Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The one where I don't talk about food...

So my dear readers, I am about to embark on a new journey and truthfully, I'm not sure what to feel. I have been an at home parent for 2 1/2 years and on Monday, like 6 sleeps away, I will be setting foot (cute heeled feet) out into the big bad world of...WORK. Now before you all start in on the whole "every Mom works" rants, I have to say I agree. I've worked harder as a Mom, with worse hours and sometimes questionable benefits, than I ever did in the big bad world of sales and marketing. But truthfully, I'm scared. I'm scared that my house/children/relationships will fall apart. I'm afraid that my children will never again wear matching clothes and that their ponytails will be askew...ok truthfully that happens lots with me (PICK YOUR BATTLES). I'm afraid that the laundry will fall behind, and that Mr M (who thankfully will be staying home for a bit) will forget library day on Wednesday and hot lunch Fridays. I'm afraid that the world I've worked so hard to create will crumble in my absence.... Man, I must think I am pretty good at my current job! All kidding aside, the thing that worries me most is failure. I am putting myself out there, in the big bad world, and in doing so I am taking a chance...WHAT IF I FAIL?

So for all you readers who have taken the plunge, I need your tips and tricks of survival. How did you make it?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Soup & nuts....well not really nuts but thats what my house is like today

Ask and ye shall receive :) Quick and easy soups, 30 minute meals and well desserts, they'll have to wait (sorry Tiffany-Anne)But Ash I do have a great gingerbread recipe I'll post soon! This weeks soups were inspired by a blog I found Taste and Tell I HEART this blog! I hope you do too!


Monday - Curried Butternut Squash soup

Tuesday - French Onion Bread Soup

- Butter chicken, and Naan bread (both from the Presidents Choice Blue Label)

Thursday - Honey Cornbread Muffins & Quick Homemade Tomato Soup

Friday - Leftovers / Clean out the fridge night

Saturday- Christmas Party

Sunday -Pork tenderloin marinated in PC's Kobe marinade, with baby bok choi and couscous (sounds fancy SO EASY)

Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Found at Serious Eats (original recipe from Ellie Krieger)

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch cubes
6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
6 teaspoons curry powder
2 tablespoon honey
Salt and pepper
Heat the oil over medium heat and add the garlic and onion. Cook until soft, but not brown.
Add the butternut squash, stock, and curry powder. Bring to boil, then lower to simmer. Cook for approximately 15 minutes, or until the butternut squash is soft. Turn off the heat. Pour in the honey.
Using an immersion blender, puree into smooth. If you don't have one, then process in your blender in batches. Ladle into bowls.

French Onion Bread Soup
Adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray March 2008

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds onions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups beef broth
1/2 baguette, cut into small cubes
2 cups shredded gruyere or monterey jack

Preheat the oven to 450°. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until the onions are caramelized, about 45 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook for 3 minutes. Add the beef broth, reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan.

Divide half of the bread cubes among four small ovenproof bowls and cover each with 1/4 cup cheese. Divide the soup among the bowls, then top with the remaining bread and cheese. Set the bowls on a baking sheet and bake until the cheese is bubbling, about 10 minutes.

Honey Cornbread Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 can whole kernel sweet corn, drained

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease or line 12 muffin cups.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter, sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add honey, eggs and salt. In a small bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal and baking powder. Mix into butter mixture. Stir in milk and corn. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Quick Homemade Tomato Soup (courtesy of Canadian Living)

2  tbsp vegetable oil
2onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can stewed tomatoes
3 cups  vegetable stock or chicken stock
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4  tsp pepper

In saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook onions and garlic, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes, stock, tomato paste and pepper; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Using immersion blender or in blender, puree reheat if necessary.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'm just saying, these better warm your soul!

Well it's snowing. Yep, I said it S-N-O-W. and it's beautiful, and it makes me want soups and stews and casseroles (and hot toddies, and fireplaces and snuggies) What are some of your favorite keep warm meals? How do you warm the souls (and toes) of your family?

On another note, this Sunday is Grey Cup!!! Which means an excuse to make some fattening munchies, drink some beer and watch football!! I think in the States you just call it Sunday ;P I tested out Tidy Moms Beer Cheddar Dip last year and it was gobbled up, so I'm making it again for a whole new set of friends!

