Buttermilk Pound Cake

This pound cake is so easy and delicious. It is so sweet and buttery. Serve it with whipped cream and strawberries for a summer dessert! Also, perfect with a morning coffee. It’s great for when you need to use up leftover buttermilk. I got the recipe from Taste of Home HERE.

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 2
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 20. min prep
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 8 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Stand mixer or mixing bowl & hand beaters
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Toothpicks
  • 10-in fluted tube pan.

The Recipe

Time: 20 min. prep + 70 min. cook time = 1.5 hours

Servings: 20

Calories/serving: ~ 285

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Confectioners’ sugar, optional

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and baking soda; add alternately with buttermilk and beat well.
  2. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 325F until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 70 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired.

Warm Mushroom Salad

This salad is one of our all-time faves! Sautéed mushrooms in butter and garlic with aged cheddar over a bed of greens, it’s simply divine. I got this recipe from LCBO Food & Drink, it’s supposed to be a winter time recipe but we enjoy it all year long! It’s great with a barbecued steak and some red wine 🙂

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 6
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Involvement
    • 25. min prep
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 14 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy – Moderate

Equipment Required:

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Sauté pan
  • Whisk
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups/spoons

The Recipe

Time: ~25 min.

Servings: 2

Calories/serving: ~ 300

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and lightly crushed (I use minced)
  • 3 cups (750 mL) mixed mushrooms, thinly sliced (preferably an equal mix of cremini, oyster and shiitake)
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) fresh thyme, finely chopped (or 1/4 – 1/2 tsp dried)
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) soy sauce
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) dry white wine (I tend to use sauvignon blanc or chardonnay)
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) white wine vinegar (sherry or red wine vinegar will also do)
  • 1½ tbsp (22 mL) olive oil
  • 4 cups (1 L) winter greens, torn into bite-size pieces (arugula, escarole, romaine, red leaf lettuce or others)
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) aged white cheddar, finely crumbled (I use Balderson)
  • 1½ tbsp (22 mL) walnuts, coarsely chopped (sometimes we just leave these out if we don’t have any on hand)

Directions:

1. In a large sauté pan heat butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic clove and cook for 1 minute.

2. Add mushrooms, thyme and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 5 minutes until mushrooms begin to soften and release their water.

3. Add soya sauce and white wine and continue sautéing for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms become golden. Discard garlic clove. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. In a medium bowl whisk together mustard, vinegar, olive oil and a pinch of salt.

5. Add greens and toss with vinaigrette, taste a leaf and adjust seasoning. If needed add another drizzle of oil or vinegar.

6. Divide greens on 2 plates, top each with warm mushrooms and sprinkle with cheddar and walnuts.


Mint Chip Ice Cream Cake

This is the easiest ice cream cake to whip together. And it doesn’t even have to be made with mint chip ice cream, it could be made with Rocky Road, Cotton Candy, Moose Tracks, you name it! I got the recipe from my Half Baked Harvest Cookbook which you can purchase here. This is great for summer and as I said you can try it out with any flavour!

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 6
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Involvement
    • 15. min prep
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 6 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Springform pan
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Saucepan
  • Knife

The Recipe

Time: ~15 min. prep + ~ 4 – 6 hours softening, freezing & cooling

Servings: 12 – 16

Calories/serving: ~ 344 – 459

Ingredients:

  • Non-stick cooking spray or butter, for greasing
  • 2 litres mint chocolate chip ice cream or ice cream of choice
  • 1 (9-ounce or ~ 2.5 cups) box chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or other oil of choice)

Directions:

  1. Grease an 8- or 9-inch round springform pan with cooking spray or butter.
  2. Remove the ice cream from the freezer and let it sit on the counter for 10 – 12 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the chocolate wafer crumbs and melted butter. Dump the mixture out into the prepared pan and press the crumbs into the bottom to make a smooth, even crust.
  4. Spread the ice cream on top of the crust and smooth into an even layer. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly against the cake to help prevent ice from forming. Freeze for 4 – 6 hours, or preferably overnight.
  5. About 20 minutes before you plan to serve the cake, in a medium saucepan, combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove from the heat and continue stirring until completely melted and smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes before using.
  6. Remove the cake from the freezer and pour the melted chocolate over the top, allowing some of it to drip over the sides. Once the chocolate hardens into a shell, you can slice and serve the cake, or return it to the freezer until ready to serve. Just be sure to take the cake out of the freezer 10 minutes before cutting. This makes cutting so much easier!

