Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mexican Lasagna

The Shopping List:

  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 2 cups of chopped onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups green pepper, chopped
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 (15 ounce) can mixed beans (or any variety you like, black or kidney work well) drained and rinsed
  • 12 (6 inch) tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 small plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup green onion, chopped

Cooking It all Up:

Spray a large saucespan with no-stick spray. Brown beef or turkey.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add onions, garlic, and green pepper. Cook and stir over medium heat until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, salsa, and cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.

Stir in beans. Remove from heat.
Spray a 13X9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Spread 1/3 of the mixture over the bottom. Cover with half the tortillas (0verlapping as needed), and half the cheese.
Spoon another 1/3 of mixture on top of cheese, followed by remaining tortillas, and last of the bean mixture. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
Cover and bake for 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with tomato and green onions.
If desired serve with sour cream.
Chicks Note: You could make this a vegetarian meal by omitting the meat and adding an extra 15 oz can of beans!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pasta Salad with Evoo and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Spring time is here; we had an amazing weekend weather-wise and they are calling for even more incredible weather this upcoming weekend – unusually high temperatures of 22 and 24!! I am SO excited; but I don’t want to get my hopes up too high until I’m actually lying on the deck enjoying every moment!
Here is a nice and light pasta salad – that goes well alone or as a side. It’s perfect to take as leftovers in your lunch as well.


¾ cup of EVOO
¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette
2 Tablespoons dried oregano
1 Tablespoon parsley
1 Teaspoon basil
1Tablespoon Parmesan
1 clove crushed garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste

Pasta of your choice; we had Rotini on hand;
Veggies of your choice; I used grape tomatoes, green pepper, red onion, and carrots. Cucumber is always good in pasta salad as well.
6 slices of bacon chopped.

(Chicken or shrimp would be a good addition as well if you were making it as a meal.)


Cook pasta – let it cool while you make the dressing and chop the veggies; Mix everything together in a bowl; chill in the refrigerator and it is ready to serve.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

This is a great Spring/Summer picnic food - on the deck with the family; goes wonderfully with sweet potatoe fries and salads!


Pork Shoulder or Pork Roast (shoulder’s tend to be cheaper)
12 oz Root Beer
16 oz Favourite BBQ Sauce


Place the pork into your slow cooker with the root beer and cook on low for 4-6 hours depending on the size of your shoulder/roast. Your going to cook it until it pulls apart and separates easily;

Then once it is cooked enough, drain the root beer from the slow cooker. Put your meat on a plate and pull apart the pork; and then put it back in the slow cooker – still cooking it on low and add your BBQ sauce. Cook this mixture for another hour; you can keep the pork in the sauce for as long as you like, but the longer you do the more candied the pork will become…soaking up the BBQ sauce; at this point your pork is already cooked, so an hour should be enough time.

When it’s finished, you can serve it on a toasted bun, and make pulled pork tacos with the leftovers!

Suggestion: Use a BBQ sauce that isn’t too sweet - as the root beer adds a sweetness to the meat already, I suggest a smokey mesquite sauce.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Grape Jelly Meatballs

This is a Carleton County recipe that has been passed down through the ages I am sure! When I first began cooking; a few years back now. ;) It was one of the first recipes I ever tried on my own; and I still make my meatballs with this sauce, even after being introduced to many other sauce recipes; it is a favourite.


12oz Heinz Chili Sauce
16oz Grape Jelly

You can use this recipe with frozen meatballs if you enjoy those, I’m not a fan of processed meat – and like ‘real’ meatballs.

Cook your meatballs on top of the stove.
In a pot mix the jelly and chili sauce with a whisk and bring it to a boil – cook until it is mixed well. Add the meatballs to a baking dish and top with the sauce - bake it for 15-20 minutes at 350.

The sauce is even better the next day! :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Raspberry Chocolate Caramel Bars

These are absolutely amazing! I found these chez Latest Addictions (so properly named). And the minute I read Raspberry and Caramel.....I was sold!
These are pretty easy to make as well - which is always a huge selling feature to me! I brought them into work yesterday and everyone devoured them, loved them and asked me for the recipe - so thank you so much Latest Addictions - this will definitely be made again in our household. :) Sooooooo yummy!


2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup pieces of pecans
1/3 cup brown sugar
6 Tbsp butter
1 box Chocolate covered Caramel Balls (use Junior Caramels - if you can't find them, a few handfuls of chopped Kraft Caramels and a few handfuls of chocolate chipits (small ones) work fine)
Raspberry Jam


1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter

Mix crust ingredients together until crumbly. Press into a parchment lined baking dish. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

While crust is in oven, mix flour, pecans, brown sugar, and butter together until crumbly.

