Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ham & Cheese potato Scallop

I found this recipe on a message board over at My Fitness Pal a website i am using to help keep track of calories so i can lose a few pounds before appearing as a bridesmaid next March. I like the site because i can add my own recipes and it spits out how many calories, fat, etc is in it. I got 4 servings out of this, which came up to about 275 calories each.

6 - 8 medium potatoes, sliced.
1 + 1/2 Lbs ham, cubed.
1 can cheddar cheese soup.
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.
1 medium onion, chopped.
garlic powder, to taste.
pepper, to taste.

Place half of onion, potatoes and ham in bottom of crock pot. Sprinkle with pepper and garlic powder. cover with half of the shredded cheese.
Layer the rest of the onions, potatoes, and ham on top. Spread can of cheese soup onto it and then the rest of the shredded cheese.
Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours.

I worked another 12 hour day today, and once again, i ran home on my lunch and threw this in the crock-pot. I love that little crock pot ♥♥♥.  I used mozza cheese in the middle because i had about a half cup that had to be used up. I skipped the pepper, and just sprinkled it with the garlic powder. For the ham, i used about half of a large ham steak.  Above is what it looked like at about 2:35 this afternoon. Quite gloppy, and a nice festive color for the day! I ran back to work and by 7:10 when i got home, it was ready to serve, albeit a little overcooked.

This is why i mentioned yesterday that i do not like to leave things in this slow cooker all day. It was only in there about 4 and a half hours. The ham was overdone, but the rest was alright. It was very soupy at the bottom, though. I can only imagine what it would look like after a full 8 hours. 

I served this with corn bread, the recipe for that will be along soon. I found it was a bit salty, but otherwise good. It did not take a lot to fill me up, and i could have easily expanded it by adding another few potatoes, since there seemed to be a lot of extra sauce. 

So while my yummy dinner was cooking, i was at work...not exactly working. I work at a call center, we are open 24/7, but weekends we usually only get emergency calls. So it was a very quiet two days. Good thing i only have to work the shift every 5 weeks. I think i might have gotten about 10 calls in the whole 12 hours i was there, 2 were hang ups, and 1 was a wrong number. Seven real calls in 12 hours makes for a very dull day, with me going stir-crazy without something to keep me occupied. So what did i do? Needlepoint! And here are the results of my workday. 

So even though i could not go Trick-or-Treating with my nephew because i had to work, i had a semi productive day. 

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween, or Samhain; or Sunday if you do not celebrate either!

Editing to say that although the original was quite alright on the first run, i did not like the leftovers. It seemd to go salty and take on an odd taste. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Slow-Cooker Sweet & Sour Pork

Every fifth weekend i have to work. This weekend is the fifth, so i am sitting at my desk from 7 AM until 7 PM. I have an hour long lunch at one o'clock, and since i only live a ten minute walk from work, i thought i would walk home (get some extra exercise) and make dinner in my crock-pot! This way, I am not eating dinner at 8:30 when i have to crash at 10 to get up at 6 tomorrow morning.

I found this recipe on the Kraft site (of course) and since i had all but 2 ingredients, which i was able to pick up in the Market on my morning break, i decided to go for it. 

1 + 1/2 Lb boneless pork loin, cut into 1 inch pieces.
1 onion, chopped
3/4 cup BBQ sauce (recipe recommends Kraft original).
1 can chicken broth. (10 oz).
1 can pineapple chunks in juice; drained (14 oz).
1 green pepper, chopped.
2 cups instant rice, uncooked. 

Place meat in slow cooker, top with onions.
Add BBQ sauce and chicken broth. Stir.
Cover and cook on LOW 8 - 10 hours, or HIGH 5 hours.
20 minutes before serving, stir in pineapple, green peppers and rice.

The recipe states it serves 6, to me it looked like it would be lucky to serve 4, but i got 5 out of it. Enough for a few lunches, yum. 

