Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Sunny Day Tea

Summer is upon us!  And thankfully...this year.....there is some summer!  To celebrate this lush, hot, and "play outside" weather I am making a drink that will be our staple all summer.  Sunny Day Tea!  We love this tea over ice and with a lemon wedge!  The best part....we can play while the sun does all the work.  That is MY kind of summer!!!

What you need:
2 - 3 Litres of  COLD water
10 teabags
1/2 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup of sugar
Lemons for garnish.

It all begins with a big jar, or use a glass pitcher. (just make sure you can cover it) Fill with COLD water.  This makes the tea not bitter as it brews.

Add 10 teabags.  I love Tetley Orange Pekoe.

Place in direct sunlight.  And leave it for about 4 hours.  Longer is okay too.

Remove teabags, add sugar and lemon juice and serve over ice!  Refridgerate and drink when thirsty!

Oh look, I didn't lift a finger and I have home made Ice tea! All I did was lounge  in a chair, read a book and get sunburned! 

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb "Dump" cake

A friend of mine recently gifted me with some fresh, sweet, and juicy rhubarb from her garden!  Those are really the best of gifts! 

Doesnt' it look amazing!  Thanks C!!!

So I wanted to do a dessert that did the rhubarb justice and bring out its fantastic a yummy cakey "Dump Cake" it is!!!  This is really a wonderful dessert that is easy to put together and a hit with everyone!  I made  it for Father's Day weekend and topped it with Whipped Cream.  Divine!

Adapted from Kraft Canada

What You Need

1 lb. (450 g) fresh rhubarb, chopped (about 4 cups) 
1 cup slice strawberries (fresh or frozen) 
1/2 cup sugar
1 pkg. (85 g) Strawberry Jelly Powder
1 pkg. (2-layer size) white cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup whipped cream


1. HEAT oven to 350ºF

2.  PLACE rhubarb in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; sprinkle with sugar and dry jelly powder.  


 So easy to do so far!!

3.  STIR cake mix, water and butter with fork just until cake mix is moistened. (Do not overmix.) 


4. POUR over rhubarb; spread to completely cover rhubarb. 

BAKE 45 min. or until golden brown. Serve warm topped with whipping cream!


 Very Very GOOOD!!!





Monday, 18 June 2012

Macaroni Taco Bake

It has been a rainy week this week.  And I am totally great with that!  We needed the moisture for the gardens, flowers and crops up here.  So I am thankful.  :)

On days like today I always think of comfort food.  Roasts, soups, stews, and cassaroles.  I love watching them slowly meld the flavors together and the steam rising upward as you lift off the lid.  So today as the grass  is getting greener and the puddles are getting bigger I am going to make one of my favorite dishes.  Macaroni Taco Bake!

Adapted from Kraft Canada.

What you need:

1 pkg. (400 g) Kraft Deluxe Original Cheddar Pasta & Sauce
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 pkg. (35 g) taco seasoning mix
3/4 cup sour cream
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup salsa


Important!!  Don't use regular Kraft Dinner. You need the "Deluxe" version.  Much better. 

HEAT oven to 400°F.

PREPARE Dinner as directed on package. While Macaroni is cooking, cook meat with taco seasoning mix as directed on package. 

STIR sour cream into prepared Dinner;

Spoon half into 8-inch square baking dish.

Top with layers of meat mixture,

and 1 cup shredded cheese and remaining Dinner mixture; cover. (I added a layer of cheese slices as well, didn't show 2nd layer of noodles...sorry....).  BAKE 15 min.

Top with salsa and remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese; bake, uncovered, 5 min. or until melted. 

Now serve to a happy family. :)  This is an economical supper that pleases most everyone!  Serve with a salad or veggies and dip!  Enjoy!


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Vanilla Strawberry Pudding Pops!

We are experiencing a HEAT WAVE!  I know it is truly shocking.  Especially since me and Santa Claus went together on building a fence for our yards.... ok, we don't live THAT far north.  But last summer was a disaster.  It rained, it was cloudy, it rained some more....Sun...not so much.

BUT, this summer.....we've had a week of hot weather already!! And its not even JUNE 21st!!!!  So, one must be prepared to beat the heat.  And Popsicles are the way to do it when you have little ones.  So I got out my beloved Dixie Cups again and my NEWLY FOUND POPSICLE STICKS...(Yahoo)  and whipped up a batch of frozen strawberry sweetness!  My kids love these and are anticipating my next Popsicle....hmm....I'm thinking chocolate with cookies.....ANYWAYS let's make these first!

