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Caprese Salad with Cucumbers

Caprese Salad with CucumbersCaprese salad is one of my favorite summertime dishes but it can be a refreshing side for fall or winter dinner. I marinated cucumbers to give it some more crunch and substance. It was well received when I brought it to a pasta dinner recently.

 

The completed dish of Duck à l'Orange.

Duck à l'OrangeI want to share with you a recipe for one of my favorite dishes, which is a gastronomic culinary specialty of French cuisine - Duck à l'orange. This dish not only looks very appetizing, but also really delicious, it is with crisp skin, succulent meat, and a velvety citrus sauce. Duck à l'orange is perfect for weekend meals or during the holidays.

 

A bowl of Curried Apple Bisque

Curried Apple BisqueGreat recipe for the coming Fall season! Apples bring in a sweet taste to a warming soup.

 

The canned beets and a bowl full of the pickled beets.

E-Z Refrigerator BeetsThis simple recipe makes great use of all the beets from the garden and provides lots of great vitamins (like IRON!) too!

 

A wok stir frying vegetables.

Making Stir Fry at HomeMy son recently moved away from home and has been asking me for cooking tips for some of his favorite foods. I have made stir fry about once a week for my family for many years. It's a great way to use up excess veggies. I figured that I would share my tips with you all.

 

The completed Poulet au Pastis

Poulet au Pastis (Chicken with Anise Liqueur)Once again, here is a recipe from the south east of France. I know this one is going to be complex to make for non French, but it has two important culinary elements from my region:

 

A cooked placinte on a plate.

Moldovan Placinte with Three FillingsI want to share with you a recipe for a dish that I think many of you will hear for the first time, perhaps as well as about the homeland of this recipe. Placinte (in singular Placinta) is the traditional dish of Moldova (officially the Republic of Moldova). The word placinta comes from Latin placenta, which means "cake", from the Greek plakount - "flat cake". Placinte are really very tasty, especially when they are still warm.

 

A bowl of Instant Pot Lemongrass Chicken (Ga Kho Sa)

Instant Pot Lemongrass Chicken (Ga Kho Sa)This is one of my family's favorite recipes. The meat comes out tender and fragrant. As a note, I use heaping tablespoon measurements for the garlic, shallots and lemongrass. My husband loves chicken with bones and my kids like boneless so I do half and half for this recipe. If you don't add bones, I would add a tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon chicken broth.

 

A plate of coq a vin with fried potatoes.

Coq au Vin (Rooster in Red Wine)Coq au vin is a real star of traditional French recipes, known internationally as one of the best examples of French gastronomy. This dish combines two symbols of France - rooster and wine!

 

Make Cake Pops From Leftover Cake

Make Cake Pops From Leftover CakeI got this great idea after my kid's birthday party when I noticed all the half-eaten cake left on all the kids' plates. I thought to myself, "What a waste!" So I came up with this tip, you can make cake pops from those leftovers! I know what you are thinking right now, I am a genius, right? Why have I never thought of this before? This way you can make some little cake pops and your kids will be so excited.

 

Drizzling icing and zest on top of the loaves.

Limoncello CakeI made these delicious lemon flavored cake loaves as a gift for Christmas. They would be a treat any time of the year and are made from a basic box of cake mix with some additions.

 

The broth after several hours of cooking.

Beef Bone BrothMy friend won the meat from an entire cow at a school raffle. She gave me about 6 pounds of beef bones to make broth and had another 4 pounds for herself. I made this recipe with her and then made it again at home. This nutritious broth can be used to make all sorts of soups: French onion, beef barley or even pho.

 

A plate of cinnamon sugar doughnuts.

Pancake DoughnutsIf you're craving doughnuts but are too lazy to mix and wait for your batter to rise, try this pancake mix-doughnut hack. Just mix and pipe then you'll have an easy and delicious doughnut snack!

 

A plate of lamb chops with asparagus.

Herb Butter Lamb ChopsIt's easy to make your lamb chops super elegant with this quick and easy method. All you need to do is pan sear the lamb, then use its juices to make a pan butter with sizzling herbs. I used mint and parsley here.

