Monthly Archives: March 2013

strawberry chocolate chip muffins

2 lbs of strawberries for $2.00. That’s how much they were at the grocery store this week. How could I resist? I couldn’t, obviously. In an effort to keep our grocery bills low, I usually base our meal plans around what’s on sale that meant that this week, my friends, we are eating many strawberries this week… Berries for breakfast, berries for snacks, berries in salad, berries for dessert… I also needed to make some snack food for my eldest’s daily school snack. He loves muffins and I figured why not attempt strawberry muffins. So I did. And they turned out lovely. He may not have all that many left for snack, though.

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup greek yogurt (I used strawberry greek yogurt I had in the fridge)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
4 tsp baking powder
1 cup strawberries, chopped into small pieces and tossed in approximately 1 tbsp flour. (This prevents your berries from sinking to the bottom of your muffin)
1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350F. Line your muffin pan with liners or spray your pan with non-stick spray.

Whisk together your wet ingredients and set aside.

Combine your dry ingredient in a large bowl. Create a well in the middle and pour in your wet ingredients. Stir until just combined then fold in your berries and chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into your pan and bake for 20 minutes until the muffins are golden and a toothpick stuck through the middle comes out clean.



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caramelized onion & ricotta tart

We’ve all had those moments where we’ve taken a look in the fridge and found nothing meal-worthy inside. This was almost that time. We’d just returned from spending 8 days at my parents’ place for March Break doing fabulous wintery stuff like snow-shoeing, skiing and sliding (I’m still recovering…) and when I opened the fridge, all I had was some moldy carrots, a tub of ricotta cheese and a bag of onions.  A quick google-search and I came across this recipe. I decided then and there that needed to try it .  Thankfully, I had some puff pastry dough in the freezer which thawed miraculously quickly in my sunny kitchen. It was a blessing. If you knew my kitchen, it’s far from sunny. It’s dark, and cramped and rarely gets any decent daylight. It’s as though it was meant to be… As the dough thawed, I made a quick trip to the produce stand later for some free thyme and I was happily slicing up a bunch of yellow onions.

Caramelized Onion and Ricotta Tart
3 tablespoons butter
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons white wine
1 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
3/4 cup Ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 package (1 sheet) puff pastry, thawed
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.

Add the onions, white wine, sugar, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook the onions until they soften and turn a golden brown. You don’t want them to burn but to cook slowly so they caramelize nicely.

While the onions cook, mix the Ricotta cheese and egg in a small bowl and set aide.

Unfold puff pastry sheets on a large cookie sheet.

Fold each side of the pastry sheet to form a small crust around the edges.

Spread the cheese and egg mixture over the puff pastry. Sprinkle liberally with the Parmesan cheese, saving about 1 tbsp.

Top the cheese mixture with the onions and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the pastry turns a lovely golden brown.

Top with some fresh thyme, cut into pieces, serve and enjoy!



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chicken and veggies in a spicy peanut sauce

I have a weak spot for peanut sauce and if left to my own devices, I would probably eat it with nothing else but a spoon.

I whipped up this peanut sauce, and served it with some chicken, bell peppers, snow peas and carrots over some jasmine rice. It was a quick, easy and tasty dinner for a busy work night.

Chicken and Veggies in a Spicy Peanut Sauce
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
2 tbsp fresh cilantro
1 tbsp white sugar
2 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp cornstarch
1-2 tsp hot sauce, depending on how spicy you like it – I used Sriracha, about 1/2 tsp because the kids don’t like spice. I added more on my own plate

Combine all the sauce ingredients and puree/blend using an immersion blender. You can also use your blender or food processor. Set aside.

1-2 tsp peanut oil
3 medium-sized boneless chicken breasts, cut into slices or 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 sweet onion, chopped roughly
1 large bell pepper, sliced
2 cups snow peas, trimmed
1 largish carrot, julienned

Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Add the onion, pepper, snow peas and carrots and cook another 2-3 minutes until the veggies begin to soften slightly. You still want them crispy so don’t over cook!

Add the sauce and cook until the sauce is bubbly and being to slightly thicken. Remove from heat and serve over warm rice. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro if you feel like it!


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