Sunday, 30 March 2014

Fish Tostadas

These were delicious and very kid friendly.  This is the first time I have used corn flakes as a base for breading something and I think I will use them more often.  They are much crispier than regular bread crumbs.

500g skinless white fish fillets - I used Sole
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp chili powder
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups crushed cornflakes cereal
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese
4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 cup tortilla chips crumbled
Ranch dressing

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.  Butter 1 large baking sheet.
  2. Rinse fish and pat dry.  Cut into strips about 3" x 1/2".  In a shallow bowl, whisk egg, milk, chili powder and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.  Place corn flakes in a shallow dish.
  3. Working in small batches, add about 5 pieces of fish first into egg mixture then add to cornflakes and toss to coat.  Shake off excess crumbs and place on one prepared baking sheet, spacing apart.  Discard any excess egg and crumbs.  Bake for about 10 minutes or until fish is firm and opaque.
  4. Place shredded lettuce on plate and top with fish, cheese and tortilla chips and drizzle with Ranch dressing.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Super Simple Dip

This has a bit of spice to it.  Decide how spicy you want it based on the chiles you pick.  This dip goes great with crackers or veggies and would be a great hit at a football party.

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1 can (4oz) chopped green chilies drained

  1. Line an 8 or 9 inch pie plate with plastic wrap.
  2. Using hand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add cheddar cheese, bell pepper, green onions and chiles and mix until well blended.  Spoon into prepared pan; press mixture evenly into pan and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
  3. Just before serving, remove top plastic wrap and invert onto serving tray.  Remove bottom plastic wrap.  
  4. Serve with your choice of veggies or crackers.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Fruit and Almond Couscous

I was a little doubtful of this recipe when I first tried it but I am so glad that I made it.  The dried apricots and almonds really add to the flavour of this dish.  I couldn't find whole wheat couscous so I just used regular couscous.  I don't know if there is much of a difference.  From Fresh Juice Magazine.

1 cup whole wheat couscous
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
Half red onion, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups salt reduced chicken broth
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 cup cilantro or mint
1/4 cup thinly sliced dried apricots
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 green onions, chopped
Zest of half lemon
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds

  1. Place couscous in large bowl, set aside.
  2. In medium saucepan over medium, heat 2 tsp of the oil; add onion.  Cover and cook, stirring until onion is softened, about 4 minutes.  Add broth, increase heat and bring to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and pour over couscous.  Cover and let stand for 5 minutes; fluff with fork.
  4. Chop parsley and cilantro until finely chopped and add to couscous.  Stir in remaining oil, apricots, cranberries, green onion, lemon zest and juice and salt.  Sprinkle with almonds; toss until evenly mixed.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Roesti Potato Bake

A simple version of the more complicated Roesti potatoes.  This baked casserole is fairly simple but you still get that great crispy top.  From the Milk Calendar 2014.  I used PC Swiss Cheese for this and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the cheese.

4 medium oblong baking potatoes (Russet or yellow fleshed)
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded swiss or gouda cheese, divided
1/4 cup all purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Butter a shallow 6 to 8 cup glass or ceramic baking dish.
  2. Peel and rinse potatoes.  Shred on the coarse side of a box cheese grater.  Place in a colander; using hands, squeeze out excess liquid.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together egg, salt and pepper.  Stir in potatoes and half the cheese; toss baking dish.  Bake for about 45 min or until golden, crisp and potatoes are tender.
  4. Preheat broiler with rack 4 inches from heat.  Sprinkle casserole with remaining cheese; broil for 3 min or until cheese is melted and starting to brown.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Leek and Hazelnut Ravioli

Another simple and delicious recipe based on one from Canadian Living Magazine.  Switch the leeks for onions if you prefer.

3 large leeks (white and light green parts only)
1 cup baby spinach
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch each salt and pepper
450 g cheese filled ravioli
1/2 cup crumbled soft goat cheese
1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives

  1. Cut leeks in half lengthwise; thinly slice crosswise to make about 4 cups.
  2. In saucepan, heat butter with oil over medium high heat; cook leeks, garlic, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until leeks are tender and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile in saucepan of boiling salted water cook ravioli according to package directions, drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
  4. Gently stir ravioli into leek mixture, adding enough of the reserved cooking liquid to coat.  Add Baby Spinach. Top with goat cheese, hazelnuts and chives

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Veggies and Dip

It can be hard to get kids to eat their veggies but I find if I put out a dip they are more likely to eat them.  Also cutting the vegetables into thin strips seems to make them more interesting.

