Lemon Walnut Bars

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Delicious creamy lemon bars perfect for this Easter weekend from the Butter Baked Goods Cookbook by Rosie Daykin. I picked up this cookbook one day when I saw it at Costco and it captured my attention with its beautiful cover and mouthwatering photos inside. I couldn’t resist and what a find! I had not known about this Vancouver bakery before finding the book. It  is beautiful from front to back, I love that is Canadian and I can’t wait to make more recipes, as these bars were amazing. Easy too! Had everything in the pantry I needed.

The recipe is posted here on cakespy.com (another fun site, as well as the author of 2 books!)

http://www.cakespy.com/blog/2013/11/30/pucker-up-lemon-walnut-bars-recipe.html

Notes:

- I used a 300ml can of low fat condensed milk

- I baked squares in a 9 x 9 square baking pan, lined with 2 sheets of parchment paper so that the bars lifted out easily once completely cooled.

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Sweet Glazed Carrots

Glazed Carrots

Looking for a great side for Easter – try these sweet glazed carrots. This is a really delicious Easter/Spring side that I love. My family raved over them when I made it a few Easter’s ago. Delicious side with ham, turkey, lamb, or beef. A great go-to crowd pleaser that kicks up carrots!

Find my recipe on Momstown Recipes:

http://momstown.ca/recipe/sweet-glazed-carrots

Freezable Meals

freezable Meals

Two friends recently gave me an assignment to dedicate a post to freezable meals (shout-out to Jill & Jody!). Like me, they are on-the-go, busy women and like to cook and make meals ahead of time so that on busy nights you can just defrost and eat.

Here are some of my go-to meals all of which I have frozen and then re-heated with great results. I have to admit most of these are easy to pair with mixed greens and some bread making day-of prep fast.

Stove-Top Freezable Meals:

Beef and Potato Burritos – Cook the filling completely, cool and then freeze. You can even freeze a package of flour tortillas if desired (just defrost and heat up slightly on a frying pan).

Apricot-Balsamic Pork - Quick to prep, then cool, cut thinly across the grain (makes re-heating easier) and freeze with the sauce.

Tilapia Fish Cakes – Easy and so delicious! Just defrost, fry and serve with mixed greens and bread for an incredible dinner.

Beef Tacos – Make your filling ahead, then defrost and have taco filling ready to go any night with your fave toppings.

Maple Dijon Baked Chicken Thighs – Bake ahead, cool, freeze, and then have baked chicken ready to-go out of the freezer.

Pork Tenderloin Stir-fry over Quinoa – Mix stir-fry with quinoa and freeze for a complete ready-to-go meals. Substitute chicken for pork if desired.

Slow-Cooker Freezable Meals:

Honey Sesame Chicken - One of my favourites! Delicious recipe, just re-heat and serve over rice or quinoa.

Beef Stew - Make ahead then just re-heat and serve with rolls for a delicious hearty dinner.

Bolognese Sauce - A standard no-fuss kid favourite. Just boil up your favourite pasta and you are ready to go.

Buffalo Chicken - My favourite recipe for a delicious hot chicken sandwich. Prepare and freeze the chicken, and just have buns tucked in the freezer for an easy meal, delicious with some slaw or cut up veggies on the side.

Chicken Tacos - Make your taco filling ahead then just re-heat and serve in tortillas.

Turkey and Three Bean Chili – We all love our chili recipes, this one is easy, healthy and one recipe feeds a crowd or makes multiple dinner portions.  I like to freeze this is individual portion for single serve “frozen dinners”. This is the hubby’s fave recipe.

 

 

Celebrating 250,000 Views!

Thank you everyone for your amazing support! So excited to have achieved another milestone today – surpassing 250,000 views on my wee blog! Onward and upward, next goal 500,000!

Ok so to mark the achievement, here is another snapshot of the top viewed recipes to date . . .

#1 – Lemon Garlic Baked Basa – long standing #1 viewed recipe on my site – try it with Tilapia too!

#2 – No Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares – is close behind, and is still one of my go-to party squares

#3 – Creamy Crunchy Basa Fish – our family’s fave fish recipe (even my hubby as mastered it!)

