This and that: September 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Foodie Friend Friday - Sept 27/12

I am not really sure where the time goes 
but it is time for another 

This week we will be having another great giveaway ~ 3 randomly picked entries will win  canister labels from A Mustard Seed Dream.  We will be using rafflecopter this week for the giveaway.  You do not have to link up a recipe but it will give you another chance of winning. Everyone needs to enter through rafflecopter to have their name put in the draw.  Please take a minute and check out her wonderful blog.

Last Week's Party Winners

Can I boast just a little bit?  This week my link of  Baked Rice with Eggplant and Zucchini received both Voted Top 3 and Most Clicks... Thank you to everyone that checked out my recipe. 
It makes me truly happy! 

Tin Foil Dinner
Italian Wedding Cookies
Roasted Basalmic Zucchini
Vegetarian Chili
and Fan Drawing - Jessica and Tara

Baked Rice with eggplant and zucchini
Vegan Crunch Wrap
Ginger and Lime Sandwich Cookies

Dark Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Truffle
Baked Rice with eggplant and zucchini
Vegan Philly Cheese Steak
Host Favorite
This week's host favorite goes to Vegetarian Momma for her Tomato Soup

Foodie Friends Friday
Please feel free to grab your button from here or go
to Foodie Friends Friday 

My recipe for Homemade Tomato Soup with a twist
Now onto this week party
Foodie Friends Friday
Tracy at Busy Vegetarian Mom
Marlys at This and That
Lois at  Walking on Sunshine
Lindsey at Family Food Finds
Cindy at Cindys Recipes and Writings
Michelle at  From Calculus to Cupcakes
Cynthia at Feeding Big
Jodie at Binomial Baker
R Dawn at Spatulas on Parade
Angie at A lil Country Sugar
Erika at Chef Picky Kid

A Giveaway and Rules:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Homemade Tomato Soup with a twist

If you have been following my blog, you will realize that the morning of the party I like to feature one recipe from the previous weeks party.  To feature it,  means that I need to make it.  I prefer to have made it before I feature it.
Last week we had a Vegan Challenge and I thought it would be appropriate to make a vegan recipe. I have to apologize because I did turn this great vegan recipe into non-vegan by using milk as I didn't have any non-dairy milk in the house.  This Tomato soup recipe was linked up by Vegetarian Momma and tasted so good. The secret ingredient is maple syrup.  Would you have ever thought of putting maple syrup in tomato soup? ~ Me neither but it was GREAT!  My recipe is for only one serving and I used garden tomatoes instead of can tomatoes.

Homemade Tomato Soup with a Twist
adapted from Tomato soup

1 tbsp red onion diced                                            
1 tsp oil                                                                      
3/4 cup crushed tomatoes 
1/2 cup milk (dairy or non dairy)                      
1 tsp maple syrup
In small sauce pot, heat oil and saute onion until soft.  Add tomatoes ( I used a combination of red and yellow tomatoes), bring to boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 5-6 minutes.  Add milk and maple syrup and remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before eating.

I enjoyed my soup with a grilled cheese sandwich.

 When there is a chill in the air, soup is the best thing to eat to warm you up and a bowl full of yummy goodness, made from your garden vegetables.... Oh! So! Good!.
til next time <3 <3 <3 Marlys    

Friday, September 21, 2012

Doughnut Pancake with Maple Glaze

I am not really a pancake person, I can eat them but they aren't my favorite breakfast food.  I think that it is because I am the oldest of nine and every Saturday we would make pancakes for lunch. Being the oldest, I usually made them, so after making multiple batches of the dough and frying pancakes for what seemed like hours, I could barely eat any.
Not too long ago I found this recipe for Maple Glaze Doughnut Pancake from French Press.  I  LOVE doughnuts... they are probably one of my favorite foods.  I also love the Tim Horton's Maple Glazed Doughnuts, something that I can't get very often anymore.  So when I saw this recipe, I instantly started drooling and thinking about Tim Horton's and I had to try them.  These pancakes were downright delicious, I loved them. I just wish my husband would have the same liking as me... He was ok with them but I could tell that he wasn't quite impressed as I was.  Saying that I will still make these every once in awhile.

