Thursday, January 12, 2012

A long,long time ago....

A long long time ago, I started this blog and said to myself I am not going to be one of those bloggers who only blogs once in a while... Well, I have become one of those people... It is hard, I give props to those who blog on a daily basis.  Honestly it is hard work if you are working long days like myself. Anyways that is enough on my pitty party, cause I really know that you are not giving a dam right now...

I have been cooking up a storm and have so many ideas and recipes to share with you, it excites me so much!!!  First of all I have always considered myself a healthy cook with some bad habits for baking some super delicious baked goods.  The New Years resolution in our house is to eat even more healthy and really watching our sodium intake and increasing our grains and legumes.  We have been eating Steel Cut Oats every day for breakfast and making our our whole wheat pasta from local organic grain.

Some recipes to look forward to is variations on Steel Cut Oats for breakfast, Baked Oatmeal bars great for breakfast and snacks, a few different quinoa salads and beet hummus just to name a few... Yes you read right, BEET HUMMUS. 

So stay tuned for some interesting food ideas and recipes. :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Pumpkin

I love Fall!!
And what does Fall bring.... Well it brings me into the kitchen to cook warm foods and anything with pumpkin. 

Pumpkin is such a great fruit.  Yup its a fruit it grows on a vine and it contains seeds. Pumpkin is such a humble fruit it so rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants.  There is so much to love about pumpkins, the color, the flavor and versatility.  Ok enough about how much I love pumpkins, cause if you are still reading you probably love them as well... 

I have tried a few different recipes with pumpkin this season that I really want to share with you. 

Pumpkin Granola:

5 cups of rolled oats
1 cup coconut
1 cup of pecans
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup raisins
Stir together in a large bowl

1 cup of pure pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple sugar
2 TBSP cinnamon
1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup homemade apple butter (if this is not an option for you unsweetened apple sauce)
mix all the wet ingredients together

Mix the wet and the dry ingredients together very well. 
Pour onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 325 for 20 mins stir and bake for another 20mins. 
Now there is a warning about this recipe and here it is:
I warned you so be prepared....

I have been eating this my little handfuls if I need a quick little snack.  But ultimately this is a great breakfast mixed with a little vanilla yogurt.  
Make sure you keep this in a sealed container to retain freshness.
Sorry I did not have a picture to go with this post.  I really need to take better pictures

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Golden Beet Slaw

I pulled what was left in my garden today.  It was a very sad garden this year, it was too cold when it was planted in May and then we got a lot of rain this summer with little heat.  I basically gave up on my garden so that meant little weeding and little over all attention was given.  Today we decided to pull the root veggies and see what we have or rather what we do not have.  So after all was said and done we had some golden beets, purple haze carrots, rainbow carrots and regular long carrots.  
I wanted to make something fresh with my beets that did not involve cooking so I decided to make a Beet Slaw.

 Start by cutting the beets and carrots in to match stick pieces.  I then decided to add an apple for a little sweet bite.  Next was onto the dressing.  I did not know were to go with this, so it was totally off the cuff.... 
2 tsp of dry mustard
1/3 cup white vinegar
Olive Oil to match
1 tsp of Smoked Paprika
 2 tsp of Maple Syrup for sweetness
dash of white sugar only cause I was trying to take the acid off the vinegar
1 tsp of fresh ground pepper
2 tsp of celery seed
I whisked this all together in a measuring cup and poured it over the chopped vegetables
It looks all to pretty with the glorious colors.  I ate it with a few pecans on top for more of an earth feel. 

Yup its been a while...

Yes it has been a while, like half a year I know.  It is not that I have not been creating mouth watering dishes it is more like I have not had the time to share them with you. Every time I make something I think this would make a great post on my blog.  My other problem is that on the little amount of time that I have I am creeping on other peoples getting great new ideas for use in my kitchen.  I have run the gamut of canning this year; dill pickles, apple butter, apple chutney, salsa and zucchini salsa.  My shelves are full of the bounty of my not so great garden this year. 
Now the days are getting cooler and the days are getting shorter I am going to try and get more posts up.  It excites me to post and excites me to read other peoples posts.
So here we go....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A little pasta for dinner

On Sunday I wanted to make something special for supper.  I decided to start with making some homemade pasta and see where that took me... 
Well it took me to  
Chicken Veggie Stuffed Cannelloni with Tomato Spinach Marinara
Super delicious and very satisfying because I knew it was all homemade. 
So lets start with the pasta...

Homemade Pasta:
  2 cups of all purpose flour
  3 eggs (lightly beaten)
  1/4 cup cold water

Mound the flour on a clean counter make a well in the centre add the beaten eggs.  Get in there with your hands and start mixing in the egg and flour together you will notice it is very dry, start slowing adding the water little by little until you reach a smooth dough. Once the smooth dough has been made wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest for 20mins.  

