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text 2018-11-05 16:22
Menu Monday

Once again, I've been struggling to convince myself to cook.  But having this photo project to contribute to has encouraged me to keep on producing better food for myself.

 

First up, Harvest Baked Oatmeal:

 

 

This provided breakfast for a whole week!

 

 

Next up was Smoky Tomato Soup:

 

 

It all started with bacon because bacon makes everything better.  Hence the bacon sprinkles on the soup surface.

 

Please also note the Cornmeal Cheese Muffins on the side.  Nummy!

 

Then, I had bits & bobs to use up, so made a Frittata:

 

 

An excellent way use up a leftover baked potato, a red pepper that was on its last legs, some Italian sausage that I had defrosted but not put to good use yet, shredded cheese that had been open for a while, plus some eggs that had lingered in the fridge for a while.

 

 

Then, it was time to bake for Book Club.  They are my guinea pigs, so I tried a new recipe for Orange Gingerbread:

 

 

This was made with quinoa flour and almond flour.  The glaze was icing sugar & orange juice.

 

 

It was not bad, but didn't get rave reviews.  I rather doubt that I'll make it again.

 

And finally, on Saturday night for a treat, I made Hoisin Pork Ribs:

 

 

This is one of my all-time favourite recipes, a real comfort meal.  These are the left-overs, because I couldn't wait to dig in once they were ready.  With rice & broccoli, they made a great cool weather Saturday evening event.

 

Happy cooking, friends!

 

 

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text 2018-11-05 15:51
Menu Monday

Halloween wrap-up and three solid good meals.

 

 

Mini Halloween Cheesecakes

 

 

Ok, so most of the love I had for these was how cool and fun they looked, they definitely pop! It is a very easy recipe, your crust or base is a Halloween Oreo cookie and for cheesecake purists out there, you might turn a nose up at the easy cheesecake. I thought it all tasted great (yes, of course, the cheesecake doesn't have that thick goodness) but I was super pumped about how pretty they turned out.

 

Spicy, Sesame Snake Breadsticks

 

 

I cut the recipe in half, I only wanted 8 breadsticks, not 16. I don't know if that somehow hurt how much I had to work with, but as you can see, mine weren't coiled as much as the pictured ones. I had to really work with the dough to to get them thin enough and coiled. I don't know if all of this worked to make the dough more dry but these turned out super crispy, I like my breadsticks more soft. I also couldn't find black sesame seeds so I had to take a red pepper flake and cut it in half, time consuming and a lot of them ended up falling off anyway. UGH. I dipped them in sriracha ranch, good but too crispy for me.

 

 

Spooky Slime Cookies

 

 

Hard to tell just from picture if they turned out, right? Lol. I swear this is what they were supposed to look like. I think the creator was going for Slimer from Ghostbusters, which once I saw the recipe, I HAD to make. The hardest part was separating the egg yolks from the white, I use a plastic water bottle to do this and have about a 70-80% first time success rate but just beware the struggle can be real when trying to do this. I think they tasted a lot like cotton candy. If I were to make these again, I would flavor them, recipe says to add vanilla but I'd go with cherry, strawberry, or something stronger or more fun. They were somewhat blah or boring flavor wise. 

 

 

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

 

 

This one probably took just under an hour but I really enjoyed the flavor of the sauce. I used 99% lean ground turkey and Sweet Heat Stubbs BBQ sauce with 1/4 cup of packed dark brown sugar. Yummy! I don't like super saucy things, I call it drowning it, you can see by the picture, some would say I like mine dry. If you're a saucy person, I would recommend doubling the sauce as there wasn't much left over even after I used it. 

 

 

Vegetarian Fajita Pasta

 

 

I added corn and avocado. This was super simple to make and not time consuming. It was tasty and did have a little spice to it. Kind of one of those simple almost boring ones but gets the job done. 

 

Caribbean Jerk Chicken Bowls

 

 

Along with the Halloween cheesecake bites, this was a big winner. Easy to make and oh my god, so good. The flavors, the way they all combined together! Magnificent! I didn't have a Caribbean Jerk spice, so I went with our Spicy Creole and yowza, did this end up having some kick you in the pants and make your nose run. The avocado and mango worked wonderfully to help tone it down, though. I'll definitely be making this one again and you should too!

 

Don't forget to VOTE on Tuesday my American friends!

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text 2018-10-22 16:24
Menu Monday

 

It's fall and there were lovely crisp cabbages available at the grocery store.  I couldn't resist picking one up!  As a result, this week's photos are a bit cabbage-heavy.

 

 

First up was Vegetable Soup with Rice and Lentils.  I also had some fresh rutabaga that one of my cousins had grown.  So the vegetables consisted of onions, garlic, carrots, rutabaga and cabbage. 

 

 

With a spot of toast, it made a lovely lunch.  And I've packed a small bowl for my workday lunch today.

 

 

Next up was my trusty Cabbage Roll Casserole.  All the yummy taste of a cabbage roll, but without the fuss of assembling a cabbage roll.

 

 

With a dollop of sour cream, it was a great supper.  And I have plenty left to eat as leftovers for this upcoming week, which is a bonus.

 

 

Finally, while the cabbage roll casserole cooked, I threw together an Apple-Rhubarb Crisp.  I am now officially out of rhubarb, as I used the last bag in the freezer to make this crisp.  How long until spring?  Oh right, this is Canada.  It will be a while.

 

So my friends, bon appétit.

