Monday, December 17, 2018

Cranberry Muffin Recipe

cranberry muffins

These delightful muffins are both tart and sweet….how good is that?  If you can get fresh cranberries, that’s awesome. But if not, frozen cranberries are just as good. Make sure to brush each muffin generously with the lemon glaze, it’s well worth the effort.  If you can’t eat them all within a couple of days, then freeze them for another day to graze on.
Makes 12

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest from 1 medium-sized lemon
1 cup coarsely chopped, frozen or fresh cranberries
2 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
3/4 cup milk

2 tablespoons, fresh, squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Line muffin tin with paper cups. 

In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon zest and cranberries.  Mix well.  Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl. Add eggs, melted butter and milk to the flour mixture and stir until all is combined.   Do not overmix.  Spoon equally into muffin tin and cook for 20 minutes or until done.

While muffins are baking, stir the lemon juice and sugar together until the sugar dissolves.  When muffins are cooked, generously brush the tops with the glaze.  

Monday, December 10, 2018

Zany Black Bean Salad

Black Bean Salad
Black Bean Salad

A fun, tasty and sweet-ish dish.  It may not be the prettiest but trust me, this dish tastes better than it looks!

Serves 4

Boiling water
8 dates, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 - 15 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup  chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper 

Pour boiling water over dates in a small bowl and let stand 15 minutes.  Drain and transfer to a blender.  Add lime juice, oil, water, oregano, honey, cumin and coriander to the date puree.

In a medium bowl combine the beans, bell peppers, onion and cilantro.  Toss with dressing, to coat.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Not your salad?  Try the Kale Salad With Dried Cranberries, Feta and Green Grapes Recipe or Salad with Roasted Beets and Feta.

Monday, December 3, 2018

How To Set A Table

table setting to impress

You may find yourself entertaining relatives or friends at a sit-down dinner at home.  Here’s a refresher on how to set a table to impress.

  • Plan everything at once. Think about whether you will have a tablecloth or simply place mats. Will you have linen or paper napkins?  Candles or a centre piece (not too tall, so people can converse), water glasses, wine glasses, and what plates will you serve the meal on?  If you can have things match, you’ll have a harmonious look. Or mix it up for a curated look.

  • Line up cutlery in the order it will be used.  Knives and spoons go on the right of the plate.  Forks on the left. Always place the pieces you’re going to use first on the outside.  So if you’re starting with soup, the soup spoon will go to the right of the other spoons.  Turn the sharp edge of the knife towards the plate in readiness for cutting.  Dessert utensils should be placed horizontally above the plate, or can be brought in later, with the dessert.

  • Place water glasses at the top right above the knives. Wine glasses are set to the right of the water glass in order of use.

To make entertaining easier, try to meal planning ahead of time.  Check out our free course How To Meal Plan For The Everyday Home Cook.  It includes a video and meal planning templates.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Pumpkin, Walnut And Date Muffin Recipe

Pumpkin, Walnut and Date Muffins make a perfect snack

A perfect muffin for the fall/winter season.  Filled with dates and walnuts, this recipe makes a perfect snack for the kids’ lunches.
Makes 12

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cups chopped dates
3/4 cup-canned solid packed pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup milk
1 egg

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven at 350° F.  Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, salt, walnuts and dates.  In a large bowl combine pumpkin, vegetable oil, molasses, milk and egg.  Add in the flour mixture and stir until all is combined.  Do not overmix.

Spoon into the muffin cups and bake 20 minutes or until cooked.

Looking for another great muffin recipe to try?  Check out the Morning Glory Muffin Recipe or The Bran Muffin Recipe on the Recipes to The Rescue Blog.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Couscous Tabbouleh Salad

Couscous Tabbouleh Salad Recipe
ingredients for Couscous Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouleh is typically made with bulgur wheat, a staple of the middle east.  However, bulgur can be a challenge to find so this salad is made with whole wheat couscous.  It can also be made with quinoa.

