This is the Horde. Below are our Recipes. Thanks for sharing our Kitchen

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Honey Garlic Chicken - Slow Cooker. Insanely easy and delish

So I'm back in the kitchen for awhile.  Actually I go back to work next week for a few days and have all this stuff in my fridge that needs to be cooked, prepped or frozen.

The Mr. is away on business and is not a huge honey garlic fan but we all love it so I tossed in some chicken thighs and legs into the slow cooker.  Here is the easy part.

In a small bowl mix
1 cup of soy sauce (I use salt reduced)
A cup of Ketchup (yes...I can't believe I typed that either)
3 teaspoons of minced garlic
1/2 cup of honey
a sprinkle of dried basil

That's it.  Mix it up and pour over the chicken in the crockpot.  Set it on high for 5 hours.   Thicken the sauce with a little cornstarch just before serving.

I pulled the chicken out just prior to adding the cornstarch and removed all the bones and skin but that's up to you.  Serve over rice. (that was previously made and frozen in the last post!!)

Prep time: 5 minutes.  I recognize this is not the most glamorous food shot ever but we were hungry and forgot to take a plated pic.  :D     Pretend it's on a lovely china plate on a bed of wild rice.  

Edited to add:    I cooked up some more wild rice and divided all of this into individuals portions again and froze them.   Perfect!!!


In addition to this I was hankering some scones.  I have a bunch of cubed ham and shredded cheese in the fridge.

Using My awesome Buttermilk Scone recipe, I added some ham and cheese to the mix before adding the buttermilk.  They are DELISH.  The kids loved them and snagged them for breakfast this morning.   I also made just a cheese version.  I sent a few of these to a fellow football mom who drove my lad to practise tonight and they were a big hit with the kids in the car too.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back to School: Freezing sandwiches and Marathon cooking

I have been rather negligent on blog posting but I've not really stopped cooking.  I've been sewing alot, and life gets in the way of posting.

I did however just do a marathon weekend of cooking getting ready for Back to School.

I started a job last fall for the first time in many years.  I hated it and I quit....the nice thing about not actually needing a job is you don't have to stick around doing something you hate or more to the point working for someone you don't respect.    Water under the bridge.   That said...I've started another job part time that I am loving.  (I used to own my own company and I am now working part time for one of my old customers.  Creative and fun = perfect, I am not sure how long I will be needed but I'm happy to be along for the ride for now)   It's great for pin money and it feels good to be out of the house.

What is this leading to?  Well...lunches.   I had to get organized.  I started marathon cooking one weekend a month getting all the lunches ready as best possible so the kids could just grab and go in the morning.   I could do the same as could hubby if so inclined.    Boy have they grown fast.  I now have one in his final year of University, one starting college (out of town...sniff), a young lady starting highschool, and our youngest in his last year of middle school.  Time flies.

Shiny object alert....

Back to  my point.  Lunches and meals.   I have really avoided processed deli meats for a couple of years now as best possible.  I still love a great italian hard genoa salami (no innuendo...really),  but the rest?  Too much salt, nitrates and the like.   I had started cooking up chicken breasts, roasts of beef and pork and making sandwiches with them on a weekly basis.   I took it up a notch.

This takes some organization but it works beautifully once you get in the groove and it really does save a lot of time.  I try to get everyone helping out, be it shredding cheese, peeling apples or digging in and cooking with me.

This weekend for example.  We made.   40 Chicken Salad wraps,  25 Roast beef sandwiches, 36 Pizza poppers (my homemade version of a pizza pop),  15 servings of mac n cheese (thermos size), 15 meal size portions of lasanga (more...but they wanted to actually eat some that day....the nerve),   200 Meatballs, a double batch of beef stew, a double batch of spaghetti sauce (meat pasta sauce/ragu type)  3 chicken pot pies, 29 apple and blueberry crisps in jars.
 (in the photo above...about half way through cooking.  upper left: Chicken salad pinwheel wraps,  Upper right:  Pizza poppers and Mac n Cheese.   bottom right: roast beef n cheese, pizza poppers, and eventually some lasagnas, rice and such were added.   Stews are frozen in the plastic containers. (That however is the best gravy ever from a burger joint in my hometown of Sudbury Ontario, called Deluxe.  They make the most scrumptious Chicken on a bun you have ever had and my mom knows the owner so got me a gallon of gravy for my birthday so I could make my own at it!!!)