Grilled Mediterranean Turkey Pizza

Let me tell you…grilling pizza is next level! I absolutely love it! This pizza was bursting with flavour! The grilled smokiness on the crust gives it a unique flavour. The trick is that you cook the dough on one side first on the grill & then remove it, flip it, brush the grilled side with sauce and toppings, and return the pizza to the grill for final cooking. I will definitely be grilling most of my homemade pizzas this summer that’s for sure! I highly recommend you give this a try! Happy Grilling 🙂

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 4
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 25. min prep (will be more time if you have to cook turkey or chicken)
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 12 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Pizza stone/cookie sheet
  • Rolling pin
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • Cheese grater
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Measuring spoons/cups

The Recipe

Time: ~25 min prep + 10-15 min. cook time = 40 min.

Servings: 8 slices

Calories/slice: ~ 325

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 – 1 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 Roma tomato diced
  • 1 cup shredded cooked turkey
  • Pizza dough (homemade or bought)
  • Flour

Directions:

  1. Mix the olive oil, mince garlic, basil & oregano to create the sauce. Prep the rest of the toppings.
  2. Roll & stretch the pizza dough. Place it on a well floured pizza stone.
  3. Grease the grill plates with olive oil and turn on to high heat. Once heated slide the dough off the stone onto the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes or until it begins to brown. The top of the pizza dough will start bubbling with air pockets. Remove grilled dough and flip over on cookie sheet/pizza stone.
  4. Top grilled side of dough with sauce and toppings. Slide back onto the grill and cook for 10 min. longer or until bottom begins to char and cheese is bubbly. Pull off the grate onto a cutting board. Slice and serve!

Rhubarb Muffins

This muffin recipe is so easy! The muffins are so light and refreshing! Great for when you need to use up that rhubarb in your garden 😉

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 2
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 20. min prep
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 10 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Muffin cups (optional)
  • Muffin tin
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon

The Recipe

Time: 20 min. prep + 20 min. bake = 40 min.

Servings: 12 muffins

Calories/muffin: ~ 143

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb (diced into tiny pieces)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tsp almond flavouring

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients and fold in rhubarb last.
  2. Put batter in muffin cups & bake for 20 min. at 350F.

Greek Charcuterie

I had a Mediterranean themed dinner the other weekend and I decided to throw together a Greek Charcuterie board. It was a huge hit! Brush some pita bread with olive oil and sprinkle on salt and oregano and warm it in the oven, cut some feta & drizzle with honey….sooo good. It’s perfect for a mid-day lunch or appetizer for a group.

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 2
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 20 min.
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 9 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Charcuterie board
  • Small dishes
  • Spoons
  • Baking sheet

The Recipe

Time: ~20 min.

Servings: 4 – 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 rounds of pita bread
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Oregano to taste
  • Chorizo sausage
  • Block of Feta
  • Honey
  • Tzatziki (store bought or homemade)
  • Olives (of your choosing, I don’t like Kalamata so I went with green)

Directions:

  1. Cut chorizo & feta into slices. Put tzatziki and olives into dishes. Plate. Drizzle feta with honey.
  2. Heat oven to 350F and put pita rounds on baking sheet and brush with olive and sprinkle with sea salt and oregano. Warm in the oven for 5-10 min. Slice into wedges and add to board.

Greek Lentil Salad

This is a great refreshing salad. Also a great alternative to the pasta version. I got the recipe from Yum & Yummer. You can get the cookbook at Costco or here. Her recipes don’t disappoint!

This salad is great for the summer! I served it with Greek Chicken Kebabs on the grill 🙂

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 2
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 20. min prep
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 18 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Moderate

Equipment Required:

  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Can opener
  • Knife
  • Cutting board

The Recipe

Time: ~20 min. + 2 hours chilling time = 2 hours + 20 min.

