Onion & Apple Pork Chop Bake

Onion & Apple Pork Bake - 1

This is my version of this recipe.  We have a boarder who is not fond of sweet sauces on meat.  So I took out the apple cider component and put in some apple cider vinegar, apple slices, and water.

Onion & Apple Pork Chop Bake

Combine:
1/4 c. all purpose (or GF) flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Place in plastic bag and coat:

3 pork chops (~ 1 lb. pork), chopped in 3/4″ cubes.

Pan fry in:

1/4 c. butter

Layer in a 2 quart baking dish with a cover.

Cook in butter until limp, but not brown:

1 onion, chopped

Place on pork evenly.

Cook in butter until slightly browned, but not limp:

2 Gala apples, cored and sliced thinly.

Arrange over onions and add:

3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. water

Cover and bake at 350 F for 1 1/4 hours.

I served this over brown rice and with vegetables.  Yum!

Ice-cream Sundae Toppings

Toppings - 1

These three recipes come from long ago.  The Caramel Sauce was originally used to pour over a Blueberry Cake, which I’ll probably post another day.  It tastes just as good over Blueberry Muffins or ice-cream. 🙂

The Chocolate Sauce came from a cookbook of an old boyfriend’s mother.  He watched a football game with friends, while I made crepes, stuffed with pears, and topped them with this delicious chocolate sauce.  It also goes great on ice-cream and sliced bananas, with toast sliced almonds sprinkled on top. 🙂

The Blueberry Sauce recipe is derived from a magazine article somewhere in the deep dark past of the ’80s or ’90s…I think.  We use this on pancakes, waffles, ice-cream, and crepes filled with ice-cream or custard.  It is delicious!

Enjoy!

Caramel Sauce

1 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. water
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Melt the butter and add everything else. Bring to boil and simmer till thickened.

Chocolate Sauce

1 tbsp. shortening
3 tbsp. butter
6 tbsp. quality cocoa powder
3/4 c. boiling water
2 tbsp. golden corn syrup
1 c. sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Melt butter and shortening on low heat in saucepan.  Add cocoa powder and stir till dissolved.  Add boiling water and corn syrup.  Stir.

Mix the sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a small bowl.  Then add to the liquid in the saucepan.  Stir and turn up to high to boil, stirring frequently.

Once boiling, reduce heat and boil 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Blueberry Sauce

1/3 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 c. boiling water
1 c. frozen wild blueberries
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. almond flavoring

Combine sugar, flour, and salt.  Add hot water in a stream, stirring.  Add lemon juice and bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring.  Add blueberries and simmer 2-5 minutes or until thick.  Remove pan from heat and add butter and almond flavoring.

Rhubarb Cake

One thing we are rarely short of on the Canadian prairies is a good rhubarb plant.  If you don’t have one, you probably know someone who does!  And if you have a rhubarb plant you have plenty of rhubarb!

We have a small rhubarb patch by local standards.  We have three plants.  Each plant produces two to three crops a year, depending on the weather.   That’s about 6 or 7 gallons of chopped rhubarb.  That’s enough rhubarb to last us a year.

What do we do with it?  We make sweet things…Rhubarb Custard Pie, Rhubarb Pie, Rhubarb Strawberry Jam, Rhubarb Crisp (to eat with ice-cream), and Rhubarb Cake…  You can make many recipes with rhubarb, both sweet and savory.  There are entire cookbooks devoted to rhubarb. 🙂

One of our favorite recipes though, is this Rhubarb Cake from the wife of one of my old bosses.  I have modified it to make it a bit lighter than the original version.  It tastes great on its own or with vanilla ice-cream…your choice. 🙂

If you want you can mix the rhubarb mixture right in with the cake batter, rather than have an upside down cake.

Also, I put a cookie sheet with sides under the tube pan to catch any dripping syrup, should it decide to drip.  In fact, if I had to make one change with this cake, it would be to change the tube pan to a 9″ x 13″ pan.  I found the tube pan leaks sugar syrup quite easily during baking, leaving a mess to clean up later.

Rhubarb Cake

1 c. flour
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
~ 2 c. milk
2 Tbsp. melted butter
3 c. chopped rhubarb
1 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Prepare a tube pan by greasing it.  Mix the cornstarch and 1 c. sugar together in a bowl.  Pour over chopped rhubarb and mix well.  Spread evenly in bottom of tube pan.

