Jalapeno Popper Dip

Yummy, delicious party noms :)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 jalapenos, chopped and diced fine, sauteed in a little bit of olive oil until soft
  • 6 slices of bacon, fried crispy, grease removed and broken into crunchy bits
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 and a half sticks bricks of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced up green onions
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 and a half cups of crushed ritz crackers
  • 1/4 cup butter

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine jalapenos, bacon, mayo, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and green onions and mix together well with electric mixer.
  2. Melt butter and add it to the crushed crackers & parmesan cheese in a separate bowl. Mix the cracker mixture well.
  3. Spread cream cheese mixture across the bottom of a oven safe pan and spread the cracker crumb mixture in a nice layer on top.
  4. Pop in oven at 350 degrees for ten or fifteen minutes, until dip is hot all the way through.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips and ritz crackers.

Doughnut Tiramisu

This is a beautifully sweet spin on traditional Tiramisu (which is personally one of my favourite desserts). I found the recipe in a magazine and it turned out wonderfully. Its great to make the night before too- holds up in the fridge quite nicely.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 16 ounce container mascarpone cheese
  • 3/4 cup plus one tbs of confectioners sugar
  • 3 tbs coffee liqueur if you have it (I omitted it and it was still delicious)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups cold brewed espresso
  • 12 store bought old fashioned doughnuts, halved horizontally
  • cocoa powder for dusting

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine the mascarpone, 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, the coffee liqueer and vanilla in a large bowl and beat on medium speed until creamy. About a minute, no need to overmix.
  2. Combine the heavy cream and 1/4 cup confectioners suga in a separate bowl, beat on medium high speed until a stiff peak forms. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture in three additions, set aside.
  3. Combine the espresso and the remaining confectioners sugar in a shallow bowl. One at a time, dip the doughnut halves into the espresso mixture and arrange in a single layer on the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Break the doughnuts as necessary to line the bottom of the dish.
  4. Spread one third of the mascarpone/whipped cream mixture over the doughnuts. Dip the remaining 12 doughnut halves in the espresso mixture and arrange on top. Spread the remaining mascarpone mixture on top. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or over night. Cut into pieces and dust with cocoa powder.

No Knead Rolls

This is a fantastic, no bake recipe that requires little effort. I found the buns to be slightly dense, but very airy similar to a ciabatta bun. I used Epicure’s Focaccia seasoning both inside and outside of my dough for a yummy, earthy flavor. I think these would also make fantastic hamburger buns.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp instand yeast
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning

DIRECTIONS:

  1. 18 hrs before- or the day before- combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Stir until well mixed. Add the water, starting with 1.5 cups, and add a little more at a time until the flour forms a cohesive, wet ball. There should not be any dry flour left on the bottom of the bowl. The total amount of water you’ll need will vary, but should be somwhere between 1.5 to 2 cups. It is better for the dough to be slightly wet than it is for the dough to be too dry at this point.
  2. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for about 18hrs.
  3. After 16-18 hours, the dough will have expanded into a bigger, yeasty smelling mass of deliciousness. Sprinkle with enough flour to be able to scrape it out of the bowl without it sticking to your hands. Place the dough on a well floured surface. Cut the dough into 12 pieces. Shape each piece into a small ball. The dough will be quite wet, floppy, and sticky, so sprinkle liberally with flour as you work.
  4. Place the rolls on a baking sheet covered in foil and lightly sprayed with non-stick spray (I used two baking sheets because the buns expanded a lot). Brush the top of each lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning over top. Let rise for 30 minutes to one hour or until doubled in size.
  5. While the rolls are still rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Once it is fully preheated, place the rolls in the oven and bake until the surface is a light golden brown (about 25 minutes). Serve warm!

