cooking

A whole new way to eat hot dogs!

Tonight was another one of those nights where the What’s for Dinner question came too late. Taking a quick look through the fridge I saw we had hot dogs, but just before I was about to ask my boyfriend to go out to buy buns I spotted the crescent rolls and remembered a recipe I saw not too long ago:

http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/crunchy-nacho-crescent-dogs/8f34d447-4ff1-4291-8c36-c6240259d5ca

This was a quick, fun recipe to make and was a BIG hit with my boyfriend who was expecting regular old hot dogs for dinner!

I did change it up slightly based on what I had in the house – I used a slice of marble cheddar on each instead of the american cheese slices and used Old Dutch Arriba Nacho Cheese chips instead of the ones called for in the recipe.

As you can see from the picture one of mine unrolled, but the other three were perfect – and they all tasted yummy 🙂

In the future when I make this with Babygirl I will try to make it a bit healthier….perhaps deli ham or chicken instead of hot dogs and maybe plain tortilla chips or homemade seasoned breadcrumbs instead of the nacho chips. Adding tomato sauce and some veggies like green peppers would be good too.

Let me know if you can think of any more variations we should try 🙂hotdogs

Quick and Easy Fruity Baked Chicken

fruitychicken

On more nights than I care to admit the boyfriend and I realize we are starving and we haven’t decided what we’re having for dinner. We used to rely on the McDonalds drive thru or a trip out to get pizza on nights like this but I really need to make more of an effort to make more meals at home. Fast food is fine occasionally but I don’t want Babygirl to think it’s OK to eat whenever you’re busy.  I found this recipe in Grandma’s magical yellow recipe box that said it only took 25 mins. I don’t usually have canned fruit on hand but for some reason we did, and although we always have a box of frozen chicken breasts we actually had a few fresh pieces in the fridge so that shaved off any extra defrosting time.

This was by no means a gourmet dish, but it only took about 5 minutes to put together and another 20 or so minutes to bake, so I will keep this handy for busy nights when we need a tasty fairly healthy meal fast.

I did make some modifications you may want to keep in mind if this is a recipe you would like to try:

I had to triple the basting sauce because I used 3 full size thick chicken breasts and when I made the amount called for in the recipe it wasn’t enough. I also added a small bit of the juice from each of the cans when I added the fruit even though it says to drain. I cut the chicken up into about 2 inch pieces so I could be sure it would cook through faster. For the lemon juice I squeezed a fresh lemon half but I’m sure using the bottled real-lemon juice most people seem to have is fine. I also used the low sodium soy sauce, which by the way is still pretty darn loaded with sodium!

 

1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp soy sauce

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp pepper

1 can (8 oz) water packed sliced peaches, drained

1 can (8 oz) water packed pear halves, drained and halved

 

 

Combine lemon juice, soy sauce, salt, ginger and pepper. Pour over chicken in shallow baking dish.

Bake in preheated 350 F oven 15 mins. Arrange fruit around chicken, baste with pan liquid. Bake 10-15 more minutes.

 

Just in case you are wondering what the dark purple side dish is in the picture it’s Thai rice which made a great nutty flavored side dish. I just followed the directions on the package and it cooked up in about the same amount of time as the chicken.

Grandma’s favourite Banana Muffins

bananamuffins

 

Yesterday I finally dove in and made a recipe out of Grandma’s recipe box. While flipping through the recipes I noticed quite a few banana bread/muffin/cookie recipes. Grandma sure must have loved bananas! I figured making one of these would be a good place to start….then I found one with a notation on the top written by Grandma “This is a favourite of mine” Bam – a GREAT place to start 🙂

Success! The recipe was easy to follow, didn’t take very long, and produced yummy moist banana muffins. The muffins themselves ended up pretty small so eating 2-3 at a time is probably the equivalent of eating a larger muffin – like you might find at a bakery or coffee shop.

I will save this recipe as my ‘go to’ banana recipe. Next time I may see if it bakes up into a nice loaf. Or I may add chocolate chips, seeds, or maybe walnuts. I’m sure you all have a banana recipe as there are so many out there but here is Grandma’s just in case:

 

1 1/2 cup cake flour                                                                                    1/3 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder                                                                                    1 egg well beaten

1/4 tsp baking soda                                                                                     1/3 cup salad oil

3/4 tsp salt                                                                                                   1 cup mashed bananas

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar into mixing bowl.

Combine egg, salad oil and bananas. Add to dry ingredients mixing only enough to dampen flour. Fill oiled muffin pans 2/3 full and bake 400 F for about 15-20 mins. Makes 12 muffins.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Grandma’s legacy

My paternal Grandmother was a fabulous cook.  Visits to Grandma’s house meant lots of hugs and kisses and a big plate of brownies or cookies, lovingly made from scratch that morning. Family dinners consisted of enough food to feed a family of 40, instead of our family of about 15, with 3 main courses and roughly 9 different side dishes. As good as it was, and as packed up with leftovers all of our mini families left with, there was always plenty left over. As my Grandpa used to say “The ‘coons in our neighbourhood sure eat well”.  I associated my Grandma with love, hugs, and food!

After Grandma passed away about 10 years ago I was lucky enough to be the one to claim her coveted recipe box.  It’s a small stained yellow box, about 6 x 3 inches, but it contains gold. There are a few recipes carefully cut out of TV Guide and People magazine circa 1970 but most of the contents are lined index cards handwritten by Grandma. Over the years I’ve flipped through the box, taking special note of the cards with notations such as “Dad’s favourite” and “Our family loves this dish” but have never taken the steps to prepare any of them.

I’m sure you are all familiar with the blog/book/movie Julie and Julia, where a then unknown blogger cooks her way through a Julia Child cookbook to shake up her life. This inspires me to do the same with Grandma’s recipes, and while I won’t be as rigid as she was – I will be skipping some, cooking from other sources as well, and I have no self imposed time limits, I feel I am finally ready to dive in. When Babygirl is a bit older I will share these recipes with her so Grandma will continue to be in our hearts and minds.