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Category Archives: Mains

Main dishes

Quick Update

It’s been a while since I posted anything on here, but I got a bit of a jolt this morning when I checked my comments. Apparently, I had forgotten to include a source for one of the recipes I’ve reviewed. I think it’s quite apparent that I try recipes from various sources and let you know how well they turned out for me. There are a few excepts, where I’ve made my own like my recipe for homemade Wunderbars for example, or I’ll tweak a recipe and make it my own. I just wanted to make it clear so that no one thinks I’m trying to pass most of these recipes off as my own.

In other news, I haven’t been doing as much  cooking as usual. I’ve had some bad luck in the last couple of months. First my dishwasher died, then my oven element died and I can’t fix it on my own so I need to call a repair guy. I would also have to take my old element to Sears to see if they have a replacement, and its not fun doing that on the bus.

I bought a little toaster oven in the meantime, and it works surprisingly well. I’ve roasted chicken, pork chops, and even prime rib in there and it’s all turned out really well! I’ve baked muffins, cupcakes, and blondies with good results. I can’t get a full sized casserole dish in there, and I can’t fit my cast iron skillet in there to broil something, which is frustrating. Come Christmas I will definitely need the oven fixed in order to roast a Turkey! This weekend I have to bit the bullet and run around to get all that done. Oh did I mention my basement sprung a leak so the contractor is coming by on Saturday to fix that. And it’s nearly Christmas. It’s a good thing I’m not shelling out the dough to go back to Labrador for Christmas or I’d be in a bind. Wish me luck!


The oven:


Deceptively Delicious Chicken Cannelloni

Steve gets off work earlier than me and he came over the other night be help with garbage, then he challenged himself to make this dish from Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious. He was in a bit of a hurry and didn’t read the direction for cauliflower puree closely enough. He didn’t steam the veg first and ended up having a difficult time pureeing it in the blender. In his defense, its not well laid out in the book. You have to go back and forth between pages for directions on how to steam, and then directions on how to purée, which is a little cumbersome if you haven’t made purées before. Anyway, when I got home I tried microwaving the puree but gave up because I couldn’t really tell if it was doing anything. We went on with the recipe as directed and it turned out pretty well I think. In the first couple of bites I could taste the cauliflower but got used to it. It may have been because it wasn’t cooked first, I’m not sure. Other than that, it’s a pretty basic dish but once Miss M. finally starts eating foods that are mixed together, I will give it a try again. (Sorry about posting such a mess of a dish but we nearly forgot to take a pic.)


Chicken Cannelloni

8 whole wheat lasagna sheets ( 4×4 or 3×6 inches)

cooking spray

1 lb chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

3/4 cup cauliflower puree

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups jarred tomato sauce

1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

Ahead of time: cut the cauliflower into bite sized pieces and steam for about 10 minutes. Whir in a blender or food processor for about a minute or two, with a teaspoon or two of water, until smooth.

Boil and salt the water for the lasagna sheets. Cook, drain and then place the lasagna in a bowl of cool water.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix the chicken, ricotta, cauliflower puree, parmesan, garlic powder, and salt until the chicken is well coated.

Place 1 lasagna sheet on the cutting board. On the edge closest to you, spread out 1/4 cup of the filling so that it covers 1/3 of the sheet. With your fingertips, roll the lasagna into a tube (lift the edge of the pasta with the filling and roll). Transfer seam-side down to the baking sheet. Pour the sauce around the cannelloni but not on top. Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes.

One-Pan Chicken with Herbs + Garlic

Oh man, I have totally neglected this blog for the last couple of weeks! I’ve been so busy at work, and we haven’t been making a ton of new recipes. There are a couple that I haven’t posted yet including this one.

Here’s another recipe from the long weekend. Chicken thighs were on sale so I used a family pack of those instead of a whole chicken, used baby potatoes, and finally some dried herbs instead of fresh. OMG it was so good! The rendered chicken fat and the oil combined with the wine and broth to make a glorious sauce in the bottom of the pan, plus the chicken skin stayed super crispy and delicious! The potatoes soaked up all the flavors and were perfectly tender. This recipe is so simple that it’s perfect for any night of the week. This one is going into regular rotation once the weather cools down again. Very comforting.


One-Pan Chicken in White Wine with Herbs and Garlic

Feeds 4 people

  • 1 large free-range chicken cut into 8 pieces
  • 700gm new potatoes, cleaned
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine or juice
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup finely chopped herbs (rosemary, parsley, thyme and sage)
  • 3T olive oil
  •  salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • sliced lemon (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200°C and place the chicken pieces and potatoes (and lemons if you are using) in a large deep sided roasting pan. Mix the wine or juice, stock, mustard, garlic and herbs and pour over the chicken. Drizzle over the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Roast uncovered for an hour, or until cooked through.