Enjoy my friends and stay warm!

Monday - Shepards Pie

Tuesday - Taco Soup

Wednesday - Leftovers

Thursday - Crockpot roastbeef

Friday- Lasagna

Saturday- Sweet and Spicy Cashew Chicken Stirfry

Sunday- Grey Cup Party!!! Chili, beer cheese dip, wings, 7 layer dip...mmmmmm
1 pound hot Italian sausage, removed from casing (we use mild...the chili has quite a kick as is.)
1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 envelope chili seasoning mix
1 16 ounce can of kidney beans, drained (optional)
1 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 6 ounce can of tomato paste
1 15 ounce can of chicken broth

Crumble sausage and ground beef into large skillet. Add onion. Over medium high heat, partially cook sausage, ground beef and onion. Place cooked meat mixture in crock pot. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on:

Low-8 hours OR
High-4 hours

I am also making Tidymom's Beer Cheese Dip found here http://www.tidymom.net/2010/01/beer-cheese-buffalo-chicken-dips.html

Beer Cheese Dip
from TidyMom.net

2 - 8oz pkgs Cream Cheese, softened
1/3 cup beer*
1 envelope Ranch Dressing Mix
2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Beat the first three ingredients until well blended.
Stir in cheddar cheese by hand.
*if dip is too thick, add a little beer to thin it down

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's time to give back!

Did you know that "The HungerCount 2010 survey found that 867,948 people used food banks in March 2010, an increase of 9.2 per cent or more than 73,000 people compared with the previous year. The figure was 28 per cent higher than in 2008." ? And that 38% of that number was children under 18?!?! (source CBC.ca) Makes you stop and think doesn't it? Makes my heart hurt a little, and makes me so thankful that I have the ability to feed my family without worry.

I am writing this post to encourage my readers (all 62 of you :>) to do something. To be kind! To get out there and volunteer or donate. Sponsor a family for Christmas this year. Participate in HEELing hunger Talk to your children, remind them how fortunate they are. Encourage them to do something for the local food bank. Let us put an end to hunger. strating in our own homes. Who knows what we can do if we all just try?


To read more of the CBC story http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/11/16/food-bank-survey016.html

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Damn, I'm hungry

Good Morning! This weeks menu is one I am looking forward to with lots of yummy favorites and 2 new found recipes.  I am looking forward to Monday's Panko Mozzerella Sticks I found on Pass The Sushi I think the kids will love them!  And Tidy Mom's Pizza Buns look DIVINE!!  I mean really, who doesn't like pizza!

I thought I'd try something new and put the plan first and then the recipes, that way the meals won't get lost among the recpies.  So now, if there is something you'd like the recipe for simply scroll down and Viola!  Let me know what you think!

And as always, I'd love to hear from you all.  Tell me your plan for the week, share a favorite recipe or simply say HI!

Until next time, Happy Planning (and eating!)

Monday- Chicken Wings, Panko Mozzarella sticks, veggies and ricotta dip

Tuesday - Lemon butter chicken, steamed veggies and rice

Wednesday - Pizza buns, salad

Thursday - Shrimp fetticini Alfredo

Friday- Spaghetti Squash with tossed veggies

Saturday - Out!

Sunday- Shredded chicken nachos with peppers, salsa, sour cream and guacamole


Ricotta dip
1 container ricotta cheese
lemon juice to taste
salt to taster
pepper to taste


Lemon Butter Chicken

1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup Italian salad dressing
1 lemon, zested and juiced ( or if you don't have one just use the juice)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
8 chicken tenderloins
lemon pepper to taste
garlic salt to taste
onion powder to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the butter in a 9x9 inch baking dish, and melt in the oven. Remove from heat, and mix in Italian salad dressing, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce.

Arrange the chicken tenderloins in the baking dish, coating with the melted butter mixture. Season both sides of chicken with lemon pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder. Sprinkle with lemon zest.

Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken juices run clear.

