Saturday, October 30, 2010
Remove seeds from the pulp and rinse them under cold water to wash off any remaining pulp. Dry them off in a clean dish towel or paper towel. Place on a greased baking sheet and spray the tops of the seeds with cooking spray (or drizzle a little olive oil on top and spread it around to coat all the seeds). Sprinkle with seasoning salt. Bake at 325F for 25 minutes, stirring the seeds after 10 minutes or so. Store in an airtight container.
If you prefer sweet snacks, you could sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon instead. I haven’t actually tried that, but I might give it a whirl after we carve more pumpkins tonight. Roasting pumpkin seeds has started to become a tradition in our family at Halloween time. I’ve done it the last couple years because it seemed a shame to waste the seeds after carving a pumpkin. This year Cole actually asked me to make them. It surprised me that he remembered, seeing as he’s only 4. Cole really loves these seeds for a snack, and so do the rest of us, although Bennett has trouble with them. He gets them in his mouth but can’t chew them well enough to swallow them, so ends up spitting them out. I think the outer shell is just too tough. I’ve seen recipes that suggest soaking the seeds overnight, but I’m far too impatient for that. Maybe I’ll give it a try though next time to see if that helps make them easier to chew for poor Bennett. He’s still too little for them I think, as much as he wants to eat them. Next year though this should be a great treat for the whole family.
Friday, October 29, 2010
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup ripe bananas, mashed
2 apples - peeled, cored and shredded
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease and flour 24 muffin cups, or use paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and buttermilk. Beat in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Fold in the mashed bananas and shredded apples. Fill each muffin cup half full.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.
-Recipe adapted from All Recipes
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2-3 cups icing sugar
1 tbsp milk
Bring cream cheese and butter to room temperature. Beat together with cinnamon and a cup of the icing sugar until it begins to cream together. Add milk and slowly add more the icing sugar until it reaches the desired consistency.
I had made these cupcakes a while ago and was going to send them to daycare for Bennett's birthday, but I had so much birthday cake left over that I decided to send that instead and I froze these for later. Cole had a Halloween party at preschool and parents were asked to bring goodies, so I thawed these cupcakes and whipped up some cinnamon icing to decorate them with spiderwebs and jack-o-lantern faces (although this one in the photo looks more like a clown). They were devoured pretty quickly, with only a few left over that we ate up by the end of the day at home. I tried one and they were very yummy. I couldn't really taste much of the apple, it was mostly the banana flavour that came through, but the apple helped make them really moist. The icing went very nicely with them, even though my decorating skills may need improvement!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
3 boneless pork chops
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
1 orange pepper
1 tsp curry powder
1 clove garlic
2 tsp grated gingeroot
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tbsp vegetable bouillion
1 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup pineapple chunks
Cut pork into 1" cubes. Heat a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray and cook meat until browned on all sides. Set pork aside. Melt butter and saute onions, pepper, garlic, ginger and curry until veggies have softened, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook for a minute. Add bouillion and coconut milk. Heat to boiling and stir constantly until thickened. Add whole milk slowly until it reaches the desired consistency, more or less than the 1/2 cup depending on how you like it. Add cooked pork and pineapple. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 5-10 minutes. Serve over basmati rice.
I made this a while ago and completely forgot to post it, and now I can't quite remember what my family thought of it. Probably Cole didn't like it and the rest of us did. I know I thought it was pretty good, although I'm not a big fan of pork. The pineapple and coconut milk gave this curry dish a tropical twist that I really enjoyed.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1 large egg
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Using a pastry knife, fork, or food processor, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half, and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball.
4. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle (about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide). Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions (cut it into 4 pieces if you want smaller scones). Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet.
5. Bake for 14–16 minutes. Scones should begin to turn light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.
6. Make glaze (should be thick but liquidy) and drizzle onto cooled scones.
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup apple juice or water
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Mix well and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes until thickened. Remove cinnamon stick before serving.
I decided not to glaze my scones and just spread the pumpkin butter on them instead. They were delicious! The kids and Tony liked them too, so they were gone pretty quickly. I'm not sure of this recipe's original source but it's a recipe that often pops up on the Weddingbells.ca forum. You can find one post for it here: http://forums.weddingbells.ca/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2541300&page=1
They're a very popular scone on that forum and I can see why now. They really are just as good, if not better, than the ones I often enjoy at Starbucks. I still like going out and getting them at Starbucks, just or the sake of getting out, but it is nice to be able to have something similar at home as well.
