Is there anything better to cap off a busy week (and to kick off the weekend) than an order of takeout? Usually by the time the clock strikes 5 on a Friday evening, the last thing you want to do is spend your precious time cooking supper (and cleaning those darn dishes).
Believe me, I get it.
Takeout can absolutely have a place in any home as a special treat - not a weekly (or daily) habit. Plan for days that you'll pick up take-out, try not to rely on it as a mealtime crutch. It's a slippery slope that will not only impact your health goals, but may prevent you from saving your money for things you really want (hello vacation)!
Instead of ordering in tonight, give these spicy peanut Thai noodles a try. The noodles cook in your slow cooker for about an hour and a half, take that time to unwind after your busy week. After supper, throw the slow cooker insert into your dishwasher and the dishes are done!
PEI is in for a doozy of a snowstorm today. As I type this, I’m gazing out the window watching the winds gusting and snow falling. There's really nothing to do but get cozy inside and hope the power stays on!
As an entrepreneur there is really no such thing as a snow day (boo!), but I do still love the excitement of a good old-fashioned island storm. With a fire roaring and hot coffee poured, I’m all set for a cozy workday at home. It's the perfect opportunity to put my slow cooker to use! After checking my fridge, freezer and pantry, I’ve decided to put on a batch of spicy rice and beans for supper tonight. I chose this recipe because I have everything needed on hand (I dread going to the grocery store before a storm hits). The smell of chili spice has already begun to fill the house, which adds warmth and comfort on this blustery day.
This recipe was featured in my last Slow Cooker Class and makes a lot. Tonight, I'll top each bowl with jalapeno peppers, green onion, cheddar cheese,...
In my mind, macaroni & cheese is synonymous with comfort. When I think of mac & cheese, my mind drifts to visions of my mom’s homemade dish, oozing with a creamy cheese sauce and topped with crunchy breadcrumbs. There is no surprise that this was the very first thing I cooked when I moved out of my family home, searching for that connection to comfort and familiarity.
I set out to make a healthier version of this family favourite without sacrificing the smooth creamy texture or taste. I also wanted to streamline the recipe to reduce the cooking time and be mindful of the mess (because who wants to clean all those dishes?)
A number of swaps led to this new and improved recipe – whole grain pasta, broccoli (gasp! It works though… think broccoli with cheese sauce), evaporated 2% milk and lower fat cheese. The outcome is probably the creamiest and most flavourful mac & cheese I’ve ever had!
Give it a try, and let me know what you think!
Those little flecks in the sauce are from whole wh...
Who doesn't love the simplicity of splitpea soup? It's warm, comforting and filling - an autumn trifecta!
Pea soup has been a cold-weather staple in my household for as long as I can remember. When I haul out my grandmother's recipe, I know I need to dedicate at least half an hour to washing, peeling and chopping all sorts of vegetables. That's why I have been so keen to streamline her recipe without sacrificing flavour. I think I have a winner here!
Using frozen chopped vegetables significantly reduces that precious prep time without losing any of the great flavour my grandmother worked so hard for. Give it a try!
Happy first day of autumn! Bring on the sweaters, blankets, scarves and slippers - I’m ready! After being spoiled by an amazing Island summer, I welcome the change of seasons (and the slower pace).
Cooking in the summer usually features quick meals with light flavours and the only heat comes from the BBQ or a campfire (I wouldn’t dare turn on my oven in August!). With a slight chill in the air and an abundance of vegetables from our garden harvest, I’m anxious to heat things up in my kitchen again! I’ve already planned some big batches of chili for the freezer to use up the smorgasbord of tomatoes, peppers and jalapenos grown in our garden this summer.
The inspiration for my first fall meal came to me after a visit to the vegetable garden last week. Peppered throughout the green vines were the most perfect butternut squash, ripened by the sun and nourished by the red Island soil. I waited ever so patiently all summer to use them in all kinds of cozy and comforting dishes...
