Sunday, October 31, 2010

Grocery Day, Halloween

New this week:
The steak was another "What's for Supper" meal. Smothered in peppercorn sauce, with some sauteed onions and mushrooms? Delish!!!!
Curried Butternut Squash Soup (Thanks, Michelle!)
Potato Leek Soup
Honey Lentils

And the spaghetti and meatballs are at the request of Elliot.

Let's all keep our fingers crossed that I don't go overboard with Halloween sweet tonight, ok?!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cauliflower cake?

Last night's cauliflower cake was amazing. Felix ate 3 pieces. Hubby went back for another. Elliot picked at his, but he also ate 2 servings of leafy salad - something he's never done before. This cake has magical powers, everyone!

I didn't have any turmeric, so it's not nicely yellow like in the Smitten Kitchen post. I also used a full carton of egg whites. And a tub of freshly grated Romano cheese. It was like a dense mac & cheese. And so surprisingly good!

From what I can recall, yesterday's foodies went something like this:

-Decaf chai tea latte
-about 6 bread rolls from Julian's French Bakery, some with mozza cheese
-chocolate croissant, also from Julian's
-3 "Sweet & Salty" granola bars
-a blueberry Yop drink
-cauliflower cake with green beans and salad
-glass of white wine
- leftovers in a bag of Doritos chips

Saturday, October 23, 2010

October 23rd Groceries

Still on a veggie-heavy kick. Got a few new things to try this week, too...

New this week:
*Tonight we're going to try Cauliflower Cake, as featured on Smitten Kitchen
*Thursday's Asian Chicken is courtesy of What's For Supper? Pre-assembled, frozen, homestyle cooking. We order 6-12 meals from them a couple of times a year. Someday, I'll actually go in and prepare the meals myself - until then, we pay a bit extra and have them ready and waiting for us to pick up.

I'm off of caffeine, have been for over a week now (go me!) so I've been buying tea latte mixes. I'm hooked on a Tazo Chai Latte mix, but it is soooooo high in sugar (plus I'm drinking 3 a day!) I need to find a less sweet alternative. I think I saw a decaf green tea mix last time.  Must investigate.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October 18th Groceries

So, we're trying to go meatless. For a variety of reasons: health, budget, food with faces... it's something we've been leaning towards for a while now. We're not banning meat, but will be consciously trying to eat it less. Got a fantabulous vegetarian dish? I'd love to hear from you!

This week, we'll be having some old favourites, but also sampling a few newbies:
Sweet Potato Chili
Curried Cauliflower Stew

This afternoon, I was inspired by yet another Smitten Kitchen recipe and just had to make her Apple and Cheddar Scones. They turned out very rich... and highly DELICIOUS!

Nom nom nom!

Last week's grocery list

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Monday

Have eaten the following today:

2 hot crossed buns
goldfish crackers
carrot sticks
Cadbury Creme Egg Twisted chocolate bar ~ new fave. Seriously. Awesome.
Peanut granola bar

And then there was....

Roasted pumpkin, destined to be cheesecake

Oh my. More, please.

Cream 500g cream cheese with spices (I used Epicure's new pumpkin cheesecake spice mix) Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time. Add  2 cups pure pumpkin puree, beat until smooth. Set aside. For crust, mix 1 1/3 cups of graham cracker crumbs with 1/3 cup of butter and press into a spring-form pan.  Pour in batter mixture and bake for 40 minutes (or until done) at 325. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate until serving.

Cranberries, water and sugar simmering down into sauce
All that hard work... so good! Mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots, squash, peas & corn, stuffing, cranberry sauce....

Jay's pumpkin pie - filling from a can, crust from scratch
My pumpkin tarts from scratch!

I used the roughly 1 cup of pumpkin puree left over from the cheesecake, added about 1/3 cup of coffee cream and a teaspoon of Epicure's pumpkin pie spice and spooned it into the (awesome) crust we made. Baked at 375 for 30 minutes.  They were very tasty - barely sweet at all, which I preferred. Hubby - not so much.  Next time, I  might add a tablespoon of brown sugar...

