Monday, December 21, 2015

White Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

White Chocolate Oatmeal Bars
Remember awhile back when I made those fabulous Triple Chocolate Coconut Cookies for the Freaky Friday Recipe Swap?  Well while I was salivating over all the yummy recipes on the Who Needs A Cape? blog, I came across this must try recipe.  White Chocolate Oatmeal Bars!  So good! :D

I decided to make two pans.

We be strawberry jammin'

Don't forget the white chocolate chips!
#whitechocolate #oatmeal #bars

Friday, December 11, 2015

Triple Chocolate Coconut Cookies

I'm so excited to share this recipe with you today!  It has now become a new family favourite.  You are going to LOVE it! :D This is part of a Freaky Friday Recipe Swap where a group of us were each assigned a blog to bake from and I was lucky enough to be able to choose a recipe from Who Needs a Cape? This blog consists of a group of average everyday moms from a variety of backgrounds that are sharing their life journeys with us which I am so grateful for, because my life is now a lot sweeter, 'chocolatier'', and 'coconutty'  (let's just pretend they are real words), with these Triple Chocolate Coconut Cookies! I love that they took a recipe and made it their own...sound familiar?  These are a big hit with the kids and I already have a request to make them again.  You have to check out their blog for more wonderful recipes.  I also made their White Chocolate Oatmeal Bars which I will post later on.  So good!

Triple Chocolate Coconut Cookies

Adding in the coconut, white and dark chocolate chips (we left out the nuts).

Mix it up.

Cute, no?

I'm ready for my close up. 

Made 30 cookies...they didn't last very long. 

We have a pile up...someone get the milk!
#FreakyFriday #chocolate #coconut #cookies #whoneedsacape

Please check out the Freaky Friday group below and show them some love. ♥

Monday, November 9, 2015

Caramilk Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Caramilk Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Leftover Halloween chocolate?  No problem!  Put them in your cookies.  :D  This time I used my favourite oatmeal cookie base. For other oatmeal cookie variations click here. As always, have fun and make it your own. ♥

Caramilk Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda       
2 cups quick-cooking, rolled oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Caramilk squares

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 the butterscotch and chocolate chips. Drop by small ice cream scoop onto parchment lined baking sheets, placing cookies 2 inches apart. I put eight on each cookie sheet. Flatten the scooped cookie dough and place a Caramilk square in the center.  Fold the dough over the square so that the square is 'sealed' in.  Press down slightly.  Bake at 350 degrees (convection), for about 16 minutes.

Cover me, I'm cold!  :P

#Caramilk #chocolate #oatmeal #cookie #butterscotch #Cadbury 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Greek Beef Stew (Stifatho)


I've been making this for over 20 years. It is a family favourite. This recipe is a modified version of one of Louis Pappas' Famous Greek Recipes in combination with my mother's and mother-in-law's recipes. It has now been 'Christine'd'. It also freezes really well. :D

Greek Beef Stew With Onions (Stifatho)

2 lbs. lean stew beef
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped in large chunks
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 cups water
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. vinegar
4 tbsp. tomato paste
1/4 cup olive oil
Dash of cinnamon

Heat the oil and butter in a pan and brown the stew beef for about 10 minutes. Remove the meat and brown the onion chunks in the pan of hot oil. When the onions are browned, add the meat back to the pan.

In a bowl, combine the salt, pepper, water, vinegar, tomato paste, olive oil, cinnamon, and the 4 cloves of garlic. Stir this mixture well and pour over the meat and onions. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender when tested. We serve this over spaghetti or rice with our favourite Greek cheese (mizithra).

#beef #greek #stew #onions

Monday, October 26, 2015

Quick Sausage and Peppers over Rice

Love this quick, easy dinner!  I've been working on my apple bounty this week and after peeling bushels of apples who feels like making dinner?   It is also a great way to use up peppers and onions from the garden.  First, I started the rice in my Zojirushi Rice Maker and then I chopped up peppers, onions, and one clove of garlic and placed them in my large electric frying pan.  I then added some cut up, fully cooked, double smoked sausage, olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, and Montreal Chicken Spice. Cooked this until the veggies were done to our liking.  Served the sausage and peppers over the rice. That's it.  I know!  :D  The sausage and peppers are also great in a hot dog bun with a little melted cheese.  Yummy!

