Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pistachio Crusted Chicken

Phew, what a lot of work! I thought "save some money and get pistachios in the shell and just do the work myself".  Yeah Right! Don't do what I did, spend the extra couple bucks! I spent 1/2 hour just shelling the nuts. The flavour and texture were great, but there are many recipes out there that are far less work that turn out just as good. 

Oh,  and don't forget that tomorrow is the big Holiday Bake-n-Blog, be sure to check out my post tomorrow about my "Pummies"

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Meal Plan ~ Week 49 - 2010 and some Catch up

I feel a little out of sorts being away for a whole week; it sure feels a lot longer than that, but in reality there isn't THAT much to catch up on except my post for Kid's in Cowtown was posted last Wednesday so I think you should check it out.
As far as meal plans are concerned, this week is fairly standard, except I have a company Christmas Party on Thursday and my Son's 3rd Birthday Party to plan for Saturday... So let's hop right in!

For more Meal Plans and Organizing Advise, visit Organizing Junkie

Monday ~ 30-Minute Mini Meatloaves served with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans (previously reviewed)

Tuesday ~ Pistachio Crusted Chicken served with Quinoa and Honeyed Carrots

Thursday ~ Mom out - boys fend for themselves

Saturday ~ Birthday Party!

Sunday ~ Cheese Enchiladas Verde served with Tossed Salad and Rice

I am not going to be setting a snack or craft this week as it is going to be a little hectic with the impending party, but I will be making my Bake-n-Blog recipe this week. Be sure to check out Kelly's Blog on Dec 1 to see the big reveal.

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Monday, November 22, 2010


I just wanted to let you all know that there is no meal review this evening as I am packing to go on a much needed vacation. I will be absent from my blog for a week.
So until next time...have a wonderful week, Happy Thanksgiving to our friends in America and good luck Black Friday Shopping!

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bake-n-Blog and My "Kitchen Sink" Stirfry

Kelly @ JAX Does Design is hosting a Bake-n-Blog: Holiday Edition I've never been a part of something like this before as I'm still pretty "fresh" to the Blogging Community so I am totally excited to be participating and am looking forward to the Big Blog on Dec 1.  I'm in for "Pummies" from Cindy @ Bandaids Required which are a pumpkin based cookie that you can make with one of three variations. Personally, I just can't get enough pumpkin! Check out Kelly's Blog for all the details and to join in the fun!

Tonight's meal was "kitchen sink" beef stirfry - it really has everything in it. It's a meal that has no recipe per say and one that both my husband and I have been tweaking and perfecting since we moved in together 12 years ago. We both have our own spin on it, my usual rendition is Beef, Matchstick Carrots, Sugar Snap Peas, Julienned Zucchini, Sliced Mushrooms, Sliced Red Bell Pepper in a blend of sauces including:Terriyaki Sauce, Fish Sauce, Hoisin Sauce, Szechuan Sauce, Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, Soy Sauce, Rice Vinegar, Liquid Honey, then add Garlic, Black Pepper, and Chinese 5 Spice. You marinate the meat in the sauce for a couple hours. Put veggies in a hot wok with vegetable oil. Stir quickly for about 3 minutes, then add about 1 TBS of water and cover with lid. Steam for 2 minutes, then scoop a "well" in the middle of the veggies and pour in meat and sauce. Continue to stir and fry until meat is medium rare. Serve over hot cooked rice or noodles and top with chopped green onions. SO flavourful and colourful! 
It has always been a staple in our home and it has been fun experimenting with different combinations of sauces and veggies over the years- give it a try and see what you come up with! 

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Thai Spicy Noodles and Exciting Times Ahead

As I was making supper tonight I realized that a couple of the meals from this week's plan were actually recipes from my VERY FIRST meal plan years and years ago and it made me a little nostalgic. 
My very first meal plan was one that I did not come up with on my own, but rather one from Chatelaine. It included the recipes for Amazing Veggie Burgers, Layered Vegetable Casserole, and tonight's Thai Spicy Noodles
This is another meal that I have made over and over again to wonderful results. It turned out terrific as usual and it makes awesome leftovers for lunch the next day. It is very reminicent of Thai Take-out, but a titch healthier. Easy and flavourful - I suggest you try this one! 

