Lazy Lasagna

This is a very easy fast weeknight meal.  We haven’t made it for a long time because one day Evie declared that she wanted anything for supper except lazy lasagna because she hated it.  We haven’t made it in about a year and she agreed to try it again.  She is ok with it again now, kids, their tastes change so often.  Last week this was our meat free meal.

Place 2 cup tomato sauce in a saucepan, add 1&1/2 cups shredded mozzarella and 1 cup cottage cheese

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Stir to combine, heating over low just to warm the sauce

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Cook about 3 cups of egg noodles according to package directions and place in a large casserole dish

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Pour over the sauce and stir all together

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I usually top with 2-3 tbsp grated parmesan

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Pop it in the oven and bake at 375F for 20 minutes until bubbling.

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Serve with warm garlic bread

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NOTE: another use for the roasted garlic from my hummus post is garlic bread, mash a few cloves into some butter and spread on some loaf and bake until butter is melted and bubbling.

Roasted Garlic Hummus

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I haven’t made hummus in a long time.  It is so easy just to pick up a container at the grocery store.  The last few times I made hummus we didn’t eat much of it and it ended up in the bin, the garlic was too strong.  This time I decided to roast the garlic first to make it sweet and mellow.  It worked wonderfully, it was really good, from now on I will roast the garlic before adding it to hummus.

This really is quite simple to make so if you like hummus and have never made it you should.

To roast the garlic:

Take a whole garlic bulb and cut the top off.  Place the bulb in a piece of foil drizzle it in a good glug of olive oil, wrap and bake in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes.  It should look golden and sticky when done.

Sometimes I roast a few bulbs at time and once cooled place them in a jar covered in olive oil for use in recipes.  They keep for weeks like that as long as they are completely covered in oil.

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For the hummus:

Place a (540ml) can of chick peas,(rinsed and drained) into a food processor.

Add the full bulb of garlic (squeeze the cloves out of the bulb, discard the peel)

Add about 3 Tbsp tahini (sesame paste)

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freshly squeezed lemon juice lemon juice, to taste.  At least a 3 tbsp.

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and a generous pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp ground cumin and 3 tbsp water

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Blitz it, drizzling in a few tbsp olive oil until it is nice and smooth.  I usually stop a few times to scrape down the sides and continue blitzing.  Taste and see if you need more lemon or salt.  Add what you want to get the flavour and continue processing until it is as smooth as you want.

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Serve drizzled in more olive oil.  I sprinkled with some sumac.

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We served it for dinner with a salad that Evie made (all by herself), homemade pita breads and beef kabobs.

IMG_3145The recipes for the pita and kabobs will follow soon!

Dairy Free Chocolate Cake aka Wacky Cake

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I needed a dairy free dessert for Easter.  That may not be a challenge for some people, but my kitchen is not a dairy free zone, in fact it is a dairy heavy zone!  The Cadbury mini eggs are not dairy free but I love them sooooo much and they can easily be removed for the non-dairy eaters.

After thinking and pinteresting ( I think I just made that word up) for awhile I remembered a cake that I used to make when I was a kid.  It was from this old kids cookbook and I started making it when I was probably about 8 years old.

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It is a simple mix in the pan and bake cake.  It is actually a recipe from the 1930’s depression era when eggs, butter and milk were expensive.  Though I thought  sugar would have been expensive too? maybe it was cheap back then?

This was my much older cousin’s book which got handed down to me and then handed back to her again.  I forgot how much I loved the pictures in this book.  It was called wacky cake, there are versions found on the interwebs as well, they are all about the same.  I mixed it in a bowl and poured it into the greased pan as I wanted it to come out of the pan easily for decorating.  I changed it slightly by doubling it and I added cold brewed coffee instead of water.  It brings out the chocolate flavour more.

This cake is chocolatey and moist, I think that it was perfect for Easter or any celebration or just cause you are feeling wacky!

This is the recipe for one 9′ round cake.

1 1/2 cups al purpose flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup cold brewed coffee (or water)

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp vinegar

Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and sugar into a bowl (or directly in the pan)

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That is the coffee

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A little bunny helped of course

In a measuring cup mix coffee, oil and vanilla.

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Pour liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk.

When the batter is smooth our in vinegar an whisk quickly just until vinegar is distributed.

Note: This is an exciting science lesson for the kiddos when the vinegar and baking soda reacts.

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Bake at 375 for about 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely before icing.

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Make the icing an colour whatever colour you want it

The icing is a simple decorator icing (I think it is originally from Wilton).  It is a sweet frosting, but all my other trusted frostings have dairy.  I found the sweet was well balanced by the chocolate of this cake.

Vegetable shortening (1 cup), icing sugar (4 cups) and 1 tsp vanilla and about a tbsp water.

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Did I mention how much I love Cadbury mini eggs.

I know I have mentioned before that I do not have any affiliate links and am not compensated for my opinion etc, but if Cadbury would like to send me a big ole bucket of mini eggs I would make all kinds of things with them and gush about them all the time….just sayin’

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A piece of the cake before it was all gobbled up

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Growing Crystals

Evie got this crystal growing kit in her stocking for Christmas.  I am usually skeptical about this sort of thing.  However, a work colleague told me about it after doing it and said that it worked really well and Evie may enjoy it.  I made a note and got one for Evie and my niece for Christmas.  We waited awhile to try it out and finally got around to getting it started.

