Weekend 5 – Oct 25/13

Apple Cinnamon Pancake Mix Gift in a Jar with recipe and free printable labels-0021. Apple Cinnamon Pancake Mix: I love jar gifts. And pancakes. This looks like a lovely addition to my collection.




pumpkincookies2. Pumpkin Cookies: These sophisticated beauties will be mine. All mine!! 😀




KrispieSMores3. Rice Krispy S’mores: A little something-something for the kid inside us all. I don’t normally like s’mores, but I have all of the ingredients in my panty, and I’d love to clear them out, so this batch will be for the in-laws.



Onion-and-tomato-salsa-recipe4. Red Onion & Tomato Salsa: I’m always on the look out for new salsas to make at home. I’m never satisfied. I can’t get enough!




ChaiMix5. Chai Mix: In a jar? Can it be possible to scoop some of this out into a pan of hot water and milk and it tastes like authentic chai? Or will it be as tacky tasting as that tea bagged crap I bought a few weeks back that makes me gag? Hmm… I’ll find out soon enough.



What are all of you making this weekend? Let me know in the comments. Off to work now, so toodles!

Cabbage Meatball Stew

Presenting, my variation on the Foodland Ontario’s original cabbage meatball recipe that came out about four years or more ago. It was an instant hit with DH, who isn’t into soups or stews in the least. But, something about the ingredients I mixed together and my straining of the broth before serving intrigued him enough to at least try it. And once he did, he declared it “awesome!” (That’s high praise indeed from a man whose only rating of meals ranges from, “it’s ok,” to “it doesn’t suck.”) As you can tell, I have a harsh food critic at my table every night. Heh.

3 C Broth (of your choice – I use chicken because I use turkey meatballs more often than not)
1 Bay leaf
2 C Onions, sliced
1 C Whole potatoes, undrained (I use a large can of diced tomatoes instead of potatoes – personal pref)
1 Tsp Dried thyme and dried oregano
1 Pinch Sugar
1 Pound meatball of your choosing, frozen or homemade (I have used frozen chicken, turkey and Angus beef)
1/2 C Dry pasta, uncooked (I tend to use penne, macaroni, bowtie, or any other small pasta I have on hand)
6 C Savoy or green cabbage, finey chopped [1 medium head] (I used half a bag of packaged coleslaw mix)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Boil enough water make your 3 C of broth in a large stock pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Toss in the bay leaf and onions and simmer in pot for five to ten minutes.
3. Add the whole can of diced tomatoes to the pot (liquid included), thyme, oregano, sugar and meatballs to the pot. Cook on medium heat for ten minutes, stirring occasionally, till everything starts to blend into each other.
4. Add the dry pasta and a few good handfuls of the packaged bag cabbage mixture to the pot, cover and lower heat to med-low to simmer for final 15 minutes.
5. Serve hot in bowls with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese over top if desired.

Fall Drinks – Chai


{ Image courtesy of Google Images }

It’s getting chillier here these days. Especially after the sun drops. It’s still fine to walk around without a coat on for the most part, but some nights you just can’t tell and often I end up wishing I had brought my Spring jacket along just in case.

On those nights, I long for a lovely cup of hot chai, but I can’t seem to find a decent commercially packaged version, so I’ve taken to making my own when I’m at home. That doesn’t help me when I’m at work, but luckily I have discovered Tim Horton’s has a fantastic new Pumpkin Spice tea out as of the middle of September. If you can get your hands on it, it’s worth the $1.25 you’ll spend.

Back to my home chai making efforts. I’ve been playing around with the ingredients to find a balance between authentic taste and what I have onhand. I’m not about to buy a whole bunch of ingredients if I don’t have to just because I can’t find stuff I know I have in the pantry but got misplaced and I haven’t located it yet. Also, conventional stores really jack up the prices of Indian spices around this time of the year, so I looked around and discovered alternatives that I think work just as well based on what I found in my kitchen. 

Check out what I have come up with, and if you have the same ingredients at home, try it for yourself and let me know what you think (please and thank you).

Auntie Stacey’s Chai:
3-4 Earl Grey tea bags (strings and tags removed, of course)
2 1/2 C cold water
1/4 Tsp Star of Anise extract (less is more with this extract)
1/2 – 1 Tsp Cardamom spice (I get mine at the local Indian store; it’s the best price there)
1 Cinnamon stick (or 1/4 Tsp ground cinnamon powder, not cinnamon sugar)
2 C Milk
2 Tsp Powder Sugar (it dissolves faster and smoother than white sugar)

1. Heat up the cold water in a sauce pot while you assemble your spices.
2. Drop the tea bags and spices into the pot, and bring them to a boil. Let that roll for about 5 mins to ensure the tea steeps well. This is meant to be a black tea based drink after all.
3. Turn off the stove, and remove the cinnamon stick and tea bags. Drop the sugar and milk in and stir well till it all comes together. Let the chai rest for a few minutes off the burner. The chai will be very hot at this point, but if you like your tea steaming hot, there is no need to rest it. Ladle it into mugs and drink immediately.


Weekend 5 – October 4/13

BakedAlaska1. Baked Alaska: This is a cute little dessert from Martha Stewart Living. I love Baked Alaska, but I’m not sure if my husband has ever had it. That seems weird to me, considering he loves ice cream and his mother used to make all kinds of cakes when he was growing up. I may have to make this for his upcoming birthday.


chicken-stock2: Homemade 5-Minute Chicken Stock: Chicken stock in 5 minutes? I’m so there! 🙂 I’m really curious and excited by this whole concept. Can it really be done in five minutes?! How? Who? Why? Wow… Where have I been hiding that I’ve never heard of this? If this works, I’m not only going to be over the moon happy, but it’s going to simplify a great deal of my life and get me away from packaged chicken stock mix which has sulphites in it. Woot!

Crullers3. French Cruller Doughnuts: Or as we call them in this house, tractor wheel doughnuts. 🙂 The husband loves tractor wheel doughnuts. It’s his all-time favourite. I like them, too, but I’m not big on doughnuts across the board. But, that doesn’t mean I’m opposed to making them for the husband’s birthday. Oh, no. These babies are definitely being made!


PepperDressing4. Cracked Pepper Salad Dressing: I need more salad dressing options. I need to expand my somewhat limited repertoire. That’s part of being an adult, right? (How would I know? I’m totally guessing here. ;-)) This seems like it should be quite tasty, too. We tend to eat salad all year in our home, so this will be quite lovely to have in rotation. Can’t wait.

PotatoWaffles5. Mashed Potato Waffles: Oh, Joy The Baker has done it again. She really gets our need for comfort food done up non-traditionally. She really does. I love that girl. And not just because she has curly bangs like me!