Thursday, February 27, 2014

Spicy Asian Noodles

This is such a great recipe! It’s quick, easy and tasty! It’s also a great way to incorporate whole wheat pasta into your diet as this dish actually tastes better with it!

This recipe works great as a warm or cold dish, I discovered this by not reading all of the instructions and just serving it warm. It wasn’t until after we ate it I discovered the recipe tells you to serve it cold. Haha silly me, but in the end it was a good mistake as I know now it works both ways! :)

You could also add sliced peppers, snap peas, chicken, cashews etc for a more balanced meal.
  • 1 box of whole wheat spaghetti, cooked
  • 1 tbsp of crushed red peppers
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • ¼ cup of sesame oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 6 tbsp of honey
  • 6 tbsp of soy sauce
  • ¾ cup of shredded/match sticked carrots, cooked (If serving cold, you don’t need to cook them)
  • Green onions and Sesame seeds for garnish

1. In a large wok or sauce pan, heat both the olive and sesame oil with the crushed peppers for a few minutes. Strain the peppers and throw away, reserve the oil and put back into the wok. Add garlic, soy and honey until well combined.

If serving warm – Add the warm cooked pasta and along with the cooked carrots to the wok, until all the noodles are coated. Plate and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

If serving cold - Toss the pasta and raw carrots with the sauce, along with any other raw vegetables you would like to incorporate. Refrigerate overnight, or until cold. Garnish before serving.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Frozen Yogurt Bar

Okay so I’m kinda of obsessed with Froyo these days. I have always been a fan of Yogen Fruz and I just tried Tutti Frutti for the first time this month. I would happily trade all desserts all together (including chocolate) if I was guaranteed a cup of this goodness on a daily basis.

Anyway, we have “Treat Day” at my office every Wednesday. We all take turns bringing something in, and believe me when I say we all take this very seriously! Things can get elaborate!

This round we decided to make it a “Healthy Treats Only”, which was super smart since the holidays just passed, not to mention we literally have a access to unlimited candy all day every day. (sounds amazing but is a curse when you start crash around 3pm, easy access to unlimited candy is never a good thing)

Given my new found obsession with frozen yogurt, I naturally decided to do a Frozen Yogurt Bar for my Treat Day. I purchased tubs of frozen yogurt, and brought in a ton of different toppings....most of which were healthy. ;) I also had the option of bowls or waffle cones.

Here are a few healthy topping ideas -
  • Granola
  • Coconut flakes
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Craseins
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberry
  • Mango
  • Blueberries
  • Pomegranate
  • Raspberries
  • Cinnamon
Here a few not so healthy, but also not terrible options to keep it fun -
  • Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Peanut butter chips
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Rainbow Sprinkles
  • Cereal like Fruit Loops or Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hungarian Stuffed Peppers

Don't grandmas just make the best food? Well this was one of my grandma's signature dishes. We used to love it when she made them!
I wasn’t able to get her recipe as she never used recipes. Like most grandmas, she just magically knew how to make them. So I did my best to find recipes that seemed similar. After testing out a few, I got the “just” of each and then came up with something on my own. Of course I remember hers being better but these are pretty darn close!

  • 6-7 large peppers (any colors)
  • 1 lb of lean ground beef
  • 1 lb of lean ground pork
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1.5 cups of rice, cooked (white, brown, your choice)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1 tbsp of Paprika
  • Hy’s seasoning salt
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp of sugar 

1. Cut off the tops and hallow out the centers of the peppers. Using a skewer poke about 4 holes in the bottom of each pepper. (This will let the juices drain out while cooking)

2. In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, onions, garlic, paprika and seasoning salt together. Then add the rice and mix thoroughly with your hands.

3. Stuff each pepper with the filling. I usually over flow each pepper so it has a dome on it as the filling mixture will shrink up a little when cooked. Place all the peppers into a crock pot. If you have left over filling you can make some meatballs and add them into the pot as well.

4. Mix together the tomato sauce and sugar, pour over the tops of the peppers. Cook on high for approx. 6 hours or on low for 8.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Frozen Yogurt Cupcakes

I’ve decided that cutting out a sweet treat after meals is just ludicrous! However, replacing it with a lower calorie, “healthy” treat is nothing short of genius!

I saw these on fit sugar and knew I had to make some. Especially since I was already replacing my dessert with vanilla greek yogurt with some mini semi sweet chocolate chips mixed in.

I mixed it up by using greek yogurt, then took it a step further by using coconut greek yogurt and key lime greek yogurt. The possibilities are endless. This will be an awesome recipe for hot summer nights!

The original recipe used small silicon baking cups and calorie wise it worked out to 30 calories per cup. Since I used the large cups and greek yogurt I would say that each cup has approx. 110 calories per cup.

