Mango BBQ Sauce

Summer is in full swing and so is grilling.  This homemade BBQ sauce is so delicious and it isn’t full of sugar, high fructose corn syrup or artificial colours or nasty preservatives it has really ingredients and is full of flavour.  It keeps well refrigerated for weeks and you could freeze (in freezer bags) some as well.  It does make a lot.


Chop the mango


Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in pan and add 4 cloves chopped garlic and 1 sweet onion and 1 diced mango.  Sauce until soft and onions are translucent about 5 minutes.


There is a handful of other ingredients


I love this stuff and I add it to almost everything!


To mango mixture add 1 28oz can of diced tomatoes and 1 small can (about 5 oz) of tomato paste, 1/2 pure maple syrup, 1/2 cup molasses,  1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 cup water, 2 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp ground pepper.

Once these are all added together mix bring to a boil and then simmer, stirring often for about 30 minutes.  The sauce will get a little darker and thicken.


Take off heat and let cool for about another 30 minutes, then puree, I use a hand blender, and place in containers and refrigerate or freeze.




This makes a lot for a small price!  And it is much healthier than commercially prepared sauces, loaded with vitamins and minerals from the mango, molasses, maple syrup and tomatoes.  If you try it let me know what you think.

Adapted from Oxygen Magazine.


A Dragon’s Loyalty Award

We received this award last weekend and I has taken me until now to get on the computer to accept it.  Many thanks to Natascha for this.  Natascha is so sweet and I am happy to have “met” her.  She also makes a lot of very delicious looking food, so stop by her blog if haven’t already and have a look for yourselves.

The Rules for accepting this award are:

1. Display the certificate on your website.

2. Announce with a post linking back to whomever presented you with the award.

3. Present the award to 15 bloggers that you think are deserving.

4. Send them a comment letting them know.

5. And the hard part (for me) list 7 interesting things about yourself.

Of course you are not obligated to participate and I understand if you cannot.

Here goes, 7 slightly interesting things about me:

1. I am a bit of WW1 and WW2 and that time period buff.  Anything of that time period sparks my interest. I especially love watching shows set in that time period, Foyle’s War, Land Girls etc.  They are also all set in the British countryside which follows along with number 2.

2. I would love to be a Homesteader, to garden and be with my animals all day.

3. My favourite place that I have visited so far has been Portland and Cannon Beach Oregon.  Technically it is two places but I love that area.

4. I am from Newfoundland, Canada (though I don’t live there now).  If you do not know where that is check it out on google maps.  I have several earlier blog posts from there when I was on vacation there a couple summers ago.

5. I have two pets, a 12 year old west highland white terrier named Max (who is sick at the moment, I hope he gets better soon, poor little guy) who is very protective over his momma, and a budgie named Oliver (a.k.a professor perecles) who is a very goofy friendly little budgie and has just started talking a little bit (mainly saying “pretty boy” or “pretty bird”)

6. I just started re-watching (on youtube) “Swiss Family Robinson” the t.v. show from the 60’s. I think it was a Canadian show on CTV.  Evie is just discovering it.  I loved that show when I was a kid and dreamed of living on a deserted island in a treehouse.  It still sounds pretty nice to me actually.  Though I wouldn’t like the spiders.

7. I also like watching cartoons/animation.  I really like the show “Gravity Falls” and “Scooby Doo-Mystery Incorporated”.  It probably has something to do with Evie loving those shows also and we watch them together as a family.

Well there you have it!  I only took me all night to come up with that, which really should tell you I am not very interesting.

Hey, I could have my own show about a Newfie homesteader living in a treehouse!

I choose to nominate the people because they always comment or like my posts letting me know they are there and reading:

1.  Kazounas Kitchen

2. The Complete Book

3. Renee’s Bistro

4. TasteofColours

5. the not so creative cook

6. love the little bakery

7. fabulous fare sisters

8. how to $tuff your pig

9. Nandini

10. Italian Home Kitchen

11. My Kitchen Witch

12. Emily’s Kitchen

13. Fae’s Twist and Tango

14. Tassy Bakes

15. Harriet Young

Thank you all for reading.

Two Cheese Tossed Salad

Salad with bacon and cheese! I hadn’t had this salad in many years and thought it would be nice for a change now that summer is here.  The only thing to keep in mind is that the dressing should be made the day before, though I often forget and make it in the morning and let it sit all day in time for supper, that is ok too, but best if prepared the day before so all the flavours can meld together.

To make the dressing:

In a jar with a tight fitting lid combine

1/2 cup vegetable oil or olive oil

1/2 finely chopped red onion

1/4 cup vinegar

1 tsp poppy seeds

1/2 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp dried minced onion (you can use 1/4 tsp onion powder, or leave it out as there is red onion, I have made both ways)

1/8 tsp salt


Put on the lid and give it a good shake or whisk to mix.  Place in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 8 hours)

In a large bowl combine

5 cups torn spinach leaves and iceberg lettuce

1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 carton cottage cheese

1 cup shredded swiss cheese

2-3 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled



Toss well with dressing


Add bacon and serve.


