Sunday, August 6, 2017

Twice Baked Broccoli Cheddar Potatoes


I have been trying to make one or 2 meatless meals a week lately. Not for any health reasons just because I am kind of tired of meat!


I decided to whip up some twice baked potatoes and thought hey why not toss some cheese and broccoli in there, so I did.



Man, these potatoes, they are amazing. So crisp and creamy and full of flavor. They were really filling and a nice mixed green salad paired perfectly with them.

There is only the 2 of us so I just made one large, I mean BIG potato, but if you have a family just double or triple the recipe!





What you need,

1 large russet potato, washed and dried

1 tbsp. olive oil

½ tsp kosher salt

2 tbsp. milk or cream

2 heaping tbsp. sour cream

1 tbsp. butter

¼ cup grated cheddar cheese + a little extra for topping

½ cup or broccoli chopped into very small florets

Salt and Pepper to taste

Poke holes all over your potato, then microwave it on high for 3-5 minutes until it starts to soften.  Then rub it in olive oil and sprinkle it all over with salt and place it on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until the skin is crisp and the potato is fully cooked through, 30-45 minutes. I rolled my potato over halfway through.

Remove the potato from the oven and let it cool until you can handle it.  Cut in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the middles leaving a little potato around the edge to hold the filling in when you re-stuff it.

Mash the inside of the potato with the milk, sour cream and butter. Stir in the cheese and broccoli and season to your taste with salt and pepper. Try not to eat all the filling with a spoon, I almost did, damn it was tasty!

Re-stuff the potatoes with the filling, heaping it in there. Top with a little extra cheese and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until it is hot and melty.

Stuff in your face… well maybe make a salad and have that too…





These potatoes, what can I say, just look at them, they are a thing of beauty.

They taste like a dream.

You won’t miss the meat in this meal at all! I promise!



Enjoy!



Jen




Saturday, July 22, 2017

Grilled Sausage & Veggies Packs

In my quest to make decent dinners without turning on the oven I whipped up these totally delicious, super simple tinfoil packs. They are full of smoked sausage and lots of veggies. You can prep them the day before and then all you have to do is toss them on the BBQ for 20-25 minutes and you have a complete meal, no fuss no muss!



And feel free to use whatever veggies you like I think the possibilities are endless here!




What you need,

1 lb. pre-cooked sausage, cut into 1-inch rounds

(I used Harvest Smoked Summer Sausage but you can use whatever you like, chicken or turkey would be awesome!)

1 ear corn, cut into 1-inch rounds

1 red or orange bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

6 button mushrooms, halved or quartered depending on how big they are

1 small zucchini cut into 1-inch rounds

2 medium potatoes cut into ½ inch pieces

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. season salt

½ tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. dried basil

½ tsp. granulated garlic

½ tsp. granulated onion


In a large bowl combine all the veggies and sausage. Drizzle with the oil and spices and toss well to coat.

Using a double layer of tinfoil divide the mixture into 4 packs. Dollop ½ tablespoon of butter over each pack. Close each pack tightly. Try to make them pretty flat.

I stashed mine in the fridge overnight and cooked them the next day for dinner…

Heat your grill to medium.  Cook the packs for 10 minutes then flip and cook for another 10 minutes. I flipped mine a final time for 5 more minutes. Remove them from the grill and carefully open each up, watch that steam, it is HOT!

I emptied all the pack onto a platter and served them that way, but you could serve each person their own pack.

I served mine with a little sour cream and a little mustard.


This is going to be a weekly summer dinner in my house. We ate it all up! I thought for sure there would be left overs but nope, we scarfed it all down!

There was so much flavour the veggies were perfectly tender and the sausage got a little crisp.

Absolutely fabulous! And I didn’t have to use the oven! WhooHoo!



Enjoy!


Jen 


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Tortellini Pasta Salad

SUMMER!! WHOO HOOO!!! Man, it has been so great here the last month or so. So sunny and warm. I do love me some summer. Sadly, cooking dinner in the summer is my nemesis… turning on the oven in the summer is a no go, we don’t have air conditioning and it just gets TOO hot in here.

I have been trying to do more cold dinners lately. That pretty much limits us to salad, which is fine, I love salad but sometimes you just want something new and exciting

This Tortellini Pasta Salad is just the thing! I made this Italian version the other day, it was a delight.

Super easy, super flavorful and no oven!



