Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Pad Thai

My Meatless Monday pick was Pad Thai (click on name for link)

I really liked this recipe. I have made Pad Thai before and I found there was not enough flavor in other recipes, but this one was perfect. It was light, crunchy and flavorful. Even better, it was easy and quick. I couldn't stop eating it, plus I am a sucker for noodles. My son loved it, so it was kid approved! I added bean sprouts and I think those were his favorite part. I will be making this again and again.

I made a few adjustments and I noted them in the recipe.


**I doubles the sauce, so I doubled the sugar, soy sauce, lime juice and garlic. I didn't use it all though, maybe 3/4 and if it is too saucy, drain some out**

8 ounces of wide flat rice noodles ( I uses 11 ounces so I could have leftovers)
Bean sprouts
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 squirt (about 1/8 teaspoon) Sriracha (optional) **I didn't have this so I added some thai chili paste, not a lot**
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 scallions (green onions), white and green parts, separated and thinly sliced **I used 6**
1 garlic clove, minced 
2 large eggs, light beaten (optional)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts


**I recommend doing all your prep before you start to cook because it comes together very quickly. Also, have a plate ready to put the egg on when it finishes cooking**

1. Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain. Put aside.  I used this kind:

2. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, and Sriracha.

2. Chop the end of the scallion. Chop the greens and put aside. Chop the white part and put aside.


3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add scallion whites and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Beat eggs, then add them and and cook, scraping skillet with spatula until eggs are almost set (about 30 seconds). Transfer eggs to a plate.

4. Add noodles, scallion greens, and sauce to skillet. Cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are soft (about 1 minute). Add egg mixture and toss to coat, breaking eggs up gently. I also added bean sprouts at the end.

5. Serve noodles  topped with cilantro and peanuts.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Meal Plan for Jan 28 - Jan 31

So, I am going out West to Edmonton AB to visit my baby bro and his wife. It will be my last HURRAH before I go back to work from Maternity leave. So, there will be no meal plan for next week, as I will be skiing and seeing beautiful mountain landscapes instead of cooking, haha!

When I am back to work, I still intend on meal planning, I just may not have time to post everyday during the week and I won't have as much time to make more complicated dishes that I am unfamiliar with. But, I will try to post at least once a week with my favorite dish that week or a favourite new recipe I found. So, please still come visit for some meal ideas. Most will be quick, easy and child friendly.

Here is my meal plan for this week: (click on the name for the link)

Meatless Monday - Pad Thai

Tuesday - Mashed Cauliflower and Cheese and Cracker-barrel Grilled Chicken Tenderloin

Wednesday - garlic butter sweet potato fries with creamy feta dip and Basil stuffed chicken

Thursday -  Seared steak fajitas

Friday - Nothing as I will be leaving on a jet plane!

EDIT: I didn't cook Wednesday or Thursday night, so I don't have any recipe reviews for those days. I will have to make these recipes another time.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Skillet Pasta

So, I was going to make Skillet Lasagna and for those who still want to make it, click on the name for the link. However, I didn't get a chance to get the ingredients, so I improvised. I made Skillet Penne Pasta instead.

I liked this recipe, but it was nothing special, other then I made it one dish, so there was little mess to clean up. If I cook, I don't have to do dishes, so it really doesn't matter that much to me, but I am sure my man liked it. The recipe I used is actually pretty much how I make my spaghetti sauce, so it was pretty easy for me to make, as I have made it hundreds of times. Spaghetti sauce is one of the first meals my mother ever taught me to make. My mother made sure I learned to cook at a young age and growing up, I was always responsible to cook 1 meal a week. As I got older, I made most of the meals since I would get home from work first. Spaghetti is also one of my sons all time favorite meals, so it is made very frequently in my house. Plus, I make big batches, so I can freeze the sauce to make quick meals on busy days. I used penne this time because it is also one of my daughters favourite foods and penne is easy for her to pick up to eat. The only thing that is different from this recipe to my own, is that I added water so the pasta could cook in the sauce.

All in all, everyone liked it and it was very tasty.