1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp dry minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp curry powder (optional)

  1. Beat cream cheese in medium bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy; beat in sour cream.  Stir in Italian Seasoning, onion, garlic and salt.  Add curry powder if using.  Spoon into serving bowl.  Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until serving time.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Apple Cranberry Pie with Almond Crust

This is a recipe based on one in Fresh Juice Magazine.  They used walnuts and I used almonds in the crust.  This is a great festive treat that is great served with ice cream.

1 cup walnut halves (or almond) - you could buy ground almonds 100g and skip processing them yourself
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
Pinch salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
2 eggs, divided
1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
5 sweet apples such as Royal Gala, peeled cored and cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tbsp all purpose flour

  1. Chop walnuts until coarsely chopped.  Add granulated sugar, flour and salt; mix until fine.  Add butter; using two knives or a pastry cutter combine until crumbly.  Add 1 of the eggs and vanilla; mix until dough sticks together.  If dough isn't holding together, add 1 to 2 tsp cold water and mix to combine.  Press dough into a ball and divide into 2 pieces, roughly one third and 2 thirds in size; wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  2. Press larger portion of dough evenly over bottom and sides of 9 inch pie plate; flute edge of pastry, if desired.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  3. For the filling, in large skillet over medium heat, melt butter.  Add brown sugar, cinnamon, apples and cranberries.  Cook, stirring, until apples are tender crisp and juicy and cranberries pop,  8 to 10 minutes.  Stir flour into apple cranberry mixture; cook for 1 minute or until juices are thickened.  Transfer mixture to chilled piecrust and spread evenly.
  4. Preheat oven to 375F.  On lightly floured surface, roll out remaining dough to scant 1/4 inch thickness.  Using 2 to 3 inch cookie cutter, cut 8 to 10 shapes and arrange over filling, overlapping slightly.  In small bowl, beat remaining egg with 2 tsp water; brush egg wash over shapes.  Bake in centre of oven until bubbling and golden, 35 to 40 minutes.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Strawberries and Potted Cream

Another great one from the 2014 Milk Calendar!  Simple and decadent.  The recipe has you mash the strawberries with some sugar, but I just sliced my strawberries.  It was excellent!

1 envelope gelatin (1 tbsp)
1/4 cup cool water
2 cups 35% whipping cream
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 tbsp granulated sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups strawberries

  1. In a bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cool water; let stand for 5 min to soften.
  2. In a saucepan, combine cream, milk, 1/4 cup of the sugar and vanilla.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often.  Pour over gelatin mixture and stir well until gelatin is dissolved.  
  3. Pour into 6 to 8 jars, glasses or dessert dishes.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours or until set,or for up to 2 days.
  4. When ready to serve, in a bowl, using a potato masher or a fork, mash strawberries and remaining sugar together and spoon on top of cream in dishes.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Baked Nutty Berry French Toast

This is one of the best French Toasts I have eaten.  I will say that my kids were too picky to eat it…but that just left more for my husband and me.  I added some hazelnuts to the pecans as I didn't have quite enough and I thought it was a good mix.  Walnuts would work well also.  I used fresh berries instead of frozen, I think they are worth the extra cost.  Make sure you use a good bread, either home baked or a bakery one.  I used a ceramic dish and had to add about 10 minutes cooking time.  From the Milk Calendar 2014.

6 thick slices bread (about 3/4 inch) preferably whole wheat
4 eggs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
1/4 tsp each ground nutmeg and cinnamon
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 cups mixed berries (thawed and drained if frozen)

  1. Butter a 13 x 9 inch glass backing dish.  Arrange bread in single layer in dish.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, 1/2 cup of the sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon until blended; whisk in milk and vanilla.  Pour evenly over bread.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.  
  3. Preheat oven to 400F.
  4. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar, pecans and melted butter.  Spread berries evenly over bread mixture; sprinkle with pecan mixture. 
  5. Bake for 35 to 40 min or until bread is puffed in the centre and fruit is bubbling.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Onion Cheddar Biscuits

These are based on a recipe from the 2014 Milk Calendar, except that I switched garlic powder for onion powder.  The family loved them!

