittersweet.
My year as an exchange student in France more than 20 years ago gave my first opportunity to learn to cook from someone other than my mother in a family situation.  I learned to make sauces, souffles, and a dense chocolate cake that was out of this world.  I still make sauces starting with a roux like I learned from Mme Brabant.  I haven't made a souffle or that cake since I came home though.
I found this recipe in the October 2007 issue of Everyday Food.  It's not like the other pudding cake I've made where you pour boiling water over the cake and it self-sauces.  It's 4 simple ingredients that surprisingly come together to make something delicious.  This is more a cross between a souffle and a dense, slightly undercooked chocolate cake.
Tonight, it reminded me of a French dessert I ate long ago, and my heart ached for a city I love and miss.
I present to you now from the October 2007 issue of Everyday Food Chocolate Pudding Cake:

Friday, November 6, 2015

Son of Magazine Challenge: Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Herbed Couscous

We've been eating a lot of simple meals recently.  There's been enough going on, and we're still trying to eat at home, so there's been lots of indoor grilling and frozen vegetables.  Not that exciting for blogging everywhere.
But have no fear!  I still haven't blogged Thanksgiving!  Or some desserts.  And there's still Secret Recipe Club and the Book Club Cookbook Cooking Crew.  Or there are things like this.  Magazine Challenge and last Friday night's dinner.
In making this stuffing, I combined things my husband is suspicious of:  couscous and pine nuts.  I also cooked something that I haven't touched in a while:  boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  This was easy enough for a Friday, but fancy enough to feed to company.  I may make it again.  Even with the pine nuts.
I present to you now from the September 2007 issue of Everyday Food, Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Herbed Couscous:

Monday, November 2, 2015

Secret Recipe Club: Pizza Dip

Once again, it's the first Monday of the month and the Secret Recipe Club is upon us.  For those of you new to this, or who need a refresher, the Secret Recipe Club is a group of  food bloggers who all receive an email each month of another's blog from the group.  You choose a recipe, secretly make it, and we all post at the same time.  My group's posting is today.  Check out the other great recipes in the hop at the end of this post!
This month, I was assigned Melissa's blog over at A Fit and Spicy Life.  Melissa is a food and wine blogger who is also very athletic.  J and I have been talking more about the fact that we need to eat meatless meals more often, so I poked around with that in mind.  I thought about the baked eggs with roasted red peppers, or breakfast quiche.  But then I wanted a dip for a Saturday afternoon of football.  I found this.  It was dinner.  So filling.  So good.  It was a nice change from the hot goo or nacho dip that I often make, and it used up some bits and pieces that were lurking in the fridge.
I present to you now A Fit and Spicy Life's Pizza Dip:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Got Milk?: Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes

This is a recipe that feels like I've made it many times.  I'm not sure that I actually have, but I feel like I have.  The combination of cream cheese and chocolate is classic, and when combined in cupcake form it's sublime.  Especially when the centres are still a little warm and gooey when you take these to a potluck.
J and I were invited to a BBQ/potluck this summer, and I decided to make a dessert to take without really knowing what I'd have in the house and what I'd ultimately make.  I pulled out my cakes magazine to find something that would appeal to large age group for which I actually had the ingredients in the house to make.
I found these.  And while I didn't have the peanut butter chips called for the in the original, I did have enough chocolate chips in the cupboard between the ends of a few different bags (mini, regular and chunks) to make up the 2 cups of chips called for in the filling.  That's right; 2 cups.  Don't skimp.  The filling makes a chocolate cupcake that keeps them coming back for more.
I present to you now from Shirley Dunbar of Mojave, CA, Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes:

Monday, October 26, 2015

Brunch Classic: Buttermilk Waffles

In the summer, I was stocking the freezer for the upcoming school year.  I was looking for breakfast ideas - things I could quickly reheat and eat in the morning before scampering off to school for the day.  I was reading my freezer magazine and came across a few waffle recipes that sounded good and different, seeing as I don't own a waffle maker and therefore never make waffles.
I did what any blogger would do who is cheap and suddenly has a hankering for waffles:  I posted a message on Facebook, asking my friends if they had a waffle iron I could borrow.  My friend Carrie (who I torment on FB with recipes that are "so easy even Carrie could make them!") got me by posting that she had one; which she totally didn't, and thus dashed my hopes briefly until one of my other friends who actually owns a waffle maker offered to lend me hers.
It was in this manner that I ended up making waffles at the end of the summer to freeze and eat during the fall.  I pinned a bunch of recipes and made a few.  This was the first, and as a starting point, these were fantastic.  They're light, buttery and delicious the day you make them and again later reheated in your toaster.  I totally recommend borrowing a waffle iron.
I present to you now from Sally's Baking Addiction Buttermilk Waffles:

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Son of Magazine Challenge: October

It's almost the end of October.
J and I have had a busy fall.  Between football and work I'm not spending as much time cooking as I might like.  We've been eating a lot of simple meals that go together quickly.  The good news is that we've been eating at home during the week, seeing as we're so often out on weekends right now.
Despite this, I did sit down with the October 2007 issue of Everyday Food at the beginning of the month and made a list of things to make.  Surprisingly, there is a lot of dessert on the list.  I haven't had a list like that in a bit.  But, when I've been choosing so many entrees for the last little bit, perhaps it's best that there's some dessert to even it out.
Here's what I thought looked good from the issue:

  • Sweet Potato Souffle
  • Apple Crisp
  • Warm Almond-Cherry Cake
  • Chocolate Pudding Cake
  • Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots
Only 5, but they all look doable.  And if not, they all look yummy!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Secret Recipe Club: Bacon Cheeseburger Quiche

It's time once again for Group A's reveal for the Secret Recipe Club.  Not sure what that is?  Skip on over and check it out.  I'll wait.  Promise.
This month I was assigned the blog Thyme for Cooking.  Katie has lived in Ireland, Spain and now resides in France.  Her food is simple and full of fresh ingredients.  Yet I picked the recipe where she mused about Hamburger Helper.  How odd.
I had fun looking through her index, and considered chicken before discovering the savoury pies and quiches.  There were pizzas with puff pastry crusts, and a chicken pot pie that I almost made before I found this quiche.  What originally drew me to it was the use of a potato crust.  I always have trouble getting a properly cooked crust on the bottom of my quiche (yes, I know...blind bake it!), and I thought that perhaps this would be better.
When I told J what I was planning to make, he had one suggestion.  That I add bacon.  How could that be bad?
I present to you now Thyme for Cooking's [Bacon] Cheeseburger Quiche:

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

#BookClubCookbookCC: BBQ Pot Roast over Cheddar Ranch Grits

It's time for another edition of the #BookClubCookbook Cooking Crew!  Each month, one of the group will send out an invitation to read and create a dish based on a book from Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp's The Book Club Cookbook (Revised Edition).  This month, Renee from Tortillas and Honey invited us to read A Lesson Before Dying.