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burritos

This was a delicious, delicious recipe I found on Pinterest. Was really yummy- particularly for a vegetarian dish. This is what you need to serve 8- you could halve the recipe to serve 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (could use lime juice instead)
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lrg sweet potatoe chopped into 1 cm cubes
  • 3 cups cooked black, pinto or kidney beans (1.5 cups dried*)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced jalapeno
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 2 avocados, flesh removed and roughly mashed
  • 8 tortillas
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp dried cumin
  • 1 tsp dried coriander
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil for cooking
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a cup of grated cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add the sweet potato to a saucepan, cover with filtered water, bring to the boil then cover and simmer until just tender, around 20 minutes. Drain the sweet potato and set aside.
  2. Prepare your salsa by dicing 1 tomato, a pinch of coriander, a pinch of cumin, salt and lemon juice to a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside to allow flavours to develop.
  3. Heat coconut oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, jalapenos and garlic and sauté until soft. Add the sweet potato, 1 chopped tomato and spices and stir regularly for around 3 minutes to avoid the mixture sticking to the pan, mashing some of the sweet potato softly so that you have some mashed and some whole pieces of potato. Add the black beans, kale and lime juice and stir until combined and heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Roll your burrito with the cheese, salsa, avocado and enjoy!

Meatball Tortellini Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef chuck
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 3 cloves garlic grated
  • salt n pepper to taste
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 quart low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 package cheese tortellini (about 2 cups of dry or fresh pasta)
  • 4 cups loosely packed baby spinach

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine beef, parmesan, parsley, egg, garlic and salt n pepper in a medium bowl. Form into meatballs and pan-fry to for a couple of minutes (about 5).

2. Heat olive oil in a pot and add carrots, celery, and onion. Cook until softened, about ten minutes. Add broth and three cups of water and bring to a boil. Return the meatballs to the pot and simmer until the meatballs are almost cooked through and the veggies are soft.

3. Add tortellini and and cook until they float to the top. Add spinach and cook until wilted (about one minute). Season with salt and pepper and top with more parmesan.

Enjoy :)

Toum (Lebanese Garlic Dip)

Toum is a Lebanese garlic dip or condiment with literally translates to “garlic”. It’s used as a condiment on falafels and more commonly schwarmas  and it always served as in Arabic/Lebanese recipes. Some folks dip their fries in it, some use it to marinate meat, spread on wraps or even just dip your pita in it. However you use it, it is seriously delicious and Im super excited I have mastered the art of making it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 heads of garlic (you want fresh, healthy garlic that is firm on the outside and hasn’t started to sprout)
  • Oil (It’s better to stick with lighter oils like sunflower or canola, however some people do like to use Olive. If you are using a light oil like sunflower – which is what I use, it’s safe to measure out a cup full. If you are using a heavier oil, start with half a cup and add more if you feel like you might need more of it.)
  • The juice of 1 lemon (no seeds or pulp)
  • Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Throw your peeled and ready to go garlic and salt into the food processor and start chopping until its in very fine pieces. Its okay to stop, scrap the sides of the food processor down and process it a bit more to get it nice and small during this first step.
  2. Open the processor up and get all your finely pureed garlic pushed into the bottom of the bowl and make sure the sides are clean. Close it up and then turn it back on.
  3. Slowly start adding your oil. A really slow steady stream of oil is best. If you add too much oil at once your dip with break so its better to be overly cautious. Only add about a 1/4 of a cup of oil for the first bit, then  add a small amount of lemon juice (1 tsp or so) let it continue to whip together. Its very important you watch the consistency of your toum as it processes to make sure it doesn’t separate. If it separates you are pretty much done and will need to start over as there is no real way to build it back up after it breaks. After a couple of minutes, very slowly pour in another quarter of a cup of oil (over the duration of a couple minutes) and the slowly add another tsp of the lemon juice. Too much lemon juice or oil at once will also cause it to break. Continue to add the oil followed by lemon, until you have a nice, whipped, white coloured dip.
  4. Spread on your favorite sandwich, use it on garlic bread, or dip your pita in it, and enjoy :)

Sweet Potato, Sausage & Apple Breakfast Hash

This is a favorite recipe I make all the time and for some reason never think to post. I like this recipe better than traditional “big breakfasts” because its a little more nutritious and includes a non-bread carb option for those of us who try to limit how many breads we push into our bodies. I like to make mine spicy- but it can easily be made plain too. This recipe is enough for two or three as a meal, or six as a side.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 sausages of your favourite variety, uncooked but diced up (I love to use spicy sausage like hot italian)
  • 1 large spanish onion diced
  • 2-3 medium sweet potatoes diced
  • 2-3 apples cut up in diced

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat up cast iron frying pan until hot and add a little oil of your preference, turn to low.
  • Drop your diced sweet potatoes into the pan and let cook for a good 25 minutes or so, until slightly soft.
  • Add your sausage and onions to the frying pan, and when your sausage is about half cooked, add in your apples.
  • Cook until sweet potatoes are nice and soft.
  • Add a little salt n pepper to taste- or experiment with other seasonings (I personally like to use Slap Your Mama’s Cajun seasoning for a little extra kick!) Serve & Enjoy!

