Wednesday, March 31, 2010
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large sweet potato, peel and chopped
2 cups of cabbage, shredded
1 red pepper, diced
1 can chickpeas
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup raisins
In a large pot, heat oil and add onions, garlic and sweet potato. Cook until tender, then add cabbage, red pepper, chickpeas, tomatoes, and spices. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Add raisins and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve on top of cooked couscous.
Since I liked Harira so much, I decided to try another Moroccan dish. I mostly made this for myself to enjoy, not really caring if anyone else liked it. I’m the cook so I get to decide. I couldn’t get over how amazing this smelled when I was cooking it. Luckily it tasted just as good, and the rest of the family really liked it too. Even though Tony doesn’t care much for the couscous he said he liked it with this dish. And even though the boys don’t usually like sweet potatoes they didn’t seem to mind them at all this time. I was really happy with my concoction, so it’s a good thing I have this blog to record my creations or I would have totally forgotten what I did to make it.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
1 pkg of yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
3 cups flour (plus another 2-3 cups to add later)
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup citrus peel
Mix 1 pkg of yeast, 1 tsp of sugar and 1/2 cup of lukewarm water in measuring cup and set aside. Place milk in bowl and microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes (it has to be hot enough to melt butter and dissolve sugar). Add butter and sugar until butter melted. In separate bowl mix together salt, spices, flour, raisins and peel. Once milk mixture is lukewarm to touch, mix in yeast and beaten egg. Add flour/spice mixture to wet ingredients and mix with a spoon. Slowly add extra flour 1/4 to 1/2 cup at a time until the batter becomes too thick to mix. Flour your counter top and place dough on flour. Knead the dough adding extra flour as necessary until it no longer sticks to you hands. Knead the dough for 10 minutes in total to ensure that the buns will be tender.
Place dough in a bowl. Cover with a clean tea cloth and set aside for one hour. ( I put it in the oven and turn the light on. This way it is out of draughts and the warmth of the light helps the rising process.)
Punch the dough down. Form buns with approximately 1/3 cup portions of dough.(Remember they double in size so make them smaller or larger as you wish). Place on a greased cookie sheet giving room for them to expand. ( you should be able to get the whole batch on one large cookie sheet) Cut an X in the top of each bun with a sharp knife if you wish to do so.
Set aside and let rise one hour. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 min.
Once cool, mix 1/2 cup icing sugar with 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of milk. Place icing in a ziploc bag and cut a tiny hole in the corner. Squeeze icing onto buns to form a cross. Yum!
This was my first time making these on my own without my mom around and I was surprised that it wasn't as hard as it looks from the recipe. I'm sure you could make these by using a bread machine on the dough setting, but there's something therapeutic about kneading dough yourself. It's a great stress-reliever.
You should have seen Cole's face when he came home to find these buns waiting for him on the kitchen counter. He was so excited and told me they were 'very special.' Bennett also loved them, but he kept eating the tops off with the icing and leaving the rest. Tony enjoyed them too and ate several of them. As it was with my family as a kid, these buns were all gone by the next morning.
Linking to Comfy Cuisine's Easter Blog Hop
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
1 1/2 lb ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 can water
1 can condensed mushroom soup
1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
4 cups cabbage, shredded
Brown beef, onions, garlic. Add crushed tomatoes, water, and soup and bring to boil. Add rice, salt, pepper, nutmeg and worchestershire sauce. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Place half of shredded cabbage in a greased baking dish. Cover with half the rice mixture. Repeat layers. Cover and bake at 350 for an hour.
I didn't think I really liked cabbage that much, but wow! I changed my mind about that once I tasted this. It was surprisingly yummy. Everybody ate it up and asked for more, even Cole. I put it in the boys' lunches the next day for daycare and the dishes came back completely empty. Cole proudly told me he ate all his lunch, which doesn't happen often. It takes a while to cook, so it's not a really great weekday meal if you're working, but nice for weekends when there's more time before dinner.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
1 cup low-fat ricotta
1 cup vanilla yogurt
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 handfuls of chopped dates (or any dried fruit of your choice)
In a large pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil over medium heat. Be ready with the lid, then add the quinoa, reduce the heat to low and cover. Allow the quinoa to cook for about 20 minutes until it's soft and no water is remaining.
