Monday, December 5, 2011

New Recipes

I can't believe it's been a month since I've updated! I have been so lazy with taking pictures, so here are the links to a few great recipes that I have made over the past month that I will definitely make again.  I will post the full recipes and pics when I make them again.

Key Lime Pie 
(for the crust I used some gluten-free tea biscuits instead of graham crackers)

Pumpkin Cheesecake 

Pumpkin Pancakes


Taco Seasoning

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Roast Chicken with Caramelized Shallots

This is a really quick and easy weeknight dinner that I make sometimes.  It uses ingredients that I usually have on hand and it's the kind of thing I make when I don't feel like making dinner.  It's really packed with flavour.  Next time I may double the sauce because it really is very good.  I serve it with mashed potatoes and green beans. 

Roast Chicken with  Caramelized Shallots
Serves 4


  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 4 large shallots, peeled and minced
  • 8 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken (I used boneless skinless chicken breasts) 
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Minced fresh parsley
What you do:

Preheat the oven to 425˚ F (220 C).  In a baking dish large enough to hold all the chicken pieces in a single layer, combine the olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce and shallots; whisk to combine.  Toss the chicken in the mixture, coating with shallots.   Season with salt and pepper.  Place the chicken pieces in the pan so they are skin-side up.

Bake for 10 minutes, until the chicken pieces begin to brown on top.  Turn the pieces of chicken over and spoon some of the juices and shallots over the top.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the shallots are caramelized.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle lightly with fresh parsley.

Recipe Source: Annie's Eats

Unbelievable Chocolate Cake

Ok friends, this cake is truly unbelievable.  I'm not a big cake maker, so I was expecting this to be a major let down, but boy was I wrong!  This was possibly the best cake I have ever eaten!  You might as well just cut a piece off and glue it straight onto my thighs because I have been eating all the leftovers.  The frosting does take some time because you have to let it completely cool before mixing in the butter, but it was worth it!

Here's my 2-year-old enjoying some for his 2nd birthday party this weekend:

Unbelievable Chocolate Cake

*Makes two 8-inch or 9-inch cake layers or bake in 9 x 13 inch pan
  • 1 ¼ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 ¼ cups warm water
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
What you do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180 C), making sure the baking rack is in the middle of the oven. Prepare your cake pans by cutting out a piece of parchment or wax paper to line the bottom of the pan. Grease the pans, place the parchment or wax paper in the bottom of the pan and lightly grease again. Dust the pans with flour (or cocoa powder if you don’t want the white dusting on the finished cakes). Set the pans aside.

Using a fine mesh strainer, sift together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add the eggs, yolk, warm water, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Mix on low speed (with a handheld mixer or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer) until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake the cakes for about 32-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Do not overbake! Remove the pans from the oven and set the pans on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Gently run a thin knife around the edges of the pans and unmold the cakes, removing the parchment paper liners from the bottom of the cakes. Let them cool completely, top sides ups, on a wire rack.

Trim the tops of the cake layers with a long serrated knife to make them level. Frost as desired (I highly recommend this life-changing frosting).

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pot Roast

I have been searching for a great pot roast recipe for ages and now I have finally found one!  The Pioneer Woman has come through for me again.  This is really great, no frills pot roast.  The best I've tried and I will definitely be making this again.  Serve with mashed potatoes.

Pot Roast
Serves 4


  • 1 whole (4 To 5 Pounds/ 2 kg) Chuck Roast
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 whole Onions
  • 6 whole Carrots (Up To 8 Carrots)
  • Salt To Taste
  • Pepper To Taste
  • 1 cup Red Wine (optional, You Can Use Beef Broth Instead)
  • 2 cups To 3 Cups Beef Stock
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme, or more to taste
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, or more to taste
  • optional: mushrooms, garlic 

What you do:

Generously salt and pepper your chuck roast.

Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or you can do a butter/olive oil split).

Cut two onions in quarters and cut 6 to 8 carrots into 2-inch slices (you can peel them, but you don’t have to). When the oil in the pot is very hot (but not smoking), add in the onions, browning them on one side and then the other. Remove the onions to a plate.

Throw the carrots into the same very hot pan and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so.

If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the very hot pan. Place the meat in the pan and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.

With the burner still on high, use either red wine or beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a whisk to get all of that wonderful flavor up.

When the bottom of the pan is sufficiently deglazed, place the roast back into the pan and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway (about 2 to 3 cups). Add in the onion and the carrots (and mushrooms and garlic), as well as 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary and about 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.

Put the lid on, then roast in a 275F (135C) oven for 3 hours (for a 3-pound roast). For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours.

Recipe Source:  The Pioneer Woman

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Yum! This was great! Total take-out fake-out!  The only thing I might do differently next time is perhaps use a touch less sugar. Although, I'm not sure I want to mess with this sauce too much because it really was great.  

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Serves 3-4 

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
Cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg.  Shake off any excess egg. Fry in the oil until brown but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish. Mix sauce ingredients (below) together and pour over chicken.

  • ¾ cup sugar 
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
Bake for one hour at 325 degrees. Turn chicken every 15 minutes so it is evenly coated with the sauce. Serve over rice.

*Mel's Note: if you like extra sauce, double the sauce ingredients – pour half over the chicken and follow the baking directions in the recipe and pour the other half in a small saucepan. Cook the sauce on the stovetop at a simmer for 8-10 minutes until it reduces and thickens. Serve it on the side of the chicken. 

Recipe Source:  Mel's Kitchen Cafe 

Peanut Butter Cookies (gluten-free)

My husband has celiac and has to eat gluten-free (can't have wheat, barley, oats, or rye), but the problem is that I really like things made with regular flour.  I don't really like gluten-free flour and honestly, I just don't want to eat gluten-free flour.  I don't want my hubby to miss out on yummy treats though, so it's great when recipes like this come along that just happen to be gluten free.  The recipe for these cookies comes from my neighbour and they are actually quite tasty!

Peanut Butter Cookies
yields about 18 cookies 

  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
What you do: 

Mix together, spoon onto a tray, and bake for about 10 minutes (oven about 180 C/375 F).  Don't over cook, they easily burn!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


This is just your basic recipe for sweet crepes.  I've been using it for so long that I can't remember where I got it from.  I prefer using nutella and banana as a filling, but you could use whatever you like!  Cinnamon and sugar, whipped cream, fruit, anything really! 


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup milk

Whisk all the ingredients together well.  Batter should be quite thin with no lumps.  Heat a small amount of butter in a non-stick crepe pan or frying pan and pour about 2 Tablespoons of batter into the pan and quickly swirl the pan around to produce a very thin crepe. Cook until the top loses its wet appearance. Sometimes I even flip it over for a few seconds.