  • Silicon baking cups 
  • 1 907g tub of vanilla greek yogurt (or any other flavour you choose)
  • half of a ripe banana
  • 1 lb of ripe fresh strawberries
  • 1/3 cup if mini semi-sweet chocolate chips or other topping you choose (coconut, white chocolate chips, lemon zest etc)

1. Lay out your silicon baking cups on a baking sheet or large cutting board. (This will just make it easier to transfer the whole lot into the freezer)

2. Blend together the banana and strawberries until you have a thick puree. I needed to add about a tbsp of cold water just to get things moving, but make sure you don't add too much water as you want it to be full of fruity flavor.

3. Spoon the yogurt into the bottom of each cup so they are about half full. The pour in the puree on top of yogurt so all of the yogurt is covered. Then add another dollop of yogurt to each of the cups in the center. Sprinkle on the chocolate chips or other toppings as desired.

4. Freeze until firm, then peel off the silicon cups and store in an airtight container or wrap individually and store in the freezer.

Recipe makes 12 large cupcakes

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Flatbread

Two of the yummiest foods combined into one! The first time I made this was as an appetizer for a party, and I was a little concerned about it being too spicy as the sauce is primarily made from Frank’s Red Hot, but when Andrew requested I make it for dinner afterwards I knew it must have been good and not over spicy as Andrew is a big wuss when it comes to spicy foods. ;)

  • 1 package of Nann Bread (4 pack)
  • 2/3 cup of Frank’s Red Hour sauce
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 2.5 cups of chicken, cooked and diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 cups of mozza cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup of Blue Cheese, crumbled (or if you’re like me and don’t like blue, feta works great)
  • Green onions for cilantro for garnish, sliced
  • Ranch for dipping *optional

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, lightly grease a baking sheet or pizza pan. Place the 4 Nann breads on the sheet.

2. In a sauce pan over low heat, melt the butter, then add the Frank’s Red Sauce until it’s all combined. This will be your pizza sauce, so spread the desired amount onto each piece of Nann. Sprinkle with S&P.

3. Top with the cooked chicken, then the mozza and blue or feta cheese.

4. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the Nann bread is crisp.

5. Garnish with green onions or cilantro and a side of ranch for dipping.

Friday, February 14, 2014


 Happy Valentines Day Y'all!

As made up and commercialized as Valentine's Day is it is still fun to celebrate.  I wanted to do something cute, and  inexpensive for the folks I work with so this is what I came up with - Little boxes of cereal with a note that says "I'm cereal-ously glad you're my co-worker". I thought would be a nice change from chocolates and candy since we all seems to get so much of that this time of year. I also brought in a big jug of milk in case anyone forgot to eat breakfast. ;)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Quest Bars

The quest for the perfect snack will end here, with the Quest bar!

I have heard nothing but good things about Quest bars so I figured it was time I gave them a try.
I bought a few from the local supplement store hoping that I would start substituting a bite or two after meals as dessert instead of becoming a vortex for cookies. They have flavors like, cinnamon bun, apple pie, cookie dough, and cookies and cream. (and the list goes on, it's very extensive)

Unfortunately my local store didn’t carry the cookie dough or cookies and cream which are the two flavors I really wanted to try so I bought a variety of the others to test them out. I decided that if I actually liked them and ate them (replacing regular desserts) I could order a box or two of those flavors.

As far as protein bars go these are hands down the best bars ever! They taste awesome and are high in protein and fiber, low carb and calorie. These are great for me as it’s something I can keep in my purse if I ever start to go to that angry, hungry, if I don't eat something asap I might faint or kill someone place.

So far my 2 favs are the cinnamon roll and coconut cashew, which surprised me as I'm a choc-a-holic! I've seen people throw them in the microwave (wrapper off) to warm them up and I thought it was the strangest thing until I did it to one of the double chocolate chunk favored bars! It was just like a brownie straight from the oven or a chocolate lava cake except this little treat won't leave you feeling guilty after you finish it!

Long story short, if you haven't tried one yet, your missing out! So get off your butt and go out and go grab one already! ;)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Beefed Up Sheppards Pie

It’s been so cold here the past few weeks I been craving some good old fashioned comfort food! I wanted beef stew but also mashed potatoes….such a dilemma! ;)
So I combined them and made a “beefed up” version of Sheppard’s Pie. It was a little more work than regular Sheppard’s Pie but after diving in I thought it was totally worth it. Andrew (also known as the in house food critic) decided he still liked the original version better. He did however have two helpings so it couldn’t be THAT bad. :)

  • 2.5 lbs of boneless stewing beef, cut in bite sized pieces
  • ¼ cup of flour
  • 4 tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 1 cup of beef stock
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1 package of fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 package of baby carrots (or 4 carrots sliced)
  • 2 tbsp of Worchester sauce
  • 1can of beer (I used Kokanee)
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • Seasoning salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tsp of Dried Thyme
  • 1 tsp of Dried Rosemary
  • 1 tsp of Dried Oregano
  • 4-5 cups of mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ tsp of garlic powder

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Place the beef pieces in a large bowl and coat with seasoning salt and flour. Place the beef pieces in the olive oil to sear the outside of the beef. I would do this in 2 batches so that you don’t crowd the pot. Once seared, remove from the pot and place on a plate. Do this as many times as needed to sear all of the beef pieces. Set aside.