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 cup shredded cheddar
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 cup milk

2 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 tsp onion powder

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until crumbly.  Stir in cheese and green onions.  Slowly add the milk, stirring with a fork, until the batter reaches a soft dough consistency.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough gently 3 to 4 times until it holds together.  Roll out to 3/4 inch thickness.  Cut into squares or use a 3 inch cookie cutter (or turn over a glass - my usual method). Re roll scraps once to make about 12 biscuits.  Place at least 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.  
  4. Topping:  In a small bowl, combine melted butter and onion powder; brush biscuits with half of the mixture. 
  5. Bake for 12 min or until starting to brown.  Brush with remaining butter mixture.  Bake for an additional 2 to 3 min or until golden brown.  Best served warm.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Smoked Salmon Pizza with Baby Kale Salad

I am really loving baby Kale, a healthy and tasty salad choice.  This is definitely an adult pizza…make a pepperoni one up for the kids.  I used pizza dough but if you are short on time just buy a prepared pizza crust or use some Naan bread.  Based on a recipe from Canadian Living Magazine 2013.

350 g pizza dough
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
4 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp milk
150 g sliced smoked salmon
1/4 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tsp capers, drained, rinsed and chopped
2 tsp chopped fresh chives
1/2 tsp peppercorns, crushed

1 tsp olive
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch each salt and pepper
2 1/2 cups lightly packed baby kale

  1. On lightly floured surface, roll out or press dough into 11 inch circle.  Transfer to greased pizza pan; prick all over with fork.  Spread oil over dough; sprinkle with pepper.  Bake on bottom rack of 500F oven until golden and crisp, about 12 minutes.  Let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, combine cream cheese, 2 tsp lemon juice and the milk; spread over pizza.  Top with salmon, onion, Feta, capers, chives, peppercorns and remaining lemon juice.
  3. In bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; add kale and toss.  Sprinkle on pizza and return to oven for 5 min or until kale is wilted.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken and Vegetables

A family favourite!  Kids will eat the pasta and chicken…plus a veggie or two and adults enjoy it all.  Based on a recipe from the 2014 Milk Calendar.

2 tbsp butter, divided
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried Sun-dried Tomato and Herbs seasoning
300g fettuccine pasta
1 small onion, diced
5 small mushrooms sliced
1 cup chopped broccoli
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp pepper
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tomato diced

  1. In large skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium high heat; saute chicken, broccoli, garlic and seasoning for about 8 min or until chicken is browned and no longer pink inside.  Transfer to a bowl; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta for about 10 minutes or until al dente.
  3. Return skillet to medium high heat; add butter.   Saute onions and mushrooms  over medium high heat for about 5 min or until onions are translucent.  Sprinkle with flour; stir in pepper and cream cheese and cook, stirring for 2 min. or until cream cheese has melted and mixed smoothly with flour and pepper.  Gradually stir in milk; cook, stirring for about 5 min or until creamy, smooth and thickened.  Remove from heat; stir in mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Drain pasta and return to pot.  Pour in sauce, reserved chicken and tomato and toss to coat.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Grilled Steak and Asparagus Salad

This is a great dinner.  If you want to cut back on fat, change the goat cheese for some Feta.  Based on a recipe from Canadian Living Magazine.

1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/4 tsp each salt, pepper and onion powder
450 g beef grilling steak
1 red onion, cut in 1/2 inch thick rings
2 tsp olive oil
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
6 cups torn hearts of romaine lettuce
70 g herb or pepper coated goat cheese, crumbled

Pesto Vinaigrette
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp sun-dried tomato pesto
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine celery seeds, salt, pepper and garlic powder; rub all over steak.

Brush onion with some of the oil; toss asparagus with remaining oil.

Place steak, onion and asparagus on greased grill over medium high heat; close lid and grill, turning once, until steak is medium rare, onion is softened and asparagus is tender crisp, about 8 minutes.  Remove to cutting board.  Let steak stand for 5 minutes before thinly slicing.  Meanwhile, halve onion rings and asparagus.

PESTO VINAIGRETTE: Meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, pesto and pepper.   Add lettuce, onion and asparagus; toss to coat.  Sprinkle with goat cheese.  Top with steak.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Quick Moo Shu Pork

This is so easy and so good!  Lots of flavour and very versatile!  From Canadian Living 2013.

