Monday, 24 June 2013

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

Now for something YUMMY!

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

My son had pink eye last week, so this is what we did to pass the time. He really loves helping me cook or bake, but I think he prefers to bake so he can lick spoons and bowls. Don't worry, there was  A LOT of hand washing during this process. I was the hand washing Nazi, if his hands even touched his face, I made him wash them.

We LOVED this cheesecake. I used fresh blueberries (though I am sure frozen would work too) and homemade whip cream to put on top. I could eat it every day.


For Base:
Butter, for greasing
2 tablespoon sugar
1/8 tablespoon ground cinnamon
9 graham crackers (full ones that have 2 squares or 18 indivisual squares)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 eggs
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries


For the Base:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Grease the bottom of a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with butter.  Then place parchment paper over the top, pressing down at the corners.  In a food processor, process the sugar, cinnamon and graham crackers until you have the consistency of breadcrumbs.  Add the melted butter and pulse a couple of times to fully incorporate.  Pour into the lined baking pan and firmly pat down with the bottom of a glass.  Bake for about 12 minutes, or until set.

For the filling:
Add cream cheese, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar to the food processor and pulse until well combined.  It should have a smooth consistency.  Pour onto the cooked graham cracker base and then sprinkle with blueberries.  They will sink slightly but should be half exposed.

Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the center only slightly jiggles.  Remove from the oven and cool completely before Refrigerating for at least 3 hours.  Once set, remove from pan using the parchment lining and slice into 10 rectangular bars. Add whip cream and serve!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Meal Plan June 24 - 28

So, I will be taking a break from meal planning next week.....because I will be on VACATION!!! My family and I are renting a cottage in Shediac for a week. A friend of my son's and my parents will be joining us through the week as well. I am hoping for good weather to enjoy bonfire's on the beach with a drink in my hand.....maybe both my hands :)

So, here is my meal plan for this week:

Meatless Monday: Blueberry Breakfast Casserole I will be making this tonight and then baking it tomorrow when I get home from work.

Tuesday: Grilled Chicken with barley corn salad I am making this again because I am CRAVING it.

Wednesday: To use up my tortillas from last week, I am making Huevos Rancheros. This is one of my man's favourite things to eat, I hope this recipe can live up to his expectations.

Thursday: Grilled Cajun Pork Tenderloin and salad

Friday: I am taking a night off so I can pack for our vacation

PS: Since my man has been getting slack with helping me prep suppers the night before, I just may strike on making supper this week...we will see how it goes.

Chicken enchiladas with avocado cream sauce

Chicken enchiladas with avocado cream sauce

So, I didn't have time to make homemade tortillas for this recipe. I barely had time to make this recipe! It is not a work day kind of recipe OR I should have done prep the night before. My man is getting slack in helping me with prepping the food the night before, so I think I may go on strike soon.

Even though this recipe was time consuming, it was very easy to make. It was a lot easier to make then my Tomato based Chicken Enchiladas, but not as good. Don't get me wrong, this was a very good recipe or I would not be blogging about it. It was creamy, cheesy and I loved the sauce, but next time I will add more heat to the recipe because I wanted more of a kick. I found it tasted the best with our favourite salsa from Costco. This stuff is the BOMB.

I found they heated up really well the next day for lunch. I am not sure how they would make out as a freezer meal like my other Enchiladas because it is a cream sauce, so I next time I will just make the sauce the night before.

The enchiladas were a hit with my man and my little man, so I will be making these again.

  • • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • • 1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • • 2 poblano peppers, stemmed and thinly sliced **I didn't have these, so I used 2 jalapeno's**
  • • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced **I used 2**
  • • 8-10 flour tortillas **I bought the large size, so I only made 4, but more could be made with smaller tortillas**
  • • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken **I used rotisserie from Sobeys**
  • • 2-3 cups Monterrey Jack cheese
  •   1 Red Pepper, diced **I added this to the recipe**
  •   Red pepper flaked to taste **I added this to the recipe and I didn't add enough**
  • • optional garnish: fresh cilantro, sour cream, and/or shredded cheese
  • Avocado Cream Sauce Ingredients:
  • • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • • 2 cups chicken broth
  • • ¾ cup sour cream
  • • ½ tsp. cumin
  • • ½ tsp. salt
  • • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • • 2 California avocados, peeled and pitted
  • • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • • juice of one lime
  1. First make the avocado cream sauce:
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the flour, whisking until golden and bubbly, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Slowly whisk the broth into the flour mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the sour cream, cumin, salt, garlic powder and pepper, whisking if necessary to remove any lumps.
  5. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a blender or food processor. Add avocados, cilantro and lime juice, and pulse until smooth and well-blended. (Be very careful blending hot liquids — the heat will expand! So be sure to remove the lid occasionally so that the heat can escape.)
  6. Season with additional salt or pepper if needed.
  7. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, red pepper, jalapeno and red pepper flakes, and saute for 5-6 minutes until the onions are cooked and translucent.
  8. Remove from heat.
  9. To assemble the enchiladas, place a tortilla on a flat surface.
  10. Spread a tablespoon or two of the avocado sauce down the middle of the tortilla. Then layer on some of the vegetable mixture, shredded chicken and cheese.
  11. Carefully roll the tortilla and place it seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  12. Drizzle the top with about half of the remaining avocado cream sauce **I added most of the sauce**, then cover the dish with foil and bake for about 20 minutes, or until tortillas are heated through and begin to harden. Then take tin foil off and cook for another 10 minutes.
  13. Remove from the oven, then serve individual enchiladas with your garnish of choice.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Meal Plan June 17 - 21

Sorry that I am late in posting this weeks Meal Plan. My little man got pink eye and it has thrown me off my game.

Meatless Monday - A previous recipe on here Veggie and Greek pizza on Panini bread

Tuesday - Another previous recipe on here and a favorite Spicy Sausage Pasta Skillet

Wednesday - My son has baseball in Sussex, so we are eating on the road. Left over frozen Spaghetti Sauce will be a life saver for my man and it is one of my daughter's favorites.

Thursday - Chicken Enchiladas with Avocado Cream Sauce and I may try to make homemade Tortillas if I have time. If not, then the I will be hitting the grocery store.

Friday - Probably left overs

Side note: I have saved a lot of money on my grocery bill since I have started to meal plan and plan my meals that allow me to use either what I already have in the house or use ingredients that I have used in a  previous dish earlier that week (to reduce spoiled fresh produce). I usually spend less the $100 a week. The only time I go over is if it is a week that we go to Costco to stock up on our ground meat or chicken. We also go out to eat less, however there are some nights that I am TIRED of cooking and then we go out for supper. But it kills me because we went to Montana's on Father's Day and spent almost what we would have for a weeks worth of groceries. It put things in perspective and I think we will go out even less OR go to cheaper restaurants, haha!

Apple Pecan Salad and Spicy Potato Wedges

So, the ribs that took me 4 weeks to finally make were not a keeper. I am not sure if it was because they were overcooked or because I didn't like the BBQ sauce that I chose (President's Choice Apple Butter) or maybe it was a combination of both.

So, this post will be about the side dishes I made this week. They were good, nothing that I would rave about, but good enough to make when you are tired of making the same old side dishes.

Spicy Potato Wedges:

These were good, but coming after I discovered my Honey Dijon Roasted Potatoes, they were a little lack luster. I would still make them again though.

Ingredients: **I halved the recipe**
  • 2 1/2 pounds (1.13 kg) potatoes 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (or maybe 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F / 230°C. Pour the olive oil into a mixing bowl and add the spices and mix with the olive oil.
  2. Clean the potatoes and slice the potato into even wedges. Put the potatoes in the bowl and stir until they are well coated. Put tin foil on a baking pan and then pour the potatoes on the sheet.
  3. The baking time will vary depending on how big your wedges are. I usually bake mine for 20 minutes, take them out of the oven to flip them, and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes. If you want them crispier, just bake them for a few minutes longer.
Apple Pecan Salad
So, I was not happy with how the homemade vinaigrette turned out with the original recipe, so next time I will just buy to store made made Balsamic Vinaigrette. I still wanted to post this recipe though, because I actually like the salad.
Lettuce of your choice, I used a mix and added some left over spinach
Green Apple, sliced
Red Onion, very thinly diced
Cucumber, diced
Peppers, diced
Feta Cheese

I combined all these ingredients and then drizzled on the dressing.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Strawberry Cream Crepes

Strawberry Cream Crepes

Ever have dessert for supper? Well, I felt like I did tonight!!! These were SO yummy. My man HIGHLY approved, especially for the cream cheese filling. Even better, I didn't have to make them! My man came home early from work to make supper and that was even more of a treat then the crepes.

