Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Swedish Cinnamon Star Bread

Such a beautiful bread, had to give it a try. Very easy to put together as long as you don't have kids on you.
12/18/16 Made this again. Did not bother with cutting out circle shapes - just made as close to circle as I could for each of 4. Turned out great. Needed a bit of extra milk.
Jan 2017: Made again, using simplified method. Updating below.
3/17/20: Twisted them extra (pictured). Used combo of regular cinnamon and ceylon cinnamon.
  • 1.25 c milk, warm (orig 1c + 2-4 T)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 T butter, softened
  • 3.5 c flour
  • 2 t yeast
  • 1 egg white (for topping)
  • 1/3 c butter, softened
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 3 T cinnamon
  1. Place milk through yeast in bread machine and set to dough cycle. Add more milk or flour to get soft dough. Optional: take a 1.5-3 hour nap.
  2. Prepare filling: mix butter, sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Divide dough into 4 pieces. 
  4. Roll each into large circle the size of a plate (or larger).
  5. New: Place circle on parchment paper on baking sheet.
  6. Spread 1/3 filling onto one circle. Layer each circle on top, alternately spreading filling, and ending with one dough circle.
  7. Optional: Put plate on top and cut off excess edge.
  8. [See step 5 instead: Move to baking pan lined with parchment.]
  9. Place small lid in center and cut from lid to edge into 16 equal pieces.
  10. Grab 2 side by side pieces and twist in opposite directions, flipping twice. Repeat all the way around.
  11. Join pairs by the edges and seal. 
  12. Take cut off edge and twist together to make another bread.
  13. Brush with beaten egg white.
  14. Bake at 350F for 25-30 min, or until lightly browned.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pumpkin French Toast Bake

Had some leftover pumpkin puree so decided to make this baked version of french toast. Parents left super early so had time to preheat the oven and stick it in for the hour before waking up for real. Turned out delicious. Would definitely eat it again. Having to bake it for an hour takes up a lot of time so don't see this as a regular go-to breakfast item since I like to eat within 20 min of waking up. Leftovers were great. This recipe is a combo of multiple recipes, but without the streusel topping. I don't like super sweet breakfasts. Even the 1/3 c sugar was a bit much. Other recipes had up to 1 c sugar in the batter plus 1/2-1 c in the streusel!
2/27/16 Made this again adjusted and came out better. Would increase milk even more next time. Editing below and putting old amounts in brackets.
5/10/16 Made this with a partial loaf of bread in a smaller pan but same amount of filling. Tasty!
  • 1 loaf egg bread (like the Challah loaf from Metro), can be old and dry
  • 6 eggs
  • 1.5 c milk (could try increasing to 1.75 c next time) [1 c]
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1 t cinnamon [1/2 t]
  • 1/3 t nutmeg
  • dash of cloves
  • 1 c pumpkin puree [3/4 c]
  • 1/4 c sugar [1/3 c]
  1. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.
  2. Cut bread into large cubes. Place in baking dish.
  3. Beat eggs, milk, pumpkin, sugar and other spices in a large bowl.
  4. Pour over bread.
  5. Cover in saran wrap and let sit overnight.
  6. In the morning, bake at 350F for 55 minutes.
  7. Let cool until warm. Serve with fresh fruit.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Made this for a simple dinner. Vinegar and hoisin sauce were a bit too strong so marked as scant below to adjust for next time. Used ground beef. Original calls for onions and scallions.

  • 1 lb ground meat (beef, pork, turkey, etc)
  • scant 1/4 c hoisin sauce
  • 3 heaping t minced garlic
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • scant 1 T rice vinegar
  • 2 t ginger, minced
  • optional: chili sauce
  • 1 (8 oz) can water chestnuts, minced
  • 2 t sesame oil
  • 1 head firm lettuce
  1. Cook meat. Drain. Set aside.
  2. Saute garlic. Add ginger, soy sauce, vinegar.
  3. Stir in water chestnuts and beef.
  4. Top with sesame oil.
  5. Serve with lettuce leaf cups.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Pumpkin Yeast Bread

I've always thought of Pumpkin Bread as a quick bread but thought I'd try this one as a yeast bread. It's got cranberries and pumpkin seeds too. This loaf looks nice with the pumpkin giving it color and the specks of red and green. It also has great texture from the crunch of seeds and chew of the berries. I can't attest to taste because I've lost my sense of it due to illness. MM says it's just ok but great texture. Great toasted with butter.
  • 1/2 c milk, warmed
  • 1/2 c pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1.25 t salt
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 2 T butter, room temperature
  • 2.75 c flour
  • 1/2 t allspice
  • 1/4 t ginger
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1.5 t yeast
  • 1/2 c craisins
  • 1/4 c pumpkin seeds
  1. Put all ingredients except cranberries and seeds in bread machine.
  2. Set to 1.5 lb, medium, sweet cycle.
  3. At beep, add cranberries and pumpkin seeds.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Mom Style Chicken

Grew up on this type of chicken but only just learned how to make it recently...from Mom! When cooked with bones in, the bones are nice and tender and the marrow is easily accessible. Delicious!

