Homemade Mayonnaise Tuesday, Jun 14 2011 

I seldom buy mayonnaise now, I just make it! If you own a blender, it’s super easy. It doesn’t last as long as store-bought, but I know what the ingredients are, and it tastes great! 🙂  Since we’re only a family of 4 (and only 3 who eat regular food so far!), I usually only make half a batch at the time.

Homemade Mayonnaise

Blend:
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard

Clean sides of blender, add:
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Slowly, while blender is on, add:
1/2 cup oil

Add:
2 Tbsp vinegar

While running:
1 1/2 cups oil

Store in airtight container in the fridge. It will get thicker once refrigerated, but it can definitely be used right away.

Note: Since this is homemade mayonnaise without preservatives, be careful how long it stays out of the fridge, and make sure to keep it cold. By doing that, it should last you a good two weeks, possibly longer. Use caution, and if uncertain, discard. I only make half a batch at the time and when it is finished, I don’t make it again until I need it the next time. It’s quick to make!

Secret Recipe Club: Rainbow Chicken Salad Monday, Jan 28 2013 

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After a month off (due to Christmas), its Secret Recipe Club time again! I was glad to have December off since we moved across the country. We settled into our new apartment just before Christmas, and I’m not getting back into the swing of things (as much as a 1st trimester mommy can!). 🙂

This month I was assigned to Kudos Kitchen by Renee. Since I had some turkey leftover from Christmas in my freezer, I decided to make this beautiful colourful Rainbow Chicken Salad! I like that the sauce isn’t just mayonaise, but is half yogurt. Between that, and all its veggies added in, it makes this recipe a healthier sandwich filling, and so pretty to serve.

 

Rainbow Chicken Salad

2 cups chicken (or turkey!), cooked, diced into bite-sized pieces
1 medium purple onion, diced (I used white as I didn’t have any purple, but purple would be so pretty!)
1/4 large orange bell pepper, diced
1/4 large yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 apple, peeled and diced
1 lime, zest and juice (I used 1 Tbsp pickle juice!)
1 pickle, diced
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and stir to combine well. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.


Toddler Finger painting Monday, Dec 17 2012 

 

My husband had a great idea for our 1yr old. He let him to do some finger painting with mustard and ketchup, this way it would be ok if he ate some (not that he would lije the mustard!) and it will easily wash off the clothes, table, and floor. 🙂

 

Thought I’d pass that idea along! You could use many other things, such as BBQ sauce, mayonnaise, peanut butter, etc.

Secret Recipe Club: Coleslaw Monday, Sep 24 2012 

It’s Secret Recipe Club time again!! I always look forward to seeing which blog I’ll be assigned to. This month was a new experience! I was assigned to New Yorker by Heart which is a blog all in Dutch. I speak French, not Dutch, but thanks to google translate, I was able to browse around and find a yummy recipe. 🙂

I had some cabbage in the fridge and decided on the Coleslaw recipe, which looked yummy! And yup, we sure enjoyed it! 🙂  Thanks, New Yorker by Heart!

Coleslaw

6-7 cups coleslaw mix: red and white cabbage (finely chopped), and carrots (coarsely grated)

Dressing: 
2 1/2 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tsp mustard
3/4 cup oil
1/4 cup vinegar

Combine mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper and sugar together. Whisk oil and vinegar in – until dressing is smooth.

Pour dressing over coleslaw and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4hrs (or, if you’re like me, it still tastes good done last minute!!!) 🙂

 

 

 

 

Freezer Cooking Thursday, Sep 6 2012 

With school starting, activities to go to and from, fall tends to be a busy time of the year! Have you ever tried freezer cooking? You take a day or two and make assemble a lot of meals and freeze them. It makes dinnertime very stress-free! Simply take out a frozen dish the night before (or morning of), and cook it for supper. Make a simple salad and bread on the side, and you’ve got a healthy meal. Not only does it simplify life, but it also saves money and usually means healthier eating!

Towards the end of each of my pregnancies, I prepared meals for my freezer, as well as breads and muffins. It allowed me to relax, recover, and enjoy my newborn cuddles. 🙂  Last year, when preparing meals before the birth of my 2nd (before starting this blog), I wrote down the recipes I made and some basic directions. While not necessarily thorough step-by-step instructions, I wanted to post this here in hopes it may give some of you an idea of what freezer cooking can look like.

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First, I chose my recipes. They were all (except one or two) recipes I had made before and knew my family enjoyed. It wouldn’t be very fun having a freezer full of meals we don’t like! 😉

Secondly, I decided how many times I would make the recipe: doubled? tripled? quadrupled?

