Monday, October 27, 2008

Crockpot Beef Curry!

So easy, I usually make it on the stove but actually tried it in the crockpot this weekend and WOW was it good.

1 lb stewing beef 
1 onion, chopped finely 
olive oil 
salt and pepper 
1 bay leaf 
1 or 2 tablespoons of curry powder (depending on how hot you want it) 
1 small can of tomato sauce 
1 cup of water 
1 can of coconut milk 
cooked rice 
In a crockpot add a bit of olive oil, beef, onion, salt and pepper, curry powder, bay leaf, a dash of paprika, tomato sauce and 1 cup of water. Cook on high for 2 hours. 
15 minutes before it's done, add the coconut milk, when the time is up check the gravy, if it's too runny, whisk in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and stir until thickened. 
Serve over cooked white rice and sprinkle on coconut. TRUST ME, don't be weirded out by the coconut on top, it makes the curry and it helps cut some of the heat from the curry powder. Enjoy!

Bolo Marmore - Marble Cake

If there's one single cake that brings back childhood memories, it's this one. I remember sitting around the kitchen table with my brothers as we waited for my stepmom to cut us a slice, then taking the biggest bite ever and ooohhh ahhhhing for a while. 
Tonight is like being back home, it's like reverting back to when I was 5 or 6 years old and enjoying a home cooked meal after a day of playing outside until dark....I can see my greatgrandmother with a smile on her face as she dished out the dinner she had made for our family, Shepherd's Pie or Cottage Pie whichever you prefer and Marble Cake for dessert. 
My husband is working a new shift which means he will only see the kids on the weekends and they're missing him already, so tonight is all about comfort food and giving my children the same wonderful memories that I hope one day will remind them of home. 


1 1/2 cups of sugar 
2 sticks of butter, softened 
6 eggs, separated 
3/4 cup cornstarch 
1 cup flour 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 capful vanilla extract (just use the bottle cap to measure) 
2 tablespoons cocoa powder 
Beat sugar with softened butter....add egg yolks one at a time and vanilla extract

Beat egg whites until stiff 


Mix flour, cornstarch and baking powder, then alternate incorporating the egg whites and the flour into the egg mixture.

Divide the batter in half, add 2 tablespoons of chocolate to one of the them. Then by the spoonsful, add the mixture to the cake pan that has been sprayed with non stick spray. Since the kids were helping me with the cake, I gave them measuring cups to add the cake batter into the pan. 

Preheat the oven to 350º. Bake the cake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. While the cake is baking, give the kids the mixing bowls and cups and let them go to town........aahhhh the best part of making a cake isn't it?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Waffles with Vanilla Custard!

Another great recipe from Mennonite Girls Can Cook. The vanilla custard reminds me of the one I used to eat back home in South Africa, LOVE IT.

WAFFLES (makes about 4 - 5 round waffles)
1 1/4 cups flour 
1/2 tsp salt 
2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
1 egg and 2 egg whites - save yolks for sauce 
1 1/2 cups buttermilk 
6 Tbsp oil 
Preheat waffle iron. Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add buttermilk, oil and eggs; mix until smooth (with hand held mixer). Spread onto hot waffle iron. (leave room around edge for batter to spread) You may want to spray or wipe the Teflon with an oily paper towel, just before cooking the first waffle. It should be fine then until the next time you use it. 
2 cups milk, divided 
2 (rounded) Tbsp flour 
2 Tbsp. sugar 
1/8 tsp. vanilla powder or 1 tsp. vanilla extract 
2 egg yolks In a small pot, heat 
1 cup milk until it begins to boil. (med heat) 
While you are doing this: mix dry ingredients, add just a little of the 2nd cup of milk, blend the egg yolks in well, and then the rest of the milk. Just before the milk in the pot begins to boil up, stir in the sauce and stir with whisk until the sauce begins to cook and thicken. Done!

Veggie Lasagna!

We're big pasta lovers in this house and especially when it comes to a hot comforting lasagna straight out of the oven. But I like making different versions , not always sticking to the same plain ol' lasagna....this is a vegetable lasagna but you can certainly add in some ground beef or sausage or chicken or whatever you wish. The original recipe comes from Mennonite Girls Can Cook. 


1 large red onion. . chopped fine
2 cloves of garlic. .minced
4 cups of sliced mushrooms
1 medium zucchini diced
1 bell pepper diced. . any color will do
1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
1 jar of tomato pasta sauce. . 22 ounce or 700 ml.
1 19 ounce can or 540 ml. of diced herb tomatoes
1/2 cup of shredded fresh basil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
a good grind of fresh black pepper
12 oven ready lasagna noodles and mozzarella cheese (light if you are wanting to cut calories) 


Spray a lasagna pan with Pam.
In a large heavy pot, either spray with pam or put a tablespoon of olive oil in the pot.
Saute the onions and garlic a few minutes add the recest of the veggies and seasoning and simmer about 10 minutes.

Add the Pasta sauce undrained tomatoes, basil and balsamic vinegar.

At this point I added in some maple breakfast sausage

Let it simmer about 20 minutes on low
Cheese and Spinach Layer Mix together. . 1 pound or 454 grams of ricotta cheese 1 - 2 cups of crumbled feta 1 package of chopped frozen spinach that has been thawed and squeezed of its liquid 1 large egg Set aside

Preheat the oven to 375. In the pan .. layer 1 1/2 cups of the sauce 4 lasagna noodles 1/3 of remaining sauce 1/2 of the ricotta and spinach filling Repeat the layer Finish with the remaining noodles. Cover with foil and put it in the oven for half an hour. Remove the foil and add mozzerella cheese and bake for an additional 20 minutes or so until it is nicely browned. Let sit a few minutes

Friday, October 24, 2008

Simple White Bread!

I've tried many bread recipes over the years and there's a few that I stick to, mainly because they're the ones that I know for sure will turn out well and taste great. This is one of the easiest recipes I have and after realizing this morning that I was completely out of bread, I decided it was the perfect one to use because I don't have to worry about kneading or letting it rise for an hour or two. Surprisingly though, it tastes really good, I think actually one of the best tasting breads I've had in a while. Wow!


Simple White Bread


2 cups of warm milk 
2 packets of instant dry yeast 
1 whole egg 
1/3 cup of vegetable oil 
1 teaspoon sugar 
1 teaspoon salt 
4 cups of all purpose flour 
With an electric beater, mix the milk, yeast, egg, oil, sugar and salt.  Add the flour  and using a wooden spoon, mix the dough until smooth....the dough will be soft and more like a batter. 
Pour the dough into two greased loaf pans, fill about halfway as this dough will rise a LOT. Yes I know, doesn't exactly look like bread does it, more like a cake batter... but don't mock it till you try it....though I admit at this point I was starting to question the whole bread thing, see I'm a lover not a fighter cook not a baker.  
 Preheat the oven to 350 º and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. (this just sounds more and more like cake doesn't it?) 
 Make sure not to open the door of the oven AT ALL while the bread is baking, you don't want to mess it up, or whatever it is that happens when you open the oven door and things turn out yucky. Again I'm NOT a baker!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cajun Spiced Chicken with Bacon and Cheese!

One of our favorite sandwiches, really they're a meal on their own and you don't even need to make a side dish. If you do want one, you could always serve these with some potato wedges or fries. I first saw this recipe on one of the blogs online and I jotted it down but completely lost the link, so if this is from your site, please let me know. 


Cajun Spiced Chicken with Bacon and Cheese
You will need: 
2 skinless chicken breast fillets - sliced into thinnish strips 
4 rashers of streaky bacon - cut into 1 inch pieces 
1 handful of grated Cheddar cheese 
2 crusty baguettes  
For the marinade mix together the following: 
 2 teaspoons of cornflour, 
2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 
2 teaspoons of Cajun spice mix. 
Put the chicken strips into the marinade mixture for at least 15 minutes. In the meantime, drizzle some olive oil over the baguettes or french bread and pop in the oven for about 20 minutes until nice and warm and toasty. 

In a skillet, fry the bacon until cooked and almost crunchy. Remove the bacon, don't drain the drippings, you'll need it to cook the chicken. This is not exactly a healthy recipe that's why we don't have it very often, but once in a while it's good to throw caution or diet or whatever to the wind and indulge. 

Remove the bacon and set to one side. Now drain off the excess marinade from the chicken and fry the chicken in the same pan as you used for the bacon. 


Just before your chicken is cooked through, put the bacon back in to heat through. 

Pull the bread out of the oven and top with the chicken and bacon.

Sprinkle on the shredded cheese and pop back in the oven for about 5 minutes until it's melted and gooey. ENJOY!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mexican Potato Casserole!

OH MY WORD is all I have to say. I just had two big helpings, I'm full, more like about to burst actually but it was worth every bite. This recipe got rave reviews from the family, even the kids had two helpings and that is saying a LOT because usually we have days that we can't even get them to eat a bite of their dinner. I got this recipe from Mennonite Girls Can Cook. You should go by there and take a look at the amazing food they have.

Mexican Potato Casserole
4 medium potatoes, with peel 
4 Tablespoons butter 
1 envelope taco seasoning 
1 pound lean ground beef 
1/2 cup chopped onion 
2 cups salsa 
1 cup chopped peppers (red, green or yellow) *I omitted the peppers since my kids don't like them* 
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese 
Cut potatoes into bite-size pieces and place in greased casserole dish. Melt butter...stir in taco seasoning.

Pour over the potatoes and stir to coat well. 

Bake uncovered at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes. Stir...bake 10 minutes longer.

Brown and crumble beef; add onion and cook until soft...then drain. Stir in salsa and chopped peppers.

Pour over potatoes. 


 Top with grated cheese. 

Bake uncovered for 10 minutes. 


Menu Plan Monday October 20

Hey Ladies, come on into my kitchen and see what I'm cooking this week.


Monday 20th

B: Biscuit Donuts
L: Chicken Soup
D: Portuguese Bean Soup

Tuesday 21st

B: Cereal, Milk
L: Lean Pocket, Veggies
D: Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Wednesday 22nd

B: Toast w/ Blackberry Preserves
L: Soup, Yogurt
D: Cajun Spiced Chicken w/ Bacon and Cheese

Thursday 23rd

B: Cereal, Milk
L: Salad
D: Shepherd's Pie

Friday 24th

B: Sausage Biscuits, Apple Juice
L: Grilled Cheese and Tomato
D: Cornish pastries w/ potato wedges

Saturday 25th

B: Scrambled Eggs, Sausage
L: Sub Sandwiches
D: Spaghetti w/ bacon and mushrooms

Sunday 26th

B: FFYB (Fend for yourself breakfast)
L: Chicken Nuggets, Mac & Cheese
D: Portuguese Chicken and Rice

Friday, October 17, 2008

Beef Stew with Potato Dumplings

Beef stew is glorious on it's own but when it's paired with potato dumplings then, oh then, it's just beyond words.

One of my favorite blogs is Marie's, she has some of THE best recipes I've ever seen, so when I found this one while browsing her older posts, I immediately bookmarked it to try.

I veered off her original recipe a bit, mainly because this calls for the stew to cook on the stove top but I was going to be out of the house all day, hence, I dumped it into the Slow Cooker.

Beef Stew with Potato Dumplings

*Beef Stew with Potato Dumplings*
Credit: A Year From Oak Cottage
Serves 5

A delicious rich gravy full of tender pieces of beef and tasty vegetables, this is a meal that generally cooks itself. Except for the potato dumplings it takes very little effort at all, but my oh my, is it ever good when it is done . . . not to mention quite economical.

1-1/2 pounds stew beef, cut into bite size chunks
4 slices of streaky bacon, chopped
1 TBS butter (I used a little oil instead of butter)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 TBS flour
2 onions, peeled and chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1/4 of a swede, peeled and chopped (about 1/2 cupful) (I didn't add this, it's turnip BTW)
1 (10 1/2 oz) tin of condensed beef broth
1 TBS vinegar

For the dumplings:
1 egg
3/4 cup soft white breadcrumbs
1 TBS flour
1 TBS finely chopped onion
1 TBS snipped parsley
1/2 tsp salt
dash pepper
2 1/2 cups finely shredded raw potato

I use my electric skillet for this. Melt the butter in the skillet on high heat until it foams. Throw in the meat and bacon. Stir around and cook until it begins to brown. Throw in the onions and cook until the onions are quite tender. Stir in the flour and mix around until it is absorbed by all the drippings. Stir in the broth, 3/4 cup of water and the vinegar. Add the carrots and the swede. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer, covered, until quite tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

After 1 1/2 hours make the potato dumplings. Combine the beaten egg, breadcrumbs, flour, onion, parsley and seasonings in a bowl. Squeeze as much liquid as you can from out of the potatoes and then stir them into the mixture, combining everything really well. With floured fingers shape the mixture into ten 2-inch balls. Dust lightly with more flour before dropping on top of the simmering stew. Cover tightly and cook for 15 minutes.

Spoon out onto warm plates allowing each person 2 dumplings and enjoy!


I added a little oil, then the meat and onions, cooked it for a little until the meat turned brown and added the bacon. Cooked it for a few minutes longer.

Stir in the flour and mix around until it is absorbed by all the drippings. At this point, I moved my crockpot dish into the base.

Stir in the broth, 3/4 cup of water and the vinegar.I also added the carrots at this point.

I set my crockpot to cook 6 hours on LOW.
About an hour before the stew is done, combine all the dumplings ingredients in a medium bowl.

When you have 30 minutes left on the crockpot, spoon dumplings into the stew.

Spoon out onto warm plates allowing each person 2 dumplings and enjoy!

Beef Stew with Potato Dumplings

Cream Puffs!

It's been a while since I've made these and today I had such a big craving for them. YUM is all I can say, messy to eat but so worth it. I can't remember where I got the recipe from, it's been SO long, a few years at least. 


Cream Puffs
1 cup flour 
1 tsp white sugar 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 cup butter 
 1 cup water 
 4 large eggs 
Yields 18 med size puffs 
Boil water and butter till butter is melted, mix flour, sugar and salt in a small bowl and add all at one time stirring constantly till mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat.

Scrape into mixing bowl and beat for a few min on low to release steam from dough. 


Let sit for a few more min then add slightly beaten eggs and beat till dough is a thick and smooth paste.


Spoon on pan a couple of inches apart and place in preheated 400 oven for 15 min and then lower heat to 350 for another 30 min.

Turn oven off and with oven door slightly ajar let puffs dry out for another 10 min. Remove from oven and cool.

When cool cut them in half, putting a good dollop of whipped cream on the bottom half, add peaches or strawberries and cover with top half. Dust with icing sugar. 



Monday, October 13, 2008

Menu Plan Monday October 13

Hey Ladies, come on into my kitchen and see what I'm cooking this week.


Monday 13th

B: Pumpkin Pancakes
L: Grilled Jalapeno Cheese Sandwiches
D: Portuguese Pork Chops and Potatoes

Tuesday 14th

B: Oatmeal, Juice
L: Shrimp & Pork Egg Rolls
D: Meatballs w/ Pasta

Wednesday 15th

B: Cinnamon Toast, Milk
L: Sub Sandwich, Chips
D: Veggie Lasagna


Thursday 16th

B: Apple Turnovers
L: Tuna Salad
D: Beef Stew w/ potato dumplings

Friday 17th

B: Mini Pancakes w/ Apple Butter, Juice
L: Leftovers
D: Dijon-crusted Chicken Breasts

Saturday 18th

B: Out for the day, will grab something
L: Will be out and will have late breakfast
D: Mexican Potato Casserole

Sunday 19th

B: Bacon, Sausages, Biscuits and Gravy
L: Pizza
D: Beef Curry


Friday, October 10, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls!

Who doesn't like a hot out of the oven gooey cinnamon roll drizzled in maple icing or vanilla, whichever you like? That's what was for breakfast today and oh does my house smell like Fall..... 



1 loaf frozen white bread dough, thawed in refrigerator 
flour, for dusting surface 
1 cup packed brown sugar 
1 tbls ground cinnamon 
2/3 stick butter 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to form a 15-in. x 7-inch rectangle. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. Spread 2/3 cup softened butter over dough and then evenly sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. 
Starting at the long side, roll up dough as for a jelly roll. Cut roll into slices and divide among greased round baking pans. Set aside in a warm place and allow dough to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Depending on how thick you cut the slices, you should get around 16 to 24 rolls. I got 24 out of mine this morning but sometimes I get less. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden on top. Glaze: 1 cup powered sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract (I use Maple extract on mine) 1-2 tablespoons cold water (if you want it thinner use more water) Mix sugar, vanilla and water. Drizzle over warm rolls.

Cream Cheese Icing:  

1 stick unsalted butter,softened 
1 cup powdered sugar 
1/2 cup cream cheese 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
Mix ingredients with an electric mixer. Spread evenly over warm rolls.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Oven Baked Country Ribs

Such gooey yumminess.....boy were these good. Thank you Mrs H. for such a great recipe. 



Oven Baked Country Ribs

1 cup ketchup 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce 1 1/2 - 2 pounds pork ribs
 Combine ketchup, water, brown sugar, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper.

Heat a large lightly oiled skillet over medium-high heat. Add ribs and sear until browned. Place ribs in a single layer in a baking pan or casserole dish. Pour half of the sauce over the ribs, reserve remainder.

Bake ribs at 350° for 2-3 hours. Turn and baste meat every 30 minutes with remaining sauce.

Pumpkin Cake Roll!

One of my favorites and so easy to make. If you're scared of trying your hand at Cake Rolls, you have nothing to worry about, they are actually pretty easy to make once you get the hang of it. 


Pumpkin Cake Roll
3 eggs 
3/4 cup sugar 
2/3 cup canned or cooked pumpkin 
1/2 teaspoon almond extract OR lemon juice if you prefer 
3/4 cup all purpose flour 
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon ground ginger 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 tablespoon plus 1 cup confectioner's sugar, divided 
6 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, cubed 
1 teaspoon butter 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
Line a 15-in. x 10-in. baking pan with waxed paper. Coat the paper with cooking spray and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs for 3 minutes. Gradually add sugar; beat for 2 minutes or until mixture becomes thick and lemon-colored. Beat in pumpkin and extract. 

Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, ginger and salt;fold into pumpkin mixture. (I cheated and just added everything without mixing together first..still worked) 

Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched (do not overbake). Cool for 5 minutes. Invert onto a kitchen towel dusted with 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar. Gently peel off waxed paper. 

Roll up cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For filling, in a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and remaining confectioner's sugar until fluffly. 

Unroll cake; spread filling evenly over cake to within 1/2 in. of edges.  Roll up again. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.