 

A plate of roasted carrots with carrot-top pesto.

Roasted Carrots with Carrot-Top PestoThis is a beautiful side dish with vibrant flavours. Use the carrots' own greens to make a pesto to serve with it. I added a bit of mint and lemon to really make it pop. I used pine nuts, but you can use cashews or something similar, too.

 

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Tuna Triangle Melts

Tuna Triangle MeltsThese savory melts are a fun lunch or even appetizer.

 

A finished bowl of pork noodle soup.

Pork Noodle Soup with KaleHere's a tasty and easy lunch or dinner meal for 2 - that is also fairly inexpensive to make. Or, this could be served as a side soup for a family of 4-6.

 

The muffins cooling on a cutting board.

Chocolate Chunk Banana Protein MuffinsI love making these little protein muffins. They are wonderful as a post-workout snack. I also like to have one for dessert as they keep me from waking up in the middle of the night from hunger pangs. When you have them warm out the oven, the chocolate chunks are super gooey and lovely. You can achieve this later on by popping one in the microwave for 10 seconds.

 

A completed lemon-jello pound cake.

Lemon Jell-O Pound CakeI pulled out some old recipes and stared cooking more foods that are not gluten free. I don't get to enjoy them myself, but my family does.

 

Wrap Banana Stems in Plastic - stem of bananas wrapped in plastic

Wrap Banana Stems in PlasticCover the top of your banana bunch in plastic wrap will make them last a lot longer. The reason this helps is because most of the natural ethylene gas bananas use to ripen themselves is in the stem.

 

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono)

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono)The addition of the egg and lemon makes a basic chicken soup into the ultimate comfort food. The finished dish is tangy and savory, with flavors reminiscent of egg drop soup. Best of all, it is easy to put together for a quick weeknight dinner.

 

Sour Gummy Brownie on plate

Sour Gummy BrowniesI decided to make sour gummy brownies because my sour gummy cookies were such a hit. This ended up disappearing from the kitchen way faster than the cookies. The texture of the gummy candy turns into some kind of luxurious heaven when baked in the gooey chocolate brownies. The rainbow cuteness on top is also very pleasing to the eye. We love these!

 

A box full of limes, lemons and oranges.

Using Up A Surplus of FoodI had an interesting problem recently in regards to food. In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Oregon closed all bars and restaurants in mid March. They could still provide take-out or delivery but many places shut down for the duration. Because this was relatively unexpected, the businesses had a great deal of produce and refrigerated food to get rid of before it went bad.

 

Yes Virginia, You Can Freeze Milk - bottles of frozen and thawed milk

Yes Virginia, You Can Freeze MilkA few years back, I house shared with a gal who froze milk. She would bring it in, uncap it and take a little out to allow for expansion. Then, recap and in the freezer it would go. I had never seen it and was dubious at best. It was a funky color and well, I doubted it would taste the same. I was young and foolish!

 

Mini Pizza Calzone on baking sheets

Mini Pizza CalzoneWith a few simple ingredients, you can make these easy mini pizza calzones. If you're home with your kids during this time and have little ones this could also be a great opportunity to bake/cook together, sort of like a home economics lesson.

 

Sweet Potato Toast with avocado & egg

Sweet Potato ToastThese are healthier substitute for bread! They are thinly sliced sweet potatoes that you can use as a toast under eggs or as a base for any food. They are also great as a snack! You may use one or more sweet potatoes but I find I need to make many more just to have some by the time we are ready to sit down and eat! Delicious!

 

Spicy Orange Garlic Chicken with salad on plate

Spicy Orange Garlic ChickenThis is an easy-to-make orange chicken that's packed with a spicy punch. Marinating it ahead of time really makes it zesty and tender. I used half a chicken for this recipe. It is easy to double for a whole chicken.

 

Sticky Rice Shumai on cabbage leaves plate

Sticky Rice ShumaiShumai is a delicate and delicious Asian dumpling, traditionally formed with a thin flour-based wonton style wrapper. You can forego using the wrappers and roll them in sticky mochi rice before steaming. I love the textures of these more than traditional shumai!