Back on topic...
This takes a lot of prep and a big trip to Costco or the farmers market.   Note, most veggies don't freeze well in sandwiches so we cut them up and keep them in the fridge.  The kids grab what they want and put in seperate container to add to the sandwiches after defrosting.

Freezing sandwiches and lunches ahead of time is really easy and convenient.  They grab what they want and it defrosts by lunch time.  (don't use insulated bags though because they may not)

Ideas above are great for lunches.  As are meatball subs, pork sandwiches, and the like.  I've made chicken club (bacon and add tomato and lettuce at school), pulled pork (they didn't like those), tuna, as well as turkey.

Part of the trick is finding a good bread.  For sandwiches I use a light rye from Costco (Canada).  It works very well as it's a little hard to begin with so it doesn't get soggy.  I use stone ground tortilla wraps without issue.   There is also something called One bun Folded Flat bread that works fabulously for meatball subs.

Lets get to it shall we?


Roast chicken breasts however you like.  I honestly just toss them into the oven plain and cook them up.   Pop them in the food processor with a little carrot, green onion, and green pepper.   Grind them up.  Remove from processor and add mayo and a little dijon for some zip.    Spread on a tortilla wrap, place a slice of provolone cheese and roll them up like a pin wheel.  Cut in half and wrap in plastic wrap.  Pop them into zip lock freezer bags, label and date the bag.  Place in freezer.

Roast beef Sandwiches. 

Make a roast the night before and let stand in the fridge whole overnight.   Cut thinly.  I use a light rye for this and spread some mayo and a little dijon on the bread.  Layer the beef to whatever thickness you like and add what cheese you like.  I use either light swiss, or light havarti.  Wrap in plastic or in a sandwich bag.   again, place into a larger ziplock bag, label and freeze.     For the roast?  I personally make it rather easily.  In my dutch oven I place the roast, add about an inch of red wine (cheap wine is fine), coat the roast in dijon mustard, add some crushed peppercorns and some garlic, sliced onions and off to races we go.   Roast at 350 degrees until cooked to desired level.

Meatball "subs".   Really these are meatball, 1/2 flat breads...
I make my meatballs the same time as my sauce and let them cook in the sauce.  The meatballs absorb the flavour of the sauce and are tender delicious mouthfuls of yum.     Again...very basic.   Ground veal/beef.  an egg or two depending on how much you have and some breadcrumbs to bind.  The breadcrumbs help bind it all together and absorb the tomato sauce.   Toss them into your simmering meat sauce or tomato sauce and let cook for a couple of hours.

After they are cooked I just scoop out the meatballs and make the "subs"    The half flat breads are cut almost like a pita allowing you to put your mozzarella/provolone cheese in.  The meatballs and a little sauce.  Wrap and freeze.  These can get a little soggy so don't go heavy on the sauce.  You can use hoagie buns or whatever just note they can get soggy. 

Crisps in a Jar

I just take my standard apple crisp recipe or blueberry crisp, and instead of putting it all in one pan I split it into clean, sterilized mason jars.  I bake them in the jars and pop the tops on when they come out.  They do seal but I would advise freezing them.  I am experimenting on actually "preserving " this but as it stands right now the jury is out whether it is completely safe to do so.  As a result..I advise freezing them after they have cooled down.   I did actually just try a batch of water bathing preserving but I won't know the results for sometime so....use caution.    I also advise the same for breads/cakes in jars.   I often make banana bread and cakes in mason jars.  Again...just bake them in the jars and top them.  But do take caution and freeze them.  They are okay for a couple of weeks not frozen I think but why take a chance. (not that they actually last that long in this house)

Pizza Poppers.