1 can of diced tomatoes
1 jar of tomato sauce (I think I used garlic and herb flavor) + 1 cup of water (add more or less depending on how much pasta you use, I use almost a full box)
Diced peppers
Diced onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 lb ground beef
Red Pepper flakes (optional). I didn't use too much as my 11 month old would be eating it)
Basil (I used 2 frozen cubes)
1/2 tsp or oregano
1/2 tsp parsley
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of other favorite cheese of choice (I used left over Tex Mex from my Baked Chicken Taquitos earlier this week)
1 package of whole wheat Penne pasta


1. Prep veggies and then set a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the beef and start to brown. I add the garlic, red pepper flakes, peppers and onions when the beef is half way cooked (I like my veggies a little crunchy, so I add them closer to the end). Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is completely browned. 

2. Add the Penne to the pan, but do not stir - just let them sit on top of the veggie/meat mixture. 

3. Pour the tomato/water mixture and the tomato sauce over the noodles (again, don't stir). Add more salt/pepper, basil, oregano and pasrley. 

4, Cover the pan and bring the liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, now stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender. I found it took about 30 minutes or so for the Penne. While it simmers, I grated the Parmesan cheese. 

**I just want to go on a slight tangent regarding this pot. My man bought it at Costco and it is the Kirkland brand. I gave him a hard time when he bought it because it was big and heavy and we had a tiny kitchen without a lot of storage space....AND he has a Costco shopping problem, but that is another story...I digress. Anyway, I LOVE this pot. It is an enameled cast iron pot that can be used on the stove top and in the oven. It is a perfect size for most sauces or soups that I make. I use it frequently and I would say it is a MUST HAVE ITEM in my kitchen. I totally ate my words for giving my Costco loving man a hard time**

5. Turn the heat down low and stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, let it melt.

6. Add the other cheese, turn off the heat, then cover and let stand for about 5 minutes to allow the cheese to soften.

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

How can I describe all the ways that I LOVE this recipe?!?! It is moist, tasty and somewhat healthy compared to some muffin recipes. 1 muffin is 190 calories. For me, coffee, yogurt and a muffin is a perfect breakfast. These muffins were SUPER easy and quick to make. I will be making these frequently.

Ingredients: (made 12)

cup Yoplait® 99% Fat Free plain or creamy vanilla yogurt (from 2-lb container)
cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
egg or 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
cup canola oil
cup packed brown sugar
cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
cup whole wheat flour
tsp baking soda
tsp ground cinnamon
tsp salt
cup fresh or frozen (do not thaw) blueberries


1. Heat oven to 400°F. Place paper baking cups in 12 regular-size muffin cups, or grease bottoms only of muffin cups.

2. In small bowl, mix yogurt and oats. 

3. In large bowl, mix egg, oil and brown sugar. Stir in flours, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and yogurt mixture (batter will be lumpy). Gently stir in blueberries.

  • 4. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake 18-20 min or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Baked Chicken Taquitos

Baked Chicken Taquitos

I made this recipe before and it is something that is quick, easy and kid friendly. It is also great for kids to take as left overs in their lunch. This isn't my favorite, but still tasty.

Makes 12 taquitos (I made 8, but I over stuffed)

• 3 ounces cream cheese, softened (a little less then half a brick)
• 1/4 cup salsa (green or red)
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
• 2 scallions, chopped
• 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
• 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
• 12 (6 inch) flour tortillas
• kosher salt
• cooking spray
1. Preheat your oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with foil or lightly coated with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients (except the tortillas.)

3. Working with a few tortillas at a time, heat them in the microwave between two paper towels until they are soft enough to roll (about 20 – 30 seconds).
4. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto the lower third of a tortilla. Roll the tortilla as tightly as you can.

5. Place the rolled tortilla seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas until the mixture is gone, making sure the taquitos are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with kosher salt. (I didn't place them far enough from each other and I regret it. The middle didn't turn out as crispy, so I would follow this step next time!!)

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crisp and golden.

Serve with salsa, sour cream or guacamole.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Grilled Cajun Ranch Pasta

Grilled Cajun Ranch Pasta

I have made this recipe before and it was a HUGE hit. The only downside is that it is best grilled on the BBQ. I BBQ all year round, but I know some don't. I am not sure if it would taste as good fried in a pan, but I am sure it would still be tasty. This recipe is simple, easy and yummy. The chicken is the best part, especially if you marinade over night or all day. The pasta sauce goes great with the chicken, but I would add sauteed onions and green onion to it.