I have to admit, I didn't read this book at this time.  I read it almost 20 years ago while in Teachers College.
This is a powerful story.  So powerful that I remember crying through the last 50 pages.  I just wasn't up to reading it again.  But if you haven't, I totally recommend it.  Just have the tissues ready.
I debated what I wanted to make this month.  The cookbook suggested pralines, but I'm not up to making candy right now.  I need quick and easy dinner recipes.
I considered posting a Facebook question asking what people would want as their last meal (the book centres around time before one of the main character's execution for a crime he didn't commit), I searched Southern Food on Pinterest, and ended up perusing a site called "South Your Mouth" with lots of interesting recipes, and having a few roundups that I pinned from.  But then I got smart.  I sent a message to Janet.
I've only met Janet once, but she used to work with J when he lived in Charleston, SC.  I sent her a message asking for some true Southern food.  J has always told me that Janet is a great cook, and she had lots of suggestions.
Janet is from the Low Country of South Carolina, not Louisiana, so her suggestions favour that part of the US.  I still want to try Benne Seed cookies, but the recipes I found all made a huge number.  She suggested shrimp and grits, but I don't eat shellfish.  She also suggested anything with sweet tea, or Coca Cola Cake.  I finally took her first suggestion, with a recipe I'd seen featured on South Your Mouth:  cheese grits and a crockpot roast.  Perfect for fall.
I present to you now from Plain Chicken BBQ Pot Roast over Cheddar Ranch Grits:

Monday, September 7, 2015

Secret Recipe Club: Bacon Wrapped Pesto Stuffed Chicken Drumsticks

It's time again for the Secret Recipe Club!  What's that, you ask?  Well, it's a group of bloggers who are all assigned each other's blogs.  We hunt for recipes on said blog, and then all reveal what we made and who had who at the same time.  Fun, right?
I always enjoy getting my blog assignment and planning what I shall make each month.  This month, I had the pleasure of perusing Cindy's blog over at Hun...What's for Dinner?  Cindy is a stay-at-home mom with 2 kids and a passion for baking.  She and I don't live all that far apart, either!  I've also spent a little time on her blog in the past when I've linked up my menu planning with her on a Sunday.
There were so many interesting things to look at, I had a hard time choosing what to make!  I started looking at desserts (again!), and then realized that in the last little bit I've made an awful lot of bread/sweets/carbs for SRC.  I wanted to branch out.  So I started looking at mains, and this just spoke to me.
I have a love/hate relationship with my BBQ.  I love it for its fast and easy food prep, and that there are less dishes by my sink but more in my dishwasher at the end of the night.  I hate that I seem to burn chicken when I attempt to cook anything but boneless, skinless breasts or skewers.  But after reading about these drumsticks, I had to try again.
J wasn't convinced - he's not a fan of things that are burnt off the grill; and between the chicken skin, dripping pesto and bacon, I was sure to have flare ups, but I decided to soldier on because the promise of bacon and pesto in one dish just sounded too good not to try.
I mean bacon, pesto, could that be bad?
I present to you now from Hun...What's for Dinner?  Bacon Wrapped Pesto Stuffed Chicken Drumsticks:

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Son of Magazine Challenge: September Planning

I know that there's no July/August planning post on the blog.  That's because the July/August 2007 issue of Everyday Food was a big bust for me.  I found 2 recipes - 2 that I wanted to make, and one I had already made in the past in my pre-blog days.  I may get around to making the Roasted Summer Vegetables and Pasta again, because it was good; and then again I might not simply because it doesn't stick in my mind as something I should make again.  The ice cream sandwiches, however, were fantastic and I will make those again.
Frankly, after 3 years of the challenge I'm surprised that there's only been 1 issue where I really haven't been thrilled with what was on offer.  I draw from a large variety of sources for what we eat, so I didn't know if it was that I just didn't like the sound of anything, or if I had reached saturation point with Martha Stewart and was starting to find things repetitive.  Perhaps it's a little from Column A mixed with a little of Column B combined with summer ennui.  No worries, though.  I soldiered on.  Everyone can have an off issue.
I wasn't sure what to think when I sat down with the September issue.  Would it be feast or famine (kinda literally)?  But with a cover boasting "No-fuss Family Fare", I had high hopes.  It was definitely better than what I had encountered last month.  I came up with a list of interesting things to try to make up for July/August.  A return to interesting food just as I return to work.  Sigh.
Here's what we're going to try on the Mountain this month:

  • Stuffed Tex-Mex Yellow Squash
  • Salmon with Mustard Dill Sauce
  • Pigs in Blankets and Citrus Spritzers
  • Black Bean Tostadas with Corn Relish
  • Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Herbed Couscous
  • Family Dinner Menu featuring 3-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese, Sauteed Green Beans,  Garlic-Roasted Tomatoes, and Apple Cinnamon Upside-Down Cake
Looks like a good month.  Here's to fall!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Secret Recipe Tailgate Bonus: Chicago Style Pizza

I've been busy this month with Secret Recipe Club.  My regular Group A post, I picked up an orphan, and now a bonus party for the fifth Monday of the month.  Then next week, September is in full swing, and I'm posting with Group A once again.  Whew.
The premise of Secret Recipe Club is simple:  a group of foodie bloggers, all choosing a recipe from each other's assigned blogs, posting simultaneously.  There are 4 groups, but what happens when there's a fifth Monday?  Up until now, nothing.  But Sarah, our fearless leader thought that we could have some fun with a club-wide party for those interested.  We'd pick a theme, be assigned a blog, and make something for the theme.  This one is perfect for heading into fall.
Tailgating is a proud tradition involving lots of food, lots of alcohol, and the occasional sporting event.  Often, they take place in a parking lot while waiting for said event to happen.  J and I tailgate 7 or 8 Saturdays every fall, usually in the front seat of our car in Ann Arbor with Zingerman's Grab and Go Tailgate bag lunches before heading into the Big House to join the faithful (in case you ever want to try these...I recommend Benno's Birdie as a sandwich.  It's delicious!)
Weekends that the Wolverines are away, we start watching Game Day in the morning and usually turn off the TV around midnight (yes, we are that family) while eating a large breakfast and then finger foods in the evening.  I'll make wings, like I am this coming weekend; or nachos.  Sometimes, I'll make a hot baked dip.  Or sometimes, I'll make pizza.
I was assigned Wendy's blog, A Day in the Life On the Farm.  She and I both participated in Camilla's #TenDaysofTailgate last year, so I knew there would be lots of fun recipes that I might be able to use.  Ultimately, I made something I would never make for a true tailgate, but I would make for a long day of football, lounging, and too much food.
Wendy spent a year posting pizzas.  I found one that sounded good, and when I went back to look at her source material I discovered that this pizza was to mimic the absolutely delicious Chicago pizza of Pizza Papali's in Detroit.  While my favourite will be from the Pizza House in Ann Arbor, Pizza Papali's is darn good.  I was sold.  It's even meatless to boot.  Don't tell J.
I present to you now from A Day in the Life On the Farm, Chicago Style Pizza:

Friday, August 28, 2015

#BookClubCookbookCC: Maple Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts

Somehow I let this month slip away from me.  Today is the day that my post is due for The Book Club Cooking Crew, and I planned so well I forgot to plan to make and blog my submission.  I just hope it's in time.
This month, Andrea of Adventures In All Things Food invited us this month to take a walk in the woods and eat a slice of impossibly lemon pie.  I took up the challenge with J, after reading the synopsis in my copy of The Book Club Cook Book of Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods, I thought this was a book we could enjoy together:

As an individual with a visual impairment, my husband isn't a big reader.  It's just too taxing.  As an Eagle Scout, my husband has spent way more time roughing in the woods than I have.  I thought the subject matter would appeal, and we spent a couple of weeks after dinner, sitting as I read Bryson's wonderful story aloud.  We both so enjoyed the story - and now we're looking forward to Labour Day weekend so we can go see the movie.  The book is always better, but we have high hopes.
While the cook book suggested lemon pie, I made one not that long ago, so I went looking for something else.  The inspiration came in the form of Bryson and Katz's trail fare.
Early on in their travels, Bryson and Katz are joined by a woman named Mary Ellen, who turns out to be difficult for both of them to put up with.  At one point, they plan to ditch Mary Ellen, with Katz commenting if it doesn't work, they could always "kill her and steal her Pop Tarts."
I knew in that instant that I wanted to make Pop Tarts.  I spent some time on Pinterest looking at options, J told me that they had to be Brown Sugar Cinnamon, his favourite flavour from Boy Scouts.  I wanted to make the icing maple.
I found very realistic recipes, but finally decided that mine were going to be more of an homage to the Pop Tart with J's filling, my icing, and ideas from a variety of sources.  This one we're going to call my own.
I present to you now Maple Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts:

Monday, August 24, 2015

Son of Magazine Challenge: Mini Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