 

Truffles on plate

3 Ingredient TrufflesThese beautiful little truffles will blow you away. They are creamy and decadent, yet so easy to make. You just need a pack of Oreo cookies, a block of cream cheese, and a bag of chocolate chips. Sprinkles are totally optional. I only used them to make them pop for my Valentine!

 

baked German Hot Pockets

Krautburgers (German Hot Pocket)I grew up in northern Colorado among many people of German descent. This was a popular dish served at my school cafeteria. Krautburgers are a traditional food eaten by people of German Russian descent. Germans who had emigrated to Russia from Germany and then, at the turn of the 20th century, emigrated to Colorado's sugar beet fields are the inventors of this German "hot pocket." Working hard all day in the fields meant lunch was eaten on the job, and the humble Krautburger wrapped up all the necessary food groups to keep a worker on his or her feet. It has become a family favorite!

 

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Chicken Soup in bowl on set table

Instant Pot Bone BrothWe have all been sick this winter, so we look for easy ways to make chicken soup. There is no easier way than this. Just throw it all in the instant pot. If you don't have an instant pot, you can achieve the same in a giant stew pot cooked for over 6 hours, or a crockpot.

 

finished Babycakes on plate

Lemon Lime Soda BabycakesThese tiny cakes are incredible. I have to start with that because I've never had such a perfect, zesty cake in my life. I tweaked a poundcake recipe to use some lemon lime soda I had in the house. Now these are my family's favourite little cakes. I can't tell you how many times I've been asked to make them! They are so easy to make, and taste better than cupcakes from a pricey bakery. Please try these!

 

bowl of Tyre Pudding & family picture

Tyre PuddingA "handed down" English main dish pudding recipe from my great grandmother Lydia Butcher Seager. I had my first bite of the pudding when I was about eight years old. I was hesitant because it didn't look very appetizing. But I was wrong! It was delicious. The salt pork crust is the secret to the recipe's great flavor.

 

cake with Ube Buttercream Frosting

Ube Buttercream FrostingUbe means purple in our dialect. It is also associated with a type of root crop that has an amazing purple color that blends in with any food you incorporate with it - the purple yam or simply ube as we call it. The best thing with ube (purple yam) is that it has a natural color blending component that you would not need to add an artificial food coloring anymore.

 

UFO Cow Abduction Cake - finished cake photo shot against a black backdrop

UFO Cow Abduction CakeThis UFO cake is just out of this world! The saucer and grassy ground area are two different cakes, so there is plenty for a big party. I saved a couple hundred dollars making this cake from scratch instead of calling up the local cake artistry. Plus, it was super fun. Here are the steps on how to make your own!

 

finished Hot Cocoa Mug Cookies

Hot Cocoa Mug CookiesThese mug shaped cookies can hold your beverage before you eat them up! Milk, hot cocoa, coffee, whatever you crave. Wintertime brings us plenty of hot cocoa mix and candy canes. Why not turn them into these adorable cookies? These are definite crowd pleasers, and super scrumptious!

 

A collection of meringue cookies for New Years.

New Year Meringue CookiesThese sweet colorful cookies are today's special craft. I made this for New Year's Eve and again made especially for the kids since we have plenty of kids at home to celebrate with us.

 

finished Apple Coleslaw

Apple ColeslawHere is an easy coleslaw you could whip up! This coleslaw can be eaten as a side dish, salad, in your sandwich or complete any meal you want to serve.

 

Frosted Eggnog Cupcakes on plate

Frosted Eggnog CupcakesThese eggnog cakes are the perfect comforting dessert for the holidays. They're topped with a luscious spiced cream cheese frosting. Perfect with a cup of coffee!

 

Peanut Butter Stuffed Cookie on plate

Peanut Butter Stuffed CookiesThese cookies are for peanut butter lovers! They are peanut butter cookies, stuffed with a gooey peanut butter mixture, topped with peanut brittle M&M's. You can swap out the peanut butter cookie exterior with any type of cookie dough you like. I also like a chocolate chip cookie exterior variation. For this recipe, I used a cookie mix, made to its directions on the back. You can get creative with these. These cookies are pretty huge, so you can split one to share with a loved one and watch them ooze!

