Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sex In a Pan

I should perhaps feel guilty that my 8 year old son says that this is his favourite dessert. Today I told him that when people are around, he is to call it "Good Food in a Pan". I know. Not very original. But I need him to protect the virgin ears of grown-ups around him.

Here is my recipe (stolen from Auntie Barbie):

a) Mix: 1 cup chopped pecans
3 tbsp white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
- press into 9x12" greased pan
- bake at 350 for 20-25 mins or until golden and let cool

b) Beat: 1 package (8oz) cream cheese
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 tub Cool Whip
- pour over crust once it has cooled

c) Blend: 1 pkg of vanilla instant pudding
1 pkg of chocolate instant pudding
2 cups of milk
- pour over cream cheese/cool whip mixture

d) pour remaining Cool Whip on top and let set in fridge for a few hours overnight.

e) grate chocolate pieces on top of Cool Whip

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Apple Skor Dip

I'm not an original. I think I stole this recipe from a friend, Leah, back home. Thanks Leah!! What do I remember about the night I first met this dip? -I remember all the girls at our sleepover-scrapbooking party (yup! and it was so much fun!), I remember them all fussing about how full they were from our night's fill of grub and I sat with the bowl, scooping out every last drop. It was that good. And the beauty is that you can even pretend it's healthy because you're eating apples!

Here's what you need:

1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 container caramel sauce OR make your own **see below
1 pkg skor bits OR 4-5 Skor bars - crushed
Granny Smith apples, sliced

1. Beat the cream cheese with brown sugar until smooth. Spread thinly onto bottom of 8x8 dish.

2. Heat the caramel slightly (about 15 second in microwave) to make spreadable. Spread on top of cream cheese.

3. Sprinkle the package of Skor bits all over the top. Serve with sliced Granny Smith apples for dipping.


** In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, or in the microwave, melt 16 individual caramels with 1/4 cup water, stirring often.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kelly Potatoes

I have seen this item sitting on many church buffet dinner tables and heard it named many different names. This recipe came from my mom. It's always a HUGE hit, probably because it's so low-fat. *cough*

Here's what you need:

1 (2 lb.) bag frozen hash brown potatoes
2 (8 oz.) cartons sour cream
1/2 c. chopped onions
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
2 c. shredded cheese, cheddar, sharp or other
pepper to taste
2 c. corn flake crumbs
1/4 c. butter, melted


Stir together first 6 ingredients in large bowl.
Spoon mixture into sprayed 9 x 13 casserole dish.
Sprinkle with cornflakes, then drizzle evenly with melted butter.
**I sometimes like to pre-mix the cornflakes and butter and add a handful of grated parmesan cheese**

Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Quiche Bretagne

This is one of my favourites. Hubby and kids don't like quiche and always turn their noses up at it, but even they will have at least a slice, so I consider that an accomplishment.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp flour
2 eggs - beaten
1/4 cup white wine

Stir in:
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 6oz block grated Swiss Cheese
thyme/basil/Salt & Pepper to taste

Pour into unbaked pie shell.
Bake 35-40 minutes @350

Optional Ingredients to Add:
- ham, mushrooms, fried bacon, cooked ham, drained crab meat, 10-12 asparagus, cooked peas, cooked/drained spinach

Tonight I made my own variation using cubed cooked ham, pre-softened celery & onions, and cooked green peas.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Yamashita's Rainbow Jello

 I went to a bridal shower a year ago for our beautiful friend, Erin. At her shower, her family had made Rainbow Jello. How had I lived my life without ever having been introduced to this tasty miracle? I finally got the recipe from her.