The ingredients i had to pick up were the rice and green pepper. I was planning on using boneless pork chops, since i did not want to buy extra meat, but when i went digging i found these pork stewing pieces in my freezer. I chopped each into 3 or 4 pieces and used them (the package was only $2.50, to, must have hit a sale that day!).

I also cooked the green peppers all day. I was supposed to have company for dinner (he ended up working; being on call sucks), and he does not like raw green peppers, so i figured i'd hide them some by cooking them :-) 

This is what i found when i got home from work, before adding the rice and pineapple. It is nice and dark because i used a chipotle & beer BBQ sauce that was left in the refrigerator. I don't usually use BBQ sauce, so i was not going out and buying a special bottle that would end up sitting. 

I don't know if there is a difference between minute rice and instant rice, but all could find was the minute kind, so that is what i used. The Market has most things that are needed, but not much variety in the boxed foods section.

Also, because it did not look like it would serve very much, and i wanted leftovers, i made salad to go with it. I cheated, i ran down to the store and bought a bagged salad, and then added a bit of green pepper and cheese. 

I really liked the rice and pork, the pineapple turned the BBQ sauce into a nice sweet and sour sauce. There was a little kick to it, but it could have been from the BBQ sauce. 

This was easy to make, i had it whipped up in 10 minutes on my lunch and was ready to serve 15 minutes after getting home. I could have easily had made it last night and if i had only my usual half hour lunch, just ran home and turned it on. My crock pot usually runs hot, things that are kept in it all day usually do not turn out, so i will not turn it on in the morning. Absolutely delicious, adding to my favorites file and recommending to anyone! 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Saucy Parmesan Chicken

Another rainy day, another spin around the internet for something different for dinner, and another Kraft recipe. This one is so simple, you can make it with your eyes closed. Here is the picture from the Kraft website:

4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts.
1/4 cup Zesty Italian dressing.
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.

Place chicken in small dish. Mix dressing and cheese. Pour over chicken. Turn chicken to coat both sides.
Refrigerate minimum 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 425F. remove chicken from dressing, discard remaining dressing. Place pan in shallow baking dish, bake for 20 minutes or until done.

I halved the recipe since it was just me tonight. I also stabbed the poor chicken to be sure it was done, you can never be to careful! :-) Another oops, i didn't mix the dressing and cheese, i just dumped the cheese on top. It made a nice crisp coat. 

This is a simple recipe to make for a quick dinner. I let the chicken sit in the dressing for 4 hours while i was out running errands. When i got home, i stuck it in the oven and made some potatoes while it cooked. 

I served with the mashed potatoes and a salad i picked up from the deli while i was out. There are leftovers of all for lunch tomorrow! 

This would also make a perfect dinner to whip up Sunday night before Trick or Treating, while it is cooking you can get the kiddies make-up done and have a hearty meal before heading out! After dinner tonight, i worked on my costume for work tomorrow. I am not crazy about the tape showing, but I had to cut the paper in several strips to get it around the cup evenly; it is more visible from the camera flash than it really is.

Can ya guess who I am going as? :-)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Crock-pot Macaroni and meatballs

I usually get the weekends off, but once every other month, i have to work one. My weekend is coming up, so i have today and tomorrow off. This morning, i decided to tackle the house. I decided the place was borderline pig-sty and it was time to clean and purge! I threw dinner in the crock pot and ended up getting through 3 rooms and have about a dozen ads on Kijiji and Freecycle. Dinner tonight was simple. I made some meatballs out of a pound of hamburger, a garlic clove, 1/4 of an onion (both chopped fine), some shredded Parmesan and a generous sprinkle of Mrs Dash.  I threw them in the large crock pot for an hour on high to let them cook. After they were cooked, i took them out and threw them in the small one, to get rid of the grease. 

On top of these i poured a jar of Parmesan & Romano pasta sauce. I gave it a stir and let it simmer for another hour. At about 4:30 i stirred in just under a cup of macaroni and by about a quarter to 6 it was ready to serve! 

I served 4 meatballs per dish with a sprinkle of Mozza cheese. The sauce was a little bland, i think next time it will need more garlic or something. But it was filling and different, and i have enough for tomorrow! 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Enjoying a friend's baking: Volcano cake.

