Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Banana Muffins

Delicious muffins for breakfast or late night snack loaded with lots of banana flavour!

I have to admit, I am not much of a breakfast person except for on the weekend when no one is feeling rushed and there is lots of time to linger over a big breakfast of bacon and eggs or perhaps pancakes.  Through the week, coffee gives me that morning jolt to get me going and later in the morning, I like to grab a muffin.  I send one every day with my husband for his grab and go breakfast after a long commute into the city.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Loaded Nachos

As a tribute to Nacho Day - fully loaded Nachos for dinner!

Who doesn't enjoy snacking on nachos while watching a game or movie?  Whether you enjoy scooping up yummy salsa or a cream cheese dip, we all love these little dippers. At our house, we love having nachos on the weekend for a quick lunch.  Typically they are sprinkled with salsa and grated cheese, heated in the oven and served, but in honour of Nacho Day, I wanted to step up the game by loading them with lots of toppers to make them a satisfying dinner.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Caramel Fruit Dip

A delicious caramel whipped cream perfect for dipping fresh fruit!

A wonderful decadent treat, this fruit dip is so easy to make taking some help from the store.
First, you will need a tub of caramel dip.  This is the really thick caramel dip that you generally find near the apples in the produce section.  It is wonderfully delicious on it's own when scooped up with apple slices but combine it with Cool Whip and you have an extra special treat.  I know that many of you may be adverse to using Cool Whip but I have found that made from scratch whipped cream does not stand up as well to the heavy caramel.

Simply combine equal amounts of caramel and Cool Whip in a bowl. Drizzle some of the caramel on top.  I finely crushed some Skor bits to sprinkle on top for added caramel flavour and a little crunch.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Peanut Butter Cookies

A classic cookie for peanut butter lovers!

We are great fans of peanut butter at our house.  It gets spread on toast, added to a bowl of oatmeal, worked into frosting and of course, our all time favourite, in a classic peanut butter cookie.  My husband gets up in the middle of the night for a glass of milk and is always looking for a cookie to munch.  By far, peanut butter cookies are the ones he requests most often and are his ultimate favourite and I aim to please my resident cookie monster.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pulled Pork

Let your slow cooker do all the work! Simply add all the ingredients in the morning, cook on low and by dinner time you have a delicious pulled pork ready to pile up on a bun!  Just add a salad or coleslaw for a complete dinner.

For the past month, we have been planning a big surprise party for my husband who is celebrating a milestone birthday.  I didn't want anyone to have to spend the day manning the barbecue, so decided on Pulled Pork for our main dish.  The slow cooker does all the work and you just have to take credit for the yumminess!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cheddar Onion Batter Bread

A delicious, moist bread marbled with cheddar cheese and a mild onion flavour.

Last week I made a big pot of chili for dinner and was looking for something to use for dipping in the bowl.  Now normally I would buy some nice fresh kaiser rolls or maybe bake some biscuits, but this day I was looking for something different.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Butternut Squash Soup

Sweet butternut squash simmered and pureed into a delicious creamy soup.

When you browse through the farmer's market or even in the grocery store, you see a vast array of squashes at this time of year at very affordable prices.  The last vegetable of the season to get harvested.    Whether the squash is baked, steamed or mashed, it makes a great veggie side.  But it also makes a delicious soup. 

My favourite type to use in this case is a butternut squash.  It has a beautiful orange colour and delectable

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Batch Prep Work, Freezing Vegetables

With a small slot of time, do some batch prep work and have prepared and chopped veggies in the freezer just waiting to start that next pot of soup, stew or stir fry.

Judging from the drastic change in temperature from a couple of weeks ago, I think that fall is here to stay.  This is the time of year that Mother Nature really showcases her talent transforming all those leaves into bright gorgeous oranges, reds and yellows.  As much as I enjoy the fall colours, it creates a lot of work.  We live in an area with a tremendous amount of trees, so it is an ongoing job for the next 3 to 4 weeks of constant raking and cleaning of leaves.  And what better treat to warm up after a morning in these cool temps raking then to sit with a steaming bowl of homemade soup for lunch!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Freezing Cheese

You can take advantage of great sales on cheese and store in the freezer.  A few weeks ago, I took advantage of a great price on mozzarella cheese.  I'm all for trying to make our hard earned dollars go further with our grocery budget and having cheese available to work into recipes is so convenient.  The structure of the cheese does change somewhat with freezing so I do this with block cheese such as mozzarella and cheddar, particularly when I have purchased a store brand cheese.  And, no doubt, this cheese is going to be added to a cooked dish or melted, so little effect on it's behaviour will be noticed.

 I would steer away from this method when it comes to fine, aged, creamy or expensive cheeses. To enjoy every benefit those expensive cheeses offer,  store in the refrigerated section of the fridge as they will keep a very long time.

I wasn't ready to use up all this mozzarella just yet and of course, didn't want our hard earned dollars to turn into moldy cheese by just storing in the fridge.

I took each 500 gr. block, cut it in half and then shredded each 250 gr portion.

Each 250 gram block yielded approximately 2 1/2 cups of beautiful, ready to use shredded cheese.  A perfect amount to top a pizza or to add to a pasta dish.

This was then put into a zip lock bag labelled with the contents, amount and date.  The air was carefully squished out and they were ready to pop in the freezer.

The packages are flat and compact, taking up very little room in the freezer.  You can store for up to four months but I'm sure that this will all be gone by then.  When you are ready to use, remove a package from the freezer and defrost before using. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Market fresh ingredients make a great topping piled on slices of toasted baguette to serve as an appetizer or just for plain snacking!

Tomatoes are at their peak right now with a large variety available in abundance at farm stands and markets everywhere.  Add just a few more ingredients and you have a delicious treat.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Apple Streusel Muffins

Apple and cinnamon pair together in these delicious jumbo muffins topped with a cinnamon sugar streusel topping.

Very often, I seem to have a few apples around that have developed a bruise and are no longer pristine.  I could simply cut them up for munching avoiding those blemishes but chopped up into small chunks and worked into a basic muffin batter complete with a dose of cinnamon is more to my fancy.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Welcome!! Blog overhaul!

Welcome to Not Just Grilled Cheese!!  With much encouragement from family, this blog has gone through a bit of an overhaul.  

This small part of the web is a place for me to share all of my favorite recipes with family and friends.  As it happens in life, we get separated in distance but we can always be brought together with food. 

Although I do periodically use shortcuts from the store, I make every effort to cook from scratch every day.

This is a sampling of some of the goodies to share with you!

As a family, we have always gathered round the family table every night for dinner.  As I get older, I treasure these times that we have spent catching up on everyone's day and having great conversation (sometimes heated) and very often, once the meal is complete, the plates are pushed aside and we engage in a friendly game of euchre or cribbage.  Our antique table came from my husband's Grandmother and I'm sure it could tell many a story!