Leek & Pepper Breakfast wraps

I’ve discovered a new vegetable that I had never cooked with until a few weeks ago; leeks! They add such an amazing flavour to pretty much any dish, soups, stews, stir-fry’s etc. This is a recipe that I threw together one day for lunch and I absolutely love it! So simple and quick, but also healthy and very filling.

Ingredients (serves 2)

-1/2 leek stalk

-1/4 yellow pepper

-1/4 red pepper

-2 eggs

-flour tortilla

-1 tbsp olive oil

-parsley or basil to taste

(I use about 1/4 tsp dry or 1 tsp freshly chopped)

-salt & pepper

Start by chopping up the veggies and stir fry them in a tbsp of olive oil until they are just softened. Lightly beat eggs with a fork and pour into fry pan with the veggies. Mix it all up and sprinkle with salt and pepper, and when the eggs are cooked through add the parsley or basil.

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For a little kick, I like to add some cheese, here I used a 12 months aged Old Farmhouse Cheddar. It’s a little to strong for my taste on it’s own, but in cooked dishes it’s delicious. IMG_5435

Lastly I wrap the egg/veggie mixture into a flour tortilla. It’s easy, quick and so good! IMG_5442 (2)

~Melinda~

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Snickerdoodles; the best cookies ever!!

These cookies are straight up amazing! The first time I ever had a Snickerdoodle was about 4 years ago, and I fell in love instantly! I only started using this recipe over the past couple of months, but it has quickly become my go to for when I’m craving a little bit (or a lot) of sugary goodness.

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They are super quick and easy to mix up, using very basic ingredients. The only thing you might not have (I know I didn’t before I started using this recipe) is Cream of Tartar.

Soft and melt in your mouth delicious on the inside with a lightly crispy outside because of the sugar and cinnamon coating. Self control is very hard for me as is when it comes to cookies, and these guys make it even harder to stop! This is a fairly small recipe, making approximately 2 dozen small cookies, or 18 medium sized ones, so at least I don’t have cookies sitting in the freezer calling to me for weeks! Usually they’re gone within a few days :O

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So, I decided not to post the full recipe on my blog and instead I’m posting a link to the website that I found the recipe on at the bottom of this postThis link should take you straight to her post with the recipe near the bottom.

The only change I made from that recipe, is I didn’t chill the dough… I know it sounds like an important step, but who has the patience for that!! I know I don’t. Instead I use butter that is still slightly chilled, I took mine out about 15 minutes before I started mixing up this batch. It means your mixer has a bit of a task trying to blend the sugars into the butter, but it worked well and I didn’t have to wait! Oh, and one more thing, I would recommend not substituting margarine for the butter. I’ll admit I am a bit of a butter snob, but in these cookies, it really makes a difference! The sweet buttery flavour just wouldn’t be there without butter!!

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Let me know if you try it! I’d love to know if there are more Snickerdoodle fans out there! Maybe you have another great recipe for these lovely cookies that you’d like to share with me?? 🙂

Here is the link to the recipe: http://www.averiecooks.com/2014/09/the-best-snickerdoodles.html

~Melinda~

Easy Peasy Chicken Vegetable Stew

Every couple of weeks I end up with random vegetables left in my fridge that are on the verge of going bad, so I usually end up making some version of a vegetable soup/stew. To go along with the stew I generally bake some biscuits, cause you can’t really enjoy a hearty bowl of  stew without a tender, flaky biscuit! This is a meal that can be cooked up very last minute and yet still tastes as though you spent a lot of time on it. 
This recipe is another one of those “farmhouse style cook” recipes:) I use whatever I have in my fridge and sometimes get a little creative with it! Here is the main jist of it…

Easy Peasy Chicken Stew 

4 potatos cubed
4-5 carrots diced
1 medium onion
frozen peas (or whichever vegetable you like)
water
2 Chicken OXO cubes
2-3 tsp cornstarch (or other thickener)
salt and pepper to taste

I do this the quick  lazy way, I toss all vegetables into the pot and add water to cover, bring to a boil and add OXO cubes. Make sure the cubes completely dissolve. Once the carrots and potato’s are done, mix the cornstarch with a little bit of cold water, and pour slowly into the pot. Only pour a little bit at a time and keep stirring the stew until you have the desired consistency. Some people like it thicker than others. You might not need all the cornstarch mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste! 

From start to finish, I think it only took about 30-40 minutes to make this stew and it really was delicious. Next time I will probably cook up some chicken breasts and add them, but yesterday I wasn’t feeling like spending a whole bunch of time preparing supper, so I cut that step out. 

Some other things to consider adding would be celery, beans, mushrooms, and you could even cut out the cornstarch if your more of a soup person. 

 Baking Powder Biscuits 

I make a pretty good biscuit… the problem I’m having, is writing out the recipe because honestly I don’t use one:/ So if you are the type of person that likes to follow recipes to the letter (number?) then this might not be helpful at all. But I’ll do my best to make it simple because it really is very easy. 

About 1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup of butter
cream

Place flour in your bowl, add salt and baking powder, then cut in the butter till the mixture is crumbly. Slowly start adding cream until the dough sticks together and forms a ball, don’t over mix! 

Place spoonfuls of the dough onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 10 min. When they start turning golden brown on the edges, they should be done. 

