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 :)

Mar 16
icon1 Jennifer | icon2 Recipes | icon4 03 16th, 2013| icon3No Comments »

My grandmother came to the US from Ireland when she was a young woman.  She never really talked to me about what it was like to grow up over there, but I do know that she never wanted to go back, and I always assumed that her life had been very hard.  I also assumed that the Irish found little enjoyment in food because Grandma’s Sunday dinners were torture to a kid (forgive me for saying so, Dad!).  Everything was always either boiled or baked to death.  I recall many dried out, shriveled up roasts in my childhood, and being admonished to eat every scrap on my plate.  And I don’t like corned beef.  Or cabbage.  So my lifelong association with Irish cooking?  Bleh.

Last year around this time, I was at a gathering of friends, and I couldn’t stop eating this most amazing dip.  It wasn’t until the end of the evening that I found out what was in it:  corned beef!  So this is what I will be making in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, and if the kids don’t want it, I won’t make them eat it.  I’d hate to sour them on an entire culture’s cooking with one dish.  As for me, I’m slowly coming around.

CORNED BEEF DIP

3/4 c. mayonnaise
3/4 c. sour cream
2 (2.5 ounce) packages thinly sliced deli corned beef, chopped
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp prepared horseradish (optional)

Combine mayonaise and sour cream; add in the corned beef, onion, parsley, seasoned salt and horseradish, if you like.  Serve on mini-rye breads or bagle pieces.

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 28

Halloween is favourite holiday around our house- as soon as one is done our daughter is thinking up a costume for the next year – this year she is going to go as the wicked queen from Once upon a time.  Can’t wait to see her all dressed up!
Along with dressing up she loves all the wonderful Halloween treats that go along with it.  One of My best go to places for great desserts any time of the year is Kraft Canada [well for pretty much anything] their website is filled with so many great tips and information.
The Kraft Canada website even has a page specifically dedicated to Halloween, it is full of amazing recipes, party ideas, decorations  and tips for a great Halloween party! They also have some great stencils that we can use on our pumpkin.

Halloween pumpkin stencils
After  they go out trick or treating, the kids will be coming back for some Halloween treats at our house. I took   a quick look at the site and I found some great snacks for them to have when they come back with loaded bags.  This is a Mummy cookie balls recipe I found that looks great and will be a hit with the kids. It is also one that I can easily make gluten free, so my daughter can enjoy along with her friends.

There are also some great games available  on the site that they can play! I think this will be a fun one:
Mummy Wrap:
Divide kids into teams of 3 (1 mummy, 1 wrapper, 1 un-wrapper). Each team gets 1 extra-large roll of toilet paper. This is a timed event, so instruct the kids that on your signal, one team member must wrap the “mummy” in toilet paper. When the roll is complete (and the mummy is mostly covered) the 2nd team member unwraps the mummy (no tearing the toilet paper, it has to be unrolled). The first team to finish, wins. This is a great activity, especially when you play it to fast-paced Halloween music.

Whatever it is that the kids have or play afterwards, make sure that they are safe when they are going out; have some reflective tape on their clothing [I get the glow in the dark neon bracelets and necklaces for them to wear  that way they also have  bit of a light source] and make sure there is a group of them going out together [teens don't like you going with them] as well as making sure that they are carrying a cell phone to call if they need picking up or feel threatened in any way.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!  :)

 

Oct 26

Weekend Breakfasts

I don’t know about you but when the weekend rolls around I don’t always feel like getting up early to make up big weekend  breakfasts, I like lazing in bed as much as everybody. :) That is why it is great to be able to make breakfast ahead of time.  Whether you make up a strata or a fabulous French toast casserole the night before, whoever gets up first just has to take it out of the fridge, pop it in the oven at the desired temperature and have it ready for when the rest of the clan wakes up; no fuss, and no mess!

This works really well even for early mornings like Christmas, when the kids [so that means you too] are up early and they want to get to opening presents – you can pop it in the oven and just sit and enjoy the mayhem while breakfast is getting prepared.

