Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Apple Crisp Tartlets

These are delightful individual sized apple pies.  To save time you could just buy pre-made pastry.  Serve warm with some vanilla ice cream for a wonderful dessert.

2 apples
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch salt

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold butter, diced
1/4 cup cold lard, diced
2 tbsp ice water
2 tbsp sour cream

1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup butter, melted

PASTRY:  In large bowl, whisk flour with salt.  Using pastry blender, cut in butter and lard until in fine crumbs with a few larger pieces.

Whisk water with sour cream; drizzle over flour mixture, tossing briskly with fork and adding a little more water if needed to form ragged dough.  Press into disc.  Wrap and refrigerate until chilled, 30 minutes.

On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to generous 1/3 inch thickness.  Using 4 inch round cutter, cut out 12 circles, rerolling scraps.  Fit into muffin cups; refrigerate for 30 minutes.

FILLING:  Meanwhile, peel, quarter and core apples.  Cut into small pieces.  Toss apples with sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt.  Divide apple mixture among pastry cups.

In small bowl, whisk together oats, brown sugar, flour and nutmeg; stir in butter until combined.  Sprinkle over apple filling.

Bake in bottom third of 375F oven, covering with foil if topping darkens too much, until pastry and topping are golden and filling is tender, 40 to 45 minutes.

Run knife around edges of tarts to release.  Let stand in pan on rack for 10 minutes; remove from pan and let cool.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Asian Inspired Chicken

A simple dish that the family will enjoy.

2 cups Rice - your favourite type
1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
284 ml Water chestnuts, sliced, drained
2 celery stalks, sliced thinly
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh green onion tops
2 cups cooked chicken or turkey, cut up
1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs, fork beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce

Prepare rice. Cool.

Saute mushrooms and onion in pan with 1 tbsp butter.  Saute until mushrooms are slightly brown.  In large bowl combine mushrooms, water chestnuts, celery, green pepper, green onion, chicken and onions.  Set aside.

Melt remaining butter in frying pan.  Add slightly beaten eggs, salt and pepper.  Fry for a few minutes, stirring with fork to keep broken up.  Do not allow eggs to become too firm.  Add rice and meat mixture.  Stir to combine over low heat.  Add a bit of water to simmer if too dry.

Stir in soy sauce.  Simmer covered 10 to 15 minutes until hot.  If too dry, add 2 tbsp butter.  Serves 8.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Dark Chocolate Almond Macaroon Mousse

This came from the milk calendar however I changed their coconut for almonds.  Either one works well so use your favourite.  This is a simple dessert that is very rich.

1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup whipping cream, divided
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, broken into chunks
1 tsp vanilla extract

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, toast almond, stirring constantly for about 5 min or until golden and fragrant.  Set 1 tbsp aside.  Add 1/3 cup of the cream to remaining almonds in pan and bring to a boil, stirring often.  Remove from heat.
  • Finely chop chocolate.  Add hot cream mixture and process until chocolate is melted and mixture is fairly smooth.  Transfer to a bowl, stir in vanilla and let cool to room temperature.  
  • In a chilled bowl, whip remaining cream to soft peaks.  Fold about 1/4 into chocolate mixture, then fold in remaining cream just until blended.  Cover and refrigerate for 15 to 30 min or until starting to set, or for up to 1 day.  Serve sprinkled with reserved almonds.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Hot Chicken Casserole

This has lots of flavour and is simple to make.  I used a roaster chicken from the Super Store for the cooked chicken just to make it even easier.

2 cups Cooked chicken, chopped
1/4 cup French dressing
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp dry onion flakes
1/2 cup grated cheese
113 g French Fried Onion Rings, frozen

  • Combine chicken and dressing in bowl.  
  • Add celery, mayonnaise and onion flakes.  
  • Place in 1.5 L Casserole.
  • Sprinkle cheese over chicken and place Onion Rings on top.
  • Bake uncovered in 375 oven for 35 minutes.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Shrimp and Hearty Greens Saute

I used Swiss Chard in this recipe but you could easily switch this up for kale, collard greens or spinach. Serve this over brown rice or whole grain noodles for a quick, simple and healthy dinner.  From the Milk Calendar 2014.

1 tbsp butter, divided
500 g large shrimp
3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1/2 tsp alt, divided
1/4 tsp pepper, divided
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp dried basil
8 cups chopped Swiss Chard
2 tsp cornstarch
1 cup 5% light cream
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

  1. In a large skillet, melt half the butter over high heat.  Saute shrimp, 1 clove of garlic and a pinch each salt and pepper for about 3 min or until pink and opaque; transfer to a bowl.  Cover to keep warm.
  2. Return skillet to medium heat; add remaining butter.  Saute remaining garlic, onion, basil and remaining salt and pepper for about 3 min or until softened.  Add chopped greens and saute for about 5 min or until just wilted and tender.  
  3. Whisk cornstarch into cream and stir into pan; cook, stirring for about 3 min until thickened.  Serve greens topped with shrimp and sprinkle with lemon juice.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Creamed Turkey Noodle

A great recipe for leftover Turkey.  If you don't have any just substitute some cooked chicken.