2. Then add half of the beef stock to the pot, scrapping the bottom of the pot to pick up all of the browned bits. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and mushrooms to the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the remaining beef stock, tomato paste, beer and Worchester sauce along with the beef and any juices on the plate, as well, as the pepper, thyme, rosemary and oregano. Bring this to a rapid boil, then the reduce the heat and simmer until the carrots are soft and the sauce has reduced.

3. While the stew is simmering, make the mashed potatoes, and add the cheddar cheese and garlic powder once mashed.

4. After simmering, if the sauce isn’t thick enough you can add a little gravy flour or cornstarch. Spoon the stew into the bottom of a casserole dish, and top with the mashed potatoes. (I sprinkles a little fresh grated parmesan on top as well, because there is no such thing as too much cheese)

5. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees until the top is slightly brown and crispy.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Chewy Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies

 The fact that I love baking is double edged sword, because if I keep it in the house I also find myself eating it. I justify it by telling myself I am quality testing it, ya know making sure it’s safe for everyone else to eat. This is the truest form of self-sabotage as I tend to make things that I find super appealing, such as the chocolate and cherry combo. Chewy, chocolate on chocolate cookies with a hint of cherry mmmm. I know I have zero will power, especially after dinner so why I do this I will never know! Lucky I had the sense to send what was left of these to work with Andrew even though they were supposed to go with him on Friday for Valentine’s Day. I am truly ashamed of myself.

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • ¾ cup of cocoa
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 3 tbsp of maraschino cherry juice
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 2/3 cup of white sugar
  • 2/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup of maraschino cherries, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups of milk chocolate chunks

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, or kitchen aid. Beat together the butter, and white and brown sugar until it is light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract and cherry juice, mix until combined. Then incorporate the eggs one at a time.

3. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, mix well. You should have a very thick chocolately dough. Mix in the cherries, and chocolate chunks by hand.

4. Drop small rounded spoonful’s of dough on the parchment paper. Bake for approx. 9 minutes. The cookies should be soft in the middle and look a little under baked.

Makes approx. 40 small cookies.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Household Binders

I’m still working away getting re-organized since we moved. Moving is a great fresh-start isn’t it? It forces you to go through absolutely everything you own. Personally, it has motivated me to do a bunch of small projects I have been meaning to do for a while. This being one of them!

The previous owners were great and left us all of user manuals for all of the appliances. We also bought some new stuff so I literally had a box full of papers. So I decided that the best way to organize them would be a giant 3 ring binder, sorted by category, in plastic sheet protectors! Exciting isn’t it!? ;)

I also used the same inserts that I used for my recipe binder so they match, and matching is very important when it comes to organizing.

The sheet protector’s worked perfectly as most appliances had more than one book or sheet so it kept everything together.

I divided them into the following categories – Electronics, Large Appliances, Small Appliances, Home Appliances (things attached to the house like the furnace and fireplace), Furniture, and Fitness Equipment.

Even though we will rarely access them, it’s nice to have them all in one place and easy to find when the time comes.

I also created a “Household Binder”. This idea came to me at 3am when one of smoke detector’s started to chirp every minute or so informing us the battery was dead. Andrew wasn’t available so I climbed on a chair and removed the battery. There! All fixed! WRONG! That did nothing and unfortunately I didn’t keep 9Vs on hand as I’ve never had to? So I googled it and everyone advises to just switch off the breaker for that area. Again, no problem, I knew where that was. I went through every possible breaker and still no luck. So as a last resort I drove to 7-11 to buy a stupid battery. The moral of this story is to get familiar with your dwelling. Know what expendables are needed where, and keep them on hand. After all, these types of things always happen at the worst possible time.

This binder consists of our Household Budget, Emergency Contacts, Information on our Alarm System, Expendables, and a Reference List. The reference list is what I think will be used the most. I included our garage code, mailbox number, wireless name and password, contact info for the power company along with our account number. And the list goes on… basically anything that concerns the house is referenced there. That way if something crazy happens in the middle of the night we don’t have to dig through our filing cabinet or click through websites to find contact numbers. It’s all right there, at your fingertips!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Cuban Lunch Chocolates

My dad tells me that back in his day there was chocolate bar called Cuban Lunch and it was one of his favorites. So my step mother being the wonderful lady she is whipped up a batch for him on his birthday. When my sister and I tried them we were hooked, they were so yummy and we couldn't put out finger on what the crispy crunchy stuff was inside... it turns out it was crushed up bits of Ruffles potato chips! I've always been a fan of the sweet/salty combo so these became my new favorites.