  • defrosted or mostly defrosted chicken (drumsticks or thighs, with skin and bone, but can be done with boneless/skinless as well)
  • spices: turmeric/ginger/paprika, ginger/chili/coriander/black pepper/soy sauce/sugar
  • salt
  • water
  1. In pan, heat chicken until only lightly browned. Flip and repeat. Note: not all sides need to be browned, and it doesn't have to be very brown.
  2. Sprinkle generous amount of salt on the chicken - more than you think you'd like to eat.
  3. Pour in water until less than half-way up the chicken.
  4. Sprinkle all desired spices on the chicken. Pour in soy sauce if using (1-2 T max). 
  5. Cover and simmer for 10-20 min.
  6. Flip and continue to simmer covered for another 20-40 min or until desired tenderness. The longer it's cooked, the more it will fall off the bone.
  7. Serve with rice and vegetables. NOTE: Vegetables can be steam/sauted with some of the chicken sauce.
  8. Refrigerate leftovers - sauce will gel. Sauce can also be used to make Chinese brown eggs.
This method can be used for pork and beef. Pork ribs and beef ribs may take 3-4.5 hours.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Almond Yeast Bread

Requested by XBD. This was the first attempt. It wasn't quite enough almondy for me, but still enjoyed by everyone. 1.5 lb medium crust loaf, almonds added after beep.
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 T butter
  • 1.5 t almond
  • 3 T sugar
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1/2 c almond meal
  • 3 c flour
  • 2 t yeast
  • chopped almonds

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Buckwheat Granola

M sent me 15 lbs of buckwheat so had to look up what to do with it. This is the first use. I used a combo of pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, whole and sliced almonds, and pumpkin seeds. Based on this recipe.
  • 2 c buckwheat groats
  • 1.5 c nuts and seeds
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t ginger
  • 1 c shredded coconut
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 2 T maple syrup
  1. In a large bowl, combine buckwheat, nuts, spices and coconut.
  2. In a small bowl, mash the banana. Add the oil and syrup.
  3. Pour the banana mixture over the buckwheat mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350F, stirring halfway.
  5. Use for breakfast, as a yogurt topping, etc.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cherry Chocolate Bread

Got a bag of dried sour cherries and made this loaf. The chocolate mostly melted in the bread, turning it brown, but there were a few pieces still left in it.

  • 1 c milk, warm
  • 2 T cherry juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 t salt
  • 3 T maple syrup
  • 2 T butter, room temp
  • 3.5 c flour
  • 1.5 t yeast
  • 2/3 c chocolate chips
  • 2/3 c dried cherries
  1. Dump ingredients, except chips and cherries, into bread machine.
  2. Set to Sweet Cycle, 2 lb loaf, dark.
  3. Add chips and cherries at beep.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Olive Breads

Spinach Feta Twist

An olive bread finished outside the bread machine. Presents well. ***
  • 1 c water
  • 1/2 c crumbled feta
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 t salt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 3/4 c flour
  • 1 1/4 t yeast
  • 10 oz frozen spinach
  • 1 T melted butter
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 1/4 c grated parmesan
  • 2 t oregano
  • 1/2 c crumbled feta
  • 1/4 c sliced kalamata olivse
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 T water
  • optional: 1 T grated parmesan
  1. Set dough ingredients in bread machine and set to dough cycle.
  2. Defrost spinach in microwave. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Stir in the butter, garlic, parmesan and oregano.
  3. Remove dough from machine and turn onto lightly floured surface. Let rest for 10-15 min.
  4. Roll to 18x15" rectangle.
  5. Spread filling to within 1/2" of edges. Sprinkle on feta and olives. 
  6. From long side, tightly roll it up. Pinch seams to seal.
  7. Place on parchment paper on cookie sheet. Cut in half lengthwise with scissors. Twist the halves together and make into round, keeping the cut sides up. (Alternatively, place into greased tube pan.)
  8. Cover and let rise 45-60 min.
  9. Combine egg white and water and brush onto dough. Sprinkle with parmesan.
  10. Bake at 375F for 45-55 min or until done.
  11. Eat as snack or serve with salad for a meal.

