Spinach Pizza

I love pizza!  I'm even getting daring and making my own dough.  I'm normally a pita pizza kind of girl, although I have made foccacia dough and used it as a pizza crust and that did turn out delicious.

For this one, I used a calzone recipe that I found in my Better Homes & Gardens Complete Guide to Bread Machine Baking (love that book), which worked PERFECT for a crust.  I didn't get it online, so I typed it out in printable version for you...HERE.

The changes I made...

- I used regular flour.  If you do, don't scoop it all packed in your measuring cup, scoop it up loosey goosey and level it off with the back of a knife.
- I minced my own garlic
- I made it in the morning and put it in the fridge, covered for the day and it turned out fine.
- This recipe made enough for two 9x13 cookie sheet pizzas.

I brushed olive oil down as my base instead of pizza sauce....nice to switch it up from time to time....

Lots and lots of spinach (it shrinks in the heat)...

I topped it with roasted red peppers, feta and grilled chicken...

And baked it at 425F for about 15 minutes-ish.  The bottom was browned but I should have broiled the top after, which I would do next time...

see...it's a little light.  The dough was cooked through and deliciously crispy but I would have liked to seen it a bit darker on top.

Spinach in pizza is a good way to sneak more nutrition to your kids.  My sister does it all the time.


Maui Rib Marinade

Do not buy the pre-packaged stuff...I repeat....do not buy the pre-packaged stuff.   It's over priced and you don't know everything that's in it.

With this recipe you probably already have all the ingredients to make the marinade, so it's just the meat you need to get.

You can print the recipe off from HERE

I got it a few years ago and don't remember from where...I stumbled across it, wrote it down and have had it as a loose piece of paper in my cookbook.

If it is yours and I took it from you, please let me know so I can link up to you and give you credit.

It's easy.  It's DELICIOUS!!!  I like it way better than pre-packaged ones.  They are always a hit when I cook them and there are never leftovers.

I've varied my marinating time from the day of to up to 4 days.  They always turn out, but if you can, I highly recommend the longer marinading time.

As the recipe states...cook on low heat.  I can not emphasis this enough.  There is a lot of sugar in it and if you cook it on high heat they will burn and fast....we've had blackened Maui ribs before. They turn out perfect done over low heat until the sugar starts to crust.

Please....let me know if you try it!


Soft Chicken Taco with Avacado Salsa

Like I said....me and my knock off Mexican food....it really is my favorite. 

That and greek food.  I need more greek food in my life.

I need to go back to trying new things...that's what I need.  The lack of recipe posts totally reflects my lack kitchen time.

Anyways...this one was really easy.

I love these kind of recipes because they are so easy to change up and make your own to what you have on hand.

I cooked the chicken in my slow cooker with broth and salsa during the day while I was at work.

When I got home I shredded it and put it back in the slow cooker to keep it warm while I prepped the rest of the food.

I made an avocado salsa...which is just like my pico de gallo but with avocados and a little less tomatoes.

I warmed up the tortillas, put the chicken in with shredded cheese and lettuce and then served it with the avocado salsa.


And easy.

Beef Burrito

Me and my knock off Mexican food...what can I say...I love it!

I love quick easy meals...especially for weekdays. 

There is no real recipe for this...you can change it up to how you and your family would like it.

I started with smearing some refried beans onto tortilla shells (this part looks lovely, eh?)...

I cooked brown rice in my rice cooker and dumped in a bunch of salsa while it was cooking.

Put that on next...

Then I browned some ground beef with taco seasoning...put that on next...

Roll the burritos, put in cooking dish and drizzle taco sauce on top...

Add cheese....

You really just need to cook it until heated through an the cheese is melted. 

Serve it with shredded lettuce, sour cream and pico de gallo...


and filling...I only ate half.


Cauliflower and Ham in Cheese

In keeping it real...I'll show you how mine turned out...

I even thought maybe I could "hide" liquid....

With that being said....it was really good! 

I served it with chicken, but that made for a boring colour palette so I would add some green next time.