Peppers and onions, from our garden, with a little garlic.

Some nice double smoked cooked sausage.

Add in the olive oil and spices.

A quick, easy, satisfying meal!
#sausage #rice #peppers #pork

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Unstuffed Zucchini Casserole (made with stuffing from the Yemista recipe)

How good does this look?
Do you remember the Yemista (Greek Stuffed Vegetables) that I shared with you?  Well this is another dish you can make with the leftover stuffing or you can just make the stuffing specifically for this recipe and skip the stuffing of the vegetables altogether. So easy and so good!  Of course there are no really should know me by now. :P

The size of the pan will depend upon how much stuffing you have. I had enough for two layers of stuffing in my pan (10 inch diameter with a height of 2 1/2 inches). 

You will also need:
zucchini (sliced about 1/4 inch thick) I sliced enough for three layers**
olive oil
tomato sauce (I used one 680ml can of Primo Tomato Basil Sauce)

Spread some of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan and then place a layer of zucchini on top. Sprinkle the zucchini with salt and drizzle some olive oil over top.  Then spread on some tomato sauce.  Now you add the first layer of stuffing and spread some more sauce on top.

First layer of stuffing going over top.
Next, a layer of zucchini drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
Second layer of zucchini.
Then spread on some tomato sauce.  Now you add the second layer of stuffing, more sauce, the last layer of zucchini with olive oil, salt, and the rest of the tomato sauce on top.
Third layer of zucchini and ready for the oven.
I bake this at 375 degrees for 45 minutes covered and then 45 minutes uncovered.  I then lowered the temperature to 350 and baked on convection for another 15 minutes.
Just out of the oven.
We eat this with Greek Salad or Tomato Salad.  I like to add feta on top but you can add your favourite cheeses within and on top of the casserole.  As always have fun and make it your own. :D
Don't forget the feta!

**I like my zucchini with a little bite to it so I put them in the casserole raw, but if you don't, I would suggest slightly cooking the slices to soften them up a bit before putting them in the casserole... frying, broiling, or grilling on the BBQ, whatever tickles your fancy. 

#rice #Greek #zucchini #beef #casserole #leftovers

Monday, August 31, 2015

Oven Roasted Chicken and Potatoes--Greek Style

Oven Roasted Chicken and Potatoes
When my sister and I were young we were taught how to make this by our father.  You see, he was responsible for dinner on Mondays because that was his day off and mom would be working.  This was the only meal he knew how to make so we had it every Monday.  Once my sister and I were old enough, he handed over the Monday night cooking to us.  Of course there were no exact measurements for this recipe back then and sorry folks, there still isn't, but somehow it comes out yummy every time.  As always, have fun with it and make it your own. :D

Baba's Oven Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

2 whole chickens (we like to have leftovers for sandwiches)
6 potatoes

Garlic Salt
Chicken spice (I added this ingredient years later and use Club House Montreal Chicken Spice)

4 Lemons
Olive oil

Preheat oven to broil.  Place cut up chicken into a large pan.  Drizzle with a lot of olive oil and lemon juice.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano, garlic salt, and chicken spice.  Broil one side until golden brown and then turn the chicken over and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano, garlic salt, and chicken spice.  Once this side is golden brown, turn the chicken again and set the oven to bake at 350 degrees. (While the chicken is on broil, peel and cut up the potatoes then place them in a bowl and coat them in olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic salt, and chicken spice.)  Place the potatoes around the chicken and add 1/2 cup of water to the pan, cover with foil or lid of pan and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Remove foil/lid and bake until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork and the chicken is done.  

