Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What's Cooking Wednesday #15

Last week, we were having some beautiful spring weather. It totally got me in the mood for BBQ! So this week's What's Cooking Wednesday is:

Homemade Hamburgers

Ingredients (amounts are approximate)

1 lb ground beef

1/2 cup sweet potato puree

3/4 cup bread crumbs

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients together. Form into 16 miniature patties. Cook on the BBQ!

We didn't have any hamburger buns, so I followed the advice in Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious...take whole wheat bread, and cut out rounds with a glass. Then toast the rounds on the BBQ before serving.

Add your favourite toppings and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What's Cooking Wednesday #14

March is a birthday month in our home, so in honour of M's 5th birthday, this week's What's Cooking Wednesday is:

Chocolate Sheet Cake

2 cups flour (can make with 1/2 whole wheat)
2 cups sugar (I used slightly less)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1 cup water
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/2c buttermilk/sourmilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup butter
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
3 Tbsp buttermilk/sourmilk
2 1/4c icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecan or coconut (optional)

Grease and flour a 13X9X2 pan.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.

In a microwaveable dish, combine butter, water and cocoa powder. Melt until just to a boil, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add to dry ingredients.

Beat on low just until combined. Add eggs, milk and vanilla. Beat on low about 1 minute. The batter will be soup-like.

Bake in 350F oven for 30-35 minutes.

When the cake is done, allow to cool slightly while you make the icing.

Combine butter, cocoa powder and sourmilk. Melt in microwave about 30 seconds. Add icing sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in pecans.

Pour hot frosting over warm cake evenly. Cool on wire rack.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Budgets and Meal Planning

I've been reading a lot about meal planning and budget meals..and although I'm impressed with people who can make $5 meals for their family of 4, I wonder if that would be realistic for me.

I am trying to eat as organically as possible, so I don't think $5 would be reasonable. And I choose not to buy all store-brand items as often times they are higher in sugar, sodium or contain MSG. So in an attempt to eat healthier, it is more expensive.

My goal over the next month is to figure out a reasonable weekly budget for groceries..then I hope to prepare weekly meal plans with costs associated.

If anyone has a great Canadian source for coupons, I'd love to hear about it!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What's Cooking Wednesday #13

The weather has been warmer and I was feeling like spring, so when a friend gave me this fantastic salad recipe, I just had to try it!

Fiesta Salad


4 cups cooked brown rice
1 8oz. can of corn, rinsed and drained
1 red pepper, chopped
2-3 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 carrot, grated or finely chopped
3 tbsp fresh parsley
4 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
Ground black pepper, to taste

1. In a large bowl combine rice, corn, red pepper, onions, cranberries, carrot and parsley.

2. In a separate bowl blend soy sauce, lemon juice and olive oil.

3. Pour olive oil mixture over salad to evenly coat. Add roasted sunflower seeds and black pepper to taste.

This salad is best served the day it is prepared, but is still good as leftovers the next day (the rice just absorbs most of the liquid)

For more great What's Cooking Wednesday ideas, check out the home of WCW!

Friday, March 6, 2009

I've Been Bitten.....

So I finally caved....I had a Chapters gift certificate from Christmas, and I took the plunge and bought Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer.

I had heard all about this vampire series, but wasn't sure it would be my thing. So I started reading it while waiting for a doctor's appointment...not a good idea! I couldn't put it down!! I think I finished it at 12:30 am last night - I may pay for the late night, but now I can focus on something else :) The book is very fast paced, and the way it is written, makes it seem totally normal. I liked that there was romance and suspense...a good balance to keep me reading to the end.

Now I just have to decide...do I get the next book.....