Doughnut Pancakes with Maple Glaze
For the pancakes:
1 cup flour
1 egg
3/4 -1 cup milk ( I used only 3/4 cup, they made the pancakes thicker)
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp nutmeg ( I used 1/2 tsp)
1/4 tsp ginger

Mix dry ingredients together in bowl.  In separate bowl whisk together milk, egg, butter and pour over dry ingredients.  Whisk all ingredients until everything is combined.  Preheat griddle to 350 degrees or I used a heated pan on the stove.  Grease griddle or pan with either butter or cooking spray.  Place batter in  pastry bag or ziploc bag with corner snipped off and squeeze batter out in a circle leaving a hole in the middle.

Flip pancakes when underside looks brown and cook other side.  Keep warm in preheated 200 degree oven until all pancakes are done and glaze is made.  I don't have a very big frying pan so I need to cook one at a time.  I also made a few doughnut holes with the leftover batter.

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp milk or cream
1 tsp maple syrup - I used slightly more
1/4 tsp nutmeg 

Mix all ingredients together and drizzle over a  stack of pancakes.

I tried to make a heart shaped pancake.

We ate ours with strawberries... Enjoy!

til next time <3<3<3  Marlys

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party and Vegan Challenge

Last week we had 159 recipes linked up....
 a great party with great recipes and great bloggers

Sponsor Winner
Baker Becky - Cinnamon Rolls

Voted Top 3
Jenmi Jenmi - Plantation Ice Tea
Project Ever After - Roaste Cacao Cauliflower with Yogurt dip
Lemons for Lulu - Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream

Most Clicked
Jenmi Jenmi - Plantation Iced Tea
Mommy's Sweet Confession - Apple Pie Mookies
This and That (yes my recipe :)) Spice Berry Drink
Host Favorite
This week when I picked my recipe, I wanted something that I would be able to make vegetarian for the Vegetarian Challenge that we doing for this weeks Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party and I picked....

Hungry Couple-Baked Rice and Zucchini Cakes

Foodie Friends Friday
Please feel free to grab your button from here
or go to Foodie Friends Friday

my recipe for Baked Rice with Eggplant and Zucchini
My husband and I both loved this recipe, it had lots of flavour and was just yummy and vegetarian too.

This week party
this is what we are waiting for.....
this week's sponsor is Daiya Foods
Six lucky winner will win free cheese- Four are from linked up recipes, and two are guest links

My recipe for the Vegan Challenge is Baked Rice with Eggplant and Zucchini


Foodie Friends Friday
Tracy at Busy Vegetarian Mom
Marlys at This and That

Lois at  Walking on Sunshine
Lindsey at Family Food Finds
Cindy at Cindys Recipes and Writings
Michelle at  From Calculus to Cupcakes
Cynthia at Feeding Big
Jodie at Binomial Baker

Let's Start the Party after the Rules:

When entering as fan... leave the "url" blank... It will still work... Thanks and good luck.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Baked Rice with Eggplant and Zucchini and Vegan Challenge

A while back we were asked to try and come up with a recipe using Daiya vegan cheese.  I will be the first to admit when I thought of vegan cheese I though blah... and was a little relieved that I wouldn't be able to do this challenge because Daiya vegan cheese was no where to be found in our area and I would have to drive at least 6 hours away to get it, so I put it out of my mind until a few days ago.  I went shopping at our local Co-op store ~ I love going there and see what new items they have as this store is a small place packed with just about everything.. I had picked up some bulk items and was going to the register and I happened to glance at the coolers that were near the register and you will never guess what I saw.... Daiya Vegan Cheese and much to my surprise it tasted quite good.
My next challenge was how do I make a vegan recipe... what can and can't I use and what should I make.  Foodie Friends Friday my new best place to look for a recipe came to the rescue.  I found this recipe from Hungry Couple called Baked Rice and Zucchini Cake on our last weeks linky party and as I read the recipe, light bulbs went on.  This would be perfect to use up the zucchini that I have and use the vegan cheese instead of the parmesan cheese that is called for and I would have a vegan recipe that used Daiya cheese for the challenge... Great! and I was getting my ingredients ready I spied an eggplant on the counter top that I just had gotten from my garden and thought why not use that too...
So here is the way I made this recipe 

Baked Rice with Eggplant and Zucchini
recipe adapted from Hungry Couple
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 cup onions
1 clove garlic
1 cup egg plant diced
2/3 cup zucchini shredded
1/4 cup green beans - cut in small pieces
1 tsp greek seasoning
2 cups water
1 cup rice -- I used about 1/4 cup brown rice and 3/4 cup jasmine rice
1/2 cup diaya mozzarella style vegan cheese
salt and pepper to taste.  