  • 1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 package of peanut butter chips
  • 1 package of butter scotch chips
  • 1.5 cups of crushed Ruffles potato chips
  • 1 cup of crushed peanuts
  • paper cupcake liners

1. In a medium sized saucepan melt the chocolate, peanut butter, and butter scotch chips over low heat, stirring constantly.

2. When completely melted mix in the crushed chips and peanuts. Spoon into the cupcake liners and place in the fridge or freezer until firm. Once they are firm, peel them out of the papers and store in an airtight container with parchment paper in between.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Maple Bacon Breakfast Muffins

I'm always looking for new recipes for breakfast for Andrew so he won't be tempted to stop and buy a processed breakfast sandwich at the gas station.

I found this recipe and figured it would be like buttermilk pancakes with a side of bacon all covered in maple syrup. So fingers crossed these will be more appealing then a greasy sandwich sitting under the heat lamp. ;)

  • 10 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten with a fork
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2/3 cup of pure maple syrup plus 1 tbsp
  • 1 cup of buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease your muffin pan.

2. In a small bowl toss the bacon with 1 tbsp of brown sugar. If the sugar doesn't seem to be stick to the bacon, microwave it for 10 seconds or so. Set aside.

3. In another bowl, mix together the egg, olive oil, buttermilk, and 2/3 cup of maple syrup.

4. In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined. Then add in 3/4 of the bacon.

5. Spoon evenly into muffin tins, top each with a few pieces of the remaining bacon. Then drizzle the remaining syrup onto the top of each. Bake for approx 20mins - 30mins (depending on muffin size) or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 6 jumbo muffins or 12 regular sized muffins.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Eat More Fish.

Let’s be honest, fish kinda has a bad rap. Unless prepared properly it can be completely off putting. I love ordering it when we go out for a nice dinner because I don’t make it that often as I don’t really know how? I have my standard Maple Salmon which is great, but one can only eat so much of that. And since fish is so good for you I made it my goal to find a recipe that is easy and that I actually would eating at home.

Benefits from eating Fish Regularly
  • Low in saturated fat and high in omega-3, both protect against heart disease and lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood
  • Improves circulation, and reduces the risk of blood clots
  • Has been proven to ease the symptoms of inflammation and arthritis
  • Provides your body essential nutrients such as iodine, selenium, zinc and potassium.
  • Plays a large part in preventing depression

So here’s my recipe for White Wine and Dijon White Fish. I was on board at white wine. White wine and fish go together perfectly (plus when no one is looking you can have a few glasses while preparing dinner) I say whitefish because this sauce would go nicely with any white fish such as Haddock, Cod, Halibut, or Sole. I used fresh sole and it was amazing! I paired it with steamed broccoli and a mix of brown and white rice (Andrew and I can’t agree so we compromise) and of course, a big glass of wine. ;)

  • 2 servings of any white fish
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • ½ cup of white wine (plus more for drinking)
  • ¼ cup of Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the fish in a glass baking dish and season with salt and pepper.

2. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over top of the fish.

3. Bake for approx. 20 minutes. Fish should be cooked through, firm and flakey.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Super Bowl Football Truffles

Andrew had to bring something to a boys potluck Super Bowl party. I wanted to make something football themed without sending him over with a food stadium so this is what I came up - Football Oreo Cookie Truffles.

These are friggin adorable! I almost don't want to eat them but they are too good not to!

  • one bag/box of Oreo cookies
  • 1 package of light cream cheese, softened
  • milk chocolate for dipping (I used Hersey's chocolate chips)
  • white icing (I used the premade, prepackaged one to save time)

1. In a blender or food processor, crush the cookies (icing and all) until you have nothing but crumbs.
Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

2. Mix in the cream cheese until it's well combined and you almost a dough type consistency. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes.

3. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Using your hands, form the balls into a football shape and place on the baking sheet. Mine were about 1.5 inches long. Throw these bad boys in the freezer for a few minutes so they are nice a firm.

4. In a small bowl, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. Keep and eye on these, mix every 30 seconds are so. If you over heat chocolate it will seize and you won;t be able to dip anything into it.

5. Place the football on a fork and dip into the chocolate tap off any excess and place back onto baking sheet. Once cooled, pipe on the icing. Keep frozen or refrigerated until served. Makes about 30 truffles.