In mixing bowl combine flour, 1 c. sugar, and baking powder.  Crack 1 egg in a 1 cup measuring cup.  Break up with a fork.  Add milk to make 1 cup.  Pour into flour mixture.  Repeat with the second egg.  Mix the flour mixture and milk mixture till lumpy.  Add melted butter and mix till smooth.  Pour into the tube pan on top of the rhubarb mixture.

Bake in 350 F oven for 30-45 minutes…until thoroughly cooked.

 

 

 

Rice Krispie Squares

May 31 - 1

Aaaah!  Canadian comfort food!  So easy to make.  Recipe from the box of gluten free Rice Krispies made by Kellogg’s.  Guys and gals, this is the quintessential Canadian treat for kids.  Enjoy!  And a big thank-you to Kellogg’s and their kitchen staff!  And no, they aren’t paying me for the promo.  I just love this stuff!

Rice Krispie  Squares

6 c. Rice Krispies
1/4 c. butter or margarine
250 gm (1 bag) marshmallows

Melt the butter/margarine and marshmallows in a big 2 gallon stock pot on low heat.  I used large marshmallows and cut them in quarters for faster melting.  You could use miniature marshmallows and they would melt quicker.

Take off the heat and add the Rice Krispies and stir thoroughly and quickly.  It cools and hardens fast!

Push into a greased 9″x13″ pan with a greased spatula.  Cool in fridge.  Cut in squares and enjoy!

Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Stuffed Peppers - 1

Hi all!  This is a recipe we had this past weekend that was modified considerably from the Internet version found on Food.com.  For those of you who don’t know, Food.com is a great resource for free recipes on the Web.

For this recipe I swapped out white rice for brown rice and increased the cooking time for the rice/meat mixture.  Plus I used diced tomatoes and herbs for the diced tomatoes, just to add a little more seasoning.  I also grated about 6 oz. of cheddar cheese so I had some to pile on top of the sweet peppers as a melted topping, as well as the 4 oz. to mix into the rice/meat mixture.

We served these with medium salsa and fat free sour cream.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did! 🙂

Stuffed Sweet Peppers

6 large green peppers
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 can (16 oz.) diced tomatoes with herbs
1/2 c. long grain brown rice
1 c. water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
dash pepper (opt.)
6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese (about 1 1/2 c.)

Cut tops off peppers.  Save tops and discard insides.  Finely chop top edges until you have about 1/4 c. green pepper.  Set aside and discard rest of tops (or use for something else).

Place the emptied out peppers in a pot of boiling water to cover.  Boil, uncovered, for 5 minutes.  Drain upside down.

Brown ground beef.  Add onions and saute with the 1/4 c. finely chopped green pepper.  Drain off fat.  Add diced tomatoes, brown rice, water, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and dash of pepper.

Cover and cook for 40-45 minutes, or until rice is tender.  Stir in 1 c. (4 oz.) grated cheese.  Fill peppers.  Top with grated cheese.

Place in a 2″ x 9″ x 13″ dish and cover with aluminum foil (or place in a deep covered baking dish).  Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and serve.

Universal Casserole

I can’t lay claim to this.  I have no idea where it came from.  I think the Internet…somewhere…  It has served me well (with my own modifications) over the years.

IMG_1196

 

Sauces:
1 can cream of mushroom soup, OR
1 can cheddar cheese soup, OR
1 can cream of chicken soup, OR
1 can cream of celery soup, OR
2 14.5 oz. cans seasoned diced tomatoes
Protein:
2 c. cooked cubed chicken or turkey, OR
2 c. cooked cubed roast beef, OR
2 c. cubed ham, OR
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained, OR
2 c. cubed smoked sausage, OR
12 oz. can tuna, drained and flaked, OR
1 can of beans
Vegetables – 1.5 c. of any combination of the following:
whole kernel corn,
baby peas,
cut green beans,
asparagus,
chopped spinach,
frozen cauliflower florets,
chopped broccoli,
grated zucchini,
frozen mixed vegetables
Starch:
1 c. uncooked rice (white)
2 c. uncooked elbow macaroni (my favourite is whole wheat macaroni)
3 c. uncooked small pasta shells
4 c. uncooked wide egg noodles
Extras – choose one or more (I like to add at least two):
4 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained (or a cup or so fresh)
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. chopped celery
1/4 c. chopped bell pepper
8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained
4 oz. can green chilies
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 c. chopped olives
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
Toppings:
1/2 c. grated cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, Parmesan, etc.)
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1 c. crushed crackers (saltines, etc.)
1 c. stuffing mix
1 c. crushed croutons
1 c. crushed potato chips
1 c. crushed tortilla chips
1 c. Chinese fried noodles

