Archive for the ‘food’ Category

No More Salad Dressing

Well, at least the store bought kind. This month for our One Small Change we are going to make our own salad dressing. I’ve been making my own ranch dressing for a while, but I’m going to branch out and try a bunch of different kinds. We will finish up what we have in the fridge, but I won’t be buying any more this month. Last month went pretty well, not exactly how I had planned, but well all the same. We have had so much snow (got more today, ugh) and so much wind that I have not been able to start hanging out clothes out yet. I also didn’t get any air purifying plants for the house, but I did make more string bags and we planted a bunch of seeds to get out garden started. So it wasn’t exactly what I was aiming to do, but I still feel satisfied that we made some progress. Hopefully soon I will have an update on the string bags. I had started one that just ended up taking entirely too long, so it was abandoned, but I do believe that I have found my go-to string bag for produce. I’ll tell you more next week. Hope the weather is nicer where you are.

food, green • Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 • 13 Comments »

Chocolate Almond Coconut Cake

Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum!!!!!!! I recently came across Sheena’s blog the little red house and am absolutely loving it. I spied a post for this cake, and immediately knew I was going to try it. I have been looking for the perfect chocolate cake recipe for quite some time, and I do believe I have found it. It was moist, chocolatey with just a hint of almond, which basically makes it perfect. I made the cake for our Easter supper with my mom and it was a big hit. This will definitely be my go to chocolate cake, thanks Sheena. What is your favourite cake? Do you prefer a decadent chocolatey masterpiece, or a humble plain cake with fruit and cream?

food • Monday, April 5th, 2010 • 8 Comments »

Chicken Korma

And they’re off……. the braces that is! I can’t tell you how good it feels. It’s been a long 2 1/2 years and they are finally off. Sorry no pic yet, trust me, I did not want the way I looked yesterday to be immortalized on the blog. My teeth looked fine before, but my bite was off which was causing extra problems with my TMJ issues, so now that everything is where it is supposed to be, things should be fine from here on out. I will always have some muscle soreness where my jaw joint slipped out of it’s socket when I was in college, but for the most part, I should be pain and problem free. Now, what does this have to do with chicken korma, you ask? Well, let me explain. We paid a little bit extra to have clear braces on my top teeth so that they would be slightly less noticeable (as if). The only problem is, that apparently even with all of the technology today, they can’t make elastic bands that are clear and don’t stain. So one cup of tea and they turn a dingy brown. Not good when I had to wear the same elastics for 5-6 weeks. Soon after I got them on, I made the mistake of eating a curry. It must have been the turmeric in it, but it turned my bands this luminescent yellow which I then had to deal with for the next month. Not good, not good at all. I love curry. Absolutely love it, and have had to avoid it for the last couple of years. When I was little we ate Japanese curry in Japan, and then when we moved to England, we ate Indian curries. I have literally been craving curry this past 2 1/2 years, so for supper on the day I got my braces off I made a curry. Boy was it good. I used the recipe in Jamie’s Food Revolution. I know, I know, more Jamie. What can I say, I love this book. I’m making my way through it and every single recipe I have made has been a keeper. Next time I make the curry, I will try making his recipe for the curry paste as well, as the only kind I could find was a teeny jar for not such a teeny price. The recipe was super easy to make and it was a big hit. I ended up putting just a bit of the curry paste in while I was cooking it and then taking out the kids portion at the very end before adding more curry paste to spice it up for Hubby and me. I will definitely be making this again, though I think I will try the Chicken Tikka Masala next. I’m on a curry making mission as I’ve got several years to make up for. If you like curry, what is your favourite kind?

books, food • Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 • 12 Comments »

Winter Minestrone with Barley

For my birthday last fall, I received a subscription to the British Country Living magazine. I just got the March magazine in the mail a couple of days ago and found the cooking section on grains really good. When we woke up yesterday to gobs and gobs of snow on the ground, I knew it was a good day for soup. Hopefully soon the weather will turn and we might even look forward to a chilly day with a steaming hot bowl of soup. So, I gathered up the ingredients for the winter minestrone with barley. It is chock full of lots of different kinds of veg, and beans and barley, and it is delicious. Apart from grating parmesan on at the end, there is no meat, or dairy, so it is perfect for vegetarians and vegans too. It only took about an hour to make, so it’s pretty easy to throw together even if you’ve been out all day, and boy is it worth it. Can you believe this is the first time I’ve ever cooked a turnip? I’m sure I’ve eaten them when I was a kid and we lived in the UK, but I have never cooked with them. I think they are so pretty and they are really mild. When the soup was done, nobody could tell the difference between them and the potatoes. Even the babe, who has been having a bit of a picky streak, chowed down on the soup, which is high praise indeed. This will definitely be in our winter soup repertoire. What is your favourite soup on a cold winter’s day?

food • Thursday, March 25th, 2010 • 10 Comments »

