Friday, March 16, 2007

St. Patrick's Day menu

Breakfast:

Irish oatmeal and cream

Second Breakfast:

Dublin Coddle (without the carrots)

Afternoon nibblies:

Irish oatmeal cookies

Supper:

- Green salad (baby spinach, avacado, green onions, cucumber, green peppers, green herbed vinigrette)
- Spinach pasta with pesto
- Breadsticks in shape of shamrocks plastered with dried parsley instead of sugar

Dessert:

Chocolate brownies with icing sugar-stenciled clover on top
Irish cream coffee for Hubby and I

Snack to accompany watching Hockey Night in Canada (Go Sens!):

Potato chips
and finish off the cookies
and nice strong tea

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A substitute for condensed mushroom soup

We don't use condensed soup in any of our recipes anymore, since we avoid MSG, artificial colours and flavours. Problem is, many of our favourite quickie casseroles and 15-minute suppers call for a can of mushroom soup to act as the 'sauce'. Hubby mentioned the other day how much he has missed one of his favourites- a broccoli/ ham/ cheese/ rice/ mushroom soup combo the kids dubbed 'Super Supper' years ago. I decided to experiment, and actually came up with a winner! We had 'Super Supper' last night, and it tasted very close to what we were used to, but better (of course!).

I took my favourite quick-n-easy cream of mushroom soup recipe and reduced the liquid- and there you go- condensed soup!

Homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

INGREDIENTS:
8 ounces finely chopped mushrooms
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion (optional)
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, combine mushrooms, broth, and onion, and bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Melt butter in another saucepan; blend in flour.

Gradually add milk; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Add sauce to mushrooms and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes about 3 cups.

Notes:

Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a few days.

The original soup recipe calls for 2 cups of broth and 3 cups of milk- the rest is exactly the same.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pancake Tuesday

This is our favourite pancake recipe. We have made it successfully without the blueberries, and also by substituting chopped apples. The original recipe came from the back of a Kellogg's Bran Flakes box, but we use cheaper store-brand bran flakes and changed some of the ingredients to make them healthier and more nutritious.

Bran flake pancakes

Ingredients

(250 mL) 2 cups whole wheat flour
(25 mL) 2 tbsp raw sugar
(15 mL) 1 tbsp baking powder
(2 mL) 1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
(425 mL) 1 3/4 cup milk (we use rice milk because of Baby's milk allergy)
(25 mL) 2 tbsp oil
(250 mL) 1 cup bran flakes cereal (or multigrain flakes, or ancient grain flakes or whole-grain oat flakes, etc.), crushed to 125 ml (1/2 cup)
(300 mL) 1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen (unthawed) blueberries

Directions

1. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2. In medium mixing bowl, beat egg until foamy. Stir in milk, oil and crushed cereal. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir again. Add flour mixture and blueberries, stirring just until combined.

3. Using 75 ml (1/3 cup) batter for each pancake, pour batter onto lightly-greased preheated skillet. Cook until bubbles form on surface and underside is golden brown. Carefully turn and cook until browned. Serve immediately with syrup.

YIELD: about 14 pancakes