You know how you mean to do something, get halfway through, become sidetracked, and eventually come back to the original project for the now much smaller job?  That is the story with these sandwiches.
I made the cookies, put them into a container, and we started eating them as is.  By the time I made the sandwiches, I only had a dozen cookies left.  Whoops.
J and I have had a couple of pool parties in the past couple of weeks, and I meant to make these as a dessert option for the first of the parties (not that it mattered...we had so much food!).  Then, when that didn't happen, I thought to make them for the second party.  But we had birthday cake instead, so I ended up making these as a dessert option for us.  At the beginning of a super hot week, they were a welcome treat.
I know the title says "mini", but don't let that fool you!  One is enough.  It's 2 cookies and a small serving of ice cream rolled in chocolate chips.  But think about that.  2 cookies.  Ice cream.  Chocolate chips.  How could all that together possibly be bad?
From the June 2007 issue of Everyday Food, I present to you now Mini Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches:

Friday, August 21, 2015

Son of Magazine Challenge: Spinach-Stuffed Flank Steak

I made this a while ago.  Like, I was still working awhile ago.  The problem with being inconsistent in my blogging is that things languish on my camera and get forgotten.  This is one of those recipes.
J and I both like spinach, and as a result I use it a lot in my cooking.  Spinach is a versatile vegetable, hearty enough to stand up to strong flavours, and healthy enough to make you feel virtuous.
J and I had this one Friday night after I went to the local butcher and had him butterfly the flank steak for me.  The filling went together easily, and the cooking time was relatively short, although we decided that slightly longer would have been better.  The second night, we were much happier with the level of doneness.
From the May 2007 issue of Everyday Food, I present to you now Spinach-Stuffed Flank Steak:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Mile High Vegetable Pie

My mom is here for a few days.  We've been doing the family thing the last few days:  my mom's brothers and spouses, my cousins and spouses and their kids here; and then my mom and her brothers and cousins out for lunch a couple of days later.  With big family groups, we do a lot of potluck.  But with my mom staying here, we try a lot of new things.
My mother and I are both believers in having company and trying new recipes.  If it works, you're a genius, and if you don't, have a funny story later and people to help you hide the evidence in the present.  So it's not a surprise when my mom comes that we try new recipes that we probably wouldn't try with 2 of us at home.
I know I've said it before, but I'm a big fan of the Podleski sisters and their wildly successful series of cookbooks, Looneyspoons.  Their recipes are fun, made with pantry staples, and delicious.  While their original cookbook is now somewhat outdated in terms of nutrition trends, the recipes are solid.  They're low in fat, and often with a few tweaks are something that we enjoy.
I don't tweak a lot of recipes without trying them once.  One should, I believe, trust the process of the author.  But in this case, when I read 2 cups of mushrooms, there was no way they'd be going into my main course; and I don't keep reduced fat butter or margarine, nor do I use egg substitute.  Tweaking was necessary.
This is exactly what the title suggests:  lots of vegetables on a crust.  With a little egg and cheese to hold it together, how could that be bad?
I present to you now from the Looneyspoons gals, Mile High Vegetable Pie:

Monday, August 17, 2015

Secret Recipe Club: Blue Ribbon Coffee Cake

It's not my regular week for Secret Recipe Club, but I offered to pick up an orphan for Group C and post with them this week.  I'm really glad I did.  Partially because after this month I won't really have time for a while, and partially because it gave me another opportunity to explore a new blog and make something yummy.
I was thrilled to get Jane's Blog, The Heritage Cook.  When I joined Group A of the SRC, Jane was our fearless group leader.  I had gone to her site after getting the email with my first assignment, and had poked around a little thinking that there would be lots to choose from when I drew her name as my assignment.  Then the groups changed.  Jane left for Group C.  I was never assigned her blog.
By happy coincidence, I was assigned her blog as the orphan.  I suddenly poked about her blog with purpose!
Jane is a native Californian, and has been gluten-free for 3 years. She has chocolate Mondays.  There are so many things that I'll need to go back and make more!  She has fabulous looking food, and it took a while to find something until I promised to bake for my custodial staff.  I have a meeting today, and I promised to bake for them.  Then I found this recipe.  It was obviously meant to be.
I present to you now the Heritage Cook's Blue Ribbon Coffee Cake:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Grillmistress: Cheeseburger Kebabs

We had a big pool party last weekend for some of my friends from when I was in Youth Group.  Yep, I've known a good number of the people who were here since I was 4.  We ate way too much, swam away the afternoon and caught up.  J and I host this once a year, and it's always so much fun.  One of the biggest deals this year was that we went out and bought a new tank of propane.
When my mom came in June, we set up to BBQ, got halfway through cooking the steak, and ran out of propane.  We then neglected to buy more for a month.  I know.  Have indoor grill, be lazy.  But with 25 people and a freezer full of burgers and hot dogs, the Foreman was not going to cut it and we got a new tank.  
What this means is that we're back to grilling in the great outdoors when the weather is good.  Just as well.  I found these little beauties on Pinterest or Twitter, and decided that I needed to try them myself.  It was a good need.  These are great.
I present to you now from Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen Cheeseburger Kebabs:

Monday, August 10, 2015

Oven Baked Crispy Greek Chicken

It's funny how sometimes you won't like a specific food in certain preparations.  I'm not big on raw tomatoes, but I have yet to meet a tomato sauce I wouldn't eat.  I probably have a longer list of things that I don't like than J, but when I do the cooking around here we don't eat the things that I don't like.  Mushrooms and shellfish don't make appearances on our table because of my tastes, and you don't see turkey very often, seeing as J can't stand it.  But there are a lot more vegetables that I don't like than J.  He's not fond of squash, and doesn't like cucumbers.
You would think, then, that I wouldn't make a dish where cucumber features predominantly in the sauce; and yet I did.  And even more interestingly, J liked it.  A lot.  I was told to make this again.  And it was fantastic.  I would recommend it for the non-cucumber eaters in your life too.
From the 2015 Milk Calendar, I present to you now Oven Baked Crispy Greek Chicken:

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Classics: Dill Pickles

I posted a picture on Facebook of the enormous bag of cucumbers that I bought at the Farmers Market this past Tuesday.  I think it was a bushel.
Every summer, my one canning project is making dill pickles using the same recipe my mom uses.  It's simple and forgiving.  I'm not really sure why I started, but I know it was after J and I got married, but I've done it every summer since; even the summer we moved. J is obviously a fan, or I wouldn't bother with something this time consuming that only I eat.  I also make these as Christmas gifts, so buying 23 lbs of baby cucumbers might not seem so crazy.
That's right.  23 pounds.  No one needs that many cucmbers.  I ended up having a friend take some.
One thing that that picture on Facebook did was have a whole bunch of my friends ask if the pickles are crunchy (I think so), and would I share the recipe (yes).
I present to you now from the Mary Moore Cookbook Dill Pickles:

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Breakfast on the Run: Breakfast Sunshine Cake

I'm always on the lookout for good, easy recipes to include in my repertoire.  Good is key.  Easy makes things even better.  While I do draw a great deal of inspiration from Everyday Food and Pinterest, I have found the 2015 Milk Calendar to actually be quite useful.
The Milk Calendar is often hit or miss for me.  Either it's things that just don't look tasty, or they use ingredients I don't buy, or they're for things that I already make and like the recipe I have.  This year, there have been a variety of things that I've made and enjoyed.
I've been trying the Bake It Easy recipes from the front matter of the calendar recently.  Muffins and so forth are always up my alley:  easy to freeze and take in my lunch or eat for breakfast.  I saw this cake and thought it sounded delicious.  I also needed to find a use for the shredded zucchini in my freezer, and thought that this would be a way to use it up before I end up with more shredded zucchini in my freezer for next year.
This is really good, and smells so yummy while baking.  I just don't recommend leaving it in an airtight container on your counter too long.  I think the last couple of pieces fermented before J and I could eat them.  Fermented cake is not really what you want to eat for breakfast.  But vegetables are, and when they're in cake form, how could they possibly be bad?
I present to you now from the 2015 Milk Calendar Breakfast Sunshine Cake:

Monday, August 3, 2015

Secret Recipe Club: Maple Apple Walnut Muffins

It's time once again for the Secret Recipe Club!  After taking the month of July off, I'm so happy to be back.  I missed having the chance to go through another blogger's recipes, select something yummy, and recreate it in my own kitchen.  Want more details?  Check out the site here.
This month, I was assigned the wonderful blog, Chef in Disguise.  Sawsan is an orthodontist who lives in the United Arab Emirates.  She makes gorgeous looking Middle Eastern food that sounds wonderful!  And yet...well...I stayed pretty close to home for the recipe that I finally made.  More on that later.
Sawsan's recipes looked wonderful.  I considered ma'amoul, a shortbread stuffed with a variety of fillings (but I didn't have the beautiful moulds that Sawsan used).  I also liked the looks of Spinach pastry triangles, but J wasn't convinced.  I also discovered that Sawsan is an avid baker.  I wanted to make her Nutella Twist bread because I have yet to meet a Nutella recipe I don't like.  I finally decided on her One Year Blogiversary recipe, Cinnamon Sweet Bread that looked gorgeous, and I was excited about trying the twisting (go look at the picture...I'll wait for you.  Trust me.  It's worth the click!!)
Then I started thinking about the size of that bread.  And the fact that J would probably help me with just a piece or maybe two.  So I started looking again.
I finally found this recipe, and it sounded delicious...and freezable...and not nearly as exotic as where I started.  But trust me when I tell you that the ingredients are staples in a Canadian gal's kitchen, and you need to make these muffins.  Need I tell you!  I've polished off two while writing the recipe preamble, and am trying to decide if a third would ruin my lunch.  It might, but it would be a great way to go!
I present to you now Chef in Disguise's Maple Apple Walnut Muffins:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Got Milk? 6: Lemon BonBon Cookies

J and I have been away.  On vacation.  And not together.
Yes, after 8 years of marriage, my husband and I took separate vacations.  He went to visit friends in South Carolina and do some audio geek stuff, and I went away with my mom on a bus trip.  We both had a great time, and it was all good, but it also meant that I got to do something that I never get to do - spend time in the house by myself.
I miss time alone.  With a husband who doesn't drive and who is home during the day, he usually goes out in the evenings or on the weekends with me.  I spend little to no time by myself in the house with just the cats as company.  This was a chance to do just that, and it was blissful.  I had one night to myself, and as I announced on Facebook, I managed to meal plan for J and I, and for mom and I but not for just me.  Maybe it's just as well that I don't spend much time alone.  But one thing that I did make was a batch of cookies so Mom and I would have dessert.
I turned to my Taste of Home cookie magazine for something different that we might enjoy.  I happened upon these lemony cookies a while ago, and finally decided it was time.  They're totally worth it.  Trust me.  They freeze well, too.  And it's not a huge batch, either.  2 dozen cookies aren't a lot, because these melt on your tongue.  Mmmmm...perhaps I need to go and find myself one or two now.
I present to you now from Linda Nicholson from Palatka, Florida's Lemony Bonbon Cookies:

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

#BookClubCookbookCC: Chicken Tikka Kebabs

I posted on Facebook and Twitter recently that I was about to embark upon a new project with some old food blogger friends.  That time is finally here!  I'm so happy to say that for the next year, I will be participating in the Book Club Cookbook Cooking Crew for a time of fun, food and good prose.
Hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, this project brings together 11 bloggers around The Book Club Cook Book (Revised Ed) by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.  Each month between now and next July (other than December), 1 blogger will choose a book from the cookbook and invite us all to make food that is inspired by the title of the month.  You can draw on the recipe included in the cookbook, or choose something else that uses the themes and food included in the book.
I've so enjoyed just reading the cookbook!  There are old favourites of books that I have read in the past, as well as books I've never heard of that sound so interesting!  I was thrilled that the first selection was something I was unfamiliar with, seeing as it's the beginning of summer and I needed reading inspiration.  I'm sure that that will continue long after the project ends too.
This month's selection was chosen by our fearless leader, Camilla.  She invited us to "make curry and drink a lassi" with her while reading Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpra Lahiri.

This collection of 9 short stories all have characters who somehow relate to India:  either immigrants to Europe and the US, or US-born characters with Indian heritage.  I so enjoyed the stories, especially Mrs. Sen's and This Blessed House.  There was something about Twinkle and her display of relics that made me smile; just like Mrs.Sen and her stories to Eliot about life in Calcutta.  While most of these stories have a huge food element to them, I took my inspiration from When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine.  In that story, the narrator tells the story of Mr. Pirzada, a man who has come to America to study plants, is invited to dinner by her parents regularly.  I had already started to toy with what to make, and when I saw the phrase "platters of kebabs", I knew what I was going to do.
My making of Indian food is usually based upon browning the chicken and adding a bottle of Patak's Butter Chicken Sauce.  While I enjoy the flavours, I don't often spend the time to make it.  I didn't really think Patak's would cut it for this, and the egg curry was called an "acquired taste", so I didn't think that it was a taste that I would quickly acquire.  I don't like hard-boiled eggs.
As my Facebook friends know, I've been cleaning out my office.  It's been crazy the amount of crap that I have been lugging from house to house.  Crazy, I tell you!  But one of the things I found was a Bon Appetit Tastes of the World that I have no clue how I acquired, nor had I used ever.  I started flipping, and soon found something that sounded good.
I present to you now from Bon Appetit Chicken Tikka Kebabs:

Monday, July 13, 2015

Take Out at Home: Sesame Chicken Salad

If it hasn't been established already, I love quick dinners.  I mean, I like recipes with different techniques that use all of my kitchen utensils, but on a regular basis I'm a quick and dirty kind of girl.  Mise en place just makes sense because while the prep may take a while, when you're finally cooking everything is at your fingertips and ready to go.
You would think as a result that I would embrace Rachael Ray of the early days with her 30 minute meals.  While I watched 30 Minute Meals from time to time when it was on, I found her voice grating, and as time went on her cutesy words annoying.
I somehow acquired a copy of her 30 Minute Meals 2 in my travels.  I'm pretty sure I didn't buy it, and it's not something I would have asked for as a gift, so I'm just not sure.  I've flipped through it from time to time, but really the only things I make from it are the Italian Wedding Soup, Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches and Twice Baked Potatoes - all of which are really good.
I decided last week that I should really use some of the cookbooks that are lurking in my cupboard more and so had a flip through 30 Minute Meals 2 again.  I'm glad I did.  I found this.
I present to you now Rachael Ray's Sesame Chicken Salad:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Son of Magazine Challenge: Creme-FIlled Chocolate Cupcakes

I have a confession to make.  I have been eating breakfast every morning.  While it's been a whole lot of peanut butter toast in the past few weeks, I do sit down and make sure that my body has something to run on for a good portion of the day.  Time to eat, a principal does not always have.
I will tell you that I didn't eat these for breakfast.  I'm not above it, but I was taking them for a lunch dessert, or eating one in the evening as a treat with J.  But I didn't make a complete confession on Facebook when I posted a picture of these beauties.  More on that later.
I had to get a jumbo muffin tin to make these.  I wouldn't always recommend doing this, but this makes a dozen jumbo cupcakes.  We were off to a picnic and I was to bring a dessert.  These totally fit the bill.  I made them the day of, after reading reviews that said the cake was dense and dry.  It is dense, and I would recommend cake flour to lighten them up a bit.  But the filling suited the cake.  It is also dense and sweet.  J said that they reminded him of Hostess snack cakes, and I think that's the point.  But these are probably better just because we know what's in them and they go stale faster.
Everyday Food had a feature in the April 2007 on Nostalgic Desserts.  These were just too cute not to consider.  And they're filled with a marshmallow mixture.  How could that possibly be bad?
I present to you now from the April 2007 issue of Everyday Food, I present to you now Creme-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes:

