Easy Peasy Homemade Pho Soup

Ingredients:

4 litres of broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable or a mixture of either)
½ or whole Scotch Bonnet pepper
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp fish oil
1 onion, sliced
2 cups finely-sliced chicken breast or lean beef (you can use fondue meat)
1 salad bag of bean sprouts
1 salad bag of chopped cabbage (aka coleslaw mix)
1 salad bag of fresh Asian veggies (i.e. stir-fry or broco-slaw mix)
1 – 8 oz. pkg rice noodles
3 sprigs of fresh basil
3 sprigs of fresh cilantro

Instructions:

1. In a large slow cooker, heat the broth.
2. Add the ginger, cinnamon and fish oil.
3. Slice up the pepper into strips and add to broth.
4. Add the meat to the broth.
5. Once the meat starts losing its pinkness, add the bean sprouts, fresh veggies and cabbage and stir until heated through.
6. Add the rice noodles and move to the bottom to soften.
7. Add the basil and cilantro and mix well.
8. Cook for at least 3-4 hours.

Quick start method:

1. Heat half the broth in a large saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil and add the meat until no longer pink. Scoop it out with a slotted spoon and place in the slow cooker with the rest of the broth.
3. Follow the same process with the veggies, cabbage and bean sprouts, heating through in the sauce pan and then moving to the slow cooker.
4. Once complete, add the remaining broth to the slow cooker as well.
5. Cook for 1 ½-2 hours.

Wonderful Strawberry Muffins!

I found another wonderful recipe on Facebook.
The only downside? I CAN’T STOP EATING THEM!!!

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
3 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and mix well.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to butter mixture.
  4. Add vanilla. Gently stir in strawberries.
  5. Spoon batter into muffin pans.
  6. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over muffins.
  7. Bake at 400º for 20-25 minutes.

The recipe said it makes one dozen muffins but I got almost 2 dozen out of the batch 😀

(Almost) Homemade Cream of Asparagus Soup

cream-of-asparagus-soup-copy-1024x857I love cream soups but getting the broth and cream and other flavours just right can be a pain. As an impulse buy (and because they were on sale for less than a buck), I picked up 2 packages of Knorr Cream of Asparagus Soup. Directions are easy peasy so why not? I then thought how delicious this would be with real chunks of asparagus in it and, believe me, it was! The hubby talked about it the whole night, including, “you can make that anytime you want”.

HUGE praise from him 😀

 

Here’s what I did:

  1. Prepare 2 soup mixes using the recommended liquids (2 cups water, 1 cup milk each)
  2. I got it simmering in a pot then transferred it to a heated slow cooker afterward as I wanted the asparagus to cook in the soup for a while.
  3. While the soup was cooking in the pot, I chopped up about 12 stalks of asparagus and put it in a bowl. I then added a small amount of water and salt and pepper, and microwaved for about 3 minutes (try to keep it warm before you add it to the slow cooker…I just left it in the microwave until I needed it).
  4. Once the soup was transferred to the slow cooker, I added the asparagus.
  5. I then let it simmer for about an hour, stirring regularly to get the asparagus off the bottom of the pot.

And voila! Absolutely delish soup that tastes homemade!

I’m sure this would work with just about any soup mix, Cream of Celery, Chicken, Cauliflower…enjoy!

Freezing Lemon Slices

I love lemons in most any chilled beverage. However, once they are cut, they will dry out in the fridge in a few days. After having some lemons left over for drinks after a party though, I decided to slice them up and try freezing them for future use. They couldn’t have turned out better!

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Here’s what I did:

  1. Slice your lemons which ever way you like. I like them in quarter slices as they are easier to store.
  2. Dump them into a ziplock bag that’s big enough so that you can spread them out.
  3. With the lemons at the bottom of the bag, fold the top over tightly, trying to remove as much air as possible and then zip it up.
  4. Smooth out the bag and spread the lemons out as much as you can.
  5. Put the bag in the freezer on a flat surface or, as I like to do, fold it in half and toss it in. Either way, try not to get the bag too crumpled up in the freezer until the slices are completely frozen.
  6. Once they are frozen, you can remove them from the bag for drinks, recipes, etc. as you need them.

Note: Several sites I googled on this said they would just put them on a cookie sheet in the freezer then store them in the bag afterward. What I do takes more time but I think you would lose less nutrients and moisture doing it my way.

Enjoy!

Homemade French Vanilla Coffee Creamer

Just made this today and it tastes just like anything you buy from the dairy case!

I’m thinking of hitting the baking supply store for other flavours as well…hazelnut, caramel, MMMMMMMM!!! Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

14 ounces whole milk (I used 2%)
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Pour the milk into a container.
  2. Add the condensed milk.
  3. Add the vanilla.
  4. Secure the cap tightly and shake vigorously until ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Makes 24 ounces
(expiration date would be the same as that of milk used)

Note: I made a half-batch using one can of the sweetened condensed milk and 300ml (10 oz) of milk.

Muffins For Dogs

dog muffins

My incredibly-spoiled and very picky dog has a real sweet tooth. As he has an issue with bladder stones, it’s vital that he eats and drinks regularly. Being picky though, some days he won’t eat dog food…but no matter what, he’ll eat something sweet. After him begging for more of a peanut butter and banana muffin (the recipe is posted in my Fave Recipes section), I decided to find a recipe that would be more suited to a doggie diet and found this one. I slightly modified it to include shredded carrots and oatmeal, as well as substituting the wheat flour for rice flour. Both my dogs love these and will eat them anytime. If you have a picky puppy, I would highly recommend keeping some in the fridge!

Ingredients

1 egg
2 tablespoons honey
2 bananas, mashed with a fork
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cooking spray

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees .

2. In a bowl, whisk together the egg, honey, bananas, carrots and peanut butter. Stir in 3 cups water; whisk until smooth.

3. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, oatmeal, baking powder and cinnamon; add to the egg mixture.

4. Spray two 12-cup muffin pans with cooking spray; fill each cup three quarters full. Bake until browned, about 30 minutes. Let cool.

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

The family loves these! I discovered the recipe on the web yesterday and more than half are gone! Packing a nice 1-2 punch of protein and potassium, they are a perfect breakfast muffin.

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Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 ripe bananas, mashed
Sesame seeds (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, beat together the peanut butter, oil, eggs, milk and bananas.
4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until moistened.
5. Spoon the batter into 12 well greased muffin cups. Sprinkle a few sesame seeds on the top of each muffin, if desired.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.