 

S'mores Cookies on plate

S'mores CookiesHere's a recipe for delicious bite sized s'mores cookies! The holidays are around the corner. These would be perfect to make and enjoy with hot chocolate or put them in jars for homemade gifts!

 

Cheese and Crackers Mini Pies on plate

Cheese and Crackers Mini PiesThese little cheese and cracker appetizers are super delicious. They double up as great presentation as they imitate little slices of pumpkin pie. They are sure to bring many oohs and aahs to your parties!

 

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Meringues on parchment paper

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter MeringuesI originally made these for a friend who loves the taste of chocolate peanut butter cups but finds them too heavy. This is the perfect solution! They're so good, I now prefer these over peanut butter cups, myself. The peanut butter meringues are so crisp and light, even dipped in chocolate, they make you feel much less guilty.

 

Bread Pudding Cups on plate

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding CupsI love the flavour of caramel apples but they can be a bit tough on the teeth. I thought it would be fun to bring their flavours to something soft and comforting like bread pudding. I baked them inside of muffin tins for presentation and portion control reasons. They're so delicious, they are making it to the tables of all my holiday feasts this year! I hope you try these.

 

baked Mile High Apple Pie

Making a Mile High Apple PieI have always been the pie maker in the family! My favorite one to make is the Mile High Apple Pie. It's my masterpiece! I will show you what I do with a few secret important things.

 

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plate with Honey Mustard Pork Loin with veggies

Honey Mustard Pork Loin with ApplesThe flavours of this roast pork loin smothered in apples is perfect for the fall season. Use the freshly roasted pork's juices, along with some honey and mustard, to make the perfect sauce to accompany it. The apples, once browned and cooked down, can be pressed down on with a fork to make an effortless applesauce for your dish. This is one of my favourite pork dishes, by far!

 

baked muffins

Almond or Pumpkin Seed Matcha MuffinsDo you enjoy matcha? You should try these delicious matcha muffins topped with your choice of topping. I used almond slices for half and the other half pumpkin seeds!

 

Orange Cardamom Spaghetti Squash Cake

Orange Cardamom Spaghetti Squash CakeThe autumn season brings us many varieties of gourds. I've had plenty of spaghetti squash around lately, so I thought I'd do some experimenting. I made this lovely orange and cardamom infused cake using pureed spaghetti squash. I candied some strands of the squash to make a beautiful sweet topping. Sprinkled with some crushed rose petals, it was quite the luxurious offering! You'd never know there was squash inside this dessert, but it sure lends to its velvety composition and deep nutty flavour. I hope you give this one a shot!

 

Seasoned Pretzel Twists

Seasoned Pretzel TwistsHere is a light pretzel snack option seasoned with everything but bagel! Literally only 2 ingredients to make with your choice of sauce. My daughter enjoyed these pretzels with sour cream, but you can use any dip or eat alone.

 

Pot Roast with veggies

Instant Pot Pot RoastThis recipe uses an Instant Pot to make a savory and tender pot roast in under 2 hours. This is a basic, simple recipe and the results are the same as slow cooking it in a crockpot all day.

 

Snickers-Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies

Snickers-Stuffed Peanut Butter CookiesEvery year around Halloween, I like to come up with a sweet treat that uses candies from trick-or-treating events. Either you have kids that end up with lots of them, or you have loads leftover from handing them out. My favourite candy has always been Snickers, so these peanut butter cookies are stuffed with them. The outside is a lovely sandy, crumbly cookie, and the middle is gooey and chewy from the baked Snickers. I've had a dozen people ask me for this recipe after an event I made them for last week, so be ready to share if you make these, too!

 

Flaky Pastry and Cream Tower on plate

Flaky Pastry and Cream TowerIf you look in the clearance sections of major grocery stores, you'll find they will place baked goods there for less than half price at the end of the day. Mine sells half a dozen large croissants for $2 after 5pm. They're great when toasted, but my secret trick is to roll them out, cut them into discs, and turn them into a flaky pastry dessert. This tower of delight tastes like the most elegant Palmier cookies layered with fresh fluffy whipped cream. You just would not guess these are old croissants. This is a crowd-pleasure, no doubt!