Friday, June 19, 2015

So Delicious: Hot Wings

J and I both like going for wings, but we're getting old.  By that, I really mean that he is turning 50 this year and while he wants to eat super spicy food, it's not always the best idea.  Likewise, I am becoming more fabulous as time passes.
This year for the festival of Bowl games that is January 1, we decided to have wings at home.  Customizably spicy, ready when you're ready.  I went looking (as I am wont to do when I don't have a recipe) on Pinterest for something that would work for a lovely little Buffalo wing we could eat.  What I found was this.  It's amazing.
This does take some prep work, but the wings need to rest for at least an hour after their original coating, so they're the kind of thing you can leave in the fridge until an hour before you're ready to eat and then pop in the oven until they smell done. The messiest part of this for me is cleaning the rack after baking.
That's right.  I said baking.  This is about as healthy a wing as you can pretend to get.  Ignore the butter in the sauce and the skin that's still on chicken and it might be considered healthy.  But that's not the point.  Have I said how great we think these are?  I've made them 3 times.  That's a lot around here when you're not Chicken Fajita Salad or Mexican Bake Thing.
I present to you now from Gold Medal Flour Hot Buffalo Wings:

Monday, June 8, 2015

#HotSummerEats: Grilled Ginger-Marinated Pork Tenderloin

It's the end of #HotSummerEats.  Huge thanks to Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla for putting together another spectacular event!  I have been so happy to participate, even though this time around I haven't been as active as I'd like (thank you very much, school that doesn't end until the end of June).  It's been great to think about summer foods and try out new-to-me products.  If you'd like to try them too, make sure you've entered the Giveaway!!
As a parting shot, I decided to grill again.  J isn't big on pork, but will tolerate pork tenderloin.  His favourite grilling method for it is the garlic-balsamic marinade I've made in the past, so he was a little disappointed when I informed him that I would be making a new and different marinade for the tenderloin that I was defrosting.
I continued in this recipe with the tubes of herb paste from Gourmet Gardens.  I've already finished the garlic and the ginger.  They're fantastic for cooking in general.  I'm now spoiled. But back to this marinade.
This is different than what I've made in the past, but the leftovers make spectacular pork fried rice, which is my go to with leftover pork tenderloin.  The ginger is a nice addition, and garlic never hurts.  I don't think J was disappointed with the finished product, even if it wasn't what he was expecting.
I present to you now an adaptation from the November 2003 issue of Gourmet, Grilled Ginger-Marinated Pork Tenderloin:

Friday, June 5, 2015

#HotSummerEats: Lemon Cream Pie (Son of Magazine Challenge)


Apparently I think of summer and pastry, which is weird, seeing as I will tell you that pastry is my nemesis.  I bought a pound of lard earlier this spring for something that has since eluded me.  When I found it in the top of the cupboard a few weeks ago, I decided that I might as well try once again to make pastry and made up the box, divided it into balls, wrapped them in plastic and froze them.  Did you know you can freeze pastry dough?  My mom has done this for years.  It's easier to make up the whole box (and the recipe on the box is for the whole thing) and then plan to, at some point either make 3 double-crusted or 6 pies.  This could be one of the 6.
I love lemon.  I know I've said in the past that lemon reminds me of spring, but it's also amazing for summer.  Icy lemonade, lemon sorbet, lemon cake or lemon cookies, I will eat them all.  I'm a huge fan of lemon meringue pie as well, but it's not J's favourite.  When I found this recipe in the May 2007 issue of Everyday Food, I knew I wanted to try it.  With stabilized whipped cream, this won't even melt at your next potluck.  But don't let it sit out too long.  It is whipped cream after all.
I loved this.  J didn't complain when I served it 4 nights running for dessert.  I'd call that a win.
From the May 2007 issue of Everyday Food, I present to you now Lemon Cream Pie:

Thursday, June 4, 2015

#HotSummerEats: Panko-Crusted Tilapia Sticks with Dipping Sauce

I don't think fish sticks are something that we often think of when it comes to summer food.  But here's where I'm coming from:  on the Victoria Day weekend, J and I went to visit Toledo and see friends.  On the Sunday night of said weekend, we had no plans; and so were left to our own devices. It was a gorgeous afternoon, and we went and played mini golf.  Then J asked what I wanted for dinner.
It was hot, and I was tired, and I told him that I would love to go somewhere and sit on a patio for dinner with a couple of nice drinks and scenery.  He suggested Webber's, a restaurant that his parents had loved, that was on the banks of the Maumee River, not far from the shores of Lake Erie.  So that is where we ended up.
The patio was lovely - we looked out over the water, I had some delicious berry sangria, and J was thrilled that the Lake Erie yellow perch was as good as he remembered.  He just wished that he'd ordered the shrimp cocktail as well - we could smell the cocktail sauce as they went by.
Fast forward to opening my box from the Sauceology Group:  one of the items included was Caribeque's Island Thyme spice mix.  One smell, and I knew what I wanted to make - fish sticks!
So, for those of us who can't sit on a deck overlooking the Maumee and eat perch, might I suggest these little beauties?
I present to you now from the May 2007 issue of Everyday Food, I present to you now Panko-Crusted Tilapia sticks with Dipping Sauce:

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

#HotSummerEats: Honey-Lime Chili Grilled Chicken

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that the lovely folks at Gourmet Garden sent me a fantastic box of goodies for participating in #HotSummerEats.  Little Bowls of lightly dried herbs and tubes of herbs currently grace my fridge and my food. I have to admit, Gourmet Garden may have somewhat spoiled me for preparing my own herbs.  It's so quick to squeeze and stir for a marinade or sprinkle over a pizza.
When I opened my April newsletter from the Looneyspoons gals, I found this recipe for grilled chicken.  With my brand new bag of tricks from Gourmet Garden, I was inspired to adapt the recipe for two and for the herbs that I had.  Grilled chicken.  It's perfect for summer.  And this marinade was delicious and fresh.  It's even Looneyspoons, so it's healthy!  What else can I say?
From the Looneyspoons April 2015 newsletter, I present to you now Honey-Lime Chili Grilled Chicken:

Monday, June 1, 2015

#HotSummerEats: Butter Tarts

Welcome to the first day of #HotSummerEats!  A week of foods to get you in the summer mood.  I've been having so much fun getting ready for this event, and I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else is bringing to the party.
For the kickoff, I decided that I needed to make something typically Canadian:  Butter Tarts.  With only a month until the end of school and the celebration of Canada Day, what better thing to make than a quintessentially Canadian dessert?
According to Wikipedia, Butter Tarts are a Canadian dessert that is often made in English-speaking Canada, making it different from the Tarte au Sucre in Quebec.  It also lists a variety of ingredients that can be added to the filling including raisins, walnuts, coconut or chocolate chips.  Everyone has an opinion, including myself:  anything other than raisins are sacrilege.  Trust me.
I wasn't really thinking about making Butter Tarts (I haven't made them in years), but then I was cruising Sid's Sea Palm Cooking and saw them.  Seeing as it's Secret Recipe Club Day, and I needed something that was for summer, these fit the bill.  I even made them to take to the first BBQ potluck of the summer!
I present to you now from Sid's Sea Palm Cooking Butter Tarts:

Secret Recipe Club: Chicken Fried Chicken Salad with Semi-Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

It's time for another episode of the Secret Recipe Club!  When last we left our heroine, she was in a carb coma from amazing scones in May.  Will she solider on?  Or will she fall asleep?
Thankfully, I didn't fall asleep.  Otherwise, I would have missed out on the deliciousness that was this month's assignment!  My monthly email sent me to Sid's Sea Palm Cooking.
Sid is a Dane who loves things spicy.  I spent a long time poking around to find something that looked delicious and that we would enjoy around here.  There were cookies, and Danish specialties which all sounded delicious.  I finally settled on 2 recipes that sounded lovely.  The second is my kick-off post for #HotSummerEats, so you'll have to come back after 9AM EST to see that sweet treat, but I found this yummy looking salad that I wanted to make.
I love fried chicken.  J likes his chicken boneless.  This was the best of both worlds, plus I hadn't tried frying like this before.  I don't recommend it regularly.  There's a smell that hangs around afterwards - even if you use your hood.  Also, there's the whole pesky calorie thing.  But that's why we put it on top of vegetables.  Right?
I present to you now Sid's Sea Palm Cooking's Chicken Fried Chicken Salad with Semi-Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing:

Saturday, May 30, 2015

#HotSummerEats: The Giveaway!