Blueberry Pie…the dam broke and a mess in the oven

Well this is one of those cooking fails.  Not really, the product was delicious, the execution big fail. When I decided to make this pie I had a large container of fresh blueberries and I was gifted a very large bag of organic blueberries from a Quebec farm, they were from my neighbour.  I have made this free form pie before many times, with apples.  It turned out magazine worthy then, of course I wasn’t blogging and only the two of us were ever here to eat it or see how nice it looked. I had company coming for dinner, I had a lot of blueberries, I would make this well practiced pie recipe.  All was going well until the pie was cooking away in the oven and I heard sizzle, what could that be…..oh no no no no.  I looked in and the side of the pie was gone and the sugary, syrupy juices were dripping to the bottom of the oven and the pie wasn’t even half way done yet.  Normally I would freak out as this point, but I didn’t, ok  a little, then I moved on.  I quickly slid a piece of aluminum foil on the bottom rack closed the door and ignored it until it was done.  We still enjoyed the pie, even though not perfect, it was great. IMG_2095

It started out like any other pie, the making of a nice pastry

I made mine in the food processor

1&1/2 cups flour

2 tsp sugar

11 Tbsp cold butter

1 large egg yolk

3 Tbsp milk


blitz the flour, butter sugar and salt until it comes together,  in a separate bowl whiskey yolk and milk, add this to the flour mixture and process until it is completely incorporated into the dough. Then make dough into a disc and refrigerate wrapped in plastic wrap for about 20 minutes (you can also prepare the dough the day before and keep in the refrigerator wrapped until ready to use).


washing blueberries,

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For the berry mixture I tossed 4 cups of berries with 1/4 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp flour and a pinch salt and 1 tsp vanilla.IMG_2079 IMG_2083

Take the dough out of the fridge about 10 minutes before rolling.  Roll it out to a a circle that is about 12-14 inches in diameter and place on a parchment lines baking sheet.  Pile the berry mixture into the centre and fold the edges up over the the fruit to create a rim about 2″ wide.

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Make an egg wash by beating an egg and brushing it over the pastry.  In the past I sprinkled sugar over the edges of the pastry, this time I didn’t.

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As you can see it was a mess.  However, we cut that thing up and topped with with vanilla ice cream and it was delicious. I will give the recipe another go, maybe roll the pastry a little thicker and use a little less of the berry mixture.  Maybe next time I will use a pie plate (or at least a rimmed baking sheet) to keep in the juices.

Bistro Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is great served warm but is equally good served cold.  It is a really nice summer pasta salad and is perfect for a picnic lunch or summer potluck and it makes a lot to feed a crowd.


450g box bowtie pasta

Olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

14oz jar marinated artichoke

14oz jar roasted red peppers

14oz can crushed tomatoes

2 cups baby spinach (you can use regular spinach, just chop it)

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

sal and pepper to taste

a good sprinkling of grated parmesan (probably about 1/4 cup)

Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente.

mince garlic and toss with a little olive oil


put strain pasta in bowl with the garlic and toss generously with more olive oil


Chop the roasted peppers and artichokes, into bite size-ish pieces

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Toss that in on the pasta


Add the tomatoes, at this stage I season with a little salt and pepper and taste to make sure it is how I want it


Toss in the spinach and some parmesan


Mix it all together


Serve topped with a little sprinkle of parmesan and some baguette…and a nice glass of wine.


A Medieval Day

Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned we were off to a medieval festival?  I have finally got the pictures off the camera.

My favourite part was the medieval kitchen. Evie loved the glass bead making, it was very interesting.  The two men who were making the glass beads were very interactive and just great teachers explaining everything in great detail, they had her complete attention.

Here is a little peek into the day:

What is a medieval fair without the pickle vendor!


Evie LOVED the pickle




This is a medieval game that resembled chess.  Evie is in a chess club and was very interested in having this one explained to her.  That is the king in the middle and you have to surround a piece on two sides to take it.


Some knitting an sewing garments




The medieval kitchen, I loved this part!





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Making a bowl



The glass bead making


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Juggling fire


There was so much happening we couldn’t get it all in here, I took so many pictures.  There were birds of prey, knights jousting, fools being fools, blacksmithing, yarn and rope makers, even royalty.  We caught the medieval royalty eating poutine for lunch,  I laughed asking about medieval poutine…they said “when in Rome”! It was a lot of fun I loved seeing the way things were done before the age of machinery and well before a throw away society with disposable this and that and plastic everywhere.