Now keep in mind that I don’t measure out my ingredients for this recipe… (in fact since moving to Newcastle, I haven’t used a measuring cup at all! I just haven’t bought one yet for some reason.) so you have to be aware of what the dough needs to look like, if you feel like it needs more butter, add some more butter etc. I usually end up adding some shredded cheddar cheese to the flour as well, before adding the cream. Extra awesomeness!!

 I really enjoy experimenting with my ingredients when I cook, it helps me learn what each one adds to the dish. For example, last night I learned the hard way what happens when you forget baking powder, oops! They still tasted good, they were just a little on the dense under-baked side :/

Ginger Stir Fry Noodles

We’ve been trying very very hard to stick to a strict budget since we arrived in Newcastle in August. The area I find it hardest to stick to the budget is groceries:( The good thing about it though is that I have to be super creative with the ingredients I have on hand, and not run to the store every time I need something specific.
 For example, this week we ran out of eggs at the beginning of the week but I was craving cookies at the end of the week.. well a little internet searching later I found out that you can replace an egg with cornstarch and water, or even bananas. I tried the cornstarch method and the cookies are amazing!! 
But…this post isn’t about cookies..(although mine are baking as we speak!)
It’s a recipe for Stir Fry that I came up with today for supper. I haven’t really cooked with ginger root that much but lately I’m experimenting with it more and more and I’m realizing that I really love it! 

Ginger Stir Fry Noodles

2 tbsp olive oil
4 stalks of celery chopped
1 medium onion chopped
3 carrots diced
1-2 cloves of garlic minced
a 1 inch piece of ginger root grated 
stir fry noodles
soya sauce
As the name suggests, stir fry the vegetables, garlic and ginger in the oil until just tender. 
Boil the noodles per package instructions, rinse and drain and then add them to the stir fry pan, add soya sauce to taste and Enjoy!!
We were in a bit of a hurry so we didn’t add any meat, but it would have been really good with chicken. The flavor of the ginger mixed with garlic, onion and celery was delicious. 
I’ll just also add that my photography skills are non-existent so if the pictures don’t look super appetizing just trust my taste buds!
Not having  the option to go pick up the ingredients I need for a recipe, has forced me to come up with my own recipes. I find that I just get frustrated when I plan a meal based on a recipe and then realize I don’t have the right items on hand so now I just wing it mostly:) Most of the time it works pretty good… I won’t be telling you about the pizza sauce I tried making with minimal ingredients along with pizza dough without yeast:/ Definitely a fail! Rod did eat most of it though, I am so thankful for a non-picky husband when it comes to food!! 

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies…. Wait! ..What??

Yup, there is such a thing! And I for one am so thankful for that!
 I guess the definition of healthy might change from one to the other, but as far as I’m concerned when it comes to cookies this recipe is super delicious and also good for you!
I got the inspiration from Pinterest where most things these days tend to come from… but I have given it my own little twist and honestly, every time I make these I do it a little bit differently. Pretty much whatever I have lying around the pantry or fridge is fair game when I’m mixing up a batch.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

~ ripe bananas
~ oats
~ peanut butter
~ plain yogurt
~ semi-sweet chocolate chips
~ nuts (whichever you prefer)
~ optional: raisins, craisins, etc.

Instructions:

I have been accused of being a bit of a farmhouse style cook, and I fully embrace that statement with this recipe!
Pretty much I will start by tossing any combination of the ingredients into the bowl until the consistency is right and then I’ll add all the fun stuff like chocolate chips… I actually do not like raisins or craisins at all, so they will never make it into a batch of my cookies, but you’re free to add them. Then, I spoon them onto a cookie sheet and bake for 15 mins or so at 350 degrees.
Super quick, super easy and with my farmhouse method, less dishes! I have made these with as little as three ingredients, and they were still really good. The texture is that of a fairly moist and dense oatmeal cookie, we often eat them for breakfast, kind of like a quick replacement for oatmeal.
Who said you can’t have cookies for breakfast!!

Crispy Chicken Tomato Rice Dish

I took no pictures unfortunately:( but I’m posting this recipe because I made this last night and it was amazing!! It’s the first time I’ve made a Risotto-like dish, and I made up my own recipe, so I was pretty surprised with how well it turned out. It was mainly an attempt to clean out my pantry/fridge before I do another grocery shop but I know for a fact that this will now become a regular menu item at our house. Rod LOVED it… but anyone that knows him also knows that he LOVES food in general, so I’ll just add that he loves this dish especially lots! So anyway, here goes…


Crispy Chicken Tomato Rice Dish

1                   clove garlic
1                   small onion
piece of ginger root grated (the size of my thumbnail…)
1 1/2 cups    Basmati Rice
6                  Crispy Chicken Tenders (from Costco)
1 jar             Pasta sauce
basil
salt
pepper


1. Sauté the finely chopped garlic, onion and grated ginger in 1 tbsp. olive oil till onions are transparent.
2. Follow the instructions on rice package and add the sautéed mixture, sprinkle with basil, salt and pepper.
3. Meanwhile, bake the chicken tenders as per package instructions (probably 15-20 min).
4. When rice and chicken are cooked, cut chicken into bite sized pieces, and stir together the rice, chicken and pasta sauce. (I didn’t use up all the rice for this dish, I probably used just over half and kept the rest aside but that’s easily adjusted to suit meal proportion needs).
5. Enjoy!!