Archive for ‘Gettin My Gourmet Groove On’

April 29, 2012

Slow Cooker Chili

Bought a slow cooker just before starting the job-ola and its come in very handily.  We probably end up using it once a week (for my work late days).

Here is a Chili Recipe that I’ve messed around with based on a mix of my moms and my mom-in-law’s recipes…(note the cocoa powder…makes a big difference)

1 lb lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 large, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 jalapenos, chopped (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/8-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (to taste)
1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 14 oz can diced tomatoes (unsalted)

1 can corn kernels

1 can red kidney beans

8 oz beef stock



sour cream
shredded cheddar
sliced green onions
tortilla chips

Lightly spray the inside of the crock with cooking spray. Throw everything into the slow cooker, cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or high heat for 4-5 hours.

Go to work, deal with a ridiculous commute with agitated toddler who doesn’t nap at daycare anymore on way home, open door and voila…the yummy smell of ready-made dinner greets you and takes your blood pressure down a notch.

Serve with garnishes.


September 8, 2011

Veggie Lasagne

ooey gooey goodness

Sometimes you just don’t feel meaty.

Last night I did my own spinoff of this recipe from Big Girls Small Kitchen:

2 zucchinis, sliced into 1 inch rounds

1 large eggplant, sliced into 1 inch pieces

6 plum tomatoes (cook for 1 minute in boiling water, let cool, peel and crush)

3 cloves minced garlic

no cook lasagne

tub of ricotta

mix of parmesan, mozzerella and cheddar



olive oil

Oven at 400 degrees.  Toss zukes & eggplant in olive oil and salt and roast for 25 minutes.

Prep tomato sauce by mixing crushed plum tomatoes with salt (to taste) and about 2 tbsp of olive oil. Mix well.

Prep ricotta by mixing with oregano and salt.

Line bottom of lasagne pan with tomato mixture. On top put – lasagne pieces, eggplant/zukes, ricotta mixture, parm mixture, then sauce again…repeat.  In the orig. recipe they separate the zukes/eggplant but I liked it all mixed up 🙂

Add extra parm on top.  Cook covered with foil for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook another 20 minutes. Or 30 like me if you forgot it was in there in the first place.

Absence of meat was not noticed by Hubby!  Will make again but will add some spinach to the mix…



August 15, 2011

Evergreen Brickworks = Fresh Din


This past Saturday our lil fam went to check out the Evergreen Brickworks Farmers Market.  Ever since we lived in Roncy I’ve been a fan of getting fresh produce, cheese, pastries, you name it! Straight from the source.

This venue is awesome and Baby H had a blast chatting (okay, babbling) to all the people and grabbing at their wares 😉

He especially loved the spooky old train tracks and the kiddies area with the teepees.

Here’s what we got and dinner tasted extra froosh that night:

Hi my name is Trouty...I was caught the day before

Here I am with my zucch & pepper compadres

Trout was cooked simply:  melted butter on top with lemon juice, dill, ginger and garlic. Baked in oven for about 20 minutes and garnished with green onions.

Zucc & red peppers were marinated in olive oil, paprika, black pepper and garlic powder and roasted for about 35 minutes.

August 4, 2011

Baking Double Header – Strawberry Oaties & Peachy Keen Muffins

Strawberry Oaties

Sometimes you just have a bunch of uber ripe Ontario peaches & berries laying around.  Put ’em to work!

Recipes Adapted From All


Strawberry Oaties

  • 2 cups finely chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup regular rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat to 375.  Mix dry. Combine wet.  Mix together. I forgot the milk and they still turned out pretty yummy! So i cut it out of the recipe above. I cooked mine for 15 minutes though the original recipe said 8…

Peachy Keen Muffins

 Peachy Keen Muffins

  • 3 cups all-purpose whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups white brown sugar
  • 2 cups peeled, pitted, and chopped peaches

Oven at 400.  Mix wet. Mix dry. Fold peaches into dry. Fold wet into dry.  Spoon into greased muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes. Forgot about mine while I was playing with Baby H so they had an extra 2 minutes and turned out good but a little on the crispy side 🙂




June 24, 2011

Egg/Dairy-Free Choco-Muffins

my food doesn't look gross anymore! thanks NIkon D90!

Our fam isn’t allergic to dairy/egg (that I know of), rather I ran out of said ingredients today and since Baby H and I are stuck indoors on a super rainy day I figured I’d see what I could whip up.