My version of pizza pockets.    Roll out puff pastry as if for turnovers.   Spread, pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms...whatever.   fold in like a triangle for a turnover and pinch.  Bake at 375 on a cookie sheet until golden brown.   cool completely and freeze.  You will note I did these in muffin tins.  DONT do that.  It did not work out well.  Tasty but soggy underside.  I pulled all these out and finished them on the cooling rack underneath in the oven

Hot meals:

For this I make my standard recipes and then once cooled divide them into individual portions and use my vacuum sealer.   I can honestly say the vacuum sealer has been one of my best investments.  Saves me a tonne of money.  Again...Mac n Cheese is my standard recipe.   Elbow noodles, some cubed cooked chicken, cauliflower and a teeny smidge of cayenne pepper to zip it up.  Sauce is a standard white sauce with cheddar cheese.   Mix it all up, place in a lasagna pan or casserole.  coat with some buttered breadcrumbs and shredded cheese and bake for 45 minutes at 350.   cool it down completely.  

About a cup and a bit fit into the small thermos so I divide it up and place into vacuum bags.  The kids just pull it out.  Heat it up in the bag in the microwave and pop it into a thermos for lunch.

Same thing is done for Lasagna's and Chicken Pot pie.   Stew and Potatoes I do a little differently.   I mash up potatoes with sour cream and cream cheese and scoop it into muffin tins.  I freeze it a little then pop each one into vacuum bag and freeze.  This makes for an easy add on to a dinner when running to football practise or dance class after school.  The stew I freeze in containers.   I've also made roast beef with gravy and individually sealed portions into bags for quick dinners as well.  Oh..RICE...rice freezes really well so freezing one cup portions in vacuum bags is also done.  The kids sometimes like that at lunch as well.

It is a lot of work for a weekend but if you are organized you can get it all done and then relax for a month. (or more)

Do any of you freeze lunches ahead.  Any more ideas?   I will continue to share as I move along and make more.  I'm sure I have more pics from last years adventures kicking around.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Warm Scrumptious Apple Turnovers on a frigid winter's day

I recognize it's been ages since posting new recipes.  I have had a wonderful year of travel and focus on famly and the blog went a little by the way side.  

I am working hard to lose all the weight from quitting smoking (two years yesterday!!!)

That said there is always a little room for some sweets and today I could think of nothing better than comfort food on this very very cold day. (-30 Celcius).  

Last night I piddled about with some puff pastry pockets I had and while they were tasty they weren't quite right.  Today I decided on proper turnovers and experimented again.  To say they were a success would be an understatement.

Delicious.  So easy.

I started with a box of Tenderflake Puff Pastry.  I took half and rolled it out into a larger square on a floured surface.  I rolled it out to approx 9x9 square, and using my pizza cutter split into four equal squares.  I covered that with some plastic wrap until the filling was ready.  Alternatively you can do this step after making the filling

Ingredients for the filling. You can substitute whatever fruit you like into this. Blueberries would be divine as well.  I admit my measurements were closer to a little bit of this and a little bit of that but the following is pretty close

3 Large apples (I used Macintosh first go, and Honeycrisp the second time round)
approx 2/3-3/4 cup brown sugar 
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of lemon juice
dash of salt
approx 1tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbsp water
2 tbsp butter
1 egg white lightly beaten

Peel the apples and dice.
Place the butter in a medium sized sauce pan and melt until bubbly.  Add the apples and lemon juice, stir for approx 2-3 minutes.
Add the sugar and cinnamon and cook for approx 3 minutes again until the apples are soft 
Stir in the dissolved cornstarch and remove from heat as soon as it starts to thicken.   The mixture should thicken up nicely while being stirred off the element.  

Spoon the mixture into the prepared squares.

Using a pastry brush (or fingers) brush some egg white onto the edges and pinch closed into a triangle. (Little tip...I closed the less filled side first then held them up and let the filling slide down a bit to close the final edge)

 Brush egg white onto edges and top of pastries

Place in a preheated oven of 400 F for approx 22-25 minutes.  You can poke some slits into the tops to release steam if you like.  I did and found it helped to keep them from leaking.
Remove and let cool. (As hard as it may be try not to eat straight away or you will have a burned mouth)

I made a glaze icing out of a tablespoon of skim milk and stirred in confectioner's sugar (icing sugar) until it was the consistency I wanted.    



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Healthy Delicious Hoisin and Garlic Burgers

It's a new year and I'm totally comitted to losing all of the weight I gained by quitting smoking a year ago (It will be a year in 5 days...YAY me).   I feel great having quit but I am miserable with the weight gain.

I have started Hip Hop Abs to kick start a workout routine, plus we got a puppy and he is wonderful for walking incentive.

Without further adieu the recipe.   WOW!!  Once again I have been following Rose Reisman's recipe's and this one is from her Complete Light Kitchen book.   It is FANTASTIC!!!  The kids were gaga over them.

These are made as sliders and based on a serving of two mini burgers there are 264Calories in the serving.    The only thing I did differently was I made them on my indoor grill iron and omitted the sesame oil/hoisin sauce brushing on.

1 lb extra lean ground beef
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used panko)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 egg

Preheat you indoor grill or bbq (if warm weather).  We are mid winter here at the moment so going outside to grill not up there on the priority levels.

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.   I always like to mix up burger combos in my kitchenaid mixer to ensure all the ingredients are properly infused.

BBQ, use indoor grill, or bake on a cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes until no longer pink.   Serve on mini buns.   I topped them with sautéed shitake mushrooms and it was scrumptious.  You could top with sautéed onions as well.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Football Cake for a Football Party

I recognize I've not been around of late.  I went on vacation to Portugal and I've been in a major crocheting frenzy of late, making gifts for Christmas.

All of the above plus my new role of team momanager of my youngest man's football team.  It has been a blast actually.  My little guy has fallen in love with Football!  who knew?

Our little motley crew of players have done pretty well.  We made it to the championship game.  While we didn't take the title we gave the opposing team a workout and made them fight for the win.  I was really proud of little guys. (all 10 year olds)

I promised the team at half time last week that if they played their hearts out 2nd half we'd have a party.  Tomorrow is the day.

My little guy helped me decorate this one.  He did the football field.   All of this is real cake.  Football is pound cake (two of them carved into shape)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sour Cream Pancakes. A Bed and Breakfast treat

My mum and dad run a B&B  here in Northern Ontario during the summer months.  Our family cottage built by my Grandad and added onto over the decades is now host to families and couples from around the world.

This recipe has become one of the favorites of all guests, children and adults alike.   It originates from my mum's pre B&B days when she ran a charity.  One of the fundraisers for the charity was a cookbook.  I don't know who contributed this one but it is fantastic.   Substitute plain yogurt for sour cream if you don't have the sour cream.  I have also changed the original to use buttermilk instead of regular milk.  (we are buttermilk fans in our house).  Add some fresh fruit if desired.  The possibilities are endless.  Mum has been known to add chocolate chips for a special treat.

You can also mix the dry ingredients, pre prepped and stored in zip bags for faster prep on busy mornings.

1 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt

1 egg
2 tbsp sour cream, heaping  (or plain yogurt)
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp melted butter

Sift together dry ingredients.  Mix egg, milk and sourcream.  Pour over dry ingredients, add the melted butter and mix.   Spray a hot skillet with Pam cooking spray and cook.  Makes approx 12 pancakes (silver dollar size).

They were delicious

Friday, July 8, 2011

Harry Potter Sorting Hat Cake (aka 10th birthday cake)

Yet again my little guy has a birthday.  Since we didn't get to do a fun cake for my daughter in May or my teenager in June I actually had time to bake a cake today for my little man's 10th birthday on Sunday.

Harry Potter was again a theme and this time a sorting hat was to be made.  I had zero clue how to approach this so I basically started winging it.  I made 6 layers of cake (used 5, plus a couple of ramekins to make the tip, and a giant marshmallow).   Buttercream icing between the layers and chocolate fondant covers it all.

This went significantly more smoothly than I anticipated actually.  I am grateful the hat is old and mishappen as my fondant ability is not great so it all kind of works.   All in it took me about an hour and a bit to ice, carve and finish up.

Carving the cakes

Dirty layer of buttercream for under the fondant

Fondant layered on and molded as best possible

A few embellishments for our little Gryffindor

One happy little man
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...