Archive for March, 2015

Brown Sugar Cake

This is another Kraft recipe.

  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (we used walnuts)
  • 2 teaspoons icing sugar (we topped our cake with chocolate icing instead)

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Mix together the cake mix, instant pudding powder, eggs, sour cream, water and oil. Add the brown sugar and nuts.

3. Pour into a fluted Bundt pan sprayed with cooking spray.

4. Bake 1 hour or until chopstick inserted in cake comes out clean. Let cool 15 minutes before inverting cake onto a wire rack or serving dish (we had a slight mishap on this step and what is meant to be the top of the cake was ruined as it stuck to the pan. So we flipped it back around so the top part while baking was the top part on the dish. It kind of looks odd). Sprinkle with icing sugar just before serving.

Not the prettiest looking cake


Verdict: This was a good cake, but I think that was mainly because of the box mix used. I didn’t really feel like the added ingredients had much of an impact on the taste of the cake. I would also recommend not using the nuts, as I thought texture wise they didn’t belong.


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Meat Manicottis

I found this recipe in the French language Metro newspaper.

  • 14 Manicotti
  • 2 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese


  • 1 700ml can of diced tomatoes (do they actually come in this size? We used the 796ml can sold here)
  • 1 150ml can of tomato paste
  • 1 small can of tomato soup
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A pinch of onion powder
  • A pinch of garlic powder


  • 1 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a saucepan, mix together the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, soup, sugar, and all the seasonings. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Cook the noodles as per the directions on the package. Drain.

3. Cook the beef, onion and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Add a handful of the cheese and a bit of the sauce.

4. Spread enough sauce on the bottom of an oven dish to cover it. Fill each Manicotti with the beef mixture and place them in the dish. Pour the rest of the sauce on top and cover with the rest of the cheese.

5. Bake at 350F for 30 min.

Meat Manicotti

Verdict: These were delicious and relatively easy to make. I liked the taste of the sauce. When it comes to stuffed pastas, comparing Manicotti and cannelloni, I prefer cannelloni when it comes to stuffing, because they retain their shape more and are easier to stuff.

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Potato Skins

I found this recipe in the French language Metro newspaper.

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons cooked and crumbled bacon

1. Preheat oven’s broiler.

2. Wash potatoes. Prick with knife. Cook in microwave 8 to 9 minutes or until done (we baked ours in the oven).

3. Cut each potato in two, lengthwise. Scoop out the majority of the insides, leaving a small amount.

4. Oil the potato (inside and out). Place them on a baking sheet.

5. Evenly distribute cheese, shallots and bacon over the 8 pieces.

6. Broil 1 to 2 min.

Potato Skins

Verdict: These were very easy to make and very good. But, then again, how can potatoes, cheese and bacon go wrong? Perfect side dish to a hamburger!


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Chicken Turnover

I found this recipe in the French language Metro newspaper.

  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and butter
  • 3 shallots, cut into narrow strips
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, cut in small pieces
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine (we used a recommended substitute I found online: pomegranate juice)
  • 1/4 cup coriander (we did not use that much, maybe 1 tablespoon instead)
  • 1 package of puff pastry
  • 200g of Camembert cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten

1. Dice potato. Cook in boiling water until softened, but not too much. Drain.

2. Heat butter and oil in a pan. Roast potatoes. Add shallots, cook to soften.

3. Add chicken to pan along with chicken broth. Let reduce almost completely. Add wine (or substitute) and let reduce almost completely again. Add coriander. Salt and pepper to taste.

4. Preheat oven to 350F. Roll puff pastry out into two pieces (we made four). Split the chicken mixture over the pastry puff pieces, in one corner. Cover with cheese. Wet the edges of puff pastry with the egg and fold each over into a triangle. Egg wash top and bake 20 min.

Chicken Turnovers

Verdict: I admit to being a little nervous about the taste because of the juice that we substituted. The juice gave the potatoes quite an interesting colour. But it was delicious. I would have maybe liked to potatoes to be a little crispier and maybe would have just cooked them in the pan, but that’s just my taste.

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Chocolate-Caramel Brownies

This is another Kraft recipe.

  • 1 package Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 package Baker’s unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon instant coffee
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup toasted pecans, divided (we used walnuts, but not the whole amount)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray 13×9 inch pan with cooking spray.

2. Microwave chocolate and butter for 3 minutes, or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is well blended.

3. Whisk eggs, 2 cups of sugar, coffee and vanilla in a large bowl until blended. Stir in the chocolate mixture. Add in flour and baking powder. Stir in 3/4 cup of the nuts (this was all we used). Pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake 45 to 50 min or until toothpick comes out with fudgy crumbs.

5. Meanwhile, heat water, corn syrup and remaining sugar in a sauce pan on high heat until mixture comes to a boil and sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium; cook 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is a deep amber. Remove from heat and cool 1 minute. Slowly add whipping cream. Whisk in sour cream. Cool until blended.

6. Pour caramel sauce over brownies. Spread to cover. Sprinkle with remaining nuts (we did not). Refrigerate 2 hours.

Caramel Chocolate Brownie

Verdict: Well, these brownies were a complete failure. I am not sure why, because it looked like they would be a nice and rich brownie. But when we pulled them from the fridge they were frozen solid and not any amount of thawing helped.


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Chocolate-Pecan Bars

This is a Kraft recipe (still have quite a lot of Kraft desserts to go through, not as many main meals anymore).

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 package (8 squares) Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate, divided
  • 1 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups pecans (we used walnuts instead)

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Mix together butter, flour and 1/2 cup sugar until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into 15x10x1 inch jelly roll pan (we didn’t have one ready so we used a 13×9 oven dish instead). Bake 20 min or until lightly browned.

3. Meanwhile, chop 6 squares, place in a saucepan. Add corn syrup. Cook on low 3 to 5 minutes or until chocolate is melted and mixture is well blended, stir frequently. Remove from heat. Add in remaining sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in nuts. Pour over crust and spread evenly. Bake 30 min.

4. Cool. While cooling, melt the remaining chocolate squares. Drizzle over cooled bars. Let stand until firm.

Chocolate Pecan Bars

Verdict: I liked these bars, though I wouldn’t rank this among my top recipes. The base was a little too dry for my taste.

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Creamy Lasagna Roll-Ups

I continue my way through my Kraft magazines with another Kraft recipe.

  • 450g ground beef
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 jar (645ml) pasta sauce
  • 1 can (398ml) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tub (270g) Philadelphia Italian Three Cheese Cooking Creme
  • 2 cups Kraft 4 Cheese Italiano Shredded Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons parsley (we didn’t use)
  • 12 cooked lasagna noodles

1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. Brown meat with garlic in a large skillet. Stir in pasta sauce, tomatoes and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Set aside.

3. Combine the eggs, Cooking Creme, shredded cheese and parsley (we didn’t use parsley and because we ended up using a Garlic and Herb Cooking Creme instead of the Three Cheese one, we decided to add the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese here).

4. Spread half the meat sauce on the bottom of a 13×9 inch baking dish.

5. Spread on each noodle 3 tablespoons of the cheese-Cooking Creme mixture. Roll up and place seam side down in the sauce in the baking dish. Cover with remaining sauce and Parmesan cheese (because we used ours in the Cooking Creme mix we had none left and decided not to add anymore cheese on top).

6. Cover with foil and bake 45 to 50 min.

Verdict: Pasta, cheese and sauce, what’s not to love? These were delicious. They really were like mini lasagna rolls.

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