Hey everyone! Apologies if you’ve been trying to use the site the last week and a half. It got hacked. :( Among many, many things, the urls all changed and I know many of you had trouble finding recipes that you had hoped to use during the week. So sorry for that! The urls are all back to normal now but there are still lot’s of bugs. As you can see the look of the site is still quite different, many of the photos aren’t showing up, you can’t browse through the recipes section, etc, etc. It’ll take a while to iron it all out but you should at least be able to find the recipes you’re looking for from your pinterest and bookmarked links. I’m so sorry for any inconveniences that this caused for you in the past week.Oh the wonderful people who like to spend their spare time destroying people’s hard work and making other people’s lives more difficult. ;) I hope you all have a great weekend and I’ll have some yummy recipes for you next week, messed up site or not! :)
Posts by Cheri Neufeld:
Whew. 2012 flew by in a whirlwind. Just a little over a year ago we moved from Oslo, Norway to New York City and half a year later we moved home to Canada. No wonder I’m so tired! :P This year the holidays felt extra special and the celebrating seemed to go on and on. It was awesome! We even took a road trip to visit my husband’s family. It has all been such a blast and makes it a little harder to get back into a routine. Er, What’s that again?
3 countries. 1 year.
I’ve always been a huge fan of gyros. If we’re ever at a food court for a meal you better believe I’m headed for the gyro place. It’s the only time I ever get them because certain other people in my family are not a fan. Until now.
When I came across this recipe I figured it was worth a shot. It was so simple that I figured the worst that could happen would be that I would get all the more to myself. :) But that was not the case. They were a huge hit. So much so that I can now make gyros as often as I like, and everyone gets excited about it. They may not be the most traditional but they’ve got everything that I love about a gyro – flavour! Here’s to home cooking winning again! :D
I know it’s a little late but, Happy New Year! I hope 2013 is a year full of blessings for all of you.
Quick Beef Gyros
- 1/2 pound deli roast beef
- 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- pinch paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- pepper, to taste (be generous!)
- 1/2 english cucumber, finely diced
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup diced red onion (about 1/8 of an onion)
- 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- naan, pita bread or other flatbread, warmed
- 1 tomato, chopped
- crumbled feta cheese
- kalamata olives, sliced if desired
- remaining half of cucumber, chopped
Mix together Tzatziki ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside until serving.
Heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add all ingredients for the beef filling. Stir until beef is warmed through.
To serve, top pita with a generous portion of beef, tzatziki sauce and desired toppings. Serve immediately.
Nothing satisfies the belly like a warm cup of hot chocolate when you come in from the cold. Or while you’re sitting in the cold warming up by a fire. Instead of buying a packaged mix, why not make this gourmet version instead? It uses vanilla beans, tons of real chocolate and Dutch-process cocoa powder. It makes a humongous batch so you’ll have plenty to give away while still keeping some for yourself. Package it up with some homemade mini marshmallows and you’ll have some very happy recipients.
I was instantly drawn to this recipe because it doesn’t use powdered milk. Powdered milk is not something I ever have on hand. And with all the milk sensitive people in my life, I really wanted something that everyone could enjoy. This way people can pick their favourite milk base and just stir in the love.
I’ll be checking out now to enjoy Christmas with my family. I hope you have a joyful, stress-free Christmas with plenty of shared moments with family and friends. Merry Christmas! :D
Hot Chocolate Mix
For best results use high-quality chocolate.
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 vanilla beans, split and seeded
- 24 oz. semi sweet chocolate, chopped
- 9 oz. dark (or bittersweet) chocolate, chopped
- 2 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder
Mix together the sugar and vanilla bean seeds, in a large bowl. Rub the mixture between your fingers to help distribute it evenly. Nestle the pods into the sugar and let sit, covered, overnight.
Remove vanilla pods from sugar. Pour sugar into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add chocolates and cocoa powder. Run the processor in 4 second bursts until the chocolate is finely ground. (If your food processor isn’t large enough for all of the ingredients you can process the chocolate on its own until finely ground, transfer it to a large bowl and then stir in the sugar and cocoa with a whisk). Store in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 6 months.
To serve: stir together 2 tablespoons mix with 1 cup steaming milk (or milk alternative), until dissolved.
Makes approximately: 9.5 cups (or 76 servings)
Adapted from Annie’s Eats. Originally from Gourmet, 2005.
Me and the kidlets have been spending lot’s of time in the kitchen this week making sweets for goody baskets and Christmas celebrations. All the gifts have been bought, many of them are wrapped and tucked under the tree. All that’s left is the fun stuff – cooking and baking! I tried not to take on too much this year because I tend to go overboard with my expectations of what I can get done. I think I finally found the right balance, but we’ll see… ;)
I think this would be a great addition to your cookie platters and gift baskets. It’s easy, quick and tastes divine. Yes, it uses a ton of chocolate, but it makes a lot, and one of these little babies is enough to satisfy your sweet tooth. They are just as fudge should be – rich, fudgy and indulgent. And, the peppermint makes them a great little after dinner mint/sweet.
