31 December 2015

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts

The entire family is home for the holidays, so it is quite busy here as a family of 5. Kids are in and out from playing in the snow and we are just trying to tidy up and get back to normal.
I've been struggling to find new recipes to try. We usually BBQ year round but since we've moved, the BBQ doesn't seem to work. So I'm on the search for baked recipes. With thawed chicken in the fridge, I set out to try a quick and simple recipe. And this recipe did not disappoint. Everyone loved this recipe and it was gobbled up quite quickly.
As I'm trying to start a fresh new me, I will be searching for a lightened up version of this recipe. In the meantime, it won't stop me from making this recipe again!
I made fun rice for a side along with some corn. Vegetable prices out here at the moment are crazy. Looking forward spring so that I can plant a garden. We've lived in a climate that doesn't do well with gardens for the past 5 years, so I'm very excited to plan this.

Ok, on to the recipe!

Parmesan Crusted Chicken breasts
source: www.hellmanns.ca

1/2 cup Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated parmesan
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
4 tsp seasoned dry breadcrumbs

Preheat your oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and spray with non stick spray.
Mix mayo and cheese in a bowl. Set aside.
Place chicken breasts in baking sheet. Spoon mayo mix onto chicken breasts and spread. Ensure it is spilt evenly. Sprinkle 1 tsp of breadcrumbs over each chicken breast.
Bake in the oven for 20 mins or until the chicken is cooked.

And that's it!! So simple, tasty, and juicy. My husband asked that I make it again tonight, it was that good. (photo to come)

** I am not associated with Hellmann's nor did I receive any compensation. This is simply my opinion on the recipe. **

13 December 2014

Over 1 year already?!

I can't believe that it has been over a year since I last posted something. With my youngest now over a year and our schedule only getting busier, I have to fit a post in here and there. I don't have as much free time as I did as now I have drop offs and pick ups at 2 different schools and a littlest one's nap schedule. And I don't make as many new meals as I'd like but that will be changing. With our busy schedules, I did try a new to me slow cooker recipe lately and it is a must share!!
So keep an eye out for a new post soon!!
Thanks for reading :)

18 November 2013

Menu planning and an everyday vinaigrette recipe

We have fallen off the menu planning wagon (and by we, I mean me) and desperately need to get back on. So here is my attempt at getting back into it:

Monday - Steaks, potatoes, carrots or broccoli
Tuesday - Ham, mashed potatoes, and salad
Wednesday - Homemade pizza with various toppings (recipe for pizza dough to come)
Thursday - hamburgers or hamburger steak (haven't decided)
Friday - leftovers (family swim night)
Saturday - pork tenderloin
Sunday - something roasted (beef, pork or chicken!)

No chicken on the menu this week as it hasn't been on sale for quite some time out here and we are trying to live by the sales these days. I'm hoping that chicken will fall on sale this coming Thursday. If it does, then our menu plan may change slightly.

I haven't been feeling up to cooking too much lately and relying on some tried and true recipes (that I've already posted) for suppers. I've also been adjusting to having kids in school and running around doing drop offs and pick ups. And I really need to get on top of that because in not too long, there will be another little body to take care of!! So on top of menu planning and sorting out our schedules, I want to start getting some freezer meals sorted so that we have meals ready to go come December.

We have been on a wonderful salad kick at our house for the longest time. I'm not sure if it's the salad that we love or it's the salad dressing that's doing it. Well, I already know that for my hubby, it's the salad dressing. I know this because he will use anything to sop up the leftover dressing from his plate and he has been known to actually tilt his plate and slurp up the rest!!

It's another family recipe from my husband's aunt. And I share it often when I bring salad to a pot luck. It's such a great recipe and very versatile, you can adjust it to your tastes very easily.

Tante H's Everyday Vinaigrette
source: Tante H.

1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp - 1 tbsp of dijon mustard (I start off with 1 tsp and then increase depending on my mood)
1/3 cup olive oil or canola oil
lemon juice from between 1 - 1 1/2 lemons
2 -3 tbsp olive juice
chopped fresh parsley, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Using a measuring cup, measure out the oil. Add the fresh lemon juice to the oil in the measuring cup and add enough juice so that the total liquid measure reaches 1/2 cup. You can definitely use more or less lemon juice depending on your taste, but that's what works for us. I continue to use my measuring cup as my "bowl" for the dressing until all items have been added. Next, I add the dijon mustard and try to mix it in using a fork. Then I add the rest of the ingredients (olive juice, garlic, parsley and pepper) and pour it into a dressing bottle or mason jar, whichever is closer at hand. I shake it up one last time and put it in the fridge until ready to use. It should last about 5 days.
In our house, I always make a double batch because my hubby likes to use it also as a bread dipper.

Happy cooking!

