Mar 30

Having that great warm spell for a while was wonderful, although a bit of a tease . It has started to cool down again, with some hail and even wet snow in some areas around here. Definitely not what I wanted to see after those glorious warm sunny days! I guess the cold weather figured that we hadn’t had enough of the chilly air. Well, I decided that I would I would ward off some of that cool chill with a wonderful vegetable stew and pull out the crock pot. The great thing about this is that when you walk into the house after a long day, you are hit with an incredible aroma that starts your mouth watering instantly (well, it does me). I love using my slow/crock cooker, It makes getting dinner ready some nights very easy. You can actually use them for all kinds of things. Some people have even made cakes in them, although I haven’t tried this yet.

Vegetable stew

I put this on low and let it cook for about 6 hours

1 lrg can of ground tomatoes

200 g of elbow pasta

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 cubes

1 Lg can of low sodium chick peas, rinsed and drained or 2 cups of cooked chick peas

1 cup of carrots cut in to 1/2 chunks

1/2 cup chopped red or green peppers

1/2 cup chopped green beans

Oregano, basil and garlic to season to taste

Add everything but beans and , let cook for 5 hours then add the beans and peppers for the last hour. I also add cinnamon to taste, just to add in some extra flavour  [I like the combination of garlc and cinnamon- quite interesting]. Once done to your liking, serve in bowls along side some french/italian bread . Really is that easy! :) Enjoy!

 

Crock Pot Vegetable stew

I added corn to this batch :)

Nov 27
icon1 Jennifer | icon2 Dinner, Recipes | icon4 11 27th, 2012| icon3No Comments »

The most-used cookbook in my house?  Bisquick Impossibly Easy Pies.  Have you ever done these?  Talk about simple!  You throw all of your ingredients into a pie plate, pour the Bisquick mixture over everything, and bake.  When you pull the concoction out of the oven, the Bisquick “crust” has formed under and over the ingredients, creating a pie.  My kids will eat almost anything I make this way, especially if I give it a funny name to disguise what’s really in there.  In our regular rotation is Cheeseburger Pie and “Piggy Pie” (so-called because it’s made with ham, but they think I call it that because they can’t get enough of it).

So here’s my plan for all those Thanksgiving leftovers hanging out in the fridge:

TURKEY & STUFFING PIE
2 c. leftover turkey, cut up small
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 c. leftover bread stuffing
1/4 c. thinly sliced green onions
1/2 c. cooked green peas
1/2 c. Original Bisquick mix
1 c. milk
2 eggs
Leftover turkey gravy

Heat oven to 400.  Spray 9″ pie plate with cooking spray.  Spread turkey in pie plate, and sprinkle with seasoned salt.  Break stuffing into small pieces, and layer over turkey.  Top with onions and peas (in our case, I’m substituting corn for peas, because that’s what we have leftover).  Combine Bisquick mix, milk and eggs until well blended, and pour over mixture in pie plate.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let stand 5 minutes, and serve with gravy if desired.

There are tons more Bisquick recipes on the website.  Have fun!

 

Oct 24

I have to admit, I love President’s Choice products.  So much so, that I when we moved to Vancouver years ago, I had to make a few calls before we left just to make sure that I would be able to get their products out there. And I made sure that our apartment was not more than 20 minutes away from the store!  I also get really excited when PC insiders report comes out – they are always full of great new products and some fabulous recipes. I am a bit geeky that way!
I like having things around in case we have people drop by unexpectedly, the PC 5 layer fiesta dip is perfect for this – it is all ready and looks amazing when you serve it [any of the dips are really amazing]– I also pick up some of the PC Sea Salt Kettle Style Tortilla Chips to serve along with them – they are a big hit!

Presidents Choice Products

Photo taken from President's Choice website

 


 They also have some great healthy items for a fast dinner on the go – here is one I like to get for my family:  the PC Chicken Breast Strips, they are fire roasted and fully cooked so they are ready to add to any salad, sandwich or wrap!
Do you have any favorite President’s Choice Products you would like to share?

 

Have any of  you been watching “Recipe to Riches”?  I love it!

 

President's Choice Products

Photo taken from President's Choice Website

 

Jul 29
icon1 rossana | icon2 Barbeque, Dinner, Recipes, Uncategorized | icon4 07 29th, 2012| icon3No Comments »

Chicken – one of our favorite meals around here, we love it any which way!

Now that it is BBQ season,  it is the only way to cook our chicken – I love grilled chicken breasts, (bone in or boned),  kebabs,   done in foil packets and of course, the famous beer can chicken (although ours isn’t really in a beer can, we have a special stand).

 

Chicken is such a fast and nutritious meal to prepare [it also one I know my daughter won’t balk at!]. So I know that my family is being fed well; both white and  dark meat are  nutritious and a  great  source of protein, niacin, phosphorous, B6, B12, Vitamin D, calcium, iron and zinc.

 

There are so many different ways of preparing chicken, being able to BBQ adds a new level to it.

