How to Make Yummy Homemade Ketchup

How to Make Yummy Homemade Ketchup

Whenever we have guests over for a cookout, they always ask me for my ketchup recipe. Here it is—5 ingredients, 5 minutes, and no fuss is all it takes.

Summer Strawberry Salad

Summer Strawberry Salad

A delicious salad using seasonal summer produce.

How to Make Old-Fashioned Ginger Ale

How to Make Old-Fashioned Ginger Ale

This is a perfect drink to both replenish the body after an afternoon in the sun, and to help heal digestion, which is so very important to our overall well-being. The best part? It tastes GREAT!

Harvest Comfort Food

Harvest Comfort Food

Two yummy fall recipes: Apple Pumpkin Soup and Easy-Peasy Cheesy Garlic Biscuits.

Sweet'n'Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Sweet'n'Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Make your own super-fast, super-easy, super-healthy snack from those Jack-o-Lantern seeds.

Coconut Vegetable Soup

Now that we have a lactose-intolerant child in the family, I have had to revamp our menu quite a bit, obviously. Soup is still my favourite way to get kids to eat their vegetables, and here is a family favourite that has shown up a few times on the menu.

Download a 4"x6" recipe card version.

Coconut Vegetable Soup

Makes about 12 cups.

3 c. chicken stock
1 can (13 oz.) lite coconut milk
1 med. onion, chopped
3-4 celery sticks, chopped
3-4 lg. carrots, chopped
2 med. potatoes, diced in ½” cubes
½ pkg. (4 patties) instant noodles
2 tsp. celtic sea salt
½ tsp. oregano
pepper, to taste
shredded cheddar or cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)

In a large pot, place stock, coconut milk, vegetables, 1 ½ tsp. salt and oregano. Cook on MEDIUM until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Meanwhile, prepare noodles by boiling enough water to cover them (don’t put them in yet!; about 4-6 cups) with ½ tsp. salt in medium saucepan. Add noodles and cook for approximately 1-2 minutes. Move to soup pot with slotted pasta spoon.

Pepper to taste, ladle into bowls and add garnish.

Optional Variation: Add 1 c. cooked diced chicken into the soup for an even heartier meal.


Old-Fashioned Jam

Old-Fashioned Jam

'Tis the season for preserves. Between deals on fruit at the grocery store, fruit stands, and berry bushes on the property of anyone willing to let you pick them, there is plenty of sweet goodness going around right now. And despite the heat, I am determined to keep some of it to be available during the long winter months.

Wasn't That a Party?

Cake is something that doesn't make an appearance here very often, mostly because there is so little to redeem it, as far as nutrients are concerned. As a "recovering sugar addict", I generally don't need to have any more temptation around the house.

However, when birthdays come along, I ask the guest of honour what special dessert they would like to have. More often than not, it is chocolate cake.

Jabin, who turned six on the 21st, seemed to be having a difficult time making up his mind. DQ ice cream? Chocolate cake? Pie? He kept waffling back and forth. I felt bad for the little guy--such a big decision for an almost-six-year-old.

So, this time, I made an exception. On his actual birthday, which was a Monday, I took him and Noah to Dairy Queen for lunch, complete with an ice cream treat (for them) as dessert.

Then, for his party on the following Friday, I made Chocolate Gingerbread cake--served up with even more ice cream!

The Jabin was very pleased.

(And I even snuck in some nutrients, anyway, in the form of pumpkin. Want the recipe?)

I knew it! ;-D

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake
(Click to follow link to a PDF 4x6 recipe card.)

olive oil
1 c. butter, softened, divided
1 ¼ c. unpacked whole sugar
1/3 c. molasses
3 eggs
4 1-oz. squares semisweet chocolate
2 c. pureed cooked pumpkin (or 1 14-oz. can)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
2 c. unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. sea salt, ground fine
icing sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray or brush a large Bundt pan with olive oil. 
  2. In large mixing bowl, cream ¾ cup butter and sugar. Mix in molasses and then add eggs one at a time, mixing well. 
  3. Melt remaining butter with chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Blend chocolate mixture, pumpkin, and vanilla into the creamed mixture. 
  4. Combine flour, spices, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Pour into a Bundt pan. 
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before inverting on a cake plate and removing pan. Let cool completely, then dust with icing sugar; serve with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. 

Note: For a more subtle flavour, the molasses can be left out and the sugar increased to 1 ½ cups.

Copyright 2011 Talena Winters.

Mo' Soup?!

A smooth Red Lentil Soup with instructions for the crock pot or stove top method.

Chicken Poppyseed Rotini

Today, I started cooking up pasta for lunch around 11:30, thinking that we would have baked Macaroni and Cheese--always a sure-fire winner, and not too labour-intensive (a great combo for lunch on a homeschooling day).

However, as soon as I got the pasta in the water, I realized that we didn't have any milk or cream. Or tomato sauce. What can you do with pasta--other than toss it in butter or olive oil with salt and pepper (not so protein-filled) without the two basic sauce bases?

My handy-dandy little "Greatest Ever Pasta" book to the rescue. I used a recipe I had tried years ago and liked as inspiration for an impromptu pasta casserole. Saved by the butter again! (And leftover chicken.)

Chicken Poppyseed Rotini

Feeds 5-8 people

1 lb. brown rice rotini or other pasta shape
1 c. frozen peas
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3-4 tbsp.)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
1 cooked chicken breast (or more, if desired--I only had one), diced
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Pepper, to taste

Cook pasta as directed on the package. When it has about 5 minutes left, add peas to pasta water. Drain and rinse as usual when finished.

While pasta is cooking, melt butter and mustard together in a small saucepan. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer for several minutes.

When pasta is finished and drained, combine all together in a serving bowl. Bon appetit!

I confess--I thought it was totally delish, but my kids only ate it because they were hungry and that was all there was. Jude was turned off by the mustard and the texture of the poppyseeds. I think Noah just thought it looked weird.

That's okay--all the more for me! Wheeeee!