Friday, January 29, 2010

Soy Milk

I have never been a big milk fact, I hate it (with the exception of chocolate milk, of course!), however, I LOVE Soy Milk!  Normally I drink the "So Good" brand (vanilla), but last night I bought "Silk Organic Soy Milk" (plain) for a change and I was pleasently surprised!  It was amazing!  I'll be adding this to my next smoothie for sure!

**QUESTION**  Has anyone ever had "Rice Milk"?

Oatmeal with Honey & Blueberries

Oatmeal always seems to make it's way back into my morning breakfast ritual among the Winter months.  There is just something about a warm bowl of oatmeal that screams "comfort".  Oats are low on the Glycemic Index, which means they keep you feeling fuller longer, reduce the risk of heart disease and improve blood cholesterol levels, just to name a few.  It's low in fat and high in fiber and protein!


1/3 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1 cup water, skim milk or soy milk
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (or any berry you like)
1 tsp. honey


1.  Pour water on the oats in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 1 minute.
2.  Stir oatmeal and add blueberries and honey.
3.  Let stand for a minute to thicken


I like using blueberries because 1/2 cup holds 1.5g of fiber and they are extremely rich in antioxidants.  
**You can add cinnamon, jam and nuts to your oatmeal for variety!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Vegan Lentil & Black Bean Soup

This is my new favourite soup to make!  It's super easy and has so much flavour!  It's also extremely healthy with only 1.6g of Fat per serving and it's a good source of protein!  :-)

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 large celery stalk, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 cup green lentils, rinsed and picked through
2 15-ounce cans reduced-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
4 cups fat-free, low-sodium vegetable broth  (I usually use 2 boxes of vegetable broth and 1 can of vegetable broth as well.  I find if you add a little more broth it keeps better in the fridge)

In a large pot, heat oil on medium heat. Sauté onions, celery, and garlic until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle cumin and chili powder, cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add lentils, black beans, tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 25 minutes, or until lentils are tender. 

** I usually break a few pieces of ACE Multi-grain Artsian Crisps into my soup and a few dashes of Cooksville hot sauce (

Per Serving: Calories 127, Calories from Fat 14, Total Fat 1.6g (sat 0.1g), Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 503mg, Carbohydrate 22.2g, Fiber 7.1g, Protein 6g

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes (Crock pot)

I love crockery cooking! When I first moved out on my own I soon realized that I was now in charge of cooking for myself 7 days a week.  Eeeek!  I wanted to make sure I didn't get bored of eating the same old stuff  all the time; this is when I  began to look through cook books on Saturday morning's and essentially what sparked my interest in food and cooking.  Eventually, I stumbled upon this Ham and Scalloped Potatoes recipe ...but, I didn't have a crock pot!  So, I borrowed my Mom's (who is a wonderful cook/baker) and decided to give it a shot!  WOW!  It was delicious, easy and everyone loved it.  I wanted to try one more recipe before handing over the crock pot back to my Mom...however, she had a feeling she'd never get it back (don't Mother's know best?), so she went out and bought herself another one and said I was able to keep hers and I've been using it year round ever since!  It's a staple kitchen item in my books!  (I was going to give the crock pot back, for the record).  ;-)

This is a fantastic weeknight meal!  Just a few simple ingredients and yet so flavourful!  Add a side salad or serve with nice buns and that's all there is to it! 


6-8 slices of ham
8-10 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup grated cheddar or American cheese
1 can cream of celery or mushroom soup


Put half of ham, potatoes and onions in crock pot.  Sprinle with salt and pepper, then grated cheese.  Repeat with remaining hlaf.  Spoon undiluted soup over top.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours in crock pot or high for 4 hours. 