Tomorrow is my little buddy Jethro's 4th birthday. I can't believe he is growing up so fast! So instead of cooking or baking today, i went to his house where his Mommy made the coolest cake ever, a Volcano Cake! Check out these pictures!

Decorated, ready for the candle! 

A birthday ROAR!

She used a regular chocolate cake, but baked it in an angel food cake pan, did a bit of carving and filled the center with cherry pie filling, yummy! The icing was whipped cream with chocolate. I think it turned out delicious, and looked really neat! It was decorated with toy dinosaurs.

Jethro's Mommy is super creative and i had lots of fun at his party; i can't wait for my birthday, i know who's baking!! :-)

This is the recipe she sent me that was used:

Black Forest Cake


·         2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour X2
·         2 cups white sugar X2
·         3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder X2
·         1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder X2
·         3/4 teaspoon baking soda X2
·         3/4 teaspoon salt X2
·         3 eggs X2
·         1 cup milk X2
·         1/2 cup vegetable oil X2
·         1 tablespoon vanilla extract X2
·         2 (20 ounce) cans pitted sour cherries
·         1 cup white sugar
·         1/4 cup cornstarch
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         3 cups heavy whipping cream
·         1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
·         cocoa powder for colour


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour angel food cake pan, cover bottoms with waxed paper.
  2. Drain 2 – 20 oz cans pitted sour cherries, reserving 1/2 cup juice. Combine reserved juice, cherries, 1 cup sugar and ¼ cup cornstarch in a 2 quart saucepan. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool before using. Place aside (or use can of cherry pie filling)
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; beat until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 1h30 minutes(approx), or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire racks 10 minutes. Loosen edges, and remove to racks to cool completely.
  4. Combine whipping cream, cocoa powder for colour and confectioner's sugar in a chilled medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form.
  5. Place cake on cake plate. See if the hole is big enough for volcano, if not cut the hole bigger if need be, set aside pieces for later. Gently brush loose crumbs off top and side of cake.  Cover sides of cake with whipped cream, place in the center the cherry mixture, put whipping cream on top to cover cherries. Pray all of this works!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake.

Another pumpkin recipe, this one i borrowed from a fellow blogger, Anecdotes & Apple Cores
Her pictures made this look extremely yummy, i had plenty of leftover pumpkin from my cookies, and i have company coming tonight (my sister and i are going to a musical about the Marco Polo, so she is coming to dinner before the show), so i thought i would give it a shot!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake.

3/4 cup flour.
1/4 cup butter, room temperature.
1/2 cup packed brown sugar.
1 tsp ground cinnamon.
1 tsp ground ginger.
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg.
1/2 tsp ground cloves.
1 cup chocolate chips.

Put flour, brown sugar and spices in medium bowl, mix well. Add butter and mix until crumbly. Mix in chocolate chips. Set aside.

2 cups flour.
2 + 1/2 tsp baking powder.
1/2 cup butter, room temperature.
3/4 cup sugar.
1/2 cup brown sugar.
2 eggs.
1 tsp vanilla.
1 - 15 oz can pumpkin (just a bit under 2 cups, approx 1.875 cups)

Sift flour, powder and salt into bowl, set aside. With mixer, beat butter. Add sugars, beating until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing in between additions. Add vanilla and pumpkin, blend well. Add dry ingredients, stir until just blended.
Spread half of mixture in greased 13" X 9" pan. Sprinkle with half of topping. Layer with remaining cake and topping.
Bake at 375 F for about 40 minutes.

It was a bit difficult to spread the second layer of cake on top of the dry topping, but it turned out excellent! I poked it with a toothpick that came out clean, which is usually an indication that it is cooked. When i sliced it, it looked gooey, but i think it is just the moistness of the cake, because it did not taste uncooked. 

