Saturday, October 30, 2010

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Now some of you may recall that I said I have yet to find a slow cooker meal that blew my socks off... well, this one did!! It was FABOULOUS! Not only was it easy peasy to whip together, the flavours were terrific (tasted like I slaved all day) and the amazing aroma of cooking lasagna was so awesome to come home to after a long busy day of Halloween partying. This is comfort food at it's pinnacle (in my opinion) - I will make this recipe numerous times because it is so flexible in that you can use ground turkey, ground chicken, Italian sausage, no meat, grate in some veggies (you know I love that!)... oh, the possibilities are endless! YIPPEE!!

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Pollo Fajitas, Jello Pumpkin Balls and Building a Community

I found myself scrambling a bit today. Meal planning is such a big part of my life that when I can't make a meal on my list I feel lost. I searched through the vast library of recipes on and found Pollo Fajitas and Cilantro Potatoes and thought they sounded good and they both used ingredients I had on hand. Both were decent, but I did not fall in love with either. The flavours were mediocre and I am not too sure what they needed to be "kicked up a notch". If you try them, please feel free to let me know your thoughts.

Go to Pollo Fajitas Recipe!

Go to Cilantro Potatoes Recipe!

Tomorrow we have a Halloween party to attend so I made my Jello Popcorn Balls and I can say they turned out AWESOME! They were easy and VERY tasty - I love that you can use truly any flavour of Jello for these. I think green and red batches will be required for Christmas. I think the kiddies are going to love them, and hey, if they don't I'll sure eat them! :)

Go to Jello Pumpkin Balls Recipe!

I would like to announce a couple of exciting changes to my little blog today...Meal Plan-it's family has grown ~ it has become a member of the Food Blogs community today!
" keeps track of hundreds of food blogs (or foodie blogs, as they are often referred to) from around the world." It allows you to sort through thousands of posts and find the relevant posts for you. Feel free to stop by and visit me there and ensure to favorite me to  get all my posts in your feed.

Another fun networking family that I became a member of today was Foodista. Foodista is kind of like the Wikepedia of the food world. It is "the cooking encyclopedia that everyone can edit". Come by and visit me, say hi and check out some of my recipes and see my blog posts.

I hope you enjoy the changes and that you stop by my Facebook Page and hit the like button and while you're there - suggest me to your friends!

Have a SPOOKTACULAR Halloween!

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Oops... No Chicken so we had Toad Instead!

I had to do a meal switchero because in my infinite wisdom I realized that I didn't have any chicken breasts, so we had Toad in the Hole tonight instead. An easy one pan meal that is so warm and "homey". I always make it with steamed carrots and cabbage on the side and when we eat it I feel like we are living in a cabin or camping. It does take forever to cook (1 hour) but it is so tasty that I forgive it for that. This meal has been made many times in our house and will be made many more down the road. AND the three year old LOVES it - bonus!

Go to Recipe!

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

$8000 White Truffles, Korean Pork & "Surprise" Devil Food Cupcakes

I was MIA yesterday because my husband and I went to a very special event where we had a 5 course meal based around White Truffles along with wine pairings from the winery of Beni di Batasiolo in the presence of the owner of the winery himself who flewn in from Italy. 
I love delicious food and jump for any opportunity to try new and amazing meals - this was SO DECADENT I cannot even explain. White Truffles from Italy are some of the rarest and most sought after foods in the world and they are worth their weight in gold. The picture following is a plate of White Truffles...

Can you believe this is worth about $8000?

Tonight was my husband's birthday supper at home and he requested a meal that we have had in the past - Korean Style Pork with Asian Slaw it turned out delicious as always. My son even enjoyed this time.

My son and I made Devil Food cupcake's for my husband; Out of the box, but we added a twist. After they baked and cooled I made buttercream icing and coloured it (I let my son choose the colour and he chose purple) I then put it in a piping bag and poked it in the center of the cupcake and filled it with about a teaspoon of the purple icing and then iced the top with white buttercream icing. So it was a surprise to bite in and find the pocket of bright purple icing in the center.

Well that's it for tonight... we'll see you tomorrow for Chicken Parmesan Bundles

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Tuna Noodle Bake, Feet Ghosts and Carrot Coconut Macaroons...phew!

