Secret Recipe Club: Polenta Pizza Crust Monday, Feb 25 2013 


This is my 12th Secret Recipe Club reveal day! I’ve enjoyed being part of this group, being assigned a food blog, choosing a recipe, and trying it out. Oftentimes, the blogs assigned were quite different than how I normally cook. So it was a challenge, especially at times, to find something that my whole family would like, yet something new and unique to try out! 🙂

I’ve enjoyed this time, but sadly this chapter of my blogging life is coming to a close now. With our recent move, getting used to our new schedule, expecting our 3rd, homeschooling our 1st, and preparing for our move to Africa in a few months, I have to let some things go. As fun as it’s been to be part of SRC, sadly, I’ll pass that fun on to another food blogger waiting to join. 🙂  So thanks for joining me in these past reveals, and do check in from time to time! Of course there will be new recipes posted here, that’s my hobby! 😉  I’m enjoying putting my recipes on here as it will also be so handy once we are in Africa, where I can’t bring all my cookbook stash. 🙂


This month, I was assigned Bean’s blog, Without Adornment. How fun to get to end this SRC journey with being assigned a fellow Canadian food blogger! 🙂  Bean cooks gluten-free, and, also has a lot of recipes that are dairy free, egg free, etc. It’s a great blog for those of you with these allergies!

After browsing around, I decided on the Vegan Polenta Pizza. However, I’m not using her toppings (kale, mushrooms and pine nuts). Sounds yummy to me, but I do have one child who is a picky eater, so I try to be sensitive to that, while pushing him to try new things as well. 🙂  He LOVES pizza, and guess what? He loved this one! I didn’t tell him it was a different crust. He took a bite and said “Mmm, this is good food!” and ate his whole piece. Yay!!!

I’m also excited about this crust, because, in Africa, they eat a lot of maize, which I believe is sort of similar to cornmeal. Since that will be so readily available to us, I’m sure I’ll be able to make a very similar pizza-crust to this recipe! And since my sons love it – yay! 😀  So thank you, Bean, for this recipe that I’m sure will come handy in the future!

Polenta Pizza Crust

2 cups water
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 1/2 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
dash pepper
3/4 cup cornmeal

Bring water to boil. Add seasonings and oil. Whisk in cornmeal slowly, and let it simmer/boil 5-7 minutes, until thick (oatmeal-like consistency), stirring constantly. Add a bit of water if necessary, though I didn’t need to – probably depends how hard you let it boil. 🙂

Spread on greased cookie sheet/pizza pan, working quickly so that the polenta doesn’t have time to set. I spread it on an 11″ circular pizza pan and it seemed the perfect thickness to us (“thin-crust”).

Bake at 450F for 20-25 minutes, until lightly brown underneath. Remove from oven, and put desired toppings on. Return to oven and bake another 10 minutes.

Breakfast Pizza Toppings (as pictured above):

4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
Meat or sausage of choice
Pizza sauce/salsa

Mix together eggs and milk, and cook in a frying pan. I left them slightly undercooked as they cooked a bit more in the oven.

Put desired sauce on top of polenta crust. I used pizza sauce on half, and salsa on the other (kid-friendly and for adults!). Spread scrambled eggs over the top. Place meat/sausage of choice. Top with cheese!

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


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.

Secret Recipe Club: Pumpkin Brownies Monday, Nov 26 2012 

Here comes another Secret Recipe Club recipe swap! This month, I was assigned Avril’s blog: Baking and Creating with Avril. Since we are moving cross-country this coming Thursday, I needed to find a fairly simple recipe. I knew I found the perfect recipe when I saw this one: Pumpkies (aka Pumpkin Brownies!).

We love pumpkin stuff, especially at this time of the year, I had some to use up in my freezer, and it’s a quick and easy recipe. 🙂  I made it, let it cool, then offered a piece to my 4-yr old. He took one bite and said “I really like this!!!” and proceeded to eat more instead of his lunch. 😉  (I guess it’s my fault for giving him some just before lunch!!)