Alfredo Sauce
5 tablespoons sweet butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1 (12 ounce) box angel hair pasta

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium/low heat. Add the garlic, cream, nutmeg, white pepper and bring mixture to a simmer. Stir often. Add the Parmesan cheese and simmer sauce for 8-10 minutes or until sauce has thickened and is smooth. When sauce has thickened add the Mozzarella cheese and stir until smooth. STIR FREQUENTLY. While the sauce cooks, boil noodles for 3-5 minutes. Place pasta on serving plates and spoon sauce over pasta.
Home Made Pizza Rolls
2 cans refrigerated pizza crust
garlic salt
Italian Seasoning
1 cup sliced and chopped pepperoni
1 cup shredded cheese (we used Provolone and Pepper Jack)
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
Ragu® Sweet Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce for dipping

Preheat oven to 425
Dust a large cutting board or piece of wax paper with flour and roll out each pizza crust.
Season each crust with garlic salt and Italian seasoning.
Top with cheese and meat
Starting with a short end, roll crust into a tight log
Slice into 1″ sections
Place on lightly greased pan and bake for 10-12 mins.
Serve with Ragu® Sweet Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce for dipping

Panko Mozzerella Sticks

16 pieces string cheese, removed from wrappers
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
3 tbs milk
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 tbs dried parsley
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. gran­u­lated garlic
Canola oil, for frying

Slice the string cheese in half.
Place the flour in a small bowl. In another sep­a­rate bowl, com­bine the bread crumbs with the pars­ley, salt, pep­per and gar­lic, stir to com­bine. In a shal­low dish, whisk the eggs with the milk to combine.
To assem­ble, one by one, dust the cheese in the flour, tap­ping the excess off. Next, dip the cheese in the egg mix­ture, cov­er­ing com­pletely. Then lastly, roll the cheese in the panko crumb mix­ture. Gen­tly remove and place on a bak­ing sheet. Place the sheet in a freezer for 20 — 30 min­utes to flash freeze sticks.
To cook, fill a medium saucepan with the canola oil until it reaches a height of about 1 inch. Heat over medium-high heat until hot.
When hot, add the moz­zarella sticks, 8 pieces at a time. Watch closely and turn over to evenly brown, cook­ing less than 2 min­utes. Do not allow the cheese to bub­ble and leak. Remove and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash
1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons sliced black olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2.Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance. Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.
3.Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook only until tomatoes are warm.
4.Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash, and place in a medium bowl. Toss with the sauteed vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil. Serve warm.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cocktail Deeva's HEELING Hunger, you know cause I like it when people eat....

I'm not sure if you've heard of the one and only Cocktail Deeva but if you haven't you are probably living under a rock, or in a cave or maybe in like Flin Flon or some other equally crazy place in Canada. This woman rocks, seriously seriously rocks. From the very tips of her Jimmy Choos all the way up to the top of her cute lil noggin. It just so happens that her cute lil noggin came up with an amazing way to #bekind So check out HEELING HUNGER and support the fight against hunger with CocktailDeeva and @suzieswapper

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I didn't make the soup.

So I confess, I didn't make the soup. You know the one, in the pretty pumpkin bowls...yep that's me the sucky one who never made the soup. Maybe this week, maybe.

This week I am featuring some great looking recipes from other food blogs I happened to find this week. I was purusing foodgawker.com, typed in shrimp and Annies Eats popped up. Her shrimp enchiladas look so good!! And that butternut squash I was saving for my soup...I'm going to make butternut squash mac and cheese from Christine's Cuisine.  And last but not least I have some cauliflower begging to be cooked and what better way to do it than with roasting it with curry. I found this great recipe at A Big Mouthful
So my friends, eat, drink and be merry this week! See you next Sunday!