In the meantime, whisk together the ricotta and yogurt and maple syrup until smooth. Then stir in the cooked quinoa and fold in the dates. Serve warm or chilled.
The boys didn't really love this pudding, they prefer just good old vanilla yogurt. Tony and I both really liked it though. We had some while it was still warm right after I made it. I ended up finishing off the rest of it for breakfast and I have to say it was even more delicious when it was cold. I'm glad the kids didn't like it much because that meant more for me!
-Recipe adapted from Cooking Books blog.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 tbsp lemon juice)
1/2 cup crushed corn flakes
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium glass or plastic bowl, combine chicken breast and buttermilk.
Cover and put in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes, or longer if you have time.
Combine corn flakes, breadcrumbs, flaxseed, garlic powder, oregano, and black pepper in large ziploc bag.
After chicken is chilled, drain off liquid and add to ziploc bag, shaking to coat.
Add olive oil to shallow baking pan.
Place chicken in pan.
Bake for approximately 6 minutes on each side, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
I served these with noodles, mixed veggies and dipping sauce. Cole asked for ketchup for dipping too and that also worked very well. Tony thought they tasted way better than the frozen chicken fingers I usually get. I totally agree. The boys really liked these and gobbled them all up. Yes, even Cole. You won't believe it but he actually said they were 'better than lollipops'. Better than lollipops!! I'm still in shock.
-Recipe adapted from Recipezaar
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
1 can of pineapple tidbits, drained
1/2 cup quick oats
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 mashed banana
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8X8 square baking dish with cooking spray. Peel, core, and slice the apples. Put them in the pan. Add the pineapple and mix it all together. In a small bowl, add the oatmeal, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir well. Add mashed banana to the oatmeal. Put the oatmeal mixture on top of the apples. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the topping is starting to brown.
Serve warm or cold.
I served this with vanilla yogurt on top for dessert one night and the kids really loved it. I had the rest for breakfast the next morning and it was very nice. I think it needed more of the oatmeal topping though, there just wasn't quite enough of it. Next time I'm going to double the ingredients for the topping and I think it'll be even nicer.
- Recipe adapted from Recipezaar
Sunday, March 21, 2010
1 cup lentils (I used 1/2 cup red and 1/2 cup brown lentils)
2 large onions, or 4 small ones
3-½ cups water or vegetable broth
1 cup white rice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoons pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Slice the onions lengthwise. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and half an onion over medium heat in a large pot. Cook until onion is caramelized.
Add lentils, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, add rice and cumin. Simmer covered for another 20 minutes.
In a frying pan over medium heat, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and the remaining onions and cook until caramelized.
Recipe adapted from The Confused Homemaker
Bennett liked this a lot; I was surprised how much he liked it actually. He kept asking for more and more! Cole barely touched the stuff though. I managed to get him to swallow a few bites but it was clear he really didn't care for it. I thought it was kind of bland, especially for a Middle Eastern dish, which I tend to expect to be full of spices and flavour. On the plus side, it was really easy and fast, and it's made with ingredients I usually have on hand. It's also very good for you. I recommend using vegetable broth instead of water to give it flavour, and though it seems like a lot of onions you definitely want a lot in this case. Also, I would double the cumin next time and add some other spices. I've seen recipes for this meal that use cinnamon and allspice, and I think that would be a nice touch.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
2 1/2 cups Rogers porridge oats***
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup of dried fruit (I used 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup chopped dried apricot)
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1 banana, mashed
2 tbsp canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
***This is a mixture of oats, wheat bran, oat bran and flax seed. If you can't find this stuff, use 2 cups of rolled oats, and 1/4 cup each of wheat bran, oat bran and flax seed.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 x 13 baking pan. In large bowl, mix together the porridge oats, cinnamon, flour, and fruit. Make a well in the centre, pour in the honey, egg, banana, oil and vanilla. Mix well. Pat the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars or squares. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting or they will be too hard to cut.