Yet another variation of a tuna bake... this one was more like a fritatta then anything. I'm not a big egg fan so I could give or take it. Both my husband and son love eggs and enjoyed it immensly. I do not use salt often, but it was necessary with this dish, I would even add more than the recipe calls for. Tasty otherwise.

Today my son and I took on this week's craft project - Footprint Ghosts. He had a blast painting his feet and I got him to put the ghost stickers on while we waited for the paint to dry so we could add the googly eyes and mouths. We used sparkly black paper which didn't really show up in the photo, but it makes for a cool "starry night time" effect in person.

And finally... at 6:30 this evening I found out that my son's presence was requested at a Halloween party in the morning and he needs to bring a treat. First thought - cupcakes... turns out they were going to be making them at the party. So I turned to this week's snack - Coconut Carrot Macaroons. They turned out pretty good, not too sweet. (of course I snuck one!) I added orange food colouring to make them more Halloweeny and tossed in some chocolate chips. They are okay in a pinch, but I don't know that I'll make these again. My Coconut Toffee Macaroons are WAY Better, although not as "health conscious".
Go to Recipe!

Meal Plan ~ Week 44 - 2010

For more Meal Plans and Organization advice - visit Organization Junkie
Can you believe that it's the LAST week of October already?? How is this happening? It feels like I just get one meal plan done and *poof* I have to do another! 
Fairly standard week overall except it's my husband's birthday on Wednesday. I asked him to choose the meal for that night expecting he would say Steak, but to my shock he wants Korean Style Pork! Well, I guess even after 12 years, wonders never seize...

Monday ~ Tuna Noodle Bake served with Tossed Salad

Tuesday ~ Mom and Dad out for a Wine and White Truffle tasting (mmmm lucky us!)

Wednesday ~ Korean Style Pork with Asian Slaw served with Rice

Thursday ~ Chicken Parmesan Bundles served with Broccoli and Baby Potatoes

Friday ~ Toad in the Hole served with Steamed Carrots and Cabbage

Saturday ~ Jello Pumpkin Balls for Halloween Party and Slow Cooker Lasagna served with Caesar Salad for supper

Sunday ~ Friends House to go Trick or Treating ~ Coco Brooks Pizza Pick up

Have a SPOOKTACULAR Halloween!

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chicken Korma and Indian Chapati Bread

For a simplistic recipe off the back of a Curry Paste Jar - it turned out tasting SO authentic and it seemed I had slaved over the stove all day. For some reason I was inspired to make my own homemade Chapati Bread on the side for the first time ever and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to make. It did take longer to cook each piece of bread than I anticipated, but they turned out PERFECT! My 7 1/2 month old enthusiastically grabbed and ate it along with his older brother. Over all it was an impressive meal to finish of the week, even though it was easy, fast and really inexpensive to make.

Go to Chapati Bread Recipe!

Ready or not - here they come!

As today is October 24th I am posting a bonus holiday note because we have 1 week until Halloween, 1 month to American Thanksgiving and 2 months to Christmas. It is a busy time of year to be sure, so if you haven't already, now is a good time to start organizing yourself/family/home. Here are some good holiday tips and fun bits...


Have you ever "Boo'd" or been "Boo'd" yourself? I haven't, but I love this idea and I think it is a cute way to share some neighbourly cheer and spread some Halloween style fun - so I may just start this on our street. 

"Choose a decorated bag, or decorate one with Halloween or fall decor. Every Boo bag must include a sign that the recipient can hang in the window or door to let everyone know they’ve already been Boo’d. The bags should also include a Halloween Boo poem. These notes explain to the recipients that they

- Have been Boo’d
- Are to choose a friend or two to Boo
- Need to include treats, notes and a sign in each bag
- Should be sneaky when leaving it at their friends’ doors."


Need a tasty alternative to the standard Pumpkin Pie? Go no further than Sugar and Shimmer. She has two wonderful alternatives to the standard pie; Crustless Pumpkin Pie and Oats'n'Honey Granola Pie or you can always check out one of my fave recipes Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake. If you are on the market for something quite different, a delicious Apple Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce is comforting and just might be what you are looking for.


A great way to set things in the right direction for Christmas is to make yourself a holiday binder. Organized Christmas has all the Planner Printables and instructions that you need to get yourself started. Now is a great time to start this project - it will give you plenty of time to fill in the blanks and get ready and hey, while you are making yours, why not make Holiday Binders for your friends to give as gifts?   