The pumpkin butter not only works well with these scones, but also in oatmeal, on toast, in crepes or pancakes, etc. You might want to double (or triple!) the recipe.
Edited to add: I found the original recipe source for the scones, it's at http://www.food.com/recipe/starbucks-pumpkin-scones-214051
Friday, October 22, 2010
1 head of cauliflower
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp Mrs Dash seasoning
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cut cauliflower into small florets and toss them with olive oil and seasoning. Spread them out onto a baking sheet and roast them at 400F for about 30 minutes, until they begin to brown slightly at the tips. Remove from oven and place in a serving dish. Sprinkle with cheese and cover the dish until the cheese has completely melted, then serve.
I saw this idea on Weelicious and reminded me that my mom used to serve us cauliflower topped with a homemade cheese sauce. It was the only way I really enjoyed cauliflower as a kid. Something about adding cheese just changed the vegetable completely. So I knew that cheese was good, but I never thought of roasting it before. I rarely buy cauliflower, but then one week I noticed it was on sale and I immediately remembered this Weelicious cheddar cauliflower and decided it was time to try it out. I'm glad I did! It was really delicious. I don't think I'll even go back to steaming cauliflower because I just loved the way it tasted when I roasted it. The whole family liked it, and even Cole ate all of his. I should have made more!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
See Yummy Supper for the recipe.
When I found this recipe at Yummy Supper I knew right away that I had to try it. I like my dal really thick and served over basmati rice, so I didn't use very much of the reserved liquid. It seemed like a waste of broth, so next time I'll use less. It really depends on how you like it. If you like it more as a soup then you wouldn't be wasting quite as much of it. In any case, this recipe is one you should try. The flavours blended so well together, with the warmth of the spices and cool creaminess of the coconut milk. I made a side of chapati bread and that was delicious with it. I should probably mention that Cole didn't like it...but you probably guessed that already.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp chipotle seasoning (I use Mrs Dash brand)
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
19 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup broth or water
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup corn
1 can diced green chilies
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat ground beef and onion in a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat until meat has browned. Drain any excess fat. Add garlic, red pepper, cumin, chili and chipotle seasoning and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and heat until bubbly, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes.
If you haven't tried pumpkin puree or cocoa in chili before, you must give it a try. I know both these ingredients might seem odd to put in chili, but the subtle sweetness of the pumpkin and the richness of the cocoa give this chili a wonderful full-bodied flavour. I don't think my boys or husband would ever have guessed the 'secret' ingredients that made this chili so special. They just knew that it was mighty tasty chili and that's all that really mattered. Tony asked "did you do something different to the chili? It's really good!" I usually make a pretty basic chili, and it's good, but I think this one is better. It has a few more ingredients so it takes a little longer to make, but it's so worth it! I'm planning to make this one again on Halloween. I can fill up my boys' tummies with this warm and comforting chili before they head out for trick-or-treating.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
3/4 lb butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 19 oz can navy beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups sliced white mushrooms
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp paprika
1 large egg
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp sundried tomato pesto
Combine first 8 ingredients in a crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 4 to 4 1/2 hours.
To make the dumplings, measure flour, cornmeal, cheese, baking powder and paprika in a medium bowl. Stir and make a well in the centre. In a small cup, beat together the egg, milk, oil and pesto. Pour into the well and stir until moistened. Drop mounds of about 2 tbsp each onto the squash mixture. Cover and cook on high for 40-50 minutes until dumplings are cooked through.
This was such a comforting supper on a crisp fall day. It's a great meatless alternative to the chicken and dumplings that I normally make in the crockpot. I like that too, don't get me wrong, but this is a nice change.
I can't remember what Tony thought of this meal, I don't think he said much about it. He did take some for work the next day so he must have thought it was okay. I do remember that the boys weren't too thrilled about this one. Bennett at least ate some of it, but Cole asked me not to make it again. I hear that a lot from him lately. Hmmm...
Recipe adapted from Company's Coming: Slow Cooker Dinners
Friday, October 15, 2010
2 tsp oil
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 c. lentils (I used red lentils)
2 c. water
1 bay leaf
6 oz. can tomato paste
8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 1/2 T. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 T. prepared mustard(can use yellow or spicy brown)
1/4 tsp. apple cider vinegar
In a large pot heat oil, onion, garlic, carrots, and peppers until soft. Add lentils, water and bay leaf. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes until lentils are cooked and water absorbed. Remove bay leaf. Add remaining ingredients and heat through. Serve on whole wheat rolls.
