Monday, May 25, 2015

homemade donair meat

We love donairs around here so when I saw this recipe last year for donair meat, it was definitely something I wanted to try.

Making this is easy. I just toss all the ingredients into my mixer and let the hook do the kneading for ten minutes until everything is incorporated.

The meat is then formed into a loaf and baked off. Once sliced, I fry up the meat in a pan before stuffing it into pitas. Q loves this so much, he is content just eating the meat by itself. He also asks for donair sandwiches, happily taking it for lunch.

For dinner, we stuff it into a pita with some lettuce, onions and tomatoes. Topped with a garlicky dressing, it tastes just like from a restaurant! A quick version of donair sauce that we use is sour cream, agave and garlic. So yum!

The meat is pretty good on pizza too. Check out this donair pizza I created for pizza week last year.

Homemade Donair Meat
Adapted from All Recipes

1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground oregano
1 tsp flour
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 pound ground beef

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, place the ground beef and then add the salt, oregano, flour, black pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and onion powder.

Using the kneading hook, knead the mixture for ten minutes.

Form the meat into a loaf, and place it on a broiler pan or baking sheet.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, turning the loaf over about half way through. This will ensure even cooking. Serve, or allow the meat to chill before slicing and reheating.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

win a one year supply of minute rice!

Rice seems to be a staple around here. It's perfect for sopping up Indian curry or using it to make a one pot meal to feed a crowd.  I didn't discover the convenience of instant rice until recently. Since it is pre-cooked and then dried, it significantly cuts down on the cooking time. This is huge, especially on days where the kids have multiple activities.

With “pre-cooked rice” as its only ingredient, Minute Rice® is 100% natural. Available in two varieties – Premium Long Grain White Rice and Premium Whole Grain Brown Rice – Minute Rice® takes only five minutes to prepare for white rice and 10 minutes for brown rice.

At a recent event promoting Minute Rice, Chef John Higgins, Director of the George Brown Chef School and Chopped Canada judge offered these top 10 rice cooking tips:

Boil in broth: When boiling rice, substitute water for broth to add flavour to the rice itself and your dish. Chicken broth, beef broth or vegetable stock are excellent choices. Low-sodium broths add a punch of flavour without the added salt.

Try coconut: Cook rice in coconut milk for a mildly sweet flavoured rice which pairs well with curry dishes and other spicy recipes. Coconut flavoured rice with fresh slices of mango or your kids’ favourite fruit can make a fun, healthy dessert option.

Think flavour: Add spices to the rice’s cooking liquid for an aromatic and flavourful base to your dish. Star Anise, cilantro and turmeric are good choices, with bold, robust flavours.

Season early on: Don’t leave your seasoning until the end. Introduce the flavours of your dish early on. For maximum flavour, add the herbs or spices your recipe calls for into the rice’s cooking water.

Add veggies: Enhance your rice dish by adding frozen vegetables. Rather than cooking the vegetables separately, though, condense your cooking time by adding them to boiling water before you begin cooking the rice. Using pre-cut, frozen vegetables is more convenient than cutting fresh vegetables (while still being nutritious), especially when you are pressed for time.

Sweeten with fruit: Add dried fruit – such as craisins, raisins, dried blueberries and currents – to your cooking water to draw out the sweet fruit flavours which will infuse your rice with a savoury taste the whole family will enjoy.

Try rice for breakfast: Instant rice in particular is quick and easy, making it a convenient and nutritious family option. Add almond or soy milk, or your kids’ favourite flavoured milk, as well as dried fruits or nuts for a complete, oatmeal-like breakfast dish which can be served hot or cold. Prepare the rice the night before to save time in the morning.

Steep your rice: Infuse the rice with your favourite flavour of tea for a fragrant, subtle gourmet taste. Steep a pot of tea and use the liquid to cook your rice instead of using plain water. For those less adventurous, start with a more simple flavour such as Earl Grey, English Breakfast or Chamomile tea. For an economical option, use the tea bag left over from your morning cup of tea.