 

Spanish Style Shrimp and Rice on plate

Spanish Style Shrimp and RiceThis is a twist on traditional Spanish rice made with shrimp. It's almost like a Paella, but with several steps pulled out, making it a very easy to put together meal. I love to make this when I have cooked rice to use up.

 

Watermelon Salad n bowl

Watermelon SaladA very nice, refreshing salad that pairs perfectly with a meat entree or at a BBQ party! Feel free to alter this recipe with your preferred tomatoes, greens, herbs, choice of cheese.

 

Cheesy Egg Drop Soup in bowl

Cheesy Egg Drop SoupWe all want to prepare healthy food for the family. The recipe I'm cooking this morning is simply made of eggs and freshly picked vegetables from our very own veggie plots. It's so easy, but very healthy.

 

Cornflake Crusted Cinnamon French Toast with whipped cream & syrup

Cornflake Crusted Cinnamon French ToastCoating your French toast in lightly crushed cornflakes before cooking them is wonderful! You get a soft custardy inside and an exterior that has a lovely crunch with a fabulous nutty flavour. These go great with any number of toppings: fruit, syrups, honey, whipped cream, or powdered sugar. These don't have to be a morning treat as they actually make a superb dessert, as well!

 

decorated Nice Cream in Chocolate Bowls

Nice Cream in Chocolate BowlsThis is a fun and fancy recipe that you can make from things you probably have at home right now. The nice cream is made of a couple ingredients in a blender or food processor, and it gets scooped inside beautiful chocolate bowls you make with the help of balloons. Top it off with beautiful abstract art made of chocolate scribbles, and you're set to wow your friends and family!

 

baked Stuffed Peppers and Stuffed Zucchini

Stuffed Peppers and Stuffed ZucchiniI have always loved stuffed peppers, but stuffed zucchini is fabulous using the same stuffing!

 

Spring Roll on plate

Spring Rolls with Masago (Fish Roe)A nice light yet filling appetizer or snack featuring masago*. You can customize your spring roll wraps however you would like, but this is a combination I enjoy making. The amount yield varies depending how ingredients you use per spring roll. With 4 small avocados, I made 8 rolls and plenty of left over ingredients.

 

Chocolate Chip Cashew and Coconut Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cashew and Coconut CookiesHere is an easy and delicious way of whipping up 4 dozen chocolate chip cashew and coconut cookies! If you want, add flaky salt on top.

 

Spaghetti Squash Fritters on plate

Spaghetti Squash FrittersI've been getting a bit tired of spaghetti squash in the usual form I prepare it; with spaghetti sauce or as a layered lasagna. I tried turning them into crisp fritters and they were delightful. You can add whatever bits you like in them, I went with onions, bacon and Parmesan cheese.

 

Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup in bowl

Thai Coconut Shrimp SoupThriftyFun has been doing Soup of the Week posts which have been making me crave soups nonstop. I thought I'd add one of my favourite coconut shrimp soup recipes with you. This soup is sweet, spicy, savoury, and super velvety. I know you will fall in love with it! If you can't find some of the ingredients, read the segment below for substitutions.

 

Crispy Grits Fritters on spinach

Crispy Grits FrittersWe call these "gritters" in our house, but I did not want to confuse you, I just want to introduce you to something delicious! I'm not a huge fan of eating grits with a spoon from a bowl, but I do love these rolled up versions. These fritters are super creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside. They are awesome little snacks, and great appetizers for parties.

 

Grilled Guacamole in bowl

Grilled GuacamoleThis is a nice twist on the usual guacamole. You grill the avocados before you add them to the rest of the ingredients. The result is a guacamole with a lovely, deep smokey flavour. You can grill your avocados on your outdoor grill or indoor grill pan. I used the grill portion of a panini press.

 

Blanching Veggies - slices of zucchini and yellow squash

Blanching VeggiesOur garden is producing very well this year! To keep up with production we decided to make our own frozen veggies. This is a great way to get fresh and frozen at the same time, with just a few steps.