I adapted a chocolate cake recipe that I found here to make these muffins.

1 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour

1/4 cup cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

handful of dark chocolate chips

1 cup cold water

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup butter

Mix dry ingredients on a large bowl. Stir in wet ingredients til smooth.  Sprinkle a couple of chocolate chips on top of each muffin. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes in greased/floured muffin tin or cake pan.

Now the problem is I’m stuck indoors with a bunch of scrummy muffins staring at me…

Happy Friday ya’ll!


June 17, 2011

Lemon Verbana Cake with Strawberry Glaze

If life gives u lemons, make lemon cake!

et voila

I didn’t really use lemon verbana (the herb) but it made the cake sound that much more gourmet 😉

  • 1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tblsp finely chopped fresh lemon verbena or 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tblsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tblsp milk
  • 2 tblsp fresh lemon juice

Mix flour, baking powder, salt.  In a different bowl mix butter, sugar, eggs and other wet ingredients. Slowly add flour mixture. Pop into cake pan and bake at 325 for 55 minutes .

For glaze:

  • strawberries, sliced
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tblsp corn starch

Stir over low heat until melted. Pour over cake when its baked.

Recipe adapted from

June 15, 2011

Seafood Bonanza

Its been nice and summery outside lately which has led to lighter meals in our household.  This week we’ve dined on the following:

Lemony-buttered shrimp

Lemon-Butter Shrimp & Salad:

Melted butter with lemon juice/rind and parsley, grilled shrimp until opaque. Served with brown rice and salad.

Maple Balsamic Glazed Salmon

Maple Balsamic Glazed Samon & French Bean Potato Salad:

Maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, orange juice & grainy mustard to make the glaze. oven baked for 20 minutes at 425.

Cook taters and french beans – add to bowl with yellow peppers, oregano, basil & parsley. Mix with olive oil and leave in fridge for an hour.


Easy peasy & nom nom good for light summery al fresco dining!

June 10, 2011

Blueberry Oatmeal Moofins

hmm looks like someone got to the moofins!

1/2 cup blueberries

1 cup oats

1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup veg. oil

1 cup milk

1 egg

Mix sugar, flour, baking powder, oats. Add egg, oil, milk and fold until just mixed. Add blueberries.

Pop into greased muffin tin and bake for 20 min at 375. Makes 12. Or 6 large.


June 2, 2011

Strawberry Picnic Cake

get to a farm and get pickin'!

Have had a hankering for strawberry rhubarb pie for awhile now but since I haven’t made it over to the Grandparents to pick their rhubarb yet, had to use up the berries!

Came across this recipe for the perfect summer cake. If anybody has a picnic to go to this would make a terrific go-along!  Was very inspired by a recent invite I got for a picnic-themed bday party that Baby H is invited to! Anyways here we go:

6 tblsp unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup granulated sugar plus a lil on the side to sprinkle on top

1 egg

1/2 cup milk (or substitute w/ soy, almond or rice milk)

1 lb strawberries, cut off tops and halve em.

1 tsp vanilla

Cream sugar, butter, egg, milk and vanilla in large bowl.  Mix dry ingredients in other bowl. Add dry to wet gradually.

Pop into a buttered pie plate (deep dish) and put halved strawberries on top of batter (squish em in as much as you can).

Sprinkle a bit o’ sugar on top (about 2 tblsp).

Oven at 350 for 10 min, then turn down to 325 for 60 min.

Voila – Simple & Scrummy!

Happy Thursday!

May 13, 2011

Chicken Curry Casserole

easy weekday dinner

What do you get when  you combine 1 teething baby who just had shots + a dash of sleep regression + 2 cups of exhaustion?  A recipe for disaster amongst other things but this also spells out a need for an easy weekday dinner thats also nutritious and yummy.

Combine the following into a casserole dish, cover & bake for 90 minutes at 350 degrees.

3/4 lb of chicken cut into 1 inch pieces

3 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 can diced stewed tomatoes

1/2 cup raisins

1 cup brown rice

1 cup water

1 chicken boullion cube

1/2 onion diced

1 bay leaf

salt to taste

And presto – with minimal effort (everything goes in uncooked and comes out tasty as can be) I can be standing at the door, dinner ready with my hair and makeup perfectly coiffed holding my man’s slippers and his drink for when he comes home…

Or I can be found laying on the couch balancing my fourth coffee of the day with baby sitting on my stomach systematically pulling my hair out. Bon Appetit, busy mommas!

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