Mediterranean Bread

1.5 lb basic loaf bread.
  • 1 c water
  • 1/3 c crumbled feta
  • 3 t minced garlic
  • 1.25 t salt
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 3.5 c flour (all purpose or bread)
  • 3 t basil
  • 1/2 c sliced kalamata olives
  • 3/4 t yeast

Monday, June 29, 2015

Rice Cooker Shrimp, Broccoli and Rice

Prep ahead then minor work for cooking. Good meal for when have a newborn around. Substitute favorite veggies as desired.
  • 1-3 c rice (more for leftovers to make fried rice, less to have a single meal)
  • head of broccoli
  • frozen shrimp
  • fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 carrot
  • minced garlic
  • soy sauce
  • optional: red pepper flakes, ginger
  1. Place rice in rice cooker.
  2. Prep broccoli and place in steamer basket for the rice cooker.
  3. Chop carrot. Slice mushrooms.
  4. 30 min before wanting to serve dinner, add water to rice cooker and half the carrot. Set to cook.
  5. 12 min before it's done (about 7-8 minutes in to cooking for my rice cooker), add the remaining carrot to the rice. Add the shrimp and mushrooms on top of the broccoli and place steamer on rice cooker.
  6. When done, garnish the shrimp and broccoli with garlic and soy sauce to taste. Serve with the rice mixture.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cobbler

The annual strawberry festival got MM and he came home with 14 pounds of strawberries! They need to be used up quickly, so made strawberry muffins (with 1.5 cups) and then this (using 3 cups). Put the cream cheese on 3/4 of it only so that Mom could have some cheese-free servings.

  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1 c flour
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 t powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 3 c strawberries, halved
  • 1/2 package cream cheese (4 oz)
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. 
  2. Place butter in 9x13 pan and place in oven (OR melt butter and pour in pan).
  3. Mix flour through vanilla in a small bowl.
  4. Pour into 9x13 pan over the butter.
  5. Arrange strawberries in dish.
  6. Cut cream cheese into small pieces over strawberries.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Vegan Soft Serve

Really does turn out amazingly like real soft serve. I froze the bananas last night and then made the dessert at 6:30 pm and ate it at 8:30. Delicious!

  • 3 bananas
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 1 t vanilla
  1. Slice the bananas. Put in container and freeze for minimum 2 hours (overnight is ok).
  2. Blend until smooth - at least 5 minutes. Or use a food processor if you have one for faster results. Using a blender will require pushing down the bananas every few pulses.
  3. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and blend until combined.
  4. Scoop back into container and place back in freezer.
  5. Enjoy within a few hours.
This supposedly needs to be eaten immediately as it will not freeze well.
Instead of cocoa powder+ vanilla, try oreo cookies or strawberries or chocolate chips or mint leaves.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Apricot Almond Loaf

XP wanted a bread with almonds so threw this in the bread machine just after breakfast. Didn't toast the almonds. Based on Sour Cherry Almond Loaf recipe from 300 Best Canadian Bread Machine Recipes.

  • 1 1/3 c warm milk
  • 1/2 t almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 t salt
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 3 3/4 c flour (all purpose or bread*)
  • 1 1/4 t yeast
  • 2/3 c chopped apricots
  • 2/3 c slivered almonds [toasted]
  1. Place dough ingredients (not the apricots and almonds) in bread machine. Set to 2 lb Sweet Cycle, dark. 
  2. At sound of beep, add the apricots and almonds.


For toasting the almonds, set on baking sheet at 350F for 10 min. Remove when lightly browned. They'll continue to darken as they cool.


Use other dried fruits: blueberries, cranberries, apples, raisins, sour cherries

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Date Nut Swirl Loaf/Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Made this sweet bread to have as an easy afternoon snack. XP loves dates and raisins so I put both in. Stored in the fridge to keep it from molding. I give it about 3 *s but XP would probably give it 4 or 5. Based on Cinnamon Walnut Swirl Loaf from 300 Best Canadian Bread Machine Recipes.
2018-2019 Been making this has a cinnamon raisin loaf for ages. Reduced sugar to 1 T brown sugar so not overly sweet. Stronger with ceylon cinnamon than regular. Chopped almonds usually.
  • 1 c warm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 3 T sugar
  • 2 T butter, room temp
  • 3 c flour (all purpose or bread)
  • 1.25 t yeast


  • 4 oz dates, chopped [or raisins]
  • 2 T brown sugar [1 T for less sweet version]
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts [or almonds, pumpkin seeds, pecans]
  1. Place dough ingredients in bread machine and set to Dough Cycle.
  2. Remove dough to lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10-15 min.
  3. Roll out to 16x8 rectangle...or preferably 20x8 for even more raisins.
  4. Spread filling to within half an inch of the edges. Roll short end tightly.
  5. Place in greased 9x5 loaf pan. Cover and let rise for 30-45 min.
  6. Poke several holes through the risen dough.
  7. Bake at 350F for 40-50 min or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped on bottom.

