breakfast, Desserts, recipes

Strawberry Cheesecake French Toast

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I made this for my family on Valentine’s day and it was a huge hit! It’s a nice spin on the classic french toast dish. The flavours are more complex and the strawberries make it fresh tasting.  You could make this in the morning for breakfast or as a dessert.

*Yields 2 french toast sandwiches 

Ingredients:
Filling:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup strawberries, cut in half
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

French Toast:

  • 4 slices bread
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted

Directions:

1.In a medium bowl, mix all of the filling ingredients together (cream cheese, powdered sugar, strawberries and vanilla extract).

 

 

2. Spread two spoonfuls on two pieces of bread. The picture shows the standard amount to use, but I add a little extra because I like the cream cheese mixture to almost be oozing out of the french toast sandwich.

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3. press the other two slices on top and apply a bit of pressure when making the sandwich so it all sticks together.

4. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, and cinnamon together.

 

 

5. Place the butter in a skillet on medium heat, and while that is melting, dip both sides of one of your sandwiches in the egg mixture. Then, place in the skillet.

 

 

6. Cook until golden brown on both sides

 

 

I like to sprinkle extra powdered sugar on the finished french toast sandwiches, and serve them with additional strawberries on top. Maybe add a little maple syrup and you will be in a sweet, sweet heaven.

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Do you think I should try making french toast with some sort of a banana custard filling? I’d love to hear what else you think would be tasty stuffed in a french toast sandwich. I’m thinking maybe something involving caramel or toffee… Let me know in the comments!

 

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appetizer, recipes, Snacks

Sweet Potato Veggie Tots

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Since I can remember, I have been in love with tater tots. Whether I am watching a movie or at a restaurant with friends, I seem to have a craving for these bite size bits of heaven. The appeal comes from the crunchy outer skin and soft, yummy interior that the tots offer.

I wanted to be able to indulge in one of my favourite snacks, but also maintain a healthy lifestyle. SO, I have re-vamped the traditional tater tot that everyone adores and created a sweet potato, all veggie version.

I originally saw a similar recipe on Tasty for a broccoli and cheddar tot, but if I can incorporate sweet potatoes in a recipe, I WILL. The health benefits and nutrition within each one is astounding.

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and grated with a course cheese grater
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs (I use panko bread crumbs)
  • 1/3 cup parsley, minced
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, minced (fresh is better, but dry rosemary will do the trick as well)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 egg

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2. In a large bowl, mix the grated sweet potato with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Let sit for 10 minutes so the salt can draw out some of the moisture from the sweet potato.

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3. Pour the sweet potato into a kitchen towel and twist to strain as much liquid as you can.

4. Placing the sweet potato back in the bowl, now add the breadcrumbs, parsley, rosemary, garlic, onion powder, remaining salt, pepper and egg.

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5. Mix all these ingredients together and then roll the mixture into little cylinders, about 2 inches long. Don’t be afraid to get messy! You can also make them round if you would like. The recipe should make about 15 tots.

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6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping half way. Serve with your choice of dipping sauce! I love chipotle mayo, dill mayo, garlic aioli or siracha! mm mm mmmm.

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Whether you’re entertaining or on-the-go, these are the perfect snacks  for any occasion and quick to make.

What else do you think would be great in tot form? Maybe a butternut squash version or a garlic and chives mashed potato tot? Tell me what you think in the comments and happy snacking!

 

 

breakfast, recipes

Hash Brown Nests Stuffed with Ham and Cheese

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I made a bunch of these with my sister for a family brunch the other day and we had so much fun making them. This recipe puts a creative spin on your traditional, ordinary breakfast and is sure to make everyone’s belly very happy.

The potato nests are tender but crispy and stuffed with ham, aged white cheddar and  topped with an over easy egg.

I originally started making these years ago by trying out a similar recipe by Ree Drummond, a Food Network chef. Her recipe is even more simple than mine, but the tradeoff is that the flavours are not as bold.

Here’s what you will need:

  • cooking spray
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cups hash browns, thawed
  • 2 ham slices, cut into cubes (ask deli at grocery store to cut 1/4 inch thick)
  • 3 tbsp shredded aged white cheddar
  • 6 eggs

*this recipe yields 6 servings

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Place hash browns on a plate and season with salt and pepper, tossing them to evenly coat.

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2. Scoop about 2 tbsp of the hash browns into each muffin tin, pressing down and making sure the bottom and sides are evenly lined. Make sure the hash browns are all the way up the sides of the muffin tray because the nests shrink in the oven. Then, bake for 15-20 minutes

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3.  Switch oven to 350 degrees F. Add some ham and cheese and then top with a cracked egg. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes until the eggs whites are firm but yolk is still soft.

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4. Once they cool a bit, scoop the nests out with a knife and you’re ready to eat perfect mini breakfast muffins.

