Just a little ole working gal, who loves food

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

For the next month I will be posting all my Christmas Baking Recipes. Lots of cookies as well as a few traditional cakes to come!

I have been making these cookie for YEARS now. It was a recipe in an Old cookbook that belongs to my mother that I have modified and perfected. They are easy to make and quick to bake...perfect for freezing as well! This has been in my holiday baking rotation for a long time now...and I need to show them to the world!


2 Cups Unbleached Flour
1 1/4 Cups White Granulated Sugar
2 Tsp Baking Powder
4 Unsweetened Chocolate Squares (1 Ounce each), melted & cooled
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
3 Eggs at Room Temperature
2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
4 Tbsp Icing Sugar
2 Tbsp good quality cocoa powder

In a bowl combine the flour and baking powder through a sifter. Set this aside.

In your mixing bowl combine the Melted Chocolate, Sugar, Oil & Vanilla. Mix on medium speed.

One by one add your eggs.
 Iphone picture with one hand, dropping eggs with the other = bad picture

Lower your mixing speed to low and slowly add in the flour and baking powder mix. Once all in the mixer turn the speed back up just until all the flour is incorporated into the mix.

Place the whole bowl into your fridge for about 1 hour to firm up. This makes the cookie dough easier to handle when you roll out the cookies.

While the dough is in the fridge sift together the icing sugar and cocoa powder.

Once the dough is firm enough to handle, dump a tablespoon full into the palm of your hand and roll into a ball. Roll the ball in the icing sugar mixture.

Place all the balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and slightly flatten each dough ball.
Leave about 2 inches of space between each cookie.
Bake at 375F (350F in a convection oven) for about 10-13 Minutes.

Cookies will be soft in the middle when removed from the oven but will harden when cooled.

Perfect Chocolate Crinkle Cookies! Wrap in a pretty box for a lovely baked good gift!

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Weekend of Preparing Freezer Meals - Part 3

This is the FINAL post in the freezer cooking series this week. My final day of cooking involved making some sweet and savoury muffins, chocolate chip cookies and FINALLY finding my Pork Shoulder on sale and freezing it in bags (Pulled pork to me made at a later date!). I also pre-made some cilantro lime rice since its a great quick side dish for us!

Chocolate Chip Cookies....these are awesome right out of the freezer!


Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins (To be served with the Chili I cooked earlier in the weekend)


Banana Bread Muffins


Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins with Pecan Streusel

Dry Ingredients:

3 Cups Flour
3 Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar

Wet Ingredients:

2 1/2 Cups Pumpkin Puree
4 Eggs
1 Cup Vegetable Oil

Cheesecake Topping:

2 Pkgs Cream Cheese, Softened
2 Eggs at room temperature
1/2 Cup White Sugar

Pecan Streusel:

1 Cup Chopped Pecans
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
Pinch of Nutmeg

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl with the exception of the white and brown sugars.Set this aside.

Combine all the wet ingredients together in another bowl along with the white and brown sugars.

Mix in the dry ingredients

Combine with a spatula until all the flour is mixed in. Do not over mix this!

In a mixer whip up the cheesecake mixture by combining all the ingredients on high until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes)

Combine all the streusel ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Pre-heat your oven to 350F and spoon in some of the pumpkin batter. Then spoon in some cheesecake topping. I made some with muffin liners and some without. I use non-stick muffin trays and didn't have a problem with them sticking at all! You want to fill each muffin hole to the top with the batters.

Top each muffin with a good sprinkle of streusel.

Pop in the oven for 25 Minutes or until risen and fluffy.

Serve for breakfast with a cup of tea!

These freeze Really well!!! I hope these posts inspire you to freezer meal cook! It saves me SOO much time during the week when things get busy and even some breakfast shortcuts when the alarm doesn't go off ;)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Weekend of Preparing Freezer Meals - Part 2

So on day 2 of freezer meal making I decided to portion out all the extra meats I bought on Sale (Chicken Breasts, Chicken Thighs, Stewing Beef).

I usually put enough of each meat for a meal for the two of us plus leftovers for lunch the next day into each freezer bag. I think add marinade and freeze the raw meats IN the marinade. While the defrosting the meat the marinade makes for some excellent tenderizing!

Chicken Thigh's in Ginger Soy Sauce Marinade:

10 Chicken Thigh's
4 Tbsp Soya Sauce
1 Tsp Minced Fresh Ginger
1 Tsp Minced Fresh Garlic
1 Tsp Sirrachia
2 Tbsp Minced Chives

These were defrosted and BBQ'd. Served with Cilantro Lime Rice and steamed Broccoli

Chicken Breasts in Garlic Olive Oil Marinade:

5 Chicken Breasts
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
Juice of 1 Lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste

Stewing Beef Cubes:

1 Lbs Stewing Beef Cubes
Salt & Pepper
2 Bay Leaves
1 Cup Red Wine
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Some Sprigs of Fresh Parsley, Thyme & Rosemary

Breakfast Burritos for the week were also prepared on day 2:


I also made a large batch of Beef Stew with Israeli Cous Cous. We ended up not freezing this batch but I would with future stews!


2 Lbs Stewing Beef Cubes, Cut into bite Size pieces
1 Beer (I used a Lager)
1 Large Onion, Chopped
8-10 Mushrooms, Sliced
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
2 Tbsp Flour
2 x 750ML packages of low Sodium Beef Stock
2 Bay Leaves
2 Sprigs of Rosemary, Leaves picked and minced
6 Sprigs of Thyme, Leaves picked
2 Tsp of Minced Flat Leaf Parsley
Salt & Pepper to taste
Olive Oil for Searing
1 1/2 Cups of Israeli Cous Cous

First cut up your Stewing beef and season it with Salt & Pepper. In a large heavy bottomed pot, sear the beef over high heat with about 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil. Making sure to get all sides browned (even if it needs to be done in a couple of batches) Remove the beef from the pot and set it aside.

In the same pot over medium high heat saute your onions and mushrooms for a couple of minutes.

Once the onions are translucent add your garlic and flour. Continue stirring so the flour doesnt burn for about another minute.

Now quickly add the beer...scraping up all the bits from the bottom of the pot. Let this boil and bubble for about 2-3 Minutes.

Add back your beef cubes and top up with the beef stock. Add your bay leaves and allow this to simmer on low for about 2-3 hours.

After the stew has simmered for a few hours add your fresh herbs in as well as your israeli cous cous. I bought this blend at costco on the weekend which also included Orzo, Baby Garbanzo Beans and Red Quinoa. Let this simmer for about 15 Minutes or until the cous cous is cooked.

Serve with more fresh herbs and a stick of crusty bread!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Weekend of Preparing Freezer Meals-Part 1

I like to stock up my freezer every 3-4 Months on Freezer meals. My husband and I both work full time and there are nights where both of us are home late and have zero desire to cook!

The first step in this process is finding a weekend where I know I can dedicate 2-3 days to cooking. The reason why I split it up into 3 days is because cooking for 12 hours straight has ZERO appeal for me. This way I split up my recipes and conquer them in steps.

I made a list of dish's I wanted to make. Then I went and scoured the grocery stores and Costco for all my ingredients. The list did get cut in the end because I either couldn't find some of the ingredients or I forgot something or I ran out of freezer space! Below is my list:

Banana Bread Muffins
Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins
Breakfast Burritos
Beef/Bean/Cheese Burritos
Bolognese Sauce
Lasagna Just made sure I made enough Bolognese to make Lasagna another time
Mexican Lasagna
Pulled Pork Enchiladas... Couldn't find Pork Shoulders on Sale
 Pulled Pork Couldn't find Pork Shoulders on Sale
Cilantro Lime Rice
Korean Beef Got Lazy
AND IF I have the time...Sheppard's Pie. Got Lazy

I also portioned and froze raw Beef Chuck Cubes, Chicken Thighs and Chicken Breasts into Freezer bags in various marinades.

Added to my list was:

Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins
Beef Stew

I also made sure I had plenty of Tin Foil, Freezer bags and Lasagna Trays to store all the food in!

So on day 1 I make the following (With Recipes):

10 Beef and Bean Burritos:

1 Lbs of Ground Beef
1 Can of Refried Beans
2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup Chopped Scallions
10 Flour Tortillas
Taco Seasoning

Browned Ground Beef with Taco seasoning added

Fill your tortilla with the ingredients

Roll em up

Wrap individually in tin foil and store in extra large freezer bags
2 Mexican Lasagnas
1 Large Crock pot of Beef & Bean Chili
3 Lbs Ground Beef Browned
1 Large Onion Chopped
1 Large Green & Red Pepper Chopped
5 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Jalapenos, Minced
1 Can each of Black Beans, Kidney Beans & White Kidney Beans
3 Cans Crushed Tomato's
1 Can Tomato Paste
3 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Cumin
2 Tbsp Paprika
1 Tsp Cayenne
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Ground Black Pepper

Throw all the ingredients into the slow cooker. Stir and let cook on low for 6-8 hours. Allow to cool overnight and ladle into Freezer bags. Freeze flat!
1 Large Pot of Bolognese Sauce
So that was day 1 of cooking. I was going to also make the Pulled pork in my second slow cooker but was not able to find a good deal on Pork Shoulder until Monday (which I still bought and just froze uncooked until I make more freezer meals to replenish the stock!)
Tomorrow's post will feature day 2 of cooking!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

My BEST Potato Salad

I just noticed that I had a lot of recipes over the summer that I never posted. Things just got busy...it was summer and we had some great weather this year! So I apologize if you have already packed away your BBQ's and potato salad isn't on you menu's. I however make this all year round!
5-6 Large Yukon Gold Potato's
1/2 Red Onion, Minced
3 Scallions, Chopped
4 Hard Boiled Eggs
1 Lemon, Juiced
3 Tbsp Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tsp Tangy Dill Relish (Must be this kind!! Sweet Relish will ruin this!)
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Paprika for Garnish

Peel & Cube your Potato's and Boil them until they are fork tender. Once ready rinse under cold water and set aside.

Chop your Red Onion and Green Onions. We like Onions in our family...but if you find its a little much you can half this.

Add your chopped Hard Boiled Eggs

Now add all these ingredients. I usually add a bit of everything, taste, and add more as I feel is needed. Maybe start with half of all the measurements listed above and work up from there!

Mix everything together with the potato's and sprinkle some paprika over the whole dish.

Serve with Burgers, Ribs, Hot Dogs...pretty much anything off a BBQ!