Chocolate Swirl Peppermint Fudge
Make sure to use baking chocolate/chips not regular chocolate chips, the regular ones don’t melt as easily as baking chocolate.
- 22 oz. white baking chocolate, chopped (or baking chips)
- 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
- 3/4 cup dark (or bittersweet) chocolate baking chips
Place white chocolate and milk in a large saucepan set over low heat. Cook, stirring often, until melted and smooth. Stir in peppermint extract. Pour half of the white chocolate mixture into an 8×8 inch pan that’s been lined with foil and lightly greased. Sprinkle over 1/2 cup dark chocolate baking chips. Pour remaining white chocolate over top and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips. Wait a minute or two, until the chips have softened (if they have trouble softening stick the pan in a slightly warm oven). Swirl the mixtures together with a knife until you have a marbled pattern. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Slice into 1 inch squares, to serve. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. (Or store, covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days.)
Makes approximately: 64 servings
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens.
One of my favourite things to snack on this time of year is spiced candied nuts. The sweet, salty, spicy combination just can’t be beat in my books. And, the fact that it’s a slightly healthier Christmas treat is just an added bonus! This year, in my ongoing attempt to cut out processed sugar, when possible, I decided to make it with my favourite sweetener. I’m sure you’ll never guess what it is. ;)
These Maple Spiced Candied Nuts are the bomb! I made some to give a gifts but I’m pretty sure that I’m going to have to make another batch because none of us can stop eating them. My four year old asked me to pack them along for his playschool snack because he loved them so much. They can be enjoyed as is, but I also think they would make a delicious garnish for holiday desserts. Vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce and spiced nuts? Yes please!
You might as well whip up a double batch while you’re at it, because they’ll be gone in a flash. And, they’re just so handy to have on hand for last minute gifts and guests. You must make some ASAP, they’re just too good to pass up.
Maple Spiced Candied Nuts
If you can’t handle spice cut the cayenne down to 1/2 teaspoon.
- 8 cups (2 pounds) mixed raw nuts
- 3/4 cup real maple syrup
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Stir nuts together in a large bowl. Set aside. In a small bowl stir together remaining ingredients. Pour over nuts and stir to coat evenly. Divide nut mixture between two parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 300ºF for 10 minutes. Stir. Bake an additional 10 minutes, or until nuts are toasted and coating is sticky. Let cool 5 minutes, or until coating is dry to the touch. Serve while warm or allow to cool completely and store in a sealed container.
Makes: 8 cups
Ok. I am totally in love with these jars. I don’t normally share crafty things on the blog but these are so cute and since they make some lovely packaging for giving foods as gifts I just had to share it with you before Christmas. I originally got this idea from wit & whistle and since I’m kind of obsessed with everything chalkboard I had to give it a go.
I love this project for so many reasons. The results are rustic and give the jam or preserves an artisan feel. It really doesn’t use up much paint at all, so it’s a cheap way to add something special to jars that you’re gifting. The receivers of the jars can keep the lid and relabel it for storing other treasures. The fact that the chalkboard is on the lid means that if they’re into canning themselves they can re-use the jar for their own canning project and just discard the lid, no harm done. And the whole project is just so easy peasy.
Here’s what you do.
Using chalkboard paint (you can make your own if you like), paint the centre of the lid with a paint brush. It’s supposed to look rustic and homemade so it doesn’t have to be perfect. I used only one coat of paint even though the paint I used recommended two coats. It’s a disposable part of the jar so I didn’t feel the need for two coats. Once painted, let dry for 24 hours or follow the instructions on the paint you’re using.
Once dry, take a piece of chalk and rub it onto the dried paint, to condition it. If the chalk doesn’t seem to be adhering very well, just keep rubbing, it will eventually start working better. A few of them had little strips of paint that came off when I rubbed the chalk on them but I didn’t clean the lids very well before adding paint, so you may want to clean them more thoroughly or add a coat of primer, before painting. I wasn’t bothered by it though because I think it just adds to the charm, so it’s up to you. Once you’re satisfied with the coating of chalk, wipe it off and start labelling!
A few more tips
- Remove the ring before starting the project so you’re not trying to work around it.
- Add a cute scarf by tying on a piece of fabric or yarn. Or add a cute tag.
- Use the chalkboard to write who it’s to and from, what it is, or just do a drawing.
- Feel free to use this idea for more then just preserves. There are lot’s of gifts to be given in jars, and not just limited to food.