 

THE Recipe!
1 c. sour cream (or yogurt)
1 c. milk
1 c. water
salt and pepper to taste
one sauce
one protein
one vegetable
one starch
one or two extras (optional)
one or two toppings

 

Preheat oven to 350F Grease 9 x 13″ pan.  Mix together sour cream, milk, water, sallt and pepper with sauce.  Stir in protein, vegetables, starch and extra ingredients. Pour into baking dish and slip a cookie sheet over top to cover while baking.  Bake covered, for 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Remove cover and sprinkle on topping ingredients.  Bake another 10 minutes, uncovered.

For the casserole in the photo I used:

  • 2 large diced cooked chicken breasts,
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes,
  • 1 c. water,
  • 1/2 tsp. seasoning salt,
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning,
  • 1 1/2 c. green beans,
  • 2 c. GF macaroni,
  • 4 sliced mushrooms,
  • 1/4 c. sliced celery,
  • 1/4 c. chopped sweet pepper,
  • 1 c. crushed sweet potato crackers.

Enjoy! 🙂

Ginger Stir Fry

Chicken stir fry

It seems everyone in my family has their own version of stir fry.  Some use leftovers, some use fresh foods only.  Some use different spices.  My stir fry is a light stir fry of fresh vegetables and thinly sliced pork or chicken, with fish sauce and ginger to flavor it.

Here is what it is and what I do…

Ginger Stir Fry
Serves 4

1 lb. chicken or pork, cut in strips and then bite sized pieces about an inch or two long.  Pan fry in a large fry pan in a bit of sesame oil or canola oil.

Add:

2 medium or 1 large carrot, sliced thinly on an angle,
2 medium stalks celery, slice thinly on an angle,
1 medium onion, cut into 8 wedges

Cook in the fry pan until the onion is sauteed.  Add:

2 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. ground ginger

Cook till carrots are almost done.  Stir and add:

1 c. broccoli florets
1 sweet pepper (could be green, yellow, red or a combo) cut in long thin slices from top to bottom of pepper

Cook until broccoli is steamed, about 5 minutes.

Serve over a bed of rice.  In our case we use brown basmati rice, but it could be any kind of rice.  We have soy sauce at the table to add if desired.  Some people like soy sauce more than others here. 🙂

 

 

Inspiration Wednesday

I’ve been having a great time tutoring two little boys.  They keep gravitating to my rug hooking frame and trying to hook.  They are six and eight years old.  I think I’ll try them with a piece of linen and a frame the next time I see them.  Their mother is in favor of me giving them “life experiences” and “doing crafts” with them, as well as teaching writing…which is what I was originally asked to do.  So today they sat down and drew a basic picture on half of an 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of paper.  Friday I’ll show them how to transfer it to backing and start to hook.

Part of our lesson yesterday was to make some blackberry ink and use it to write a letter.  Well the boys made it and drew on paper with it using calligraphy pens, but they decided it would take too long to write a letter with it.  So we re-arranged the sentences we had written previously, editing out some unwanted ones, and I ended up typing the letter on the computer.  They, though, drew pictures with labels on them, to accompany the letter.

The blackberry ink recipe we used?  One half cup blackberries, 1/2 tsp. white vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt.  Mash the blackberries real well.  Put them through a sieve so you just have juice.  Add the vinegar and salt to set and preserve the ink.  Use as a wash in drawings/paintings, or to write.  I have no idea how fugitive this ink is.  I’m testing it now.

So here are the blackberries and the equipment for the experiment.  I have to admit, the second container of blackberries was eaten…

Blackberry Ink - 1Blackberry Ink - 3Blackberry Ink - 4Blackberry Ink - 5Blackberry Ink - 6

 

Korean Hot and Spicy Soup

Korean hot & spicy beef soup

This is so delicious folks! We’ve put it on our repeat list. It was quite expensive to make, but as Hubby commented “It’s a lot cheaper than going to a restaurant to eat!”.