Shreddies Breakfast Squares


These are a pretty good homemade cereal bar for a morning snack and would be great to take hiking or biking for when you need a little something.  I am not sure that my flavour combination went together well, but it was what I had on hand.  They didn’t look too pretty either since I did have a little problem cutting them, mainly because I couldn’t wait long enough for them to cool properly before cutting to have a taste.  I will make them again and be more patient next time.

Microwave about 1/2 to 3/4 cup (I used a little more than 1/2 cup) corn syrup (light or dark, I used dark because that is all I had) with 3/4 cup peanut butter (I used Kraft smooth variety) for 1-2 minutes on high.  Stir well until all melted and blended.



For the mix-ins I used a small Lindt dark chocolate and orange chocolate bar broken up along with 1/4 cup dried cranberries and  1/4 cup fine shredded unsweetened coconut.


Mixed that all in together with about 3 cups of Shreddies cereal.  Note: wait until PB mixture has cooled a little so it doesn’t melt the chocolate, mine pretty much melted.  Chocolate chips probably wouldn’t have melted, next time I will make sure I have some to use.


Press into an 8″ square pan, that has been sprayed with cooking spray, and let cool until solid and then cur into squares or bars.



Next time I make these I am going to try out some different mix-ins, I am not very fond of dried cranberries.  I think salted peanuts and chocolate chips would be tasty.  I will have to play around with the ingredients a little, I will let you know how it turns out!

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is the best ever banana cake.  It is so moist and has a lot of banana flavour, made even better by adding cream cheese frosting.  It is dangerous for me to have this cake in the house because I cannot pass it without cutting off a little bite.  I also like to keep this one in the fridge, I like it better cold. You can use the frosting or if you prefer more of a snacking cake for breakfast mid-morning snack, it is also very good with out the frosting.


1/2 cup butter, softened

1 & 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups four

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 medium bananas, mashed (1 cup)

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and mix to incorporate


Add in sour cream and vanilla, mix



Combine flour baking soda and salt, gradually add this to the creamed mixtureIMG_3870


Mix until combine into a batter


Add in the banana and mix until combined



Pour batter into a 9″X13″and bake.

TO prepare the cream cheese frosting:

Take 1 block of cream cheese at room temperature, 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature, 2 tsp vanilla and about 3 cups icing sugar.  Mix until combined and creamy smooth.  I usually add 2 cups of the icing sugar and them keep adding until it is as sweet as I want it.

Well I got carried away and didn’t take a picture before frosting!



Chatelaine Sauce…tastes kind of familiar

I was doing a little downsizing of a pile of magazines that I have been keeping for recipes recently and came across this recipe in a old issue of Chatelaine magazine.  It is a burger sauce that reminded me of another burger sauce that I have had before.  This one is great because I had all the ingredients on hand and it only made about 1/2 cup so enough for a few burgers.


The note on the recipe also pointed out that it is vegetarian and gluten free!  I will have to try this on veggie burgers as well.

You will need:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tsp prepared relish

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp white vinegar

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Simply whisk altogether in a bowl until combined.  I tasted it and decided toad a little more relish and vinegar, as I am not fond of mayonnaise I wanted to taste the other flavours more.  Refrigerate until ready to use.



We enjoyed it and I will definitely make it again.  Sorry no great burger photos this was a weeknight meal and the burgers were really simple, so the sauce helped dress them up and add more flavour!


In My Kitchen July 2015

June went by so fast and we haven’t really had any summer here yet.  I sure hope July has summer for us!

One of the best things about starting a new month is the IMK posts, thanks to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting and bringing everyone from all over the world into each others kitchens.


We had some bubble gum, fruit stand bubblegum…I remember having this when I was a kid

After a trip to Upper Canada Village we brought home some fresh bread and cheese made there. I still have to post about our trip to the Medieval Festival there.

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We had a friend visit who brought us these treats all the way from Australia.  Evie LOVES Australian marshmallows, they are the best!  And these double coat TimTams are amazing, I rationed those.


Another friend stopped by with these chips.  They were intended for my husband but after Evie got past the heat of the first few she was hooked and ate more than her dad.


This little antique cup and saucer Evie bought at a yard sale for 50 cents


Beer, I tasted and wasn’t too impressed, I am a Guinness girl, but hubby drank it no problem


Dish soap in a pretty bottle that I will refill


a little terracotta pot for dips and stuff


Fresh picked strawberries, finally fresh local berries!


Rose honey, this is Evie’s and it is lovely


July 1st is Canada Day and every year we have red and white nachos (I forgot to rotate the picture)


My friend went to Kingston, Ontario and brought me back this cookbook because she knows that I like this restaurant and eat here whenever we go to Kingston.


Thanks again Celia for hosting and I will see you again in August!  Well I hope to see you before then, I am sure I will 🙂