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Potato boats
(With sliced apple sails)

I find this recipe works best with pre-baked and already cold potatoes. 

4-6 baked potatoes, cut lengthwise
Scoop out potato, being careful not to tear the skin
Mash scooped out potato with milk, butter, sour cream  (whatever your normal routine is)
Add 1-2 cooked, diced chicken
Add 1 cup of chopped broccoli
Add at least 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar (or other) cheese
Spoon cheesy potato mix back into hollowed potato skins. Top with more shredded cheese, if desired. 

Bake at 350 until heated through, about 15 minutes.

Chicken Pot Pie

This was a loooooooong process, but totally worth it for taste. Next time, I think I'll use pre-made crust and leftover turkey (Mmmmm, thanksgiving, I'lm looking at you!)

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into small bits
1/4 cup cold vodka
1/4 cup cold water 

Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, salt and sugar in parge bowl (with food processor, if you have one. I don't.) Add butter and shortening and mix with pastry blender until all broken up (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Add remaining cup flour and mix to combine.

Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup potatoes, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
pinch of black pepper (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 cups turkey or chicken stock
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups cooked turkey or chicken, chopped

Several hours before serving:Melt butter in a saucepan (medium heat). Add onion, carrots, potatoes and celery and cook until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir in flour and whisk, keeping the pot on medium heat, about 2 minutes. Add seasonings and stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until it thickens, about 5 minutes.

Remove bay leaf. Stir in peas and chopped turkey or chicken. Cover and set aside to cool, then refrigerate until cold. The cold filling will be quite thick.

45 minutes before serving:Preheat oven to 425°.
Spoon filling into 9" pie crust shell. Place second pastry layer over top of pie and seal the edges. Make vents in the top of the pie with a knife or fork, for steam to escape.

Bake 12 to 14 minutes, then reduce heat to 325° and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until pasty is golden brown and filling is bubbling.

For Elliot's birthday, we made chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. They were awesome. I added a bit of lemon flavour to the vanilla muffins. Delish!

Chocolate cupcakes  

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  1/4 teaspoon baking soda
 2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
 3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk

 Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.

  In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.

   Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. 

    1 cup white sugar
    1/2 cup butter
     2 eggs
     2 teaspoons vanilla extract
     1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
     1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
     1/2 cup milk
Cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into a greased 9x9 pan or lined muffin tin.
  Bake for 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch.

For lunch, we served the kids (and parents) homemade mac & cheese - but without the french toast topping I usually do. I put more shredded cheese on top. It was devoured!

Strawberry syrup

I made this to blend with my crockpot yogurt, but that batch didn't turn out. I am still sad about it. But the syrup has been good on pancakes!

Frozen strawberries, drizzled with honey, defrosted in the microwave, then mashed into oblivion.

Robot Man

The boys were fussing at breakfast time. I was going to put some crackers on a plate for them, but as I poured them out, a shape emerged. Add some peanut butter, honey and raisins and VOILA!

And finally, here's this week's grocery list. Nothing truly amazing to add from last week - except that we made do with only a $30 trip for essentials - used up lots of beans and frozen goods from the freezer. My favourite was fish chowder made in the crockpot - threw in butter, onions, potatoes and frozen chopped fish, covered everything with water, added salt, pepper and lemon dill seasoning... cooked on low all day then added a can of milk before serving. Yummy! A bit thin, so next time I wouldn't use as much water. I also loved the apple-cheddar-turkey meatballs I made. Loosely followed A Year of Slowcooking's recipe, but baked in the oven on 400 for 20 minutes instead. YUM!

And yes, cheese was on sale for $4.44 per 500g block. I bought 7. Looking forward to turkey dinner next weekend, too. The butter Chicken recipe is new - out of a jar, but we haven't had it before. Let's see how it goes! And last night's tofu stirfry was tasty. I made a Thai sauce with (unmeasured quantities of) ginger powder, chopped garlic, fish sauce, red curry paste, lemon juice, water and sesame seeds.