I really enjoyed the taste of this sloppy joe sauce. If you don't like lentils, you could easily use ground beef and I'm sure it would be delicious too. Unfortunately my kids didn't share my enthusiasm for this meal. Cole seems to have a strange aversion to Sloppy Joes of any variety because they're too messy. I thought Cole would like these ones a little more than regular sloppy joes because they held together a bit better with the lentils, but they still didn't appeal to him. Bennett doesn't have a problem with getting messy (if only!), but I think he wasn't feeling well this particular day. Tony was at work, so I was the only one who ate these. I froze the leftovers and plan to try again later.
I know though that other kids will eat these, because this recipe was posted on my favourite mommy message-board by a mom who had this to say about them: "I made this at work this week and I was shocked at how delicious it was! I actually mixed the lentil joe mixture with a typical ground beef mixture but if I made it at home I wouldn't bother with the beef. The preschool kids loved eating it just on top of a bun instead of sandwhich style, and the toddlers prefered to 'dip' their buns into the lentil mixture. Either way, they gobbled it up!"
-Recipe from Weddingbells Forum
Update April 21/11: I've adapted the recipe slightly from its original form after making this a few times now, and updated the photo as well. It's great on its own as a lentil stew, or serve it over rice. It's very versatile!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
1 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp barbeque sauce or ketchup
Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a medium, non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Add mushrooms, peppers, onions, and garlic. Cook and stir over medium heat until vegetables are tender, about five minutes. Add basil and cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
This loaf looks really fancy, and I thought for sure I would mess it up, but to my surprise it turned out great! It would be a great thing to serve to guests because it's impressive and yet not too hard to make. It tastes great too and I like that it has lots of veggies hiding inside. The whole family ate this up.
Well, you know I would like this because I'm a yam fanatic. Again, no surprise here but the kids wouldn't touch this. Tony loved them though. One of his favourite parts of Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner is when we have mashed yams, so he was excited to get to have this when it wasn't a special occasion. I enjoyed how the tartness of the vinegar and the sweetness of the yams paired so beautifully together.
-Meatloaf recipe adapted from 'One Loaf to Love' in Eat, Shrink and Be Merry
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
This recipe comes from All Ways Nutritious, a wonderful and informative blog by a holistic nutritionist with a lot of really tasty and healthy food ideas. Click here to check out her post on this delicious nut spread. This is how I made it:
1 cup almonds, soaked overnight
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp coconut oil
Combine almonds in a food processor until very finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
This spread had a really great flavour, but I was a little disappointed with the texture. It was more of a course paste than a butter, and hard to spread because it was so thick. I tried adding some maple syrup to thin it out and make it more creamy but it didn't help very much. The one nice thing about the consistency was that it made great edible playdough! The kids had fun rolling it into balls and popping them in their mouths. I'm curious to try it again with pecans as the original recipe calls for. I really like pecans and I think they would be great in this, but I didn't have any on hand so I used only almonds. It was still very nice though and I loved the cinnamon and vanilla flavours with just a hint of saltiness. We ate it on toast, fruit, crackers and even in our oatmeal. It's a versatile spread and a healthy alternative to jams and some nut-butters that can contain a lot of sugar.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
1/2 cup dates
1/3 cup almonds
2 tsp cocoa powder
Place dates in a food processor and pulse until they form a paste. Set them aside. Place nuts in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add nuts and cocoa to the date paste. Lay out two pieces of plastic wrap before you get your hands messy for the next step. Using your hands, knead the mixture until it is well combined. Divide mixture in half and place on each piece of plastic wrap. Form them into bars and wrap them up. Store them in the refrigerator.
For many more variations on this bar, check out Enlightened Cooking: homemade Lara-type bars. It`s a great post on these incredibly yummy bars with so many different ideas to try. I want to try the chocolate chip cookie dough next time!