This is delicious! I can;t wait to try it again when i next have a potluck. I especially loved the spicy smell of it as i pulled it from the oven! My sister said she smelled pumpkin, but all i could smell were the cloves. I used margarine instead of butter, and i do not think i used enough in the topping. Oh, and i over mixed it...we were to busy jabbering and watching the mixer to notice the recipe said 'mix just until blended'...oops.  It does not seem to be any worse for the wear for the extra mixing. 

I served it plain, but i think it would go well with a small scoop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. 


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin chocolate chip Cookies

It's Autumn, and everyone is digging out their pumpkin recipes! I found this one on a calorie tracking website i use called My Fitness Pal. It is a great site, and these are supposed to be healthier cookies, I have put the ingredients into their recipe database, and 20 cookies comes out to about 75 calories each! Can't go wrong there!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies.

1 cup Flour.
1/2 cup oatmeal.
1/2 tsp baking soda.
1/2 tsp cinnamon.
little less than 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce.
1/2 cup brown sugar.
1 egg.
1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 cup chocolate chips.

Mix together flour, oatmeal, soda, and cinnamon. Set aside. In another bowl, blend brown sugar and apple sauce. Add egg; blend well. Add vanilla and pumpkin puree; mix until blended, then add flour mixture and chocolate chips.

Drop by teaspoonful on cookie sheets; bake at 350 F for 10 to 12 minutes.

The batter was very wet, so i only put 5 cookies on a sheet expecting them to spread significantly. They pretty much stayed the same size and shape. The recipe states to cook them 8 to 10 minutes; i kept them in for 12 and still think they ought to have been in a couple minutes longer. They are set, but the bottoms did not brown well. The recipe made 20 cookies, and they are delicious! 

I might try it again with raisins instead of chips, and nutmeg instead of cinnamon. I still have lots of pumpkin left, and only one other recipe i want to try; pumpkin in a can is actually pretty cheap around here all year long, to, so i have the chance to make these again and again!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Old Fashioned Macaroni & Cheese

This is my second attempt at Mac & Cheese, and although this recipe was easier, it was definitely more frustrating. I can only blame the frustration on myself, i guess, because i kind of made a bigger deal than necessary out of a small situation.

I had already had the cheese shredded and everything ready to throw together when i realized i hadn't any macaroni on hand. No problem, i live literally a 5 minute walk from a store with a grocery section. (this was last month before i bought my car, so i hadn't much choice). Out into the rain i went to discover there was no macaroni in the entire i politely asked the clerk....her response? "Oh, um, yeah...we've been out of that for months".

I felt like shouting "Is there some sort of Nation wide macaroni shortage that they could not order some in?" (Especially since all the pastas were on sale in the flyer that week). But, i didn't flip out; i politely thanked her and left. Angry once again that i could not get what i needed at the store, and upset that i had gone out in the rain when i had pasta at home i could have used, i fumed my way back up the huge hill that i live on top of, slammed a few things around the kitchen, and used swirls.

Anyway, on with the food. I got this recipe from a Kraft magazine, it was an advertisement feature for their shredded cheese. I had found block cheese on sale a few days before, and therefore shredded my own.

2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 + 1/2 cups milk
3 cups shredded Mozza- Cheddar cheese

Cook macaroni as directed on package. Meanwhile, cook onion in butter in a large saucepan on medium heat 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. 

Add flour; cook stirring for 1 minute. Add milk, cook 5 minutes stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 2 cups of the cheese.

Drain macaroni. Add to cheese sauce; toss to coat. Spoon into greased dish; sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese.

Bake 20 minutes or until heated through in 350 F oven. 

Swirls and cheese fresh from the oven. I found this recipe much easier to make than the last one, it is a quick fix for a busy weeknight and it was really good as leftovers too!

The next day i was out at a wedding show with my sister, since it was close to my favorite grocery store i bought 2 packages of macaroni and one of spaghetti on sale, buy 1 get 2 free!  They were very heavy walking the 45 minutes back home, but i will never run out again!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sweet-Spiced Sweet Potatoes

What a day! It was a rainy windy day, but it was a great day! I got a couple pictures of an old tree that fell due to the wind, in the Old Burial Grounds. It is sad to see the old tree down, the trees make the graveyard such a nice place to visit in the summer; a shady place to rest from the heat.