As I was reading the reviews for this recipe (which I do if there are any, so please if you have made any of my recipes, feel free to leave a comment!), some comments were that the filling was WAY too sweet. So, I found some other similar recipes and I saw one recipe that used only 1/4 cup of icing sugar. We were happy with how it turned out, but if you want it sweeter, add more to taste.

The crepes were time consuming to make because they make so many, but everything else takes very little time to put together. We froze our left over crepes in a freezer bag with parchment paper in between the crepes.

Here is a pic of our crepe pan. It is thin, so I think that is what allows it to cook the crepe perfectly. I am not sure if you could substitute for a frying pan or not.  I bought it for my man a few Christmas' ago at Sears for $50-60.

PS: I had a little of the cream cheese mixture left over, so I whipped up a cup of whipping cream, then whipped them both together and used with the fresh berries and it was just as good. I think I might have even liked it better because it was lighter.


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Additional butter
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar **We used only 1/4 cup**
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract **We didn't add this**
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced. 
  • Bananas, sliced **We added these last minute**
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped


  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, water, butter and salt. Add flour; beat until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. ** We didn't have time to let it sit for an hour, we made it right away**
  • I added some sugar to the berries and let them sit while the crepes were being made to add moisture to the berries.
  • In an 8-in. nonstick skillet, melt 1 teaspoon butter; pour 2 tablespoons of batter into the center of skillet. Lift and tilt pan to evenly coat bottom.
  • Cook until top appears dry; turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter, adding butter to skillet as needed. When cool, stack crepes with waxed paper or paper towels in between.
  • For filling, in a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and peel until smooth. 
  • We spread this on a crepe, then layered the strawberries, bananas and whip cream. ***The original recipe said to add the filling and toppings together and mix it up, but we decided to keep it separate. I am curious as to how it would be all together though. If you add it all together, the original recipe calls for 4 cups of berries**
  • Yield: 15 crepes.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Meal Plan May 10 - 14

Meatless Monday - Creamy Strawberry Crepes

Tuesday - Spicy Potato Wedges and BBQ Ribs in the Crock Pot I am serious this time. This is the night I will FINALLY make these.

Wednesday - Honey Butter Pork Tenderloin and Apple Pecan Salad

Thursday - Nothing. Night OFF. Night I get my son and I get our Yellow Belt in Karate!

Friday -Orzo with Spinach and Feta with grilled Chicken

Honey Dijon Roasted Potatoes

Honey Dijon Roasted Potatoes

These were so good that I made them twice this week. The 2nd time was for my father's birthday and he LOVED them.

I don't think you need to like Dijon mustard or mustard in general to like these. I do like mustard, but I don't love it, but I LOVE these. I don't know what else to say other then they are DELICIOUS. The onions caramelized and they were so YUMMY.

I cooked them at 350 degrees instead of the 425 degrees from the original recipe and if I made less potatoes, then I halved the recipe. I also used a tin foiled covered baking sheet and it made for very easy clean up.

Instructions1lb red-skinned potatoes, chopped
1 small onion, sliced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together oil, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in a large bowl then add potatoes and onion and toss to coat. Pour into a non-stick sprayed baking dish (or a tin foiled baking sheet) then bake for 40-45 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, stirring two or three times.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Grilled Chicken with Barley Corn Salad

Grilled Chicken with Barley Corn Salad

This corn salad recipe is THE BOMB!!! It is SO incredibly good. It is one of my new favourite recipes and I can't wait to make it again. I am sure one of the reasons is because it has BACON in it. The night we ate it, it was warm and it was just as good the next day cold.

How I know if my man likes a dish, is when he says he likes it right after his first bite. If he finds it a so-so dish, then he says it's good after a few bites. It was a one bite like dish ;)

This dish is bursting with flavour and all the different ingredients go together very well. The vinaigrette compliments it perfectly. It would make a great summer potluck dish at a BBQ.

PS: I followed the instructions on the package of my Organic Hulled Barley and it lied. It said to cook it for 20 minutes. I had to cook it for closer to 50 minutes, so next time I will cook the Barley the night before.

PPS: The only changes I made was using normal tomatoes, not cherry tomatoes for the vinaigrette and for the salad. I didn't add avocado because I wanted to have left overs and I was scared it would go mushy, but I guess I could have just added it to my plate. Oh well, it was still fantastic without it.

PPPS: GO make it tonight or tomorrow or sometimes very soon.