Next time I would omit the salt...it was way too salty.  I should have known better since I do know that ham is salty.  I also would probably just omit the ham and keep it as a veggie only side.  I used half cheddar and half mozza for the cheese.  I also would add more flour or play around with it to make sure it was more of a cheese sauce....not cheese soup.

Tasty Kitchen has the recipe.

Let me know if you try it.

I'm in charge of veggies for Easter dinner, so I might retry this one without the ham.  I'll let you know how it turns out after a second attempt.

Now I just want to find a good "green" veggie recipe for this weekend.


Lasagna Skillet

I don't like lasagna.

There....I said it.....don't judge.

I think it's the noodles...actually I'm positive it's the noodles.  I'm not a fan of thick pasta like lasagna or fettucini....I'm more of a spaghettini girl....or small pastas.

Am I weird?

Anyways...saw this one awhile ago and have meant to make it for awhile.  I finally did last week.


I pretty much followed the recipe. 

Lasagna Skillet - Tasty Kitchen

Let me know if you try it!!


Fried Tacos

I was in Kelowna this past weekend and I was craving tacos.  Since I try to get my way as much as I possibly can, I pushed for these to be made on Saturday night.

I didn't have to push very hard....everyone was up for it.

In her instructions she says it's best if you can do an assembly line type thing with these....ummm...yes...you want that.  They were easy to make, but would have been near impossible or highly stressful to do on your own.  We had 3 of us and it was perfect.

Also, Ree is correct....they are VERY messy to make, however....worth every little bit of mess.  They were delicious!!  I loved them.

We used her suggestion with wrapping them in paper towel to shake out the grease and it totally worked...they were not greasy at all!

Our only changes were we used flour (instead of corn) tortillas (small...you definitely want small or medium) and we used a pico de gallo instead of having just tomatoes and Tracey made a guacamole to go with them....oh and we skipped the hot sauce.

I highly recommend these!

Go to Pioneer Woman to print it off for your next group dinner!


Boston Baked Beans

When my mom was pregnant with me, she said she always craved pork and beans....and guess what....I love pork and beans.  My mom did not eat pork and beans when she was pregnant with my sister...my sister does not like pork and beans.  Weird how that works.

Growing up I loved eating the canned pork and beans with toast and butter...my fav.  However, as I've gotten older, I've really started to not like the canned stuff....it tastes manufactured.

I loved my mom's baked beans, which I've made quite a few times.  I wasn't even searching for a new recipe, I was happy with hers.

Then I saw Simply Recipe's Slow Cooked Boston Baked Beans...it looked too good not to try.

Um...so we loved it.  It's my new recipe...sorry Mom.

I pretty much followed the recipe.  I used just plain bulk white beans and instead of "salted pork" (I don't even really know what that is??) I used bacon.  I did not add any salt while it was cooking, but I did need some once I was eating it.  I did it in the slow cooker and I didn't need to add more water.

Don't boil the beans...soak them....way better.  Want to know why it's better to use those kind of beans instead of canned beans?

Beans beans the magical fruit, the more you eat the more you....get the point.

There is something in the beans that causes "that".  If you soak them, it should get rid of the side effect.  The reason canned beans aren't as good, is because they've been soaking in whatever causes "that" problem.

So there...I hope I was able to teach you something today.  Who knew I was smart, on top of talented and beautiful??

Okay okay...it was Ben that told me that.


Broccoli and Alfredo Stuffed Potato

A match made in heaven.  This was so good!  It's worth every calorie!!

This one is brought to you by Tasty Kitchen...of course.

I baked my potato in the oven, because I love the crispy skin you get from doing it directly on the oven rack.  I steamed my broccoli on the stove top and I also heated up my alfredo sauce in a small pot....yes....I bought the jar stuff.   I hardly ever have alfredo, so I've never really learned how to make a good sauce from scratch.  The jar stuff was perfect!  I pretty much followed the recipe.