Korean Hot & Spicy Beef Soup
(from “The Complete Book of Korean Cooking” by Young Jin Song)
Serves 2

3 oz. (75 g) dried fern fronds OR shiitake mushrooms (I used mushrooms)
9 oz. (250 g) beef flank steak
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. chili powder (I used Korean chili powder from our Korean grocer’s)
1 cl. garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp. canola oil (or other vegetable oil)
1/2 c. bean sprouts, trimmed
1 leek, sliced
1 green onion/scallion, sliced
3 oz. (75 g) enoki mushrooms

Boil the beef flank for half an hour on fairly high heat in water to cover. I actually added another inch or so on top of it. Then remove the beef and save the liquid. Slice the beef along the grain really thinly. And maybe slice across the grain into smaller pieces (about 1 1/2″ – 2″ long). Add sesame oil, chili powder, garlic and coat meat. Heat canola oil in large pot. Add meat, shiitake mushrooms, beans sprouts, leek and green onion. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Reduce heat and pour in the liquid from boiling the beef. Cover and cook 30 minutes or so, until tender. Add the enoki mushrooms and simmer another 2 minutes. Add salt (it needed it!) and serve.

This makes 2 servings. I doubled everything but the mushrooms to make four servings. It was very good. Don’t skimp on the chili powder though. It will taste watery without it and the salt. Course, more mushrooms would have helped, but they were really expensive here…$7.50 for the mushrooms alone!

Rhubarb Custard Pie

rhubarb custard pie

This pie is in no way low calorie, or gluten free, but it is to die for! And rhubarb is something we have plenty of on the prairies.  I cheated with this pie and used a store bought unbaked pie shell. Normally I would try to make this a bit more healthy (?!) by making a canola oil crust.

Here’s the recipe. 🙂

Rhubarb Custard Pie

Put 4 c. of rhubarb in an 9″ unbaked pie shell.

Mix together:
1 1/4 c. sugar
3 tbsp. flour
2 eggs

Spread evenly over rhubarb.

Topping:

1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. margarine or butter

Cut in butter so mixture is like small peas.  Sprinkle over top of pie, spreading evenly.  This really makes a full pie!  But don’t get worried.  Rhubarb shrinks a lot when it cooks.  If you’re concerned about it overflowing, place a cookie sheet with sides or other pan with sides on the rack underneath the pie to catch drips.

Bake in a 350 F oven for 15 min.  Then lower temperature to 300 F for 45 – 60 minutes (until custard is set).  Pie will be dark golden with a crumbly top.  Serve warm or cold.  We had ours plain and cold.  But you could easily serve it with ice-cream or whipped cream.

Enjoy!

Shipwreck

Mexican Skillet 1

This is comfort food in our home.  The Shipwreck I knew as a child was made from leftovers.  This is just as good, even without the patina of age.   We find it can be a bit bland with diced tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes.  So you might want to play with the spices a bit if you use diced tomatoes.  We just add ketchup at the table to give it a bit more flavour.

Shipwreck
Serves 6-8

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green pepper, chopped
2 1/2 c. frozen kernel corn
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (OR 1 19 oz. can crushed tomatoes)
8 oz. macaroni, dry
1 1/2 c. water
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Cook meat over medium breaking up with a fork.  Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix well.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10-12 minutes, or until pasta is tender and liquid is absorbed.  Serve hot.

Mexican Skillet 2

Hearty Salmon Chowder

Hearty Salmon Chowder

Anyone who knows me knows I have a weakness for seafood.  I love it!  Recently I made a quadruple batch of this chowder recipe to feed people at a church function.  It received rave reviews.  There are a lot of ingredients, but they make the chowder.  It is absolutely delicious.  One bowl is chock full of healthy goodness.

Hearty Salmon Chowder
From: Anne Lindsey “Lighthearted Everyday Cooking”
Serving Size : 6

1 can salmon
2 teaspoons margarine, imitation
1/2cup onion — chopped
1/2cup celery — chopped
1/4cup sweet green pepper — chopped
1 clove garlic — minced
3 cups potato — diced
1 cup carrot — diced
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dill seed
1 cup zucchini — diced
385 milliliters evaporated skim milk (1 can)
284 milliliters corn, cream-style (1 can)
pepper
1/2cup parsley sprigs

Drain and flake salmon, reserving liquid.

