Archive for January, 2013

Banana Bran Muffins

I think I found this recipe in the French Metro newspaper.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup ripe bananas, mashed (about 4 bananas)
  • 1/2 cup All-Bran cereal
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, brown sugar, egg, mashed bananas, All-Bran and vanilla.

4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix just enough to combine.

5. Add raisins.

6. Pour into muffin moulds and bake20 to 25 min. (Our needed 25 and we made 17.)

Banana Bran Muffins

Verdict: Warm these did not have much of a taste. When completely cooled they had a small banana taste, which is weird because pancake and cookie recipes we have tried with 1 banana sometimes had an overpowering banana taste.


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Beef Empanadas

I found this recipe on another food blog.

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic cloves, finely chopped (we used garlic powder instead)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (we didn’t have any)
  • 3/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pimento-stuffed olives (we didn’t use)
  • 1 14 ounce can of whole tomatoes, drained and chopped, reserving 2 tablespoons juice
  • 1 package of frozen empanada dough (we looked everywhere but couldn’t find it, so we made our own, as per the recipe below)
  • 1 egg, beaten with 2 teaspoons water (egg wash)


  • 4 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 teaspoons salt (didn’t use because we use salted butter)
  • 1 cup butter, cold, cut into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup ice water
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

1. Sift flour and salt (if using) in a large bowl. Work in the butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.

2. Beat together egg, water and vinegar in a small bowl. Add to flour, incorporating until just mixed. (Mixture will look shaggy.)

3. Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured surface. Gather together and knead just enough to bring the dough together.

4. Form into two flat rectangles, cover each individually with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour but no more than 6.

5. Remove dough from fridge when ready to begin. Roll out into 6 inch squares (we were able to make 5 with one rectangle.)

6. Cook onion and olive oil in skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until softened. Add garlic, cumin (if using), oregano and cook 1 minute, stirring. Stir in beef and cook until no longer pink.

7. Add raisins, olives (if using), salt and pepper to taste, tomatoes and reserved juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 min until liquid is reduced. Stir in hard-boiled eggs.

8. Place 3 tablespoons of beef mixture in the centre of each disk. Moisten edges with water, then fold over and crimp with fork to close. Repeat for all other empanadas.

9. Lightly brush empanadas with egg wash.

10. Bake at 400F for 25 min (until golden). Start in the upper third of the oven then switch to lower third at the halfway point.


Verdict: I didn’t really like the dough, which I found kind of tasteless. My sister liked it though and used what we had left to make a mini-pizza. I like the sweetness of the raisins in a savoury dish like this, but I am not sure the filling worked completely. Maybe we chopped the tomatoes up too much so our filling was a little too liquid-y. I don’t think it reduced as much as it was supposed to.

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Pepperoni Pizza Burgers

I found this recipe on Yahoo! But the link I had doesn’t seem to be working anymore.

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 8 ounce can of pizza sauce (we only used the 2 tablespoons that you put in the burger mix and didn’t use any of the rest for the buns)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of basil or oregano (we used oregano)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 ounces pepperoni, finely chopped
  • 6 hamburger buns (we made sliders instead of burgers, so we had a dozen mini buns)
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (we used cheddar instead)

1. Combine eggs, breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of the pizza sauce, oregano (or basil), salt and pepper. Add ground beef and pepperoni. Mix well. Shape into patties of desired size.

2. Grill burgers (as it is winter, we cooked ours in a frying pan on the stove) 14 to 18 min, turning halfway through (ours needed about 5 – 6 min on each side).

3. (If desired, heat the remaining pizza sauce in a saucepan and spread on the bottom of the burger buns. Place burgers over sauce then spoon some more sauce on top and top with cheese.) We just melted some cheese over our burgers.

Pepperoni Burger Sliders

Verdict: These were good. The pepperoni added an interesting taste to the burger. I thought the burger was saucy enough as it was.


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Chunky TOBLERONE Shortbread

This is a Kraft recipe (I found it in one of their magazines, but I can’t seem to find it online to link to it).

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 200g of Toblerone chocolate bars, broken into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar (this was for decoration; we didn’t use it)

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Beat butter and sugar together. Mix flour and cornstarch. Gradually add to butter mixture. Stir in chocolate pieces.

3. Drop by spoonful onto baking sheet. Bake 20 to 25 min, or until lightly browned. Cool completely and sprinkle with icing sugar (if desired).

Toblerone Shortbread

Verdict: Shortbread cookies aren’t my favourite, but I enjoyed them. My sister loves shortbread cookies and gave these cookies her stamp of approval, though she didn’t think that the chocolate added anything to them.

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Baked French Toast

I found this recipe in a WeightWatcher’s magazine, though I didn’t follow it very faithfully.

  • 2 egg whites (we used two eggs, separated)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons egg substitute (because we used 2 eggs, we didn’t use this)
  • 2 tablespoons amaretto (didn’t use)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 slices bread
  • Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 425F.

2. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.

3. Combine milk, brown sugar, egg substitute (if using), amaretto (if using) and cinnamon. Beat until sugar dissolves. Fold in 1/3 egg whites. Fold in remaining egg whites.

4. Dip bread in egg mixture. Spray a jelly roll or baking sheet with cooking spray and place bread on it. Bake 7 min. Turn and bake 4 more (ours needed a little longer).

Baked French Toast

Verdict: I am not sure if it was because of the substitutions, but this was a rather dry French toast. I think that also contributed to the overall tastelessness of the dish.

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Parmesan Garlic Bread

This is a Kraft recipe.

  • 1 8 ounce French loaf (we used a dozen mini buns instead)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Cut bread (or buns) in half lengthwise. Place on baking sheet, cut side up.

3. Mix together butter and garlic. Brush over bread. Sprinkle cheeses onto bread.

4. Bake 15 min or until cheese is melted (we broiled ours for a bit too).

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Verdict: This was good. I liked the addition of cheese to a regular garlic bread. Very easy to make.

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Easy Bacon Cheeseburger Lasagna

This is a Betty Crocker recipe. We made it as our Christmas meal, along with some of my mom’s homemade meatballs.

  • 1 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup onion, chopped (we used less)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 28 ounce can of chunky tomato sauce (here they are sold as thick tomato sauce)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 15 ounce container of ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup parsley (we used only a teaspoon or two)
  • 8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 12 lasagna noodles (the original recipe called for them to be uncooked and to be cooked during baking, but we boiled them beforehand)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. In a skillet, brown the beef, along with the onion, salt and pepper. Stir in tomato sauce and water. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer 10 min, uncovered.

2. In a medium bowl, beat egg and ricotta. Add in Swiss cheese, parsley and half of the bacon.

3. Spread 1 cup of the meat sauce at the bottom of a 13 inch baking pan. Top with: 4 noodles; half the ricotta mixture; 2 cups sauce and a third of the cheddar cheese. Repeat (4 noodles; remaining ricotta mixture; 2 cups sauce and another third of the cheddar). Top with remaining 4 noodles; sauce; cheddar cheese and bacon.

4. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours but no longer than 24 (we refrigerated ours for almost 6 hours).

5. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake, covered, for 45 min. Remove foil and bake another 30 min (ours only needed about 15 more min to be golden and cooked all the way through, maybe because our noodles were cooked before going into the oven).

Cheeseburger Lasagna

Verdict: This lasagna was so good. It was nice and cheesy. I am not normally a fan of ricotta cheese, but everything tasted great mixed together.

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