340 g ground pork
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/4 tsp pepper
3 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
4 tsp sodium reduced soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups coleslaw mix
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced
5 green onions, sliced diagonally
12 small flour tortillas or lettuce cups

  1. In bowl, mix together pork, garlic, cornstarch, ginger and pepper; mix in half each of the vinegar and soy sauce.  In small bowl, mix together oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil and remaining vinegar and soy sauce.  Set aside.
  2. In wok or large skillet, heat 1 tsp of the vegetable oil over high heat; cook eggs, stirring, just until set, about 30 seconds.  Remove to plate.
  3. Add remaining vegetable oil to wok; stir fry pork mixture, breaking up with spoon and scraping up browned bits, until pork is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in coleslaw mix and mushrooms; cook until mushrooms are softened, about 2 minutes.  Add oyster sauce mixture, green onions and cooked eggs; stir to coat.  Spoon onto tortillas.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Oatmeal Pancakes

I got this from the milk calendar and it is out of this world delicious!  I serve mine with homemade maple syrup, strawberries and a dollop of Greek Yogurt.  Decadent!

1 1/2 cups quick cooking rolled oats
2 cups milk
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted
Butter for cooking

  1. In a large bowl, combine rolled oats and milk.  Let stand 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Whisk eggs and 1/4 cup butter into milk mixture until blended. Pour over flour mixture and stir just until combined.
  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.   Brush with a thin layer of butter.  Ladle about 1/4 cup batter per pancake into skillet.  Cook for 2 to 3 min or until bottoms are golden and edges look dry; turn and cook for 1 to 2 min longer or until golden and puffed.  Repeat with remaining batter, adjusting heat as necessary to prevent burning and buttering pan between batches.
**Let extra pancakes cool on a wire rack then layer with waxed or parchment paper and freeze in a resealable bag for up to 1 month.  Pop in the toaster for a quick, weekday breakfast.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Crispy Topped Vegetable Casserole

2 cups each chopped carrots, cauliflower and broccoli
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter, divided
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp all purpose flour
Salt and pepper
1 cup milk
175 g cream cheese, cut into cubes
2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350F.  Putter an 8 cup shallow baking baking dish.
  • Saute carrots, cauliflower and broccoli in heavy bottomed frying pan with olive oil until veggies are tender crisp.  Remove to buttered dish.
  • Place onion in frying pan and saute with 1 tbsp butter until softened.  Add 1 tbsp butter and stir until melted.  Sprinkle in flour, salt and pepper to taste; cook, stirring, for 2 min.  Gradually pour in milk, whisking constantly.  Cook, whisking for about 3 min or until thick and bubbly.  
  • Reduce heat to low; add cream cheese and stir until smooth.  Pour over vegetables in dish; stir gently to coat evenly.  Bake for 20 min.
  • Melt remaining butter and toss with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over casserole.  Bake for 10 to 15 min or until crisp and golden.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Chocolate Orange Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Chocolate, orange and cream cheese make a wonderful trio.  This is simple to make and delicious!  From the Milk Calendar 2014.

250 g cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 egg
2 tbsp grated orange zest (from 2 to 3 oranges)
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract

Brownie Batter
1 cup milk
3/4 cup butter, cut into cubes
1 - 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

  • Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a 13x9 inch metal baking pan with foil, leaving 2 inches overhang at each end; lightly butter foil.
  • Cheesecake:  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cram cheese and sugar until smooth.  Beat in flour until blended, then beat in egg, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla.  Set aside.
  • Brownie Batter: In a large saucepan, combine milk and butter; heat over medium heat, stirring often, for about 3 min until milk is warm and butter is melted.  Alternatively, heat in a glass measuring cup in microwave on Medium power for 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and cocoa powder; gradually whisk in warm milk mixture until blended.  Whisk in eggs, orange juice and vanilla.   Sprinkle flour and salt over top; whisk until blended.
  • Spread about 2/3 of brownie batter into prepared pan; smooth top.  Pour cheesecake batter evenly over top.  Drop remaining brownie batter in dollops over top and swirl with the tip of a knife.
  • Bake for about 35 min or until edges are set and a few moist crumbs cling to tester inserted in centre.  Let cool completely in pan on rack.  Using foil overhang as handles, transfer to cutting board and cut into squares.