What makes you feel like a winner?

by , on
Nov 5, 2013

For me, these days, it’s trying a new recipe and having it turn out to be as good as the picture looks. For one lucky blog commenter, it’s winning the stamp of their choice! For a little more on the stamp winner, scroll to the bottom of the post.

This weekend I tried 2 recipes from Pinterest and BOTH were great. There’s no point in showing my photos since the original posters’ look far more appetizing. I have to say both of these will be part of the regular rotation around here. They def get the MOMMYDO two thumbs up.

Both are slow cooker recipes. The first is from La Creme de la Crumb

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Tried it! So, so good. Like, leave-what-you’re-doing-right-now-and-go-to-the-store-and-get-what-you-need-and-go-home-and-put-it-in-the-slow-cooker-right-now kind of good. Quick and easy to prepare. Tastes super fab and is fancy enough company.

The second is from The Comfort of Cooking

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Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken.

Also super yummy and easy to make. The chicken is juicy and the sauce is sweet and tangy. We put both onto tortillas to make tacos one day and served on rice the next. 4 days worth of meals (with lunches) for less than 20 min prep each.

Awesome.

What’s also awesome is winning a stamp! There weren’t a lot of comments, and I didn’t count my sister. So, of the seven, it’s Lucky #7 that won.

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I’ll contact you to let you know you’ve won and give you the details. If you haven’t responded in 72 hours, I’ll pick a new winner.

Thanks to Lindsay at The Penny Paper Co. for donating our wonderful prize.

I’ll contact you with the details.

There’s nothing like…

by , on
Nov 3, 2013

the first whiff of the holiday season to make you miss the ones you’ve lost

Today is Starbucks Red Cup day – for me, that’s when the countdown to the holiday season starts in earnest. And, of course, there’s no time I miss my Dad more. This will be the 14th Christmas without him.

It’s true what they say, times does heal all wounds. At the same time, it makes the memories richer. Like my memory of a pot of hot soup on the first day there’s a chill in the air.

My dad wasn’t an excellent cook, but he wasn’t bad. And he could turn a few simple things into meals that still find a way to warm my heart.

Tonight I made his Tomato Macaroni Soup. I added a few little touches (garlic and broth) but it’s pretty much the same as he used to make back when I was too small to peek into the pot.

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Ray’s Simple Tomato soup

2 stalks celery

1 medium onion

1Tbsp butter

1 lg can diced tomatos

1 can water or broth (use the can from the tomatoes to measure)

1 can tomato sauce (or 1/2 jar)

A sprinkle of basil, oregano, fresh ground pepper or whatever vaguely italian seasoning you have on hand

1 crush clove of garlic

1 cup dry pasta (give or take – I eyeball it)

Chop the onion and celery. Place in microwave safe bowl with the butter and ‘nuke’ on high for 2 min 30 sec.

Meanwhile put the tomatoes and water or broth in a large pot. Throw in whatever spice you have on hand. Crush the garlic into the mixture. Add some tomato sauce from a tin or a jar.

Add the onion, celery, butter mixture to the pot.

Cook on medium-high heat until the soup begins to bubble.

Reduce the head and simmer for about 20 min.

After 20 min, add the pasta to the soup. Turn up the heat to achieve a gentle boil. You may need to add more water to maintain the ‘soup’ consistency once the pasta starts to cook.

Stir frequently to ensure the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

Let the pasta cook a little longer than al dente to get a nice squishy soup noodle.

Variations include adding salsa instead of sauce, adding tomato juice instead of water or broth, adding browned ground beef (making it ‘hamburger soup’), adding cooked  chicken and garnishing with cheese and avacado…the possibilities are endless.

Serve hot.

If you keep leftovers, be prepared to have the noodles suck up all the juice. You can make the pasta separately and combine the soup and the noodles in each bowl – which does improve the state of the dish on the second day if you like a soupy soup. I usually just add water or broth the second day to rejuvenate the soup factor.

To me this is the ultimate comfort food. I hope you find some comfort here too.

Do you have a bread machine?

by , on
Oct 27, 2013

If you do, you need this book:

The Artisan Bread Machine by Judith Fertig

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It is DEF a MOMMYDO favourite. If you have the machine, but not the book, try this simple but delicious white bread recipe from page 24.

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Blue Ribbon Bread Machine Bread – 2LB loaf

8tsp granulated sugar

1 1/2tsp instant or bread machine yeast

1 1/3 cups water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

4 cups flour

2 tsp salt

1. Add sugar, yeast and water to the bread pan. Let stand for 10 minutes or until yeast starts to bubble.

2. Add oil. Spoon flour on top of liquid. Add salt.

3. Select the Basic/White cycle and Light Crust setting and press start.

NOTE: As with all bread machine recipes, it’s important to add the ingredients in the right order.

Or, um, you might get the loaf on the left. Image

Oops. The salt and the yeast need to be separated by the flour.

Live and learn. Live and learn.

Pinspired – Halloween Edition (and GIVEAWAY reminder)

by , on
Oct 25, 2013

I went looking for food ideas for Halloween. I pinned them. Then, instead of forgetting all about them and opening some chips and goldfish crackers, I tried them.

