Honey Joys

These little gems are a traditional Australian party food. Simple, delicious, and kids love them!

2.5 oz butter
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
5 cups Corn Flakes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Put the Corn Flakes in a large bowl and set it aside.

Over medium-low heat, melt the butter then add the honey and sugar. Stir until heated and well combined, but do not boil.

Pour the mixture into the Corn Flakes and mix thoroughly.

Line 2 muffin trays with cupcake papers – 18-24 will be enough. Add a heaping 1/4 cup of the Corn Flake mixture to each paper. Slightly less if you’re trying to get 24 filled.

Bake for 8 minutes then let them stand for 15 minutes to cool and harden. You can then remove them from the pans to cool completely.

I made this batch for my sons who both had a party for their last day of their preschool class one day after the other. They were well received and what was left kept well in an airtight container for the second class on the next day. We took them to the class in this handy dandy cupcake carrier that I found at Costco for $15. My husband didn’t want me to buy it because it is huge, but I knew it would come in handy now that my boys are reaching school age!

After I made these I was feeling homesick so I called my mother in Australia to let her know the next generation of honey joy lovers had arrived!

We Have A June Giveaway Winner!

I loved hearing about everyone’s favourite kitchen gadget and it seems Kitchen Aid mixers are popular! I can’t blame you though, I love mine too and use it every chance I get!

So, are we ready to find out the winner? As usual the lucky person was chosen at random and the winner is…

#12 – Stacey Schumacher: Hmmm I have many, but probably my Pampered Chef Garlic Press. Use it ALL the time.

Stacey is a prime example of how it pays to get a second entry by posting the giveaway on whichever social media site you like to use because it wasn’t her original answer to the question that won, it was her second entry in the giveaway where she posted a link on Facebook!

Congratulations Stacey! Contact me and we can make arrangements to get your new cast iron pan and handle mitt to you asap!

See ya’ll next month for the July giveaway!

Potato Frittata

It’s no secret that I love to bake, even though making dough is intimidating and I tend to avoid it, I still love to bake and I also love to read baking blogs.

That is how I found Joy The Baker.

Her site has lots of wonderful yummy things, one of which is this recipe for Potato Frittata. It is such a delicious combination of ingredients that is perfect for a Sunday brunch and will turn out yummy……if you’re not like me and don’t rush it. You know how it is, week night dinner time, kids driving you crazy, hungry husband on the way home and you’re trying to fix dinner. Brinner? Anyway, I was rushed, not being careful about slicing my potatoes thinly enough, and definitely not noticing that my potatoes seemed too big to include them all in the pan. I ended up with very crunchy potatoes that my family couldn’t eat, all because I didn’t slow down a bit and pay attention.

Don’t be like me.

5 tablespoons canola oil, divided (I used olive oil)
1 small yellow onion, sliced
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices (mine were too large, so don’t take “large” too literally when picking them out!)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
7 large eggs
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons minced chives
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 400 degrees F.
Heat a medium saute pan over medium high heat and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onions and cook until caramelized, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of water, scraping any brown bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Cook until the water evaporates and the onions take on a uniform brown color, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the onions to the roasting pan and toss with the raw sliced potatoes.

Ignore my beat up old baking pan. She may be ugly, but she is good at her job!
Yes it’s a she. Got a problem with that?

Add 1 tablespoon of butter and the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Toss with your hands and season generously with salt and pepper.

Cover the pan with foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Set the potatoes aside to cool for 15 minutes and reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees F.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, herbs and cream together. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium high heat. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet, making sure that melted butter greases the side of the cast iron as well and add the cooked potatoes to the pan.

Top with the egg mixture.

Cover the skillet with the previously removed foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes more.

Slice and serve directly from the skillet, warm or at room temperature.

I will definitely make this again sometime when I have a little more time to prepare it so I can pay closer attention to slicing the potatoes….and not use such mutantly large potatoes!

Bourbon-Bacon Scallops

These were actually surprisingly tasty. I expected that with the small amount of marinade and short marinating time they wouldn’t have much more than the original scallop taste, but they definitely had more than that. Of course anything is made better by adding bacon, but the bacon really did compliment the flavour combination well and having scallops is a nice depart from the usual dinner fare. Even my 2 year old ate them!

3 tablespoons finely sliced green onions
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 lbs large sea scallops
1 lb sliced bacon

In a medium size bowl combine the green onions, bourbon, maple syrup, soy sauce, mustard, and pepper.

Add the scallops, toss them to coat thoroughly, then cover the bowl with cling wrap and put them in the refrigerator to marinate for 1 hour.

