Thursday, November 27, 2014

BBQ Pork Loin


Pork Loin in the Marinade
I coated the pork loin in our favourite marinade: olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, oregano, chicken spice, and steak spice, and marinated it for about 1 1/2 hours. The hubby and oldest son then took over and barbecued them.
They did a great job!


BBQ Pork Loin, Macaroni, Cucumber/Avocado Salad, and BBQ Veggies


Don't forget the chops!

BBQ Pork Chops, Greek Salad, Macaroni, and Mushrooms      
You can make these yummy wraps with the leftovers. :D  Saute the cut up BBQ pork in a little olive oil and butter with onions and peppers.  Add some salt, pepper, oregano, chicken spice and top with cream cheese and cheddar.  So good!  

"Wrap" up the leftovers.

#Pork #BBQ #Chops

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cabbage Soup

Cabbage Soup
2 cans tomato soup
2 cans water

6 medium onions
5 stalks of celery
6 medium carrots
12 brussel sprouts (optional)
1 medium sized cabbage
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn

4 zucchini (optional)

Parsley, pepper, dash of salt, hot and spicy Mrs. Dash, and vegetable seasoning.

Chop everything up and put into a big pot. Add the parsley, pepper, salt, Mrs. Dash, and vegetable seasoning.   Once you bring this to a boil, simmer for approximately two hours.  During the last half hour, put in the chopped zucchini.

Versions of this soup have been around for decades.  I remember my mom making her version of this when I was little.  I have made this with strained tomatoes when I didn't have tomato soup and  I have also used whole tomatoes instead of diced.  As always, have fun with it, add in your favourites, take out your not so favourites (brussel sprouts- ugh).  :D 

#Soup #Cabbage

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Baked Macaroni and Cheese (Party Size)

Baked Macaroni and Cheese (With Velveeta Cheese)

Baked Macaroni and Cheese (Party Size)

Ingredients:

450 grams elbow macaroni
8 tbsp butter
8 tbsp flour
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups milk
2 cups half and half
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups cheddar (or 450 grams Velveeta Cheese)
Shredded mozzarella to sprinkle on top

Cook macaroni following package directions. Drain, rinse with hot water and set aside.
Butter a 4-quart baking dish. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a saucepan, melt 8 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Whisk flour into the butter until smooth. Whisk in the dry mustard, salt, pepper and paprika. Gradually add the milk and cream, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted.

Combine the macaroni and the sauce and turn into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake for about 20 minutes. 





Unbaked Macaroni and Cheese
This is my unbaked version of Macaroni and Cheese. It is basically my Baked Macaroni and Cheese without the baked part. The kids seem to like it better this way and hey, it's less work for me so win/win. In this photo I had added Velveeta cheese, so creamy good! 

#Pasta   

Avocado Tomato Salad

Avocado Tomato Salad
Avocado, tomato, red onion, olive oil, salt and oregano. Simple and yummy! 

#Salad #Avocado #Tomato

BBQ Veggies

Ready for the BBQ

In a large bowl cut up zucchini, onions, peppers, and mushrooms into chunks. Then add olive oil, lemon, salt, oregano, pepper and Mrs. Dash (original). Mix well. Take a little taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Put into a foil pan to put on the BBQ. Cook to desired tenderness, foil pan uncovered, stirring occasionally. For those who like it spicy you can add a hot pepper and/or Mrs. Dash spicy seasoning.

*Note: remember to allow for shrinkage when deciding on how much to make. 

#Veggies #BBQ #MrsDash

Green Beans


Our Garden
                                                               

Yummy Green Beans

Boiled Beans with Butter
Boiled Beans 

Nothing like fresh beans from the garden, boiled in salted water, strained, and served with a little butter and salt. I could eat the whole bowl!  :D 

Green Bean and Onion
Green Bean and Onion

In a pot, saute sliced onions in olive oil until softened. Add the green beans, stir into the olive oil and onion. Add salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and parsley. Add 1/2 cup of water and simmer, partially covered, until desired tenderness is reached.
These beans were from last year's garden that we saved with our food saver. They tasted so fresh! 


