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

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Depression Era Chocolate Cake


I have a big pile of recipes that I have been meaning to make for years. I decided to re-organize them the other day when I saw this recipe for chocolate cake that doesn’t have eggs or milk I had to try it!

I guess this cake was pretty popular back in the day, due shortages and costs of milk and eggs.


I was a little worried the cake might not have the right texture but man was I wrong. This cake is amazing. Light and fluffy, really chocolatey. I slathered on some simple icing but you wouldn’t’ have to, I just like icing, a lot!





What you need,

1 ½ cup all purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup cocoa powder

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. vinegar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup water



For the icing,

2 tbsp. butter, melted

¼ cup cocoa powder

1 cup icing sugar

1 tbsp. milk

¼ tsp. vanilla extract


Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8x8 baking pan well with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.

In a separate bowl whisk together the vanilla, vinegar, vegetable oil and water.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, mix just to combine.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cake cool completely before putting on the icing.

To make the icing beat together butter and cocoa powder. Add in the icing sugar, milk and vanilla and beat for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.

Spread the icing evenly over the cake, once it has cooled.




This is one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever made. It is super simple and uses every day ingredients. It makes a nice small cake which is great when there is only 2 of you.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!



Jen

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Chicken & Mushroom Alfredo Bake



I think that the pasta section of this blog has by far the most recipes in it. So why not add yet another one to the list!


This simple pasta is a great weeknight meal, it comes together super quick and there is a bit of a cheat by using store bought Alfredo sauce.


I love mushrooms and chicken together so this dish was a real winner for me.
The sauce is creamy but not too rich, it really was very delicious!

What you need,

2 chicken breasts cut into half inch pieces
Season Salt & Pepper (to taste)
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
8-10 button mushrooms sliced
1 jar Alfredo sauce (I used Classico Roasted Garlic)
½ cup of milk (I used 1%)
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup dry pasta, use any shape you like, I used the crazy spiral kind

Start by heating your oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a baking dish.

In a large skillet over medium heat add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.
Season the chicken generously with season salt and pepper.
Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown and crisp. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan, add a bit more oil if you feel like you need to.

Cook for 8 or 9 minutes until they begin to soften and turn a nice golden brown. Remove them from the pan as well.

Pour the jar of sauce and milk into the pan and let the sauce heat up. Scrape the bottom of the pan to make sure you get all those good chicken and mushroom bits!

Season the sauce with salt and pepper if needed.

Add the chicken and mushrooms to the sauce and let it simmer on low for a few minutes. Stir in all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley.

Meanwhile cook the pasta to package directions. Make sure you drain it when it is still pretty el dente, it will continue to cook in the sauce while it is baking.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Add a little more milk if the sauce seems too thick.

Pour the pasta into the prepared baking dish. Top with the grated cheese and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.  

Remove the pasta from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.

Serve hot with a nice side salad for a perfect dinner!


This pasta was so good! I love a baked pasta, that crispy cheese is my soul food!

It also made great left over lunches the next day.


Enjoy!

Jen

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies


Do you want a cookie?? Well I have a good one for you, Coconut Oatmeal! So simple and so delish!


This is a really basic cookie dough that comes together in a flash but don’t let that fool you these cookies are amazing!


What you need,

½ cup butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup oatmeal
½ cup shredded coconut

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer cream the butter and both sugars together, until light and fluffy.
Add in the egg and beat well.
Stir in the vanilla.

In a separate bowl whisk together the salt, baking powder, baking soda and flour.

Slowly add the flour mixture into the butter mixture until it is fully incorporated. Add the oats and coconut and mix until just combined.

Drop by the heaping tablespoon onto the prepared sheets. Press the dough a little to flatten. These cookies don’t spread out too much so if you press them a bit it makes for a nicely shaped cookie.

Bake one pan at a time in the center of the oven for 8-10 minutes. Until the edges are golden and crisp but the center of the cookie is still soft.
Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan for about 3 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store the cookies in an airtight container for 3 or 4 days if they last that long! They also freeze really well.


I love the simplicity of this cookie. They are so sweet and delicious, and quite frankly you can have them for breakfast because really it is just like having a bowl of oatmeal in cookie form.

Enjoy!


Jen

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Salmon Cakes with Dilly Tartar Sauce


I still had a couple pieces of salmon in my freezer that my Dad left me last summer so I decided to try something a little different.

Salmon Cakes!


Man they were delish! They were simple to make, they have lots of flavor and even made good left overs.


What you need,

For the salmon cakes,

1 lb. salmon fillet
Salt & Pepper
1 tsp. olive oil

1 cup onion, finely diced
½ cup red pepper, finely diced
1 cup panko
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. old bay seasoning
3 tbsp. mayo
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Salt & Pepper

1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. butter

For the Dilly Tartar Sauce,

1 cup mayo
1 cup chopped dill pickles
1 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar
Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the salmon skin side down on the parchment. Rub 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the fish and season well with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Let the fish cool a little bit then flake it into big chunks and put it into the fridge and let it cool completely.

Heat 1 tsp of olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onion and red pepper for about 6-8 minutes or until they are softened and tender. Remove them from the heat and let the mixture cool.

To make the salmon cakes, put the eggs, mayo, old bay, Worcestershire sauce and parsley in a large bowl. Whisk everything together until well combined. Stir in the cooled onion and peppers. Gently fold in the salmon and panko. Season the mixture with additional salt and pepper to your tastes. Using a ¼ cup scoop form the mixture into patties. Place on wax paper. You can cook them right away or stash them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them. I did this and I found they held together really well once they were refrigerated for a couple hours.

You can make the tartar sauce earlier in the day, even the day before. It gets better and better as it sits. Just stir together the mayo, chopped dill pickles, dill, lemon, sugar and pepper until totally combined.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat.

Gently add the salmon cakes and let them cook for 2-3 minutes until they are golden and crisp. Flip the cakes over and cook another 2-3 minutes until the second side is brown.

Serve right away with the delicious dilly tartar sauce.


We loved these Salmon Cakes! They were crisp on the outside and flaky and tender in the center, and that dilly tartar sauce… beyond good!

If you are looking for something fun to do with salmon, give these a try!

Enjoy!


Jen

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Skillet Honey Garlic Chicken


Sorry I have been a little MIA lately. I have felt really busy lately, not sure why… but the blog always suffers when I feel busy.

Anyway I am back and I have a good one for ya! This Honey Garlic Chicken is awesome. So much flavor, so easy and super-fast! All of the things I look for in a dinner recipe.


I even mixed up the sauce (minus the cornstarch) the night before and just put it in the fridge so when I made dinner it came together even quicker! Always good when your bus is stuck in traffic forever and you don’t get home until after 6:30pm!

What you need,

2 or 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into ½ inch pieces
Salt & Pepper
1 tsp. vegetable oil
¼ cup chicken broth
¼ cup soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp. honey (if you like it a bit sweeter you can add a little more)
4 tsp. cornstarch

Heat a large non-stick pan over medium high heat. Add the oil.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Cook for the chicken until brown and crisp and cooked through.
Meanwhile stir the chicken broth, soy sauce, garlic, rice wine vinegar and honey together. Whisk in the cornstarch.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and let it bubble up for a couple of minutes until it thickens.

Serve over some cooked rice with some broccoli alongside.


This sauce, oh boy was it good! So sweet and savory, perfect on the chicken and the rice, it was even good on the broccoli.

I love how fast the whole meal came together. 15 minutes start to finish, my kind of weeknight meal!

Enjoy!

Jen