In a pot, saute onions and garlic in olive oil until they become translucent. Add green beans and continue to cook for a few minutes. Once the green beans are starting to get soft, add egg plant and zucchini. Continue to cook for a few minutes on medium heat until veggies are soft.  Add 2 cups of water, rice, and greek seasoning.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to low and cook until water is evaporated and rice is soft, approximately 20 minutes.  Stir in cheese.
Spray two small oven safe pans or mini spring form pans if you have them with non-sticking cooking spray.  Divide mixture in two and place in each pan.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for approx 300 minutes or until top becomes a light golden brown.  Allow pans to cool and run a knife around edge of pans and careful unmold or turn over on plate.  Makes 2 servings.

cooking vegetables

place mixture in two oven safe pans-
I used my small corning ware pots

   I was delightful surprised on how good this tasted and the vegan cheese gave it an extra special taste. 
 I have changed my thoughts after eating this meal about vegan cheese!  
This coming week on September 21st we will have a Vegan Challenge on Foodie Friends Friday

til next time <3 <3 <3   Marlys

This post was not sponsored by Daiya Foods, and the opinions written are my own.  Daiya Foods is sponsoring the giveaway on September 21/12 Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party and Vegan Challenge. 

This recipe is linked: Gluten Free FridaysFoodie Friends Friday 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Eggplant Pizza

This year we planted two eggplant plants and have had an abundance of  them and eggplant is something not everyone likes... So I have been trying to be creative in using them as I am not sure how they will freeze.  My husband thinks that I have been making too many eggplant recipes, but it is a vegetable that I enjoy as long as it is cooked with something else.  I had seen recipes for zucchini pizza so thought why not eggplant.

Eggplant Pizza
3 small eggplants - cut into slices
1/2 cup panko crispy bread crumbs
1 tbsp italian seasoning
1 egg
splash of milk
1 cup pizza sauce
proscuitto - 1 slice per eggplant
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup grated carrots
1/8 cup diced onions
1 tbsp fresh basil
1/2 cup tillamook garlic white cheese shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Mix panko crumbs and italian seasoning in a bowl or I sometimes use a baggie for it. In a separate bowl whisk one egg and a splash of milk (maybe a tbsp or so).  Cut eggplant into strips/slices - about 1/4 inch in depth.  For the 3 eggplants I had I was able to cut them into 7 slices total.  Dredge each slice into the egg and then into the crumb mixture and place on greased pan or cookie sheet.  Place in oven and cook eggplants until you can get a fork through them easily ~ approximately 20 minutes.
Once eggplants are soft, take out of the oven and spread the pizza sauce over each slice.  Add 1 slice of proscuitto to each egg plant and then cover with tomatoes, carrots, onions.  Sprinkle with basil and spread cheese over the top.  Place back in oven and cook for another 15 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly brown.
fresh tomatoes
fresh eggplants

breaded egg plant

ready to go into the oven.

This pizza will need to be eaten with a fork and knife as the eggplant is slightly soft and will not stand up to being finger food.  The next time I make it I am going to try thinner slices and maybe some oil on the eggplant so they will be crisper or even fry the eggplant in a small amount of oil before breading it.  If anyone has any suggestions on making the egg plant crispier please leave me your suggestion.


til next time <3 <3 <3 Marlys
Linked with ~~ Tasty Thursdays

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party September 14/12

Were does the time go?
It just seemed like yesterday that I posted last weeks Linky Party and it is time to do it again.
Last week we had a wonderful turn out
And I have to say that this is the first week I haven't gone through all the links,
The Linky Party is now my go to place for recipes.
It is great to have such great recipes from great bloggers right at my fingertips.
Thank you to all that have linked up and I hope to see you again this week 
and I promise to get to your recipes.
I love them all!