Friday, June 12, 2015


These freeze well. The juice from the tomato steams the raw broccoli.
9/18/16 Made these again. Half the dough into 6, the other half into 8 small ones. Dipped in pasta sauce for a meal.

  • 1.5 c milk, warm
  • 1.5 t salt
  • 2 T sugar
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 2/3 c bread flour (or all purpose)
  • 1 t yeast
  1. Place ingredients in bread machine and set to Dough cycle.
  2. Prepare filling (see below).
  3. Divide dough into 10 pieces. Roll dough to 6" circles. 
  4. Place filling in middle and fold over.
  5. Bake on cookie sheet at 375F for 20-25 minutes (or until done - when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom). (If making 3" size, bake for 15-20 min.)
  6. Serve with marinara sauce.
  • broccoli florets, tomato, feta, parmesan, fresh basil
  • mushroom, zucchini, mozzarella, sausage
  • apple, ricotta, walnuts, almonds
  • spinach, ricotta, peas, garlic
  • ham, cheese

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Chocolate Pudding

This was a craving about a month ago and I caved in a bakery and bought a cup. It was terrible. Very grainy in texture. I don't have the craving anymore but still have a healthy appreciation for chocolate pudding so tried my hand at this recipe today. It turned out nice and smooth. It was a little too sweet for me so I would reduce the sugar slightly next time.
  • 1/2 c sugar (or less)
  • 3 T cocoa (may be heaping)
  • 1/4 c cornstarch
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 2 3/4 c milk
  • 2 T butter, room temp
  • 1 t vanilla (or almond) extract
  1. In a saucepan, sift together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt.
  2. Over medium-low heat, add milk. Stir constantly. Bring to boil until mixture thickens (should stick to back of spoon). 
  3. Remove from heat and add butter and extract.
  4. Cool. Eat warm, refrigerate until chilled or freeze in popsicle molds.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Zucchini Feta Patties

The ground quinoa and walnuts in place of breadcrumbs intrigued me. I used a tiny sprig of French tarragon, and then added dried rosemary which is when I discovered the jar of dried tarragon. The combination was very tasty! XP had a few bites of each but wasn't overly enthralled (I did sell them to her as "cakes").
  • 1/2 c uncooked quinoa
  • 1/4 c chopped walnuts
  • 2 zucchini (medium sized, about 4.5 c)
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 3 T fresh tarragon (or parsley or rosemary)
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3 oz feta (~2/3 c)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 T olive oil
  1. Place quinoa in mini food processor and pulse for 1 min until finely ground.
  2. Add walnuts and process until smooth.
  3. Grate zucchini. Sprinkle with 1/4 t salt. Toss well. Place in strainer and let drain for 10 minutes.
  4. Combine zucchini, garlic, parsley, pepper, 1/4 t salt, cheese, and eggs. 
  5. Sprinkle quinoa mixture over mixture. Stir well.
  6. Grease the pan with 1 T oil. Add four 1/4c-1/3c mounds of batter, flattening to 3" cakes. Cook ~4 min on each side until browned. Repeat for remaining batches batch.
  7. Serve immediately.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Animal Bread

Tried a preschooler bread activity - let her make shapes which didn't go that well, but putting in raisins, chocolate and nuts for the face worked ok. With the dough XP thought it was like playdough so kept picking up the shapes after they were already made and squishing them. After baking, the raisins dried out a bit so might be better to soak them first or try a different dough recipe.
  • 1 c warm water
  • 2 T oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 1/3 c bread flour
  • 2 1/4 t yeast
  • Optional Decoration: raisins, chocolate chips, chopped almonds, peanuts, etc
  1. Make dough in bread machine (or by hand).
  2. Divide into 8 pieces. Cut further if necessary and shape into animals or faces.
  3. Add raisins, chocolate chips. sliced almonds for decoration. Cut dough with scissors to make pronounced designs (like for a turtle or hedgehog).
  4. Let rise 20-30 minutes (or 45...since time isn't always controllable with a preschooler).
  5. Brush with egg wash or butter.
  6. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.
Animal Ideas
  • Raccoon
  • Hedgehog, porcupine
  • Turtle, alligator
  • Duck
  • Faces, Monsters
  • Rabbit
  • Bear
  • Snail