Add zing with zest: For a zesty citrus spin on your rice dish, grate lemon, lime or orange zest into the rice’s cooking water as it’s boiling. Be sure to thoroughly wash your fruit with warm, soapy water before grating the zest into the water. For a more gourmet taste sensation, try a combination of citrus fruits in one rice dish.

Cut cooking time: Risotto is a wonderful meal or side dish option enjoyed by all ages, but it takes time to make.  Using instant rice in a risotto dish can cut in half the time it takes to make traditional risotto.

Want a chance to win a case of 12 boxes of Minute Rice® 100% Natural Instant Rice ($60 value)? Comment below, or on Facebook or Twitter, with your favourite rice dish. Contest closes on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2015. Only open to residents of Canada.

Here are a few of mine:
Shrimp Fried Rice
Indian Rice Pudding 
Seafood Paella

Monday, May 18, 2015

the weetabix #mybixmix challenge

A month ago, I was challenged to change up my morning routine with the addition of Weetabix.  Weetabix is made with four ingredients. Each two biscuit serving contains just 2g of sugar and is packed with whole grains. Low in fat, high in fibre, it just made sense to serve this to my family. With simple ingredients, it gives you a chance to personalize it the way you like, without any guilt - #mybixmix!

For a week, we started our day with a bowl of Weetabix, changing it up everyday with toppings like fruits and nuts. Here are some of the ways we enjoyed our bix!

With strawberries and agave syrup:

With blackberries and honey:

Topped with yogurt and coconut chips:

With blackberries and almonds:

With a tropical twist - bananas and coconut chips:

The cereal was a hit with both the six year old and the one year old - always a bonus. It kept us full and the various toppings made it seem like a different breakfast every day.

How will you mix your bix?

Disclaimer - I was sent product to help with the challenge as well as compensation. All opinions are my own.
Disclaimer - GLAD sent me products to help with the challenge as well as compensation. All opinions are my own. - See more at:
Disclaimer - GLAD sent me products to help with the challenge as well as compensation. All opinions are my own. - See more at:
Disclaimer - GLAD sent me products to help with the challenge as well as compensation. All opinions are my own. - See more at:

Sunday, May 10, 2015

happy mother's day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the amazing beautiful mammas! Hope you got spoiled with some delicious food!

A special shout out to the best grandmas!  I lucked out with the most amazing and loving mom in the world along with a great mother-in-law. 

I am also very blessed to be a mamma to the most loving boys. They are my world!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

happy cinco de mayo!

It's Cinco de Mayo, a great excuse to celebrate with some Mexican food. We started celebrations yesterday with beef tostados. We toasted soft tortillas in the toaster oven and then topped them with seasoned ground beef, peppers, onions, salsa, avocados and sour cream. Anything with taco meat is a hit around here.

Looking for some ways to celebrate at home. Try out these recipes!

Fried Fish Tacos

Mexican Pasta Shells

Pineapple Salsa

Restaurant-Style Salsa

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

three cheese pasta

When I stayed at the Banff Springs Hotel a couple months ago, I indulged one day with their Grown-Up Mac and Cheese -  a pasta dish made with Boursin and lobster. It was a comforting meal and was so delicious. I've been thinking about it ever since I ate it.

I decided to give it a go, and make some Mac and Cheese tonight. I'm hoping Q will love it and that it will be a hit for school lunch.

Using this recipe as a reference, I made the pasta dish with lots of mushrooms. I ended up not putting the pasta in the oven with breadcrumbs because I wanted the dish to be creamy through and through. The addition of three different cheeses - Boursin, Cheddar and Parmesan - made the dish ooey and gooey.

This pasta dish was definitely a splurge but oh so worth every single bite!

Three Cheese Pasta
Slightly adapted from here.

1 pound pasta
4 TB butter
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 TB flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups milk
2 stalks of thyme
1 package Boursin cheese with garlic and herbs
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water, following package directions. Drain and set aside. In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms until they are cooked. Add 2 TB butter and add the flour and stir until well blended and bubbly. Add salt and pepper, and the milk. Cook, stirring, until thickened. Add the herbs, Boursin cheese, and Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses.

Cook, stirring, until cheeses have melted. Stir in the drained pasta. Indulge!

Grown-Up Mac and Cheese
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