Last week winners:
This week's sponsor was Cindy Bazor of Bazor Designs
3 lucky randomly picked winners won a hand screen towel ~ I hope you enjoy your towels.
The Meltaways Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
Earning My Cape Microwave Dried Fruits
A Slice of South Pineapple Grilled Port Tenderloin

Last week's Top 3 Voted
Hun What's For Dinner Lemon-Blueberry Zucchini Loaf
Cozy Cakes Cottages Buttermilk Breakfast Cake
Jenmi Jenmi Chocolate Chip Cream Pie
Last week's Top 3 Clicked
Hun What's For Dinner Lemon-Blueberry Zucchini Loaf
Cozy Cakes Cottages Buttermilk Breakfast Cake
Once Creative Procrastinating Gal 3 in One Meal
Host Favorite 

Foodie Friends Friday
Feel free to grab you button from here or at
Foodie Friends Friday
This week my host favorite is:   Coconut Cranberry Granola from White Lights on Wednesday.
I have wanted to make granola for a long time and this was my chance.
Yum! It was so delicious and I have been eating it all week.
The link to my version of this recipe is HERE

Doesn't this look good...
Now for this week party............. 

Hosts for this week:
Foodie Friends Friday
Tracy at Busy Vegetarian Mom
Angie at A lil Country Sugar  
Marlys at This and That
Lois at  Walking on Sunshine
Lindsey at Family Food Finds
Cindy at Cindys Recipes and Writings
R Dawn at Spatulas on Parade
Ericka at Chef Picky Kid
Michelle at  From Calculus to Cupcakes
Cynthia at Feeding Big
Jodie at Binomial Baker

All links will be on each one of the members blogs.. So great exposure.  All we ask is that you link back your recipes to Foodie Friends Friday and I would love if you shared that you linked up with my blog.

Giveaway for this week's party 
Sponsored by Miss Macie- A custom made spoon ring
One random winner

Let's start the Party: After the Rules....

Dried Cranberry Granola

I love Granola  and have been wanting to make it for a long time... So when I saw this recipe on our Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party, submitted by White Lights on Wednesday, I just knew that I had to make it.  I think I made it the day after she linked it up... and it is just about gone... oh! it is so yummy and good for you.  A great snack!

Dried Cranberry Granola

Dried Cranberry Granola
recipe adapted from Coconut Cranberry Granola
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup flax seeds
1 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp all-spice
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/2 cup honey

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line 2 cookie sheets with baking mat or parchment paper.  (I used only one large but I suggest to use two as the edges of my granola got very crispy).
In a large bowl combine rolled, oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, cranberries, cinnamon, all-spice and salt.  Mix well.
In a separate microwave bowl, add coconut oil and honey.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds and stir.  Continue this process until heated.  Whisk thoroughly to combine and pour over dried mixture.  Stir well until honey/oil mixture is mixed well with dry ingredients.
Pour mixture on cookie sheets and spread evenly.
Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.  I rotated my pan every 10 minutes so there was more even baking.
Let cool and break into pieces and enjoy.

*This recipe was very good and I can envision many additions to as I continue to make it... almonds will go into my next batch and probably more cranberries or maybe some raisins...

dry mixture

adding oil and honey

cooling granola after baking for 30 minutes.

Break granola into pieces and enjoy!
Thanks White Lights on Wednesday for submitting this wonderful recipe.  I am going to have fun coming up with new ingredients and flavours for my next baking of this recipe.  I am thinking sliced almonds, more cranberries and maybe some dried fruits.  The possibilities are endless.

Remember to join us again this week for another Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party.  There are always great recipes linked up from some great foodie bloggers like this one.  It is a great place to get your weeks menu planned... there is a little something for everyone and if you link up your recipe you have an opportunity to win some great giveaways... This week one recipe will win a custom made spoon from Miss Macie.
           til next time <3 <3<3  Marlys       

This recipe is linked : Sunday Sweet Confessions    

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Crostata Crumble

I have been seeing lots of recipes for crostatas and wondered what they are for sure. So I went to wikipedia... my look up dictionary and it says "is an Italian baked dessert tart, and a form of pie... I love pies and desserts so why not try and make some myself. They look simple enough, but it also said " the jams that are typically used as a filling are cherries, peaches, apricots, and berries. Well, I didn't want to use a jam ~ I just wanted to use fruit... Fruit like apples and maybe peaches.