These were a big hit at our house! All of us enjoyed them a lot. We took them to the park to have as a snack and Cole shared them with some friends there and they liked them too. Bennett kept saying num, num, num when he was eating them so I guess that means he likes them. I think I'll be making these instead of buying granola bars from now on.
Update: here's a variation I just tried and they were even better than the original. Use maple syrup instead of honey and add 1/4 cup of peanutbutter. Yum!
Another update: Try them with chocolate chips, they're amazing! Chocolate makes everything better.
-Adapted from http://www.quietfish.com/notebook/?p=1642
Making Sushi Rice:
3 cups sushi rice
1/3 cup rice vengar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Wash rice in a large bowl with cold water and drain. Combine rice and 3 cups of water in a saucepan. Cover and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until water is absorbed (check your sushi rice package for cooking times as they seem to vary). Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Mix together rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and heat until sugar has dissolved. Place rice into a large non-metallic bowl and mix in vinegar mixture with a wooden spoon. Let it sit and cool to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the roll ingredients.
Preparing sushi rolls:
1 large yam
1 small pkg of imitation crab
Dried seaweed sheets
Wash and peel the yam. Cut lengthwise into long sticks. Steam for 20 minutes or until soft (you can do this at the same time that you're cooking the rice).
Cut imitation crab, avocado and cucumber lengthwise into long sticks.
Lay out a bamboo mat and cover with plastic wrap. Lay out sushi seaweed and spread rice on top. The rice will be very sticky, so have a bowl of water handy to dip your spoon and your hands in so they don't stick to the rice as much.
For yam rolls, place yams on top of the rice on one end. Squirt on some mayonnaise if you'd like.
Then begin rolling by lifting mat and pressing yams in with fingers. Roll up carefully (you should use two hands for rolling, but I had one hand on the camera for this photo. You get the idea anyway!). Don't roll the mat and plastic wrap into the roll, keep them on top to guide the roll along and help keep it's shape.
Cut the roll crosswise into 6-8 equal slices.
For California rolls, use cucumber, avocado and crabmeat slices, and a squirt of mayonnaise.
Serve with soya sauce with a little wasabi mixed into it, and ginger slices.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
16 slices Canadian back bacon or ham
16 slices sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2-1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 cup minced green onion
1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
1-2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
crushed Corn Flakes
Set 8 pieces of bread into a 9" x 13" (23 x 33 cm) buttered, glass baking dish. Cover bread with slices of back bacon. Lay slices of cheddar cheese on top of bacon and then cover with remaining slices of bread to make it like a sandwich. In a bowl, beat eggs and pepper. To the egg mixture add dry mustard, onion, red pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and milk. Pour over the sandwiches, cover and let stand in fridge overnight. In morning, melt butter, pour over top. Cover with Special K or crushed Corn Flakes. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour at 350 deg.F (180 deg.C). Let sit 10 minutes before serving.
We had friends over for brunch and a playdate, and this meal worked perfectly. It was nice not to have to fuss much with preparing food in the morning. I served it with fresh fruit, and jello for dessert. The kids weren't that thrilled with it (they did however love the jello) but the adults seemed to enjoy it. It's usually known as a 'Christmas Wifesaver' because you make it for christmas morning. I think using the red peppers and green onions made it even more festive looking. I might try this for christmas!
-Adapted from Best of Bridge
The Best of Bridge: Royal Treats for Entertaining (Best Selling Series)
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Cream together butter and avocado and sugars until smooth. Stir in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda and dry pudding mix. Add to avocado mixture and mix until blended. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop rounded spoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, until edges are golden.
Well, no one has tried these yet but me. Tony's working tonight and the boys are in bed, but I'm impatient to post this because they're so yummy that I have to share them right now!
Just look at this beautiful green cookie dough:
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
3 medium yams
1/4 cup parmesan
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 1/2 cups flour
Peel and chop yams, then steam them until soft. Mash yams in a large bowl, then combine them with parmesan, egg and nutmeg. Slowly add flour until it reaches a doughy consistency and forms a ball. Lay out dough in small batches on a floured surface and roll into a long rope. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Boil in salted water until they float to the top, then remove after a few minutes. Serve with creamy pesto sauce.
