Quick and Easy Pie Crust (made without eggs!)

Every once in a while, when I’m baking dinner, I decide to make something that requires a pie crust… Of course, I don’t always meal plan like I should, so I sometimes end up in a kind of tight spot!

The other night I wanted to make my yummy quiche recipe, which can be made with or without crust, but I was really in the mood for some crust!

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Creamy Mushroom Steak Sauce

With BBQ season just around the corner, (or if you live in Chatham, Ontario – it’s already started this year in mid-February – what the what??!), I thought that I would share one of my favorite BBQ season recipes with you: Creamy Mushroom Steak Sauce! Continue reading

HONEY APPLE ROASTED HAM (a very quick and easy, delicious recipe!)

Usually I remember to make supper — but sometimes I just get so busy that I forget to take out meat to thaw, and I end up in a pinch! This is why I have been trying to come up with more quick and easy recipes, that don’t have to sacrifice flavor!

I’ve really been trying to keep my freezer stocked up with a variety of frozen meats, beef, pork, chicken, and with emergency frozen vegetables as well… corn, peas and carrots, etc.

Lately, every time that I am at the grocery store, I try to remember to grab a couple of hams to throw in there, because; 1. They are usually pre-cooked so they cook up really quickly, and 2. If you are like me, and always forget to take meat out of the freezer so that it can be thawed in time for supper, you can easily defrost it in a bowl of cold water.

So the other night, I realized that I of course, forgot to take something out of the freezer for supper, and instead of having a full-on panic attack, I instead ran out to the deep freeze in the garage and pulled out a ham… Whew — Crisis averted!

And well, that brings us to this new and exciting, super easy and quick ham recipe…

What you’ll need:

  • Honey (about ½ a cup)
  • Apple Juice (1 juice box – yep, I said juice box… I am a busy mom!)
  • Pepper (just a sprinkle for extra flavor)
  • Ham

Step One: Slice the ham up so that it is about ¼” thick, and then put the ham into a casserole baking dish.

Step Two: Pour the box of apple juice over the ham.

Step Three: Pour the honey over the ham, and then sprinkle on the pepper on top.

Step Four: Cover and bake in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.

Step Five: Serve and enjoy!

Psst! Looking for the perfect side dish to go with your ham?! Check out my yummy Double Baked Loaded Potatoes!

 

Baked Adzuki Beans

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Have you ever heard of Adzuki beans before? I hadn’t either until the other day… Or at least I thought I hadn’t!

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It turns out that Adzuki beans are actually the infamous “red bean” that you are always hearing about… Are you familiar with that super yummy red bean ice cream that you can find at most sushi restaurants? Yep… that’s the Adzuki bean! See? You have heard of them before!

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These beans are also associated with some pretty amazing health benefits! They are known to play a key part in contributing to the ability to lose weight, to help with the prevention and management of diabetes, lower blood pressure, help increase energy levels, and they are also supposed to have major body-detoxifying effects!

So how did I come across these beans you may be wondering… Well, truth be told, I had to steal them! Yep, that’s right — straight out of the farmer’s field!

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Well I better explain… My dad is a farmer and part of his business is combining crops for other farmers. This year when I was down visiting he told me about these Adzuki beans that he was going to combine, and how they were a Japanese bean that people eat… I was immediately intrigued and thought that I must get my hands on some of these beans! So we devised the perfect plan!

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Since soy-a-beans are a more commonly grown and harvested type of bean in Ontario, we had to clean the combine out really well so no soy-a-beans would get mixed in with the Adzuki beans. Even though the combine was thoroughly cleaned out, the Adzuki beans could be rejected if even one single soy-a-bean is mixed in with them. As an extra precaution, you are supposed to combine a few Adzuki beans first, and then dump them on the ground to clean out the internal parts of the combine before continuing on to harvest the rest. It was these first beans that get dumped out into the field for waste, that I was able to steal!

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My mom and I filled up a couple of zip lock sandwich bags, and I just couldn’t wait to cook these bad boys up for supper that night!

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After doing a little recipe researching, I decided that I would use these Adzuki beans to make a more traditional Canadian dish – yummy baked beans! And today, I am going to share this yummy delicious recipe with you! And don’t worry, if you are unable to steal some fresh Adzuki beans straight from the field, you can usually purchase them in the international aisle of your local super market!

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Prep Time: 60 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Serves: 6 – 10

What you’ll need:

3 ½ cups of Adzuki Beans

Water (Lots of this!)