1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup ranch dressing
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp Cajun Seasoning
2 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
1 Tbsp white sugar, or to taste
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing, Worcestershire sauce, cajun seasoning, salt, lemon juice, white vinegar, pepper, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes.

2. Pound chicken breast to 1/4" thickness. Place chicken in the gallon size ziplock bag, and stir to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (the longer the better). 

3. Preheat the grill for medium-high heat. Grill chicken for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear. Slice and serve over pasta.


16 oz bowtie pasta (or pasta of choice)
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream (can substitute evaporated milk)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp pepper
2 tsp Cajun Seasoning
1/4 cup butter
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese (I used more to thicken it up)
Green onion

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain; set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, melt butter, add garlic, (I would sautee some onion as well). Add whipping cream, Cajun seasoning, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Whisk together on low heat for 5-6 minutes. In a large bowl, pour over cooked, drained pasta. 

3. Top with Cajun ranch chicken and sprinkle a little bit more shredded parmesan cheese on top. (I would also add some green onion at this point)

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Veggie and Greek Pizza on Panini bread

This recipe is yummy, easy, and very kid friendly. It is meatless Monday for my family, so we made it without any meat, but it can definitely be added for those who prefer meat on their pizza. We made different pizzas, my son had straight up veggie and I made my version of a Greek pizza and I think it is my favourite kind of pizza.


Panini bread - Garlic and Herb (we get ours in bulk from Costco and freeze it)
Diced red onion
Diced peppers
2 cloves of garlic (for 1 pizza)
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Diced Tomatoes
Mozza or marble cheese
Feta Cheese
Diced green onion
Pizza sauce - homemade (see Whirly Twirly Pizza blog post) or in a can (I used store bought for convenience) 

1, Prep veggies or any ingredients of choice
2. If you are making the Greek Pizza, put 2 tbsp of oil in pan and saute the garlic and onions. This will be your sauce. Spread pizza or Greek sauce on the Paninis.

3. Layer veggies, then the cheese. For the Greek, I grated marble and crumble feta on the pizza. Then I place the tomatoes on top of the cheese.

4. Bake at 400F until cheese is melted and Panini is starting to get a little crispy.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Meal plan for Jan 21-25

So, my man will be away almost all next week, so it will just be myself and my 2 kids, so this week will be a very kids friendly recipe week.

Meatless Monday - Veggie Pizza on Panini bread

Tuesday - Cajun Ranch Chicken Pasta (made this before and it is one of my FAVORITES)

Wednesday - Baked Chicken Taquitos

Thursday - Blueberry and Oatmeal muffins

Friday - Skillet lasagna

Friday, 18 January 2013

The flu and Orzo

So, there was no meal plan for this week either since I had the flu. The most I could manage was chicken noodle soup and toast.

I did promise to post my favourite recipe from the week we had no tech. I bombed one recipe, well, I didn't bomb, the recipe did. I only found one new favourite recipe and I actually made it twice, plus my daughter couldn't get it into her mouth fast enough. I had never had Orzo before and I thought it was rice, but I found it in the pasta section of the grocery store. This recipe is a great side dish and very quick and easy to make.

Herb and Cheese Orzo


1 1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp butter
1 cup orzo
1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese
1/8 cup of minced chives
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (I skipped this ingredient)


1. Bring broth to a boil, add butter and orzo, reduce heat and simmer until the broth is absorbed.

2. Stir in cheese, chives and nuts.

I found the broth got absorbed before the orzo got cooked all the way through, but I let it sit off of the heat for a little while after I added all the ingredients and it was perfect.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

NO meal plan for Jan 7 - 11

So, there will be no meal plan this week since my family has taken a "No Technology" family challenge for a week. So, that means no blogging for me and no online recipes. Therefore, I will be doing it the old fashioned way by using a recipe BOOK! ;)

I will be taking pictures and I will share my 1 favourite recipe that I made this week.