Couscous Tabbouleh Salad

1 1/2 cup water
1  cup whole wheat couscous
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 cup diced peeled cucumber
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium size saucepan add water and bring to a boil.  Stir in couscous.  Remove from heat, cover and let stand 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and then spoon into a bowl.  Add all other ingredients and mix well.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serves 4.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Barbecue Salmon With Mango Salsa

Tips On How To Buy Fresh Salmon

• Smell the salmon, if it smells fishy, don’t buy it. If the salmon looks, feels and smells good, it probably is.

• Fresh salmon ideally should be kept on ice. The catch of the day should look fresh.

• Touch it. If it springs back, it’s good. If your thumb print stays indented, it’s bad.

• Stare it down. If the eyes are clear and not cloudy, then it’s fresh.

• To enjoy the true taste of the sea, only settle for the best salmon.

How many times a week do you eat fish? It is recommended we eat fish twice a week (too many rules when it comes to eating – don’t you think?). Why you ask? Well, it’s good for our hearts as quoted from the American Heart Association:

“The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times (two servings) a week. Each serving is 3.5 ounce cooked, or about ¾ cup of flaked fish. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids.”

I eat salmon because it’s great on the BBQ and symbolizes summer – that’s a good enough reason for me.

BBQ Salmon
Fresh Salmon Waiting For BBQ

BBQ Salmon With Mango Salsa

serves 4

1 ½ pounds fresh, wild salmon steaks
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat barbecue. Brush salmon steaks with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook salmon until done, about 7 minutes per side, depending on thickness, and serve with mango salsa.

Mango Salsa

2 cups mango, peeled, pitted and diced
½ cup red onion, diced
¼ cup fresh, chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
½ cup diced English cucumber
Juice from 1 small lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl add mango, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno pepper, cucumber, lime juice, olive oil and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with fish.

Looking for another salmon recipes to try?  Check out our Crusty Pepper Salmon recipe and or Salmon With Pineapple and Mango Salsa.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Potato Benefits, Potato Varieties And Green Potatoes

Did you know that potatoes are good for you?  Unfortunately, they have a reputation for being fattening.  It’s true if you eat a lot of french fries from fast food restaurants and bags of potato chips.  But, if you cook your own potatoes at home and don’t slather them with gobs of butter and sour cream you’ll be okay.  I often use olive oil on my potatoes, which is healthier and still tasty.  

Potatoes are good for us; they contain all the vitamins and minerals necessary to sustain life (except vitamin D, which we get from the sun).  They are also high in carbohydrates, which gives us energy.  

There are many potato varieties to choose.  Here is a helpful potato guideline:

New potatoes - steaming, boiling, pan fried, potato salad
Russet potatoes - baking, roasting and french fries, mashing
White potatoes - sautéing , steaming, boiling
Red potatoes - boiling, steaming, pan fried, potato salad
Yukon Gold potatoes - baking, roasting and french fries, mashing

Did you know the Idaho potato is a registered trademark?  The same potato grown outside Idaho is called a russet or a baking potato.  They are a starchy, low moisture potato and are great for baking, frying, and mashing.

Russet Potato
The Idaho potato.  Also know as the russet or a baking potato.

Green Potatoes

Are your potatoes green in spots?  Potatoes can turn green when exposed to light.  The process speeds up when potatoes are left at room temperature.  The green colour is due to the presence of chlorophyll, a natural plant pigment.  However, solanine, a toxic, bitter-tasting chemical can also develop in the same green area as the chlorophyll.  If ingested in large quantities, solanine can be toxic.

So cut or peel away any green areas in a potato before cooking.  Always store potatoes in a dark, cool, dry, and well ventilated area (not plastic bags).  Keep them away from onions because they produce a gas which will speed up the decay of both.  New potatoes are picked before they are mature and ideally should be used right away.  If not, store them in the refrigerator.

