This is my absolute go to/must serve appetizer! I make it pretty much every time we entertain or if I am asked to bring an appy to a gathering. It is super easy and quick to make and always a hit! As my friends may know about me, I love to make sure my meals are nicely seasoned…with this dish it is no different. While it is unremarkably different from most Artichoke dip recipes out there, I add some extra seasonings to elevate it from the standard. I hope you enjoy it 😊
1 8oz Pack of Cream Cheese (softened)
1 Cup Real Mayonnaise
1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 14oz can Artichokes (I usually dice up my artichokes so they aren’t huge pieces)
1 TSP White Pepper
2 TSP Garlic Powder
1 TSP Dried Oregano
½ Tsp Italian Seasoning
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine all ingredients above and mix thoroughly.
- Place the mixture into an oven safe dish and bake for 30 minutes.
Don’t panic. I know what the vast majority of people will think when they see this title…”Brussel Sprouts…Yuck!” If you are anything like me you are probably reliving all the family dinners from your childhood when your parents tried to force you to eat brussel sprouts. Personally I have never been a fan of these tiny cabbages, that is until now. It all changed this past Christmas when my lovely sister-in-law served up these bad boys at the family dinner, this is also to say that I cannot take credit for this recipe as it is something I got from her 🙂 This is a super easy and quick side dish that is sure to please even the most determined hater of brussel sprouts.
- 30 – 40 Brussel Sprouts
- 2 – 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Coarse Salt & Pepper to taste
- Wash the sprouts, peeling off any loose bits.
- Trim off a bit from the bottom of the sprouts then cut then in half.
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a bowl toss the sprouts with the olive oil and some salt and pepper. (I used approx. 1 Tsp of each)
- Place the halves face down on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and check the sprouts. If they are golden on the bottom remove and serve. If they aren’t golden yet, flip them over and bake for another 5 minutes.
Serve and enjoy 🙂
These baked brussel sprouts go great with a little bit of white vinegar sprinkled on top too
After seeing the title of this post all of you can now guess what tops my list of favorite animated movies. Yes, that’s right it is Ratatouille. The story in short is about a brave young mouse named Remy who makes his way to Paris and sets out to become a chef. Towards the end of the movie in order to impress a tough restaurant critic he cooks up this dish. This traditional French dish originally from Nice brings the critic back to his childhood and warms his heart. This is an incredibly simple meal to make and makes a great side dish or even a meal in itself. If you have seen the movie you will know that Remy takes great care and time arranging the veggies beautifully. I simply do not have that sort of time as I am sure many of you do not either so mine is slightly messier. The result is the same, a yummy hearty meal perfect for a cool autumn night. Typically this dish also calls for egg plant, I however am allergic to it so naturally this dish is sans egg plant 🙂 If you like you can always add it into yours.
- 2 Medium Zucchinis
- 1 Bell Pepper
- 1 Can of Tomato Paste
- 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
- 4 Sprigs Thyme
- 1/4 Medium White Onion (chopped)
- 1 Tsp Seasoning Salt
- 1 Tsp Paprika
- 1 Tsp Fresh Cracked Pepper
- 1 Cup Hot Water
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- In a food processor, slice your zucchinis on a medium setting. Then slice up your bell pepper into strips.
- In a baking dish, put the onion and olive oil into the bottom.
- In a small bowl mix the garlic, thyme, spices and tomato paste with the water. Combine them all until the paste is dissolved. (using hot water will help dissolve the paste easier)
- Pour the tomato ‘sauce” into the bottom of the baking dish and mix with the onions and oil.
- Pre-heat your oven to 350F.
- Arrange your zucchini and pepper slices into the dish.
- Cover the dish with a piece of parchment paper then bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes.
The Paleo Challenge has been set at our house again. For the next 40 days we will be eating ‘caveman’ style. Why? well it is simple really… in order to feel better and to shed some of that summer beer intake and the “lets just get take out because it is too nice outside” weight. Just in time for the low calorie holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas lol. The truth is, we have had great results with eating this way. It does take a significant amount of more work, but in the end the results make it worth it. The thing I have struggled the most with during this diet in previous months are the breakfasts. I start work at 7 am which makes time in the morning for chopping, frying and mucking about the kitchen hard to come by. Most breakfasts need to be made the night before or at least prepped in order to expedite things in the morning. I do this because most days I don’t know which way is up when the alarm clock starts going off. Therefore, something I don’t need to put much effort into is perfect. This was my first attempt at an egg frittata and for something that took under 30 minutes to make the night before, it was well worth it :). It made a perfect ‘grab and go’ style breakfast this morning that can be eaten cold or heated up.