Here's what you need:
6 small boxes of Jello (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple)
9 envelopes of Knox unflavoured gelatin
1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk

* Spray 9x13 pan with Pam
* To 1 1/4 cup boiling water, add 1 envelope of Knox Gelatin. Wait one minute, then stir until dissolved.
* Add first flavour of Jello. Stir until dissolved.
* Pour into pan and refrigerate until set.
* Meanwhile, dissolve 3 envelopes of Knox in 2 cups boiling water.
* Combine with Sweetened Condensed Milk. Allow to cool to lukewarm.
* Pour a little more than 1/2 cup milk mixture over Jello and return to fridge to set while preparing 2nd colour.
* Maintain milk mixture at lukewarm so that it does not set or melt Jello.
* Continue alternating milk and jello, finishing with Jello layer.
* When thoroughly chilled, cut into squares, then cut squares into triangles.
* Serve

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Granny's Rice Pudding

Okay. So it's not really a recipe that I took from a grandma, but it's one that feels old fashioned and like something a grandma would make for an evening snack. I grew up thinking that rice pudding was gross- the idea of something smooth and creamy with rice bits in it didn't appeal to me. I made it one day for my visiting grandmother, coincidentally enough and it soon became a family favourite. It's one of mine because it is so simple and uses ingredients I almost always have on hand. Creamy and sweet, warm and cinnamon-y. Sooo good.

1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 cup water
2 large eggs or 4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup raisins
2 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
Ground cinnamon or nutmeg to sprinkle on top

* Heat rice and water to boiling, stir once and reduce heat to low. Cover.
* Simmer 14 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
* Beat eggs with whisk in an ungreased 1 1/2 qt. casserole.
* Stir in sugar, raisins, milk, hot rice, vanilla and salt.
* Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg.
* Bake 45 minutes at 325 degrees.
* Stir every 20 minutes. After 45 minutes top of pudding will not be set and will look wet.
* Remove from oven and stir again.
* Let stand to make pudding creamy.

* Do not overbake because it can curdle. We love this warm with more cream and berries.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bread Pudding

This one comes from Twisted Cinderella at Ever After - My Way. She wrote that she serves this with a homemade caramel sauce. Sounds good to me!

Bread Pudding


* 3 cups milk
* 6 - 7 cups cubed or torn stale bread
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or nutmeg
* 5 eggs, lightly beaten
* 1/4 to 1/2 cup raisins
* 1/4 to 1/2 cup dried cranberries.

Heat the milk just until scalded.
Place bread cubes in a bowl; pour hot milk over bread. Cool.
Add the sugar, salt, nutmeg or cinnamon, eggs, cranberries and raisins.
Pour mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish.
Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 25 to 35 minutes, or until set.
Serve with a dessert sauce or whipped topping.

Jake's Peanut Butter Delight

I'm not saying that this is a menu item I would make regularly for my kids, but Jake came up with this concoction and it has now become his regular breakfast of choice.

1 cup of Raisin Bran (or other preferred cereal)
3 scoops of Peanut Butter
drizzle of maple syrup

Mix peanut butter and cereal
heat up in microwave for 45 seconds until peanut butter is creamy
drizzle with maple syrup

I have to admit it's pretty damn tasty.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Broccoli Salad

This is one of our family's favourites that I'm asked to make whenever there is a party or get-together. A little bit sweet, a little bit crunchy and you eat it feeling you're healthy because who hasn't been told to "eat your broccoli- it's good for you!"?

If your tummy doesn't do well with eating raw broccoli, you can cook the broccoli first. To do this, fill a pot with some water. Add a teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. If you want bright your broccoli green and crunchy cook it for 1 minute. Add an extra minute cooking time if you'd rather have it more cooked. DO NOT cook your broccoli for more than 2 minutes as it will make it mushy and yucky for making broccoli salad.

I apologize in advance, because I'm a cook who doesn't typically follow measurements. I use what I have and rely on my eye and my taste to guage how much. Here's what you need:

2 large bunches of broccoli
10-12 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 minced red onion
1/2 cup of raisins
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese - cubed into tiny pieces

3/4 cup Hellman's mayo
4 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar

Stir together - broccoli, onion, bacon, seeds, cheese & raisins.
Mix dressing separately
Add together
Refrigerate for up to 2+ hours

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Crockpot Shepard's Pie

Wanna see what's on for dinner tonight? Jake's favourite is Shepard's Pie. I happened to have some leftover garlic mashed potatoes, but didn't want to heat up my oven. So I think I came up with a decent Crockpot version.