170 g Broad Noodles
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 tbsp butter
4 cups cooked turkey, packed down
284 ml Condensed cream of mushroom soup
284 ml Condensed cream of chicken soup
1/4 tsp pepper

Cook noodles according to package directions.  Drain.

Heat butter in skillet over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and saute until browned.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Add more butter to skillet if required and saute onion and celery until softened.  Add to mushrooms.

Combine noodles, mushrooms, onions, celery, turkey, soups and pepper in bowl and stir.  Pour into large casserole and bake uncovered in 350 F oven for 35 minutes or until bubbly and hot.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Marrakech-Style Roasted Root Veggies

I like the combination of spices in this recipe.  The original from Fresh Juice Magazine had parsnips in it and my family is not a fan of the parsnip so I substituted it with acorn squash.  Heirloom carrots or beets would also work well though.

675 g carrots, peeled and halved diagonally
1 acorn squash, peeled and cut into long strips approx 1/2 inch wide
1 cup canned no salt added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp liquid honey
1 tsp crushed coriander or 1/2 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp ground cumin
Pinch each salt and allspice
1/4 cup crumbled reduced fat goat cheese
Chopped cilantro

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.  On rimmed baking sheet, combine carrots, squash and chickpeas; toss with oil and honey.  Sprinkle with coriander, cumin, salt and allspice; toss well to combine.
  2. Spread out evenly and roast in oven, stirring twice, until browned and tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
  3. Transfer to platter and top with goat cheese and cilantro.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Sticky Caramel Apple Buns

These are decadent and indulgent treats.  A bit of whole wheat flour adds to the old fashioned quality of these treats.  From Canadian Living Magazine.

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2/3 cup milk
1 egg
2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt

Apple Filling:
1/4 cup butter
3 apples peeled, cored and finely diced
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Caramel Sauce:
1/4 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp whipping cream (35%)

  1. In bowl, dissolve 1 tsp of the sugar in 1/3 cup warm water; sprinkle yeast over top.  Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In separate bowl, whisk together milk, egg, butter, vanilla and remaining sugar; stir in yeast mixture.
  3. In large bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, whole wheat flour and salt.  Stir in yeast mixture to form ragged dough.  Turn out onto floured surface and knead, adding up to 2 tbsp more all purpose flour if needed, until soft and smooth but not sticky dough forms, about 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer to greased bowl and turn to grease all over.  Cover and let stand in warm draft free place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
Apple Filling
  1. Meanwhile in skillet, melt butter over medium high heat; cook apples and cinnamon, stirring occasionally, until very tender and light golden, 6 to 8 minutes.  Transfer to bowl; let cool.
Caramel Sauce
  1. In skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in sugar and 1 tbsp water; cook, stirring often, just until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat; stir in cream until smooth.  Pour into greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
  • Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface; roll out into 20 x 12 inch rectangle.  Leaving 1/2 inch border uncovered at 1 long side, spread apple filling over dough.  Starting at long side opposite border, tightly roll up; pinch seam to seal.
  • With sharp knife, cut into 12 pieces; place, cut sides up, in caramel.  Cover and let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  • Bake in 375 F oven until golden and buns sound hollow when gently tapped, 25 to 30 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Invert onto serving dish.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Ginger Lemon Chicken

This sauce is out of this world delicious!  I really enjoyed the Panko crumbs as well on the chicken.  Serve with a green salad and you have a great dinner.  This is more of an adult dish with the sauce, the kids will eat the chicken though without it.  Based on a recipe from the 2014 Milk Calendar.

1/2 cup Panko Bread crumbs
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp dried minced onion
1 tbsp butter
4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts cut in 1/2
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp salt
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp minced ginger root
1 clove garlic, minced
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp cornstarch
1 cup 10% half and half cream
1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
Lemon Wedges

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with foil; butter foil.
  2. In a  large dry nonstick skillet over medium high heat toast Panko, minced onion and sesame seeds, stirring for about 3 min or until golden brown.  Transfer to a shallow dish, stir in pepper and salt; set aside.  
  3. Return skillet to heat and add butter; swirl to coat.  Add chicken, in batches to avoid crowding and brown for about 2 min per side.  Using tongs, remove chicken from skillet and dip both for about 2 min per side.  Using tongs, remove chicken from skillet and dip both sides in reserved crumb mixture, pressing to coat.  Transfer to baking sheet; press any extra crumbs on top of chicken.  Set skillet aside, reserving butter. 
  4. Bake chicken in oven for about 20 min or until thermometer registers 170F (77c) or until no longer pink inside.
  5. About 5 min before chicken is cooked, reheat skillet over medium heat until butter is sizzling; saute green onions, ginger, garlic and lemon zest for 2 min.  Whisk cornstarch into cream and stir into pan; stir in soy sauce.  Cook, stirring for about 3 min or until bubbling and slightly thickened.
  6. Spoon sauce onto plates; top with chicken and serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over top.