Remove crust from oven. Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam on top of warm crust. Sprinkle chocolate covered caramel balls (or cut up kraft caramels and add chocolate chips) over top of the raspberry jam layer. Sprinkle the pecan mixture over top of everything. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

Cool completely before cutting into bars.

See the caramel oozing out...Mmm!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ritz cracker Haddock with white wine

I am always looking for new ways to cook haddock – so if you have a favourite recipe or have found something delicious, please share it with us!

I came across this on tastespotting; and it’s so simple and so incredibly tastey, it is definitely a new favourite in our house. MS and I both loved it and both exclaimed how good it was after our first bites! (Which, I don’t know about you guys, but I usually have to ask MS if he likes something new – so it was great to hear that he loved something before I even had a chance to ask.)


1 pound haddock fillets (we had two pounds – so cooking time was longer; and you should double up on the rest of the recipe)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons white cooking wine (we just used pinot grigio – what we had)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
8 to 10 Ritz crackers, crumbled
parsley, for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a bowl, combine melted butter, wine and lemon juice and pour a small amount into a baking dish – to cover the bottom;

Place the haddock into the baking dish and pour the remaining butter mixture over the top. Then crumble Ritz crackers over the fish and sprinkle with parsley.

Bake in preheated oven until haddock is flaky – 20 mins per pound.

Serves 2.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Slow Cooker Seafood Chowder

This is the easy and inexpensive version of a delicious seafood chowder. If you are making this for a special evening (date night or company) you could easily replace the canned seafood with fresh. I would stir fry the fresh seafood, this can even be done the night before and kept in the refrigerator, and add it for the last 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through.

The Grocery List:

  • 1 can (10 ounces) condensed cream of potato soup
  • 1 can (10 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, chopped into small (1/4 inch) cubes
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp Mrs. Dash (original blend)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 can (6 ounce) medium shrimp, drained
  • 1 can (6 1/2 ounce) chopped clams, drained
  • 1 package (227 g) imitation crab, chopped (I used clover leaf crab delectable)
  • 1/2 package bacon, cooked and crumbled
Cooking It All Up:

In a slow cooker, combine the undiluted soups and milk. Stir in the vegetables, garlic and spices.

Cover and cook on low for 5 hours. Normally you shouldn't lift the cover when you are slow cooking food but I recommend stirring this every hour or so and then quickly replacing the cover so you don't loose too much heat.

Stir in clams, shrimp, and crab. Cover and continue cooking on low for 20 - 30 minutes until heated through.

Garnish each serving with crumbled bacon.

Makes 8 servings.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I love rice dishes, and really enjoy Chinese Food - AND of course, all things sweet! This is a great combination of sweet and sour; and it is a favourtie of mine - easy and delicious!


1 pound of boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1" chunks
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon table salt)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 10-ounce can pineapple chunks (reserve juice)
1/4 cup juice from the canned pineapple
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon table salt)
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cooking oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks (use what you have; we used green pepper and onion)
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

In a bowl, combine the chicken with the egg white, salt and cornstarch. Stir to coat the chicken evenly (it’s going to look disgusting but worth it). Let it sit for 15 minutes at room temperature or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

In the meantime, whisk together the pineapple juice, vinegar, ketchup, salt, and brown sugar.

Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat until a bead of water instantly sizzles and evaporates. Pour in the 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and swirl to coat. It's important that the pan is very hot. Add the chicken and spread the chicken out in one layer. Let the chicken fry, untouched for 1 minute, until the bottoms are browned. Flip and fry the other side the same for 1 minute. The chicken should still be pinkish in the middle. Dish out the chicken onto a clean plate, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.

4 Turn the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 teaspoon of cooking oil. Let the oil heat up and then add the bell pepper chunks and ginger. Fry for 1 minute. Add the pineapple chunks and the sweet and sour sauce. Turn the heat to high and when the sauce is simmering, add the chicken pieces back in. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Timing depends on how thick you've cut your chicken. The best way to tell if the chicken is done is to take a piece out and cut into it. If it's pink, add another minute to the cooking.

Taste the sauce and add more brown sugar if you’d like.

Serves 4.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tuna Buns

These buns are super easy to make for a great lunch or a quick supper. My kids do a little happy dance when they see me making them!

The Grocery List:

  • 2 cans of tuna
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese, cut in small cubes (cubes is the best way to do this but I used pre-shredded cheese because that was what I had on hand)
  • 1/4 cup mayo to start (add enough that it becomes creamy, not dry!)
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • pepper and salt
Cooking It Up:

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium sized bowl mix tuna, chopped egg, cheese and mayo.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray so the buns don't stick.

Lay the bun halves out on the tray and top with tuna mixture.

Season with Salt and Pepper.
Bake until heated through and cheese is melted.

Easy isn't it? So so so yummy. Let me know what you think! Oh and did you notice that I don't have any pictures of the cooked buns? We just couldn't wait to eat them .... sorry.


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