Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pimp my Pizza

Okay, I cannot believe I just used that as a title of one of my blog posts. *LOL* It just popped in my head so there you go. Laugh with me if you will.
So this is about pizza. I love having an easy meal to pop in the oven each week. We have a regular pizza night. I don't order in. I buy frozen. You can get frozen pretty cheap, and much less oily than take out. I get them 3 in a box at Costco for about $12. My kids like plain cheese, but I like my pizza more interesting than that. I really don't like frozen pizzas that already have veggies on them. I'm sorry, but they just don't taste very good. What we do is bake one plain for the kids and then add to the second one for us.
Last night's was soooo delicious. I grated on a little cheddar. Then added some chopped red onion, red pepper, mushrooms and tomato. Finished it up with some crumbled feta and baked it according to the box directions.
The possibilities are endless for pizza. Add as much or as little as you like. Sometimes we just add a little sliced onion and few tomatoes and that does it. Just gives it a little bit extra to make it that much better.

Frozen pizza as is.

Frozen pizza plus!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Vegetarian Chili

Sorry no picture, I forgot! But this recipe is well worth remembering. I found it on It is very delicious and filling. This was also the tale of making sure you plug in the crock pot - I was sure I did and was kicking to find out it wasn't plugged in - only to find out my husband had unplugged it to plug in the kettle, forgetting to plug the crock pot back in. That happened not once, but twice with this chili! All was good though as I adjusted from cooking on low to cooking on high. It all worked out!

1 (11 ounce) can condensed black bean soup (or canned black beans in juice) - I used the canned black beans
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 (16 ounce) can vegetarian baked beans (in Canada beans in tomato sauce)
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chopped tomato puree (I used a hand blend to puree a 28 ounce can of tomatoes)
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained (I don't buy canned corn so I used the equivalent in frozen corn - 2 cups)
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can diced chilies
1 -2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (depending on how much heat you want)
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon cilantro (optional)

In a saucepan, saute the onion, bell pepper, zucchini, and celery for about 5 minutes. In a slow cooker, combine black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, baked beans, tomatoes, corn, onion, bell pepper, zucchini, jalapeno, chilies, and celery.
Season with garlic, chili powder, cumin, parsley, oregano, basil (and cilantro if using). Cook for about 6 hours on low.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Beer and Butter Tarts

Sounds like a great title eh? Yes, my Canadian is showing a bit here.

About a year or so ago, my mom was hosting her book club. The selection of the month was Welcome Home, Stories in Small Town Canada by Stuart McLean (great book if you have a chance to check it out). As hostess for her book club she needed a menu to offer. She wanted all-Canadian food to match the book and was looking for ideas. My first thoughts were bacon and bannock. Surely we have more to Canadian food than that. Once we thought about it the ideas kept coming. Nanaimo Bars, poutine, cherry/cream cheese finger sandwiches, smoked salmon, beaver tails, Malapeque we were on a roll. I don't remember what her final menu included, but I know we had fun coming up with the ideas.

Last week I noticed a button on another foodies blog for Beer and Butter Tarts. I had to check it out. I'm glad I did. Beer and Butter Tarts is an aggregator for Canadian food blogs. I'm proud to say that Whatcha Eatin' is now a part of that venture. Canadians have a great love of food and being such a wide-spread, multicultural country there are all sorts of great foodies out there. Check Beer and Butter Tarts out here or on my sidebar button and enjoy!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Going Vegetarian for Lent

This past Wednesday marked the beginning of the season of Lent.  Lent is the time observed in the Christian calendar as the 40 days before Easter (relating to the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness after His baptism).  It has been traditionally observed as a time of prayer and fasting.  I've chosen to observe Lent in various ways in the past.  This year I felt called to give up meat.  I had considered a full Daniel fast of no meat, no dairy and no sweets, but as I'm still nursing my daughter I didn't want to affect my milk supply.  I'm not new to a vegetarian diet.  I was a vegetarian from the time I was 15 to 24.  I've learned a lot about food and cooking since then.  I've also developed a love of meat so this should be a good practice of self-denial for me.

I've planned out my first 2 weeks of meal ideas, but I'd love to have suggestions for other dishes to try over the next month and a half. If you have a great idea for a vegetarian dish, please share in the Linky below. I love trying new dishes and can't wait to see all of your fabulous recipes!

Current Vegetarian Meal Ideas

Veg. Chili
Spanikopita with Greek Salad
Red Lentil Soup
Chinese Mushroom Stir Fry
Sweet Potato Curry
Vegetable Jalfreezi
Aloo Ghobi
Veg Baked Bean and Rice
Greek Pizza

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Cake

Here it is, my son Jeremy's 4th birthday cake!  This is my first cake using marshmallow fondant.  I am so pleased with the results!  I have stayed away from fondant in the past because let's face it, it looks pretty but tastes disgusting!  Marshmallow fondant is different.  It looks great and tastes nice and sweet, the way icing should taste.  I used a lot of icing dye to get the colours just right.  It takes a while to really kneed it into the icing so it has an even consistancy (especially red, the blues and yellow wasn't as much work).  The figures I picked up as a set at the Disney store.  If I keep making cakes like this, I may have to invest in some more cookie cutters (I could use a set of letters anyway).  I used the fondant recipe found here with no adjustments needed.