Wrap each scallop in a slice of bacon and position them on skewers over a baking sheet. I actually got a little lazy and didn’t trim the bacon to the right size and it ended up overlapping around the scallop which caused the bacon to not crisp properly. If I were you I would learn from my laziness and trim your bacon. :)

Place the baking sheet under your broiler for 8 minutes or until the bacon is crisp and the scallops are done, basting occasionally with the leftover marinade. Your cooking time will vary depending on the size of your scallops.

Serve with the sides of your choice. As you can see from a lot of my photos on various recipes, salad and French bread is common in our house simply because it is quick, easy, and my kids will eat it. We like to jazz up the greens a bit with some thinly sliced red onion, a sprinkling of crumbled feta, and a dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Bon apetit and have a great weekend!

Granny’s Chocolate Cobbler

What can I say? What is there to say about heaven in a bowl? If you never make another thing from my blog, make this.


Go, now. Get up out of your chair and head for the kitchen. Ok, maybe not right this second because you need to read the recipe first, but do it.

1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons cocoa powder, divided
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cup hot tap water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
First stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, 3 tablespoons of the cocoa, and 3/4 cup of the white sugar. Reserve the remaining cocoa and sugar.

Add the milk, melted butter, and vanilla to the flour mixture and mix until smooth.

Pour the mixture into an ungreased 8-inch baking dish.

In a separate small bowl, mix the remaining white sugar (it should be 1/2 cup), the brown sugar, and remaining 4 tablespoons of cocoa. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter.

Gently pour the hot tap water over it all. DO NOT STIR!

Bake for about 40 minutes or until the center is set.

Let it stand for a few minutes and serve with vanilla ice cream using the gooey sauce to spoon over it all.

You’re lucky I got through this post without drooling over my keyboard. It was definitely a close call!

Time to get your butt to the kitchen.




Pioneer Woman’s Potato Skins

These make great appetizers, but for the purpose of preparing this post, we actually had them for dinner alone. I know, hardly nutritionally sound, but damn they were good! :)

8 slices thick cut bacon
6-8 russet potatoes
Oil (recipe says canola but I used olive)
Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
4 green onions, sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Scrub your potatoes as clean as you can get them.

Brush or rub the potatoes liberally with oil and bake them for 45-60 minutes.

While the potatoes are baking, fry your bacon, allow it to cool, then cut it into small pieces. This is also a good time to ban your children and spouse from the kitchen or you might find your bacon mysteriously disappearing. Just saying.

Once the potatoes are cooked, slice them in half lengthwise and remove the flesh, leaving a small amount of potato in the skin to provide support and prevent the skin of splitting.

Brush both sides of the skin with oil and sprinkle some salt over both sides. Place the skins upside down on your baking tray and return them to the oven. Bake for 7 minutes then turn them over and bake for 7 minutes more or until the skins are crispy.

Sprinkle some cheese and bacon in the skins and return them to the oven just till the cheese is melted.

Serve topped with a tablespoon of sour cream and sliced green onions.

Man, these photos are making me hungry. The perils of writing a food blog!

First Garden Salad

This is going to be a short post but I just wanted to share with you all that we had our first salad grown from our very own garden.

All I can say is wow. I have been used to prepackaged lettuce from the store and always thought a lettuce is a lettuce is a lettuce.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I don’t know if it is the mental effect of knowing we grew it ourselves, but I swear it tasted so much better. You can’t get any fresher than walking out to your backyard, harvesting the leaves yourself, and taking them straight into your kitchen to wash and serve. We had 4 different kinds of lettuces mixed together that day and I’m looking forward to a summer of homegrown salads!

Potato Cod Cakes with Dijon Tartar Sauce

Of all the “light” recipes I’ve made on Fridays over the past month, this one is probably my favourite. It just seems so summery to me, has a great flavour combination, and let’s face it, I’m a sucker for a good tartar sauce.

Food is just a vehicle for condiments, people. One day I will have you all convinced of that!

1/2 cup low fat mayonnaise
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 cup potato, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup red pepper, finely chopped (I left this out as I’m a red pepper hater)
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 lb cod filets, cooked
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl put all the sauce ingredients and mix until well combined.

The yellow is the pickles I used. I didn’t have relish so I used a mustard pickle mix.

The recipe said to next put the potatoes in a microwave save dish, cover with cling wrap, microwave for 5 minutes until soft and then mash them. I did do that, but to be honest, it made the potatoes kind of leathery so I would suggest boiling them the traditional way instead.

Add the rest of the cake ingredients (except the oil and cooking spray) then stick your hands in there and mix thoroughly until everything is well combined.

Divide the mixture into equal size portions (number of your choosing – the recipe says 12 but I found 8 worked well) and flatten into a 1/2 inch thick patty.

In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and add half of the patties. Cook till lightly browned (about 2 minutes per side) then transfer them to a baking tray lightly coated in cooking spray.
Repeat this step with the remaining half.