Two worked great. One, not so much. (Um, mostly because I didn’t follow the directions…)

They Do: Yummy Mummies:

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MommyDo: REALLY Yummy Mummies:

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They Do: Scary Ghost Pizza:

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MommyDo: Scary-How-These-Don’t-Look-Like-Ghosts Pizza:

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They Do: Halloween Puppy Chow

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Mommy Do: Halloween Puppies-are-a-Mom’s-Best-Friend Chow

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So three recipes.

The first, Mummy Dogs is pinned all over the place but can be found here on the Pillsbury site. The secret to the mummy wraps is Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough.

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I used big fat dogs so they took a little longer to cook than expected.

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I am a little food-safety nuts and did check them with a meat thermometer. I thought they were pretty delish but both my kid testers (4ish) pulled off the bandages and just ate the dogs (sigh.)

Pinsperiment #2 was the Ghost Pizza. This was the one I was most excited about. I bought a new cookie cutter just for this! I used some cheater ingredients to make it quick and apparently, just skimmed the directions. Which is not advised.

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The cheese looked so cute before baking…

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Which was part of my problem. You’re supposed to cut out the ghosts…

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…but you’re not supposed to put them on the pizza yet. You need to bake it part way then just add the ghosts at in the last 5 min. Or this happens…pizza4mark

I did cut a little meat to see how that would work and I think it’s a nice addition. I think I will try these again (following the directions) as I still think they’re so friggin’ cute.

The last one I tried was the Puppy Chow. At a time with all that candy there maybe aren’t so healthy a choice. Or a necessary one, given all the sweets just hanging around.muddypup1mark

But they are oh so delicious.

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I halved the recipe. Which has been a good thing…does anyone really need to eat 18 cups of chocolate and peanut butter coated cereal tossed in sugar and scattered with Reeses Pieces? I think not. It’s super addictive though. The bowl you see above only lasted an hour.

On the photography front, I realize it’s still pretty abysmal. Good thing EMMA is coming to the rescue this November with all the food photography tips we’ll need to ensure all our holiday goodies will look as good as they taste.

****Don’t forget about the STAMP Giveaway running this week sponsored by The Penny Paper Co. Click here to read the post and leave a comment to be entered to WIN!****

Thanksgiving – the one where we stabbed the turkey.

by , on
Oct 15, 2013

Well, stabbed it with a rotisserie stick. I’m gonna call it Dizzy Turkey. And I’m also going to call it delicious.

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I’m thankful that we had the brilliant idea to stick the bird on the grill. I’m also thankful that there wasn’t much fanfare this year.

There was food…lots of food…Dizzy Turkey, my Dad’s Secret Stuffing (oven style as many sources recommend not stuffing a rotisserie turkey), mashed potatoes, candied yams, squash, ginger-maple roasted parsnips and carrots, broccoli, homemade bread machine bread, gravy and even homeade cranberry sauce. Oh, and pumpkin pie, fresh baked by my  mom.

A right feast. Which may seem like overkill to some, considering Husband and I shared this bountiful meal side by side at our kitchen island while the boy flitted around and the girl slept. But it was just fine with me.

I have a great deal to be thankful for. This year especially…as things could have turned out so differently. And yet, it’s a complicated thanks. Very personal. Still a little raw. Filled with hope for the future, but mindful of the past and how easily this could have been a very different kind of post. I’m still in awe of the miracle of my little girl. That she was possible. That she survived to be born. That she continues to surprise. Thankful for my little man. Our home – despite it’s challenges. Husband – who is up feeding baby as I type this.

There’s just so much. Too much. It makes me feel a little dizzy.

Kind of like this guy…

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Dizzy Turkey

(The uncomplicated way – made up by us)

Bring the bird up to room temp.

Prep it for cooking – rinse, pat dry, remove anything that may be lurking inside.

Stuff 3-5 unpeeled cloves of garlic into the cavity.

Place it on the spit as directed by your instructions.

Generously rub it with olive oil and ground sea salt and pepper.

Place it on the BBQ and fiddle around with the weight until you get it balanced right (which for us took about 30 min).

Place a drip tray under the bird. We cut a whole onion and placed it in the tray along with 1/2 a bottle of beer.

Cook using the back burner on med-high (around 350).

Baste every 30 min. (We added beer to the pan as it evaporated then added chicken stock when the beer bottle started to run low)

Cook to an internal temperature of 165. (about 2.5  hours for an 12 lb bird)

Sometimes I dream about these at night. Homemade Peppermint Patties

by , on
Oct 11, 2013

Like last night for instance.

Why does Christmas baking only happen once a year (and not at freakin’ Thanksgiving)? And yes, I could just make them now, but then I’d eat them all and they would lose some of their magic. Holiday treat magic…

Anyway, now you can dream about them too. Or make them…so, so good.

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Here’s the recipe! Good old Eagle Brand. For reasons I can’t explain I can eat these despite my lactose intolerance. Many, many of them. All in one sitting.