Oven roasted chicken and potatoes with Greek salad
Whole chickens with potatoes, sweet potatoes, and sweet potato squash.
#Chicken #Potatoes #Greek

Monday, August 10, 2015

Oven Roasted Pork and Potatoes--Greek Style

My husband surprised me with half a pig!  Of course I had to make this. :D

Oven Roasted Pork and Potatoes
2 batches of the marinade from my Greek Rotisserie Chicken recipe, separated**
Pork Roast, thawed
Potatoes (peeled, cut up, cover with cold water and set aside)
4 cloves of garlic (cut into fours, lengthwise, and sprinkled with salt and pepper, set aside) 

This recipe is so tasty and so other words, my favourite kind of recipe!  Place the pork roast in a pan and cut small slits into the pork and insert the garlic pieces. Pour one batch of the marinade over top, cover the pan with plastic wrap, and place it the refrigerator for about two hours. 

Preheat the oven to broil and place your uncovered pan on the top rack.  Broil the pork until golden and then turn the pork over and pour half of the remaining marinade on top. Once this side has broiled, remove the pan from the oven and set the oven to 350 degrees. Drain the potatoes and pour the remaining half of the marinade over top and stir. Place the potatoes into the pan around the pork, pour the remaining marinade from the potatoes over top the pork, add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water (depending upon the size of your pan), and cover the pan with foil.  Bake at 350 degrees on the middle rack for about 1 hour and then reduce the temperature to 250 degrees and bake until done. Cook time will depend upon size of roast and oven temperature.  I use a meat thermometer to check for doneness (internal temperature of 145F).

Oven Roasted Pork and Potatoes with Sauteed Green Leaf  Lettuce 

**My 'roast', (I'm using the term loosely, it was a quarter of a pig!), was about 15 pounds so I used two batches of the marinade, if you have a smaller roast and a few potatoes, one batch, will do. :D

#Pork #Potatoes #Greek #Roast

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Sauteed Green Leaf Lettuce

Hubby and the boys grew some Green Leaf Lettuce this year.  I cleaned and cut it up and had about 3 large freezer bags full which gave me about 4 cups after it had been sauteed. 

Saute onion and green leaf lettuce in olive oil at medium heat until the lettuce has softened and reduced in size.  Add salt, pepper, basil, parsley, and oregano and stir well. Cook on low, covered, until desired tenderness is reached.  Don't forget to taste test! Serve with lemon slices.  You can serve this now, as it is, straight from the pot, or for a variation you can place the sauteed lettuce in a bowl and add in some fresh olive oil, lemon juice, and a little salt.  Both ways, very tasty.  :D

#lettuce #saute #vegetable 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

A yummy variation of the Banana Bread recipe I posted earlier. :D 

3 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp almond extract 
6 bananas

3/4 cups of Chocolate Chips 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and lightly dust a bundt pan with cocoa powder.**
In a bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
In your mixer's bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add in the eggs, vanilla, almond extract, and bananas.
Slowly add in the flour mixture, but don't over beat. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into the bundt pan and tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to remove any air bubbles. 
Take the top rack out of the oven and bake on middle rack for approx. 70 minutes.  I use a long wooden skewer to test for doneness.  Cool ten minutes in the pan on a rack and then place a large plate over top and flip cake. Leave to cool with pan on. The chocolate chip banana bread may be frosted with chocolate but I like mine plain.  As always have fun with it and make it your own. :D

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
**You can also use four foil pans that you can find at the dollar store.  They are approx. 8 x 3 x 2 in size.  These are great for freezing for later or to give away to family and friends.  I bake them on the middle rack at 325 convection for about 40 minutes.  I will switch them around at 20 minutes.

#Banana #chocolatechip #bread #loaves

Friday, July 17, 2015

Homemade Berry Sauce (recipe from Aunt Missy's Kitchen)

I found this recipe over at Aunt Missy's Kitchen.  It is a new favourite at our house.  You are going to love it!  :D   Melissa is a wonderful lady who is so supportive of all home cooks and shares all sorts of yummy recipes on her Facebook page. You can find the Homemade Blueberry Sauce recipe here. As you can see below, I made this recipe with strawberries, and blueberries.  So good. So many possibilities. I can't wait to try these sauces on cheesecake, french toast, and so much more! :D

Strawberry Sauce

Strawberry Sauce on Pancakes

Strawberry Sauce with  Kawartha Dairy French Vanilla Ice Cream 

Strawberries picked by the boys.