20 April 2013

Chocolate Banana Muffins

I'm very lucky that I know a lot of people IRL who love to bake and who also love to share recipes. This recipe comes from one of these wonderful friends, M. She posted a picture of these bad boys on FB and they looked so yummy, I had to try them. They were a huge hit in this house and when I plugged the ingredients in to find out the nutrition value, I loved that they were approx 190 calories each!
They were moist and delicious. My hubby has asked that I make them on a weekly basis lol. Again, thanks to M., I made a double batch and there are a bunch in the freezer. You need to make these!!

Chocolate Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chips
source: sallysbakingaddiction.com

3 large very ripe bananas, mashed with no large lumps
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, plus a few more to top your muffins

   Preheat your oven to 375F. Line the muffin pan with baking cups.
   If you haven't done so already, mash your bananas in a large bowl using a fork. Be sure to mash them well, there shouldn't be any big lumps remaining. Now stir in the sugar, egg and applesauce.
   Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder into the wet mixture. It's very important to sift it in, this will ensure that there are no cocoa powder lumps. Lightly mix together. Fold in the chocolate chips, do not overmix. But don't worry, the mixture will be a little lumpy/chunky.
   Fill the 12 baking cups to the top and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Let them cool in the muffin pan for about 3 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
   You can keep your muffins in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days (if they last that long) or put them in the freezer. When ready to eat them, I just take how many I need out and let them thaw or I pop them in the microwave for about 8-10 seconds.

Happy Baking!

8 April 2013

Lemon Poke Cake with Lemon Pudding Whip Cream Icing

My husband loves anything lemon and I do mean anything. When I saw this recipe in the latest Kraft magazine, I had to make it. I didn't realize how much of an impression it made until I was shopping and bought the ingredients necessary without fully knowing why ha ha. It was my mother in law who pointed the recipe out to me again and it was decided. The perfect birthday cake for my hubby!
It's a very simple recipe with many options for substitutions. I opted for strawberries on top because who can resist the lemon/strawberry combination? No one I know lol.
There were no complaints from those that devoured this cake and it was super simple to make.
Happy birthday Hubby!! I know you enjoyed the cake!!

Lemon Poke Cake with Lemon Pudding Whip Cream Icing
Source: http://www.kraftcanada.com

2 - 9in white cake rounds, cooled
2 cups boiling water
2 packages Jell-o lemon jelly powder (85g each)
1 package Jell-o lemon flavored instant pudding (4 serving size)
1 cup cold milk
3 cups thawed Cool Whip topping

    Put your completely cooled cake layers into 2 clean 9in round cake pans. It will make it easier and cleaner when adding the jelly. Pierce the cakes at 1/2 inch intervals with a large fork.
    In a bowl, add the boiling water to the jelly powders and stir for 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Carefully pour over the cakes and refrigerate for 3 hours.
    Beat the pudding mix and milk in a large bowl with a whisk for 2 minutes. Stir in the cool whip. Before adding the "icing", you need to un-mold the cakes. To un-mold the cakes, simply dip the bottom of the cake pan in warm water for about 10 sec, quickly dry the pan and then un-mold it. I placed my bottom cake on a plate and then put a layer of whip cream icing. Now I used 8 inch pans because it was all that I had, so I had to trim my bottom layer to make it flat and then iced it. Now repeat steps to un-mold the second cake and place on top of the bottom layer.
    Cover the sides and top with the remaining icing. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Garnish as you like before serving (or before the 1 hour refrigerator time - whatever works best for you).

Happy baking!!!

20 March 2013

Hamburger Steak with Gravy

I love it when food can take me back to my childhood!! And I've always loved when we would have hamburger steaks. It was simple and quick for my Mom and we all loved it.
I wanted to try something with a little more taste and thanks to Pinterest, this wonderful recipe popped up!!
Now the gravy is a little different than the one my Mom used to make, but it's great. My Mom used to make a quick gravy by pouring the leftover tea from the teapot into the pan and deglaze. Voila!!
This one has a little more to it and it tastes great.

Hamburger Steak with Gravy
source: Allrecipes.com

1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp oil (I use canola)
1 cup thinly sliced onions
2 tbsp flour
1 cup beef broth
1 tbsp cooking sherry (in a pinch I used a scant 1/2 tsp of vanilla)
1/2 tsp seasoned salt

    Mix together the beef, egg, breadcrumbs, pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce. Make 8 balls and then flatten into patties. I make them pretty thin.
    Heat up the oil in a large skillet or fry pan. Place onions and patties and cook until patties are nicely browned, approx 4 mins per side. Remove the patties and keep them warm. **Now I had to cook the patties in 2 batches, so on the second batch, I added the onions.
    Sprinkle the flour over the onions and drippings in the pan. Stir it all around so that it soaks up the drippings and at the same time you scrape up some of the cooked bits from the bottom of the pan. Gradually stir in the beef broth and sherry. If it needs it, add some seasoned salt. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 5 mins, stirring until thickened.
    Turn heat to low, return patties to pan, cover and simmer for approx 15 mins.