Booo! High Cholesterol :(

My heath is really suffering since I started this new job. I’m gone for 10 hours a day, only get 1/2 hour for lunch so no midday walk, I get  home around 6pm and I’m just pooped. I don’t cook as much anymore and my daughter is so picky I have to make two meals pretty much every night so I end up eating her chicken fingers and hot dogs a few too many times than I care to admit. The doc tells me I need to get my act together and start eating better. I have until mid-September to bring my bad cholesterol down. Steve and I are going to try our best to start cooking from my favourite cookbook – “The New Way to Cook Light” from the publishers of Cooking Light magazine. It’s a James Beard winner to boot! The next two weekends I have to work during two summer festivals so I’ll be putting in 10 – 12 hour days and eating horribly I’m sure. But after that we’re getting on track. I think the first recipe we want to try is Chicken Shawarma. Stay tuned!


Weber’s Ideal Cheeseburgers

It was Victoria Day long weekend here in Ottawa last week, and one of the highlights of course was the food. Friday, Steve made simple BBQ chicken, Saturday we went out for dinner at The Heart and Crown pub. I had chicken and waffles for the first time with spicy maple syrup of all things but it wasn’t my favourite. Sunday I made an amazing one pan chicken recipe that I will share later, and last night Steve made burgers! Amazingly, I made only one sweet dish, which was Baked French Toast with Apple Maple Syrup. Very delicious as well. (I totally forgot to take a pic). I’ll start by sharing the burgers so that you can start dreaming about making your own. 🙂 If you mince the onion very small you might be able to get away to feeding it to picky eaters! Miss M. still won’t try eating a burger but she did love the chicken I made which is a total triumph!


Weber’s Ideal Cheeseburgers

1½ pounds ground chuck (80% lean), preferably ground to order by your butcher
2  tablespoons minced white or yellow onion
1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 Tbsp ketchup
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2  tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4  hamburger buns, split
4  slices aged cheddar cheese, each about 2 ounces
4  leaves butter lettuce
16  dill pickle chips

1. Mix the patty ingredients, including 1 tablespoon ketchup, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and then gently form four patties of equal size, each about 1 inch thick. With your thumb or the back of a spoon, make a shallow indentation about 1 inch wide in the center of the patties to prevent them from forming a dome as they cook. Refrigerate the patties until ready to grill.

2. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat (400° to 500°F).

3. Lightly season the patties on both sides with salt and pepper. Butter the cut side of the buns. Grill the patties over direct medium-high heat, with the lid closed, until cooked to medium doneness (160°F), 9 to 11 minutes, turning once. During the last 30 seconds to 1 minute of grilling time, place a slice of cheese on each patty to melt, and toast the buns, cut side down, over direct heat.

4. Build each burger on a bun with a lettuce leaf, a patty, pickles, and ketchup, if desired. Serve immediately

©2014 Weber-Stephen Products LLC. Recipe from Weber’s Big Book of Burgers™ by Jamie Purviance.



Long Weekend!!!

Well it’s the unofficial start of summer and I’m stoked! Unfortunately for my waistline, summer means FOOD! I am excited about what we can make on our little charcoal grill, especially since I found this Weber’s cookbook dedicated to burgers. I initially thought, how in the world can you write a whole book about just burgers, but when you think about all the different types of meat and meat alternatives you can use to create a burger, it’s totally possible. I think we’re going to try something with mushrooms and onions. I’ll keep you posted. If you click the link below you can get a preview and a few recipes. We made a couple of recipes from other Weber cookbooks last summer and they were really good so I have high hopes for this one. If you give any of these a try, let me know. 🙂

Have a wonderful long weekend!



Poutine Fest


Across the way at Major’s Hill Park, Ottawa, ON, Canada

I thought I’d give a little update since I haven’t posted anything in a  while. I’m still working quite a ways from home. It takes me 1.5 hrs total to drop off my daughter at the babysitters in the morning, then jump on another bus to get downtown, then yet another bus to get to the west end, and if I’m lucky I’ll catch a third bus to get to my office. Then I do it all in reverse to get home, except they’re doing construction near a main intersection downtown between the mall and the university so traffic gets tangled pretty badly and it’s been taking an extra 10-15 to get to the babysitters around 5:30. By the time we get home it’s 6 or after and I’m tired and hungry. If I don’t have leftovers I end up eating chicken fingers or some such thing with Miss M. I’ve been making recipes I know by heart so I haven’t been trying anything new lately.

Steve gets out of work earlier than me on Friday so he came over and made a giant roast beef. He cut up some white potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and onions, threw them in the roasting pan and nestled the beef on top, then roasted it. It was pretty good. The veggies were better than the meat actually. We have a ton of leftovers that I’m going to save to make enchiladas later this week.

Saturday we checked out Spark’s Street Poutine Fest but actually didn’t anything because the lineups were ridiculously long. They didn’t have enough chip trucks set up so wait times were way too long for us, especially with a 4 year old in tow. We headed home and made our own poutine with frozen fries! lol Here’s a recipe we made last year if you want to give it a try yourself.


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