Friday 3 March 2017

Friday, it's Friday!

What a week it's been.  Re-adjusting to work and winter after a week in Cuba - oh how I miss the sun and the ocean.

Now that I'm back in the world of the internet (access in Cuba is not great), here's what caught my eye this week:

What it feels like to be the last generation to remember life before the internet.

Which human foods you can and can't feed your dog.

Pan Dulce - otherwise known as Mexican sweet bread.

Handwriting helps you to learn.

Mini caramel-chai spiced apple pies.

And 26 words you have to say out loud.

Happy Friday!

Thursday 9 February 2017

Chicken Broccoli and Mushroom Stir Fry

I'm thinking that February is the new January.  Truthfully, I'm not entirely sure what happened to January.  I managed to get Christmas decorations put away.  I fed my family.  I washed dishes and did the laundry.  All the other things that I hoped to accomplish?  They're now on the February list.

I have a bunch of recipes I want to share with you, so we'll start with this one.  I've made this chicken broccoli mushroom stir fry twice in the past two weeks.  It's easy to make, and really tasty.   I originally saw it on Facebook - one of those videos that show you how to make a meal in 30 seconds.  Except it didn't really take 30 seconds.  More like 30 minutes, which is still pretty quick.

Cut up some chicken, dredge it in flour, and fry it up.

Mix up the sauce and stir fry the veggies.

Mix it all together... and done.

Serve over rice or noodles.  Prepare for everyone to tell you how good it is.

Chicken Broccoli and Mushroom Stir Fry


2 tbsp cooking oil

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into ¾" pieces
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ cup all purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup honey
¼ cup soy sauce
½ tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated, or ½ tsp ginger powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp sesame oil

1¼ lb (6 cups) broccoli florets
1 small onion, sliced
¾ lb (12 oz) sliced mushrooms

Sesame seeds for garnish


Toss chicken breast pieces in flour, salt, and pepper.

Heat 1 tbsp cooking oil in a large pan.  Add chicken to pan and brown on all sides.

While chicken is cooking, combine sauce ingredients - broth, honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil - in the same bowl that the leftover flour from the chicken is in.  Whisk it all together.  Set aside.

Remove cooked chicken from pan and set aside.  Add another tbsp of cooking oil to the pan and once it's hot, add the onion, broccoli and mushrooms.  Stir fry until the broccoli is crisp tender and the
mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes.

Pour the sauce into the hot vegetables. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Simmer 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened then toss in chicken and cook another 30 seconds or until heated through.

Serve over rice or noodles, sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Enjoy!

Original recipe here

Tuesday 10 January 2017

Hello 2017, and Sticky Upside Down Apple Gingerbread Cake

It's January.

Which means I've been pinning all of the detoxifying salads and cleansing smoothies.  I've joined photography challenges and seven day juicing challenges, and even looked at fitness challenges.

I bought a new planner.

And I've been eating Ferrero Rochers and pizza, and crackers with Brie and fig jam, and Eggs Benedict and smoked salmon and burgers with fries.

I've had zero smoothies.  I made a salad with dinner one night, but reached for the fresh baguette and butter instead.  I've walked back and forth to my car.  My planner is still blank.  I did manage to go through a closet and put a few bags of clothes together to donate, so there's that.

The mind is willing.  It's so ready.

Yet today, the second day back to school, we're having another snow day.  I think that makes five so far, and winter has only just begun.  So I made myself coffee with Bailey's and egg nog, and contemplated taking down the Christmas tree.

And I looked at the apples in the fruit basket, almost past their prime, and thought about baking.  Not muffins this time.  Gingerbread.  I should have posted this recipe in December, because it's amazing, but gingerbread is something that goes well with winter, not just Christmas.  And there's always apples waiting to be baked into something good.

Sticky Upside Down Apple Gingerbread Cake


Butter for greasing pan

4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
4 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges each

2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup molasses
1 cup buttermilk*


Preheat oven to 325°F.  Grease a high sided 9" cake pan.

Melt butter in a small saucepan.  Add brown sugar and simmer over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.  Stir in salt, remove from heat, and pour into bottom of cake pan.
Overlap apple slices in a circular pattern on top of the caramel.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and spices.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together with the brown sugar.  Add the molasses, then the melted butter and combine well.  Stir in buttermilk, then flour mixture.  Stir together and pour over apples in prepared cake pan.

Bake 45-50 minutes until centre of cake is set.  Mine cracked...that's OK :)  Let cool in pan on cooling rack for 15 minutes, then turn out onto plate large enough to catch any caramel spills or wayward apples.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.  Tastes just as good once it has cooled.

*If you don't keep buttermilk on hand, make your own buttermilk with one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar for each cup of milk. Put the tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in your measuring cup, then add the milk to measure one cup of buttermilk. Allow to sit for a few minutes before combining with the other ingredients.

Happy New Year!

Thanks for featuring me!

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