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Chocolate Clusters

On the weekend I needed something yummy and I needed it quick!  So I made Chocolate Clusters.  To make them I used:

12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

12 oz butterscotch chips

16 oz spanish nuts (redskins)

Over a double boiler I melted the chocolate stirring frequently. halloween-and-soup-046  I poured in the nuts and mixed them well.  halloween-and-soup-048

Can’t you just taste how good a spoonful of this would be???

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Then on to a baking sheet with waxed paper and they are done.   They are soooo yummy.  halloween-and-soup-057

I’ve slipped them into a tin and into the freezer out of temptation’s way, although I discovered tonight they sure are yummy when they’re nice and frozen cold..mmmmmm..   These Chocolate Clusters are ideal for making ahead and just take them out of the freezer to share with family and friends.  Thats one quick and easy yummy! 

Have a lovely day…. Judi

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Beef Vegetable Bean Soup

You know if you like beans thats a good thing because they are so good for you too!  High in fibre and no fat.   Now I seem to have some kind of fascination for beans.   You guys have more beans that we do in Canada so it seems I’ve been stocking up over the summer.  In the summer when its hot we tend not to make too many comfort foods that I might put beans into, but I do love them in salads.  Well today I made such a salad and opened up a lovely can of navy beans for it.  halloween-and-soup-0441It was at that time that I discovered I had this “collection”  (2 cans are not in the picture because I used them today).  Now I didn’t want to pull out all the packages of split peas, yellow and green and whole beans and lentils I have in this “collection” for the picture.  

On the back of a can of butter beans was a recipe for Beef Vegetable Bean Soup.  Sooooo because it was a rainy and dismal day thats what I was making for dinner.  That would take care of 2 cans of beans, 1-1/2 cans for the soup, the rest for a couple days work of salad.   I’m home this weekend busy making soaps and jewellery for my Christmas sales coming up.   So I made the soup.  Last week we made Taco Soup.  This is a bit similar but has these wonderful beans in them.  In the place of curry powder which I was out of I added some Taco seasoning mix. 

Ingredients:

1 lb. lean hamburger

1 onion (diced)

1 can butter beans + I had 1/2 can navy beans opened so added them also

1 16oz stewed tomatoes

1 can tomato soup, undiluted

1 can of corn

2-3 tsp. curry powder (I used some Taco seasoning)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

Fry up the beef for about 5 minutes and then add the onions.  halloween-and-soup-017 Cook until the onions are softened.  halloween-and-soup-018 Add the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Lower the heat, stir and cover.  Continue cooking for 1 hour on low stirring periodically.

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This really turned out so yummy.  It was so easy too.  After I took the picture I wondered how this soup might taste with a some grated cheese … and a tablespoon of nonfat sour cream?  Wanna know?  DELISH!!  

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Today I’m driving an hour north to my mom’s.   We are going to the Sugarplum Craft Sale at the Nottawasaga Inn.  This has become an annual event.  I’m taking some soup for her.  She has a container and it seems to be going back and forth between us.   This week I had dinner at her place and it came back to me again and  with leftovers.  Now that its time to take it back to her I’ve put in some Beef Vegetable Bean Soup.  Try it and if you do let me know what you think.  Whew.  I’m down 2 cans now.

You know…the butter beans have 6 gm of fibre in 1/2 cup.  That sounds like a lot!

Have a lovely day.    Judi

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Quick Sausage and Sauce over Fresh Linguine Pasta

  This is my donkey’s tail.  I planted 6 short tails last spring and this is how pretty mama’s little donkey is just a year later.   Its a fun plant to grow because when it drops any of its little pieces, I just drop them back into the soil.  These begin growing in no time.  I’ve learned the amount of water it requires to keep it from thinking its time to multiply.

When I got back yesterday after being away 10 days I watered all my plant babies (although my son had been by to water them).  I think my donkey’s tail wanted to reach up and hug me.   I’ve never seen it look like this.  Normally it hangs.  I guess it just missed me.

After a day back to work I wanted something relatively easy but yummy for dinner.    Do you use the Hillshire Farms Kielbassa or Sausage?  I can’t buy them here but buy them when I’m in the states and keep some in my freezer.  I used the Turkey Kielbassa this time.  The fat content is lower than usual sausage and its so tasty.     I sliced up some green pepper, 2 stalks of celery, about 1/4 of a sweet onion and sauted them in a fry pan with some olive oil.  I cooked that until the onions were softening and yellowy and then I added about 1/2 the sausage sliced diagnally.  I stirred everything together and cooked until the sausage was slightly browned.  Then I added approximately 1/2 jar of sweet and sour sauce (you can adjust to your liking) stirring it altogether as well as about 1/2 cup of water to that and continued cooking to heat through.  You can add a dash or two of tabasco sauce if you’d like a little heat.  I served it over some fresh linguine pasta along with a fresh salad.  Very fast and very yum!

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Stuffed Red Peppers

 

My workplace office is really a great place with great people to spend the day with.   Everyone is part of a great support team, with laughter, helpfulness and regard for each other.  And I think the fuel of it is…………….food!  *grinning*.  Everyone loves to eat and participate.  It doesn’t take any particular reason to celebrate something with food.  An email requesting a response for anything else  is not answered as quickly as asking what we would like to bring for our chili bakeoff, or soup day, or Mexican day, or high tea etc.   We love to share recipes and discuss and admire each other’s lunches. 

Today at work a colleague was heating up a stuffed red pepper she had prepared last night for dinner.  It looked and smelled so good and a few minutes I had the recipe firmly in my hand.   As I packed up to leave work another colleague was asking her for the recipe.  This is the recipe and pictures of the Stuffed Red Peppers I made and enjoyed tonight.  Very yummy.

Stuffed Red Peppers

6 red peppers

1-1/4 lb lean ground beef

2 cups chopped onions

3 cloves garlic

2/3 cup cooked rice

2-1/2 cups tomato sauce

3 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley

1/2 tsp allspice

1 tsp salt (to taste)

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp paprika

olive oil for sauting

Take the top off the peppers and chop the tops.  Saute the chopped pepper tops, chopped onions and garlic in the frying pan with the olive oil for about 8 minutes until the onions are softened.   Into a large bowl combine the rice and the sauteed vegetables, beef (uncooked) and spices and mix well.  Add 1/2 cup of tomato sauce and mix again.  Fill each red pepper with the mixture and place them into a pot.  Spoon the 2 cups of tomato sauce over the peppers.  Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat but allowing a low boil for about 50 or until pepper is soft.  Voila.  Thats all there is to it. 

 

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Blueberry Muffins

Homemade Blueberry Muffins

This blueberry muffin is very nice and not one of those real sweet goodies.  Actually the sprinkling of icing sugar on the top sweetens it up nicely.  It makes a dozen regular sized muffins.  I was supposed to go to my mother’s place today to bring over some Christmas things for storage.  Suddenly the weather just turned nasty and I decided not to make the 1 hour trek on Hwy 400 which can get pretty nasty.  So, instead I stayed home and baked muffins.  This is the recipe:

Blueberry Muffin Recipe

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons baking pownder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Zest of one orange

1 large egg, lightly beaten

3/4 cup (180 ml) buttermilk

2/3 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 375F and grease muffin tin or spray muffin papers

In another bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract.  In another large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest. Gently fold in the berries.  Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until the ingredients are just combined.  Do not overmix. 

Fill each muffin cup using an ice cream scoop or 2 spoons. Place in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. If you are using fresh berries you may want to check them earlier.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Dust with icing sugar.

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