I served it with grilled chicken breast that I had marinated in a honey mustard rosemary marinade that I sort of just made up and threw together....really easy...

- dijon grainy mustard
- honey
- lemon juice
- rosemary
- garlic
- slowly drizzle olive oil while beating

marinate.  easy peasy.

Delicious meal!!

PS...took my own picture...again! Loving the longer days!


Vietnamese Spring Roll

Right after I had my wisdom teeth pulled, I posted a recipe I wanted to try called Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Hoisin Peanut Sauce.

I tried them.  I loved them!   They were exactly how I imagined they would be!  They were a bit hard to roll up....rice paper is sticky stuff,  but overall...easy peasy recipe.

I made a couple of changes...

- I used frozen raw peeled shrimp and boiled it.
- I forgot the mint.
- Instead of rice vermicelli noodles, I just used white rice.
- I did not use organic peanut butter.

Two Fails

I had two girlfriends visit me a couple of weekends ago.  We got in the conversation of cooking.  They were asking me questions and I was encouraging them that not everything always turns out and you don't learn unless you try.

I told them how we've thrown full meals into the garbage after one bite because they were that nasty.  We decided that maybe I should start sharing some of these fails.

Here are two fails...same ingredients tried different ways...neither turned out.  I had such high hopes for this one.

My sister had made the most delicious pizza for my niece's birthday party....this was my attempt at it.

I started out with flat bread (Ang used pizza dough).

I smothered it in pizza sauce...way too much pizza sauce.

I added lots of spinach...remember it shrinks when it's heated up.

Then I added the Cervalet Salami.  I don't like salami or any meat with knobby white bits, however...this stuff is good!

Topped it with fresh mozza balls...

and baked it...

It was a greasy nasty mess.  I did end up eating it because it tasted okay enough to eat and I really do hate wasting food, but it was a floppy soggy mess.  I folded it in half to eat it.

I don't know if it's because I added too much sauce, or maybe I should have baked it straight on the oven racks, or maybe the spinach or mozza created too much moisture....or maybe the salami had too much fat...I don't know.  It was not good...Ang's was good.

Knowing that this combo of ingredients tasted good together, I decided to try making a panini.

I used less sauce, but it still was a drippy drippy mess when I ate it.  It was better than the pizza, but not what I wanted.  Maybe I needed to keep it in the panini grill longer?  

Anyways....you need to make mistakes to learn.  So don't be afraid to not have a recipe and don't be discouraged when it doesn't work out.


Mini Egg Cookies

First I have to say...I took these pictures myself.  Are ya proud?  I've actually been taking a lot of my food post pictures myself.  The days are finally longer, so I'm doing more cooking in daylight hours.

These ones were made on the weekend, so no excuse not to have a good picture of these.

Anyways...if you love mini eggs, you will LOOOOOVE these.  They are sooo freakin good.  Words can not describe the deliciousness that are these.

I got the recipe from my sister...I have no idea where she got it from.  I like my cookies to be soft, so I only baked them for 10 minutes.  The looked undercooked when they came out but were a gold brown on the bottom, so I knew they'd be fine.

Soft, mini egg cookies...heaven....


Let me know if you make them!!

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Asparagus and Gouda In Phyllo

Okay...so this was delicious!!  So good!  I loved it, if I may say so myself.  It was even good leftover, cold, straight out of the fridge.

No recipe...just an idea I thought up.  I'm sure there are recipes out there, but you really don't need them.  All you need to know are flavours you like together and give it a shot.

What I did was I took one sheet of phyllo and brushed melted butter on it, then put another sheet on and brushed more melted butter.  Then I sprinkled a generous amount of shredded gouda along the bottom and put a few spears of cooked asparagus on it.  Fold over the sides, roll it up, brush butter on top...bake it.  I think I did 375 for about 16 or so minutes...just until golden brown.

Now here is what I'd do different next time.  Slice the phyllo in half (vertically) before rolling up so they weren't so long.  I'd, also, maybe undercook the asparagus or grill them (I did mine in the oven with olive oil).  They were a bit floppy and hard to bite.