On a personal (and totally exciting) note, I have been approached to be a contributing writer for Kids in Cowtown - an amazing blog resource written by Parents for Parents in Calgary. It has everything from cooking to parenting advice to outings and what to do in the city, to crafts and everything in between. My first post will be coming out soon, so I'll keep you posted! :) 

- Jill

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Amazing Veggie Burgers and Layered Vegetable Casserole

Amazing Meatless Meal indeed! An easy and delicious homemade Veggie Burger Recipe that has turned out great for me about a dozen times. I have even doubled the batch and frozen the patties and it still turned out fab. 
This Casserole is another dish that I have made quite a bit. It is a lot of work, but it makes a very large casserole - perfect for a pot luck or large crowd. I couldn't find any cubed pre-cooked squash so earlier today I cut an Acorn Squash in half, scooped out the seeds, rubbed with olive oil and placed cut side down on a cookie sheet, baking it for about 1/2 hour on 375*F. I then let it cool a bit and scooped out the flesh and then continued on with the recipe.
This was a feel good meal, perfect for a freezing, snowy day and there's lots left over that I can put aside for my husband when I go away next week. 

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chinese Chicken with Pineapple

By the name of this meal you'd think it was sweet, but it wasn't; it had just the right amount of zip. It was a super delicious meal that tasted like take-out without being greasy or sweet and a whole lot healthier too. I used Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs instead of Breasts because I always manage to dry out Chicken Breast and the Thighs turned out perfect. I've made this before and I'll do it again - maybe you should give it a try too!
Go to Recipe!

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baked Chili with Cornmeal Crust

First big snowfall of the year and tonight's meal sounded perfect for just such a chilly night. Well, great idea, mediocre taste. I think you should take your fave chili recipe and top it with this cornmeal crust and that will be a win win situation. To me it is just not chili without beans and there wasn't much spice to it either, but I want to desperately make my own chili and top it with this cornmeal crust. On a plus note, my son gobbled it up due to the blandish nature of the flavour - so I guess the good news is it is a very kid-friendly chili recipe.(Mine tends to be too spicy)

Go to Recipe!


Monday, November 15, 2010

3-Ingredient Baked Sticky Chicken and Sweet Potato Wedges

Tastes A LOT better than it looks, I promise!

Both items tonight were tasty and I FINALLY found a Sweet Potato "Fry" recipe that actually turned out crunchy! All I can say is thank goodness for Panko. The chicken didn't turn out sticky per say, but the flavour was great and the sauce was like a wonderful homemade bbq style. These will remain in my menu repertoire for future use and I bet this chicken recipe would be awesome on the grill! (and it just might turn out sticky then).

Go to Chicken Recipe!

Go to Sweet Potato Wedges Recipe!

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Meal Plan ~ Week 47 - 2010 and Happy American Thanksgiving!

This Week's Meal Plan comes with the announcement that I will not be posting a Plan for Week 48 as I will be on a much needed girl's getaway to Los Angeles; which means that this lucky girl gets Thanksgiving Dinner twice in one year!! The boys will be fending for themselves that week, but they do have quite a few meals in the freezer to choose from.
Leading up to that, Week 47 is pretty standard in our house, just company coming Saturday, so I will be serving up a new favorite.

Wednesday ~ Grilled Chicken with Tangy Tomato Balsamic Sauce served with Pasta Toss

Thursday ~ Amazing Veggie Burgers served with roasted baby potatoes and steamed veg

Friday ~ Chinese Chicken with Pineapple served on Basmati Rice

Saturday ~ Slow Cooker Lasagna served with Caesar Salad

Happy Thanksgiving to our American Neighbours! 


for more meal plans and organization advise,visit Organizing Junkie

Sunday, November 14, 2010

No Cream Creamy Chickpea Soup with Parmesan Croutons and Cookie Exchange Recipes

A super creamy and filling soup. It reminded me of yellow pea soup - very hearty and perfect for a crisp autumn day. This was the first time I ever made croutons and I knew in my heart that they were easy to make, but now I know that they are and they taste SO much better than the rock hard store bought  ones. My son even ate most of his soup which made me happy because it was full on nothing but good things. I will have this soup on the menu again for sure! 

