Archive for October, 2012

Beef Tortellini Soup

This is a Pillsbury recipe.

  • 1 lb of beef stew meet
  • 1 14/5 ounce can of diced tomatoes (we used a 19 ounce can)
  • 3/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped (didn’t use, because I don’t like celery)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 2 cups cheese-filled tortellini
  • 1 cup green beans

1. Spray a slow cooker with cooking spray.

2. Add beef, tomatoes, onion, carrot, celery (if using), garlic, sugar and beef broth to cooker. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 9 hours.  (We cooked ours on high for about 4 and a half hours.)

3.  Stir in basil, tortellini and beans and cook another 25 min (in the original the setting is increased to high here, we left our on high but cooked ours 30 min to make sure the pasta was well cooked).

Verdict: This soup needed more broth. I would probably put in closer to 3 cups next time. I really liked the soup, though. The vegetables weren’t too mushy but they were still done. I liked the pasta and the beef together. A great, hearty soup for a cold day.


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Braided Pastry With Apple Ginger Filling

I think I found this recipe online.

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped, crystallized ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Half of a puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk


  • 1/3 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk or lemon juice (we used milk, and needed a little bit more than 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.

3. Add apples and sugar. Cook 4 to 6 min, or until apples are tender. Remove from heat and stir in ginger and cinnamon. Let cool.

4. On a floured surface, roll out the pastry into a 13×9 inch rectangle. Place on prepared baking sheet.

5. On each of the long sides, make 11 2-inch deep cuts (we didn’t get 11 in there), leaving a 3 inch wide centre part un-cut.

6. Spoon filling into the un-cut portion. Fold pastry strips over filling, alternating sides to make the braided effect. Whish the egg yolk with some water and brush over pastry. Bake 20-25 min or until golden. Let cool 20 min.

7. Meanwhile, stir together the icing sugar, milk (or lemon juice) and cinnamon. Spoon over the warm braid.

Verdict: I liked this when it was warm, after it had cooled from the oven. Served with vanilla ice cream (with some of the cinnamon glaze over the ice cream) and it was a tasty dessert. Afterwards, when cooled completely, a second piece was impossible to finish as the ginger taste overpowered everything. I’ve never had that happen with a dessert before, where the temperature of the dessert effected the taste to that extent.

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Buttered Parmesan Noodles

This is a Pillsbury recipe.

  • 2 1/2 cups egg noodles (I didn’t have any, so I used elbow macaroni instead)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter (I used 3)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon parsley (didn’t use)

1. Cook the noodles as directed. Drain and return to pot.

2. Add the butter, cheese and parsley (if using). Toss/stir to coat.

Verdict: I think because I used elbow macaroni instead of egg noodles, I ended up with more noodles as compared to the cheese. In order to get a nice cheesy taste, I added more cheese to my leftovers.

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In Search Of: the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Part 52: Chocolate Chip Cookies (another with no fancy name)

I found this recipe on another food blog.

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (didn’t use because we use salted butter)
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate, broken into chunks (we used 1 cup of a mix of milk and semi-sweet chocolate)

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar and sugar. Add egg and vanilla.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt (if using). Add to wet ingredients. Add chocolate chunks (or chips).

4. Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheet. Bake 8-10 min (ours needed 8).

Minus one for tasting!

Verdict: We made our kind of small, but they grew nicely. We ended up with 5 dozen cookies. At first, I was ready to dismiss the recipe as just another chocolate chip cookie recipe without anything really special to it, but the cookies were just so addictive! They were moist and smooth tasting, even the next day.

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Chicken Paprikash

This is a Martha Stewart recipe.

  • 4 chicken legs, cut in half (we used 4 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound egg noodles
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (we used sour cream)

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste.

2. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Brown chicken. Transfer to a plate.

3. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the skillet. Add onion and cook until tender, 2 min. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 min. Add paprika and flour and stir for 1 min, until it starts to stick.

4. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Add tomatoes and bring to boil.

5. Return chicken to skillet. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 20 min.

6. Meanwhile, cook the noodles as directed. Drain and serve.

7. Stir sour cream into the sauce and spoon over noodles.

Verdict: The sauce tasted nice, but was a little too watery to really be considered a sauce.


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5 Minute Chocolate Cake Mug

I am pretty sure that I found this recipe online, though I can’t remember from which site.

  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips, optional (I didn’t have any left, so I didn’t use)
  • Splash of vanilla (I used 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 large coffee mug

1. In the coffee mug (or a small bowl) mix together all the dry ingredients. Add egg and mix.

2. Add the milk and the oil and mix.

3. Add the vanilla and the chocolate chips (if using) and mix.

4. Put mug in microwave (or transfer batter from bowl to mug) and microwave for 3 min. (Mine rose, like the recipe said, but I think my microwave was too high, because when I came back to it after the three minutes it had fallen and was a little burnt.)

Verdict: This was a really simple and really quick chocolate cake recipe. I think the quality of my cake suffered a little for being burnt, but was overall a really nice tasting cake.

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Vegetable Chicken Pizza

I am not really sure where I found this recipe. Maybe from one of those leaflets in the grocery store whose recipes are all centred on a specific product? It seems like it could be one of those recipes.

  • 2 pizza crusts
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 375ml can of Carnation Evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (divided)
  • 1 cup chicken, cooked
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in two (we may have used less, we only put them on one pizza)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (we didn’t use)

1. Preheat oven to 450F. Place pizza crusts on pizza dishes. Brush each pizza crust with 1 tablespoon of oil.

2. In a medium pot, heat the rest of the oil at medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly for 2-3 min.

3. Add the evaporated milk and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 min.

4. Add the Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Stir until cheese has melted.

5. Divide mixture and spread half over each crust. Top with chicken, vegetables and rest of cheese.

6. Bake 10 min, until crust is golden and cheese is melted.

Verdict: I liked this recipe. It was an interesting take on pizza; I have never had one without tomato sauce before. The cheese sauce had a really nice creaminess to it.

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