Blueberry Sauce

Blueberry Sauce on Pancakes

Blueberries picked by the boys.
#Sauce #Blueberry #Strawberry #Pancakes

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Strawberry Apple Pie

Strawberry Apple Pie with French Vanilla Ice Cream (Kawartha Dairy)

2 nine inch unbaked pie shells ( I have shells, that I made from Tenderflake lard, stored in my freezer)

2 cups strawberries, diced
2 cups apples, diced (I used Eve apples which stay somewhat firm, which is the way I like it, but you can substitute your favourite type of apple to suit your taste buds)
1 1/4 cup white sugar plus 1 tsp, divided
2 tbsp flour plus 1 tsp, divided
1 tsp or more lemon zest

Sugar to sprinkle over top crust.

In a small bowl, mix together 1 tsp each of the white sugar, and flour (to sprinkle onto the bottom pie shell). Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the strawberries, apples, white sugar, and flour. Mix well. Sprinkle the white sugar/flour onto the bottom pie shell and then pour the strawberry/apple mixture into the pie shell. Spread the mixture out evenly and then sprinkle the lemon zest. Dampen crust edges, lay top crust over. Trim and crimp to seal. Cut slits in top and sprinkle with sugar.

A look inside.

Three 6 inch pies if you prefer.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown. (If you have a convection oven you can bake on convection for the last 5 minutes or until the top is a nice golden brown colour.)  I recommend you put the pie on a baking sheet as the filling will tend to escape.  This pie is a little runny when eaten warm or at room temperature which is why I recommend the vanilla ice cream on the side.  The warm filling mixed with the ice cream is heavenly.  :D

As always, have fun and make it your own. ♥
Strawberry Apple Pie...Oh MY! 
#Strawberry #Apple #Pie 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry Pie with French Vanilla Ice Cream (Kawartha Dairy)
2 nine inch (deep) pie crusts (I make the shells from Tenderflake lard and store any extra shells in the freezer)
1 1/4 cups white sugar plus 1 tsp, divided
1/3 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 tsp, divided
3 tbsp corn starch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 1/2 cups strawberries (cut in half)
2 tbsp butter

Sugar to sprinkle on top.

In a small bowl, mix together 1 tsp each of the white sugar, and flour (to sprinkle onto the bottom pie shell). Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  In a large sized bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, corn starch, and cinnamon.  Add the strawberries and mix lightly.  Sprinkle the white sugar/flour mixture onto the bottom pie shell and then pour the strawberry mixture into the pie shell and dot with butter.  Dampen crust edges, lay top crust over.  Trim and crimp to seal.  Cut slits in top and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake (on middle rack) for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown.  I recommend you put the pie on a baking sheet as the filling will tend to escape.  This pie is a little runny when eaten warm or at room temperature which is why I recommend the vanilla ice cream on the side.  The warm filling mixed with the ice cream is heavenly.  :D

Strawberry Pie
#Strawberry #Pie #KawarthaDairy

Friday, June 12, 2015

Homemade Focaccia Bread

I am so excited to share this recipe with you today.  I can't believe I've kept this yummyness to myself for a few weeks now, it was really killing me not to be able to show you sooner.  This is part of a Freaky Friday Recipe Swap where a group of us were each assigned a blog to cook/bake from and today we are all spilling the beans, so to speak.  ;) 

I was lucky enough to be able to choose a recipe from CafĂ© Terra and let me tell you it wasn't easy to pick just one!  I really like pumpkin, so when I saw the Pumpkin Zucchini Bread with Cardamom and the Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls I was ready to jump into the kitchen and start baking but then I saw the Homemade Focaccia Bread  and I felt like I hit the jackpot!  Let me tell you it was fabulous and gone within an hour! We will definitely be making this again and again!  

Rosemary and Olives--Great Combination

Dough Rising

Ready for the oven

Could this be classified as one piece?  :P

One piece for you, two for me!

So good!

Oh and did you know that Terra is an author!  Her third book is going to be released in July.  This is one talented lady.  I can't wait to read her books but for now I think I'm going to go out and buy me some pumpkin puree. ;)

#FreakyFriday #focaccia #bread #rosemary #olives #CafeTerra