 

cooked Chicken in Watermelon

Chicken in a WatermelonYou did not read this wrong, it is indeed a chicken cooked inside of a watermelon. This recipe was posted in the New York Times as an April Fool's joke, but I tried it out, with my own adjustments, and it was one of the most spectacularly juicy chickens I'd ever had. No, you can't taste the watermelon, and yes, it is so worth the time to do this. Summertime makes watermelons abundant and cheap, so please give this a try. It's an awesome summer party showstopper.

 

whipped cream on piece of Purple Sweet Potato Pie

Purple Sweet Potato PieI'm sure many of you have had sweet potato pie. This pie is very similar but uses purple sweet potatoes. Baking the sweet potatoes in the oven (in lieu of boiling them) gives this a beautiful creamy consistency and not at all watered down. Baking them also retains their beautiful purple colour. Purple sweet potatoes can be found in grocery stores labeled as Okinawan, Hawaiian, or purple sweet potatoes. They are packed full of potassium, B6, vitamin C, and fiber.

 

Veggie Egg Roll pieces on plate

Veggie Egg RollsI love making egg rolls at home because I can be quite picky about what's put in the middles when I order them at restaurants. Plus it costs so much less! Try these crispy rolls as an appetizer, or as a main dish. I love using soy, vinegar and chili paste as a dipping sauce. Yum!

 

finished Mini Taco Cups

Mini Taco CupsI love these taco cups for parties, and also for portion control. They're super easy to make and are a lovely 1 to 2 bite delight. I've made these in mini muffin tins but you can use regular sized ones and increase the ingredient amounts accordingly so they're a bit bigger.

 

Caramelized Onion Balsamic Chicken Salad in bowl

Caramelized Onion Balsamic Chicken SaladThis salad is scrumptious! We call it "Fancy Restaurant Salad". The balsamic sauce is used to marinate the chicken, as the salad dressing, and as the finishing touch to your caramelized onions. Using one sauce for these three different things gives each of them their own unique flavour.

 

Avocado Basil Pasta Salad in bowl

Creamy Avocado Basil Pasta SaladI made this at my friend's house because we were craving a pesto-like flavour on a hot day, but we did not have the right equipment available to grind up a nice pesto sauce. I opted for items that were already in the fridge to try to mimic the flavours, and used an avocado as the base of the creamy sauce. It only took the amount of time it took to boil the pasta, then was chilled. It was such a delight, that I had to share it with you!

 

Cuban Cornish Game Hens on plate

Cuban Cornish Game HensThis is a nice twist on roasted hens featuring lovely flavours from Cuba! The hens will sit in the marinade for about 4 hours, infusing the awesome spices and making the meat super tender. Baking them on a bed of sliced onions also provides great flavour, and makes a great onion topping once finished. I love these hens alongside roasted veggies and rice. Enjoy!

 

Fondant Sushi Cupcake Toppers - finished toppers prior to being placed on cupcakes

Fondant Sushi Cupcake ToppersBuying handmade edible cake and cupcake toppers is incredibly expensive! My friend wanted some for a party and saw they were $40 for a small set. I jumped in and made a bunch for a fraction of the price. If you can handle making shapes with Play Doh, you can totally make these. Follow along with my sushi ideas, or try your own favourites!

 

Classy Apple Pie

Classy Apple PieMaking a pie from scratch might seem daunting, but it is so worth the effort! When I worked in a bakery at an upscale grocery store, they would feature pies that looked good, yet they came straight out of the freezer. Take the time and love to make a fresh, homemade pie and I swear, the flavor just cannot compare.

 

DIY Turntable Cake - finished cake

DIY Turntable CakeI'm not a professional baker or cake decorator, but I do love making personalized desserts for my friends and family. I made this cake for my band bassist who adores collecting vinyl records (and playing them on his turntable all day). I've made it so the tunearm can be moved on and off the record, while staying 100% edible.

 

finished Air Fried Chicken on plate

Air Fryer Fried ChickenThis fried chicken is made in an air fryer and uses no added oil whatsoever. The outcome is chicken that is so incredibly crisp, you can hear someone crunch into it from far away. It's quick, easy, and there is no splattering mess.