What You Need

1 pkg. (4-serving size) Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding
1/4 cup Kool-Aid Strawberry Sugar Sweetened Drink Mix (from the canister)
2 cups cold milk
1 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries

Here is what you need!  Go buy it!!!  You and your kids will thank me!

Finely chop strawberries

In a large bowl combine pudding mix, milk and juice crystals.  Blend together for 2 minutes.

Add strawberries and stir to combine.

Pour mixture into Popsicle molds or your beloved Dixie cups.

Place Popsicle sticks into mixture and freeze for at least 4 hours.   Then ENJOY!!

Friday, 8 June 2012

My Favourite.....COFFEE!

I must admit.....I do enjoy a good mug of caffeinated beverage in the morning.....It wasn't always this way.  I used to think people who started their day with a cup of joe were kinda silly.  BUT THEN...I had children....I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND NOW!!!

So, as my husband and I have come to look forward to our jump start in the mornings, we have also come to find our favorite brand of coffee. We know we don't like I guess that makes us a bit of coffee snobs...We like freshly ground beans with lots of coffee cream in it! ( I like a nice heap of sugar too!)  So, the brand we like the most....our FAVOURITE.... is

Kicking Horse Coffee.

We love this stuff!  It's a Canadian company out of Invemere British Columbia.  And man do they roast goooood coffee...  They are a fair trade company that brings in their beans from all over the world.  They then roast them to perfection and give their varieties cool Hoodoo Joe, Grizzly Claw, Pacific Pipeline, 454 Horsepower....and our favourite....Kootney Crossing!  Truly it is like sampling a fine wine...The nuances of the coffee and flavors that come out.  In KCrossing it is a light roast, with caramelly, chocolate nuances....and smoooooth! We love it and have to order it often.  You can buy it at most grocery stores but I like to order it as it is cheaper and free shipping!  Totally try this great brand!!!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Oreo Rice Krispy Treats

I have been in the cookie doldrums lately.  I have NO ambition to bake little circles of sugar, butter and flour....( You can see my need for inspiration in this area)  BUT, I have been enjoying making SQUARES!  Yep, (maybe its the shape) little square or large rectangle bites of goodness have been cut out of my 9x13 pan this past few weeks.  Puffed Wheat, Marshmallow confetti.....and now......Rice Krispies with a twist!

If you have been in the cookie doldrums lately, get out your krispy cereal, marshmallows, oh and buddah...

Oreo Rice Krispy Treats

What you need:

1/4 cup of butter
1 pkg of marshmallows (250 gram)
5 cups of Rice Crisp cereal
2 cup of chopped Oreo cookies (about 16)

The ingredients....looks familiar, yet different...

 First coarsely chop cookies.

 **** make sure you grease a 9x13 pan***

Secondly, in large pot on medium low heat melt butter and marshmallows.

 Thirdly, stir in cereal and cookie chunks.


Quickly combine evenly.


Fourthly, press into greased 9x13 pan.  In my pan here I did half with cookies and half without as my husband is a Rice Krispy Square purist....

Fifthly, let squares set and then cut and enjoy!!!  

I love that these are familiar yet different.  A great variation!!!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Cauliflower Taco Salad

The Lowly Cauliflower....Who knew it could be elevated to such GREATNESS!  Truly, this salad will be a staple this summer, as I need to spread the word about it!

I first encountered this salad at a church potluck.  Alas, I was serving and by the time I got in line to eat it was GONE!  A true testimony to its AWESOMENESS!  But, I was in luck....The maker of this knockout salad had a daughter who is equally amazing at making said salad and she made it for the next church potluck.  And this time I pushed and shoved to the front of the line and was able to taste and savour THE BEST SUMMER SALAD EVER!!

Ok, I think you get the idea.  It is awesome, amazing, brilliant and......cauliflower....with a secret power...Nacho Chips!

On with the recipe.


1 head of cauliflower
4 green onions
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1 TBSP of Taco Seasoning
1 Bag of Nacho Tortilla chips - slightly crunched into smaller pieces.

What to do:

Ah here she is the Foxy Lady...

1.  Chop up cauliflower into bite-sized pieces

2.  Also chop up  green onions.

3. Combine in large bowl...(easy so far eh?!)

4.  In separate bowl combine sour cream, mayo (or Miracle Whip), and taco seasoning. 

5. Mix well.  If you want you can do above steps earlier in the day and have them ready for when you need them.


6.  Make sure these are crunched to a smaller size.

7.  Right before you want to serve this salad, combine dressing and cauliflower mixture.

8. Add crunched taco chips.  Combine well and serve to happy people!!!  They will be happy to know that the salad isn't just greens...but TACO CHIPS!!!