I encourage everyone to try to give up 1 piece of technology this week!

Steak Burrito FAIL

So, I was not happy with the steak burrito recipe. I will redeem myself with a steak burrito another week. I didn't like the marinade recipe and the rice was okay..... I will not share my experience since I will not recommend this recipe.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Spicy Thai Noodles

Spicy Thai Noodles

Craving Asian food?  Want something easy and quick to make? Want something SPICY? Craving noodles? Then this recipe is for you.

I had pinned this recipe on Pinterest, as well as a friend highly recommended it to me. I LOVED it. A LOT. However, I did make it too spicy. It was edible, but next I time I will tone it down. I halved the recipe, but I will be posting the full recipe. I also used less oil. See notes in the ingredients list. Even if I didn't halve the recipe, I still would have used a lot less oil.


1 box of whole wheat linguine (or noodle of your choice)
1-2 tbsp of red chili flakes (I halved the recipe, so I put in a little under a tbsp, next time I will put in a tsp)
1/4 cup of vegetable oil (I used 2 tbsp)
1/2 cup of sesame oil (I used a little under a 1/4 cup, the person I got this recipe said they use sesmae oil ONLY)
6 tbsp honey
6 tbsp soy sauce
Carrots, grated (I grated half a carrot)
Green onion, chopped
Cilantro, fresh
Peanuts, crushed


1. Chop onion and cilantro, crush peanuts and grate the carrots.

2. Cook the noodles and drain.
3. Heat both oils and red pepper flakes on low to medium heat, strain pepper and reserve oil.
4. Whisk the honey and soy sauce in the oil.

5. Pour over noodles. Can serve hot or cold.

6. Add the garnishes when you plate the food.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Bacon and Baked Potato Soup

Bacon and Baked Potato Soup

I make this usually in the winter and when I have a bunch of potatoes I need to use up. I really liked this recipe because it is easy to make and very tasty. It would go nicely with some fresh rolls or french bread.


4 medium potatoes **I also used half a sweet potato**
3 tbsp of butter
1 small chopped onion of half of a big one
1/4 cup of chopped celery **I didn't have any, so I used thinly cut carrots**
3 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp of ground black pepper
4 cups of half and half, light cream or milk
1-1/4 cup of cheddar cheese
1 cup of chicken broth
8 slices of bacon
2 tbsp of green onion
1/4 cup sour cream


Scrub potatoes with a vegetable brush; pat dry. Prick potatoes with a fork. Bake in a 425 degree F oven for 40 to 60 minutes or until tender; cool. Peel potatoes, if desired. Chop potatoes; set aside.
In a heavy large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and celery. Cook and stir about 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. 

       Stir in flour, thyme, salt and pepper. Add half-and-half or milk all at once. Cook and stir for 5 to 6          minutes or until thickened and bubbly. 

      Add potatoes, 1 cup of the cheese, and the broth; stir until cheese melts. Slightly mash potatoes with the back of a spoon or a potato masher.

For the topping, reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon. Stir the remaining bacon and 1 tablespoon of the green onion into soup. Heat through.
To serve, top each serving with reserved bacon, remaining 1/4 cup cheese, green onions and the sour cream. Makes 6 servings (about 1 cup each).

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Bourbon Chicken and Jasmine Rice

Bourbon Chicken

This recipe was sweet and spicy and very yummy. What I love best about this recipe is that it is very easy and quick to make. The only thing I didn't have in my cupboard was the cider vinegar. I made jasmine rice and added some sauteed onions and peppers to it. I forgot to take pictures because my parents were here and they loved the recipe too. I highly recommend it.


2 poundsboneless chicken breasts; cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoonolive oil; (1-2)
garlic clove; crushed
1/4 teaspoonginger
3/4 teaspooncrushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cupapple juice
1/3 cuplight brown sugar
2 tablespoonsketchup
1 tablespooncider vinegar
1/2 cupwater
1/3 cupsoy sauce
1 tablespooncornstarch; (if thick sauce desired)


Heat oil in a skillet.
Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned.
Remove chicken.
Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium heat until well blended and dissolved.
Add chicken and bring to a hard boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes uncovered.
Serve over hot rice.