You can put your own spin on this recipe by adding whatever else you think would be tasty: onions, bacon, sausage chunks, hot sauce, maybe some garlic. Get creative and have fun!

Maybe I can make a recipe that is a cool spin off one of your favourite breakfasts. Let me know in the comments!

 

 

recipes, Snacks

Quick and Delicious Butternut Squash Snack

Butternut squash is packed with nutrients and all the good stuff for your body, but also tastes delicious when cooked. That’s why I want to show you this quick way of roasting the veggie so you can enjoy it as a snack or side with a meal.

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Whenever, I am watching a show or studying for a test, I will just pop these in the oven and voila, tasty treat  to curb my cravings for chocolate and other things my body will not thank me for.

Here is what you will need:
(did I mention it’s cost efficient)

  • Butternut squash
  • 2- 3 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Set your oven to 400 degrees F. Cut your butternut squash into 1 inch cubes. I buy pre-cut butternut squash, but if you are brave enough to take on a whole squash, I commend you.
  2. Place squash on baking tray and toss in the oil, garlic, salt and pepper.19970489_10156035963952565_356877146_n.jpg
  3. Roast in oven until tender and lightly browned, 25-30 minutes.

I’d love to hear what you think of the recipe and what your favourite vegetable to roast is in the comments!

 

recipes, Soups

Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

If you didn’t know yet, I LOVE soup. Even better is soup that can be cooked from a slow cooker. C’mmon, who always has time for the effort it takes to make a meal?

I was feeling a little under the weather this past week so my mother sent me this chicken noodle soup recipe. Moms always know best so I gave it a go and fell in love. I actually think it tastes better after it has been refrigerated and sits overnight. The flavours emerge even more the next day.

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This recipe does have several ingredients, but it is so simple to make.

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups noodles (your choice)
  • parsley

Directions:

  1. In a 6-quart crockpot, place the whole chicken breasts on the bottom.Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 4.52.05 PM.png
  2. Top with carrots, celery, onion, garlic, olive oil, thyme and bay leaf.Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 4.53.49 PM.png
  3. Next, add chicken broth, water and season with salt and pepper to taste Cook and cover on low heat for 6-7 hours.20187682_10156035963432565_1306947052_n.jpg
  4. Remove chicken breasts and cut up into small pieces. Add the noodles and parsley. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 4.43.13 PM.png

Tell me what you think in the comments! Have any other soups that are great for when you aren’t feeling too well?

Desserts, recipes

Lovable Lemon Loaf

This is my favourite lemon loaf recipe from the Better Homes and Garden cookbook. The loaf is light and fluffy, with the perfect combination of sweet and tartiness. It is the perfect little snack or dessert. I love anything lemon and the top of this loaf is so moist and flavourful because of the lemon sugar that gets drizzled over it. I can guarantee you will not be able to stop at one piece.

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Note: The end pieces have a lot of lemon sugar absorbed in them because the sweet liquid collects in the corners of the pan where it drains down (my family fights over who gets those pieces).

What you will need:

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel (I used 3 tsp)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (I used 1 1/2 tbsp)

Glaze:

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a bread loaf pan (8x4x2). In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

2. In another medium bowl, combine the egg, milk, oil, lemon peel and lemon juice. Add the egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. The batter will be lumpy.

3. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

4. For the final step, mix the lemon and sugar until dissolved and brush over the loaf as soon as it comes out of the oven.

Mmmm, mmmm, moist, lemon-y goodness.

What’s your favourite lemon-y treat? Lemon Tarts, squares, lemon meringue pie, or loaf?

Meals, recipes

Best Sloppy Joes Around

This is a classic dish that everyone loves, even kids (so moms can actually get their children to eat something healthy). This flavourful meat sauce can easily be doubled. I sometimes make a big batch and then freeze smaller portions that I can bring with me throughout the work week. It saves time and money!

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This recipe takes about 30 minutes and you can eat it for lunch or dinner.

Here is what you will need:

  • Olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced small
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced small
  • 2 tsp minces garlic
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 5 hamburger buns

Directions:

1. You will need to add the oil to a large skillet and sauté your onion, celery stalk, and bell pepper. I like to add some salt and pepper for flavour. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute. Add the beef, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, and cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar, tomato sauce and stock and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. Simmering allows the flavours to be released and really shine. I also like to add Frank’s Red Hot Sauce or Siracha to my dish. It gives it a nice kick.

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4. I like to toast the buns, so you can either throw them in the toaster or throw them on the grill for  few minutes until they crisp up.

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Once this is all done, you can generously spoon the beef mixture onto the hamburger buns.

Don’t be afraid to let your fingers get messy, you can just lick off the deliciousness.

Enjoy this super scrumptious sloppy sandwich and tell me what you think in the comments.