I love phyllo.  I'm dreaming up new ideas for my left over sheets.

-cream cheese, bananas and caramel sauce
-prosciutto, asparagus and cheese
-cheese cheese and more cheese

I love cheese too.

Avocado Salad

Plating is courtesy of Tracey and dish made by Krista.  I told them I'd give them the shout outs.

This past weekend I had two fabulous girlfriends over...which meant...good food.  One of the things we made was the Avocado Salad from Tasty Kitchen....and by "we", I mean Tracey and Krista.

I have been wanting to try it for awhile, but was waiting for the right time.  This weekend was definitely the right time.

It was so refreshing and light...I enjoyed it.

They did make a couple of changes...

Instead of white wine vinegar, they went with balsamic...it was good, but I think I'd like to try the white wine next time.  I love balsamic vinegar but felt that maybe it was a bit too strong of a flavour that overpowered the dish...but that's just my opinion.

They used dried parsley instead of fresh because that's all I had.

Instead of leaving the avocado in the peel and adding the toppings, they made it like a salad, mixing it all together, and then adding it back into the shell.  I liked it that way....easy to eat.

Oh and want to know what I did with the leftovers?  Poached egg, homemade hollandaise sauce with the salad served on top...DELICIOUS!  It was so freakin good like that!

Let me know if you try it!


Black Bean Chili

Yaaa!  I took my own picture!

Super easy weekday meal.  I love meals that only require me dumping ingredients into a slow cooker!

Thank you Martha Stewart!  You can print the recipe off from her site.

The only changes I made were too the toppings...I added cilantro and cheddar with the sour cream and onions that the recipe recommends.  I wasn't sure if it's possible...but it is...I did add a little too much cilantro to mine (pictured above).  I'd probably cut it back a bit next time.


Chicken and Cheese Tostadas

Can you tell I love Mexican food?  I'm pretty sure I make something like this once a week.

This one is super easy and pretty quick too....and guess what...it's not from Tasty Kitchen.

I can thank Kraft Canada for this one.  I love the seasoned baked tortillas with the topping...it makes for the perfect crunch needed.

Here are the changes I made...

First...please stop wasting your money on buying the taco flavoring packs.  You probably have most of the ingredients in the cupboard...so make your own.  I used a taco seasoning recipe I posted awhile ago, but left out the flour this time.

You don't need to measure out how much to sprinkle on your tortillas..just lightly sprinkle some on.

I used 3 chicken breast halves and that made enough for 5 good size servings.

I only had 2 large tomatoes...which seemed to be enough.

Don't be a sucker and go buy the "kraft shredded cheese"  shred your own.  I had monterey jack, so that's what I used.

The chicken took longer than 5 minutes...but it still was a quick dinner.

If you have any questions...just ask!

I loved this one!!  Loved it!


Crab Macaroni and Cheese

I have decided that until I can cook in daylight hours and not under the worst lighting ever, I'm just going to keep using the pictures from the websites I got the recipe from.  The pictures I have taken, make the food look horrible.  Is everyone okay with this new plan?

Anyways...I made this for dinner last night...DELICIOUS!  I have my favorite go to recipe...that I love...but thought I should maybe try something different.

Once again Tasty Kitchen comes through.  I love how their site is set up for browsing through recipes....I think that's why I go there so much.

I believe the Baked Crab Mac-n-Cheese was a feature recipe one day.  I served mine with a tossed salad and it was a perfect meal.

Here are the changes I made:

I don't have a scale in my kitchen so I just dumped about 3 or so cups of elbow macaroni in the pot.

Instead of using loaf bread, I just used bread crumbs, because I did have some on hand.  I didn't measure...I just sort of guessed the amount.

I used dry parsley and regular salt (not Kosher salt).

It doesn't say what kinda of milk to use...I just used skim.  For the cream, I used light half and half.

I didn't have old bay seasoning and didn't want to go buy it just for this, so I just googled recipes on line...lots to pick from.  I didn't even have all the ingredients of the old bay recipes, but it turned out fine.

