Pumpkin Waffles

Filed Under (Breakfast) by Lisa on 29-04-2010

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A few days ago I want a waffle breakfast. Instead of the waffles I usually make, I wanted to try something different. I thought to myself I make pumpkin muffins, so why not make pumpkin waffles? There really was no reason not to so I did.

The recipe I used was for my basic waffles, and I just altered it to suit my pumpkin ones. I used frozen pumpkin, and drained some of the excess liquid from it before I started to make my waffles.

My waffles turned out to be super yummy! They had that great pumpkin flavor that I love, with subtle hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. They were everything I could have hoped for or expected in a pumpkin waffle. I will defiantly be making these again.

Here is the recipe

Pumpkin Waffles

1 ½  cups chopped pumpkin
2 ¾  cups all purpose flour
5 ½ tbsp white sugar
4 ½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
3 large eggs
2 cups skim milk
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp rum extract
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg

Place the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Add the nutmeg and cinnamon and mix well. In a blender add the pumpkin, eggs, oil, rum and vanilla extract, and blend until smooth. Add the pureed mixture to the flour mixture and stir until well combined. Spoon onto on a hot waffle iron, and good each waffle until desired level of golden color on top is reached. Serve immediately.

Banana Nut Muffins

Filed Under (Breakfast, Muffins) by Lisa on 28-04-2010

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A couple of days ago I was up early in the morning (yet again), and I decided to wanted a warm breakfast. I decided to make some muffins. I chose to make banana muffins. I have made many varieties of banana muffins over the years, but I had never tried to duplicate a muffin I use to buy often from Tim Hortens.

The banana nut muffin from Tim Hortens is likely my most purchased item ever from this particular fast food place. Back in my college and university days I spent a lot of time eating and studying at Tim Hortens or getting Tim Hortens to go, and studying elsewhere. Eating a lot of Tim Hortens food is likely one of the many factors that contributed my  weight gain in university that I am now trying to loose.

I set out to make a much more healthy version of the Tim Hortens banana nut muffin. Something I remember about the muffin from this fast food place is that after it sat in the take out muffin paper bag for a short time you could see the grease from the muffin on the bag. I wanted my muffin to not be like that.

I used one of my own muffin recipes, and changed it up a bit. I used coconut, pecans, and walnuts to get the nutteyness I was after. The result was a nutty banana muffin that actually tasted a lot like the Tim Hortens ones I use to enjoy! It was also not even slightly greasy, so it was much more healthy.

Here is my recipe.

Banana Nut Muffins
(makes 12 medium size muffins)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp white vinegar
½ cup skim milk (or slightly more of the dough is too thick)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp rum extract
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup white sugar
3 medium bananas
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup pecan pieces
¼ cup walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl add the flours, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and stir until well combined. Add all the nuts and stir well. In a blender add the bananas, rum, and vanilla extracts, olive oil, vinegar, and skim milk. Blend until smooth. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir until smooth. Spoon into muffin tin(s). Bake for 30-35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a tooth pick comes out clean when poked in a muffin. Enjoy.

Cabbage Rolls

Filed Under (Rolls, Supper) by Lisa on 27-04-2010

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A few days ago I was contemplating what to make for supper. I had been thinking about making cabbage rolls for quite some time, but I told my self many times that they were too time consuming to make. I finally decided to make them a couple days ago. I started preparing them early, and I was pleasantly surprised that they weren’t that much work, nor were that that time consuming to make.

This was my second time making cabbage rolls ever in my whole life. They turned out really well. I was inspired by a recipe I printed for cabbage rolls back in 2008 (the first time I made them) from this website. I served my cabbage rolls with cheesy garlic bread.

Here is my recipe (inspired by foodtv.ca)

Cabbage Rolls

1 vegetable bouillon cube (prepared according to package)
1 can tomato soup
2-3 tbsp vodka
desired amount of water (I used aprox 3 to 4 cups of water for a thin sauce)
olive oil
2 white onions
3 cloves garlic
0.4 kg extra lean ground beef
A few drizzles balsamic vinegar
2-3 cups cooked rice
2 eggs
Black pepper
Garlic powder
1 medium sized head of cabbage

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Chop onions and garlic. In a large frying pan or skillet using medium heat brown the ground beef. Add the onions and garlic to the beef and brown. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Cook for several minutes. Now stir in the precooked rice. Add the 2 eggs and continue to stir the rice mixture until the eggs are cooked and evenly distributed in the rice. Remove from heat. In a large pot cook the head of cabbage. If possible remove as many full leaves of cabbage from the head first  before placing them in the pot to boil for 2-5 minutes (to soften them). Now drain the cabbage and remove remaining leaves from the head. Fill each intact leaf of cabbage with the rice mixture. Roll to seal (they may not be completely sealed but that is okay). Place in a large baking dish. Once all the cabbage rolls are in the baking dish add the tomato soup on top of the cabbage rolls. Now add the water, and the prepared vegetable bouillon cube. Sprinkle the vodka on top. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar evenly all over the cabbage rolls.  Bake in the preheated oven for about an hour. Serve right away with a crust bread.