Hummus was one of my first foods, given to me by my loving grandmother (or “Sittie” as my sister and I called her). My great-grandparents came to Canada from a small village in Lebanon in the early 1900’s bringing their cultural traditions with them. When my family arrived from “the old country”, they wanted to assimilate as much as possible (hence my very English last name, Michael). They were one of the first families from Lebanon to settle in Prince Edward Island and they simply wanted to belong. While I completely understand why assimilation was important to them at that time, I also feel saddened at this thought. I can’t imagine them having to leave behind so much of who they were, trying to fit into a foreign land.
I am eternally grateful that their cultural cuisine wasn’t lost to assimilation. My great-grandmother taught Sittie to cook traditional Lebanese recipes that had been passed down from generations before. The practice of learning your fami...
The idea for this recipe came to me while on my in-law’s fishing boat this summer. With a spicy Caesar in one hand and a steamed Island mussel in the other I thought, “Why dip in butter when you could dip in a deliciously spicy Caesar?” This concept immediately caught on with everyone on board and the Spicy Caesar Mussel was born!
The next day, my Dad dropped by with 10 lbs of mussels in tow (how lucky am I?) and we decided to take this concept to the next level – steam the mussels in a spicy Caesar broth. I added all the Caesar fixings to the bottom of the pot, added the mussels and patiently waited until we could try this delicious creation. When it finished cooking, we dove right in and were amazed at the flavour combination. The mussels were perfectly flavoured by the rich tomato broth and had a delicious spicy kick.
Impress your family and friends at your next summertime event with these deliciously simple PEI mussels!
I have a quick, cool-down treat for you today, and one that is both parent and kid approved - Homemade Smoothie Pops! We've featured smoothies on the blog before (Mint Chocolate Smoothie); I like them because they're easy, versatile and most of all because they taste so darn good! I'm not one to fuss with a smoothie recipe because as long as there is a solid amount of fruit in the mix, it will no doubt taste delicious.
I picked up a frozen pop mould for .98 cents at a local grocery store (summer sales are amazing for this) with the intention of making a more traditional frozen treat made with 100% juice, however with my smoothie blend all ready to go, and the frozen pop mould still sitting on the counter, it was a no-brainer...I poured out two servings for my daughter and myself to enjoy as a yummy drink right away, and the rest I poured into the mould for a frozen treat we could both enjoy later that day.
This recipe is easy-peasy. I used what we had in the fridge at the time; you'll li...
Is there anything better than a picnic with someone you love? Whether you’re on a beach, in a park, on your deck or on your living room floor – picnics make mealtimes sweeter.
I’ve never had a picnic basket of my own, so over the years I would make do with a canvas bag and plastic plates, cups and utensils. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this – especially if you can reuse your dishes for environmental (and economical) purposes. I have had many memorable picnics this way; usually on a beach somewhere on Prince Edward Island’s breathtaking North shore.
Last winter, I was out doing my usual thrift store browse and I saw this sweet little wicker suitcase. It caught my eye until I saw the $8 price tag. Quickly in my head, I tried to place this little piece somewhere in my home. A dog bed? No, my pup Trixie already has her fair share of cozy spots. A blanket holder? Nope, don’t need another. On and on my mind raced until I just couldn’t justify the expense. I...
I have to admit that when it comes to muffins, I have never strayed too far from my Mom’s banana chocolate chip recipe. It’s sweet but not too sweet and combines two of my favourite things: bananas and chocolate.
With berry season upon us on Prince Edward Island, I thought it was time to start testing new recipes featuring blueberries! I knew I wanted to use all whole wheat flour to boost the amount of fibre and do some experimenting (reducing sugar and oil amounts). I have finally come up with a recipe that rivals Mom’s banana chocolate chip variety (shh!).
When I’m baking sweets, I like to cut the sugar in ½, especially if I am adding fruit into the mix (or chocolate chips which is a little counter-intuitive, I know). I will then reduce the oil or butter in the recipe by ¼ - ½ and replace it with equal parts applesauce or mashed ripe banana. By modifying a muffin recipe in this way, the end product will be a denser, less “cakey” muffin – but delicious nonetheless. I te...