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Bread Machine Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Got a new bread machine and made a sandwich ring this morning. In the evening tried my hand at a sweet bread fully made in the machine. On the way googled about Canadian vs American flour - there is a difference which would explain why all the flour recipes turn out so differently here. Turned out slightly too sweet for my taste - so I think next time reduce the brown sugar by half. It was also very light on the top - so maybe try the dark setting or 2 lb setting instead? Otherwise was good toasted for breakfast. *** (see other versions below)
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T butter (soft)
  • 4 T sugar
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 3 c bread flour
  • 2 1/4 t yeast
  • 1 c raisins (optional: plumped)
  1. Put ingredients in order specified by bread machine, except raisins. For my Sunbeam it's wet, then dry, then yeast.
  2. Start machine on Sweet setting, 1.5 lb.
  3. When it beeps (after 20-30 min), slowly add in raisins during the 2nd kneading cycle.
  4. Remove from pan to let cool. Eat fresh, toasted or as french toast.
7/8/15 Made a ginger-raisin-bread. Like this one better. ****
Sept 2015 - made this again, with the super large raisins. They end up getting torn apart by the machine and end up in small pieces throughout the bread. 1.5 lb/dark
  • 1 c warm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 T oil
  • 2 T molasses
  • 3 c flour (bread or all purpose)
  • 3/4 t ginger
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t cloves
  • sprinkle of nutmeg
  • 1.5 t yeast
  • up to 1 c raisins

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Egg Muffins

Made these this morning and brought them to the playground. Small size made them great for snacking while playing (on the swing, on a bench, at the table, in the sand). BT normally doesn't like eggs but had lots of these happily. I think it was because I called them a "muffin" (as opposed to mini fritata or mini-quiche). 

For variety I divided the tin into 4 rows where each row had a combo of 3 veggies (so each row missing one of the 4). Then in the 3 columns, I put one kind of cheese each. So each muffin came out differently.

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 small zucchini
  • frozen peas
  • fresh baby spinach
  • cheese: Cheddar, Parmesan, Mozzarella, ...
  • home made salami, cut into small pieces
  • salt + pepper
  • herbs: rosemary + oregano
  1. Grease a 12 muffin tin (****). [Needs improving - see Notes]. UPDATE: Use silicone cups instead (*****).
  2. Grate the carrot over the tin directly.
  3. Grate the zucchini directly over the tin.
  4. Chop the spinach and sprinkle in cups.
  5. Add frozen peas to cups.
  6. Sprinkle some cheese and salami in each cup.
  7. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste (0 salt if doing BLW) as well as combination of herbs. Use a scoop to pour mixture into each tin.
  8. Bake 350 for 20-25 minutes, until eggs are lightly browned.
  9. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
  10. Eat immediately or freeze for later.
Greasing the tin with butter was not sufficient. The eggs really stuck and were a pain to get out. Using a spray might work better (but I've never bought a spray in my life). Perhaps adding some oil to the mixture would help?

8/4/15 Used broccoli, carrot, peas, spinach, parmesan/mozzarella, rosemary, thyme. Poured into greased silicone cups - 6 regular and 4 large - could have used another egg.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Almond Raspberry Cheese Halves

Made some ARCH treats for work, aka sweet empanadas. I prefer a less crispy pastry so would decrease butter next time and increase liquid or add milk. Very tasty. One was made with 2 blueberries (could have used blackberries or strawberries, etc).


  • 3 c flour
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 sticks butter (8 oz/225 g)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3-5 T cold water
  • 10 oz cream cheese (~1.2 packages), softened
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 T orange zest
  • 1/2 c sliced almonds
  • 12 oz raspberries (2 small punnets or 1 extra long one)
  • 1 egg, separated
  1. For the dough, combine the flour, sugar and salt. 
  2. Cut the butter in (or coarsely grate). Stir.
  3. Add the eggs and water, and mix until combined but still clumpy.
  4. Roll into 2 balls. Flatten each and refrigerate for at least 30 min.
  5. For the filling, mix the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and zest.
  6. Roll the dough flat. Cut out small circles. (Refrigerate as you go, and roll out the circles if they shrink.)
  7. Put a spoonful of the cheese mixture in the middle. Top with 2-3 raspberries (or whatever will fit), and a sprinkling of almonds.
  8. Moisten the edges of the pastry with egg white and fold in half and seal the edges.
  9. Brush on the yolk and immediately top with more slice almonds (so they stick).
  10. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  11. Poke holes with a toothpick or slice the tops with a knife, to let the moisture escape while baking (and prevent explosions).
  12. Bake at 375 for 20-55 min. (Original directions said 20-25, but I had to keep them in for a long time before they were browned).