Sweet Milk Biscuits

Filed Under (Breakfast) by Lisa on 26-04-2010

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A couple days ago I woke up at about 0530. I don’t usually get up that early unless I have to work. However I woke up naturally that early fairly well rested. Since I was up SO early I decided to take advantage of my early waking and whip some a yummy breakfast.

I decided to make my mom’s sweet milk biscuit recipe since these biscuits are one of my favorite light breakfasts. They are very soft, and delicious. They are sweet enough to be considered breakfast, but not sweet enough to be a dessert.  Straight out of the oven these biscuits are simply divine and it’s impossible to have just one:P

Here is the recipe (my mom’s recipe) adapted by me

Mom’s Sweet Milk Biscuits
(makes 9-12 medium to large biscuits)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup ground almonds
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ cup margarine (my mom uses olive oil in her recipe and they turn out fabulous too)
½ cup raisins
1 large egg (beaten)
2/3 cup skim milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl add the flours, sugar, and ground almonds stir to combine. Add the baking powder and salt and stir until well mixed. Crumble in the margarine and mix well. Add the beaten egg, and milk, and mix to form a soft dough ( I knead the dough once mostly mixed since it seems to combine best this way). Form desired amount of biscuits by rolling each one into a ball and flattening the top once on a cookie sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 11-14 minutes until a tooth pick comes out clean when poked. Serve warm or cool.

Shrimp and Salmon Pizzas

Filed Under (Pizza, Supper) by Lisa on 23-04-2010

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A couple days ago I was in the mood for some exotic pizza. Most of the time when I make home made pizza, even when I try to vary the toppings my pizza’s turn out more or less the same, with slight flavor or texture variations. They are extremely delicious though.

I was inspired to make some seafood pizza’s by reading a Panago Pizza Flyer that was advertising their Oceano Pizza’s.

I used my mom’s wonderful pizza crust recipe that is tried and true.  For the sauces, I used light bbq sauce on one pizza, and for the other pizza I used two different sauces. Since I had some left over home made onion dip in the fridge I decided to use that for one half of the pizza, and my usual pesto sauce for the other half of the pizza. Using the dip was a bit of an experiment but it paid off! The pieces of pizza that I had with the dip sauce ended up being my favorite.

For toppings, for the bbq sauce pizza I used: baby spinach, red bell pepper, shrimp (already cooked and tails removed), red onion, smoked salmon, and light mozzarella cheese.

bbq sauce pizza before baking

For my pesto and dip sauce pizza the toppings I used were: artichoke hearts (marinated canned), sun dried tomatoes (also marinated and canned), baby spinach, shrimp, and light mozzarella cheese.

pesto and dip sauce pizza before baking

The pizza’s were a huge hit in my house hold were there is at least one serious sea food lover. I will defiantly be making sea food pizza’s again!

pesto and dip sauce pizza after baking

bbq sauce and salmon shrimp pizza after baking

Cabbage and Carrot Salad

Filed Under (Appetizers, Salads) by Lisa on 16-04-2010

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This afternoon I decided to make another unique salad. I wanted something that I had never had before. I came up with cabbage and carrot salad. To make things interesting I used salsa as my dressing (since my broccoli and salsa salad was such a hit). I added a very small amount of grated cheese and presto I created a magnificent salad. My taste bubs were very pleased.

Here is the recipe.

Cabbage and Carrot Salad
(makes one medium to large serving)

1 large carrot diced
Several white cabbage leaves chopped thinly
3-4 tbsp mild salsa
a small amount low fat grated marble cheese

Combine all ingredients in a salad bowl. Toss and serve immediately.

Broccoli and Salsa Salad

Filed Under (Appetizers, Salads) by Lisa on 15-04-2010

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This afternoon I was in the mood for salad. I decided I wanted to experiment and make something I had never had before. I went with three ingredients that  I love. I combined them and created a unique and yummy salad. I used broccoli, mild salsa, and low fat grated marble cheese to create my marvelous salad.

These three ingredients created tangy flavorful salad that I will defiantly be making again.

Without further ado here is my simple recipe

Broccoli and Salsa Salad
(makes one small to medium sized serving)

½ to ¾ salad sized bowl of broccoli florettes and some of the stem cut up if desired
2 tbsp your favorite salsa
A small amount of grated low fat marble cheese

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss. Enjoy.

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Filed Under (Soups, Supper) by Lisa on 10-04-2010

Yesterday I was having one of those days where I had no idea what to make for dinner. I was browsing some blogs for ideas, and I came across an interesting recipe on Love and Olive Oil’s blog for pumpkin turkey chili. Since we still have quite a bit of pumpkin in the freezer from last fall, I decided I would give their recipe a try. I changed it quite a bit to suit the ingredients that I had on hand. Here is my adapted version of their recipe.