Green Beans with Fresh Tomatoes
 
Green Beans with Fresh Tomatoes

A little variation to the green bean and onion recipe by adding fresh tomato. This is the way my mom likes to make them. :D

#Beans #Veggies #GreenBeans



Dairy Free and Egg Free Oatmeal Cookies

I have been making this cookie for over 15 years.  A friend gave me the recipe and I 'Christine'd It' just a little. ;)  I will admit I'm not a big fan of margarine, I prefer butter, but I do have a few family and friends that cannot have dairy and eggs and this recipe is very good.  I often get requests to make this even from people that can eat dairy and eggs. :D

Dairy Free Oatmeal Cookies
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It


1 cup margarine (Crystal Margarine bought at Costco)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup hot water
2 cups quick rolled oats


Preheat oven to 350 degrees on convection bake.  In a large mixing bowl, cream the margarine, brown sugar, white sugar, and vanilla. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the margarine mixture.  Then add the water and rolled oats.  Mix well. Scoop out onto parchment lined baking sheets with a small sized ice cream scoop.  Press down slightly.  Bake for about 15 minutes.  This makes approximately 22 cookies.

#Oatmeal #Cookie #DairyFree #EggFree



Sunday, November 23, 2014

BBQ Hamburgers


Hubby's Burger
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It

We like big burgers, I mean BIG! I used 4 lbs of lean hamburger meat and made 12 burgers. To the ground beef I added 4 eggs, a little olive oil, salt, oregano, pepper, steak spice, mint, Italian bread crumbs, and grated one medium sized onion.  Mix well but do not over mix, as the burgers will get tough. Make into patties and BBQ. I get my son to BBQ them for me.  If you want to make extra, these freeze really well. I keep them separated with waxed paper and then put into a Ziploc freezer bag or use my food saver.

Ready for the BBQ 
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It

Burgers on the BBQ
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It

I like my burger bunless
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It

#Beef #BBQ #Hamburgers


(Pick your Favourite) YOGURT CAKE

This is a family favourite. I usually make two cakes at a time and freeze one. You can switch up the extracts with different flavours of yogurt. This time around I used blueberry yogurt (lemon extract), for the one cake and cherry yogurt (almond extract), for the other. As always, have fun with it and make it your own. :D 



Yogurt Cake
                                                                                       Photo by Christine It

1 cup of butter, soft
2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup of your favourite yogurt

Vanilla Bath: Mix together, 2 tbsp vanilla and 2 tbsp water

You will need a 10 inch bundt pan.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour your bundt pan. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then pour in the vanilla extract. Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl then alternately beat the flour mixture and the yogurt into the butter mixture, until all is combined. Do not over mix. Pour the batter into the greased and floured bundt pan and make it level. Pour vanilla bath evenly over the top of the batter. Bake for 50 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool 15 minutes in the pan. I will then place a large plate over top of the pan and turn the pan over and let the cake cool like this leaving the pan on. Turning the cake onto the plate will give the top of the cake a nice 'levelled' look. You can serve the cake round side up (dusting the top with icing sugar), or down and left as is, I like down.  :D


Yogurt Cake
                                                                                     Photo by Christine It
#Cake  #Yogurt  #Bundt


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Crock Pot Roast Beef


Crock Pot Roast
                                                                                     
Season roast with salt, pepper, garlic salt, Montreal steak spice, dry mustard, and one package of club house brown gravy. Add 1/4 cup water. Cooking time will depend upon size and type of roast and how you like your meat done. The 'gravy' can be put over mashed potatoes and roast slices. Hubby likes this but the kids prefer that I make a separate package of gravy for their mashed potatoes.  :) Leftover roast can be used for stir fries, wraps, sandwiches, and so much more!

Crock Pot Roast with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans ( I made an extra pack of gravy separately to put over the potatoes and roast.)
                                                                        
Crock Pot Roast with Roasted Potatoes (lemon/oregano), and Greek Salad
                                                                          
Simple Stir Fried Rice made with leftover Crock Pot Roast
                                 
Macaroni 'Stir Fry'
                                                                                                       
Beef Teriyaki

Teriyaki Beef Pot Pie
                                                                                  
Leftover Roast Sandwich with Mustard, Mayonnaise, and Pickles 
#Roast #Crock Pot #Leftovers

Friday, November 21, 2014

Simple Stir Fried Rice

This is a great recipe for leftover rice and meats.  So quick and very tasty!