What you need,

1 pkg. Tri-Colored Cheese Tortellini (I used the fresh stuff from the fridge section of the grocery store)

2 cups broccoli, cut into small florets

1 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 cup cucumber, chopped

1 cup small tomatoes, halved

1 cup mini sweet peppers, sliced into rings

1 cup green olives (or whatever olives you like)

1 cup House Italian Dressing (I used Kraft, but whatever kind you like!)

Parmesan Cheese for garnish



Cook the tortellini according to package directions. Add the broccoli and asparagus in the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain the pasta and veggies and run under cool water for a minute or so.

Drain really well so the pasta isn’t wet. Place the pasta and veggies into a bowl and drizzle with ½ the dressing. 

Put the bowl in the fridge for an hour or so until the pasta is chilled. Add the cucumber, tomatoes, peppers and olives. Add the rest of the dressing and some salt and pepper if you want. Stir really well to combine.

Let the salad sit in the fridge another ½ hour or so to let the flavours meld.

Garnish with a little Parmesan cheese before serving if you want! I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to, but you do what you like!




There you have it, a simple and delicious summer pasta salad. It is filling and makes GREAT left overs!

I also made a caprese version the week before, I just forgot to take pictures. It had little tomatoes, pearl bocconcini cheese, basil and spinach. I used a balsamic vinaigrette. I had a little grilled chicken left over from dinner the night before so we tossed a little of that on top as well.  This version was great as well. 

I feel like the possibilities are endless…A Greek version, a Southwest version you get the idea! Use what you have I promise it will be delicious!



Enjoy!



Jen

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Super Simple Strawberry Shortcake


We have been eating a lot of berries the last couple weeks. They strawberries have been especially tasty lately. I bought a big flat the other day and knew I was going to have to make something to use some of them up.



I decided Strawberry Shortcake would be the perfect treat.  I decided to cheat a little and use a cake mix. If you want to make your own cake, good for you! I also used whipped cream from a can, cause that is how I roll!

Despite my cheats it tasted delicious!


 

What you need,

1 Yellow Cake (I used a French Vanilla boxed cake and made it according to the directions on the box)

3 cups strawberries, sliced

1 tbsp. sugar

Whipped Cream



In a bowl stir the strawberries with the sugar and let them sit at least an hour before making the shortcakes.

When you are ready cut yourself a nice sized piece of cake and slice it in half, horizontally.

Add a layer of sliced berries onto the bottom layer of cake, top with whipped cream, add the top layer of cake, add more berries and more whipped cream until you have a tower of awesomeness!



Stuff in your face!

There you have it, super simple, super tasty! This would be a great dessert for a crowd. Or just for you and your sweetie! We ate strawberry shortcake 4 nights in a row and it was delightful!

Enjoy!



Jen


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Kraft vs. Jif - A Cookie Comparison

I have been a Kraft Peanut Butter girl for my whole life. I never cared to eat any other peanut butter… ever!



They recently started selling Jif Peanut Butter in Canada. I wasn’t particularly interested in this fact but my in-house taste tester was. He immediately wanted to try it. I reluctantly agreed…

We came home from the store and immediate opened the Jif, and my trusty jar of Kraft. We each grabbed a spoon and gave them a taste. I tried the Kraft first and was like yep, Kraft, it is the best. Then I tried the Jif, it was good. It was really good. I had to have a couple tastes, but it is really creamy, and it has a deeper roasted peanut flavour than the Kraft.



We did the toast taste test the next morning and we both blind tested the Jif as our favourite.

So, there was only one test left… Peanut Butter Cookies!

This is my all time favourite cookie recipe. I have been making it forever. It is always a winner.

I made one batch using Kraft and one batch using Jif.

I make them side by side, at the same time. I baked them alternating pans between the 2 kinds. Cooled them on separate racks and waited for my in-house taste tester to get home so we could get down to business.


So, I ate 10 or 12 cookies in the name of science of course! Again Jif came out on top, for both of us.



The Jif cookies were a little puffier, and the centre was a bit denser which created a slightly chewier cookie. My favourite cookie trait is its chewiness!

The taste was similar but the Jif does really have a stronger peanut taste.

So, after all this I may be converted… After all these years of being a Kraft girl I think I just may be making the switch to Jif. Who woulda thunk it!

What is your favourite peanut butter?

Whichever it is, make these cookies they are truly the best cookie ever!



Enjoy!



Jen