Peppermint Patties

  • Servings: about 8 dozen
  • Serving Size:
  • Nutrition: See Below
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 tablespoon peppermint extract
  • Green or red food coloring (optional)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 pounds chocolate-flavored candy coating*, melted

Instructions

  • LINE baking sheets with wax paper.
  • COMBINE sweetened condensed milk, peppermint extract and food coloring, if desired, in large bowl. Add 6 cups powdered sugar; beat on low speed until smooth and well blended. Turn mixture onto surface sprinkled with powdered sugar.
  • KNEAD lightly to form smooth ball. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Flatten each ball into a 1 1/2-inch patty.
  • LET dry 1 hour or longer; turn over and let dry at least 1 hour. With fork, dip each patty into warm candy coating (draw fork lightly across rim of pan to remove excess coating). Invert onto wax-paper-lined baking sheets; let stand until firm. Store covered at room temperature or in refrigerator.
  • *Also called confectioners’ or summer coating.

Close Print

30 Garlic Brisket

by , on
Sep 30, 2013

I was planning on making my bestie’s Roast Beef Dip sandwiches and called to ask for the 100th time what cut of beef she uses. She told me (eye of round) but then mentioned I should forget about beef dip and make brisket. 30 garlic cloves in one slow cooker brisket. As she is a far better cook than I, rarely do I not heed her advice.

So off to get brisket I went. Of course, I used the trusty interweb to find a recipe. And it was DELICIOUS!

mommydo.ca_30 garlic brisket

I found this Better Homes and Gardens recipe on google and went for it.

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I hope you can read that, as I pulled it from Google books here and have no desire to type it out again.

I have to admit I didn’t make the Gremolata though is sounds nice too.

The meat was tender and flavourful. There was definitely a garlic flavour but it was mild garlic – not that crazy, overpowering garlic taste you’d expect from 30 cloves!

Two thumbs way up al the way around here. I think this one will be entering regular rotation!

PS: Hopefully this photo is more appetizing. I’m working on the pictures for all our sakes. I can only do so much until the cavalry arrives with help for when good food photos go bad.

Quick Eats

by , on
Sep 24, 2013

A big theme in our kitchen these days is fast food. Not like ‘can I have some fries with that’ fast food. More ‘I want to cook good eats without spending my day in the kitchen’ fast.

So I found a recipe on Pinterest that inspired this creation:

Lasagna Veloce

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This one pan Lasagna is made on the stove top in a skillet in about 30 min if you have some sauce handy.

So easy. Take some thin meat sauce and spread it in the bottom of a skillet.

(I made from scratch but you can always add some browned ground beef to jar sauce to save time.)

Add a layer of lasagna noodles. Then a layer sauce and some fresh spinach. Then noodles. Then put lots of little small bits of noodles around the edges so you get lots of tasty noodles…then cover with a little more sauce.

Add about 3/4 of a cup of water, cover and simmer for about 20 min.

I opened the lid and double checked the noodles a few times. I added more water to one skillet and turned the other up a little to make sure the liquid was bubbling around the noodles.

After the noodles are cooked, dob some cottage cheese or ricotta onto the noodles and cover with mozzarella cheese.

Put the lid back on and cook for another 5 min.

I also added a little parmesan cheese at this point.

To finish, I put the skillet in the over and broiled the Lasagna Veloce for a few minutes to get that crusty “baked in the oven lasagna taste”.

For a lactose free option:

As you read I made 2 skillets. In the second I used lactose-free cottage cheese and goat cheese mozzarella. As parmesan is lactose free, I added that too.

It’s really, really as good as the real thing. It’s currently my favourite food.

I have some photos of the steps, but once again, my food photos aren’t fab. Honestly, it tastes better than it looks in my pics.

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Owl be damned, that’s one sharp logo

by , on
Sep 16, 2013

As you’ve likely noticed, things got a little better looking around here. My lovely brother-in-law created a little guy for the top of my page. I really like him and hope you do too (my new owl, that is, not my brother-in-law…who I do like very much but don’t necessarily expect you to like, you know, without having met him).

I’ve also created a facebook page! Whoa, that’s alot of change for 1 day. If you’re so inclined, head over to that LIKE button —–>> and catch all the Mommydo mumblings.

What else happened this weekend?

Mommydo Pony Cake

Which became:

Pink and Purple Pony Cake

Which led to this:

Pony cake candles make a wish

Which was pretty awesome.

And proves my people photography is far better than my food photography…

Awesome has three sides

by , on
Sep 9, 2013

Especially when all three are pumpkin perfection with 2 kinds of glaze.

Oh yes, thanks to Joanne at Inspired Taste I baked up a batch of pretty-close-to-the-mark Starbucks(like) pumpkin scones.

Which are my favourite thing to eat. So good.

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If you want the recipe, you should pop over and visit them. It will be TOTALLY worth it.

Oh yeah, and in case you are one of those people who needs to eat dinner before downing a plate of scones, this Chili-Rub pork recipe from Martha Stewart is lovely.

Ours looked like this.

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Bad lighting, but good, good food.

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