Bake the patties for 10 minutes.

Serve with the Dijon tartar sauce and sides of your choosing.

These were really tasty and even held up well reheated for lunch the next day. The cod is light on the fish flavour scale, so they provide a good amount of flavour without overpowering the rest of the ingredients. Definitely give them a try!

Chilled Cheesecake

My mother used to make this cheesecake for me as a child and it was always a favourite. In fact, from the time I was a teenager onwards, it was always my birthday cake of choice! I now make it for my husband and children and it shows no signs of being any less popular with this next generation. I would take this cheesecake over the baked variety any day of the week and twice on Sundays!

2 blocks cream cheese
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups cookies, crushed
1/2 cup butter, melted

I do have to interject here and say something about the cookies pictured above. They are not my first choice. No offense to them, they’re perfectly delicious, but they’re not my first choice. The problem is I can’t find my favourite cheesecake base cookies anymore. They became a victim of the bad economy and their distributor went out of business. Rumour has it that they were picked up by a new distributor but I have still not seen them anywhere.

Wherefore art thou Marie Lu?

I don’t know what it is about them, they’re just plain cookies, but their flavour and texture combine so well with the butter in the base to form a nice solid cheesecake foundation that I have been unable to replicate with any other cookie. If you see my beloved Marie Lu cookies anywhere near you, please let me know and I will love you forever if we can make arrangements to get some mailed to me.

Cookie mourning aside, let’s move along…

Emtpy the packet of cookies into your food processor and pulse until it becomes fine crumbs.

Can you believe I used to do this by hand with a potato masher?

Add the melted butter and combine until it becomes a soft moist consistency.

Line your pie dish with foil. It is important to do this because as the base sets it tends to adhere to the dish, so you need the foil if you don’t want to have scrambled cheesecake when you go to serve it. Unless of course scrambled cheesecake is your thing – I bet it tastes just as good! :)

Empty the cookie mixture from the food processor into the foil lined pan and press it down firmly to mold it to the shape of the dish. I find using the back of a spoon to do this works well.

Put the base in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and in the meantime prepare the filling.

Wash out your food processor bowl and blade, then add the cheese and pulse it a few times to loosen it.

Add the sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice and process until evenly combined and smooth.

Pour the mixture into the base and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours. Longer is better and overnight is best.

Ignore the small lumps, I was in a hurry and didn’t notice them till I poured it into the base!

You can top it with whatever takes your fancy, but a favourite around here is fresh sliced strawberries with chocolate grated over top.

Though there is something to be said for eating it as nature intended – naked.

Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Spaghetti

A recipe that my children will eat is a good thing in my book. A recipe is elevated to great when my leftovers-hating children will eat it for lunch the next day. My husband doesn’t generally like casserole meals, so his opinion on this doesn’t count, but two enthusiastic thumbs up from me and the kiddos!

2 cups cooked chicken – a whole fryer works well
3 cups dry spaghetti, broken into two inch pieces
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 jar (4oz) diced pimentos, drained (optional)
2 cups chicken broth, reserved from pot
1 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon (to 1/4 Teaspoon) cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Remove and discard all the goodies inside the chicken then put it in a stock pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the chicken, put on the lid, bring to a boil and continue to boil for 30 minutes.

My husband thinks boiling a chicken is gross but it makes for really moist meat!

When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and allow it to cool a bit so you can handle it easily without burning yourself.

Remove 2 cups of liquid from the pot and set it aside.

If you’re going to bake this dish right away, now is a good time to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Bring the remaining chicken stock back up to a boil and add the spaghetti. Boil it until it is al dente – it is important not to overcook it or you will end up with mushy pasta by the time the casserole is baked.

Now back to the chicken. Remove and throw away the skin, then start pulling off the meat. The recipe said to use 2 cups of meat but I basically used all the meat from the breasts, thighs, and legs.

When the spaghetti is cooked, drain it and place it in a large bowl.

Add the cream of mushroom soup, 2 cups of cheese, green pepper, onion, pimentos, and Lawry’s seasoned salt.

Mix until thoroughly combined and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add enough of the set aside chicken stock to achieve your desired consistency. PW added almost all of it, but I found I didn’t need nearly that much. It could have had something to do with my cream of mushroom soup only being semi-condensed, but I added barely 1/2 cup.

Place the mixture in a 9 x 13 casserole dish and top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.

At this point you can cover and freeze it for up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake it immediately for 45 minutes until bubbly.

I would definitely make this again. I was a little skeptical at first, but it really turned out well considering I didn’t include the optional ingredients – I’m not a fan of pimentos and I didn’t want to risk the cayenne being too hot for the kids. So take it from me, it is still delicious even without the optional stuff!