Servings: 9 cups

Calories/cup: ~ 209

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups brown lentils cooked (I used chickpeas instead – 2 cans 540 mL each, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups English cucumber peeled, diced
  • 1 cup green pepper, diced
  • 3/4 cup red onion, diced or thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives pitted
  • 1/3 cup parsley fresh, chopped
  • 1/3 cup mint fresh, chopped (I used dill instead)
  • 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

DRESSING:

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp liquid honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over salad and stir gently. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Pesto Chicken Pizza

I recreated this recipe from one of our favourite restaurants in the area – Kettle Drums. They have such good pizza! The pesto sauce is a nice twist from the usual tomato and the goat cheese and grape tomatoes are nice and refreshing! I hope you enjoy this recipe it’s one of our favourites 🙂

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 5
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 25 minutes prep time
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 7 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can find at a grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Rolling pin
  • Pizza pan/round baking sheet
  • Flour
  • Spoon
  • Knife
  • Cheese grater
  • Cutting board

Time: 25 min. prep + 18 min. cook = 43 min. total

Servings: 8 slices

Calories/slice: ~ 305

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb pizza dough
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 cup cooked shredded chicken or turkey
  • Slice red onion (as much as you like)
  • Sliced grape tomatoes (as many as you like)
  • 1/2 jar (~1/2 cup) of basil pesto sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pizza into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to pizza pan or baking sheet.
  3. Spread pesto sauce on top of pizza dough.
  4. Top with mozzarella, goat cheese, chicken, red onion, & grape tomatoes.
  5. Place in the oven and bake until edges begin to brown, about 18 minutes. Remove from oven to cool, slice and enjoy!

Bacon-Cheddar Potato Croquettes

This recipe is great for leftover mashed potatoes. I found it on Taste of Home. You can get the original recipe HERE. You can’t even tell you used leftover mashed potatoes. The croquettes are pretty indulgent with bacon, cheese, butter & Ritz crackers. Then dip them in your favourite sauce. What’s not to love?

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 3
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 30 min. prep time
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 11-12 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Moderate

Equipment Required:

  • Mixing bowls
  • Cheese grater
  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheet

Time: ~ 30 min. prep + chilling (2 hours) + 20 min. bake = ~ 2 hours + 50 min.

Servings: ~5 dozen

Calories/serving: ~ 50/croquette

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cold mashed potatoes (with added milk and butter)
  • 6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 40 Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Barbecue sauce, Dijon-mayonnaise blend or ranch salad dressing

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients. Shape mixture by tablespoonfuls into balls. Roll in cracker crumbs. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Combine butter and paprika; drizzle over croquettes. Bake at 375F until golden brown, 18-20 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce of your choice.

Freeze option: Prepare croquettes as directed, omitting chilling step. Transfer to waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Prepare butter mixture; drizzle over croquettes. Cover and freeze until firm. Transfer to resealable plastic freezer bags; return to freezer. To use, bake croquettes as directed, increasing time to 20-25 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce.


Chocolate Eclairs

I have always been intimidated to make Eclairs but once I gave this recipe a try I realized they aren’t that bad to make at all! The creamy filling and airy pastry just melts in your mouth! They are so good! If you’re looking for a baking project I suggest giving this recipe a try!

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 4
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 1 hour prep time
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 10 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Knife
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Saucepan
  • Electric beater
  • Piping bag
  • Spoon
  • Mixing bowls

Time: ~ 1 hour prep. + 35-40 min. bake time + cooling = ~ 2 hours total

Servings: 9 – 15

Calories/serving: ~ 289 – 483 (depends on if you make smaller or larger eclairs)

I got this recipe from Taste of Home. I have adapated the directions slightly below. But you can find the original HERE.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 larges eggs, room temperature

FILLING:

  • 2 1/2 cups cold whole milk
  • 1 packages (153 g) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FROSTING:

  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons hot water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F In a large saucepan, bring water, butter and salt to a boil. Add flour all at once and stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.
  2. Using a piping bag cut about 1.5 inches off the bottom and fill with the dough. Pipe dough into nine 4×1-1/2-in. strips on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 35-40 minutes or until puffed and golden. Remove to a wire rack. Immediately split eclairs open; slice off and remove tops and set aside. Discard soft dough from inside. Cool eclairs.
  3. In a large bowl, beat milk and pudding mix according to package directions. In another bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar and vanilla; fold into pudding. Fill eclairs (chill any remaining filling for another use).
  4. For frosting, in a microwave, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Stir in sugar and enough hot water to achieve a smooth consistency. Cool slightly. Frost eclairs. Store in refrigerator.