Making these bars allowed me to play some more with my new toy, my food processor. It worked like a charm. It only makes 2 bars but those bars actually lasted us a while because we only cut off small pieces of bar to eat at a time. They`re quite sweet and rich so you don`t need very much to feel satisfied. They`re a perfect healthy treat when you have a chocolate craving!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Recipe from : http://weelicious.com/2010/06/07/fruit-and-seed-bars/
These bars tasted so good I almost couldn't believe I made them myself! I followed this recipe pretty closely, so I won't post it again here. The only change I made was that I used almond butter instead of sunflower butter, because there are no nut allergies in my family and I didn't have any sunflower butter. For the fruit I used dried cranberries. I cut them into granola-bar shapes instead of squares, just because I felt like it. They're quite filling though, so I often cut the bar in half and that was enough for me. They freeze well too. I froze most of them to use in the kids' lunches and that worked very well. My family seemed to like them, but I think I liked them the most. I had been wanting to make this recipe for a while but didn't have a food processor. Fortunately, as you may have read in my previous post, I finally got one (thanks Mom and Dad!), so this was high o my list of things to try. I'm so glad I did; I know I'll be making them a lot from now on.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup sweet and sour sauce
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Cut the chicken into strips. Combine egg and sweet and sour sauce in a large bowl. Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, salt and pepper and spread out on a large plate. Dip strips into sauce, then coat with breadcrumb mixture. Place on a baking sheet with cooking spray and bake at 375F for 10-12 minutes until crispy, flipping them over halfway through.
The kids totally adored these strips! They taste great without dip, but the boys still dipped theirs in ketchup. I just liked them plain. You could do this recipe with whatever dip is your favourite. We like sweet and sour, but you could try honey-mustard, plum sauce, or any other sauce that you enjoy. I love panko breadcrumbs; they give the strips a perfect crispiness on the outside. If you haven't made your own chicken strips before, you should definitely give it a try. They don't take long at all and I think the taste is far superior to store-bought. Not to mention they're cheaper and healthier!
Sunday, October 3, 2010
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 stalks of carrots, peels and chopped
2 cups of mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tbsp grated gingerroot
2 cups brown or green lentils
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
1/4 cup raisins
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 small red or orange pepper, chopped
2 cups fresh baby spinach
salt and pepper
Heat oil in a very large skillet or dutch oven on medium heat. Add onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, vinegar and spices. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add lentils, broth, tomatoes and raisins, then turn on high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered until lentils are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Add peppers and spinach and heat covered until the spinach has wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve over rice or couscous, with a side of pita bread.
I love Moroccan flavours and I also adore lentils, so this dish was something I really enjoyed. My family...not so much. I guess like the food blog where I adapted this from says, this stew appeals to women more than men. This was certainly true in my household. Tony ate it but didn't say anything about it. That's a bad sign, because he tends to abide by the rule 'if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.' The kids were much more vocal in their dislike, especially Cole, who said "this dinner is pretty much not very good Mommy." Oh well, I tried.
I froze the leftovers and was thinking of adding some feta cheese to it and wrapping it in phyllo pastry or pitas, just to spice it up a bit and maybe fool my family into enjoying it a little more. We'll see!
-Recipe adapted from Polwig.com
****Please see Moroccan Lentil Pie for a great way to use leftovers for this meal.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
3 tbsp butter
1 small onion, thinly sliced
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 1/2 cups milk
6 cups peeled potatoes, thinly slived
Heat oven to 350F. Grease bottom and sides of a 2-quart casserole. Melt 3 tsp butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion in butter for about 2 minutes until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly, then remove from heat.
Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, sitrring constantly. Boil and stir for 1 minute.
Spread potatoes in casserole dish. Pour sauce over the potatoes. Cover and bake 30 minutes, then uncover and bake another hour to an hour and 10 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
My parents gave me a food processor as an early (3 months early) 30th birthday gift. To christen my new gadget, I decided to make scalloped potatoes, because that's what I remember my mom making in her food processor quite often. I used to love watching the potatoes get sliced up in just seconds. It's still pretty fun to watch, and it's certainly a time-saver. I didn't have my mom's recipe, but I found this one that seemed fairly close. I think I'd cut down on the salt next time though. I'm sure my mom uses way less salt. I never realized how long scalloped potatoes take to bake! I cut down on the baking time a little by microwaving the potatoes in a covered casserole dish for about 10 minutes first, then baked them uncovered for about an hour. They were so much better than the kind you buy in a box. I served them with pork tenderloin for a nice Sunday meal. Everyone enjoyed them, and the next day I mixed the leftovers with mixed veggies for a quick and tasty lunch. You could add diced ham too and it would make a pretty nice main dish. So that was my first food processor experience, and it was a success. I have more recipes to share using this handy tool, so stay posted!
-Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker's Cookbook