Friday, January 15, 2021

Homemade Minestrone Soup

Homemade Minestrone Soup
Homemade Minestrone Soup

Parmesan cheese

This Minestrone soup recipe calls for Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.  I encourage you to purchase a wedge of authentic Parmesan cheese (warning: don’t look at the price tag).  

Yes, it is more expensive than the pre-grated cheese that sits on your countertop. But here’s the thing: it has a lot of flavour which adds depth to the dish so you won’t need to use a lot. It’s a hard cheese and if wrapped well, will last many weeks, so you will get your money’s worth. I suggest you give it a try.

Homemade Minestrone Soup

Homemade Minestrone Soup

This minestrone is loaded with carrots, celery, tomatoes, zucchini and cabbage.  It also has garbanzo beans and macaroni.  Add the macaroni at the end as stated in the directions, otherwise they will expand and overshadow the glorious veggies. If you are vegetarian, simply omit the cheese. 

Serves 6

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 stalk celery, diced small
1 large carrot, peeled, diced small
2 bay leaves
1 14 oz can tomatoes chopped
1 14 oz can tomato sauce
5 cups water
1 small zucchini, diced
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 cup macaroni
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil in a medium skillet.  When hot, sauté onions and garlic about 6 minutes. Add parsley, thyme, celery, carrots and sauté about 4 more minutes. Add canned tomatoes, bay leaf, tomato sauce, water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, mash 1/2 of the beans. Add the mashed and whole beans to the tomato mixture along with the zucchini and cabbage. Simmer another 30 minutes.  Add pasta and cook 10 more minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve and pass cheese.

Other Recipes To Try:

Beefed Up Minestrone Soup
Rigatoni with spicy pork

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Easy Beef Fajitas

Easy beef fajitas with avocado and salsa

Easy Beef Fajitas 

These easy and tasty beef fajitas are filled with onions, bell peppers, salsa, avocado and lettuce. The steak is first sliced into thin strips and marinated in lime juice, cumin and garlic. Let everyone fill up their tortillas with all the yummy fillings.

Serves 4

1 lb sirloin steak, sliced into thin strips
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large red onion, cut in half and sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
8 flour tortillas
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 large tomato, cubed small
1 avocado, diced
Sour cream, optional
Cilantro, optional


Whisk together lime juice, oil, cumin, salt and garlic. Place into a resealable bag, add steak slices and place in refrigerator for one hour, or longer. Turn bag occasionally to distribute the marinade. 

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add oil and sauté onions and pepper until soft, about 12 minutes. Remove and keep warm. 

Wrap tortillas in foil and place in a warm oven (220°F) to heat through.  

Add steak to skillet and sauté until cooked through, about five minutes.  

To serve, let everyone prepare their own tortillas with the fillings of their choice: onion/pepper mixture, steak, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, sour cream and cilantro.

Beef Fajitas
Beef Fajitas with Yummy Fillings

Other Recipes You May Like:

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Cranberry Bread Pudding

Cranberry Bread Pudding
Cranberry Bread Pudding 

This is a festive and delicious pudding to make with the abundance of cranberries readily available in December. This dessert will have everyone coming back for more. 

Making cranberry bread pudding

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Easy Gingerbread Cake

Easy Gingerbread Cake
Easy Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread and winter seem to go together perfectly. And this super simple and tasty cake also goes well with your weekly meal plan!  I suggest serving it with a dollop of whipping cream. 

Monday, December 7, 2020

Spiced Pork Loin With Apple Chutney

Spiced Pork Loin with Apple Chutney
Spiced Pork Loin

This recipe is a bit more involved then a typical weekly dinner because it has apple chutney. If you don’t have time to make the chutney, you can purchase a chutney, such as mango chutney, from your grocery store.  

The pork is marinated with cumin, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and garlic with goes nicely with the apple chutney. 

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Chicken Curry with Apples and Raisins

Curry Chicken with Apples and Raisins
Curry Chicken with Apples and Raisins

This is a mild curry recipe that your family will love. If you wish to add a little more heat, then feel free to add the optional cayenne pepper. Serve it with rice and a green salad. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Easy Teriyaki Cod

East Teriyak Cod
Easy Teriyaki Cod

Cod is a firm, white fish with large flakes and a mild flavour.  Although cod farming in parts of the world has been decimated by intensive fishing, cod is still caught in the coastal North Pacific ocean. 

This recipe is super easy to make and has great flavour. If you can’t find cod, any white fish will do, but remember to adjust the cooking time. I like to follow the 10-minute rule when cooking fish - cook fish for 10 minutes per inch at 425° F. 

Easy Teriyaki Cod
Teriyaki Cod

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Spinach Salad With Strawberries, Pine Nuts, Mushrooms and Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette


Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Pine Nuts, Mushrooms and Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette
 Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Pine Nuts, Mushrooms and Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette

My husband has an addiction to pine nuts. Whenever he cooks, you will find pine nuts in his dish. They are expensive, which is bothersome, so I decided to do a little research to understand why.

Although called a nut, the pine nut is actually a seed from the pinecones of a pine tree. There are about 20 different varieties of pine trees that grow in many parts of the world that produce pine nuts. They are relatively expensive because processing them is labour-intensive. The pinecones are opened to get at the seeds and then the seed’s shell must be removed. This work is often done by hand. Pine nuts have a mild, nutty, buttery taste with a creamy texture. Pine nuts should be kept in your refrigerator and used within three to six months. 

Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Pine Nuts
Spinach Salad with a Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette

This spinach salad with strawberries recipe is nice to serve with a weekday meal. The toasted pine nuts are a nice touch to add on top.  

Friday, November 20, 2020

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies
Gingerbread Cookies

If you have kids in the house, then this traditional gingerbread recipe is a must. 

Gingerbread Cookies

Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies

Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies
Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies

My mother collected recipes. She wrote them on white, lined recipe cards and stored them in a big square plexiglass recipe box. Many of the hand-written recipes had notes on them, along with the name of the friend who'd given it to her scribbled on the top. As well, she had a big recipe binder stuffed with recipes from newspaper and magazine clippings that were pasted onto thick pieces of paper for safekeeping. I found this recipe tucked away in the baking section, and is definitely worth a try.