My hubby does not like hamburger steak at all. He has different childhood memories of it (sorry MIL). But, when he tried this, his opinion changed. He loves this!! He craves it and asks for it often. Now my kids still aren't huge fans of gravy, but they love the patties. With ketchup of course.

Happy cooking!

14 January 2013

Quinoa Greek Salad

I copied out this recipe at a coffee group potluck because it was that good. I had never really tried quinoa before I had this salad because I was afraid of it. I know that sounds ridiculous but I was afraid I wouldn't like it. And I hate when I don't like a food. But L. brought in this gorgeous looking salad and when she said it was made with quinoa, I knew this was my chance. I couldn't stop eating it. It was so fresh and light. A really beautiful summer salad. Oddly enough, I didn't make it again until this past week. It makes a large dish and I'm the only one who eats it.
I have decided to eat better this year, so it was the perfect thing to make. It was suggested to me years ago by a doctor to remove carbs from 1 meal a day. Pretty simple but for whatever reason, I don't always. It's more about convenience and not making more than 1 meal. But now I'm making more of an effort.

Quinoa Greek Salad
source: my friend L.

2 cups chicken stock
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/2 diced English cucumber
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup diced red onion
2/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 to 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/3 cup fresh basil or parsley, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
pinch pepper

Bring the stock to a boil and stir in the quinoa. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a large serving dish and set aside to cool.
Once cool, add the veggies and feta.
For the dressing: Whisk the lemon zest and juice, oil, garlic, basil/parsley, oregano and pepper in a bowl.
You can make the dressing while the quinoa is cooking.
Pour the dressing over the quinoa mixture and toss.
Garnish with fresh basil or parsley if you like.

This makes a lot of salad, perfect for a pot luck.

Happy cooking!

2 January 2013

Super fantastic flour tortillas

We are big fans of the tortilla in our house. We LOVE them. I can put pretty much anything into a tortilla and hand it to my kids. So I've tried my share of tortillas and had a tough time finding one that wouldn't rip or fall apart. That's when a fellow foodie (who is also a great friend) shared her family's tortilla recipe on her blog. I had tried a low fat recipe about a week before I tried hers and it was OK, but of course, still cracked when folded. So I had high hopes for this recipe. And it delivered. Big time!!!!
It's a little work, but definitely worth it. They taste fantastic. I hate when I don't have time to make them and have to go back to packaged tortillas, they are that good. I haven't tried freezing them yet as we eat them once they are made. But I will get to it soon. Planning some freezer days coming up.
Try this recipe as soon as you can. Let me know if you love it as much as I do!

Easy Flour Tortillas
source: http://frenchpressing.wordpress.com
Makes approx. 9 tortillas

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup warm water

Put the flour into a mixing bowl and cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until it resembles small peas.
Add enough water so that the dough starts to come together. You may not need all the water or you may need more - depends on your flour.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times until smooth.
Make about 9 balls and brush with some melted shortening. Let rest, covered, for 20 mins.
Roll out the balls one at a time and cook in a frying pan over medium heat. Keep a close eye on your tortilla, once you see some air pockets and a little golden colour, flip to cook the other side. Be sure to check for colouring again and then remove from pan.
I like to keep the tortillas warm, so I place them in a clean tea towel while I roll and cook each one.

Happy cooking!!

15 October 2012

Menu Plan for the week of Oct. 15, 2012

I feel like I've been in a rut for a while and had planned on trying 2 new recipes last week. Well, missing ingredients and busy kiddies changed that plan. I stuck to the plan pretty well but didn't make everything I wanted to. So I'm going to try again!! I'm also trying to get some baking in but I blink and it's night time. I really don't know where the time goes.

Monday - leftover spaghetti and meatballs

Tuesday - Baked Chicken Penne (recipe will come, I promise!)

Wednesday - Pizza

Thursday - leftovers

Friday - salmon, broccoli and rice

Saturday - pork chop bake (looking for a recipe!)

Sunday - BBQ (depending on coming sales)

8 October 2012

Menu Plan for the week of October 8, 2012

So here is the menu that we are going to work with this week.
There are a lot of leftovers because it is just the 3 of us so we will be eating quite a bit of them LOL.

Monday - Garlic and Rosemary Pork Roast, with new potatoes and veggies

Tuesday -  Ham with potatoes and veggies

Wednesday - Ham, Broccoli and Cheese pouches (using leftover ham) - recipe to come

Thursday - leftovers

Friday - Baked Chicken Penne freezer meal - recipe to come

Saturday - leftovers

Sunday - hamburgers on the BBQ

Have a great week!