So what made it a great day, even though the weather was miserable and it was sad to see the wise old tree go? Well...Hockey! Not just hockey, though, everything that comes with it. I went with my family; my sister, brother-in-law and my nephew. And K lost his first baby tooth at the game! (Omen of things to come for my hockey loving little man?) Only 4 years old, and a visit from the tooth fairy already. His mommy and I were in first grade when we lost our first teeth! Also, the Seadogs won!!! It was a 2 - 0 shutout, and both goals were scored in the 3rd period! What a crazy game!

So before the game, they all came over for dinner (and Wii Mario), we had chicken, a 'sidekick' and a delicious new dish in my Crockpot, Sweet-Spiced Sweet potatoes; from my tin of Crockpot recipes.

2 Lbs sweet potatoes; peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar.
1 tsp ground cinnamon.
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg.
1/8 tsp salt.
2 Tbsp butter, cut into 1/8 inch pieces.
1 tsp vanilla.

Combine all ingredients except butter and vanilla in Crockpot.; Mix well. Cover; cook on LOW 7 hours or HIGH 4 hours, Add butter and vanilla; gently stir to blend.

It looks kind of nasty, and the Crockpot is soaking overnight, (i think i overcooked or stirred it)  but it was SUPER good. I will definitely be making this one again and again. It smelled and tasted like molasses cookies or gingersnaps. Oh, i omitted the salt and used margarine instead of butter, about 2 tsp.  And the chicken turned out well to. I just threw him in the other Crockpot, sprinkled some garlic powder on him, capped it and he was good to go after being on HIGH for about 4 hours. 

What a great day, and i get to do it all again tomorrow!! Another game tomorrow night! LET'S GO, SEADOGS, LET'S GO!! 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Homemade Chili -- Take 1

This one is going to be a trial and error recipe. I have never made chili before, so i decided to give it a shot. I bought some dried kidney beans at the Bulk Barn. The recipe on the bin said 3 cups water to 1 cup beans, soak over night. Since i did not need that many beans, i used 1/2 cup to 1 +1/2 cup. I put them into an empty yogurt container and they soaked while i slept. In the morning, i rinsed them and boiled them for an hour (as per online instructions i found) and then i rinsed them again, i let them drain in a strainer while i browned up 3/4 Lb of leftover hamburger and chopped about 1/4 of a green pepper and red onion; and then was ready to assemble my chili.

Since i have never made chili, and my mom only made it with a packaged seasoning, I figured i had a test ahead of me in making the sauce. I did a quick internet search and found most were a can of tomatoes, and a bunch of spices. I don't like tomatoes much, and i did not have any on hand. The next best thing was a can of tomato sauce and small one of tomato paste. The same thing i use for my pasta sauce. Into the crock pot with both. I sprinkled some cayenne pepper, some garlic powder and some Mrs Dash, between 1/2 and 1 tsp of each. Stir it up and a quick taste made me think it was to bland; so i went to the refrigerator. I added about 1 Tbsp of sun-dried tomato & oregano dressing and about 3 Tbsp of a beer & chipotle BBQ sauce that someone left behind after a steak dinner. Another stir and it tasted better, so i added my veggies, hamburger and beans.

I cooked it on high for about an hour, until i left for work. And then i turned it down to low. About 4 hours later i ran home on my lunch break and my chili was ready to serve!

 I took a dish of it back to work with me for dinner (I work the mid shift this week, so i have been taking lunch and dinner, eating one on my first break at 12:30, and the other on my last at 5:00)

It was so good, i had another dish when i got home! I don't think there is going to be much to change the next time i make it. Maybe a bit more cayenne; it needed a bit more kick!

Yummy chili! The next task is to make it spicier and expand the recipe, since it only made 4 small servings.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Turkey Mash-Up

My mom sent me home with a huge turkey leg on Sunday, it was supposed to be for my beau (who had to work and therefore could not make it to dinner), but he ended up not having time to eat it before hopping a plane Monday morning. So, it was up to me, the Queen of White meat only (dark is to greasy) to do something with it.