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text 2018-10-22 14:00
Menu Monday

You get double the usual amount of recipes this time since I missed last weeks Menu Monday :)

 

 

Shredded Chicken and Rice Stuffed Peppers (Halloween Style)

 

 

Ok, so I won't lie, these take a little bit of time and effort to make, especially if you make the Mexican Rice recipe, which I recommend you do because delicious. I make these every year because they aren't challenging, just time sucking. But look how adorable they are! They also have the bonus of tasting fantastic, always get a "These are really good!". I pack my little pumpkins and get 4 with a little left over. If wanting to bring some fun to the table and feel the season, these would be top pick :)

 

 

Vegan Roasted Cauliflower Chipotle Pizza

 

 

You better be a fan of kick and spice because this little puppy has some bark. When I made the chipotle sauce I substituted mayo with Greek yogurt (I know, I know, not technically vegan anymore) and added about two tablespoons of water. Roasting the cauliflower takes 20 minutes but you can make the jalapeno cream sauce while doing that. You have to love hotness to like this one but oh man was this good. I, of course, got the "you should make this with chicken instead of cauliflower" because the sauce was such a hit. For the non-meateaters who love kick, this is a must make.

 

 

Spicy Cauliflower Power Bowl

 

 

I ended up loving this one, which first looking at the recipe, I didn't think would happen. This doesn't look like much but it was filling and so tasty. I sauteed my kale with some garlic, cooked the quinoa in veg broth, and then poured some extra cauliflower sauce over the chickpeas and quinoa. Had a nice amount of spice and the combination of everything went so well together. So good, if want something tasty that probably only took me a little over half hour to make and feel like a boss ass healthy person, this is your go to.

 

 

Seasoned Baked Potato Wedges 

 

 

I literally had one left when I remember to take a picture of these, lol. I'm a fry gal, I dream of fries, god do I love me some fries. These were pretty simple with some paprika sprinkled on doing most of the flavor work. I enjoyed them because fries any shape, size, or flavor have my vote. If you can see, I also sprinkled some shredded cheese on top because CHEESE AND FRIES. 

 

 

Firecracker Salmon with Peach Avocado Salsa

 

 

This one takes some time because you have to thaw the salmon and then marinate it for half to an hour but after that it goes quick and is really easy. I put mine on rice because hey, simple. Again, I bow down to these people that come up with seemingly wackadoodle flavor combos, peaches?!?, that turn out so freaking good. I'm starting to think "flavor combos" is my new "give it some kick". I paired this with white wine and jammie pants. 

 

 

Vegan Spicy Pasta with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

 

 

Have I mentioned I love sweet potatoes? I imagine I have mentioned that only slightly less than my love of spicy and kick. This recipe combined those loves together really well. The cashew sauce was so good, y'all. I do think sprinkling on some halved cashews would give it some nice texture and crunch because it did feel like maybe something was missing but still good taste overall and probably only took around 45mins to make. 

 

 

Southwest Turkey, Vegetable, and Rice Skillet

 

 

The least photogenic and probably what I would call the loser of the week. I didn't add the zucchini because I loathe it, so maybe that would make it better? It was ok but just lacked something taste wise for me. Maybe kick? I kid, I kid, but yeah, blah. Was simple and easy to make without being time consuming, though.

 

 

Brownie Cupcakes

 

 

This is another Halloween one I make every year and let me tell you, this are f*ing amazing. God, I'm sitting here wishing I had another 26 to shove in my face. The brownie and cupcake with butter frosting is unhealthy in a way I don't fully want to think about as I ate 2 a day but Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I'll go to my grave ecstatic having eaten these even if they send me there early. Takes some time to make but not a lot and are pretty simple to put together. Sometimes I have to be careful taking the wrapper off as the brownie part wants to stick to it, so be aware of that. Make these and then try not to light 10 candles in my name after tasting these sweet, sweet heavenly demons.

 

 

Very Cherry Smoothie 

 

 

This was pretty good but trying to find frozen cherries took me to two grocery stores, who knew frozen cherries were not popular. I think the orange juice worked to overpower this, so I would do less next time but overall pretty good for a smoothie.

 

 

Lemon Peel - candied and roasted

 

 

Oh my god, did I say the turkey thing was the fail of the week? I TAKE IT ALL BACK. These little shits were the worst. They take TWO DAYS to make, scraping the pith off is not as easy as they make it seem (took me almost an hour), the heating, the draining, the reheating, the sitting, aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. They are a pain in the neck to deal with but my friends, the biggest sin of all? They tasted like bitter peels when I was done. The smaller ones tasted a little better but once you chew enough to remove the sugar coating, the fact that you just spent two days trying to make a lemon peel taste like candy slaps you across the face REAL quick. I halved the recipe, thank god, but I think four were consumed (I can't even begin to tell you how I tried to lie to myself that these tasted good because of all the time and effort. I think it was Raiden walking away, he never walks away when I'm consuming something!) before I threw in the towel and dumped the rest. The time. The effort. I'll be bitter about this one for a while.

 

Any food goodies to share?

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text 2018-10-15 20:16
Menu Monday

I really didn't have to do much cooking this past week--I coasted with turkey leftovers and scrambled eggs.

 

But, I did make Honey, Mustard & Herb Chicken, from the Yum & Yummer cookbook.

 

 

Here are the chicken thighs, fresh from the oven, with their lemon slice hats.

 

They also plated up attractively:

 

 

However, they tasted more lemony than Honey-Mustard, and I'm not sure that I'd make them again.

 

I also had two sweet potatoes that were really needing attention, so I assembled Pork & Sweet Potato Pie yesterday.  I was headed to the theatre in the afternoon, so I cooked the parsnips & sweet potatoes in the morning.

 

 

The parsnips form the base, then there's a ground pork layer, covered with mashed sweet potatoes and heated through in the oven.

 

 

My sister gave me two zucchinis, so I must get them grated up (maybe tonight) and next week's offerings may feature some zucchini recipes.

 

Bon appétit, everyone!

 

 

 

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