Do you always find yourself scampering around last minute? Try joining the online Rudolph Club- your once a month meeting prep group for all things Christmas. You can sign up at any time and they meet every "Rudolf Day" (25th of the month) and chip away at their lists throughout the whole year. Never too early to look at 2011!

While you are on the Organized Christmas website, check out the Magic Elf Tradition.  Santa sends one of his elves to watch over your kiddies to ensure they are good. While the elf is in your home, you never know where this elf may turn up or what little pranks they may play. You can purchase Elf Stuffed Toys at then go to the Printables Section to print up your own Elf File. Or you can find "Elf on the Shelf" kits at Chapters/Indigo Books,, or in fine Toy Stores.

Well, I hope these little tidbits "uped" your Holiday Spirit and got you in the mood... It's gonna be a busy couple months full of tradition, fun, family, good food, games... so feel free to drop me a line with any ideas that you have to get you through the holidays or any family traditions that you want to share.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Nothing but Scrap...

 As far as supper is concerned, it's a night off for my Blog. Our meal consisted of no recipes, We had Marinated Lamb Chops which came from a local butcher, that coupled with rice and a veggie equals not much to talk about. AND...
this lucky Mom gets to go to an all day Scrapbook Crop tomorrow, so the boys are on their own and will probably be taking a leftover meal out of the freezer. So you will not be hearing from me until Sunday for my last meal of this week's Meal Plan

So in celebration of me getting a day to myself to scrap to my heart's content for 12 hours straight, I'd like to share Shabby Princess with you so you can download some AMAZING digital scrapbooking stuff or just get inspired if you are a traditional Scrapper. ~ Enjoy!

Good night and see you Sunday!

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Maple and Orange-Glazed Chicken

Wow! Another Weekly Meal Plan almost done! 

This chicken smelt SO wonderful while it baked (by the way, I baked not broiled it). You could smell the oranges throughout the whole house, so yummy! The fact that it was 4 ingredients in a bowl with chicken, marinating and that's it; so wonderfully simplistic yet the taste is deceivingly complex.
Halfway through the meal I realized that this chicken would be simply AMAZING sliced and put on top of a salad with purple onion, dark leafy greens, pine nuts and a raspberry vinaigrette (or a nice poppy seed dressing) I was thinking it about it so much that I almost got up and whipped up a salad and wanted to forget about the carrots and baby potatoes on the side. I simply CANNOT WAIT to make this chicken again and put it on any kind of salad - if you do before me, please let me know how it is!

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Baked Polenta with Tomato Sauce and Honey Peanut Butter Cookies

One word came to mind as soon as I took my first bite... Potential. There is nothing wrong with this meal per say, it IS tasty, but it is also lacking. What, I am not too sure. I really like that it is meatless, so I wouldn't add that. But if you look at it straight up, all it is is Polenta, Tomato Sauce and Cheese... Ho Hum. I would add a few more veggies for sure (my usual zucchini and carrot) maybe some spinach? Serve with a crusty loaf to sop up the leftover sauce. I think that would round it out nicely.

I manged to "persuade" my son to help me bake cookies today. I say persuade because he LOVES to bake; it means he gets to lick the spoons. We made Honey Peanut Butter Cookies so unbeknown to him all he licked was honey and peanut butter off the spoon! :) Even though they had no sugar or butter and were made with whole wheat flour and oats, my family GOBBLED them up. If I am going to serve a batch of cookies to my family I feel good serving ones that are "better" for us and so gosh darn tasty to boot! We love them and I will make them again for sure!

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Slow Cooker Ribs and Stuffed Pumpkin Craft

3 "Reallys" ~ Really tasty, really easy, and really tender. The meat was fall off the bone delicious and the sauce was amazing even though it was only BBQ Sauce and Catalina Dressing. I love finding easy and yummy combinations that I normally would never have thought of.  I will be making this meal again for sure - it was such a comforting and warm meal and a great way to use up the "odd and end bits" of the baby back ribs. (We always trim off all the ends and package them up together in a freezer bag for meals such as this). 

Now onto this week's craft... it was a two day extravaganza because my son used so much paint that it took HOURS to dry so we finished it up while we waited for supper. The fun of this was I was able to teach him about mixing colours as we made our orange and green, then we did a side project and made purple too. He thought that was pretty cool. It was a lot of fun and they are easy enough to make multiple to decorate the house (because they are rather small). My son drew the Jack'o'Lantern face; his first attempt at a happy face! :) He is very proud of it and his "Halloween" is now hanging in his bedroom. 