I was really thinking I would be disappointed with it. I think my skepticism of such things started with Sea Monkeys! Remember those? I had dreams of a beautiful little world like the lost city of Atlantis that would be all mine.  I have to say that it was a rip off did not deliver.  I turned out to be a container of water with barely visible teeny tiny plankton like sea creatures.

I am happy to say that this particular crystal growing kit (3M brand) worked like a charm, it grew quite large and it very pretty.

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these are the contents of the box

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pick the colour of the crystal that you want to grow

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Mix the seeding solution into water

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stir until it is dissolved

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add the appropriate amount of colouring for the colour of crystal that you want

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this is the hard part, put the lid on and leave it undisturbed for at least 7 days.

Of course, we are not patient at all curious and had to investigate using a flashlight.

If you shine a flashlight through the jar you can see the crystal that is growing.  It was neat to watch the progress.

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This was about day 7,

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At the end of the process you carefully drain the solution, and gently rinse the crystal and place it back in the container for display ( I left it for a day with the lid off to make sure it was nice and dry).

Here is the finished crystal, as you can see it is a good size, and Evie was in complete awe and thought that it was totally amazing.  Of course this is only Evie and my opinions, we would do this again and it was worth the $10.  She has asked for another kit to try a different colour.  We will get another one to try in the summer, since crystal growing is affected by temperature I think it will be cool for her to compare her winter crystal to a summer crystal.

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We were not paid to give this opinion, and were not compensated in any way for our opinion.

A Blog Award!!!

I was very surprised an honoured to get an email pop into my inbox with my blog nominated for the One Lovely Blogger Award!  Thank you to Natascha at Natascha’s Palace who nominated us for this award.  If you don’t have time to read all of this post please scroll to the bottom to see a list of my favourite blogs which I nominate for this award because I think they are lovely!

Part of receiving this award includes that you have to share 7 things about yourself. This is the hard part there isn’t much interesting or exciting about me.

Here goes:

1. I am Mom to one beautiful little girl who you know as Evie.  This is our blog is our hobby that we create together.

2. My dream would be to have a self sufficient farm to garden and have lots of animals and a few beehives.

3. I love crows, scones and baby goats.

4. I have a university degree in Biology and while in uni I participated in a whale rescue operation who rescued whales trapped in sea ice and fishing nets.

5. I use to work at Godiva Chocolatier when I lived in Toronto, where I think I ate my weight in truffles.

6. We have two pets: A West Highland Terrier (Max) and a Budgie (Oliver).

7. I once met David Suzuki (big deal for me) and author Elizabeth George (got a book signed for my cousin who is a fan), not together but in separate functions. And I sat next to Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys on a plane once on the way to Portland Oregon.  He was with an entourage and they were all signing and having fun while my husband and I just sat looking cool like it was no big deal.

Now on to the more interesting part, which is nominating other blogs, I get to nominated 15! It was hard to choose because I follow so many great blogs.  You are not obligated to participate in this. I will love your blogs all the same whether you choose to participate or not!

The Kitchen’s Garden  http://thekitchensgarden.com

Bunny Kitchen    http://bunnykitchen.com

Sally’s Baking Addiction   http://sallysbakingaddiction.com

A Cake Bakes in Brooklyn   http://www.acakebakesinbrooklyn.com

Renee’s Bistro   https://reneesbistro.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/welcome-to-renees-bistro/

My Kitchen Witch   https://americanfoodieabroad.wordpress.com

jane’s patisserie     http://janespatisserie.com

Small Things  http://www.gsheller.com

Bunny and Mimsey  https://bunnyandmimseysfoodblog.wordpress.com

Anne Wheaton  http://annewheaton.co.uk

The Chalk Hills Kitchen  http://miskcooks.com

A Uni Kitchen  https://myunikitchen.wordpress.com

A Complete Book   https://thecompletecookbook.wordpress.com

Daisy and the Fox   https://daisyandthefox.wordpress.com

Cooking without Limits  https://cookingwithoutlimits.wordpress.com

In My Kitchen April 2015

Happy Easter!  This is my first IMK post.  I love seeing what is in everyone’s kitchens each month, but never seem to get time to post one of my own.  With there being a holiday with an extra day away from the office I decided this was the time.

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Easter cookie with an egg baked in and of course sprinkles.

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Chef, we had lost her but found her on Friday when cleaning.

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candy pearls for cake decorating

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A chocolate dairy-free cake that we made for Easter dinner.  The recipe, that is tried and true as I have been making it since I was about 10 years old, will follow in a post.

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Mini Sweet Georgia Browns, an Easter gift from Evie

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One of Evie’s favourite candy, she loves anise flavour.

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A new olive oil decanter

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New treats, L’il Ccoops and fancy marshmallows. Evie’s Easter gift from a friend.

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Dehydrated beef treats for Max

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A vintage egg tray with a salt and pepper hen on nest.  Coloured eggs and daffodils.

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Of course I am linking back to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial who hosts the In My Kitchen each month.