Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Baked Tilapia with Crunchy Lemon Topping

Fish, it is what’s for dinner! 

Well, it was tonight anyway! This lovely dish is easy and very very good. I love crunchy topping on fish, it makes my mouth happy. I made some roasted baby potatoes and a nice green salad to go with. A perfect supper!

Here is what you need,

24 Ritz crackers, crushed into coarse crumbs
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
3 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. grated lemon zest plus 1 tbsp. juice from the lemon
4 tilapia fillets, or any other firm white fish
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat your oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

Toss the Ritz cracker crumbs with 1 tablespoon of the parsley in a medium bowl.
In a small bowl combine the mayo, garlic, lemon zest and juice and the remaining parsley.
Pat the fish fillets dry with a paper towel. Season them with salt and pepper.
Brush a layer of the mayo mixture onto the top and sides of each fish fillet, then press the cracker crumbs onto the mayo layer.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cracker crumbs are browned and crispy and the fish is cooked through.

Serve with lemon wedges. I had a little extra of the mayo mixture left over so I used that as a dipping sauce, it was delish!

Make this for dinner, it is too good not to!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Hamburger Pie

I was searching through my old family recipes the other day and stumbled on this hamburger pie recipe. I remember my mom making it for us. I remembered that I liked it but I couldn’t really remember what it tasted like, so I thought I would whip one up, for old time sake.

Not only is it easy and quick, it is AMAZING! Wow, when I took the first bite I was transported back to my kitchen in Regina, sitting at the table with my family.
My in house taster loved it. It will definitely be making a more regular appearance on my dinner table!

What you need,

For the biscuit crust,

2 cups all purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup milk

For the filling.

1 lb. ground beef
1 can tomato rice soup
2 tbsp. water
1 large clove garlic minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

First heat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease a glass pie plate.

Mix all the ingredients for the crust together until it forms a ball. Press the crust into the greased pie plate.

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once it is cooked through, add in the soup, water, garlic and salt and pepper.
Bring mixture to a simmer for a about 5 minutes until thickened.

Pour the hamburger mixture into the crust and sprinkle with the grated cheese.

Bake in for 20 minutes, or until the biscuit crust is browned.

This pie is a fantastic classic dinner.
If you are looking for something different give it a try, you won’t be disappointed!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Morning Glory Muffins

I don’t know about you, but I am always starving by like 10:30am. I eat breakfast but my tummy is always grumbling my mid-morning. I know there is no way I am going to make till lunch so I always have a snack handy in my lunch bag.

I do love me a good muffin. These Morning Glory Muffins are amazing! So many flavours and a great moist texture.
The perfect snack!

What you need,

3 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
3 eggs
¾ cup applesauce
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated zucchini
1 large tart apple, peeled and grated
1 8oz can crushed pineapple, drained
½ cup flaked sweet coconut
1/3 cup pecans, chopped – optional

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.
In a separate bowl combine the eggs, applesauce, vegetable oil and vanilla. Stir in the carrots, zucchini, apple, pineapple, coconut and pecans if using.

Stir the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined, do not over mix. Fill each paper liner 2/3 full with the batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

I can’t believe how moist and flavourful these muffins are.
They make a great breakfast on the run!

Oh, and they freeze perfectly! Just wrap each muffin individually in saran wrap and place in a large zip top freezer bag. That way you can pull one out and toss it in your lunch bag and eat it when your tummy starts rumbling!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chinese Cabbage Salad

This tasty salad is an old school classic. We used to make it all the time at home, and it is still one of my Dad’s favourites. 

It has a ton of flavour, and lots of texture, it goes great with almost everything!
It is a great salad to take to a pot luck, it makes a ton and it is always a crowd pleaser.

What you need,

1 pkg ichiban noodles, any flavour you like, I used mushroom this time
1 bag of coleslaw mix
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup silvered almonds
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 green onions chopped
1 green and 1 colored pepper, diced. I used an orange pepper this time
2 handfuls of chow mein noodles, optional

For the dressing,
½ cup vegetable or canola oil
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup vinegar, you can use anything you like I used cider vinegar but red wine is great, or just regular white.
1 pkg of spice from the ichiban noodles
¼ - ½ tsp. hot sauce
Fresh ground pepper, to taste

In a dry pan over medium low heat, toast the almonds, sunflower seeds until just starting to lightly brown, at the last minute add in the sesame seeds, they only take a moment to toast. Watch the seeds careful so they don’t burn.

In a large bowl combine the coleslaw mix, mushrooms, onions, peppers, ichiban noodles (crushed into small pieces) and the toasted seeds/nuts.

