Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Italian Meatball Stew

It was minus 20C last night. Yikes! That calls for some good ole comfort food. About once a week I try to make something in the crockpot so dinner is ready and there is only one dish to clean up afterwards. I got this recipe from a family member who said it came out in a recipe book when crockpots first came out. Imagine, it would be the same as the big fuss going on right now over the InstaPots. This is like beef stew but instead it uses giant meatballs. Good and hearty and no pre-cooking.
Crockpot Italian Meatball Stew
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
Combine meatball ingredients and form into 2 inch balls
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1inch slices

Arrange carrots in bottom of crockpot.
Arrange meatballs over carrots.

1 6oz can tomato paste
1 cup water
1 cup beef bouillon/broth
1/2 tsp oregano
Combine these ingredients and pour over meatballs.
Orginal recipe says cook on low 4-6 hours but I would go with 6. Those are BIG meatballs.
Before serving - Turn to high and add 1 or so cups of Italian vegetables. I just used frozen mixed vegetables. Cook a further 15-20 minutes.

If you are worried about fat. Cook up the day before and refrigerate, then you can skim off any fat. Or use extra lean ground beef. Also can be made gluten free, if you leave out the bread crumbs or substitute another binder. Also you can add a few more vegetables if desired.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Blueberry Muffins

I really need to stop baking but hey, what's the winter for anyway? These muffins are always delicious and even more so because I used the delicious, super flavourful wild blueberries that I brought home from Nova Scotia. I couldn't believe how reasonable they were compared to what we have here. i bought a case of fresh and froze them when I got home.You can use frozen berries or fresh, no matter, they will turn out great.
I cut one open to show how delicious they were on the inside and was only going to eat a half and then it was so good, I had to eat the second half. Need to test the recipes, don't you know.

Blueberry Muffins
1 egg
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup sugar ( I added a bit more)
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup blueberries
2 Tbsp lemon or orange rind, finely grated

Heat oven to 400F
Grease bottoms of muffins tins or use liners
Beat egg, stir in milk and oil. Mix in remaining ingredients until flour is moistened.
Batter should be lumpy.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle sugar on the top of each muffin. Bake 25 to 30 min or until golden.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

January Monthly Challenge

Keri and I decided to keep going with our monthly challenges. It's so fun to meet up and see what the other person was working on (and get a card to use). We don't always make original designs but it gets us using our stash or borrowing from the other person's stash.

This month Keri used the new release from Avery Elle with a topic that is close to my heart.
Here's the card she came up with this month....
Isn't that just darling? and the clouds were sponged using a plastic template, I believe from MFT. Great job.
Here's the stamp set she used...
I finally bought the die set to go with these cat stamps from MFT. The dies are so pricey and you can usually fussy cut the image but I like the clean look when you use a die. My card is original, believe it or not...
I originally tried to do a tabby cat in orange. Then it was awful so I coloured the cat completely orange. Well if you remember Bridget Jones Diary, it looked just like the colour of her mother's boyfriend's fake tan. I always laugh at that part. I think the more subtle look is so much nicer.  The inside of the card says... "have a purr-fect Day"

Friday, 2 February 2018

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Wow, I was on a roll in January. 10 posts in a month. See if I can keep up the pace for February.
Let's start with this cake...... YUM! It's like walking through the Mall and getting closer and closer to the Cinnabon kiosk then you realize you're in your own home. Not only does it smell delightful but it tastes delightful also. You think you're eating a cinnamon roll then you realize that it actually has the texture of a cake. I'll be making this one again for sure.
Cinnamon Roll Cake
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Mix everything together for cake except butter. Slowly stir in melted butter and pour into greased 9x13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350F for 28-32 minutes.

2 cups icing sugar
5 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
While warm drizzle over cake.

Here it is after it came out of the oven...

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Inky Paws Challenge

This is my first time entering the Newton's Nook Inky Paws Challenge, simply because I don't have many of the stamp sets, which is something I would like to rectify soon.

I chose this set because I make a lot of Pet Sympathy cards. This week, it was a sketch challenge which I really like. Of course, I had just lent all my heart dies to a friend but fortunately I was able to borrow one for the challenge.

Here's my card....
Based on this sketch...
This is the die set that I used..
I could have used the adorable pawprint heart but it wasn't in my "vision". Lol.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Chili Pork chops

I got this recipe from a friend waaaay back in my university days. Jean was a mature student who struggled with the culture and the study needed to be successful as she had been out of school for some time. On the other hand, she had some great recipes because she was at a stage in her life when she had already cooked for herself for a number of years.

This is one recipe that I pulled out to join the low carb craze. I think this recipe fits the bill. I used store bought chili sauce to test it out since it's been awhile but next time, I'm going to use my homemade chili sauce and I think it will be even better. Like everyone else, I eat a lot of chicken so every now and then its nice to mix things up with a pork chop.

Chili Pork Chops
(for 2 pork chops)

1/2 cup chili sauce
1/4 tsp dry mustard
2 Tbsp ketchup
garlic powder to taste
chili powder to taste ( I was out so I put in a dash of Franks hot sauce and some hot pepper flakes but not necessary)
1/4 tsp Worchestershire sauce
Mix well.

Brown pork chops in frying pan. Cover with chili mixture and bake in covered dish at 350F for 1 - 1.5 hours. Baste frequently and turn once if you wish.
You can change up the recipe to suit your tastes. The sauce should be tangy.

I hope that you did well, wherever you ended up, Jean.

Monday, 22 January 2018

MFT Sketch Challenge

What's going on? I'm being way too productive, reading 5 novels, entering challenges, doing blog posts. It must be January.
Anyway, I really enjoy the MFT sketch challenges. I find it gives such a good starting point and focuses your ideas on what to use and how to use it.
I went back to my beloved dog cards for this one and used a 6x6 paper pad from Authentique.
I uses MFT's 4 legged friends which I haven't used before (shhh, don't tell Keri, I might have to use this for our exchange) and heat embossed the sentiment. I love the neutral tones and how this card came together.
Here's the sketch it was based on...

And this is the stamp and die set that I used...
I can see all kinds of possibilities with this set.