1 medium, diced Onion

3 tbsp of butter

¼ tsp of minced Garlic

1 ½ cups of sweetened Apple Sauce

1 cup of Tomato Sauce

¾ of brown or golden Sugar

¼ tsp of Cumin Powder

¼ tsp of Salt

¼ tsp of Black Pepper

1 cup of cooked, diced Bacon (Optional)

Instructions:

Since my beans were fresh from the field, I had to sort through them, (perform my own QA/QC process), and then wash them. If you are purchasing your beans from the store, then you can most likely skip this step!

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The next thing that you’ll have to do is soften your Adzuki beans before baking them. Add them to a big pot of water and bring them to a boil. Once they are at a boil, turn down the heat, and let them simmer for about an hour. These beans will soak up a lot of water, so make sure that you keep checking them and adding more water as needed.

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While you are waiting for them to soften, you can prepare all of your other ingredients.

Sautee your bacon, onions, and garlic in the butter with the salt and pepper.

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Once your beans are all softened, you have two options! You can choose to bake your beans in the oven, or if you have time and love crock pot cooking like I do, you can let them simmer in the crock pot. Since I didn’t have a lot of time that day, I choose to bake mine in the oven.

Either way you choose, you’ll need to set aside ¼ cup of the sugar, and then add all of the other ingredients into your baking dish.

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Gently fold your beans into the other ingredients so that they don’t break or turn to mush.

Once everything is thoroughly mixed, sprinkle the remaining brown sugar on top.

Cover with foil and bake for one hour. Or let simmer in the crock pot for two to three hours.

The very final step is to eat and enjoy!

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4 Ingredient Play-Dough! (Easy & No-Bake!)

4I always say that it’s completely impossible to have a happy baby and a clean house! Trust me, I’m really trying to work on the balance and all, and I know that some moms really do have “it all together”… just not me, yet! Still working on it!

Sometimes my daughter and I role with the motto “Messy hair, and we don’t care!”, and well, we just decide to have fun all day long! So, last week we decided to start out by making play-dough first thing in the morning. Honestly, the making of this play-dough was actually a necessity! You know how sometimes the play-dough gets left out overnight, and it gets all hard and stuff?! [Psst! Do your kids love play-dough?! Check out some of these great play-doe accessories!]

Here are some of the great reasons why I LOVE this play-dough recipe:

  1. If it accidentally gets left out, this play-dough doesn’t harden for at least 24 hours! (Trust me… we just made it last week… and this has already been tested out about 24 trillion times!!)
  2. This play-dough recipe does not require any cream of tar-tar! (Something I always, always want to buy since it has many cleaning and cooking purposes, but I can never remember to simply put it on my list… SO annoying!!)
  3. A lot of the play-dough recipes that I looked up actually require baking… (Ummm no-thanks!)
  4. This recipe makes a LOT of play-dough!
  5. The best part was that I was able to just throw all of the ingredients into a huge mixing bowl, and let my gorgeous two-year old daughter mix it all up all by herself! (Soooooo easy!!!!!)

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of Water
  • 2 Tbsp of Vegetable Oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of Table Salt
  • 4 cups of Flour
  • A big Mixing Bowl

All you need to do is throw all of the ingredients into a big mixing bowl, and mix, mix, mix!

I actually got about five “servings” of play-dough out of this recipe, each about the size of my fist! I just put the servings into zip-lock baggies and threw them into the freezer… So next time the play-dough dries up — I’m completely prepared!

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Also, in case you haven’t noticed yet, I pulled an epic mom fail while making this play-dough!!! I completely always, also forget to buy food-coloring!!! Hence, my “white-ish” play-dough… BUT! I figure that maybe we can turn that into another fun activity of color-mixing and adding color into the play-dough the next time we are looking for something to do! I actually ended up throwing a little bit of green glitter into the mixture, just to spice it up a little bit! 😉

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The Best Crock Pot Chili!

Mmm…. On a cold or rainy day, this chili is my go-to meal! Not only does this chili taste amazing — it’s also kind of a “cheater” chili, meaning that its so easy to make! I used canned beans, canned tomatoes and frozen vegetables — such a time saver! But remember, if you wanted to replace these canned items with fresh ingredients instead, you absolutely can! Oh and just in case you are wondering… the vegetables totally cancel out the bacon! 😉

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What You’ll Need:

1 lb of hamburger

1 package of bacon

1 medium diced onion

1 can of bean medley (mixed beans)

1 can of baked beans (in maple sauce)

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 cup of frozen veggies (peas, carrots, corn, green and Lima beans)

1 cup of diced mushrooms

1 1/4 tsp of cumin or chili powder

1 tsp hot sauce

2 tbsp of ketchup

Step One: In a frying pan, saute hamburger, onions, mushrooms and bacon.