Creamy Pesto Sauce:
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tub of garlic and herb cream cheese
1/3 cup parmesan
1 tbsp pesto
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water
In a saucepan, bring to boil the milk, cream cheese, parmesan and pesto. Combine cornstarch and water, then add to boiling sauce. Stir until thickened, then remove from heat.
Well, I wasn't thrilled with how the gnocchi turned out, but it's totally my own fault. I didn't steam the yams long enough so they were a little chunky. Also after I was done making them I set them on a plate in the fridge. When I took them out to cook them they had become very sticky and were clumping together in a gooey mess. I had to spinkle them with more flour and pull them apart one by one, while the boys whined the whole time. I was sure that dinner was ruined, but it wasn't a total disaster. The sauce was very yummy so I think that helped. Tony actually loved this meal! He said 'wow, these are really good!' and then went on to thank me for making so many great dinners. He said I was very creative with my cooking and he appreciated it. Aaaw. That makes it all worthwhile. The boys, on the other hand, would not eat my gnocchi, nor did they compliment my cooking. They were really tired and cranky so dinner was not exactly a pleasant event, unlike the last time we had gnocchi. Anyway, Cole did eventually eat it after his bath and he liked it! Oddly enough it was Bennett who refused to touch the stuff. He usually eats anything, but I've noticed that he really doesn't seem to like yams. When I made Channa Masala he had a similar reaction. I don't get it because yams were his favourite as a baby but I guess tastes change. So there you go, I tried to recreate our first gnocchi experience and failed miserably. I just have to learn from my mistakes and keep trying; that's what cooking is all about.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked ham
1 small onion, thinly sliced.
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Microwave spinach according to package directions, then drain excess water. In a large bowl, combine spinach, ham, onion and cheeses. In another bowl beat eggs until foamy, then blend in oil. Add the dry ingredients; beat until smooth. Stir in spinach mixture until just blended. Spoon into greased muffin tins. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned. May be served warm or cold.
These muffins worked out great for packing with us when we were on the go. Tony and I both took them to work, and I packed them in the boys lunches for daycare. Cole was thrown off by the fact that the muffin wasn't sweet like normal muffins so he didn't really eat much of them. Bennett didn't seem to be bothered by it though, he ate them up. They freeze great too.
-Adapted from Best of Bridge (Aces)
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
3 cups macaroni
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups light sour cream
1 1/2 cups diced ham
1 1/2 cups 2% cottage cheese
1 sweet red pepper, diced
2 tbsp parsley
1/4 tsp pepper
Cook macaroni in boiling water until tender but firm, about 8 minutes. Drain and add to crockpot.
In a large bowl, beat eggs, mix in 2 cups of cheese, sour cream, ham, cottage cheese, red pepper, parsley and pepper. Stir into macaroni; smooth top.
Cover and cook on low until bubbly and hot, about 4 hours. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover and cook until melted, about 5 minutes.
I made this when Tony and I went to an Olympic hockey game and we had a babysitter watching the boys. I made it in the afternoon while the boys were napping, and left it cooking in the crockpot so the sitter and the kids had something ready to eat for dinner. I didn't bother with the extra cup of cheddar on top because I wanted to make it as easy as possible for the sitter. I wasn't there obviously, and I forgot to ask the sitter what they thought of it, so I can't tell you about that. I did, however, enjoy the leftovers very much. Tony took some to work and mentioned to me later that he thought it was really good. The only thing was that the description in the cookbook stated that it's 'super creamy' and this wasn't the case at all. The cheese was more curdled than creamy. It's very possible it cooked too long, I don't know what time the sitter unplugged it. In any case, it was tasty, just don't get your heart set on a really creamy mac & cheese when you're making this. I was just thinking that next time I should try this with Kielbasa instead of ham to add to the 'Ukrainianess' of this dish.
-Recipe from Canadian Living: The Slow Cooker Collection
Monday, March 1, 2010