Filling for the Cannelloni:
While the dough is resting you can begin cooking up the chicken and chopping the vegetables.
Take 2 chicken breasts and place them in a deep frying pan filling the pan with water so the chicken breasts are 1/2 covered.  Cook with lid on so that you get a steamed chicken breast, making it tender. 
2 carrots
4 mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup chopped parsley
dash of olive oil
1 cup ricotta cheese
I added the carrots, mushrooms, garlic, parsley and olive oil in a food chopper and ensured it was chopped very fine.  The ricotta cheese was then added to the mixture.  Once all was mixed together I put in the fridge to let the flavors mix. 
When the chicken breasts are cooked chop them up and let cool.  Once it has cooled toss in the food chopped and mince the chicken.  Add the minced chicken to the vegetable and cheese mixture. 

Tomato Spinach Marinara:
Coarse chop 5 tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic flattened and chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano
2 tbsp sugar
Combine in a sauce pan and allow to cook down
Wash and chop the coarse ends off a large bunch of Spinach allow to dry to remove alot of  the water. 
Once the tomato mixture has cooked down add the spinach and allow to cook together.  

Back to the pasta....
Cut the pasta into 3 sections.  Re-wrap the sections you are not using so it does not dry out.  
Start by rolling the section in your pasta maker.  Roll until you get to the second thinnest setting. Flour the pasta both sides and fold over cover with plastic wrap on counter.  Continue with another section.  I wrapped up the third section of pasta and put in the fridge for later on in the week.  

Putting it all together....

Cut the pasta into 6 inch sections spoon the Chicken Veggie & Cheese mixture into the middle of the pasta begin rolling from one end to the other.  To seal the roll use a little water on the pasta and dampen then fold to dry pasta.  I made 8 Cannelloni rolls.  Once it is all done I placed them in a baking pan and poured the hot Tomato Spinach Mariana sauce over.  Sprinkled Parmesan on top and popped in the oven at 375 F for 30-40mins. 

Whew... A lot of work you might think, but totally worth it, it remember it is a labor of love.  I loved this the sauce was so good  and it was great for left overs the next day at work. There is nothing like eating  a meal that was made from scratch and enjoying all the flavors that your have infused into it. 

My downfall to this is I should have taken more pictures when I was rolling the pasta and making the stuffing and sauce.  Oh and I did not even have enough time to take a picture of the entire dish before hubban dished up... So forgive me about the lack of pictures.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Super easy and not so everyday

So tonite for supper I was thinking of going with the fish taco route and then decided after I got the fish out I wanted potatoes.  So, I threw some things together keeping my craving for Mexican flavor (Quick Mango Salsa) and voila an excellent supper. I can't take credit for the fish, it was Healthy Bake Cod from Highligher. 
Over all this was super easy supper was a nice change from the usual.

Shredded Potato Fry
Super easy, super delicious...
Shredded 3 potatoes, rinsed and pat to dry with paper towel
Heat a skillet with some oil ( I should have gotten my cast iron skillet out for this, it would have added a little extra to it, good thought for next time).  Once the oil is heated and the potatoes are patted dry add to the skillet.   Stir and potatoes frequently allowing them to crisp up, at this point you can add what ever spices you need, I just decided on some Real Salt and Pepper.  I had some other flavors I did not want to over power.

Quick Mango Salsa
I will definitely make this again  even my husband liked this a lot.  I loved the sweet flavor with my fish!!! I never used garlic or jalapenos in this I wanted a sweet salsa with a savory cilantro flavor. For more zest I would add chopped jalapenos and diced garlic.

1 Mango peeled, seeded and chopped 
a handful of cilantro chopped ( I left mine a little coarse, but next time I would got finer)
half an avocado peeled, sliced and chopped
1/4 of a lime
Sea Salt
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and squeeze lime juice over the all the chopped fruits.  Grind a touch of coarse sea salt just to bring out the juices in the mango. Enjoy!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Unpulled pork sandwich

So we had some left over pork chops from a family BBQ last nite.  I was between doing a pork stir fry or doing something tangy with BBQ sauce. This was super easy and a great way to use up left overs.  There is definitely not enough recipes out there to help you use up leftovers and create something new with them. This is try on some pork.

Unpulled Pork Sandwich

2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tsp of ginger chopped
2 left over already cooked chopped pork chops (bone and fat removed)
1 cup of apple juice
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 cup favorite BBQ sauce
2 tsp chili powder

Combine garlic, ginger and pork together in a saucepan.  Cover with apple juice and simmer for 10 mins. 
Add the brown sugar and allow to simmer for another 5 mins.  Add chili powder and BBQ sauce and cook with lid on for 10 mins.  Remove the lid and let cook down for another 5 mins.  

Serve on a bun.  I did mine on an open face homemade bun.

This would be complemented with a great coleslaw!!!