Happy 4th of July!

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Wishing all our American neighbours a wonderful Independence Day! Loved this tribute to the flag.

Doh!! Sorry to all, that’s what I get for trying to post from my phone. Here is a picture of the flag that I thought was great!

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Sesame Street Treats

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Found this picture on line and thought it would be great to share. Sometimes getting kids to try new fruits and veggies can be made easier with a fun new approach. I know my kids eat more veggies if they’ve got a tray to choose from vs me putting pieces on their plates. It also seems many kids prefer their veggies raw. Keep trying different approaches and fingers crossed you will find something they like. Tomorrow is Family Day in Ontario, for those of you in the province who get to enjoy I hope you all have a special, fun filled, memorable day.

Wishes for 2013

As 2012 rounds out and 2013 is soon to be ushered in we hope any reflections you have on the past year are good ones. Even the challenges we have had to face often make us stronger. And really without the challenges, would the victories be as sweet?

We want to wish you all health and happiness in the coming year. A year filled with friends, family, love, memories and strength. May 2013 bring you all more than you could dream possible.

Enjoy your evening, and don’t forget if your drinking alcohol, drink your water!! It will make tomorrow morning much more pleasant!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Christmas Wishes

We want to take this opportunity to wish all of you and your families a healthy, peaceful, memorable, loving Christmas. May 2013 bring you a year filled with positive change, positive choices, a wealth of happiness and more love than you can imagine.

A very, very Merry Christmas to you all,

xoxo Anita and Suzanne xoxo

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This is a favourite in our home and makes it’s way to every holiday meal, and many others throughout the year. It is fairly quick, exceptionally simple and can be made ahead of time. Perfect for a dish to add to your holiday table.

The ingredients:

  • 2-3 sweet potatoes – I’m not sure about weight, sorry! I eyeball them and depending on their size I plan for about 6-8 cups.
  • 2-3 limes
  • That’s it!

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The steps:

  • Wash the sweet potatoes and place in an oven at 400
  • Cook for 45-60 mins. This will vary depending on the thickness of the potatoes. If you can pierce them very easily with a fork they are ready. The skins will swell and I turn the oven off and let them sit for about 15-20 mins. Then you can just slip the skins right off.
  • Cut the potatoes in about 1 inch thick pieces, this will make it easier to mash them. They should be soft enough to mash with a fork.
  • A trick with limes is to roll them with the palm of your hand prior to cutting them. This breaks the lime up inside and makes it easier to juice.
  • Add the juice of 2-3 limes depending on how much you like the flavour. Start with 1 and add more as needed.

 

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The Finished Product:

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Sometimes I’ll add cashews for some crunch. These are a great alternative to mashed potatoes. The original recipe I hunted down after having this at a relatives included honey! I find the potatoes are sweet enough without adding any extra sweetness, and the lime makes them less “heavy” feeling. Enjoy!!

No Stuff Savoury “Stuffing”

I came up with this recipe this year for Thanksgiving as I was mid-way through an elimination program to see if I had any food sensitivities when the holiday fell. My mom makes an amazing stuffing, the woman can’t make a turkey to save her life, but her stuffing is top shelf! However, it is “old school” and contains processed pork sausage, summer savory, bread, mashed potatoes…a lot of things I was avoiding, and that I am continuing to avoid. Also, she wasn’t coming to visit, so I didn’t have to worry about offending her and I’m pretty much the only one in the family that eats stuffing, so I was able to tweak this recipe to just the way I liked it. Turns out, hubby and the kids thought it smelled so good they were willing to try it, and loved it. It is gluten and dairy free. I have toyed with the idea of adding pine nuts. I think they would be a nice addition. It is not a very “sticky” stuffing, and there are a fair number of ingredients, which strays from my standard basic recipes – but you have to break your own rules every once and awhile 🙂

The ingredients:

  • 1 lb of lean ground pork or veal (as high a quality you can afford), you can try lean chicken or turkey if you prefer, I think the pork works well with the apple, cranberry and savoury flavours.
  • 2 apples – I like Gala
  • 6 small brown cap or baby portabella mushrooms
  • 1/2 craisins – optional
  • 1 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

The steps:

In a deep pan – this is for the most part a one pot dish, another reason why I love it!:

  1. If you know the source of the meat (organic, free range, antibiotic free) and you won’t need to drain the fat, then you can mix the meat and spices before browning; if not, brown the meat and drain it well without adding the spices yet. One of the things to be aware of is that in factory farmed meat (poultry included) the antibiotics and toxins are stored mostly in the fat of the animals (which is often the case with us as well!). For my family, the bigger reason for me draining the fat is to remove as much of these toxins from our foods as possible, not just because the fat isn’t that good for you!
  2. While the meat is browning you can chop the mushrooms and apples. I chop them a little finer than in the picture. It’s a way to sneak mushrooms into the kids!
  3. While the meat is draining (I put it in a strainer or on a plate with paper towel) add the mushrooms to the pan with a touch of olive oil over medium heat after a few minutes you can add the apples. Allow them to cook about 5 mins, until the apples have softened a little.
  4. Add the meat back to the pan and add the spices. Mixing well until they are all combined.
  5. Add the craisins, if I was going to add pine nuts, I would probably do it now as well.
  6. Allow to cook on low for about 20 mins, until the craisins are a little puffy, I still like the apple to have a bit of texture to it – we don’t want applesauce* (yet)
  7. Enjoy!

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I promise – it tastes better than it looks 🙂 Couldn’t get a very good picture.

Some variations:

As I said earlier this is not a very sticky stuffing. In fact it can be quite crumbly. I like it with homemade Cranberry sauce or I am sure it would be good with applesauce as well. We’ve also had it for breakfast with scrambled eggs. My husband mixes it with the Roasted Veggies. Another option is to stuff a small acorn squash, or as I promised in yesterdays post – the bottom half of a butternut squash.

The steps:

  1. Cut your squash in half and seed it
  2. Roast face down on a cookie tray in a 400 oven for approx 20 mins.
  3. If you can pierce the skin of the squash – it’s done.
  4. Plate and “stuff” them with the savoury stuffing.
  5. Enjoy!

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