I used old chedder and gruyere because that is what I had.

It was very easy! Let me know if you try it!


Coconut Hot Chocolate

There are no words to describe how much I love coconut and chocolate together.  A couple of years ago I was in Blendz and they had it as their feature drink...coconut and milk chocolate mocha's....I was addicted.

When I go to any coffee places (other than Starbucks) I always ask if they have coconut flavouring...some look at me like I'm crazy and some get super excited because "omg...they love it too".

I was browsing around my favorite recipe place, Tasty Kitchen, and found Coconut Tres Leches Hot Cocoa...I knew I had to make it.

On the weekend we had one of those stormy dark nights (the power ended up going off 3 times and staying off until early in the morning) and I made some of this.  I'm glad I got it done before the power went out.

IT WAS SO GOOD!!!  I didn't sway from the recipe at all...I knew it would be heaven in my cup right from the start.  Since it was only me drinking it, I put the rest of it in a sealed jar in the fridge.  The next day I heated it up...still good.  Then the next day I just had it cold....even better!  

I will be making this over and over again.  Next time I might try mixing some coffee in there to give a more mocha type taste to it.

Let me know if you try it!!


Fast Chicken Quesadillas

Here is what you need...
I use the same cooked chicken and pico de gallo that I use when I make my burritos.

Put a good layer of cheese on your tortillas

Then add your chicken, corn and beans

Scoop some pico de gallo on 

Top with more cheese...and yes...I did end up adding cheddar (I ran out of Monterey Jack)

Put another tortilla on top

Grill or fry or bake and serve with sour cream



Sesame Chicken

I feel like such a fraud....another picture I did not take.  Here's the thing...When I'm making dinner, it's dark outside and we only have flourescent lighting in our kitchen...not good, right?  I think I need to build myself a light box or something.

Anyways...I made this for dinner last night.  I loved it! Of course, I love all things sesame...unless it's sesame pie...I don't like pie.  Is there such a thing as sesame pie?

Okay...that is not the point.  I found this recipe on good ol' Martha Stewarts page. You can go there to print it off.

The changes I made were pretty small.  I used white rice instead of brown, because that's what I had.  I also read in the comments to double the sauce, which I did and I'm glad I did...so good on the rice!  I also used toasted sesame seeds.

Some of the comments said it lacked flavour, but I didn't find that.  Maybe the ones who said that, didn't double the sauce...I don't know.

Anyways...super easy perfect weekday meal.


Mini Cheesecakes

These are dangerous...but perfect. I think they were the perfect size and no fork needed.

Tasty Kitchen pulls through again.

The only change I made was to the crust.  I couldn't find Nutter Butter Cookies here in Canada so I googled subsitutions and the most common answer were those white or vanilla oreo cookies.  I bought those and put them in my food processor...seemed to work perfect.

Let me know if you try them!

Cranberry Blondies

I love LOVE the cranberry bliss bars from Starbucks.  I kinda wish they were available all year round.

I'm pretty sure this recipe will satisfy my craving.  I made them this weekend and they are DELICIOUS!  I don't think they taste exactly like the ones from Starbucks, but they are good enough for me.

Another good recipe from Tasty Kitchen...I love getting recipes from there....I check it out daily.

Let me know if you try them.

This post is linked to...

Beat The Winter Blues - Indulge Your Sweet Tooth


Cream of Potato Soup

picture from Country Living

Okay...I know that's not my picture, but mine looked just like that.  I didn't get a picture of mine, so I searched google images and found one that looked the closest....Country Living won.

I got the base of the recipe from Canadian Living and then made my own adjustments. 

When the recipe says "add onions", I also added chopped celery and minced garlic.
I did not peel the potatoes.  I'm very lazy like that.
When the recipe tells you to add milk, I added some sour cream because I had a bit to use up and then added the skim milk until it was a consistency I wanted.

It was delicious and exactly what I needed for a comfort winter soup.
Let me know if you try it!