I also whipped up test batches of 2 out of the 3 cookies that I will be making for Christmas cookie exchanges this year. The first up was Red Velvet Cakeys with White Chocolate Chunks from NibbleDish.com. Very yummy and "cake-like". Honestly my husband can't stop eating them (which helps my waistline). I made them just as the recipe says. For the exchange I am going to 'up" the red food colouring just a bit, they just weren't red enough for my liking. DELICIOUS though! 

Next up was Egg Nog Cookies from Kicked Up Cookie Recipes. I decided to be daring and switched out the Vanilla for Spiced Rum and HELLO! These turned out AH-MAZING! They are light, almost shortbread-like and not too sweet. You can just get a hint of the creamy egg nog and the subtle kick of rum. I think these too will be a hit.


The last cookie that I will be making this year for a cookie exchange is one of my fave standbys Soft Gingersnaps. Easy to make, quick to eat and the recipe makes a nice big batch. 

So there you have my 3 cookie recipes that I'll be making for my 3 Christmas Exchanges this year - I am SO glad that the test batches worked out and I can move onto the serious batches, because well, these ones are already gone... 

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hungarian Goulash and Golden Harvest Muffins

I was MIA yesterday because I was out with the ladies at a Christmas Card making class and had a great time and got lots done! It was wonderful way to kick off the holiday preparations, one more card class to go to and I think I'll have them all. Tonight's supper was going to be Slow Cooker Goulash, but we decided to ditch the slow cooker part - so we mixed the flour with the spice, dredged the diced beef in that, browned it in a large skillet, added the onions until soft and then added int he diced tomatoes and let that simmer for about 20 minutes, covered. Then added the sour cream and put over top the egg noodles. It turned out great and it only took 30 minutes. It tasted awesome! I think we will do it this way more often.

I made Golden Harvest Muffins yesterday afternoon. I have made these a few times in the past and absolutely LOVE them. I love that they are so chalk full of great things like, carrots, raisins, coconut, apples and walnuts. I always individually wrap my muffins and put in the freezer - then when we want one for a snack all we do is pop it in the microwave and nuke it for 20 seconds and voila! your wholesome snack is ready!

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Crispy Chicken and Broccoli Corn Casserole

Delicious meal, but when I put these two together on my meal plan I didn't pay attention to the fact that both had Corn Flakes in their recipe! So we had a teensy bit of Corn Flake overload, but both on their own were awesome and super easy to prepare. Even my Mother in Law enjoyed the meal! :) 
So, both of these will be back on the plan, but just not together.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Apricot Lamb Chops

I noticed that ever since I started this blog I have upped my level of experimentation in the kitchen and tonight is so exception. First glance at the ingredients may have you wonder about this meal, Soy Sauce, Dijon Mustard, Worcestershire Sauce, and Garlic all mixed with Apricot Preserves and then put on top Lamb Chops which have Salt, Pepper and Cinnamon rubbed on it... It almost sounds like science fiction, but let me tell you... It was a magnificent combination of flavours!! I feel that this recipe would also work wonders with Chicken and as such that may be my next attempt...

Love, love, love it!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Italian Sausage and Potato Bake

The flavour of the potatoes was AMAZING and I will definitely use that ingredient combo sometime in the future, but, well this meal was a lot of work! I am not too sure why it was such a laborious meal, I think my timing was off and I was just not "feeling" it... It took me 1 1/2 hours to make supper tonight and honestly the end result was not really worth it to me. Essentially this was sausage with scalloped potatoes. But hey, it might work out great for you so give it a try and see what I mean about the potatoes. Just make sure you do it on a night where you have lots of time!


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Monday, November 8, 2010

Chicken Parmesan Bundles

This meal was FABULOUS and may be one of my new fave comfort foods! Cream Cheese, Spinach, Mozza, Ritz Crackers all baked up crispy with warm pasta sauce and even more Mozza has me saying YES!
In my humble opinion, I say make this meal as soon as you can; it tastes superb and is a real crowd pleaser (without much work - nice!)
Go to Recipe!
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Meal Plan ~ Week 46 - 2010

This week is a pretty standard one in our house - no special holidays or events, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to make all those meals that were on previous Meal Plans and just never got made for whatever reason. In going through my Blog I noticed that I really haven't missed that many - actually just enough to fill this week! So without further ado, I bring you Week 46...