Hot Summer Eats is here. Rallied by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, a talented group of 18 food bloggers will be posting recipes for a week. From June 1st through June 8th, we hope to inspire you for your summer grill dates and cookouts, provide you with ideas for your beach bonfires, and get you planning those ice cream socials and cocktail hours. Not only will you find over a hundred summery recipe posts, but you can enter to win our awesome giveaway, courtesy of some amazingly generous donations from sponsoring companies. See details below.
The Sponsors
(with links to their homepages, in alphabetical order)

The Prizes
BenBella Veganwill provide one winner with one print copy of each of their Spring 2015 releases:Love Fed, by Christina Ross (March 2015); PlantPure Nation Cookbook, by Kim Campbell (March 2015); Plant-Powered Families, by Dreena Burton (May 2015); Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living, by Lindsay S. Nixon (May 2015); and China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook, by Del Sroufe (May 2015).
Casabellawill provide one winner with a trio of kitchen gadgets that are perfect for summer entertaining: a set of two large ice cube trays; a citrus juicer and reamer; and a cherry pitter.
Gourmet Gardenwill provide one winner with each of their stir-in pastes (basil, chili pepper, cilantro, dill, Italian herbs, garlic, chunky garlic, ginger, lemongrass, oregano, parsley, and Thai seasonings), each of their lightly dried herbs (basil, chili pepper, cilantro, ginger, and parsley), and two Gourmet Garden logo coolers.
Not Ketchupwill provide one winner with a prize pack of four fruit ketchups - Blueberry White Pepper, Cherry Chipotle, Spiced Fig, and Smoky Date.
Quirk Bookswill send one winner a copy of their cookbook Summer Cocktails by Maria Del Mar Sacasa, photography by Tara Striano.
Spicely Organicswill send one winner their Backyard Barbeque Gift Box.
T.Lishwill provide one winner with each of the three current flavors: Sweet Garlic, Asian Sesame, and Chipotle.
Members of the Sauceology Grouphave donated a summery prize pack that includes six delicious products. You will receive either the Calypso Kick or Island Thyme Spice Rub fromCaribeque, Garlic Goodness Hot Sauce and Chai Curry Chup fromIntensity Academy, Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette fromOut of the Weeds, Guava Girl Gourmet Grilling Sauce fromPirate Jonny's, and Southern Gold Barbeque Gold Sauce fromVoodoo Chef.
The Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer - Thank you to #HotSummerEats sponsors BenBella Vegan, Caribeque, Casabella, Gourmet Garden, Intensity Academy, Not Ketchup, Out of the Weeds. Pirate Jonny's, Quirk Books, Spicely Organics, T.Lish , and Voodoo Cheffor providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for#HotSummerEats without additional compensation.All opinions are my own.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Carrot Cake for Two

You know what I love about carrot cake?  Everything.  You know what I don't like so much?  That it makes a 9x13" pan and I live in a household of 2 people.  I told my mother the other day that I'd made carrot cake, and her comment was, "I only make that when I'm having a crowd in."  I didn't tell her at first that this recipe for carrot cake made 2 servings, and J and I polished it off in 1 night.  I just told her it was really good, and once again from one of my favourite recipe sources, Budget Bytes.
This cake doesn't include any pineapple, but it's a buttery spice cake, and with the use of really good black walnuts, you don't need to worry about the missing fruit for deep flavour.  And when you're only making enough for 1 night, "moist" isn't something you need to worry about.  It even has real cream cheese icing.  How can that be bad?
I present to you Budget Bytes' Carrot Cake for Two:

Friday, May 8, 2015

Bride of Magazine Challenge: Maple Cake

For March Break, J and I spent our tax refund and went to Montreal for most of the week.  It was cold, but relaxing.  We relaxed in the most amazing spa, and ate in some fantastic restaurants.  We ate a lot.
I had some definite plans for food when we went to Montreal.  J wanted to go to a jazz club one night, and we did.  I wanted to eat raclette and relive my time in France.  We did that too.  We had poutine for lunch one day, and ate gigantic breakfasts.  It was lovely.  We do, however, need to go back.  I didn't make it to Leche Donuts, nor did we go to a deli for Montreal Smoked meat.  And there's always fondue.  We only had raclette.
Our last morning in Montreal, before catching the train home, I ordered crepes with maple syrup.  Inexplicably, the hotel was out of maple syrup.  In the province that produces the most maple syrup in Canada and is one of the leading producers in the world, there was no syrup for me.  Shocking, and sad.
Happily, I came home and made this cake.  You don't pour syrup over the cake, but I suppose you could.  The icing will probably keep you happy.  It's full of syrup too.
From the November 2006 issue of Everyday Food, I present to you now Maple Cake:

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Souper Sunday: Southwestern Bean and Bacon Soup

Cinco de Mayo was yesterday, and I didn't post anything.  Frankly, I'm not sure that this is "Mexican".  It's just really tasty.  Like, J and I loved it and were a little sorry it only made 4 servings.
J's favourite soup out of a can is Bean and Bacon.  I don't really know why...but it is.  I will sometimes buy him a can so he can make it for lunch, but not often.  Frankly, when I started looking at this soup, I wasn't thinking Bean and Bacon.  I was thinking Southwestern flavours, and didn't this sound interesting.
But upon eating, J was thrilled that I'd made one of his favourite soups with a little Southwestern twist.  All I know is that this soup didn't come from a can, and it's so yummy.
I present to you now Grace Nordang from Methow, Washington's Southwestern Bean and Bacon Soup:

Monday, May 4, 2015

Secret Recipe Club: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones (and scones a-plenty!!)

My mother informed me today that she's been checking up on my blog and hasn't seen anything new recently.  It's not that I'm not cooking, I just seem to not be writing these days.  I'm hoping that will change in May, simply because there are some blogging events coming that I need to be writing and preparing for.
The first of these events is the May reveal day for the Secret Recipe Club.  Every month I so enjoy going and looking at a new blog and seeing the sorts of wonderful things that they make that I can try too.  I didn't know how thrilled I would be when I started poking about Kate's blog Kitchen Trial and Error.
Kate's journey to blogging is similar to my own, but she takes much prettier pictures.  I found so many things I wanted to make.  In fact, I went back today to write my post and discovered this Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin that is now on the menu for this coming week.  I also keep meaning to make this Gingerbread Deep Dish Apple Pancake that I've even bought the molasses to make...but it hasn't happened...yet.  Perhaps next weekend.  I settled on scones partially because they're one of Kate's favourite things, and partially because I'd never made them.  I actually made 3 different types all from Kate's blog - 2 types for a staff meeting (which were quickly gobbled up), and 1 type for J and myself to eat while watching Spring football one Saturday morning and then over the next couple of days for breakfast.
I had to decide which one to tell you about, and chose the one with my favourite flavour combination, but I also made the Coconut Lime Scones:

And the Cinnamon Scones (which are killer - especially the icing):

But this is another post all about the glory that is chocolate peanut butter.  I present to you now Kitchen Trial and Error's Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones:

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Son of Magazine Challenge: May Planning

I've been hideous at keeping up here.  It's not that I'm not cooking.  I'm just not writing these days.  Hopefully, the writing muse will return and all of my pictures will be used to show you the delicious things I've been up to.
Case in point:  the May 2007 issue of Everyday Food.  I have 1 recipe made already, and another on the menu for this week.  If I haven't blogged it, it's not marked as made.  I think there are 5 things made that I have yet to blog.  5!  At some point, I need to catch up.
But getting back to May, there's lots of good looking things.  Once again, this will be the first time I've made something from this issue.  Better late than never.
Here's what we're planning from May 2007:

  • Artichoke Dip
  • Spinach-Stuffed Flank Steak
  • Lemon Sandwich Cookies
  • Lemon Cream Pie
  • Panko-Crusted Fish with Herb Dipping Sauce
  • Rosemary Meatballs
Looks like a good month.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Got Milk? 7: Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies

J's favourite kind of cookies are chocolate chip.  The ones on the back of the Nestle bag; not a recipe I have ever made.  I KNOW.  When I announce that I'm going to make a batch of cookies, he hopefully looks at me and asks if they're going to be chocolate chip.  Usually, I say no.  There are so many interesting cookies to make!  
Speaking of interesting cookies, I have this magazine from 2009:
While it has bounced through 2 moves with me, I have never made any cookies from it.  Not so anymore!!  I have been flipping through it this week and finally found something that might satisfy both J and his chocolate chip penchant and me and my desire to make new things.
These cookies are reminiscent of shortbread, and are full of chocolate chips.  How could that be bad?
I present to you now Janis Gruca of Mokena, Illinois' Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Bride of Magazine Challenge: Rocky Road Bars

I made these treats a while ago.  I try and make something most weekends so that we have a treat to eat after dinner to eat most nights.  Those weeks I don't, we seem to go for frosty chocolate milkshakes; especially in summer. But with something like this in an airtight container sitting on the counter, we're a whole lot less likely to go running off.
J tells me he's not big on marshmallows, but these seemed to disappear quickly enough.  I liked them because they mixed up in a pan and were quick to put together.  Most people would like them because of their sweet top layer.  I added them to my list of things checked off for the Magazine Challenge.
I present to you now from the October 2006 issue of Everyday Food, Rocky Road Bars:

Monday, April 13, 2015

Souper Sunday: Wonton Soup

My bank account is running short.  The good thing about this is that I get paid on Wednesday.  The other good thing about this is that I am forced to use up the things that lurk in the back of my freezer from other things I planned to make and didn't quite get around to.  A case in point is this soup. 
According to the package, I froze the small, thinkly sliced pork loin almost a year ago after buying it on special.  My guess is I bought it because I was thinking of making this soup and then didn't have it on the menu so froze the pork.  Likewise, I had the wonton wrappers hiding in the back of the fridge behind the yogurt.  I'm not sure how long they've been there...probably a shorter time than the pork, but who knows?
Scary, isn't it?  Those things you buy and don't get around to using?  We try very hard here to not waste food, but there are times when something gets left too long and isn't safe to eat anymore. says that Canadians waste $27 billion in food every year, with 51% of that being wasted in the home.  Those are scary numbers, and ones I don't want to contribute to.  This recipe used up some of what had been lingering in my house too long.
I don't suggest waiting as long as I did to make this.  It's delicious.  Looneyspoons recipes always are.  I subbed pork for the chicken, but otherwise made it as is.  J and I both enjoyed it the first night and subsequent days for lunch.  And at the end of the day?  No waste.  It's all good.
I present to you now the Looneyspoons Collection's Obi Wonton Kenobi Soup:

Friday, April 10, 2015

Finally It's Spring! (Pasta)

Have I mentioned how enamoured I am with PC Points?  Probably not.  I know I mentioned them on Facebook one night, and heard from friends who have saved them up as well.  J and I managed to save over $200 this past year in points.  We spent them once at the beginning of the summer to buy our supplies for a big summer kickoff BBQ.  The second time was the week before Christmas; where we stocked the larder with expensive things we don't buy very often as treats for the holidays.
One of the recipes I planned over the Christmas holiday (and I'm finally getting around to sharing) was what we had for brunch Christmas morning.
For Christmas this past year, J and I went to family Christmas with my dad's family Christmas Day, stayed overnight at my mom's, and then brought Mom back with us to the mountain.  We had our actual Christmas on the 27th, with presents and brunch and a big fancy dinner.  It's the advantage to no kids - you can open the presents any day you choose.
When I got my copy of the 2015 Milk calendar this year, I flipped through looking for things that I might like to make.  This was one of the things that caught my eye, which is weird because it has some things in it that I don't make or cook with very often.
I don't buy smoked salmon very often.  Frankly, I think this is the first time I've ever bought it.  My comment was that in this dish it almost tasted like bacon, which would be a good, cheaper option.  I also had the chance to try my hand at making poached eggs, something I'd never done before.  It was a lovely dish - especially in the winter when you're waiting for Spring.  Or now...when it's Spring...and you're waiting for...Spring.
I present to you now from the 2015 Milk Calendar Finally it's Spring Pasta:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Got Milk 5: Lemon Oatmeal Creme Cookies

According to the calendar, it's Spring.  As we determined on Monday, to me, Spring tastes like lemon.  Summer tastes like grilling and gin, but that's beside the point.  But lemon...bright, sassy lemon.  It's one of my favourite dessert flavours in a pie, or a cake, or a cookie.
I think it's the fact that lemon is a palate cleaner.  It's so refreshing after a meal of big flavours.  It doesn't take a lot, but just a little to jazz up chicken soup or give you a little pucker and cut the sugar.  Someday, I'll wax poetic about chocolate.  It's darn tasty too.
But when I saw these cookies on Crumb I knew I had to make them.  Fresh oatmeal cookies stuck together with tart lemon icing?  Yes please!
I present to you now Crumb's Lemon Oatmeal Creme Cookies:

Monday, April 6, 2015

Secret Recipe Club: Lemon Eclairs

It's time again to celebrate Spring with another edition of the Secret Recipe Club.  What's this?  It's a group of bloggers who get together and are assigned a blog in secret, then choose a recipe to make, and all reveal what we've made from each other's blogs at the same time.  Fun, right?  I so enjoy getting the email every month with the blog that I am to stalk and choose something to make for the first Monday of the month.
This month, I was assigned the blog Casa Costello.  Helen is from England, has 3 gorgeous girls, and bakes.  A lot.  She has beautiful cakes.  I considered a wide variety of cupcakes and desserts before settling on these lovelies.  Things like Marshmallow Brownie Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes, or this Walnut and Coffee Battenburg Cake.  Everything looked lovely!  I'll have to come back and make more!!
The nice thing about reveal day is that it's right after Easter.  I volunteered to bring dessert with me to my mom's for Easter - more people to help eat up what I've made!  Lemon always makes me think of Spring, and these are delicately lemon.  Just perfect for a light dessert after too much other good food.
In the tradition of all good SRC recipes, this one took me out of my comfort zone by tackling something I've never made before:  choux paste.  While choux sounds crazy simple, I've never had reason, nor been brave enough to try my hand at making it.  It is dead simple, and worked out lovely.
Helen, I read your recipe, and then turned to You Tube to make sure I got it right.  The recipe is more Tante Marie's, but the filling and ganache are all yours!  Thanks for a lovely Easter dessert!
I present to you now from Casa Costello, Lemon Eclairs:

Friday, March 27, 2015

Breakfast: Baked Peanut Butter Apple Oatmeal

I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest.  I love that I can organize the interesting things I find and use it to plan for vacations.  I hate that I forget how I've reorganized things when it seems to be getting out of control.  I also hate how much of a master Pinterest is at the art of time suckage.
I can lose myself in pretty food pictures for hours.  I can click and click on home renovations that I don't have the time or the abilities to recreate.  But sometimes, one of my friends pins something that looks delicious, and I don't need to look so hard to find something that I'd like and might be good for me.
Case in point, this recipe.  My friend Lauren pinned it and I thought it looked so good.  I am often on the hunt for new things to make for breakfast that can be made ahead, and that is warm and delicious.  One of my New Year's resolutions was to eat breakfast regularly, and I've become much better about it.  When desperate, I have toast and jam; but I have looked for options that are a little more hot and filling.  About once per week, I do some sort of egg wrap for J and I, and I've frozen pancakes to reheat in the toaster.  I finally decided to make a batch of the baked oatmeal that I'd seen all over but not tried, and when it contained peanut butter, so much the better!
This was perfect and simple.  It also made enough to eat for the whole week.  I portioned it out into reheatable containers and stacked them in a corner of the fridge.  J and I both enjoyed this the first morning and reheated in the microwave with milk as the week progressed.  I definitely need to make more baked oatmeals!
I present to you now Two Peas and Their Pod's Baked Peanut Butter Apple Oatmeal:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