**  The photo shows cubed ham, please disregard.  Follow recipe and 'slice' it.

Honey-Mustard Pecan Chicken Thighs


1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground red pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
16 skin on and bone in chicken thighs (I took the skin off)  NOTE:  You can use boneless-skinless thighs, but it's a lot more expensive AND they are smaller so you'd want to get about 32pcs in that case.
1 1/2 cup honey divided
1 1/2 cup Dijon mustard divided
4 cloves garlic minced
2 cups finely chopped pecans
1 teaspoon curry powder
Italian parsley sprigs, for garnish


1.  Combine first four ingredients. Sprinkle evenly over chicken in a shallow dish. Stir together 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup mustard and garlic. Pour over chicken. Cover and chill 2 hours.
2.  Remove chicken from marinade discarding marinade. Dredge chicken in pecans. Place on a lightly greased wrack in a aluminum foil lined broiler pan. Bake at 375degrees for 40 minutes or until chicken is done. (I placed aluminum foil lightly on top of the chicken about 15 minutes in to cooking time because I didn't want the pecans to burn...but, you can judge for yourself)

Stir together remaining honey, mustard and curry powder. Serve sauce with chicken. Garnish if desired.

**  I didn't use the remaining honey-mustard sauce because once I took the chicken out of the oven it looked so perfect and delicious I didn't want to ruin it with a dipping sauce, it really didn't need anything!

Citrus - White Chocolate Macaroons

These are DELISH!  I used to be afraid to make macaroons, I thought they seemed difficult for some reason, but these are super easy! 


1 (14 ounce) package flake coconut
3 (1 ounce) squares Baker's Premium White Baking Chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon almond extract  (I used vanilla)
1 (1 ounce) square Baker's Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted
1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2.  Combine coconut, white chocolate, sugar, flour and salt in large bowl. Add egg whites, lemon peel and almond extract; mix well.
3.  Drop by tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto lightly greased and floured baking sheets.
4.  Bake 20 min. or until edges are golden brown. Immediately remove from baking sheets to wire racks. Cool completely. Drizzle with the melted chocolate.

Makes about 18 cookies

Mile High Coconut Cream Pie

I had never made a pie until December 2009. Since then, I have made several pecan pies and most recently a coconut cream pie! I never would have thought to make a coconut cream pie, until I was speaking with my Mom about how many Pecan Pie's I had made in the last month and I thought it was time to try something else. She suggested making one of her favourites...Coconut Cream!

So, I found a recipe that I thought sounded easy AND delicious...and boy was it ever! I would recommend trying this recipe out! It was AMAZING!


1 9" deep dish pie crust
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 eggs
2tsp. vanilla
1 cup 35% whipping cream

2tbsp. toasted flaked sweetened coconut (I used about 4tbsp!)

1.  Bake pie shell according to package or recipe directions. Let cool.
2.  In saucepan, heat milk and coconut over medium heat until steaming. In a large bowl, whisk 1/2 cup sugar with cornstarch; whisk in eggs until blended. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into egg mixture in a thin, steady stream. Return to saucepan.
3.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly for about 10 minutes or until thickened to pudding consistency. Transfer to bowl; stir in vanilla. Place plastic wrap directly on surface; refrigerate until cool.
4.  In a bowl, using electric mixer, whip whipping cream with remaining sugar to form soft peaks. Set 1 1/2 cups whipped cream aside (for the topping). Fold remaining cream into cooled filling; spread into pie shell. 5.  Garnish top with reserved whipping cream (you can use a piping bag with a star tip, or a spoon...I used a flexible spatula). Sprinkle with toasted coconut. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set, or up to 1 day.

Recipe by: Christine Cushing

Baked Brie with Cranberries & Almonds

I recently got into Brie Cheese dishes and so far, this one is my absolute favourite!

Serve with sliced baguette or small Melba toast rounds and the crowd will devour this!

  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) dried cranberries (Craisins)

  • 20 ml (4 tsp) almond flavoured liqueur, such as Amaretto

  • 3 tbsp sliced almonds

  • 1 – 225g (8 oz) round Brie cheese (Prepared)

  • 1 French baguette, sliced thinly and toasted on both sides, under the oven broiler

Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F)

Remove top rind of cheese, leaving rind on sides and bottom in tact. Place brie, cut side up, in Brie Baker.

In a small microwave safe bowl, combine the dried cranberries & liqueur. Microwave for about 20 seconds. Top prepared Brie evenly with marinated cranberries and sliced almonds. Place Brie Baker, without putting the lid on, in center of hot oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven (with oven mitts) & put Brie Baker cover on Baker to keep baked brie warm and soft until ready to serve. Place hot Brie Baker on a serving platter and surround with toasted baguette slices. Remove lid just before eating.