Thanks for a yummy, quick and easy recipe, Avril! I’ll be making this one again. 🙂

Pumpkin Brownies

1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup flour (I used spelt flour)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I used: 1/4 tsp cloves, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cinnamon)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
Beat butter until light and fluffy, add in sugar, egg and pumpkin puree.  Mix all together until well combined then add in flour, spices and salt to your pumpkin mixture.  Mix all together thoroughly. Pour into greased 8″x8″ pan. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes.  Cool as much as you wish and serve.

Secret Recipe Club: Slow-Cooker Shredded Tex-Mex Chicken Monday, Oct 29 2012 

It’s my favourite Monday of the month again, time for Secret Recipe Club! I love getting assigned a blog, browsing through it, picking a new recipe to make, review, and rave about. 🙂  This month, I was assigned to Amy’s Fearless Homemaker’s blog. She has beautiful photography of her food! I can only dream of being able to do that. 🙂  (Doesn’t help that I live so far in northern Canada that it’s already dark when we eat supper. Natural lighting sure adds to beautiful photography!)

When I received her blog as my next assignment, I found it very easy to pick a recipe! It’s a recipe she had just posted: Slow-Cooker Shredded Tex-Mex Chicken! It looked amazing, and something my little family would love. I was right!

I served the shredded chicken with homemade salsa, corn, diced green peppers, and shredded cheese, on homemade tortillas! Delicious!

Slow-Cooker Tex-Mex Pulled Chicken

1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder (I used less as my boys are not overly fond of spicy)
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-2″ pieces
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup (packed) cilantro leaves, chopped (I omitted this)
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice

Place all ingredients in the slow-cooker. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, until chicken is cooked through and tender. The chicken pieces will be very tender at this point – you can either leave them as is, or shred them. I used a fork and pressed all the chunks to break them apart, right in the slow-cooker.

Serve with corn or flour tortillas. Can be served with rice, beans, salsa, sour cream, green peppers, corn, cheese, and any other toppings you desire!

Secret Recipe Club: Chick Pea Stew Monday, Oct 1 2012 

I’m part of an online club, called “Secret Recipe Club“. Every month, I am assigned a recipe blog where I get to choose a recipe, blog about it, and all the posts (of my group) go live on the last Monday or every month. It’s fun as it exposes me to new recipe blogs, get me to try new recipes, see what recipe someone else picked from my blog, and helps promote each others’ blogs.

Recently, one of the Secret Recipe Club members, Daniel of Haggis and Herring passed away (his wife Meredith wrote of his passing, and a eulogy here). Today, there is a special tribute reveal in his honor. All those who chose to participate picked one recipe from his blog, and we are now blogging about it. I thought this was pretty special, considering we only know each other through this online venture! Thank you, SRC hostesses, for organizing this!

I picked a Chick Pea Stew recipe. I put all the ingredients in the crock-pot, let it simmer all day and voilà! So easy! I really liked this recipe, though my boys were not quite as fans of it. I’ll be making it again anyways. 😉  I did cut down on the cayenne pepper and chili as my boys aren’t so keen on spicy (“it spices my tongue!”), but I personally quite liked the kick of this recipe. 🙂

Chick Pea Stew

1 cup onion, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups potatoes, cubed
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp salt
1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (about 2 cups, I cook my own from dry)
1 cup vegetable/chicken broth

Stovetop: Sautee onions and garlic (with 2 Tbsp oil) for 2-3 minutes. Add carrots and continue to saute for 4-5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are done.