Cooked Rice--White, Brown, or Basmati 
Sweet peppers, red, orange, yellow
Onion
Garlic
Any type of cooked meat chopped--I use chicken, pork, or beef and in a pinch kolbassa sausage or you can skip the meat altogether.
Olive oil and butter

Salt
Pepper
Oregano
Montreal Chicken Spice

Put olive oil and butter in a pan and saute the chopped onion, garlic, and peppers for a few minutes. Then add the chopped cooked meat and the spices. Stir it all up and then add the rice.  Stir occasionally until heated through.  


Onions, Peppers, and Garlic
                                                                                         Pic by Christine It

Chopped up leftover Rotisserie Chicken
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It

Onions, Peppers, Garlic, and Cooked Chicken
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It

Simple Stir Fried Rice with leftover Rotisserie Chicken
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It


Simple Stir Fried Rice with leftover Basmati Rice and Corn (no meat)
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It


#Rice #Stir Fry
                                                                       

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Veggie Lasagna


Veggie Lasagna
                                                                                     
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium sized eggplants, diced
1 medium sized zucchini, diced
1 sweet pepper, diced
12 crimini mushrooms, diced
Olive oil
2 (6 ounce) cans of tomato paste
1 (14.5 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
2 cups water
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp white sugar

475g of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg

Fresh pasta sheets (6 sheets)
Shredded Mozzarella cheese (750grams, divided)

Directions:

Place diced and salted eggplants in a colander. Rinse after about 30 minutes.
In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onion, garlic, eggplant, zucchini, sweet pepper, and mushroom in olive oil, until onion is translucent. Then stir in the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, water, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and sugar. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. While sauce is simmering, blend ricotta cheese, parmesan, and egg, until smooth. Set aside.


Simmering Sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Cover sauce with one layer of pasta sheets. Cover pasta sheets with one-third of remaining sauce. Top with half the mozzarella. Place another layer of sheets and one of sauce over the mozzarella: top that with the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with final layer of pasta sheets and remaining sauce.
Bake covered in preheated oven 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella on top and bake uncovered 15 minutes more.


Yummyness in a pan.

Veggie Lasagna with Greek Salad
                                                                                       
#Lasagna #Veggies #Eggplant

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Meaty Lasagna

Meaty Lasagna
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It

Ingredients:

3 lbs lean ground beef
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp white sugar
1 sweet pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (6 ounce) cans of tomato paste
1 (14.5 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
2 cups water
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
300g of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
Fresh pasta sheets
Shredded Mozzarella cheese (500grams)

Directions:

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook beef until brown. Drain. In another skillet over medium heat, cook onion, garlic, and sweet pepper until onion is translucent. Combine beef and onion mixture in a large saucepan with tomato paste, diced tomatoes, water, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and sugar. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer one hour.
While sauce is simmering, blend ricotta cheese, parmesan, and egg until smooth. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread one cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Cover sauce with one layer of pasta sheets. Cover pasta sheets with one-third of remaining sauce. Top with half the mozzarella. Place another layer of sheets and one of sauce over the mozzarella: top that with the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with final layer of pasta sheets and remaining sauce.
Bake covered in preheated oven 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella on top and bake uncovered 15 minutes more.


#Lasagna #Beef 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Octopus

Recipe from Christine It's Mom

This is one of my mom's specialties; my oldest son loves this dish and requests it often. One of our family traditions is to have a New Year's Day meatless dinner, (sis doesn't eat meat), that usually consists of fried cod, fried cod with onions, garlic, and sauce, french fries, Greek salad, and octopus and macaroni.  



Octopus with Macaroni
                                                                                                     Pic by Christine It



1 large Octopus
1 large onion, diced
1 can Hunts spaghetti sauce (680 ml)
1 shot glass red wine (optional)
salt
pepper

Wash the octopus in cold water and (if present) remove the hard center. Place in a large pot with cold water and boil for 35 to 40 minutes (slow boil). When it can be handled, rub the coating off, rinse and then cut into 1-inch pieces.
In a medium sized pot, sauté the onion in hot oil. When the onion softens, add the octopus pieces and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes.