#15Cheesecakes: Everyday Cheesecake

You know how I entered new territory this year with blog events?  They're way fun, and keep me on track with my cooking.  I've been pleased to be a part of events coordinated by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla.  She's always organized and a great person to work with!
When Cam posted that she was celebrating her 15th wedding anniversary with a blog party of 15 cheesecakes, I waffled about whether or not to join.  It's not that it didn't sound fun, it's just what was a going to do with a whole cheesecake?  
J and I have dessert or at least a treat most nights after dinner.  With a dessert that serves 12, we'd be eating it forever, and while cheesecake is good, a little goes a long way.  But my mom was coming for the weekend, so that was 2 servings down, and perhaps I could send some home with her too.
Then I got smart.  I got on Pinterest, and searched "small cheesecake".  not mini cheesecake (which definitely has a place too), but a small one that would be all the beauty of cheesecake without all the servings.  
Enter this recipe.  It takes only 1 package of cream cheese, and comes together fast.  It's great alone, but we all talked about how amazing it would be with a fresh raspberry sauce.  Frankly, it's easy enough for everyday...but you could totally serve it to company too.  And even better?  It makes 6 servings.  Just enough for J, mom and me for 2 meals.  
I present to you now from Rita's Recipes, Everyday Cheesecake:

Monday, March 23, 2015

Souper Sunday: Southwestern Bean Chowder

The good thing about February being hellacold is that that there was lots of opportunity to eat great soups.  Just as well that I got a new soup cookbook for Christmas!  I went looking for something interesting one Sunday afternoon as I discovered how many things I didn't have in my pantry.
Perhaps the good thing about a lack of things that I think I have/can get easily is that I'll try things outside of my comfort zone.  This soup is a case in point.  Normally, I wouldn't think of making a meatless soup, nor one with quite as many beans.  But the picture was pretty, and I had everything to make it.
So on a cold afternoon, I set out to make a soup that would warm us and keep us going in a never-ending winter.
I present to you now Juli Meyers of Hinesville, Georgia's Southwestern Bean Chowder:

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Son of Magazine Challenge: March Planning

It's a new month, and I've already made one of the recipes from March's Everyday Food.  Just as well.  We're going to Montreal for a bit during March Break.  While we won't be gone for the entire week, we will be gone for most of it.  Last year, I did a gigantic amount of cooking that week to post.  That won't be the case this year.  Frankly, based on my reading, I will be eating myself into oblivion.  When I haven't been heard from in a while, check the raclette restaurants or the Nordic Spa.
March 2007 featured dinners that should come together in minutes.  There are boil and toss pastas, and a speedy chili.  I came up with 6 things that I'd like to try:

  • Chicken, Ham & Cheese Rollups
  • Omelette
  • Fettuccine with Spinach Pesto
  • Cheesy Hash Brown Bake
  • Sage Pork Chops
  • Parmesan Rice
We've already had the chicken rollups.  They were delicious.  Let's hope everything else this month is as good!

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Secret Recipe Club: Easy Garlic Pinwheels

It's time once again for my reveal in the Secret Recipe Club.  Today, the Group A members will all show what yummy recipes we've made from each other's blogs over the past month.  I always love looking with purpose through someone else's blog for something to make.  I have yet to make anything that hasn't been great.
Once again this month, I was assigned an Australian blog.  I swung by Trisha's blog, My Hobbie Lobbie, looking for something fun.  I considered Hokey Pokey, and loved the looks of her cookies, but finally settled on Cheese Straws until the day of truth when I finally went to make the recipe.  I couldn't find the recipe.  I'm sure it's in the Recipe Index somewhere, but I couldn't find it.  So I chose something else that worked equally as well with soup.
Trisha loves garlic.  So do J and myself.  I found her recipe for Easy Garlic Rolls, and I was sold.  They are easy.  Trust me.  You should make them.  Really.
I present to you now My Hobbie Lobbie's Easy Garlic Rolls:

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

So Delicious: Spinach Po' Boys

Has it been cold where you are for the last few days?  It has been bone-chilling, so seeing as it's the weekend (and a long one at that), I have been running around the house wearing pajamas, not going out.  It's incredibly therapeutic, and I highly recommend it - especially if pajamas apparently make your kitten cuddle with you more.
J and I were looking for a soup to ward off the insane cold of the past little bit.  I pulled out the new soup cookbook that I got for Christmas, and didn't find a soup but did find a sandwich that caught my eye.  J even thought it sounded promising.  I decided that the sandwiches sounded delicious, and they needed a lighter, broth-based soup; so I made a quick chicken and vegetable noodle soup and these sandwiches.  Make these.  They're amazing.
From Taste of Home, I present to you now Spinach Po' Boys:

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mardi Gras: Carrot Cake Pancakes

Today is Pancake Day.  It is now 6 weeks to Easter, and I don't think I'm giving up anything for Lent.  Seeing as this is the first that I've even thought about it, I don't think I am giving up anything; other than perhaps winning on Roll up the Rim.
I decided that this year for Pancake Day that I would make a new recipe, and I went looking through my pins to find something interesting.  I found these.  They were even labelled "healthy".
Carrot cake is one of my favourite cakes.  The pineapple, the nuts, the cream cheese good.  While it is so good, it's also not really a breakfast option, nor the healthiest thing to eat on a regular basis.  Frankly, pancakes aren't really something to eat on a regular basis either.  But seeing as Marketplace announced that Nutella was akin to spreading candy on toast, pancakes can't be that bad...especially when you don't have the stuff in the house to make the cream cheese glaze.
Besides...I didn't have ground flax either.
I present to you now my take on Amy's Cooking Adventure Carrot Cake Pancakes:

Monday, February 9, 2015

#TripleSBites: Molten Mocha Cakes

It's the last day of #TripleSBites - and it's been way fun!  Make sure to visit the other bloggers for their spicy, saucy and sexy recipes to celebrate the end of the event!!
During the Twitter party last week, one of the the questions was about whether a dessert should be to share, or individual.  My response was always individual.  I love chocolate lava cake, and this was one to add to my collection from the Magazine Challenge.  Individual desserts from Everyday Foods have worked in the past, and this is lava cake.  How could that be bad?
From the January/February 2007 issue of Everyday Food, I present to you now Molten Mocha Cakes:

Friday, February 6, 2015

#TripleSBites: Red Hot Pinup

When thinking of all things spicy and what I could do for #TripleSBites, I thought of spiced rum and J's love of Sailor Jerry's.
A few years ago at a staff Christmas party, J and I were introduced to Jerry in a bottle, a rum neither of us were familiar with.  It was smooth and delicious when paired with icy Coca Cola.  I bought J a bottle for Christmas.  The problem is, we're light-weights when it comes to drinking.  The bottle has languished with the rest of our liquor, pulled out rarely for a Friday night drink when there's no where to go and a lazy evening ahead.
I turned to the recipe searcher's friend, Pinterest, to find something incorporating our favourite spiced rum into a cocktail for those lazy evenings.  When I saw this, I was sold.  Rum, cinnamon hearts (or red hots, for those of you south of the 49th parallel) and my favourite soda, gingerale.  What could be bad about that?
I present to you now Tattooed Martha's Red Hot Pinup: