Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chili, Again

I made Chili last night. It was really yummy. I just threw whatever I could think of into it. I browned everything in the same pot first and then added everything back in to take advantage of all the flavour living on the bottom of the pan. YUM!

I used turkey, beans and bacon as the proteins and even threw in some zucchini (my new favourite veggie). I NEVER use bacon in anything, we never buy it and when we do it almost always goes bad because we can't eat it quickly enough . I just happen to browse the meat counter while shopping for this dish and they had some smoked bacon there, so I decided to grab a little bit. It was the perfect amount for the Chili and I didn't have to feel bad about any leftover. Plus it made Clutterbuck a very happy camper while it was cooking.

I didn't take a picture because it just looked like regular old Chili. We're eating it for dinner tonight, perhaps a photo op will present itself.

Balsamic Chicken (the remix)

Take One
Chicken Breasts, caramelized onions and mushrooms simmered in balsamic vinegar, garlic, chicken broth and a whole bunch of spices. Served with roasted asparagus with crispy garlic and parmesan flakes.

Take Two
Same as above, shredded and tossed with some bechamel sauce. Served over ziti pasta boiled with the leftover asparagus.

Both of these dishes were De-Lish! I love a good leftover remix! I will make both again, very soon!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chicken and Biscuits

Oh YUM! Like really yum! Perhaps the yummiest of yums!

Chicken and Biscuits is one of Cluterbuck's favourites. However, I haven't made it in forever because it isn't always the lowest fat recipe. After telling him one night that he could choose whatever he wanted for dinner, he chose this (he always chooses this but this time I actually obliged). I tried my best to lighten it as much I could. I used margarine instead of butter, flour to thicken instead of cream based soups, LOTS of get the idea.

I also normally make this in the slow cooker, but this time I did it over the stove and then baked it in the oven. It made for much crispier biscuits which I preferred.

Yummy! We've been eating the leftovers for days now.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Spaghetti Squash

I don't like squash. People always get very excited about butternut squash tortellini, or a puree of sorts. Yuck.

However, I've been intrigued for some time about the spaghetti squash. Could this be? Does it actually have the consistency of pasta? Does it taste like squash? So many questions....I finally decided to answer them myself. 

I figured that a squash that lends itself to being smothered in any type of sauce, is probably a great place to start introducing squash to our diet. 

I decided to grill some chicken breast, sauté some onions and chopped tomatoes and then toss it all with some pesto. It was great. The squash completely shared its flavour space with all the other ingredients and the texture was not off-putting at all (meaning it didn't resemble squash). I wouldn't go so far to say that you could completely pass it off as a pasta but it definitely does the trick without changing too much. 

I actually made this a few months ago. I'm not sure why I didn't post it but I just found the picture on the camera while I was transferring the recent posts. I thought it deserved some blog space. 

Easy Beef Stroganoff

I have a confession to make. I actually tried this recipe a month ago and fell in love. However, it was right in the midst of when life got crazy so I never ended up posting about it. The picture does no justice here, but here it is anyway.

Even though we're not big beef eaters in the Smart-Clutterbuck household this is quickly falling into regular rotation around here. I made it again last night and was just as pleased as I was with it a month ago. 

It couldn't be any easier. The recipe was as follows:

  • About a pound of steak (I used sirloin)
  • 1 can of Campbell's Tomato Soup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • garlic
  • 1 onion 
  • mushrooms (as many as you want)
  • Sour Cream
Brown the meat, remove to cook the onions, mushrooms and garlic, add the rest of the ingredients and the beef, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes. Add some sour cream.

I served it over some egg noodles and both Clutterbuck and I couldn't resist having seconds.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings with Grilled Portobellos and Mashed "Fauxtatoes"

So these wings were awesome (and the first I've ever cooked) but the grilled portobellos were the star of the meal! I marinated them in some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, basil and dried hot peppers. They were FANTASTIC. I will be making these again soon, perhaps to put on a thin burger bun and dress up like a burger. YUM!

Here they are marinating away.

The mashed "fauxtatoes" was steamed cauliflower mashed with some onion dip. A total cheat I know, but it was super easy and actually quite yummy. Plus the dip was taking up room in the fridge so it had to go.

This fridge is turning into a great excuse to cook with things I might otherwise not consider...although once I've cleared it of the stuff that survived the move I suppose it just won't house such ingredients any longer.

The wings were good. I obviously need some more practice at crisping up the skin in the oven. I know it can be done, but I didn't quite get there this time around. The sauce was great though, it was the same marinade and sauce that I used in the Light Boneless Wings Post. This is a great sauce to use when you don't know what else to do with any cut of chicken. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Well it's been waay too long since my last entry. I won't list all the reasons I have taken some time away from cooking (and therefore blogging), but one of the main reasons was because we moved.

Yes, that's right. I am so excited to report that I am now in the presence of BRAND NEW, FULL SIZE Kitchen Appliances. Whats the catch you ask? The fridge....ugh the fridge....its TINY. I've never seen such a small fridge. My condiments alone fill the whole bloody thing up. I have no reason why this fridge was chosen for this kitchen, but for now I'm trying to work with it.

Since, I had a bottle of Diana's Honey Garlic Sauce taking up room in the fridge I decided to use it up. I chopped up an onion, green pepper and some garlic and sauteed it them on my brand new ceramic cook top. Threw it together with some meatballs and served it with brown rice and corn on the cob.

This folks, is the closest we have come to eating a home cooked meal in almost two months (unless you count the scrumptious chicken pot pies my mom made for us to re-heat and eat after our move). Sadly, the meatballs were not made by me. They were PC blue menu. However, they were also taking up space in the even more ridiculously sized freezer, so I was happy to see them go.

Our new place is on the 16th floor of a high-rise building in an area where there are no other high-rises. Our view faces west and south. We have been here for a week or so now and are still captivated by the city views. The sunsets especially are unbelievable (as seen in the first photo of this entry).

Here are a few pics I snapped last night while making this meal. Sadly, it was POURING intermittently so by the time dinner was ready we couldn't sit out to enjoy it more, but that's OK. Something tells me we'll have plenty of opportunity in the coming weeks.

Here's the Diana's Sauce enjoying the view of the CN Tower.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Are You Even Ready For This?

Pizza...good times right? Wrong, if you're trying to completely avoid all carbs and starches like I've been recently. 

This is how I (we by proxy) have been eating for the last little while. High protein, no carbs and starches. It hasn't been an enjoyable experience, lets be honest. I have realized that if it was up to me and health/weight was not an issue I could live off of carbs and carbs alone for the rest of my life. Yes, I would miss chicken and for sure some french fries every now and then....but to never see a plate a pasta or a yummy pizza again is just too much to even consider. 

So....I did some browsing on the internet....another thing I couldn't live without these days. 

Ta Daaaa!!! I give you a completely carb free pizza! How is this possible, you ask? Well, it seems that a little egg and a lot of cheese can hold anything together. Throw some tomato sauce, veggies and a bit more cheese on it and you've got yourself a pretty satisfying pizza.

Here's the base recipe:

  • 1 cup steamed grated cauliflower (I used the food processor)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup melty cheese (I used mozzarella)
  • Seasonings of your choice - I used oregano, garlic and some parsley
I doubled this recipe to end up with a medium size crust (maybe 18 inches?). I combined everything in a bowl and then pressed it into a metal pizza pan (see pic). I lined the pan with parchment paper, but I don't think that was necessary. I also can't remember if I sprinkled the herbs on or whether I combined them in the bowl....either would work just fine. 

I baked it in a 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes until it was golden brown (see pic).

Next time around I might consider brushing the baked "crust" with some garlicky oil before putting the toppings on. You could do this and broil it again to end up with a yummy garlicky flatbread type thing. 

I topped it with tomato sauce and whatever toppings I felt like, then broiled it just until the cheese melted. 

It was brilliant.

I'm still in shock that it actually worked. 

Now, some notes for next time. This recipe includes A LOT of cheese. So, either reduce your cheese on top of the pizza or prepare to only enjoy a slice or two because of how filling it is. 

I would also LOVE to be able to take credit for this recipe because I know this is the first that my family and friends are hearing about it, but in fact, GOOGLE is the one to credit for this. All it took was a quick google search to come across several variations of this recipe. Nonetheless, I am still so pleased that it actually turned out and that I found it in the first place. 

Please please try this out and let me know what you think about it. I'm dying to know how it goes for you and if you adapt the recipe at all. 

Mushroom Stuffed Chicken....

With roasted brocoli and cauliflower and steamed corn on the cob.

What an easy dish this was. Its such a simple concept to stuff a chicken breast with something and yet it always looks and sounds much fancier then it actually is.

I butterflied the chicken breasts and filled them each with some sauteed mushrooms, oregano and S&P. Roasted them in the oven until they were golden brown. I also decided to make a bit of a sauce with half of the sauteed mushrooms, some chicken stock and the brown bits on the frying pan.....YUMMY

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Leftover Dill Chicken

I had all this dill leftover from the tilapia earlier in the week. I couldn't let it go to waste so I decided to try another recipe from my Eat Shrink and Be Merry cookbook.

Yet another silly name....Dilly Beloved...ugh

It was just a marinade, however the recipe called for the chicken to be marinated and baked in the same dish (which meant a fair amount of leftover "sauce"). So, since I had a big red onion on hand I decided to throw some thinly sliced onions into the dish to marinade and bake with the chicken. The end result ended up being quite nice. I served it with some oven roasted cauliflower. Clutterbuck LOVED this dish!

The recipe was as follows:

  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
    2 tbsp minced fresh dill
    2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    2 tsp grated lemon zest
    1 tsp minced garlic
    1/4 cup each salt and freshly ground pepper

...Alas I did not snap a pic because I did not think it was blog worthy...but it actually kind of time.

Turkey Stuffed Portobellos

So this was a new one for us. I seasoned some ground turkey breast with poultry seasoning and salt and pepper. Mixed it well and formed it into 4 balls. I brushed the mushrooms with olive oil and a bit of worcestershire sauce. Placed a ball of turkey in each mushroom cap (gills scraped off) and patted it down to form a patty. Topped it with some caramelized mushrooms and sautéed tomatoes and a little mozzarella cheese.

So hearty and yummy and actually quite simple and easy to make. They tasted even better as leftovers once all the flavours had more time to get to know each other.

Tilapia Two Ways

Well, I’ve finally bit the bullet and decided to move along with my New Years Resolution to eat more fish…yes, I’m aware its May…baby steps.

First attempt was a panfried Fillet. I seasoned it with some salt and pepper, coated it with a little flour and fried it in some cooking spray.

It was served with some oven roasted tomatoes and mushrooms, asparagus and Franks (Anything to hide the fishyness of it). Forgive the unflattering photo, it was a bit of an afterthought. I was so hungry that I gave absolutely no thought to plating or lighting.

The second attempt was broiled in the oven and then topped with a light (but creamy) mustard-dill sauce. It was better…but I’m still not into the texture of it all. Plus, as much as I love dill pickles...don't really care for dill other things (except chips).

Spicy Peanut Stirfry

This was awesome. I went a little too heavy on the noodles which left the noodle to sauce ratio a little low, but I’m confident I can fix that next time around. Although maybe not, I have a heck of time guesstimating pasta serving sizes, especially rice noodles for some reason. However, one thing that was bang on was the Sriracha, theres is a reason this is becoming known as the "new" ketchup. Its such a brilliant condiment. LOTS of heat but doesn't dominate other flavours. 

The recipe I used for the sauce was:

1 can chicken broth
1 tbsp Sriracha chili sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce (use Tamari for gluten free)
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced

I sautéed a few thinly sliced chicken breasts and threw in some broccoli slaw in at the tail end. LOVE broccoli slaw. You get all the flavour of broccoli with the same texture as coleslaw (which I hate).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Easter

Warning! One Easter bunny was definitely harmed in the making of this post.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Chicken Taco Chili

Mmmmm! Oh man do I love a good tomato based, slow cooked anything!!

I made this in the slow cooker and it was FANTASTIC. We ate it for dinner two nights in a row and it pained me to pack the rest of it up and freeze it for lunches (but I'll be thankful for that at work).

I haven't used the slow cooker since my Chicken Cacciatore post in February. I still think it isn't the best slow cooker around, and that it runs hotter than the average one. I bought it originally because it was the only 3 qt one around, which is why it runs hotter and I'm not sure why it took me so long to figure out. Since its just me and Clutterbuck we didn't need a massive 7 or 8 qt machine. However, now that I've gotten into the groove I think a larger one would be just fine for leftover lunches. Plus it probably would run at the same heat as the recipes call for.

Anyway, thanks are in order to my dad for turning the slow cooker on at 12pm so it would be perfectly done at 7ish when we were ready to eat after a long day at the office. I used two boneless skinless chicken breasts and shredded them about 30 minutes before I served this up. I also used a can of green chillies which really added a nice flavour and texture.

I really love the sharpness of an old cheddar with a good chili or the nutty flavour of a good Parmesan with a nice white wine....yummy!

The corn was another star ingredient of this dish. I mentioned my love of celery in a previous post and corn has to be right up there with it at the moment. I'm so enjoying fresh (frozen) corn and peas currently.

I will be making this again, and soon. The only thing I will do differently is to cut the onions smaller, they were much too large this time around and disproportionate to the rest of the ingredients.

Risotto Cakes and Pan Roasted Vegetables

 This one is for you Em.

I received several cookbooks for my birthday at the beginning of April. My cousin gave me one of her favourites from Ina Garten. We have both loved her, her shows and recipes for years. This Back to Basics cookbook has been very well tested by my cousin, and thousands of others. However, she has brilliantly noted, with her fantastic humour, all of the recipes that she has tried and how they have worked out for her.

We don't get to see or talk to each other often and she's probably the closest I'll ever get to a sister, so this is a very cherished gift.

Anyway, after all those nice words I'm almost embarassed to say that the note beside these risotto cakes is:
Please make these and invite me over
Em, please allow me to explain. Only Ina would probably have the confidence to try a recipe for the first time with company over but I certainly dont.

I will absolutely make this again (and invite people over). These were an absolute success...even though they were not even remotely diet friendly. Contrary to my love of fried food I've never been very good at pan frying things at home (go figure)...these were totally the exception to that.

I even froze the left overs and can't wait to take them for lunches in the next little while.

The Pan Roasted Vegetables were from the same cookbook. They were great too. I've been so into celery lately. Its just so good and when its slightly cooked its just a great subtle flavour, and Clutterbuck loves brussel sprouts so it was definitely a win-win recipe.

Now, the next challenge is to decide on another cookbook. I received a Chapters gift card for my birthday and it was given under the specific direction to buy a cookbook. Any suggestions????

Sweet and Sour Pork

Meh! This was yet another magazine recipe. I love the concept of sweet & sour and I've always enjoyed sweet & sour stir-fries in restaurants, etc. However, this is my second or third attempt and I still can't seem to duplicate, at home, what I've liked in restaurants.

This recipe was in another e-copy of my Food Network Magazine (Jan/Feb edition). I've always enjoyed a good stir-fry, as you've read in past posts, but this wasn't one of my favourites.

I'm also such a pork virgin. I really have no experience with the stuff. I don't remember ever eating it growing up (not to say my parents didn't and I just refused...but still...that tells you something I guess), I have never cooked it myself, I always substitute it with chicken or leave it out completely.

As I'm writing this I'm remembering quite a few years ago, my parents were throwing some sort of dinner party for the whole family (which can be a large bunch). I was still living at home and dating a previous boyfriend. Neither of us had any strong interest in cooking...or anything else for that matter.

We probably hadn't surfaced from the basement all day and when we did, my parents decided to "voluntell" my ex to cook the Pork Tenderloin on the BBQ.  I think they just thought it was a good opportunity to have someone else stand outside and monitor the meat on the BBQ while they were able to stay on top of things inside and continue to visit with guests. My ex took this challenge on the chin and ended up executing it beautifully. Everyone was impressed with this perfectly cooked tenderloin.

Thinking back I think he probably just got lucky, but my hat goes off to him because I now realize how difficult it can be to cook pork. He was Italian though, and his father demanded to eat meat with every meal, so I'm sure some of his bbqing success was in his blood.

I obviously need some more practice...bring it on.

Portabello Parmesan

Wow! Definitely a total success. I have so many food magazines and cookbooks lying around it's about time to purge a bunch of them (magazines not cookbooks), bur before I do that I've decided to make atleast one recipe out of them and see how it goes....even if there isn't anything I'm interested in, I still have to pick something.

This came from March 2011 edition of Food Network Magazine. I have it electronically on my iPad. This particular recipe was a reader's submitted recipe. The challenge was to submit recipes with mushrooms and this one won...which isn't surprising.

The picture makes it look like I went really heavy on the cheese, I actually used less than the recipe called for, but it still turned out quite cheesy. As far as the recipe goes its a pretty standard Parmasan recipe but I did use panko crumbs instead of regular bread crumbs. I LOVE Panko!!!!

I will totally be making this again. I've never been into the whole eggplant Parmesan thing, I don't care or eggplant at all. However, this was the perfect vegetarian version. The portabellos are just so good at soaking up all flavours around them. Yummy!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

Angel food cake topped with a dark chocolate ganache and chocolate dipped strawberries. Served with a fresh berry salad, marinated in a tiny bit of sugar to bring out their juices.

That's right! What now biotch??

Chicken and Mushrooms in a White Wine Sauce

Mmm mmm good! This was so simple. Just some boneless skinless breasts simmered in with some mushrooms in a bit of white wine, chicken stock, loads of garlic and some parsley. The baby spinach was an after thought, and actually as I'm writing this I'm realizing I should have served the chicken and mushrooms on top of the spinach and poured the sauce over all of it to wilt it down.

OK great, now I have a plan for next time. Although I'd say this time was definitely a success!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kiwi Berries

I just happened across these precious little things at Loblaws a week or so ago. Who knew such a thing existed??? They are fantastic. All the taste of a kiwi in a grape size fruit without the furry inedible skin.

I used them to decorate my Angel Food Cake and can't wait to find other uses for them. I think they must be super seasonal because I buy berries almost every week and have never seen them there before, but I plan to make an effort to look for them whenever I'm in the market for berries


I've been really into appetizers recently. I mean, who isn't in to appetizers? Perhaps I should say, I've been into MAKING appetizers recently. We had some family over for dinner a few nights ago and it was the perfect occasion for finger foods. The main was stuffed meatloaf (from a previous post) with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Veggies.

However the precursor to all that was a Low Fat Spinach and Artichoke Dip and some Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts. YUM!!!!! I was very pleased with how it all turned out. It was waaaay too much food but that's OK. Always better to have too much food than not enough.

I also made an Angel Food Cake for dessert. It was great, especially since it was my first attempt and our oven can be so tempermental. I'm not posting a pic of it though because I poured some strawberry juice on each slice which gave it a great flavour but made it look like a scene from I'll just leave it to your imaginations to visualize

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnut

Spinach and Artichoke Dip...Low Fat...yeah you read that right!

Beef Stew with Rosemary Dumplings

Mmmmm! This is definitely not a dish in regular rotation at our house but I can imagine it would be at other households. As, I've mentioned many times we aren't big beef eaters. However, I've been wanting to make a beef stew for a while now and finally decided to bite the bullet and go for it.

It was a Sunday project and I simmered it ALL day (from about 11am to about 7pm). The beef was tender and falling apart and the broth was so flavourful and yummy. The Rosemary dumplings were a nice addition but certainly not a necessity. This stew was a huge meal on its own.

And here's a picture of Sanchez doing some acrobatics while I was cooking...honestly, I don't know what goes through his head sometimes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

One Loaf to Love

I can not take credit for the name, nor would I want to. This is the first recipe I have made from my Eat Shrink and Be Merry cookbook. Every recipe has some corny name that I may or may not find funny, depending on the time of day.

I bought this cookbook a few weeks ago when I felt I needed some new culinary inspiration. The Internet is great, but you sort of need to know what you're looking for. I wanted something I could take to bed with me and read cover to cover (the iPad doesn't count). So, that's what I did. There are several recipes that I can't wait to make. I decided to go with the meatloaf first because I have never ever been a fan of meatloaf. I mean the name alone conjures up images from Sweeney Todd in my mind. I'm just not a huge fan of beef. Ground beef in sauces and things are good, but burgers, meatloaf, shepherd's pie and the like just don't get me going.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that this meatloaf completely converted me. It was moist, flavourful and had lots of veggies mixed in. Its kind of like a ground beef jelly roll (yes...I do realize that doesn't make it sound any more appetizing). I mixed up the beef, breadcrumbs (I used Panko), egg, BBQ sauce (I used Diana's Honey Garlic), and some seasonings. Then I rolled it out on to some parchment paper and shaped it into a rectangle, spread some finely chopped veggies on top, a little cheese and rolled the whole thing up (which wasn't as easy as I was imagining it).

I think the picture says it all above. I already have plans to make this in the next few weeks for company.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pure Decadence

Peanut Butter Nutella Brownies....need I say more?

Taco Salad

LinkSo I just realized that tomorrow (March 7th) will be the one year anniversary of this blog. How fitting since the first entry was Tacos and this entry is a Taco Salad.

Its no secret that I am not a fan of a salad as a meal but this managed to slip under my radar. I was thinking back to how much I enjoyed the leftovers of last years tacos, in a salad form.

I sauteed some ground beef with onions, green peppers, tomatoes and taco seasoning. I added a little bit of ketchup in to moisten everything up a bit. Than i layered lettuce, shredded cheese, corn, salsa and the hot beef mixture. It was very filling and really good.

Asian Glazed...Things

I had some frozen chicken breasts in the freezer and a package of frozen grilled veggies (M&M Meats...they're REALLY GOOD!!). I decided to play around with a sauce for the chicken. The end result ended up being really yummy and went even better on the vegetables than the chicken. I didn't really measure but here's an approximation of the proportions I used

  • equal parts balsamic vinegar, soy sauce
  • lots of garlic, some ginger (minced)
  • a few tsps sugar
  • Sriracha hot sauce (I think I used a few tbsp)
  • Water and cornstarch depending on the consistency you want
YUM!!! The hot sauce really added a great kick. I will make this again, maybe even just with some veggies and rice!

Arancini Casserole

I saw this on my favourite recipe site and decided to make it the very next day. I've only recently discovered Arancini, and I must admit that I have a hard time passing it up whenever I see it on a menu somewhere. For those who aren't familiar with them they are an Italian Risotto Ball that is rolled in breadcrumbs and fried. There is absolutely nothing low fat or healthy about them but they are so worth every bite.

This casserole was a labour of love and took a few hours to make. You could cut down the prep time by using left over risotto and pre-made or leftover tomato sauce. I chose to make it all from scratch. I think I also could have cut down on some of the rice and increased the cheese in the rice mixture...but that would have negated the "healthed up" version.

It was a layered casserole with breadcrumbs, rice mixed with cheese and a bit of tomato sauce, a mixture of ground chicken, mushrooms, peas, carrots, tomatoes, tomato sauce, on top of that went some more cheese, the rest of the rice mixture, tomato sauce, cheese and breadcrumbs.

We enjoyed this with a simple side salad. It even made so much that I have a whole extra casserole in my freezer just waiting for a weeknight dinner.

Lets Have a Moment For...

Our babies....

The boys...sharing the chair (and the sunlight)

Phoebe and Bear.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Light Boneless Wings and Zucchini Fries

I was craving wings and fries but not only are both high fat and low flavour but neither can be properly duplicated at home without the use of a full on deep fryer (which I don't have...and not matter how much I might want one I will never get one). So instead I made a zucchini fry by breading them in some whole wheat breadcrumbs and baking. I made a quick spicy marinara sauce to dip them in.

The chicken I marinated in some franks red hot, a bunch of oregano, garlic powder, chili powder and paprika. I baked it in the oven along side the zucchini fries and when it was done I tossed it in some more franks red hot. It was just boneless, skinless breasts so it cooked in no time at all. Served it with brussel sprouts (Clutterbuck's favourite veggie).

Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pie

I borrowed this recipe from my mom. It was known as Chicken Pot Pie in my house but I added the "Vegetable" because I added so many it felt wrong to give the chicken the spotlight.

I made this on Friday night after work and was feeling a little lazy about cooking. To save time I used a frozen pie crust that I had in the freezer. I also picked up a cooked rotisserie chicken from the counter at the grocery store. I carved it up and added it all to the pie. That way the only cooking I had to do was preparing the sauce and the actual baking of the pie.

We really enjoyed this and had it for lunch on Saturday and Sunday. The rest I packed up and froze it for lunches during the week (not sure how the pastry will handle being frozen but of well).

Not all love notes are written.

Clutterbuck, became Clutterbug, which somewhere along the road was shortened to Bug.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day to All!!!

And Happy Valentines Day to my Clutterbuck! While we have agreed not to do anything for this Hallmark holiday, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge his love, support and AMAZING humour.

For those of you out in cyber-space, it should be noted that Clutterbuck does more than weigh in on the occasional dish here and there. He helps me write these posts. He's the first to help when I'm stuck on trying to describe a specific thing or can't remember the spelling of this and that.

Here's to two years! Cheers!

...ok back to food now...

Spinach Balls

Before I even made these I had requests for this recipe. Thankfully, they turned out as I imagined. This batch made about 24 golf ball size balls. I think I might make them a bit smaller next time. I made these and froze most of them in batches of 4. I plan to take them for lunch this week, but they will make fantastic appetizers or finger foods the next time I need either. I just need to figure out a dipping sauce that will go nicely with them. Here's the recipe, it definitely goes under successes in my books!
  • 2 packages of frozen spinach, thawed and drained but still moist
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 package of chicken stuffing mix (I used low sodium)
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil (I used a combo of olive oil and roasted garlic oil)
  • Salt and Pepper
I added all of the ingredients to one bowl and mixed them together.

I formed them into balls by hand and baked them in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. I then packaged them up in individual batches and froze them.

I'm not sure how I will reheat them but I'm thinking I might just thaw them overnight and then toast them for a few minutes in an oven or a toaster oven.

I've been really struggling recently with cooking. On the one hand I'm feeling bored with all the usual recipes that are in regular rotation, but on the other hand nothing new has jumped out at me and I haven't felt very adventurous. I try to cook a big batch of something on Saturday night to do double duty as lunches and dinners for the following week. These totally fit the bill and they are a great departure from the usual batch of soup, pasta or slow cooked meat casserole.

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

Would you believe these are relatively diet friendly???

Further to my "Curse of the KitchenAid Mixer Post", I've decided I need to find a way to keep up with healthy eating and still be able to bake on the regular. These cookies were quite good and only 2 points per serving/cookie. I will change up a few things next time around but let me first recap what this round contained:
  • 1 cup sifted pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup margarine (not ideal for baking but a bit more diet friendly than butter)
  • 1/4 cup low fat cream cheese
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Caramel candies
  • Pecan halves
So first of all I chose the wrong caramel candies. I stood in the candy aisle for a very long time (a dangerous place for me) debating over two different types of caramel candies; Mackintosh Toffee and Kerr Caramels. I chose the Mackintosh Toffee. This was a mistake because its so hard. It did melt while baking but it just sets right back up again once it cools. The softer Kerr Caramels would have been a much better choice. I also would have chilled the batter for a lot longer than I did. It was a really sticky batter and I ended up with more on my fingers than on the cookie sheet.

I look forward to tweaking this recipe again in the near future. It definitely has potential and they seem to keep quite well. This means they make great lunch additions.