Sunday, January 31, 2016

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

I know we are all just recovering from the holidays but I just really needed some cookie therapy today. 

I not only love to eat ALL the cookies but I love baking them.  There is something very therapeutic about the cookie making process for me.

It has been very dark and grey and rainy here for the last couple weeks and these cookies were a great pick me up!

What you need,

1 cup of butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 lg. egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt (I used salted butter as usual so I left the salt out)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1½ cup quick cooking oats

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and beat for 30 seconds until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla.

In a bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt (if you are using it), cinnamon and nutmeg.

Add it to the butter mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
Add the oats and mix until just combined.

Scoop the dough by the heaping tablespoon full onto the prepared pan.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden brown around the edges. Let the cookies cool for 2 minutes on the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

These cookies are so simple but so delicious! The inside of the cookies are chewy and wonderful and the outsides are crisp and crunchy. Just the way I love my cookies.

I love the warmth of the spices in these cookies, it isn’t overwhelming but it is a nice subtle flavor, the cookies wouldn’t be nearly as good without it.
So if you are like me and need a little cookie therapy, I highly suggest you make these lovely cookies. You won’t be disappointed, I promise!



Recipe from and old recipe card I found in my mom’s recipe box

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Breakfast Spaghetti

Let’s talk about crispy fried eggs for a minute. I have been seeing them all over the internets, they look amazing. I usually just fry my eggs over easy or poach them, which is great but I finally decided to give it a try, and WOW, so amazing! 
Look at those crispy die for!

I always love me some pasta, so I thought what better to toss that beautiful crispy fried egg on but some lovely spaghetti.
A little salty bacon, some juicy sweet tomatoes and a little spinach and you have a wonder of a pasta dish.

What you need,

200 grams of spaghetti, enough for 2 people
4-5 slices of bacon
1½ cups tiny tomatoes, any kind you like, I used strawberry this time.
1 cup packed baby spinach
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 large eggs
2 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided

Start by cooking the spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water until el dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving about a cup of the cooking water and set aside.

In a large pan cook the bacon over medium heat until brown and crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan place on a paper towel to drain. Cut into bite sized pieces.

Drain off almost all the fat from the pan, just leave a teaspoon or so, mostly for flavor.

Add a tablespoon of the oil to the pan. Toss in the tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes or until they begin to soften.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the spinach and cook for another minute or so until just wilted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste

Add the spaghetti to the pan and toss everything to combine. Use about ½ a cup of the pasta cooking water to make a thin sauce. Add the cheese and basil and the bacon to the pan and toss to coat. Turn the heat off.

In a separate small nonstick pan heat the 2nd tablespoon of oil over medium high heat.
Once the oil is very hot add the eggs, stand back a bit it will splitter and spatter a bit, but that is a good thing, we are going for crispy here.

Cook for about 30- 45 seconds to; use a spoon to pour a little hot oil over the yolk part to cook it quicker. I like my eggs quite runny but you cook yours as much as you like. The egg will get nice and brown and crisp on the bottom.

Divide the spaghetti between 2 bowls and top each with a crispy drippy egg.

Season with a little more salt and pepper, stuff in your face!

Lordy people, I can’t even tell you how amazing this was! That egg… I can’t even. I may never cook an egg any other way again. It was ridiculous!

This made a wonderful supper but I think it would be great for brunch too! I mean how can you go wrong, look at all that tastiness.

I hope you love it as much as I did!



Sunday, January 17, 2016

Banana Cranberry Muffins

Every year around the holidays I like to stock up on fresh cranberries. They are easy to find and way cheaper when they are in season.
I just toss a couple extra bags into the freezer to use during the winter.

Going back to work after the holidays was HARD‼ I was so used to eating all day, my first day back to work I was starving by 10am. I had a couple ripe bananas so I figured I better make some muffins to take to work so I didn’t starve to death! Not like that was very likely, but who doesn’t love a muffin!

Anyway I tossed in some lovely ruby red cranberries and the muffins were perfect!

What you need,

1 cup + 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
¾ cup ripe banana, mashed
2 eggs
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup cranberries, fresh or thawed and coarsely chopped
Coarse sugar for topping

Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl whisk together the banana and sugar until well combined. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Stir in the oil, sour cream and vanilla and mix until fully combined.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt and fold until just combined. Add the chopped cranberries and fold into the batter.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups. I got 12 muffins and had enough batter for about 3 more, so instead of using a whole other muffin tin I just lightly sprayed a 6 inch round cake tin with non-stick spray and put the remaining batter in that. It made the cutest little cake!

Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with coarse sugar. Bake for 18-22 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
(The mini cake I cooked for a total of 28 minutes)

Remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely. Eat them now, or store in an airtight container for 2 days. I always wrap my muffins individually in saran wrap and then freeze them in a large zip lock bag. That way I can grab one out in the morning, toss it into my lunch and have a perfect muffin for a mid-morning snack!

These muffins were moist and tender and wonderful. The sweet banana combined with the tart cranberries was amazing.

The light sprinkle of coarse sugar on top really adds a nice texture; I love a crispy topping on a muffin.

So there you have it the perfect back to work, mid-morning snack muffin!



Sunday, January 10, 2016

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

It has been cold here on the island this week. I mean cold for Victoria, not like Saskatchewan cold. Even still I felt like I needed a warm up.

This slow cooker minestrone soup was the perfect thing. Plus it is full of vegetables which I really needed after all the chocolate and stuff I consumed in December!

Let me tell you the photo's I took don't do this soup justice. It was so dark when I took the pictures they are kind of awful, but the soup was amazing! I can't wait until we start getting a little more daylight!

What you need,

1 small onion, finely diced
2 medium carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cups fresh green beans, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 796ml can diced tomatoes
6 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1 540ml can 6 bean medley
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. dried rosemary
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 small zucchini, diced
1 cup fresh baby spinach
½ cup dried macaroni noodles
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh Parmesan Cheese for topping

Combine the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, green beans, diced tomatoes, broth, beans, bay leaves, oregano, basil, rosemary and red pepper flakes in your slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.  About 45 minutes before the soup is finished add the zucchini, spinach and macaroni noodles.

Taste the soup and season it with salt and pepper before serving.
Grate a little Parmesan cheese on top and serve with a nice piece of bread on the side.

What a great soup! So simple, so delicious!
This is just what I needed after a month of over indulgence!

Oh and by the way, it made great left over lunches the next day, and I froze some for a quick dinner another day. Gotta love that!


Recipe adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

Sunday, January 3, 2016

My Top 10 Favorite Recipes From 2015

I wanted to share some of my favourite recipes from this past year. 

I always love looking back over all the posts and trying to decide what my favorites were. I am always like, “oh ya, that one was awesome” or “man I forgot how good that one was!” It is a good reminder to put some good recipes back into regular rotation!

These babies are SO very good. They are tender and chewy and the cream of tartar gives them a great tangy flavour. I love that they can be adapted for any occasion! Loved them!

Ohhhh how I love these shells and cheese. I mean you all know my feelings on mac & cheese and this is just one of my all-time fav’s.
So simple and quick and uber comforting!

I love anything with Rhubarb in it. This tender cake was super. I love finding new recipes for rhubarb and this one is a keeper for sure.

I totally love Asian style food. This dish really hits the spot when you have a mad craving for Chinese take-out.  The sauce is out of this world and the chicken is super crispy and baked, which is a healthier alternative. A little rice and a spring roll and you have yourself a better than take-out dinner.

I am always on the lookout for a good muffin recipe. This one was a winner for me. They are so tender and moist and so full of flavor. These muffins made a great mid-morning snack for work.

I could eat this multiple times a week. I am obsessed with it. It encompasses everything I love about breakfast all in one skillet. It is easily adaptable to your own tastes, which I love. It makes a perfect breakfast and an even more perfect breakfast FOR dinner!

I think cookies are my favorite thing to bake. I love cookies, my hips, on the other hand, not so fond of big batches of cookies. This amazing little recipe for 4 perfect and I do mean PERFECT, chocolate chip cookies is the best ever. You get to give into your cookie craving without all the guilt of eating ALL the cookies. I give this recipe a big old 2 thumbs up!

I feel like if I have to explain to you why this is on my top 10 list then you just don’t get me… I mean just look at it, it is a thing of beauty.
Make it stuff it in your face, just do it!

These have become a household staple. My in house taste tester LOVES these. I make a batch every couple of weeks and wrap them individually and keep them in the fridge. That way he can just grab one and go. They make a great breakfast or snack!

I couldn’t love this dish any more than I do. It is pasta perfection. I am seriously salivating just thinking about how great this pasta tastes. It is super quick and easy and tastes like a dream. It was definitely my favourite dish of the whole year!

I am excited to see what kind of yummy things I can come up with in 2016. I hope you all keep reading and cooking along with me!

Happy New Year Everybody!
Here is to a healthy happy delicious 2016!