- 8 eggs
- 4 Tbsp White Onion (finely chopped)
- 1 Medium Red Bell Pepper (finely chopped)
- 12 Kalamata Olives (chopped)
- 2 Tbsp Sundried Tomatoes (chopped)
- 5 Tbsp Frozen Spinach
- 1 Tbsp Oregano
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1/2 Tbsp Seasoning Salt
- Fresh Pepper
- Defrost your spinach and once it is fully thawed squeeze out the water.
- Cut up your onions, pepper, olives and tomatoes.
- In a frying pan heat up the coconut oil and toss in the onions. Cook until they start to go golden.
- Toss in the peppers, olives and tomatoes to allow the peppers to soften. Approx 3 mins.
- Add in the Spinach and quickly heat it up.
- Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool.
- In a medium bowl, whisk your eggs and add in the seasonings. Mix well in order for everything to combine.
- Heat your oven to 400 F.
- Lightly grease a 9″ glass baking dish.
- Add your cooled veggie mixture to the eggs and mix them together.
- Pour it into the baking dish and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove and let it cool.
Like I said before you can easily make this the night before and quickly grab a few pieces in the morning.
I’m back! After a couple weeks spent gallivanting across Scotland and Ireland for my first wedding anniversary with my amazing husband I have had to come back to reality. Lucky for you, this involves me cooking again! The last couple of days have been spent cleaning, unpacking and doing the dreaded laundry *shudder* so last night marked only day 3 of me cooking again.
After a solid two weeks of having others cook for us and enjoying some heavy but delicious meals, we both noticed our clothes getting a little snugger than they were prior to our vacation. I do not regret it one bit! After all “we were on vacation” so when the server asked if I wanted another pint of Guiness with my chicken and mushroom cream pie the answer was naturally a YES please!
Upon our return and a moment of panic when I couldn’t find an appropriate work outfit we both knew we had to get back on track with our eating habits. From this came a wonderful, easy and might I add Paleo dinner idea last night.
I had been wanting to try my hand at an almond chicken for awhile now, the main thing stopping me was my husband of all things. Not for reasons you may think though. Bless his heart, he has been helping me out before I get home from work by washing and prepping the chicken breasts. However, out of habit he would also marinate the chicken. Now normally I would never object to this, but for this meal that I had in mind I needed un-marinated chicken breasts.
Last night I came home to cleaned un-marinated chicken and quickly got to work. This super easy and quick meal was not only healthy, it was delicious!
- 2 Chicken Breasts (washed and fileted in half)
- 1 Egg (beaten)
- 1 Cup Almond Meal
- 1 Handful Sliced Almonds
- 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1 1/2 Tsp Seasoning Salt
- Juice from Half a Lemon
- 2 Tbsp Ground Fresh Ginger
- Place your cut chicken in a shallow dish and “marinate” it with the lemon juice and ginger. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- In another shallow dish put in your egg and beat it.
- In another shallow dish assemble the almond meal, sliced almonds and seasoning.
- Pre-heat your oven to 415 degrees F.
- Take your marinated chicken and let the lemon juice drip off a bit (you can decide how much ginger you want on each piece by rubbing it in a bit at this stage).
- Dredge the chicken through the egg on both sides followed by the almond mixture. You may need to sprinkle the meal by hand to fully cover the chicken.
- Place your “breaded” chicken breasts on a lightly greased baking rack. Place some more almond slices on top if you wish for extra crunch.
- Place the tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until they turn golden.
After a hectic couple of months I am finally back in the swing of things. I doubt anyone was waiting in suspense for my next recipe but I hope this one will not disappoint. I have had a lack of good dinner ideas lately so dinners around our house were rather uneventful the past few months.
It is weird how inspiration just sort of hits you sometimes though, after almost two months of cooking the same old thing I was struck with a random idea for Salmon. This came across my mind around 11:00pm the other night while being unable to fall asleep. We had recently found out that we will most likely be going to Quebec next summer for a visit. This in turn got me thinking about Maple Syrup since my husbands family produces some of the most amazing Maple Syrup, needless to say our house is an Aunt Jemima free zone. Not wanting to waste some high quality syrup I knew I had to put it to use on some high quality Salmon. Living on the West Coast where Salmon is a staple, this was not very hard to do. My mind kept racing about different ways to use the syrup on this Salmon and slowly I developed a plan.