Make the dressing by whisking together the oil, soy sauce, vinegar, package of spice, hot sauce and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and toss to coat. Stash in the fridge for a couple of hours to let the flavours come together.
To serve toss in the chow mein noodles for some crunch.

I love this salad! It makes great left overs. If you have some left over roast chicken or turkey, toss that in for a full meal.
It’s a classic!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Mini Corn Dog Muffins

One of my favorite things about summer is going to the fair. The only reason I pay $15 dollars to get in is so I can get a corn dog! Oh, and maybe a bag of mini doughnuts!
I eat 1 corn dog a year, hot and crispy slathered in mustard! I am drooling just thinking about it!! Sigh…

Anyway when I came across this recipe I almost flipped… mini corn dog muffins, baked, not fried! Cute and healthy-ish! What a great way to get my corn dog fix in February!!
They are super tasty! And easy! 

Here is what you need,

½ cup melted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
½ tsp. baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
8-10 all beef hot dogs cut into 1 inch bites

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. Spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray.
Stir together the butter and sugar. Whisk in the eggs and combine. Add in the buttermilk.
In a separate bowl combine the baking soda, cornmeal, flour and salt. Stir to combine.
Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet in 2 batches, stir until just combined.
Put 1 heaping tablespoon of the batter into each mini muffin cup, and then place a hot dog piece into the center of each cup.
Bake for 8-12 minutes until browned and cooked through.
Cool muffins in tin for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
You can store the left overs in an airtight container in the fridge, just toss them in the microwave for 30 seconds to reheat before serving.

As I said earlier I like mine with mustard! I am a purist, but ketchup would be good too.
This would be a great addition to a summer BBQ or a sports party! 

By the way, the corn bread part of this recipe is one of the best I have ever tasted, I think you could make it without the hot dogs would be great with chili or soup! YUM!

I am so happy that I found these, now I can get that corn dog fix any time of year!!


recipe from Iowa Girl Eats

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup

My in house taste tester wasn’t feeling well last week. When I asked him if he wanted me to make him anything special to eat he asked for Chicken Noodle Soup. I decided I could do better than the neon yellow boxed stuff so I searched the Internet until I came up with a chicken stock from scratch recipe I was happy with.

I made the stock on a Saturday then put it in the fridge overnight. On Sunday all I had to do was cook the veggies in the stock add the chicken and noodles and serve.
It was AMAZING! I don’t even really like chicken noodle soup, but this I would make again in a heartbeat.

It is really easy, just time consuming. It is totally worth the 3 hours to make your own stock, it is so flavorful and rich tasting. The fresh veggies in the soup still have a little bite to them and the noodles are warm and soft, it is comfort in a bowl for sure!

What you need,
For the stock,
1 whole chicken cut into parts, or I used 2 bone in/skin on chicken breasts and 4 bone in thighs
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 leek, rinsed and coarsely chopped
3 stalks celery, quartered
3 large carrots, quartered
4-5 cloves of garlic just peeled, left whole
6 sprigs fresh parsley
6 sprigs fresh thyme
10 whole peppercorns
2 tsp. salt
8-10 cups of water
I got exactly 6 cups of stock.

For the soup,

6 cups of chicken stock
3 ribs of celery, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 cups, reserved cooked chicken, diced
1 ½ cups noodles (I used skinny egg noodles but anything you like would work)
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

To make the stock,
Place the chicken pieces in a large pot and cover with enough water to come up at least 2 inches over the meat; I used 8 or so cups.
Bring the water to a simmer over medium high heat. Skim any foam that comes to the surface. Add in the onions, leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, thyme, peppercorns and salt. Return mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer, uncovered for 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked through.
Carefully remove the chicken pieces from the pot and place on a plate. Allow it to cool slightly. Once you can handle it, remove the meat from the bones and reserve for later.
Put the bones back into the pot and discard the skin. Continue to simmer for another hour. Pour the contents through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl. Be sure to press down on the solids to extract all the flavor. Discard all the solids.
Let the stock cool on the counter. You can easily skim off the fat once it is cooled.
You can use the stock right away or you can cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge like I did.
Or you could freeze it at this point too, for later use.

To make the soup,
In a large pot heat 6 cups of chicken stock over medium high heat until just simmering.
Add in your diced onion, carrots and celery. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the veggies are tender.
Add in the reserved diced chicken and the noodles and cook for 8-10 minutes until the noodles are cooked through.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To finish the soup off stir in the chopped parsley.

Ladle into big bowls and enjoy!

I can’t confirm the healing properties of chicken soup but my in house taste tester is feeling much better this week!!


Stock recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma