Tuesday, 29 September 2015

That's a Wrap

Saying goodbye to September with one more look at those last weeks of summer.

I'm ready to embrace the magic of autumn now.  I see you, red tree.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Cheesy Cauliflower Sticks

I have to say, I had my doubts about these.  Cauliflower pizza crust is a thing, I know, and as much as I love to health-ify the foods we eat at home, pizza is off limits.  There's no replacing that chewy, doughy crust.

Cheesy bread sticks, however, are fair game.  So I set out to recreate the popular cheesy snack, with cauliflower.  And it was a sneaky veggie snack success.  The crust couldn't pass itself as a pizza crust, it's not 'bready' enough.  Instead it's dense, tasty, and cheesy.  It held together fairly well, it wasn't overly soggy, and most importantly - it didn't taste like cauliflower.

I will definitely be making these again.

Cheesy Cauliflower Sticks


2 cups riced cauliflower, approx. 1/2 of a large head of cauliflower
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups mozzarella or marble cheese, or a combination of the two
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375°F.  Cover baking pan with parchment paper.  Process cauliflower florets (not the stalks) in food processor by pulsing until it looks like rice.  Cook cauliflower in a microwave safe container for 2 minutes on high, it should still be fairly dry.  If you find there is too much moisture in the cauliflower, sit in a wire mesh strainer while allowing it to cool.

Combine cooled cauliflower in a large bowl with one cup of the cheese and all of the remaining ingredients except parmesan cheese.  Spread mixture onto prepared pan, shaping into rectangle.

Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.  Once baked, sprinkle with remaining cheese and parmesan cheese, and return to oven for 5 more minutes.  Slice and eat.

Best served warm!

Thank you for featuring me!

i was featured at katherines corner Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Thursday, 24 September 2015

One Pan Mexican Pasta

September has been kicking my ass.  When I have time to cook, it's going to be quick, and if I can pull it off while dirtying only one pan...well, that's a win-win.

This one pan Mexican pasta dish fits the bill.  Quick, easy, delicious.  And only one dirty pan.

The ingredients are simple, and you probably already have them in your pantry and freezer.

Brown some ground beef and onions, season, stir in the remaining ingredients, wait for the pasta to cook, and eat.  

One dirty pan.  Awesome.

One Pan Mexican Pasta


1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tsp chili powder
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp basil
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp pepper
3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 cup salsa, homemade or store-bought
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 (28 oz / 796 ml) can diced tomatoes
1 (19 oz / 540 ml)can black beans, rinsed
1 ½ cups frozen corn kernels


Scramble fry ground beef with diced onions.  When beef is cooked and onions are translucent, add garlic and spices.  Stir.  

Add remaining ingredients, stirring well to combine.  Bring to a gentle boil.  Ensure the pasta is covered by liquid and allow to simmer, covered, until pasta is cooked through.  Stir occasionally while simmering.  If the liquid is absorbed before the pasta is cooked, add a small amount of water to the pan.

If you can resist eating this straight out of the pan, you can garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado or cilantro, but it's seriously yummy just the way it is :)

Looking for more one pan meals?  How about Italian sausage and peppers?

Thank you for featuring me!

Featured on Morsels of Life: Five Friday Finds Oh My Heartsie Girl DIY Vintage Chic Pieced Pastimes Domesblissity Country Fair Blog Part

I've had to suspend comments on this post temporarily due to an unbelievable amount of spam.  Who knew those spammers would be such fans of Mexican Pasta?  Feel free to email me directly if you have a pressing comment or question!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Tuna Casserole

The past week has been all about settling into new schedules and routines.  Or slipping back into old schedules and routines I suppose, depending on how you look at it. 

Finding gorgeous clementines at the grocery store.
Hockey equipment strewn about the foyer, every day.
Packing lunches.

There have been less take-out, less fend for yourself, less quickie dinner nights.

I've cooked real meals almost every night.  Except for pizza night of course.  We don't mess with pizza night around here.

Chicken fajitas, tacos (made with my homemade taco seasoning), roast chicken with green beans and potatoes, honey pineapple chicken, and tuna casserole.

This tuna casserole is a regular in my meal rotation.  It is requested often and makes the best leftovers, so I almost always end up doubling the recipe.

This is comfort food.

I sometimes add frozen veggies, in an attempt at boosting the nutritional value, but the kids tend to eat around the offending additions so I usually don't bother.  It calls for canned cream of mushroom soup, which isn't my favourite ingredient, but sometimes you just have to talk yourself into using processed ingredients for the sake of making something tasty that everyone will actually eat.  I've tried replacing the canned soup with a basic white sauce, something that works well in a lot of casserole recipes I make, but it just isn't great in this tuna casserole.  

It's an ordinary looking dish, and doesn't photograph well, but sometimes the least attractive things can also be the most wonderful.  This really is the best tuna casserole.  I use egg noodles, which are my favourite, but it works just as well with elbow macaroni, rotini, fusilli or small shells.  I use old cheddar for the best flavour, but any cheddar will do.  I've also used a combination of cheddar, mozzarella, marble, and farmers cheese to accommodate whatever I may have had on hand.  All worked well.  I always use Campbell's condensed cream of mushroom soup.  Other brands will work, but somehow it just isn't the same.  Sort of like the time I tried to use the basic white sauce instead :)

Tuna Casserole

1 package (12-oz / 340 g) extra broad egg noodles*
2 cans of tuna**
1 can of Campbell's condensed cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 cups cheddar, shredded, divided***
Salt and pepper to taste.
Panko bread crumbs 

Boil noodles according to package directions, until al dente.
In a large bowl, combine tuna, condensed soup, milk, mayonnaise, and half of the shredded cheddar.  Stir to combine, breaking up any large chunks of tuna.  At this point you could add some frozen peas or frozen mixed veggies, or not.  Salt and pepper to taste.
Add drained, cooked pasta.  Stir to combine.  Transfer to a casserole dish, top with bread crumbs and remaining cheddar cheese.  Bake, covered, at 350°F for 20-30 minutes, until heated through.

*The egg noodles I buy come in 375 g packages.  The small difference in quantity doesn't seem to make a difference, so don't stress if your package quantity isn't exactly the same.

**If doubling the recipe, use three cans of tuna.  Four cans ends up being too much

***Also, when doubling the recipe, twice the amount of cheese isn't necessary.  I use about three cups total, divided. But extra cheese may not be a bad thing either :)


I found a reciped for homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup.  I'll be trying this next time!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

In Denial

It's been September for over a week now.

Kids have been back to school since yesterday.

The first day of fall is still two weeks away, but summer is officially over.

And I am in denial.

I haven't flipped the calendar over.

I'm still wearing flip-flops.

I haven't ordered any pumpkin spice concoctions.

Despite the fact that sunset is now before 8pm, and there are red leaves showing off around the neighbourhood..

Instead I choose to re-live summer, flipping through my mental rolodex of the past two months.  Like days spent at Wasaga Beach.

 And our weekend trip to Boston. 

The seafood!  I could've eaten lobster rolls all day.  I really miss them.

I took 535 photos of whales.  Most of them look very similar to these.  I may have been slightly obsessed.

We ended our weekend on the beach at Good Harbor Beach.

We spent a fun day in Toronto, and thoroughly enjoyed Ripley's Aquarium.

The African Lion Safari was a great way to kick off summer.  Posts here, here, and here.

And a relaxing week at a cottage was the perfect way wrap up summer.

In the end we didn't accomplish everything on our Summer Bucket List, which I expected, but we did manage a bonus trip that we hadn't planned on.  All in all, it was a great summer.

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