Sunday, April 4, 2010

Park Round Up

Well it was a semi successful Eat at Home month here at the Parks. Last time we did this I didn't eat out once, but this time it seemed like closer to once a week. A big part of that was how much I was working and sometimes I just didn't bring myself enough food for the whole day. I know excuses, excuses. There was also some friend "stuff" that got in the way of eating at home. But I didn't eat out for the convenience of it this month.... which is something for me.

We had a lot of our typical meals over the last couple of weeks. Although one March tradition that we only do once a year was boiled dinner. I find it a challenge to find corned beef at other times of the year but it's always around during St. Patrick's Day. So we boil carrots, potatoes, cabbage and corn beef together for the day (although dont' add the cabbage until the last 20ish minutes). It is a very tasty although sounds a little boring. That night we also had a really delicious dessert, banana bread with rum sauce and caramel. Here are the directions to the rum sauce. It was very very good.

Here is the rum sauce recipie:


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons white or dark rum (I used dark and spiced)


  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Mix together the sugar and cornstarch, and stir into the butter. Pour in milk, and cook stirring frequently until the mixture begins to boil. Continue cooking until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in rum. Serve warm.

And here is the banana bread recipe


Makes 1 loaf

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.

Most of my recipes I get from or the website.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

My best yet

And as a finale' here is my best creation yet. Turkey Burgers and Yam Fries. The burgers were delicious. Company worthy for sure. Also, one of our meals this week consisted of homemade chicken fingers. Those were good too.

Salmon Anyone?

Salmon on the BBQ in foil and parchment....mmmm. The side is spaghetti squash, peas, green pepper, and red pepper in a cream sauce. Very good and garlicky. These are my leftovers I had for lunch since I had forgot to take a picture the night before.


Although, it hasn't been frequent posting....I have still managed to keep up with March Eat At Home Challenge(I think) and had fun doing it. Here are some posts. I have thought about posting but it's been crazy around here.

You can't really tell but this is my homemade breakfast. Sunny Boy hot cereal(it's my favourite), a mini orange, and a homemade strawberry margherita sans alchohol. This kids love them(the margherita's that is).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Windy City Pizza

I have tried tons of different eating plan and programs, but there are a couple that I like more than the others. I like the GI Diet and the Eat Clean Diet. I recently discovered the Clean Eating Magazine. It has lots of great good for you recipes. I thought that I would try making the Windy City Pizza. It like a Chicago style pizza, which always reminds me the first ski trip that George and I took together. I thought that it turned out really well and it also has a ton of veggies in it. So here is the recipe

1 (8 oz.) extra lean turkey sausage (I used Tailgate Mild Italian that I bought at Coop)

2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

1 medium yellow onion

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

1 green pepper, thinly sliced

1 ½ c. mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

2 tsp. corn meal

1 (1 lb.) whole wheat pizza dough (I made my own)

6 oz. low fat mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided

1 c. tomato sauce (I made my own pizza sauce)

1 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut a slit along the length of the sausage and discard casing. Place sausage into bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium sauté pan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add peppers and mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer mixture into a bowl.

Return pan to burner over medium-high heat. Add sausage meat and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 4 minutes. Place sausage onto a paper towel lined plate. Brush inside of a 12 inch deep dish pizza pan with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and sprinkle with cornmeal. Roll out dough to 14 inches in diameter. Place dough into pan and press to sides and bottom of pan gently, stretching dough 1 ½ inches up the side of the pan.

Sprinkle half the mozzarella over bottom of crust. Evenly layer sausage, then sautéed vegetables onto crust. Pour tomato sauce evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Place pan in oven and bake for 20 -25 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into 12 wedges. Sprinkle each slice with ¼ tsp. oregano and serve immediately. Makes 12 servings.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 186, Fat: 9 g., Carbs: 17 g., Protein: 10 g.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's embarrassing how badly I've been posting!!!

I can't really remember what we ate last week. Hmm. Nope, it's not coming to mind. I do know that we bbq'd steak and had shrimp and caesar salad last night, the night before I think we had...grilled cheese sandwiches for a quick and easy dinner before karate and Sunday was roast chicken at Aaron's mom's house. Tonight is leftover night. Oh wait, Saturday night was Open Sesame with Andrew and Leanne to celebrate the March babies. Leanne's the odd one out with a Feb birthday but that's besides the point. And oh yes, the McDonald's Friday night was unpleasant all around but I won't go into details. I do distinctly remember telling Jenn "that will teach me for eating out during Eat At Home Challenge month".

Friday, March 19, 2010

This Week

I am definitely have some trouble with the challenge this month. I think a big part of it is how much I am working. Often I'll work all day at one job and go in the evening to another. But in the words of Mackenzie "fail". I did not do as well this time as I did the time before. Although we have been doing a lot of eating in and last night we almost gave in and went to McDonalds, I ended up having breakfast for dinner instead. So here has been our dinners over the last week:

Fri: Breakfast sausage mashed potatoes and peas

Sat: Mom made us dinner
Sun: Seafood Pasta in a rose sauce
Mon: Sweet and Sour chicken
Tues:Hamburgers (it was spring like weather here so we've had hamburgers twice this month)
Wed: Fail night, but had to eat hospital food...
Thurs: Breakfast for dinner

Till Tomorrow


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Half way there and doing good.....

Here we are, half way through the month of the challenge. It has been fun. I like this. Keeps me motivated. I get in these food lulls. It's hard to please all the palates, the pocket book, and the schedule most times so this little challenge has given me a boost.

Thursday March 11, "Special Spaghetti"...that is our made up name for our made up recipe

Cilantro haters will not like this recipe but they could alter it if they liked. Cilantro is a hater or lover type of food. Luckily in our house we have 4 lovers which is good for me becuase I love love it.

1/2 pound sundried tomato Catelli spaghetti
1 bunch of cilantro(washed thoroughly & roughly chopped)
1/2 jar of green stuffed pimento olive sliced in little rounds
1/2 bunch of green onions chopped
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 clove of garlic crushed
1/4 cup leftover white wine or red wine(white is the best)
1/2 pound of bacon fried, drained, and chopped

Cook the garlic with the oil just until soft and fragrant. Then add the olives, onions, & cilantro. Let it cook down on low for about 5 minutes. Add the wine. Let simmer another 5 minutes then add the bacon. Pour over top of the spaghetti and serve with garlic toast or fresh bread.

Friday, March 12...we went to Jon's parents for dinner and it was delicious. I made a beef barley soup(homemade) to contribute to the fried chicken(Jon's Mom makes great fried chicken) and salad and bread. What a great dinner. I was stuffed.

Saturday, March 13.....we had homemade hamburgers and chips. Great burgers. I love homemade burgers.

Sunday, March 14....lunch was great. I will post a photo when I get some batteries for my camera. It was a chicken salad that I made with a peanut lime dressing over top of berries, avocado, and spinach. For dinner we went out for Tyrone's birthday. It was paid for so technically I didn't cheat although getting it paid for was not the intention. We went to Red Lobster and I had the blackened salmon. It was delicious. Jon had lobster. Connor had KD and Elliot had chicken fingers.

Monday, March 15.....grilled cheese and soup.
Tonight, Tuesday March 16.....We are having sloppy joes. The kids love them. So does Jon. Me, they are okay....good thing I had that salad on Sunday.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My First Food Blog Post

Jenn asked me to participate in this blog. I figured that I better actually get busy with it. This was not really the best month for me as I was on vacation last week. I do enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. The only thing that I don't really like is cleaning up after. I am a big fan of the food network especially Michael Smith. For my birthday Jenn bought me his cook book "The Best of Chef at Home". I have tried a bunch of different recipes and they have all been good. He encourages his reader to freestyle his recipes, allowing us to use our imaginations or leftovers from the fridge. One of my favorite recipes is Orange Ginger Beef. On Saturday we had Jenn, Darryl, Lucas and Nathan over for dinner. I did freestyle it as the first time I made it according to the recipe and found it to be a bit soupy. Here is the original recipe:

Orange Ginger Beef

a splash of vegetable oil
1 lb for stewing beef (I use round steak and dice it myself)
a sprinkle of salt and pepper
2 onions peeled and chopped
a small knob of ginger, thinly sliced (I have no idea what a knob is I used about 10 thin slices)
one 10 oz can of beef broth
1 cup of orange juice
1 cup of orange marmalade
a generous splash of soy sauce
1 tablespoon five spice powder
another sprinkle of salt and pepper
10 oz bag of baby spinach
a handful of bean sprouts
1 bunch of green onions (I always seem to forget to add these)
a handful of cilantro leaves ( don't use, I hate cilantro)

Preheat a large pot over medium high heat and then splash in enough vegetable oil to thinly coat the bottom. Season and then sear the meat until it is evenly browned on all sides. Searing the meat first adds lots of rich carmalized flavors before adding the liquids. Remove meat and set aside. Add the onions and ginger to the ban and stir for a few minutes. Then add the meat back. Add the broth, orange juice and marmalade, soy sauce and five spice powder. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat for lowest setting that will maintain a simmer. Place a tight fitting lid on the pot to contain the tenderizing steam. Simmer for about an hour Taste and season the broth. Divide the spinach and bean sprouts evenly among four - six bowls. Stir the green onions and cilantro into the broth and then spoon onto spinach and sprouts.

I free styled it by using a bit of cornstarch and water to thicken the sauce and then stirred in the spinach and bean sprouts. I served it with rice.

Tonight we had chicken cooked with mushrooms, mashed potatoes and green beans. I found a recipe for a fruit crisp type dessert so I made that tonight for dessert. Sorry didn't get a picture.
I used frozen blueberries tonight but I think you could used the mixed berries as well. What I liked about the recipe is that you could make individual servings and how ever many you want. So I filled each ramekin with frozen blue berries almost to the top. Then I mixed some 1 tsp of corn starch with 4 tsp of water and divided it equally between the two ramekins. (If you were making four you would double the starch and water) I put a little bit of honey on each ramekin. Then I sprinkled granola on top and put in a 375 degree oven for about 35 min. I put the ramekins on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper so I wouldn't make a mess in the oven. Then I served it warm with a scoop of ice cream. Yummy !!!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Still holding out!

Last night the boys had homemade pepperoni pizza and I was nursing a sore throat so I just stuck to soup.
Tonight we're cleaning out the fridge and will most likely have breakfast for supper. The kids love it and Aaron's been dying to make his sugary bacon. He had it at Chris's and is now addicted. WARNING - THIS IS NOT A HEALTHY CHOICE - AT ALL. He shake and bakes a pack of bacon in brown sugar, then threads it onto skewers and bakes it in the oven on a cookie sheet to catch the fat. He's also drizzled maple syrup on it while baking as well. Like I said, not exactly a healthy choice. I haven't actually tasted it before. I've made it for company and everyone loved it but haven't tried it yet. Not a huge bacon fan.
Tomorrow night we are having bbq burgers at home before heading to Banff. We're definitely eating Aardvark Pizza for supper Saturday night and going to the St James Old Irishe Pub for lunch on Saturday - they have baby yorkies with roast beef baked inside them that are to die for. We'll probably bring a snack for Sunday breakfast and then we're back on track with our eating at home.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Some Catching Up

This is Pork Tenderloin in a healthy(for real) cream sauce. Recipe posted.

Taco Soup....recipe to come later. It is very good. Very vegetarian & very high in fibre. Not Jon's fav.

Other items on the menu have been:

Saturday night we had BBQ Ribs, Rice, Carrots

Sunday we had a delicious brunch for my mom's birthday and it included sausage/bacon/hashbrown casserole/sticky pull apart cinnamon buns/fruit salad & for dessert snickerdoodle cupcakes.

Blackened Steak Salad for dinner(it was okay)

Monday night was Fajita's

Tuesday was the Pork Tenderloin dish(recipe below)


Cream Sauce(you can make this and add whatever meat you like or another thing that is tasty in it is spaghetti squash)

One can of fat free evaporated milk

4 cloves of garlic pressed

1 green pepper diced

1 red pepper diced

1 onion diced

Lot's of fresh ground pepper. When you think it's enough put more.

Dash of salt

I used Pork Tenderloin but you can use chicken too.

Fry the meat, peppers, onion in a bit of olive oil and the garlic. Add the milk when all of that is cooked. Let it thicken up a bit and serve hot over noodles. We have used linquini & rice fettucine before. Both are good.

Day 10 and holding!

I've been terrible at posting - I tried posting on Monday but coincidentally someone else was posting at the same time so when I hit publish it lost my whole post and said to try again later. Obviously it wasn't a huge priority to re-cap...

We've been successful at not eating out although that will change on Saturday when we go to Banff.

What have we been eating?

Hmm...sandwiches Friday night before going to Mom's, Beef Rouladen Saturday at Mom's, BBQ steak Sunday night, I can't remember what Monday's dinner was... and of course Taco Tuesday last night.

Cabbage rolls and perogies were Monday night -just had to open the fridge and look for leftovers, ha ha.

Aaron has salmon on the menu tonight.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Weekend at the Parks

Hi Everyone,

Well I had a day last week where I ate out. Everything was paid for me, so I saved money that way, but I still failed on this month's challenge. ALthough I'm glad I haven't gone to McDonalds or Wendy's. On a good note I have a couple of pictures and cool ideas.

Tonight for dinner we had Spanish Rice, which I know is also a Campbell favorite. It's Spanish rice a roni and you add ground beef to it. Put a little cheese on top and eat it with nacho chips. It's fast and good. The hardest part is finding the spanish rice a roni.

Last night it was nice enough to barbeque

So we had hamburgers with my favorite flat buns from superstore. (and they are whole wheat). We also had some beets with it, homemade from the garden last summer and some cauliflower. The cool park about the cauliflower is that I had some pesto in the fridge from a meal a week ago and put a dollop of that on. It was delicious.

We also had fish and chips last week.

They are also an easy favorite and the kids eat them and it's a good way to get fish in the diet (even if it is batter coated) My favorite fish brand is haddock and hops from superstore.

How is everyone else doing?


Friday, March 5, 2010

Day 5

Success again......taco's(a.k.a. rollies the kids call them). I had mine as a taco salad with avocado. Bad photo since I forgot to take one when the food was hot.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March 4, 2010

Day 1.....Smokies and Tortellini(Connor & Jon's fav)! It's grocery buying day today....and failed tonight. I got taken hostage by the rest of the fam including the grandparents because we were out for Connor's hockey game and they wanted Pizza. Jon says it's eat out month next month..."a couple of him and his guy friends decided" is what he told me.
Day 3..success, roast beast/potatoes/carrots/yorkshire photo's.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 3 and so far so good

I honestly think my body and taste buds were looking forward to this challenge! We did eat out 3 times this weekend, Jack Astor's for a lovely sit down dinner and then 1 trip through McDonald's drive thru and 1 trip through the Wendy's drive thru. I didn't even enjoy the Wendy's -that's got to be a sure sign of too much take out.

Day 1 we had BBQ chicken, rice-a-roni and salad. Nothing fancy but tasty and zero leftovers. Day 2 was BBQ pork cutlets, rice vermicelli and vegetables. I'm the only one who'll eat cooked veggies so I had steamed broccoli and the boys had raw broccoli and carrots. No leftovers! I'm not a huge fan of leftovers, unless it's pasta, that doesn't seem to lose any flavour or get a weird texture after being refrigerated unlike some other steamed broccoli - not so good the second day.

Tonight it's soup and grilled cheese.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

First Post for March 2010

SO how is everyone doing on your first couple of days? Mine have been okay. Yesterday was a bit of a challenge as I was away from home. When you are close to home you can always come back home for food, but when you are far it takes some good planning in advance.

The other part I forgot was a challenge was remember to take pictures of the food before I eat it. Last night was a classic spagetti and tonight was pork chops. One thing I have been doing more of is baking. Our favorites have been chocolate chip cookies. We just use the recipie on the back of Chipits bag, but with a couple of modifications.

Here's our recipie:

1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup of shortening
1 c. of brown sugar
1/2 c. of white sugar
2 eggs
splash of vanilla
Mix all of this together

2 cups of flour
a couple of shakes of salt
1 tsp of baking soda

Mix that in. Then add 2 cups of chocolate chips.

Bake in oven at 375 for 10 minutes for the first batch and 9 minutes for each batch after.
Makes about 4 dozen and they are delicious.

Any other updates?


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