Archive for April, 2015

Quickie Coconut Cupcakes

I found this recipe online, though I am not sure where.

  • 1 box vanilla cake mix
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin cups (the original recipe said 12, but we are always able to get 24 when we use a box cake mix to make cupcakes and this recipe was no different).

2. Mix together the cake mix, water, oil, eggs and coconut extract until smooth. Stir in the flaked coconut.

3. Divide the batter evenly amongst the muffin cups. Bake 15-18 minute.

Coconut Cupcakes

Verdict: This was a very easy and delicious way to add a different flavour to a box cake mix. I love coconut and loved the coconut taste you got with these cupcakes.


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Italian Potpies

This is a Martha Stewart recipe.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 450F. Place rack in lowest position.

2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add beef and cook until no longer pink. Add tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, Parmesan cheese, baking powder and rosemary. Make a well in the center and add butter and milk. Stir until a dough comes together.

4. Spoon meat mixture into 4 eight ounce ramekins (we used giant muffin cups instead and made 8). Mound dough on top (we rolled it out and used a cookie cutter to cut them out so they looked a little neater). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Italian Potpies

Verdict: These were good and very easy to make. I kind of think that there needed to be something else mixed into the meat mixture, like another vegetable like potatoes.

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S’more Squares

This is another Kraft recipe, though I think the version I had in my magazine is older than what was on the website.

  • 64 Nilla wafers, divided (there is one grocery story in my area that sells these cookies. We found them on our third try!)
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 packet of instant chocolate pudding
  • 2 packets of instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 1/2 cup Cool Whip
  • 1 1/2 cup mini marshmallows (we used the larger ones we had and cut them down)
  • 1/2 square of Baker’s Semi-Sweet chocolate, grated (to be honest, by the time this set and we did the marshmallow part, we forgot there was another step so didn’t add the chocolate)

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Finely crush 40 of the vanilla wafers. In a medium bowl, mix together the wafer crumbs, butter and sugar. Press into the bottom of a 13×9 inch pan. Bake for 8 minutes.

3. Beat chocolate pudding with 1 1/4 cup of milk and spread over crust. Top with remaining 24 wafers.

4. Beat vanilla pudding with remaining 2 cups milk. Fold in Cool Whip and spread over wafers. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm.

5. Heat broiler. Top with marshmallows. Broil 1 minute or until marshmallows are lightly browned and puffed up. Sprinkle with chocolate (which we forgot).

Smore Squares

Verdict: This dessert was a great starting point, but there are changed I would make to it for a better dessert. Considering how long it took us to find the wafers, none of us were in love with their taste. I would replace them with Graham cracker crumbs for the base and maybe some Graham cracker pieces in the middle. Either that or chocolate chips in the middle. I think the chocolate pudding should be equal to the vanilla pudding, with two packets and Cool Whip as well. On top, I would definitely remember the grated chocolate the next time, or replace it with chocolate chips as well.

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Chicken-Parmesan Bundles

This is a Kraft recipe.

  • 125g of cream cheese, softened
  • 300g frozen spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 1 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 6 small boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
  • 1 egg
  • 10 Ritz crackers, crushed, about 1/3 cup
  • 1 1/2 cup pasta sauce

1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. Mix together the cream cheese, spinach, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and half the Parmesan cheese. Spread onto chicken. Roll up each piece of chicken and secure with wooded toothpicks, if desired (we didn’t, they stayed rolled up pretty well on their own).

3. Beat egg in one bowl. In a pie plate, mix together remaining Parmesan and cracker crumbs. Dip chicken, one pieced at time, in egg and then coat in the cracked mixture. Place pieces, seam side down, in an oven dish.

4. Bake 30 min or until chicken is done. Discard toothpicks, if used. Serve with heated pasta sauce and topped with remaining mozzarella (we didn’t add any more cheese on top).

Chicken Parmesan Bundle

Verdict: This was delicious. It was so cheesy it was perfect. We also served some pasta on the side and had garlic bread, so it was a complete delicious meal.


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Individual Potato Gratins

This is a Food Network recipe.

  • Vegetable spray
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. Spray 8 muffin tins (we used the larger ones so we did 6) with vegetable spray. Layer potato slices, cheese and onion into each muffin cup (we did 3 layers) Season with salt and pepper. Pour 2 tablespoons of heavy cream into each muffin cup.

3. Cover with foil and bake 30 to 40 min, removing foil halfway through baking time. (The original recipe said to invert them onto serving dish, but because we used a larger muffin mould, we were able to get our out with a large spoon.)

Potato Gratin

Verdict:  These were good. It was a nice combination of cheese and potatoes. I think, if I were to make these again, I would replace the green onions, which I don’t think added a lot – with bacon.

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Shepherd’s Pie

I found this recipe in the French language Metro newspaper.

  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup mini carrots
  • 1/2 turnip cut into spears
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (we used mozzarella)
  • 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • Butter
  • 2 tablespoons beef broth
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 398ml can of creamed corn
  • 1 398 ml can of corn kernels

1. Boil the potatoes, carrots and turnips. Drain and mash with half the cheese.

2. Brown the beef with a bit of butter. Add the beef broth and mix well.

3. Spread the beef on the bottom of an oven dish. Spread the creamed corn and the corn kernels. Cover with the potato mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

4. Bake at 350F for 20 min or until cheese melts.

Shepherds Pie

Verdict: This wasn’t a horrible recipe, but it’s not my favourite Shepherd’s Pie recipe. I was mainly trying this recipe to try turnips for what may be the first time. When it comes to trying new ingredients to cook with, I always like to have them surrounded by ingredients I know I like, so that if I don’t like the new ingredient there are still things that I can eat in the dish. I don’t know if it was the recipe or me, but I couldn’t taste the turnip in this dish.


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