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Cod with Lemon and Parsley

A tasty and easy fish dish. Not too many ingredients to complicate the flavour - it's just as it's name says - a zesty, lemony fish dish. Quick to cook and just as quick to write about and I like that!  :)

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Meal Plan ~ Week 43 - 2010

For more meal Plans and Organizing Advise visit Organizing Junkie
Another complex Meal Plan done... Almost didn't get this one in on time for Menu Plan Monday! 
I went through my freezers and pantry and did inventories of both - in doing so I decided that I needed to make a meal plan this week where I didn't buy anything other than milk, eggs, and a few veggies to complete the whole week. 
Now you may ask, "Can you get printable forms online for freezer and pantry inventories?" and the answer is "YES!" I found some good ones at Organized Home in the Household Notebook Printable Section (Which I cannot stress enough that a Household Notebook is an amazing and necessary thing to have if you like to be organized - check it out!) 
It was tough to nail down recipes with my specific critreia for the the whole week, but I managed it! 

So here we go...
Monday ~ Cod with Lemon and Parsley served with Rice and Frozen Mixed Veggies

Tuesday ~ Slow Cooked Ribs served with Honey Carrots and Baby Potatoes

Wednesday ~ Baked Polenta with Tomato Sauce served with Tossed Salad

Thursday ~ Maple and Orange-Glazed Chicken served with Baby Potatoes and Broccoli

Friday ~ Marinated Lamb Chops (from butcher) served with Quinoa and Frozen Mixed Veggie

Saturday ~ Mom Out! Leftovers for the boys

Sunday ~ Chicken Korma served with Basmati Rice and  Indian Chapati Bread

Snack ~ Honey Peanut Butter Cookies (from last week)

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Apple Wedges and Sweet Potato Mash

So tonight's meal was supposed to be my final meal from my "Meals from Blogland" Meal Plan, courtesy of Just Another Mom of 2 but after reading the reviews on the recipe I decided against making the Crock Pot Stuffing Pork Chops - no offense - I was just a little worried of it not turning out as my Mother in Law was coming for dinner. So I opted for making a meal that I had put on my Magazine Meal Plan and had been able to make.

It was a lot of work and dirtied a lot of pots and pans, but even though my kitchen was a MESS it turned out great and tasted delicious. It would make an extravagant meal for company on a cozy Autumn night. It had just the right amount of sweetness without giving you a cavity. It's a little too much work for me for just a regular meal, but I would definitely make it again if company was coming and maybe finish it off with a nice Apple Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Baked Spaghetti Casserole

Almost to the end of my"Meals of Blogland" Meal Plan and tonight's meal was found on Whats for Dinner Blog. A yummy Baked Spaghetti that was super easy to make. The flavour and consistency reminded us of that cheesy baked pasta that you order via take-out from a local Pub. As always, I added my standard grated zucchini and carrots to the sauce to boost the veggie intake for my son. He was clueless to my stunt and happily gobbled down his noodles.

The yield of this meal was huge and there was enough left over for another complete meal. I believe that this meal would make a great "make ahead and freeze" type of meal (as any baked pasta casserole dish). So when I plan my next big cook - this one will be on the menu! 

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Cheesy Chicken Roll-ups

So here is Friday and day 5 of my "Meals of Blogland" Meal Plan. Tonight's meal came to me courtesy of Life as a Domestic Nerd and was as healthy as she claimed... not very, but it was super yummy and a preschooler pleaser. Both points are pluses in my book regardless of the health factor. 
 Some of you may recall that I pulled a bonehead move once already this week. Well tonight's fowl up came courtesy of my husband. I had asked for a tube of crescent rolls on the grocery list as per the recipe, but he came home with biscuits, but I prevailed and I worked with what I had; I rolled out the biscuits thin and filled as per the recipe - they seemed to work out just fine, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it would have been better with the called for crescents... 
Flavour was great, all be it a little rich. I did top with a bit of some of the shredded cheese and melted just prior to serving. Gooey Goodness!

On a side note - we had snow today... I know, EEKS... ALREADY! It didn't stick around, but I think it was warning that those days are coming soon. We ventured out in the "blizzard" in the morning, but we were a bit housebound this afternoon so we did a super fun craft which I found on The DLTK Kids Website that I would like to share; 

Trace your child's hand and arm (up to elbow) on brown cardstock, (I also did mine) and cut out. Then glue on leaves (we picked some from the yard as well as used the template). It was a lot of fun and it kept my son's attention with ease. 