#4 - Basa Fish Tacos – So good, and easy to make – even momstown.ca approved!

#5 – Best. Quinoa. Salad. Ever – Yes, and still the best!

#6 – Pan Roasted Basa with Fingerling Potatoes and Onions – easy and delicious one pan dinner

#7 – Tilapia Fish Cakes - Best fish cake recipe in my books!

#8 – Panko Crusted Basa Fish Sticks – Kid approved, and try switching up the fish with salmon or tilapia

#9 – Andrew’s BBQ Pork Chops – A bbq season must! So good!

#10 – Sprouted Rice and Quinoa Pilaf - A gluten-free fave

 

Asparagus Recipes

asparagusrecipes

Spring is here and so is asparagus season. I am lucky that my whole family loves asparagus, and we eat is regularly as a simple side dish. Over the colder months I boil it lightly in a saute pan until tender (do not overcook!) and then finish with a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, and during grilling season we toss it direct onto the grill seasoned with olive oil salt and pepper – so delicious!

Here are my top four favourite recipes using asparagus in a main dish (perfect for a meatless Monday!) . . . looking forward to creating new asparagus dishes this Spring so stay tuned!

Cheese Tortellini with Asparagus and Sun Dried Tomatoes - one of my all-time favourite dinners!

Asparagus, Shallot and Provolone Frittata - Easy and delicious for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner.

Asparagus Milanese - Oh so good!

Tomato and Asparagus Spaghetti with Sun Dried Tomato and Pine Nuts - Delicious Springtime dish.

 

Peter Cottontail Bunny Pops for Easter

PeterCottontailPops

Are you ready for Spring to really arrive? I am! My Easter decorations box is ready to go! To get you in the spirit check out my new post for Momstown Recipes. Adorable “Peter Cottontail” Bunny Pops made with white chocolate covered Oreos and marshmallows! If you want to make them look more like a bunny from behind, you can tint some leftover chocolate with pink food colouring and dot paw prints on the back feet with toothpicks. I couldn’t resist another fun “pop” idea (you can also use my Valentine Pop idea and make it with Easter Sprinkles – so easy . . . and fun!).

http://momstown.ca/recipe/peter-cottontail-bunny-pops-easter

Barbie Birthday Cake

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It was a very Barbie Birthday party this past weekend to celebrate my daughter’s 5th Birthday, and I couldn’t resist re-posting the cake recipe I use because it is just SO good and always gives me great results. This may be a yearly tradition with a new theme every year! So, once again I went to my go-to Birthday cake recipe from the The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. The Buttermilk Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream is absolute perfection. What better proof than 11 little girls (and one Daddy!) cleaning their plates.

My rather headstrong yet adorable little girl once again gave VERY precise instructions for her Birthday Cake (last year it was for her Ariel cake). She wanted her favourite chocolate cake, with “Barbie Pink” icing. I used Wilton gel colours in pink and sky blue, and I have to admit the match with Barbie colours was perfect! We found some candy embellishments at Michael’s as well as a candles to “Barbie-fy” the cake. I dusted the cake with pink and blue crystal sprinkles in matching shades of pink and blue, and lastly we decided to add some leftover Valentine’s heart sprinkles in pink and white to finish it off.

I am no expert cake decorator, I do my best, and my girls are always thrilled to have a homemade cake which is so sweet. I find you can always pick up store-bought embellishments to make the cake your own – sprinkles, candies, candles and more. So if you haven’t tried it yet, go for it, it’s not so scary and the cake and buttercream recipe is so delicious and is easy to follow. Have fun, get the kids involved and make your own special creation.

The recipe for the Buttermilk Chocolate Cake cake be found here along with the Vanilla Buttercream here. I make the cake recipe in one 9 x 13 baking pan, and make one whole batch of buttercream which covers the cake and gives extra for piping if desired. I like to use Wilton gel food colouring to colour my icing (I find mine at Michael’s).

Have fun and get baking for your next family celebration . . . maybe a cake for Easter? : )