Crockpot Shepard's Pie


1 lb lean ground beef
1 cup mushrooms - sliced
1 small onion - chopped
3 cloves garlic
onion powder, salt & pepper, paprika
leftover mashed potatoes
1 cup water
2 cups frozen vegetables (I just went for easy peas and corn)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar and Monterey Jack)

2 tbsp Dark gravy mix - I used Bisto

In a saucepan, cook the beef with onions, garlic & mushrooms.
Add onion powder, salt & pepper.

Drain the grease.

Spray bottom and edges of crockpot with nonstick spray.
Add the beef mixture.
Add water.
Stir in gravy mix.
Add frozen vegetables.
Layer shredded cheese on top.
Pat down mashed potatoes to cover it all, make effort to seal edges and gaps.

Sprinkle paprika on top.

High 3 hours. OR on Low 5-6 hours.
Remove lid 30 minutes prior to serving to cook off excess liquid and to crust up the potato a bit.

** if you omit the cheese and/or replace the gravy mix with GFCF versions, this could become a Gluten/Casein-Free meal as well**

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Canadian Version of Indian Butter Chicken

Canadian Version of Indian Butter Chicken

2 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped onions
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp grated gingerroot
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 can diced, undrained tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp brown sugar
salt and pepper
1 whole rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat cut up
1/3 cup light cream
1/4 cup light sour cream or plain yogurt
1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro

I mix all ingredients EXCEPT for cream, sour cream and cilantro.
Simmer in slow cooker for 4-6 hours.
15 minutes before serving, add remaining ingredients.
Serve over rice or with naan.

Monday, October 5, 2009

It's Party Time!

I went a little overboard yesterday, roaming the bloggy world and finding new blogs to get addicted to. In doing so, I came across a lot of great recipes that I wanted to store away until my next meal planning day. But where to keep them?

Well just like I use Willowjak Boys as my place to store my thoughts, memories and use it as a diary of sorts, why not start a new blog to collect recipes that I come across?

I've got a difficult family to feed. Husband says he'll eat anything, but he hates vegetables, stews and soups and really anything else that is considered healthy. Jake might like a meal on Monday, but will claim he hates it the next time it's made; he doesn't like pasta, he's recently gone off meat and he says that asparagus is the only veg he likes. Owen quit eating solid food over a year and a half ago, but we still continue to work on food exposure- mostly fruit purees, nut butters and the odd crunchy bread product. Owen's diet is also casein/gluten/artificial colour-free. Will is the toughest. He is currently on a gluten and artificial dye-free diet. He has self limited his food choices to about 5. There is nothing more frustrating! I will continue to explore new recipes and products and someday I know he'll try something new. Great Grandma is in the house too. She is a diabetic and has a heart condition that requires a strict diet. Shouldn't be a problem, but she only wants the junk. If it's greasy, processed or sweet enough to cause an immediate cavity, she wants it. Me? - I like it all.

The BIGGEST difficulty of all is that there is not another member of this crazy family who will even attempt to make a sandwich or a can of soup, let alone a meal. So I'm the cook. I love cooking, but when it's mandatory with no help, it's not always so enjoyable.

But we love to host parties and they almost always happen in our kitchen. This blog will be an extension of that.

When I steal a recipe (with your permission), I'll give you the deserved credit and will link it back to your blog. Feel free to steal mine as well. Or send me a note with a recipe you want to share. Better yet, drop by Willowjak Boys on Wednesdays and participate in our Willowjak Wednesday Words of Advice 
and post your recipe so that I can then post it in here as well!

I'm excited. And hungry. Let's get this party started!

Get The Party Started - P!NK