My next step was to get some apples..Well, that won't be a problem, my brother has apples in his yard, so all I have to do it go and pick some. We went there one day and the apples were at the top of the trees, so my husband climbed the trees and threw the apples down to me ~~ the hardest part I had was catching them right? Have you ever tried to catch an apple that was thrown down from the top of the tree... Not so easy and a few fell to the ground and rolled down the gully.. No I didn't go and get them. Those ones will be easier for the animals to eat :).
a bag full of yummy apples
Now I have the apples... the next step was to find a recipe.. So google search, here I come and I came across an article called Crostatas: They are easy as pie and it gave me an idea of how to make them and the pie crust looked great so I thought I would try it.  I made these twice.  The first time I made them, I used bought pie crust as I was in a hurry and wanted to make them for dessert for my company, they were good but they tasted store bought.  The second time I made them I made my own pie crust from the recipe in the article and wow.. what a difference.
..... And Crostatas are easy as pie
Here is how I made mine.

pie crust either homemade or store bought
For home made pie crust: (adapted from Crostatas: They are easy as pie - called pasta frolla)
   3cups unbleached all purpose flour
   1 cup confectioner's sugar
   1/4 tsp salt
   finely grated zest of one lemon
   1 cup cold unsalted butter (cut in 1/2 inch cubes)
   1 large egg 
   2 large egg yolks 
3-4 apples or peaches cut in slices
sugar to sprinkle over crust
1 egg white whisked with 1 tsp milk
1/4 cup oats
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp butter
caramel topping - homemade or store bought
For homemade caramel topping  I used this recipe from The Slow Roasted Italian no fail caramel sauce.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
If using homemade pie crust, make this first as it needs to be refrigerated for at least an hour prior to using.  In large bowl, combine flour, confectioner's sugar, salt and lemon zest.  Cut butter and place in bowl and mix together until mixture is crumbly.  Add egg and egg yolks and mix until  the dough comes together.  I use my hands to mix this but you can also use a food processor fitted with metal blade.  Once dough comes together take out of bowl and place on work space with small amount of flour on the table.  Knead it briefly and shape into disc or ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Once ready to make crostatas, take homemade crust or store bought crust out of refrigerator and let sit for at least 45 minutes.  While waiting for the crust to become pliable to work with, slice apples or peaches.  I added a bit of lemon juice to my apples so they didn't get brown. If using store bought pie crust roll out and cut into approx 5 inch circles ( I used a glass bowl to do this).  I then rolled out the left over dough and cut more circles.  I was able to get 6 circles out of one pie crust.  If using homemade dough, knead slightly and roll out to about 1/8 inch high~ using glass bowl cut into 5 inch circles.  Place on cookie sheet covered with baking mats or parchment paper.

Place 5 -6 slices of peaches or apples in the center of each dough circle.  Bring edges of the dough up around the fruit.  Whisk 1 egg white with 1 tsp mild until frothy.  Brush edges of dough with egg wash.  Sprinkle with sugar, you can also sprinkle fruit with sugar if you would like it sweeter.

To make crumble combine oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Cut butter into small pieces and mix with oat/flour mixture until it is crumbly.  Sprinkle this mixture over the center of your crostatas.  
Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, turn down to 350 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown in colour.  Let cool for a few minutes and drizzle caramel sauce over the entire individual crostata.
* You can make this in a big pie also, instead of cutting in individual 5 inch round pieces, just roll out the store bought pie crust or homemade pie crust to 9 or 10 inch round.  I used a tart pan to make my big crostata as it was easier to carry, but it can be placed on cookie sheet also.

dry ingredients and cut butter
mix until crumbly


add eggs
mix until you can form ball or disc
roll out dough and cut into 5" circles

add apples to center of dough 
Add peaches to center of dough

drizzle caramel over crostata
large pie... 
drizzled with caramel sauce after baked

Enjoy with ice cream

Til next time <3 <3 <3  Marlys