Thirdly, I wrote down all the ingredients I would need for each recipes, and compiled it into a master grocery list. (I’ll include it below) I made sure I had all the ingredients on hand, even basic things like salt! It would really complicate and slow the process down to run out of ingredients half way through your “big production”. 🙂

Fourth, I bought all the ingredients I needed and didn’t have on hand. Doing it this way allows you to buy ingredients in larger quantities, and you usually save money by doing this! I also bought disposable foil pans to freeze my meals in. I bought a huge stack of them for a cheap price. This meant no casserole dish to scrub after the meals! Yay!

Fifth step: the day before I plan on assembling my meals, I did prep work. I cooked all the meat that needed to be cooked for my meals. I set out all the ingredients on the counter/table. And I cut up the vegetables (onions, celery, etc). This is not a necessary step, but it makes it way less stressful the next day.

Sixth step: this was my day to assemble all the meals! Thankfully, my little sister and her friend agreed to come help, which made this step a breeze. Since I had done all the prep work, it was simply a matter of assembling everything, packaging it into the foil pans, putting the lid on, labeling each with a permanent marker, and freezer it! We did one recipe at the time. They had fun writing the names of each dish on the lid, and it made it fun to see what all they wrote on it each time I took a casserole out of the freezer. 🙂 As a side note: I didn’t cook the casseroles, we just assembled them and put them in the freezer. We finished by doing the dishes, which was surprising little considering the 40+ meals we had just made for the freezer. Doing it all at once really creates hardly more dishes than preparing one or two meals at the time.

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Here is the list of meals I prepared for our freezer cooking:

Sloppy Joes

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Casserole

Shepherd’s Pie

Chili

Spaghetti Sauce (recipe isn’t on this site?! Gonna remedy that soon!)

Lasagna

Beef, beans and rice Burritos (recipe is for beans and rice, but I added ground beef to it!)

Chicken Broccoli casserole

Meatballs (made them plain and could then choose to cook them plain, or Pineapple Meatballs, or Stewed Meatballs)

Hamburger patties

Soups: Tomato Hamburger, Barley Beef, and Chicken Beans Rice.

I also made some muffins, loaves of bread, waffles, granola, and cookies for the freezer. 🙂

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As for ingredients, this is what my ingredient list looked if you’re curious. 🙂  I had quite a bit of these on hand already, but writing it all out like this allowed me to make sure I was set for smooth sailing! 😀

Ingredients:

24 ½ cups cooked chicken pieces
8 cups grated cheese
7 cans cream of mushroom (or make your own cream of celery!)
¾ cup salsa
8 ¼ cups chicken broth
12-24 tortillas
30 oz froxen mixed veggies
2 cups frozen corn
1 ½ cup margarine/butter
1 ½ cup flour
17 cups chopped onion (1 large= approx 1 cup)
8 ¾ tsp salt
6 ¾ tsp pepper
¾ tsp garlic
4 tsp fennel seed
4 Tbsp chili powder
3 tsp cumin
24 cloves garlic
6 cups milk
10 oz frozen broccoli pieces
½ cup mayonnaise
4 oz can of mushroom stems and pieces
¼ tsp curry
16 celery ribs
36 oz stuffing
20lbs ground beef
5 cans tomato soup
1 cup ketchup
3 Tbsp vinegar
¾ cup brown sugar
5 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 cans beans
3 ½ cups carrots (7 carrots)
4 tsp sugar
8 tsp oregano
16 tsp basil
1 cabbage
12 cans diced tomatoes (28oz ea=336oz)
5 cups potatoes
4 Tbsp beef bouillion
2 bay leaves
3 cups uncooked rice
Lima beans
2- 500ml cottage cheese
2 boxes lasagna noodles
160oz tomato sauce (6-28oz cans)
4 cans kidney beans (16oz ea)
Oil
4 boxes spaghetti noodles

I hope this is helpful for some of you! Crystal, over at MoneySavingMom, also has a bunch of information on freezer cooking. Check it out here. Happy cooking!

Deviled Eggs Monday, Aug 20 2012 

We love deviled eggs around here! (By the way, my sister calls them angeled eggs, ha!) When I make these, I have to make a lot, because they get eaten up so fast! It’s a great addition to a salad lunch, or even as a snack. Great for potlucks too!

Deviled Eggs

6 eggs
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Paprika, optional

Hard-boil your eggs: place eggs in cold-to-lukewarm water in a pot. Slowly bring to a boil. Let it boil for 10 minutes. Immediately cool the eggs by pouring out the hot water and putting cold water on the eggs.  Once cooled enough to handle, peel the eggs.