 

Cauliflower Gnocchi with sauce

Cauliflower GnocchiThis guilt-free cauliflower gnocchi only takes 2 ingredients: cauliflower and flour. This is an excellent way to cut calories by not using starchy potatoes and eggs. You can use gluten-free flour to turn these beauties into a GF version that tastes absolutely scrumptious, too. These puffy little pillows are such a delight no matter how you top them. I've added a bonus step to turn them into garlic butter gnocchi. Highly recommended!

 

Walnut Meringues on plate

Mum's Walnut MeringuesThis is the recipe for my mum's walnut meringues. I especially love how there is so little that goes in them, but they taste like a lot of work. I hope you give these a shot!

 

Decorative Baskets from Oranges - handled basket ready to serve

Decorative Baskets from OrangesThis is a fun food craft where you can turn oranges into baskets that hold your fruit. It's fun and easy and you can really get creative with your designs! I've added two styles in this how-to.

 

Instant Pot Corned Beef and Vegetables on plate

Instant Pot Corned Beef and VegetablesI make corned beef and veggies every March in honour of my late grandfather. He was born on St. Patrick's day and absolutely adored corned beef. Now, this is first time I've tried making it all in my Instant Pot. I'm so happy I did because it was so incredibly delicious and super tender. This is by far my favourite method for making this dish.

 

Volcano Potatoes on plate

Volcano PotatoesI saw this on tv, but found many recipes on the internet afterwards, and went from there. The minute I saw this potato, well... I HAD to make them. They tasted even better than they look, and the name of them grabbed me, too.

 

round dish of Creamy Ratatouille

Creamy RatatouilleThis is a beautiful vegetable ratatouille that is immersed in a tomato sauce, swirled with a homemade Bechamel sauce. It's lovely and crisp on top, and soft and creamy on the bottom. This is a delight to enjoy any time of the year.

 

finished Napa Cabbage Stir Fry

Napa Cabbage Stir FryOne of my favourite additions to a stir fry is Napa cabbage. It has many ripply folds in the ends of its leaves, which I find awesome for retaining the flavours that you add to your dish. This causes you to use less seasonings, which can be great for your health, and your wallet! I love this dish as it is or with a side of meat.

 

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boat on plate

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna BoatsI love spaghetti squash. It's easy to cook, has a great texture, swaps out a bunch of my favourite carb-heavy pastas, and is packed with awesome nutrients. Here, I've turned them into lasagna boats using my homemade tomato sauce. The alternating layers of squash, sauce, and cheese are so comforting. I used pepperoni sticks in the sauce because they give it the most amazing smoky flavour and smell. You can use any meat you like, or skip it and go vegetarian.

 

Homemade Cottage Cheese on plate

Homemade Cottage CheeseThis is a quick and easy way to make cottage cheese at home without the use of starches or animal rennet. I just adore cottage cheese so I am making this constantly. The splash of heavy cream (or half and half) at the end is completely optional, but I find it takes it to the next level. Yum!

 

Mongolian Hot Pot with bowl of cooked foods

Mongolian Hot PotOne of my absolute favourite winter month indulgences is Mongolian hot pot, where everyone gathers around a big pot of boiling broth, cooking fresh meats and vegetables, then dipping them into a soy-vinegar based sauce. I used to go to restaurants to enjoy this, but it started becoming incredibly costly, about $35 per person. Now I can feed my whole family this meal with less than that cost.

 

Rice Cake with Chicken on plate

Saffron Rice Cake with Chicken (Tahchin Polo Ba Morgh)This Persian dish is basically a savoury "cake" made from rice, yogurt, eggs, saffron and chicken. How it all binds together creates this most comforting pillowy texture unlike any other. Because it's cooked in a pot with oil, it has this amazing crispy outer shell. You slice right into it just like a cake, and enjoy the crisp exterior and the soft interior. Aside from it tasting so good, I find it's also quite beautiful.

 

Chickpeas, Olives and Bokchoy in pan

Chickpeas, Olives, and BokchoyA flavorful Moroccan inspired dish featuring chickpea, olives and bokchoy. Pairs nicely over rice or quinoa.

