Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fresh Salad

I am always looking for new salads for work. I get tired of the same ole’ lettuce salad so I was super excited when I came across this recipe.

Lemon Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Tomatoes

I don’t often make pasta salads but liked the idea of being able to incorporate asparagus into my lunch. It is a fresh tasting salad and it brought back memories of time at the cottage in the summer. Ah, how I wish winter was over. But until then I’ll just keep making recipes that remind me of that warm, fun time in anticipation of the coming spring and summer this year. It took me 30 minutes to make and I know I could cut that time down easily once I’m more familiar with the recipe! I’m already looking forward to my lunch tomorrow when I pair it with grilled chicken- yummy!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Home Comforts

As far as I’m concerned, I grew up eating the best spaghetti sauce there is available. I’m so convinced of this that I won’t order spaghetti when I go to restaurants because I think it will just be an epic disappointment in comparison to my Dad’s spaghetti sauce. So I might be a little biased, but it’s so good! And it freezes extremely well so you can make it ahead which is just another perk to this perfected recipe.

I have had many family gatherings eating this delicious meal and it reminds me of being at home when I was younger. So many memories gathered around the table enjoying great food and happy stories. When I was a child, I didn’t appreciate it because it was so readily available. But when I went to college and moved out on my own that’s when I realized how lucky I was to have so many hearty, home cooked meals. To this day my Mom and Dad only have to call us and say they are making Dad’s spaghetti sauce for supper and we all “magically” appear at their doorstep for dinner.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

Dad’s Spaghetti Sauce

4 lbs medium hamburger
2-stalks celery chopped
2-green or red peppers chopped
2 lbs sliced mushrooms
1-clove of garlic chopped

Put in large pot and cook above ingredients on medium heat until cooked.
Then add the following and simmer for 4 hours:

4-28fl.oz. cans of diced tomatoes
2- small cans of tomato paste
2 tbsp crushed chilli pepper flakes
2 tsp garlic salt
½ tsp black pepper

Monday, January 16, 2012

Satisfying Stuffed Peppers

There isn’t anything negative to say about this recipe because it is delicious, simple and perfect. I had no trouble at all making it and I was surprised at how flavourful it was.I will definitely be making this again...and again...and again.

Stuffed Pepper Recipe

It’s a doable weeknight meal because it doesn’t take very long to make and I like that it has all the food groups included so you don’t really need anything else to go with it. I ate one pepper and felt sufficiently full. That means a lot coming from a pregnant lady!

If I had to choose something to go with it, I would have added homemade bread. My sister-in-law Tasha came across a great recipe for homemade bread so maybe next time I make stuffed peppers I’ll tackle the challenge of that too!

I’m beginning to see that cooking is not so far out of my element and I’m getting more and more comfortable trying new recipes.

Dare I say, I'm enjoying cooking? 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Attention! Introducing General Tso

I have been pretty relaxed with my meal planning recently because I’ve been on holidays for 2 weeks. I was home so I could decide on a whim what I wanted to cook without having to do much preparation in advance.  

But with heading back to work, I knew I had to get back on track so that I wouldn’t be running for the closest drive-thru when my tummy started to grumble. These days it seems I need to eat something every 2 hours to keep the baby and me happy. But, I love food so it far from breaks my heart. However, hoping to only gain baby weight and not just “I’m eating for two weight” I knew a plan was in order. I always aim to make extra of whatever I'm making for supper so I have leftovers for work the next day. With the limits of not being able to have cold meat when pregnant, I quickly ran out of lunch options. Plus, I enjoy having a hot meal at lunch so really it's win-win. I'm saving myself the work of planning a supper and lunch by repeating the same meal the following day.

I was perusing Pinterest (if you haven’t already checked this site out, I suggest you stop what you are doing right now and go to this site! It’s fantastic and has so many great ideas!) Anyways, I came across a recipe for a Healthier version of General Tso’s Chicken and knew immediately that I had to make it. Luckily, I had everything at home already, so I didn’t have to trek out on the snowy day to get ingredients.  If I get something in my head that I want there’s very little I can do to steer it back into any other direction. We’ll blame the pregnancy for my current craving motivations.

This recipe was so easy and I would have never thought that this was something I could make. I will definitely be making this again.

However, I am more of a spice then ginger sorta girl, so I would opt to add more chilli flakes and less ginger next time to give it more zing. I also added orange pepper chunks and think next time I will also add broccoli. I like a lot of vegetables so it’s a good way to add some extra into your meals without compensating on flavour.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Baking Day

Gingerbread cookies are one of my favourite types of cookies. So, when I had a Christmas Baking day in December with my Mom and Sister-in-Law Tash that was my cookie of choice to make.

The recipe was super easy, but my suggestion would be to add more spice, because I felt the cookie was pretty mellow. I opted not to use cloves so I should have added more cinnamon or ginger to balance out the spice ratios.
The thing with Gingerbread is it has to chill in the fridge for a couple of hours so that you can roll it because it gets soft very easily, so it’s not something you can just whip up. But with a little bit of planning, these cookies can easily make it to the dessert table. They are fun to decorate too!

I’ve always been a bigger fan of baking then cooking, which makes sense why I’m more skilled at it because I took an interest in baking when I was little.

Tash opted to make Toblerone Shortbread Cookies and they are delicious and super fast to make! If you’re watching your weight, avoid looking at the calorie count on these puppies because they’re basically butter, sugar and chocolate. But it was a Christmas treat, so we indulged!

Happy Baking!