Cut in half, lengthwise. Slip out the yolk and mash with a fork. Stir in mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper into yolks. Fill egg whites with egg yolk mixture, heaping it lightly. For a fancier look, place mixture in a cake decorating icing bag, and then fill the egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.

Cover, and keeps in the fridge up to 24hrs.

 

Recipe from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook.

BBQ-baked Potatoes Wednesday, Jun 13 2012 

My sister shared this recipe with me a few years ago, and I love making these in the spring and summer! Yummy recipes to go along with steaks, chicken, or sausages!

BBQ-baked Potatoes

3 potatoes, slice 1/4″ thick
1 small onion, sliced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp parmesan
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper

Mix together in large bowl. Double wrap in foil twice with Pam in the bottom.* Cook on the BBQ on medium heat 30-35 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

*I like to wrap them in individual-sized portions. Then each person can unwrap their own serving!

Secret Recipe Club: Cranberry Chicken Salad Monday, May 28 2012 

It’s Secret Recipe Club time again! I didn’t participate last month since we were on the road for 2 weeks, and missed it! It’s fun to get assigned to a new blog, get to know the author, and browse around for a recipe. 🙂  Usually I come up with several I want to try, and narrow it down to one that fits my fancy and cravings at that time. 🙂

This month I was assigned to The Gingered Whisk! Jenni has a super cute daughter, and shares my love of being in the kitchen. I always browse the bread sections, since that is a bit of my “specialty”. Jenni really likes using sourdough! It’s not something I’ve experimented with very much, but I want to. It was neat to see how many different types of bread can be done with sourdough. Good job, Jenni! It’s inspiring! 🙂

I received this assignment right after we got back home from 18 days on the road. I was exhausted, and my youngest was sick, so I looked for something quick. I decided on a very basic recipe, in hopes that some of you would benefit from it! What is better in these coming supper months than a yummy Chicken Salad sandwich?! You can eat it on crackers, buns, bread, or tortillas. It’s easy to bring on a picnic, or a day at the beach! It’s versatile too, you can add many different nuts and fruits to “spice it up”. 🙂

Jenni’s recipe is super simple. I tweaked it a bit because I had just gotten a Vita-Mix and wanted to try it out in there (worked great!), and because I’ve been craving cranberries so I had to add some in. 🙂

Cranberry Chicken Salad

2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded*
1 pickle, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Mayonnaise to taste
Handful dried cranberries, chopped**

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve on crackers, buns, bread, or tortilla wraps.

*Put mine through my Vita-Mix blender to shred! So quick! Would also work through a food processor, or chop finely with a knife.
** I put those through the Vita-Mix too!!


Make-Ahead Layered Salad Wednesday, Nov 23 2011 

You can’t quite see all the layers in this salad, but it’s so pretty and so yummy! It’s very versatile too, so use the recipe below exactly, or add extra veggies as desired! The layered salad pictured above has purple cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, peas, etc. It’s great because you can make it ahead, which makes suppertime preparations less hectic. Or for holidays, like Thanksgiving or Christmas! I loooove this layered salad. 🙂

Make-Ahead Layered Salad

1/2 head lettuce, sliced
2 branches of celery, sliced
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 green pepper, sliced
1/4lb mushrooms, sliced
10oz frozen peas, thawed
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp basil
1 cup cheese, shredded
4 slices bacon, well cooked and crumbed into pieces

In a bowl with straight edges, layer the lettuce, green pepper, celery, mushrooms, onions and peas. In another bowl, mix the mayonnaise, sugar, salt, garlic powder, and basil. Mix well, spread on top of peas. Top with cheese and bacon. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4hrs or overnight.

Summer Squash (or Zucchini!) Casserole Friday, Sep 9 2011 

Abigail, over at Tammy’s Recipes, shares her family recipe for a summer squash casserole. It tastes just as great with zucchini! It’s a perfect recipe for this time of the year when squash and zucchini is cheap to buy, or over-abundant in some of your gardens. 🙂

It’s a very easy recipe to make. The bread crumbs on top are a great way to use leftover stale bread. The recipe calls for mayonnaise, and I always use my homemade mayonnaise. I’ve also made it with some chicken chunks in it, or serving slices of ham on the side. It’s a great recipe we really enjoy around here. 🙂  I always make extra to have some for lunch the next day!

My husband bought me two zucchinis last time the farmers’ market was in town (they come to our town once a month in the summer). Look at the size of the zucchini! Almost the length of my big 6 month old! 🙂

I ground some of it up and put it into meatballs and hamburger patties I was making (to freeze). I also put some of the ground beef I cooked and froze for casseroles later on. Then we ate this squash/zucchini casseroles several times.

What are your favorite ways to use and eat zucchinis?

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