Noodle Carnaval

This recipe was thought up by a former roommate. We used to invite a bunch of the young adults from church over for lunch on Sundays and this was a good go-to meal. It’s cheap, easy and feeds a ton of people.

In a large pan, cook 1/2kg of ground beef.

Season with:

1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp chili powder

Mix in

1 large can of diced tomatoes, mostly drained
3 cups frozen corn
2 packages of Mr. Noodles, crushed (type doesn’t matter since you won’t be using the flavour packets)

Cook on medium heat, covered, stirring occassionally, until noodles are tender (about 7-8 minutes).

For less picky kids you can add chopped onion, chopped garlic, peppers, and anything else you can think of! This is just a base recipe. Do with it what you will.

French Toast – Easter Style

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I was planning on making this for Good Friday, but we ended up having company over tonight so I made it for them instead. This recipe fed 3 adults and 3 young kids, so it can be cut down for a smaller family, or keep it the same if you’ve got older kids. Leftovers are always good too :)

Ingredients:

6 beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
10 slices French Bread
1-2 tbsp butter or margarine

Food colouring for a special treat. I used neon green, pink and blue for these.

Directions:

In a shallow bowl beat together first 4 ingredients. If adding colours, separate the mixture into equal parts and add a few drops of dye now. Dip bread into the mixture, coating both sides (about 20-30 seconds per side for french bread)

In a skillet or griddle cook bread in melted butter over medium heat for 2-3 minutes each side, or until brown and slightly crispy. Add more butter when needed.

The colours will go all the way through the middle making a great display for kids. Swirl the batters on one piece to make it extra fun :)

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Strata

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This was a recipe featured on the back of Stovetop Stuffing boxes for a while. It’s been in our rotation ever since. It’s very versatile and covers all the basic food groups.

Ingredients:

1 Box Stovetop Stuffing
1 cup veggies
1 can of tuna, ham, turkey, or chicken (or use diced up leftovers) (optional. Leave out for vegetarian meal)
2 cups cheese
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk

Directions:

In an 9″ square casserole dish combine stuffing, veggies and meat. Spread cheese on top.
In a small bowl, beat together eggs and milk. Pour overtop of the cheese.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

“I Don’t Like Red Sauce” Spaghetti

Wow. Nothing says “I’m in a food rut” than writing a blog about what food you cook. At least it’s a delicious rut!

This is a recipe I created a while ago and almost forgot about. One of my biggest food dislikes is red sauce… especially when it’s all you can taste in the food. Sure, it has its place (like in the Lasagna Cupcakes) but I’d rather not have it take center stage.

I also had a son allergic to eggs, so Alfredo sauce wasn’t a good alternative unless I wanted to cook a separate meal for him (which would defeat the title of my blog so obviously that’s not an option)

Enter the “I Don’t Like Red Sauce” solution.

It’s so easy I won’t bother with a step by step recipe. You should know how to cook spaghetti. If you don’t, that’s what Google’s for. If you don’t know how much to cook, put your thumb and first finger together (OK) and fill the space with dry spaghetti. That’ll feed 3-4 people.

Next… drown in Kraft Greek Feta & Oregano salad dressing

Really, any oil based salad dressing would be good. This one’s my favorite though.

So, mix that all in there. Serve and top with parmesan cheese… because I love cheese. Simple!

You’re welcome.

Fun with colours

I recently came across a booked called OMG Pancakes. This guy takes pancake batter and turns it into art. I thought I’d try expanding on the pancake letters using some of this guy’s ideas and doing some of my own. I showed the book to my 3 year old and asked him what kind of pancakes he wanted. Of course he said “Astro Boy pancakes” which isn’t in the book. Since we only have 2 squeeze bottles I couldn’t go all out but I did do the red boots and face (which he was thrilled with).

I made more for him after he wolfed down his Astro Boy.

My 19 month old enjoyed eating his special pancakes too.

My husband was surprised when I made a special plate for him too. He thought special pancakes were only for kids!

Then I thought it would make a really creative proposal, so I did that too. LOL

Colourful pancakes can be such a wonderful way to play with your food and will brighten even the dullest winter day. You don’t even need to make shapes, just let your creativity flow!

Tip: These work better with the Cottage Cheese Pancakes than regular pancake batter, simply because of the need of the squeeze bottles. But, you can cut the opening of the squeeze bottles a little larger and it would probably come out fine.

Mango Salsa and Grilled Pork

The Mango Salsa is another recipe from my Mother-in-law. The kids love it (especially the chips) and it’s a huge hit at parties.
The pork recipe is super easy to do and they taste great together.

MANGO SALSA

Ingredients:

2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
2 green onions, finely sliced
1Tbsp Serrano pepper, seeded and finely diced (Optional if you can’t find it or are wimpy about spice)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Salt & Pepper

Combine all ingredients in bowl and season with salt and pepper. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving. I like to serve it with bite size whole wheat chips, but blue chips add a nice colour contrast for presentation.

GRILLED PORK

Instructions:

Generously sprinkle pork loins with Mrs Dash’s Salt Free Table Blend Seasoning, both sides.
Grill on BBQ or in a frying pan with some olive oil, on medium heat, 5-6 minutes each side or until done.
For a nice presentation, cut on the diagnal before serving.

Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

I’ve only made this once but I’ll definitely be making it again. It was super fast and easy and super SUPER delicious. (From Good Housekeeping Vegetarian Meals)

Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
coarsely ground black pepper
2 cups milk
1 can vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 large bunch broccoli, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces (including stems)
1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:

In a 4 quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add onion and cook, stirring occassionally, until golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour, salt, thyme, nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp of pepper; cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes. (This is where I had some problems. Cooking all that powder with nothing but cooked onions to moisten it was pretty hard. I ended up just moving on to the next step instead of waiting the 2 minutes)
Gradually, stir in milk, broth, and water. Add broccoli and heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes.
Spoon 1/3 of the soup into a blender; cover with the center part of the cover removed to let the steam escape. Puree until very smooth. Pour into a large bowl and repeat with remaining soup (1/3 at a time).
Return the soup to the saucepan; heat to boiling over high heat, stirring occassionally. (I didn’t find that step necessary. The soup was still quite hot) Remove saucepan from heat; stir in cheese until melted and smooth. Sprinkle each serving with ground black pepper.