My pumpkin turkey turned out very well. It was warm and zesty but not so spicy that I needed to extinguish my mouth. I served it with some garlic cheese bread. I will defiantly be making this recipe again. Thanks Love and Olive Oil for posting the recipe.

Pumpkin Turkey Chili
Adapted from Love and Olive Oil via  Serious Eats originally posted on Erin’s Food Files
Makes about 6 large servings

Olive oil
2 large onions
1 red bell pepper
4 medium sized potatoes
1 can Italian stewed tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
1-2 lbs lean ground turkey
1 can chili style beans (14.5 oz)
2 cups pumpkin pieces
1 ½ tbsp chili powder
1 ½ tbsp Chinese 4 spices (cumin, cinnamon, cloves, ginger)
½ tsp salt and a few shakes
½ tsp pepper and a few shakes
2-3 tbsp dried cilantro
Garlic powder a few shakes
1 vegetable bullion cube prepared according to package (I used 2 cups of water with it)

In a large pot heat the olive oil (enough to coat the bottom). Add the ground turkey and brown. Meanwhile prepare all the vegetables (mince or dice). Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the browned turkey and cook for a few minutes. Season with a couple shakes of garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Now add the red pepper, and ½ of the cut up potato. Cook for several minutes stirring occasionally. Add the beans, and stewed tomatoes. Prepare the vegetable bullion cube in 2 cups of water. In a blender add the other ½ of the chopped potatoes, the vegetable bullion water and all the pumpkin pieces and puree. Add the pureed mixture to the pot and continue to cook. Add more water if you think the chili is too thick. Season with all spices and herbs to taste. Simmer for 40 minutes  to one hour. Serve warm.

Banana Cobbler

Filed Under (Banana Cobbler) by Lisa on 05-04-2010

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A few days ago I was browsing food blogs looking for a recipe for a new way to make bananas into a fun and exciting dessert. I came across a recipe that looked very appealing on bakeorbreak’s blog for banana bread cobbler.

My mom made Easter dinner this year, so I decided to make the dessert. The banana bread cobbler was the perfect choice for dessert.

I loved the simplicity of this recipe. I did change the recipe slightly to suit my own tastes. I used 1 cup of flour in the topping instead of ½ cup. In the filling I used 1 ½ cups flour instead of 1 cup and reduced the sugar to ½ cup instead of 1 cup. I also only used 3 bananas instead of 4.

My banana cobbler can only be described as heavenly. It was incredible. It was a major household hit, and I will defiantly be making it again. I had my cobbler plain instead of with vanilla frozen yogurt. I’m sure it would have been good with frozen yogurt, but it was such an amazing dessert that I thought the frozen yogurt would actually take away from it’s greatness.

Thanks bakeorbreak for sharing this wonderful recipe from Southern Living.

Savory Ribs

Filed Under (Supper) by Lisa on 03-04-2010

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Yesterday afternoon I was contemplating dinner. I decided I wanted to try something I had not made in years; ribs. I love ribs but the only times I have eaten them in the last few years is when my mom made them, or in restaurants. I decided to give making ribs a go. I asked my mom for the recipe she uses since her ribs always turn out very well. The recipe she uses entitled “Sticky Ribs” comes from Reader’s Digest Low-Calorie Cookbook. She often makes modifications to her recipes but doesn’t write them down, so I was on my own to make my ribs like hers with out really knowing exactly how she changes the recipe.

I followed the Sticky Rib recipe fairly closely mostly just altering the amounts of various ingredients. I also omitted the tomato paste and used organic ketchup instead.  I skipped using orange zest entirely and instead used just orange juice. I also used Dijon mustard instead of French.

The ribs turned out to be divine! They were sweet, and mildly spicy at the same time. They were a major house hold hit, and I will defiantly be making them again.

Here is my adapted recipe from Reader’s Digest Low-Calorie Cookbook.

Makes about 18 small to medium sized ribs

Savory Ribs

About 18 pork ribs excess fat trimmed

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 ½ tbsp olive oil
¾ cup orange juice
2 tbsp organic ketchup
2-3 tbsp brown sugar
2-3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp cayenne (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the ribs (trimmed of fat) into a large pot, and cover with water. Add 2 tbsp of vinegar and bring to a boil. Cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes.

In a medium sized bowl combine the remaining 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, olive oil, orange juice, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and cayenne and stir until well combined.

Drain the ribs (after the 20 minutes is up) and arrange them in a 9X13 baking dish. Pour the sauce over the ribs and coat evenly.  Cover the dish with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn each rib over. Bake for another 20-25 minutes without the foil on top. Serve warm.

I served my ribs with green salad and baked potato.