Optionally: You could add in scrambled eggs or bacon or pretty much whatever else you want. Experiment with it and have fun!

Party Kielbasa

It occurred to me today that I never actually had the opportunity to catch up on some of the recipes I meant to post before new years. Somehow January is nearly over and I have been slacking hardcore on updating the blog. This is an easy, quick party food you can prepare the day of a gathering in your slow cooker. Put them on tiny little toothpicks and you have an easy, quick party food that everyone will adore.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs kielbasa sausage
  • 2 cups ketchup or BBQ sauce if you want to put a extra yummy spin on it
  • 2 cups grape jelly

DIRECTIONS:

  • Slice Kielbasa into circles
  • Optional: Quick fry the kielbasa for about a half a minute on each side, to brown.
  • Pour the ketchup, jelly, and kielbasa into the slow cooker on low until the kielbasa is hot.
  • Serve on toothpicks

It’s really that easy :D


Tomato Parmesan Basil Soup (Slow Cooker Recipe)

This was a super nice soup a friend of mine gave me the base for. Generally, I am not a fan of tomato soup- but this is not only super healthy but also super delicious!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 cup finely diced onions
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano
  • 1 T dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ bay leaf
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups half and half, warmed (or skim milk if you’re trying to cut some calories)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker.
2.  Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.
3.  About 30 minutes before serving prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper.  Add additional basil and oregano if needed (the slow cooker does a number on spices and they get bland over time, so don’t be afraid to always season to taste at the end).
4.  Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.

And here is the stove top version, just in case:

Stove-Top Version of Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

If you want to make this recipe on the stove-top you can!  Here is the adjusted recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups diced tomatoes with juice (you can use canned)
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup finely diced onions
  • 4 Tbsp fresh basil or 1 Tbsp dried
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups half and half, warmed (if you want you can use whole milk, evaporated milk instead…or even skim if you want to skinny it up)
  • 1 tsp salt
DIRECTIONS:
1.  Heat oil in 4 quart soup pot.  Add celery, onions and carrots.  Saute 5 minutes.  Add basil, oregano, bay leaf, tomatoes, and chicken broth.  Bring it to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender (15 minutes).
2.  While soup simmers, prepare a roux.  Melt butter over low heat, add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 5-7 minutes.  Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup.  Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth.  Add back into soup pot.
3.  Simmer, stirring constantly, until soup begins to thicken.  Add Parmesan cheese and whisk to blend.  Stir warmed half and half, salt and pepper.  Simmer over low heat 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

TIP: Use fresh basil! Improves the overall flavour of this by a landslide!

Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars – Christmas Cookie Baking 2013

I made these for the first time this year and made a couple of edits to the original edits to reflect what is available to buy in Canada.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bag Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix (496 g)
  • 1 box Jell-0 vanilla instant pudding (102 g, 4 servings in a box)
  • 2 tbs packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 packages cream cheese (8 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup toffee bits crushed (I used Skor bits)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom and sides of a 13×9 inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl sitr cookie mix, pudding mix, brown sugar, butter, 1 tsp of vanilla, and one whole egg until a soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom and a half inch up the sides of the pan.
  3. In small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream and granulated sugar until smooth. Add remaining whole egg, 3 egg yolks, and remaining 1 1/2 tsps vanilla and beat until smooth. Spread over the crust in the pan.
  4. Bake 30-35 minutes r until set in the center. Immediately sprinkle with crushed toffee bits . Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate 3 hrs or until well chilled. Cut into 9 by 4 rows. Store covered in the refrigerator.