Monday ~ Chicken Parmesan Bundles served with Tossed Salad ~ From Week 44

Wednesday ~ Apricot Lamb Chops served with Quinoa and Steamed Green Beans ~ Week 45

Friday ~ Mom out!! Boys will have to fend for themselves!

Saturday ~No Cream Creamy Chickpea Soup served with Parmesan Croutons ~From  Week 40

Sunday ~ Crispy Chicken served with Broccoli Corn Casserole ~ From Week 36

Craft ~

For more Meal Plans and organization advise; visit Organizing Junkie

...and have a wonderful week!

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Meatball Subs

I have been missing out! Such a simple and popular meal and yet I have never made it before, come to think of it, I have never HAD a Meatball Sub before! Tonight I am proud to say they turned out AMAZING without any guidance of a "recipe"! I used pre-made meatballs (for ease) which I simmered with a jar of ready made pasta sauce for about 20 minutes. I then mixed garlic powder and salt in some butter and buttered our hoagie buns and toasted them in the oven under the broiler for about 5 minutes. I then put 5 meatballs and a dash of sauce on each prepared bun and topped with shredded Mozza Cheese... Not pretty to look at, but the toasting kept the bun from turning to "goop" and the cheese kept the whole sandwich "glued" together.  Mama Mia! Perfecto!

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Baked Ham and Pineapple with Orange Mustard Sauce

Well, a SUPER easy meal and you don't have to worry about under cooking the ham as the recipe calls for a fully cooked ham to begin with! The sauce had just the right amount of tang and a hint of sweetness.  Really not much to report - this is a pretty standard ham dish that makes it to our table every once and a while. The Scalloped Potatoes are a Cheesy personal recipe that I hold near and dear, sorry... no family secrets will be revealed tonight! 

Go to Recipe!

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Creamy Pesto Chicken Bake

Even the best laid plans can go into the pot (or in this case NOT into the pot). I did not feel like Lamb Chops tonight (as per this week's Meal Plan), I wanted to overload on Carbs, so we had Creamy Pesto Chicken Bake which is a recipe I found on the back of a Campbell's Soup Can. Honestly if you're ever in a jam for what to make, look at some of the items in your pantry and see if any of the recipes peek your interest. I have yet to find a bad one! This meal was perfect for my craving and it used items from my pantry and was a breeze to whip up. If you're in a bind - this recipe will pull through for you, every time, and... it's kid approved!

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50 days to go...

A bonus Holiday post from me today because today marks 50 days until Christmas. I recently read a wonderful article full of useful tips to make this year as stress free as possible. This article is found on the Everything Mom Site (which might I add is an AMAZING site for so many reasons... go see what I mean!) 
This particular article is called Lifehacks: 15 Tips and Tricks for a Stress-free Holiday Season and is filled with some amazingly easy tricks that we can practice to help us all keep a teensy piece of our sanity.

Now I'm off to buy a case of wine...

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Roasted Chickpea Snack and BBQ Flavoured Pork Strips

A great healthy and wholesome snack... when you DON'T eat the WHOLE bowl in one sitting! I seriously couldn't stop snacking! These are delicious and have a wonderful crunch. I would suggest one thing, really spice them up. I thought there might be too much spice in the recipe and I found once you roast them, it disappears. So add spice and when you think there's too much, add some more for good measure. 

Supper tonight consisted of BBQ Flavoured Pork Strips and they were not bad. They didn't end up being as crispy as I hoped and the flavour was "meh". As I watched them bake I thought they looked a little dry so I whipped up a batch of my special BBQ sauce - no real recipe, just ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, chili powder, pepper and garlic. It was a nice accompaniment to the pork and picked it up a bit as the meat did turn out a wee bit lacking. It has potential, so give it a try - I think next time I will use Panko crumbs instead of Rice Krispies though. 

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