Sunday, November 24, 2013

More soup...

I know it's rather predictable but in my defence it was the perfect day for making soup today. We were basically snowed in all day thanks to a band of snow squalls moving through the area. So while I hunkered down in the kitchen with some sweet potatoes and carrots my kids hunkered down in the family room with a DVD from the Library on things that explode. Win-win.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Soup's on

It's that time of year again. The time of year when Sundays are spent in the kitchen making everything from cookies to cabbage rolls. In other words, the best time of the year. I've missed being in the kitchen! Not that Summer wasn't wonderful. We had lots of new adventures in our household over the past four months. Some welcome (like flying to Banff and putting in a pool) some not (like breaking my foot). So with all of the 'new' going on around here, it's nice to know that my Sundays in the kitchen endure. They are the best way to wind down a weekend and start up a new week. Especially when I have soup on the menu.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


This Summer when we went to Banff, we were so excited to get from Calgary to our ultimate destination that we bolted from the airport to our rental car and down the Trans Canada highway with nary a thought for lunch. It wasn't until we were near Canmore that we realized we were all hungry. At that point it had started to rain, there was traffic and few options for sustenance; as much as we wanted food we also just wanted to get to Banff. So we pulled into a Tim Hortons and grabbed some donuts. They did the trick. We got to Banff in good time in fairly good humour, hunger pangs temporarily sated, the sun came out and we spent the next four days having a great time exploring Western Canada.

The morning we were due to depart we decided to splurge and have brunch in the Bow Valley Grill. It was a fantastic spread, and included an assortment of fresh, home-made donuts which the kids devoured, noting that while Tim's donuts were good these donuts were a-mazing. I filed away their enthusiastic response, hoping that they might be interested in trying to make donuts at home. When I suggested we try it one Sunday morning they were game, since they could still taste the cinnamon sugar and remember happy, sticky fingers from our Bow Valley brunch.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese

On our recent Spring vacation on the Disney Dream, Daniel ate a whole lot of macaroni and cheese. It was classic Disney mac and cheese. (A familiar mac and cheese given the amount of time we've vacationed at Disney through the years.) It's advertised as creamy and boy, is it ever. So creamy that at times it's like eating cheese soup with a bit of macaroni thrown in as an afterthought.

Both of the boys have made it clear over the years that they don't really like my home-made macaroni and cheese. (I don't know why, because it's delicious. But apparently it's not creamy enough.) I'm always on the look-out for a new macaroni and cheese recipe that might wean them off KD, which is the only mac and cheese they'll eat at home. So a mac and cheese recipe advertised as creamy definitely catches my attention since apparently that's what my current recipe lacks - creaminess. I was craving mac and cheese earlier this week when the weather turned a bit chilly, and this was the first recipe I came across that included the word 'creamy' and whose required ingredients I had on hand. I was so hopeful for this recipe. It required zero effort to make and it certainly looked the part (i.e. very, very creamy). And yet, sadly, it was rejected. Only by the boys. I ate it quite happily and had the leftovers for lunch the next day. It's my new go-to stovetop mac and cheese. Despite being dismissed (not for lack of creaminess. This time we claimed an after-taste. I dispute this finding.) I will make this recipe again. I have a feeling that with time, this could be a winner.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Muffins - Banana Chocolate Chip, Honey Oat, Mini Chocolate Chip....

For a few weeks now I've been making muffins on Sunday. It all started with a banana chocolate chip muffin recipe I pinned from Food and Wine magazine. These made everyone happy at our house. (Of course, anything with 1 1/2 sticks of melted butter is likely to be enjoyed around here.) This weekend I made Honey-Oat muffins which were excellent hot out of the oven. Today being Mother's Day I was told to stay out of the kitchen during dinner, but I managed to sneak in a mini-muffin making session, whipping up a batch of chocolate chip muffins for dessert. I made them in my mini-muffin pan which turned out to be an excellent decision, because I could justify eating a handful. The banana chocolate chip and regular chocolate chip are definitely recipes worth remembering!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Banana Pudding

So I did that thing again, where I obsess for weeks over making home made (fill in the blank) for no good reason at all other than I just want to, even though I could buy a mix or a cup or a jar of (fill in the blank) for less. This time it was banana pudding. I blame the cookbook I borrowed from the library back in the darkest, coldest days of Winter. It was full of things that sounded delicious, and banana pudding stood out for some reason. Now that the sun is shining and warm breezes are blowing through the kitchen on the weekend, it felt like a good time to finally conquer banana pudding.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Chicken and Cashew Stir-Fry with Ginger-Scented Rice

For some reason, I always have trouble with jasmine rice. It isn't as forgiving as my old-reliable Uncle Ben's. I can't turn my back on it for a minute or it sticks and burns to the bottom of the pot. So I guess it's a good thing we've started eating early on Sundays because I had time to make a second pot of rice after scorching the first batch. Burned rice has an unpleasant smell. My family was kind enough to point this out to me as I chipped rice off the bottom of my pot in hopes of scrubbing it clean enough to try again. Because you can't have stir-fry without rice. (Although you could have it with noodles. Next time I'll try noodles.) Actually, once I managed to cook the rice properly it was really good. The first batch used up most of my fresh ginger so it wasn't quite as ginger-scented as it might have been, but it worked well with the chicken and cashew stir-fry. And the hardest part of that dish was cutting up the chicken, which I delegated.