Strawberry Cheesecake and a Meltdown

Have you ever had one of those moments? When normally you would be able to let something slide off of your shoulders like water off of a duck’s back? When if you weren’t already a little bit emotional, and slightly stressed about a family member’s health, and frustrated with a difficult financial situation, you would be able to just let somebody else’s grumpiness pass you by? But instead you turn into a blubbering baby because this just happened to be the straw that broke the camel’s back? Today I had an orthodontist appointment, to get part of my braces removed (the remainder of them to be removed in a couple of weeks). I showed up on time only to walk in and after a very nasty look, begin to be lectured about how late I was, like I was a naughty kid being told off at school. Needless to say, I was a little flustered, but remained calm enough to tell the receptionist that my appointment card said 3:45, not 3:15. Of course I was turned away at the door with a new appointment, and I held it together until I got to the car. As soon as I saw Hubby I burst into tears and started blubbering like a fool. Again, on a normal day, this wouldn’t have bothered me too much. I think it was the shock of someone who is usually so nice, who I have seen consistently over the last 2 1/2 years, suddenly be so rude to me. Obviously later, I felt a bit ridiculous, and I’m not really looking forward to seeing her again on Thursday. I’m going to chalk it up to the fact that she must have had a bad day and just taken it out on me. Oh well, I’ll get over it, and this strawberry cheesecake certainly did end the day on a high note. This is from Jamie’s Food Revolution, though I used strawberries instead of raspberries as that is what I had in the freezer. I just keep loving this book more, and I have not hit a recipe yet, that we didn’t love. A couple of things I liked about this recipe, one that it was a no bake cheesecake, so it was relatively easy to put together, and didn’t require the use of the oven (great for the kids). Another was that it was lighter than most cheesecakes, not fat wise, just density wise. Also, it had oatmeal in the crust, which was a really nice addition.

food • Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 • 9 Comments »

Ordinary Moments

making granola doing a bit of crochet eating wholemeal cheddar scones chopping veg for supper

crochet, family, food, home, Ordinary Moments • Monday, March 15th, 2010 • 8 Comments »

Rice Bowls

This is one of my go to delicious, nutritious, and highly suspicious (as my kids say) meals. We just call them rice bowls, and there are umpteen million ways to do them. I make up some brown rice, and cook either some beans or ground turkey or buffalo. Usually I serve them up with some cheese, a little bit of sour cream, salsa and scallions. They are delicious with sliced avocado and olives. If you made this with white rice and loaded on the cheese and sour cream it could quickly turn pretty unhealthy, good, but not quite as nutritious as it could be. Usually I serve them up in a bowl, and they really are good. You can make as many variations as you can think up, I do hope you enjoy.

food • Thursday, March 11th, 2010 • 7 Comments »

Spaghetti Sauce

Wherever I can, I like to make cooking supper easier, especially as the hour right before always seems to be when things start falling apart. One of my tricks is to make a huge batch of spaghetti sauce at the beginning of the week. Then I can use it for several different meals and part of the work is already done. Friday night is our pizza/movie night so I use the sauce for that. I also can then use it for spaghetti or some other kind of pasta bake such as lasagna. If I know I won’t be able to use it all, then it freezes really well, so I can always freeze portions of it for another time. Spaghetti sauce is also a great way to use up some other bits of veg as well. Sometimes I cook up some ground turkey too. I saute onions, and often peppers and mushrooms when I make my sauce. I chop them up pretty small and the kids don’t really notice them, especially if it is on the pizza. It’s not really a recipe as such, but I got the method from my sister-in-law. First I chop up and saute an onion (and whatever other veg I want) and then sprinkle some dried oregano and basil, and let it saute until the veg is soft. Next I add a 102 ounce can of crushed tomatoes. Stir it up really well and add a sprinkle of sugar and some salt and pepper. Taste and adjust. If it tastes too acidic, you need a little bit more sugar. Feel free to experiment, it is fairly forgiving. Let it simmer a while and taste again, and there you go. Delicious sauce and part of your cooking for the week just got easier. What are some of your timesaving/ multitasking foods?

family, food • Thursday, February 18th, 2010 • 9 Comments »

Apple Cheese Cookies

Please don’t let the cheese put you off, I want you to trust me on this one. This was the first cookie I ever had, when I was two, and I have loved them ever since. They are fantastic and the cheese just melts in, you can’t really see it, or taste it, it just makes them extra scrumptious. They are chock full of oats, apples, cheese, and raisins, so they are pretty healthy as far as cookies go. Yesterday morning we spent taking our eldest to the dentist to get spacers put in (the pediatric dentist here in town is more butcher than dentist, so we drive 45 minutes away). In the afternoon was the boys swimming lessons (which they love by the way) where they are slowly turning into fish. In between, I had just enough time to whip up a batch of cookies while the kids played outside. It was chilly, but clear and bright, and not a single breeze. I hope you try them, they really are delicious. Apple Cheese Cookies

  • 3/4 cup AP flour (plain flour)
  • 2/3 cup softened butter
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 apple peeled and chopped
  1. Combine flour, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
  2. Add oats, cheese and raisins, mix well.
  3. Stir in apples.
  4. Drop by heaping tablespoons full onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 375 ° for 15 minutes (mine are usually done at about 12 so keep an eye on them). You want the bottom edge to just be browning, they will look a tad underdone when they need to come out.
  6. Cool and enjoy!

food • Thursday, February 11th, 2010 • 18 Comments »


How do we love thee? Let me count the ways…. apple blueberry oatmeal chocolate orange oatmeal banana cinnamon oatmeal As we have six people in our family, breakfasts need to be filling, nutritious, and cheap. Oatmeal often fits the bill. After a while oatmeal can get a bit boring, so when I saw these three recipes I knew we had to try them out. They are in Jamie’s Food Revolution, which was a gift for Christmas. The recipe actually called for blackberries, but we had blueberries, so it became apple blueberry. It was really good, with a sauteed apple, oat, and honey topping. The chocolate orange oatmeal wasn’t bad. The boys liked it allright, but I guess I’m just not really wanting any big bowl of chocolatey anything first thing in the morning. Our favourite by far was the banana cinnamon. With plenty of cinnamon, and a topping of sliced bananas, coconut, toasted almonds and a drizzle of honey, it was absolutely scrumptious. We will definitely be keeping these fruity oatmeals in our repertoire. The beef and ale stew I made last night was also from this cookbook, and boy was it delicious. Also a keeper, but next time I will have to double the recipe as there were not enough leftovers. Now I need to pick out some more recipes because if they are as good as these last ones, we’re in luck. What is your favourite breakfast?

books, food • Friday, February 5th, 2010 • 12 Comments »