Here is an easy brunch strata from Kraft Canada– If you are gluten free you can use GF bread instead of the regular bread.

This is a recipe that I have used in the past and has been a hit at Christmas time; it is very sweet and gooey, but oh so good! So if the kids aren’t hyper enough from all the unwrapping they have done on Christmas morning, they can get jump started on this recipe from allrecipes.com  :)

 

Enjoy, hope you get those extra zzz’s ;)

 

 

Oct 12
icon1 rossana | icon2 Beef, Conference, Recipes, Uncategorized | icon4 10 12th, 2012| icon3No Comments »

One of the great sponsors of the ShesConnected conference {#SCCTO} is Canadian Beef Inc.  They are an independent national organization handling the marketing and promotion of the Canadian cattle and beef industry worldwide.

Did you know?

  • There are 83,000 farms and ranches with beef cattle across Canada.
  • The average beef cow herd size in Canada is 61.
  • There are a lot of small cattle farms with 61% of the farms having less than 47 cows.
  • Canada produced 3.4 billion pounds of beef in 2009.
  • Canadians eat 46 pounds (20.9 kg) of beef per person annually.
  • Canada is the 6th largest beef exporting country in the world.
  • Beef production contributed $23 billion to Canada’s economy in 2009.

Canadian Beef Inc. supports Canada’s 83,000 hard working beef farming families from coast to coast.  They are  an awesome organization!

This week, I will get to meet some of their team at the ShesConnected conference, and I am so excited! Along with being great sponsors of the conference they have done some great blogger outreach programs with ShesConnected.

Now, I love my beef and the fact that it is Canadian is even better, because when I buy Canadian beef, I know am helping to support some of those 83000 beef farmers we have here in Canada.  The best part of eating Canadian Beef?  Beef is all natural, so I can have it any time on my gluten free diet.  I love that – just natural!

Canadian beef is also nutrient rich; every bite of lean Canadian beef is packed with 14 essential nutrients. There are 34.6 g of protein in 100 grams of cooked, lean only Canadian beef. It is also naturally rich in iron that is easily absorbed by your body. Iron, is an essential mineral found in every cell in your body that helps builds red blood cells and keeps your cells working. So I know I am giving my family great nutrition when I serve beef.

Their website www.beefinfo.org  has hundreds of recipes, video cooking lessons, step-by-step cooking instructions, nutrition & health tips along with tons of nutritional information .  There is so much information available; they also have a monthly newsletter, Make it Beef Club. Definitely worth signing up for!

They also have a great blog, full of great information and they answer a lot of reader questions, such a great resource! So much great information and great recipes!

This is one I will have to try next time we have company over :

Lime-Chipotle Rotisserie Roast

Canadian Beef

Taken from the Canadian Beef Website

 

So if you are at the ShesConnected  Conference on October 19 and 20th,  please stop by and say hello to the lovely ladies from Canadian Beef and show them some love! ;)

See you at the conference!

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!

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

 

 

 

 

Nov 18
icon1 Jennifer | icon2 Beverages, Recipes | icon4 11 18th, 2011| icon3No Comments »

My son turned 11 earlier this month, and we had the family over for a little pizza party.  We had made pumpkin cookies earlier in the week and still had a half can of pumpkin puree in the fridge, so we tried out this little libation:

PUMPKIN PIE PUNCH

1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz.)
1 c. packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 gallon apple cider
2 liters cold ginger ale

Whisk together pumpkin & spices, adding the cider and continuing to whisk until ingredients are smooth and sugar is completely dissolved.  Chill until ready to serve.  When ready, transfer to punch bowl and stir in ginger ale.  Serve over ice.

The above recipe is the kids’ version.  When serving adults, we added in an extra-special, grown-up ingredient:  a healthy splash of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum!  Oh man, was it good!

We’ve already decided that next time we will further customize our Pumpkin Pie Punch by hunting down some cinnamon ice cream for floats.

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