Hmmmm...turkey soup?

So into a pot, i threw all the leftovers:

A lunch container of homemade chicken stock. (from the freezer)
A half container of veggie stock (leftover from Minestrone)
A sweet potato (leftover from Shepherd's pie)
A carrot (Minestrone)
Some new potatoes (from the garden, yum!)
A garlic clove (from Dill Pickles)
A quarter of a red onion (from an omelet dinner)
And, of course, the turkey leg chopped up, leftover from Thanksgiving dinner.

I chopped the veggies small, boiled them all in the broth and added the turkey at the last minute; and ta-da! 

I'm calling it Turkey Mash-Up.

Gobble, Gobble, another successful Thanksgiving. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Spaghetti Squash

This is the second recipe i took to Thanksgiving dinner, Cheesy Spaghetti Squash from the Kraft Website. This is the first time i have ever tried spaghetti squash, cooking or eating.

1 large spaghetti squash (3 lb./1.4 kg)
1/4 cup Parmesan Light Grated Cheese
1/2 cup Mozzarella Shredded Cheese
2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

Pierce squash several times with fork or sharp knife to allow steam to escape. Microwave on HIGH 10 min. or just until squash is softened, turning after 5 min. Let stand 5 min.
Cut squash in half; remove and discard seeds. Use fork to scrape insides of squash to form strands; place in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients; toss lightly with fork. Spoon into 1 squash shell; discard remaining shell.

My squash fell off the counter, and therefore split in half the wrong way. I ended up having a hard time scooping it, so it ended up being in about 4 pieces, thus the serving in a bowl.

I recommend cooking it much longer than 10 minutes,. I cooked it 15 and it could have used more. No one ate it by myself and my sister, they all thought it was to different. I thought it tasted like watermelon :-) 

Next time i will cook the squash much longer, other than that, it was not bad! 

I also made these little cuties yesterday morning; for Potluck today. But i cheated on them, using a cake mix and store bought icing. And i discovered just how many mini cupcakes come out of a cake mix!! 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Thanksgiving Apple Crumble.

Tomorrow is Canadian Thanksgiving, and i am thankful for many things:

  I was born living in a free country as beautiful as Canada.

Days like today, when i get to hang out with my little man K. My 4 year old nephew dodging the waves of the Bay of Fundy.

  The beautiful hiking trails in my city that i can explore whenever i want. 

 The beautiful sunsets and sunrises that i have witnessed. 

 I have a patch of land to grow my own veggies each summer.

 Every summer i get to see my Father's garden grow beautiful flowers. 
  My family, and the fact that i am a horrible artist :-)

I have a full cupboard, freezer and refrigerator.  

There are many more blessings that i am thankful for, i have a job, a comfortable (and cheap) apartment, i own my car, i have a boyfriend. I have a great life. 

And tomorrow, i am going home to my parents' house to have dinner with my family: My sister, mom and dad, cousins, including a new baby! My grandmother, uncles, aunts and even some new faces i have not met, our table is open to all. Some faces will be missing, but they will be back next time! We all gather around the table three times a year: Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year, i am making 2 contributions to dinner. The first is for dessert; a yummy Apple Crumble! 

This is a recipe my mom used whenever she made apple crumble when i was a kid. It was in a promotional cookbook for Pillsbury flour. I don't know if they even sell flour anymore, it is a very old cookbook!! 

Mix: 1/3 cup butter or margarine
1 + 1/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon.

Sprinkle over apple slices in a deep dish. Bake at 375 F for 40 minutes.

This is the apple crumble going in. I have also added about 1/4 cup of oatmeal to the mix, just to give it extra texture. I mixed the margarine into it with a fork, and then when it was mixed a bit, i used my hands to get it all incorporated. I ended up using about a bag and a half of apples for this large dish. It is not deep, but it is big! 

And here it is 40 minutes later, oozing sweetness. Can't wait to dig in, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie - revisited.