 

If I am running out or busy, I know that I can prepare the chicken with a sauce in foil packet and it is ready to go on the BBQ when my husband gets home and they don’t have to  take any special precautions when handling  because I have taken care of all that! [makes me worry a lot less!].

 

Want to know more about chicken and our Chicken Farmers? Take a look at their website, lots of great information and articles as well as wonderful recipes!

 

I am going to have to try this Ginger-Lime grilled chicken soon, looks so good!

Chicken

Ginger-Lime Chicken - image courtesy of Canadian Farmers

 

Join us this Wednesday for our #SCFoodChat on twitter at 1pm EST – We will be chatting Chicken!

Jul 13

I love summer, and when we get weather like we have had this past week- well, it only makes it so much more enjoyable!

We spend a lot of time outside – so it only makes sense that we do a lot of our eating outside too!  Evening BBQs, family get-togethers, picnics and of course, the beach!

The other thing I look forward to is seeing all the summer edition of the President’s Choice Insider’s report.

There are always so many great articles inside as well as recipes, and of course all the great new products they have come with for the summer.  Pick up yours next time you head into the store, or sign up for their insider’s club online so that you can  browse through the archives for more recipes and articles.

As I mentioned, grilling is big  in our house, and I found this great article on all the different types of grilling you can do – love some of these and am going to try them – Direct and Indirect Barbecuing, –(I use indirect for most of my BBQing) Smoking, Brick Cooking, Wood Plank Grilling and Aromatic wood chips.

A great product for  summer grilling- the PC Angus Sliders – Mini-burgers – great as appetizers for small gatherings, or for snacks for the kids!

Take a look at all the great new products that President’s Choice has to offer for the summer – those PC Blue Menu Swirl Smoothies look really good – will have to make a trek down to Loblaws to get some for the w/e.

Summer fun with President's Choice pruducts

Mmmm...look so refreshing! Image courtesy of President's Choice

Oh, perfect timing too – this Sat, July 14th PC is having its Customer Appreciation Day at Loblaws, Zehrs, Real Canadian Superstore Ontario, where you’ll pay NO TAX on almost everything in the store! Some restrictions apply, see in store for details.

Enjoy, maybe I’ll see you there! ;)

Don’t forget, our weekly #summerfood chat on Wednesdays at1pm EST, see you there!

Jul 4

Do you get those days where you want something different, nutritious but uncomplicated?  I know I do… a lot! That is where the Kraft Canada Salad Centre comes in! It is really great when we have been running around all day and want something light but nutritious. They have so many great salad recipes on the site, but one of the great things about this page is that you can use their Salad Creator.

 

The Salad Creator is a fun way to make a salad! You choose any one of three categories, and then choose from the list of ingredients they have listed within these categories; they suggest other ingredients that will compliment what you have chosen. So… if you are really craving something, see what else will go with it to make a meal!

 

Voila… you have a great salad to prepare.

 

If you aren’t so adventurous and want to stick to tried and true recipes, they have so many to choose from – whether you are looking for an entrée salad or a nice fruit salad as a light meal.

 

One of my favorites is their Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad. Great for a fast meal after a long day!

 

You can see  the recipe for Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad on the Kraft Canada Site  

Kraft Canada Salad Centre

Image from Kraft Canada Site - Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad

 

There are many more great salad recipes on the site – something for everyone! They also include some great tips along with each recipe as well as  some possible substitutions to let you make it more your own as well.

While you are on the Kraft Canada site take a look at what they offer… FYI, you might need a while!

Next week we launch our weekly summer food chat inspired by Kraft’s Salad Centre!  Wednesday at 1pm #summerfood. 

 

Mar 23

Refreshing Salads

When it starts to warm up and we are all rushing home from various activities, the last thing I want to have to think about is what to make for dinner.  Being able to barbeque is always so convenient and fastand it is also something that everyone loves to have.  I always have homemade burgers done up in the freezer, so I just grab a few  of those and throw them on the barbecue, add a  salad and dinner is ready. Nice, refreshing salads  go along really well with anything!

 

This  is a recipe I have used for years, it is fast and quite good.  You can even adjust lemon etc to your taste.

Tabouleh Salad

 1/2 cup uncooked bulgur wheat

1 c. hot water [approx]

1 lg. tomato

3 green scallions

1 lg. bunch parsley

Juice of 1 sm. lemon

1/4 – 1/2 c. olive oil

 sprinkle of mint

 salt & pepper to taste

Pour enough hot water on the bulgur wheat to cover and let stand approx 15 minutes.  Dice tomatoes, chop scallions and parsley very fine. Mix all together in a large bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt , pepper and mint. Drain excess water from wheat and add  into the mixture and mix well.  You can serve on lettuce leaves alongside the burgers . Enjoy!