 

Easy Tuscan Chicken on plate with salad

Easy Tuscan Chicken with Olives and PeppersI made this simple but delicious recipe in my crockpot but you may cook it in a large pot. A nice change of pace from boiled or baked chicken.

 

Apple Walnut Cognac Cake on plate

Apple Walnut Cognac CakeI call this my "Adult Poke Cake." I made this cake for a good friend who adores cognac and it went over really well. Yes, you can really taste the cognac here, especially because it's topped with a cognac brown butter. The juices from the apples keep it nice and moist, while the cooked down nuts have a fantastic texture. Happy baking!

 

baked Japanese Jiggly Cheesecake

Japanese Jiggly CheesecakeThis is called Japanese Jiggly Cheesecake because it actually jiggles like crazy when it comes out the oven. It's like a cross between an angel food cake and a pound cake, with a lightly sweet cheesecake flavour. In Japan, this is more widely known as a soufflé cheesecake, and has been around for decades.

 

Honey Glazed Butternut Squash on serving tray

Honey Glazed Butternut SquashThis pretty and yummy recipe is perfect to 'fancy up' a meal. It's savory but can be made sweeter if desired. Precut too!

 

Hard Tack Candy bags

Hard Tack CandyThe first time I had this, it came from Beechy's a wonderful Amish store in Illinois. While I haven't been able to make candy quite as pretty as theirs, it tastes the about the same. :)

 

Caramelized Cranberry Brussels Sprouts on plate

Caramelized Cranberry Brussels SproutsThese Brussels sprouts are extra yummy, sweetened by being caramelized, and studded with cranberries. The onions and garlic give it a nice smoky flavour. I love the green and red look for the holidays. :)

 

Potato Patties with sour cream cheese & chives on plate

Crispy Loaded Potato PattiesThis is a fantastic way to make use of your leftover mashed potatoes. I used skin-on mash because it tastes more like a loaded baked potato, and adds fiber. These patties are creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside. It's a great way to turn something old into something fantastically new!

 

Cranberry Orange Relish in bowl

Cranberry Orange RelishI love cranberries at the table for all my holiday meals, and this is a vibrant version to serve alongside your meats and veggies. It only uses a handful of fresh ingredients with zero fuss of cooking anything down. This was a hit at my Thanksgiving party, and will be making an appearance for Christmas!

 

Garlic and Herb Snowflake Bread

Garlic and Herb Snowflake BreadThis garlic, herb, and cream cheese filled pull apart bread is perfect to serve at a holiday meal. Add a side of marinara dipping sauce and it will disappear quickly. This page contains the instructions and recipe for making this tasty appetizer or main dish side.

 

Creamy Chicken Pesto Lasagne

Creamy Chicken Pesto LasagneBuying rotisserie chicken is an inexpensive and fast way of having lunch or dinner. In our household we always have left overs and this is one option you can do with some left over chicken for a quick lunch or dinner! You do not have to use rotisserie chicken, but you can use chicken breast, thighs, to re-create this dish.

 

Making Loose Leaf Tea - clear tea cup of herbal tea with sprig next to saucer

Making Loose Leaf Herbal TeaI adore loose leaf tea. Most of the relaxation teas I drink at night, my family and I grow and make from scratch. This way, we handle what's going in it, and save tons of money. Here, we've made a big batch of tea leaves from a lemon verbena plant.

 

Spicy Asian Watermelon Salad in bowl

Spicy Asian Watermelon SaladPacked with nuts, avocados, tomatoes and watermelon, this dish is loaded with great textures. It's also full of vitamins and healthy fats. I didn't use an oil in the dressing because of the balance you get from the cashews and avocado. This savoury and spicy twist on a melon salad makes a great side for any meal. Give it a try!

 

Caramel Grapes on plate

Caramel GrapesThis is a delicious twist on caramel apples. I love caramel grapes because I get everything I want in caramel apples in one bite, with so much less mess. Plus, they're so cute!

 

baked Cinnamon Apple Pastry Bloom

Cinnamon Apple Pastry BloomI came up with this recipe when I saw a photo of a gorgeous pie in a magazine. I had no idea what it was made of, but the vision gave me inspiration to come up with something. Give it a try fresh out the oven with a cup of coffee!

 

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