Here are the directions: Autumn Tree Craft

I have decided that with the dreary weather coming, we will do one craft a week from this site. I will post as we do them - I hope you get a chance to enjoy making them with your children (should you have any) :) 

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

So day 4 of my "Meals of Blogland" Meal Plan and this one comes courtesy of Domestically Obsessed and all I have to say is 5 words... I COULD EAT THIS EVERYDAY. Honestly I couldn't stop eating! I tested a bit of the stuffing while I was stuffing the squash to ensure I seasoned it well and I found myself eating it by the tablespoon full! And let's be honest, ANY meal that comprises of veggies stuffed into a veggie that my "veggie-phobic" son will gobble down is in top spot on my list.

I did do a couple changes - I browned the sausage prior to adding the veggies to cook. I only had plain breadcrumbs, so I used them and added my own Italian spice, along with pepper, and a little paprika (because unbeknown to my husband I am having an affair with smoked paprika and add it anywhere I can) I also grated the carrots and when my son asked what it was I told him a wee lie and said it was grated cheddar cheese. ;) And finally for sausage I used Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage and removed the casings prior to cooking.

FYI - This stuffing would also be AWESOME used as a stuffing in a bird. So versatile!

Yup, next week's meal plan may be an easy one - 7 days of Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash! ;)

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cashew Salmon with Apricot Couscous

Here we are - day 3 of my "Meals of Blogland" Meal Plan and tonight held a meal that I was truly excited for from Food. Fun. Family. It was worth the wait and anticipation for sure! I DID manage to make one bonehead move this week (so far) and that was to overlook picking up couscous with the groceries- so we used quinoa instead and I think it was a pretty sufficient replacement.

On to the taste.. mmm... delicious to say the least and you may remember that I am not the the biggest cheerleader for Salmon, but now we are 2 for 2 in yum factor and I just may be won over! The sauce was wonderful and would make a great dip on it's own. The cashews were a welcomed addition, but the apricots were not necessary in our minds and both my husband and I pushed them to the side. Very aromatic and tasteful meal which will make it's way to our table again, but with couscous and drop the apricots!

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Apple Chicken

Tuesday of my "Meals of Blogland" Meal Plan and tonight's meal came from Making my Own Luck.
It was delicious! The sauce was not too sweet and had a wonderful tang thanks to the addition of wine and apple cider. Served with a side of  mashed potatoes and carrots this was a perfect Autumn meal. The only change I would do is not to put the apples in until closer to the end as we found them to be a little overcooked and mushy. Overall, this will be back for sure - easy AND yummy!

Go to Recipe!

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Healthy Goulash

Day one of my "Meals of Blogland" Meal Plan Tonight's meal came from A Modern Gal. I loved the idea that thinly sliced cabbage was used instead of pasta for this meal, but in doing so I knew for a fact that my son would not eat a bite. So he enjoyed some leftovers from the freezer. 
This meal was very tasty and was truly comfort food. I was a little shocked by the half full bowl of "broth" that I ended up with, my husband said that it was a shame to let it go because it tasted so good, so he got some bread to sop it up. I think next time I will serve it with biscuits or something. I did add a couple of my own touches to the meal - I added chili powder with the other spices and a dollop of sour cream on top right before serving it. 
Delicious meal! It will make another appearance in my meal plan someday for sure - thank you!

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Meal Plan ~ Week 42 - 2010

For more Meal Plans and Organization Advise visit Organizing Junkie

 Ahhhh... (sigh of relief) another Meal Plan Monday completed! This one seemed to sneak up on me, I guess because it took a fair amount of leg work to come up with it. 

There are SO many WONDERFUL ladies out there in "Blogland" coming up with Meal Plans EVERY SINGLE week and I know that most of them have some absolutely amazingly yummy sounding meals, so I decided this week is my "Meals of Blogland" Meal Plan. I have researched through hundreds of meal plans and chosen 7 meals from 7 different meal planning bloggers to come up this week's plan. (It was HARD not to choose a hundred, but there are more weeks to come and if this works out, I'll do this again)

I am SO looking forward to this experiment!! Thanks to all these wonderful ladies for your inspiration!

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