 This is a  gluten free version of Tabouleh                 Easy gluten-free quinoa tabouleh

 

 

 

 

Oct 26
icon1 Jennifer | icon2 Dinner, Recipes | icon4 10 26th, 2011| icon3No Comments »

Football season is in full swing, and although we don’t do it terribly often, we do love to have people over to watch.  Do you ever have one of those days where you’ve invited a few people, and then circumstances present you with a few more, and they bring a couple of extra kids, until your house is literally overflowing with people?  Summer gatherings where that happens are easy; you can just throw a few more burgers or dogs on the grill, and everyone’s happy.  But when you’re cooking for an uncertain number of people in the house, I’ve found that it’s best to go with too much and freeze the leftovers.  That’s where my super duper easy sloppy joes come in.  This is the same recipe the school moms used to make for us when I was in grammar school, and we only had hot lunch once per month!

ST. ANN SLOPPY JOES

Ground Chuck
Onion
BBQ Sauce (I prefer Open Pit Original, but it’s all up to you)
Ketchup

Brown your hamburger meat with as much onion as you like (make it SUPER easy on yourself and use dehydrated minced onion, my favorite pantry staple ’cause you never find yourself without onion!).  Drain meat, and add BBQ sauce and ketchup to taste.  Simmer on low for 10 minutes or so to let the flavors sink in.  Serve on hamburger buns (or in our house, hot dog buns for the little ones, which make it less likely that their meat will fall out).

THAT’S IT!  And it’s even better as leftovers!  And try picking up the stray meat with a potato chip!  Not so healthy, but divine!

When we’re expecting a crowd, I do about 4-5 pounds of meat and put it in the crockpot to stay warm for return customers.  And if the crowd isn’t as large as expected, I freeze the rest for a later meal.  Can’t beat that!

 

Sep 12
icon1 Jennifer | icon2 Dinner, Fruit, Potluck, Recipes, Salad | icon4 09 12th, 2011| icon3No Comments »

I had this great chicken pasta salad at one of our weekly potlucks this summer, and never got around to making it myself.  But since the temps around here climbed back into the upper 80s again today, I really didn’t feel like heating up the kitchen with dinner, and this worked out nicely.

CHICKEN PASTA SALAD WITH MELON & MINT

2 boneless chicken breasts poached in chicken broth (maybe in cooler temps – we grilled ours tonight)
1 pound bow tie pasta
1 medium ripe cantaloupe or honey dew (honey dew is not my favorite, but we’ve had one sitting on the counter for a week that was purchased in error, so I guess it was serendipity)
1 8oz pkg swiss cheese
1 bottle poppy seed dressing
fresh mint

Cook chicken breast, chill and then shred with two forks.  Cook pasta according to directions – place in ice water bath to stop cooking.  Cube swiss cheese into small, bite-sized chunks.  Cut melon into cubes or use a melon baller.  Mix pasta, chicken, cheese, mint and some dressing – chill for 12-24 hours.  Before serving, add melon and additional dressing to coat.

I didn’t take a photo tonight before the gang gobbled the salad down, but here it is from the first time I had it, and I believe that’s cantaloupe in there.  Next time I make it, I’ll opt for cantaloupe as well, but that’s just my personal preference.  The true surprise in this dish is the mint.  When it was first described to me, I was skeptical.  But just like I always tell the kids not to pass judgment on food without trying it, I’m glad that I did, and the blend of flavors has won me over.

Jul 26
icon1 Jennifer | icon2 Dinner, eggs | icon4 07 26th, 2011| icon31 Comment »

Nothing fancy. Scrambled eggs on a day when Daddy won’t be home for dinner. My husband doesn’t eat eggs, and neither does my oldest son. The three little ones love them, in any way, shape or form. I wasn’t sure what I would feed the oldest. I figured when I served the others, I could go digging for leftovers. But he came along when I called them to the table, and he pouted when all I could find was some cold mac & cheese.

“Fine, I guess I’ll try eggs.”

What? What did I just hear? “Are you sure?” I asked.

He nodded, and I lovingly spoonfed him a portion (shoved a forkful in his mouth) before he could change his mind. This one has gained lifelong notoriety for his unwillingness to even try things he’s decided he won’t like.

“So, do you like them?” All four of us waited for his response. He started to shake his head “no,” but then nodded and suppressed a smile. Sometimes it’s just hard to admit you’ve been wrong for, oh, TEN YEARS. My second son actually did a “Yes!” fist pump (he eats anything and can’t understand the more selective palates of his siblings . . . and his father).

Parents of picky eaters understand why this is such a significant victory for us. We don’t have many peaceful dinners because SOMEone is always griping, refusing, glaring, sobbing, or yelling. And it’s not always the same person. And quite often it’s me, having been pushed to the brink by all the griping, refusing, glaring, sobbing, or yelling. And don’t forget the shoving away of the plate. If you really want to get me going, just try shoving your plate away. And why not knock your milk over while you’re at it because I just LOOOOVE that! But I digress. The point is, we have very few go-to meals that are agreeable to everyone. So it’s difficult for me to suppress my elation over the fact that I’ve found one more, albeit a simple one, and one that we still can’t have when Daddy is home.

If you face a similar issue, you might find some enjoyment in reading Suburban Bliss’ “Did They Eat It” feature. I am supremely jealous of the patience (and photography skills) demonstrated here in documenting the step by step recipes and family reactions. Good stuff.

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