Friday, May 8, 2015

Savoury Empanadas

I've cut out onions from my diet for years and have benefited. But it means there are a lot of foods I have to avoid or suffer the consequences. My friend makes a wonderfully delicious empanada, but I was suffering more and more each time I ate them. So I decided to try my own hand at them - but onion free. I made them too spicy for XT to eat, but I think it is a great starting point. They were lots of fun to make, so I look forward to perfecting the filling. I also bought the olives ahead of time and forgot I was going to slice them for this recipe - I had used them all to make an olive pesto. So I just spread the pesto on the empanadas instead. Still worked out!
Dec 2015: Made a double batch of dough and separated into balls and then rolled into circles (instead of rolling and cutting out circles). Worked out faster. Put them in fridge overnight and then filled the next day. 

  • 3 c flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 c butter (one stick), chilled or frozen
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 c warm milk
Beef Filling
  • 1 lb beef
  • 2 T butter
  • 3 heaping t minced garlic
  • 2 T hot spanish paprika (reduce for less spicy)
  • 1 T hot mexican chili (or less)
  • 1/2 T cumin
  • 1 t oregano
  • 3 eggs
  • olives or olive pesto
  • salt + pepper (to taste)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 egg yolk
  1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. 
  2. Coarsely grate in the butter (or cut into slices). Stir.
  3. Add the egg yolk and milk in small amounts. Mix until clumpy and combined.
  4. Make 2 balls. Flatten slightly and chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Hard boil the eggs (Place in pot, cover with cold water, bring to boil, cover and turn off heat - leave to sit for 12 minutes. Remove from pot and run under cold water to stop cooking.)
  6. Mix the beef with the paprika, chili and cumin. Set aside.
  7. Saute the garlic in the butter.
  8. Add the beef mixture, until cooked through.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in oregano. Let cool.
  10. Peel and slice the eggs. Slice the olives (if using whole).
  11. UPDATED: Cut each dough ball into 5 pieces (or more for smaller empanadas: 6-8). Roll each piece into a ball, and then into a circle. [This way is much faster and cleaner]
    ORIGINAL: Roll one dough ball very thin. Cut out circular shapes (use 4" for small, 5-6" for large).
  12. Optional: Dough circles may be refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.
  13. Fill each circle with a spoonful of meat, slice of egg and slices/spread of olive.
  14. Fold in half, sealing edges with egg white. Optional: Press down with decorative fork imprints.
  15. Brush with egg yolk (this will give a nice golden brown color during baking).
  16. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  17. Bake at 400F for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.
  18. Cool on rack. Eat fresh or chill for later.

Spinach Cheese Filling
6/2/15 Used the dough recipe above but made a vegetarian filling. Baked for 35 min, plus another 5 for the bigger ones. XP enjoyed one warm as snack (I had 2). Delicious!
Feb 2016 Used fresh spinach and added ham.
6/10/20 Filled 12 out of 14 empanadas in dough batch.
  • 1 pkg frozen spinach (10 oz)
  • 2-3 t minced garlic
  • olive oil/safflower oil/butter
  • 1 c ricotta
  • salt + pepper
  • nutmeg
  • thyme
  1. Defrost spinach in pan over low heat. Press liquid out to make as dry as possible.
  2. Push spinach to the side and heat oil in pan. Add garlic and saute.
  3. Stir garlic with spinach until thoroughly combined.
  4. Stir in ricotta. 
  5. Season with salt+pepper, a dash of nutmeg and a sprinkling of thyme, to taste.

Beef Potato Filling
4/21/20 BDs really liked this filling. The cinnamon adds a nice touch. Half made with this, and the other half supplemented with egg and olives.
6/9/20 BDs both ate this. XBD really liked it. Enough filling leftover to fill 4-5 more.
7/16/20 Made this with 1 lb of ground turkey, 2 carrots and vege broth.

  • 1 potato, diced
  • 1 package beef (3/4-1 lb)
  • 1-2 carrot, diced (or shredded)
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t chili powder
  • 3/4 c beef broth (to keep the meat moist)
  • 1/2 c peas
  1. Boil the potatoes for 3-10 min.
  2. Meanwhile, saute the beef and carrots.
  3. Add the drained potatoes, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, chili and beef broth. Cook until beef is done.
  4. Add the peas and cook 2 more minutes.
  5. Let cool before using as filling. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Reduced-fat Gingerbread Cookies