Melt margarine and saute onion, celery, green pepper and garlic, stirring often.

Add potatoes, carrots, stock, water, pepper and dill seed; bring to boil.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

Add zucchini, simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.

Add salmon, reserved liquid, corn and pepper to taste. Cook over low heat till heated through. Freeze at this point if freezing.

Before serving, add milk and parsley. Heat and serve.

Serve with biscuits and a salad.

Tuna Egg Waldorf Salad

Tuna Egg Waldorf Salad

Tuna Egg Waldorf Salad

We take Tuna Egg Waldorf Salad in the cooler on the road with us whenever we go on a road trip.  That and Tabbouleh.  They are filling and stay fresh for a couple of days…if they last that long. 🙂

Tuna Egg Waldorf Salad

Serves 4

1 can tuna, drained and flaked
2 stalks celery, diced
1 gala apple, chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
2-3 large tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 c. toasted sliced almonds (optional)
lettuce

Make a bed of lettuce on the plate. Mix all the ingredients and heap on the plate. Yum!

Rice Souffle

Well we finally figured out our Internet problem yesterday.  Our router died.  We picked up a new one last night and Hubby connected everything up. So now, without further ado, is the Tuesday recipe for you all…

Rice Souffle and green beans…an old family favourite I haven’t made in years.

rice souffle & beans

Rice Souffle

For those of you who don’t know…making souffle is a tricky business.  The slightest vibration and the whole mixture heaves a sigh and collapses.  This is not good!  So once the egg whites are mixed in with the rest of the batter, tread softly!  Send little bodies outside or park them in front of a TV or computer in a room far away.  You want absolute quiet.  Better yet, make this for a special date night when the kiddos are having a sleepover someplace!  The good news is, even if this does fall, it still tastes yummy.

Serves 4

1/2     cup  uncooked brown rice
4        tablespoons  margarine
4        tablespoons  flour
2        cups  milk
1/4     teaspoon  paprika
1 1/2  teaspoons  salt
1/8     teaspoon  dry mustard
4        tablespoons  cheese — grated
3        eggs — separate out yolks

Cook rice till tender.  Rinse with hot, then cold water, drain.

Melt margarine, remove from heat,  add flour and mix to smooth paste.  Add milk and cook over low until thick.

Beat egg yolks, add rice, sauce, seasonings and cheese.  Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites and pour into greased shallow pan.

Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes and serve immediately.

Jean’s Chili

chili

In our house chili night is a good night.  Hubby loves chili.  I love chili.  In his family they ate chili straight from a bowl…unadulterated.  In my family we always served chili over rice.   Now we are older and into healthy eating, it’s over brown rice.  Hubby introduced me to cheese over top chili.  I love it!  We use an old cheddar cheese.

I have no idea where this recipe came from.  It’s origins are lost in the mists of time.  I know it is typed up in the very first cookbook I made for myself over 35 years ago.  I remember serving it to people the first few years we were married.   I remember modifying it as I experienced other people’s chili. So I guess this can be called an original.

So without further ado, here is the recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Jean’s Chili
Serves 6

1 lb. ground beef
2 tbsp. oil
1 onion, chopped
1 can kidney beans
1 28 oz. can tomatoes (or 8 medium fresh tomatoes)
2 c. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 c. celery, sliced
1 tbsp. chili (or more…this makes a mild – medium chili. Hubby says it is mild. I say medium.)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce

Brown the beef in the oil.  Add everything else and simmer for 3 hours on the stove, 6 hours in the crock-pot.  If you make it in the crock-pot it will be more watery than if it is cooked on the stove.  We actually prefer the stove-top version in this case.

Serve however you like your chili! 🙂

Black Bean Soup and Cornbread

black bean soup

I found this great Black Bean Soup recipe on the Internet at Food.com. We topped it with cilantro and homemade yogurt, paired it with basic cornbread from “More With Less”, and enjoyed a delicious meal! I’ll be doing this one again. 🙂

Black Bean Soup

3 c. black beans
1 c. homemade chicken stock (or 1 tsp. OXO granules and 1 c. water)
nonstick cooking spray
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 c. chunky salsa (I made mine fresh)
4 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup plain yogurt
Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves

Put half the beans with liquid and chicken broth in blender and blend till smooth. Spray large saucepan with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic and saute over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes. Add blended beans, rest of beans, salsa, lime juice, cumin, and crushed red pepper. Heat to boil. Then simmer for 25-30 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve with yogurt on top.  NOTE:  I had no salsa, so made my own fresh salsa using a Food.com recipe as well.