Optional: add a shot glass of red wine.

Then add one can of spaghetti sauce (Hunts), a little water, salt and pepper. Cook for 30 minutes more. Mom says to taste it to see if you need to cook it longer. This can be served over macaroni or rice.

#Seafood #Octopus 


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tortilla Chip Dip

Tortilla Chip Dip
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It


A friend of mine gave me this recipe over ten years ago and I've been making it for family parties ever since. Love, love, love this dip! It is so easy and so good!

250g cream cheese (1 cup)
500ml sour cream (2 cups)

Salsa (whatever heat you prefer...we like mild)

1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 tomato, diced

Cheddar cheese, shredded ( I use mild)

A bag or two of Tortilla Chips (I like the Tostitos Multigrain Rounds)

Mix the cream cheese and sour cream together and spread onto a platter. Add one layer of salsa. Sprinkle the green pepper, red pepper, red onion, and then the tomato on top. Top with the shredded cheddar cheese. I like to make this the night before the party so all the ingredients have time to get to know each other.

Note: I always put the cheddar cheese over the whole platter, I only did half for the photo so that you can see what's underneath.
#Tostitos #TortillaChipDip #Dip

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Chicken Vegetable

Chicken Vegetable
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It


Boneless skinless chicken thighs (I get the big family pack)

Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Oregano
Spicy spaghetti seasoning

Spaghetti sauce (I use Ragu)

Yellow peppers sliced into strips
Red peppers sliced into strips
Orange peppers sliced into strips
Zucchini sliced into circles
Mushrooms peeled and sliced
Onions sliced into strips


Love the Colours
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It

I use my electric frying pan. Make sure you use a frying pan that is deep. Pour olive oil into the pan. Using medium/high heat put the chicken thighs in. As you are browning the chicken thighs on the one side sprinkle all the seasonings on the other. Always watch the temperature and adjust when too hot. 

Browning the Chicken Thighs
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It

When the thighs are lightly browned spoon spaghetti sauce over the thighs (just the one side is fine) and use the whole jar. Next put all the veggies into the pan on top of the chicken. Put some more seasonings on top of the veggies and then let it simmer on low. Once the veggies have shrunk down a bit use a wooden spoon to make sure they are covered in the sauce.

Sorry I don’t have an exact time for this, you will know it is done when the veggies have shrunk right down and chicken separates easily. Serve over pasta or rice with Parmesan cheese or Greek cheese (Mizithra).
I always make a big batch of this and then freeze the leftovers. ENJOY!!

On Top of Spaghetti
                                                                                           Pic by Christine It

                                                                                           
#ChickenThighs #Chicken

Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda        
2 cups quick-cooking, rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Optional:   you can add about 1 1/2 cups of raisins, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, or Craisins with white chocolate chips (this is a wonderful Christmas cookie).  I will usually do a double batch, divide up the cookie dough, and make a few different kinds to have a variety. :D


Combine flour and baking soda together; add oats and cinnamon.  Set aside.  Cream the butter and sugars.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until creamy.  Stir in vanilla.  Slowly add in the dry ingredients.  (Gently mix in raisins, chocolate chips, Craisins etc..)  Drop by small ice cream scoop onto parchment lined baking sheets, placing cookies 2 inches apart. I put eight on each cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees (convection), for about 16 minutes.

Oatmeal Raisin
                                                   
Oatmeal Butterscotch
                                                   
Oatmeal Butterscotch Chocolate Chip

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip 

Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate Chip


Oatmeal with Jam


Cut scooped plain dough in half.  Roll the halves into balls and press the cookie dough down slightly with fingers.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Let cookies cool for a few minutes then put into pairs by size and put 1 to 2 tsp of jam in between. I like raspberry jam but apricot jam is quite nice as well.  This can be made full sized as well.  :D

Oatmeal Raspberry (full sized)

Oatmeal Cookies with half the sugar

When I make these I will double the recipe but keep the brown sugar and white sugar at 1 cup each. The cookies stay nice and high and make a great breakfast cookie.  :D
Oatmeal Cookies with half the sugar
                                      
#Oatmeal #Cookie