Oven Roasted French Fries

Oven Roasted French Fries

Here’s an Oven Roasted French Fries recipe to try which has a whole lot less fat when they’re made this way at home.

Serves 4

4 large russet potatoes, peeled (skins can be left on)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425° F.  Cut potatoes in half.  Cut halves lengthwise into 1/4” pieces.  Place into a bowl and coat with olive oil and salt.  Place flat on cooking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook 10 minutes.  Turn each potato over and cook another 10 minutes or until a light golden colour.

Looking for other potato recipes?  Try our Cheese and Potato Soup or  Lentil Curry Soup Or Chicken Pot Pie

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Cheese and Potato Soup

A comfort soup to cheer you up during the winter months. 

Cheese and Potato Soup
Cheese and Potato Soup

Serves 4

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
4 cups potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces, about 4 potatoes
1 cup packed grated sharp cheddar cheese.
1/2 cup chopped cooked ham cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add celery and onions.  Sauté until vegetables are soft, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Sprinkle flour and dill over vegetables and stir for 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in broth and milk.  Add mustard powder and potatoes.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Slowly add cheese stirring constantly.  Mix in ham.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cooking For The Family Everyday doesn't have to be stressful.  We'll show you how.  Sign up for our online courses 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Lentil Curry Soup

Watch the video on How To Make Lentil Curry Soup!  It's super simple.

Lentil Curry Soup
Lentil Curry Soup

A perfect soup to warm you up on a fall day.  Serve with crusty bread and a salad or sandwich.

Serves 4

1 tablespoon oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 medium-sized head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 potato, diced small
2 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium-sized pot heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add onions and garlic and saute a few minutes until soft.  Add lentils, carrots, cauliflower, potato, chicken stock, water, curry and cumin powder.  Bring to a boil.  Lower temperature and simmer 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Looking or other soups to try?  How about Homemade Tomato Soup or the kid pleasing Potato and Cheese Soup

Bored with everyday home cooking?  Sign up for our free course How To Menu Plan For The Everyday Home Cook.  It will save you time, money, and reduce stress.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Vegetarian Chili

The cook was a good cook, as cooks go; and as good
cooks go, she went.  Reginaold (1904)

Vegetarian Chili
Vegetarian Chili, Salsa and Chips

     There I was cooking dinner, as always, and my son was sitting at the well-worn table, reading. He suddenly slammed down his book and looked up at me as if I’d done something wrong.

     “Mom, do you really like to cook?” he asked partly in disgust and partly in disbelief.

     What an interesting question, I thought. Cooking is something I do every day of every week of every year, but do I like it?

     Pondering the question I realized that cooking fills a creative urge that resides within me. It’s like a hunger pain that doesn’t go away until it’s fed. The other reason I cook is because I know that eating the right foods is good for our bodies. When we cook at home, we are eating whole foods that are full of nutrition, vitamins, minerals, fibre etc. When we cook at home we don’t eat take-out or pre-packaged foods, which are nutrient-poor, over-refined, high in sugar, salt and fat.  I feed the family so that their bodies can function optimally, the way they were originally designed to do. Cooking is a daily function, for me, similar to picking the kids up after soccer practice, I just do it.

      Do I like to cook? Well, sometimes but sometimes not. Truthfully, I wish a robot could be invented who would cook for us, plus do the shopping, plus clean the house, take the dog for a walk, do the laundry, drive the kids etc.etc.
Do you like to cook?

Green Chili Peppers
Hot Chili Peppers

Vegetable Chili 

Serves 6

2 tablespoons oil
1 eggplant, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 28 fl.oz.. can tomatoes with juice
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
Pinch of fennel (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil on stove and sauté eggplant until soft in a medium sized saucepan. Add a little water if pan gets too dry. Add mushrooms and onions and cook until soft about 5 minutes. Add carrots, celery and zucchini and cook for 5 minutes. Add spices and stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes, black beans and corn. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 1 hour. Add more water if too thick. Serve with rice.