Tip: During this step is where you can throw in any extra seasoning if you like! Sometimes I’ll add oregano, thyme, or even just plain old salt and pepper.

Step Two: After the meat mixture has been prepared and drained, add the mixture plus all of your other ingredients into the crock pot.

Tip: If there are any veggies that you don’t totally love in this recipe, feel free to substitute them with some veggies that you do love!

Step Three: Turn the crock pot onto high and let everything simmer together for three to four hours.

Tip: If you are going to be away all day, turn your crock pot to the low setting rather than high…. this way it can simmer all day long and won’t burn!

Step Four: Serve your chili in a nice big bowl, and enjoy!

Tip: Cheesy garlic bread, or a nice soft bun with butter are the perfect addition to this meal…. oh and maybe a nice big glass of red wine too! 🙂

Savory Southern Stew

3Savory Southern Stew!

I’m so excited that it finally got a little bit cold here in Southern-Ontario! In order to celebrate, I decided to make my favorite stew and I thought…. why not share it with you! It is seriously the easiest stew to make… All you have to do is lightly saute the beef, and then throw everything into the crock pot to simmer for the day!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of chopped or baby carrots
  • 1 cup of diced potatoes
  • 1 cup of mushrooms
  • 1.5 lbs of cubed beef
  • 2 tbsp of butter or margarine
  • 1 can of condensed tomato soup
  • 1/4 tsp each, of  salt, pepper and thyme

Step 1: Lightly saute about 1.5 lbs of cubed beef in a frying pan in butter and pepper.

While sauteing your cubes of beef, this is where you could add in one and a half tablespoons of flour for a thicker stew. I chose to leave the flour out, since I’ve been trying really, really hard to eat super-healthy! If you are looking for a thicker stew, after your meat is sauteed, toss it in the flour until all of the flour has been absorbed… It will later mix in nice with the rest of the contents of your stew, causing it to thicken, but by mixing it in with the meat first, you will prevent the flour from clumping!

Step 2: Add beef, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, onions, spices, and one can of condensed tomato soup into the crock pot.

For this stew, I chose to use some of my favorite vegetables; carrots, potatoes, mushrooms and onions…. but really, you can use whatever kind of vegetables you like, or even whatever you already have on hand! I also used just a few of my favorite spices to keep it nice and simple, but you can also choose to use your favorite spices too!

Step 3: Let simmer for at least 4 to 6 hours.

I like to let my stew simmer all day long to make it extra savory! But since the meat is pre-sauteed, you really only have to make sure that your vegetables are cooked all of the way through before serving. Remember, that the smaller you chop your vegetables, the quicker they will be ready!

Step 4: Serve and enjoy! 🙂

A nice dinner roll or slice of bread with butter (plus maybe, a glass of wine)…. make the perfect accessories for this meal!

Sweet Roasted Squash

 

3Sweet Roasted Squash
Besides tasting absolutely amazing, this dish is also super easy to make!
All you need:
1 Squash (of any type)
1 Tbsp. of Margarine or Butter
3 Tbsp. of Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup of Cream
Slice your squash in half and place face down on a baking sheet. Add a layer of water to cover the baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once your squash is done baking, scrape the squash out of the shell and into a bowl. Mash the squash, cream, butter and 1 Tbsp of Brown Sugar all together. Place the mixture into a baking dish and sprinkle the remaining brown sugar on top. Place back into the oven and broil on high for 4-8 minutes, until you get a bubbly brown-sugar topping, (broiling time may vary, dependent on the oven). Serve and enjoy!

Make The Best Pizza Ever!


Pinterest

 

Want to make the BEST PIZZA ever??! Its really not that hard! Time after time, I make pizza for my guests and they love it…. and they always want to know what is my secret?! 😉

So what is my secret? Well, it’s not only superb — but super-simple too! The answer is…. Even distribution, but of course! All you have to do, is take all of your toppings (including the cheese), and mix them together in a bowl before spreading them on your pizza! Secretly Superb!