Basic Cornbread (“More-with-Less”)

1 c. cornmeal
1 c. flour (I used whole wheat)
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 c. dry milk powder (optional)
2 beaten eggs
1 c. milk
1/4 c. oil or melted shortening (I used canola oil)Mix dry ingredients together. Make a well and add wet ingredients. Stir till just smooth. Pour in greased 9×9″ pan and bake at 400 F for 25 minutes.

NOTE: There are all kinds of options and variations on cornbread in this cookbook, and I highly recommend buying a copy for your own use. This is simply one of the best cookbooks I’ve ever used for frugal living.

Geddes Syrup Scones

IMG_0964

The original recipe is courtesy of the Highland Fling Cookbook my parents picked up in the ’70s on a trip to Scotland.  As always, I’ve adapted it. 🙂

Geddes Syrup Scones
Makes 8

2 c. flour (or GF flour mix)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. butter (I use canola oil)
2 tbsp. maple syrup (or other sweetener equivalent)
3/4 c. milk (or milk substitute)
1/4 c. raisins (optional)

Sift together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.  Cut in butter or oil.  Combine syrup and milk and add to mixture.  Mix to make a soft scone dough.  Quickly tun onto a floured board and knead lightly.  Divide in half and roll to 1/2″ thick.  Cut in four pie shaped wedges.  Repeat with the other half.  Place on lightly greased pan.  Poke top with fork a couple times.  Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes.

 

Raspberry Granola Parfait

Yogurt Parfait

A favorite breakfast.  Greek yogurt, topped with homemade fat-free sugar-free granola, topped with raspberries given to us by a friend. Can’t get much better than that! Yum!

The granola recipe is from Dr. Phil’s “Ultimate Weight Solution Cookbook”. I highly recommend you take this out of the library or buy it. There are a lot of good recipes in there for people wanting to lose weight or just eat healthy. As always, I’ve modified the recipe a bit. 🙂

“Forget-the-Fat” Granola

3 c. uncooked old-fashioned oats (NOT quick oats!)
3/4 c. wheat germ (I used wheat bran on occasion)
1/3 c. whole raw almonds, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. shelled raw sunflower seeds
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. unsweetened apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 c. dried cranberries (or raisins, or chopped dried apricots, or…) – optional

Combine oats, wheat germ, almonds, sunflower seeds, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add juice concentrate and stir well. Spread evenly on a lightly oiled large rimmed baking sheet (I use a spray oil). Bake at 325 F 15 minutes. Be sure to stir every 5 minutes so it bakes evenly. Bake till golden. Cool. Add dried fruit (opt.). Pour into an airtight container to store. Good for two months.

Hubby and I like to add fresh fruit to our granola when we eat it. So that’s what we do, instead of adding dried fruit. Though the raspberries in this photo came ‘fresh’ from the freezer! 🙂

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

SandS meatballs

This is a modification of recipes from Jean Pare’s Company’s Coming: Appetizers cookbook.  Once again, I change it to suit my purposes.

Meatballs

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/3 c. quinoa flakes (or quick cooking rolled oats or bread crumbs)
2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce (or regular soy sauce)
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp rum extract

Mix all together and form into 1″ meatballs.  Bake in the oven, uncovered, at 375 F for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, make the sauce…

Sweet and Sour Sauce

1 c. white sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 c. vinegar
1 1/2 c. water

Combine dry ingredients and stir to mix.  Combine liquid and add gradually to dry, stirring.  Heat to boiling, until the mixture turns translucent and thickens.  Remove from heat.

Serve with steamed broccoli and brown rice.  🙂

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

This is a well loved Internet recipe that I’ve doctored many ways to be healthier…leaving in the chocolate chips of course!  These make a great snack for hook-in days with friends. 🙂

I have used stevia when making these for myself.  But I find stevia is an iffy ingredient.  I prefer using smaller amounts of sugar when making these for others to eat.  If I use stevia I try to let the finished product sit overnight before serving or eating.  Otherwise there is a bitter taste to it.