As per my promise from September 12th, i have taken better pictures of the Sweet Potato Shepherd's pie when i had a chance to make it again. This time, i used a full pound of meat, and i added half a green pepper.

I also used 4 potatoes, since the last time i thought it was not covered enough. The sweet potatoes were small, though. This made enough for 4 servings, and since the person i invited over ended up bailing at the last minute (being on call for work sucks) i have enough for 3 yummy next day lunches!!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Leftovers -- mini apple crumble

2 weekends ago, i made an apple pie; this past weekend, i used the leftover pastry and apples to make apple turnovers. Not realizing how small my turnovers would be, and that it would only take 3 or 4 small pieces of apple to fill them, i had peeled 4 apples. I had also made up a brown sugar/cinnamon mixture to put in the tarts and had plenty of that leftover as what to do?

Back-story: winter 2007-2008, i lived in a tiny apartment, scraping by on 50 dollars a month for groceries. As i have mentioned before; that winter i had adapted a lot of recipes. I thought of one that i had created when company was coming, a perfect size apple crumble for 2. Fancy, but cheap and easy. 

I use a mini bread tin, it is about 4 inches long and 2 inches across. It fills nicely with 2 apples, three if they are small. Peel, core and slice them into the tin. In a cereal bowl, mix together 1 + 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 Tbsp flour and 1 Tbsp oatmeal. Pour this over the apples.  Bake in a 350 F oven for about 30 to 45 minutes, until the apples are soft. I usually set it on a cookie sheet, since it is so small it makes it easier to take out of the oven hot. Usually the apples to not shrink down so much, the pan was almost overflowing when it went in, but as you can see above, only half full when it came out. 

Serve alone, or with whipped topping. The perfect 2 servings of apple crumble.

Oh, i also discovered when i first started making it, if you use extra juicy apples and 2 Tbsp of brown sugar, it makes a sickeningly sweet syrup at the bottom. Part of the experimentation process :-) 

This weekend, i will have the full recipe to post, i have been asked to take an apple crumble to Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Before Disney introduced us to a rat named Remy who was a master in the kitchen, i had never heard of Ratatouille. Since seeing the movie named after the French dish, i have been curious about it. What is it made of? How does it taste?  Last week i was once again wandering the Kraft website; i came across this recipe, and it looked delicious. I have never even tried eggplant before, let alone cooked it; but i decided to try something new and copied the recipe. I got the zucchini at the supermarket in the veggie isle, but i had to go to the veggie vendor in the City Market to find the eggplant. 

1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch chunks.
1 onion, cut into 1/2 inch chunks.
1 zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch chunks.
1 red pepper, cut into strips.
2 Tbsp sun-dried tomato and oregano dressing.
1 can stewed tomatoes.
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
1/4 cup grated Mozzarella cheese. 

Cook veggies and dressing in a skillet on medium heat about 5 minutes, or until crisp tender; stir frequently.

Stir in tomato; cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Top with cheeses.

Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes or until golden brown. 


Here are the veggies, freshly chopped in the pan. I also added a clove of garlic chopped fine after i added the tomatoes. 

The recipe hints state that if you do not have a pan that will safely go into the oven (cast-iron or with a metal handle), to wrap the plastic handle several times in foil. I do not trust this, so i just dumped the whole mess into a square baking dish and added the cheese. 

Out of the oven 15 minutes later, the cheese can barely be seen. Some of the pieces have chunks of cheese on them, but i think of i were to make it again, i would use about a half to three quarters cup of each. 

I served it with garlic bread and I sprinkled more cheese on top as well. . All in all it was a good recipe, but not great. I found it had to much tomato. It was super easy to make. I think i will try eggplant again in a different recipe, but I really do not think i will make this again; it was definitely different, but not something i fell in love with. It made enough for 4, so maybe some of the leftovers tomorrow will be better. It is a healthy vegetarian dish, made with great Autumn veggies but I think it would be better as a side than a main dish (since it has only been an hour since dinner and i am feeling hungry again).