Monday- Tacos (at the request of my Missy Lu)

Tuesday -Bombay Sloppy Joes
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 serrano chile, seeded and finely minced (save the other half for the turkey)
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp paprika
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup shelled pistachios
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 large white onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 serrano chile, seeds intact (don't chop it up unless you like things spicy!)
Kosher salt
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
4 to 6 hamburger buns

To make the sauce, warm the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, until it shimmers. Add the ginger, garlic and serrano pepper. Saute until the ginger and garlic brown a little. Add the garam masala and paprika and saute for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, warm 1 tablespoon of oil. When shimmering, add the pistachios and raisins. Cook until the raisins swell up and the pistachios toast slightly. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Return the pan to medium heat, add 1 more tablespoons of oil, and warm until shimmering. Add the cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for about 10 seconds, or until some of the sizzling subsides. Stir in the onions and bell pepper; saute until softened and starting to brown. Add the serrano pepper. Saute for another couple of minutes, seasoning with a little salt. Stir in the turkey, breaking up the big lumps. Cook until opaque, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, your sauce should be ready. Pour the sauce into the skillet with the turkey. Stir and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.

Once the turkey is cooked and the sauce has thickened a little, remove the serrano pepper. Add the honey, half-and-half, pistachios and raisins. Stir through and taste for seasoning. Before serving, garnish with fresh cilantro. Toast the buns, fill with the turkey mixture and serve.

Wednesday - Shrimp Enchiladas
3 tbsp. butter, divided
1 lb. medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 red bell pepper, diced
¾ cup onion, diced
¼ tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. salt
Dash garlic powder
Dash cayenne pepper
2 tsp. all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. heavy cream or half-and-half
¼ cup sour cream
6 oz. shredded cheese (such as Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, etc.), divided
1 cup tomatoes, seeded and diced
8-10 (8-inch) flour tortillas
Cooking spray

In a large sauté pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp to the pan in an even layer and let cook without moving, about 1 minute. Flip the shrimp over and continue to cook until just pink and opaque, 30-60 seconds longer. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon and set aside. When the shrimp is cool enough to handle, roughly chop into bite sized pieces, if desired.

Melt the remaining butter in the pan. Add the diced bell pepper and onion, and cook until just tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the oregano, salt, garlic powder, cayenne and flour to the pan; stir well and cook briefly until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the heavy cream to the pan, stirring to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook just until slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the sour cream, half of the shredded cheese, and the tomatoes. Return the shrimp to the pan as well, and mix everything together until the sauce is well blended and the cheese is melted.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Scoop 1/3 cup of the filling and sauce mixture down the center of a tortilla. Sprinkle lightly with some of the reserved cheese. Roll the tortilla tightly around the filling and place seam side-down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining filling, tortillas and cheese. Spray the tops of the finished assembled tortillas lightly with cooking spray. Bake uncovered for about 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool at least 5-10 minutes before serving.

Source: adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

1 small butternut squash
12 ounces medium sized (elbow, shells, etc.) pasta
kosher salt
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. powdered mustard
2 cups milk
4 ounces (1 cup) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
4 ounces (1 cup) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1. Adjust on oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and lay the halves cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
3. Bake squash for 25-35 minutes, or until a butter knife inserted into the flesh meets no resistance. Scoop 2 cups of flesh from the squash and mash it with a fork or puree it in a blender or food processor. [Any additional squash can be pureed and frozen]
4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once it boils, add about a large pinch of salt and the pasta. Cook the pasta until it’s al dente according to package directions. Drain and return the pasta to the pot.
5. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the foaming subsides, add in the flour and mustard. Whisk constantly for 1 minute, then gradually whisk in the milk.
6. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking frequently, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5-6 minutes, until the mixture has the consistency of heavy cream.
7. Add the cheeses, ½ teaspoon salt, squash, stirring until the cheese melts.
8. Pour the sauce over the drained pasta and stir thoroughly. Serve immediately.

Saturday - Leftovers

Sunday - Roast Beef, Yorkshire pudding and roasted curried cauliflower

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cornbread recipe, for my baby sister :)

This one is for you lil sis xoxoxox


1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
5 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
1 egg, beaten


Sift dry ingredients and make a well then add milk, oil and egg. Stir together until clumpy. Put in greased pan and bake at 400F for 25-30 minutes.


Mr M. is not a spaghetti fan. At all. He thinks of it as kind of a "lazy" meal, I personally think it is because he hasn't yet had a truly mouth watering over the top delicious bowl of Spaghetti. So to remedy this I am asking, no BEGGING, for you to please share your spaghetti recipes with me. Post me your tricks and tips in some hope that I can sway the tastebuds of my darling Mr M. Pretty, pretty PLEASE?????