Made the dough with XT this evening. She dumped in the ingredients and helped cut out shapes.The dough was made in the evening before dinner prep, and then rolled out after eating. Used the star cutter and a knife to make simple shapes. House was cold so didn't need to chill long. They rise a little and are on the chewy side. Makes about 40-50 small cookies.
  • 3.5 T butter (48 g), softened
  • ~0.65 c brown sugar (original is for 3/4 c packed, but reduced to loose 1/2 c+)
  • 1/2 c applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c molasses
  • scant 3 c flour
  • 1 t soda
  • 2 t ginger
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t allspice
  • 1/4 t cloves
  • 1/4 t salt
  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and applesauce.
  2. Mix in the egg and molasses.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and spices.
  4. Beat flour mixture into wet mixture.
  5. Divide the dough into 2-3 pieces, dusting with flour, and flattening.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  7. Roll to 1/8"-1/4" thick, dusting pin and counter with flour to prevent sticking. Cut out shapes. Optional: add on faces or other decorations using the cookie dough
  8. Place on parchment paper (not directly on cookie sheet, as it's very sticky).
  9. Bake for 9-10 minutes at 350F.
  10. Move to cooling rack immediately.
  11. Store in air tight container.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Crockpot Cheesecake

Trying a smaller size cheesecake (not as deep) to curb the amount I eat. Normal is 3 pkgs/3 eggs/3/4 c sugar. This is cut to 2/3 so can be made in a regular 8" cake pan without spilling over (instead of a high springform pan). It's also cooked in a crockpot. Original directions had the pan in the water, but I've made it sit above the water. Not sure if it makes a difference - may have to try this a few times to find out. Had a slice about an hour or two after chilling and was still very soft. Was much firmer the next day. Steaming method definitely leaves no cracks! Think I'd prefer a pumpkin cheesecake cooked in this method. Will try a flavored variation next time. *** for taste, **** for fun of using slow cooker
  • 2 pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c sugar (I actually ran out and so had less than this)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 c graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 c butter, melted
  • cinnamon
  1. Cream the sugar and cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add in eggs, one at a time.
  3. Stir in vanilla.
  4. Mix the crumbs, butter and cinnamon. Press into greased 8" cake pan, going halfway up the sides.
  5. Pour cream cheese mixture in.
  6. Pour 2-3 cups water in crockpot. Set cake pan on stand in water. Cook on high for 2.5 hours or until set.
  7. Let cool for an hour and refrigerate.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Grain-free pancake/Giant Toddler Cookie

Made these for snack for XB and me. Froze the remaining for a quick 30 second reheat when needed. MM was disappointed for lack of sugary cookie taste, but it was fine as a snack. They curb the snacky feel without tasting so good that you want to eat half a dozen. Found while searching for gestational diabetes recipes.

  • 1/2 c almond butter (all natural)
  • 1/2 c applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 t soda
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Pour 1/4 c into 7 pancakes (on 2 sheets).
  4. Bake 350F for 12-15 minutes.
  5. Move to cooling rack. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Grain-free Granola

Looking to reduce carbs for breakfast, thinking about having this for breakfast with yogurt, instead of the normal cereal or bagels (or french toast or pancakes or waffles...). 
  • 1 c hazelnuts
  • 1 c pecans
  • 1 c raw almonds
  • 1 c cashews
  • 1/4 c solid coconut oil (reduced from 1/3 c)
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1/3 t salt
  • 1 T cocoa powder
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 c shredded coconut
  • 1/4 c roasted pumpkin seeds
  1. Pulse nuts in blender until crumbly.
  2. In a small pan, melt the coconut oil over low heat with the syrup, salt, cocoa, vanilla and cinnamon.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in coconut and pumpkin seeds.
  4. Thoroughly mix pulsed nuts in.
  5. Spread on parchment sheet and bake for 15-25 min at 325F.
  6. Let cool in oven.
Original says 300F but that takes too long. 350F is a little too high and ends up with some nuts slightly burnt.
Nov 2015: I've made this more than a dozen times this year. It's a staple on top of a breakfast bowl (of cereal or oatmeal). Once I used pistachios instead of hazelnuts - it ended up chewier but still delicious. One batch lasts about a week.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Mini Meatloaves