Crockpot: Simply combine all ingredients and let simmer on low about 8hrs! The exact time will depend on strength of your crock-pot, but a crockpot is pretty forgiving that way. 🙂

Can be eaten just as it is, on top of rice, or noodles! I ate mine plain, my husband ate his on top of noodles, and my boys ate it plain with noodles on the side. 😉

Secret Recipe Club: Banana Honey Bran Bread Monday, Aug 27 2012 

This month, for Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned Judy’s Blog: My Judy the Foodie. Her blog is unique in that she started it as a way to relive her memories of her mother (who has passed away). She has/is working her way through her Mom’s recipes, blogging about them, and sharing the recipes with others. She shares memories associated with the recipes though, which makes it so personal and unique. I enjoyed browsing through several recipes, hopping around, reading her memories. I picked a yummy banana breadto try. Simple to make, but oh, so healthy and yummy! I made a double batch (two loaves), and it was gone in one day. 🙂  I made one batch with chocolate chips, and one with dried cranberries, yum!

Banana Honey Bran Bread

1 1/2 cups flour (I used spelt, would be a little less dense if using 1 cup wheat, 1/2 cup white)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup bran
2 eggs
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups bananas, mashed
1/4 cup walnuts, optional
1/2 cup chocolate chips/raisins/dried cranberries, optional

Beat eggs; add in milk, oil, honey, and bananas. Mix together dry ingredients, and stir into wet ingredients. Pour batter into greased bread pan. Bake at 350F for 45-60 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then take bread out of pan and let cool on cooling rack.

Notes: ~ the original recipe says to bake for 1hr, but I checked mine after 50 minutes and it was a bit overcooked. I’m sure that varies by oven, so check your bread after 45 minutes and go from there! Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle, if it comes out clean, the bread is done. ~ Judy mentions she would add extra mashed banana for added moisture. I tried without adding extra, and I agree with her! Increasing the mashed banana to 2 cups would go very well in the bread, I’m sure!

Secret Recipe Club: Peanut Butter Popsicles Monday, Jun 25 2012 


It’s Secret Recipe Club time again! This time I was assigned Laura from A Healthy Jalapeno! I had a lot of fun browsing through her recipes, deciding which one to make! Since this post is getting published while we are away on a trip, preparing to go to Malawi (Africa) as missionaries, I had to pick something a little bit quicker to make. The recipe I picked is certainly quick and perfect as a summer treat!

We really liked these easy, healthy, and perfectly refreshing Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt Pops! I adapted the recipe just slightly to what I had, and they were very delicious. 🙂  I love another yummy homemade popsicle recipe to add to our collection! The other two popsicles we make a lot are Smoothie Popsicles and Coffee Popsicles. And while I’m at it, I want to highlight a fruit popsicle recipe my friend Wendy recently posted on her blog: Frozen Fruit Pops!


Can you tell how much he liked them?! 😉

Peanut Butter Yogurt Popsicles

2 cups plain yogurt
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter (I used what I had: crunchy natural peanut butter)
1/2 cup honey

Add all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Fill in popsicle molds, or little cups with a popsicle stick in the middle. Freeze until solid. They come out of the cups easily by running them under hot water for a few seconds. Enjoy! Have a good summer! 🙂

Secret Recipe Club: Iced Coffee! Monday, Mar 26 2012 

This month, for Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Baking Bad. (The owner of the blog is currently experiencing some technical issues. As a result, the links to her blog in this post are currently suspended. I was unable to get the recipe transfered to here, for now. This should be resolved in a few days, when the issues are fixed. I apologize!)

Since I was doing a one-week very-limited flour and sugar diet, I decided to try the iced coffee recipe. Well, it takes quite a bit of sugar to make iced coffee, but that’s ok! 😉  It was very easy to make, and will be a recipe I will use this summer in the hot days for sure! With enough sugar, and rich milk/cream, you can’t go wrong! 🙂

With Spring upon us, I hope many of you can enjoy this iced coffee recipe! Reminds me of my Coffee Popsicles, just in a liquid version, yum!

