Sunday, February 24, 2013

Smoky Bacon & Apple Grilled Cheese

Happy Sunday!  It's a beautiful day outside today, although it is pretty windy here in Alberta.  It didn't stop me from taking my black lab for a nice long walk on some of our local trails though! 

Last night Marc and went to our local artists award show put on by the artists guild where I am the bookkeeper.  The night was a blast, we had the privilege of hearing and seeing tons of local talent - including the "Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra". To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my all-time favourite books so I absolutely love the play on words the band used as their band name.  I went to school with on of the band members so it was kind of neat seeing which direction his talents took him.  We were treated to the most delicious appetizers and wine in-between acts, so this afternoon I was feeling extra fancy when I made lunch today!

I've always really enjoyed the whole cheddar and apple pairing - so it seemed only natural that a sandwich would result! 

- 2 pieces of bread
- 15 g sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 slices of your smoky bacon
- 1/2 medium apple*

*(I used gala because that's what I had, but granny smith would have been my first choice).

Pre-heat medium fying pan over medium heat.  

Slice bacon into 4 pieces and cook until desired crispiness.   

While the bacon is frying, slice apple into ultra thin slices.  

Layer your sandwich with apple, cheddar, and bacon.   

Wipe out frying pan and add butter to pan (I hate using bacon grease to cook with - the flavour just isn't there for me).  

Fry sandwich for 1-2 minutes per side until lightly golden brown. 


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

I've been super busy so I haven't had as much time to whip up tasty creations as I would like to.  In addition to bookkeeping, teaching, and consulting, I've also been working part time for a graphic design company.  I really enjoy all of my jobs but they certainly keep me busy.  On days that I'm working at more than one place (which seems to be more often than not lately), I sometimes don't see my house for nearly 14 hours.  If that wasn't enough to keep me busy I also decided to join a pottery class.   Here's a bowl I made, hopefully by the time I'm done with it will hold a delicious salad. 

I finally got back into the kitchen for a bit this weekend and decided to bake some cookies.  I started out making peanut butter cookies but the bananas in the fruit bowl caught my eye, and well the rest is history! 
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Whip together butter and peanut butter until smooth - add sugars.  Add egg and vanilla extract. 
Stir in flour and baking soda until batter is just combined.  Add mashed banana. 
Drop batter onto cookie sheet in 1 tbsp balls.  Lightly flatten with your fingertips. 
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. 


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Homemade Fruit Snacks

This recipe appeared in the Hinton Voice's February 7th Edition. 

[A common favourite for kids and adults alike, fruit snacks are one of those foods that you’ll likely find in most households at one time or another.  Making homemade fruit snacks is so unbelievably easy; as soon as you finish reading this recipe you’re going to wonder why you haven’t tried making them sooner.  When I first made these fruit snacks I was half expecting something sticky and slightly firmer than jello – instead I was pleasantly surprised that what I ended up with closely resembled store bought fruit snacks.  They are even better in fact because not only can you use healthier ingredients, the possible flavour combinations far surpass the usual five possibilities.  

I remember as a kid I almost always had fruit snacks in my lunch. I would tear into the package hoping the contents were mostly made up of the orange or grape varieties.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the yellow or green kinds, mostly due to their intense artificial flavours.  This worked out well for whichever friend I sat with for lunch that day, since most of my friends weren’t quite as picky as I was.  Needless to say with five or six fruit snacks in a package, my chances of having to share a couple were pretty high. 

Fast forward to present day and I’ve gotten a lot better at sharing (and less picky depending on who you ask).  I’m still not a huge fan of yellow or green fruit snacks because I still think they bear no resemblance to real fruit.   No problem though as now I can make all my favourite fruit snack flavours at home.  Since I already have the heart shaped cutter and all, I might even make some more wild raspberry ones next week as a Valentine’s Day treat for my special someone.]

Tip:  For homemade jello, use 1 package gelatin and 2 cups of your favorite fruit juice.  For sweeter jello, add up to 1/3 cup sugar.

- 1 (3 oz) package gelatin, any flavour
- 2 (.25 oz) envelopes of unflavoured gelatin
- 1/3 cup water or fruit juice


- 2-3 (.25 oz) envelopes of unflavoured gelatin (2 for soft, 3 for firm)
- 1/3 cup of your favourite fruit juice

Place water or juice in a small saucepan and sprinkle gelatin overtop – let sit for 2-3 minutes to soften gelatin.   Heat over medium heat and stir until gelatin is completely dissolve (about 3-5 minutes).  Pour into molds and allow to set for about a half hour.   You can speed up the setting process by placing your mold in the fridge. 

If you don’t have a mold, pour into a small (preferably ceramic or glass) pan and let set.  Once set, remove from pan and cut into shapes using a cookie cutter or sharp knife.

- Nutritional Info (1/2 recipe using fruit juice) -

Calories - 36   Fat - 0    Carbs – 7     Protein - 3   Fibre – 1


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