These taste better warmed in the microwave before serving.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes 12

1 c. mashed bananas
1 large egg
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. sugar (or 1/4 tsp. powdered stevia)
2 c. flour (can be half and half whole wheat and white, or a gluten free flour mix, as I used)
1/4 c. milk (Or alternative milk. I used almond milk)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine mashed bananas, egg, applesauce, milk, and vanilla extract. Stir thoroughly. Add sugar and stir. Add flour and baking powder and stir to mix thoroughly. Add chocolate chips. This is a muffin batter, so be careful not to stir too much! Just enough to incorporate everything. Scoop into oiled/greased muffin tins and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.

Enjoy! 🙂

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Mom’s Fruit Salad

 

This is a pretty basic fruit salad everyone.  About as basic as it gets.  This is a scaled down version of what Mom made.  This serves 2 people.

Mom’s Fruit Salad

1 medium apple, chopped with peel left on
1 medium banana, peeled and sliced
1 medium orange, peeled and chopped coarsely
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. sugar or 1/16 tsp. stevia powder extract (2 of the little scoops that come in the small jars of NOW stevia powder) for those who need to watch their sugar intake.

Mix the fruit together.  Then combine lemon juice, water and stevia in a small jar and shake till stevia is dissolved.  Pour over the fruit and toss.  Store in fridge for a bit (about an hour) to soften the fruit and blend flavours.  Yummy!  You can use regular whipped cream or commercial whipped topping, or if you want, you can make a Coconut Whipped Cream Topping for this.

Whipped Topping

Full fat can of coconut milk
1/16 tsp. stevia extract powder (1 tsp. sugar)
1 tsp. vanilla
cinnamon (opt.)

Put coconut milk in fridge overnight. Also cool a mixing bowl in the freezer. About an hour before serving, whip the milk in the cold mixing bowl. Add sweetener and vanilla. Whip till light and soft.  Tastes like real whipped cream!  Can also be used in other places calling for whipped cream.

Saskatoon Pie

Saskatoon pie

 

For those of you who don’t know what saskatoons are, they are kind of like blueberries, but not so sweet. They are native to the Canadian prairies. Here we can only buy them at Farmer’s Markets, or pick your own at U-Picks or in the wild.

People protect their own private picking patch with great secrecy. You know you’re one of the family when you are invited to pick saskatoons with them in their private patch!

Here is the Saskatoon Pie recipe that works best for me…

Saskatoon Pie

pastry for a double crust pie
4 – 5 c. saskatoons
¾ c. sugar
3 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. butter
¼ c. water

Cook water and saskatoons in saucepan on stove for 10 minutes. Add lemon juice and stir. Stir flour and sugar together. Add to saskatoons. Stir well. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Dot with butter. Cover with pastry, poking holes to let steam escape. Bake in oven at 400 F for 15 minutes, and then 350 F for 30 minutes, or till golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice-cream.

Cranberry Oat Scones

Cranberry Oat Scones

I found this recipe on the Internet and promptly modified it to be a bit more healthy. Warning: I am not in favour of the super sweet scones they sell at coffee houses. Mine are more representative of the true Scottish scone, with just a touch of sweetness.

I will continue to modify this recipe when I bake it. Maybe swap out some regular flour for gluten free four… If you don’t have yogurt, use milk.  You can also swap out half of the oil for unsweetened applesauce.

Cranberry Oat Scones

1 ¾ c. white flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1/2 c. canola oil
¾ c. old fashioned rolled oats
½ c. cranberries
zest of one lemon
¾ c. yogurt

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in oil. Add oats, cranberries and lemon zest. Add yogurt and stir till mixed well. Turn out on board and knead 5 -10 times. Roll out to 1” thick circle. Cut in eighths. Put on pan to bake for 15-18 min. in 375 F oven.

Gram’s Chocolate Cookies

chocolate cookies

Gram’s Chocolate Cookies

Cream:

1/4 c. shortening (we used butter)
1 c. sugar
Add:
1/2 c. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix together well. Add:

1 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1/2 c. milk.

1 egg

Mix. Sift:
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. cream of tartar

Add flour and cream of tartar to batter and mix thoroughly.

Optionally add 1/3 c. nuts. We used slivered almonds.

Place by teaspoon onto lightly greased cookie sheet about 2″ apart. Bake at 350 F for approximately 10 minutes.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.  ENJOY!