Secret Recipe Club: Sweet Potato Wedges Monday, Feb 27 2012 

Doesn’t this supper look yummy?! Steak topped with roasted onions, garlic and mushrooms, fresh homemade baguette, and sweet potato wedges! Oh, we had salad too. 🙂

This month, I was assigned Lynsey Lou’s blog, through the Secret Recipe Club in which I participate. I always look forward to seeing which blog I get assigned to, and browsing through. I end up opening tons of tabs with possible recipes to choose from, then have to somehow narrow down to one!! That was the “problem” again this month looking through Linsey Lou’s blog. 🙂

I decided on these Sweet Potato Wedges, as I don’t often cook with sweet potatoes but want to experiment with them more. I was disappointed at all with these! Easy to make, minimal ingredients, and very tasty. Thanks Lynsey for a yummy recipe!

Sweet Potato Wedges

1/2 Cup, plus 2 Tablespoons butter
1 1/2 Teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 Sweet potatoes, cleaned and cut length wise into wedges
2 Teaspoons salt
2 Teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
A little brown sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large pan, over medium heat, melt the butter.  Remove pan from heat and stir in the cinnamon, then add in the potato wedges and toss to combine.  Season the potatoes with salt and pepper.

Place wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Roast the potatoes stirring occasionally, until tender, about 20-25 minutes.  Remove from oven, sprinkle brown sugar (if desired) and serve warm.

Recipe source: Paula Deen, Food Network

Cinnamon Orange “Monkey” Bread – Secret Recipe Club Monday, Dec 26 2011 

It’s time for another Secret Recipe Club post! It’s my 3rd month doing these, and I must say it is a lot of fun! I enjoy getting an email with the link to a food blog that I haven’t come across yet. Then browsing through their blog, drooling over pictures, opening tons of tabs with recipes I’d like to try, and then debating over which ones I can realistically get done. 🙂  It’s a fun challenge!

This month I was assigned Food Babbles. Kate loves to cook, write, and photography. As a result, she has a very nice blog and great pictures! I had a hard time narrowing down which recipe to make and post about. 🙂  My friend was looking at all my tabs and decided we should do the Cinnamon Orange Finger Bread, which Kate also calls Monkey Bread! I love calling it Monkey Bread, seeing as I love monkeys. Well, a friend nicknamed me “monkey” in college – don’t ask why. I was crazy back then you see. But not anymore. Now I’m a serious Mom to two boys. Really. 😉

We all loved this bread. It’s fun to pull it apart instead of slicing, it’s delicious, and it’s pretty. The only downside is that it dries out very quickly since it has milk and an egg in the dough. Still, you won’t regret making this! Just eat it all the same day you make it (which won’t be a problem), or you can easily rewarm it in the oven or microwave later!

The recipe below is a slight adaptation from Kate’s, in that I added wheat flour. I’m Anne Jisca’s Healthy Pursuits after all. 🙂  (I can also justify eating more this way!!!)

Cinnamon Orange Finger Bread (“Monkey” Bread)

1/4 cups water, warm
2 1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour (plus more for kneading, if necessary)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 large egg
2 Tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cups warm milk

1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
zest of 1 large orange

2/3 c. sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 sticks of butter
2 Tbsp orange juice

Proof yeast if using dry active yeast, or skip this step if using instant.

Stir in 1 cup of flour, salt and sugar. Stir in the egg, melted butter and warm milk. Add the remaining flour in 3 additions mixing at medium speed with the dough hook after each addition. Once all the flour has been incorporated, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten. Cut off small pieces and form into 1/2 inch balls.

In a small bowl combine the coating ingredients: 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon and the zest of 1 large orange.

Roll each dough ball in the cinnamon/sugar/zest mixture and place into a greased bunt pan. After all the dough balls have been coated and placed in the pan, cover the pan lightly with plastic wrap and let the bread rise until almost doubled (about an hour).

After the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Make the sauce: place the butter, 2/3 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of orange juice and 2 teaspoons cinnamon into a small saucepan. Over medium-low heat, melt the mixture stirring constantly until smooth.

Pour the mixture over the dough and immediately place in the oven. Bake for 40-50 minutes. After the baking is done, invert the bundt pan on a plate and allow to sit for 15 minutes with the bundt pan still on top. After 15 minutes, remove pan and cool slightly and then serve either warm or at room temperature.

Also linked at Sweets for Saturday!

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