Sunday, July 24, 2016

Some Summer Stuff

Well hey there! Hope you all are having a great summer. I know I am, it seems to by flying by, I mean it is almost the end of July... how is that possible?

I haven't been spending a whole lot of time in the kitchen in the last month or so, I guess that is ok, summer is for relaxing and hanging out in the sun.

Last weekend we met friends on Gabriola Island for a little get away, it was amazing. Such a pretty place, so relaxing. We walked on the beach, drank lattes on the deck and played a whole lot of Trivial Pursuit! It was fantastic!

My Dad is coming out for a visit in a couple weeks, which I am very excited about. Can't wait to show him all Victoria has to offer!

Then after that we are driving out to Alberta for a Family gathering at my in house taste testers family farm. We are really looking forward to that too!

We have been eating a lot of BBQ'd Burgers and Corn on the cob and Watermelon Salad, and washing it all down with my very favourite summer drink, the Mojito!

I will have a new recipe for you later this week, I promise!
But for now I am going to sit out on my patio with a tall glass of lemonade and finish reading this, which I am loving!


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Chex Mix

I made you a snack, and it is a good one!

Now I know you can just go buy a pre-made bag of Chex Mix at the store, but I am telling you this classic homemade version is WAY better!

I love mixed nuts, cheesy crackers and pretzel sticks in my Chex mix, but you feel free to add whatever you like to your mix, just peanuts or curly pretzels or bagel chips… you do what you like, no one is the boss of your Chex Mix!

What you need,

3 cups each of Rice, Corn & Wheat Chex Cereal
(I couldn’t find corn and wheat Chex so I used Life and Crispix, both tasted great!)
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup pretzel sticks
1 cup goldfish or other cheese crackers

6 tablespoons of butter, melted
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ tsp. seasoning salt
¾ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder

Heat the oven to 250 degrees. 

In a very large bowl, mix all 3 cereals with the nuts, pretzels and crackers. 

Add the spices to the melted butter and stir to combine.

Pour the butter mixture over the cereal mixture and toss gently to coat everything well.

Pour the chex mix onto a large sheet pan and spread out into a thin layer.

Bake for 50mins to 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes until golden and toasted!

Cool completely and then store in airtight containers.

You don’t have to worry too much about how you store it because it isn’t going to last long, seriously this stuff is super addictive.

This is such a great snack to whip up for a summer barbecue or a weekend away with friends. Plus it is a Christmas snack classic!

Make some this weekend, you won’t be sorry!



Sunday, July 3, 2016

4 Perfect Monster Cookies

It has been awhile since I whipped up a small batch of cookies. I was having a cookie craving so I decided to make a batch up today!

Previously I have done a small batch of Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodles, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookies.

Today I made Monster Cookies! They are full of peanut butter, oatmeal, coconut, chocolate chips, M&M’s and Reece’s Pieces.
So you know all the good things in life!

What you need,

2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. peanut butter
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
¼ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. oats
2 tbsp. shredded coconut
1 tbsp. each mini chocolate chips, mini M&M’s and mini Reece’s Pieces

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat.

In a small bowl mix the butter, peanut butter and both sugars.  Beat in the egg yolk until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla.
Add the salt and flour and mix to combine.
Stir in the oats and coconut.
Add in the fun stuff and divide the dough into 4 and place on the baking sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are crisp and the center is set.

Let the cookies cool on a rack for 5 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Now the hard part, try not to eat them all in one sitting. You are going to want to, they are just that good!

If you need a cookie or 2 or even 4 then this is the recipe for you!



Sunday, June 19, 2016

Springy Lemon Penne

I was visiting my sister a few weeks ago and we went to this amazing Italian restaurant near her house for lunch one day.
We have been before and it is always great, but this time it was beyond amazing!

One of the things we ordered was this gnocchi with a light cream sauce, with lemon scented ricotta on top, it was to die for.

I wanted to do a version of that at home. My version of the pasta turned out really good, but that gnocchi, I still dream about it!

What you need,

2 cups penne noodles
1 tbsp. butter
1 small zucchini, quartered and sliced
¾ cup green peas, fresh or frozen
1 pint tiny tomatoes
4 tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook the pasta noodles according to package directions.

Meanwhile in a small pan melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the zucchini and sauté for 3-4 minutes until it begins to soften slightly. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes until the tomatoes soften. Toss in the peas and turn off the heat.

In a large pan melt the 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or so until the garlic is fragrant. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Cook for a 2-3 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken a little bit. Stir in the parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the cooked pasta and the veggies and let everything bubble together for 2-3 minutes.

In a small bowl stir together the ricotta cheese and lemon zest. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the pasta with a scoop of the lemony ricotta right on top.

What a delicious pasta this turned out to be.  It is so light and clean and wonderful.



Sunday, June 12, 2016

Strawberry Cobbler

I bought a flat of beautiful strawberries the other day. I could just eat them all as is, but I decided to bake something wonderful with some of them.

A warm comforting Strawberry Cobbler… isn’t it purdy!

I love the warm tender fruit and the crisp fluffy biscuit like topping. It is like dessert heaven.

A little ice cream on top and you really have yourself a perfect summer treat!

What you need,

4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
¼ cup sugar
1½ tbsp. corn starch

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup butter
¼ cup milk, I used 2%
1 large egg

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8x8 inch square baking dish.

In a bowl combine the strawberries, sugar and cornstarch. Toss gently to coat all the berries. Pour them into the prepared pan.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add the butter and using a fork cut it into the flour mixture until it forms shaggy dough.

In a cup combine the milk and egg and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture into the flour, mix until just combined, don’t over mix.

Dollop the topping onto the berries.  Try to spread it out all over the top.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the topping is light golden brown and cooked through and the strawberries and hot and bubbly.

Serve warm or cold with or without heavy cream or ice cream.
No matter how you eat it, I guarantee you will love it.

The tender fluffy biscuit topping is so delicious and the berries are so sweet and soft. I just love a good cobbler!