4 chicken breasts
3/4 cup medium barley
2 cups fresh or frozen-then-thawed corn kernels
1-1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup minced red onion
4 slices cooked thick or center cut bacon, chopped **I used 5 slices**
1 avocado, chopped
salt & pepper
For the Tomato Vinaigrette:
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon red onion
salt & pepper
  1. Cook barley with a pinch of salt according to package directions. Drain when barley is tender to make sure all excess water is removed. Place into a large bowl to cool slightly.
  2. Make the Tomato Vinaigrette: Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a food processor or blender, then process until smooth. Place 6 Tablespoons of the vinaigrette into a plastic bag and set the remaining aside. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt & pepper, then add it to the bag with the vinaigrette and marinate in the refrigerator while you make the Barley Corn Salad.
  3. Stir corn, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and bacon into the cooled barley. Add enough of the reserved tomato vinaigrette to coat and stir well. Gently fold in avocado then season with salt & pepper to taste. Place into the refrigerator.
  4. Heat a grill to high and grill chicken for 4-5 minutes a side, or until cooked through. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes off the grill, then divide salads onto plates and top with grilled chicken.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Meal Plan June 3 - 7

Meatless Monday - Fettuccine with Roasted Butternut Squash and brown butter sage

Tuesday - Grilled Chicken with Barley Corn Salad

Wednesday - Steak with Honey Dijon Roasted Potatoes

Thursday - Balamic Bruschetta grilled chicken

Friday - 3rd time is the charm, I still didn't make the BBQ ribs in the crock pot. We either went to my parents or went out on date night every time I had these scheduled.

Crock pot Chicken Fajitas

Crock pot Chicken Fajitas

I was skeptical about this recipe, because I like my fajita veggies to be somewhat crispy....however I did enjoy this recipe. It was more like a pull chicken type of fajita. I also thought it tasted even better the next day. It would be great for lunch the next day.

The only changes I would make, would be to add some heat (maybe some cayenne pepper) and add less chicken stalk (I think I added between 1/4 - 1/2 cup).

I did make one addition and that was some rice in the fajita. I made some jasmine rice and when it was cooked, I added the juice of a half a lime and 1 cube of frozen cilantro. It was a great addition.

  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 sweet peppers, sliced
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless chicken breast or thighs
  • 1/4 to ½ cup chicken broth, depending on preference (leave this out if you prefer a drier fajita filling)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
  • Squirt of lime juice
  • Tortillas
  • Fajita fixings
Combine sliced onion and peppers in the bottom of a greased crockpot. Lay chicken on top of veggies. Pour chicken broth over top. Sprinkle everything with cumin, **I would add 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper next time ** salt, and chili powder. Give a nice quirt of lime juice over the top. Cover and cook on low for 4-8 hours (or on High for 4 hours) or until meat is shreddable. When meat is done, shred with two forks and stir back into juices. Serve meat mixture with slotted spoon on tortillas with your choice of fixings.

Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes

Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes

My family loves pancakes. 

We usually make them at least once a week and I love trying different kinds. I love lemon flavoured anything, so I thought these looked and sounded pretty good. I did like them, but they are not something I would make all the time. My man said that they are better for supper then a breakfast and I think I agree with him (shhhh....don't tell him).

They made a big batch, so I froze the rest and they re-heated well.

2 C flour
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/3 C sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 C poppy seeds **I think I would put less next time, maybe a 1/4 C)
zest of 4 lemons **I only had 3**
2 C buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 T butter, melted
butter, to serve (and for griddle)
fresh blueberries  **optional, I didn't have any, but it would have been a nice addition**

1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
2. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, butter, lemon zest and poppy seeds.
3. Add the wet to the dry until it's the right consistency (you might not use all wet) Stir all ingredients together until they're just combined.
4. Heat up griddle to medium-hot and brush with melted butter. Pour about 1/3 C of batter in skillet. Wait until pancake bottom is golden and flip with a spatula. Cook other side until golden. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
5. Serve with warm syrup, butter, and fresh blueberries. 

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Cinnamon Roll Cake

The best new recipe I made this week (hands down) is the Cinnamon Roll Cake recipe that a friend shared with me. It is by far one of the best desserts that I have ever made. I warn you, it makes a lot, so if you don't want to get fat or trip out from a sugar high, I suggest you share this with friends, family, co

I have to warn is FULL of butter and sugar....but it will be pure heaven in your mouth.

Before the oven:
After the oven with the glaze:
3 c. flour **I used 2 cups of white and 1 cup of whole wheat**
1/4 tsp.salt
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9x13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes. Pour the glaze on while it is still warm.