Put together the mixture, topped with sauce and baked. While it was baking, prepped and boiled 2 yukon gold potatoes for mashed potatoes. While meatloaf was cooling cooked some peas. XB had 2 mini loaves and actually attempted the mashed potatoes (but still doesn't like them). Reduced sauce from original recipe but would still reduce more. I had more than half a kilo of ground beef so made 12 muffins and one in a ramekin. Also didn't have cheddar so used 1/2 c mozzarella and 2 slices swiss. *** for now, but with adjustments next time (reducing sugar and sauce), could be upped, given ease of preparation.
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 1/2 c quick oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t salt
  • 3/4 c grated cheese (cheddar or mozzarella+swiss)
  • ~1 lb ground beef
  • 1/3 c ketchup (reduced from 1/2 c, original = 3/4 c)
  • 1 T brown sugar (reduced from 1/8 c)
  • 2 T mustard (I used dijon, increased from 1 t)
  1. Combine milk and oats in bowl. Let soak for 5 minutes.
  2. Add egg, cheese and salt.
  3. Stir in beef.
  4. Lightly grease 12 cup muffin tin.
  5. Spoon beef into muffin cups.
  6. Prepare sauce: combine ketchup, sugar and mustard.
  7. Spread sauce on top of mini loaves.
  8. Bake for 30 min at 350F.
April 2015 - made this again but ran out of ketchup - had about 1/8 c. Added lots of mustard but still couldn't detect a kick. Could use more mustard and less sugar next time. Also ran out of quick oats and used about 2 T of flaked oats. Used frozen mozzrella as well.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cinnamon Almond Coconut Biscotti

They took the vending machine away at work, so I've been spending $2.50 per biscotti at the Second cup in the adjacent building. A waste of time walking there and a waste of money. So I made these this weekend in the hopes of curbing the expenses. The coconut flour gives it an extra crunch, as if it was huge granules of sugar. I used almost 1 c of sugar and find them too sweet - so have adjusted the recipe below to reduce the amount. 

  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 3/4 c sugar (reduced from 1 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 t vanilla
  • 3/4 t almond extract
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 c almond meal + coconut flour
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 3/4 t powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 c chopped almonds, toasted
  • optional topping: 5 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  2. Beat in eggs and extracts.
  3. Mix flours, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Mix in with wet ingredients.
  4. Stir in almonds.
  5. Cut dough into half. Shape each into 12" log. Lay on cookie sheet, and flatten to ~1/2".
  6. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes (or until edges are brown and center is firm).
  7. Cool (about 10-15 minutes).
  8. Slice 1/2"-1" diagonally, placing cut side down on baking sheet.
  9. Bake for another 5-7 minutes on one side. Flip and bake another 5-15 minutes. For extra crisp, turn off heat and let sit in oven until cooled. Otherwise cool on the counter.
  10. Once completely cooled, put chocolate chips in a bowl. Microwave on 50% power for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each go. Once melted, spread or drizzle on each biscotti.
  11. Let cool until chocolate firms. Store in air tight container.
  12. Dip in hot cocoa or cold milk to enjoy.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Coconut Custard Pie

I used to make this when I was a kid. It's incredibly fast to throw together. Pie comes out thin. It has a crust and top layer that forms while it bakes.
  • 2 c milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 c shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 c sugar (reduced from 3/4)
  • 1/4 c butter (very soft)
  1. Dump everything in a blender. Blend for 20 seconds.
  2. Pour into well greased 9" pie plate.
  3. Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Olive Pesto

aka tapenade or olive spread. All ingredients and ratios to taste. I used the new immersion blender to make a batch.
  • 1 c pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • freshly grated parmesan
  1. Combine all ingredients and pulse with (immersion) blender until smooth. 
  2. Serve on crackers with tomato and sliced avocado, or on spaghetti, or on toast.


  • basil leaves - fresh or dried
  • pepper
  • toasted pine nuts/cashews


5/8/15 Made with 2 t minced garlic, grated parmesan, and cashews. Used in empanadas.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Raspberry Lemon Dutch Baby

Based on the original recipe here. Reduced sugar in the sauce since I don't like things too sweet. Used leftover sauce with plain yogurt.

  • 2 T unsalted butter
Batter ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 c flour
  • 2/3 c milk
  • 1/2 lemon zest
  • 1/2 t vanilla

Raspberry Topping

  • 1 c frozen raspberries
  • 1 t lemon juice (reduced from 2 t)
  • 1/2 lemon zest
  • 2 T sugar (reduced from 3-4 T)
  1. Place a 10-12 inch cast iron skillet in the oven and heat to 425F.
  2. With an immersion blender (or whatever you have), mix the batter ingredients until smooth and just combined, but not foamy.
  3. Take the cast iron pan out of the oven and add the butter. Once melted, add the batter and put back in the oven.
  4. Bake for 20 min, until the Dutch Baby is puffed and golden.
  5. Wile the Dutch Baby is baking, make the raspberry topping. In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients and heat over medium heat, crushing the berries as desired. Cook until it begins to bubble and softened.
  6. Serve the Dutch Baby with the sauce and dollops of plain yogurt.