When making this last night I was honestly nervous. I had no idea if this would work or if I would be throwing away $20 worth of salmon not to mention the Whiskey and our precious Maple Syrup. After taking it out of the oven and taking our first bites I knew that my late night “lightbulb” moment had panned out! It was delicious and my husband has already told me that I have to make this again soon! I hope you will enjoy my random strike of inspiration as well.
- 4 pieces of Wild Salmon (I used center pieces with the skin on)
- 1 Medium Shallot (finely chopped)
- 1 Large Organic Garlic Clove (finely chopped)
- 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1 1/2 Shots Whiskey (I used Jameson)
- 4 1/2 Tbsp Maple Syrup (I used Grade “A”)
- Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
- Fresh Lemon Juice
- Rinse your Salmon and place it skin down on a lightly buttered baking dish. Pat the fish dry, squeeze a bit of lemon juice on it and crack some fresh pepper on it.
- In a Medium sauce pan, melt your butter and toss in the shallot. Cook over medium heat until it turns golden and toss in the garlic and a bit of salt.
- After about a minute, deglaze the pan with the whiskey. Cook for about 2 minutes to allow the alcohol to cook off.
- Add in the maple syrup and bring to a boil.
- Set aside and let it cool.
- Once the syrup and onions have cooled pour the mixture over the fish. I let mine site for about 15 minutes in the “marinade”.
- Heat your oven to 425 degrees. Place your fish in the oven uncovered and bake for 25 minutes.
- Let it cool a bit and serve.
I made these lovely treats the other night after having a craving for spicy food. The inspiration for these came after a wonderful dinner at a local restaurant where they served something similar. Naturally I have no idea how they made them at the restaurant so this is me winging it at home. Super quick and easy snack for parties or even to snack on at home. I served up ours as a side dish at dinner with some garlic and white pepper aioli the recipe is also below.
For the Jalapenos:
- 10 Medium Jalapenos
- 1 Cup Bread Crumbs
- 1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan
- 1 Egg
- Cut the top off your peppers and cut them length wise. Remove the inside and seeds.
- Put your egg in a bowl and beat it.
- In a separate bowl, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan.
- Dip each half in the egg then in the bread and cheese mix.
- Place your peppers on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
- Heat your oven to 420 degrees F and place the peppers in.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese turns golden.
- Remove and serve.
Garlic White Pepper Aioli
- 3 Tbsp Mayo
- Juice from 1/2 Lemon
- 1 Tsp Ground White Pepper
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Minced Garlic Cloves
Combine all the above in a bowl and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes then serve. If you do not get through all of it in one sitting it stores well for several days.
This is a super easy dinner option especially if you need to feed several people and any left overs can be frozen and saved for another lazy day.
This meal came out of looking for a quick way to use up a bunch of veggies in the fridge while creating something filling.
Last year we went surfing and one of our friends made a casserole for an evening dinner. One pan filled with tons of veggies and rice filled up 8 people! While some of the things used I did not have or what to use in mine, the inspiration was there. I had never attempted to make a casserole before and looking through the Internet most of what I stumbled upon were all creamy and heavy meals. I wanted a healthier version so for mine I didn’t use any cream soup or Parmesan cheese like most ask for. I decided to let my broth and seasonings give this easy dinner its yummy taste 🙂
- 4 Chicken Breasts (cut into small cubes)
- 1 Cup White Basmati Rice
- 3 Carrots
- 2 Celery Stock
- 3 Tbsp Leeks
- 1/4 Cup Brocolli
- 1 Portobello Mushroom
- 1 Large Clove of Garlic
- 1/2 Red Pepper
- 2 Cups Chicken Broth (I used 2 Tbsp of the NO MSG powdered broth and mixed with water)
- 1 1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 Tsp Paprika
- 2 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Cayenne
- 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil (or your favorite oil)
1) Marinate your chicken cubes using the soy sauce and oil. Season it lightly with some paprika and garlic powder.
2) Dice up all your veggies into small pieces.
3) Rinse your rice and place it into a 9″ glass baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
4) Add in all your diced up veggies and the garlic. Then mix it all together.
5) Preheat your oven to 420F.
6) Mix your broth with the paprika, garlic powder, cayenne and cumin then pour it into the dish.
7) Place your marinated chicken on top making sure it is spread evenly over the rice and veggie mix.
8) Cover with tin foil leaving a small corner open for the steam then bake in the oven for 45mins.
9) After 45 mins, uncover the dish and bake for another 15 mins.